Saturday, March 24, 2012


Whoa! Where did this week go? I came to the blog to check out the ones I follow and my last post was last Monday. Sigh. How did I fall off the SOLSC boat so quickly? Time to catch up with what's been happening this week, even though it's only going to be one post. Tuesday was a crazy day, as in where did I put all the stuff I did in so little time? After a full school day I shot Senior Superlative photos for another hour, attended a Relay for Life meeting for an hour and then had dinner out with David. It was a nice way to relax after running around like mad for the day. Wednesday I worked, caught up with my dear co-worker Stephanie and headed to another high school in our district to hear David's band play for their State adjudication. Woohoo, they earned a Superior!! Just another great day at the office, I suppose ;) Thursday I worked, taught my two night clasaes and then had a late dinner before seeing the Hunger Games at midnight. I learned a lot about myself that night: I am too old for a midnight premiere1 It took a lot to stay awake between the end of my second job and when the movie started. It didn't help that we went to a really nice theater an hour away to see the movie; it was almost 4:00am (yes, you saw that right) when I finally got into bed Friday morning. Needless to say, worth every minute! Friday (once I stirred) Johnathan and I set off for Greensboro to visit with our friends and their new baby. This was the first time we met Genevieve and she could not be sweeter. For 8 days old she was pretty tolerant of all the "I want the baby" that was going around. She's so cute and my friends are doing great as parents. Saturday, bringing us full circle, we did some shopping in Greensboro before watching an indoor percussion performance. My best friend is bascially a band program rock star: his group won first place in their class! The show itself is great: it's based on computers which held Johnathan's attention while I watched for other performance elements. Congratulations, love! We're home and settled back in with our little dog, who may not speak to us for a while because we left her at the kennel to spend the night Friday. I've been on the go all week and am looking forward to relaxing tomorrow as I prepare for a short school week; 3 days then an early release day Thursday followed by a workday Friday. Let the chaos begin!

Monday, March 19, 2012

SOLSC: Greeting Cards

Yesterday my husband and I went out running the usual "get ready for the work week" errands and one of the places that is always on my list is Target. One of our not-so-usual errands was to pick up a bridal shower gift for next weekend, as one of Johnathan's good friends is getting married at the end of April. Luckily the couple registered at Target and picking up some goodies was a snap!

I am passionate about gift giving. There is something about knowing that you have picked out just the right item for someone that you know they are going to love. This makes the holidays really exciting for me, but probably frustrating and exhausting for Johnathan, as I will shop over and over for the same person until I find the gift for them. The rest of the year I have this other problem: greeting cards.

I'm going to go ahead and attribute (blame) my addiction to greeting cards on my addiction to the written word. I know there are lots of much more gifted wordsmiths than myself, but not just anyone writes just the right greeting card, issuing a challenge to me year-round. What draws me to them, mostly, is the blank space on the left side when the card is open: that's where I get to do my own wordsmith-ing. I can fill up that blank side with all kinds of sap!

What began as a grab a shower gift (now it still had to be the right one) run to Target became me reading card after card. I found a bridal card that is so tongue-in-cheek like me, then I found a card to send to my brother and his wife congratulating them on their new house (I didn't even know such a card existed), then I found the sweetest little card for my friends who just had a baby that I wanted to include with the Welcome to the World gifts I have stocked up to take when I see them this weekend, and THEN I found a perfect card for one of my dearest friends...just because.

I have always fancied myself a (however amateur) writer, and greeting cards have acted as a spark for me to put pen to paper (or cardstock) for years. When I write, I'm giving part of myself away to the person who ultimately reads my words, and that is not a responsibility I take lightly, just as I value giving the right gift and the right card. Sometimes, it's much more important that we give the right words.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

SOLSC: Rainy Sunday Morning

I woke up earlier than I normally would on a weekend morning today. The sky was grey, the kind of grey that whispers you back to sleep. The sound of rain on my roof, but thankfully no longer in my attic, eased me into the haze where dreams and reality merge. I turned the pillow over to the cooler side, feeling the chill against my cheek, reminding me that there is plenty of day left to enjoy.

I looked over at my husband, who was still sleeping and thought about how easy it was to enjoy this simple moment, watching his chest rise and fall. I know we all say that people are so peaceful when they sleep, but my husband is usually a warrior all night: wrestling and snoring and kicking. Not now. Now he is sleeping quietly, completely unaware that I am watching him, contemplating how this little life of ours turned out to be pretty close to perfect.

