Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nappy time

Last night I went to bed at about four thirty this morning. At eight fifty this morning, my phone rang. As I was still very much asleep, I did not look at my caller ID and so I think I answered it thusly, “Ehhugh”. It was my boss. Head, meet wall. Repeatedly. I am clearly a moron. So she asks me if I want to come in early. Since I have never said no to extra hours, I said “Sure, how early?” “How soon can you get here?” she asks me. I wanted to say that I could get there at one forty five and not a second earlier, but that’s not real helpful for her. So up I got. I punched in at nine twenty three. By ten I desperately wanted a nap. Thank goodness I stupidly assumed it would be as nice today as it was yesterday when I was hot in a long skirt and tank top. I wore a knee length dress with shorts beneath for modesty. I live in the Midwest. I should have worn full length jeans, it was freezing. But at least I stayed awake right? Long story short in the next two weeks I will be working sixty three and a half hours when I normally work forty in two weeks. I guess its good practice for summer break when I double my hours. I just realized that it’s like five weeks away.
And Sarah? Yes you are that friend!

So it just came to my attention...

...that at my great advanced age I should clearly be married and have 2.7 kids, at least one dog, and a mortgage. Let me just tell you this internet. First, I am not old. I am 27 years old and I have never thought of thirty as old, or even forty. I have always thought that old people were people who didn’t like having fun THEREFORE, as long as I’m having fun, I’m not old. Suck it distant relative who implied that I am. Second, marriage is for people who you know love each other and stuff. As I’ve rarely liked a guy long enough to stick around for a third date, I’m clearly not in a place where I should be getting married. Find me an attractive guy to look at when bored and I’m in, ask me to talk to him about sports and cars and other boy stuff for two hours and it’s nappy time for Tina. Third, even if I were financially, emotionally, etc in a place where I thought I might want kids news flash people, there are too many of us. The planet cannot support the current rate of population growth. And while adoption would let me raise children without violating my belief in negative population growth, I have a friend adopting right now (Hi friend!) and it is HARD. Four, I have a dog and a cat, and I love them, and I love that they’re really my mom’s and I can go away without having to stress over their care. Five, I am a preschool/daycare teacher who works twenty hours a week. Unless someone else wants to pay the mortgage for me, I will continue to live in my mom’s basement. Trust me I’ve tried looking for a second job, or even a first job that utilizes my very expensive college education. But I graduated into this economy people, with a degree in history/secondary ed. Schools are not hiring.
All that aside, let me tell you one more think before I go to bed. Two single women can in fact be very good friends without, as my gram put it, “hiding something about their relationship”. Seriously the third time my gram has asked me or my mom about this situation. I like boys. I just don’t like them for extended periods of time. And I try not to subject anyone to my family, so gram would not necessarily know if there was a special guy in my life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tina's Daily Sheet

