Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh, uh, WHAT?!

I have lunch duty and I actually love it. Our lunchtime is rarely crazy, so I generally get to circulate through the cafeteria and talk to kids in a totally different way than we talk throughout the rest of the day. I've gotten to know kids that I wouldn't otherwise know.

Every once in awhile, though, you hear something that you don't expect.

Yesterday, a girl says "His dad is bad," pointing at her neighbor. She goes on to explain, "He killed a guy last night."

And he turns to her and covers his mouth with a finger to shush her. He doesn't look scared that I'll find out, but he does want this to be a "secret," or so it seems.

Now is this some made-up story a kid's telling to brag that his dad is cool? Is this some reference to a video game taken seriously? Is this exactly what it sounds like?

I have no idea at all, but I was definitely surprised and made sure to report it to our school counselor. Because it may have been completely fictional, but I would still rather tell someone than make an assumption. Sometimes these kids have to deal with knowing some pretty heavy things.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the positives

I was hoping to do this at some point, but Katy has asked for people to do the opposite of her last entry. Instead of jealousies, list your blessings and the things you are thankful for- and I fully intend to take her up on it.

If my count is right, I posted 21 jealousies- so my goal is at least 22 blessings. BRING IT ON.
  1. My apartment. It's nicer than any of my college apartments!
  2. The students in my class. They make me laugh constantly and can be very sweet to me.
  3. The teacher I work with. She is a great teacher, and treats me as both an equal colleague and a friend.
  4. My job. Job searching was tough last summer, and I know many people that are struggling to find work still. I am so thankful to have any job, much less a teaching one where I can ease into full authority while in the same town as my fiance.
  5. Because of my job- the money I have. I'm just out of college, so it doesn't seem like a lot now, but I have plenty to get by with everything I need and some beyond that.
  6. My fiance. All around me, I've seen crazy relationships- and we are so awesomely far from that. He's sweet, takes care of me, respects me, listens to me, and makes me laugh.
  7. My family. My mom still does whatever she can to support me, even when things haven't exactly worked out the way she planned. I'm so glad I have brothers, and a huge extended family that cares so much and has so much fun!
  8. The many teaching blogs I read. It's amazing what I learn from them and how much they crack me up.
  9. The pets my family has always had. When I go home, the two dogs are so excited to see me, and the cat loves to cuddle at night. Nothing makes you feel more loved than dogs greeting you at the door!
  10. Football. Seems silly, but it's something that my fiance, family, and me all enjoy- and I get so much enjoyment out of following it and watching it, especially with people I love.
  11. My education. I've been blessed to have so many unique experiences, especially as I grew up- everything from Space Camp to Paleontology Club to working for biology camps.
  12. It's almost Spring. I enjoy the snow and pretty winter time, but by the time Spring gets here, I'm ready!
  13. Spring also means my birthday! I don't care if it means I'm getting older- it's nice. PLUS I'm going to get a spread of birthday goodies at school from one of the other teachers! :)
  14. I'm not one of those crazy wedding-obsessed girls. That not only helps with the budget, but it also helps my sanity and makes me not be a Bridezilla to the people around me. Instead of caring too much what people will think or if it lives up to my princess dreams, I get to think about what actually means something to Ryan and me, and have fun making it happen.
  15. The Ship of Fools/ Purdue Improv Club. I met my fiance at one of their meetings, but I've also met an awesome roommate, a swing dance partner, and a generally fabulous and funny group of friends. Plus, it gives me something to do on Friday nights. Yay social life!
  16. My other friends. I have one girlfriend who loves to be random and spontaneous as much as me. I have a girlfriend who I've known since kindergarten. I have a guy friend who sings musicals with me. Even the friends I don't see often, I love to pieces.
  17. Dancing. Since the time I was three, it's been something I love.
  18. Music. Every time I'm really upset, I'm amazed at the power of music to completely complement my mood.
  19. Books. I have loved them for as long as I remember. Even in diapers I'd pick up a book and lie next to one of my parents to copy them. As a child I always had a stack of library books. Now, books for fun are a precious escape.
  20. My photos. I don't know what I'd do without all the pictures I've taken and all the pictures that were taken of my family when I was little.
  21. Ryan's family. Honestly, I would be grateful if they just didn't dislike me, but they're also so welcoming and fun to be around. Being with Ryan was already pretty awesome, but getting to be part of his family is an extra bonus.
  22. My church. While my faith can waver, I cannot imagine my life without the wonderful people who went to the church I grew up in. I have so many memories of their friendship and love.
  23. My health and the health of those I love. I know that, ultimately, my health keeps me able to do everything else.
See? I can still be positive. :) It's not that hard. There are so many good things happening in my life. Even on my moody days- deep down, I know that my life is full of things to be grateful for, and it's only fair I give them the same blog-attention as my jealousies and worries.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jealousy Jane

Bird on the Street is one of my favorite blogs. I started reading when the author was a teacher, and followed as she became a parent of a special needs child. It is absolutely captivating to read her insight and optimism, her realism and disappointments, and the successes of both her and little Charlie.

