Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The end is near!

Ok, ok, I am overreacting, but life as I know it is going to change in about a week. That's right, it's almost back to school! 

Good bye summer.
Good bye to sleeping late.
Good bye 5 hour hanging out at Starbucks.
Good bye last minute road trips.
Good bye fun volunteering days.

Hello school.

This morning, my car turned 1,000 miles old. It feels like just yesterday I was driving her off the car lot, at 27 miles. How time flies.

(Queue Barbara Streisand, "memories") 


I arrived at Starbucks for my morning coffee and to enjoy a few quiet moments, when a message poped up on my Starbucks app.


Awwwww, Starbucks loves me, she really does! I am still not sure what I will be doing to celebrate my birthday. For the last few years, like New Years, I celebrate alone. I don't know, I guess I am used to it. That's ok, I don't mind. Last year I treated myself to some barbecue. Maybe this year I will go Italian.

Then at school, we did this.


Today was kind of weird for me. I literally had a lot of people compliment me on my hair. It was just weird. Was my hair not nice looking before? I am told they love the lighter color and that it's short. One teacher went as far as touching my hair, it was weird but awesome.

Then we were in our classes for the rest of the afternoon. I walked to the book room and saw our literature books, just waiting for us. They are screaming out our names. "We are ready for you!" I hope I am the first one next week to pick books!!


I had a mini freak out moment with my faux mentor today. I started worrying about our daily grammer bell ringers. In my head, I can picture grammer, but I couldn't see anything past that word. It's like I froze. So what do I do? How do I start this? I asked her. She basically told me to snap out of it and focus. She's awesome.

And hooray for this!


Then I hurried to my apartment because the water man was waiting for me to deliver water and replace my water dispenser. I got a newer model!


This is like the best thing ever. I am going to nap, or relax or just watch tv for now.
Tomorrow will be a long day. But no worries, Friday after work I am driving to Austin to meet family! We are celebrating my birthday together. It is going to be awesome, we only get to hang like this once or twice a year. Sometimes my sister can't make it because of work, or my parents can't come. But this weekend we all be together.






Monday, August 18, 2014

Hanging tough

I was lost today.
I was nervous today.
Being afraid to speak up was more than I could handle.
I was in the middle of the ocean and drowning with no safety harness.

I was nervous today, I am not going to lie.
I tried to get myself confidence.
I tried the "Wonder Woman" standing pose and I tried placing my pencil between my teeth, to simulate a smile. But no, it didn't help.

The panic begun when I was called down the hall by one of the instructional coaches while I was in a meeting with my team. She decided to remind me that I would be meeting with my boss, about my lesson planning.
I was ok, until that second.
I walked inside the room, sat down and felt lost. My coworkers were talking about lesson planning for weeks 4, 5 and 6. 
Wait, what did I miss?
Someone talk to me please!
I was so focused.
I was ready to go, notebook and pencil ready to rock and roll.
Then she came.
It took me out of sync.

Then our department chair sent us free, to finish our lesson plans.
"Be back in an hour," she said.
But what do I need to change? I thought. I like the lesson plans we have. I still need someone to hold my hand and tell me I am doing ok.
Let me hold someone's hand, at least for the first few days.


In my classroom, I connected my computer and took a deep breath.
My monitor wouldn't work.
After messing with cords, and help from my faux mentor, it worked finally. She was my mentor last school year, and in my eyes, she will forever be my mentor.

Then my network connection wasn't working.
Oh lord, what next?
Then once connected, it asked me to change my network password.

Ugh, almost 30 minutes have passed. I have to hurry up.

Then a wave of OCD or ADD or something stated acting up. I felt like I was drowning. I couldn't focus. 

"Calm down woman and put yourself together, you taught last year. You know what you are doing," I told myself.

Still feeling nervous and anxious, we returned back to the meeting. When my department chair got to me and asked me questions about my lesson, I panicked. My Spanglish started coming out of my mouth.

I am a grown woman, I was editor and general manager of my own newspaper. I know budgets. I know how to layout a newspaper from scratch. Oh, and I witnessed a Texas death row execution. I can do this damn it.

Sure, I sound full of myself, but this is all true. I do not understand why this is so difficult.

The afternoon training was no different.
We were shown a different way to lesson plan. It was breaking down each process I to sections. But it confused me. Took me out of my already broken confidence.