…so tired…must sleep…must blog…must choose…
I choose to blog in list form because it takes less time. At my work we have to write daily sheets for the tiny tots so moms and dads know what we did, and since I watched Nick today and wrote him a daily sheet, I’m writing me one too.
-4:40 A.M. look at clock and groan. Have not slept yet
-6:20 A.M. wake because mom uses the portable closets that are my bedroom walls as her closets for work clothes and she is up getting clothes for work, look at clock, realize I can sleep for another forty minutes, roll over
-6:27 A.M. wake because phone is ringing I have a very strict rule, if you call me before nine a.m., someone better be dying (anything less is not important enough and if they’re already dead I can’t do anything until businesses open anyway). It’s gram. “Goooogm—“ (translation- good morning gram.) “You have Nick today right?!” “Yes.” “Then you were awake right?” “No, don’t have him til almost eight.” “Oh, well…” she was calling to check that a) I got her house keys she left for me (she’s going out of town and needed someone to check on cats) and b) that I know the difference between house and care keys. As I am clearly over the age of five I do. I hang up.
-6:32 A.M. realize I will not be getting any more sleep before alarm goes off at seven, get out of bed. Do morning things (i.e. brush hair and teeth), do not get dressed to pick up one year old nephew
-7:15 A.M. drive aaaallll the way across town to get nephew, arrive twenty minutes early (a miracle since my usual departure time of 7:18 puts me five minutes late), read book club book but do not comprehend anything
-8:15 A.M. arrive home with nephew, prepare ridiculously healthful breakfast as am supposed to be good role model, he enjoys it so hooray for health
-9:00 A.M. practice walking (Nick not me), he will be able to do it alone soon. Teach Nick a new word (cool)
-9:15 A.M. Nick reaches in bag pulls out water cup, drinks and replaces cup where it was. Am so exhausted I think this is a milestone
-10:00 A.M. force nephew to take a nap, so that I can take one, he is tired so does not fight me
-12:00 P.M. wake, make healthful lunch (Nick literally picks the spinach off every single piece of whole grain mac and cheese he puts in his mouth-joy)
-1:30 P.M. brother arrives to care for his son (brings friend, despite knowing I am still in pjs), is mad at me because Nick wants me and not him, I go take shower and finally dress for the day
-2:00 P.M. reread book club book that I read in car, understand it this time. Continue reading until I finish
-3:30 P.M. get ready for big night out
-4:30 P.M. meet Kristin’s out of town friends to drive them to dinner and show (she’s in the show so she can’t drive them herself) but it's the Follies (AKA local fudnraise/variety show which is AWESOME)
-5:15 P.M. glory hallelujah arrive at restaurant for real grownup food (it’s Thai)
-5:40 P.M. finally order real grownup food
-6:15 P.M. am last of friends (there’s eight of us) to receive food, Kristin asks me to run to her house to get her ticket to her cast party because she forgot it
-7:00 P.M. go to Kristin’s house, her dad hassles me and I must run to get ticket and arrive at show in time to get nine tickets all together (added two more friends at the theater)
-7:45 P.M. sit down to be entertained, distracted by annoyance over debit card situation (see previous post) am sitting between two couples, which feels very awkward as other friends are all just friends and it’s less awkward to accidentally touch the thigh of friend than of friend’s boyfriend. Twice. In ten minutes.
10:30 P.M. meet Kristin to give her ticket to cast party even though she is coming with us to local bar for a while first. Accidentally grabbed raffle ticket and now must alter all plans so she can go home to get the real ticket. Am clearly a moron.
11:30 P.M. enter very loud local bar, starving but must order food within ten minutes or kitchen will close and I will not be able to drink (empty stomach + alcohol + driving out of towners back to house = danger). Agree to split spinach dip with friend and her boyfriend. Am clearly a moron as I get three pita chips and am still starving. Thankfully others ordered to much, so I graze. Out of towner tries to eat my hand when I eat a nacho
12:00 A.M. am dancing in chair and telling risqué stories in mixed company (usually wait for just girls first) only had one jack and coke, so am clearly not drunk
1:45 A.M. decide to leave bar for home. It is pouring outside and I get soaked on the way to car. Let out of towners into Kristin’s grandma’s house and get them settled. Think I will sleep, but instead check debit balance hoping for a miracle. Hopes cruelly dashed I decide to blog thinking it will take oh say five minutes. It is now a half hour later and I’m still writing.
End blog abruptly to post and go to bed. Night people!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shopping Catastrophe

Last Friday I did some internet shopping and spent $135 on new summer clothes. It felt like a lot of money, but since I had just about no clothes for summer, I decided to go ahead and spend the money. Today I got the package. Seven pairs of shorts and four tank tops and not a SINGLE thing fit! Everything was either fine in the waist and huge from there down (shorts) or to tight in the bust and waaay to big at the waist (tops). I really do have that hour glass figure that people say is the ideal, but it is not the ideal. Instead I can never find clothes that fit, perhaps because my hourglass is perhaps more of a “day”-glass than hour. So I ran off to the mall to return the clothes (this is why I only buy things that can be returned to the actual store) and find a few things to lift my spirits. I bought a jacket, some jewelry, and a new sarong. I love sarongs, they always fit! Then I came home and looked up my bank account to see what kind of damage I did to it. Shoot! The credit won’t show up for a few days at least but the debits showed up tonight, so now I have like forty some dollars in the bank and I have to go to dinner and Kristin’s show tomorrow (at least thirty dollars) plus I offered to pick up dinner for Kristin before book club on Monday. Uhh... also the bank has for some reason decided to charge me three times for the $119 that was my pants order. That's $240 I'm gonna need back because it's my vacay money!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grocery shopping?

