Friday, August 3, 2012

Gym Etiquette

It is no secret that I've probably spent more time in the gym this summer than I have in a very long while. There are several reasons for this: 1. I actually had time to spare and 2. I've lost weight since January and I wanted to keep it off... However, that's not what this post is about. Having spent so much time in the gym, I've noticed a lot of people's  habits that really bother me/seem really rude!

So, let's talk about GYM ETIQUETTE!

1. There is clearly a sign that says "please limit your workout to 30 min during peak hours". That means, if you see people standing around waiting for a treadmill, be kind and give yours up after 30 min. Trust me, the ones waiting are very aware of how long your run has been going on!
2. Personal space is important. In a crowded group class, people often have to stand closer to others than they prefer. But, be respectful of HOW close you are standing to me in that class! If I can't put my hands out to the side without touching you, in my opinion, you are TOO CLOSE to me so BACK AWAY! haha
3. BE ON TIME to a group class. Nothing is more distracting than watching late folks walk in half way through the workout. AND,  If you are late, don't you dare come try to squeeze into the front row with me... go stand in the back with the other late people. Some of us got there 10 min early so we could get a prime spot in the front!
      (Can you tell I'm a little bitter about this??? there is a girl that is late every single week to my Wednesday/Thursday zumba class. She walks in 20 min after the class starts and ALWAYS marches right to the front to squeeze in right beside me! this breaks rule #2 and #3! Not only is she late, but she then takes up my personal space!)
4. This happened to me yesterday and may or may not have prompted this blog post... If I am standing somewhere clearly claiming my spot in a group class DO NOT come and put your purse right under my feet as if to claim your spot there about rude!

I'm starting to think that perhaps I should just take a video of all of my zumba instructors and then do the class in the comfort of my own home where no one will invade my personal space! haha

Are there things that people do at the gym  that bother you? If so, share them!

Friday, July 13, 2012

What A Difference A Year Makes!

Summer is a sacred time to all teachers. It is the 8 weeks during the year (that ALWAYS seem to fly by) where we don't have to worry about lesson plans, disciplining students, dealing with parents or wondering if we are going to be observed tomorrow.

Today, I was for lack of a better term "pouting" about the fact that I really wanted to go to the pool all week and it has been cloudy and rainy all week. Mind you, we need the rain badly, so I KNOW this is a good thing..but come on, can't I just get 1 pool day???   Then, I quickly snapped out of my funk when I started thinking about this summer as compared to last summer.

Last summer I was depressed because Chris had come home for his 2 weeks of R and R from Afghanistan and then left again. This is one of those things that is hard to understand if you are not an army spouse but letting them go back the second time (after r and r) is WAYYYYY harder then sending them off the first time at the beginning of deployment. I think it has something to do with the fact that you already know how much life stinks while they're deployed and you don't want to return to that stinky life after 2 weeks of bliss during R and R. We had our R and R in June last year so yes, a year ago from today, I was definitely depressed and missing Chris.

Last summer I was also stressed to the max with my graduate work.  I had a professor (the same one for BOTH classes) who took over my life with assignments and  papers. It was ridiculous! Not only was I stressed about my masters classes, but I was stressed about the beginning of the school year that was creeping closer and closer. I was feeling like a 1st year teacher all over again because I was about to begin teaching science in a different state to a different grade than I was used to with an entirely different curriculum at a new school! Yikes!

After reminiscing about all of that, I realized that my life is pretty darn awesome this summer (despite the fact that I was unable to go to the pool this week haha). Chris is home! Not only is he home, but we just returned from a fabulous week in Savannah and Charleston where we celebrated our anniversary and ate and drank to our hearts content!  I'm NOT stressed at all. I'm done with my masters (in fact, I just sent in my paperwork to receive my pay raise woo hoo!!!) I'm not worried about the upcoming school year because I'm teaching the same thing I taught last year. Of course there will be some tweaking of lesson plans involved,. but overall, I'm ready for this school year. On top of all of that, with my extra time, I've been going to the gym (sometimes twice a day) and I LOVE that my body is in much better shape than last summer! 

It's amazing how much stress your body can take when it needs to. However, I'm very glad that all of the stress from last summer  is behind me and I'm able to have a relaxing and enjoyable summer! What a difference a year truly makes... I'd have to say that 27 is treating me much better than 26 :-) 

I say all of this, not only to help me put my own life in perspective but to challenge all of you to do the same. Whether you're in an UP or DOWN in life right now... If you're in an upswing, great! So am I! Enjoy it and be thankful for it. If you're in a downswing in life right now, it's ok...I was there a year ago. Think to the future and how this too shall pass.

Happy Friday Yall!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Yes, that's right, I'm 27 and I DON'T have children!

