Monthly Archives: May 2015

I Might be Insane, but Statistics Show…

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Did you know that Disney World has banned children under the age of 14 from entering the park alone? This obviously doesn’t mean that they cannot be without an adult once they have entered the park, but does stop kids from being admitted alone. It’s clear the park doesn’t want children of younger ages to be wandering around by themselves, and I wonder why.


You know, it’s funny; I stepped away from this post for just over 24 hours, and I have a completely different outlook on the situation now. So here’s the deal:

Yesterday the school took the Freshman to an amusement park to record Physics data from rollercoasters. Sounds great right? Well, wrong. Being one of the science educators as well as a Freshman advisor, I was nominated as one of the lovely chaperones. I hate that word, chaperones. Ick. 

Anyway, I don’t ride crazy, whipping, fast rides as it is. I used to love the idea of an amusement park as a kid, but I quickly found that every fast spinning ride and rollercoaster made me feel instantly sick to the point that I spent the rest of the day feeling ill after a single ride. I’ve come to learn that amusements parks just aren’t worth my time and money. But this wasn’t my money or my choice, so I had to go….

Yesterday also happened to be the day we had some lovely thunderstorms. It also happens that the park we went to floods fairly quickly. At first I was confused as to why the rides were shutting down almost an hour before the storm was supposed to hit. Then I realized that they were encouraging people to leave the park so that they could be safe from the deluge of water that would soon be soaking my feet as well as every other part of my body. 

(As a side note, I feel it important to thank the security men for saying that there was a leak in the female AND male bathroom all at exactly the same time as the storm arrived.) Turns out our only source of shelter was the bathroom that the park closed down, so we ended up stuck outside during the torrential downpour. That lightning was fierce too! I keep wondering how many people would get electrocuted if the lightning had hit down in one of the pathways. My entire group would surely have been zapped. (And for the record, the water was up past my ankles by the time it even thought about slowing down. Additionally, as I walked from one rain soaked area to another within the park, I had mulch sticking to my legs the whole way up to my knees due to the high levels of water that were carrying the flower beds away with them.)

The point of this post was originally to complain because people would not listen to me. Multiple groups of children as well as individual children went behind my back and left their chaperone without any prior warning or without any idea as to where the kids were located during the storm. I, quite honestly, was freaking out. I know for a fact that some of those kids would have found it fun to play outside in the puddles and get soaked rather than to take shelter. I just had to sit there in my little bundle of girls and pray that none of them had been stupid enough to follow through with the ideas that they can think of as fun.

I tried to tell the other chaperones that we should stick with the kids until the storm ended. Four out of the five of us were honestly in agreement. The other said that they agreed and then did the opposite behind everyone’s backs. We ended up with at least seven kids who were off on their own during the storm.

Before anyone reading this starts to get worried, we did survive the debacle without so much as a scratch. We had a lot of soaked, smelly shoes at the end of the day, but that was about the worst of it. Thank God. I was so frustrated and angry all day yesterday and into today as well. It pissed me off that we weren’t all on the same page and that we showed two different “faces” to the kids. Let’s face it; if you give kids two different options, they are going to pick the one that helps them out the most or seems like the most fun. Needless to say, no one was going to be happy with me when they heard that others were allowed to wander around the park willy nilly.

Then I went to hang out with my boyfriend tonight. We got some food and took my puppy to a dog park. There were so many people there because the weather was SO nice! As a big chocolate lab started slobbering all over my baby, I immediately picked him up and tried to rescue him from the gross slime. It was at that point that I first realized what I am about to tell you now. I was also reaffirmed of this thought as I was sitting with my boyfriend on a park bench watching Jasper interact with the other dogs.

