Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 365- April 29th: Final post?

Well....I made it! 365 posts in 365 days. I have to say that I did a far better job of keeping up on this blog than in my diary. For those of you who read it, thank you! I hope you found some knowledge, or listened to a good song, or learned something interesting while reading. I suggest that everyone take part in some sort of reflection similar to this. Jot yourself a sentence each day, or take a picture of something important. It is so intriguing to look back and see how much has happened and how much I have grown in the last 365 days.
Is this the end? Of this blog, I believe so. However you should check out my other blogs. I'm hoping to start training for a half-marathon again this week. If you are interested please read about it at Training. I also started a brand new blog tonight. This new blog will focus on my preparations for traveling and my experiences in Albania. It also has a super cool title: Tiara Teaching and Traveling in Tirana.
I will leave you with the most important thing I learned during my 365 days of blogging: There are many important things in life, and  a lot of unimportant things in life. But each thing has its importance in that particular time and place.

Day 364-April 28th: family

Today was spent with my family. I tried to best to soak up as much of them as I could, knowing that there are no more major holidays before I leave for Albania. I got to spend a little bit of time talking to my Grandma about her new apartment, and spent time listening to my Grandpa rant and rave about the government and show me endless picture of people I don't really care about. I also let me niece comb my hair until there was none left and took many, many turns hold my new nephew. (pictures to follow) I had planned on beginning work on my t-shirt quilt with my other grandma, but there just wasn't enough time. *sigh*
I also got to spend the evening sipping delicious beers with my brothers.

Day 363-April 27: Icy cream date night

Tonight I had the pleasure of taking my niece out to ice cream at my favorite ice cream place in my hometown. It was fun to get a half an hour all to ourselves. She didn't want to take pictures until I suggested we take some funny ones. Then she was super excited.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 362-April 26th: names

So as a teacher, I have a very long list of names I will not use for children I may have someday. I also have a list of names I WILL use. Unfortunately they are all boys names, or modified versions of them. I have only one girl name chosen.

To be honest, I'm doubting more and more that I will ever be able to have kids of my own, but time will tell. If this is the list (5 names) after a year who knows what it will be like 5 years from now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 361-April 25th: :(

Today we finished taking the MCA's! Meaning that I can finally teach my students real things again :D

I also found out some very sad news. I've been working with one particular student in her math work. She came in far above grade level in reading, but was at about a 1st grade math level. I've been working with her for 15 minutes at the end of the day on basic math skills, and I've been very impressed with her progress. I think she is at about where she should have been in the beginning of 3rd grade. I was looking very forward to my last 6 weeks with her, and using it as an opportunity to really practice what we have learned. However I found out today that Monday will be her last day, and therefore I only have two 15 minute sessions left with her. Almost cried. I cannot become this attached to students. That is just not healthy at all.

Speaking of not healthy I have this weird partial sickness thing going on. scratchy throat, stuffy nose, but not bad enough to notice much. just annoying.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 360- April 24th: dreams vs. reality

What is better: dreams or reality? I once wrote a paper on this. Sophomore year of high school. Upon first thought I immediately went to dreams. But as I continued to think about it I realized how inaccurate that was. Dreaming is phenomenal. It allows you to be whomever and whatever you want, and that is worth a lot. But When you actually experience and feel emotions it is worth everything. When I was little I'd dream about love, but the real thing was nothing like I imagined it to be. I dreamed of finding a passion, and now that I've found one I'm not sure I'll ever be able to let it go. And now I dream of Albania, and I cannot wait to get there and find out what it is really like.

So to answer the Great Gatsby writing prompt from 6 years ago, I'd like to say that my answer has been proven over and over again. Reality far outweighs dreams.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 359-April 23rd: 4 months

4 months from now I will be leaving on a plane to Albania. Holy Wow! so much to do and so little time....

Today I was required to go to the job fair even though I have a job. I walked around just taking in the stress of it all and being so relieved that I didn't have to prepared and nervous. Talked to a few school district in Alaska and gave them my resume just for the heck of it.

I also got an e-mail from Taiwan today offering me a job. If anyone is searching for a job they need someone in the beginning of June. Let me know if you are interested. Housing, living stipend are available, and I don't think you need a teaching degree for the job. Just a degree of some sort.

....Back to the large to-do list.

