SOL #21: Hallway Journeys

8,492 steps today and counting. Steps mostly taken at school because I have basically been on my couch since I got home.

My classroom is remotely located on the 2nd floor, far, far away from the lunchroom, specials, and what feels like civilization. A little dramatic, but our transitions through the school feel like a daily journey.

Walk down the hallway, make a left around the corner, and down, down, down the stairs. Make a left around the corner, walk down the hallway, and turn right around the corner. Continue down another hallway. Make a slight left and continue down the hallway until you hit a dead end. First stop: Staff lounge. Turn the corner to the right, turn the corner to the left, and zig-zag down the hall, into the lunchroom. Repeat for P.E and basketball.

Zig-zag down the hall, turn the corner to the right, turn the corner to the left, and continue down the hallway until you see the stairs. Make a slight left and continue down another hallway until you reach the other stairs. Make a left, continue down the next hallway, and then turn right up, up, up the stairs. Make a right, down the hallway, and you have arrived back to our classroom.

Each day, thousands of steps are taken. A frequent journey through the maze of our hallways. Up and down the stairs, left and right through the hallways to reach our daily destinations.

Many, many, many times a day.

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SOL #20: Are You There, Spring?

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Are you there, spring? It’s me again. I’ll patiently wait here, until 60° and sunny days arrive. I’ll even settle for 50°!

I’m currently sitting in front of a space heater, warming up my feet after spending my day off, out and about. It’s also currently 35°, but feels like 24°, and I’m not excited about it. Winter jacket and riding boots today? *Sigh*

Is that snow in our forecast for Saturday? PLEASE, not snow. Anything but snow. Looks like my winter jacket and boots are here to stay. For now. Snow belongs back in December…AKA, the only time I welcome it with open arms.

Any weather resembling spring is at least a week away, maybe more, knowing our weather. It may technically be the first day of spring, but the weather is clearly not reflective of this seasonal change…

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SOL #19: 3-0

Day 19 and the writer’s block has finally hit me. So tonight, I will talk about the only eventful part of my day.

Basketball game #3 was after school today, which has me reflecting on the season. We are currently 3-0, which is AMAZING! I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to coach. Exactly a week from today, our season will officially be over. I cannot believe how fast these practices and games have flown by…especially the games.

For our game today, I was time-keeper, making sure we had two 4 minute time-outs every quarter. Being in charge of the time really sped up the game. As of game #3, I am officially confident in coaching the games. My tune has surely changed since game #1. I have my line-up and zone positions finalized. The trickiest part is giving each of my 13 girls equal time on the court. My system has really worked out over the past 3 games. Each girl gets at least 12 minutes (three 4 minute intervals), and one girl per game will get 16 minutes. I have found a method that is unarguable (mostly) and fair. ✔️

Let me say, coaching basketball makes it challenging to suppress my long-lost competitive side. Throughout the game, every pass and shot required a composed poker face. It isn’t so much about the winning part of the game. The anticipation of what will happen next, and how my planning will pan out in the game is what gets to me. I must be composed…no jumping up and down for me. I can only imagine what I look like from an outside perspective…anxiety ridden? Probably.  I forgot about this competitive side of me…which I left behind in high school. 😅

Here’s to 3 more games as coach!

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SOL #18: Irish Feast x3

“I bought 5 loaves of Irish soda bread today!”- my dad, in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. He takes Irish soda bread real seriously. Over the past few days, I have eaten an Irish feast 3 times, made by 3 different cooks.

Thursday (Mom’s Feast): Corned beef, cabbage, baby red potatoes, carrots, (+melted butter) and 1/5 of the Irish soda bread loaves. Yum. The best Irish feast. 

Saturday (Aunt’s Feast): Smoked butt (pork shoulder), cabbage, potatoes, carrots, Irish soda bread, and Irish butter. The most authentic Irish feast. 

and Today (BF’s Family Feast):  Corned beef, cabbage, baby red potatoes, baby carrots, and rye bread. The healthiest Irish feast of them all. 

3 celebrations with 3 different variations of deliciousness. Tonight is the last time I will eat corned beef and cabbage in combination… until next March 17th. ☘️

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SOL #17: Cumin Latte

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Cinnamon? ✓

A quick check in my mind as I gather my latte ingredients this morning. I don’t want to make that mistake again. That time I thought I grabbed the cinnamon from the spice cabinet, but instead grabbed CUMIN. In my defense, it has a similar red cover, container, and color as cinnamon, but it’s clearly an entirely different spice. Note to self: Pay more attention when quickly gathering ingredients.

I realized my mistake as the cumin sprinkled the layer of foamy, sweet goodness on my latte. A strong, spicy, and unpleasant smell of cumin filled the air, but it was too late. The mistake was made, and my cinnamon latte was now a cumin latte. Not my first choice…

I reluctantly took a sip, which tasted exactly like my usual latte, but smelled like cumin. If you have ever smelled cumin, you know what I mean. In an effort to mask the smell, I sprinkled cinnamon on top. I mean, cumin has a variety of health benefits, so why waste a perfectly good latte?

As strong as the smell of cinnamon is, cumin is stronger. Let’s just say I tried not to smell the latte as I drank it. As long as it tastes good…

Now, a quick check in my mind and peek at the label ensures a cinnamon latte 100% of the time. This morning, I had a cinnamon-sprinkled latte. 

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SOL #16: NOOO! ☘️

As I’m grading away at my table, my co-teacher walks in, and says with disappointment, “I forgot to wear green today!”. Immediately, I realize I am not wearing green either!

