Counting Down the Days ’til Summer


I woke up this morning with a huge grin on my face. Two more instructional days until finals and three more weeks until the end of the year.

I needed to get to work early this morning because I was going to get observed. I got half way there and realized that my keys were left in my jeans from last Friday. I shrugged it off and continued on my way knowing that one of the mentor’s would have a key.

I get to school, walk to my room and the aforementioned mentor is not there! Crap.

I walk back down to the front office and ask if someone can let me into my room. I’m told that it will take a while, which I think is just AWESOME since I got to school early specifically to work on things for my looming observation.

I’m sitting in the hallway waiting for someone to come and unlock my door and the lights go out. They are out for about thirty seconds before the back-up generators come on. Except that the back-up generators do not light up my room specifically and the internet is no longer working. So, even if I could get into my room, I wouldn’t be able to do anything internet wise (ie: getting things ready for my observation) nor could I SEE anything to get anything ready for the said observation.

We move into “babysitting mode” and spend the next hour and half watching the kids in the sweltering cafeteria. The students had a food fight last Friday during their A block lunch. Today, they had a breakfast food fight. Milk was thrown at me.

I moved back into my hall way because, um screw that, and waited with the rest of the teachers hoping that they would call the busses and we’d all get to go home. Finally, around 8:05, the lights come back on and the students are ushered back into their classrooms.

We still have no internet.

So, now I have an observation … no internet to load everything up … students that are all hyped up because they want to go home … PLUS I woke up extra early and got to school extra early to get ready for the observation.

Then, I look at my calendar thinking that I only had two more weeks of school and one week of finals … and NOOOO! I have THREE weeks of school and one week for finals.

All in all. A bad day.

Plus, my failure rate is at 54%. Awesome.

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A Bittersweet Holiday


Mother’s Day. A holiday that should bring immense joy to me given that I just birthed my very own spawn three months ago. And yet, I’m filled with a bittersweet feeling of grief and remorse for a mother of mine that I’ll never celebrate the holiday with again.

It will be four years on the 26th since that fateful phone call from my brother. Since that heart wrenching monotone comment from my grandpa, “Your mother is dead.” Since that feeling of hopelessness and anger all rolled into one torrential burst of emotion.

This Mother’s Day has been the hardest thus far.

The first one, I was moved to tears thinking of the last Mother’s Day that I could have spent with my mom. But, I was mad. She had done something stupid again, and I didn’t even want to hear from her that day. I remember giving a card to Aaron’s mom and spending time with her on that day … leaving my own Mother to sit at her house alone and wait by the phone for the call that wouldn’t come.

The second one wasn’t that bad. I was engrossed in my life as a married woman. I was trying to finish up school. I missed her … but, not near as bad as I thought that I would have.

The third was spent in the comfort of a friend. My best friend had also lost her mother the year before. We spent Mother’s Day weekend together in Austin, listening to everyone else talk about how they “had to call their mom’s” or what they were going to be doing on Mother’s Day Sunday. We sat back and reminisced about our own mother’s for a moment, hugged, and tried to make the weekend not as sad as it could have been for either of us. I was about to graduate. I was even pregnant and didn’t know it. I was at a bachelorette party that weekend and had just bought a new car. I tried my hardest not to concentrate on the lack of mother in my life. Especially with my best friend there with me in her own pain and sorrow about the looming day and what that would mean for her brother’s and sister’s … this her first Mother’s day without her own mother.

But, this one. This one has been hard. It’s my own first mother’s day and I don’t have a mother of my own to talk about all of these feelings with. I miss her more than anything else in the world and want nothing more than to spend time with her today. I want to show her the son that Aaron and I have made. He’s beautiful and always happy. He’s the light of our life and I know that he would have been her light too. I want to show her the house that we have built and the life that we now lead. I want her to see what kind of woman that I have become. I want to show her that despite everything, I’m OK. All of these things that I want to do, just one more time, and I can’t.

Yes, I’m a mother now. I’m going to be the best mother that I can be for my son and for my future children. But, I need a mother too. And no other ones will do.

We went to a family reunion yesterday. They had four picture albums set up for people to look at. I found my mother as a child, blonde hair and pig-tails with a huge grin on her face. She’s was adorable! I found my mother as a mother. My arms wrapped around her as best I could reach, both of us with huge grins on our faces. I found my mother as an observer, lost in the background of a picture … a small grin sliding over her face as she watched the action. I found my mother in pictures that I don’t have. Pictures that chronicle happier days in our lives, before the darkness that would slowly seep into our happy little life.

