Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reason #147

why I shouldn't leave the house dressed like a little teenager in furry boots: I run into an old crush.

Granted, this time I was "presentable" and not wearing sweats and messy hair, but I was definitely dressed as a kid in a loose dress, leggings, and very, very furry boots. Yup, I was right back in high school. Which is coincidentally where I first met said crush. Well I haven't seen this guy since high school, and it became infinitely clear that he did not recognize me. Since we were not exactly friends, but merely classmates, I didn't expect him to remember me, but at least a glance in my direction when we passed each other. Nope, not a head nod, a smile, or anything.

I think I fared better with the stranger-athlete at Waremart. Perhaps if I didn't look like I belonged in high school Mr. Old Crush would have said "hi".

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Done and done.

Yesterday at 3:10pm I officially ended my student-teaching career. One school year is not a career, you might say, but let me tell you something: I feel like student-teaching has sucked 10 years of my life. Now on a Saturday, not only do I NOT have to worry about which assignments to avoid grading (and later feel guilty about ), I also don't need to worry about what the kids are going to do in class on Monday (I actually haven't done that for weeks now....oops). It's hard leaving the 'teacher' mindset though. I keep catching myself worrying about assignments students still haven't turned in, or thinking that today's a school day and I'm late for work. These are the scars I wear. To be fair, I enjoyed teaching at Central, I honestly did. But Christmas break is a MUCH NEEDED escape from being utterly, prudishly, and boringly responsible.

I may not be a college student anymore, but I sure feel like acting like one. Give me a moment to discard my hefty master's degree for a day or two, and become a lowly college student once again. The land of irresponsibility, asking parents for money (which I refuse to do), and sleeping in because classes don't start until noon -- those were the good days.

No, I cannot shed the degree I earned through blood, sweat, and tears, but I can turn my attention to more important things, such as: sleeping in, reading my arsenal of books, crocheting, writing/sending Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, watching movies, writing my novels, and packing for my trip home tomorrow. :)

Have a wonderful Christmas break everyone!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reason #109

why I should never step out of the house looking like crap: I inevitably run into handsome strangers.

Strangers is the operative word in the sentence above. I don't care if I run into my friends looking like crap because I've already secured their friendship. They've already seen me in my comfy mode (aka: in sweats and no makeup). But strangers have no idea that I can, in fact, clean up pretty well and look presentable. First impressions are very important, and I may have just given a very bad first impression to this handsome athlete.

To be fair, I was relaxing indoors and didn't feel like being very feminine when I went to the store to get some baking supplies. My choice of appearance: sweatshirt, men's sweatpants, glasses, no makeup, messy damp hair. I was all set to walk down the catwalk. Looking as stellar as I did, I bumped into a guy that I had seen a couple times around town. Of course he would never greet a stranger that gave every appearance of being a hobo, but he was courteous enough to give a polite nod and smile in my direction. Ah, if only I wore real clothes and actually put a comb to my hair that morning.....maybe then I would have gotten a "hello".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December thoughts

There's a reason why we're made the way we are. God had a definite plan when he decided to make me five feet tall instead of five-foot-eight. There's a reason I'm not model-shaped. There's a reason he gifted me with a voice to sing instead of fingers that fly across a keyboard. There's a reason I love sports but aren't especially talented at any of them.
There are some things that I am so impassioned about but can only watch from the sidelines. Music sets a part of my soul on fire with its rhythm, with its intricacies, with its flight between delicate notes and muscle depth. But all I can do is appreciate its worth. Sure I can sing, but I want more -- I want to play the language of the instrument.
Sports has never been something I can watch from the sidelines. I have this deep-seated need to participate whenever possible. As much as I enjoy playing soccer or rugby, I can not claim true skill or talent in either of them. I understand soccer through and through -- can see where the passing lanes are, calculate and execute a kick and compensate for foul weather, anticipate the opponent's move -- but I cannot react in time to do much good for my team. Yeah, I owe it all to my disastrous athleticism. I hate running more than I can say. I wish I could naturally run without getting tired five minutes later, but it is simply not the case. I don't mind lifting weights, doing a bit of kickboxing or maybe even some dance-aerobics, but straight running makes me cringe. So I must settle for being one of those overweight coaches who yells at her team from the side.
No worries, I've already become that woman -- complete with clipboard and whistle. It's a not-so-beautiful sight.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The truth about love

For the past year or so I have tried to learn as much about the concept of love as I can (as a single woman who has never been in love). I figured, before I can find it, I should know what to look for, right? Well along the way I have discovered plenty, but the most recent revelation is this: Love is not 50/50 -- it is no give-and-take relationship -- it is all about the giving. Pretty basic concept, one would think, but this hit home for me while watching "Wolverine" (oh yes, total chick-flick).

Don't ask me how romantic lovey-dovey nonsense fits into this action-flick. However, in the scene where Logan and Kayla are canoodling in their Canadian mountain home I realized that when it comes to relationships, you're not in it for yourself -- you're in it for the other person. Sure, it gives you great joy to be with that special someone, but first and foremost you strive to do all you can do make the other person happy. That is where self-joy comes into play. It really is a never-ending cycle that might be too complicated to try to explain; but the point is that you have to be willing to give all of you to see to the happiness of the other person. You have to be willing to put your needs aside, your pride aside, and be vulnerable in order to find true fulfillment in love.
That love is shown to the other person in the selfless act, in the willingness to show the true self and stand the risk of rejection, in giving up control, and in saying, "I can't do this on my own; I need you." I've never experienced any of this, but I am pretty sure it will be the single most terrifying thing I will ever do in my lifetime. So terrifying, in fact, that I don't know if I can go through with it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I scratch your back, you scratch mine?

