No Blaise: Back to Preschool

May 4th, 2016

This week I began in my preschool classroom for student teaching. As you might have guessed, it’s a little bit different than third grade. I’ve worked with Pre-K aged kids before plenty of times. But it has been quite strange to go from 9 year olds on a Friday to 4 year olds on the next Monday. Just when I had finally broken my habit of needing to holds children’s hands when we walk anywhere, I get put right into a class with a bunch of hand holders.

I went from encouraging children to be independent and work quietly to being terrified when the pre-k kids aren’t making any noise. Free time in third grade means that they’re reading in spots around the room. In pre-k, the kids use free time doesn’t exist because you can’t get mad at them for deciding their best use of time is to draw a mural in markers on the wall or make large towers and then push them over onto their classmates.

When I use my “teacher voice” in third grade, it gave the students the incentive to really listen to me, and so I can stay at that tone all day. In preschool my voice ranges between “obnoxious kind angel”, “Irritated kind angel”, into finally my regular speaking voice saying, “Please just do it.” Not that any of these voice changes matter to 3 and 4 year olds, if they’re not gonna do something, they’re not gonna do it even if you do speak like the tooth fairy. The majority of kids I talk to in my prek class almost always just have the response is, “Uh yeah, no, I’m not gonna do that.” or just blatant blatant avoidance. Or both in some cruel collaboration. One kid has decided that when he doesn’t want to do something I give him directions  like “sit with the class.” or “line up” he responds “Oh, no thank you.” and just walks away.

#VIBES

Now, don’t get me wrong. These pre k kids are cute as hell. They all come in in their tiny outfits and try to pronounce my name. Some of them get it and are like, “Ms. Schmiedel can you push me on the swing?” or “Ms. Schmiedel I’m hungry.” Others try their very best to get the name right. “Ms. Schneedul”or “Ms. Sch…skfdjsfl”. But some of my favorite kids decided to just start screaming across the room for me with the lines, “Hey hey I’m over here!” or “HEY TEACHER, ZIP ME!”

But, at least they wanna hold my hand.

 

 

 

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No Blaise: Getting GOT

April 27th, 2016

Hey, have you guys ever  heard of a show called Game of Thrones? Did you know it’s on it’s sixth season? I bet you did, since 95% of the worlds population has seen every episode. Except, of course, me!

I went to a Game of Thrones premiere BBQ on Sunday, except I didn’t know it was a Game of Thrones premiere BBQ because I’ve been too busy watching the all too relevant television show, X-Files. So, I’m at the BBQ with my roommate Katie, and around 8 everyone at the BBQ is all, “Oh my god, the show’s starting!” and me and Katie are all like, “Ok, bye!”

Which worked out fine, because 8 is my bed time anyway.

Apparently, just being in the presence of people who watch Game of Thrones made me feel inclined to start watching. So, Monday night I started Game of Thrones. From the beginning. I should mention that each episode is an hour long, and consists of as much content as an entire series of most other television shows.

It’s smart of me to start a series five seasons behind just as a new season comes out. Especially since it’s a show that literally gets posted about every day all day on social media. The silver lining is that the shows has so many names in it that I have no idea what people are talking about on social media.

If I tried to post a status at this point it would read something like: “Oh shit, that one guy killed the cool guys friend!” or “That blonde ladies outfit was on point tonight” or “They killed a dog :(

Oh wait. I do know one persons name: Jon Snow. I know it because he’s a real cutie.

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Am I right, or am I right?

 

This series will probably now take up 95% of my free time.

If anyone needs me for the next few months-years, I’ll either be teaching children something (hopefully), watching Game of Thrones, or asleep.

I’ve actually already had two of my worlds interact, the “Game of Thrones” theme came on Pandora today as the kids were working quietly and so m any of them said, “Oh my god, this is the Game of Thrones theme song!” and we all giggled in excitement.

This is who I am now.

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No Blaise: Spring Break 2016

April 20th, 2016

I initially wrote the title of this post as “Spring Break 2015″ which should give you a good idea of where I’m at mentally.

It’s been Spring Break for a whole two days and so far I haven’t done anything of meaning. Well, I graded some papers today, but other than that I’ve been watching X-Files, getting a facial (aka #treatyoself), laying on the couch, and walking the dog. Oh, also sporadically remembering things I should be doing with my time off, and then not doing them.

I probably haven’t mentioned before that my desk at home is a true pile of crap. As in, I have a bunch of crap piled on it. I usually walk quickly into my room in an effort to block the pile of crap from my vision. But, every so often I get a glimpse and it reminds me of how unstable I really am. Of course this means that I’ve put “organizing my desk” on my to do list every weekend for the last two years, and so it definitely then got rolled over onto my Spring Break “seriously you need to get this shit done” list.

