Monday, September 28, 2015

Student Teaching- Week Three

I was so sick this week, but I hustled through. What I didn't do was take a picture of any of my outfits, so no outfit of the week picture. 

Memes I Love In Lieu of an Outfit for the Week:

What I Did:

This week I taught two of my own lessons, both turned out very well. The first one was an activity about Latin American liberators and the second was a review game for the test. 

I also started grading things this week, which is tougher than you think. The hardest thing to grade were the student's French Revolution storybooks because it's really subjective. I also had to write down what the grade levels would be for each score because at first I was grading them a little tougher than what I realized. 

Things I Learned:

Grading is hard. At times I spaced out from the sheer mass of words coming at me. Other times I'd get so frustrated at a capable student's complete lack of effort. My head literally hurt after grading a few storybooks. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

Classroom management aka learning how to get them to shut it when I need them to. 

Memorable Moment of the Week:

I had a student who wants to do good but really struggles with his work reach out to me to help him study for the test. We went over everything together and I showed him what he needed to study. When he came in for the test on Friday, he NAILED it. I am so so so proud of him. 

Looking Forward To:

Surviving another week!

Honest Thoughts:

I'm still on the fence about whether or not this is the right career track for me, but the good news is that both my cooperating teacher and my supervising teacher think I do a great job in front of the classroom. I love most of the kids but there's so much more to teaching than just the kids and there is so much in my life that is still waiting to happen (like kids hopefully) that I'm not sure I can devote my entire life (which is pretty much what it's going to require at first) to it right now. Who knows, maybe over the next few weeks I'll keep swaying towards teaching considering when I first started doing this I was completely against the idea. 

3 weeks down, 9 to go! We are officially in the single digits!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rent the Runway

A friend introduced me to Rent the Runway a few weeks back and I'm not going to lie, I'm obsessed. It's an online rental service where you can rent designer clothes, jewelry, and other accessories at a very affordable rate. 

I first rented a dress, earrings and a necklace for dinner in the city for my birthday. The thing I loved most about the whole experience is that I was much more adventurous in what I chose. The dress I chose was all sparkles and that's not something I would ever wear. The earrings and necklace were huge statement pieces that 1. I never wear and 2. are usually priced more than what I'd be willing to spend on something I would rarely wear.  

Then, three days before I  was set to go to a wedding (that was the day after my birthday), the dress that I had ordered weeks ago from Modcloth still hadn't come in so I hopped on to Rent the Runway and ordered this gorgeous dress that was green sparkles on the bottom. Again, not something I would typically buy but renting it made it so much easier to try it out. Since the wedding was the day after my birthday I was able to wear the jewelry pieces I rented again.

Both rentals came in a really nice gown bag that folded into a smaller, more compact size and you got to keep the hangers! 
I wasn't paid for this review or anything, I won't get any kind of credit if you check them out but if you are in need of a dress or some jewelry, or even a clutch, for an event, definitely check them out! 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Student Teaching - Week Two

I'm not going to lie, this week was a rough one for me, but I'm thankful for it. It's better to deal with the tough stuff now so that I don't go into teaching thinking it's all sunshine, rainbows, and cupcakes.

Favorite Outfit of the Week:

Shirt: Loft (old, similiar)
Pants: Victoria's Secret (old, similar)
Shoes: Zigi Soho Tilly Flats

What I Did:

Experienced a few run ins with some students, one who was trying to get attention while I was attempting to teach and another who was not happy with my attempts to separate her and her friend during a half day school wide project. 

Broke down after said student yelled in my face and contemplated giving up. 

Taught a few more times and thought up a review game to play next week.

One of the lessons I taught (which was a plan the teacher thought up), that is an absolute favorite of mine, the students had to create a "museum exhibit" out of play-doh and create a title card that had a brief description of the exhibit. 

Things I Learned:

Apparently Victoria's Secret stopped selling their suiting clothes (like pants) over a year ago. I used to only wear their pants exclusively but I hadn't bought a new pair from them in years and I only found out now when I was trying to find the pants that I was wearing in this picture. Slightly saddened since their pants always looked good on, but not so much since it's been a while since I actually purchased anything from them. 

Starbucks is slowly becoming my new best friend, since this is exhausting, especially coupled with the fact that I'm still working too. I nearly fell asleep on my way to work on Tuesday and had to grab a frapuccino to wake myself up to work in the evening and then again on my way to seminar on Wednesday. Considering I fell asleep standing up while talking to Dave Thursday night, my usual "I don't need caffeine to make it through the day" mantra might have to go out the window during the next 10 weeks.

