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Showing posts from 2013

Candy Roulette

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I kept seeing posts on reddit about people combining M&Ms and Skittles in the same bowl...something about these people being monsters. Me? I loved the idea. I decided to make a little game of it...a little game I call candy roulette.

Not only did I include Skittles, I also threw in some Reeses Pieces and any M&M varieties currently available. Since it's the holiday season--this game was made even more interesting with the seasonal flavors...chocolate mint, white chocolate, cherry cordial and gingerbread, all of which are essentially coated in the same holiday colors.

As a side-note, I'm not exactly sure what happened with the gingerbread flavor. I kind of feel like no one ever tasted the final batch or maybe it was the "taster's" last day and this was their way of throwing up two big middle fingers to a job they had no intention of using as a reference. Either way, they are not good. I personally think they taste like chocolate covered curry (and I don&#…

Favorite Daughter

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My parents' pup Ruby, the one who replaced me as the most important daughter in the house, passed away on Wednesday night. She was diagnosed with diabetes a while back and I'm sure if it wasn't for my parents diligence in care and continual love, she wouldn't have lasted as long as she did. As per what has become a family tradition, Ruby had a steak breakfast and a ride in the car to get some chocolate ice cream for dessert before moving on.

What sucks about living 1,500 miles away is that I can't be there to give my parents a hug or to share stories about Ruby. Stories of her following my parents all over the house even in the last few months when it took her a lot longer to get around and she usually had to take a nap after reaching the destination. Older stories of how she was great at treeing raccoons and how we couldn't say CAT without her freaking out because my dad unalterably had taught her it was a bad word. How she helped babysit and herd the chicken…

"Fucking Board"

That bit o' knowledge was written on an assignment I graded this weekend...erased, but still completely visible. Oh, where to begin. I guess I'll start with my determining whether or not I'm offended. I probably should be, but I'm not.

I'm pretty aware that no matter what I do every year, there are going to be students who just don't "get" me, who may even outright hate looking at my face. I'm aware that there will be students who absolutely detest coming to my class for a variety of reasons even if I continually change my curriculum and the way I present it. I'm okay with knowing I will simply never win over a percentage of my students- either with my dazzling personality or with the activities I plan. I'm okay with this because I feel like that is real life.

In our day to day lives, we all have to adapt to our surroundings. Chances are we are going to come across people we just don't mesh with- no matter what the reason. We have to p…

What exactly is essential?

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I really think our government does not see education as essential. Here's why.

Today at 7:15 a.m., I organized my classroom. I wrote the date, learning goals, and success criteria on the board. I made 22 copies of an article about sleep debt that were reused in each class period. I straightened the desks and wiped each one down with cleaning wipes. I emailed a college admissions office about a senior very interested in attending their school. Anything else needed for the day was already complete yesterday, and so by 7:30, my day was ready to begin. School however, does not start until 8 a.m.. This is an average, purposefully relaxed, way to start my morning.

With all of my grading complete and in the computer, I decided to continue my planning for an upcoming Edgar Allan Poe unit. I already have most of what I need but last spring I came across some great ideas provided by the National Parks Service that I wanted to add to my unit. A PDF file, some 50 pages of lesson ideas to go a…

Holiday Pudding Shots

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The following HOLIDAY pudding shots are by far the best collection I've put together--and even though that might sound a little self-aggrandizing--it's true. These shots will be perfect essential for making it through the fall and winter. Rumchata has entered my life and I'm not sure it will ever be the same (thanks to Rob and Mindy and Shotski).


Tips that will make your life easier when making any kinds of pudding shots: Get yourself some Plastic Condiment Cups and lids and set them up before you start mixing.Use a bowl with some sort of pour-spout. Use a whisk for stirring. It is simply more efficient than a spoon.Use a flexible spatula for folding in last ingredients as well as guiding the pudding into the little cups.Figure out some sort of labeling system. I like using a permanent marker with acronyms for the pudding names. (Gingerbread Cookie=GBC). With my Wedding Shots I color coded the lids to match the sign on the fridge. Refrigerate cool whip. Frozen cool whip i…

Worth the wait?

It's been a while since my last post--a couple months maybe. I could check but that would mean I'd have to save this "post" and leave the page to find out and at the moment...that all seems like too much work and ultimately unnecessary .

I'm not sure what my problem is. I could say I've been busy with the start of the new school year. I could also say that my first nutrition class is monopolizing my time (in a good way). But really...neither of those activities have actually kept me from writing. I kind of just don't know what I'm doing and I'm majorly second guessing maintaining this little blog of mine.