These early days of Spring Break are my favorite times to tell myself that I am going to get all my chores done. Thursday I’m going to spend my day doing the astronomical amount of laundry that’s currently turning my room into a birds nest. That’ll leave Friday for me to organize my entire room and desk into a page from the “Real Simple” magazine. Finally, this weekend I’m going to grocery shop and pre-make all my meals for the next week, in order to deter my body from straight up turning into a Jimmy John’s sandwich.

This last part, about me cooking my own food, is probably the most likely thing that’s going to happen in the above sequence of events. Since, you know, it has to do with the item highest on my list of priorities: food.

I made some headway on laundry today, so that might actually get done too. I even folded the clothes and put them away instead of leaving them as a pile on the basement couch. What will I do with the time I usually spend rifling through that pile to find my underwear, though? Maybe I’ll use that time to clean my desk!

I have so many plans when it comes to my desk. It’s going to have files that’re organized by whatever a category is that you use to file things. It’s going to have just enough pictures of my dog. It already has a beautifully artsy calendar that I keep up to date, so there’s the biggest hurtle right there. I suppose I should also buy a chair to sit at it with….

Anyway, this time next week I’ll be doing #werk at my well oiled machine of a desk, pumping out more lesson plans than those kids can wrap their heads around.

Also my this time next week I will have more than likely have finished the X-Files series and will be looking for another good show to binge watch alone, so keep me in your thoughts. Unfortunately I won’t be able to complete a series quite as quickly as I have been able to over breaks. But I’ll do my best to both teach young minds while turning my own into mush.

Here we go!

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No Blaise: EdTPA ProcrastiNation

April 13th, 2016

Guess who has their application to become a real live teacher due tomorrow? Guess who procrastinated writing up her application materials? It’s me! 

In my defense, I did all my in class work. As in, I taught three lessons and I got filmed teaching those lessons. I also completed a most admirable task: watching the videos of myself teaching. So, since my brain is fried, I’ve provided a blog from the past that describes just how deep procrastination runs through me….

 

I’ve mentioned I’m in the throws of my usual end of quarter routine–mental breakdown, losing track of days, full life collapse. What I haven’t mentioned yet, but what you probably have already guessed is going on, is my usual procrastination.

Since I make it my mission every quarter to do better with not saving everything to the last minute, I’ve done better with keeping up with assignments. I even have one already (almost) done that isn’t due until midnight tonight.

It’s really great that I’ve been able to somewhat keep track of my work in these two classes, and then I remember that I’m taking a third class, my internship at Newberry, and I’m all like “Oh Shit, I have about 10 week worth of lesson plans and reflections to write in a one week period.”

“Oh shit, I also have two quizzes and a project that consists of creating a months worth of content for a first grade classroom due at the beginning of the next week.” “Oh shit, I also have a full time job.” “Oh shit, I also like having friends and drinking alcohol.”

Oh shit, Oh shit, Oh shit.

So, here I am with a week left in the quarter, and a week and one day away from vacation in California, all “my brais melting do I even have the mental capacity to pull off one more sentence of work, let alone journals, and quizzes, and 20 days worth of relevant lessons for first graders.

The answer to this is: You don’t wanna take these god damn classes over, so caffeinate yourself and GET TO WORK.

It’s always nice to know you’re not alone in a sinking ship/brain explosion/body shut down, so my classmate Kim and I often exchange text messages that go something like:

“I’m confused”

“Me too”

“It’s because my brain is melted”

“Same”

“It’s because I love wine”

“Me too”

“I’m only one human with one average sized brain!”

“True”

“Will we be single forever?”

“It’s looking that way.”

“K cool.”

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No Blaise: Tired of Testing

April 6th, 2016

I have been student teaching for the last four weeks and can I just say it has been awesome. My cooperating teacher is the. best. and I like teaching third graders a lot more than I ever thought I would.

All in all you can say I’m having the time of my life.

I’m not kidding.

Unfortunately these last two weeks had a major buzzkill stirred into my otherwise euphoric experience: Standardized Testing.

If you’re not familiar, please kiss the people who educated you for saving you from this hell. You should also know that it means we expect children, beginning at age 8ish, to be able to sit down for at least an hour and do math or read different texts and answer many questions. If you’re like, “LOL that sucks, you’re kidding right?” I would respond, “LOL it really sucks, I’m not kidding.”

