Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Challenge

Okay, I'm dying to do the 30 day blog challenge! However, I don't currently have regular internet at home (meaning I'm too poor to pay for it myself and my neighbors don't always have connections I can steal from, LOL). So I'm going to make it the 6 week challenge instead - try to blog for 6 weeks in a row, covering 5 things each blog.

So, here's the list:
Week 1 (Days 1-5) - Your favorite song, Your favorite movie, Your favorite television program, Your favorite book, Your favorite quote

Week 2 (Days 6-10) - 20 of your favorite things, A photo that makes you happy, A photo that makes you angry/sad, A photo you took, A photo taken over 10 years ago of you

Week 3 (Days 11-15) - A photo of you recently, Something you are OCD about, A fictional book, A non-fictional book, Your dream house

Week 4 (Days 16 - 20) - A song that makes you cry (or nearly), An art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc.), Your wedding/future wedding/past wedding, A talent of yours, A hobby of yours

Week 5 (Days 21-25) - A recipe, A website, A YouTube video, Where you live, Your day in great detail

Week 6 (Days 26-30) - Your week in great detail, Your worst habit, What's in your handbag/purse, Hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days, A dream for the future

I'm going to start today, too, since I'm already behind.

Your Favorite Song
This was a super easy one for me. While there are many, many, songs I love, I only have one favorite band - the Doors. And although my favorite song within their catalogue has changed over the years, my current favorite has been my favorite for a while now.

"L.A. Woman." I LOVE it. The Doors typically had one song on each album that was longer, more epic, if you will. L.A. Woman was their final album before Jim Morrison died, and while I love the album, it's not my favorite. But the song, oh the song. When I hear the opening beats, it puts a grin on my face. When it's on the radio, my volume is cranked as loud as it can be. And when we're at the dive bar, after the Steelers game, you can bet it's on the jukebox. In fact, that dive bar gives me some of my best Doors loving experiences ever - because I'm always with other people who not only know the song, but sing the lyrics with me at the top of their lungs. I love how the music changes, beginning upbeat, then slowing down, then getting fast again. It's like a poem in the best possible way. It just makes me happy, always.

Your Favorite Movie
Okay, this one was a little bit tougher. I have many movies that I've watched over and over and can quote. I have watched Beaches and Steel Magnolias so many times I can tune in any time they're on television and recite the next line. Dirty Dancing is up there too.

But there's really only one comedy I adore. One comic movie I can watch any time and still laugh my ass off. When I lived in Virginia Beach, my roommate, Billy, and I would keep the DVD in the player at all times and we would watch snippets while we were eating.

Yup, Super Troopers. I think this movie is absolutely hilarious. I go places and want to ask for a liter of cola. I had never heard of it until someone made me watch it, and I can't even remember who that was. Every time I see a restaurant or bar named Shenanigans, I giggle. My roommate and my favorite line was "Good enough to F*ck your mother!!!" when they were shooting at the the dude who was wearing a bulletproof jock cup. "I just lost a myself." Seriously, it's a stupid, stupid movie. But I love it. And I just found out that Super Troopers 2 is going to be released this year - yes!!!

Your Favorite Television Program

Again, this one was a bit of a challenge. Do I pick Glee, which I've been obsessed with ever since the pilot previewed after American Idol last year? Do I pick American Idol, even though I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate the new judges? I definitely can't pick Grey's Anatomy despite how much I loved it since I haven't watched it in a seasons and a half.

So, I have to go with my old fave: Sex and the City

When SATC originally debuted, I didn't have HBO. Or at least regular access to it. Occasionally I'd go home from college and catch an episode at my parents' house, or somewhere else. I loved every episode I saw. After it began running on TBS, I saw them more frequently, but was always vaguely dissatisfied because I knew that they had been edited for television, both the language and the content.

