Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Emails

One of the best parts of summer vacation is that I often receive very touching, reflective emails from students. It seems that as soon as a week or two goes by after school gets out, they start to go through withdrawals as they realize just how valuable I am in their lives. Since school is no longer in session, I have the luxury of reading these emails in the privacy of my own home, where I do not actually have to see these tiny human faces for another two months. I can read their words, remember them fondly, and then turn back to Netflix to see who killed Laura Palmer.

Email #1
I hope you're having a great summer so far!
I just wanted to thank you again for being the most amazing teacher I've ever had. I've had so many great teachers in the past but you helped me through so much more than just ELA. I will definitely visit you at least 3 times a week next year!
I am being very mature and making sure to make smart decisions. I still plan to go to university of Oregon the first year I get out of high school so I can become a SPED teacher. Then I would like to move back to Maine so I can apply to work at Marshwood.

Email #2
Hi. Thank you for being the teacher that understood everything that happened to anyone and you always knew how to react to them. I'm going to miss having a teacher like you next year! I hope that your advisory and classes are amazing, hopefully you won't have any kids who get sick often so they get you sick too!
I am so happy I had you as my ELA teacher you make learning ELA a lot easier because first I didn't like writing and then when we wrote the essays I started liking to write more and more. Now when I'm bored I either read a book or I write about something.
Thank you for inspiring me to do my best no matter where I go, to always be strong, and always be willing to change. I will remember the life lessons for a very long time.
Thank you for being the funny, amazing, caring, smart, great teacher you have been.
Hope your summer is great!

These students mention that I've taught them more than just language arts, and they couldn't be more right. Throughout the year, I have taught them and their classmates several life lessons.

Here's a bit of a recap of these wonderful and life-altering lessons:

1. Always wear deodorant. If you want to have friends and have people to sit with at lunch, you must wear deodorant every day. If you don't know what this is, it's time to have a talk with your parents.

2. Brush your teeth twice a day. Nobody wants to talk with you if you smell.

3. No dating until you're 18 years old. This is one of my most important rules. The main reason why people date is to see what type of person they are compatible with so they know to marry the right person. If you're not thinking about marriage at the age of 11, then there's really no reason to date. Also, if you start dating people in 6th grade, you will literally run out of people to date by the time you're in high school. Everyone will be asking people to prom, and you'll be like, "I have no one left!" At that rate, you will end up living in your parents' basement, with a gut, playing video games alone.

4. No caffeine or energy drinks. Wake yourself up naturally using lemon water or doing some backbends. You're too young to have an addiction to coffee anyway. Give it 10 years.

5. I'm not your mom. We had to learn this rule the hard way. "Do you have a pencil I can borrow?" "Are there any more tissues?" "I don't know where I put my paper." "I need a fork." The answer to all of these issues is that--thank god--I am not a parent. If I were somehow a parent and hadn't thrown my kid into a trashcan, then yes, I'm sure I would drive them right over to Staples for some new school supplies. I would care about them having the right utensils to eat their food, and I'm sure every little issue in their life would just consume me. But... as I've trained my students to say on command, "You're not our mom."

6. It's okay to change. You can change. Other people can change. Your friends will change and if they change in a good way, more power to them. If they change in a bad way, then you have a decision to make. Those who end up stuck in a rut, depressed and hopeless at age 30, are the ones who are afraid to take a risk, be challenged, or make any sort of move at all. Change your life if it's not working for you. Live in a way that makes you happy, even if it means your definition of this life alters each year. This rule is a real gem. You're welcome.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Teacher Memes

During the school year:



During the summer:


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Coloring Between the Lines

I am 30 years old, which seems ridiculous. I am, of course, wise beyond my years, incredibly mature, and I definitely understand the meaning of life. Having accomplished greatness in my first 30 years, I am now taking some much needed time off from solving the world's problems. For the foreseeable future, I'm focusing on spending my time in other important, necessary ways. Namely, I am getting pretty heavy into coloring books.