In this moment I am not making a list of all the things I have to do before the work week begins tomorrow. I am not thinking about the pile of laundry in the hallway or the dishes in the sink. Yes, the yard needs to be mowed and the grocery list needs to be made and there are a myriad of household chores to be completed. But under a grey sky, the gentle sound of rain echoes the stillness in my mind, encouraging me to slow down, breathe in this beautiful moment and embrace it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SOLSC: Road Block

I've hit the wall.
I cannot for the life of me come up with anything to write about today. So, I suppose I'll just write about not having anything to write about; that's what I tell my students to do when they get stuck.

It's not that I haven't done anything today; in fact, I got off the couch and had brunch with my family to celebrate my brother's 24th birthday today. My husband and I took off and did some shopping at Concord Mills and I managed to find some fabulous deals. For some reason, though, I can't seem to find anything "slice" worthy today. I don't feel very focused on any one element or detail. I think I'm just so relieved that I finally feel mostly human again that I can't think of anything special.

I know the Slice challenge is about finding something in everyday life worth writing about; I know each entry doesn't have to be particularly newsworthy. I'm thinking now that I'm putting too much pressure on myself to write something catchy, flashy or engaging. Isn't this more about process than product? I know I tell my students that regularly, that I'm interested in their process, but do I mean it? For some students the idea of them developing a process is a huge victory; many of them like to just write the first thing that comes to mind and call it a final draft.

Even though I don't have much to say today, this process is helping me observe the world a little better for a potential Slice story. Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

SOLSC: Recovering

I am sure I sound like a total whiner, but I am still just NOT. OVER. THIS. COLD. And it comes and goes in waves; which is even more annoying because I start to feel better and overdo it then crash. But I'm surviving, and this brought me to a list of things that have gotten me through this ridiculous, hellacious congestion-fest:

7 Essentials for the (Lingering) Common Cold

1. Puffs Plus with Lotion: I cannot say enough about how these have essentially been my saving grace when it comes to my poor little nose. I basically feel like that girl in the picture and couldn't deal with the incessant nose blowing otherwise.

2. A sick day: I would not have been able to truck it through the other 4 days of the work week if my doctor had not literally told me I couldn't go to work on Tuesday. When you doctor says "slow down," you listen!

3. Something to read: Right now I'm reading Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium at work during out independent reading time in the classroom and at home I'm reading A Million Suns by Beth Revis. It's nice to disappear into a world where you don't focus for hours on end on the pressure in your head or when you need the tissue box (again!).

4. A fuzzy blanket: I have two of these at my house- one on the couch (where I have practically lived all week after school) and one that is on my side of the bed because my husband keeps our room pretty cool and I like to be snuggled up under it. The texture of it is so important to me because it makes me feel at home in some way.

5. Fluids, Fluids, Fluids: With this cold I can't get enough to drink. Part of that comes from the prescription meds my doctor gave me for the asthma flare I had earlier this week, but since I'm off those now I'm still thirsty like whoa! I've been drinking mostly bottled water but some sugar free lemonade too, like Crystal Light, for flavor.

6. iPhone: I know, right? What? In the last week I've found out I'm getting a new nephew and my best friend from college and her husband welcomed the cutest little girl into the world. So, without my iPhone I wouldn't be connected to them seeing as I'm certainly not going to go and infect them with the germ fest living in my head.

7. A sense of humor: when you have to call the doctor and report on the not so pleasant details of your cold, you have to smile and keep moving. I carried around my own "contaminated" box of tissues and made sure no one got near them. Hey, it was for their own good!

And if I had completed one, I would add a BUSTED BRACKET after today! Sorry Dookies, have a safe trip back to Durham! (I couldn't resist!)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SOLSC: Images

Today I was poking around online after work and found a website that offers different kinds of writing exercises for different days of the week. Today on the site is a poetry day, but I was particularly interested in the image task from yesterday (Tuesday). So I'm taking it on!

The task: write about this image:

Two hands, two fists, two words. Rage: an anger of the fiercest sort, the kind that provokes people to act far beyond their normal boundaries. Love: an emotion of the highest intensity, the kind that provokes people to act far beyond their normal boundaries. Who would have thought these words have anything in common? And yet, they do.

