Thursday, January 29, 2009

All in a day's work

With the current economic downturn, I have many friends who are quitting/ losing their jobs and trying to "make a difference in the world." Many of them are lured by a job that has the summers off and gets out a 3PM-- teaching! I need to be balanced in my discussion of the realities of teaching. Each day I teach a kid something- and usually something about more than just history- about life. I truly feel I make a difference with the students I teach. I also love the process of intellectual growth. I will often teach about a subject I never studied--like the Arab-Israeli Conflict--do a whole bunch of research and then try to make the subject accessible and interesting to a group of 12-13 year olds. I thrive on the challenge. But, all of this comes from a lot of REALLY hard work. Those summers and afternoons "off" are often spent tirelessly preparing for the next school year.

I am not sure why all this is hitting me at once, but I do so much for my students. Just tonight, I wrote about 10 e-mails to students and parents who had a last minute question about my test tomorrow... and of course, I am writing the tests, after all the review sheets, Jeopardy review games, and lessons. This is all while I am taking care of the girls in the dorm... lots of drama tonight- it happens with teenage girls! Off to take brownies out of the oven... just baked for a 14th birthday tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

I just did this for Facebook, and thought I would share with everyone!

1. I always park far away in parking lots. I don’t want to fuss over getting a spot and usually enjoy the walk.

2. I cannot parallel park for the life of me. I have been in several situations when it would have been easier to parallel park, but I have always found a way out of it.

3. The mile took me 18 minutes in elementary school, back when I loved to swim and hated to run. I could have never imagined enjoying exercising as much as I do now.

4. I have been to 19 countries, largely spurred by a semester living (and sometimes studying) in Maastricht, Netherlands.

5. I spent a year working at a military boarding school in the middle of nowhere and LOVED it!

6. In my adult life, I have never paid for cable television. I still have rabbit ears on top of my TV catching whatever they can get.

7. I grew up attached to a dorm of 40 teenaged boys listening to their colorful language each night.

8. My family begins each year writing compliments to one another. It is interesting to look back on previous years and nice to pull out some compliments whenever I am down.

9. One random goal I have is to be self-sufficient enough that I will not need to buy IKEA furniture again. I hate putting it together and always seem to mess up somewhere—example my bookcase that still is not always together.

10. I love to bake—I just got a KitchenAid mixer. My favorite things to bake are brownies and my grandma’s banana bread.

11. I do not understand why some people do not have EZPass and am more perplexed why those people drive in the EZPass lane and try to merge at the last minute.

12. I am more productive and effective when I do things last minute—this leads to a lot of stressful moments.

13. I look forward to sending Christmas cards each year. I usually send about 150 and write personal notes on all of them.

14. I wanted to be on “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” so much when I was younger that I wrote a letter and was devastated to hear that they only had contestants from the Los Angeles area. Now, I teach Geography!

15. My high school mascot is a rhino and is the reason I have a significant collection of rhino memorabilia.

16. I wanted to tour Yale when I was in fourth grade—getting ahead on my college search.

17. I was born with my left eye shut and have had eye surgeries to correct the issue. My Dad said I winked at everyone and I would not stop winking.

18. My brother and sister could not pronounce my name and called me Dee Dee… the name still arises sometimes. I like my other nickname better—Beena.

19. When I was two, my mother made me a stuffed cookie monster and I slept with it each night until I was 12, when I lost it at camp. My mother found the pattern on E-Bay and gave it to me as a surprise when I was 22.

20. I have hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail in nine states- Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

21. I went to camp in Baxter State Park, Maine. It was $400 for four weeks. My mother called to ask if they served us food, they did.

22. I want to run a marathon at some point in my life.

23. I have little to no musical talent as one of the only students not to play in the band and the one who got the chorus all off key. I do like singing in the car and in the shower, however.

24. I am very thankful for Interlibrary Loan and do a lot of “reading” via books on CD.

25. I am almost done with my Master's degree. I want to get another degree, but I am not sure in what just yet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Easy Italian Dinner...

I love cooking, but only do it when I have company. So, tonight I made this for myself. Some girls from the dorm actually stopped by because it smelled so good, and I happily shared. I recommend this recipe..... it is easy and tasty!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nothing to do... almost!

I went to yoga this morning and had a fantastic class. The crowds are thinning out from the January rush "new year's" people. I came home and realized I had NO plans! Normally, I would hurry to figure something out and call people, but I decided to ban myself from the computer until 5PM and get stuff done around the house. I scrubbed, laundered, organized, sorted, and read. However, I just got a call from a girl I take excercise classes with and she wants to hang out tonight. I am off to see her now. It was a nice five hours of bliss without anything to do!

Consultant Boy had to drive back to Connecticut for a friend's father's funeral. He has contacted me each day this week and has not been active on I could spend all my time obsessing over his life, but I have decided not to. I like him is a person and we have a really nice time together. It took me until now to decide I wanted to commit and doesn't it take men longer? I am going to let it go for another month or so and see what happens.

Have a great weekend, ladies!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Too good to be true

I am slowly defrosting from what was a freezing week in the Phila area. I focused on my classes and putting together an application for a summer teaching program. My boss wrote me a recommendation for the program and it was incredible. I never knew how much she appreciated what I do for the school. Friday night was relaxing... BodyPump and BodyCombat at the gym and then home to watch a movie. I saw The Story of Us-- a wonderful romantic comedy.

On Saturday, I did yoga and then was off for my LONG anticipated date with Consultant Boy. We got take out from his favorite Italian resturaunt and ate in with some good wine. I was cold and he offered me his sweatshirt... and said I looked like a "girl in her boyfriend's sweatshirt." Ah... that would have been the best moment to say, "Am I your girlfriend?" We watched Wanted (it was OK- good action flick) and I asked him if he was dating anyone else or looking to date anyone else. He said no, "It's only you LPP." So, I was REALLY happy. He confirmed it was just me.

