Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sad, but true advice.

Check out this link for a sad, but true discussion of getting a PhD and Masters in the Humanities. So funny that I laugh until I cry each time!

Watch it for me!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Word of the Week

My current favorite word to use and integrate into sentences is the word "smarmy." defines this word as: (adj.) excessively or unctuously flattering, ingratiating, servile, etc..  Synonyms for smarmy are: buttery, fulsome, insincere, oily, oleaginous, sleek, smooth, smug, suave (

This word has negative connotations, but I think the reason why I like it so much is because it's so much fun to say. SM - ARMY. Repeat after me..."smarmy." Good job!

Honestly, that's about all I got tonight. It'll still be a couple of weeks until I know about Teach For America; I'm finalizing my final semester as a graduate student (looking into taking a glass blowing class because -- well, when else am I going to have the opportunity to try my hand at it?) as well as figuring out what/when I'm going to teach my last class. Oh, yeah...and I have a bunch of research I need to do for my OWN papers and thesis.

A graduate student's life is never done...until May!

On the family front, my older sister Susan had their beautiful baby boy, Jacob, on October 25th. He was born with Downs Syndrome, which could be viewed as a trial, but I think he'll be more of a blessing than anything else. I can't wait to meet my 25th...or is it 26th...niece/nephew! Holy-moley that's a lot of grandkids for my parents!

I can't wait to meet Jacob and hope to do so in the next couple of weeks! Until I check in next time...Love ya!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why Autumn is my Favorite Season...

...these are in no particular order of ranking -- since I love them all:
  1. I can drink hot apple cider and cocoa without overheating.
  2. The trees are aflame.
  3. Sweater weather!
  4. Frost makes me wish I were an artist because museum-quality frost etchings adorn my windshield every morning.
  5. Holidays are coming!
  6. Crisp mornings and temperate afternoons are awesome!
  7. I feel much less guilty sitting inside and reading a book.
  8. Fireplaces are used for more than just "looking pretty."
  9. I can see my breath...which oddly reminds me of spelling my name with sparklers/punks for the 4th of July. Like I said, odd.
  10. My crockpot starts to get a workout.
Happy autumn all!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Results Pending

So...I've jumped through all the hoops necessary for the Teach For America Program. I've done all the interviews; dotted my I's and crossed my T's, so we'll see how it all marinates and tastes in November. I don't know how I did and I won't know until around November 9th-ish. All I know is that I tried my hardest, did my best, and I wouldn't change anything I said or did. If they like and want me, than great. If they don't, then I don't want to work for them.

Relatively speaking the entire day-long process was really low-key. I did a 5-minute lesson plan I had used in my classes earlier, actively participated in group work, and feel like I presented myself and articulated my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs to the best of my ability. I can't ask for anything other than that.

If I don't get into the program I won't feel like I failed, I'll just know that wasn't the place for me right now and focus on other possibilities after graduation. I truly believe that this mindset and attitude was the key to my peace overall. As I've posted earlier, I can only control what's in my boat. As of right now, it's out of my hands and there's nothing else I can do.

I do want to say thank you to everyone for your encouragement and uplifting words throughout the process. I have had so many people just compliment me and my teaching abilities and it's always nice to have validation that you do your job well. So, thank you and I'll keep you posted about what the final outcome is.

Talk at you later!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post Pending

I know you're excited to find out how the interview went, and I'd love to tell you, but I have to get to school. I swear I'll write later today to update y'all. Until then, here's the song I'm currently crushing on, "Wanted" by Rachel Diggs, and here's a link to the song :

You don't think you're special
You don't think you're strong
But when the sky is falling
You feel like you belong

It might not be obvious
But you're not alone
We're going to let you wander
But never on your own

And I don't know if I can help you
You could tell me all you need
Its all right, You're wanted
Tonight it's alright
You're wanted

And your expectations
Are killing you slow
You're getting what you wanted
But pain is all you know

You've got a new life now
There's much that you see
But those that really know you
Are few and far between

And I don't know if they will help you
Do you tell them all you need?
Its all right you're wanted
Tonight it's alright
You're wanted

And you couldn't be more wrong
When you say it won't be long
Til the stars are gone
And you, you've got to see
When you bleed you're never free
'cause life's not that easy.

