Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ABC #41: It Doesn't Matter

I've gotten serious once again about my running. This had led me to sign up for the race I hate the most: The Winter Carnival Half Marathon. I think I've run it like 5 times, and I've hated it most every time.

It's on January 26th this year. It's always the last weekend of January or the first weekend of February. It's been every temperature from -20 to about 50 degrees fahrenheit. One time I hated it so much that I walked off the course at about the 8-mile mark, marched to a gas station, and begged Dan to come and pick me up.

Why do I do this race, despite the misery?

It's really the only thing to train for in the dead of winter here. Without a race to train for (I'm thinking PR!!), I sometimes just quit running. I guess I'd rather be miserable for a couple of hours in a few months than squander all of my fitness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ABC #40: More Data

I think Mac was recently in a growth spurt. On three occasions in the last couple of weeks, he fell asleep in the car on the way home from school (about 5:15) and remained asleep for the rest of the night.

After that, he woke up taller, and I put a bunch of 3T stuff in the Goodwill pile.

Tonight he fell asleep in the car on the way home (about 5:30), and woke up at 9:30. PM. So this might be a long night, right?

At this moment, he's eating Mac and Cheese and watching Phineas and Ferb. Nothing could possibly go wrong. I'm going to bed in five minutes. Right?!

Monday, November 26, 2012

ABC #39: The More Things Change

Mac's has a new sleep-avoidance tactic, and (SHOCKER!) It's super annoying.

"I think of bad things when I'm by myself!" he wails pathetically.

Since I too think of bad things when I'm by myself, I'm sort of sympathetic. But, then again, I'm like, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO TO SLEEP."

I tried talking through his fears with him to allay his anxiety. "What kind of bad things?" I asked.

"Ghost-es and monsters. A hair-dryer monster." What do they do that's so scary? "They get me." That IS scary. Wow, you have a great imagination! But, do you know what? "What?" The monsters and ghosts aren't real. "Hmmmm," Mac says.

Then more wailing and not going to sleep for hours.

This is so predictable.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ABC #38: On the Last Day

Big News: Our family has once again found Jesus. We attended church for the third time in four weeks this morning. Right now our skills are a little rusty; however Mac did volunteer to help with the offering. Also, he nodded and smiled at the minister while he explained the message about Jesus turning the notion of "king" upside down.

As we were leaving, Minister Jeff let us know how much he appreciated Mac, Man of God. "He was giving me a lot of good feedback there," he said. "He was like, 'Yeah! I'm with you!'"

And we're with YOU, Jesus! We won't let you down!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

ABC #37: Supplemental

A month or so ago, I visited my chiropractor. She's a super nice woman with a deep and abiding passion for natural health. She's the type of person you're tempted to lie to because she'll say, "What do you typically eat for breakfast?" and you just know that "Fruit Loops" is the wrong answer.

Anyway, I went to see her because I had an enduring headache and dizziness that began after my day at the Waterpark of America. And also because I had a slight pain in my right hip while running.

After she was finished with me, my headache was gone and I also was on a new regimen of supplements - a probiotic with 14 billion live cultures and a super multivitamin called Detox Phase 1 and 2. Two phases together in one capsule. To be honest, it didn't seem like I had much of a choice in purchasing these. She just ordered me to.

"People who say they're headachey are just toxic," she declared.

So, I skeptically swallowed the pills, and was surprised by the results. Honestly, I'm feeling generally more healthful. My stomach is settled. I've had very few headaches that require medication. I feel energetic for working out, and I'm sleeping well.

The bottom line? I recommend probiotics and a super multivitamin. I'm also supposed be taking drops of this Vitamin D liquid, but it tastes terrible. I'm sure my chiro won't appreciate that excuse, so I'll probably lie about it, to be honest.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ABC #36: Frozen and Can't Breathe

A couple of posts ago, I said I was dreading the 5k I'd signed up for, but I'd be glad I did it after the fact.

Guess what? I was right! I"m glad I did it. Also, and this is kind of cool, I was 2nd place for women. It was a small race, but still. I tried my hardest and beat all of the other women (maybe 150?) except one.

