There are less than two weeks until the madness of the new school year starts here in New Zealand. I really like how the new school year starts with the new year here. It’s just a fresh start in all aspects of life.

I have been doing some lesson planning for next year since I plan to be trying out some different things in my curriculum this year such as interactive notebooks in my junior classes. I have also been working on decorating my classroom. It is not really something that a lot of high school teachers do a lot of but I enjoy it and I always feel happier in my environment after I have decorated it and made it look nicer. If I feel happier then I like to think that my students feel happier too.

Untitled

Last year, I started to organize my side board into little boxes with categories. I had quote of the day and a box for each class’s homework which is pretty standard. I also tried something new last year which was having a section called Mathemagicians for each class. I would put up names of students who had gone the extra mile and asked thought provoking questions or completed their homework to a high standard. I liked having sections for my board last year since the previous year I didn’t use the middle part of my board at all and it just ended up being unused.

Continue reading »

We currently have two weeks off before the last term of the year and I have got an insane amount of work to do. However, despite having a list a million kilometres long, I spent my entire first week of the holidays at a Math Conference. The New Zealand Association of Maths Teachers (NZAMT) held their 13th biennial conference and my school was generous enough to send our entire department (minus one since he was unavailable).

Untitled

Continue reading »

Sometimes I think to myself that I should just make a math teacher blog instead. That’s basically all my life is these days. Not that it’s a bad thing – it’s just the truth. I love it to pieces but I just don’t know if anyone really wants to hear about what I want to do with my student’s notebooks next year or what I think the best classroom management strategies are.

Is this really what I’ve become?

There is one cool thing, though. I have some pretty amazing students. They bring me amazing things like this origami. I have an origami shrine in my classroom now.

Untitled Untitled

Not many people can say that they have an origami shrine. Am I right?

Oh, but my students can create some things that aren’t so good too. Last week I did my famous Map Project with one of my junior classes. They have to create a map of a town for a toy company. There’s math involved – don’t worry. They have to have parallel streets, perpendicular streets, streets that form obtuse and acute angles, and the list goes on.

One of my students decided to populate his town. They thought it was funny. I didn’t.

Untitled

We had a big compromise and the student decided to erase the people. Then he drew a nuclear warhead next to a dump instead. Fine. Compromise. I’ll play along. As long as there are parallel streets, I’ll be happy.

Ahh, teaching.
Some days it’s harder than others to find the beautiful origami amidst the dumps full of nuclear warheads.

I am loving my job. I love the classes I teach. My students are great and keep me entertained. I love the people I work with. I am passionate about the subject I teach. I love my school. I love my town. I love education itself.

I love it so much that I have had to start putting it on my schedule to “leave work.” Otherwise I’d happily stay there all night. Or come home and work more and not do anything else and that’s just weird. So I’ve started leaving everything at work too so I’m not tempted.

Untitled

That doesn’t stop me. I just have too many ideas. I can’t stop working. I’ll just browse math sites or grab tiny pieces of paper that are meant to be for the shopping list and make up more math problems for tomorrow. I can’t just let good ideas go to waste, can I? No. I can’t.

Untitled

I’m pretty busy. This week got a bit crazy, can you tell? I am still getting the hang of things and sometimes I plan poorly and have to move everything around. I have learned to leave it there instead of printing a new sheet out so or writing in pencil so that I learn from my mistakes. And sure, I have got a lot of free spaces there but being I’m still in my first few years teaching, I’ve got heaps to do. I think it’s great that New Zealand give teachers in their first two years of teaching one less class. Thanks, New Zealand. I still get a House Class though which I love. (That’s homeroom plus I get to have them after assemblies on Monday.)

Most teachers I know, including my own mother, have uttered the following phrase at some point in their career:

I could write a book.

The things we see and hear on a daily basis can induce bouts of hilarity. Plus, teachers love to talk and share stories. If we didn’t love to talk, then we would certainly be in trouble because the majority of our job entails standing up in front of a room of people and talking. Some subjects require more talking than others and some teaching styles require more talking than others but there is still a lot of talking required.