I realize it has been nearly a year since I updated my blog. Mainly that is because I've been super busy with life (teaching, welcoming my husband home from Afghanistan, being an FRG leader and finishing my master's degree). Now that it is summer, I have more time to do things like blog, sleep, shop, lay out at the pool etc... so thus the return of my blog! The other reason I decided to blog again is because of an issue I need to get off my chest.......the fact that I don't have kids!  (and I'm happy about it!)

I currently live in Clarksville, TN. This is a small southern town mixed with a military town. Those of you who have never lived in a military town may not know this but...military folks have lots of kids! I don't want to get off on the wrong foot...I LOVE all of my friends with kids and I think their kids are GREAT! I just personally don't want any of my own just yet...

Living in a military town, where most women have several kids, makes people assume that I, a 27 year old officer's wife would have some children. Upon meeting someone, inevitably one of the first questions out of their mouths is "so, how many kids do you have?" I always respond "none" to which they always ask "well are you trying? When are you going to have kids?" I understand that people are just trying to make conversation but I've hit my braking point with these kinds of questions!          By the way, just so none of you have to ask me, the answer to that question is, always has been, and always will be...When Chris and I are 30 we will start thinking about starting a family... and we want 2 kids so that gives us plenty of time.

Yesterday, I was at the pool and I met a new neighbor (who was with her 7 year old daughter). She, of course, asked if I had any kids and I said no. Her next statemnt to me was "well, you're still young you have old are you?"  I nodded and said "yes, I am still young, I'm 27."  Sh looked at me like I had said I was 65 and responded "Oh!"   This was not an "Oh" as in Oh OK....No, this was an "Oh!" as in wow you're really old I can't believe you don't have kids yet, you better get started right now!   It REALLY irked me!

Yes, I'm 27 and I don't have kids and guess what??? I don't want any right now! In fact, hardly ANY of my other 27 year old friends outside of the military have kids and we're all ok with it! (the close friends of mine that DO have kids have been married for 5 years so for them, it was a good time :)   I almost just wanted to yell at that lady and say "look here...yes I'm 27...that means I still have 8 or so good years to have children. Not to mention the fact that I've only been married for 2 years, 1 of which my husband was deployed to Afghanistan! So really, if you think about it, we are STILL NEWLYWEDS! We have truly only been "together" for 1 year of our marriage! So I think it is perfectly acceptable for us to not have kids and not want any yet! We still want time to just enjoy being together, just the 2 of us!"

As previously stated, I have nothing against those who have kids. I think all of my friends' kids are very cute! I think there is a right time for everyone to start a family and that time is different for everyone. I respect the fact that others chose to have kids earlier in life so can everyone please respect the fact that I'd like to wait???  (by the way, it's not my friends with kids who have influenced this rant but rather those who I don't know well who have children and I can't believe that I don't!)

If you're still reading this rant I do appreciate it! Now, that I've gotten all of this off of my chest, I'm going to focus on our upcoming vacation to Charleston and Savannah! I can't wait to be in the low country eating She Crab Soup and Shrimp and Grits, enjoying the beach, seeing some friends and my sister and of course celebrating the 4th of July!  And to think...I get to enjoy all of this trip without having to worry about planning family friendly events, changing diapers, waking up early and/or getting babysitters :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Classroom!

This won't be a long blog post at all! I promised pictures of my classroom so here they are! It's not anything super extravagant, but I like it :-)

as stated in my previous blog, I LOVE color! You'll probably notice that in the pictures.

I have my standard mastery charts where students put a sticker up for each objective that they master. (Mastery means that they got at least 80% of the test questions right on that particular objective.) It's fun for the students to put up stickers and its an easy way to tell at a glance which objectives I need to reteach.

This year I will have a "Wall of Fame" where I will display exemplary student work. I decided to hot glue clothes pins to the wall so that I can easily hang student work without all the hassle of tape/glue etc...

You'll also notice my class "pet" Lizzy the Lizard (obviously named after my sister). I have had that lizard in my classroom in the past but this year I decided to use it to give students advice and reminders. For example, on test days, Lizzy might remind the students of some important test taking strategies. Or on a project week, Lizzy might remind them that the project is due on Friday. I think Lizzy the Lizard will be a fun way to handle reminders.

I look forward to adding more fun and exciting decorations to my classroom as the year progresses but for now, this is what I'm working with.

Tomorrow's the first day with students....wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ready or Not...Here They Come!

The students are coming! The students are coming!

Friday August 5th is the first day of school with students. I've spent the past week making Wal-Mart runs, setting up my classroom and trying to make it look fun and inviting. I used my typical color scheme...LOTS OF COLORS! I like for my classroom to be bright and cheery so the more colors the better :-) I have decided to color coordinate my classes. Everything 1st period is green, second is pink, third is purple, fourth is red and fifth is blue. (Told you I like lots of color!)