Day 358-April 22: from cold and tense to warm and loose

I was so sore when I woke up this morning in my tent, and I couldn't figure out why. When I got home I headed to the gym, and felt so much better after moving. I honestly think I was just so tense and cold all weekend long that I needed to warm and loosen up. I spent the evening cleaning and relaxing. I also remembered that I wanted to post about this song on Friday, but forgot. I heard it on my way to work and fell in love with it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 357-April 21st: The Larvae Lounge

It was a rough, roller-coaster of emotions day. I started out the morning with a summit, and then thankfully headed into town for some real food and a bloody. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting by the wood stove drinking more summit and wishing that someone had a copy of the roses 2 so that I could listen to Broke Down Palace, Return of the Grievous Angel, and One More Love Song, among others. The weekend wasn't awkward at all (sarcastic) but I survived it as well as I could. Beer, Whiskey, cookies and sleep.

Mostly by the end of the night I just felt relief. I'm so happy and content with life, so why should I let anything make me feel otherwise? Once I realized this I was able to just go to sleep realizing the sooner the morning came, the sooner I could come back to my amazing life in the cities.

Thought it was a rough weekend (as the barn always is) I cannot wait to go back in July!
The bands were absolutely incredible!

Day 356-April 20th: write-in

Today I was in charge at school. We had a write-in for the alphabet books kids are making. I was so proud of them! They worked super hard and are now all on their final drafts.

After work I head out to the Larvae Lounge for the summer party. I danced (for the final time) to some Magic Celebration Factory. Overall it was a fun night.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 356-April 19th: Levon Helm

Today Levon Helm, the drummer of The Band, died of throat cancer. What a great loss to the music world. In his honor I post my2  favorite songs from The Band. Number one an upbeat song, and number 2 a slower, extremely depressing song. Because I'm in both moods I find it highly necessary.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 355-Arpil 18th: women

Today during the MCA I read more about Albania. There was a lot of interesting information about how they treat women. Frankly, the book is 10 years old, so who knows what is true. But the one thing they mention about women that I was on board with was the following proverb:
"The hand that has hurt a woman is unfit for anything in the world"Love it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 354-April 17th: Moments

Today my 3rd graders took the first 2 sections of the math MCA. yuck! what a long and boring test. Luckily it allowed for some great time for me to complete my homework assignments for tomorrow.

I spent my evening going to see a marvelous chick flick with Becky. Turns out the movie was based on a true story, thus saving my belief that men can be genuinely sweet (I've been having some doubts recently.) Unfortunately it made me long to fall in love again. Looks like that will just have to be put on the long list of things I want to do, seeing as my plate is a little full at the moment, and I don't think I want to stay in Albania for my whole life. Time will tell. The movie was mostly about how all of these little moments make up a person and who they are. I was thinking back to my favorite moments. I was trying to remember the first time I told someone I loved them, and I couldn't for the life of me remember it. But I remember him saying it to me, and I should have taken those words and all the knowledge that came with them. I also remember the second time he said it. Also should have listened to the words that followed it.

As I was talking to Becky tonight I realized that in truth I'm living out the exact words he told me, because I repeated them to her tonight while I was assuring her that we fall in love way more that once in life. And in truth, I believe it. And I have to believe the words he said, because actually they were exactly true: "I love you, but it doesn't mean we are meant to be together forever."

Day 353-April 16: New Necklace

For years and years I have worn a music note or treble clef around my neck to remind myself of the power music has, and it's importance to me. A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my jewelry (to downsize for Europe) and I found an old necklace I've never really worn. It was one that I found in a purse I bought on a garage sale about 4 years ago.  A super long chain with an anchor, bird, and gross colored brown jem. It never really matched any of my outfits (other than my pirate costume for Halloween 2010) so I almost tossed it. Then I decided that I loved the bird, and all the meaning behind it. Freedom and exploration, and the songs they sing. Such a perfect symbol of everything I want the next few years of my life to be. So I went to Sara Cura, and bought a new $7 chain, used some tools to take apart the necklace, and created my own new necklace. I've been wearing it for about a week and a half now, and I love it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 352-April 15th: Why

I keep seeing this saying on facebook that says "Ever look at your ex and wonder to yourself why you ever dated them?" I've never thought this by looking at any of my exes, but thinking back on the time spent with them I have. And it sucks that the only honest reason I can come up with is love. Because I can't be mad at myself for loving someone. That would just be wrong. Can I be mad at myself for continuing?

Day 351-April 14th: The MN ZOO

Today I worked a little bit of extra time, and we got to take the kidos to the MN zoo to see the cute little baby animals on the farm. It was a wonderful time. Unfortunately we made the mistake of letting them play at the park before we hiked the mile back to the car. So the majority of the kids got carried. Very sore arms. Afterward me and Jen headed to our "co-worker meeting" (aka an excuse to purchase food of sorts and talk.) I had some delicious ice cream and headed home for some homework and an early bed time.