Because really...what am I writing for?

Am I writing for me? If I am, I could simply continue journaling like I have since middle school. Done.

Am I writing to keep friends and family updated on my life? Yes, but Facebook pretty much does that for me.

Am I writing as a means to practice writing and establish my voice? Kind of, yes.

Am I writing a…

Love For My Students--Part 2

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Last year I made a real effort to provide content that did not simply align with our state curriculum standards for my American Literature class. I wanted materials that also enabled my students to make life connections with the literature they were going to be required to read. I asked for donations of The Glass Castle and The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian so that I could replace some of the tired, old classics that consume the few shelves of our paltry "book room". I don't have a negative opinion of classics per se, I just wanted to give my students the opportunity to read something a little different, to vicariously experience situations and settings that didn't take place three hundred years ago. There are so many wonderful modern writers that are ultimately overlooked in our classrooms because as teachers we are designed to simply teach what has previously been taught AND mostly because often that is what we have available to us. It's sad.

The…

Feed Time

My pups eat the same thing every day...every single day. Think about that. They might get a carrot, or some sunflower seeds, or something someone sneaks or drops for them, but breakfast and dinner, it's chicken Kiev or some such organically produced specialty store shit that isn't made from stuff no one wants to know about. Every day they eat it and they don't look at their bowl with "this again" looks of resignation...they dive on in. It is this constant, this selection-less regularity that insists we try to provide them with GOOD food.

We, on the other hand, have choice in food- a plethora of options that make many of us unable to control the quantity or type of food we put into our bodies. So many choices.

I am four days into cleansing the internal portions of my body in hopes to "flush out" all of the poor choices I've recently made. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes commitment; but I actually like doing cleanses. I've worked thro…

Jumping Hoops

I'm in a fog...have been for quite a few days. Work is supposed to start at the end of the month and I'm feeling more than a little anxious about the upcoming school year. Husband and I are both planning to resume our employment at the same place, however; just to keep things "one hundred" (as my students would say), we did apply elsewhere.

I've said many times how my struggles with teaching do no typically occur while I'm actually teaching. Instead, it's the other stuff...and in this specific situation, it's the simple fact that my employer has on a hand-full of occasions been unable to pay us on time. Beyond feeling frustrated, not being paid is scary...especially when our total income comes from the same place. I want to feel secure in my place of employment. I don't want to be fearful that the school is going to shut down a few weeks in because we don't enough students enrolled. The principal, assistant principal, and a few teachers from l…

Pudding Shots 4: Specialty Shots

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Four new flavors!! Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, Val's "French" Vanilla Coffee, and Peanut Butter Banana
These are "specialty shots" because some of the ingredients are a little harder to find AND some are a bit more expensive. [I had to go to Denver to find the Nutliquor.] They are worth it though...as usual.

Step 1: Whisk pudding powder and liquor(s) until smooth.
Step 2: Add the heavy whipping cream in with the pudding/liquor mixture.
Step 3: Stir in the cold (not frozen) cool whip until pudding is smooth and one color.
Step 4: Pour pudding into individual servings and chill in the fridge or freezer. I enjoy the freezer effect.  

***** Tip 1: Follow the pudding recipe listed as "pudding pie" on the side of the box to determine your total liquids for a thicker consistency. 
Tip 2: Chocolate pudding masks the alcohol better than any other we've tried.
*****
Mint Chocolate (Easily my new favorite) Chocolate Pudding (big box) 1/4 cup Creme de' …

Love is love.

Why is marriage equality still up for discussion...still up for debate...still having to prove itself in the court system? I really don't get it. Why do people who have no intention of joining into a same-sex relationship give a shit what others do with their own personal lives? I know I'm not breaking ground here; I'm not saying anything new, I just can't wrap my mind around why this is an issue. Still.

Last week I spent a few days watching Caprica, the prequel of sorts to Battlestar Galactica. Sasha Roiz plays a mafia man...an extremely attractive mafia man...an extremely attractive gay mafia man...an extremely attractive MARRIED gay mafia man. I'm not just mentioning him because of how ridiculously handsome he is with all of his perfectly placed Tauron tattoos, I mean that's just understood and no one would believe me If I claimed otherwise, but I'm mainly bringing him up because in the show his same-sex relationship is just normal, not in anyway disputa…

The Perfect Storm

Today was kind of a rough day for me (and by rough I'm referring to the panic attack I had in the middle of the Diamondbacks stadium with hundreds of baseball fans walking past: tears streaming down my face, sweat pooling in all sorts of crevices on my body, hands shaking, unable to catch my breath). Even though this happened today, I believe the shittiness of the situation can actually be traced back to last night.

