Saturday, September 09, 2006

Scion and the Bumper Stickers

There is a weird little box car I love to see driving around town. It is a Toyota Scion covered with bumper stickers. I think a while back no one had the Toyota Scion, so this person bought one because they thought it would be fun, had good gas mileage, and could fit lots of stuff inside. And then a million other people bought them.

The fun part of the plan must have seemed ruined. So, they covered the car with bumper stickers (mostly free ones):

"Unity 08"
"Nelson County High School Governors"
"I Live in the Chesepeake Bay Watershed"
"William and Mary Tribe Football"
"Virginia is for Lovers"
"Episcopal Church"

I can't remember the rest (I think there are 10) but I always know whose car it is. I could be a mile away and I would know that driving ahead of me was Weston. Ray-bans and all. Come up closer and wave in the rear-view mirror. Down rolls the window for a friendly hello. Phone rings "Short Skirt Long Jacket".

I feel pretty lucky to know that guy with all the bumper stickers on the weird little box car.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It was on hers and now it is on mine

Sara's friend put this on her blog. So Sara put it under the big grey tent. And now I am putting it here.

1. My home is...a little studio apartment waiting for a futon to be dlivered so I can sit down.
2. I am listening to...the refidgerator and the ice maker and feeling lucky that I have an ice maker.
3. Maybe I should...plan for the up-coming school year.
4. I love it when...I finally get to the beach, run across the sand and jump in the ocean, ready to fight the waves.
5. My best friend...makes me laugh when I am sad. And I laugh a lot!
6. I don't understand...what is going on in the middle east. It is very sad.
7. I lost...the back of my favorite earring and I can't get a pencil eraser to make it stay in place.
8. People say...that I have a lot of energy, but when they say that I also know that I need a whole lot of sleep.
9. The meaning of my blog name is...that I was trying to think of a name for my blog and I couldn't think of it and it was making me unnecessarily anxious and my head was hurting as I was trying to think of a name for my blog.
10. Love is...doing new things because you love someone and then realizing that you might just love to do those things, too, when you are with them.
11. Right now, somewhere, someone is...memorizing 7 times 8 is 56.
12. I will intimidated when I meet strangers.
13. Once upon a time...I was scared of trying new things.
14. I never want to...give up on people.
15. My personal motto is...shake what your mama gave you (in the literal and figurative sense).
16. When I wake up in the morning...I squeze my hands because I think I may have arthiritis.
17. I get annoyed when...I argue with people about unimportant things.
18. People funny dances at weddings.
19. I sing...Christmas carols very well.
20. Hugs are the best when...they crack my back.
21. Today waiting for my futon to arrive.
23. Tomorrow I will...go to the DMV.
24. I really want... all my students to feel safe, happy, and confident in my classroom.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Last 10 Weeks

It has recently come to my attention that I am not what one would call an "avid" blogger. More specifically, I have been told that I "suck" at updating this. And this by BOTH of my two readers. An example: I sent Michael some news a few weeks late, stating that I had tried to send out a big email about the new plans in my life but that my computer had not wanted to cooperate (it is a piece of crap and anyone who has met it would agree... two weeks ago the screen began to fall off but I can still use it at times). He said to me "If only there were a means by which you could post your thoughts and plans on the internet for many people to see." Tou She (spelling?), Michael.

So, here's a quick update on my life:

1. In March I went to Virginia to visit friends, and I am not going to lie. More specifically I went to see the boy of all friends, Weston. It was a good time, but leaving was very sad. Very sad indeed. I cried. I know you are all shocked about that one. Weston and I had decided to stay on our respective sides of the nation for yet another year, he in the blue dot in a red state (Charlottesville) and myself in the land of sunshine and cactus (Phoenix).

2. Boo hoo. Lots of worry and wonder. What to do? What to do? To quote a student at my school, "I am doomed! Doomed!"... maybe it wasn't that dramatic. Life went on. I realized I was OK and still having fun, but you know what... Cross country skiing is hard enough. I did not care to partake in the challenging sport of cross country dating for yet another year. So, Weston and I decided to think and discuss. For all you teachers out there, one might call it a think-pair-share.

3. We examined many an option. I continued to figure out how to get my Arizona Teacher Certification finalized. I went to take those big tests that take up an entire precious Saturday of my life. I sat there writing essays about educational philosophy, teaching strategies, and answering multiple choice questions about what to do if I child is wheelchair bound. It was a long day. I was not even allowed to bring SNACKS into testing.

4. I got in my car and made a decision. I was moving back to Virginia.

5. Wham! I told Weston, told mom and dad, told my roommates, found jobs to apply for, applied for one, school school school started going nuts (what had happened to the children?), flew to Virginia to look for an apartment and to look for a job.

6. On Friday, 2 minutes before an IEP meeting I was offered a job with a great rural school district teaching elementary school special education. And now I begin the task of seeing if I will take it.

So, things are hectic but good. While the process of deciding and moving is somewhat shocking and stressful and sad, the actual outcome is one with which I feel very comfortable.

I look forward to the vibrant yet small city of Charlottesville.
I look forward to seeing my friends and family on a more regular basis.
I look forward to living at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and working in a peaceful and quiet place where people love kids.
I look forward to seeing Weston and being with him.

I would say, things are looking pretty good right about now.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hannah at the Superstition Mountains Posted by Picasa

My Newest Project for My Two Readers

So, a new project emerges. As you all (two) may know, I love a good project. What I seem to love even more is starting new projects (con mucho gusto) and never ever ever ever finishing them. Hmmmm. I think back to October when I started the mosaic table. The hammer, tiles, broken mirror and liquid nails were STILL strewn across the patio last night. Or to Januray when I started to knit a sweater and knit 1/10 of the sleeve. Four months ago I had my assistant, Megan, copy all of the word problems from another teachers' files. It was 220 word problems. I brought them all home. You know, to catalog them. Still in a pile (in nice plastic sleeves) on my bedroom floor. And the towels sit on a stool behind the bar, a whole week they sit and wait, to be washed in my great purge of dirt that started, but never stopped. This blog, the myspace, my journal, reading the Bible cover to cover in a year, reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains". I love the book, but I just wont finish it. I have been reading this book for going on 4 years now. All of these things have started and stopped on and off for minutes days months years.

