Saturday, April 28, 2012

N is for Networking

Being a teacher means spending the spring and summer searching for a job for the following school year (that is until you find a permanent position that offers professional status).

With the job search comes stress, paper cuts, cover letters, resumes, more paper cuts, more stress, and the most awful part of it all...networking. 

Now I am not a natural networker. I prefer not to bother others and ask for favors and make small talk and be chummy. Actually, I prefer not to interact with adults at all if I can help it. THERE IS A REASON I SPEND MY DAYS WITH TINY HUMANS. 

But today, I sucked it up and emailed an old graduate school professor. See...there is this job that I want A LOT. Like more than anything. Like it's probably the most perfect job for me ever. So I tried to put my general awkwardness aside and network like a grownup.

I may or may not have called my mom and Googled "how to network to get a job" before sending the email. <---I did.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Maine: April Vacation Edition

Sadly, April vacation has come to an end. I know that all of you non-teachers are probably rolling your eyes at me right now but believe me, vacation is a necessary part of the school year. (Even more so for the students than the teachers.)

We had wonderful weather during the week! After my midnight crisis about owing a billion dollars on my taxes, I took to the road and traveled to Maine for a few days. 

I spent one day/night by myself and it was so peaceful. I was at the mercy of no one except my dog but I was so scared to sleep at the cabin in the woods by myself. Scenes from horror movies taking place in the woods kept flashing through my mind!

During the daylight hours, I had much happier times. I visited the oreo cows...which from a distance look soft and smooth but up close are super shaggy. Do they get winter coats and shed like my dog does? Any cow experts out there?

There is one brownish/reddish oreo cow. He must be the black swan of cows! I was enjoying the cows and marveling at how they would stare at me when one cow started coming towards me...and he looked pissed. There was a fence consisting of two wires and some posts but that cow was awfully large and I am kind of a wimp so I scurried back to my car.

That solitary one on the right was the one out to get me!

Maine fun fact #1: Maine was just voted the most peaceful of the 50 states. I tried to harness that peace by taking artsy pictures of the spring buds.

After my fitful night of sleep, my dog got me up nice and early. At 5:30 she poked me with her snout until I got up to let her out. I let her out and she proceeded to lay on the deck so she could get her morning cookie. Sneaky dog is sneaky. While I was wandering around like a zombie I managed to open my eyes enough to watch the sun rise over the foggy lake. It was pretty!

Later that day, mom and I ventured to the coast. I put my toes in the ocean (brrrrr!) and accidentally took home a live periwinkle. It looked empty!

Periwinkle lovers.

Our last stop was at the Delorme map store to see Eartha, the world's largest revolving globe. We watched it spin revolve and rotate. It was awesome to see how the world actually tilts and rotates. It is huge (3 stories) so it was difficult to get a good picture of it. Someone needs to time lapse video Eartha!

Maine is always a good time. Everyone should come and visit!


There Are No Words...

Okay...there are some words. I'm at my favorite car dealership getting a tune up and an overdue (oops!) state inspection.  No friendly dogs this time. Actually there is no one here at all...but they still told me it would be an hour and a half wait. So naturally, I'm amusing myself by taking pictures.

Boredom inevitably leads to public embarrassment!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Road Trip. #In Real Life. #Not The Movie

Impromptu road trip to Maine this weekend. And by weekend I mean Thursday - Saturday. It is school vacation week after all!
Needing to get out of Dodge to clear my head, get some fresh air, change my scenery, write, reflect, and recharge my soul by putting some miles on my car.
There is just something about driving…the backroads, windows down, music up kind of driving that makes everything better. Maybe it is the traveling. Maybe it is the freedom.
The world will be here waiting when I get back.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Taxes

It may be uncouth to discuss money but it's totally acceptable to bitch about taxes right?

The cliff notes version is this:

  • The government is still screwing with me for being unemployed.
  • I have to pay the IRS so much money this year.

The long story is this:

  • In 2011, I was unemployed for 9 months. I collected unemployment for 8 of those months.
  • No taxes were taken out of my unemployment.
  • No one ever told me I should be paying estimated taxes on that money.
  • In 2011, I didn't have health insurance for 9 months.
  • In Massachusetts, you are required by law to have health insurance or you are monetarily penalized.
  • The penalty is cheaper than the health insurance.
  • To get off unemployment, I took a full time job where I make LESS than I did on unemployment.
  • They charge a penalty fee when your taxes are too high.

So...I had to pay tax on 8 months of unemployment with only 4 months of a crappy wage to balance it out. I had to pay a penalty to the state of Massachusetts for not having health insurance even though I never sought any medical services in those 8 months. I have to pay a penalty because my taxes were too high so the government assumes that I was at fault for filling out a W-4 incorrectly. (I didn't I was just unemployed!) 

In the end, I owed $2000ish. It's a good thing that I won my unemployment hearing back in February and was awarded the money unemployment still owed me...because that is how I am paying my taxes.

To clarify: Government Part A owed me money. I had to go to a hearing at Government Part B to prove I was owed that money. Government Part C delivered that money to my house. Now I have to use Government Part A's money to pay Government Part D's taxes on said Government Part A's money. 


Dear Government A, B, C, and D,

I am well aware that I was unemployed but do you have to keep kicking me while I'm down? Don't get me wrong, I like roads and schools and stuff but it doesn't feel great to empty my bank account while your "people" have so much money that they can hire people to get them out of paying taxes.


P.S. Please don't spend my tax money on hookers...I'm looking at you Secret Service.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Rose,

You didn't have to let go. See below:


File under: #Next time cuddle.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'll Never Let Go

In part two of my two part series...Titantic 3D.

