Let’s Run Around With Balls and Brooms!

One of the great things about living in Richmond is the proximity of VCU and UofR, and the therein abundance of hipsters and nerds. This is nice for 2 reasons:
1. As I am somewhat of a hipster nerd, I don’t super stand out, but can still find all my hipsterific needs, like sunglasses, thrift stores, Trader Joes, etc.
2. I am not the only Harry Potter witch-nerd in the area…

MUGGLE QUIDDITCH!!!

It makes me so incredibly upset that this sport became popular at the college level AFTER I graduated (not that UNCW even has a team, but by Gods, I would’ve made one had the League been around…). So while I don’t get to play (except at camp), Boy and I did take the opportunity of VCU’s Quidditch season to watch a match.

This is what I discovered:

  • WM is not very good, but mainly because of this one player, Joe, who didn’t seem to understand anything about the sport and had to be repeatedly told by the captain/coach what to do.
  • VCU has a really large team, but who I thought was their best player didn’t seem to be utilized.
  • I’m still not sure what the rules are regarding the Snitch…
  • This is a sport that brings together people of all types: the non-athletic nerds involved because of Harry Potter; the athletes that want to try something new; and a combination of the two.
  • I want to play.
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100 Things That Make Me Happy

One of the many (101 to be exact) items on my 101/1001 list is to make a 100 Things That Make Me Happy list. I discovered recently that I’d started this list some time ago, but only got to the 60’s before I gave up. Upon re-reading of this original list, I decided not only would I finish it, but I would revamp it as well, adding new things and taking away the ones that didn’t seem relevant anymore (like “when a boy calls you for no reason”).

See the complete list after the jump:

Continue reading 100 Things That Make Me Happy

Whatever You Say, 420 is NOT a Holiday

Oh, April 20. Such a lovely, lovely day. Especially when you teach high schoolers in a country school (though inner city or wealthy areas or really anywhere is just as bad), who have nothing better to do than smoke, drink, get high, party, and go hunting. I’m actually surprised I had so many students show up to class today, particularly my low classes full of students who are no stranger to the system and can recite their Miranda Rights from personal experience.Today our school is also celebrating a Day of Silence, put on by the Diversity Club to help promote awareness of bullying and tolerance of differences. Members of the club pulled an operationbeautiful and put up signs all over the building with positive messages, such as “You are Beautiful,” “It will get better,” “Someone loves you,” etc. It’s a nice idea, though the students who need to be silent aren’t, and the students who do participate are labeled with negative connotations.

One of my brilliant students, Dirt*, decided to mix his favorite holiday with the Day of Silence and created a sign for 420 that he taped to his shirt and had students sign. Apparently he’d been wearing it all day, but I guess no one noticed it until lunch, because an administrator came in my small little class to see him right afterwards. Rather than taking off the sign and throwing it away, he decided to argue with the Assistant Principal (whom he has stated numerous times how much he hates), resulting in a hallway power struggle and his getting to spend the rest of the day in In-School Suspension (ISS).

This same student is the one who stomped on the mouse in my classroom and threw it away in the bathroom, rather than scooping it and letting it escape into the outside wilderness.

I also have students who said they would be “mowing the grass” later on tonight and other such euphemisms, thinking teachers wouldn’t catch on to their not-so-cleverness. I’m sitting right next to you, and you wonder why I can hear you? Granted, my class is small. There are only 4 students in there, though there’s usually a lot of drama. The class is relaxed, and as long as they’re working, they get away with some talking. I may be young, but I’m still a teacher, though, and there are some things you just don’t talk about in front of a teacher. Like how you’re planning on getting high after school, and how you’re probably high right now. I CAN HEAR YOU. Please keep your conversations school appropriate, and for the love of God, quit the drugs… you’re too young to be addicted to cigarettes and weed and alcohol and God knows what else.

*Names have been changed. No one actually named their kid Dirt. That I know of, at least.

