Thursday, November 5, 2015

Believe so forcefully that you make others believe it too

So this afternoon I had to go meet with my professor over my department to get him to approve my new thesis topic.

To say I was nervous was an understatement.

You see, my degree will be in Educational Technology.

My new thesis topic is along the lines of preparing students for technology but not them actually utilizing technology... Which meant I had to convince my professor to let me change my topic.

There was LOTS of explaining... and more explaining... and even MORE explaining about how and why this is and will be beneficial to students (and to us teachers).

I seriously was dripping in sweat!

In the end, I not only convinced him that it was a good topic - he was trying to figure out what conference would be a good one for me to share my findings at.  (Not exactly sure I'm ready for that kind of exposure!!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This kind of tired

When I was a kid and my mom had headed back to college to finish her degree, she seemed to always be tired.  She would pull up to a stop light, tell us to wake her when the light changed to green, lay back and close her eyes.  Within seconds, she would be breathing loudly.  I wondered how she could be to sleep so quickly...

When I was hitting my growth spurts in high school and would come home from school, collapse on the couch, sleep for a few hours, eat and go back to sleep... I thought I was tired.

When I was in college and stayed up half the night because I had procrastinated TOO long and I refused to turn my paper in late and I knew I HAD to make that 8 am class because I couldn't risk my scholarship... I thought I was tired.

When I had newborns and I was up half the night with midnight, and 2am, and 4 am, and 6 am nursing sessions... I thought I was tired.

But this semester - this semester is about to do me in...
I realize that I am teaching and working on a thesis and trying to be the best mom and girlfriend out there and (occasionally) cake decorating... BUT this kind of tired ... this kind of tired makes me want to sleep at stop lights.

Just sayin'

Thursday, October 22, 2015

If you're gonna do it, make it worth your while

Back a year ago, my supervising professor and I sat down to discuss my thesis topic.  I really had no idea as to what I wanted to do and I can now say that my brain was not prepared at that time to answer that question.

So, she suggested a topic and I went with it.  It was something I could easily observe in my school district.  I didn't love the topic, but it had components that interested me.  (At the time, I also didn't know I needed to love my topic...)

In my class last spring, I did my literature review as part of a class I was in.  I had NO idea what I was doing or for that matter WHY I was doing it.  I was given criteria and I followed them.  (I was definitely playing the "schooling game.")

Here comes this semester...  I'm taking a research methodology class... It explains WHY I did everything last semester and why I was wrong with a good portion of it. :/

So, I revised... and revised... and revised some more.

Tonight I sat down with my professor to talk about my topic - He asked me why I was passionate about my topic.  I explained.  Then he said, "So if your passion is technology and elementary school students, why are you going to observe high school students??"

I explained that it was because my students hadn't received the technology yet...
I told him everything I am doing this year to get them ready for it for next year... How most nights I don't sleep because I am up researching just trying to find any information I can about it.

He looked at me and smiled.  "I think you have your research topic right there."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Today I turned 40.

There.  I said it.
(It happened whether I said it or not.)

You know how you have this envisionment in your head about how a BIG birthday like 40 should be...  but also as a forty year old, you kinda have to roll with the punches...  

So, I decided to rock out my 40th by bringing 40 cupcakes to school.

Today was a sure sign that I randomly bring cupcakes to school for no reason too often...  No one was like, "Hey!  What's the special occasion??"

And you can't exactly be like, "Hey have a cupcake and celebrate my birth, damn it!"

So, I quietly set them in the lounge like I normally do and waited.
Only one teacher remembered. Great guy that he is.
Even my bestie forgot.
By mid-day, word had spread and, of course, people came and gave their well wishes.

It just kinda felt like a let down...
I mean, I have had some EPIC birthdays!

But then I made the decision that this was silly to be expecting something from others...  
So I decided that I would do 40 random acts of kindness for this birthday of mine...

And I would start with my 40 cupcakes :)

Funny, how when you make a decision like that things turn around.

It started pouring right around noon.  Colby was supposed to have a cross country meet, but because of the rain, it got cancelled.  Which meant we could go out to dinner like we normally do for birthdays.

