Saturday, January 21, 2012

i cried at work

It happens. It especially happens to teachers. So I don't feel wimpy or pathetic.

I was at work the other day, sitting in my little nook. The nook where I sit with kids and try to help them catch up their peers in their literacy and math skills. No easy feat. Especially when a lot of these kiddos have a lot going on. And by a lot going on I mean, poverty, P.T.S.D, Specific Learning Disabilities, domestic violence, hunger, ADHD, Autism, neurological disabilities etc. Sometimes they don't want to de students. How can you blame them? And, what do you do then? I don't know. I have no magic answer. But I sometimes feel like I should.

And I also feel a little tired and guilty for not seeing my kids as much. And sometimes I even feel a little lonely.

So I was in my nook. Not imagining that there were tears that needed to come out. Sitting in a tiny chair surrounded by papers. And Rosaria poked her head in. Rosaria is a voluptuous, beautiful,  Puerto Rican 5th grade Sp.Ed teacher who tells it like it is. Rosaria, or mama, as we call her, delivered her first hug and kiss to me on my first day of work. She calls me mamita (little mama)  and on this particular morning she said I looked like a gift  (because my blouse had a bow on it). She asked me how I was, in her extremely thick Puerto Rican accent. I said I was fine. And at that same moment I realized I was lying and I choked out, "Actually, I'm not .." before I burst into tears. At first Rosaria said, "No, none of that mamita." Then, when she realized these were earnest tears, she swept me up into her perfumed, glistening-with-bling, bosom and brought me into her room.

She asked me what my biggest problem was. We started with that and then she listened as I told her all of my problems/concerns, professional and personal. She listened. She gave me practical advice. And then she told me her story.  Which, duh, was way more dramatic and rife with serious problems than mine. Though she didn't tell me to make me feel like mine were less.

I left that room feeling abluted and calm.

It was good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Meet my next Boyfriend.

Ah, James.  I knew you'd see the light eventually.

Just kidding. Unfortunately.

I am not going to date for awhile. I actually went on a few dates with a friend of  a friend recently. He was nice, smart, cute, etc. but with a new job I don't have time for it. And I don't have the emotional energy for it either.

So I am going to focus on teaching and mothering and yes, playing the mandolin. I don't have time for lessons but I will start this Spring or Summer. And before taking a few lessons I will treat myself to a lovely mandolin when I get my first paycheck. Nothing fancy but I have had my eye on a vintage resonator model at our local music shop for a few months now....This is not it but it might be close.    

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Pinned Image
Image from Ludmila Crigan-Mihajlovic via Lindsey Fowler

It almost seems to early to be saying this. It has only been three days. However, the days have not been easy and I have had a real taste of what my job is going to be like day in, day out, and so I feel like I can say with some confidence, that Allelujah ! I love it.

I am also completely OVERWHELMED.

And a little SCARED.



What do I love about it?

First of all, the kids. I  currently have ten kids on my caseload, 3 Kindergartners and 7 third graders, but it is growing.  They are all children of color, mostly African American but with a few Latinos/ Latinas. They are affectionate, super bright, full of personality kiddos. All of their challenges and strengths are different and getting to know them has been so much fun. I get hugs!!!

The teachers and staff in the school have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. I have spent the first week trying to gauge what they need from me, what works best for different teachers etc. They all seem to be very flexible and easy to work with.

The commute is not ideal (40+ minutes and sometimes heavy urban traffic) but absolutely doable.

The feeling of having worked for two and a half years on something that was stressful and challenging but that ultimately led to me getting a meaningful job that I enjoy and that I feel is so important and that "pays in money", as Ezra likes to put it, is an incredible feeling.

Thank you to all my friends and family who gave me any support be it in the form of a hug, a listening ear,  a word of encouragement etc.

I feel so grateful.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Better Brekky for the New Year...

Today, I squeezed orange juice for my kids. They ate it with peanut butter toast. Henry had a fried egg with cholula hot sauce on it and more toast to sop up the runny yolks. Ezra had a side of plain yogurt with a drizzling of maple syrup. For me, it was water, coffee, egg with hot sauce and toast.  I always start my day with a a big glass of about 20 ounces of water.
Often we have cold cereal. Or oatmeal. Though Ezra has yogurt almost every day. He is not a big breakfast eater.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Get the pdf for this nifty breakfast flow chart here.

As well as thinking about breakfast, I have been thinking a bit about getting my own place. In a few months I will have hopefully saved up enough for a bitty apt. My dream apt. is half of an old house, in the country, with woods and fields for the boys to romp in. We would be allowed a dog or a cat. We would be allowed chickens. Rent would be less than $900. No carpets. Two floors. Lots of southern exposure. It is a bit of a dream but I think it is possible.

In the meantime, I think about sofas. I am actually quite bipolar when it comes to sofa preference.

If I had a zillion dollars. I would be purchasing a tufted or otherwise beautiful anthropologie sofa in the next year...

But it is more likely to be Raymour and Flanagan or IKEA for me...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Girls from the North Country

Happy New Year!! I celebrated New Years Eve by staying in bed and reading (finishing) Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot. Very enjoyable.While I was reading the boys were turning my living room into a scary disaster, but whatever.  The boys and I celebrated together by playing Bloku and Mad Libs for hours. We took breaks for shrimp cocktail, pizza and ice cream sundaes. It was so much fun to just enjoy them. I did not do any school work all day. I am so grateful for my life. I have the most wonderful family and friends. The last few years have been tough but I have so much to look forward to. Love and hugs to all!

In other news...A good band that shares my blog's name...

And if you want to really cry...

And if you need to punish yourself for some reason..A Bon Iver covered Bonnie Raitt for you...


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