Then, I discovered Season 1 at the Half-Price Bookstore. It was on sale, and I bought it. I popped in the first DVD and I was hooked all over again. I had to tear myself away from my television and remind myself that there was a world outside of my apartment. I craved the episodes, and scoured HPB until Seasons 2 and 3 popped up. Eventually, I had all 6 seasons. There's something about those four classy women that just encapsulate America and really examine what it's like to be a woman - whether in a relationship or not. I fell in love with these women, and they each have certain characteristics that I want to emulate. These DVD's are my go-to watching when I'm tired of television and sick of all of my movies. I go through them every year or so, starting with Season 1 and going straight through the movies. I'll keep them in my player and watch an episode or two at a time (well, I try to limit myself to only one or two). I was ecstatic when the first movie came out - I think they should make a new movie every two years forever. I just can't get enough of these women!!!

Your Favorite Book

Okay, my favorite series, hands down, is Harry Potter. But I'm not going to pick them. Partly because I feel like it would be cheating, partly b/c my friend Crazy Princess expressed her love for them better than I ever could, and partly b/c I would feel obligated to choose one book rather than the series (and selecting only one would be like picking a favorite child).

So, I'm going to go with an old favorite, one I reread annually: Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen really did it right when she wrote this, and I've loved it ever since I read it in high school. I can't imagine anyone NOT liking this book. I reread it at home over the Christmas break, and I race through it every time because I want Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to be together immediately. I love how shocked Mr. Darcy is by his appreciation of Elizabeth Bennet, and I love how quirky Elizabeth's family is. I adore the romantic descriptions of the English countryside and the courting traditions. It makes me want to move there and go back in time.

Your Favorite Quote

Okay, I'm definitely cheating here. I have two, and I've loved these two probably since I was in high school.

"You don't love a person because they're beautiful. You love them because their heart sings a song only you can hear." ~ L. J. Smith

This is from one of the Night World books, by the author of The Vampire Diaries. I actually think I modified it a bit (I'm pretty sure the original quote says "she" instead of "they") but the sentiment is just beautiful. I love the idea that there are soulmates, and that people are together for reasons other than physical attraction.

"Give me songs to sing,

and emerald dreams to dream

and I'll give you love unfolding." ~ Jim Morrison

Again, I just think it's beautiful. What a wonderful marriage of words, and this quote demonstrates what an able poet Morrison was. It's a mixture of whimsy, fantasy, and longing, and I just adore it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Soapbox

I was really looking forward to my second year of teaching. I stayed at the same school, my grade level team is the same, and we really got our stuff together at the end of last school year, so I knew we would work even better together this year. My incoming churn had already spent a year at the school, so I figured discipline wouldn't be the problem that it was last year.

One thing was changing, and it was major: our amazing principal, Dr. Roar, was leaving. He was being forcibly promoted - at least that's what he told us (he swore he didn't want to leave our school).

A few tidbits about Dr. Roar. When I had my phone interview, we played phone tag, and on his voicemail message, he roared. Literally - full throated, loud, powerful. Our mascot is a bobcat. I didn't meet him in person until I had already moved to Charleston. I've always been lucky enough to have great supervisors and strong relationships with them. Dr. Roar is truly the most charismatic person I've ever met in my life. He opens his mouth, the birds, bees, and churn fall silent, and are captivated by whatever he says (or roars). He looks like the guy from The Green Mile, so he's physically intimidating. But in a teddy-bear kind of way. He retired as an army colonel, so he's got discipline down pat.

Our kids would see him striding toward our trailers and cower. They were terrified of him. But despite his larger than life presence, he truly has the biggest heart. He regularly paid thousands of dollars to feed his staff on work days. He took money from his own pocket to create field day for the kids (think DJ and bouncy games). He sponsored pizza parties. He threw an elaborate Christmas party, and had us over to his home several times for gatherings.

Clearly, Dr. Roar's shoes would be impossible to fill. But I'd heard good things about the incoming principal. Shrubby, the new guy, had worked as an AP and a teacher at my school before moving on to be a principal elsewhere. So he knew the demographic, the strong community ties the students have, the mixed bag of staff he'd be getting.