Oh holy beejeezus! My mom and I planned on going to the grocery store tonight, which was good because we have no food but I didn’t want to go before work because I went to bed at like three this morning, so I wanted to sleep. Yet, at quarter to eight this morning I hear my mom hollering down to me that she’s leaving for the grocery store and do I want to come with. Of course I do, because mom can’t be trusted to go grocery shopping alone. On the other hand my bed is so soft and warm and…fine all right I’m coming. So we leave and as soon as we walk out she tells me we’re running to the Sears outlet (it’s a block away) and looking for a dishwasher, which THANK God because we pretty much have to wash our dishes before we put them in the washer or they come out as dirty as when we put them in, but there’s nothing we like. I mention that I’m starving and she says we’ll get coffee and muffins by the grocery store, but instead we stop at the regular Sears for a dishwasher. At ELEVEN THIRTY we finally have bought a dishwasher (huge line, thanks to the government rebate, we were like number 129 and they were on 35 when we walked in) and my Gram has joined us, so we have to wait for her to pay. Finally we’re ready to go and decide to stop at Olive Garden for lunch. Just as we’re finishing lunch and getting ready to go to the grocery store (remember the reason I got out of bed, thinking I’d be home for a nap by nine thirty?) and my mom gets a call. About a month ago she tried to go back to Men’s Wearhouse where she was working when my dad died. She’s been unemployed for about a year, and since she broke up with Pete, she had to find a job. Sadly her old district manager hated her (because she took a few months leave when my dad died) so even though he’s now a store manager he told the new regional manager (are there enough managers in this story?) not to let any of the other store managers hire her back (two of them were trying to). ANYWAY, one of those store managers called her during lunch and said they needed to talk and could she be out there by one (this was at say noon). Yeah she could, if we didn’t go to the grocery store, which is why I got out of bed! So we decide to go when I get off work. Except she’s not home when I get home, so I call her up and she tells me she’s gone to some party with Pete, who she broke up with but is still living in our house. Later she starts texting me because she’s bored and the party sucks (then why did she go??). She got home at like ten and now we didn’t go to the grocery store tonight. Instead we have to go super early tomorrow because we don’t have the stuff to pack lunches for the zoo. So even though we’re not leaving for the zoo until ten, I have to be up by seven thirty tomorrow. Is it okay if I join the kids in a pre-zoo nap on the way? It’s like an hour drive, so I just might! And now it’s midnight, so I’m off to bed. Happy weekend people!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We're in the Paper!!

As I mentioned on Tuesday my class went to a photo-shoot for a “save our zoo” article in our local paper. Today the article came out, and we look fabulous! If you want to read the whole article, you can follow the link below. I also included the photo in my photos section as well as below, so look wherever you want. Tomorrow we get to watch Back to the Future III so I’m uber excited about that. Now if I could just interest them in Star Wars!

Other than that, nothing much going on lately. EXCEPT, except… My mom bought the zoo passes she’s been promising for over a year, today. I physically dragged her to the library so we could print off the temporary pass, and we’re definitely set for Saturday. Unless is rains, which would SUCK but at least now it wouldn’t ruin my entire summer.
BTW, I like to use the next blog function occasionally to check out what other people are blogging about, and to see if there are any cool places for backgrounds that I didn’t know about. Which, I really like the background I found just today. Isn’t it pretty? And I found the funniest blog written by a diplomat. AS far as I can tell she’s been stationed in Sudan (which = AWESOME) and once lived in Pakistan. So that’s fun. Seriously, if you want a laugh (I definitely laugh out loud at least when I read) check out Facts are Strictly Optional in my blog list.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Civic Responsibilty

Today my students learned a nice concrete lesson in civic responsibility that I wanted to share. Across the street from my school is a large park. The park features a small nature preserve with bison, deer, and elk that were injured and couldn’t be released back to nature for one reason or another, although some have been born there. We also used to have a farm zoo during the summer months. Sadly our city government is struggling to pay all our bills (who isn’t in this economy?) and closed down the farm zoo. They were also considering closing the nature preserve section, but donors came forward to keep that. Anyway, today was a mini-photo shoot to show how people support the zoo, with the hope of getting it properly funded for this year. It took a bit of effort, but I got all the parents to agree that their kids could be in the local paper and off we went. Along the way, we talked about how we were helping support the zoo and that each person can do something if they’ll just DO something. Hopefully the fact that we dealt with something they are all so familiar with, will help them really learn the lesson.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's up with me today

