ct is trying to kill me…

I know this is supposed to be a bright and shiny new bloggity version of my developing Professorial awesomeness but can I just say… I think my state is trying to kill me.

My wonderful (no sarcasm​ at all here…) bitty Little house in the Big Wood is currently growing an interesting type of mildew in certain corners, damp is creeping in around the door, and the windows are sweating profusely. It may be having a heart attack, and trying to take me with it. Looking at it that way kind makes me feel all special and shit, but seriously, I have been sick since November and am officially done. Game over, I am debating quitting school and escaping to The Keys for some SUN dammit, but seeing as I just did my taxes and owe close to $1K, I think I have to wait a bit to flee the scene.

So today I have nothing of import to share, but wanted to make an appearance in honor of February, the shortest and sweetest month EVER! No, I am absolutely NOT trying to butter good old February up in order to avoid a blizzard when I least expect it… =) In all actuality, my dark secret is that I despise February, but totally​ LOVE it too. The cold and damp and snow and 17 minutes a day of sunlight just make me weep, but then you have those days of brilliant blue, no wind, snows all melted and you look up and are all like “Damn, what a pretty day!” And don’t let’s forget about St. Valentine’s Day!

Speaking of, Paul and I are creeping up steadily on 2 years, having just past 21 months. Did you hear that… 21 months… IN A ROW! =) =) The funny thing is that while this is our second go around for Feb 14, it is our first official Valentine’s Day! =) Let me explain…

Last year, we were knee deep in snow, bills, and sick. Seeing as we were not even together that day, we just decided to call bullshit on the whole day and if memory serves, I spent the evening with take-away and Grey’s Anatomy. It was perfect, considering. Bt this year, he will be here after work, YAY! Since we both get home late, no fancy dinner plans for us, but I was thinking if I manage to sneak in before he gets home, I will light candles all over the bedroom, brew a pot of coffee, and try to cram the girls into that little camisole top that makes me look like a pornstar. Ooh, I just remembered, I have some glitter-blush stuff that will match the blue silk perfectly!!!

In short, we are doing nothing special, just spending some much-needed time together. I am serious when I tell you all that I am a girl who appreciates the little things… don’t like grand gestures, am more appreciative of stuff like him taking out the recycling. I know it sounds silly, but after so many years feeling alone next to an uninterested man, it is wonderful to be with someone who is PRESENT. =)

I actually have nothing further to report, but just had to check in with my peeps. Have a wonderful week, I will try to post again in a few days, hopefully with something more substantial to say. =) Talk soon, lovies!

in theory…

So we are aware that I am officially an ED major now, and as such am beginning to realize there are more questions than answers when thinking about education policy and procedure in our fine country… (snort).

Teachers and even professors are bound by myriad rules put in place not to harm but to ensure the leveling of a playing field as crooked as a politician during election season. Unfortunately, plans that often are sublime on paper fail miserably when one adds the imperfect human element to the mix.

SO… there are rules and regulations, and there are humans with many different levels of education and experience interpreting them. Add to the mix each instructor’s input, desires, quirks, and ulterior motives, and one sees it is damn near impossible to actually create any semblance​ of fairness or equitability in a single classroom, let alone when multiplying by each school district times county times state… gulp. A formidable​ task to say the least.

So how does a neophyte address these issues? I have been gleaning small tidbits of how and why to do things based on my own classroom experiences. Sadly, I report that I have more items listed in the “NEVER, EVER DO” column than in the “OOH, GREAT IDEA” one. But it is a start, and we must start somewhere…

One thing I am thinking of doing for “warm-up,” which we have as allocated time for our own resources, is 4 level sentence diagramming. One interesting sentence on the board, from classic literature, pertainings somehow to our daily work. We discuss, and if they write it in their comp book, which I supply, then the next day when we discuss another sentence, I walk around and put smiles or checks on the previous page. Simple way to motivate, and no actual grading. Can be added as points toward final grade, and has the added bonus​ of… wait for it… actually encouraging deeper reading and explication skills!!! In an ENGLISH class!! WOOT! =) =) I am learning it does not take moving mountains, but rather small insights, to create a better and more inclusive classroom. Thoughts by my more illustrious​ betters? Gotta go study not, peeps. Namaste, and thanks for being here. =)

hello, wednesday…

It does not escape me that I am an English major, one who has found a passion for the structured intricacies​ of form and function rules of our ever-adapting language, yet I insist on NOT capitalizing the titles of posts. Is this a quirk, an unconscious play on words, or simply a middle finger thrown at the thesis board committee? Probably a mix of the three, as we have already established I am rather a complex creature… =)

At any rate, I find another week half gone, January melting away faster than the disappearing snow from the filthy shrubs lining my Little House in the Big Wood. I was tempted to set aside my schoolwork today and chat here by an unexpected visit from an old bloggity friend. I realized last night that I miss the interaction with you all, the ones who have been around for the long haul, and the new ones who have such insight to share with yours truly.

