Friday, February 5, 2016

A mirror reflects your appearance. Your heart reflects your soul.

Some parts of my childhood I keep buried.
Somehow though, teaching finds a way to bring things to the surface that I don't think about or haven't thought about in a VERY long time.

This morning my little friend that comes and checks in with me, was mad. Like boiling mad.
She wouldn't hug me or look at me.  This anger was directed at me because yesterday I made her follow directions when she didn't want to.

So, even though she is required to come see me in the morning, she didn't want to be here.
Every time I tried to say something, she responded with "I don't care!"

I got down to her level.  Without out even thinking, something deep within me came out and said, "I get it. I used to be you.  I used to say 'I don't care' because it is a whole lot easier to tell people that you don't care... and to put up a wall then to let them in... because if you let them in, they might just disappoint you... and let you down.  So, instead we say we don't care... but really... we really, really do care!"

As soon as it came out, it took me back.
I think back to my early teenage years when I was SO mad at my mom that my family wasn't "normal" because of my parents' divorce... and I would yell, "I don't care!" any time she would give the same explanation as to why we weren't around my dad.  Don't get me wrong... my mom made the right choice to leave an abusive marriage, but being a "Daddy's girl" clouded my judgement many times and left me very, very mad.

Throughout the years, I have repeated those words many many times, "Whatever. I don't care." and I learned to keep a stone face. I felt like giving up emotions in front of someone else made me feel like I lost something to them...

Then later, alone, I would cry and scream, and ask "Why?!!" even though no answers would come.

So, yeah... "I don't care" carries a lot more then I ever thought about until today.

She waited until I hugged her good-bye.  She didn't hug back, but she was definitely showing that she DID care.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A hard nut to crack

Because I'm not in the regular classroom any more, I am given students that "check-in" with me at the beginning of the day to start them off right and then they come back at the end to tell me how their day went.

I have 2 girls that come and see me.  They are basically complete opposites of each other, one is friendly, yet doesn't take care of herself physically.  The other is a perfectionist... she is hard nosed, has guarded emotions and tries not to show any emotion. However, my strategy has been the same for the both of them.

Every day, I welcome them with a smile, give them a hug, and then before I send them on their way, I say, "I love you. Have a great day!  I'll see you later."  (Honestly, the same things I tell my boys before I leave them in the morning.)

Normally, I get back "K. See you later."

I get it... They may not hear this at home.  They may be embarrassed to say it in return...

But, today, after being out of school for a week due to snow...
Today, I before I could say it to my stubborn, hard nosed little one, she said, "I love you! Have a great day!"

I caught the lump in my throat long enough to say, "I love you too!"

Yep.  Today was a successful day.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I *MIGHT* have let the cat out of the bag...

I think I just dispelled the mystery of Santa for my 10 year old son, Sam...
Some of you might think he is much too old to still believe in Santa, but that too, you can blame on me.
I love the thought of my children believing in something so whole-heartedly and without question.

So... yes, I have played up the Santa card quite well...

... until tonight.

Tonight, I left the present I bought for Sophia, Todd's daughter, sitting in the hallway.
That doesn't sound like much of a problem, right??

Well, it wouldn't be, except I bought her the thing she asked Santa for...
and Sam looked at me with eyes squinted and said, "Why would you buy that when Sophia asked Santa for that?"

I didn't have a good answer other than I saw it and knew she would like it.

Yeah.
I think I blew it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

This quote just oozes into me...

Any time I wanted my students to know that they were REALLY in trouble, I whispered. (You're MUCH scarier when you whisper.)

Any time I wanted them to know it was something SO important I didn't want the whole world to know, I whispered. (I'm a loud talker by nature.)

Any time their tiny heart broke mine due to things beyond their control, I whispered. (Because I knew that loud voice of mine would crack with emotion if I didn't, but I still wanted them to know how much I cared.)

Yes... Those whispered words... they speak volumes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Looking up

As I stepped out into the cold brisk night tonight, I stopped and looked up.
The Big Dipper glistened in the cold winter air.
... and I realized that is what I have forgotten to do lately...
to look up.

To say that I have been overwhelmed lately would be an understatement.
I have definitely been down.
This, in turn, has caused me to be cynical with others around me and to just curl up inside myself... If I could have cocooned myself, I would have by now.

But tonight, as I stood outside (much longer than I normally would in these freezing temps), I realized that is what I had forgotten to do lately... Just to look up.

At the beautiful sky.
At all of my family and friends around me.
At the fact that I am ALMOST done with this master's degree and it actually hasn't killed me.(I turned in my thesis paper tonight... So, yes, that helped in not being hunkered down any more. :)
At all the positive things this life is offering me.

Yep, things are looking up.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who wants to book me some place sunny?

Lately, I have felt like all of my nerve endings have been on the outside of my body.
I know it is because my stress levels have been so high... but I have never had this sensation before - my body tingles, almost like I can feel the vibrations from the air.

I walk around like a zombie in my own body.  I have been trying to sleep more, but I am waking up exhausted from dreaming all night about the things that I haven't finished during the day.

My body aches.  My upper arms have always ached when I was fighting off something... that's how I always knew to boost my Vitamin C. My arms have ached for the past month. Vitamin C is no longer cutting it.

I keep telling myself that this too shall soon pass, but I'm tired of being tired and not feeling like my happy cheerful self.

I feel like anything that anyone asks of me is too much - this isn't like me - I'm the multi-tasking queen.  The planning of Thanksgiving... all I can say is... Ugh.  (This is normally my favorite time.)

I know it is because my brain is consistently on. If I'm not thinking about my thesis, I'm thinking about lesson plans, or my presentations.  I have 3 cakes that I have coming up next month that I refuse to even look at the designs because I can't add that to my thought process right now.

Todd asks me what he can do.  I tell him that I don't know what to do myself much less tell someone else how to help me.  He hugs me, but right now the hugs aren't tight enough or long enough... because they don't take away the tingling... and I just need to feel like me again.

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!!)