But nothing is like I expected. Shrubby gave all of his power to our middle school AP (I'll call her the Nazi), who is the number one persona non grata at the school (every teacher had fingers crossed that she'd be gone before this school year started). She's a micro manager, she doesn't care about the kids, and she constantly undermines her teachers.

Shrubby is nothing more than a slick salesman type figurehead who wants to be in the "boys" club (male chauvinism is alive and well in South Carolina). He literally will not great his female employees, but makes a point to shake the hands of his male coaches on a daily basis.

I didn't have a functioning county-issued computer in my classroom for the first 3 weeks of school. If I didn't have a laptop, I would literally not have been able to teach (SMARTboard didn't work either). My phone, to this day (we're only 2 weeks away from the end of the first quarter), does not work. Shrubby merely shrugged off my problems, telling me there's nothing he can do.

The Nazi is just as bad, if not worse. She undermines us and constantly tells Shrubby how terrible her middle school team is (primarily because for all of us except for 3 teachers, last year was our first year teaching).

It's really frustrating because the middle school program really has the potential to turn this school around. We're a rural, poor school. Our demographic is primarily African-American, with a smattering of Hispanic students and a few White kids. They all get free or reduced lunch. They have crappy test scores, they can barely write, and they are far behind their grade levels.

The middle school teachers really believe in our kids (mostly). I can't begin to express how proud I am of my girls from last year. My favorite part of my day is seeing them in the high school. Are they all getting straight A's? No. But if they remember some literary terms, and plot elements, and occasionally where to put the period, I'm happy. There's no rebuilding Rome in a year.

We had students at our school who barely passed the 7th grade that were promoted to the 9th grade based on their age. Kids who failed the 8th grade were promoted to the 9th grade. Not only is this a COMPLETE disservice to the kids, it has to be completely demoralizing to sit in an algebra class with zero knowledge of pre-algebra. I commiserate - I took pre-algebra and barely made it through algebra. Most high school drop-outs in this demographic drop out in the 9th grade. I wonder why.

Okay, I really didn't mean for this post to be this long. It's really frustrating to be in this type of environment every day where the administration is only emphasizing data and test scores but won't help you address the kids' basic needs so that they can start to work on their upper level thinking skills.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Surprise! I'm still around, believe it or not. It's been a loooong time since I've posted, and I'm blaming Charleston for that. And my new friends. They're all younger than me, so I've been reliving my party heyday for the past year. It's been crazy, but I've had a great time! So, a quick recap:

Spring Break:

My 3 closest friends from Charleston and I went on a spring break adventure last spring. We drove to VA and spent a night with my wonderful friend, then headed to Washington, DC for a few days, eventually winding up in NYC before heading back south. We mostly had a great time, but there was some "friend" drama. One of my Charleston friends (let's call her Sci-fi) managed to offend the rest of us by day two of the trip. Not good. Apparently we had all been gradually getting annoyed with her, and the build-up came to fruition after spending every waking moment together. It culminated in a screaming match in an NYC subway station at 3:00 AM. Pretty awful. I feel bad for Sci-fi because I know she felt ganged-up on, but I also felt bad for us, who were being insulted and belittled regularly (Sci-fi is the type who, when teased, will come back with the meanest thing she can think of rather than something equivalent).

This pic of us is more recent than spring break (only a week or two old).

The Move:

My sister wound up moving back to Pittsburgh mid-May, which was not the plan. She was working a low-paying retail job that stunk, she never had money to spend, she got bored listening to my friends and me talk about school constantly (who can blame her!), Sci-fi was mean to her, and then her car broke down. So I was roommate-less two months early. I was really sad that she had to leave, particularly against her will, and I really miss her.
Summer School:
I taught summer school to the churn for 3 weeks (four days a week) in June. It was HELL. I had 5 7th grade students for 2 hours, followed by 4 8th grade students for 2 hours. None of the 8th graders had actually failed English - they just were thrown in my class to have somewhere to go. How do you motivate a 13 year old on a beautiful summer morning when they know that it doesn't matter if they fail your class? I surely couldn't figure it out!

