Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My dad desperately wants me to move back home. I can't blame him; I'm awesome to be around. He always says things like, "If you stay in California, you have to deal with things like fog and earthquakes." When the earthquake hit the East coast yesterday, I laughed in his face.
Also, my cousin Kimberly sent this to me. I laughed out loud during homeroom when I read it, and when the students asked me what was so funny, I showed them. They didn't really get it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Field Trip

Within 5 minutes of being at the de Young museum, two kids got into a huge fight and started chasing each other throughout the concourse area outside. There was a tai chi class going on, and as our students starting fighting and then subsequently running away from our chaperones, the entire tai chi class panicked and caused near chaos as they ran for their lives. Literally, they ran and hid as if our students were murderers. Security had to come and grab the kids. I won't even mention the other kid who puked on the bus.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 1

I have only a vague idea about what happened this first week of school, so don't even bother asking me. The only things I remember are:

1. Earning happy hour every day this week.
2. Hitting up food trucks on Thursday instead of grill night, mostly from sheer exhaustion.
3. Having a paraprofessional loudly give the students wrong information and then WINK at me as if SHE was helping ME out.
4. Going to the best Zumba class of my life where Lisa and I pretty much broke it down in the back of the room.
5. Having a student LITERALLY PULL OUT A DECK OF CARDS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY CLASS AND START LAYING THEM OUT ON HIS DESK. When I told him it was inappropriate to play cards in the middle of class, he said, "It's not the MIDDLE of class; it's the END of class." When I said that regardless, he wad distracting me and others by playing cards, he said, "I wasn't PLAYING cards; I was ORGANIZING them." I gave up and said, "Whatever. Tuesday lunch detention. Don't be late."
6. Getting free blueberries at Whole Foods after the cashier talked to me about education for like a YEAR.
7. Watching Sunday morning cartoons with Dylan while eating hash browns, fake sausage, and toast.
8. Reading like four trashy magazines instead of grading summer reading.

And that is my life. Tomorrow the entire school is going to the Picasso exhibit in Golden Gate park. Art + field trip = sick day?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The First Day of School!

Today was the first day of school! To be honest, I was pretty nervous. There was a bunch of procedural stuff that I needed to remember, like have students write down their schedule, get forms signed by parents, pass out planners, etc. I handled homeroom like a pro, and I think I got everything done that I was supposed to, except that I forgot to ask students for $5 for their planners. I can do that tomorrow though.
First, second, and third periods were a piece of cake. I had 8th graders, and I had all of those students last year when they were 7th graders. We were talking about our summers, etc, and one girl asked if I saw Harry Potter, and another girl answered, "No, Ms. V doesn't like stuff like that. She only likes TV shows about fat people." It was embarrassing, but she was right. We also played a game where I read a sentence, and if you agree with it, you stand up. At one point, I read the sentence, "I think school is a waste of time." At first, no one stood up to agree with that preposterous statement, but then this tiny tiny painfully quiet Chinese girl stood up and said she agreed with that statement! I looked at her SHOCKED (I have literally only heard her speak twice in my life) and nearly died of laughter. At the end of the game, I read the sentence, "My friends are important to me," and she was the ONLY KID to NOT stand up. The entire class now loves her and I call her my little angel of darkness.
Fourth period was miserable. I had 7th graders, so they were new to me. One kid took LITERALLY 5 MINUTES to decide what name he wanted to go by this year. He kept saying, "Uhhh Benjamin**, Benny.... Ben...Benny I think. Yeah I guess Benny." I said, "Ok Benny it is. Moving on." Later, I called on him and he said, "Who's Benny??" I died a little inside.
Sixth period was a dream. The kids were super mellow and actually made eye contact with me. I was telling the students about myself, and I told them that I'm Italian, so my family is pretty much just like Jersey Shore. Even though that's not true, it hooked them in, and they now find me fascinating. I told them that The Lion King is the best movie ever made, that I play video games, and that I'm the funniest person I've ever met in real life. They think I'm weird, but cool. I can live with that.

**names have been changed so I don't get sued.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Night Before

Tonight is the last night I have before school starts. I started to feel a little anxious today about starting the school year, so I decided to have a relaxing night. I called it "Kristen's Pampering Night," which is kind of a weird name, but whatever. I came up with that name in like two seconds, so back off. Here is what my night entailed:
First, I poured myself a little wine, and got some trashy magazines.



Then, I drew myself a bath--but not any old bath--A BUBBLE BATH!!



I then drank my wine and read trashy magazines IN THE BUBBLE BATH! Genius idea, I know.
After a very long time, I got out of the bath and decided "Kristen's Pampering Night" was not over.

So, I did the most relaxing/luxurious thing I could think of and put on a face mask. After I took it off, my skin felt amazing. I looked like a super model.