I can't stand it. I really can't. My shoulders have been so twisted up in knots, I think the only way to loosen them is to cut the ties completely and let them unravel themselves. Right now, sitting in a comfy recliner, I can't even lift my hands. They weigh ten pounds each at least -- maybe twenty the way I'm feeling right now. It's one of those pains that has built up over time (I'm thinking the last four days or so) so now my body doesn't even have the will to resist. I'll sit here for the rest of the night letting my poor head flop on my shoulders that are too stiff to really provide proper support. No aid for my neck, just shoulders that won't move even if you paid them -- not that I would ever advocate for giving money to my shoulders. If you were to give money to anyone/thing, then it might as well be to me. It's not like I get paid for working a full time job with thankless adolescents.
Back to the subject at hand....will someone PLEASE massage these knots out? Right now I have lost the will to live because these things are so stiff. I would love it if all the tension was rubbed out of my shoulders so that I wouldn't even care about this life of mine because I would be in such a state of relaxation.
Please? Any takers?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

God spoke to me

He does from time to time, you know; only this time, it was in the form of a dream. I woke up a couple hours ago with the distinct impression that God was not too pleased with my earlier post concerning my favor of dogs over babies and small children. I dreamt that I had my own tiny baby. She was so beautiful and small. I knew the baby was my own and not someone else's because I had an overwhelming feeling of protectiveness over her that I can only assume comes with being a mother. I have no idea who the father was (eek!), but it somehow didn't matter to me. I distinctly recall the baby being blue-eyed with faint wisps of blonde hair ( this a premonition for the future?). I wish I could remember her name, but alas, that was the one thing that slipped from memory the moment I awoke. She had to be only a couple months old, but for some reason she was able to sit up on her own. She had no teeth yet, but loved gumming a small, light-blue and gray teething ring. I remember taking her everywhere with me -- to school to teach, around the house, running errands -- in my arms in front of me (even in one of those baby carriers where she just hangs in front of me in a sling). Her soft head had the succulent baby smell, and I breathed in greedily, knowing it would not last forever.
The only odd thing was that the child never once cried. She was the ideal child, not a realistic one. She smiled and laughed and looked at me in adoration. I want this child.

I need this child.
She is mine; I know that. I just can't wait to meet her now.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It doesn't take much to entertain or outwit some of the people I hang out with. So why do I choose to spend time with such "dull" folks, you ask? Simple: it doesn't take much to entertain or outwit them. There is this little ego-boost that comes with being admired by people -- no matter how less-than-up-to-par the audience is with personal standards. Queen of wit among peasants is better than average-wit among all-stars. Therefore, I choose to entertain a select circle with easy banter and humorous fictional escapades. It works. They are entertained, and I get my occasional ego-boost. Win-win situation, no?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kids aren't like dogs

No matter what they tell you, owning a pet is nothing like having a kid -- not that I have experience in either one. But I think if I had the choice, I would prefer a dog over a baby; however, not for the reasons you may think. Dogs love unconditionally. They may crave attention all the time, but they don't need it. Babies, on the other hand, crave attention constantly and need it even more often. You have to pay careful attention to them and love them openly, otherwise they will not reciprocate. Dogs, however, will always love you, always be eager to be with you -- even though you don't show them any attention. In order not to expend exuberant amounts of energy for the sake of receiving any love in return, I would rather have a dog around the house to love me than a baby. Besides, they're less maintenance.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Question of the day

"Miss Scott, do you go to college parties?"
"Western doesn't have college parties, idiot." Another student chimed in.
"I agree with him, Western doesn't have parties," I smiled dismissively.
"So does that mean you don't go to parties?"
"Nah, I don't do parties."
"See, I told you she was boring," a girl whispered to her neighbor.

You heard it hear first, folks: I am boring. You know, I would rather students think I am as boring as a bump on a log than a raging party animal. Who can respect a woman like that -- especially since they already don't respect me since I don't "look like a teacher". I guess there goes my reputation as a "fun" teacher -- not that I ever was a fun teacher. Alas, I will ever be known as a boring twenty-something who never took advantage of her college years. My loss.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You snooze, you lose

Everyday at 1:21pm the bell rings to announce the beginning of 6th period sophomore English. And everyday at 1:21pm I secretly hope students will skip my class. Great attitude for an inspiring teacher, right? This particular English class, however, stresses me enough to cause premature graying on my otherwise luscious brown head. The reason for this fantastic attitude is because students let me know early on that they had no intention of learning anything from me and certainly did not want me to force English on them. I've been assailed with insults ranging from "You're not even a real teacher," to "Are you pregnant?". And let's not forget the wads of paper balls, and stick drawings of me as a witch. Oh yes, this class is my pride and joy. But the way I see it, if they are unwilling to learn, then I will be just as unwilling to pass them.

And yet students still skip my class -- whether from my secret wishings or because they made the choice on their own -- it doesn't matter. In the end, not a single one asks to make up the work, but then act so surprised when they see their progress report and are FAILING. Surprised? They shouldn't be. Show up to class, do the work, and turn it in on time -- that's all that is required to pass my class. I don't make it difficult. In fact, my class is a ridiculous joke of a cake-walk. If they just do as I say, no one will get hurt.

Please people -- you must be present to win.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I miss you. I don't know who you are, but I miss you.
I don't know why I crave company so badly these last couple days, but I've felt a desperate need to be around people lately. Perhaps it's because I have been in a self-imposed exile for as long as I can remember. I feel guilty any time I am with other people because I know I should be grading papers. This is the peril of being an English teacher. I hate feeling guilty for giving myself free time. So this weekend I spent time in the company of others. Meals, movies, sleep-overs, sports games -- the works. Even when I wasn't with people, I spent an ungodly amount of time on the phone. And I must say, even after all that, I still feel lonely. I talked with my parents for over an hour tonight and I don't feel any less alone. As much as I enjoy my solitude, there's something about connecting with other people that feels right somehow.
Oh, but I relish my solitude.
I value alone-time about as much as I value food. Enough said. For the most part, I get along better with myself than I do with other people....entertaining guests and keeping people happy takes work. Let's just say I like being lazy from time to time. And now that I've had an overload of people-time, I still feel strangely alone. Bitter-sweet. I love it and hate it. I am a captive of my own choosing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Love You All Over Again

A quiet room is what you get, an empty glass, an unmade bed,
A picture window with a view, and all I think about is you
To feel so bad, to feel so good, to let it be misunderstood,
Now I long to lose my senses to love you all over again.

