Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 337-March 31: Flower show

I went to bed at about 8:00pm yesterday and therefore woke up at 5:30am to do homework. I headed out for a 6:30am run (with my jogging weapon) and then came home to get ready for work. Today we went to Shoreview and saw the Easter Bunny and we went to the Macy's flower show. I also started looking at tickets :S




Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 336-March 30th: Exhausted

Today we took the 3rd graders to the science museum. I took a group of very hard kids (at my supervisors suggestion.) I got home and all I've wanted to do since is sleep.

I made cookies with my roomie and ate about 3, and now I'm laying in bed at 7:00. Yep, time to sleep.

I also had a mini-freakout this morning. I was driving and thinking about the fun concerts I have in the next month and I realized that I'm seriously going to miss my music life here, something that I have been taking for granted this last year. Time to start going to more shows. I shed two tears, wiped them away and got on with my day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 335-March 29th: Bucket List (the beginning)

You all ready for this? First Draft.

Summer in Minneapolis:
1. Run Half Marathon
2. Ride Mechanical Bull
3. Mickey's Diner
4. Greenway Bike Trail
5. Take a trip to the Gay 90's (It has to be done. sorry....)


Europe: (Not in order)
1. France (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge, Louvre, Palace of Versailles)
2. Italy (The Colosseum, Cinque Terre, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice (gondola) Vatican City)
3. Greece (Athens, Acropolis, Meteora, Delphi Ruins, Melissani Cave, Mount Athos, Vikos Gorge)
4. Ireland (Jameson Distillery, Howth Castle/pier, The cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Guinness Storehouse)
5. Spain (Alhambra, Seville, Ronda)
6. Switzerland (Alps, Salt Mines, The Swiss Path, Swiss National Park, )
7. Belgium (chocolate. That's it.)
8. Prague (Petrin Lookout Tower, clock tower)


This list isn't even complete. How will I get it all in???? I talked to my mother today, and I mean finally talked to her about the move and she said I had such a calmness in my voice that she knew I was making the right decision. Also I think I've slept better this week than any other week this year. Incredible....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 334- March 28th: no freakout?

I'm wondering why I haven't had a freakout about moving to Albania yet. There are several possibilities. 1) I'm so very confident in my decision to go there 2) I'm just too busy with full time teaching at the moment to think about it 3) I am so glad that I finally have this portion of my future figured out, or 4) I still don't believe it is happening.

In my Literature Circle at class today I was talking to kids about how much more scary things can seem in the reality of facing them. I know I won't freak out to the point where I back out of this teaching position, but I can guaranty  you that there will be some sort of mental breakdown involving tears at some point. Probably upon actually buying my ticket or packing up my things.

Anyway, I did have a freakout on Sunday for a far different reason. In the moment it hurt me a lot and seemed like a huge deal, but now that I've had time to consider it and think about it, I'm happy about it.
I went out for some delicious ice cream to catch up with my bestie whom I haven't seen in awhile. We got to talking and as I talked I realized that maybe, in light of where I'm heading and the other news I got on Sunday I can finally make a break for myself. And finding myself. And figuring out what I want. And I'm glad I'm finally on that path :D

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 333-March 27th: How?

Sometimes I wonder how I can do all this work. I got to my school at 6:50am this morning and didn't leave until 5:00pm. I then stopped by the library on the way home to check out books for examples for our new writing project. I came home, ate, showered and have been grading papers for 2 hours! that's 12 hours of work, and I'm still not done! and I have class tomorrow. Here is to hoping there is no homework due.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 332-March 26th: In love!

There is so much to think about that I'm absolutely overwhelmed. As I told my co-teacher that I got the job today I had a mini-freakout. Luckily I had to throw myself into preparing for my full day of teaching so I couldn't dwell. I thought I'd make a list of the reason I'm already in love with my new job/home.

1. The School Website: read the testimonials from past teachers and you will understand. I also got super excited looking at the after school clubs. Guitar club? Awesome! I want to help up with Drama and start a running club if they will let me :D I also read about a field trip where they went hiking in the mountains. So cool!

2. The food. I've been reading about all the delicious meat and veggies. Albanians love their fresh veggies and deep fried pockets with veggies and meat.

3. The school calendar. There are several Saturdays where I have inservice, but they are usually followed with a Friday off so I can travel. (bucket list of places to come soon)

4. My pay. Thanks to the U of M for putting me through a year long program of student teaching. I will be getting paid an additional 100 euros because of this.

5. The e-mail I just got from a first grade teacher. She told me that adjustment is fairly easy because the school is so helpful in finding a way to settle you in quickly and everyone is so welcoming. Doubts gone?