Rage and Love are two words that come to mind when I think of so many hot button topics in our society today. Same sex marriage brings people to raging righteousness while others argue that it's really about love. Abortion causes people to rage against the opposition, while others choose love as their course of action. It's interesting to note how evenly these words are leveled on the hands in the photo, too. It's as if they have some kind of ease or fluidity.

What else are these words saying? Separately they can have so much in common but paired together they can say so much more. What if, instead of rage, we let love rule more of our emotions? What if our governing instinct relied more on love than rage? Either of these emotions can create strong rhetoric, but what if we channeled the energy of rage into love? Would we be better to each other? Would we actually, in spite of the image above, use our fists less and our words more?

Is love positioned on what is the "right" side of the image for a reason? Or is it because it's on the left hand where we wear wedding rings? This image really pushed me to question its composition on so many levels. I'm thinking that writing about images would be a great break from my students usual journal topics and get them thinking outside of the box. I know I enjoyed thinking this one through.

What do you see?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SOLSC: Advice to a younger me

Today I have been home sick with a cold that aggravated my persistent asthma (yeah, most people grow out of asthma, but not me). My doctor suggested that I take today to rest and push lots of fluids. So in short I got assigned to the couch to read books and listen to music, two things I rarely get to do!

I was listening to a new album by Darren Hayes, someone I have adored for many, many years. You may recognize him as the frontman for Savage Garden from the 90s. Anyway, Darren has gone on to produce independent albums and while they are practically unknown productions in the US, the UK and Australia simply adore him, as do I. There's a track on his latest album, Secret Codes and Battleships, called Roses. It's a story about living your life in a way that you can be proud at the end. There are so many good lines that would work as advice, which got me to thinking about what I would tell a younger version of me knowing what I know now. So I made a list...

7 Things I would tell a younger me

1. You cannot place the blame on yourself for things beyond your control. This includes your parents' divorce and things that happen to friends and family members that you did not directly cause. 

2. Protect your heart and your mind from undue influences. You might think that youth group is cool but those people will hurt you while they teach you about love. The biggest lesson you will learn from that experience is that people make mistakes and some places, including some churches, like to punish rather than forgive or redeem.

3. You are doing the right thing by focusing on school, your grades, and your college dreams. Don't let your lack of popularity keep you from your goals.

4. Yes, your friends will have boyfriends before you. Yes, you will have one of your own and yes, he will deceive you. It may be inadvertent; he will say he loves you (and he might, for a while) but ultimately you will not escape heartbreak. Pick yourself up, more love comes in the future and it's the kind you've always wanted.

5. Try as many different classes, groups and activities in college as you can. You'll find some that fit and some that don't. Singing in that praise band in college will give you memories forever and teach you a thing or two about relationships in the process. Get tickets to football, basketball, blank canvas; go to Dance Marathon, rush Franklin Street. Make as many memories as you can, because you only get one life and you need to live it to its fullest.

6. Pay attention to that quiet boy in your group of friends from home when you're in college. He has a good heart, a sweet disposition and is just right for you. Take your time and trust your heart; he'll help you put it back together. 

7. Finally, pass no judgment on anyone until you know them. Yes, you're gun shy in relationships and yes, people you love will still hurt you. But a moment of love or a lifetime of friendship means so much more when you have perspective to appreciate it.

What would you tell a younger you? Is there any advice you wish someone had given you earlier in life?

Monday, March 12, 2012

SOLSC: When they just don't get it...

After all my optimism about how much confidence I have in the classroom on any given day, of course today's lesson imploded. It wasn't something I had just thrown together to kill time, either. What we're learning in staff development about Common Core is that students can read shorter pieces of more complex texts and get the same amount of value. I'm not totally with that argument, but I'm willing to (occasionally) truncate what I'm assigning if it gets my students thinking at a higher level.

So today I broke my class into small groups and assigned each of them about 60 lines of Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. Each group had vocabulary words from that section to define, they had to write a brief summary, illustrate the scene of their section and write 3 questions and give the answer. On paper, it seemed like a well-rounded lesson where we could piece the story together as a class to figure out the plot as well as get some depth with regards to the writer's craft. They had already viewed the A&E Biography about Poe so they knew some biographical information which could lead us to concluding that Poe wrote about death and its effect on those who are left living because he experienced significant losses on his journey through life, particularly to TB, hence my choice of Masque.