The shouted words, the tired sighs, the traded kiss of sad goodbyes,
The living off of our desires, then putting out a thousand fires:
To feel so bad, to feel so good, to let it be misunderstood,
Now I'd tear down my defenses to love you all over again.

To know a place without regret, you make believe you paid your debt
But in that clean and quiet room you can't believe it's over yet.

Out on a lark, at home asleep, the endings play, the bands retreat
But in that dumb luck of the few, the consolation comes to you:
To feel so bad, to feel so good, the verdict's in. It's understood
I will be tried for my offenses and love you all over again.

I thought I would never be able to understand....

But I've come to find out I understand too well. This realization scares me. I used to be a rational person who saw everything in black and white. None of this murky brown or shades of gray crap. Black and white.

Who could understand the deep undercurrents that surround relationships between men and women? Why would a woman return to a man who clearly beats her? Why would a man hit his lady, apologize, and then tell her how much he loves her? How could he twist truth around so much to tell her that it was her fault? That he wouldn't do that, but she drove him to it? How could a man degrade and demean a woman he begs never
to leave him? How can he force himself on her and say it is all out of love? And worse yet, how can she ever look him in the eye and know in her heart that she forgives him -- and will always forgive him if he does it again?
Worst of all, how can I say, in all honesty (and a bit of shock), that I understand?
But I do.

It is not from personal experience that I can justly say I understand why these men and women choose to stay in destructive relationships. Hell, I would be the first person to jump to a woman's aid and tell her she doesn't need to take that kind of crap from a man no matter how much he insists on loving her. But from an outsider's perspective, I can see reasons for staying. Even reasons for trying to please the other person.

It is simple: pure fear. Not necessarily fear of the other person; although that fear may be most apparent and immediate, but fear of being without the other person. Fear of the unknown. Of loneliness and isolation. Fear of being depraved of affection, as violent as it may be. "It may not be great when I'm with him, but at least I know him. The next guy could be worse." Or worse still, there may not be a next guy.
Fear of abandonment. Of being without someone when they need someone the most. Fear that the other person chose to walk away and leave them. That pain cuts deeper than any physical blows. That is the fear of rejection. Of being looked in the eye and hearing the words, "I want nothing to do with you. You aren't good enough for me to love." And so they bar their heart, not letting the other near; showing love in the most painless and destructive way possible -- anything not to be hurt by the other's rejection.
This I understand. This craving to be cared for; craving for someone to love them, to understand them, to choose to stay with them. I understand the desperate need to not be rejected by someone you have let close to you. I understand the need to be comforted, to find solace in someone's arms -- even the arms of someone you hate. Because it is in that instant that acceptance is found. The moment two damaged souls look at each other in impassioned hatred and think, "We only have each other. We need each other," is the moment that hatred becomes desperate love. No form of abuse can separate their twisted bond of love.

He can degrade her, order her around, and then realize what he's done; but still come to the conclusion that this is the only way to show his love. This is the only way he could let her know how much he cares about her.

And she would understand. She would understand his lack of ability to show love in a caring and gentle manner; in a way that puts her needs above his own. She would understand that he means well, but doesn't know how to express himself; instead he takes what he wants and hopes she would understand. Her hatred and contempt flames briefly, but soon dies; knowing that he still wants her regardless how how he takes her.

She is afraid no one will ever want her again, and so she stays. He is afraid she will abandon him, so he strikes fear into her heart in order to stay. Neither one knows if or when the other will leave. And so they press on in their own violent display of affection; not realizing that heart-wrenching vulnerability is all it takes to love freely and fully.

Monday, November 2, 2009

From Soy Chai to Raspberry Wine

I've been sitting here in the same recliner for the last four hours and only managed to grade one stack of papers. Although I've taken a few small breaks to watch movie clips and whatnot, I've been working slowly (but steadily) through these tests. Since I've been sitting here for so long, I've been working up a terrible thirst and I did not have anything within arms-length to drink; so as a reward I decided to make myself some chai tea. Chai is delicious, but it is very thick and didn't quite satisfy my cravings for liquid refreshment.
After downing the tea, I realized that I have an unopened bottle of raspberry wine -- my absolute favorite -- sitting in the kitchen. I could have been drinking wine, relaxing, and enjoying the tedious task of grading papers much more than this slow progression to death with chai. But no, I chose the thick, creamy taste of soybeans and vanilla-flavored tea over the muscle-relaxing zing of fermented raspberries.
And I still have three more folders full of papers to grade.

I loathe myself.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I couldn't leave my mark

I tried leaving my mark at Central High (literally), but instead it left its very permanent mark on me.

Central High School has been in a rebuilding mode all year -- new rooms, sidewalks, buildings, and of course, cement. As our department made our way through the construction zone toward the district office, I somehow managed to dig both heels into very wet cement. The best part was that the cement was right outside the classroom I teach, so I thought it to be quite convenient. A happy accident. And so I left my print, hoping the construction workers wouldn't notice the deep 7 1/2 heel marks in the blobbing gray cement, and continued on to the district office. On my way back curiosity got the best of me, and I had to check my mark. It turns out I wasn't as permanent as I thought. The construction workers found my prints, and ruthlessly paved over my John Hancock. I was devastated to say the least. The only thing I have left to show for it is the dried cement dust stuck to my nice black flats.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Question of the day

As appropriate as this title is, it's not very catchy. So in an effort to come up with something more intriguing I thought of: "The secret life of the American teacher." Of course it's a huge play off of the popular TV series, and corny to boot, but it does provide an outlet (and dandy split) for the things that go on in the classroom and the things that go on in my head. However, there are some pretty scandalous connotations that go along with that the top of my head I'm imagining working the street corner, maybe selling opium, or running an underground smuggling ring. Now that won't do at all. So until another title for this running feature presents itself, we'll go with the question. And there was a whooping question asked yesterday.