Losing Weight, Cooking, Kissing, and Rocking Out

I know I’ve been really poor about updating my 101/1001, so much so that I’m eliminating the 1001 and just making it my goal to finish all 101 goals in a reasonable amount of time. That being said, there are a few updates I need to make:

6. Lose 15 pounds
Finally, finally, finally. While there’s still another 10 or so I’d like to lose, that initial 15 is off the waistline. Or wherever it came from. And so far, I’ve been able to maintain it. The secret? I cut down my portions. A lot. The first two weeks or so were really difficult, and I was hungry more often than not. Gradually, my body got used to eating smaller amounts, and so I became full faster. Already a vegetarian, I also cut out dairy and eggs from my regular diet, switching to soy or nut products instead when possible. Finally, I learned how to say “No,” which is probably the most difficult part and the one I still struggle with when confronted with Reese’s…

15. Kiss in the rain
Boy and I were walking back to our cars in a drizzly rain, and rather than duck and cover, let the raindrops trickle on our faces as we said goodbye. While it wasn’t as epic or passionate as Noah and Ally in The Notebook, or Spiderman and MJ, it’s a start.

11. Try one new recipe a month (12/32)
With Boy’s presence in my life, I now have more of an excuse to cook, and find myself dicing, chopping, stirring, and mixing on a more regular basis. The two of us pour through my various cookbooks, searching for something that appeals to both of us. The most successful recipes were a Vegetable Curry Couscous, a Zesty Vegetarian Chili, and a Tortilla soup. Delicious. *cookbooks are Betty Crocker Easy Vegetarian and The Vegetarian Bible.

32. Go to 15 shows/concerts (8/15)
Last night, Boy and I went to see Say Anything at The National inRichmond. Although I only know a handful of their songs well enough to sing along (and Boy even less than that, with knowledge of only one), we had a lot of fun. Sherri Dupree, Max’s wife (and lead singer of Eisley), came out and sang backup vocals on “So Good,” which was pretty cool, and the song selection was a good mix of old, new, and unreleased/B Sides. They ended the set with “Alive With the Glory of Love,” and encored with “Admit It!!!” twice, the two songs I’d been waiting the whole night for. It was a good show, and the first real concert for the two of us together, and a nice addition to the list.

Seven Years Post-Breakup, Who’s Better Off?

After you break up with someone, inevitably, one of you will come out stronger and better. This could be with regards to looks, success, career, life, etc, but usually they’re all related. One person is bound to be the most improved.

Before The Boy, I’ve only ever really dated one person, and even that is questionable on whether or not to count it. Sure, I had flings of 1 or 2 weeks, and a high school “relationship” of a month that consisted of holding hands at school and making out on playgrounds, but it wasn’t a real commitment, especially since I broke up with him shortly after we began because I was bored. My first real relationship was also only a month, however, but as the two of us were high school seniors and could drive one another around and go on “real” dates, and my feelings for him were slightly more serious, I still count it. Plus, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have any other relationships on my list and would so feel like a failure.

Three, as I’ll call him since he was a third, was the first person who I enjoyed kissing and allowed myself to fall for. We stayed up late, talking on the phone, and I was enraptured. After a month, however, I could feel him pulling away. He’d previously told me that he’d never broken up with a girl, but always made it so she was the one doing the breaking. I kept this in mind as he came to our internship with his hood pulled tight around his face and he avoided my texts and calls, and I broke up with him. It took me a long time to get over him, and I later found out it was because he didn’t know what to say to me anymore. I still talk to him every now and then, as we text one another on our birthdays and at other random times. The last time I talked to him was 2.5 months ago, when The Boy and I first began dating.

At 2.5 months, I’ve almost tripled my longest relationship record (though barely made a dent in his), but still found myself curious when I received a text from Three last Friday: “really random but are you at bdubs?”