“NOOOO!”, I cry out, dramatic gestures and all (Hand over head, might as well have collapsed to the floor). I then repeat how upset I am at myself at least 5 times. My co-teacher jokingly makes fun of me because I can’t stop repeating “I’m so upset! I can’t believe I forgot!”. How did we both forget?! I am always prepared for these festivities…and, I am actually Irish!

Unbeknownst to me, my co-teacher begins rummaging through our storage closet, and she pulls out a bag full of St. Patrick’s Day decorations. We are like kids in a candy store! She finds two matching Happy St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun headbands, which we both put on. She also has shamrock garland, which I tape above and around our door. I also remember that I have some festive stickers from last year, so I finish off the look with a shamrock sticker on my face.

No one would even know we forgot about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with our decorations and festive look. ☘️

Phew! Now we can’t get pinched today. Co-teach saves the day. 💚

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SOL #15: With EXTRA Cream

 

Ah, finally, the weather is cooperating. Iced coffee I can enjoy, without regretting the choice between iced or hot. Instant regret because it’s too cold for iced coffee.

I drink hot coffee when it’s cold outside and cold coffee when it is spring, summer, or at least over 40 degrees. These are my iced coffee guidelines. I can’t drink iced coffee when I’m cold, which is basically all fall and winter long. Based on the temp outside, I just know if it’s a good day for iced coffee.

“Can I have a grande vanilla iced coffee with cream?” is my usual order at Starbucks. Depending on the location, I sometimes have to adjust it. Today, as I placed my order in the drive-thru, it sounded more like: “Can I have a grande vanilla iced coffee with EXTRA cream?”, with an emphasis on the extra.

It sure isn’t the healthiest adjustment to make, but when I ask for cream at this location, it is too dark and strong for me. I’d like some coffee with my cream, but not TOO much. I’ll admit, I like my coffee light and creamy.

Today, the color of my coffee was just right. Creamy and light, with a tint of tan.

Driving home, sipping my grande vanilla iced coffee with extra cream, and windows cracked open…iced coffee season is upon us!

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SOL #14: Bag Lady

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 10.12.15 PMTeaching has turned me into a bag lady.  Someone I never thought I’d be. Until I started student teaching, I never carried totes around, and I could count the number of purses I owned on one hand. Outside of school, I’m more of a wristlet/ cross-body purse kinda girl.

Lugging around these bags is no easy feat. You know you are a bag lady when your mom jokingly says, “Those bags are bigger than you!”. I know mom, these bags are weighing me down a bit, but they are building my teacher endurance. While I lug around my classroom in these bags, I’m also working on upper body strength. 💪

I have my Vera Bradley tote bag for everyday teaching essentials including: my beloved flair pens, binders, assessments/miscellaneous papers, my laptop, and if it can fit, my iPad. It also has deep pockets lined around the entire bag, so I store whatever else fits in there. I’m surprised the handles haven’t snapped, to be honest!

This year, I added on a Thirty-One storage bag, which is where I store my extra shoes and basketball clothes for practice. This bag also serves a purpose of holding extra binders, books, or my iPad that just won’t fit into my tote.

Last but not least, I can’t forget my fancy new lunch bag. It’s basically a purse disguised as a lunch bag, let’s be real. Not only does it hold my lunch, but it also has two side pockets filled with snacks on snacks. Every day, it is filled to its capacity.

As each year passes, I feel like I add on a new bag to carry along with me. Actually, I don’t just feel like I do… I DO add on a new bag each year.

I know fellow teachers out there can relate. If you aren’t a bag lady, do share your secrets.

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SOL #13: Freights & Flurries

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This was not what I expected on my drive home this afternoon. I clearly didn’t check the weather, otherwise I would have known that snow was coming. Just when you think it’s over, snow graces us with its presence once again.

I quickly gather my things, and I’m out the school doors by 4:45. Anticipating the rush-hour traffic ahead on my already long commute, I quickly make my way to my little blue car, which is currently covered in white. Since I’m trying to save time, I don’t even brush off my car or let it warm up.

My Logic: I mean, there isn’t THAT much snow. That’s what windshield wipers and defrosters are for, right? The snow will blow off, and the car will heat up as I drive. 👍

…And I’m off, smooth sailing through the neighborhood and onto the main road. Smooth sailing until the lights up ahead flash red. Man, if only I was a few feet ahead, I could make my way across, but I’m not that risky. The worst part? I am first in line behind the gates. So close, yet so far. So here I sit, looking at my fate of another freight train, separating me from an open road. Freight trains = the anxiety of my commute.

This is what happens when I rush to get home. Lesson learned. I cannot always be in control, even when I want to be.  Sometimes, you just have to sit back and wait for the miles of train to pass.

While I wait, the defrosting takes effect, and snow begins to melt off my now-warm car. I take this time to sit back, in a moment without rushing, watching the train pass by through my flurry-dusted windshield.

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SOL #12: The Struggle is Real

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The effects of daylight savings time is currently hitting me like a ton of bricks.

Yesterday, I woke up early to make up for the hour lost. I like to pretend I didn’t lose an hour of my Sunday. All throughout the day, I lived as if the time didn’t change. My plan worked out, except for the fact that I was tossing and turning ’til 1:30 this morning.

This was not part of the plan.

I can no longer ignore the hour lost, the 4.5 hours of sleep I am currently running on, or the dark drive to work this morning.

The struggle is real.

So here I am, laying in bed at 9:30 with heavy eyes, attempting to find the right words to slice.

Sleep is calling my name. 😴

Tomorrow is a new day to slice with a well-rested mind (hopefully).

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