However, as previously discussed, I am metamorphosizing at an alarming rate, and my wants and needs develop and shift seemingly with the wind. Of course, there is more to it that that… I am becoming something more, something new, improved, and focused. As it is with everyone, I must decide what I want, what I need, and where this space fits into my increasingly busy days. I can tell you that I am here to stay, even when it seems I have disappeared. =)

So what has this student been up to as of late? I am taking 5 upper-level courses this semester, with EDU designators, finally signifying my first steps toward licensure​ in my chosen field. I am also enjoying my Chaucer class, much to my amazement and delight​. It is frightfully hard, and my professor is so brilliant​ my head hurts after a convo with her, but after only 3 lectures I have already learned SO MUCH! While I am not going to take my grad degree in Medieval Literature, this does prepare me well for my Senior Seminar, as well as meeting ALL upper-level​ requirements for both school and state. So I was able to make a truly smart choice when registering, for a change. Feels good to be a bit in control, even if it is only the illusion of control and nothing like the real thing… I wonder how I will fit back into the “real” world once my degrees are done, and “all” I have​ to do is work, and not plan every decision 9 months ahead? ​My sweet Paul, 21 months into our relationship (how the HELL has it been so long already??!!), still does not “get” my need to constantly do so much ahead of time. His work as a lineman consists basically of putting out fires all day. Something​ breaks, he fixes it. Something blows up, he replaces it. Tornado blows away lines, he strings new. Drunk driver rams pole​ at midnight, his crew is there to dig a spot to plunk down a new one. All this while dealing with enough voltage to literally disintegrate anyone foolish enough to not be completely aware​ of their surroundings every moment of the obligatory 20-hour​ shifts… in other words, he REACTS. It suits him; he is great under pressure, calm in an emergency. But planning ahead? Not so much. Where he has spent the last 20 years trying to not burst into flames, I have spent the last 3 laying foundations for professional exams 2 years out. Ridiculous, no? How will I ever learn to live in the present again? I am hoping with enough homework-free weekends and cold beer, I will adjust just fine.

And here I am once again, not saying anything of real import, but blathering on in true Tish-fashion. But as you all know me so well, I am hoping you would not have it any other way. Namaste, peeps. Glad to be back, and glad that you decided to stick around. =)

crickets…

Hmm… the sound of silence… trite but true. Things have been getting quieter and quieter as the days melt by, and I wonder if you all ran away to some deserted island without internet access… and if so, WHY didn’t you bring me too??!! =)

I am sitting here, trying to get warm after a long morning of hiking, coffee with friends, laundry, groceries, and mopping the ever-filthy kitchen floor. Which is something else I don’t understand, as he does not wear his work boots​ in the house, and even if he did, HOW would he levitate into the back of the house where the kitchen is? Curiouser and curiouser…

The wind is blowing​ ferociously out there, and while the sun is brighter than ever, it is damned chilly! Days should be mid 50’s which is lovely for this time of year, and with any li=uck, should keep the white stuff at bay. While I would adore a white Christmas​ with an inch of fluffy snow, I am by no means ready for the ice-scraping, shoveling, slippery roads bullshit that comes along with the season.

I literally have nothing, but wanted to check in before I attack the mountain of research sitting here, threatening to spill over and knock me off the couch. Lmfao.

Namaste, peeps. =)

personal responsibility…

Or lack thereof, as it were. I remember growing up and being instructed that for each right we claim, there is an attached responsibility that goes along with it. Yin/Yang, Sun and Moon, falling down and getting up. Opposite forces… get it? =) There was literally NO POINT in which the adults in my life stopped, looked around, and said “Ok, I’m here, now I can rest on my laurels.” Apparently, they were a dying breed and as I gaze at the confusion and pain around me, I realize how few people hold themselves to the standards that were imposed upon my childhood self, and that I happily impose upon myself today.

I will never be the rock resting in the sun, happy in mossy contemplation. Instead, I am a wave, constant motion and planning to get to the next shore. It is not good or bad, it simply IS.

I received an email today from a professor who is too sick over the election results to come to class. Of course, The Fates being the utter bitches that they are, this is after I spent 3 HOURS yesterday preparing for class today. Yes, 3 HOURS!! I did not leave material for the last minute, but you know how those Tues/Thurs lectures go… one can become swamped by a professor’s bright idea. SO… I prepared myself, took the requisite 2 pages annotations (both sides of course), read the book in its entirety,created study questions, entered the day’s work into my “grade book,” created the rubric… list goes on.

Get up this morning, PING… this professor will not be in attendance this morning. I still have to show up, check in with the TA, and then work on the group project. The one we were supposed to start NEXT WEEK. The one that concerns a book none of us has even OPENED, let alone READ. This will be a very productive two hours, I am thinking… sighs in frustration.

This leads me back around to the theme​ of personal responsibility. While I can understand disgust for the electoral process, I do not think this is a reason for him to check out for the day. I pay a LOT of money for this​ “free” education I am getting, and if I need to be prepared, can’t​ we ask the same of someone making $125,000. per annum?