That's right. I pop open a bottle of wine, put on a Carole King record, and get started on the hardest space out session I've had since my last Phish concert.  And why not? I've got nothing to do and nowhere to be for another six weeks. And as for you year-rounders complaining that it's Sunday night, this is a great way to wind down before your work week starts again tomorrow morning. Suckers.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It's Saturday for Everyone!

Did you spend your day off wisely? I sure hope so! Remember, you only get 2 a week! I vaguely remember what that's like--kind of miserable with a touch of false hopefulness, right? Like it's Thursday at 3pm and you can just taste the weekend.  "One more day!" you think to yourself with a forced smile. Then, Friday rolls along and someone at the office says, "T.G.I.F" and you pause to see if they're being sarcastic or ironic. But nope, they mean it full heartedly. They honestly mean it to the core of their being--Thank GOD It's Friday. They're not sure they'd be able to take one more day of staring at their coworkers through cubicle glass, scanning emails from their under-qualified supervisors, and trying to find which string cheese is theirs in the packed office refrigerator.

When Friday afternoon finally arrives, and computers are being shut down and bags are being packed up, there's a sense of camaraderie among you all. "We made it!" Your eyes seem to say to each other. Someone inevitably high fives you on your walk out the door, and as you turn your car engine on, the radio starts playing, "Everybody's Working For the Weekend." You start singing along, and it's not until about 30 seconds into the song you realize just how sad your situation is, am I right?

Soooo yeah, hope you spent your Saturday wisely. I know I sure did!

Friday, July 10, 2015


Loyal Reader,

From following my life through writing, you learned two years ago that I moved to Kittery, Maine. What you may not realize, however, is the untapped potential this particular seaside town flaunts on a daily basis. It's quaint without being rural, it's active without being aggressive, and its residents are humbly adorable.

There is a small beach in Kittery named S____ Beach. (Name has been withheld so that my millions of readers don't crowd the shore.) It's open to the public, but only Kittery residents can park their cars, so only us chosen ones roam the beach on any particular day.

If you would like an invitation to this paradise, mail me $100 cash and a kitten, and I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


When you are confronted head on with time, how do you spend it?


Monday, July 6, 2015


Well, summer has begun. This is my first time having the entire summer off since 2012, which is wayyy too long. I am finally back to feeling good, being rested, and resetting my priorities.

Since June 16th, I've spent my hours wisely. I've watched four seasons of The Office, have taste-tested margaritas from at least seven different local bars, and have perfected a beachy wave using my hair straightener. After a couple of meaningful low points, I decided I needed to make a To Do list for each day or risk leaving permanent butt indents on my couch cushions.

Here are some To Do lists I've made in the past week:

1. Read a magazine on the beach
2. Paint toe nails
3. Try a mojito

1. Even out my tan
2. Find a new Pandora station to replace "Usher + Mariah"
3. Get back into prank phone calls

A week in, several replacements for Michael Scott later, and I realized I needed to dig deeper. So, while the inside of me is pure gold, the outside of me is now 30 years old, so I decided to tackle my physique as part of my summer routine.

So, I did what any motivated, driven athlete would do: I drove to Target with the purpose of buying a set of weights. Once I found the right aisle, and started scoping the weights, I realized I was out of my element. I hate working out. That's the main reason why I do yoga. I don't sweat, I breathe through my nose, and someone else tells me what to do. How would I possibly know how to use these weights on my own? And first, which weights should I even buy?

I tried picking up the weights--starting with the 10 pounder. I pulled a muscle. Then, I went down to the five pounder. "Damn!" I muttered a bit too loudly. I picked up the three--that definitely felt like more than three pounds. Should I buy the two pounder? Did I really drive all the way to Target to buy a two pound weight? Is this sad or admirable? I quickly realized it was sad, and purchased the five pounder, and in case things got rough, I grabbed a bottle of champagne too. The rest of my night was mimosas and bicep curls, and I feel like that was enough for the week. Don't want to go too hard too fast, right?

Tomorrow's To Do list:

1. Pick up the weights
2. Continue to think about working out
3. Take a nap