There was just one more piece to the pampering puzzle: nail polish of course!
I chose a light pink/cream for my fingernails and the best color ever, E nuff is enough, for my toes. It came out great.



It's about time to go to bed and I feel seriously relaxed. In fact, I don't give a crap about starting work tomorrow, and I may not even show up, that's how relaxed I'm feeling.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Endless Summer

This was my last official day of summer!!!!!!! I have had numerous people offer to take over my blog for me, including Mark who has ANOTHER WHOLE MONTH of summer before he starts teaching in Santa Cruz, and my cousin who gets paid to take off select holidays like Labor Day. I've also had millions of fans saying to me, "Kristen, please--whatever you do--don't stop blogging just because you're going back to work!!" Then they cry on my shoulder and I hold them, rock them gently, and weep.
I've done a lot of deliberating. I've definitely thought about going on blog hiatus until next summer. But then I remembered something. During the year when I'm "working very hard" and "earning my paycheck" I finish work everyday at 3pm. On Fridays, I'm done at 2:15. I am home in time for happy hour EVERY SINGLE DAY and I get paid to take off every holiday--including lunar new year and Ceaser Chavez day. Soooooo, while I appreciate the offers to take over the best part of my life, I'll be continuing to post during the school year.
So dry your eyes young cherubs, and check out a montage of my last week of summer vacation.

(dylan's new classroom)



(alemany flea market)



(inner sunset)

(near buena vista)

(best friends)

(looking fine)

(my classroom!)



(at zeitgeist)


(stinson beach)


That last picture is of EMT/fire fighter/cop guys dragging a dead person in a body bag off of the beach. Great ending to a great summer.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I'm looking up old woodcuts and sketches of wheat and trying to decide on a tattoo. Tomorrow is the last day I can get one before school starts!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Nice Little Saturday

8am: Bagel and coffee at Lava Java (They know me there, no biggie)

9am: Body Pump at the gym with Lisa. Weird teacher who sang parts of the songs into her microphone.

11am: Starbux

12pm: Go to work with Lisa. This means I went to Golden Gate Park and helped her hold an orientation for the new PhD students.

1pm: Lunch at the Social Kitchen with the orientation group. Had brussel sprout chips and beer. Success.

2pm: Go to work with Dylan. This means Lisa and I went to his new school and helped him set up his classroom.

5pm: Emergency Thai food pit stop. 19th and Castro.

6pm: Bring friends to work. This means Lisa and Dylan helped me set up my classroom since it is filled with random things I don't need.

This was the busiest/most productive day, and it got me very excited to organize the rest of my room and actually start teaching. Also, am I obsessed with Lisa???

Friday, August 5, 2011

Yesterday was Thursday, Today is Friday, We we we so excited

Today I actually got out of my pjs by noon. AMAZING I know. Not only that, but I got some work done!! I planned out part of an autobiography unit using the book Monster about Monster Kody Scott, one of the most notorious Crips gang members. It should be pretty awesome.

At night I went to Lush Lounge with Dylan, Ashley, and Mark.


It was a really neat place with exposed wooden beams and a farmhouse vibe. Too bad the only picture I got doesn't have the background in the shot, but does have Dylan looking like a fetus.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Hum Drums

Today was not the greatest day. I had to constantly remind myself that I was getting paid to lift my spirits. First, I went on which I'm obsessed with. I've had a kind of low grade budget I've been trying to stick to. And by "trying" I mean, "yeah, not really trying as much as spending." This month though I made a very strict budget after realizing I spent a million dollars last year on random stupid stuff. So this morning I checked in to make sure I'm sticking to my budget, and I am. Because everything expensive I've bought this month, I've filed under "July," so I look really thrifty in "August."
After that I watched seven episodes of Friends. Not even good episodes either--the first season. I also ate leftover rice and edamame, then left over grilled pizza. Then I considered having a beer. It was noon. Eek. I decided I had to change up my day, or I would be drunk by 3. So, I looked up some blogs for awhile, read the news, and checked out the celebrity gossip world. When I was done reading the internet*, I watched some more Friends**.

Finally it was four o'clock and I had just barely managed to shower. After drying off, I began to put my pjs back on when I changed up my routine. Instead, I put on an adorable dress, thinking that would motivate me to leave the house. The only problem was that it was freezing outside. I had to put on two pairs of tights, knee highs, boots, a long sleeve, and a sweater with my dress.



I was finally ready to leave the house but where would I go? "Just walk around," Dylan told me. "If I leave the house, I'll just end up spending money..." I said. "Just go!" he replied. He had also made it clear that if he heard the Friends theme song one more time I would live to regret it.
So, I left the house. Two hours later I returned with the most adorable brown flats, a long beige/peach skirt, and an olive green shirt to wear with the skirt.

