teaching. or not.

I’ve spent the last three weeks licking my wounds, since finding out I’m one of the fortunate California teachers who won’t be coming back next year.  Every day.  I mean, every day, I give a textbook assignment with vocabulary and literary questions.  It’s like independent study every day. 

I told my boss that today.  That because of this decision, I have no job.  I was looking forward to restructuring my home loan, but foreclosure is imminent.  So, I told him his students were working in the book, and he was sort of fine with it.  So the students are bored out of their minds, and really…it’s not an issue for me.  You work, you get your credits for the session, you move on.  Plus, they don’t know I’m not coming back.  (They will be happy, I guarantee it.)

Today, I had enough.  I have one poetry class, and I printed up the poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.  They are drawing mazes, and planning their future.  Then, I hauled out my therapy book, . 

My third period class, restless and irritable made me haul out a great book, by accident,

Yeah, I always get the exact books that I’m supposed to read.  At the exact right moment.  I’m sure I’m about to learn something from all of this.  I read the beginning aloud, and the students wanted me to read it to them.

Only problem is, I can’t afford to re-connect with them, since I’m leaving.  What’s that old saying about loving and losing?  Is it really better to love and lose, then never love at all?

Off to run 4.5.

how reading is like running


I forgot.  I do have a New Year’s Resolution.  I won’t bore you with how many books I own.  Suffice it to say, that behind this table is a full wall of books.  I was going through them this morning, and I have them arranged by:

  • college texts (when will I need functional anatomy?  My foray into the Nursing program as a freshman)
  • therapy texts (still am licensed, but don’t use these…much)
  • mothering books (need those, but not the baby ones, but can’t get rid of them)
  • novels, memoirs
  • Hardy Boys books for my sons (the originals-from the 40’s-that were my Dad’s)

I started pulling out books that I never finished, and here they are in the photo above.  That is my New Year’s resolution:  Not to buy another book until I finish the ones I have.

  1. SLASH (A good recommendation by Nitmos)
  2. Belushi (A favorite that I can’t seem to finish…due to my affinity with Animal House)
  3. What Color Is Your Parachute? (I bought this when I started my current job, hell bent on changing careers from this hell of a teaching job I have…never even cracked it)
  4. Off Season (Love Anne Rivers Siddons, but novels…eh.  I’m having a harder time with that genre these days)
  5. 1000 Places to See Before You Die (See?  I can’t even finish the book, much less see the places)
  6. Georgia O’Keefe (I took the Amtrak from hell in 1989 to see Georgia’s home with a gf who was very artsy, and I purchased this book.  20 years is a bit long not to have finished it)
  7. Reading Lolita in Tehran (Have no interest here)
  8. Count of Monte Cristo (Read the beginning and the end for a book group, but never READ it.)
  9. Gone With The Wind (still have a book mark in it)

After I took the pic, I looked around my house at others I’ve started and not finished:  The Measure of A Man (Sidney Poitier), Cesar Milan (This dog needs a job)…and the task just got bigger and bigger.

SO, my New Year’s Resolution is either to read these books, or give them to someone who will read them.  I will attempt it, though!

I spent 13 years in two book clubs, until this last October, and for the first time, I’m a free reader! 

You may see What I Talk About When I Talk About Running there too.  Just finished it this morning.  When Murakami has finished a triathalon, he writes:

Maybe it’s some pointless act like, as I’ve said before, pouring water into an old pan that has a hole in the bottom, but at least the effort you put into it remains…To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient acts.  But even activities that appear fruitless don’t necessarily end up so.

That, my friends describes not only my reading endeavors, but my running plans as well.  It seems, at times, that my running is for nothing…but I have a plan.  I do.  To just run, and be well, to feel my breath evening out.  To nail that Half Marathon.  All good stuff.

Half training resumes on Monday.

Sick as a dog.

Sick as a dog.  Again.  My running partner came over at 6am yesterday, and I came out looking grim as death.  I was immediately questioning my illness (Can I run?  Should I run?  Is it that bad if you hurl on a run?)  It was the first time that I was jealous of someone else being able to run.  We have a code:  If my wood blinds are opened, I’m awake; don’t drive away.  I wanted to make sure that I could tell her I was sick, and not lazy.

Random thoughts from the weekend:

  • I got a job.  I’ll be teaching at the High School in a nearby town.  In the Continuation School.  English.  Again.  Yes, I’m happy, no relieved that the job search is over.  CTG asked me, “Isn’t PE your first love?”  Yes, yes.  It is.  However, I would really like to pay my mortgage, etc.  So, I’ll do English.  It’s a job.  Excitement later.
  • Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey.  Yes, this is the guy who wrote the non-autobiographical autobiography known as A Million Little Pieces.  Over at Feet Meet Street, Nitmos was asking folks about his next book.  As much as an English bookie that I am, I wanted to encourage The Count of Monte Cristo, or Franny & Zooey by JD Salinger, but I went with a NYTimes bestseller.  Finished it this weekend.  Loved it.  Made me sad for my Los Angeles.
  • Sex and The City.  Well girls, there it is.  $55 million for the opening weekend.  I ponied up my $7 and sat alone in the theatre on a Friday.  There were many women there, in groups, alone.  When something happened I like, I clapped and hooted and hollered.  As did everyone else.  It was like one big party where no one really knew each other.  I loved every minute of it.
  • Robman is finally back after a long, sad, blogless Spring.  Okay, well it was only a month, but the man is eloquent.  Wordy.  One of my best friends.
  • The Dodgers are in second place.  How does that happen?
  • I was too lazy to type it in, but on Friday, we ran 2.34 miles at a 10:09 pace, which as you know my friends, is almost impossible for me.  We only wanted to run 2.  The Udder Run (on a dairy, in June) is in 2 weeks.   Can’t wait. 
  • Bridezillas.  I was so sick yesterday that I watched 2 episodes of the Best of Bridezillas.  My STBEX was with me because he was watching the kids, and I said to him, “I wasn’t like that on our wedding day, was I?”  He said, “No, it came later.”  Note to self~never ask that of him again.  It was nice.  He helped me a lot.  We are good parents.  Not good parents together.  ***sigh***
  • Why is it that the only thing I wanted last night was Fruit Loops, and then when I ate them they tasted like the dusting cleaner, Pledge?  I think I had/have some type of flu, and am going to bed promptly.
  • Those are my Sacramento Zoo Zoom photos from April.  A little late, but there I am.
  • Oh, and this is REALLY bizarre.  I found this great blogger on wordpress, under the tag DIVORCE.  The blog was called *Someone To Watch Over Me*, and I loved how this person wrote.  Seems she was writing to an imaginary friend.  I subscribed to it, because some of what she wrote I have felt.  It was good.  I was the one subscriber.  Then she had a post *If you are the Bloglines Subscriber*, thinking that it was this GUY she was writing to…then, the Blog was gone.  Guess she should know that the blogosphere isn’t a place to really put something out there, unless you know it’s safe.  By the way, I wasn’t him.  Whatever.  *shrug*