There's no way I could cover a 5k at this moment, however, because my stomach is so full I'm pretty sure it could rupture. I took some TUMS, but they didn't even touch the discomfort.

ABC #35: The Shefster

Attention Everyone: Big News! Shef is blogging again! He's determined to post 75 times by December 21st per the rules of the Autumn Blogging Challenge.

You should CHECK IT OUT and please comment.

I feel compelled to tell you that he actually does know about punctuation, even though you can't tell from the blog. Also, he has a disgusting pet crayfish named Apollo. Thanks, Third Grade Science Curriculum! Way to get us a new pet!

ABC #34: Gratitude

I gave my first ever Thanksgiving speech to the students on Tuesday, and I think I'm going to make it an annual thing.

"STOP!" I shrieked as they made for the door. "The bell hasn't rung, and I need to give my Thanksgiving Speech!" At that point, I had not made any plans for such a speech.

"Look," I said when they were calm. "I'm thankful for you. I love my job because I get to hang out with you guys every day. It's pretty much the best thing I could ask for. I want to thank you for being a part of my life."

The kids were sort of surprised and confused. They looked at me with wide eyes like, "Is she for real?!" I think I even said, "I'M SERIOUS!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ABC #33: Gobble Wobble

I signed up for a 5k for tomorrow morning. It's probably a good idea, but at the moment I'm kind of dreading it. The dread is a familiar sensation: it descends before pretty much every sporting event I do. The most pronounced incidents have been the extended sobbing in advance of the Ragnar Relay of 2010 and the moments before beginning the swim legs in each of my triathlons. Swimming with lots of people in open water kind of freaks me out. The dread makes me wonder why I ever do these things, except that I like TO HAVE DONE them. After the fact.

Anyway, tomorrow's 5k will be totally fine; but right now it seems like, do I really want to drive over there and run as hard as I can for a baseline 5k time? Like I said, I probably do. It only just seems like I don't.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ABC #32: Start With The Attention Getter

I am so happy and relaxed because I'm starting on a five-day holiday weekend. YES! To get things started, Dan picked up delicious food from Namaste, our local Indian and Nepali restaurant.

Next, I'm going to practice my violin. I only have two-and-a-half weeks to master the second violin part of Corelli's Christmas Concerto Pastorale. My teacher tells me I'll be performing with a bunch of children and three other adult violins. There will be video of this performance, and it will be posted on this blog.

Monday, November 19, 2012

ABC Post #31

Here's a photo from NCTE. Why do I look so ridiculous? I feel like I look ridiculous in pretty much every photo ever taken.

Also, here's a photo of Mac in his hockey gear. I'm sorry, but this is really adorable:

ABC Post #30

A couple of people asked to see our Prezi. Thanks for asking, friends! Here it is:

ABC Post #29

Here's what my NCTE talk was about: It was about how participating in a blended learning environment (one that's part face-to-face and part online) encourages and might contribute to the development of so-called non-cognitive factors like academic perseverance, often described as grit or self-control.

I was excited about the non-cognitive factor (this is a bad name for important things like integrity, responsibility, and perseverance that contribute to academic success) connection because non-cognitive factors are really hot right now. In fact, I basically heard two talks on them that were stuffed with interested people.

As usual, I have a reading list a mile long as a result of this conference.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ABC Post #28

The topic of this post is the friends. One reason I love conferences is that I get to geek out with some really great pals. This year, Rachel presented with me. She's a genius, and I love her so much. One thing that's so fabulous about her is that she has an easy and appealing presentation style that I find to be reassuring. Besides doing the talk with her, I walked by her side and rubbed her arm a bit. I used see her every flipping day, and now I don't get to. This is a hardship, for sure, and one I will have to endure.

I also had a great time with Jim, who kindly purchased me a giant slushy beverage at the conclusion of my presentation. Way to swoop in and make the day, JIM.

Judy was a third friend that I heartily enjoyed. I tried to convince Judy that because we share a last name, we're probably related. "Really?" she said. "It's a pretty common name..." Okay, so I was exercising some wishful thinking.