In circulating the room I found that not only did my students not understand what they were reading, but they didn't understand the assignment. I'm not saying what I wrote was perfect, but I know it was clear in terms of the instructions. This left me frustrated; how can my students not even understand what I want them to do? And what's worse: they didn't ask! Is this a cultural thing with this particular type of teen? Do they isolate themselves so much with things like social media that they can't even consider asking a question? I pride myself on my ability to build relationships with students. I think this may be why I'm so frustrated and disappointed with myself.

So I'm back to the drawing board with this lesson. How would my fellow teachers correct the problem with students not reading the directions, not following them, or not asking any questions for clarification? I greatly appreciate any feedback!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

SOLSC: Movies for people who like books

Today I purchased my ticket to see The Hunger Games. I am SO excited, and a little wary, because sometimes the theatrical version of a loved book just doesn't come out the same. I'm thinking particularly of the Twilight film. I say film because I saw the first one and was DONE. The makeup was awful, the lighting was awful and I just didn't love the books anyway. I think my beloved Harry Potter series set the bar entirely too high.

But this got me to thinking about books that became movies and why I like some and not others. I know everyone has their own taste, but here's my top 5 book to movie hits.

It's a Book, It's a Movie, It's Both!

1. The Harry Potter series: I absolutely loved every minute of these films. While some are partial to the main characters Harry, Ron and Hermione, I am so very fond of Alan Rickman's portrayal of Snape. He really balanced the cynicism, anger and loyalty that makes Snape the unique figure he is.

2. The Notebook: This one holds a special place in my heart because I read the book on campus at UNC in the library between classes, and saw the film as one of my first real dates with Johnathan. We consider it "our movie" because it was the first time we saw a film as an actual couple instead of friends who both really liked each other and were trying to hide it :)

3. Capote: Phillip Seymour Hoffman became one of my favorite actors after I saw this film. In Cold Blood is a fascinating read in (gasp!) non-fiction.

4. Forrest Gump: Who could resist this film? I will confess I saw the movie first (to be fair I was 10 at the time of release). However, I did go back and read the book and loved it just as much as the film. Now that I think of it, I can't believe it has been so long since that movie was released!

5. A Time to Kill: Matthew McConaughey's closing statement is so incredible I'm giving you the video here. It's compelling and heartbreaking and so, so powerful.

What are your favorite books that became good movies?

Friday, March 9, 2012

SOLSC: At the end of the day...

My job as a teacher is rewarding, fulfilling and fun. My job is also incredibly frustrating when it comes to dealing with the not so pleasant aspects of it. In the last few semesters I have tried wholeheartedly to focus on the rewarding fulfilling and fun aspects of it and not so much the unpleasantries.

This week I struggled with explaining an event that I had witnessed that should have been met with disciplinary action toward a student. In reporting the incident I had the chance to look at the school's cameras in order to elaborate on what I witnessed. Imagine this: the incident I was reporting was in the camera's blind spot. Basically, that means it didn't happen. I haven't been that disappointed in quite some time.

Usually when things like this happen I want to blame someone and be angry. But not this time. Instead, I told myself that every day I go into work and do my very best to educate, guide and advise my students. I know that I act in the best interest of those kids when they are in my classroom and in our school. In a lot of ways I consider it my duty to go beyond the curriculum and provide students with real-life experiences and the support they need to face the challenges of adolescence. Does all of this sound like the hope of an idealist? Yes, absolutely. But sometimes I think there is too much negativity in the schools. Yes, I know we all feel overworked and underpaid and unappreciated, and so many days we go home frustrated and longing for a change of scenery.

At the end of the day, though, and at the end of this week I find myself strangely content with what I do. I have no regrets about the choices I've made or the advice I have dispensed, because my top priority is making the lives of my students better, at least while they are in my classroom.

If you're a teacher reading this, how are you feeling at the end of the day? The end of this week?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SOLSC: 8 things for March 8

I have to admit at this point in the challenge I am running low on steam! I know it is terribly early in March to be feeling so drained of writing ideas, but I feel like I go go go and then when I stop to write I don't have much to say. So, I'm going to find 8 positive things to mention from the month of March thus far.

Lindsey's 8 for the 8th

1. I have a lunch date with my brother and sister-in-law Saturday before the percussion and guard show. So excited to see them and catch up!

2. I got a cute new hair cut and color for spring, hello blonde highlights and a bob!

3. More than one student at my school has approached me about raising money for the KONY2012 movement through Invisible Children.