I recently taught the Statistical Inquiry Cycle to my Level 3 Statistics class. I don’t normally have to check their books like I do my other classes. By their last year in high school they don’t have to be told things like “take notes and stop drawing penises in your books” because these are the students who have actually elected to take math but once in a while I’ll peek just to see what they are up to.

Here are the notes that I gave:
The Statistical Inquiry Cycle
Problem
Plan
Data
Analysis
Conclusion

and here is what we see:
Untitled

Maybe there was just no conclusion since that step 4 seems to have been a bit rough.

I think I’ll follow suit with this blog. I have a lot of work to do.

This week was Māori language week. Māori is one of the official languages of New Zealand – the others being English and Sign Language. Māori is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand.

Since I arrived in New Zealand, and especially since I’ve been teaching, I’ve been trying to learn a lot about Māori culture and incorporate it in my classes. I find it all fascinating and I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures and people. It’s even more awesome when I’m living here and it’s all around me.

Maori language week I decorated part of my classroom’s whiteboard for the week for Māori language week and updated it every day with what our school was doing.

We had some great events during the week like a staff vs students quiz, a student give a speech in Māori for his assessment, a performance by our Kapa Haka group, book displays in the library, daily quizzes in the notices, and Moko paintings.

I believe the top part translates roughly to “This is Māori language week.”

“Arohatia Te Reo” means “Cherish The Language” and was the theme for our Māori language week.

I also started writing the date in Māori. Since I didn’t really know how to do this, I had my students all teach me. They showed me how to write it and say it. It was a learning experience for everyone, I think. One of those times that it’s really a fantastic way for you to have your students teach you something. It’s something that a lot of them probably learned when they were in primary school and got a kick out of showing me.

a89f81bad6bc11e1b9a5123138140995_7 Thursday was one of my favourite days. Not only is Thursday one of my favourite days every week because it’s my least busy day that falls right after my busiest day but this Thursday the students did Moko pantings. A moko is a traditional Maori tattoo. They contain ancestral and tribal significance to the wearer and would tell a story of their tribe, family, and place in social structures. Getting a moko on your face is the ultimate statement of someone’s identity as a Māori. Many Māori people had a facial moko. Women often wore theirs on their chin. My students had me get one but don’t worry – it is not permanent.

I did it again. Got wrapped up in my own little dream world.

School is back in session and I’m back in the madness. It’s all right, though. I’m loving every minute of it. I seriously adore teaching. Even when there are days where my students set out to make my life difficult, there are way more moments in my day that make it all worth while. Times when I can look back and be amused or inspired or intrigued by something. Once in a while I am even caught off guard or surprised myself.

I’ll provide you some examples for your amusement as well as my own.

Me: So everyone! We’re talking about days here so which of these two solutions can we automatically exclude or ignore?
Student A: The negative answer. We can’t have negative days.
Me: Right. Lets put a great big line through it! *crosses it out on the board*
Student B: But, Miss! What if we are using time travel!
Me: I’m pretty sure you don’t know The Doctor. Unless you have a Tardis which I’m pretty sure you don’t, cross out your answer.
Student A (to student B): Yeah, the Tardis is the only acceptable form of time travel.

Me: Guys, this is really important! Pay attention!
The Whole Class: *doesn’t pay attention*
Me: Don’t you want to pass your assessment? It’s important!
The Whole Class: *doesn’t pay attention*
Me: LA INFORMACION ES MUY IMPORTANTE!
The Whole Class: *pays attention*
Here, there happens to be one of these rare moments where it is assumed that there will continue to be noise in the room, but there isn’t. A student speaks softly to his friend but it appears to be the only noise in the entire universe.
Student X: …that’s hot.
The Whole Class (minus student X): Erupts in laughter.
Me: *turns bright red*
Here, I decide it’s best if I just turn around and keep writing notes while they get it out of their system. When it’s done, I turn around and continue.
Me: Okay, so lets try to fill in our table here with the values from our graph.
Student A: Will we do it in Spanish, Miss?
Me: No.

