Books & Stranger Things

It’s been a week since I last posted. I really meant to post another time last week. But then I re-discovered my love of reading. So far I’ve read:

  1. How to Be a Bawse-Lilly Singh
  2. Small Horrors: A Collection of Fifty Creepy Stories-Darcy Coates
  3. Kicking Mediocrity in The Crotch-Staci Fonner (personal friend)
  4. Cruel Sacrifice-Aphrodite Jones

I’m currently reading With a Doubt-Marcia Clark.

The other reason I didn’t post? Two words: Stranger Things. I had heard rave reviews about it but I just now found the time to watch it. It was AMAZING! Last night I started re-watching it again. And I even found the soundtrack on Spotify to listen to & I love it. The music is completely 80s and that has led to me listening to 80s music a lot more too. I can’t wait until October to binge watch season 2.

I know this isn’t up to par based on prior writings but I’m exhausted. The last two night’s at the gym have been rough. I swear my trainers are trying to kill us.

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Be a Bawse

Last week a book I pre-ordered last July arrived. It’s called How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life. It’s by a YouTube personality that goes by Superwoman, but her real name is Lilly Singh. I happen to stumble upon her videos three years ago and ever since then I’ve followed her on a majority of social media. When I heard that she was writing a book last summer I originally thought she’d be writing an autobiography & when the title of the book was released I thought it was an interesting title for an autobiography.

Last week when the book arrived I dove right in and I wasn’t expecting to be hit with such thought-provoking quotes and advice.  Thrown in between a few chapters there were segments titled Out of the Blue. On the left side Lilly wrote about a time when her depression was affecting her life with a blue background while on the right side on a vibrant yellow background was a more recent time how she flipped the way she was feeling in a more recent year. As she says in the book depression doesn’t go away. You don’t magically wake up one morning all bright and happy and think, ‘my depression is gone! It will never bother me again!’ I wish it did work that way, but she’s right. I’ve had bouts of it since 2007. Not quite as severe but I knew what was happening again and yet I couldn’t stop it. And the even scarier part was I wasn’t caring that it was happening again.

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Fall of 2007 was a defining moment for me.  There are days when I’m feeling down but then I take a moment to look back at that moment and I look at how far I’ve come.  It wasn’t easy but I rose from a very low point and I dusted myself off and set out to prove my worst enemy (myself) wrong.

There were other moments in this book that made me stop and do a little self-reflection. When I finished this book I went back and jotted down the side quotes that left an impact on me personally. What I’m going to do with these notes I’m not sure yet but what I do know is I want to put them somewhere I can read them everyday. Almost like a way to start my day on a positive note and be motivated for the day.

And if you’re asking yourself if you’re a Bawse my suggestion is read the book and find out.

Reflection

It’s March 31st and that means that this 31 Slice of Life Challenge has come to a close.  I can’t believe how quickly it flew by. As a first time slicer I went into this challenge telling myself that I would try to have quality content in every single on of my posts. Did I succeed in doing that? No. A few of them were short and not my greatest and that’s only because I was exhausted that day and I knew if I had kept writing it would’ve been a rambling mess.

First I’d like to thank Twowritingteachers.org for setting up this writing challenge. I feel that I grew not only as a writer through this challenge but as an educator too. By being reflective at the end of each day it helped me learn how to be a little more patient or a little more encouraging. I’ve met so many new incredible educators over the past month and allow me to say that your students are lucky to have each of you as their teacher.

Over the course of the past thirty-one days I’ve learned the following things:

  • Writing is easy when you don’t box yourself in and think you need to write about a certain topic.
  • I shouldn’t be afraid to put myself out there a little more. I really dove into some personal events and thoughts a few times. Each time the responses blew me away in just how supportive you were.
  • Sometimes the smallest things can provide you with inspiration.
  • I’ve fallen in love with blogging daily. I think I’m going to try to blog three times a week and write about more than just my daily workouts.