And the thought is this: I may have been on field trips before, I may have been teaching for the past two years of my life, and I may also be a very young adult. But yesterday was my first trip to do something purely fun with the kids. I knew they would take advantage of every bit that they could get. They were also left to wander free, whereas other field trips required at least 70% structured supervision. And we were always in one single building rather than spread across an entire park! My conclusion was that I am very much maternal in some ways. I am super protective of my younger sister when someone tries to back her into an unwanted corner. I am the first person to pick up their dog if any single animal starts growling or barking at the dog park. I am the one who wanted to stay home this week to take care of my boyfriend while he dealt with muscle problems in his back. And I am the one who wanted so much to push the issue of chaperones at the amusement park…. because if anything had happened to any of the children that I love and that have changed my life in such a positive way, I would never forgive myself for having been on another side of the park enjoying myself with rides and games and whatever else I could get into.

Now that I realize this, I plan to have a nice talk with the kids tomorrow. I know they are mad at me (they said as much today), but I want to try to make them understand that I was honestly just trying to do what was best for them and may have held them a little too close.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still mad that the adults were on two different pages and that one single person disregarded what a whole bunch of other adults had to say, but who am I kidding? There’s always one rebel in a group, and there’s no way that I’ll ever let this one bring me so far down that I tattle on him like a two year old. 

~Me

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Not Just Another Memorial Day Post

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First, I don’t want anyone to think I am rude. I am thinking about those who we are supposed to be celebrating today for Memorial Day, however; I don’t have a whole lot to say on the event, unless you consider discussing BBQs and cookouts as an actual Memorial Day “part”. I know the holiday is about more than that, but since I don’t know many who have been in the military, I don’t have any of them to hang out with or thank today. Hence, they are in my thoughts, but this post is not about the day.

You know what I have come to realize this weekend? Quite a few things actually. From staying over at my boyfriend’s house for hours and hours this weekend to going to a party for the first time in a couple of years to being outside and getting attacked by my allergies.. this has been a super eventful weekend. Here are the main things that I accomplished this weekend.

  1. Went to T’s graduation. (See previous post…)
  2. Spent a day with my mom for the first time in… forever!
  3. Spent almost 3 whole days with my boyfriend. Yay!
  4. Watched a whole bunch of people drink and act like idiots.
  5. Watched a creepy guy flirt with multiple girls at once.
  6. Watched creepy guy accidentally flirt with me while my boyfriend wasn’t around (coincidence or no?)
  7. Went to the park and took a hike around the lake with my entire family.
  8. Slept in way longer than I should have on any given day.
  9. Received my diploma in the mail (finally!)
  10. Ate at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate T’s graduation.
  11. Went to the drive-in movies and saw Tomorrowland.
  12. Gave the dog a “spa day”, including a good brushing (or three), toenail trimming, and some hair cutting… plus a bath!

I think those are the main things. But through each of those events, I have learned at least one thing. I think the biggest thing I realized is that I sometimes need some time alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love having time to spend with the four people that I love most in this world, but I am so relaxed to just be able to sit here right now and type without worrying about a schedule, timing, etc. I don’t need to be anywhere today, I don’t have any major responsibilities today, and I have no pressure on me right now whatsoever. This feeling feels… great!

Second, I have learned that it is ridiculously impossible to schedule equal (or anywhere close to equal) amounts of time with everyone that I love and who deserves my attention. I have had moments recently where I feel like I am neglecting those I love, and that feeling is awful. I mean, I’m not neglecting them, but with everything going on in my life this weekend (and right now in general), I feel like I barely get to see some people. I don’t think I’ve seen my grandma since Dad’s birthday in April… 😦

I also think it’s important for me to realize that this is my last day of freedom for quite a long time. As I glanced at my calendar this morning, I realized that I will be late home from work every day this week except for Thursday. Yay me! And what’s worse, my anxiety is on high alert because of the crazy schedule, my break in routine from this weekend, and a couple of other things. As much as I was looking forward to going to Hershey Park last week, I now wish that I didn’t have to go at all. But I know the kids (at least some of them) are relying on me to be a buffer between them and some other chaperones, so I know I have to go. It’s just too bad that it’s so late at night that I will be getting home and so horrible that I just get nervous about these things instead of excited or happy. 