4. I finally broke out my trusty Rainbow flip-flops for this year. Oh, how I have missed them! While I really like winter sweaters, boots, scarves and jackets if we really aren't getting any snow, then bring on warmer weather!

5. I am reading Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium, the sequel to her novel Delirium and loving it. I'm so glad I'm giving myself a chance to make reading a priority again.

6. I found a new favorite song called "That's What Makes You Beautiful" by a group called One Direction. Looks like the boy band trend is coming back, and as someone who loves pop music I couldn't be happier about it!

7. My students and I just started studying Gothic Literature, which is my favorite part of the 11th grade curriculum so there is fun to be had in the next few weeks as my students read some fabulous stories and then compose their own.

8. I am healthy, safe and loved. I have family and friends who believe in me and support me no matter how many times I fail or am rejected. We may be a small family but we have toughed it out together and seen the other side. I am grateful for the role of them has played in my life thus far and I cannot wait to see what memories we will make in the future.

Ah, that felt good.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SOLSC: Gather 'Round the DInner Table

This evening Johnathan and I hosted dinner for his parents. We had a great time just catching up with them since they have returned home from a month-long trip to Thailand and China. It is always nice to spend time with either set of our parents, especially when it is the two of us as a couple and them.

I have always thought that when we start a family we will eat meals together. One of my favorite times of the day when I was growing up was dinner because it was the time where we would all sit together and talk about our days. As I got older I realized the importance of sharing that time with my family, and eventually sharing a space at the table with someone important to me, especially when that person was Johnathan. It occurred to me later on that a space at my family's dinner table was more than a chair; it was an invitation to join us in our most intimate conversations, our inside jokes and laughter, and our heated arguments about politics, religion and ACC basketball. A seat at our table would include breakfasts and brunches, times when we don't look our best but we are all comfortable together sharing a meal.

A seat at the table also means that your voice is heard. We have used this phrase often to describe the role of various stakeholders in any given issue, but there is so much more to this idea. Having a seat at the table means having the right to speak and be heard; it means that you are considered a person of intellect capable of making a worthwhile contribution to the conversation at hand.

What used to be a table for 4 has grown to a table for 6 (sometimes 7) members of my family. I know I am cherishing every meal I share with them and always anticipating the next memory we will create by sitting down together. I look forward to sharing this same practice with my own children as our family continues to grow and change. It is my hope that they understand that every person in their life deserves a seat at the table.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

SOLSC: Secrets

When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.
That's an interesting thought, right? I have had a difficult time here recently coping with my age (27!), because I'm slowly but surely encountering more students who have not experienced the things I reference in everyday conversation when I'm trying to connect them to the topic at hand. At one of the recent winter guard shows I noticed that Adele has become very popular along the circuit for performance music.

And I have to confess: I was a little bummed. Not because I don't like Adele; in fact, I love her music. But rather because I'm disappointed that she isn't "mine" anymore. Let me explain: there are some things in life that we value as ours because they seem secret or hidden, like Adele's music. For me, the fact that it wasn't on every radio station every 20 minutes made it more special to me, like it was a secret that I had and I only shared it with people who would ride along in my car if the time was right. Once Adele's success found the mainstream radio stations, I found myself switching stations more often, because now everyone had my secret.

This also applies to my favorite books in the WHOLE. WORLD. Yep, I'm talking about Harry Potter. Harry Potter was my secret read; I was reading Harry Potter before Harry Potter was, you know, Harry Potter. Someone bought me the first two books (the first two were the only ones in existence at the time) and I stayed up late, way past when I was supposed to be sleeping on school nights, reading Harry Potter under the covers with a flashlight. My friends were busy crushing on boys from school and church while I was trying to figure out if I was more like Hermione or Harry...

It was as if those books about Harry belonged to me in a way that they couldn't belong to anyone else. When Harry Potter became a trend, I felt as if I had been denied something special, as if something in my own private life was suddenly public. Harry Potter wasn't my secret anymore, now his stories belonged to everyone. I can honestly say to my students I was reading Harry Potter before Harry Potter was cool. And that's what I take away from those long nights and early mornings turning the pages and waiting for the next book. By the time I was in college Pottermania was in full swing, but I wasn't into all the hype. Yes, I've seen every film on the big screen, and yes I own them all on DVD and Blu-Ray, but it's not about owning the films; in some way, I'm still trying to hold on to that kind of special ownership that secrets carry.