But I kept smiling. 

I hope tomorrow is a better day. I am tired.




Sunday, August 17, 2014

RIP Earbuds

I fell asleep wearing my earbuds again last night. And yes, I killed them. Only the right earbud works. This pair lasted four months. There seems to be something wrong with me, I need to start buying cheap earbuds or maybe just not fall asleep wearing earbuds.

Last night I woke up about 2 am to the smell of something burning. I quickly got up from bed and started putting on my pants. The smell was strong, so I knew I had to act quickly. But when I got to the kitchen, I didn't see any fire. I opened the door of my apartment and the air smelled fresh. Was I dreaming? Then I hear a loud humming sound coming from inside my apartment. I look back, follow the smell and noise and see that my water dispenser is the cause. I unplug it from the wall and go back to bed. I was up most of the night. I couldn't sleep. So glad I woke up and nothing terrible happened.

I woke up early and headed out for coffee. I had planned to head to school in the afternoon, but decided against it. I am ready for school to start and I am excited about teaching again, but I am not ready to decorate my classroom. Truth be told, I have never been the "decoration" type. Last year, thanks to my amazing mentor and department chair, they helped by providing advice on how to decorate and even gave me stuff to hang. This year, I don't know what to do. I am considered a second year teacher and feel that if I ask for help or suggestions, they might think I am lame. Well, maybe I am for not knowing how to decorate.

I spent the rest of the day reading. Today I had an urge to just read, it didn't matter what it was. I wanted to read. I am feeling anxious about lesson planning. I need to know exactly what we are teaching and what stories so I can spend time organizing my thoughts. Is that weird? Probably. For now, I need to plan a trip to the store and buy me some awesome headphones.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thank you for everything

I remember when I first met him. It feels like it was just yesterday. And this morning, I got the news he passed away on Friday. I am sad and heartbroken and have been shedding some tears. I have been thinking about him all day, he wasn't a close personal friend, but he did so much for the community. He was there to give me advice and support when I was feeling down, even when I thought I didn't need it, he would call the office or visit.

When I first met him, he walked in to the office, 30 minutes before sending the paper to print. He wanted to place an ad in the paper for his business. My ad rep rushed to get the ad in. He was happy. Then he looked over to the corner office and walked in my direction. He was a short old man, with large black glasses. He was in his 80s, but he had so much energy. He walked with his head held high, lots of confidence. When he walked toward me, I am sure he probably noticed how scared I was and noticing the new shy employee not making eye contact. The new person trying to avoid talking to anyone. When he came up to me, he said he knew there was a new editor in town and he wanted to meet me. After our meeting, my ad rep proceeded to tell he was mayor of the town for almost 20 years. The longest anyone had ever been mayor in the history of Bay City. 

And I was new in town, new job and nervous as heck, and didn't know anyone, so meeting someone like him in the community was great.


Just a few days before, I had accepted an editor position at the Matagorda Advocate. I had moved six hours away from family, I had packed a few boxes filled with clothes and books and headed south to a small agriculture rice farming community, just to fulfill my dream of running my own newspaper. The paper was a small weekly, circulation 5,000, and people loved it.

In the three years that I worked there as editor and then general manager of the newspaper, Mayor Martinez was a regular at our office. He would come to buy ads, but he would also come by the office to say hello. He would always make sure to call me and comment on my column or about an article I had written. He always had nice things to say. He later became an important part of my friends political career who is now in his second term of being mayor in town. Mayor Martinez cared about the community, he cared about the newspaper and he cared about my friend and was a full supporter of his when he ran for office both times.

Whenever there was an issue in town, city council issues or just other things going on, he was always there. I would see him at events and he would always made sure to stop and say hello to me. He would tell me he was glad the paper had me as an editor.

When I announced I was leaving the newspaper, and wrote one of my final columns, he called me to thank me for what I had done for the community. I was humbled. This Facebook post I wrote right after he called me sums it up:


I didn't know him personally, but what I did know I will miss. He made me feel like I belonged there. He made a challenging, stressful job ok. He left a lasting impression in Bay City, and with me. In the years after I left Bay City and had gone to visit, I saw him on more than one occasion. He always made sure to say hi and we would catch up. Now, when I visit, I will take time to remember our encounters and the great advice he provided. May you rest in peace, Mayor Martinez.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to work I go

This morning, as I headed to Starbucks, I couldn't help but take a photo of the sunrise. It was a beautiful view, to the start of going back to work.


