Skip to main content

Posts

In which my life teems with simple delights

An Internet community I frequent recently discussed the question: "What is a small good thing that has happened in your life lately?" And I realized that lately my life has abounded with small, good things.

1) My husband learned how to make Pad Thai and has made it twice in the last week and a half. He is very good at it and it is awesome.

2) My mentor told me that I'm doing a great job as a teacher. On a day when I was frustrated with 6th graders who refused to participate and 3rd graders determined to sow chaos, this meant a crazy amount.

3) I've been going to therapy, and it's working! I'm learning some simple strategies to cope with my anxiety, and I haven't had an anxiety attack in over two weeks. Everyone, go to therapy.

4) A little boy in one of my special ed classes sang yesterday! I'd never even heard him talk before, and he was singing every single song word for word, perfectly in tune. I wanted to give him the biggest squeeze in the world.

5) I…
Recent posts

In which I'll walk with you

I've been trying to stay optimistic about the results of the election, and not to get caught up in worst-case scenario thinking. But I'm also realizing that optimism is a luxury I can afford because as a white, straight Christian, I don't have much to worry about with a Trump presidency. I don't have to worry about half my family being deported. I'm not worried that my marriage won't be legally recognized anymore or that people will be able to deny me service because of my sexual orientation. I won't ever be targeted as a potential terrorist because of my religious affiliation. The rise of hate crimes that has been noted this week will probably not affect me. So yeah, it's really easy for me to say "Maybe it won't be so bad!" Because for me, it probably won't.
So I'm still going to hope for the best, but I think it's important to recognize that for some folks, things are looking kind of scary. And that means that those of us who…

In which it's a dangerous business, going out your door.

When I hear the word "adventure," I usually envision a positive experience. Traipsing over new territory, catching my breath at gorgeous vistas, feeling the thrill of discovery. Sometimes I forget that a true adventure carries an inherent risk-the chance that something horrible could happen at any minute. I remember huddling in prayer with some girls from my high school track team at the start of the meet. There were storm clouds threatening, and were dreading the prospect of running in the rain. The girl giving the prayer started out normal, asking that we would be given mental and physical strength to run our races. But then she added, "And please bless that this will be an adventure." We all audibly groaned. We didn't want an adventure at that moment. We wanted the rain to go away so we could run our freaking races.

I didn't want an adventure that Tuesday in May. My little brother and I were going rock climbing for the first time this season. I met him u…

In which I eat the breakfast of champions

I had ice cream for breakfast today. And also yesterday. And I know that's super unhealthy, and I'm trying to make better choices and lose weight, and all of that, but hear me out. We were out of all of the breakfast foods. No cereal or milk. No bread for toast. No eggs. No yogurt to put in a smoothie. All we had was oatmeal. Don't get me wrong, I love oatmeal. But the past several times I've tried to make it, it has exploded all over the inside of my microwave. It even happens if I take the oatmeal out and stir it halfway through cooking. Maybe this microwave is hotter than my old one? I don't know. Maybe I've wronged it somehow and this is its revenge. So this morning I was sitting in the kitchen trying to decide if it was worth it to make a bowl of oatmeal when most of it would end up splattered around the inside of the microwave when finally, I got too hungry to make the decision anymore and just got myself a bowl of chocolate ice cream instead. And then an…

In which I am dissatisfied

I did a lot of things this summer.

I completed the second level of my Kodaly teaching certification. I grew a vegetable garden. I volunteered at a community center near my house. I went to the zoo. I planned a birthday party for my husband. I went camping. I spent time with friends. I visited the Dominican Republic. I went on a road trip with my in-laws. I went to two different family reunions. I joined a Masters swim team. I got caught up on doctor's appointments (dentist, gynecologist, eye doctor, voice therapy, etc)  I went to Idaho and back in one day for a friend's wedding. I started teaching piano lessons. I completed hikes that had been on my to-do list for years. I saw Mount Rushmore. And I read a ton of books.

And yet, when I think back on my summer, my brain skips over all of this and gets stuck on the days I spent binge-watching "The Office" (I watched all 9 seasons this summer). Instead of remembering the new friends I've made in my ward, I remember t…

In which I don't know how to do friendship

Before I got married, I used to swear up and down that Aaron and I would never be one of "those" couples. You know, the ones who, upon getting married, retreat into their married bliss and completely ignore their friends forever. No, I was sure that I'd spend just as much time with my friends after I got married as I did before.  I was wrong.

I've been married for a year and a half, and I rarely see or talk to most of my friends. Many of them have graduated and moved away, some have had babies, and some I just....haven't made time for. My ability to make new friends also seems to have completely disappeared. I can do small talk and casual aquaintanceship just fine, but moving to actual friend level? I have no idea how to make that happen.

There are a few reasons for this. First, before I was married, I lived with some of my best friends, so it was pretty easy to make time for them. The friends I didn't live with still mostly lived within a few blocks. It'…

In which a xylophone changes everything

I have a student (let's call him Max) who has been giving me trouble all year. He is often defiant, refuses to participate or to follow any directions, and stirs up the other kids to make mischief as well. On multiple occasions, he's started running in circles around my room screaming to avoid doing what he's supposed to be doing. Nobody has known what to do with him: not the classroom teacher, not the principal, and definitely not me.

Last week, after a particularly rough class, I kept him after class to talk about his behavior. I tried to explain why his behavior was inappropriate and unacceptable while he kept dinking away on a xylophone he'd pulled off of my shelf--without my permission, I might add. I was getting frustrated that he wasn't listening when he suddenly looked up at me, no trace of anger or defiance on his face, and said, "Mrs. E, I just really love playing instruments."

Well, I was floored. I wasn't aware that "Max" loved a…