Whew I’m exhausted today! Saturday night I was up until about four because I couldn’t sleep. Then my sister-in-law called me at like nine fifteen because she needed someone to watch Nick while she took Naty to urgent care. Turns out my poor three year old niece has strep throat. Poor kid has been basically sick since Christmas. I just hope that she’s feeling better for Saturday when we are going to the zoo for Nick’s first birthday. Anyway, I didn't get anymore sleep last night, tonight will clearly be an early night.
Meanwhile, my students lost all of their privileges last week because they couldn’t behave properly for five minutes in a row. I told them as soon as they could behave for a single day, they could have them back and it took until Friday before they had any privileges. So Friday we got to watch Back to the Future II (because they wanted to, and they had the privilege of watching PG movies again). Today, clearly is Monday, and they nearly lost their privileges again. Those kids are punks. However, as soon as the oldest kids left, the rest of them shaped up pretty quick. Also, they picked me dandelions to put in my hair while we walked. Those kids are sweethearts. :)
BTW, tomorrow the Friends of the Lords Park Zoo is doing a mini-photo shoot in support of the zoo. If you’re interested, meet tomorrow at 4:30 in front of the Lords Park Zoo. I’m taking my class so they can learn about how individual people can get things done and civic responsibility and stuff. Or just so we don’t have to hang around our classroom. Whichever explanation you believe most.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What's going on this week

My mom and I went fake house hunting Saturday and today and checked out a few open houses. This was actually fairly instructive because now I know what my mom wants, and how determined she is to keep the b/f around. More precisely how determined she is to not keep him around. Hopefully she can’t find exactly what she’s looking for, because Tina clearly cannot live in the backseat of her car! It was fun though. We checked out a Queen Anne style full of bays and cozy little nooks and a colonial style complete with a sitting room that only I would ever use.
Saturday night was game night at a good friend’s house. She and I and one other friend all went to high school together and somehow about midnight game night became reminisce about high school night. This was potentially awkward for the two other people there who didn’t go to high school with us. Also, I’m not sure how, but completely minus alcohol Sarah and friends got me to sing. Out loud. In front of people. Who were listening. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely sing. You know, in the car or whatever. And when I’m on walks I listen to my mp3 player and I might get a little carried away and sing a few bars. But not if there are people around. Plus, since it was Xbox American Idol, I think I can’t ever say I’ve never played a video game before. Assuming it counts if you never touched the controller.
This week I HAVE to finish A History of God so I can start this month’s book club book. Also, I’m dying to start The Family which I can’t do until I’m done with book club. And on that note, I shall say good night for today. I will post the rest of Beauty and the Beast this week, so check on that later.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

Yesterday I mentioned that I might post one of my short stories today. Well I thought about it and I decided that I was going to. But it's kind of long for a blog post (nealry five typed pages), so I decided to make it one of my pages. You can see it over there on the right column right under pages where it says “Beauty and the Beast”.
Before you read it, I do want to share why I selected this particular fairy tale to rewrite. Here’s my one major issue with this story. At the beginning, when the prince is cursed by the witch she says to him something along the lines of him being ugly until he learns to love and is loved in return. Which is all fine and good, but… and major spoiler warnings here…I hate that it has to be romantic love. It can’t be that he learns to love his servants, no he has to fall in love which is a very different matter. I don’t know why, but that has ALWAYS bothered me. Therefore, I chose to rewrite the story and feature non-romantic love.
I'm not done writing it, although I know what is going to happen. So I've posted the first five pages today. I will continue working on it and post the rest when it's done.
Anyway, since I posted the story this way, you won’t be able to comment on the story there, but please feel free to read it and then comment below this post. Hope you enjoy it, and tomorrow I’ll tell you all about what’s going on with me.

History is...

Today I want to talk about history. I know people thought I was a giant dork when I was in college, but I loved being almost completely immersed in my subject. It was never weird for me to be reading some esoteric history text and even when I complained, I pretty much loved it. Now I’ve been out of school for almost a year, and it will be at least another year before I can go back the way I want to, and I hate it. I can feel my brain slowly atrophying from lack of use. Let’s face it, coming up with activities for a dozen eight year olds just is not the same. That is not to denigrate my profession, I do think I have one of the best jobs in the world, but I need more. I need a challenge in my life. I need the intensity of writing my senior thesis, the passion of student teaching and knowing I have to able to answer any question my students might come up with, the excitement that came with learning something new just about every minute. I need to get back to school, asap.
But, none of that was history per se, that was me whining, which I hate in small children and I don’t think my reader should have to put up with in me. I’m tempted to delete and start fresh, but I promised myself that my blog would not become impersonal just because a small number of people on the internet might choose to read it. I promised myself that I would use it to help me make some of those harder decisions, like if I should go back to school which is an expensive decision. So, I’ll leave it. But, history…
When I was in my senior seminar, I had to write a paper using the prompt “History is…”. It was for our final, and was the only thing I wrote for that particular teacher that did not have a length requirement. We had to write until we felt we had sufficiently covered the topic. At that point I kind of wanted to write “History is, my favorite thing to study.” and walk away, but I did know better. Instead I taped quotes about what history was to my dorm wall until I thought I had memorized them to use in my final. Today I was putting some quotes and such on my blog sidebars and I came across one of those quotes. "The function off the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself from the past, but to master and understand it as the key to the understanding of the present." E. H. Carr. Unfortunately, I think it might be what set me off on this maudlin thought process, but I love it.
Okay, I’m done for tonight. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll write something someone might actually want to read. Or maybe I’ll post one of my short stories…