Today was convocation and it was great to see people I had not seen all summer long. The meeting with our superintended was very informative. He talked about the goals for the year, what he's expecting from us and what the year will partake.

It was a fun filled day of meetings. Yes, that might sound silly, but I am ready to start up the year again. I am a little scared once the school year starts that I will forget a lesson, right in the middle of a lesson or nervous about all those observations I will be having from my boss, my department chair and my certification program coach. But I am ready. I am pumped.

My lunch:


I have been sitting up in my comfortable bed since I got back from work. All the walking around and sitting down made me tired. I am not looking forward to the body pain I will be feeling in about a week when school starts up again.

For now, I will relax tomorrow and head over to work on Sunday to start arranging my classroom and planning what I will need to do. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Well now I may be in trouble

My friend, who is a reporter for one of the local news channel was challenged last night to take part in the ice bucket challenge. People all over are doing this in support for ALS. What they do is after they have been challenged, they have 24 hours to either do the challenge or make a donation to ALS. Well, I sorta, kinda suggested he challenge my boss. The one at the very top, my superintendent. Which he said, "That's an excellent idea!"

So today, after the 5 pm broadcast, he took the ice bucket challenge, live. But before he went for it, he challenged my boss. Yep, he did it. I on the other hand, am a little nervous. I seriously hope he doesn't find out or asked who suggested him for the challenge. Why? Well, I don't want to take the challenge! Haha is that terrible?

My boss is cool and he's always there to help the community, so I kind of sorda volunteered him. I wonder if he will take the challenge though. Tomorrow we have convocation. I hope he does the challenge then.

Today I did this:


I also went grocery shopping and did some laundry. Just your typical last minute things to do before work officially starts tomorrow. I seriously am excited and pumped to go back to work. For now, I sleep.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What I know

So I am late with my blog entry tonight. I know, I know, but I have a good reason.


Lots of talking was done today over a glass of wine. It was the last official "wine tasting" of the summer. Tomorrow is my last official day of my summer vacation and Friday we start work. I am both excited and nervous. I stopped by school today and felt a little nervous, some butterflies in my stomach. The halls seemed larger, my classroom seemed further and even my classroom was bigger. The summer school teacher moved furniture around and so the room looks a bit different.

Training this morning went well. It was fun.







Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Roar

Have I mentioned how much I love my new car? Today, as I was about to leave my parking space and reverse, it notified me with a beep that there was a car behind me and while I tried to change lanes later, it beeped again. This car is everything I didn't know I ever wanted. I also love when as soon as I turn on the engine, without a key I might add, starts searching for my iPhone and starts playing music that's on my phone. Seriously pretty awesome.

In the afternoon I headed over for some training. This was training for new teachers coming in to the district, but I wanted to go because I have this worry, this fear, that I am going to suck bad this year. Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh, I just don't want to be a bad teacher. I want to be prepared and I know that by attending all these trainings, I will gain something new, something that maybe I didn't know or maybe just forgotten. 


And this is also a way to work myself up for the big day. Aug 27 is fast approaching and I don't want to be a deer in the headlights. I want to be prepared, I want to be ready.

Tomorrow I will be attending more training and then head over to school to dust off the classroom. I just hope my allergies don't act up. I have been coughing up a lung and my throat itches! Good thing I haven't lost my voice. I hate getting laryngitis. I haven't this year and that's good!

My kitchen pantry is looking awesome with all my books. Can't wait to fill it with more books!


Next few days...





Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to life, back to reality

I wanted to spend as much time with Aly as possible this morning so I woke up extra early, took a shower and waited for her to wake up. My brother brought her downstairs to the kitchen about 7 am and half asleep, she ate her Cheerios.


She's so adorable and loves her Cheerios.


After many hugs and goodbyes, Jan took her to daycare. I love her hugs and her love. A few minutes after, I left for Midland.

The drive went well and I made sure to drive at the speed limit and slow down when I saw 18-wheelers or big cars because I don't want another crack in my brand new windshield. An hour after I drove my car off the dealership last week, drivers in the RGV said hello to my new car like this:


I wanted to cry! My new car! But my dad took it to a glass repair shop and he had them fix it. I have an awesome dad.

