Monday, September 22, 2008


This evening I got the worst news I have received since we got to Oregon. To many of you this won't seem like horrible news, but for those who know me you will understand that it is. I realized tonight that I have to take 3 tests in order to get an official teaching license in Oregon. I am currently teaching on a temporary license, but I have a year or a year and a half to take these tests. Two of the tests are for Language Arts and one is multiple subjects. I am a really bad test taker. I took the tests in CA multiple times in order to pass. It's been like 8 years since I took a history or math class. I can handle myself in Language Arts (kind of), but in all other subjects I hardly know anything. For whatever reason this news has brought me to tears as I not only feel inadequate, but incompetent, frustrated, and confused. How can finding out I have to take tests make me feel this way? It really is sad that I have such bad test anxiety. I guess it's time to study...good thing my husband is smart and can help me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Words of wisdom from teenagers

There are a lot of reasons why I love working with teenagers. Even though some days are incredibly challenging (refer to last post) I learn so many things from my students and for that I am so thankful. A student I have been spending a lot of time with recently asked me to read some of her thoughts and some of her friends thoughts and I was so inspired by the things they had to say. Thus, I share them with you:
"I don't think being a teen is about what they make it: relationships, defiance, alcohol, drug use, partying, attitude, change in sexual preference and waiting to move out.
Sure, it involves that, sometimes, but it's about finding a few more pieces to the puzzle.
Sure, you'll do stupid stuff, but for your own reasons.
That's what they don't understand, when you make a bad decision it is your decision.
For your own reason.
So, in turn it also means experiencing shit that at the moment is so many emotions you want to scream, and cry, and hit, and run, and yell.
But yet also laugh, and joke, and play.
Strange, isn't it?"

Here are words from one of her friends:
"We've been duct taped into silence for our whole lives. No matter how much we struggled against the oppressive nature of our parents, our opinions were never heard and never mattered. So now, when we're about to be pulled apart, we're ripping the duct tape off and saying what's on our minds. We're politically charged, musically endowed, and 14."

I love it!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I cried because she cried
I cried for the unfair treatment she receives at home
I cried for the violence she has to view in her home
I cried because life isn't fair
I cried because I didn't know what to do or how to help
I cried because she is only 14
I cried because she told me her secret of 4 years
I cried for the love she has never felt
I cried for the hope she has in the midst of so much pain
I cried because she trusted me
I cried because I want it to stop
I cried because she still loves her mom even while she hates her
I cried for her and every other teenager in her position

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Now that school is back in session I am at work and starting to get into my routines again. Last year I didn't stay on campus for lunch, however this year I do stay. Therefore, I have set a goal for myself to produce the least amount of waste that I can when making my lunches. Tonight I made lunch for Friday and managed to not bring anything that will become trash. It's somewhat healthy too :-) but that's another goal to tackle later. Tomorrow I will have a turkey sandwich, a few slices of salami, mozzarella cheese chunks, a plum, and water AND I won't have to throw anything away.
I probably am way too proud of myself for this small feat and I am sure many other people have been doing this forever, but I'm getting there at my own pace :-) Now if only I could ride my bike to work (it's over a small mountain though so it's just not going to happen) or even our scooter (of course I should probably get my license first and stop being lazy). thing at a time I suppose.

Monday, September 8, 2008

First year

I feel like a first year teacher again. All of a sudden I am not teaching the curriculum I got so comfortable with. I have no idea where to take these students or even what to start with. I'm reading short stories like mad to find the best ones and then I have to create lessons. Sheesh. It really is overwhelming.
I am really liking middle school though and think it was a great decision to make the move from high school. It's a lot of work and I feel like I have so much to learn and so much to do. I am trying to stay sane and find time with my husband and daughter whenever I can...but it's hard. I have to learn the routines of a new school, try to meet people, create lessons for a whole new curriculum, learn the systems of a new state, and try to make it so my students actually like coming to class. I'm overwhelmed just writing about it!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why I don't get politics

As strongly as I support one specific candidate in this next presidential election I am still frustrated. I really do dislike politics. I don't understand why we have political parties and why people choose a side and pledge their vote to that side no matter what. I don't understand why candidates can't just state their policies and views about real issues and leave irrelevant things out. I don't understand why candidates can't just say what they think rather than saying how they are right and the other side is wrong. Why the heck are we on sides anyway. I have a hard time believing that the founders of this country would be happy today if they say how politics are conducted and the fighting and lashing out and attacking of character that takes place. Every four years I cringe at this time. Up until this year I have never felt strongly in favor of a specific candidate (it's more like I have felt strongly against one) and even with how strong I feel I have a hard time getting involved in discussions and debates. I feel like they always turn ugly. People don't listen to the other side because they are so convinced that their side is right on every issue and that the other side is always wrong. And what really bothers me the most is when candidates say they are more religious than the other. As a religious person this really ticks me off. Who has any right to say their faith is better than another person's. We are not God so why are we so obsessed with judging others as if we were. Everyone says "God bless America" at the end of their speech. What!!!! If we are truly followers of Jesus we would ask that God bless every person in this world. Jesus didn't have allegiance to a nation or a flag...his allegiance was to God. Imagine that. A world in which people actually worked together and didn't divide into teams. Of course I understand that all people can't agree on every issue, but I still believe that people can exist without dividing constantly and fighting against one another. I will remain confident in the candidate I support because I do support his views on issues, but I will not buy into any of this ridiculous fighting and character attacking from the media. I will not buy into dividing into teams and I definitely will not buy into believing that one candidate has a better faith than the other.