Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Week in a Word: Doable

Somehow "short" work weeks never feel short at all; they feel shorter at best. As the week moved inched on, my friends and I cheered each other on by renaming days. On Tuesday: Well, today was really our hump day. On Wednesday : Today is our Thursday or Tomorrow's Friday! On Thursday there were high fives and heavy sighs and Amens.

Another week done.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March (Meteorological) Madness

Last March, and the March before, I enjoyed unseasonably warm weather that made me happy, that put me in the mood for Mexican food and margaritas (and San Diego). With no such weather luck this March for New Englanders like me, and no plans for an April trip to San Diego, I still have a spring in my step these days.

It was still light out last Sunday when drove home from Boston (after a super--albeit cold--weekend there), even though it was dinnertime when I left. And it was light out when I got out to my car every morning this week. Only once did I have frost on my windshield.

So I know spring is out there, just around the corner, waiting with April to appear. And I know that summer follows spring.

Already my mood has improved.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Photo Journal: Saturday Splurge

Steak frites
Eastern Standard, Boston

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Week in a Word: Frustrating

I know now that it is possible to eat a salad without croutons or a sandwich without potato chips. Possible. Not awesome or super satisfying or my new favorite thing, but possible, and I am pleased with myself that I even just tried to forego those crunchy delights. But I am frustrated that in my third week of passing on the chips and croutons I didn't lose weight. The first two weeks I did, but not this week. I know that it is unrealistic to want to drop a bunch of weight--that I put on over several years--in a month, but I would like a little more positive reinforcement.

Because this week, of all weeks, I would have loved to crunch my way through a bag of chips or Cheez Doodles or scarf a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies with a glass of milk and call it dinner.

I thought about it, but I didn't.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Soup

Spring is a little reluctant to make an appearance this year, so I thought I would take advantage of a chilly Sunday afternoon (one of the last, I hope) to make soup. Since I had the time and the onions, and the patience to let them caramelize, I decided on French Onion soup.

I have no regrets.

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Week in a Word: Exhausting

And tonight I'm too tired to explain.

Glad it's the weekend.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meet You at the Obelisk

We didn't know it would be pouring rain (in fact, I left my umbrella back in my suitcase at a hotel in London--it hadn't rained in London, why would it in Rome?-- where I'd be returning after my adventures in Italy), but Amy and I had a plan to meet in the morning at the obelisk in St. Peter's square. And we did meet there. We have a picture to prove it.

We waited in line and toured St. Peter's Basilica.

We did all the things that tourists do-- mainly because it was my first time there. Amy, my Latin teacher friend and frequent flier to Rome, indulged me as I played tourist and she played guide.

Later, with Amy's guidance, we dined like locals. (And I learned firsthand the power of limoncello.)

But now I am moving away from St. Peter's square, where Amy and I met at the obelisk in the rain...where for days the faithful have gathered, and today they celebrated the announcement of the new pope.

I was there!!

It was one of the best memories of my life.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Losing Daylight

Thank goodness it's not just me: a cranky, tired, burned-out, bitter teacher who hates daylight savings time--or the front end of it. Just when mornings are getting a little easier because I can walk out of the house into daylight, I'm back to driving to work in the dark. Now 5:30 am is really 4:30 am so I can't even be happy that it'll be light out until after 6 tonight because I'll be too tired to enjoy it. And when I can, when summer starts and I don't wake up to an alarm and it's light until 9-- why really is it necessary to be light until 9?

Anyway, I must say that I felt incredibly validated this morning to read "The Annual Sleep-Loss Day." As Dr. Allen so aptly notes, we aren't saving daylight at all--we're just taking it from morning light and moving it to the end of the day. And I agree wholeheartedly with her that I wish we could leave my morning hour of sleep and light alone.

After all, isn't morning supposed to be light and night supposed to be dark?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Week in a Word: Manageable

I really don't remember the last time I didn't feel stressed at work. Gone are the days that being prepared for my lessons and confident with my content and my experience was the formula for a good day. Even unforeseen behavior issues couldn't rattle me enough to ruin a whole day. These days I go to work stressed and I leave stressed. A light bulb moment with a student might provide momentary stress relief, but feeling stressed and overwhelmed is the given. And those light bulb moments are rare.

While my stress level has risen and become a constant, my ability to relieve it leaves something to be desired. Because getting overwhelmed and shutting down completely I'm sure doesn't count. And I do know enough to know that avoidance and overindulgence are not recommended methods of stress management--long term anyway. I can attest to the temporary satisfaction of aforementioned methods: getting in my pajamas at three in the afternoon and sipping a lemon drop martini with my feet (all cozy in fuzzy socks) up on my coffee table and a bag of Cheez Doodles on my lap is my idea of wonderful, just not a long term plan.

But this week I am happy to report that stress didn't get the better of me. It was manageable. Without lemon drops and Cheez Doodles. Because I tried harder.

Did somebody mention light bulb moments?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Speechless No More

Today during lunch a colleague--a friend, I thought-- made a fat joke about another teacher.

For not the first time.

Yes, really.

The last time, I was so shocked and disgusted and discouraged that I said nothing although I wished I had. Unfortunately, I had another opportunity to respond more appropriately today.

I thought, "Hello! Have we met?! I'm fat and you make jokes about people like me!"

How insensitive. How rude and inappropriate it is to make fun of someone for her weight. Or anything else for that matter. And I hope you believe that I would have stood up for the teacher who was the brunt of his joke even if I were skinny. Because I would have.

So what I said was: "That is so mean! I hate when you make fat jokes. We're grown-ups for God's sake. And you make fat jokes?!?!"

He turned red but said nothing. I regained composure and carried on for the remaining 10 minutes of my twenty-minute lunch, but I haven't really let it go.

I will eventually, but not right now. For now I remain sad that people can be so rude and insensitive. I'm especially sad and discouraged that in my forties I still have to endure fat jokes.

Because really, he was talking about me too.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Week in a Word: Fruity

In an effort to blog more I have come up with another "feature" that will force me to log on. I might take a short cut and give a bulleted list of highs and/or lows, or I may actually write something that resembles a few paragraphs. I might sum up my week in a photo or just write a single word. Not sure.  I give myself permission to experiment; in so doing I will force myself to check in on Friday night or Saturday for those of you out there who stop by often so you will be less often disappointed. Thanks...


I ate about this much fruit this week (not even kidding) except for the two ripe bananas shown there. The rest I bought today to have for next week.

Monday night I thought I might chew my own arm off if my stomach didn't eat itself first, but I stayed the course. Despite a stressful five day week (no holidays, snow days or sick days) (mid quarter progress reports) (CAPT next week) I tracked everything I ate and drank. It got a little easier as the week went on, but I don't think it will ever be a breeze. It really is quite a commitment.

For now, anyway, I'm willing to keep it.

Have a good weekend.

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