I will post pictures of my room very soon (there are a few finishing touches I need to add. Our school's lamanating machine is down and thus I have not been able to lamanate some posters that I will be hanging on the walls).

My fun, bright and cheerful classroom did not come cheap though! I had to spend a lot of money out of my pocket this year in order to get just the essentials for my classroom. I needed to buy lots of things to decorate with as well as things that I will need everyday such as pens, clipboards, paperclips etc... I also spent a good deal of money on buying supplies for my students. In the past I have had many students come to school without any supplies. I always try to keep extra notebooks, pencils, notebook paper and binders on hand so that I can help students who are unable to get supplies. Afterall, a student cannot be successful without the proper school supplies. I also bought a class set of markers, crayons, and conctruction paper because I try to make my class and fun and interactive as possible. Oh and did I mention that I'm a science teacher so I have and will continue to buy items to use in labs!

Even though I have spent a lot of money on my classroom I am glad that I am able to do it. School gets a bad and boring reputation these days and it is my mission to make learning as fun and painless as possible while still teaching the kids everything they need to know to be successful. I cannot make learning fun without spending money on the supplies that make fun happen. It does make you think though... in order to be a good teacher, teachers must spend money on essential school supplies. Yet, teachers are among the lowest paid professionals. Should we really have to front hundreds of dollars out of our already low pay checks? Some schools do give "classroom spending money" to teachers but a lot of that has dwindled due to budget cuts.

If you are a parent or just a caring person, the next time you encounter a teacher (even if he/she doesn't teach your child) ask if they need anything? It's amazing how small contributions can put a smile on our faces! 1 box of tissues or 1 bottle of hand sanitizer is a WONDERFUL gift that will definitely be used!

As a teacher, I will continue to spend the money on my classroom because I want my students to have the best school experience possible. However, not all teachers are able to afford to spend this money. Is it fair that their students suffer?

I found a newscast about how much money teachers spend on their classrooms. Take a peek :-)
Teachers cover cost of extra school supplies - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

After all the spending, decorating, cutting, coloring, hot glueing and color coordinating I am excited and ready for this new batch of students! Let's hope they are as excited as I am :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Southern Hospitality

I am currently waiting for my flight to Greenville, SC. This flight was delayed by about 2 hours so thank goodness I brought my favorite reading material... Southern Living magazine! As I was reading to pass the time, I encountered an article about the people involved in the terrible Alabama tornados. The article contained the following quote "as southerners we know that... There is no hurt in this world, even in the storm of the century, that cannot be comforted with a casserole". It also went into more serious detail about how faith cannot be knocked down. I read the casserole line and smiled! Only in the south do folks help heal others with casseroles. Whenever there is a death in the family or when bad times are upon you, your southern friends will be there with a casserole and a hug. This is just one of many reasons why I love the south. Everyone is friendly and hospitable and they truly care about their neighbors. When I think of the true small town, old school south I think of my Glenn Springs,SC. This is the town where my grandparents lived during my childhood. This town doesn't even have 1 stoplight! (it does have 1 intersection that has a constant flashing yellow caution light but That's it!) All of my memories of Glenn Springs involve family, friends, food and fellowship. I have been there during celebrations such as weddings andfamily reunions and I've been there for funerals too. However, one thing is always constant no matter the mood.the food! It's amazing how chicken pot pie and macaroni and cheese can bring people together! If you're ever near upstate South Carolina I encourage you to explore Glenn Springs. There is something to be said for the folks that live there and in every other small southern town! Their friendliness is unrivaled and they really do show that they care with casseroles!

Friday, July 15, 2011

jing, pandora and

Jing is a program that you can download for free. It makes it easy to record videos and screen shots of your computer screen. I really liked using jing. It was fairly easy. The only thing I had trouble with was figuring out how to get the url for my jing movies. However, once I figured out how to use, I was good to go. This would definitely come in handy for use in a school. If someone needed help fixing their computer or using the online grade book this would be a great tool. Here is my jing movie.

I love Pandora! I listen to it on my phone while I'm doing chores, I listen to it by the pool and I use it in my classroom to play music during certain tasks.The Motown station has become one of my favorites because it plays lots of upbeat and happy songs.  Here is a screenshot of what pandora looks like. is a place full of fun games. I had never been to this site before but now that I know it exists I will return :-) I like how there are so many games that you can paly for free. I chose to play super mario brothers because like any child of the 80's it used to be my favorite game! I use to spend hours and hours playing that game on my nintendo. I played on and it turns out I am not neraly as good as I used to be! Here is a screen shot of me playing on