Monday, 25 April 2011

Matt, Harry......Harry, Matt

Matt wasn't a big reader.  He just didn't love reading.  Which is not a big deal or anything.  But then I finally convinced Matt he needed to read these books:

source

That's right.  Harry Potter.  Matt loves the movies.  This is a very good thing, because I lurrrrve me some Harry Potter.

Matt has been completely immersed in these books for weeks now, and tonight he is going to finish them once and for all.  He is finally about to experience the "NOW WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE?!" feeling that comes after being so involved in an enormously epic tale.  If his experience is anything like mine, he'll probably mope around for a few weeks little while.  Because it's OVER.  There's not another one.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the final theatrical installment of the franchise this summer.  Because if you didn't know?  We're big, huge, nerdy Harry Potter fans.

Also, I'm hoping to convince Matt that we HAVE to go to the HP theme park and get us some butterbeer in the not so distant future.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Cover Stealer

This past week, Matt has become quite the cover stealer in his sleep.  Several times I have woken up cold due to being completely uncovered.

Last night, though, I woke up because Matt was tucking me in.  See, he woke up at one point and realized a few things: 1) All the covers were falling off his side of the bed.  2) I was right up against him.  3) I am the most beautiful wife in the world.

Haha.  Okay.  So maybe it was just the first two things.  But anyway.

He figured I must be cold if I was on his side of the bed, all up in his bidness.  So what did he do?  My sweet, sleepy husband sat up and began to put the sheet and blanket back over me, gently tucking me in.

Just one of the many reasons I love him.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Job Searching

You know, this whole job search thing is tiring.  And humbling.  And HARD.  See, I found a great job for the remainder of the Spring.  I love subbing at this Christian school.  But that job won't continue through the summer.  And truthfully, it's not going to make ends meet in the fall, either.  Not alone, that is.

See, right now I kinda feel like my career of choice is going down the drain.  What with budget woes and whatnot, most districts are looking to cut costs.  They are not looking to raise costs by hiring and paying more teachers such as yours truly.  Nope, not at all.

Even so, I am playing by the rules and subbing when I can.  This will hopefully show districts, schools, principals (aka the powers that be) that I am serious about teaching and that I'm making an effort.  Because if I wasn't?  My slim-to-none chances would simply be none.  And I really AM serious about teaching.  I WANT to teach.

But here's where it gets complicated.  Subbing isn't going to last me but another month or so, which means I must find another job for the summer.  (Which, in and of itself is embarrassing to me.  I've never had a summer job, even in high school.  I just had a job.  Like, all the time.)  And it's likely that I will need to find yet another job when summer ends.  I would really like to feel more like the responsible-college-graduate-married-adult-in-her-mid-twenties THAT I AM and have a solid JOB.

So today I spent 2 hours driving around the area of town that I am hoping to work in.  I wrote down every conceivable business and/or company that I might possibly want to work for for (at least) the next 3 months.  Once I get that monster of a list organized, I'm going to start calling places.  I'm saving that for tomorrow.

But what I want to know is why the heck isn't this easier?  It's frustrating for me because Matt didn't have to search and apply and interview x 1,000 to get his job.  It was as simple as a man at church heard that Matt needed a job and then after speaking with him once, offered him that job.  It was a total God thing, I know that.  But where's my miracle job?  When is He going to provide a means for us to move into our own place already?

I guess a big contributer to the difficulty of the situation is that I'm not a single high school or college student looking for a job.  This time I'm married, and I want time with my husband.  I want to have similar hours to my husband, who works a fairly normal work week.  We've been in the opposite schedules boat before and it's just not good.  But not many people are looking to hire full time, "normal" work week for just the summer.

I guess we'll see what happens when I use up all my cell phone minutes tomorrow.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Bossypants

Today I went to the library.  That's not unusual.  In fact, I love the library.  I love coming home with a new stack of books, all antsy and eager to read ALL of them rightthissecond!!!!

Up until recently, I stuck with mostly young adult fiction.  Probably because it was familiar.  Non-fiction doesn't work for my ADD self.  I know, I've tried.  Plenty.  But yes, young adult fiction.  I have read and loved all the Harry Potter books, the Twilight series (don't judge), the Percy Jackson books, L'Engle, Lewis, Tolkien...the list goes on and on and on....

Anyway.  I've started to take recommendations from others on what books I should read next.  So far, so good.  I've read several Tracy Chevalier books, as well as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Suite Francaise, The Unnamed, and The Passage.  I've enjoyed most of them.  So adult fiction isn't so big, bad and scary after all.  Who knew?

But I'm really excited about today's trip to the library.  Because today when I went to the library I put my name on the wait list for Tina Fey's new book, Bossypants.  I. Can't. Wait.


Unfortunately, I'll have to.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

On Being Absent and Also Present

So if I'm really stressed out, busy, or unhappy, I don't really blog.  I just don't feel like writing, and I have the worst writer's block EVER.  Since I last posted, I've been stressed out, busy, and unhappy, so I've been rather absent in the blogosphere.  However, part of my absence here can be attributed to my presence elsewhere - a classroom.

I've been substitute teaching in a private Christian school here in town.  It's been so great to be back in a classroom, but this week was quite a challenge.  I had agreed to sub for a first grade class the whole week (sans Friday, Battle of the Flowers) and Monday morning when I walked into the class, I couldn't figure out where anything was.  It took me way too long to find her sub plans and the materials I needed.  I felt like the classroom was really just not very organized.  (As someone who tends to be very organized and very detail oriented, a lot of things don't quite fit into what I would call "organized".  Not terribly unusual.)