The Big 3-0:
Yup, I turned 30 at the end of August. It was kind of a let-down, to be honest. I don't ever make a big deal out of my birthday - normally I'm good with dinner and a night on the town. But I really wanted to have a big bash for my 30th. Except that no one (except my amazing sister) came. I have friends who make a big deal out of their birthdays every year, and I guess I had hoped that they would reciprocate for my 30th, but...oh well. I always have a great time at their bashes, so I guess that's the important thing! My sister did an AWESOME job, decorating my apartment for me while I was at school, secretly buying a cake to come out for dessert at the restaurant, paying for way too much...and getting me a fabulous wine fridge :) My 3 closest Charleston friends (yes, including Sci-fi, mostly) were also great. I guess I should have stopped thinking about a big celebration after my 21st!

School Year #2:
I'm back at the same school, in the same grade, with the same colleagues, which is mostly great. I really, really, REALLY miss my girls from last year, which shocked me. I couldn't believe how happy and proud I was to see them in their 9th grade uniforms, calling to me across the parking lot or running over to hug me. My new crop of girls just isn't the same (yet). I'm trying very hard not to hold it against them that they're not my girls from last year, but they're also visiting their 7th grade teachers every opportunity that they get, so I guess we're even! I think we have a more cohesive team in the 8th grade, which means that we're meaner, and who would like that? But it's not all bad - there are a few girls that I can already tell are going to make my year. Plus I'm teaching an Honors class this year, which I love!

There's a lot of school and school district and budget drama that's been keeping me stressed out, but I think that's pretty much the same everywhere.
Until next time, enjoy this lovely picture of the 8th grade "hallway!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Just a quick post to let you all know that I'm not gone for good! My sister and I officially moved to Charleston and are settled in. I actually already started school - we just finished our 3rd week, if you can believe it - and everything is going well on that front so far.

My school has been amazing so far, and my colleagues are just out-of-this-world. There are a number of us who all moved from out of state to teach our first year at this school, which has been wonderful because we all get along so well. It's like getting built-in friends with a new job, which is amazing!!

My classes are very small - 7 girls in each class, three classes a day. Remember, block scheduling, so I have them each for 90 minutes. Plus homeroom and one prep period/block. School starts SUPER early: 6:45 AM. Which means I'm up at 5 every day, eat lunch at 10:25 AM, and am saying sayonora to my girls at 2:10 PM. It would be nice if I actually left school shortly after that, but I usually don't leave until around 3:30 PM. Still better than getting home at 5 or 6 at night, though I would really love to sleep in for an extra hour every morning :)

So, I've been busy, to say the least. I will work on updating and being creative more often, and I will be going back and reading all that I've missed, I swear (I know, I always say that...but I always do it!). Miss you guys!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Circus Skills

I settled in at my parents' house tonight (after moving all of my worldly possessions out of my apartment) and decided to get caught up on Food Network shows. I had missed "The Next Food Network Star" on Sunday, and "Ace of Cakes" was on after that.

On "Ace of Cakes," they were making a cake for Cirque du Soleil in Baltimore, and they were going through all of the various layers and asking the employees of Charm City Cakes what skill they had that would be transferable to a circus environment. They were coming up with funny answers, but no one really had any hidden talents that related.

Of course, I immediately began to wonder what my response would be if I were asked that question. And then I realized: I have a talent that would actually be quite marketable in a circus.

I can walk on stilts.