But now I have found another project. One with no deadlines. One that actually might not leave me with word problems, dirty towels, and 1/10 of a sweater sleeve all over the floor in the heat of Pheonix, Arizona. My whole web log is changing.

I think my friends are my best resource. I have been a mess at varying points in the last 5 years and there they were at every place where I was. I do not think the reasons for the mess was my friends. Please keep that in mind. I would be in a mess or a great spot and there they were with me in spirit, on email, on the phone, at my side pushing me into the library, telling me to suck it up, laughing laughing laughing and giving me presents (wait, you didn't give me a present... well, get on the ball!). And I kept moving and moving and moving and moving and moving. And now I think I might have landed, as Ben Folds says, for a while. Smack dab in the middle of the desert. And surprise, even though I might not be in a mess, I still love them.

But how can I get them to know and love eachother? How can I have Julio and Sara and Weston and Carmen and Moyra and Katie and Travis and Suzy and Rich and Hudson and Michael and Richard and Sara U. and Liz and on and on and on and on and on all the way to Boston and Japan and the four corners of the world meet?

I am going to introduce you to eachother here. I will start writing little stories that tell why I love my friends and family (oh the fam damily, as my grandmother says). Maybe some of you will become friends. And that will be it. There is no start or finish to the web log. Its just another project which may or may not happen. But yesterday, sitting on top of a cactus covered mountain I thought "I have a great idea."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hannah Versus the Giant Saguaro Cactus

Me versus a giant ancient cactus. I lost. Or did I win? Hiked Saguaro National Park today with Carmen. Sunny skies. Cactus aplenty. Sounds like I was the big winner. Look at the photos and judge for yourself.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Wicked Blond of the Desert

Over the past few weeks, I have had the chance to explore Arizona and learn about many new things. I did not do it alone... too blond friends from the east coast joined me and it was wonderful. On one of our many outings, we went to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen West... the school where he educated, and perhaps enslaved, his apprentices. Those people were always digging holes in the desert it seems.

Well, while we were touring the estate we learned about FLW's opinion of the cholla cactus, also known as the jumping cactus. You see, when you pass by this cactus the thorns sense movement and JUMP off the cactus and EMBED themselves into your skin. And not only are these little thorny things... no, no. They are barbs, quills of the plant world. They latch into your skin and it is impossible to remove them, to get them out of your skin and away from your veins which lead straight to your heart (I think that veins lead to your heart... any idea Sara?), without RIPPING OUT YOUR FLESH. Wright's name for them? The Wicked Blond of the Desert. Weston and Lauren had a great laugh about that...

Maybe its true. Maybe it is impossible to get rid of me without ripping out your own flesh. What a strange thought. Here is a picture of me and the Cholla/Jumping Cactus/OTHER Wicked Blond of the Desert. I kept a very safe distance, so I have not, as of yet, had to rip anything out of anything. Although today I did prick myself on a cactus while trying to bury an apple core, but that is another story for another day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Wishes for Middle Schoolers

All of you know this, but just in case you missed the last 19 years of my life, I am a teacher. I teach in a weird psuedo-urban but sub-urban but not... long story... middle school. I don't write about school in general on here because it might be construed as unprofessional. But, to make a blanket statement, I love working with kids despite any ridiculous drama that may ensue.

And the ridiculousness does ensue... trust me. I work with middle schoolers. And not just any middle schoolers, but the middle of the middle schoolers. I teach the infamous and at times terrifying 7th grade. Call me a martyr, call me a lunatic, call me stupid but its what I do. Anyways, in working with my little angels I have noticed something. I love them, I do, but sometimes they lack grace. Other times they might lack manners. And pretty much all of the time they lack a keen sense of what they should or should not do. "But its fun to sing Feliz Navidad in that voice." in the middle of math class etc. etc. Sometimes I wonder what could be done to stop this seemingly unstoppable train crash that is pre-adolescence. Most times I think we should all just wear helmets. Just in case.

So, that is what happens in middle school. And, not to be crude, but in the last 10 or 15 years, middle school has seen the terifying advent of the thong.

Tonight I am watching Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary about a ballroom dancing program for 5th graders in NYC public schools, for the second time. I love to dance. Look at my other blog entries. I love to shake it when I have a chance. I even taught the kids at a conservative private school in New Jersey to shake it. But, here's the thing about learning to dance, which you can see in this coolest little film ever... It is not just fun. Its so much more than that. Dancing gives kids something that the world is trying to take away from them. I look at the kids in this film and I think about what dancing has done for me, and I realize that dancing gives kids grace. It teaches them the manners and consideration that cannot be taught in a traditional classroom. The things that are so hard to teach in a very harsh world. Dancing can give them the confidence to stand up and be young men and women in the face of a world which doesn't seem to want them to do that.

Thats what I want for my kids for Christmas. I want them to see the really beautiful and graceful things they have inside and grab hold of them. I wish I could teach them all to dance, but sadly I teach 7th grade math. So, in the meantime, I guess I will just do what I can. Love them and bake them cookies. And sometimes tell them its just time to stop. Sometimes I wish you would please just stop yourself before you get embarrassed. That is my secondary Christmas wish. Come to think of it maybe I need thatone , too.

I think the second wish may be an impossibility, but you cannot tell me not to dream.