Those were my two best examples of the week.

There are a large amount of us in my little circle of teacher friends at school who are really into knitting. Lately, it has become a bit of a joke between everyone that every time someone walks into the staff room someone is sitting in there knitting or crocheting or has stashed their yarn or patterns there for later. One teacher is so passionate about it that she decided she would start a knitting club during lunch time one day a week for the students. She’s got a little army of knitters following her around now showing her their work and sharing patterns with her. It’s adorable and pretty awesome. They call themselves The Knit Wits.

It was decided this week that as fun as our little Knit Wit meetings are, it would be so fun to have a grown up version of this… a “Stitch and Bitch Knit Wits,” if you will. So all of the sudden we found ourselves in a pub tonight having a knitting club. I decided that this either made us officially old and lame or some new breed of hipsters. I’m going with some strange new breed of hipsters. Sitting in a pub on a school night knitting? Heck yes! (Or maybe I actually am getting old.)

My new hat

Fiona made me a hat, though. Well, that’s not entirely true. She made it for herself but it was too big for her head. I’ve got a pretty big head though plus I have loads of hair all over the place so it looks pretty good on me. It was so awesome of her to give it to me. She’s making the hat again but making it smaller (and in grey) for herself now. It looks amazing. I am constantly enthralled by the patterns that she makes. She makes all these beautiful clothes and wears them to work. Now my other friend Claire is making these awesome patterns too and I am in awe. I’m also just a little bit jealous but only enough to realize that I could actually be making these things too if I wasn’t too lazy to learn and practice better. However that is a problem that I have with the need to want to be instantly good at everything or giving up.

I am working on crocheting because no matter how much I try and knit I just can’t do it. I think that whichever you learn first (knitting or crocheting) is just what comes naturally to most people. My mother taught me how to crochet and I’ve always just found it way easier so I am going to pick that back up again instead. I’m pretty rusty since I haven’t done it in years but it’s coming back to me fast. I am going to try to make a pair of cute slippers and give them to Fiona since she made me my beautiful hat.

My first birthday over here in New Zealand has been an absolute blast! I have enjoyed myself from start to finish. Last night, Josh gave me his present – a beautiful lamp for the living room plus a cute lamp for my desk. I’ve been complaining about the lack of light in our house lately. I also got a parcel yesterday from Josh’s mom. She got me a bunch of adorable and useful office supplies for my classroom. I have some awesome new pens and cute pot-it notes now!

Last night I decided that I was going to bake cookies for morning tea for the staff today since it was my birthday. There had to be a celebration! I made Snickerdoodles. They were a big hit. So many people had never even heard of a Snickerdoodle before let alone tried one so I was glad I made them.

Birthday Earrings

I went into school this morning and my students started flowing into my classroom with goodies. I may have accidentally let it slip somewhere that it was my birthday and word spread quite quickly. One girl in my house class (yes, we have a house system like Harry Potter in my school) gave me these earrings that her mother made as well as a huge block of chocolate! I got more chocolate, too! Just when I thought it had stopped, a girl from one of my other classes marched in with not one… but TWO CAKES that she had made. She even decorated them with circles and triangles since we are studying geometry right now. My desk was full of sweets not even 15 minutes after I walked into the door!

Continue reading »

I’ve been incredibly busy lately. I knew that my first year of teaching would entail incredible amounts of work on my part and it has definitely proved to be all of that and more. I’m happy to say that I’m loving every minute of it, though!