Yup, stilts. How did I ever acquire such a random skill? When my sister and I were in middle school/junior high (probably ages 11-14), we both attended day camp at Sarah Heinz House. Sarah Heinz was married to H.J. Heinz, who founded the Heinz Corporation. Yeah, that Heinz, as in the condiment factory. Heinz was from Pittsburgh (hence Heinz Field, home of my beloved Steelers), in case you were unaware.

At any rate, it's basically a Boys & Girls Club, and during the summer they had 4 two week sessions of day camp. We attended all 4 and absolutely loved our lives. The weeks ran Monday through Thursday, and the first Thursday we would go on a field trip, the second would be some type of performance, fair, etc.

So we had 4 field trips (roller rinks, bowling, picnics) and 4 variety-type shows. These varied from carnivals to talent shows to...yup, you guessed it, a circus. Our families were invited to these performances so that they could see what we did during our days.

In the week prior to the performance, we would split into groups with different counselors and meet every day or every other day (details are slightly fuzzy so many years later) and figure out what we were doing for the big day. The rest of our days we were split into groups based on age and had a schedule of activities: ceramics, swimming, computers, crafts, games. The last "period" of the day we got to pick what we wanted to do.

During the group periods, we were always learning, whether it was a swimming stroke, how to play badminton, or learn fun things...such as walk on stilts.

This picture is what our stilts looked like, except that SHH's were painted bright blue and bright red. If I remember correctly, only the oldest group of students got to try to learn how to walk on the stilts, and I know I was jealous of those who were able to accomplish the feat.

It's really a question of balance, sort of like a unicycle (no, can't do that). I know that I tried and tried, struggled and struggled to learn and then, one day, voila! My turn came up, the counselor steadied the poles while I climbed on - and I could do it! I walked all the way across the parking lot/kickball field (hey, SHH is in the city. Us city kids can play on concrete, no prob!) and back.

I surprised the heck out of me, and out of everyone else in my group! I was one of the few who was able to master the skill and was forever envied and abused for my stilt-walking talents.

Now, before you're too impressed with me, take a peek at the picture to the left. See the sailor-like kid facing us? Look at how his arms are looped through the stilts and back around to hold the poles. Those are the skills I have.

So, despite my hidden talent, I don't think Cirque is going to be contacting me any time soon.

The other cool thing about my stilt story is that after I fell in love with stilt walking, someone in my family (can't remember who) either made or found a set of stilts made out of broomsticks and two triangular blocks of wood that they gave me. So, granted, I was no more than a foot from the ground, but it definitely upped my cool quotient in the neighborhood when I received my very own set of stilts.

Fortunately, the next time someone asks me about any talents that I have that would be beneficial in a circus...I don't have to panic or have cold sweats. I can calmly respond and impress the asker!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The concept: Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie.

Thanks, VP, for tagging goes!

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?
Obviously, my biggest contribution to the world was the wheel. Just think about how many things would not move without this invention? No bikes, no cars, no skateboards, no roller blades, no shoes with wheels on the bottom. Kids would actually have to use their own two feet to get from one place to another. Thank heavens I invented the wheel!

Envy: What do your coworkers have that you wish was yours?
Well, I'm going to pretend I'm still at the hospital while answering this, since I haven't met my new teacher co-workers yet. What I really wish that I had was my former boss's keyboard. He eats over top of it, so there are always little crumbs and bits of foodstuff lingering amongst the keys. His favorite snacks are popcorn and Reese peanut butter cups, and I really think that the remnants of these items just taste delicious. So I really wish I had his keyboard!

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?
Last night I went to this AMAZING French restaurant in Bloomfield and had escargot, pate, and a delicious crispy baguette sandwich made with thinly sliced ham, brie, and arugula and some crazy vinaigrette drizzled all over it. It was fabulous! Then, for dessert, I had tiramisu, cheesecake, German chocolate cake, and espresso. All at the same time, on the same fork. Don't knock it till you've tried it!

