Friday, November 25, 2011


Fear not, gentle readers, I haven't forgotten you. I keep starting blog posts and then getting distracted. Then when I go back to finish the posts, I realize I no longer care about the topic anyway. What can I say? I'm a capricious creature. 

The holiday season is upon us, which means two things: 1. Lots of time off from school; 2. Lots of life assessment taking place. The time off from school is nice but also scary. Unlike normal school staff, I don't get PTO; if I don't work, I don't make money. I had a second job to cover my bases, but that is no longer the case. So if anyone wants to pay me to do just about anything between December 23rd and January 2nd, let me know! You have a kid? I can totally watch it for you. You have plants? I can water them. You have a multimillion dollar industry? I can probably answer phones. Call me! No? Well, I guess that leaves even more time for the life assessment thing. 

Last year around this time I was in a state of panic. I was leaving a job I detested (yay!), but it was still unclear exactly what I left it for. I moved in with my parents, intended on starting at GWU in January, and was anxiously searching for a job. I no longer had my roommate/heterosexual-life-partner with me, which made things boring and even more stressful. I was in a relationship that was difficult and exhausting, but (oh dear god I cringe to think about it now) I was with someone I kind of thought I would marry someday. Fast forward twelve months: I am living with my roommate/HLP again in a new city, I have a new (beloved) job, I'm studying something I'm passionate about (at a school that is half the price of GWU), I'm happily single, and I even have a new dog (well, he's mine when HLP is not around). My childhood car is kaput, my childhood cat is roaming around a kitty palace in the sky, and my childhood bedroom is now a playroom for my niece. I wouldn't go so far to say that my life is unrecognizable to any time-traveling onlookers from last year, but for the first time since I graduated college I feel like my life is gaining some momentum. It's a lot easier to enjoy being broke and in your 20's when you get the sense that it's a temporary state. (If this isn't a temporary state, please don't ruin the illusion for me.) 

Why am I posting this? Rereading it sounds kind of braggy, and I really don't mean it that way. I guess I just wanted to take a minute to be grateful for the amazing things in my life right now. My life is not in perfect equilibrium (is equilibrium even possible?), but I suppose I wanted to send the universe my gratitude for the positive things it has given me this year. (*insert cheesy quote about chaos and opportunity being the same word*) The chaos actually led to amazing things. Even if my current plans don't work out as expected, I am excited to see what happens from here. And I appreciate everyone who has patiently supported me in all of this; I know I am a total pill when I am stressed, so I want to thank you for being a source of advice, jokes, and booze. Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone. You can probably expect another corny life assessment in a few weeks when I inevitably watch It's A Wonderful Life with the company of some chardonnay.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Even In Australia

I'm back! I'm back! I'm really, truly back!

The past couple of weeks I have been feeling less-than-stellar at school. I don't really know what it was... I could attribute it to bad days with the kids, but I suspect that some of those bad days were a result of my blahs rather than the cause. It was starting to wear on me in an existential way. There was a serious downward spiral. I was reconsidering my suitability for my current job, my long-term career goals, and my general existence. So what changed? Um. I actually have no idea. But today was nice. I was a media specialist (my second masters degree is totally going to be in library science) and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my classes. (I also read the cutest book in the world! Do yourself a favor and check out "The Hello, Goodbye Window" by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka. It won the Caldecott Medal and the Warming Allison's Heart Medal.) So no worries, faithful readers! This will not revert to a whiny "I don't know what I want to do with my life" blog. I remain firmly on my current path, while kicking myself for forgetting the wisest words of all: "My mom says some days are like that...."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Live Blogging "Bad Teacher" (sort of)

10:21 p.m. Opening credits! How adorable! Children! Cafeteria ladies! I love this song! What is it? It's catchy!

10:22 p.m. Ooh, live action now! Champagne in a teacher's lounge? Really? Oh, hey, Phyllis! And the guidance counselor from Freaks and Geeks!

10:23 p.m. I like Cammy's yellow dress. This is a completely unrealistic party. Champagne for one teacher who was there for one year? Yeah right.

10:24 p.m. We're watching the unrated version... I wonder what the differences are.

10:25 p.m. Um. I don't really like Cameron Diaz. At all. Why did I not realize it before now?

10:25 p.m. Where is this actor from? Why does he look familiar?

10:26 p.m. Not actually a lot about teaching right now. Just saying.

10:27 p.m. Wait: am I supposed to dislike the character named Squirrel? Because that is nearly impossible. You name a kid Squirrel, you have my eternal love. 