6. Folk music: apparently very popular in Albania, as well as folk dancing.

7. My backpacking trip with my brother. Why yes I already sent him the dates of my vacation so we can start planning.

8. The utter cliche of buying a one way ticket anywhere. Never thought I'd be the type to ever do such a thing.....crazy!

9. The climate: mild all year round. No extremes= one happy girl/runner :D

10. The language/flag: apparently the language is one of the hardest to learn. Super excited to learn at least enough to communicate. The flag looks so serious. Someone suggested I get a tattoo of it. We will see :D

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 331-March 25th: Job/Moving

So...I officially got a job in Tirana, Albania starting in August of 2012! Went out to celebrate with the brother, and it led to a full- out all day long celebration. Now it's time to prepare for teaching tomorrow. Oh the joys of being a grown up. So much planning will go into this next life move. But for tonight I sleep....hopefully.

Day 330-March 24th:freakout

I almost threw up today from the complete freakiness of the fact that tomorrow I might have a job. In Albania. I suddenly grew extremely scared, and then I reminded myself that the scariest choices I've made in life have reaped the greatest benefits. Really, any options for my future seem pretty scary at this point. A real job, living on my own, paying off loans....it's grown up stuff. But of all the options I can think of, Albania is the one that has the most potential of happiness, and growth. So IF I get offered a job, that is the route I will take.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 329-March 23rd: The Lion King

The Lion King is on and I'm lesson planning while watching it. I also managed to go on a 4.5 mile run tonight....not sure how. I guess it was just so beautiful out :D

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 328-March 22nd: Give me Love

I LOVED today! I had a pretty good day teaching, followed by a quick 3 mile run, and 5-guys with my roomie and his friend. His friend is currently writing some curriculum for a pre-K reading program, and has never taught before. He was asking for all sorts of advice. Anyway I'm kind of starting to like this song, so I thought I'd share.
Give me love like her,
'cause lately I've been waking up alone,

Paint splattered teardrops on my shirt,
Told you I'd let them go,
And that I'll fight my corner,
Maybe tonight I'll call ya,
After my blood turns into alcohol,

No, I just wanna hold ya.

Give a little time to me or burn this out,
We'll play hide and seek to turn this around,
All I want is the taste that your lips allow,
My, my, my, my, oh give me love.

Give me love like never before,
'cause lately I've been craving more,
And it's been a while but I still feel the same,
Maybe I should let you go,

You know I'll fight my corner,
And that tonight I'll call ya,
After my blood is drowning in alcohol,
No I just wanna hold ya.
M-my my, m-my my, m-my my, give me love, lover (give me love, love me),
M-my my, m-my my, m-my my, give me love, lover (give me love).

My, my, my, my, oh give me love,

Of all the money that e'er I had
I've spent it in good company

And all the harm that e'er I've done
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall

So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Of all the comrades that ever I had
They are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that ever I had
They would wish me one more day to stay

But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all

A man may drink and not be drunk
A man may fight and not be slain
A man may court a pretty girl
And perhaps be welcomed back again

But since it has so ought to be
By a time to rise and a time to fall
Come fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 326-March 20th: thunderstorms= Love

Yesterday night there was a huge thunderstorm. I mean, loud thunder, bright lights, and pouring rain. 

You know those Matchbox 20 lyrics about the girl who only sleeps when it's raining? Whenever I hear that line I swear to go it was written about me. I slept so insanely well last night that I only need half of my coffee this morning. I should really consider moving to Seattle. 

But guess what? It's only 8:20 and I'm heading to bed for the night. I am so happy right now. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 324-March 18th: Spring Cleaning!

I woke up this morning and tried to go back to sleep but was feeling decently motivated. So I went for a 2.5 mile run. Then I headed out with the roomies for breakfast at Legends. Yummy!

When I got home I was feeling utterly exhausted, so I tried to nap, but mostly just laid in my bed for 90 minutes. Then I knew it was time to get up and get started on my work. So I finished some lesson planning, printed materials for all my lessons tomorrow, and made some updates where needed.

I was going to start writing some lesson plans for later in the week, but just couldn't bring myself to do anymore work. All I wanted to do was clean out my closet and drawers and starting getting my stuff organized for when I move wherever I'm going. So I started. I got rid of 4 bags of clothes and other unnecessary things I've been keeping for no reason. And I brought up my shorts and tank tops and reorganized my closet. I put away my winter coat and my boots and remade my bed to have a lighter comforter. Maybe the spring cleaning was premature given that it's only March 18th, but I'm getting antsy to get out of here, and I needed a break from lessons.