Lust: What really lights your fire?
I'm really into hair gel/spray. I love it when a guy has put tons of product in his hair and my fingers get all tangled and sticky. I adore the smell of alcohol and strong scent that attempt to overpower the chemicals in the hair gunk. Just thinking about it makes me all tingly.

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?
The last thing that made me really mad was watching The Bachelorette last night. I mean, who does Jillian think she is, selecting one guy from 30? I can't believe the guys didn't tear her a new one on the "Men Reveal All" show last night. Jillian is so stuck-up, fat, and ugly she does NOT deserve to be the Bachelorette. Seriously, who does she think she is? Grr!

Greed: Name something you hoard and keep from others.
Myself. I hate to be social, and I really just want to be able to live in my room, alone with my books and my laptop surrounded my by things like a troll. I go out as little as possible and I really hate to meet new people. I would ideally work from the cave of my room and get rid of my cell phone so as to minimize all contact with others as much as possible.

Sloth: What’s the laziest thing you ever did?
Probably when I backed up my car to the fruit and vegetable stand on the side of the road on the way to the beach. I didn't want to find a parking spot and I definitely didn't want to waste time picking out the ripest fruits. So I backed into the stand, opened the back hatch, and just swept all of the items on the table into the back of the car. Then I drove away. It would've taken way too long to pay.

Okay, this Meme was way more fun than I expected it to be. Who knew I could think of such great stories? I'm tagging: Robin, Mary Beth, Caitlyn, Shades, Andie, Courtney, and Kristen & Seth. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Yeah, so I'm not so great at keeping up with this blogging thing, huh? LOL

My time since student teaching has ended has been filled with bursts of busy trips and events followed by several days of laziness. I have been reading a lot, applied for many jobs, went on interviews, had phone interviews, visited friends, etc. I have obsessively checked my Facebook page and my emails, but not my blogs. I have basically turned my brain off for the summer and have not been spending tons of time on my laptop beyond a quick FB quiz.

Here's a quick summary of the highlights of the past few months:

Went to Myrtle Beach, SC and interviewed at 4 schools plus had a district interview. All of them went very well except for the very first one - it was at the school I was most interested in, was my first one of the day, and I was completely nervous and had not hit my stride. After that, they all went exceptionally well, particularly the district interview, when one of the teachers on the panel told me she wished she could have tape recorded my response to a question and played it for her current teacher.

While in MB, I spent great times with my cousin Erin and her fiance, my daddy, and my friend Jamie. It was a fun trip, though I wound up not getting any of the jobs. My friend Jamie got the one at the first place I interviewed, and the rest of the jobs were filled by displaced employees.

After MB, my dad and I drove to Savannah for another interview that didn't even happen - the HR lady was super unprofessional and forgot she had scheduled an interview...they didn't know what positions would be open and I was there for 10 minutes. The only good thing about it was that my cousin Amy drove up from Orlando and we got to spend time with her, which was great.

Towards the end of May I began to panic b/c I hadn't found a job yet, so at the beginning of June I backed out of my California summer job. I REALLY hated to do it, but I needed to be able to have the time and the opportunity to job search and potentially interview.

I found out the first week of June that the first draft of my thesis was due the day after I found this out. I had barely touched it in a year, so I went into major panic mode. I spent the majority of that week working on the paper, staying up late and mainlining caffeine in order to have something to turn in to my professors. They would then have a month to comment and offer revisions, and then I would have 2 weeks to make the final changes. That was a stressful week.

The Pens won the Stanley Cup! Wo-hoo!!! Now, I'm sure that most of you realize that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Steelers fan but don't know much about hockey. Last year I sort of got into it during the playoffs, and it was the same this year - I was obsessed. I know that makes me the kind of Pens fan that I would hate in a Steelers fan (if that even makes sense) but I don't care. I had a blast watching all of the games and biting my nails during them. And texting my cousin Ben to find out what was actually happening. He was great at dumbing down the rules so that my football shaped brain could understand what was going on.