I should have just let myself be blissed out. I went on Facebook and he put up a picture of himself as his profile picture with two girls. Earlier in our dating (in November) I checked on to see if there was anyone on there in his area and his age. Sure enough, he was on there, but we had not clarified anything yet. I went on today and not only is he still there he JUST updated his profile and was active within 24 hours. This is so upsetting because he said that he was not looking to date anyone else... I am not sure if I should just enjoy our time together- we do have a really good time- and ignore this OR if I need to bring it up with him. I know I am spying and don't want him to think our relationship is about spying on each other, but I guess he and I have different definitions of what "not seeing other people" is.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Productive Weekend

The weekend is over, but it was productive. It snowed some, which is exciting for some skiing this week. I got some schoolwork done and tons of housecleaning/ laundry. Sadly, I did not see Consultant Boy because I had to be on campus all weekend. We did talk on the phone and online. I was so excited to see him next weekend; however, he wants to get Eagles tickets to Arizona- ugh!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chick Lit Review

I had a chance to read some great "Chick Literature" over vacation. This series I found particularly amusing about a girl, Chelsea, and her crazy family/ life.
Chelsea Handler's first book My Horizontal Life is a little crude, but hilarious. She definitely spends some time experimenting with different types of guys and has interesting friendships along the way.

When I saw this title, I thought of one of my childhood favorites Are you there God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume. This book was way beyond the innocent content of Blume's, but chronicles the adventures of the same character (Chelsea) from My Horizontal Life.

Overall, if you are looking for some laugh out loud, somewhat raunchy, humor to spice up your day, reading this series would be a good idea to cure the winter blues.

The Talk

Consultant Boy has returned from Europe and I am nervous because we have not had "the talk" yet about whether or not we are exclusive. We have been dating since September and spend a fair amount of time together, despite our schedules. Consultant Boy works in Chicago Mon- Thurs and I am busy during the week as well. We see each other on weekends and keep in touch through e-mail and over the phone during the week. He basically works from 7am- midnight in Chicago doing his consulting gig. He plans very nice dates and pays for everything. For example, he has cooked me a multi-course meal complete with proper wine pairings and taken me to nice places/ restaurants. I do not know whether or not to keep on enjoying this "phase" of mystery or to come out and ask if he is dating anyone else. I do not want to scare him into thinking I am too eager about our relationship, but I also do not want him to think I am so casual about things that he can date other girls. I did not have this "talk" with him before Europe because I wanted him to enjoy himself and not worry. We did end up talking over the computer every day for quite awhile. He is back in the states and e-mailed me his photos of his vacation last night and we talked online last night. He has not set up a date for this weekend... I guess Tuesday is a little early. He said he bought me some Belgian chocolates, but did not give me a Christmas present before leaving. So, I guess I am having trouble figuring out how serious our relationship is and what to do next. I have never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day and don't want to mess things up with just a little over a month to go. Any feedback? Thanks!

Not off to a stellar start.

I decided to get my car inspected at the dealership because it is cheaper than at the local mechanic. I, unfortunately, had my front lower arm control bushings slightly cracked and if they cracked all the way, my tire alignment and steering would be destroyed. I feel bad that I do not know much about cars, but was able to google some things at the dealership. Needless to say, $760 (!!!) later I had these "bushings" replaced and some fluids flushed, etc... This was not a good way to start the year. However, I feel fortunate that I plan for things like this to come up and I had the money to do it. It was not absolutely necessary, but I would rather not ruin my car or end up stranded. I wonder and worry about people that live paycheck to paycheck with every penny budgeted.

All was good because my ebay steal, a new Lilly skirt, had arrived. I went to pick it up, lo and behold, it was a GIRLS 10, not a Ladies 10. Bummer. But, it is so cute... it is back to ebay, to a friend, or who knows.How cute is this skirt?

Today will be busy... first day of class after break and I have some new students in my classes and dorm.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sprint Phones

Does anyone have Sprint phone service? Do you like your phone? I would love some feedback. I just need the phone for very basic things-- talking and texting. I have no desire to be completely tethered to my e-mail at all times. Thanks for the feedback!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Wow, 2008 was quite a year. Just a few things that happened...

- skied a lot over the winter, here on Wednesdays and a trip here
- got my heart broken right before Valentine's Day
- threw a Chili Party at my apartment for the entire faculty/ staff
- went to take a course towards my Master's degree in Alabama about Civil Rights- a fascinating experience
- coached the lacrosse team to win the league championships for the first time ever
- helped my mother get through an illness and then surgery
- took three grad classes over the summer and finished all my coursework
- started my thesis
- moved and decorated a new classroom
- coached field hockey again
- went on a first date with Consultant Boy in September and we have been seeing each other ever since
- bought my first pair of brand new skis and boots
- celebrated the holidays with family and friends

What do I hope to do in 2009?
- Finish the Master's degree
- Continue to stay in shape and eat healthy meals
- Develop my relationship with Consultant Boy
- Learn how to minimize stress/ people pleasing
- Slowly start to update things in my life- for example, I just bought a new sheet set/ duvet/ comforter because the one I had was a $30 bed in bag from Filenes...
- Take some trips- Tahoe is on the radar for March and somewhere in the summer...

My New Year's was good... I had appetizers at a neighbors house, then dinner at my boss's house, and then went to another neighbor's for dessert. It is called a Progressive Dinner Party. It was nice not to have to drive. I usually have the dinner at my house, but this year I was getting back from Maine too late. I was over the moon when I saw that Consultant Boy had gotten up at 6AM to call me from Barcelona, where he is on vacation. Ah... I want to see him soon!

Here's to 2009!