Day 323-March 17th: St Patty's 2009

Nothing could ever compare to St. Patty's day in 2009. I was in Canada for spring break, and ended up at an epic bar with 2 irish bands playing. I think I danced more that night than I have since. There were of course other memorable things that happened, by I'm not going to share every last detail. Here's a picture of me and the girls with the band in the background. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 322-March 16: Self Destruct

I need sleep. I haven't slept well in 4 days and the 3-5 hours a night isn't cutting it. Too many things to think about. And on top of it all I hit the self-destruct button tonight. I did something that I thought would be a good experience and turns out it was. Dang!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 321-March 15th: The week I became a teacher and why

When I look back on my time this year it is clear to me that this is the week I became a teacher. Why, you ask? For several reasons.
1. I finally chose a few goals to work on instead of focusing on EVERYTHING at once. I'm a new teacher and I have a ton of goals, but my supervisor pulled me aside last week and told me to choose 2 to work on. And I did. And I was successful.
2. I worked my ass off. For real. I got to school at 6:50 everyday, left around 3:30 and came home and did more work from about 4:30-8:00. Insane, but worth it, because I can already see how it has and will pay off.
3. I became vulnerable. I broke down on Monday. But because of this vulnerability I finally faced my ultimate fear: that I won't be a good teacher. I expressed my concerns verbally to my co-teacher and several other people, and I realized my true weaknesses.
4. This quote:

I started to live my passion: teaching.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 320-March 14th: standards

Today I got sent some Albanian standards. Quite interesting to compare. I can't wait to spend more time looking at them, but I've been spending most of my time preparing for the insanity that will be my 2 full time weeks (starting monday:S). Today I wrote 6 days of my unit lesson plan. So much work, but I think I have some good lessons.

No final word on a job yet, but I'm hoping with all my might. God knows I could use the relief of having found a job on top of all this stress.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 319-March 13th: good day :)

Today we had a substitute teacher, and I rocked my classroom. I was stern by kind with the kids and they reacted positively. I got this quote today, and I loved it.

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it's a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
- William Jennings Bryan

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 318-March 12th: stress eating

Today started out great. I thought my morning lessons went splendid :) and then my transitions failed. It was such a rough day that at the end of it I almost went up to my co-teacher to quit my position. But I took my minute to calm myself and focus on the good parts of the day. I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing wrong, and after talking to my co-teacher she's not sure either. Tomorrow I'm going to make some serious observations and notes about what she does and then on Wednesday I will take over again, choosing a few things to work on. I was told by my supervisor on Friday that I have too nice of a tone for the kids to take me seriously. So I was given the homework to look in the mirror and try saying things in a number of tones until I found a kind but stern one. So tonight I did. And hopefully it will get better.

The cookie dough ice cream certainly helped....i have serious stress eating issues.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 316-March 11th: brother :D

last night I got an email that left me extremely frustrated. I texted my brother because I knew he'd be able to relate :) and he texted back this morning, asking me to meet for breakfast, so we met at legends at noon. Sometimes I forget about this amazing person that lives 2 blocks from me.

I don't realize how much I truly miss him until I see him. After living with each other for 2 years we've learned how to put up with each other's shit and talk our issues out. And today I talked and talked and he just had the perfect way to make me not be frustrated anymore.

And after talking about my dreams I fell in love with the idea of Albania :D I want to go so badly now. I made a few important decisions about my future.
1. I need to invest in a good international smart phone to assist me in all my travels. And i want it to have a good camera so i don't need to invest in one of those.
2. I need a good backpack. Especially if I end up in Europe, because I'm going backpacking. Albania's 3 week summer vacation with a paid stipend to travel home with not be used to go home, but to go backpacking through Europe like I've always wanted to.
3. If I go to Albania I need to make a European bucket list of all the things I want to do and see, because there is a lot. And I'm not going to take this experience lightly, I'm going to make the most of it. Sometime in my near future you can expect to see one.

Overall I'd just like to say that I love my brother. He is an amazing inspiration and asset in my life. He's helped me in ways I'm sure he doesn't even know about. I'm one lucky, lucky girl.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 316-March 10th: a wandering mind....

Today I had off of work to take my final MTLE exam....hopefully. If I passed it will be the last. I'm not sure how to feel about it. I got home at like 10....wasn't even suppose to finish until 11, and so I had some free time. What did I do with it?
First I swept the kitchen. Then I worked on a few lesson plans for next week. Miss Rebecca asked me to do yoga with her, so I did a quick 20 minutes and boy was I shaky from all the coffee I had, so I had a glass of water, a small snack and headed out for a run. It was beautiful out (53 degrees when I left) and so I ran 5.5 miles. It felt so incredible to be outside in the warm sun, and my shorts and t-shirt were almost too hot. I seriously contemplated taking off the T-shirt, but my ILP belly(as I like to call it due to the stress eating of the program) made me think twice. A really great song came on my iPod (I'll post it below.)

