Thursday, June 24, 2010

I just wanted to you to know...

While I could be outside with Dr. Awesome, looking at sites like this....

or this....

or this....

I am not. Instead I am inside, in a library, in between stacks huddled by a plug with my UK-US adapter, working diligently on job applications that should have been finished a month ago. Oh wait, there weren't any openings a month ago.

Dr. Awesome and I are indeed having a fabulous trip though. Last weekend we cruised through all kinds of amazing things! This week while he works and I job hunt, I have managed to sneak in a few extra cups of coffee and read a bit more of my summer reading list. It is, after all, summer vacation. Our next weekend will bring us more adventure though, and more blog hiatus!

I do have to wonder though... will I ever get to have a summer vacation that isn't spend with that nagging worry of "what next?" Or are all new educators doomed to years of pink slips and reapplications? If I had my own room, my own grade, surely I would be taking pictures to share with my kids. It is a someday well worth the pursuit.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dr. Awesome

Please forgive the recent radio silence. Things have been crazy preparing for family visiting for Mr. Awesome's defense and planning for a trip to the UK. Unfortunately there will be more stints of quiet as I'm soon going to be more interested in seeing Hogwarts historical sites than blogging.

But first I have some very important news to share! Yesterday afternoon Mr. Awesome passed his doctoral defense and after his committee signed his papers, he officially became Dr. Awesome, Ph.D. That's right folks, I am now married to a doctor! Just imagine what schemes we'll be qualified to come up with now... mwhahahaha.

I'm so proud of Dr. Awesome and all the years of hard work it has taken to get to this point. After we get back from the UK, we're off to Big City, USA where Dr. Awesome has accepted a one year visiting assistant professor position. After that? Probably world domination. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I just got back from a quick trip to visit family and see my nephew's 6th grade graduation.  *Sniff. I can't believe he's going off to junior high in a couple of months. He's an awesome young man and I'm so proud of my brother and my sister-in-law for being such awesome parents. I know some day Mr. Awesome and I will have a lot of questions re: how to raise a son as cool as my cool nephew.

This year I've heard lots of opinions about graduation. My friend who teaches preschool has a family celebration, but refuses to make cardboard hats for her Pre-K kids who are more likely to spill juice on their hats than sit back and have a moment of self reflection such as "hey, my fine motor skills, number sense, and phonemic awareness totally improved this year! I'm SO ready for kindergarten now!" Not that a preschooler shouldn't be proud, but it's not the same as say, an 18 year old graduating from high school who can look back and say, "man, I did it and I made good life choices along the way." Or, say, Mr. Awesome who has been in school since he was five and on Sunday will be walking across a stage in a funny gown.

So where does 6th grade graduation fall in the mix? What about 8th grade? Kindergarten? Personally, I think it really depends on the teacher and the school and the community. I thought that my nephew's graduation was fabulous. Although, as some have pointed out, I am extremely biased when it comes to my nieces and nephew, so perhaps I am not entirely fair. But the ceremony I saw was a great reflection of the school's community and values, honored the students' hard work without acting like it was the end of their academic career, and reflected on how these kids were moving on from being the little guys in elementary school to growing young adults facing all the things young adults face in those places known as junior high and high school.

If I get a job teaching sixth grade, or kindergarten, or fifth grade in a district that is a k-5 elementary school district, I'll have to decide for myself or be forced into helping with graduation. I'll probably be the kind to go all out with paper hats and goofy favors. I think the kids work hard and deserve a celebration. Plus who doesn't like cake and pictures and neat slide shows with corny music? 

Of course, you could look at it in the eyes of my niece (nephew's little sis). It's totally NOT FAIR that sixth graders get to graduate but first graders still have to go to school. 

Yeah, what a jip.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Show me the money!

Have you heard about the new $100 bills? They are so cool!!

When I was subbing a couple of weeks ago I got to see a special presentation from a local bank about the new bills. The bankers brought really neat super size color copies of the current bills and then they had copies of the new bills too. The kids were invited to find as many similarities and differences as they could. It was a fun little compare/contrast and I had a hard time letting the kids do the work.

At one point the bankers started explaining to the kids how the new bills won't really be made of copy paper, but they'd be made of cotton. They went to say that the cool thing about the new bills is that when you fold the bills a certain way it would create a 3D effect.

At that point I almost interrupted to explain that these kids were too young to pick up on subtle sarcasm, and that they wouldn't find it funny to be teased in such a way. I thought it was so mean that the bankers were telling the kids such a ridiculous thing! I mean, a 3D effect on a paper bill? Come on, you might be able to pull a fast one on these kids, but not on me.