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trouble at Work

Today I found out that one of my students told another teacher that he wanted to be in my class because I would let him do whatever he wanted (i.e. hit another child) and would not make him do any work. Technically speaking, he is correct about the work thing, because I am his teacher in the afternoon when I teach daycare and he was talking to his preschool teacher. She teaches them shapes and colors and letters and stuff, I teach them social skills like how to play games without crying when they lose. Keep in mind that he spent most of yesterday in timeout because every time I let him up he hit someone else. Ms. Tina is not pleased!!!
As for the rest of my class, I had to explain to them (again) that privileges are for big kids and will be revoked if they insist on acting like two year olds. Sadly, we have had to spend two days in our classroom because the only place we can go outside before four forty five is the front lawn- decidedly a privilege. Hopefully they will choose to behave properly the rest of the week because I really want to watch Back to the Future 2 on Friday (we watched the original last week) and we can’t watch PG movies if they don’t have any privileges. See, I’m punishing myself too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back to school?

For some reason today I started really thinking about grad school again. I’ve always wanted a PhD after my name and the next major step towards that goal is a master’s degree. Here’s the major problem- what does one do with a doctoral degree in history other than teach at the college level? I’ve always wanted to teach high school history and going for my master’s degree now is just not practical. I already can’t find a job teaching, and it’s even harder to get one with no experience but a master’s degree. On the other hand, I would like to enroll in a great program and none of the ones I like allow you to work while in school. So if I’m going to do it, I kind of want to do it now when I have almost no bills. So I went ahead and started some of the basic research into school. It’s too late for the 2010-11 school year, but I think I’m going to say “If I don’t have a teaching job for the 2011-12 school year, I’m going back to school.” I don’t think I should put off all my dreams, and if I can’t have achieve one then I’m going to work towards another. What do you think? Answer in the poll to the right!

This post came with a poll asking, “Going back to school- good idea or terrible idea?”. The poll is now closed and the results are as follow…
Definitely do it 66%
If that’s what you really want 33%
Stick to teaching 0%

Fresh beginnings

I’ve blogged my bibliophile bet for several months now, and the whole time I’ve wanted to start a blog where I could write about my life not just what I’m reading. Somehow, every time I sat down to do so, thinking of the title is what stumped me and I’d give up. Therefore, I decided to forego the title and just start.
I’ve been so focused on summer the last few months, I managed to completely forget that my nephew’s first birthday is in less than two weeks. My mom and I are taking Nick, Naty, Mandy and Stevo all to Brookfield Zoo and suddenly lesson plans and field trips in Elgin with my class is way less entertaining. In case you don’t know, my summer focus is because my favorite part of my job is coming up as soon as school is over.
I teach the after school program at my work during the school year and when school is over my whole class finally shows up, many of whom don’t come during the year. My boss pretty much lets me do whatever I want with them, so I’ve planned a dozen field trips and had to figure out all our art projects and stuff which is totally fun. But Nick is waaay better!
I’ve been working extra hours at work for the last two weeks. I usually work 2-6 during the school year, so the 9-6 thing had been crazy. On top of that is the issue of class. As I mentioned I teach school agers, but I’ve been subbing for another teacher and had three year olds all week. Do you know what three year olds are like? I’m exhausted! Tomorrow, I return to my regularly scheduled hours, thank goodness!
I just celebrated Easter with my best friend (Hi best friend!) and her family. I spend most major holidays with them, and it’s been brought to my attention that it’s a little weird that I spend so much time with them. Whatever, I have fun with them. Their family is so loud and awesome I can’t help but find myself in a great mood.

When I first posted, I included a poll which is now closed. I asked “Is celebrating my holidays with a friend weird?”
The results are as follows…
Most definitely 0%
A little, but whatever works 66%
Not at all 33%