Thursday, October 15, 2009

6 of These


Are headed to my classroom. I wrote a grant with another teacher and we got it! $1,000 to buy these digital, miniature camcorders with video editing software for our department. Think of all the cool project possibilities with these little babies in tow. I am so excited!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When Your Job Gives You Lemons

Forget about your job and remember other things that have nothing to do with it.

Sometimes, I lay in bed at night and dream about finding a nice secretarial job. You know the kind. Something low key, with a higher salary than teaching (somehow I doubt that's hard to find), with benefits, and a boss who gives me a nice Christmas bonus and an occasional, "Thanks, Katie, you're really good at your job." Maybe even a raise when he sees how fabulous I am. A nice secretarial position where I work from 8 to 5. When I go home at night, I'll be done with work. I won't have to think about it until the next morning. No papers to grade. No lazy teenagers. No homecoming ballots to copy, and stuff, and count. Let's face it: I'd make a killer secretary.

Instead, I work in a job where being good at it means I get added responsibilities with no additional compensation. And, while I work on my additional responsibilities, the stacks of papers I'm supposed to be grading just keep piling. The piles keep getting larger. And larger. And today, around the time that I agreed to be an emergency sub for someone's Spanish class during my prep period, while struggling to repair the technology that I needed for a lesson I was giving after lunch (which I wouldn't be eating because I had lunch duty), I almost cried. Almost is huge for me. I'm surprised I didn't lose it.

A lot of days I love my job. It makes me feel all warm fuzzy inside. A lot of days, in fact most days, an email from a parent thanking me for what I do for her child is enough. Having a student write, "I love you, Mrs. R!" on my whiteboard is enough. Watching a kid really GET something, and knowing I made that happen is enough. Today is not one of those days. Today I am tired. I am tired of feeling so physically exhausted. Tired of hearing, "This is boring." Tired of watching kids sleep through class. Tired of an honors class that didn't even bother to read The Great Gatsby and massacred what could have been an enlightening discussion. Tired of working twelve hour days and not getting paid for it. Today is a day I contemplate searching help wanted ads for a new profession.

Now, here I sit at home, and it's time for me to prove to myself that my life is not completely and utterly crappy. Here it goes.

On Friday, Lauren and I went shopping in Goldsboro. My mission: finds for the house. I love doing anything with Lauren, but shopping with her is especially fun. We are very thorough shoppers. We are bargain hunters. We start in one corner of a store and leave no stone unturned. We fondle every fabric, and we smell every candle. It took us about five hours to circulate three stores. Shopping is hard work, I tell you, and I'm hoping three hard core hours of it will compensate for the weeks I've neglected to go to the gym. I found some great stuff for the house at amazing prices (gotta love Ross and TJ Max). Some of my finds helped contribute to the completion of the sun room (well. . . somewhat completion) after we repainted the wicker furniture Joy and Bruce gave us. The finished product, for now, looks something like this:

Here's the wicker furniture pre-paint job and during paint job:




And the finished product:


On Saturday, Chad and I joined Cameron, Lacey, and Cassie for the U2 and Muse concert in Raleigh. U2 has long been on my list of bands to see in concert before I die. Considering this is the first time they've toured in the United States in twelve years, I'd say I kind of lucked out getting to see them. I have started to refer to this show as the highlight of my life, but since that seems to hurt Chad's feelings (something about our wedding day maybe needing to fill that spot in my memory), I'll just say this concert will forever be a close second. Muse sounds as amazing live as they do on CD; I would definitely pay to see them in concert as the headliner. And U2? I don't care if they're old. Any group that wrote songs two years after my birth and is still rocking out is just cool. Period. It was a fabulous concert. Feast your eyes and ears on the highlights:

First, here are the photos of us being amazed by the stage and excited for the concert to start. We got there VERY early, which was a super good thing. Apparently, a lot of folks were stupid and got stuck in traffic. These losers missed Muse, and in some terrifying cases, even part of U2's set. Another good reason for arriving early was getting free parking in a bank parking lot a mile away, instead of paying $20 to park at the stadium. Plus, when the security guards told us we couldn't have backpacks, it gave Lacey and I time to walk all the way back to the car. The security guard also told us we could bring treats but no water bottles. Funny how when we got back from the car, a different security guard said there was no food allowed. Don't you worry, we got to bring in our Almond Joys and Sour Patch Kids! We held the first guy to his word.

Chad and me:
Cameron's first concert. I'm pretty sure every show afterward is going to savor of anticlimax:

The whole crew, ready for the show to start (you can tell how early we were by all the empty seats in the stadium):
Lacey and me being our typical, solemn selves:

Lacey and Cassie (I loved listening to these two sisters bicker. It took me back to my Moses Lake years. I love these girls!):
Just before Muse performed:


A short clip of the concert, for any of you Muse fans out there:

video

During a few key moments the stage lit up enough to get some decent photos. Here's are a couple of shots of U2:


And video footage for your enjoyment:

video
My one regret is not getting any footage of the drunken Brazilian lady doing the samba during every song. Man, she had some energy.

Then, when we got home Sunday morning, I had this surprise waiting for me in my dining room:


Merry Christmas to me! This corner, china cabinet belonged to Chad's great grandmother. She recently passed away, and this is a Christmas present from Joy and Bruce, who bought it for us from her estate sale. Thank you so much! It's beautiful, sentimental, and I love it!


Yup, I'd say my life is pretty far from being crappy after all. That was therapeutic. Thanks for indulging me.
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