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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No Blaise: Teacher Tastes

September 14th, 2016

Since my last food post, I’ve been doing better in terms of not eating fried food every single day. I probably haven’t had a french fry for a few days actually, go me!

I’ve been cooking dinner semi-regularly for the past few days and then eating leftovers for lunch. Once I had gone out to dinner and ate every bite on my plate so I had no left overs and so had a banana for lunch the next day. It could’ve been worse.

My daily eating routine has become:

Waking up, making coffee and a english muffin with peanut butter. Then, eating the english muffin subconsciously while driving and sipping coffee every two hours and usually leaving about half of it left in the thermos. Another fun game I play with my coffee thermos is continuously leaving it somewhere in the class room and then squinting while turning in circles looking for it until one my students begrudgingly says, “It’s right there.”

Around lunch time, which on Tuesday is at 10:15, I will hopefully have left overs or some other sustainable food to put into my body. If not, a banana will be fine. Whatever food I have gets piled into my mouth as I walk around the school looking for someone to ask them a question, or I spend it mindlessly eating at my  desk.

Since I live at school, I’ll have an afterschool snack to make sure I make it through the 3ish hours I’ll spend sitting at my desk wondering what else I could be doing to get ready for the next day. This is where my new lara bar obsession has bloomed. Everyday around 4 I’ll have my daily lara bar. If you don’t already know, lara bars are this amazing fruit and nut bar creation that come in a bunch of flavors. When I originally started, I thought I’d stick to the same few flavors. My comfort zone, if you will. Upon eating them however, I decided I would make it my mission to try as many flavors as sounded good to me. Which essentially means I’m going to try all of them because we all know I will eat basically anything.

My drive home is spent hoping I have the energy to get out of the car and make dinner. Once I get home I usually get that weird hallucinatory burst of energy and somehow manage to make dinner and drink half a bottle of wine. Then I’m in bed by 10pm, the latest, and pass out immediately.

Then my alarm goes of at 5:30am, and my eating routine begins again. Oh, and there’s some teaching of children sprinkled in.

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No Blaise: Livin la Vida Grade 1

September 7th, 2016

Hi all, if you’re reading this it means I’m still alive. I’m confirming this because if you haven’t heard, teaching is hard work. Even if you’re teaching the worlds cutest first graders, it can still get challenging. I’ve only been in it for 1.5 days but I can confirm that it is both wonderful and difficult.

I’m already very in love with my students and so many of them are so excited to learn. Some of them want to play with crayons in their desk while I’m talking or act like they can’t hear me for 3/4 of the day. But, who can blame them, right?

I’d rather draw in my desk than listen to me talk all day, too.

These last 1.5 days have taught me all about why people can’t think of teaching as an occupation and have to treat it as a vocation and a life work. If I walked into my first grade classroom everyday ready to punch the clock right at 3 and forget about everything that happened to me in the day, I would’ve run out half way through yesterday crying.

These kids don’t fit into molds. None of them are the same. I could never wander into this room, talk at them all day, and then walk out emotionless. You have to walk in everyday being willing to be driven completely insane with a smile on your face. More importantly, it’s knowing that a kid who falls asleep at this desk isn’t lazy and a kid who doesn’t understand the question isn’t stupid. They’re tired, and they’re confused.

Basically, they’re me everyday. But I love it so much, it’s ok.

Nora + Teaching = 4ever (I hope)

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