"Miss Scott, are you pregnant?"

First thing in my head: "Are you calling me fat?"
No, strike that. First thought: "Why do you always have to be a bitch?"
She asks right there in the middle of class in front of everybody, and tries to blame it on someone else. I give her a deadpan expression and told her no. Not that it's anybody's business whether or not I am pregnant. I'm pretty sure she's had more sex than I have.

I'm struggling with why I even care to teach her anything. I'm not sure I do care anymore.

And today I am now the recipient of a lovely picture depicting me as a green witch -- complete with broom and pointy hat -- compliments of the same student. Such nice kids I have. Monday will no doubt be another adventure. The kids have already taken to throwing wads of paper at me. What's next? Rotten tomatoes?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Choosing solitude over friendship

Today I have come to the conclusion that I am not fit for friendship. I am not trying to be facetious, but find it to be remarkably true.

1) I'm a homebody: I enjoy spending time by myself at home either reading, catching up on tv, or writing.
2) When it comes to going out, I need to know ahead of time otherwise I don't care to get dressed up at 11 pm.
3) I used to care what people thought about me, but recently I've noticed that I don't even careI don't care if you're mad at me, I don't care if I've offended you. I don't care about anything but my own laid plans.
4) As previously inferred, I am selfish. I have my own plans and I intend to carry them out. If you don't want to go along with them, then fine, do your own thing and I'll do mine.
5) I HATE confrontation. I can't handle it; I really can't. So instead of telling people how I really feel, I choose to avoid and ignore them until I am over my irritation and can see them again without being mad. Yes, I am a coward. I admit that freely.
6) After I realize that people are flaky, I generally don't waste my time on them. Makes my life infinitely simpler.

And since I enjoy the simple life, I have discovered that I don't necessarily need friends. They make things so complicated and I can handle life just fine on my own.
what people think.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ravings of a student teacher:

Some things I've learned while at school:
  • No matter how crummy a teacher's salary is, it's still money. I could sure use some.
  • Students don't actually care about the parts of speech. They care about using certain parts of speech (preferably vulgar adjectives and pronouns)
  • No one actually cares how you dress for school. Therefore, I have become quite the expert on rolling out of bed twenty minutes before I need to leave for school.
  • There is absolutely no respect for teachers anymore. With so many laws in place, students can walk all over teachers and we can't do a damn thing about it.
  • Students need to get over themselves. Yes you. Believe me, you're not all that.
  • The perfect class size is fifteen to twenty students -- that way I can pay attention to all of them and actually care whether or not they are succeeding. Currently I do not.
  • And the most important thing I've learned: lunch is the only time in the eight hour work day to have intellectual conversations. Savor those thirty minutes while you still can.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Epic failure

Today has been eventful. More than eventful, today has been a series of one failure after another. The only silver lining I see is that I just made chili. And it is delicious.

Things I didn't accomplish today:
1) Teach my classes at the high school
2) Prepare adequate lesson plans for my mentor teacher
3) Prepare handout for Literacy presentation for grad cohort
4) Coach my soccer girls through their game
5) Go to powder-puff football practice
6) Go to women's bible study

Things I halfway accomplished today:
1) Gave a group presentation with little preparation
2) Sent last-minute lesson plans to my mentor teacher
3) Showed up to the soccer game just as the whistle was blown to end the game
4) Prepared(ish) lesson plans for tomorrow

Oh, and I just found out my neighbor across the courtyard is one of my students. Great, now I can't walk around my apartment naked.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hitchhiker's guide across America

I have recently picked up a complete and total stranger on my way home to Eastern Oregon. I am usually not one to willingly offer a ride to someone I don't know. I mean, do I really want to be stuck in a car with a stranger for four hours? But I decided why not? I could use the company since my radio is defective. So she and I set out on an adventure across Oregon. It turned out that she and I are practically the same person -- only she came along four years later. Imagine me as a Mexican (I know, huge leap) and you have my new found friend. She graduated from HHS four years after I did, is now attending Western, and plays sports. Sound familiar?

But she brought up an interesting idea that has now sparked my curiosity. She has a fearless attitude about hitchhiking across America, and now I really want to try my hand at it. It doesn't matter that I have three degrees and could potentially have job security when I eventually join the work force; I'd love to beg my way across the great US of A and meet all sorts of interesting people. Of course I'll have a buddy with me -- no sense getting ravaged on a gravel road in the middle of Kansas. The buddy system always works.

Now I'm ready to pack my duffel bag, smear some dirt across my face, wear holey jeans, and see who will pick me up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ponderings of a single woman...

So there are a few things that I've been throwing around in my brain these last couple days; the topic generally revolving around the differences between men and women: the single most interesting subject on the face of the planet.

The first conclusion I've come to: men are the superior athlete. I understand that this is no big surprise for many of you, but the significance lies in the fact that I'M admitting this openly and with complete humbleness. As an athlete myself, I have been struggling against this fact my entire life, challenging all men who would deem me an inadequate match in any sport. However, now that I have had years to observe sports between men and women both on and off the field, I have come to the sound conclusion that men are undeniably superior in the realm of athletics. They have the speed and finesse that can only be described as beautiful and awe-inspiring (when done right).
On the other side of the physical pendulum, women still hold the title for grace on the dance floor. Men may be suave, but they don't hold a candle to the seductive, sassy, sway of a woman when she moves across the floor (by the way, that was consonance in action).