I got a job!! I had a phone interview with a principal in Charleston, SC. I had had many with other schools in Horry County by this point, so I wasn't expecting much, no matter how well the interview went. Imagine my shock when I was offered the job at the end of the interview! A phone interview! With a person I had never met! In a city I had never visited! It didn't sink in right away - I kept telling people, "I think I got a job...but I'm waiting to hear from HR."

The position is with a public school 17 miles from downtown Charleston. I will be teaching 7th grade. I know, why would I want to do this after what I went through with my student teaching? By the time I had this phone interview, I had resigned myself to the idea that I might possibly have to accept a middle school position, since despite getting nothing but glowing feedback, I wasn't actually getting any job offers. Enter this interview. This is the first year that 7th and 8th grades are going to be at the high school (although the students will be separated, of course) in an effort to increase school test scores. The kids will be in single gender classes, on a block schedule, and I won't have more than 14 KIDS IN A CLASS. That bears repeating. I won't have more than 14 kids in a class!!!!!

Under these circumstances, I couldn't turn the job down (I mean, not that others were knocking my door down anyway). There was still a possibility of getting a job in Horry County or in FL, but the principal sounded great on the phone and I think even I will be capable of dealing with 14 students - only boys or only girls - at a time. I'm also excited about Charleston b/c it's a larger city than Myrtle Beach, and I was concerned about getting bored in MB like I did in VA Beach. So all around, it was good news.

I visited Delaware for the first time. One of my best friends moved there for the summer and I went with her to move her in and to make sure the roommate she would be living with was not secretly into kiddie porn or animal torture. I had a blast while I was there, and spent some time on the beach (although not much - the weather was kinda crappy most of the time I was there) and learning fun facts about the state. Yes, I'm a dork, but I bet I know more about DE than you do! BTW, the roommate is normal ;)

At the end of June, I visited Charleston. I was supposed to have New Hire Orientation, but of course they canceled it right after I booked my hotel. I went anyway, and spent 2 days finding a place to live, checking out the school, exploring the area, and doing things like opening a checking account. I found an apartment that seems pretty great that my sister is also excited about, and that has guest suites on site for visitors (hint, hint).

Started off with a bang on July 4th weekend (pun intended) having a great time with friends doing fun Pittsburgh activities. I keep trying to make sure I savor the times I'm having while I'm still here, but I know it won't hit me that I'm leaving until I've been living in SC for a week or two!! I'm excited about having plenty of time around holidays to come back to the 'Burgh for visits, since I usually could only come home for Christmas and the occasional weekend when I lived in VA Beach.

After the holiday, I met with my thesis advisor and got the rundown of the corrections I have to do. She is also my professor, the only one I've actually had for more than one class. She also gave me some really nice feedback about the dumb student teaching presentation I had to do right after the experience was over, which was great. And the damage wasn't too horrible on my thesis, thank heavens!

This past weekend I had a fan-freaking-tastic time in Virginia with friends. We went to a wine festival and a favorite restaurant (multiple times) and had an absolute blast. I'm not even going to go into more details than that because I will literally be typing all night and it's already 2:30 AM!

Yeah, my nocturnal tendencies have shone through during my time off, also. I began wanting to get up at a reasonable hour every day and go to bed around midnight each night, but that didn't last long. I'm just not a morning person, and since I don't have to get up for anything super early, I can't motivate myself to do it! I mean, I'm not sleeping until noon, but I'm not bouncing out of bed at 8:00 AM either. I will have the shock of the century when I have to be at school by 7:10 AM every morning (with a 1/2 hour drive!).

So, that's my long-winded explanation of where I've been. I'll try not to stay away as long, and I will try to get back to reading/commenting on everyone else's blogs! I have actually been reading them periodically, but I get so far behind that I usually don't comment. But I will again, I swear!

P.S. - Let me know if you find any glaring spelling errors - I tried to spell check but it only gave me words that were spelled correctly and I am terrible about catching my own mistakes!