But tonight it’s alright
You're wanted
Tonight it's alright
You're wanted
Tonight it's alright
You're wanted

And the moral is? Yep, YOU ARE WANTED!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Posting #100

Um, where's my award? I mean, according to blogger this is my one-hundreth posting, so.....? C'mon!
  • Willard Scott recognizes people who are celebrating their 100+ birthdays.
  • Sitcoms have a cake when they've made/aired their 100th episode.
  • People traditionally receive a letter from the President of the United States when they turn 100.
  • There are lists of "100 best..." everywhere.
  • I mean, you hear more about the "99 bottles of beer on the wall.." than "100 bottles of beer on the wall..." Think about it, it's true.
So as my 100th posting I thought I'd do something special...but I couldn't come up with anything. Sorry!

Instead, I'll close with the American Film Institute (AFI) top 100 movie quotes -- drum roll please -- and the #1 quote is "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone With the Wind. And I express the same sentiment for your failure to give me an award because "I'll be back." (quote #37).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

English Theory - bleh

Let me just say I'm more of a composition kinda gal (maybe that's why I want to teach high school English), but this English theory stuff is pretty dense and hard to wade through in an effort to create understanding. For those of you who aren't familiar with English theory, just stop reading this post now. The rest of this rant probably won't make much sense to you and I recommend you don't try to figure out what I'm'll thank me later.

So in the last two weeks I've read Derrida, Althusser, Foucault, Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Heiddegger, Deleuze, and now Judith Butler. Seriously? My brain hurts -- and not in a good way. I know, I know, I have nothing to complain about, but at this point I can't wait to be done with classes and not have to read 94 word long sentences like this gem from Butler:

"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Yeah, is your brain hurting too? Let me know when you understand what she just said, because I need to go find some asprin and head to class.

Later 'gator!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When did I become the man in this relationship?

I just about laughed until I cried tonight. As I was sitting in my room grading papers...okay, maybe I was just surfing the 'net...but anyway, as I was minding my own business my roommate, Christiana, started yelling my name from downstairs.

"Patty! Patty come here! Patty get down here right now! PATTY!"

My response? "What!?!" In my head I said: "What's the big deal. Sheesh!"

She kept on yelling and was soon screeching (yes, like a banshee) and I was getting more and more annoyed.

"I'm coming!" I responded as I walked (not ran) downstairs and saw Christiana perched on top of the side board/buffet in our dining room.

My first response? A big smile followed with, "What are you doing up there?"

Christiana just pointed into the kitchen and said "Mouse."

Okay, we have a mouse. So. She's a thirty year-old woman, what does she want me to do about it? I'll tell you what. As she continued to perch on the side board and crane her neck around the doorjam she directed me to where she last saw the mouse. Honestly? When did I become the man in this obviously disfunctional relationship? I already seem to be the go-to person that gets elected to tell the landlord when there's a problem with the house, so now I'm elected to be the mouse killer? Sheesh. Fine. (That may be part of my problem, giving in too easily, but really, I'd rather deal with something head-on instead of tip-toeing around it.)

So I'm barefoot, in my pajamas, and starting to dismantle the counter where Christiana last saw the mouse. I have a hotpad in one hand (I honestly don't know what I was going to do with that) and a plastic pitcher held upside down by the handle (I figured I could trap the mouse when it scurried across the counter before it hid again). As I moved stuff from the corner my roommate pointed to I kept on expecting the mouse to spring on my neck and attack, like the rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie. Good times!

So I got to the last item (a big bag of rice) and with baited breath I lifted the bag and...


Yep. Absolutely nothing. Christiana swears her eyes never left the place where she saw the mouse go and there aren't any holes in that corner. Looks like Mighty Mouse has taken up abode in our house. On the shopping list now: mouse traps.

I put the kitchen back to rights and went to leave the kitchen and Christiana was still on top of the side board. I couldn't take it any longer and started laughing. I offered to put on the tea kettle or get her a glass of water from the kitchen, if that's what she was initially wanting, but she assurred me that she was fine...and then made Sage (my dog) go into the kitchen with her as a guard dog. Um, yeah.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Buckle down for a long one!