Once home I showered and shaved for the first time since my birthday, and then I made lunch and some brownies. I continued to work on lesson plans, searching for haikus to use for examples to help the kids write their own. I was getting pretty tired, considering my day so I decided to take a nap. I finished up my haiku lesson plan and crawled into my bed. And then my mind began to wander....mostly back to the lyrics of this song I heard on my run, and I started to cry. It seems that as long as I can keep my mind on my career, and the day to day job that I love so much, I'm fine. But the second I have time to think about my actual life my mind wanders to the one place I don't want it to go. So here is the song and the lyrics with underlined and bolded parts that I feel.

it's all that i remember a sober night alone
and it took all i had not to call you on the phone
know that i was made for you
there is nothing i can do about it


i ran outside the bar
ringing in my ears
and i don't understand
it's been that way for years
you know the world will fall apart
if you broke another heart

coats are 'round in hiding
and up against the wall
your guns were made of iron
and he came and saved us all
pick it up and take it out
in a world of hell and doubt

listen to the liars
as they run the world

holiest empires
but nothing lasts for sure

can you help me turn it off
well it's all i could ever want

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 315-March 9th: my spots

So everywhere I live I end up having these special spots that I go to think, and sometimes to cry.
The marshfield spot was the pit. .5 miles from home, and sitting looking at something that wasn't really beautiful at all. But it was close by and a short walk away. mostly I needed the walk to calm down.

The minneapolis spot is somewhere directly in between the two places I live. Thank god! It's the wonderful elementary school 2 blocks away. Mostly I need to swing and listen to music and remind myself of where I'm going and who I want to be.

I almost stopped at this spot on my way home today, even though it was 8:15pm. It was a long day, and a hard day, and I was truly doubting whether or not I can do this teacher thing. But I can, and I will. because I love it.

Anyway, I got to wondering about my future places. If i'm in Kenya will it be under a tree? if I end up in Korea, will it be some quiet pond? If I end up in Albania will it be a special coffee shop? who knows where my next special spot will be, but I'm sure I will find it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 313-March 7th: Rough/exciting

Sometimes I wonder why every day seems to be so rough lately and then I realize that it's just that I'm at that point in my life where it's going to be.
I got contacted by my auto today about a possible job teaching english in Kenya. Excited!

Day 312-March 6th: Sickness

Sickness has finally fallen upon me. I knew my streak was too good to last.
This was the quote on my tea:
To learn, read.
To know, write.
To master, teach.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 311-March 5th: Grown up!

Today I completed a whole bunch of grown up things:
1. submitted my TPA exam (aka my thesis)
2. payed my taxes
3. got my invite and R.S.V.Ped for commencement in May.
4. applied for a job in Taiwan.
5. began filling out my interview questions for my potential job in Albania.

being a grown up is a lot of responsibility, but i think I'm ready....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 310- March 4th: Anywhere

It's official! Next year at this time I could be anywhere. In fact, come July I could be anywhere. Last night I spent some time looking at jobs abroad and I officially applied to a job in Albania and one in Taiwan. Here goes.....

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 309- March 3rd: Red Light

I saw this guy live, for free 2 summers ago. Anyway I guess he's like a big deal now. This is his biggest hit, and I love it! I spent a good hour listening to him on spotify.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 308-March 2nd: Rough

Today was a rough day at school. Its a good thing that 1 good day of teaching can get me through 3 bad days. I'm still learning and I'll be the first to admit I have a lot to learn. But it won't happen overnight.

To fix the rough I went to the gym for a long run and then came home and ate half a box of girl scout cookies. End of story.

Day 307-March 1st: The Ropes of Speed Dating

Tonight I took a step out of my comfort zone and crossed an item off of my bucket list :) Tonight I went to a speed dating event. It was a free event, except for the one glass of wine I bought. There was delicious food and I took my 2 friends with me for support. At first we just sort of awkwardly wove our way into a conversation with 3 other guys. Eventually we discovered that there was a separate room for the "speed" portion of the night. So we moved in there and started our evening. I talked to a bout 10 guys total. I think each person was from a different place (India, Kajakstan, New York, China, Argentina) and each was studying something different. Additionally there were men of all levels. One of the guys was in his 4th year of med school and look like he was about 30, and the youngest was 23 and in his 2nd year of clinical psychology.

It was great for my social skills. I was forced to ask and answer questions that allowed me to really learn about myself. I started analyzing why I was such a planner, in front of a complete stranger, nonetheless. We got a number card in the beginning and you were supposed to write down the number of the people you were interested in. If both of you write down each other's numbers then they will send you the persons contact info.

I went in thinking that I wouldn't meet anyone interesting and that even if I did I wouldn't do anything about it. Well....I wrote down two numbers and turned that card back in. We'll see if anything comes of it, but I doubt it.