As I was with one of my high school friends/coworkers/the sister of The Boy, who also knew him, the two of us began looking around to find the previous record holder, who I hadn’t seen in seven years. It wasn’t until we were about to pay that I saw him, on his way to the bathroom.

I was shocked. Sure, I’d facebook stalked him a bit, trying to determine the winner of the “Who’s Better Off” contest, but I still wasn’t prepared for what I saw. When we stopped by his table upon leaving, it worsened. Not only had he gained probably 100 pounds, but his eyelids had become droopy, either with alcohol consumption or forehead fat, and one of them had difficulty opening. It was nice to see him again after so many years, but as I stood next to my skinny, fit, sexy boyfriend, wearing the smallest size clothes I’ve worn since I reached full body maturity, I definitely won.

Just Get Together, Will You!? Top 5 Television Couples

As much as we all love the Dawson drama, the Friends humor, the epicness of the Friday Night Lights football games, let’s face it, there’s always a love story tying it all together and captivating us. Will they or Won’t they?

Below are what I consider to be the BEST of television couples (or the ones I got most wrapped up in), in no particular order:

Jim and Pam

Who didn’t watch every week as these two played pranks together on Dwight, teaming up and helping to make the workday go just a teeny bit faster? Who didn’t feel Jim’s heartbreak and jealousy as Pam’s idiotic, fratboy of a loser fiancée stifled all her fun? In turn, who liked Karen when Jim tried to move to Stanford to get over Pam (and then rubbed her in Pam’s face when they returned together a few episodes later)? When they finally got together, it just felt right in so many ways… the timing was finally right, and Jim’s speech at their rehearsal dinner was just perfect. Now that they’re married and have kids, their relationship isn’t as much fun to watch as it was in the early days, but without Michael, the show’s suffering from greatness anyway.

House and Cuddy/House and Vicodin

It took House and Cuddy 7 seasons to get together, and then his addiction to Vicodin and masochism interfered and he sabotaged that relationship as well, despite the fact that it was the only healthy thing going on in his life. Oh, House.

Eric and Tami Taylor

Theirs is pretty much the epitome of the perfect marriage. They’re pro’s at compromising, they listen to one another (usually), and they present themselves as a team. No matter what the writers and life threw at this power couple, be it unwanted house guests, surprising pregnancies, losing and gaining of jobs, rebellious teenage daughters, etc, their marriage always came through in the end, and their love for one another stayed true and pure.

Pacey and Joey

Forget Dawson and Joey, Pacey’s her true love. Dawson may be her best friend and all, but look at everytime they got together… it never worked. He’s too self-absorbed and serious for her; his true love is filmmaking, not Joey. For Pacey, who never aspired to be anything of consequence, Joey is what makes him better, she’s what inspires him to do well in school and in life, and in return, he brings out life in her. Pacey’s the one that makes her happy.

Ross and Rachel

They spent 10 years bringing this couple together and pulling them apart (Who can forget “We Were On A Break!!!!”) We watched both move on, Ross get married and divorced (and married and divorced), before they finally came together over their daughter, Emma. About time, too.

http://youtu.be/5oZZAZEzjgM

(This last one won’t embed, but it’s the best re-telling of their relationship, so I suggest clicking the link).

-No Videos are By Me and All are Courtesy of a Youtube Search and belong to the creators-

If You Misspell in Your Texts, I Will Judge You

Ever since I started teaching English, I notice more and more poor grammar in the world. So many texts, facebook status updates, and emails are filled with simple mistakes:

your and you’re
their, there, and they’re
who’s and whose
it’s and its
loose and lose
we’re and were
to, two, and too

These are simple grammar rules, learned through years of schooling and forgotten immediately. If there’s an apostrophe, it means there are letters omitted, hence the apostrophe.

you’re = you are
they’re = they are
who’s = who is
it’s = it is
we’re = we are

Don’t get me started on textspeak: “U,” “R,” “Gr8,” “L8,” the leaving out of apostrophes, capital letters, and punctuation, and the abundance of misspellings.