Last night I had a great night. Last night I didn't get home until three in the morning. Last night I reached a level of intoxication that many probably shouldn't even attempt. I'm not bragging. I do not condone this nor do I see the lure of reaching that level of alcohol consumption; but it occasionally happens. Also, while it is obvious by some of my drink recipes posts that I enjoy adult beverages on a more frequent than infrequent basis -- my goal when imbibing is not to get obliterated, at least not so much any more.

So as this little tale goes, it was…

Regrets

I woke up this morning to a rather ominous (and seemingly pointed) question on my google homepage. It asked, "When you die, what will you regret?". Now, I'm fairly certain the question wasn't actually directed at me (we can never be too sure with our computers, right Caprica), and instead some article that I neglected to read...however, the g.d. question has been festering inside me all day even though it doesn't quite make sense. How does someone regret something if they're already dead? But realities aside, it is thought provoking.

The question reminds me of a movie I watched with my mom when I was in my teens. Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep portrayed two recently deceased characters in Defending Your Life. The characters basically had to demonstrate their readiness for moving forward by screening different "scenes" from their life as proof of their accomplishments. If the characters were able to show how they took chances, helped others, and in g…

Is This Gonna Be Forever?

Ugh...I think I need to find a new job. I know...I'm definitely starting to feel (and sound) like a broken record. It's almost funny, but not at all. The sad part is with the exception of the "financial difficulties" plaguing my current place of employment, I really enjoyed my position this last school year. I liked the ages I worked with and the classes I taught. I liked the small setting and modified school week that enabled me to get to know my students outside the classroom setting. Most of all, I liked the students.

I went into teaching to be able to work in communities on the lower end of the Socio-Economic spectrum. I didn't want to work with students who I felt were automatically given every opportunity. Even though my students struggled, I can't think of anything more gratifying than to have been a part of helping the percentage that tried...and who ultimately were successful. However, all the positives I mentioned are sullied because I just don'…

To my Dad on Father's Day

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During first semester of this last school year I showed a few of my classes this picture of my dad to give them a visual of sorts for a personal narrative I had written for an assignment example. After class, a few students  immediately arrived in husband's class commenting on my dad's appearance and questioning my dad's overall demeanor. They asked my husband if he was intimidated when he first met my dad. To me that's kind of funny because my dad isn't like that. Intense, passionate about his beliefs, physically strong...those are all true, and potentially defining characteristics, but obviously that is not the whole person I know as my dad.

Having said that, my dad and I haven't always gotten along famously. When I was a teenager, and especially when we were moving out to Washington, we butted heads constantly. Looking back it's super easy to see that we were just a lot alike when it came to how we wanted to do things on a daily basis and since my broth…

How Did I Get Here?

Do you ever just stop what you're doing, look around, and really take in your surroundings? I do, often it seems. I have developed a habit of walking around our house, entering each room, and seeing (but kind of not really believing) it's all real. Maybe that sounds a little weird, but really, how the hell did I get here? Arizona...marriage..mortgage. It's hard for me to grasp.

I spent the last week organizing four years worth of digital pictures, and then moved a bit further backward into the land of actual photos and photo albums. Life in Philadelphia, and Washington, and trips here and there... it is a touch disconcerting to see aspects of my life turn into memories infiltrated by people whose names I can't even remember...memories that were my reality but are now completely different from what currently surrounds me.

Sometimes I'm conflicted. When I was traveling a lot and living out of two suitcases for months at at time or even when I was simply moving betwe…

The Mighty Five--Utah

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The "Mighty Five" are five of Utah's National Parks. Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion, along with multiple scenic drives in between, offer some of the most spectacular views and unique rock formations I have ever seen. Even though we covered the entire trip (about 1,500 miles) in four days, I wouldn't suggest it. (Although I'm pretty sure a certain Mr. Sullivan would be proud.) If I were to re-plan this trip knowing exactly what I now understand about the parks I would definitely make at least three changes. 
One change would be to leave all of our camping gear at home. Even I consider this to be a blasphemous statement. Here's why though. The time of year was almost perfect. Thanks to our early start and early finish school year, we hardly had to wedge in among crowds to see the sights during the first week in June. However, the temperature averages listed in the park information were almost ten degrees below what we actually experi…