Posts tagged ‘Wise Owls’

December 6, 2011

Happily Ever Afters

I still can’t quite put into words how transformative the past year has been.  I occasionally will be hit with this realization while doing some mundane task.  I live in Oklahoma now.  I have my own apartment and dog (not a big deal for some, but I had only ever lived in dorms or my house before…I’ve also never been the sole person responsible for keeping a living thing alive).  And most importantly, I teach 20 beautiful 7 and 8-year-olds each day.  I don’t think people realize the risk I took applying to TFA about a year ago.  I had to give up everything- friends, family, career opportunities, the only state I’ve ever known…all for a gut feeling that teaching may be the job I was born to do.  Luckily, it paid off.  I thought about this awhile before I fell asleep.  I am extremely in love with my profession.  I adore my kids.  I’m grateful for my co-workers (I don’t think I’ve ever fit in quite so easily with a group of people ever). And I love so many parts of teaching- whether it’s coming up with sentences using my kids’ names to make spelling tests more fun or making up chants to build up our wise owl classroom culture, each day is kind of amazing.

I always thought of myself as a kid when I was in grad school.  I would describe myself and others as such when talking to professors or supervisors.  I still feel young and naive about many things, but I also think I’m finally becoming the person I was meant to be.  I feel so brave to have forged this path for myself with minimal support and encouragement from others.  No one was downright objecting to my choices, but no one was pushing me to do it either.  I had to make the decision.  I had to go for it.  And now here I sit.  Overwhelmed, excited, proud…content : )

On a semi-lighter note, I’ve switched into my annual Twilight coma with the release of the newest movie.  I planned on seeing it once, making fun of it, and then buying the DVD later.  It always starts that way.  But of course, I have now seen the newest movie THREE times, have re-watched the second and third movie, re-read Breaking Dawn, re-read Midnight Sun (props if you know what that is), and am in the middle of reading Twilight.  And this was all just in the past 3 weeks.  I’m hopeless, I know.

At first I felt ashamed about my re-obsession with the series- knowing it was likely my way to live out a whirlwind romance vicariously through a story.  However, I found while reading last night that I didn’t feel depressed at my own singlehood.  The books suprisingly don’t have that effect on me.  Instead they kind of make me hopeful about my future.  I know so many people who have met the love of their life, gone through their perfect wedding, and even a few who happily have a few kids.  I don’t have that…yet.  All of these exciting, simple romantic moments await me.

I’m not a cynical enough person to believe in the “dying alone” idea.  Every day I am not in a relationship is time to focus on me- who I want to be and who I am becoming with each decision I make.  I used to spend so much time thinking I wasn’t good enough because of the way I looked or the fact that I am not interested in getting drunk off my ass at parties just to be in with the crowd.  I’m at peace with just being me now.  Love, wedding, kids…I’m quite confident they’ll come someday.  I was lucky enough to find my dream job (I really should have known the whole “economist” thing wouldn’t work out…hahaha).  I think I just may be that lucky to stumble upon a happily ever after at some point, too.

September 18, 2011

Becoming a Tulsan and Some Wise Owl Love

I probably should not be updating this since I have several hours of lesson planning left for tonight, but I’m trying to make more time for myself to balance out the 60 hour work week I am currently putting in regularly (ah, if only my paychecks would reflect this).

Life in Oklahoma continues to be interesting.  The fair is coming up which to Tulsans is a HUGE deal.  This never happened in Florida because fairs can not compete with 7 theme parks…except on price.  I’ll have to check this madness out in the next weeks and report back if it’s worth all the hype.  Disney on Ice is part of it and they have a fair mascot, so I’m guessing it might just live up to these crazy expectations.

I’m starting to get the hang of this living on my own thing.  I have my routines down and even have started recognizing all the employees at Food Pyramid when I go grocery shopping every week.  Unlike the magical Publix, a maximum of 2 lanes are open at a time at this store.  And there are never long lines.  It makes shopping quick and easy, but it also makes me wonder how they make money.  But yes, routines are down.  I keep my apartment pretty clean, I don’t get too lonely, I am still in love with my TV (especially now that shows are back!), and Amberjack has finally started obedience classes to knock out some of these minor behavior issues (eating my shirt, occasional accidents, nervousness over being anywhere near water, etc.).  She’s in a class with a bunch of large dogs, so I’m wondering how that will play out on Wednesday (she’s going to look so tiny!).

Overall, teaching is going well.  I’m getting a little down because I do hear stories of challenging situations that a lot of my other corps members are facing.  Comparatively, my problems are small.  I got a lot of talkers, a small classroom area, and some challenging students (and by challenging, I mean they are far behind and need a lot of remediation with content before forging ahead).  I expected these things, so I’m not shocked or frustrated at where I’m at.  I’ll learn, grow, and keep working on that achievement gap.  My issue is whenever I get together with my TFA friends, they seem so down on some of the rough situations they are dealing with.  I feel like I can’t contribute anything to these conversations because I have mostly positive things to say about my own teaching experience, or my problems seem like nothing compared to what they are facing (one student set a desk on fire in somebody’s high school classroom…not the same as excessive talking in 2nd grade).

Luckily, I have made many new friends at the school I’m at who are completely unrelated to TFA.  We chat about our own classrooms and school, but we also talk about TV shows, movies, boys, families, hobbies, favorite places to eat, etc.  It balances out any school drama and reminds me how great a support system I have in Tulsa despite having all my family and close friends over 1,000 miles away.  My kids are a big part of my life, but I don’t want to completely lose myself during my teaching adventures.  I still have a way to go to achieve this balance, but I have hope : )

Last major news is I got my free iPad that Apple donated to TFA.  Um, win.  I already bought a case and a bunch of apps for my kids to use.  I thought I would be selfish and keep it all to myself (7 year olds can not be trusted with something that expensive!), but seeing the apps just inspired me on how I could use it with those in my class who are behind in reading.  I can picture working with them one on one and them lighting up at the interactive features of the books I got for it that secretly are teaching them sight words and how to follow along with a text ; )  I can not wait to bring this to class this week.  I really do love my wise owls ❤

To everyone who has sent me letters, one of my goals is to send out some from my end this week.  I love each and every one, and they honestly can raise my mood a lot when I check my mail after a long day.  Jessica, Mike, Mom, Katie, and Gramps- I’m talking to you.

Alright. Back to lesson planning.

PS- I watched 50 First Dates randomly again this weekend and LOVED it.  I only thought it was okay before, but for some reason it was the perfect movie for my mood this weekend.  It is now part of my DVD collection for future viewings.