Now it looks like this:


Looks like nothing happened. Yay.

After I arrived in Midland I unpacked and started watching tv, then I got hungry and drove to get some food.


Yum yum.

I also unpacked these:


I am upset I didn't find other books I was looking for. Maybe next time I drive home, I will find them. For now, I rest and get ready for tomorrow. I have some training in the afternoon. I am not ready to go back!! I have suffered from allergies and my postnasal drip for the last two weeks. I hate when I get my cough attacks. Hope I can have easy access to exit doors the next few weeks during training. I am tired of coughing up a lung. I am surprised I haven't lost my voice. I do every year, except for last. I guess my body was getting used to west Texas weather. Oh sweet baby Jesus, I hope it doesn't get worse.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

The open road

I hit the road early this morning, about 6:30 am, got my Starbucks and a taco and drove off. I was sad that I left, but I know I will see my parents again in a few weeks.

The drive was a little bad this morning. Fog was heavy.


That's not a dirty windshield, that's a foggy morning.


But once it cleared, the drive went well. 

Then arrived and life got way better. I am sad I didn't get to see Caleb, his grandparents picked him up and took him to the ranch for a few days.



We spent some time at the pool.


She's three years old and she's not afraid. Such a proud moment.


The day ended talking to my brother and Jan. We caught up with whatever is going in with everyday. I really liked this and will buy me some for sure!


Tomorrow I leave, one last drive before going back to midland, and start work again.







Saturday, August 09, 2014

Next stop, Austin

This entire week has been great. So glad I came down south to visit my parents. I have done nothing but hang with my parents and eat lots of home cooked meals! Tomorrow I am leaving, and making a stop at my brothers in Austin. My parents always worry when I tell them I am driving straight through to Midland and want me to take a break. Well, I don't have a problem staying in Austin for one day. I get to see my niece and nephew and I can't wait!

I am however sad that I am leaving. My parents are fun to hang with. I know I have said this before, but I find that the older I get, the more I understand them, appreciate and respect. I have stayed away from my phone as much as possible because I don't want to miss any time with them. Sounds silly, but I would rather just be in the living room watching a show I don't like, just to hang with my mom. Ugh, ok enough about this, I am going to get mega sad. But I shouldn't be too sad, I am going to see them back in Austin in about two weeks.

My dad helped me get a new car yesterday. And when I say help, he really did! He helped me negotiate a good deal on this 2014 Mazda 3. I decided to get a new car because my Hyundai was almost reaching the 100,000 mile mark. And well, I wanted to treat my self for my birthday. A woman doesn't need a reason, we just do. ;)


I stuck with the same color, but this car has a lot of upgrades, more than I can deal with.


Yesterday my dad cooked beef because I wanted some and I got to visit with my aunt and uncle too.


Yummy food from yesterday.

I met with my BFF Joanna one last time this morning and we met for breakfast. It was very rainy, but we wanted to hang. I won't see her again until Christmas.


Then for lunch I made Mexican hash. It's just ham and potatoes with onions. My parents went to the doctor while I was with Joanna. I had lunch ready when they came back.


So delicious.


But wait, there's more food pics! We had Chinese for dinner. We had our last meal together.


Tomorrow me and my brand new 2014
Mazda leave the valley for Austin. For now, I sleep.







Thursday, August 07, 2014

Another great day

Today I took my parents out to eat. There's a Chinese restaurant they love to go to, but because of all the highway construction the strip mall where it was located, shutdown. Now, after months of being closed, they reopened at the new strip mall a few blocks down. It's always great to hang with my parents. They are crazy and funny and now as an adult, I appreciate them more.


I had salmon and an egg roll for lunch and I also found a big jalapeƱo with cream cheese it was awesome.

I then picked Joanna up and we had dinner and then went to our favorite local coffee shop.


We had this and it was delicious. Yep, today was a great day.



Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Family, is that you?

It's funny how now whenever I come visit my parents, I sleep in what used to be my brothers room growing up. The bedroom my sister and I shared growing up is now a bedroom/office/computer room that my parents use. And may I just say, my parents kick my ass when it comes to computer technology. They both have laptops and they know how to use those suckers up like nobody's business.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. I was so dead tired, but my mind kept racing. I am not sure why. I kept tossing and turning and just wanted to sleep. Then I remembered what my brother told my sister and I growing up that would keep us away from his room - guaranteed. He once told us there was a ghost of an Indian in his room and that we must stay away or he would show up. I am a grown woman, not afraid of the dark, but that coming to mind, while sleeping in that bedroom, just made me a little scared. But it also made me feel foolish because that's something my brother said when we were kids.

