Wednesday, June 11, 2008

summer milestones

today was the last day of final exams and the official end of the semester at school. I didn’t have to proctor or give an exam today, so I went to campus for the end of the year faculty lunch and was showered with hugs and praise and good byes since I will be leaving my school this year and joining a new community. days like today are especially difficult for me because I am very emotional and sentimental and I am particularly bad with goodbyes. I inherited this terrible weakness from my grandmother who is also a notoriously emotional goodbye-er. sigh

I thought I would try to up my blogging over the summer and keep track of some milestones, both mundane and significant. here's a very indulgent capturing of today, the unofficial start of "summer vacation."

I received roses from two students in the last days of school. I am so grateful for my girls and I will truly miss them.

this was a farewell gift from the administration and a nice nod to the irish sisters who run the school I’m leaving. my grandfather will appreciate learning about it as he is especially proud of his irish heritage and often calls me his irish colleen.

I stopped at the market on my way home this afternoon and could not resist indulging my inexplicable craving for chocolate covered gummi bears. since the market doesn’t sell them and I couldn’t justify making another stop (at the mall no less), I decided to make them. here is a photo of the army of chocolate bears on the top shelf of my fridge. I estimate that they will last approximately one day.

and here is the work I have to do over the next five days. this doesn’t include the big stack of essay process in my classroom that I couldn’t bring myself to lug home. I will go back to campus to take care of that and enter those scores last. update to follow (if I’m alive after all this reading…)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wishlists and other various things on my Sunday night brain

As I lurk on various style blogs (these being among my recent faves) I have realized (although I suppose I have truly long known this to be true): I am a wishlister. I want. I want! I WANT! I am trying to decide if this is a good thing; evidence of motivation and drive. Hey! I know what I want. Or maybe it’s a sign of greed. I’m trying not to be a consumer. I really want to live simply. I just like pretty things.

And I want to look put together. (this latter desire is more often than not tempered by my desire to be comfortable. Style vs. Comfort, Comfort wins)

Perhaps a little update on the 26 before 26 list (just weeks to go… it’s time to renovate those goals and deadline!)

for my spirit
1. read Daily Om daily for one month – Jorge just chastised me because i have 228 unread Daily Oms in my gmail inbox. I will read them starting tomorrow. I will link to those that resonate.
2. write 20 minutes a day for one month – if only I could stick to such a schedule. I have been writing for myself more often than usual and that’s about all I can ask for at the moment. The current project is letter writing – letters to myself at both younger and older moments, letters to loved ones, handwritten letters left in colleagues’ mailboxes, emails that actually get sent and are received in the hopes of replies… it’s fun to have a theme. While I may not be writing daily, overall, it’s working. Check.
3. read for pleasure one chapter/essay a day for one month – I did this in the fall. I read all of Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle this way and soon after start Don Quixote. Not going so well. Will update as I go. Check (for the Kingsolver).
4. write 2 episodes of memoir – probably not going to happen for a good long while. I’m going to shelve this goal for the time being.
5. crochet a blanket – my cousin E has already commissioned me for this, so as soon as we can save enough pennies, I will drag him to the yarn store, we will buy skeins and skeins of luxurious yarn and I will get to work. I am definitely not expecting a finished product by May. This one gets a raincheck.
6. learn to sew. Also getting a raincheck. J’s mom is holding my machine hostage (I’m lucky she’s not charging me to store it at her place – I have no space). I will need to enlist the help of someone who sews to inspire me. Raincheck.
7. make one new recipe a week for two months – I don’t cook every day but I have adventurous periods in the culinary cosmos. My recent experiment was a quiche made from scratch (and with a modified recipe). Eggs, half and half, onions, and fresh spinach in a frozen pie crust. I cut it up and froze the slices individually and enjoyed my delicious creation for a whole week. Next up: break out the new food processor. I LOVE vegetables! Close enough. Check.
8. attend services at 3 different places of worship – I’m not worshipping anything these days except my couch and my yoga mat. Raincheck.
9. yoga once a week for two months – Friend Jen and I had a coupon for two weeks unlimited yoga at a nearby studio and I went to 5 classes in that time. I’m trying to fit yoga into my budget, but I am planning on going to class either at the studio or at the very least at the gym at least once a week from here on out. I’m calling that a check.

for my peace of mind
1. finish global citizenship project – in the midst. It’s morphing. I’ll get there.

