I’ve been thinking about this blog—about why I hardly ever write here anymore. Last week, it was raining and I was preparing to go into Kroger for a round of groceries and it all came together. I don’t write in here because I feel like I should write only about education, yet there is nothing that says that is the only subject I should write about. Just another example of the imaginary obstacle courses I create in my mind.
So a list, if you will, of things that I’ve been up to.
I am still growing it out. It’s really pretty strange to run my hands through it and have to buy hair products and spend time on it. Last time I went in for a trim, the new hair girl was sure I was done and there to chop it all off. I’m determined to grow it out to at least my shoulders. After that, there is no telling. I may go back to the pixie cut or keep it long. It is just hair after all. I know it seems sort of a paradox that I made that last comment and I write a whole paragraph about it. Sometimes I think my determination comes from some people around me betting on my failure.
For some reason, last year around the start of school, I decided I should start wearing makeup. Prior to that, I only wore a swipe of mascara, face powder, and lipstick on special occasions. Now, I’m all about the eye shadow. I’ve spent countless hours on YouTube learning about brushes and color combinations and techniques. It’s sort of fun to play with it. Sometimes it ends up really bad and I just wipe it all off and start all over and I think that’s what I like the best about it.
I’ve also gotten back into painting my nails. I stopped this trend when I started wearing acrylics and then last summer, after a particularly painful and horrible experience at the nail salon, I was done. My nails are still healing from the battle wounds, but they are much better. One of my students always comments on my nails. I think she finds it amusing to keep track of the colors I wear and whether or not they match my outfits.
I’ve read a few books, still on the more reading than writing kick. One of the more interesting YA books I’ve read in a while is If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser. It’s pretty bleak, but very good. I think everyone should read this book. The insight it provides is unmatched. It’s sort of like Speak and The Throw Away Piece. These difficult tales, that make me want to smack some of the adults in the books over the head and said, “Can’t you see that kid needs help!” It reminds me to be more sensitive to my students.
Currently, I’m reading Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis. It’s about these two teenage girls forced to go on a road trip with their weird grandmother who doesn’t like to be called Grandma. It’s taken me a while to get through it because I haven’t taken a day to just immerse myself in it. I do like it though. I like how the story weaves the past and the present.
Audio books have also become part of my life. That is how I got through the Twilight Series. I listened to every other book (New Moon and Breaking Dawn). I’m thinking about going to get My Life in Paris from the public library.
Speaking of which, I just saw Julie/Julia and I loved Meryl Streep. I found myself gushing over her. I know, what a cheese ball. I just love the Julia she portrays. She’s fierce and ruthless and the person I want to be. After reading the Julie/Julia book this summer, I was so inspired and despite what the reviews said, I felt the same way after watching the movie. The Julie parts were a bit annoying, but the Julia parts were amazing.
This last week, I had an opportunity to be a judge for the Decathlon Competition. I was helping with the interviews. It was pretty cool because the first student to walk in was one of my former students. She was awesome, but I think the best interview we had was with this young lady, a senior, who had the most amazing story.
When she walked in, she treaded carefully because the floor was so slippery. When she got to the desk she was supposed to sit at, she took a deep breath, studied it for a minute before trying to wedge herself into it. I felt for her because I have the same problem—always have. I was up first and asked something lame like, “Why did you decide to join the Decathlon team?”
As the interview went on, she said that college wasn’t a possibility for her. We were interviewing the honors kids, so this kind of surprised me. So when my turn came around again, I asked, “Is there anything else you want to tell us about yourself?”
We were told to ask a variation of that question somewhere during the interview because they’d been practicing their response. Anyway, her response was completely unexpected. It turns out that she is the legal guardian of four of her family members, so she can’t go to college because she has to work to take care of these kids. At one point during her story, I had to look down until I was able to control the water works.
She reminded me of Precious. Her story can teach people. Her story can change the way people are. Her story is only one of the many dreams deferred that sit in our honors program classes. The ones shake our heads at because someone should do something, yet we do nothing.