Monday, June 29, 2009

Positively Peppy

I finally made some companions to the Mildly Melancholy playlist. I'll save Downright Depressing until the depths of December, shall I? :)

Most recently I made this playlist, and I am quite proud of it. I think it will most certainly make you happy too, so enjoy. :)

Build Me Up Buttercup--Temptations
Kodachrome--Paul Simon
Footloose--Kenny Loggins
Material Girl--Madonna
Black Cat--Janet Jackson
Pop! Goes My Heart--Hugh Grant
Fidelity--Regina Spektor
Ievan Polka--Loituma
Objection (Tango)--Shakira
Ain't No Other Man--Christina Aguilera
Dosvedanya Mio Bombino--Pink Martini
Livin' on the Edge--Aerosmith
Dirty Pop--Nsync
Miss Independent--Kelly Clarkson
My Name is Not Susan--Whitney Houston
Tymps (the Sick in the Head song)--Fiona Apple
Sexyback--Justin Timberlake

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The End Anew

Tomorrow is finally the last day of school here in New York City! My last day of working in a school was on Tuesday, so I've had a few days of summer already (and they have been fanfreakingtastic).

Congratulations and way to go to all the teachers out there--the ones that already finished up everywhere else, but especially to my NYC colleagues. I'm sure that you all feel the endless dragging on of June every year, but at last the end is nigh!

It will be nice to really put this year behind me. It's been a crazy one, to say the least. :)

We made it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I've mentioned before that I'm terrible at decisions, right?
Don't worry; I won't subject you to more of my endless whining and introspection. Instead, you can look at some pretty pictures from Soho last weekend. You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Ended up with a school gig for the week, so this morning I got up early again to go to work! I can't complain about having a bit more income.

In some quiet moments today, I found myself making an actual pro/con list, for perhaps the first time in my life. Thinking is hard, yo.
In other news, today marks five years since I arrived in this crazy town. I landed in JFK after a overnight flight from Seattle, bleary, wearing the wrong clothes and toting a Giant Fucking Suitcase. It took two hours to get myself and that stupid bag from the airport to my sublet flat in the not-hipster section of Williamsburg. This is the bedroom (belonging to a friend of a friend who was working at a camp for the summer) where I stayed. However, it didn't look like this upon my arrival, because in my great intelligence I hadn't packed any bedding. That and my computer came a week later, in three boxes expensively shipped cross-country and just barely picked up via a car service in which my boxes barely fit and whose fare I couldn't actually pay in full (if only they'd had those card-swipers back then)! Oy, it was not an easy transition.
What a journey it's been, folks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Monday!

I feel like a whole new person! I had a fairly early appointment in the city, so I couldn't sleep in, but I certainly didn't have to get up anywhere in the 6am hour, which was a treat. I had lunch with the boyfriend and spent the afternoon reading and visiting my local library (yay!). Now that I'm home, it started pouring rain, so that's good timing.

This week will be so nice. I will go to a yoga class tomorrow with a friend, maybe join a field trip, do a photo assignment, try to apply for jobs, research a 4th of July excursion (quickly!), and work on photos from a recent engagement shoot and wedding!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Out with a Bang, At Least

Hi friends! Thanks for your support.

Friday was interesting, going in knowing it was my last day. I did my best to be lalala and not care, but I did want it to still be a regular day and still try like all the other days.

Oy. It sure was a regular day, alright--pretty nasty. In the afternoon class, I tried to have them do some activities about that great story, All Summer in a Day (I think Nancy first told me about that story a few years ago). It was in an anthology that was in the room, so the questions just had them responding to or interacting with the book. Easy peasy, right?

Some of the kids started right away. The kids in the back half of the room decided it would be better to throw balls of paper back and forth at each other. Several kids were out of their seats. Other kids were just talking loudly.

A few minutes went by and I tried to review it out loud with them. A couple kids were with me. Most of the kids, however, kept talking and throwing things.

I started reading the story aloud to them. This had worked in the past to quiet them down. You know, kind of like hypnosis. Oh, silly me. The noise continued and in fact possibly got louder. So I got louder too, hoping to drown it out.

So there I am, SCREAMING this story out to a bunch of preteens who really couldn't give a shit, and I think to myself, Oh for fuck's sake! Give it up, self!

So I told them to finish the story and questions in the next hour. (Oh yes, there was still an entire hour left in this double class period.) I went and sat at the teacher desk, shaking my head to myself in disbelief.

Raucous disorder continues for the next long while. I watched them. But really, they never listen to anything I say and the admin doesn't do anything anyway, so what do I care? (I know. I'm a child too.)

Eventually, the whole thing just really started to piss me off. Well, not started to, obviously. I just got completely fed up. So I charged back to the front of the room and bellowed at them. "Don't you get it? You are WASTING your TIME. Do you even understand WHY schools like this exist? Do you know who scores the lowest on test scores? Who earns the lowest salaries? African Americans. [A girl yelled out, You're a racist!] Don't you understand? Every single adult in this building wants you to be on TOP of all those scales! {At this point I'm audibly choked up and I'm actually trembling, and every single kid in that room is gaping at me silently}" I went on and on about school, and time, and decisions, and college, and the future, and blahblahblah.

The bell rang and I vamoosed. During my rant, other teachers even peeked in to gawk at me. I ignored them and plugged on.

The kids are gonna go NUTS with happiness tomorrow when they find out I'm not here. Like, throw a parade of crazy. I feel sorry for whoever has to tell them and deal with them, because it won't be pretty.

But maybe they'll remember me a little.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I don't know much.

I've been feeling weird this week. Up, down, down, up. Sure, unsure. Decisive, indecisive.