I know what you're thinking--"Did you account for shopping in your new budget?" The short answer is "duh." The longer answer is I got the skirt with a store credit, which basically means it was FREE. So I got paid to shop for a free skirt. I guess my day did turn out okay, minus the nothing to do part. I hate to admit it, but I am a little bit excited to go back to work next week.

* genius phrase courtesy of my Schurtz cousins
** Rachel FINALLY found out Ross liked her

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This is the last week of summer vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What will I do when I actually have to WORK to earn my paycheck?? I am trying to savor these last moments of freedom.

First, I'm watching plenty of trashy TV: The Bachelorette (Thank GOD she picked JP), Glee Project (I <3 Cameron), and Keeping Up with the Kardashians (Probably shouldn't admit to this one).

Second, I am eating like a queen. I made whole wheat linguine with lentil sauce, artichokes and spinach:


And grill night this week was a huuuge success. We had an indoor picnic with grilled pizzas with broccoli, onions, kalamata olives, and some had sun dried tomatoes. We also grilled corn on the cob, anddd we had arugula salad with hazelnuts, dried cranberries, and gouda:


Finally, I went to my first ever Spin class and it was amaaaazing. The Spin teacher even told Lisa and I that we did a great job. We're signed up for the next two weeks.

This weekend I have to go in and get my classroom set up and then next week Professional Development starts on Wednesday.....

The Homestead

Last Monday was the first day of activities for us at the Homestead. First, my parents, Dylan and I went on a carriage ride through the woods of Virginia.



The guy driving the horses was a fictional character with a heavy accent who said things like "whoah there feller." He told us that we had to sign up for falconry while we were there, and in the same breath he told us that recently, a falcon had stabbed its talons into the falconry guide in front of a whole group of guests. The guide tried to pretend that everything was fine as he was slowly suffocating to death. Finally, when the falcon released its grip, one of the guests said, "There's blood coming out of your shirt." Falcons also dive at a rate of 200 miles an hour, but we should really sign up for the class.

The next day, Jaclyn, Dylan, Dylan and I went horseback riding. I don't have any pictures of that. That is because I was scared out of my mind the entire time, and in fact had to have my horse "leashed" with the guide's horse. That's right. There was a group of 7 year olds behind me, but I was the one who had to have help from the guide. I didn't even try to control my horse, Zip. I just tried to pretend that the ride was almost over and that he wasn't pooping.

On Wednesday, I went to archery with my dad and Dylan. I got a bullseye!!!!

Also, my target was about 30 yards closer than my dad's. That's him showing off on the right.


In the afternoon, all seven of us (not my mom) went to the rifle range. The woman at the desk said, "Have you ever shot before?" And my sisters and I shook our heads no, while looking panicked. I think Jaclyn even cried. Within the next 30 seconds, she showed us how to load the gun, gave us 150 bullets, and sent us down the path to our death.


We were COMPLETELY UNSUPERVISED shooting at targets. We easily could have killed each other and claimed it was an accident. After my first time shooting, I had done pretty well, a couple of 10s (bulls eyes) a 9 and an 8.



(Jaclyn and Lauren outside of the shooting booth, amused at how redneck we have become)

I was visibly sweating/shaking after my turn and said "I don't want to do this again." But when my next turn came up, I stepped up to the challenge. And look what happened:


That's right! I am a sharp shooter. I can easily kill a human from a distance if I need to. I keep reminding Dylan of this.

On Thursday, we went for a walk through the Cascades gorge. For some reason, the tour guide makes it take 3 hours to go maybe a mile. I think it's that long so he can hear himself tell jokes/puns that whole time. If you don't laugh at one of his jokes, he says, "Come on! That's hilarious!" until you do laugh.




Finally, Friday was our last real day and all 8 of us--that's right, Steph Vernace included!--went on a canoe ride down the lake. The guide assured us that at least a third of us would fall in the water, but I can proudly say that 7 of us made it safely and dryly to the end of the trip. We saw some turtles, and there were a couple of small rapids which were fun. We even stopped at a point and Dylan jumped off a rope swing into the lake.

That pretty much ended our trip. The only other thing worth noting, is that Virginians do not understand the concept of Vegetarian. In the last 11 years of not eating meat, I have NEVER met so many people who look at me with heads cocked to the side, saying, "So what DO you eat??" At every meal, the chef had to come out from the kitchen and talk to Dylan and I about what we would eat that night. Often, she would TELL US what we were having for dinner, "You're having potato skins for an appetizer, pasta for dinner, and a raspberry sorbet for dessert." Aye, aye Captain. Once, she said, "Hmmm no meat AND no seafood...ummmmmmm." It was awkward.