Moving away from the physical differences, I've slowly been made aware of how easy it is to....manipulate men (for lack of a more tactful term). Now, I don't mean to be offensive with that statement; however, for some resourceful women, it is not difficult to enlist men to do whatever they want. A little bit of playing helpless mixed in with a healthy dose of ego feeding and a bit of good ole fashioned flirting go a LONG way in achieving goals. I'm not saying I've had much experience in this practice, but I don't think it would be too difficult if I really wanted to. So seeing this trend, it's a wonder to me that women don't rule the world. Not trying to be feminist about things, but if women can sway men so easily, what is holding us back? Tradition? I'm sure we've kicked that in the pants when we took care of civil rights.

My future life goal: take over my own small part of the world simply by using what God gave me: feminine wiles.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's not about me. But it doesn't have to be about you either.

Things are going to get a lot more personal -- as if they haven't already. Regardless of who reads this (if anyone), my personal life is going to become more....accessible.

Remember the line from A Knight's Tale, "You have been tried; you have been measured; and you have been found wanting"? Well I have just been on the receiving end of that line. Not literally, but unintentionally. Ever get the feeling that you are being judged while talking with someone? Yeah, we are NEVER judged by others in this day and age. But lately I've been bombarded with the idea that I am inadequate. That I don't measure up. But then that begs the questions, "measure up to whom? And by whose standards?" I am still trying to explore this nagging feeling (without going completely insane). I am not insane -- that much I know -- but I have definitely been judged and held accountable for the very same things I am most insecure about. Now I know I don't have the stature, or figure if you will, that commands attention, but that doesn't mean I am any less of a person. I am not an eloquent speaker, nor am I particularly charismatic, but I do have my own thoughts and ideas that are worth listening to. Being measured purely by outward appearances has been something I have had to deal with my entire life, and it is something I recognize in an instant when it happens to me.
I've seen the look in people's eyes when they look me over and decide which category I fit into. With men it is one of three categories: 1) I wouldn't touch you with a ten-foot pole; 2) Sure, we can be friends; and 3) Hmm, potential interest? For those who have dared for option #3 and failed, they usually head toward option #1 pretty quickly. For those who stay safely in option #2 usually become a solid friend of mine. But then again, this option provides very little wiggle room.
But there is so much more to me than what is seen on the outside. I feel like for those who truly get to know me, I come as a surprise. I am not one who can be easily put into a box or categorized. But then again, how many people take the time to come to that conclusion on their own? I'm not saying I'm perfect -- far from it actually -- but there is definitely more to me than meets the eye. I'm just so tired of being put into a box by people who think they have me figured out. I will never truly and completely be figured out by anyone. Including myself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

When students take over my life...

I need a life. Seriously.
This is only the fourth day of school and already my day -- no my life -- is completely consumed by high schoolers. I roll out of bed and make it to school by 7:30am, and then don't get home until 6pm. Now I really don't mind the long hours; I only teach three classes after all. But then comes soccer until 5:45. And even if I'm not with students, I'm planning their lessons, or worrying that I won't get through to them and completely destroy their education, or analyzing what they said or did earlier in the day.
I am going insane.
Maybe this isn't supposed to be my career path. Perhaps student teaching is just meant to show me that I would actually make a terrible teacher. All the aspirations I was striving towards is out the window. I really don't know more than them (except for how to write complete sentences), and now that they're covering parts of speech I'm thinking......let's review since I can't even name all the parts of speech anymore. How pathetic.
Why do I need to do more work than students -- and in my off-hours no less! They are sapping the life out of me.
And don't get me started on how students purposefully try to embarrass, humiliate, or openly challenge the teacher. And yes, this is all by the fourth day of the new school year and all from one class. This is what stresses me out more than anything. There's always a new hill to climb every single day. I am not cut out for mental hiking.
Now that this rant is over, I'm going to finish up lesson plans and hit the hay.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Is it just me, or are kids these days getting younger and younger? I started my full-time student teaching earlier this week; and although I have a lot of sophomores, they look like they're thirteen. What's worse is they act like they're nine the majority of time. I really feel caught in the middle of the kids I teach and the teachers I work under. Do I belong anywhere? Sometimes I feel like I relate more to the kids (technically I am closer to their age), but then again, I am supposed to be a professional and I understand the English department, just not some of their methods. I understand the kids' reluctance to learn -- I am doubting why some of these things need to be taught to them....I don't want to waste their time, but sometimes I take for granted what they know or should already know.

And then there's the other thing: did I ever act this way in high school? I observe how these kids act and I honestly don't believe I was ever this.......immature. Ok, so maybe I was immature, but I certainly didn't show it in the classroom. I was a bit of a teacher's pet. I wouldn't dare do anything to make them upset. And yet these students so callously disregard the word of the teacher. It's amazing. This may be the only thing that will make me quit teaching. Forget the fact that I want to teach them how to read and write well. If they don't wan to learn, why would I want to teach them? This is why I should teach college. My professors were right -- college is the way to go.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When I can't take it anymore, I just sleep.

Nap time should be enforced here in the states. It's recognized in half the world, so why not in the US? People needing sleep (or just wanting a break) in the middle of the day cause a complete halt in the economy for two to three hours everyday. Can't we be stubborn like that and refuse to work in the afternoon? The answer is yes. It's called getting fired. But if Spain, Mexico, and all our southern neighbors can get away with it, why can't Americans? We all get suddenly sleepy and droopy-eyed right after lunch and don't actually snap awake again until four, so why not cut out the lack of economical productivity and rejuvenate our senses with a nap? We would wake up feeling refreshed and focused, and be ready to jump back to work with more vigor than if we slummed it out for a couple of hours, knowing we wouldn't actually get any work done anyway.

Therefore, for the reasons stated above, I declare the hours of 2-4 pm to be official nap hours. Don't expect to do any work during this time; I sure won't. If you want me I'll be in slumber land.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer, can't you last forever?