If you know what you're doing, writing lesson plans aren't that bad.

Play-doh is awesome at any age, even high school. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

So I'm better on the monotone aspect of my teaching but my speed is not good, I go too fast. So now I need to find the happy medium.

Memorable Moment of the Week:

During Friday's half day "Tech Day" I got to work with a small group of students and participate in the projects with them. It really gave me a chance to work more one on one with some of my regular students that I haven't had a chance to really interact with yet and I had so much fun with them. One of the projects the students had to do was come up with a six word memoir. At first they didn't want to do it at all until I came up with some for them and then they ran with it coming up with several more. It was so satisfying to see them really get involved because of my efforts.

Looking Forward To:

Teaching the review game that I came up with on Thursday. If it's a success I'll share it here!

Honest Thoughts:

I'm not going to lie, there were several moments this week where I was seriously close to giving up, I mean I was literally thisclose. It was a rough week but I'm sticking with it, even if I end up hating this, I've worked too hard and come too far to not see it through. I need to look back on this time, regardless of it's outcome, and know that I didn't give up.

2 weeks down, 10 to go!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Have the Best Lip Sync Battle Party

A few Friday nights ago was my lip sync battle themed 30th birthday party. To say it was fun would be an understatement. Of course in all the excitement I didn't take the time to take proper pictures of the set up (just me and my friends rocking it out), but I still wanted to share with you what I did to pull off this fun party. 

First things first, most importantly you need music! What I did was have as many friends as possible give me the songs they planned to sing at the party and created a YouTube playlist but I also left it open for friends to sign up for songs the night of since many of them saw how much fun it was and wanted to participate. 

I was lucky enough that I had a friend who was a DJ and I borrowed her equipment for the party BUT there are so many other options if you don't have DJ equipment or want to spend the money on a DJ. For example, speakers like this one project amazing sound as well and can be set up for Bluetooth so you can just use your phone!

The next important item on your list is props. You can't have a lip sync battle without microphones (I purchased a pack of toy ones off of amazon)  but you also need fun props for your lip-syncers and the crowd to have too. I went to the dollar store and just walked around and grabbed random items like bead necklaces, glow stick bracelets, glow stick clappers, noisemakers, crowns , feather boas and so much more. I also purchased a 12 pack of sunglasses for everyone to grab while performing or taking pictures. 

The biggest hits of the night were definitely the glow stick hand clappers I bought from the dollar store. If you can't find them, these would work out good too, since my friends just seem to like to make noise. I encouraged everyone to grab some kind of noisemaker at the start of the evening and made sure to make noise after each lip-syncer went so that everyone encouraged everyone else on. 

Lastly, what's a party without party favors? Everyone got one of these  party favors, because everyone participated, those who chose not to lip sync got to be the judges to determine who won the award that I bought for the winner, which wasn't the greatest of awards but it was still pretty fantastic. 

Throw in some good food and drinks, fun friends, and good music and I promise you will have the best lip sync party ever! 

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Student Teaching - Week One

You know those "Currently" posts that float around? I thought I'd borrow that idea and share tidbits for each week that I'm student teaching. 
Favorite Outfit of the Week:

Please ignore the grainy picture, this was taken 6 am with my cell phone, since I have no other time to do this.
Cardigan: Banana Republic (out of stock)
Top: Loft 
Pants: Loft
Flats: Gap
Earrings: Kate Spade
Necklace: Charlotte Russe (old)

What I Did:

This week was all about acclimating myself to the classroom and the students. I spent the first two days really trying to learn the student's names. By the third day, I was starting to get the hang of most of their names but I still needed the attendance sheet to remind me of the names of the students in each class. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that I've learned their names as quickly as I have. It took me a few months to learn my Teen Book Club teens names confidently and it only took me three days here.

Things I Learned:

Speaking of names, I never realized how important it was to the students for me to know their name until I started to learn them. The ones who I did remember quickly lit up when I spoke their name. The ones who names it took me a little longer to learn seemed exasperated with me. Learning their names helped me build a rapport with them and it's insane how far I've gotten in building a relationship with each of them just by learning their name.

Also, some kids know how to impress. I had two boys shake my hand when I introduced myself the first day. Their actions left such a distinct mark in my mind, I remembered their names instantly. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

Using a decent inside voice when I'm at home or work. I'm so used to hearing loud voices all day or projecting my own voice that I find myself speaking loudly when I'm in quieter settings. It's going to be an adjustment switching between the chaos of the class to the quiet of home/work (side irony note here, I used to think work was loud...).