It just so happens to be Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster - So I made it my goal to eat 40 shrimp for my 40th. LOL  
Crazy, I know. 
I let the waitress know right after I pushed my salad aside and didn't touch it (or the cheese biscuits).  I could tell she was getting worried something was wrong.
She did a fantastic job and kept the shrimp coming!

I'm not sure how the next part went down because I tend to be in a bubble when my boys and I are out together...  But when it came time for our ticket, she kept bypassing our table.  She had been SO on top of everything and then it came time for us to go.., and she just wouldn't stop at our table.

Finally, I caught her and said, "Could we go ahead and get our ticket?"
"Nope.  It's been taken care of."
"What?!!??  By Who?"

She pointed to a table two tables away.

I walked over and shook their hands and told them, "Thank you." and then, "Why would you do that?"
"It's your birthday isn't it?" I nodded. "And the waitress wasn't supposed to tell you!!"

Random strangers.

And I thought *I* was the one who was supposed to be doing the Random Acts.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I hate the internet because it lies

It was my last class of the week... Full of 2nd graders who take half of the class period just to log in.
We have been talking about how to make secure passwords for the past 2 weeks.
So, I gave them a short quiz to see what they had learned.

I had this one little boy who wasn't answering the questions as I read them.
I kept coming by and encouraging him to keep up with us.
It didn't work.

So, I asked him to stay after.
I asked him why he wasn't doing the quiz. (I thought maybe I was going to fast for him to follow along)

"I hate the internet!"

What?!  What did that have to do with where we were at in our class??

But I knew I couldn't have him hating my class all year, so I asked, "Why?"

"Because it lies!"

I told him I understood.  That there are websites that say things that I don't agree with, but that the wonderful thing about the internet is that if you don't agree with something a site says, all you have to do is close out of that site.  It's that easy.

You know that light bulb moment that teachers long for?  It happened right then.

His eyes lit up.  He put on a smile and said, "Hey! You're right! Will you help me with this quiz now?"

I know this wasn't some big revelation like when algebra FINALLY clicks, but it made my week when I really needed a smile.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Out of place

Normally by the end of the 2nd full week of school, I'm back in the groove of things...
But not this year.
This year, I feel completely out of place.

I don't feel part of a team any more... because I'm not.

Sure, everyone in my building is a friend of mine.  I get along with them fine.  But there is a difference when you struggle the same struggles and rely on others around you.

I am the only one in my boat.

People keep asking me how I like my new position.
All I can say is that I'm adjusting.
No one wants to hear that I feel like I've been dropped off the cruise ship in a little row boat and I'm out in the vast ocean rowing alone.

No, they want me to say that it is great!  That it was the best decision ever made.

So, I keep telling myself that it will get better...
That I will enjoy all of this extra time...
That good things will come out of this.

But right now, I feel a little out of place.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Things that don't stick with you... Or Maybe they do

I was an awesome algebra student in high school and college!! (We won't talk about geometry.)

It just made sense to me.

In fact, in college, I had an 8 am algebra class where the professor took the first 30 minutes going over the homework from the class before.  I started showing up at 8:30 because I didn't need the extra explanation, but I could always use the 30 minutes of extra sleep. (Still can.)

However, I can honestly say that I don't sit around figuring algebraic equations for fun now days.

So, when my son, Colby sends me a text all in a panic not knowing how to do his homework (He was at his dad's), I wasn't worried.

...Until I saw the problems...

...and I drew a COMPLETE and utter blank...

(So much for KNOWING this stuff...)

Thankfully, I am a tech savvy woman that knows the answers are online if you search... and searched, I did.

But guess what?

Once I found the answer, I knew I couldn't just give the answer to Colby (the teacher in me wouldn't allow it.)

So, we Skyped.

I walked my brain down a path that used to be well trodden.
I admit... The weeds had definitely overtaken it. I had to look hard to even see that a path was still there; it was so overgrown.
As I pushed my way through though, it slowly revealed itself and I was explaining those equations to Colby without hesitation.
...And it felt good...Knowing a part of me that I used to be so proud of, was still there, buried deep inside.

I know that pathway will continue to be cleared out throughout the next few years of middle school and high school.

I wonder what other things I haven't thought about for over 25 years will need to be pulled from my dusty files???