28 March 2007

tire pressure fun

apparently i've been driving around on a practically flat tire. it needed 15 pounds of pressure. hooray for my grandfather and his air compressor.

i should probably update this more often. it's just that my life is basically boring. and i've been all-consumed with the gym, a cast-of-thousands musical, and the ten-page job application (complete with essays) that i finally submitted this morning.

on a side note, my baby sister got her driver's license today.

i feel old.

16 March 2007

vcu 79, duke 77

vcu beat duke.
vcu beat duke.
vcu beat duke.


love it, love it, love it.

10 March 2007

a proclamation

so, it's official:

i am moving back to the washington, d.c. metro area next summer.

before you ask, no, i don't have a job. i am in the middle of the ridiculously long, complicated process of applying for a job at one of the lovely d.c.-based federal government organizations, a place where i have been told i have a very good chance of being hired (i believe the exact phrase was "resume is highly competitive for an entry-level position"). but no job yet. at this point, i'll flip burgers at mcdonald's if that's what it takes to move home.

because the d.c. area is home. it's where i went to high school. it's where i met most of my oldest friends. it's where my family is (sort-of). it's where i lived for 5 1/2 years. for someone who has moved 14 times in 23 years, 5 1/2 years is an eternity. compare it to, say, the places we lived for only six months. it's the place where i feel the most comfortable. i know the area, i know the roads, i know the mind-set. there is a certain attitude d.c. people have, which is extremely hard to explain to those who have never experienced it. i mean, many of these people spend their entire careers learning how to manipulate the government for their own benefit. thus the mind-set is sort of intellectual elitism and cultural snobbery mixed with lots of money, an actual understanding of the workings of government bureaucracy, and bat-out-of-hell driving tendencies.

which brings me to another thing. i don't mind driving up there. 5 o'clock traffic on the friday before a three-day federal holiday weekend. doesn't phase me. I-95 meets the capitol beltway when the redskins are playing at home. not a problem. you just learn to accept the fact that you will spend you time going either 15 mph or 85 mph, absolutely nothing in between, and you never use turn signals until .23 seconds before changing lanes, otherwise people will cut you off. that is driving behavior i can understand. but when i get on the highways down here and get stuck behind somebody going the speed limit, while the person in the passing lane is going the same speed, it drives me bonkers. and don't get me started on how, when you are waiting to pull out onto a busier street, and you stop at the intersection to let the cars go past, for some bizarre reason they slow down so you could have gone had you known they were going to drop their speed by 20 mph but by the time you realize that they have done that it is too late. and you are stuck. waiting. (no, this doesn't happen to me two or three times a week.)

the other reason why i want to move is that i really don't like my job. i love the people i work with and i love the environment of the school where i work. i've got a great set-up, i work with people my age, i love the subject-matter that i teach, and the administration couldn't be any better. but i just don't like dealing with the kids. they drive me crazy. their lack of motivation and apathetic ignorance makes me want to scream. it's stressful getting up every day and having to stand in front of 25 17-year-olds, attempting to make complicated topics in history both understandable and interesting. They spend the rest of their lives constantly entertained by music, tv, movies, and video games. how is a person five years older than them, armed with an overhead projector and notes on the industrial revolution and panic of 1837, supposed to compete with that. and the age factor is a huge part of my frustration. because i really am only five or six years older than them, they put me on a lower respect level than they do the other teachers. and it's hard fighting that. i guarantee that the older teachers don't have their lectures inturrupted with "will you go out with me?", "if a student's over 18, can teachers date them", and "can i go on vacation with you? i'll hide in your luggage."

or my personal favorite:
"hey, when derrick turns 18, we should hire a midget stripper to jump out of a cupcake!"
"dude, midgets aren't that small."
"well, it would be a big cupcake."

and the constant questions and demands: ...can i go to the bathroom can i go get some water can i go to the cafeteria can i go to the office can i go see the nurse can i go to the dance room can i go see the social worker can i go to the library can i go use the internet can i go to the guidance office can i go to the band room can i turn in my homework late can i make up my test during class can i answer my cell phone can we watch a movie can we have a free day can you not give notes today can i go to sleep can i have another copy of the homework can we have different seats can we take a break...

it just grates on you after awhile. so i've decided that, at this point in my life, teaching is not for me. i'm sure i'll come back to it eventually. i think when i'm older and meaner, i'll enjoy it much more. so the combination of missing my parents and sisters and disliking my job has made me decide to move back. don't get me wrong, i do like living here. i love the mountains, i enjoy the small town atmosphere (most of the time), and i love, love, love being near my extended family. but, as my grandmother said, "laura, you can't live here forever."

now the trick will be to find a roommate. cause heaven knows i can't afford northern virginia on my own.

09 March 2007

mind numbing

i just graded 76 powerpoint presentations on the major battles of the civil war.


(the situation is somewhat redeemed by the fact that i'm listening to the avenue Q soundtrack.)