Monday, August 28, 2006

"I'm not dead yet!"

Brownie points if you know what movie that line is from, and DOUBLE brownie points to those who can tell me what animal is being struck against a wall in the background when that line is being said.

...but here is what has been going on in the last two weeks:

  • I started my first French-teaching job ever, at a junior high.
  • My sister got married on Friday.

And I think that is enough to 'splain my absence from the blogging world during that time period. :)

So now I am prepping for tomorrow's classes and gathering names of people who have offered to help me move this weekend. Good times, good times.

It's kind of crazy to have started as a "real teacher." I have been studying, talking about, reading about, and teaching about language teaching for the past, oh, six or seven years, but to be actually DOING it is a little different. I know, shocker. :) It's funny - I know and have so many different theories about how to prepare lessons for language teaching, and yet here I am, struggling to come up with what I'll do tomorrow. My mom, who also taught French, says that you "pay your dues" your first year or two, and then it gets REALLY fun after that. I don't think she means that the first year will be completely DEVOID of fun ("zero fun, sir"), but as I am designing my curriculum, and establishing my patterns and my style, this year will be a lot of work. Ready, set, GO!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday afternoon

So I got an email and then a phone call today, and, while the two were not connected to each other, the combination nevertheless sent me into tears and deep "life contemplation" mode. And I am currently trying to compose a blog post about it, but it may just end up in my journal rather than on the internet, depending on how personal it gets. (I really like DYM's lingerie analogy about how much to share on a blog.) (Especially the part where she invokes the power of Greyskull.) (But I digress.)

And at the risk of posting something that could be read as really dramatic and cause my friends to overreact and call me in a panic to make sure I am not DYING (oh no, wait, that's what I did to Josh ;) ), I have a good friend, who has been an emotional outlet and strength and a "wow it's been a while since I had a friend that close and it's really nice" to me, that I feel like I need to stop depending on so much. No, that's not quite right. It's that I feel like it needs to be that we are not so close, and that we don't get closer. I've felt that since the last part of my time in France, and it makes me sad, and it hurts a bit. And the other night I had another friend over for dinner, and while talking about HER life, and about a friend that I had several years ago, I suddenly had the thought that now comforts me about this other friend. It was one of those "you realize something is true and right AS you hear it being you" moments. So here it is. Get ready, it's profound. :)
Just because you are not as close to someone now as you once were doesn't cancel out all the good that they did for you.
And it sounds so simple, and it is, but thinking about the hole that this friend will leave that will somehow need to be filled in other ways and by other people, it is very comforting to me right now. People change us, friendships change us, but sometimes we only need them for a while, and then we can hold on to the lessons that we learned through and with and because of them, and let the person go so that we, and they, can grow and move on. Not that we were holding them back, per se, but just that the time is not "now" anymore. And the value is in what we learned, and what we took, and what we gave, and how it changed us.

And now this does sound really dramatic, and no, no one died, and I am fine, but I have just been thinking a lot, and, as one of my friends in France said, "Don't reflect on things too much. Reflecting too much creates distances between people." But in this case, I think it is ok.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I ate a dessert called "Death By Chocolate," but it only made me stronger.

And now you too can make this cake! You can even make it four times in a two-week time period, if you want to be like me.

Death By Chocolate Cake

1 cake mix for Devil's Food cake chocolate cake
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1 box of Cook 'N Serve chocolate pudding

1. Make the pudding as directed on the box. (This requires 3 cups of milk and about 15 minutes.)
2. Mix the hot pudding with the cake mix powder.
3. Put the mixture in a pan (after having greased the bottom of the pan).
4. Sprinkle* the milk chocolate chips all over the cake.
5. Bake according to the directions on the cake box. (For me and my 9x13 pan, that means 35ish minutes at 350.)

And don't wimp out and get semi-sweet chocolate chips or instant pudding, people. Just follow the directions.

P.S. It's really yummy.

P.P.S. I feel morally obligated to tell you that the title of this post is not original to me. So you can stop thinking that I am really clever now.

* Do NOT attempt this if you left the bag of milk chocolate chips in your car for several hours, or even one hour, in 95 degree weather. It's, uh, hard to "sprinkle" a cake with one big ol' chocolate chip. So just go buy another bag for the cake, and dispose of the first bag as you, ahem, see fit.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The joys of today

Things that made me really happy today:

Thing #1: Lauren learned how to hyperlink!

Thing #2: The following conversation with my sister, recently returned from 11 months in China and recently (as in, 2 hours ago) reunited with her fiance who, you may have guessed, was NOT in China with her (neither of which has anything to do with the following conversation, except that since she is now in the same country as me we can have these types of conversations, or really, any conversations at all!):

Her: babble babble joy joy about the fiance being back

Me (NOT as bitter as this sounds, in fact, not really bitter at all, since I am also extremely fond of her fiance and am also very happy for both of them that they are back in the same continent, state, and town): Ok, go take your test now.

Her: Ok, can I just tell you one more thing?

Me: Sure.