Teaching high school students has proven to be one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences in my life thus far. I learn something new every day and there is never a dull moment both in and out of the classroom. What has surprisingly proven to be one of the most difficult things for me in my teaching experience so far is how my students have this incredible talent to somehow get me completely off topic. One second I’m talking about algebra and the next minute I’m talking about how New Zealanders call all candy lollies which I find confusing because whenever someone says lolly I think of a lolly pop but a lolly is really any kind of candy over here besides chocolate. I think? See – I don’t even know. Wait, was I talking about triangles? Where am I? You darn kids!

Today, I was teaching a Trigonometry lesson and hilarity ensued.

A plane takes off at an angle of 41° with the ground. It travels through the air until it is 8m high. How far has the plane traveled through the air?

Don’t worry. We don’t actually have to do math. I will show you my beautiful picture that I drew on the whiteboard, though. I demonstrated how our diagram should be drawn (with some feedback from my students, of course), and then I drew in a plane because you’ve got to illustrate your triangle pictures!

The problem is… I can’t draw. That is my plane. (If you play me in Draw Something then you will understand.)

A couple students started laughing.

One student said, “Miss! Haven’t you ever been on a plane before?”

Laughter followed. Because, of course, here I am – a foreign teacher standing in front of the class. This New Yorker teaching a class of New Zealanders while in New Zealand. Have I ever been on a plane? Gee, I wonder. (Maybe I should have taken it as a compliment that they think I fit in so well that I belong here.)

I looked at the student quite seriously and replied, “No. I actually swam here.”

More laughter.

Then I continued with my board work.

The best thing about writing on the board is that you can turn around and smile and smirk while you’re writing but the students can’t see. Then you can turn around all calm and composed and make a perfect, premeditated remark at just the right time to make them not know what to think. Turn around and write again. Throw in some math. Catch them off guard. Rinse and repeat.

I love teaching high school.

Today I start my new job as a high school math teacher. It is a bit hard for me to accept the fact that ten years ago I was in high school myself. At the end of this year, it is technically my 10 year high school reunion. Weird. (It’s also a bit weird for me to get used to the start of the school year being in January here instead of September as well as the entire schooling system being much different but I’m sure I’ll get used to all of that, too.)

high school

Look, I was doing horrible Facebook poses before Facebook even existed! Okay, you caught me… it was horrible MySpace pose. I’m so ashamed.

I was the same cheeky little bugger then, too. I haven’t changed too much except I had highlights in my hair and sometimes I wore a *little* makeup. By that, I mean a bit of lipgloss and some sparkly eyeliner. I still only own those two makeup products although I don’t really wear makeup much at all anymore. Oh, and I don’t have highlights anymore. My parents still beg me to get them back but I never really liked them anyway. The real reason? They’re too much work and I’m too lazy.

While I’m being all melancholy, here is a blog I wrote ten years ago. (Yes, I was blogging back then too. I’ve saved all the posts but I don’t have them here at caity.nu and you’ll see clearly why in a few short moments…)


midterms, anyone? [January 2002]

First of all, let me state that I’m going to kill my sister if she doesn’t turn off the crap SHE is playing on her radio… yep… my own sister is a bubble-gum-pop-freak.

:::pulls our hair:::
:::goes to find loudest rock music in collection:::

Well… midterms are over.
I guess that’s good.

My math midterm was so easy I wanted to pound the table in frustration…
umm… maybe I actually DID do that… heh.

My government midterm was not bad. I studied for it, and my teacher prepared us well for it… umm… if we did the work we did well… and I always do the work. I’m a good student. =)

My physics midterm was really awesome… did I ever mention how much I love physics? A LOT! I really like physics. Even if it is hard at times, too, I don’t care, because it is enjoyable, and the teacher makes it enjoyable, too.

Ummmm… those are all the midterms I had to take… (physics, math, and government) well, that’s all that was given for the classes I was in. (Those aren’t all the classes I take, believe me… but those are the only ones that give midterms!)