I very soon learned that this class was "the most difficult class" of the whole school.  I didn't just hear that from one teacher or staff member, though.  I heard it from many.  Several teachers checked in with me daily to make sure I was still doing okay.  I didn't want to put the kids in a box and label them a terrible class, but they really were a handful.  I've taught in Kinder, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms, but this was the most difficult class I have ever had.  It took a lot of prayer and patience to make it through the week with those kids.

I know that a lot of successful teaching and classroom management revolves around procedures, expectations and organization.  I didn't know what any of the classroom procedures were, and the students' behavior didn't clue me in to any procedures either.  They just kinda did whatever they wanted.  The only expectations or rules posted were in an obscure corner of the room, difficult to see.  There is only so much I can do as a substitute with only four days, but I did my best.  By the end of the week, they knew that there would be a list on the board of what they needed each morning.  They knew that they must stay in their seat and raise their hand if they need anything.  They knew how I wanted them to respond to questions, who should be talking at what time, and they said "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am".  They did so well on the final day that I gave each of them a sticker (which is a huge deal to them).

We still had some low points.  They could not for the life of them line up to go places.  It took them more than five minutes each time to line up, follow directions, and be quiet enough to go out in the hall.  Once we got in the hall they were great (usually).  I had to send one boy to the office twice.  TWICE.  I'd never sent a student to the office before.  I sent another boy to a timeout in a different classroom.  There were plenty of pulled cards.

Part of me wonders if things were set up differently in the classroom if the students would be more well behaved.  If they knew what was expected of them every day, maybe they would meet and exceed those expectations.  If there were consistent procedures, maybe they wouldn't be so loud, rowdy, and all over the place.  Maybe there are expectations and procedures in the class and they just don't want to follow through with them when their teacher is gone.  That's a possibility.  I don't really know.

I'm not trying to knock this teacher.  This woman is incredible and has more patience than anyone I know if she can deal lovingly with these kids for a whole school year.  Not everyone is as detail oriented or organized as I am, and that's okay.  What works for me doesn't always work for others.  And clearly, she has a teaching job and I don't.  She has more experience than I do.

This week left me completely exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.  But I still think it was a good week.  I went from feeling like a failure as a teacher (I can't get these kids under control, we're not making it through all the material, this is embarrassing!) to feeling like things were going to be okay after all (they don't hate me, they've made progress, they can be so sweet, their behavior has improved so much!).  And it's given me valuable experience.

And I was that much more excited about my yoga class on Friday.

Monday, 4 April 2011

On Wanting Justice and Revenge

You know, I've had a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings about Matt and I losing our jobs and the people that put us in our situation over the past four months.  Something that I've really been wrestling with the past month or so, though, is my desire for justice.

Honestly?  My human nature wants revenge.  My human nature wants to see justice served.  I'm not proud of it, but my human nature wants to see them suffer for putting my husband and I through this (and not only us, but my entire family).  At times, I've wanted to see or hear that the people responsible are having to pay, one way or another, for what they did.  I don't want to be the one causing the pain or taking revenge, though.  I want to see God smite the crap out of them.  I'm not proud of these things.  It's not easy for me to admit.  After all, they were people who I used to call "friend".  And really, it is not Christlike.  Or okay.  At all.

A few weeks ago Nick Vujicic came to speak at my church and he delivered quite a powerful message.  During his message, he said something about justice vs. grace in light of the cross.  And it got me thinking.  I am in no way perfect.  I know this.  I'll be the first to admit this.  And when I do something worthy of the wrath of God or others, I really just want forgiveness.  ("Please don't hate me!  Don't be mad!  What are you going to do to me?  Are we still friends?  Hello...?!")  But when the individuals at camp wronged me, I didn't want them to receive grace or mercy.  Heck no!  I wanted judgment to rain down on them.

Is anyone other than me seeing the serious disconnect here?  I mean...it's a problem.  You could argue that usually my trespasses don't involve simultaneously firing and kicking newlyweds out of their home all in the same day in the span of 10 minutes with no warning right before their very first married Christmas (and that would be true...) (taking a breath), but God is quite clear that sin is sin.  So whether it's me getting frustrated and snapping at my husband or the aforementioned actions, both are worthy of God's wrath and eternal separation.  You know, without Christ and the cross.  Thankfully because of what Christ did for us on the cross (i.e. paying the price for all our sins EVAR), there are these awesome things called grace and mercy.  Mercy being that we don't get all the bad things we deserve, and grace being getting wonderful things that we don't deserve.  And if you call Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour, He is not selective in giving out said grace and mercy.  Aaand as a Christian, or Christ-follower, I can't be selective either.

But here's the thing - I'm having a little trouble figuring out what forgiveness looks like in this situation.  Is it acting like nothing ever happened and like nothing is wrong?  That nothing is damaged or broken?  Because things DID happen and things are not totally okay.  I really, truly do not have any clue what forgiveness looks like in this situation.

So.  Let's recap.  I want justice.  I know I shouldn't.  I know I should forgive.  And offer grace and mercy.  I want to do the right thing.  I really do.  But I don't know what it looks like.  So I'm a bit stuck.

Yep, I think that about covers it.
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