There are approximately a million things on my to-do list before Spring, 2020. That is when I graduate with the double MA and SEC Ed Cert. 3 years and a semester. Half-way there. Perhaps, as a very unmotivated person once whined to me, I should not hold others to my high standard. I argue that perhaps we could all put on our big girl panties and face the day, no matter how daunting the prospect. “Embrace the Suck” for all us ex-military types. “Just Do It” for all you runners out there. You get my drift…

Lest you think I am an unfeeling wench, I CAN sympathize with his plight. I simply cannot afford, mentally or realistically, to take time to grieve for what might have been. I decided to stay up late, work hard, maintain my GPA, contribute to the class in a meaningful way, and accomplish my goals. This, in turn, helps my entire group forge ahead, as we ALL decided to do what we were tasked with. Perhaps discounted college costs are my RIGHT for serving my country. But my RESPONSIBILITY is to show up, do my best, and make something of myself with all those tax dollars I (and you) have invested over the years. I owe it to myself (and my future students) to get the best possible education and be the best instructor I can be. Will​ I have a need for sick days in my future? Of course. I only hope that I choose to use them sparingly, and not on days when my students are counting on me to navigate them thru tricky​ waters of my own creation.

Go be your best today. That may not be your all-time best, but aim for the BEST you can manage​ today. If someone is counting on you, show up. If someone needs you, be present for them. I realize humans learn through trial and error, but we only have one life in our current form. Make today count. If not for yourself, for those around you. We do impact everything around us, like that proverbial butterfly. Go be excellent! The smile on your​ face at the end of the day will be reward enough. If not, treat yourself to some ice cream. “Just Do It” says Nike. I agree.

Hatred Cannot Be Our Answer…

In the early hours of November 9th 2016 Donald Trump won the 2016 Election and become President Elect of the United States of America. If you are looking for details of that story, you have come to…

Source: Hatred Cannot Be Our Answer…

unable to even…

I could not care less about this man’s hair. His orange spray tan is inconsequential. That braying, derisive laugh? Not on my mind…

BUT… I am bothered by the hatred that America, in part, embraced. I am bothered by the fact that a strong and confident, caring First Lady who tried for 8 consecutive years to make a safer and healthier country for our kids is being replaced by a fashion model. One who will do nothing to uplift her husband, the new leader of our precious country. I am bothered that this leader’s default setting is not respectful introspection, but full on tantrum-throwing. And that he now has access to our launch codes. That this leader thinks it is all in good fun to threaten sexual assault on any woman he deems worthy enough…

HOW did we get here? We lost the collective US and focused instead on personal agendas, the very thing we scream at the parties for doing. Instead of uniting to become the greatest and strongest pool of people on the planet, we allowed emotion to get in the way of the issues. Some of us simply didn’t vote, because after all, “we live in a blue state, so whatever.” We allowed our passion for our guns to override common decency. We decided that helping others is not important, but he who can collect the most and keep it is king. We decided screaming is more important that discussion. We decided that it is not just acceptable, but reasonable to want someone else to die or be forcibly removed from within our borders so we can perhaps grasp a bit more of the pie​ for ourselves, to be eaten in the dark by the fistful, of course.

The irony is that most of you reading this voted against this hatred. Am I, therefore, accusing you all of not standing and fighting for what we collectively believe would create a better tomorrow… not perfect by any means, but better than today? Not by a long shot, peeps. We are finally reaping​ what our country has been sowing, and the crop is terrifying to this old gal in the Big Wood.

Do not despair, do not give up, do not feel as if it is over. It is just beginning. This is NOT about a woman in office, this is NOT about party lines, this is NOT about all the bullshit we have been spoonfed. This IS about change,a time of growth that will be painful​, especially​ knowing what we are growing into is not what we would like to be. So what now?

Declaration, communication, education. Cultivate, enlighten​. Strengthen and persevere. But not while screaming, accusing, demeaning. Time to take it back. Do what ancient civilizations and great leaders alike know to be effective. Do it softly, persistently. Speak softly and carry a big stick. If we whisper, they must lean in to hear. If we smile, the burden passes to them. The only way a maligned group rises is through tactical genius and biding their time until that final, bloody campaign. Now is not the time. Checkmate is not possible on the first move. So we must careful consider our strategy, bide our time, stun them with our ability to hold onto grace and peace. I know this is miserably hard for we have been fighting so long, so hard, uphill all the way, and are exhausted by the fight, but know we cannot stop. This is not the time to fight. Slow down and heal. Think what you can offer “the cause,” be it canvassing, educating, listening, creating safe spaces, whatever. You know your​ talents, you know what resides in your​ heart. THINK. BE STILL AND THINK. Then breathe, and then, consider carefully your​ next step. The only strength here is in numbers, so we must do everything in our power to ensure when this cycle begins again in 3 years(but it has already begun)we are amassed.

Loving-kindness and peace, light and love be with you all today. This is not giving up on who you are and in what you believe. This is regrouping. This is smart. And this is the only way we will get through this day without becoming a screaming, incoherent mess similar to the one who now wears the crown.
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