10:28 p.m. I heart Phyllis so much. Like, really. The jewelry. The love of corn. Etc.

10:30 p.m. Okay, the song is Teacher Teacher by Rockpile. Check it out.

10:31 p.m. So I'm hoping to feel like not the worst teacher in the world after this movie. I'm going to need to start feeling reverse-inspired really soon.

10:32 p.m. Thanks, Ms. Squirrel! No one actually does that. But wow I need to buy a captain's hat and megaphone.

10:33 p.m. Hungover in school. Nope, never done/seen that before. Ever. 

10:33 p.m. My roommate tells me not to be hypercritical of this movie because it is "a tapestry of truth" about "real people living their lives." The words "look into the future" also came up.

10:34 p.m. Stand and Deliver! Solid!

10:35 p.m. There's Jason Segal!

10:35 p.m. Okay, I'm already getting tired of this live blogging thing. Rein in it, Allison. 

10:36 p.m. Teachers eating in the cafeteria? Roommate's "tapestry of truth" theory is disproven.

10:38 p.m. Oh, hey boobs. Unrated?

10:39 p.m. Another Freaks and Geeks alum! Is Judd Apatow behind this somehow?

10:41 p.m. Look how inspired those students are! Preach, Morgan Freeman! Preach!

10:43 p.m. How does one get away with showing movies all week. No, really. How? Please email me advice.

10:44 p.m. One reason to never work in a high school: Car washes. Also: teenage boys.

10:46 p.m. I'm sorry, this is a middle school?! That explains why the kids look so small. But holy cow.

10:48 p.m. You can tell this is a classy movie: it took nearly 20 minutes before someone pooped audibly.

10:49 p.m. And we meet the antagonist: "Gay" standardized tests! I love a good vs. evil plotline!

10:51 p.m. So... Was Justin Timberlake drunk for the entire production? He must have been. It seems like he's in pain every time he says a line.

10:52 p.m. What is with the Jewish jokes? 

10:54 p.m. Okay, what is that Jodie Foster movie. Anyone? Anyone? 

10:56 p.m. "See, that's what I'm talking about. You keep talking like that, you're going to get punched." 

10:59 p.m. I love everything about Jason Segal. But especially when he yells at little kids. 

11:00 p.m. How many of my teachers have gotten high in school? Oh, Cammy, you're introducing me to a brand new world.

11:05 p.m. Christmas with a kid's family! I know what that's like... once I ate Panera one table away from a kid I taught. (It was kind of awkward.)

11:08 p.m. "Yeah, from the world's weirdest textbook."

11:10 p.m. Wow. Why doesn't Justin Timberlake sing in all his movies?! Good thing the director thought of this.

11:11 p.m. Make a wish! Just as Cammy is learning about the bonus for standardized test scores. 

11:12 p.m. Cammy just pointed at a kid and said, "Get out" and all of them shut up immediately. Do kids listen to hot teachers? I might need to think about this.

11:12 p.m. "Focus. You know this shit, come on!" I say that ten times a day.

11:17 p.m. Cammy's comments on papers: "Stupid!" "Misspelled!" "Are you f%cking kidding me?!" "This is how the Japs are overtaking us!" I have helped my mother grade papers. This is not that far off.

11:25 p.m. It is truly shocking how little this movie is actually about teaching. If you have seen the previews, you have likely seen all of the classroom scenes.

11:29 p.m. My roommate spills water for the second time in two hours. I suspect some sort of spasm disorder. 

11:32 p.m. Justin Timberlake hates slavery. Thank god!

11:36 p.m. That was definitely not a teaching moment. 

11:44 p.m. I want to rewatch this movie to see how much of it involves actual teacher-student interactions. Except that would mean I would have to rewatch this movie.

11:49 p.m. Those drug dogs were on their way to a classroom and yet they didn't smell anything in the lockers? Really? I thought this was a public school.

11:53 p.m. Jason Segal went an entire school year without dating someone?! Poor Jason Segal.

11:54 p.m. Is it over yet?

11:55 p.m. Yay! She becomes the guidance counselor! (Spoiler alert!) 

I have never wanted a movie to be over more in my entire life. What I learned: 

  1. I hate Cameron Diaz
  2. I also hate Justin Timberlake outside of SNL
  3. Teaching is hard, I guess?
  4. If you meet a guy who doesn't mind your small boobs, then you save a ton of money.
So... Thanks for those lessons, I guess? I think I need to watch Stand and Deliver now...