Have you ever experienced what I'm talking about here? What's your special secret that became everyone's new favorite thing?

Monday, March 5, 2012

SOLSC: What's in Your Bag?

If you asked my husband he would tell you that he fell in love with me because I was more likely to wear jeans and a tshirt or hoodie around him than get dressed up. What he meant was that I am comfortable in my own skin without the need to be a "girly girl" all the time. The truth is that I'm a late bloomer and didn't make it to my girly phase until after I started my career. I am full blown girly girl now, that's for sure! a Anyway, one of the distinguishing marks of any woman is her bag. I have an addiction to both purses and shoes, and I have always been one to carry too much stuff that I don't need. So I'm letting you get inside my purse with this "what's in your bag?" post. 1. The Wallet - a full size purple fossil wallet containing my credit/debit cards, checkbook and a little cash. Also in my wallet is my all-important Barnes and Noble educator card, good for 20% off anything I purchase for my classroom. 2. The Cosmetics - there are so many! All of them are by Clinique, my favorite brand: a pressed powder compact, lip gloss and lipstick in Black Honey, a chubby stick in pink and a tube of superbalm in Fireberry. 3. Burt's Bees lip balm and a small jar of Carmex 4. A travel pack of Kleenex 5. A playbill from "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" 6. A bottle of Peace Love and Happiness tanning lotion and goggles for the tanning bed 7. My Nikon handheld camera 8. All of my keys!! 9. My teacher ID on a Carolina lanyard 10. Coupons for Gap, Old Navy, and New York and Company 11. Body Spray and Hand Cream in Dark Kiss by Bath and Body Works 12. My iPhone, which also serves as calendar, planner and lifeline, music source 13. Cheap sunglasses, red with leopard print detail I think our bags and their content reflect our personalities in some way. Mine shows some of the things I value: art, music, beauty. I think my list makes me sound vain in a way, but then I remember that I value my body because I want it to reflect my care for myself on the outside. Well that and I like feeling pretty ;)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

SOLSC: Out of the Comfort Zone

Today I finished a great book called Anna Dressed in Blood. It's a novel about a boy who moves around with his mom, who is a witch, and he kills ghosts that kill people. His latest target is a ghost named Anna, who kills people who enter her home. The ghost story goes that Anna was murdered wearing a white dress that, upon her death, was covered in blood. Hence the name.

I loved every page. There wasn't a moment that I stepped back and wondered if I loved it because a fellow reader had recommended it to me. The plot moved quickly enough to keep me interested and the characters were authentically teenagers without being stereotypical. I particularly admire the author because she is a woman who writes from a teen guy's point of view, something I would find terribly challenging. I tend to write with a female protagonist because that's where I feel safe; I know that world so completely.

Thinking about this book and the challenges the author must have faced about getting inside the head of a teenage boy got me thinking about going beyond the Comfort Zone. When I consider the way this novel worked, I recognize that the plot itself could have been minimally impacted if the author had chosen to flip the gender roles of all the characters. But she didn't. She chose to write from an unfamiliar perspective and embrace what had to be a difficult task. How often do we intentionally breach our own sense of familiarity? How many times do we choose the safer route for no other reason than that it is the one we know?

I find myself guilty of playing it safe at times where I could easily be challenged by taking a different approach. Sometimes we can blame society or our own cultural influences, but other times the only one to blame is yourself. This week I am going to take at least one risk where I know I could play it safe, just to stretch my own boundaries. I need to get out of my Comfort Zone.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

SOLSC: A Series of (humorously) Unfortunate Events

Everyone I know (seriously, practically everyone!) was all about the UNC/Duke game today, also known at the Really Important Basketball Game. The trash talking started early and happened often. I kept myself out of it this time because I spent the day in Rock Hill, South Carolina at a Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion show. One of the perks of being a lifelong band geek is the 10 Saturdays each year I spend watching ensembles because I have the good fortune of having a band director for a best friend.

I drove to Rock Hill and enjoyed some great performances today before trusting mapquest on my iPhone to get me back to Cherryville. A little over halfway home I noticed that the giant lemonade I had at the event had arrived in my bladder, and I was going to BURST! But, I was pretty close to home so no need to stop at some random convenience store in the dark in unknown territory, right? Before I made it to my house I stopped at a Bojangle's drive through for a quick dinner, then straight home. Because seriously, I had to go!!