Today was the physics midterm. I can’t believe I actually went, though. Let me explain: I had a fever! What moron actually goes to take a midterm with a FEVER? uhh, let me answer: ME, that’s what moron! Oh, man! Besides the fact that I think I disturbed everyone else in the room with my coughing (lol), I think I did damn well…

I’ll let you all know how I did…
But I’m confident…

Gee, besides the fact of being sick and feeling like crap, a positive outlook on life for once!! =)

:pause:

UGH… it will probably change in 5 minutes anyway, why am I so excited?


How embarrassing. But probably hilarious.
How have you changed in the last 10 years?

Well, I had an amazing week. I absolutely love the town, the people, and all the people I met at the school. The people I stayed with were amazing and really exciting – they even helped to run a cycling club one night which I know I will be joining at some point once I’m settled in (and once I have my own bicycle again).

math books

I’m feeling way more relieved about teaching here now. I even had the opportunity to teach a couple classes while I was there and it was great to be in the classroom again. I did heaps of math problems, got my head around New Zealand’s curriculum a bit more finally, and even took a stab at writing a unit plan for next year.

I’m going to be best friends with my math books from now until January. If this week taught me anything, it’s that I’m a bit rusty. That’s fine with me, though. I do enjoy math. I don’t think too many other people would be excited about doing math problems in their spare time but when the head of the maths department handed me this stack of math books with matching workbooks and let me know exactly what I would be teaching next year, she could have been handing me gold! I think I got way too excited about math this week… but did I really? Is there such a thing about being too excited about math?

Nah. There isn’t.
(Spoken like a true math teacher, I suppose. We’re on the right track.)

I have lost 60 pounds as of today. Actually, if you want to be technical I’ve lost exactly 61.6 pounds as of my weigh in this week. But who is keeping track, right? I’m really excited about this big milestone. My goal is still set to lose a total of 80 pounds but I still might readjust it as I get closer depending on how I feel once I am around that weight. We’ll see how I feel after another 10. I know I want to get at least to there.

new clothes

Yesterday after work I went and bought myself some “teacher clothes.” I am going to be needing them sooner than I think. Although I do not start my new job until the school year starts here in January, I am going to be visiting the school in another week. I will be sitting in on classes, seeing how the school is run, and sitting in on one of their faculty days at the end of the week (which is why that week was picked for me to go down there). I will be staying with another teacher for the week since it is too far for me to travel there each day. I’m not sure who I will be staying with yet but I’m sure it will be an adventure in itself.

Don’t worry. I don’t plan to fail NaBloPoMo either. I am going to plan lots of blog posts before I go just in case I am not able to blog while I’m there. You’ve got to love WordPress and scheduled posts. If I am able to blog, I will do so but if I’m not able to, I’ll have a backup plan. Of course when I get back I’ll have lots to talk about! I am definitely going to take my camera with me. I will also be shown the house that Josh and I will be renting starting in January which I am excited about. I have only seen the outside of it so far.

I am very lucky that I was able to get the week off work at the supermarket dairy. I even was able to get some paid time that I had accrued. Not only that, but the school is paying me for the week to go down there! Everyone is paying me! It’s going to be an amazing week. Now I just have to get through this week first. Why does time always drag when you’ve got something you’re really looking forward to?

I stole this from Liz.

I have always been a bit enthralled with my handwriting. Maybe I have even been a little bit obsessed with it. I just might have been one of those nerdy students who carried around WAY too many pens in high school and colour coded her notes. Okay, so I was. I actually had a former teacher once approach me and ask to borrow my notes from the previous year to use for preparing her own lesson plans. Now I’ll be writing my own. At least I know I have the proper organizational skills to do so. As long as they don’t want me to type my lesson plans in script, I will be happy to submit them in any way they ask. Is it sad that one of the main things I’m looking forward to about being in the teaching profession again is buying office supplies and pens?

handwriting meme

Here are the questions:
1. Name/Blog URL
2. Lefty/Righty/Ambidextrous
3. Letters you enjoy writing
4. Letters you dislike writing
5. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
6. Write CRAB, HUMOR, KALEIDOSCOPE, PAJAMAS, and GAZILLION in caps.
7. Write one of your favorite song lyrics.
8. Write who should do this.
9. Any last blurb slash note

I got the job! I am now a New Zealand high school math teacher! I start in the beginning of the school year which is January here.