And one thing I’m very sure of is that I’m already looking forward to next year’s Slice of Life Challenge.  To those of you that took the time to comment on my posts thank you. Those comments allowed me to grow as a writer. And it also allowed me to feel how my students feel when they present their writings to me. They often stand next to me nervous but they light up when I leave them positive feedback. That’s exactly how I felt each time one of you commented. Sometimes I think as educators we kind of forget what it’s like to receive critique from the student POV. I hope all of you stick around and read my slices occasionally. The challenge may be over but I still have a lot to write about it. And I definitely plan to take part in the Tuesday Slices.

Fearless

Today was our school’s talent show.  It was set for the afternoon and the contestants were excited. There were fourteen acts ranging from dancers to instrumentalists. We even had one 4th grader be the in-between acts entertainment.  All of the kids were great and they were fearless. If they were nervous they never showed it. There were two 5th grade girls that sang a duet and their voices blended beautifully! A 3rd grader performed Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” and she had such an innocence to her voice. Of course that song has personal meaning to me because it made me think of all the vacations with my grandparents. I found myself fiddling with my Origami Owl necklace during that performance. Three of my 4th grade girls came over and sat around me when they saw me doing that. They knew what it meant. However they didn’t realize that was about to make me really cry because that small gesture meant a lot to me. The final act was a trio of girls who sang “Fight Song” and one of them was a 4th grader that is pretty outgoing but I had no idea she could sing! At the end of the show I found her she latched onto me and asked, “Ms. Barrick, what did you think?” Her eyes were brimming with hope and the second I told her that I loved her voice she nearly toppled me over with her hug. Another 4th grade girl, who danced, came running over to me and asked what I thought. I told her that her moves were awesome and I was glad that this year she was healthy. She was going to dance last year but came down with a high grade fever and the flu the day before the show. She was so mad at herself for becoming sick.

Before we went to this show I told my group of 5th graders that I expected better behavior from them than from the previous assembly. I told them that if the thought crossed their mind to heckle or jeer any of the acts that it would be automatic detention and we would be making a trip to the front office. I told them them that it takes a lot of courage to get up on stage alone for an audition. But it takes just as much, if not a little more, courage to perform in front of their peers. During the entire show none of them goofed off or made any negative comments. For this 5th grade class that’s a huge accomplishment.

I was proud of all of the kids that performed today. For just a moment they were fearless and oh how they shined!

Yo Soy

Today’s slice was inspired by Jen’s post yesterday. It’s a biopoem & it’s somewhat like slam poetry but with less raw emotion.

Anna

Competitive, Driven, Loyal.

Lover of books, music, quiet spaces, and autumn.

Who wonders if I’ll ever find the time to go on a road trip anytime soon or finally bite the bullet and book that flight to Chicago.

Who fears heights, cooling towers, and dead birds. (Yes, dead birds. Why? I have no clue.)

Who feels happy when I’m surrounded by my group of 4th graders, reading, or in a library.

Who cares about how my students, no my kids, see themselves academically and personally.

Who dreams of one day moving to a bigger city and owning a house where I can read in a bay window.

Who resides in West Virginia.

Barrick

A Better Day

Today was a much better day. My students worked all morning with zero complaint. My BD kid didn’t show up until 11:30 but his day went smoothly. He did his work and stayed on task. He told me at the end of the day that after school he was going to go home and meditate. He said that he was pretty sure he had a good day. I told him that he had a very good day. He wished me a good afternoon and left.

I didn’t mention yesterday to him at all. Instead of focusing on the negativity of yesterday I chose to focus on the positivity of today. I commended him on his good work today. I told him that his explanations to the social studies worksheet were well thought out. He’s a bright kid but his temper tends to isolate him from the other students. But today was a good day. Here’s hoping tomorrow is too.

Is it Friday Yet?

Have you ever had one of those days where the minute your eyes opened you just knew that it was going to be a long day? Today was a VERY long day. The morning started out okay and the kids complained very little when we started working on our vocabulary worksheet. The kids went to gym, I did a little grading and made copies for math, picked them up from gym and sent them back to the room while I waited on a few girls to finish in the bathroom. I get back in the room and that’s when it all went south.