No such luck. When I got to our house I opened the garage door and fished for my keys. I looked, and looked and look but they were NOWHERE to be found. I got out of the car and dug through my purse with the most ridiculous sense of urgency. When I finally admitted to myself that I didn't have my keys, I called my husband, who was at a friend's house watching the aforementioned Really Important Basketball Game. He had to leave the party and drive another 20 minutes to let me into my own house, because I had locked myself out.

Have I mentioned that I still REALLY need a bathroom? No? Ok.

Another quirky thing that added to my misery: our garage door does not close by remote. Oh no, you have to hold the button down in the garage then go through the front door to leave. So here I am, no keys, garage door up, and I STILL can't get to a restroom.

Solution: leave garage door up (the door is locked, remember?) and find a restroom elsewhere. At this point I am practically crying out of frustration. I managed to get to a grocery store super close to our house  and my bladder was extremely grateful. I went back to our house and ate dinner in the car while listening to part of the Really Important Basketball Game until my husband got home to let me in the house. We caught the last little bit of the Really Important Basketball Game on an actual television, and our team WON! Whew!

All told, it's a silly story about how I really had to pee, locked myself out of the house and ate dinner in my own garage because that was as close as I could get to my kitchen table. If that's the craziest a Saturday is going to get right now, I'll take it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

SOLSC: Date Night - A letter to my husband

Dear Johnathan,

I just wanted to thank you for taking me out on a date last night. I know we don't get to spend as much time together as we would like, but when you take extra time out for me it makes me feel oh so special. While I can be a stickler for all of my equal rights as a woman, I have to admit I really like it when you open the car door for me.

I know when we go out on a date we usually do something I want to do (shopping). And even though I pester you constantly about what you want to do or where you want to go, I ultimately end up making the decisions and I can't always tell if that's because you really don't have an opinion or if you just want me to do what I want because that makes you (and me) happy. Either way, you're a good man :)

You are not a man of many words, Mister, but the ones you say mean so much that they hold me over until the next time. Sometimes I think that's a good thing because we both can't talk all the time and I KNOW I do more than my fair share. I know that when you do say what's on your mind you have thought it through many times with consideration for the little family we have (the two of us and the dog).

I probably don't say it enough, but I appreciate you. I appreciate that you get up early and go to work an hour away to put a roof over us and feed us. I appreciate that I don't ever have to worry if our bills are paid on time, because you plan for those things. I know I tease you about it, but your spreadsheet method to manage our finances shows your methodical planning and makes me feel at ease.

I know I don't cook enough, or clean enough, but you never make me feel like I am not enough. Thank you for that. Thank you for letting me have my meltdowns and then passing me the tissues. Thank you for letting me chase my dreams and still come home to a glass of wine and a smile.

I love that you love me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SOLSC: Blogger Fail & New Beginnings

I had really good intentions of writing in February. No really, I did!
But I managed to fail (or as my students would say, "epic fail") at doing so. In light of this failure I'm back for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC) for 31 days. Yep, 31 straight days of my rambling.

Let's get started :)

Today is March 1, and I love the idea of new beginnings. Now that I think about it, I think we culturally like the idea of "new" in general. Well, the consumer in us likes new and nice everything, right? Anyway, I think as humans we are drawn to the idea of recreating ourselves into whatever tickles our fancies at a particular point in time. I find the idea of being able to reinvent myself to be liberating, as if I can always start over and try something else, something new. I'm drawn to this idea because I still can't really decide what I want to be when I grow up, because I have so many interests that I want to explore and I don't have nearly the time do so and try to be good at being a teacher, a college instructor, a wife, a daughter and a friend, too! The difference is that I am no longer so overwhelmed with feeling as if I have to be all those things at the most excellent level all the time. I'm only human, and I have to make choices just like everyone else in order to be the best "me" I can.

Sometimes the smallest changes can refresh us and make us feel new again. I know that I feel so much more renewed after a haircut or when I buy new eyeshadow. I know that it doesn't actually change who I am in a fundamental sense, but it reminds me that I can still be anyone I want if I desire a new beginning. This month, I'm going to be a blogger. But more importantly I'm going to be an committed, driven writer no matter what day or month it is, because I owe that to myself.

Here's to new beginnings :)