Life doesn't stop just because you will it to. I've figured this out the hard way. You see, school is starting up for me in less than 24 hours -- inservice, that is -- and now that I've had a full month of vacation I've finally settled into the blissful mode of doing nothing. Ordinarily this would frustrate me being jobless and all, but since I purposely chose this lifestyle for the summer, I told myself I would not complain about getting to sleep in, and stay up late, and decide that dinner time is two in the morning. And now that I've tasted this side of life, I really don't care to forfeit it for the sake of pubescent teens who don't give a crap about reading a good book or forming a grammatically correct sentence.
And ever since I returned from my hometown, life has been going nonstop. If it's not a wedding it's soccer daily doubles, and if it's not soccer it's meetings (which will start tomorrow at the ugly time of 7:30), and if it's not a meeting or two it's spending hours at Les Schwab letting them drain me of money I DON'T HAVE. As I contemplate these things, I am also scheduling some time with friends I will never see after classes start because I'll be so exhausted trying to build lesson plans at the last minute or instructing girls on how to do a chest trap without damaging the goods. Goodbye social life, hello high school. Again.

The sun finally broke through the clouds after hovering so close to my window I can almost touch it. Perhaps this is a sign that things are not as bad as they seem. Or God just wants me to see the sun before the perpetual clouds take over the skies. Either way, I am scheduled for a walk in one hour, and there is no way the weather is going to stop me from getting proper exercise.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I finally cracked under the pressure

Sometimes I hate that I'm supposed to be the "good daughter". I hate having to be the only one my parents are proud of; the one they peg all their hopes and dreams about having an "accomplished" child. Sure, you'd think that being the child being raved about all the time would make me pretty smug, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. It just means that I have all this astounding pressure to
succeed. Do I want to succeed? Of course. But I think I would be just as content to succeed according to my own conditions rather than the parentals.

It's amazing how much one can get away with when they're so focused on the shortcomings of a sibling. As long as I don't appear as "bad," then I fly clean and clear under the radar. You see, being a "success" has plenty of advantages -- the main one being the complete trust of the parents. I get good grades, I don't have a boyfriend, and I stay relatively on track with my life goals, so all that equals a daughter that is offered the forgiveness card anytime I appear slightly irresponsible. I'm spoiled, what can I say? Believe me, I've rebelled for the sole sake of seeing if they'd respond to me like they do to the prodigal daughter, but rebellion only gets recognition if it is known. It does no good being three-hundred miles away and living my life if there's no one here to frown at me with dissatisfaction. I'm not saying that I'm a disastrous failure of a daughter, only that I like pushing the boundaries my parents would rather I stay in. Yes, I'm not a child anymore, but I know
exactly what they disapprove of, and sometimes it's exhilarating sticking a toe or two over that line.

I think this is only preparing me for a life of irresponsibility and pushing the envelope -- all for the sake of the thrill. I am officially in need of psychiatric help. My name is Lissa and I am a mini rebel, a thrill seeker. I can never marry. Who knows if it isn't simply for the satisfaction of shocking my parents, and not for love?
I need to be admitted somewhere. Anyone know the number for the nearest psych ward?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

10 Reasons Why Soccer Players Are The Way To Go:

Now these are in complete random order because, let's face it, you can't put one above the other.

10. Fantastic bodies. I mean, seriously, have you seen these lean, mean, six-pack machines?

9. Perfect proportions. Okay, so I'm elaborating on #10, but let's get down to business. Looking at athletes in general, basketball players are too tall and gangly, track runners have NO meat on them, football players are WAY too bulky -- either with muscle or fat, who really knows? And then there's baseball players...oddly tall but with fatty beer-bellies. Don't even get me started on golfers -- they are just too flabby. Solution: Soccer players. Perfect bodies: not too tall, not too bulky, and definitely not fat. :)

8. Great reflexes. And for kicks and giggles, I'll thrown flexibility in here too. Bicycle kicks; need I say more?

7. Amazing speed. Yes siree, they were born to run (alright, track stars are born to run, but soccer players do it gracefully).

6. I have never seen an ugly one. (Okay, there was one from some 3rd world country I don't even remember -- but only one.)

5. Endurance. They keep going, and going and going......

4. Not to knock any other professional sport, but they aren't known for their drinking habits. Good, save the liver.

3. They don't need time-outs. For a sport that outlasts basketball, and plays on a field larger than football, soccer players can go all day without a break.

2. They still have a brain left in their head. Yup, they are calculating, intuitive, and anticipate other players like nobody's business. Watch a really good professional game and notice how they move in accordance to their own teammates and the other team. It's flawless how beautifully they form triangles seemingly out of nowhere. They anticipate the opposing team in a way that looks almost like a dance. It's like sex on a field.

