27 August 2008

a brief glimpse into the insanity that is being us (in email form)

27 august 2008
12:27 am
from: laura
to: meredith

My classroom came equipped with a gigantic fiberglass model of the Liberty Bell.

This, in itself, I find pretty cool. Who wouldn't want a big model of the Liberty Bell? A normal person would put it on the filing cabinet and admire it from a reasonable distance. Is this what I did?


I put it on my head. Like a big hat. One of those German helmets with the spike on top. Except it was big enough that the bottom rim of the bell came to my waist, so I essentially looked like a big Kaiser helmet running around on two legs.

I also learned that the inside of the Liberty Bell makes ocean sounds.

27 august 2008
1:53 am
from: meredith
to: laura

Aw... a part of me was hoping it was like the Harry Potter sorting hat, and if you put it on, the disembodied voice of Thomas Jefferson magically told you who to vote for in the next congressional election.

for meredith

from an online conversation with my sister, re. bad john wayne movies:

laura: i recommend avoiding watching the conqueror
mary: sage wisdom
mary: i think i am the only living human being who has seen the end of the conqueror
mary: and i can't remember the end
mary: it's very sad
laura: i always fall asleep
mary: everyone always falls asleep

26 August 2008

new jobs and kneecaps

two brief things occupying my brain right now:

1.) so far, the new job is great. i have a nice classroom, i like all my textbooks, and my coworkers seem really awesome (although now, thanks to my grandma, i always read that word in my head as cow-orkers). we'll see how great i think it is when i have students.

2.) i'm sensing a visit to an orthopedic surgeon looming in the future. drat. for years, if i put pressure on my knee the wrong way while kneeling, my kneecap gets pushed out of place and crushes nerves, tendons, and ligaments in my knee, requiring me to wrench it back into place. this is, by far, the most painful thing i have ever experienced. blinding, searing pain. gasping for breath pain. literally the entire world halts until it goes away pain. i'm sitting here trying to find the words to express just how much this hurts, but i'm coming up short. naturally, i have learned how to avoid this. but every now and then, i'll not be paying attention, and it will happen again. which it did last week at the beach, except this time it took about four times longer than normal to fix. my knee hasn't felt normal since then, so now i'm having to be hyperactively careful about not putting any pressure on it. i'm a little worried, but i'm hoping that it will get better and i won't eventually have to have surgery.

13 August 2008

in which we become good friends with the UPS man

i just ordered sixteen books for my grad classes this fall. yuck. this pretty much destroys all hope for any free time i may have hoped to have over the course of the next four months.

what's even more ridiculous is that all sixteen came from different amazon vendors, which means that sixteen separate boxes are going to be dumped on my doorstep. awesome.

why i don't really function as a normal human being

it is currently 1:09 am. there are several things i should be doing, mainly a.) sleeping, or b.) working on lesson plans. what am i doing? finally updating my blog.

this summer has flown by. i survived my first grad class. hurrah! for the most part, i did well just sitting in the corner and keeping my mouth shut, and i managed to make it through without allowing the bull to get to me. then, during the last half of the last class, somebody insults the marines in wwii and i had an aneurism. it was not fun. i had to keep reminding myself that i never have to see those people again. i start fall semester in about a week and a half. i'm a little apprehensive about the fact that one of the classes has a 14 book reading list. heaven help me. this is what i get for going to grad school full time AND teaching full time. plus playing in a band and volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center.

i'm insane.

i'm extremely apprehensive about the new teaching job. my last day at my dad's was friday. i'll miss the people, but not the commute. or the work, really. most of it was pretty routine. i'm definitely looking forward to being back in the classroom, and everybody i've met at the school seems awesome, but i have an impossible work load. five separate classes. 8th-12th grade. geography, world history I, world history II, US history, and government. five completely different preps. i had enough trouble trying to get lesson plans done for one class, much less five. they said they would try to take one away (hopefully the government - i don't like teaching civics or 12th graders - but most likely WH1), but i haven't heard anything for sure. my first day is the 25th, so i guess i'll find out then. my goal is to get as much lesson planning done this week and next week as possible. so far, it hasn't gone very well. there's just so many more exciting things i've wanted/needed to do.

the one good thing in all of this is that i'm teaching at a private school, so there are no standardized state tests. hallelujah. those things were the bane of my existence in NC. this means that if i want to spend two months doing a model congress, i can. if i want to spend an entire class period on a socratic seminar, no problem. if we just want to discuss current events, who cares. and the lack of a computer projector could prove to be a blessing in disguise, because then i'll have an excuse for just typing up some overhead notes, rather than spending hours of my time creating elaborate power point presentations.

in other news, the wedding of my two good friends from middle school that i've been planning for ten months was on aug 2nd and went amazingly well. the only problem all day was that the cake fell over, but that ended up being pretty hilarious, so nobody got too upset. all the work i put in definitely ended up being worth it, but i don't want to go through it again anytime in the near future. when i get married, we're going to vegas and getting married by elvis.

i'm at the beach now and it's amazing. this place has becoming engrained in my life. we've come basically every year since 1990. i'm loving, loving, loving being able to read all day guilt-free. (part of why the lesson-planning efforts haven't been very successful.) i just camp out on the beach and read for hours. so far i've made it through about four books, and i've got 12 or 13 more in my bag. the one sad thing is that my extended family (except my grandmother) couldn't come, for various reasons. i'm having a great time, but it's just not the same. hopefully everyone will be able to come next year.

after the beach, i'm staying with my grandma in the mountains for a week. i've really missed NC. hopefully i'll be able to catch up with some of the friends i made there. and get some lesson plans written...

(why do i feel like that is going to be the theme of the next year of my life. sigh...)