Oh nerves… I think that is what really wraps up what I am feeling right now. I’m just a bundle of nerves. About work, about my schedule and routine, about people that I care for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a full blown panic attack or anything, but I just feel this underlying nagging sensation… like any minute, everything will start to seem way worse than what it is. 

I have to go now… my schedule is calling me again. Wish me luck!

~Me

Proud Girl

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Last night was one of the proudest moments I think I’ve ever had. Which seems kind of crazy given the circumstances, of which there are many. But regardless of the outcome, I am so glad that I was able to be a part of the moment.

You see, my boyfriend graduated last night. And no, not from some big Ivy League college or university. But who cares where the graduation takes place? He downplays it like he hasn’t worked as hard as me with education and that he basically just had to sit so many hours in a classroom. And true, he still has testing to complete and other parts of his knowledge to prove before he gets his big hefty raise at work… but you know what? I am still proud. Just because he doesn’t give himself the credit that he deserves doesn’t mean that I can’t! Besides, we are all kidding ourselves if we think I ever could have done what he has already done with his life. Let’s face it, I’m not cut out for those jobs where you actually have to do manual labor all the time. I’m lucky I make it up the twenty flights of stairs that I have to walk each day between the classrooms and my office…

It might still seem confusing why I say that I am crazy for feeling so proud, but it’s because of this: For 90% of the time that my boyfriend spent in school, I didn’t even know him. We met just a few weeks before he graduated. Unlike his family, I didn’t spend time with him during much of his schooling time. I have barely an idea of how tired he was when he was juggling a full-time job and his evening classes. I really have no right to be so proud. Yet part of me knows that his family is not big on celebrations (and he is even less so). For that very reason alone, I want to make such a big deal out of this. I want him to know the joy of feeling accomplished, loved, cared for, and celebrated. Let’s face it; my parents dropped the ball when I graduated from college, but I still remember what it was like when I graduated from High School. Though those were simpler times, the theory behind a celebration still stands. After spending hundreds of hours working towards a goal in your life, you deserve to spend time with the ones you love and the ones who care about you. Even my own crazy parents want to spend time with him to show him that they are proud…

So mister, if you are reading this, just let us celebrate you this weekend okay? I promise I will start treating you with disdain, indifference, and maybe even hate when Tuesday rolls around. But this weekend… this weekend is our’s and we are going to do some really fun and relaxing things with it whether you like it or not. 

~Me

P.S. The more you resist, the more a boa constrictor tightens its grip around you… if you get my drift.

Lost In the Woods

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So today marks a new one in my books. The first day ever that I lost a child… Yep, that’s right; I’m the teacher that all parents run from and hide their children at home because of. Apparently, I am an awful, neglectful person. 

Okay, so not really. There are other details to this circumstance that make me not neglectful as much as simply a weak person physically. But enough said about me, back to the story…

The last day of school for our seniors was today. We have been done learning content for a few days now, and everyone wanted to do something special for the students who would no longer be returning to sit in class with us. So, since we are on a rotational schedule of A and B days, we did something special with the kids that I taught yesterday and then again today we did something special with the other group.

Yesterday was all fine and dandy. One of the Juniors and Sophomores lovingly opened up their wallets and bought a pizza for their senior friends. (They were even nice enough to share a slice with me!) Though no one dared touch the hot pepper that was sent with the pizza (why do they send them anyway), we ate the entire thing, sat around outside, chatted, and looked at some old photos of the seniors from when they were in elementary school. It was great. In fact, I was hoping for an equally awesome experience with my students again today, but luck would have none of it…

Today the students decided that they wanted to walk down to the stream. Sounds fun right? I’m one of those farm/country girls who don’t mind walking around barefoot in a stream and getting a little dirty… but I was in my work clothes and didn’t even have an extra set of hiking shoes. 

We took the twenty minute walk anyway, as the kids were super excited about going. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the stream, half the kids were already down the stream and around a bend where I could not see them. Though another teacher was there as well, neither of us had planned to walk through the water unless we absolutely had to. So… there I went, right down the stream to chase after a bunch of students who should know better than to run off like that. 