My BD kid is sitting there with a look in his eyes. Someone had said something to him and he was stewing over it. Before I can say anything he exploded. The aide and I told him to go walk it off and he stormed out, slamming the door, and letting the dust fall from the ceiling. We called the office to let him know he was on his way. I headed to the office while the kids started working on their math worksheet. By the time I get to the office the situation had become worse. He was becoming physical with the Special Ed teacher and cussing out our Superintendent. Another 5th grade teacher and myself met with his mother and explained what had happened and how he had been triggered but he was still sent home for the day. I go back to the room and the kids are working quietly. The rest of the morning was uneventful. After lunch I head to the cafeteria to get the kids lined up for recess. The second I enter the speech teacher comes and tells me one of my students was caught with their cell phone. That’s an automatic detention. I call his name for detention then head down to the room to fill out the form for the detention teacher. As I turn the corner there’s said student standing in the doorway refusing to go to Detention. After fifteen minutes of complaining about how it’s unfair he finally goes. He has detention again tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon was uneventful and I am quite glad that this Monday is finally over. Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day.

A Note of Thanks

Over the course of the past twenty six days I’ve come to know several new teachers. Each day I check in on their blogs and am given a snapshot of their life. Sometimes their life is full of joy in the form of an announcement of a new grandchild, sadness in the form of their beloved fur family member passing away, to being stressed from work. No matter what’s going on in their life I can relate to them in some way. Sometimes their slice can trigger an emotion in me that I’ve tried to bury away for so long but it inspires me to write something that is soul baring. Other times their slice can inspire me to write a very lighthearted post about childhood. This slice is a slice about gratitude. To those of you who have read my slice of life posts every day thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read about the going-on’s in my life. To those of you that I’ve checked in on everyday allow me to say thank you.

Thank you for inspiring me to put myself out there. To write about why I love teaching was quite an easy post. The post Slammed however was the most difficult to write. In writing that I was forced to re-open feelings that I thought I had done so well to hide away. But in the days following I found that I kind of needed to write that piece. Everything has finally been closed now. I feel like that I’ve been able to find out a little bit more about myself through this Slice of Life Challenge. I’m a very guarded person and so for me to put down those walls and let each of you into my life (even for a second) was a little difficult.  Your comments and kindness had an impact. You may be thinking, ‘It’s not that big of a deal,’ but remember we’re all kind of like our students. Sometimes the smallest positive comment can have the largest impact. Again, I thank you.

Sunday Lately #117

Sunday Lately  is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is led by the powerhouse duo Katy (Wild and Wanderful) & Angelica (Gardening in High Heels).  We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Basking, Discovering, Tinkering, Feeling, Switching.

Basking: In the glow of the sunlight from this afternoon’s gorgeous sun! It was rainy for a little bit, but the sunshine has returned! It’s helped improve my mood greatly because I’ve chosen to be lazy this weekend.

Discovering: new books! My classes are finally finished and I’ve spent this weekend relaxing and looking for new books to begin reading. Right now I’m reading the one my friend wrote-Kicking Mediocrity in the Crotch: How to Get Unstuck and Take Your Life to the Next Level.

Tinkering: With my private Pinterest board that has all of my Boudoir inspiration ideas. I booked this two weeks ago but due to classes I haven’t had the time to look at ideas. Now that I can I’m a little overwhelmed with the amount of clothing and poses.

Feeling: tired of being sick! I still have that stupid cough and had to go back to the doctor this Wednesday. I was given another antibiotic and maybe, just maybe, this one will work.

Switching: My work wardrobe over to my spring outfits. I’ve missed wearing these lighter dresses and the jean jackets.

A brief week but it was kind of a blur.   

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Working, Loving, Stressing, Growing, Visiting.

Downtime

For the past month and a half I’ve been busy every day of the week. Monday through Friday I was working on stuff for my classes, going to work, and going to the gym. Weekends were spent getting up early to work on more stuff for class, Adult Prom, a shopping trip, or church. For the past three weeks I’ve been sick with that bronchial ick that’s going around. But it didn’t keep me from going to work, the gym, or church. But yesterday it hit me that I am exhausted. This weekend my plans are the following: relax. 

I slept in today & it felt amazing! The rest of the day was spent lounging about on the couch or my bed. I’m still fighting a stupid cough & I’m over it. It’s been three weeks of coughing and taking medicine and it’s just tiresome. I think I’ll spend the rest of the evening watching my favorite episodes of Bob’s Burgers and eventually crash for the night.