Monday, September 23, 2013

Back to School Season

This is my third year of not teaching. I don't know if I should feel bad about that or if I should congratulate myself.

I successfully avoided all the school supply sales, because I still have an urge to buy things like boxes of pencils and piles of composition notebooks and reams of copy paper. But I no longer have students who can use them.

There is still something exciting about a new school year--the anticipation, the new outfits, the possibilities of starting fresh, being better this time around.

And for the last three Septembers, I have such a part of me that mentally starts skipping down that path. The rest of me pulls back the leash sharply--no no, we're done, we don't do that anymore, that's not who we are anymore. But--but... Nope!

Come the dark November drudge, I am always grateful that I'm not slogging up that endless mountain. I remember all too well the way the dreary days felt endless and pointless and just too hard.

And yet...this summer I almost applied for a teaching job.


It was a long-term sub position covering a maternity leave. (Short, defined timeline!) It was at a charter school. (Looked like a mildly to mostly hippie one.) Located right in Portland, so no long commute to the suburbs. (Sweet!) The hours were the same as public school. (Awesome!!!!!) It was for fifth/sixth grade language arts/social studies. (AWESOME!!!!!!!!!)

I was basically perfect for the job. I wrote a cover letter saying pretty much exactly that. I updated and polished my resume. I didn't even know if I was eligible, because I don't have any Oregon licensure, but I figured I could just apply.

I had nothing to lose to just submit myself. And yet I hesitated.

The teacher bug lives on in me. I suspect it will always be there. I'm not sure if I want to feed it and let it take me over again. Sometimes I want to try and sometimes I'm too scared. Scared that once again I won't be the kind of teacher I want to be, that I feel I should be. Ashamed because I still can't see myself being a career teacher, so maybe I shouldn't take a classroom spot (even for a couple months) away from a teacher who's in it for the long haul. But also piqued because maybe the school scene out here in Portland is completely and utterly different than the mess that is the New York City school system, public and charter. Maybe I would do better here. And maybe it would become a quiet disaster.

The more practical side of me wondered what that would mean for my existing job. I do have a day job, albeit part-time and not terribly lucrative this year thus far. This fall it will be three years with this company, and I don't want to leave. But I don't know how or if I could do another temporary full-time job while continuing to keep my permanent part-time one.

So I never applied. I didn't take the chance. It probably wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway.  It's so easy to avoid failure, by not even trying.

In the meantime, my part-time job has recently ramped up considerably, and I have more work and thus more income. This is a huge relief for my mental state as well as my bank account. I feel better about not having to worry about that other huge potential thing. I'll be able to focus more on this job, and my other job--these growing babies.

Though I have a feeling that next September I might take a peek at that teaching bug and see how it's doing. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013


We need some things at the store. *I* need some things at the store.  I feel lazy and don't want to make the effort to leave the house.  I want to go because I can't stand the thought of water without lemon juice, which I'm almost out of.

An hour later, I finally decide I'll just go. I keep the gym shorts I borrowed from Mr M and add a tank top, hoodie, and flipflops. College-student style. Which is funny because I never wore those things--at least all those things together--when I was a college student.

It's dark out and the air still has a hint of warmth and humidity. It's the kind of night where I wish I lived in New York, so I could meet someone for a drink, and then walk home in the dark, listening either to the symphony of the city, or to plaintive piano-based music.

The kind of night where you just want to wander. To not worry about time, or tasks. To stare mindlessly into the night. To ponder your own life, where it is, where it's going, where it's been. To wallow, to lose yourself.

To be, in short, mildly melancholy.

Instead, I drive the store.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hello, we're here

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hey there readerfriends!

On the off chance that you're seeing this, you probably subscribed to my silly blog via a reader like Google Reader. Since that is going away this summer (grrr) I have to get used to another service (grrr). I'm trying both BlogLovin and Feedly. They're okay, but I'm still actually using Google Reader for now, shh, don't tell.

I do plan to keep this blog up...I'm not sure what kinds of things I'll post in the future, but I like having a more 'secret' space available.

Please make sure to follow my blog on your new feed reader! Bloglovin link is above. 

To make it worth your while, here are some photos that aren't yet available anywhere else! :D
 (preview of our new living room plus baby carnival)




A challenge for those who have been paying attention: can you tell which freshly-bathed baby is which? 

Friday, January 18, 2013

careful what I wish for

When I started writing about pregnancy/baby stuff, I wished that I could share it with more people, or that more people would see it. Shameless, aren't I. But hey, what blogger doesn't want an audience? Isn't that the main purpose of blogging? But I didn't want to share out this blog--there are years of stories and posts that I didn't want everyone in my life to read. On facebook I'm friends with former teaching colleagues as well as former students. Plus any posts about family...I don't want them to actually read it.

It's funny--when I was first 'writing' online, back in the geocities days, I had a link in my email signature. I was so excited when my pageviews reached 600! But after switching to blogger in 2004 and then teaching for a couple years, I guarded this blog as my secret outlet. I'm sure I'm not the first one to note how much easier it is to write honestly for an anonymous audience than knowing that people you know are reading it. It makes you consider what you can or cannot or should and should not write. Which partially defeats the purpose of blogging, or at least my stream-of-consciousness/thoughts-in-my-head form of blogging.

Anyway, so I made that whole new blog, and then I shared it on facebook. And sure enough, there was my audience! Lots of pageviews and comments. Which of course I love.

But then...most everyone I know is or can read it. People I know really well, family members, people I haven't seen in over a decade--all of them.

And that's cool for posts about stupid name trends or picture updates. But of course I've written some really introspective things there too, heartfelt shit.

Which I like writing and recording, until I see and remember that everyone can read it. It oddly feels like a slap in the face--in the wake-up call sense, not in the offensive sense. Oh right--I'm putting some of my innermost thoughts On the Internet Where People Can See Them. I still tend to have the idea that I'm pouring my thoughts out into the anonymous abyss. Real-life comments about my blog bring that crashing back to reality. So I find myself censoring not just post ideas, but even some post content. I find myself thinking, "Do I want everyone to know this? Should I really include this part? Will so-and-so see this and get offended? Is this more information than I want so-and-so to have or know?"

But hey, I wanted an audience. I wanted pageviews and comments and yeah, some validation. Sure enough, I've gotten that. At what cost?