The most exciting part of seeing Titanic on the big screen is not so much the 3D but the nostalgia for my late teenage years. When the movie was first in theaters, I saw it four times. Yes...four. It was just as epic as I remembered it being. Although this time I watched it with grown up eyes.


  • I can't believe how opulent the ship was.
  • The Titanic was such a microcosm of the disparity between classes.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was so young.
  • I forgot all about the first 20 minutes where they go underwater and find the safe in the wreckage.
  • How historically accurate is the movie?
  • Do ships hit icebergs a lot?
  • What would have happened if they hit the iceberg head on?
  • Would Rose really have survived by floating on that door?
  • I'm too old to sit for 3 hours in a movie theater seat.

The part that gets me every time is when the musicians begin to play Nearer My God to Thee.

I've watched so many History channel specials on the Titanic in the past few weeks. The more I learn about the distaster the more fascinated I am with the whole thing. But I get caught up in the fact that so many people died...and that so many bodies were never recovered. It's crazy to see video of the Titanic laying at the bottom of the ocean because it looks so small.

Also, I can't believe that it took until 1985 to located the wreckage! I would have thought someone would have found it before then.

Oh, intrigue me.


Friday, April 13, 2012


Scene: 8:40 am. Student R walks into the classroom holding his backpack out in front of him.

Student R: Miss C! There is a spider in my backpack!

Miss C: What would you like me to do about that?

What I really wanted to say: Eh, leave your bag unzipped in the coat area and it will just crawl into someone else's stuff.

Happy Vacation!

* And not a moment too soon.


Thursday, April 12, 2012


Fly Away Home was on TV this weekend which was quite apropro. For one, I love the movie. For two, the main character is named Amy and has a cool accent. For three, the subject of Canadian geese is highly relevant to my day to day life.

You my school/work, there is a GIANT marsh and pond surrounding the field and playground (and no...there is no fence). But in the spring with the pond comes alive with Canadian geese.

They do funny things like:
  • Mate outside the 5th grade windows during MCAS testing. (P.S. They are noisy when they do that.)
  • Chase each other around...wings out, necks curved...hissing:

  • Make a nest on top of the beaver lodge. Like so: 

  • Poop all over the playground (which then the kids pick up and throw at each other...right before heading inside to eat lunch) <---Kids are gross.

In a (failed) attempt to keep the geese off the playground, they have outfitted the orange, plastic snow fence with sparkly pinwheels. 

Yes, this is the truth. 
Yes, my school is silly.

File under: #But geese LOVE pinwheels.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Apparently I'm Losing My Mind

So school vacation is next week. Which is so necessary because in the last 10 days lots of things have gone down in my class:

  • Huge, important IEP meetings.
  • Played teacher on the big math project day.
  • Geese drama. (Post on this is coming.)
  • Full moon + Easter candy = CRAZY children.
  • A broken arm.
  • DSS drama.
  • Mono.

I didn't really think I was in need of a vacation because it seems like it was JUST February vacation. But...BUT...this week I drove all the way to work and got out of my car before I realized I left everything at home except for my keys. Purse, phone, water bottle, lunch. Luckily I live 6 minutes from work so I ran back home to get it all.

Then today, I went to the gym after work. From there, I was headed to the grocery store to buy cheese so I could make pizza for dinner. But I left my wallet at home! 

Option 1: Go home. Get money. Go to a different grocery store.

Instead...I paid with quarters. Toll money FTW!

Is it Friday yet?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Drink the Kool-Aid

Dear Second Graders,

When you punch a hole through your Capri Sun pouch I'm going to have to put your juice in a cup. Likewise, if you lose, break, or maim your straw, I'm going to have to cut open your juice box and pour it into a cup. My question to you is this: why do you refuse to drink the juice from a cup but will gladly drink it from the juice carton? IT IS THE SAME JUICE!

Miss C

#File under: juice boxes are an integral part of my day, why are kids so weird?


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Being A Grownup...

Means buying your own Easter basket.

Reese's PB eggs, running socks, and nail polish FTW.

Happy Easter!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Just Call me Roger...

Ebert that is.

I ended up seeing The Hunger Games twice on opening weekend with two different groups of people. One group really liked the movie, the other hated it. I still can't decide what I think.

The movie was so hyped that I knew on some level I would be disappointed because there is no way it could or would compare to the book.

The pros:
  • It was a good film adaptation. The movie hit on the major plot points and didn't change anything that was sacred to the book.
  • I liked seeing The Capital and the people that lived there brought to life. Upon my first reading of the book, I didn't really picture the people looking that strange.
  • While Haymitch wasn't anywhere as miserable as I thought he should have been, I liked the relationship he had with Katniss and Effie especially.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Effie was great.
The cons:
  • I thought the actor who played Peeta was so flat and uninteresting.
  • There was no characted development particularly when it came to Katniss and Peeta's relationship.
  • I don't think the movie really got across the point that The Hunger Games was not just a reality show for people who lived in The Capitol (Captial?) but that it was put in place as a punishment for the Districts. I guess I pictured forced public viewings rather than Mom and Prim watching at home.

But here is the BIG THING.

I was SO distrated by the cinematography! I thought it was so weird that the camera kept focusing in on random things like a curl of hair or a ring. I guess it was supposed to be arty but I hated it. Also, I know they had to skate through the battle scenes to give the movie a PG-13 rating but it felt like the movie was supposed to be 3 hours long and they hit fast forward to fit it in 2.5 hours. It was so fast my eyes couldn't focus on anything and I felt like I wasn't actually watching it. (Picture someone standing right in front of you waving something really fast in your face and trying to figure out what it was.) The way they filmed the movie was so shaky it was too Blair Witch for me.

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