Saturday, November 29, 2008

Give thanks...

So it's obvious that I've been having a hard time, but I'm going to try to concentrate on the positives for a bit. I know, you're breathing a sigh of relief that I'm finally snapping out of it.

I left my phone in Yakima by accident, so I have been cell-less since Wednesday. This is a surprisingly refreshing development, but I also didn't want anyone to worry about the fact that I responded to none of the calls or texts I've received in the last few days. I will do my best starting Sunday to get back in touch with humanity. I've been spending the holiday in Portland with Kristin and her family, and it's been a lot of fun. Of course, it's not being at home with my family, but hers is pretty cool too. It's fun to see where she gets so much of her personality from.

Last night we went to the Blazers game, which was a lot of fun. I've never been to professional basketball game before, and the Blazers are a fun team to watch. I'm on my way towards becoming a fan. It was me and Kristin and her sister and one other girl, and we had a good time. We did a little shopping yesterday too, which was good. I got some bargains. My entire wardrobe (all two pairs of jeans) is beginning to completely fall apart, which is no good at all. Also, looking like a grown-up every day is hard.

Kristin had a hair dying catastrophe yesterday, so she is getting it fixed right now and I'm getting some planning done. I have to write subplans for Friday and Monday, which could be an adventure. I've never done that before. I'll try to update soon.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


I suppose that everyone who moves away from home feels like this eventually. Like "what the heck am I doing living 3,000 miles from everyone and everything that I know?" I think it would be easier if there were people to meet in Yakima, and things to do. I'm just feeling more than a little trapped right now, living in the middle of the desert where the nearest city is 2.5 hours away. I know things will get better and Christmas isn't that far, but I want to go home.

I never thought I'd say it, but I miss New Jersey. I miss diners and taylor ham. I miss ordering plain old coffee and having people know exactly what you meant. I miss having random breaks in the middle of the day to eat or nap or work. I miss going to classes. I miss the people back at home, especially my family and the Henderson gals.

I've been struggling with a lack of direction these days. I was so sure this was where I was supposed to be, and that this was what I was supposed to be doing. I even thought that this would be a great time to take the next step in discernment. But the more I try, the darker it gets, and the murkier my future seems.

I'm slipping back into my anti-social mode, which isn't that surprising when there's no one to socialize with. But I'm getting into the ignoring my phone stage of things, which in the past has been bad. I promise I'm trying. I'm being melodramatic and making this sound worse than it really is.

On a happier note, my roommates and I dissected one of the 22 pumpkins donated to us. We had pumpkin soup for dinner and are currently in the process of cooking down and pureeing the remainder. It's taken us the better part of 3 hours and there's still tons to go. It's a good thing we like pumpkins... Right now Kristin is making pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Tomorrow I'm making pumpkin bread. And there's still tons of pumpkin to go in the freezer. Also, 21 more pumpkins lining our hallway...

If you know any recipes...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I need you to know....

Currently listening to Superchick's "Beauty from Pain" Album

I'm having a rather rough time spiritually right now. I know this blog is supposed to be happy stories of silly things my students say and do, and while I definitely have plenty of those, this is kind of where my focus has been for the last week or so.

I've seen a kind of spiritual breakdown heading towards me in my peripheral vision, but I've been so busy and school has taken so much of my time that I think I thought if I ignored it, then it wouldn't happen. I've talked to some people in the past about the lack of support post-graduation, but nothing really prepared me for what I am experiencing. I haven't prayed with a friend or roommate for almost six months.

Six months. Without spiritual community.

The cracks that started when I left Jersey have deepened, and I feel like I've been cut adrift. I haven't talked to anyone here who is serious about faith, or who wants a personal relationship with God. My roommates are wonderful, don't get me wrong, but they're just not spiritually supportive.

These days I am struggling to pray, struggling to care, slipping into old bad habits. New bad habits are coming in as part of the spiritual loneliness.

Superchick says it better than I can:
I need you to know,
I'm not through the night,
Some days I struggle just to walk towards the light.

I'm sorry to be downer. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Currently Reading: The Westing Game (to my students), Educating for Life, Seeds of Hope

Yesterday was officially the longest day ever. I had foolishly promised my students that I would make them pumpkin muffins for a Halloween party in Religion, so I woke up at 5:30 to start baking them. Then my classes were leading the school in the All Saints Day mass, so I got to school bright and early to make sure that everything was set up right for it. My students were amazing. They read slowly and clearly, sang loudly and beautiful, and just overall did a wonderful job. I was really really proud of them.

Classic my school moment, we had an assembly this afternoon for the raffle fundraiser, and it was insane. They pulled ten kids' names from a jar holding the names of all the kids 6-8 that had turned in raffle tickets. These ten kids then got to play dodgeball against the principal and vice principal. Then they thought it would be a good idea to get the teachers involved... So I had to play against ten middle schoolers, who thought there was nothing funnier than trying to peg their teachers with dodgeballs. The other problem with being the youngest teacher on the staff is that I was the best at dodgeball...At the end it was me against ten rabid middle schoolers. It did not end well for me.

Then we had to stay after school and set up for the halloween festival. My booths toke a long time because we had to hang mats on the walls for the radar gun throw. Our record for the night was an eighth grader who could throw a 61 mph pitch. The carnival went until 7:30, but I didn't get home until 9. So from 5:30 to 9 I was working. It was slightly ridiculous. I then went pretty much straight to bed. Kristin and Kristin went out...I still haven't seen them this morning.

Here are some pictures from yesterday....Kristin and I dressed up as our students. Literally. I was wearing an actual uniform for the school and the mismatched socks that the seventh graders find particularly fashionable right now.
Much love to all,