for my brain
1. attend meetings with like-minded political activists – J and I agreed that as soon as he finishes the bar we will read up, pick our candidate and do something. Temporary raincheck.
2. find a news source i trust. read daily for one month – not doing it, know I should.
3. do a book club with christin 6x – this started as a writing group which quietly disbanded, then morphed into book talk which also hasn’t happened, but as I head into spring semester having read all but one of the texts that I’ll be teaching from now until June and having made a promise to myself that I would read the books on my shelves before buying myself new books, I’m going to say that at least the reading half of this equation will be fulfilled shortly. If nothing else, I’ll be busy over at goodreads.

for my environment
1. buy live plants and keep them alive – I have a plant! J’s mom gave me one that is easy to keep alive and familiar to me – I just learned through the magic of instant internet research that it’s called a Pothos (Epipremnum) and oh how I’d love to have a lime or neon colored one!

My grandmother has had this kind of plant for as long as I can remember. We had one in our last house that sat at the top of the stairs in the foyer and we let it grow about ten feet down to the entrance. It’s not fancy but it’s very green and hardy and serves its purpose: bring energy and fresh air to my space. Mission accomplished. Check.
2. organize family photos and hang them – not going to bother with this until I move. I don’t think it’s worth putting loads of holes in the wall for my landlord to patch if my stay seems to be temporary. More time to look for and invest in classy (matching) frames.
for my community
1. volunteer 3 hours a month for duration – haven’t. hard to do during the school year. Hoping to get a start during the summer and gain momentum that will sustain me into the next school year. Raincheck.
for my family
1. call madison once a week for a month and call taylor once a week for a month – all the girls should be included in this one since they are all verbal enough to communicate clearly.

for my wallet
1. budget $100/month for clothes/shoes/ accessories/jewelry – putting this off for very good reason. I’m trying something radical. I’m going to try to live with what I have for one whole year. This, of course, does not include necessities or something needed if a special occasion arises, but I’m going to make good use of what I have and not just in clothes, but in many corners of my life. More on this to come. I’m striking this from the list altogether.
2. begin savings plan for new car – done! Well, not the savings plan but I’ve got a new ride. She’s sweet. Still considering names. Check.
3. save $$$$ for costa rica in 2007 – done! No money saved, trip went on my credit card. So I’m paying for it now, but it was ten days of tropical paradise and worth every penny of interest I am still paying.
for my friendships
1. write a letter every week 8x – haha! Working toward this one already!
2. call one person a month with whom I haven’t spoken in awhile – this is a nebulous goal. Stricken.
3. call monica once a month for duration – Moni’s been busy with her precious new little one, Dario, but we IM and send emails. She’s about to finish her thesis and become a PhD in Archaeology. Woo hoo!
4. send birthday cards to family and close friends – I was planning to start this with the first of the year and I already failed! I’ll pick up a few belated cards and start again.
for my body
1. limit soda to once a week – switched to diet. Stricken.
2. take vitamins every day – waste of money. I’m trying to get as much raw nutrition from my food as possible.
3. eliminate fast food for two months – I have most definitely gone two months (maybe longer) without fast food but J has been craving McDonald’s lately and I have caved. I’m a sucker for the fries and then I see the menu and think a cheeseburger sounds so good right now. Weak, weak woman.
4. gym 3x a week for two months – I’m going to start with a slightly modified goal and say gym 2x and yoga 1x. that starts this week. Honest.
5. get a one hour massage every other month – not going to happen. Can’t afford it. But I refuse to strike this goal – it gets a raincheck. Furthermore, in the months without a massage I’d like to get a facial. One day, poor teacher lady, one day.

for my job
1. Grade/plan 2-3 hours day at school 2x a week – this is an awkward goal. I should plan as much as I need to. It’s the at school part that’s tricky. It’s an effort to leave more work at work, but usually at the end of the day I just want to get home and get into my sweats and watch reruns of Without a Trace (newest guilty pleasure). I am still working toward maximizing work at work time and smartly designing lessons and assignments. I would say so far a mild success but there’s always room for improvement – both in my lesson design and grading load. Not a permanent check-able goal. It’s a daily battle.
2. Plan one fun activity each week for one month – between movie clips and games, I think this is a check. I see my students enjoying what feels like a break to them and what is often a bit of a break for me. They are amazing people and I like to see them happy. Check. And a continuing goal for the future.

That’s a lot of checks! It’s time to make a new list! I’ll write about 2008 resolutions soon.