After climbing under 2 logs and over about 5 more, I balanced my way across a final log and got stuck in some muddy pit. Luckily, I was able to catch up to most of the kids at this point, but some of them were still missing. Hence the whole idea behind this story.

Thank God none of our students ever listen to our cell phone policy. They all know they aren’t supposed to have their cell phones on them, but had they not kept them in their pockets (and turned on at that), we never would have found the stragglers who got lost in the woods. 

Okay, so they weren’t even really lost, but they were at least 20 minutes away from my location at the time, and I was the closest teacher to their area. 

Needless to say, this adventure was nerve-wracking for me. I learned quite a few things too…

1) I never want to have kids who might wander off, disappear, etc. I thought I freaked out today when the kids were teenagers, but I’d hate to even think about my reaction if the person was actually a child!

2) I should apologize to my parents for all those times that I thought it would be awesome to try to hide in the clothing racks at the stores. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was ever successful at really hiding, but even the fact that the thought crossed my mind makes me feel so bad now. 

3) I have zero regrets about giving a test that the students were not expecting once we got back to school. Serves them right. Now I just need to determine whether it’s better to grade them harshly or to hold them as leverage. Which one sounds more evil? Do I want it to be more evil or less? Hmm…

4) Finally, I will NEVER visit the stream again! Between the 20 minute hike to and from, the missing students, the pollen, my allergies, and my asthma… I think I almost died. 

Let’s just say I’ll cross this one off of the bucket list of things that I want to experience in my life, but never more than once! Not that I knew it was on the list to begin with but it sounded like a good idea when someone brought it up to me…

~Me

Hold on to Hope

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I believe the worst possible thing to ever happen to a teacher or a student actually occurred this week. I mean, outside of class, there is always the possibility of death, destruction, etc. Let’s face it; we don’t really live in a safe world. But this week, something horrific happened in the classroom. I, for one, cannot seem to get over it.

Every time I have to see or interact in any way with the person involved, my teeth grit and my stomach crawls. I feel like I’m going to be sick if I have to look anywhere close to his face. Lucky for me, I have effectively avoided said person for the better of a week now, but he has started to react more awkwardly as time passes. I personally have millions of issues with the occurrence that took place but have even more issues with the way that it was handled afterwards. 

While I cannot get into details here, let me just say that if I ever did something like that… if I ever even thought of doing something like that for such an unimportant reason… Dear God, just have someone murder me please. Or maybe my truck would drive off a bridge into freezing water or something. I don’t know, but I do know that these type of actions do not EVER cross my mind, and I would be a sick monster if they did. 

It’s awful how humans treat one another isn’t it? I thought I had found this amazing career at an amazing place where everyone values each other’s opinions and things are never so dramatic that I feel sick. Yet it seems I was so completely wrong. I mean, I’m not naive enough to think that I can never be harmed and that nothing bad will ever happen in the realm that I am aware of, but I never expected something quite like this. I feel the chances of me being struck by lightning are much higher than the chances of this instance occurring in my world. (For the record, the odds of being struck by lightning in a person’s lifetime are believed to be somewhere around 1 in 3,000. That’s ridiculously small compared to many things!)

Here’s my question for anyone out there caring to read this; how does a person go about forgiving someone who is absolutely disgusting? Like, suppose someone stalks your child or tries to have inappropriate relations with them. This kind of awful thing is equal to the type of awful thing that I am speaking of. So how do you react? How do you get over it?

Better yet, I think my problem is that I am forced to sit on the sidelines while others with higher authority deal with the situation. But we go back to this situation again where not every person is good… everyone is acting like this situation should be swept under the rug, and I am so not comfortable with that at all.

These events have changed the life of one of my siblings, one of my students. I know people from the past who have dealt with similar situations and been scarred for life. So how does one (myself) go about trying to ensure that a 14 year old girl does not live the rest of her life in fear and worry when she is around other people whom she is not completely comfortable being around? 