That’s it!  Hope to be back on my feet tomorrow.

Rainy Sunday, and the rule of 3.

The rule of 3:  Never mess with the first three songs on my iPod.  Let them play, and the chips fall where they may.  It’s my way of not obsessing on the *right* music.

Here they are for today:

Aerosmith:  Sweet Emotion

Don McLean:  American Pie

Lemonheads:  Mrs. Robinson

Great, fun music.  I couldn’t quite get my breathing under control, so we stopped at 21 minutes, but it was a respectable 10:20 pace.  I can’t go more than 2 days without running, or I just lose it, momentum wise.

Weekend plans:
Friday:  Cub scout bbq, out to Mac for falsies (lashes, girls!) and new perfume (Shi, by Alfred Sung), and bought Barak Obama’s, The Audacity of Hope.

Saturday: 12 hours of laundry.  Took myself out to Mexican food, the market, to an AA meeting in a nearby town.

Sunday:  Church, lunch that was yummy at our local bar & grille, a movie, a meeting.

I’m not complaining.  I’m content.  God is good.

Good luck to Lisa as she runs the Boulder Boulder tomorrow!!!!Lisa


Q&D Stats of my run this morning:  I finally hit 140 miles on my shoes!!!

Date: 5/25/2008 7:00 AM
Type: Hill
Course: Starbucks 2nd
Distance: 2.11 miles
Duration: 21:48
Pace: 10:20 / mile
Shoe: Asics
Weight: 178 lb
Weather: Overcast
Statistics: Calories: 284
VO2 Max: 27.8


Blogosphere Bits: Todays Top Five

Lance Armstrong is still my hero:  After reading his books, watching him survive cancer, making the LiveStrong foundation…he runs Boston.  In this video, he says, you can’t just sit back on the couch and retire.  Well, if he can’t, I guess I can’t.


Running Through Pregnancy  That’s just crazy talk.  Everyone’s exercising while pregnant.  I laid on my back for 9 months with a bedrest pregnancy.  Crazy mommies…soon, you’ll be wishing you could just sit down a bit.


Inspirational Quotes for when you mess up  Joseph Campbell rocks my world with this quote:  “The only question in life is whether or not you are going to answer a hearty ‘YES!’ to your adventure”


Fitness Equipment you Hate  Found this blog and this post made me laugh.  I did the elliptical this morning, due to an off run day, and was bored out of my ever lovin’ mind.  Really, thank God for the iPod.  I am now a gym rat/snob. 


Augusten Burroughs on The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted.  I bought yet another book, although I have no business doing that.  He is one of my favorite authors, having written all the stuff that goes on in my head.  I read Dry no less than 5 times, my family and book groups read it…and his new book is heading my way asap.  Robman and I may go see him on his book tour in San Francisco.  AB is a rock star.



Other than that, I still have no word on my job…yes? no?  Meanwhile, I get a $1900 bill for my little trip to the ER a few weeks ago.  How very special.  Yeah, I’m glad I got all those tests done.  That’s just a REALLY big number (the bigger one was $4500 total…)


Into The Wild

This is taken from the page called “Ms. V. Reads”.  I posted it back in the summer.

Mrs. B. and I were at the movies yesterday, seeing A Mighty Heart.  The previews for this movie came on, and intrigued, I hopped on over to Barnes & Noble to pick up the book for myself.  I simply cannot put it down.  This story is so moving; I invite you to step into the mind of someone who puts everything aside to walk *Into the Wild*.  I couldn’t do it, could you?  Perhaps my new students and I will read it, and go on a field trip to the movies, since it comes out in September!

Well now, that was before I met my students.  They are fun readers.  I continue to buy books and they eat them up.  Some of their favorite topics are the Holocaust, Prison, La Migra, (as in The Circuit).  Every time I bring new ones in, they are checked out before the ink dries.  However, I haven’t highlighted this book to them yet.  I’m not sure it’s a good read for a 13 year old. 

I read Into The Wild before I saw the movie, but this is one of the only times that I have experienced the movie being VERY close to the book.  Very.  It was long (2+ Hours), and very few people were in the theater.  I needed to see it.  My life is changing, and  I needed a dark theater to sob in, and a movie to help break the dam of my walled-off emotions.   Yeah, it worked.

One of the most poignant lines was “True happiness must be shared.”  True, that.  Here is a great review of the movie.  Glad I saw it.