As someone who has had to take a multitude of standardized tests both as a kid and an adult, I can assure you, they’re the worst.

So, here I am watching these poor baby third graders have to sit for at least an hour and try and answer questions and I’m just shocked that they’ve made it out alive. All I have to do is walk around and occasionally read a problem to them if they need help reading it, and it takes up 95% of my daily energy. These 8 and 9 year olds have basically become my heroes.

I dedicated the last two weeks to being a crafty azz teacher and tried to  bring in as many appropriate treats as I could. This means I spent a lot of time searching “testing treats” on Pinterest.

I ended up bring in:

1) Personalized notes (You can do it!)

2) Clementines (Orange you glad testing is almost done?)

3) Baby bananas (Don’t go bananas it’s just a test)

and today,

4) Goldfish crackers (You’re O-Fish-Ally done testing!)

Now I’m considering creating a non-profit called “testing treats” to reward kids as they take standardized tests. I’d also create an organization called “Foot massages and wine” for their teachers who administer the test and have to walk around for at least an hour in a classroom.

I would put a note with the wine bottles that said,

“Testing is over? I’ll drink to that.”

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No Blaise: Contigo With Me

March 23rd, 2016

During a recent trip to Target, Anika and I decided that we needed coffee tumblers. So, we proceeded to stand in the coffee tumbler aisle pantomiming drinking coffee out of a variety of coffee tumblers.

I went in knowing I wanted a Contigo brand tumbler, because I’d “borrowed” Katie and Ryan’s enough to know that Contigo was my brand. But, of course, I still had created plenty of other obstacles for myself in deciding on the perfect one.

I found one I loved, lookswise, and as soon as I picked it up it broke. So, that one can stand in place for my love life.

I found one I loved, lookswise, and upon further investigation it was too small for the amount of caffeine I need on a daily basis. So, that one can stand for my love life, too.

I found one that I loved size-wise, but it wasn’t in the color I loved. So, that one can stand for whenever I find clothes I actually like.

Finally, I found one that I loved both size and colorwise, but it happened to be the exact same one Katie has. I bought it anyway, so my new tumbler can stand for my social life.

The cherry on top is that Anika and I bought the same tumbler in different colors, and hers happened to be the same one as Ryan has. So, now you have a really good idea of how social we are outside of the house.

Anika and I get home, and are immediately too excited about our Contigos and pour whatever beverage we decide to drink into it. Anika pours water, I make a matcha drink and pour it into mine.

I should now mention that we have enough cups and coffee mugs for at least 20 people.

We like new things.

 

 

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No Blaise: Shush!

March 16th, 2016

It’s finals week! And! Not only that! I started student teaching full time this week!

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Since I knew if I went home after teaching I would immediately start drinking because of my stress and love of wine. So, I head immediately to the library.

After stopping and buying a grocery bag of snacks, of course.

It being finals week, the DePaul library is bound to be filled to the brim with people squeezing in a “cram sesh”. For some reason I still decide to go there to try and finish a paper due last night at 11:30.

I get to the library and have to do the awkward “Looking for a table” routine. It’s a lot of acting like I’m here to meet someone and, “Oh, there they are!”

I finally find a nice little nook with an outlet next to it, which is the studying version of finding gold. I am surrounded by children aka undergrads, but it’s the quiet study area so I figure they’ll keep a lid on it. Unfortunately, they do not keep a lid on it.

I just put my headphones in and blast classical music, like a mature intellectual. This doesn’t keep out all the undergrad giggling, but I’m fine.

Someone else however, is not. All of a sudden I hear, “SHUSH!” and the full table near me giggles but eventually quiets down.

A little time goes by, and the table starts they chitter chattering again and like clockwork I hear, “SHUSH!”

I should mention that my nook has me facing away from everything, so I can look over and see the massive table of 19 year old girls and boys spewing feelings to each other, but I never get a glimpse at the shusher.

I get back to work with the hum of people who don’t know how to whisper in the background. It seems that the shusher is satisfied with the level of noise because we don’t hear from them for awhile. I had just almost forgot about all the shushing when the full table lets out a “Whoa!!” about something on their computer, and the shusher retorts with a big ol’ “SHUSH!!!”

This has me wondering, as a mature adult, should I be shushing? When you graduate college, are you supposed to shush people in libraries? What else should I be doing?

Eat dinner earlier?

Wear more moo moos?

Get more dogs?

If I must….

Just when I’ve almost fully recovered from the shusher, I hear people laugh in the distance, followed by a distant “SHUSH!”

Who are you shusher? And why don’t you just go home?

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