Trip To Hokitika

On Monday, Josh and I drove down the west coast for my teaching interview. It was a long trip but it turned out to be well worth it. I absolutely loved the school and the town. The drive was beautiful and we both loved the area. We knew that if I ended up getting the job we would have to move to the area since it was too far to travel every day. At first since the town was so small we were scared that it was going to be quite hard to find somewhere to live but there is school housing available. There is a house across the street from the school that the school owns that will become available in the new school year and they offered it to us. It’s a 3 bedroom house and it is cheaper rent than we are paying right now for where we are living. Yes, please!

Continue reading »

I have still been working hard to lose weight and I’m nearing the 60 pounds lost mark. My weight loss is not as rapid as when I was in New York – I no longer go to the gym every single day and I have increased my calorie intake a bit more – but I am still slowly shredding the pounds. Actually, I should say I’m shredding the kilos. Things are a bit different now that I’m in New Zealand. I have had to get used to measuring my weight in kilograms as well as the speed limit in kilometers. The metric system does make a lot more sense sometimes and I’m very familiar with it being the stupendous math teacher that I am but it’s a lot different understanding something and using it in your daily life. You may understand the conversions quite adeptly but you may not be able to visualize how much someone might weigh in kilograms as opposed to pounds if that’s what you used all your life. Don’t even get my started on the weather. The TV says it’s 30 degrees? Let me get my winter coat. Oh wait… I need my jandals?

IMG_2011

I realized that I really didn’t have anything that was appropriate to wear to a teaching interview. I had brought the skirt from a suit set that I bought in New York but I forgot the blazer. I figured that I would buy a nice top to go with my nice black skirt and that just might do. I wandered off into town this bright Sunday morning only to realize that everything was closed. My tiny town was a ghost town. (It’s one of the joys of living in the middle of nowhere – along with the serenity, you also have times where you must go a bit further in certain instances.) If I was going to get anything today I was going to have to drive a half hour to the mall. So off I went.

I realized that I didn’t really know any of the stores in New Zealand. It’s one thing to not really know what you want or where to shop when you actually KNOW the stores, but here I am in this brand new country, not really knowing what I’m looking for, and I don’t know what the stores even have to offer me. I walked into one of the stores and realized that I don’t even know what the heck size I am over here. Even better. I really started to miss my friends today. I think it was the first time in my life that I actually was looking around at all the employees hoping that they would swamp me and ask me questions. It figures the one time I want this to happen, it doesn’t.

I walked into one of those small clothes stores in the mall. Those stores where it looks like they have too many people working there for the size of the store and they’re just waiting for the customers to come in so they can ask you if you need help with something. I made eye contact with the first girl I saw and smiled a crooked smile at her. I must have looked like easy bait. Well, I sort of was. She sold me 2 shirts. Everyone was happy.

IMG_2022

Well, I was happy to an extent. I learned that NZ sizes are bigger than American sizes. Even though I’m a size 10 or 12 in American sizes now, I’m a size 14 NZ. I know that technically I am the same size and only the number has changed but in my head, it’s like I gained sizes again! I know it’s completely superficial but I can’t help thinking it. I have worked really hard to lose all this weight and going down in clothes sizes has been like a reward system for me along the way, raiding the clearance racks for $5-$10 items so I’m not wasting money on items I will grow out of again. At least in shoe sizes, I’ve gone from a size 8 (American) to a size 6 (NZ). Is that supposed to make me feel better about the whole thing? Haha!

I know I’ve only recently started my job at the supermarket dairy and although I’m thankful to have a job, it hasn’t stopped me from continuing to look for a teaching job. I am a math teacher, after all, and I would like to still teach. It has been a slow process but I suppose now that we are nearing the end of the school year here in New Zealand schools are looking to replace teachers who are leaving and more schools are posting jobs. I finally heard from a school today and they want an interview!