Always fab to see Lee, of course. My admiration for her is well-documented on this very website.

Finally, Pronto also came along and tried marginally to limit his disparaging remarks about English-teacher fashion sense. Thanks for exercising the self control, Dan! My professional peeps and I really appreciate your generosity.

ABC Post #27

The topic of this post is the conference. Here's the scoop: I had a great conference. One of the best. I heard some big-name smarties, gathered some useful classroom strategies and resources, learned about Cosmopolitanism from Lee (she gave a great talk, obvi), and presented to my largest audience ever despite having the worst time slot ever.

I'm just really psyched about all of it. Go throngs of English teachers! Go forth and prosper!

OMG Autumn Blogging Challenge Post #26

I'm in really big trouble because I'm just not sure that I can write 50 posts between now and December 21. Apparently I really should have gotten on the challenge train earlier because this is ridiculous.

Here's what I'm going to do: Today I'm only covering one topic per post. The topic of this post is Holy Crapola, I'm Not Sure I Can Finish the Blogging Challenge Whatever Will I Do?!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Eight Ball

I'm here in Vegas hanging with some fantastic peeps - Lee, Judy, and of course Pronto.

I realized when I met the fab gals at the Shark Reef (on the way, I'm pretty sure I saw some famous Latin music stars in town for the Latin Grammys) that I should probably be participating in the 75 posts by December 21st blog challenge. I just sort of ignored that challenge because it seemed impossible. Now, it's even more impossible, but I feel like I should try to do it.

I think I have... 50 posts to go.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Water Flowing Underground

About to leave for NCTE. Making some changes to the findings section of our talk. Not the findings themselves, just the organization. Anyway, just dealing with that and trying to pack when some plumbing problems presented themselves. Spent some time mopping water and trying to fix the plumbing.

Despite our careful following of directions, we managed to break more plumbing implements. So, then water just streams out everywhere all over the kitchen.

No problem. I remained calm. I mopped up. Dan bailed the backed-up water out of the sink. He called the plumber and begged his mom to come over tomorrow to let him or her in. We packed. I left my sub plans. I'm about to have a great time at NCTE.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Snape Killed Dumbledore

It took me more than a month, but I finally finished J.K. Rowling's new book, The Casual Vacancy.

I admired the novel, but I found it to be utterly depressing. And, I'm pretty sure it's not just me - I'm pretty sure the story is super sad and not very hopeful. That's what stymied my progress.

Still, I'm glad to have read this book; and I'm glad to have shown my great appreciation for J.K. by purchasing it. I'd be happy to pass it along to anyone else who wants to know about it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Talk

Good news: The NCTE talk is 90% finished. I think it's pretty good. Of course, our session is pretty much during happy hour on next Saturday evening, so probably no one will come. Even if no one does come, however, Rachel and I will still give our talk. Maybe I'll sneak Dan into the conference and subject him to it. I'm sure he wants to know how Blended English contributes to the development of non-cognitive factors and reshapes students' conceptions of time and space.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Accept. Adapt. Move Forward.

Moving along here in the world's longest week. Barack pulled through and won the election. Also, two dumb amendments went down in Minnesota. It's still illegal for gay people to get married here; however, we don't have language of hate in our state constitution.

I am hoping that anyone who wants to get married in MN can legally do that very soon, especially since we have a democratic majority in both the state senate and the house, as well as a a democratic governor. It's the first time since 1988 that this has happened. Go, Dems! Let's get some things done!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gut Check

Election night. Last night I was talking a big game about going to bed early tonight. The results will be the same whether or not I stay up late to watch them.

Now, I'm nervously shoving pizza down my throat and preparing for the long haul.

Hey, Election Gods! Please let this go our way!

Monday, November 5, 2012

4 More Minutes

"Like a Prayer" live with the full-on gospel choir made my 1:30am bedtime mostly worth it.

I also loved "Open Your Heart," "Vogue," and the "Express Yourself"/"Born This Way" mash-up.

The rest of it was a little weird. But it was Madonna.