1. They claim freakin David Beckham. 'Nuff said.

Monday, August 3, 2009

And the truth shall set you free

I just got back from watching "Ugly Truth" in the theater and let me tell you, it's an eye-opener. Not something that should be watched right after "He's Just Not That Into You" -- I mean, let's face it, we women don't need that big of a dose of depression because we are somehow unworthy of love by a fabulous man and are inadvertently driving 'the one' away with our own intense personalities. And we especially don't need to be told that all man are essentially dogs. We get enough of that in the real world, so let us just escape into fairytale land and see what men of our dreams would look like if they were real. Seriously. Sure, we've all heard the line, "men are simple, stop trying to analyze us!" but do they really expect us to just stop trying to read them? That's like asking a guy to stop staring at a woman's.....more eye-catching attributes. Men do it. They don't even care if we notice. We get offended. But then we analyze what they do and say in an effort to understand this somehow baffling male gender. And they get frustrated. And irritated. No, the more appropriate word is: pissed. It's a vicious cycle. They stare, we analyze. Let's just all accept these facts and move on.
Anyway, what's the point of playing off men as insensitive, horny, bastards? Yes I said the "I" word. Are they really like that? As much as a rash of movies suddenly want us to get it through our skull that men really are simple and care more about the physical than anything else a woman has to offer, I still can't swallow that story. Now does this make me deranged? Am I just holding on to a false hope that someday I will find my prince charming to sweep me off my feet in the way that all old-fashioned love stories portray? Is this kind of love even realistic? Or am I right? Do men want to love a woman the way women want to be loved? I'm not a complete idiot that believes that the physical is only lust. No siree, God made us with a certain amount of sex appeal for a reason. So when is the line crossed where the physical is finally put on the back burner? When does personality, character, virtue actually get recognized?
Here's a clue to men: women DO want to be seen as beautiful and sexy, but that's not ALL we want to be known for. Why do you think women are so insecure? It's because any moment we're waiting for the time when we are no longer seen as physically attractive, and don't feel as though we will be sought after for anything more. And that is the moment of abandonment. The suspense is killing us. So we put everything into making our outer shell into something extravagant. We nearly kill ourselves putting together the perfect body, spend hours in front of a mirror perfecting our face--makeup, moisturizer, perfectly arched brows--and let's not forget the hair--is it cut right? curled right? do I need bangs? should I get rid of the bangs? straight or crimped? You have NO idea. And then there's clothes that need to be carefully picked out. See, we want to look appealing without going overboard (not only for the occasion, but to not out-dress you). We want sexy, not slutty. Where is the line drawn? This gets more confusing when men prefer different....styles.
You see the dilemma? Yes, this probably backs up your opinion that women are crazy. But understand that is due partially to you. Men: the bane of our existence in more ways than one.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The end of summer term

It is finished. Well not quite. I still have one more term to go, but it's all student-teaching and no more classes. Which I suppose is also not entirely true. There's one more online course to get through but it's not until the end of it's like having an entire month vacation. :) However abruptly classes finished, an overwhelming feeling of peace flooded me. We've been going full-tilt through this six week course eight hours twice a week, that it is so.....weird to be suddenly done. I feel like there's something more that I have yet to do for classes. Am I missing an assignment? Nope. Everything is turned in, and all presentations are given to classmates who honestly don't care. Not to worry -- I take no offense to a classroom full of people not paying attention to me. In fact, it reminds me of my classes of high school students, so it's good practice for when I have students in a month.
I've been looking forward to the end of this term since the very beginning, and now that it's over I don't really know what is going to happen in the next week and a half. My entire summer revolved around classes and assignments that were due -- that's how I kept track of the days, but now there is nothing to fill my calender....hmm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anxiety doesn't fool around the first time

Anxiety attacks are funny things. Okay, maybe not so much funny as...panicky? I haven't had an attack in a long time -- possibly a year -- but I know the sure signs of an attack when I feel them. It's not easy to explain, but the best I can come up with is that my heart starts beating faster, I get nervous, I can't sit still, and the worst part about it is I have NO IDEA why they come. I mean, I could be sitting laughing with friends and then suddenly this dread starts to seep through me. Really, it's a feeling of doom.
But this time, I was in class with my wonderful cohort waiting for class to start when I felt the subtle approach of....anxiety. My first instinct was to bolt. Just leave the room and start walking somewhere. But class was going to start in a few minutes, so I sat still like a good student and hoped that after a few deep breaths it would pass. But it didn't. We're running on four hours now with no sign of relief.

Anxiety attacks really cause three main reactions: (okay, so they may not be reactions per se, but they are urges.)

1. I need to run. Or do something else incredibly active just to release the pent up energy and hopefully scare away the anxiety blues. I usually feel trapped and claustrophobic so the best thing for me is to get out somewhere and just run.
2. I suddenly feel a great need to organize and straighten anything and everything within sight. This is bordering on OCD. I think it's a need to have some control over something in my life, so I'll clean or organize my room, your room, my shoes, files in the computer -- you name it, I'll organize it.
3. And finally it's the desperate desire to either cry or scream at the top of my lungs. When I first started getting these attacks, the reaction was almost always to cry. And cry I did no matter where I was -- the dining hall at school, the bathroom (if I could make it there before the waterworks started), or in the lounge of the resident halls. It really didn't matter where I was because anxiety would crash down on me with almost no warning.

And now here I sit, neither running, or organizing, or screaming/crying. But the energy still courses through my veins, and my heart is still pounding, and it still feels like my stomach has become home to the pit of dread. The only thing I can do is ride it out. Another few hours maybe? Who knows...

The lure...

She glanced up to see how much further she had to go and saw two sets of doors at the far end of the hall. They were closed off with yellow tape and the narrow windows were covered with paper. Her stomach rose as a tingling sensation started in her throat and spread throughout her body in a matter of seconds. “Get off her. Let me finish the job.” Her breathing came in quick, sharp gasps; and sped even faster as the beat of her heart picked up speed. As quickly as the tingling spread throughout her body, a wave of absolute numbness followed, paralyzing her body. She tried to look away, but her neck forced her to stare excruciatingly through the tape-covered doors at the scene within the gym.

Judah,” she whispered. She could no longer feel her heart beating. It was there a second ago, but had somehow lurched to a stop in the space of a breath. She watched his body drop with the force of a single bullet to the head. Moments later Cameron fell too. The raw, metallic smell of blood attacked her senses. No! God, don’t do this! Please don’t do this! I can’t—I can’t stand it! Just stop—

Yup, here's another one. Although, this is much closer to publication than the other teaser. Samantha is in a wheelchair. Judah and Cameron are...well, you'll just have to find out about them. Enjoy.

Monday, July 20, 2009


She brushed her hair out of her direct line of sight and shoved her sunglasses farther up the bridge of her nose, hiding her eyes completely. She would pass him in ten paces, then she could release the breath she was holding out of habit. Grateful for the shadows her eyes were bound in, she boldly glanced up to meet his eyes. She had to force her expression to remain indifferent, but she couldn't stop the corners of her mouth from twitching slightly in recognition and acknowledgment. She kept her face forward and continued past him, her steps unfaltering.
One, two, three, she mentally counted his receding footsteps and let her breath out through tight lips. As tempting as it was to turn around and glance at his retreating back, she let her feet carry her forward without thought. No idea, she mused; he has no idea. The thought was smug as she remembered the last two months and the ordeal it caused. It was only slightly ironic that he had no idea just how much he had been in the center of it all. In the lion's jaws unknowingly, eh? Well at least there is no need to involve you in past dangers. It's a moot point now anyway. She took the next left corner purposely, walking into the alley without a second thought.