In this post, she said: "Sometimes I think it's good to get stuff off your chest--it lets you breathe. I want this blog to be about living joyfully and sometimes you have to bare your soul a little to get to the joy." After that, she went on to list some things of which she was jealous. And because I've been thinking too much the past few days, I was inspired to do the same. Yes, I've gone a little overboard.

I'm jealous of:
- Women who are confident in their bodies- who wear shorts without feeling self-conscious, who can think swimsuit shopping is ever a joyous experience, who don't have to change outfits over and over again before they decide they look passable. (Note: This is not necessarily women who are "attractive" or "ideal"- though I'm jealous of them, too- but it's women of any size or shape or looks that FEEL attractive and love their bodies no matter what.)
- My brothers, who can eat whatever they want, and three times as much of it as I would eat, and still stay on the low end of healthy weight. (My little brother has been told by the doctor that he should TRY to gain weight, and it's been a challenge. A CHALLENGE.)
- Women who may not be confident in their bodies, but do something about it- who have the motivation, the persistence, and the courage to plan and work and sacrifice to be healthy and meet a goal.
- Women who don't let their insecurities invade their relationships and friendships to the point where jealousies, frustrations, and paranoia arise.
- People for whom faith is constant and feels certain.
- Teachers with a calm, obedient classroom- who don't have to yell at students on a regular basis, who can get more teaching done than disciplining, who can still be in a good mood at the end of a day, who have the patience to deal with the everyday.
- Teachers with their own classroom. (While I love the teacher I work with and in most ways wouldn't want my own room, sometimes I wish I had ultimate authority and the chance to do it all my way.)
- Teachers who make it look easy. I know it's not- ever- but some teachers are just so talented. See also, teachers who can go into a principal evaluation without being terrified.
- Teachers with tenure, or at least more than half a year of seniority. Or anyone with job security, really.
- People with dogs and cats. Can't tell you how much I miss having one when I come home.
- Women with a true girl best friend- who run to one person with any big news, who can talk about boys without a second thought, who they don't have to share with anyone else, who they can regularly spend lots of time with, and who have someone that knows them almost better than they know themselves. It's even better when you know that you've earned that kind of friendship, and lately I'm jealous of people who feel that way, too.
- People who have plenty of money- who don't have to worry about debt or payments, who don't have to be cheap sometimes, who can buy the expensive things they've wanted for so long without reservations even when the money is in the bank, who don't have to worry about compromising or putting off a wedding because of finances. (Yes, I know most of this is just being new to the adult world.)
- People who will get to have their father walk them down the aisle and dance with them at their wedding.
- People who have close relationships with their siblings. With one of my brothers, I almost dread seeing him in person because we usually end up fighting and I usually end up feeling terrible.
- People who feel a deep sense of deserved appreciation for whom they are and what they have done.
- People who are in a close-knit group or club- who spend so much time with the same people that they feel like family and even when they annoy you, you love them. (I miss marching band, drama club, winterguard... all of it.)
- People who are and feel smart. I used to feel smart and I miss that feeling.
- Neat people. Punctual people. Organized people.
- People who have the commitment to spend time and money doing enjoyable things- seeing more plays and musicals and concerts, regularly reading books for fun, dancing, traveling.
- People with the energy and time management to come home from a full day of work and actually get something done.
- People who don't go into random times of being moody and thinking too much. Sometimes for days at a time, I'm in a funk and can't seem to snap out of it.

Most of the time, I'm extremely positive and optimistic. I know that overall, I have a great life and a lot to be grateful for. All things considered, I don't really have reason to complain and I know that.

I'm not fishing for compliments. I know many of these things are well within my control to change. Some are materialistic, some are selfish, some are wistful, some are unrealistic, and some are just plain stupid. I hate that most of these are on my list.

So... here's the optimism. Hopefully someday I'll be able to use them for good? In the meantime, feel free to share the jealousies you need to get off your chest.