Luckily I didn't say anything though, because it turns out they were serious! Apparently it wasn't the kids who were too young to understand the adults, it was Mrs. Awesome who was too much of a cynic to change with the times.

You can read about the new bills here, and even watch a cool video! 

In any case, check out the new bills! So cool! I can't wait to get one. I guess I'll need a job to earn it first. Hmm.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What day is it? Huh?

It's amazing how quickly I let myself get into the flow of a summer schedule. I don't know what day of the week it is and I'm staying up later and later every night, reverting back to my night owl ways. I love staying up late. So does Mr. Awesome and so do some of my closest friends. This is dangerous for a reformed insomniac and really fun for a professional procrastinator. I am literally procrastinating bedtime.

Last night Mr. Awesome pondered what would happen if we stayed up 4 extra hours every day. In 6 days, would we get an extra day? Or would we have lost a day by sleeping through it at other times? Or would you be able to discipline yourself into keeping a 28 hour schedule and be able to quite literally add more hours to the day? I wanted to try the experiment right away but Mr. Awesome is smarter than me and he reminded me of things like other people in the world.

My bathroom is sparkling and smells of bleach, my kitchen is spotless and smells like lemon fresh cleaner, and every item of clothing I own is laundried and put away, excepting my current outfit. And now I'm blogging about topics interesting to about 3 people in the universe.

I must be procrastinating. Yikes. Don't tell my future boss about this habit I have. Remind me not to mention it when they ask about my "weaknesses" in an interview. I can imagine it now...

"Tell me, Mrs. Awesome, what would you say is your biggest weakness and how does it impact your work?"

"Well, there's the whole procrastination problem I have but don't worry, I always finish by the deadline and I usually get fun side projects done on the way too!"

Oh look, a bookshelf to reorganize! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I like to mouvs it mouvs it!

Today I stopped by my (old) school to pick up my (last) paycheck and generally goof off while I didn't have a sub call. I was totally surprised to find my box filled with thank you and love notes from my children! I am so grateful for the teachers who orchestrated this and while I know many of them just put a list of the peripheral teachers on the board and had the students write letters during "choice" time, I am touched none the less. Some of the cards/letters I got were priceless. This is my very first batch of thank yous from kids that weren't from student teaching or college volunteer work and I will admit to tearing up more than a little when reading through the notes they wrote me.

First, I got a GIANT card from a conglomerate of students from several classes. I'm not sure who organized this but my best guess is some of the sixth grade girls. My favorite comment is from Justine: "PS, you make great cookies." Justine is a teacher's kid who has been at some of the dinners I've gone to and she's had the chance to sample some of my homemade cookies. This kid knows her priorities. Another cool thing was that each of the third grade classes made me a card. One of the students took it upon himself to draw a picture of him and me on the back of the card, including labels. I'm pretty sure he has a teacher crush on me.

But of the cards, my favorite quote comes from a batch of first grade letters. The best notes are always from the kids who have the toughest times in school and this kid is no exception. I love that the teacher gave me cards in their purest form: the way kids wrote em and not rewritten by teachers until they looked "perfect." I'll translate for those of you who aren't trained in the skill of reading the writing of young authors.

Dear Mrs. Awesome. 
My favorite song is Surfin USA, The Yellow Submarine, and I like your moves. I like you Mrs. Awesome.

Best Student EVER.  

Well I'm glad to know I wasn't just dancing around for the sake of acting like a goon. Turns out, I've got mouvs!

And with the thought of me and my awesome mouvs, I'll leave you with pictoral proof that I truly rocked out with my kids this year. I give you.... Mrs. Awesome, as seen in the eyes of a first grader.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hunting Season: Now Open

All the pieces have finally fallen into place. Mr. Awesome accepted a position in Big Giant City, USA and so I know where to apply for jobs now. And as of yesterday evening, I finally got all the letters of rec I was waiting for, so it's official. I am officially on the market. Looking. Available. Unemployed.

In between jobs.

Starting today, I'm spending a bit of each day working on my job applications. I need to revamp my resume (should have already done that, but as you know, I am really good at procrastinating) and I need to get my shell cover letter set. However, the biggest obstacle is simply going to be finding a place to send my apps. Right now there are several districts that simply have information on collecting unemployment. Others are only accepting applications from current employees. Others want you to have years of experience. I wonder if any of them are looking for me?

Here's my first cover letter:

Dear peeps:
Please call me for an interview. I'm awesome. w00t. 
Mrs. Awesome. 

I think it needs some work.