No Blaise: Here I Am

January 4th, 2017

Let me just admit it, I have been MIA. I promise that I still love The Third City very much, it just being a teacher is busy. Especially being a teacher in her first year. Especially when you’re a teacher in her first year and winter break is coming up.

Especially Especially Especially when you’re constantly panicking about whether or not you’re doing a great job. Good job. Fine job. Decent job. Please let me keep my job.

But let’s talk more about that at a later date. This panic is not going anywhere.

Here I am, on my second week of winter break, and finally able to type words into computer in a way that makes sense. Well, as much sense as I usually make.

My first week of winter break aka “The Holidays” was awesome. I hung out with people I love every single day and ate so much food. So much food. So much delicious delicious food.  Fine, I drank a lot too. And slept even more than that.

Hallelujah.

Coming down from the high that was bingeing on everything I love for a week straight has been rough. I’m starting to settle into the idea that maybe I’ll be going back to work someday which means someday soon I’ll be unable to wake up whenever the hell I wanted.

This is sad for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I love my job. I have thought about both excessively over the last 1.5 weeks. But am I ready to wake up before 11am? Not quite yet.

I went grocery shopping yesterday for healthy food that I’m hoping will get me energized and out of bed at an hour resembling my wake up time during school. It was a cart filled with veggies and lean proteins and there wasn’t any alcohol in or around it’s perimeter. Mostly because I knew I had half a bottle of wine and plenty of beer at home, but also because I’m working towards not being so obsessed with unwinding via alcohol. Some would say it’s a bad habit.

But here I am, hoping that 2017 has big plans for me and my “bad” habits.

 

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No Blaise: The Quiet Game

December 7th, 2016

I am reporting live from the after school program and let me tell you, basically all I’m doing is trying to get kids to stay quiet and do their homework. The number one job requirement for any teaching job should be: You gotta know how to keep kids quiet.

Really, it’s hard.

I get the pleasure of being in charge of Homework Help for the 3rd-5th graders tonight, a nice break from the 6-8th graders I’m usually with. Though the kids tonight are younger, they’re not any more interested in listening to me tell them to be quiet. They’re even less interested in being quiet. As long as I get them to stay relatively low volume and I don’t hear any curse words, I consider the after school session a victory.

My class during the day? That’s another story entirely. At the beginning of the school year, it was a straight up circus. I think at some point I had become numb to the noise and just sort of went through my day thinking it was ok a few kids were talking when I was talking. Two weeks in, my headaches didn’t stop and I realized it was because I pretty much spent my entire day trying to talk over loud six year olds.

So I decided that these kids were gonna shut their mouths and listen. My “Be Quiet” crusade began. I tried a few different methods:

Consistently telling them to be quiet

Calling parents to have them talk to their especially loud children (this I still do)

Writing names down on the board of kids who were in trouble

A behavior chart (this I also still do)

and a rewards chart that moves up or down depending on how correct the kids are acting that day. It has things like “sweet treat”, “pizza party”, etc.. on it that the kids can build up to. Some would call it child bribery, I call it the best fucking thing to happen to my classroom.

Telling my kids to be quiet got them quiet for a few minutes, telling them they get extra recess if they close their mouths, that’ll keep them quiet the entire week.

Positive reinforcement has been the miracle drug I’ve been waiting for. Thanking the children who are behaving correctly leads to the others kids fixing their behavior faster than my telling them to fix it ever could.

Moving my kids up on the “giraffe chart” towards things like a dance party ensures 95% of my class shuts their pie hole.

And let’s be honest, if I told you I’d through you a pizza party if you just shut your mouth while I was talking, you’d shut the hell up too.

 

 

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No Blaise: Thankful for Women

November 23rd, 2016

In the wake of the jetstream of bullshit that has occurred over the last month, I wanted to bring up just how thankful I am for strong amazing women. Namely, my best friends, but also the millions of women who get up and work hard and empower the people around them.

Trump launched his attack on women a long time ago, but it’s been in the spotlight as of recently. As you may have heard.

So, here I am, reminding everyone how thankful I am for amazing women and how they’ve helped me through the last 28 years.

I am thankful that I have role models I can relate to.

I am thankful that I can call any of my best friends and tell them about my day and they listen and love me no matter what.

I am thankful that none of the women I love ask me when I’m getting married.

I am thankful that all the women in my life support me following my dreams to become a teacher and still support me now that I am, finally, a teacher.

I am thankful to the strong women on my staff who continue to support me and their students everyday.

I am thankful to the hard working mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, etc.. who get their children to my classroom every morning and do homework with them every night.

I am thankful to the single mothers who can’t get their children to school every morning because they’re doing this by themselves and only have so much energy. I am thankful that they still show up to parent-teacher conferences.

I am thankful to all the women who have built me up to be the woman I am today. I am proud to be a woman because of them. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished because of them.

Thank the women in your life who are sitting around your Thanksgiving table tomorrow and tell them how much it means to you that they showed up to a table to give thanks in a country that just elected Donald Trump President.

Thank Planned Parenthood.

Thank gynecologists.

Thank the women of color who aren’t properly represented under the blanket term “women” because racism is still so real.

Be thankful.

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No Blaise: We Just Got Trumped

November 9th, 2016

I am feeling nothing, sadness, anger, disappointment, more anger, more sadness, and even more nothing.

I am angry with myself for not realizing how possible this apocalypse was. Do I need to start going to church? This must be what the end of the world looks like.