I’m not claiming to be a grammatical genius. I still stumble on who and whom, lie and lay, etc., but I do not believe in grammatical mistakes as a result of laziness. So often I hear “If I’m texting, I’m not going to waste time or characters to add apostrophes or periods,” and other excuses. The problem with this is that it creeps into your everyday writing and makes you come across as an idiot when you type:

 “Your two hot four words.”

I judge you when you use poor grammar, and texts with misspellings and these common errors want me to print off screenshots and mark them up with a red pen.

Why is grammar so difficult? I somewhat understand my students, who have grown up with cell phones as playthings, who don’t read and think writing means a three sentence paragraph of their thoughts without any formulation of structure or ideas. Adults, though? No excuse. You can solve a multi-step math equation, but you can’t differentiate between who’s and whose? Ridiculous. Go back to English class, just not to mine.

Numbers, Numbers

The world is full of numbers, but did you ever realize just how many numbers are assigned to you?

I was heading to Barnes & Noble today, a distant cousin location of my previous bankroll, and found myself easily remembering my old employee ID number. 903 76 5874. I had to punch this number in whenever I clocked in or out, and had to repeat it whenever I wanted to take advantage of my employee discount (hence the reason I was trying to remember it, though it no longer works since it’s been 3 years since I donned a syrup and milk-splattered apron in the cafe).

The ease with which this number returned to me got me thinking of all the numbers I’ve add tied to me over the years. My Social Security Number. My elementary-through-high school ID/lunch number (40162), telephone numbers, addresses, job ID numbers, chair placement in band, birthdays, credit cards, drivers license numbers, pins for debit cards and loans, college ID numbers, copier codes, etc.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just tattoo a barcode on everyone at birth and have that be the one number associated with them? Sure, it’s like the Holocaust, but wouldn’t it save everyone time and brain cells? I get that if you just had ONE number, identities would be much easier to steal, but a barcode… the only way you can steal that is if you cut my arm off and slice off the skin… though then that turns into every dystopian novel ever made, and it’s too easy for the government to keep track of its citizens…

I’m just tired of all these numbers. One day, my brain is going to explode and I’m only going to speak in Numbers, spouting off all the random numbers stored in my brain over the past 25 years.

I’m sorry, 9195591042, I can’t go to 32830 with you, I’m expected on 0703 to be in 23221 with 8043358667 and 8043707941.

Where Do Goths Go?

The end of the 9 weeks is on Friday, which means it’s time to grade students’ journals. One student, a Goth/Emo, always writes disturbing recollections about how she dreamt she married Michael Myers, would gouge out the eyeballs of failing students were she a teacher, or imagines her utopia as isolation in a graveyard with ghosts and zombies. Occasionally, she’ll write about how she loves her boyfriend or hates her Mom.

She got me thinking, though. What happens to Goths after high school? It’s not like you see a bunch of people in all black, with painted eyes and baggy clothing walking down the street. You don’t see them in Office Buildings or serving you food or checking you out at a grocery store. Goths have been around long enough that they shouldn’t be as absent as they appear to be.

Where do they go? I know some of them get over their high school depression and realize life does, in fact, go on. They start dressing in lighter, tighter clothing, and remove some of the piercings and hair dyes and enter the adult world. Others, though, must still partake in this way of life. Do they simply dress more “appropriately” for the workplace, much like I put on “teacher clothes” when I go to work, but change into skinny jeans and bright hipsterific accessories once I’m home? Is there some “Goth workplace” I don’t know about besides Tattoo and Piercing Parlors?

When I think back on the Goths from my own days in high school, many of them have either moved on and gotten married, or are still working at the same dead-end job from high school.

Please don’t see this as ignorance or looking down on Goths, I just wonder what will happen to my students who worship Michael Myers and Marilyn Manson, who see Hitler as a Hero (but didn’t like The Hunger Games?!).