Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Blessing of Friends

I drove down to the City in the South this weekend to spend some time with my mom and also just for a change of scenery. My mom and stepdad are getting ready to move, but first they have a lot of work to do on their house before they can sell it. I helped while I was there; however there was more to do than the three of us could handle. So, my mom (many days ago) had asked their life group from church to come out and help her. On Saturday, they slowly began to trickle in and started to work on the house. One guy brought his power washer and washed the exterior - it looked so much better when he finished. Several of the women in the group helped my mom clean the cabinets in the kitchen and I ran errands. With all the help we had, it only took a few hours to clean up the house and then it was time to move on to packing.

I was amazed to see how quickly my mom and her friends packed up each room. There were five of them and it took less than thirty minutes to finish each room. Throughout the day, as I dashed in and out of the house, I could hear laughter drifting out of the rooms everyone was working in. At one point I had to stop and just think about how amazing it was that my mom and stepdad had these friends who were willing to give up their Saturday to help them. I think sometimes we forget the blessing that are friends, these people who are not our biological family but care for us as if we were related. Friends help each other when asked, laugh with each other over things they've done, support each other, and get to experience life together. I feel blessed to have been able to witness the love my mom's friends have for her, the support they have offered her. I am thankful that since my siblings and I live two or more hours away from my mom and stepdad and can't always be there to help, there's a group of people willing to help them with anything they need.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today was the last day of school! Yay! I was lucky enough to have sub jobs for today and yesterday at my favorite school, which is where I did my student teaching last semester. It was nice to be "home," as my dad calls it. This is the one school I'm most comfortable at because I know most of the teachers there and I know my way around. I would love to work there as a full-time teacher, but that's not looking very likely. Oh well. At least I got to spend as much time as I did working there.

The kids were absolutely nuts today and I cannot blame them for it. The district I work for is one of the last to be done for the year and the kids were so ready to be out. I'm not quite sure why they were going so late, but what matters now is that we're done! I'm really excited to be on break for a while - I do have a couple of things to do this summer (a professional development event and vacation) that I'm really looking forward to.

I was a little sad today when I left because I realized that today is probably the last day I get to work at this school. I got to start the school year there and I was able to be there when the year ended. I've made some great memories there and I learned so much from the staff, especially my mentor teacher. She was the best mentor I could have ever asked for and continued to help me when I started subbing. Any future teacher who gets her as a mentor is going to be so blessed and is going to learn a ton about teaching. I definitely plan on keeping in touch with her.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with myself starting tomorrow because I'm so used to getting up early and getting ready for work. I guess sleep in. One thing I hope to get done this summer is finish a few more Christmas projects, including an extremely complicated blanket. Summer, here I come!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Job Hunting

School ends on Thursday, so it's almost summer time. Time to relax and try to stay out of the heat and look for a summer job. I spent this morning driving around the town I live in looking for one of these jobs. The most common answer I got was "I'm not sure if we're hiring, but you can take an application, fill it out and bring it back in." I'm going to do exactly that, but it just really seems like I'm not going to have a job this summer. I'm trying to be okay with that. Financially I don't have to work - I just don't want to sit around for two months, waiting for school to start again. Maybe I can find a babysitting job or volunteer or just hang out at the local library, anything to keep me from just sitting in my apartment.

The hard part is I'm not only looking for a job this summer, I'm also looking for a teaching position for the fall. All I've got so far is nothing, a few leads that ended up going to someone else. I can't begrudge whoever got the jobs I applied for. That person was in the exact same boat I'm in right now. It just sucks. All the teachers I know keep telling me that it's okay, it's still early and I'll find something and the thing is I know what they're saying is true. But that doesn't stop me from worrying that I won't find a job. I know they're trying to be nice when they say, "Oh, I know you'll get something. Any school would love to have you," but I wish they wouldn't say it. It just makes it hurt even more when I hear the position I applied for has been filled. I just want to yell, "But what if I don't get a job? What does that say about me?"

I need to remember that no matter what happens, I will still have my substituting position in the fall. It will suck that I don't have my own classroom but at least I will have a job in the profession that I love. I need to stop letting the worry get to me. I knew going into this that I had picked a difficult subject to get hired in - it seems like most schools hire coaches to also be history teachers. But history is something I love and am passionate about. I honestly cannot see myself in another field. I have to believe something will come along, either for this school year or the next. It will be okay.

For some odd reason I have this song from Monty Python's Spamalot stuck in my head and it's kind of appropriate for right now.

"Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And... always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And... always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life..."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Craft Stores and Podcasts

Alright, I'm just going to come out and say it. I love craft stores! I can spend hours in one and I consider it a good thing if I spend less than $20 because I could spend so much more than that. Last week, I went to Michaels with one of my friends to look at some wedding stuff for her. We ended up wandering down the bargain aisle, where they have the greatest collection of items like monster band-aids, aloe socks, and Popsicle molds. I ended up buying a couple of Paula Dean items (a recipe box and recipe cards - can't wait to fill it up!) and a tomato shaped timer. I think my friend and I spent about forty-five minutes wandering up and down the aisle picking things up, putting them down, debating if we really wanted something and finally making ourselves walk away. Bargain aisles are always a great way to waste some time. Another great thing about craft stores is yarn. I love to wander around the yarn area and imagine what I could make with the different yarns. I want to do too many things at the same time! One project at a time, one project at a time.

I've been crocheting lately while either watching something on Netflix or listening to a podcast. There are a few podcasts I like to follow right now - "The Rachel Maddow Show" and "Read It and Weep" are a couple that come to mind. I'm actually listening to "The Rachel Maddow Show" right now. "Read It and Weep" is a recent addiction, thanks to my sister-in-law, and it's essentially a trio of guys who critique popular fiction, TV shows, and movies. It's pretty funny, especially when the guys started to introduce themselves as characters from the books they are talking about. I even got my SO interested in it and he doesn't like anything that resembles talk radio. I can't wait to see what they review next.