I guess I’m not going to find any answers by sitting here and writing. And for once, this whole letting my emotions out on “paper” thing is not helping whatsoever. Guess I’ll give up and try something else.

In the meantime, you can guarantee that I’ll be sad, upset, disgusted, angry, pissed off, and every other type of emotion imaginable. Thanks for that idiot; if you’re reading this, you know that what you did was unforgivable so don’t expect forgiveness from me. 

~Me

Now things get sticky…

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I mean that literally… It’s starting to get hot outside very quickly, meaning it’s humid and sticky and we need to have one of those big, awesome thunderstorms that knock out the electricity and help me sleep at night. It doesn’t appear that will happen though. I even attempted to plow up the garden tonight, but the ground was so dry I only got about 1/4 inch down before I had to resort to a shovel rather than a rake or hoe. 

Though the garden isn’t done and it’s already May, many other things in my life have come to an end. My college career, my relationship with my grandfather, and the fact that I don’t say I love you to people outside of my family. (Yes, the last one sounds silly, but it’s true!)

I haven’t written in a while, so this might just seem like a huge update, but it’s important for me to get these things out of my head, at least for a while. 

I graduated from college on May. I have a Masters Degree now. And I’m not even going to use that knowledge next year at work… I was so excited, for no apparent reason. I keep trying to tell myself that a second degree is a huge accomplishment and that I didn’t necessarily want to teach Physics next year anyway, but when I compare that to my other options (Calculus or Statistics), playing around with labs and teaching kids about the real-world doesn’t seem quite so difficult. 

I’m skipping the second topic… I just realized that I’m not sure I’m ready to really talk about it. No one understands, so why bother trying to let that emotional mess out? 

As for the I love you statement, I have officially said it to my boyfriend. Which seems crazy since we’ve only been dating for about 4 months now, but this has been one of the best times of my life! And, as usual, when things are in my head, they just slip out. So one day, weeks ago, I accidentally said I love you as I was getting ready to leave my boyfriend’s place. I played it off like it was an accident, a misstep in my words, but I was starting to actually feel it. The only reason I didn’t admit it right off was because I didn’t want to scare him away. This man… he and I are so alike that it’s crazy. But we’re also just different enough that we learn new things from each other without driving ourselves crazy hanging out. It’s weird. All I know is that he has taught me what the difference is between abusive relationships and really cooperative and cohesive relationships. I never knew it before, that my ex mistreated me so badly, but I know it now. It’s funny; looking back, I don’t know how I could have missed all the ways he put me down and all of the mean things he said to me. I guess sometimes you don’t learn your life lesson until it’s basically too late to learn it in an easier way. 

My students have been amazing recently. While most teachers call their students their “kids”, mine are like brothers and sisters to me. I’m too young and it just seems creepy to call them my children! But I love them like children or younger siblings just the same. It’s come to the point where some of the kids can tell when I am having a bad day (not because I’m mean, but because I get quiet and withdraw from things) and they know when I need my space and when to ask me if I need to talk. They are truly one of the most amazing groups of children on this planet… (no, I haven’t met all kids in the world, but I’m telling you these kids are amazing!) 

The reason I bring them up is because they helped me get through a really hard time recently. I don’t remember which day it was exactly… probably sometime in April. I had come home from this awful day at work. My boss was moving on to a new job, my coworkers were starting to follow the boss out the door… it was just bad. I thought things honestly couldn’t get any worse (because they are practically my family and we are super close), but as soon as I stepped into the door of my house, I knew I was completely wrong.

What is that saying… when it rains it pours? Yeah, it definitely poured that day. I’m actually surprised that I don’t remember the date since it has had such a huge impact on my thoughts and feelings lately. Anyway, I sat down at the kitchen table to talk to my family about my day and to find support and love from them in any way that I could. Sure, I was being selfish. But when Dad said we needed to talk, I knew something was wrong. My nerves went on even higher alert than they already had been, and he started to talk.