Me

The school where I’ll be interviewing has a house system like Harry Potter (except I doubt the students are witches and wizards). I don’t know if the fact that I’m so excited about this is a justifiable sort of feeling or if I am being super unprofessional and silly. It’s definitely one of the things I’m most excited about though!

My interview is next Monday since that is my next day off – that was alright with them since the schools are on holiday for the next 2 weeks anyway.

It’s a 3 hour drive from where I currently am so Josh and I are planning to take a fun little road trip and maybe even visit his dad where he is currently doing some dairy farming! I’m super excited!

I have been trying to find a job since I got back to New Zealand. It has been very frustrating and daunting as I’m sure it is for most people who try to find a job and I’m sure I don’t have to tell most people how hard it can be at times especially in today’s economy. It’s hard everywhere.

For those who don’t know, I’m a math teacher. I’m certified to teach secondary math in two countries – obviously America (New York State) and in New Zealand. However, even though teachers are said to be in need in New Zealand right now, math jobs are hard to come by in the area that Josh and I have settled. We’re in a small little town and quite often small little towns don’t really cycle through jobs like that as fast as places with larger populations.

I really needed a job though so I didn’t give up. I decided that I didn’t really need a teaching job right now to be happy even if that’s what I had technically chosen for a profession. Besides, there are things more important in life than jobs that pay a lot of money like having a job at all and waking up every day feeling happy and healthy and loved. Now I have all of these things.

I finally found a job at a local supermarket in the dairy department. I actually really, really love it. I have enjoyed being out and about and it has given me the opportunity to meet some other people here in New Zealand besides just Josh and his family which is always refreshing and interesting (not that I don’t love all of them but it’s good to expand the circle).

Trying to Steep
All I do is drink peppermint tea lately, it seems…

The only downside so far is that it has left me extremely tired while I am getting used to the job. I came home feeling sore and wanting nothing more than to eat a gigantic dinner and go to bed which I can assure you is what I did. My schedule is better now. After only a week they offered me better hours. They gave me more hours and the hours themselves are more manageable for me. I like them so much better.

At first I thought I would be upset that I was not teaching. I even got some comments of condescension from a few different people because they think that this job is below me. I think that is ridiculous. I think that my happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what job that I do but rather on how I do whatever job that I do and I should always do that job to the best of my ability. Too many people focus on what they want instead of what they need. If I kept trying to get a teaching job then maybe I wouldn’t even have a job at all and that wouldn’t be productive either – isn’t it even more counterproductive to be unemployed? You can never make any connections or get yourself out there by sitting at home. I never know who I will meet at my new job. The choices we make in life make us who we are and bring us where we are headed. I want to be headed somewhere – I don’t want to sit still… do you?

I am happy. That’s enough for me. If there’s anything I’ve learned in life it’s that if something feels wrong in your life then you have to do something about it. Sometimes that something might be something a little different than what you originally had planned. For me, the further I differ from my original plans, the more amazing my life becomes.

Today I had to substitute for a reading class and the kids had to read their independent reading books for the majority of the period. Towards the end of the period, a kid came up to me and asked if he could borrow a stapler.

I asked him what he needed a stapler for. Theoretically the only thing he should have been doing (and the only thing I saw him doing) was reading his book and you don’t need a stapler for that, right?

I looked again and the only thing he had in his hands was his book. Again, I thought this to be very odd.

He told me that he wanted to staple the book so he didn’t lose his page. He was going to put a staple through the first 35 or so pages and the front cover because he was sick of losing his page. He said he tried folding down the corner of his page but it kept coming back up!

I said I didn’t think this was a very wise idea. I suggested that he take a piece of loose leaf paper and fold it up a few times and make his own bookmark. I told him that on his free time he could even color it and customize it.

He told me that I was a genius.
Just when you thought you had seen it all, right?