I am wondering: How did this happen? Did I let this happen? What have we done?

Spending the last few weeks telling myself that Americans would “Do the right thing” in last nights election, but then waking up to “Trump is President” as a headline this morning was jarring. I am sitting here stunned. I have no jokes to write. I cannot produce anything that would even remotely muster a smile.

Today I am scared. I am overwhelmed and I am so scared. Inherently good people are a heartbreaking minority and that fact was dumped on my head last night & this morning as I watched the results.

I stayed late at work last night, grading papers and getting ready for report card pick up. I drove home knowing that Trump was “ahead” but still felt calm about it turning out for Hillary.

Then I got home and watched the news and realized how lazy & naive I’d been to trust this country to do anything mildly progressive in the year 2016.

So here I am wondering still: How did this happen? Did I let this happen? What have we done?

 

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No Blaise: Training Day

October 26th, 2016

I had my first session with a personal trainer last Thursday, and I’m happy to say that almost a week later I can finally walk normally again.

I literally spent the last week hobbling. Getting up and down stairs was a straight up nightmare. Trying to move fast was impossible. No one could come within an inch of me without me screaming “BE CAREFUL”

But, what else is new?

My trainer was nice, and tiny, enough. She started me out fast & furious and about 10 minutes in I had to turn to her and say, “Look, I’m gonna puke if we keep this up.” So I went and sat on the toilet for 10 minutes and then came back out and we finished our work out. Thankfully, she now understood how brutally out of shape I was and went sort of easy on me. I still had to do a few rounds of plank, so it was no picnic.

I would say the best part of the work out was that I survived it. I would say the worst part of the workout was that the trainer thought we could chat as I worked out.

I was literally jumping in the air with weights in my hands doing my best to just take air in my body and let air back out, and she asks “So, what’re you doing this weekend?” to which I tried to respond, but I don’t remember what I said because it took so much energy to form words on top of minor physical exertion, I momentarily blacked out.

After our session she wanted to be cheerful and excited for our next sessions. I tried to reciprocate, but in my head I was just thinking, “I need to go get in a wheelchair, hopefully I’m able to be mobile by our next session!”

I probably actually responded something more along the lines of, “SEE YA!”

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No Blaise: Life Alert #2000

October 12th, 2016

Here’s another life alert you’ve heard before: I joined a gym. I have done this before, and definitely written about it, yes. We all know how much I celebrate extremely small victories via this blog. As well as gigantic tragedies.

And this gym membership might turn into one of those gigantic tragedies, but for now it’s a win.

Signed up on Sunday, went to a class Tuesday, almost went to a class tonight. I am on a rollllllll. The only reason I didn’t go to “Live DJ Spin” tonight is because I’m still at work, and using the writing of this blog as a “break”. So, that’s what my day was like.

Last night I went to a very beginners yoga stretch class and it was magic. My back hurts today, mostly because I think my spine has been clicked back together for the first time in years.

Since I’m a hard working teacher, the gym allowed me to pay a nice price for an “all-access” pass to their gyms. This means I can to all the gyms that they have throughout the city. They’ve got one in the west loop with a sauna/spa that I plan on using when I feel fancy.

“Excuse me, I need a steam. I’m here all the time.”

This gym membership seems like a good step towards adulthood, first and foremost because I’m paying for it by myself. I was also offered some personal training sessions for a relatively low price and I responded, “Ok, maybe!?” to which my 23 year old self would’ve said, “No thanks, I just want to go on the elliptical for 45 minutes and expect extreme results. Have tacos for dinner, bye!”

I have even considered going to a spin class tomorrow morning at 6am. I think it’ll probably go about as well as my getting to work early did. Spoiler: I did not get to work early this morning.

But, you never know.

 

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No Blaise: C+

September 28th, 2016

C is for Vitamin C, the only reason I’m able to type this post right now. As many of you probably imagined my little students are basically germ dispensaries and I’m their #1 customer. This latest strain, it was a doozy.

It started out very “Oh this is definitely just allergies, definitely not sick.” then it quickly and quietly moved into “Oh wait this is allergies, but I’m also sick. Real sick.”

I was the kind of sick where you have no idea where you are at any time, and concentrating on anything is essentially impossible. So, guess what was planned for the peak day of my sickness? A field trip.

Hello children.

The bus ride was a bus ride, I am never able to describe rides on a school bus as anything other than “it was a ride on a school bus.” By some gift of Yeezus I had 4 chaperones show up, so each of us only had to be in charge of four children. This made the field trip pretty easy breezy, the hardest part being me trying to stay put in reality while holding baby chicks and  riding around on little trains with my first graders after consuming a near lethal dose of cold medicine.

The next day, as you may have guessed, I stayed home sick. I did have to return at night for the Open House to scare all the parents in my classroom into volunteering by having them look at my red and disoriented face. “Hello parents and guardians of my students, please help.”

When my Assistant Principal finally found me, she took one look at me and was like, “Ok, you need some vitamin C.” to which I sort of shrugged it off like, “Lol yeah probably.” to which she responded, “No, I haven’t been sick in years because of vitamin C, get some.” and then I went and bought a large bottle of 1000mcg Vitamin C.

And boy do I feel better today. That wasn’t sarcastic, I seriously feel so much better today. All my loyal followers know what that means: I am about to talk about Vitamin C to everyone I know like they never knew that Vitamin C was good for your immune system.

This is news, right?

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