My grandfather died the week before. A full week before. And no one ever told us. We found out through my dad’s family rather than my mom’s. It’s kind of pitiful really… how one group of people can hold so much hatred towards others. The decency that they have is… zero. Who puts my name in some guy’s obituary because I am a close relative but then never lets me know that he is dead in the first place? It’s nothing like walking into your workplace to have people approach you with condolences only to have no idea what they are talking about or how they know about any of this really messed up situation. But that’s what happened the next day.

Back to the kitchen for the moment though… you know what my reaction was? I just started bawling. I freaked my parents out, that’s for sure. They didn’t expect me to care. They thought I would just shrug my shoulders and move on with my life. But I can’t. I couldn’t… no, maybe I still can’t. Otherwise I wouldn’t be typing about this right now, right? 

The thing is, my grandfather wasn’t old. He wasn’t sick. He didn’t have an accident. Nope. He killed himself. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, and I don’t know who found him. All I know is that he died by his own hands. And, unfortunately for those who think I should be really empathetic and considerate of him right now, it scared me more to know how he died than to simply know that he had died. 

One thing my family never really talks about to anyone is the past. We don’t discuss how we ended up this way, how it became the four of us against the world. And maybe that’s for a good reason. No one else really seems to understand. But here is the thing… I didn’t just up and decide to hate my grandparents one day. I didn’t choose to spread rumors or tell people that my cousins called me names to my classmates and put me down in any way they could. I choose to say so now simply because I know this is anonymous and I need to get it off my chest. I have kept my past inside for way too long, and this whole death thing has brought it right back to the surface after I have worked for so many years and so hard to bury it beneath everything else in my life. 

There’s one thing I know and it is this: I know I’m not being much of a Christian when I say this, but I am okay with the fact that my grandfather is dead. That is the selfish me thinking about the man who abused my family members, the one who broke into my house, and the one who made me scared to leave my house alone even when I was of an age where I could drive myself places. The non-selfish me is thinking that I am glad he is in a better place and maybe now all of his sins have gone away and he can find some sort of peace. 

Seriously though, I am the luckiest girl in the world to know that the abusive relationships which had started generations ago in that family were not carried on by my mother or my sibling. My mother is the strongest woman I know for being able to handle all of those things. And though many people think she is crazy or really in-tune with God, I can’t fault her for even the most annoying of her habits. The amount of work and determination she put in to make a new life for herself and her family is astonishing. Sometimes I wonder what she feels about the entire situation, if she still thinks about her family like I do sometimes. Especially at times like these, I wonder how she doesn’t break down and cry or jump for joy.

How would you handle it if the man who beat you for years of your life died? Would you feel joy or remorse or simply nothing at all? I cannot tell what my mom feels since she is so good at separating that part of her life from her actual life in today’s world with her family, but I sometimes wonder how she doesn’t feel like this great boulder of burden has been taken off of her back at this death.

Rereading this now, I think I am the most awful person on the face of the planet. I cannot believe that I wrote I have this selfish feeling of relief. While that is not the dominant feeling that I am having about this entire situation, even just an inkling of good vibes feels so wrong when they are about someone else’s death. But how would you feel if you knew someone you loved dearly and someone who put in so much effort to make you have the best life ever was hurt by someone so much, so constantly for so many years? Am I a really bad person or am I just having a moment? 

I really don’t know the answer… 

And now, as I think back on the time that I spent crying, I really am starting to realize that part of me was relieved because I didn’t have to worry about him coming up behind me in some store and grabbing me like he has done before. Maybe my relief isn’t for the fact that he is dead but that I am now safe and protected no matter where I go. Does that still make the feeling bad? But even more than that, I wonder if I wasn’t crying out of confusion and an overwhelming amount of differing emotions and stress that day. To be honest, I cannot even recall if I was crying about him specifically or if I was just so overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop myself from crying.

In any case, I’m trying to get over this hurdle and am hoping that things go better from here on out. At least for a little while. Life cannot always be daisies and roses, but since it’s Spring, can we just pretend for a little while?

~Me