You hooked yet? Well good, that's the point. But unfortunately, you won't find out anything new until it comes out in paper form. Preferably hard-back, but I can't afford to be picky at this point. I could let a few more details slip through to the blog world, but it would only frustrate you more....
Until then,

Friday, July 3, 2009


Sometimes I wonder, why did God make me like this? How did I turn out the way I am today? And no I'm not talking about my character, or personal problems I may have in my life. For once, I am referring to appearance -- my, ahem, physique. I mean, how do people turn out the way they do? How in the world did I turn out this way? It's always a wonder to me how metabolism and puberty either screw people over royally or give them a boost to model status. Baby fat melts away over night and tans even out perfectly without a hint of a burn. How does this happen? Short chubby girls stretch their fat into a sexy 5'8" frame.

And yet here I stand, 5'2" and the only stretching I've done is horizontal (as evidence in my discreet stretch marks). I don't get it. Why is there no escape from lingering baby fat? I stay active, played sports all my life, and I've never been what anyone would consider 'slim'. I am not about to beat my body into submission to fit the standards of society; however, I do ponder what it would be like to look like one of those never have to try hard to look absolutely
amazing. There are girls who can roll out of a sleeping bag after camping for a week and still somehow manage to look refreshed, adorable...appealing. And yes, I envy those girls. There's no shame in admitting that. I just can't see how they manage such wonders.

And I never will.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A recent conversation with God

God and I talk. Sometimes I feel like I'm just talking to myself, and other times He is startlingly clear. Tonight was the latter. It went something like this. (As this is a private conversation, some details were changed/removed to protect the privacy of the speakers)

Me: God, I'm afraid.
God: There is no reason to fear.
Me: I know. You've said so a thousand times, but I am still afraid.
God: Of what?
Me: I doubt.
God: Me?
Me: No! I can never doubt you. I doubt myself.
God: Why?
Me: Because I'm afraid my action or inaction will shape my future.
God: I shape your future.
Me: But will I follow through? Will I be able to read your signs for me and follow your direction? I'm afraid I will mess everything up.
God: I have plans to prosper you, and not to harm you.
Me: I know. But it's easier to say, and not so easy to fully understand.
God: Do you trust me.
Me: Of course.
God: Then let me lead.
Me: I don't know how to do that, Lord.
God: Listen to my voice. I will give you all the direction you need when you need it.
Me: But I'm still afraid.
God: Of what, my child?
Me: Of not being able to hear your voice. Of not understanding your plans. Of not being able to wait. What if I do not have the patience you require of me, Lord? Sometimes I terrify myself.
God: Be still, and know that I am God. I will make myself known. You think your life is dependent solely on your actions? Am I not still God? Do I not command the wind and the rains? Do the waters of the deep not hear my voice and still? You think I will be silent to your concerns? To your desires? You are worth far more to me than the oceans and rivers. You are my child.
Me: So what does that me for me now?
God: It means to be still. Be patient. I know that is difficult for you -- I created you with that head-strong spirit after all. You like getting things done and seeing results, but my plan for you is not ready to take affect. My timing is perfect. You will discover this if only you will wait.
Me: God, will I miss my cue? How will I know?
God: Stay focused on Me. And I will make my will known. Trust me, my child. Trust me.
Me: I've waited so long, Lord. I'm afraid I will miss my chance. My patience is wearing thin; I need You to strengthen me. Please, give me contentment in my loneliness. I want only your will in my life.
Cast all your cares on Me. It is in your weakness that I am strong.
Me: Am I.......worthy?
God: Of what?
Me: .....of love.
God: Oh, child. You are more than worthy. You are priceless. I bought you with my blood. Is that not worth enough?
Me: It is, Lord, it is. But sometimes I think You can't help but love me. But will I be loved by another? You know me -- I am not one who accepts loneliness cheerfully.
God: Listen to my voice. I will reveal everything in time. Can you trust me? Know that I have your best in mind?
Me: Yes, Lord. It's just so hard sometimes. Sometimes I don't hear your voice, and it frightens me.
God: You know that I will never leave you nor forsake you, right?
Me: Yes.
God: Then trust Me. I love you more than you will ever know. My desire is to flood you with love.
Me: Thank you, Lord. Thank you for mercy despite my unbelief. I constantly need your guidance. Without it I am lost.
God: You have only to listen to my voice. I am always with you.

Only in Canada…

Canada is quite an interesting place to visit. I haven’t gone very far in this expansive country, but if Vancouver is any indication of the rest of the country, then I think I have a good grasp of this place. So far I have encountered Indians (the real ones) in an in-depth conversation about the new Star Trek movie on the skytrain, Iranians getting into a fight on the street corner over the recent election and protest in Iran, a hippie sunbathing on the deck of the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria, grass growing on the roof of businesses (it’s a new environmental measure!), city buses having exclusive right-of-way, specific stickers on cars denoting new drivers, and at least half a dozen different stores selling the exact same clothes—we’re talking don’t-even-try-to-change-the-price-tags kind of same clothes—just under different store names. Did you know Mariposa, Stitches, Urban Planet, Urban Behavior, and Sirens sell the same clothes? And these were only the stores I walked into, but believe me, there are plenty more. I shall tell you about these mini-adventures and ponderings as time allows, but for now, mull over this random Victoria-Vancouver observation: I have seen ten times as many Asians living in Canada than white people. Whites—regardless of ethnicity—are the proven minority in south-western Canada.