Today, after a ridiculous day, which isn't even abnormal, I finally decided I'd had enough. I called my agency and told them that tomorrow will be my last day subbing at this school.

I made some test calls to my bf and my mom beforehand, and I cried a bit. I was unnerved by a bad day, a weird week, and trying to shore up my strength and hoping that this was the right thing to do.

I've been trying to tell myself to learn from my past, my mistakes, my ignorance. At the other school, it was bad. Every once in a while it would be slightly less bad and I'd be fooled as the next day the awfulness returned. I didn't like it. I cried. I stayed and pretended to be strong and insisted I could make it, even as I lost my temper, hours of sleep, and buckets of tears.

I didn't want to quit. I should have quit. Possibly never even started.

I've been at this school since mid-March. Three months of near-daily abuse, of varying degrees, BY CHILDREN. I took over a class of students who showed glimmers of tenderness and glimpses of souls, but who mainly showed hatefulness--toward each other, toward me, toward any work whatsoever.

I called parents. I wrote up the referrals. The children continued to fight, to curse, to show blatant disrespect, with ZERO consequences and almost no change. TWO fights broke out this afternoon, for stupid shit. It's all stupid shit. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

*I* am stupid for staying this long. I told myself I shouldn't come back after spring break. I came back. I thought, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe things can get better. Maybe they're starting to see that I'm not really so evil.

But, stupid, of course I am! How dare I quiz the students on the grammar 'we' were 'practicing' for the last two days! How dare I insist that students stay in their goddamned SEAT while class is going on! How DARE I expect the administration to actually DO SOMETHING about the awful behavior of the children who have been acting up all fucking year!

So yes, I cried this afternoon. Is it cowardly to quit this 'job' with two weeks left in the year? Am I abandoning the children? Surely I was starting to reach some of them? Surely they *all* didn't despise me?

Surely it can't be that bad for only ten more days? But god, when each day starts feeling like torture? When the kids resist anything and everything I say?

I am forfeiting a thousand dollars, which is a month's rent or lots of bills paid or a trip somewhere. Now I face two and a half months of no sure income, which is really scary.

But I think I finally realized that these terrible, draining days are NOT worth it--not worth the money or the time or the abuse. I really don't like feeling like a quitter, but I *will* like getting up in the morning again.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


sleep in: check!
library: check!
gorillapod: check!
eyebrows: check!
haircut: check!! cute and feeling good!

dropped off some paperwork
worked on wedding photos
making cookies
made a kick-ass playlist called Positively Peppy

I should have worked out today too. But meh. That would ruin the FUN of a day off.

Tomorrow I am buying a new tv--mine is toast. We've decided on a 37-inch HDTV flat thing, one that's not too expensive, and I am excited!

After that, road trip to see flickr friends upstate! Yay!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

I could have used some Zen today. The kids were *worse.*

Big fight broke out in my room yesterday. The other kids immediately tried to separate them and at least five teachers saw/heard it from the hallway and stormed in.

Today? Both the kids back in class.

I think that is DISGUSTING.

I had to call a parent in class at the end of the day, because a child was flipping off another child. While I was watching and telling him to stop. He just kept waving them around, chanting, it's just a finger! it's just a finger! I talked to the dad, put the kid on the phone, and then I got the phone again. He tried to tell me about some bullshit tale the kid spun and I cut him off politely but also tiredly. "Sir," I said, trying to keep the edge out of my voice, because REALLY, "that is nonsense. He is making stuff up."

Today I really did contemplate throwing in the towel, because this shit is NOT worth the hundred dollars a day that I clear. They're starting to get to me and I don't need that crap. From eleven year olds.

We don't have school tomorrow! Oh thank God, Zeus, and all the other deities!

Here is my tentative to-do list:
Sleep in.
Lay about like a bum.
Perhaps nap if I feel like it.
Go the library!
Go into the city.
Get a haircut finally.
Get my crazy eyebrows waxed (it's been two months!).
Buy a new gorillapod (mine has lost most of its structural integrity).
Go home.
Laze about some more.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


I quite hated my job today. Full of nasty, nasty attitude from preteens. Not my cup of tea. I can never tell if these occasions are the kids being worse, or me being less tolerant.

Mind you, things that would get a kid suspended at a more affluent school happen eighty times a day with zero consequence.

I hate it all.

Days like this are when I really battle with myself: It's just a sub job, it's not permanent! versus: Exactly, it's just subbing--nothing is tying you here--LEAVE! versus: God, it's June already, only a few more weeks. versus: Holy crap, WEEKS?!

Ugh, indeed.

Here, take a pretty flower for your troubles.

Monday, June 01, 2009

What's that I see?

Oh yes! It's the end of the tunnel! It's in sight!
Yes, folks, today it is finally, actually JUNE.

Which means, ridiculously, that we have a mere four weeks left. Well, four weeks minus one day, after today, of course.

Last week, That Kid made me lose my teacherly composure. He started waving out the window (we're on the top floor). I gave him a "wtf" look. "I'm saying hi to the trees! They're my friends!" Then he gestured toward me, and he shook his head witheringly at the windows and then proceeded to mime an animated conversation. Really, I had to smile. Later he started licking his arm. Another 'wtf' look from me. He said impatiently, "I'm giving myself a bath!" That Kid, indeed.

The week before, when it was really sunny and gorgeous, I put forth an extra ninety seconds of effort and wore my contacts. Halfway through the day, a girl suddenly asked me, "Miss, where are your glasses?" Right on cue, another goes chimes in, "What glasses?"

I wear glasses every day.

BUT! Maybe now that it's JUNE! WOO! I will need those contacts a bit more!