Today was hot.


At 5 pm it was 103 degrees. Just crazy.

I also discovered "video on demand" and watched the entire season of Dallas Cowgirls Making the Team in one sitting! Well, only 8 episodes, I tell you my parents are more advanced than me. I don't have internet or cable at my apartment. I also watched tons of food network cooking shows. I guess my parents let me take control of the television today since I am visiting.

I got to see some aunts and uncles I have not seen in years! We ate very traditional Mexican dishes for lunch. Here are some fresh cut nopales with cilantro, some onion and chicken broth.


And some delicious fideo with beef. Oh my gosh, so delicious.


Anyway, tomorrow I get to see my BFF, Joanna. We are meeting for dinner. Can't wait!





Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Clarity

I was sitting at Starbucks yesterday, sipping hot coffee and flipping through "To Kill a Moching bird" when it hit me, I have about a week left before I start working again. Then I asked myself, "Do I want to spend the rest of my time sitting here?" Not that anything is wrong with that, I love it there and can probably stay there for ever, but no, I don't want that.

So I called my mom and told her I was on my way. I would leave early today and be there until next week. Then I sent my boss an email, just letting him know I would miss my training Wednesday because I was going to visit my parents. He thanked me for the update, I had the green light.



told my mom I wanted dad to cook my favorite grilled chicken and grill some corn. And then called my BFF Joanna and told her I was on my way and we made dinner plans for Thursday. It felt a little crazy to just get up and leave, but let's be serious, I have always been spontaneous, and doing something like this doesn't surprise anyone.

Left my apartment this morning at 5:30 am. I wasn't nervous, but excited. I was off to one last road trip before school and I knew that visiting home was the last pit stop of "Adriana's summer 2014 road trips."

I arrived about 2:30 pm, 30 minutes ahead of what Siri told me.

Had dinner, hung with my parents and about 7 pm, knocked out. I am still beyond tired, and will go back to sleep after this entry. This is what my parents cooked for dinner. Tomorrow is chicken. Nothing like home cooked meals. Love that I am here. 


It's always great to know that you can always come home and just relax. I plan to sleep, watch tv and laugh as much as I can with my parents. I better go back to bed before I fall asleep again.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Halo

I spent the weekend doing absolutely nothing. I stayed up late, woke up late and spent endless hours at Starbucks. To tell you the truth, today is Monday, but to me it doesn't feel like it. I feel disoriented. I know that in a few weeks, I will know exactly the time and day and will have a room full of kids. Time is running out. At first I complained about having too much time off, now, I don't want it to end.

I have been reading a lot this weekend. I finished "Animal Farm" in just five hours. I took a short break to watch some videos and listen to some music. Today I started "To Kill A Mockinbird" I sure hope I finish this book, so far it's a bit boring. I know, this is terrible of me to say. I don't think I am teaching this book this year, but it's always good to read and learn new things. Next on my list is 1984 or Lord of the Flies. Truth be told, I need to finish reading the book we were all assigneed to read this summer. I can't seem to finish this book.

I am also super annoyed by this dry cough I've had for a few weeks. It seems to be getting stronger this week. My poor throat is so irritated. I hate the coughing spells. I can be sitting, quietly, minding my own business and then bam! Cough attack. Ok, I should go out and enjoy what's left of my summer. Laters.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Science camp excitement

Today I volunteered for both science camp sessions. It was fun the first time around, but by the end of it all I just wanted to leave. Feed the kids sugar and they will run all over the place. I had 3rd and 4th graders today and we made all kinds of deliciousness.


The local chocolate company came to talk to the kids about science and candy.


And we even got to dip Oreos! It was fun and yes, I got to do this twice! 

Then we did these fun expirements: 



Yes, we made ice cream. OMG it was so good.


This coke gyser was the coolest thing ever. I had never done the mentos and coke excitement, until today. I think I had more fun than the kids.


By the end of the day, I was beyond tired. My entire body ached and back to school came to mind. Oh no, my body is going to hurt this much in about three weeks.