Day 350-April 13th: First Grade

I got a message from one of the first grade teachers at MIST today announcing to me that I will be teaching first grade next year :D we've been in contact for a few weeks now, and she's been answering my questions about moving, the school, and the culture. She welcomed me to the MIST family, and I'm looking forward to working with the youngsters.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 349- April 12th: one proud teacher

I felt like a very lucky teacher today. I spent most of my day taking small groups of low math kids and work with them on practice MCA test questions. It was amazing to see the light go on in their heads from things we learned way back in September. We also worked on finding fractions of a set. For example: I have 9 cupcakes. Someone eats 1/3 of the cupcakes. How many cupcakes do they eat. This was a very hard concept for the kids, but I'm proud to say that after a lot of hard math work they are starting to get it.

I also had to make my first "your child is being naughty in school" phone call home. But it went well, and the parent promised to talk to their child and ask for a follow up phone call next week.

I stayed after school to help out at fine arts night. This is a night when third, fourth, and fifth graders all show off their art work, music skills and science fair project. It was so cute to watch them sing and to play their drums/ xylophones. And I was very impressed with their self portraits and superhero sculptures.

I'm one proud teacher :D

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 348-April 11th: Trampled by Turtles Day!

Happy one month left of my school! I found out today that I passed all my state exams. Just have to finish one more month of service and 3 more class session and I'm done :D

Also, more importantly, happy Trampled by Turtles day! The mayor of Duluth and Minneapolis showed up at the concert tonight to declare today a Trampled by Turtles day. Love it! They also did stage dives into the crowd. It was an amazing show, ranks among the best I've ever seen. During "Wait so Long," and "Alone" I almost cried, and I'm convinced that if they would have played my song (Empire) I would have. And even thought it's nearly midnight and I'm putting in a 13 hour day at the school tomorrow I'm not one bit tired. I'm going to need a large cup of coffee in the morning.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 347-April 10th: Highlights

2 Highlights to my day:
1. Hanging on the elliptical while listening to almost all of Trampled By Turtles new album. This band is just so amazing, and I cannot wait for their concert tomorrow night. So far this is my favorite song from their new album:

2. The adorable pictures my mother sent me of Quincey.

My brother has got to stop having adorable kids or I might start wanting one of my own....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 346- April 9th: destination versus goals

I got this quote today. Love it. I still feel super duper lazy. I have so much to do, but I just don't even know where to begin.

What you get by reaching your destination isn't nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals - what you will become is the winner you were born to be!
- Zig Ziglar

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 345- April 8th: Content

I had a pretty good Easter. I'd say it was a great Easter, other than my stomach ache, which was brought on by my own doing. I started out the morning by walking to Dinkytown and treating myself to a mocha. On the way home some Trampled by Turtles came on and I just couldn't help but dance in the middle of the street. Luckily there weren't too many cars around. I stopped at dear Tuttle to swing for 15 minutes and then headed home to make myself some biscuits and gravy. YUM! I sat around for a bit and finished up some work for this week. Then I walked to my favorite morning spot for a Bloody with the brother. I spent my afternoon grilling out. After a few beers and some food I decided I needed another walk, so I headed out for a 2 mile bout around the neighborhood. More dancing insued. I just can't help but be content with my life right now.
I'm not sure where the frustration from yesterday went. I've just been feeling so damn lazy recently because my schoolwork is winding down, and I already have a job, but it's too early to start much preparation. But I should not feel bad about enjoying myself. I worked my ass off this last year and I deserve a break. So all that is left is happiness and dancing :D

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 344- April 7th: AGH!

I'm beyond frustrated with myself. And I made some delicious food. Potatoes Au Gratin and ham, potato salad, and banana muffins. And I'm so tired. Time for bed.

Day 343- April 6th: A "good" friday

I had a wonderful good Friday. In fact I would call it a great Friday! I woke up to a text message from my oldest brother telling me his wife's water had broken and that they were headed to the hospital. I of course had to go to work and was a little bit hung over from the vodka shots I had taken the night before. But I got to spend my morning on the track with Hannah and then got to play with bottles. Then Me and Sarah (their oldest daughter) took all the kids to McDonalds for lunch and a movie at the dollar theatre. Jess and me spent the last hour of our day looking for egg dying items and possible birthday presents.