So, for those of you who are just joining my blogging attempts, let me catch you up. I'm in my 2nd year of Grad School at the Univeristy of Idaho, Moscow, ID, I teach English 102 at the university, and am in the midst of the Teach For America interview process. Teach For America is a group that works at lessening the education/achievement gap in low income areas throughout the United States. They have hundreds of corps members (also known as teachers) who teach for two years in disadvantaged areas while earning a teaching certificate, furthering their education, earning money to pay back student loans, and make a difference in the lives of their students. So, yep, I'm trying to join this crew.

I've successfully completed the application and interview process and will be completing the day-long interview, teaching, etc. process in a couple of weeks. I should know by the middle of November if they want me or not. Either way, at least I'll have something settled. Either I'll have a job next fall or I can shift my attention to planning the rest of my life in a different direction.

I went online and picked my "preferred geographic locations" to teach in if I'm accepted. Most of them are in the east or south. It looks like the program is hoping to open up a post in the Seattle/Tacoma area (which would be nice since I have family there), but ultimately I decided it's not my first choice because I'd like to travel, live, and see other parts of this country to see if the Northwest really is the bees-knees I think it is. In my preference order I asked to teach high school, then middle school, then Pre-K to elementary. Here's how my geographic preferences broke down, in case you were wondering:
  • Highly Preferred: Eastern North Carolina, Mississippi Delta, Nashville, South Dakota, and South Louisiana
  • Preferred: Alabama, Appalachia (Eastern Kentucky), Las Vegas Valley, Seattle & Tacoma Area, Charlotte, Colorado, Kansas City, Hawai'i, New Mexico, Memphis, Newark, Rhode Island
  • Least Preferred: Everywhere else. Pretty much this list is way too long for this blog.
So there you have it. I'll let you know what happens and IF I'm recruited (which is highly competitive because, according to their site, only 12% of applicants get offered a position).  Fingers crossed!

And the second half of this marathon-long posting:

As usual, I've been feeling as though I am constantly running around and not really accomplishing anything. I'm treading water in the classes I take and eeking by in the classes I teach. It's not the best feeling for my spirit and peace of mind. As I was reading a friend's blog I appreciated the message of one of her postings:
 Try Harder.
I can, and do, whine and complain about how hard my life supposedly is, but am I trying hard enough to accomplish what is necessary or my goals? I could try harder to plan lessons ahead, spend more time reading and comprehending required readings, run farther on the treadmill, try harder in strengthening relationships, etc. We all could try harder, but oftentimes we don't.

Television and the Internet are huge time sucks for me. I can't tell you the number of times I've sat down to watch television for only half an hour and then, two hours later, I'm still in the same place. My apartment just got satellite and I can honestly say that I didn't miss the year without television. I spent less time goofing off and more time preparing and learning. This is all an excuse, I know. I should try harder to avoid the tv at all costs. Why not? I know it's a black hole vortex of time, but I don't try to stay away.

I just need to try harder in every aspect of my life so that I can be the most successful, centered, and grounded person I can be. Wish me luck on the journey and, repeat afte me, TRY HARDER!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Before you ask, let me just tell you...

I love you!

Yep, you heard right. I. Love. You. So, if you're feeling down or like no one is on your side, or meh, just remember...

You are loved.

Oh, yeah, I also have been invited to participate in the final step in the Teach For America process: all-day interview, teaching, etc., in Spokane, WA in a couple of weeks. Just in case THAT is what you were going to ask.  :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Plugging Along!

Honestly nothing new to report. It's not like I have a new car (Becca), have moved (Cathy and Randy), or am expecting a baby (Susan and K.C.). The only thing I'm looking forward to? Bedtime. Yep, I'm easy to please.

I'm contemplating the 75+ pages of English theory I'm supposed to understand (ha, ha. That's a good one) by class tomorrow, the reading I haven't done but hope to finish in the hour before a different class, and the impending submission of Essay 2 my students have on Wednesday. Serentity Now!

Everyone says teaching is easier when you aren't taking classes and, right now, I'm clinging to that belief...that and the chocolate cake that is oozing between my clenched fist! Okay, maybe not that last part, but I'm clinging baby!  :)

I will know by Thursday whether or not I have a face-to-face, all day interview for the Teach For America program. I'm hoping so. I don't think I bombed the telephone interview, but I've been wrong before...not lately, but before. I think I was three and believed Santa Claus was real. Yep, I think that was the last time I was wrong.

Okay, enough procrastinating for me. Procrastination is the postponement of pain and I'm getting a Charlie Horse. 'Night!