I taught a few lessons Friday and apparently I have a very monotone voice. I tried to fix it after the first lesson I taught and ended up only talking louder not with more inflection. This is definitely something I need to work on. 

Memorable Moment of the Week:
My first day I remembered the name of one girl in particular very quickly. When I approached her for the second time of the day and called her by her name her eyes widened and she had this look of surprise on her face. She said to me, "you know my name?" and seemed genuinely shocked that I would remember her so quickly. The look on her face absolutely melted my heart and made the entire exhausting, chaotic day worthwhile. It reminded me why I worked so hard to get to this point. 

Looking Forward To:

Teaching a few more classes...hopefully learning how not to talk in a monotone voice?

Honest Thoughts:

Before starting this, I was terrified. Enough so that I thought I might have been making a big mistake and that this might not be for me. At the end of my first day I was still wavering. By the end of my second day, I realized that I might actually really enjoy myself and learn a lot from this experience and that it's okay to wonder. 

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Friday, September 11, 2015

End of the Week Roundup

Phew! What a week it has been! 
1. My last day of work (full time) was last Thursday. That evening Dave and I went to see my favorite author Christopher Moore and have him sign his new book for me. 
2. Friday was my 30th birthday and I went to the city with Dave and my parents for dinner at Fogo De Chao. It was so good but so expensive. 
3. Saturday Dave and I attended a wedding and made a ton of new friends. It was such a wonderful evening, a lifetime of happiness to the newly wedded couple!
4. Sunday Dave and my mom threw a surprise birthday picnic for me, by this time I was so exhausted but we spent the day playing Backyard Jenga and Backyard Yahtzee so it was a blast!
5. Monday we stopped up at my friend Becca's daughter's 1st birthday party. It's hard to believe that Marisol is one already but she is! 

6. Tuesday was the first day student teaching. It was exhausting if I'm being honest, but the second and third days were so much fun. I think I'm going to really enjoy myself!

7. Wednesday was Dave and my's anniversary, we had dinner at Wyebrook Farms, a local farm/restaurant near our home. Dinner was delicious!

This week has been incredibly busy but one week down in student teaching, 11 to go! How did your week turn out?

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

4 Years

Today marks 4 years that I made the best decision in my entire life. There's something about being married that just made me feel like I finally belonged somewhere. That connection isn't something I've ever experienced with anyone else. 

In the past four years I've learned a lot about marriage like...

-The best way to end a fight is to laugh at yourself. 

-The best sleep I'll ever have is laying in the nook of Dave's shoulder. 

-He's literally my best friend --smelly farts, wayward nose hairs and all

-Falling asleep and waking up next to him will never get old

-He's still the most handsome man I've ever met. 

Happy anniversary Dave! I love you!!

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Monday, September 7, 2015


Ernest Cline is one of my favorite authors (seriously, his bio page/website is awesome). "Ready Player One" tops my list of all time favorite books. I knew going into this newest book Armada, that I shouldn't compare it to RPO. If I did that there was no way I'd enjoy Armada. What I really like about Cline's books (including Armada) is the way he inserts pop culture into the story. 

Armada tells the story of Zach Lightman who one day sees a ship from one of his favorite video games on his way to school and from there he discovers that he wasn't imagining it and that all the time he spent playing video games wasn't for nothing. 

I really enjoyed Armada, albeit not as much as I enjoyed RPO. Cline's writing is entertaining and makes for a quick read but there were certain parts of the book that were just a bit too fantastical (which is saying a lot for a book where video games are used to train civilians for war against an alien race). There were several times in the book where Cline wrote himself into a corner and then his characters suddenly get really lucky (a few times) and they're magically saved. It was a bit frustrating. 

The other thing that annoyed me was (small spoiler alert) Cline's belief that babies are consolation prizes. Like, so and so character died but take heart! Here's a baby that magically came about after one romp to ease your pain! Maybe it's because of my struggles with infertility that left a dark mark on that part of the story for me but it really annoyed the crap out of me. 

What was fun about reading Armada was how it changed my view on my husband playing video games. It was kinda neat to think that he was playing to train himself on how to handle drones so he could fight to save the world. All in all, it was a great story and I definitely recommend picking it up since Cline created another enjoyable read, plus his "Raid the Arcade" playlist is a really good listen! 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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