I finished work off to find out that my nephew, Quincy Gray Christenson, had been born at 1:53, weighing 6lbs 10 oz, and 20 and 1/4 inches long. I couldn't wait to find out the name and my dear brother had tried to give me a hint by telling me David Gray was coming to summerfest. Anyway, I'm one proud aunt TT.

I was suppose to have a massage, but it got rescheduled. All the better for me since i would have undone any good at the Pert Near Sandstone show. When I got home a headed over to a friends house to start drinking some delicious beer. The concert was super duper late. There were two openers and the band didn't even get started until 11:00. I danced my ass off for all but the last 2 or 3 songs. My energy at this point was just gone. The really bad part was the "frat couple" next to me making out. I seriously almost threw up at one point. I made it home alive after a scary taxi ride, had some scrambled eggs, and quickly headed to bed, knowing that the next day of work would be rough. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 342-April 5th: Bad for me.

Today I ate way to much "bad for me" food. I had hot Cheetos with lunch, I had a donut for a snack, I had deep fried greasy food as a snack while watching the hockey game with my roomies. YUCK! I mean yum in the moment, but I seriously need to get back to watching what I eat.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 341- April 4th: move

Let's take a step back from constantly discussing my future life (although I'd love to talk about the insaneness of trying to get an appointment with Boyton's travel clinic.) I finished my full time student teaching on Monday and since then I have been utterly bored. I've lost all motivation for the very little school work I have left, and my time feels wasted as I simply watch most lessons. I'm still teaching 2 subjects a day, but it just doesn't feel like anything.

I want to be spending my extra time running, but my left ankle is acting up again. I've been using my extra time to simply walk, trying to prepare myself for the training I should start in about 2-3 weeks. Tonight I was dying for a run so I convinced myself that 2 short miles couldn't hurt anything. AGH! I'm now in serious pain, and my half marathon is looking further and further from sight.

I'm so ready to pack my bags and move. I'm just sick of being stuck still. I need to move. And I refer to the word move in way more than one way. I need my life to move forward. I need my career to grow. I need my feet to move so I don't go crazy. I need move away from this place, and see some new scenery. I need to move toward new fear and experiences. Mostly I think I need to move away from the life I thought I wanted, because I don't want it.

5 months ago I was convinced that moving to North Dakota was the best option for me. So glad I was smart enough to reconsider that. I would have ended up the most unhappy person in the world. Time to move on...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 340: April 3rd: One Way Ticket

Ticket purchased! Biggest purchase to date, and probably one of the most important purchases of my life. I briefly hesitated before clicking the "confirm purchase" button. I was on the phone with my mother and asked her if she was ready. She responded with "I don't think I'm the one who needs to be ready sweetie."  I think I was more freaked out about the money (which I get reimbursed for when I show up) than the actual thought of moving.

I was very thoughtful in choosing both the time and location of my layover. I didn't not want to be running through the JFK airport with only 2 hours to get from one place to the next flight. And I certainly didn't want to spend 14 hours by myself in the airport in Istanbul. I also didn't want a 10 hour layover that ended with boarding at 4:20am. Who is up at that hour? Flight leaves at 3:40pm, I have a 6 hour layover in Chicago, 12 hour flight overnight and then 2 hours in Istanbul. Should be alright, though I'm a bit nervous about flying by myself for the first time, especially in such a high stress situation. I'll charge up the ipod and make myself a "freakout" playlist.

Can I just say that there is an extreme thrill in purchasing a ONE WAY ticket somewhere. Cross it off the bucket list.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 339-April 2: A marvelous day

Today was my last day of full time student teaching. I just felt as if I was getting the hang of things, but seeing as the MCA exams are in about 2 weeks I was more than happy to give Abby her class back. The rest of this week I will be finishing up my unit plan (finally on the third grade standards) and teaching writers workshop. It seems like nothing.

It was a marvelous day for numerous reasons: I left the school by 3:30pm. What?!?! Then I got to go get half of frozen yogurt with my best friend. YUM! I came home and got an e-mail from Albania informing me that they are going to be paying more than they originally proposed :D and now I'm heading out to the 331 club for some free bluegrass music and 2-4-1 tonics to celebrate my brother's birthday. Did I mention my wonderful short run? What a great day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 338- April 1st:A day for Civic

Today after work I took dear civic to get his oil changed, and I treated him to a $10 car wash. Lucky him.

I treated myself to coffee this morning with a friend. Turns out he's now married and may be moving to Turkey to teach English. Incredible!

I Also went to Chilly Billy's for some girl time with the bestie and played some soccer with my roommate and his friend. All in all I had a pretty good day. It's making me excited for summer!