I still don’t know what happened to her that night in late May. I don’t know why there was someone there that didn’t help her. I don’t know why that person brought in my brother to see our dead mother. I don’t know who had come over that night that made her upset. We found these notes that my mother had written. One to her friend Ms. Joy, one to my grandpa, and one to my brother. There wasn’t one for me. I guess she was upset with me too. I’ll never know.

But, today is just a day. It’s a day that is there to thank your mother for all that she has done for you in your life. So do it! Thank your mom’s for everything, even if you’re mad at them. Who knows what God has in store for you guys. Who knows if you’ll spend next Mother’s Day together or not. So, make sure that you make your mother feel extra special.

Do it for me.

My Love for Jen Lancaster


A few year ago a friend of mine introduced me to a hilariously amazing author named Jen Lancaster. Jen writes memoirs, five as of now, about different things that happen in her life.

Her first, Bitter is the New Black, is a witty re-telling of what happened to her when the dot-com era fell and she ended up jobless. Her antics involve going to the employment office with a Prada bag, temping in outrageous places, and ultimately trying to learn how to live a little more frugal since she had about 2 dollars to her name.

Bright Lights, Big Ass discusses her warped view of living in the city due to all of the Sex and the City watching she had done in the past. Carrie Bradshaw didn’t find herself with weird foreign neighbors or smelly dogs. Bradshaw only had shoes and parties and that tends to make those people that want such a glamourous life get a big kick in the face when they realize that it’s just not quite that easy.

Such a Pretty Fat follows Jen on a mission to not make her work out pants rip open at the seams when she bends over. This one is my personal favorite, because I think that ever diet she tries in the book I’ve tried myself. Ultimately, what ends up working is a bad ass personal trainer named Barbie. Too bad I don’t have a book fronting the bill on my personal trainer so that I could lose the weight like Jen too!

Her fourth was a memoir based on her childhood called Pretty in Plaid, this one was still good … but since I get a kick out of her verocious potty mouth … a lot of the younger stuff before she got the dirty mouth just wasn’t quite as funny for me. All in all, it was still great such because she wrote it!

And finally, I picked up her latest book, My Fair Lazy, at her book signing yesterday. Let me just say that while I haven’t met a celebrity before Jen … I don’t think that I want to meet one afterwards either. She was the absolute BEST at what she does! She came out and talked about getting accidently day drunk at the hotel before the gig, she did a reading from her newest book and asked some questions from the audience. Then, we all lined up and she talked to us individually one on one while she signed as many books as we placed in front of her!

She even signed my book “To Rachel – I can’t wait to grab some wine together the next time you’re in Chicago. All the Best XO Jen” So, now Aaron HAS to take me to Chicago so that I can take her up on that offer! (I won THAT argument! Thanks Jen!)

But, all of this is not why I love Jen … although it definitely helps. But, I love Jen because she says exactly what I say except that she actually has written it down and makes money off of it. My dog Nakomis also smells like corn chips like her pit Maisy. I’ve mentioned this to Aaron on a dozen or more occasions.

Me – Nakomis smells weird …

Aaron – Like what? Outside? Dogs always smell like outside.

Me – No, she smells like some kind of food. She smells like Dorritoes or Fritoes or one of those “toes” chips.

Aaron – (big sniff) What? No, I don’t smell that at all … what are you talking about?

Me – She smells like some kind of chip!

And with this Aaron simply gives me a scathing look and turns back to the history channel.

I ALSO think that Golf shouldn’t be considered a sport … and neither should bowling.

About two weeks before I picked up Bitter, Aaron and I were driving in to see his parents and we got into this conversation about sports.

Me – Golf isn’t a sport.

Aaron – Um, what? Yes, Rachel it is a sport.

Me – No, it’s a game. There’s a difference.

Aaron – Oh really, sounds the same to me.

Me – No, there’s a difference. All sports are games, but not all games are sports. It’s like that math thing that I learned during summer school where you have the two circles and above them you have “Games” and “Sports” and the two circles over lap? Well, in the Games section you’d have Golf, Bowling, and Trivial Pursuit, and in the middle part where they over lap you’d have Football, Baseball, and Basketball. You know, games that are sports because people run and sweat while playing them.

Aaron – I think that if you were to ask Tiger Woods if golf is a sport he’d say yes. I’m sure that he sweats.

Now, if this has been just recently, I probably could have come up with some witty comment that went something like “Well, if I were to ask Tiger Woods if golf is a sport because he sweats … I probably should ask him if sex is a sport or if telling his wife about the sex is a sport, because I’m pretty sure he was sweating bullets then. But, the whole Tiger Woods scandel hadn’t happened yet so I couldn’t say any of this. What I did say was …

“So what, I sweat when I walked from my car to the house in 107 degree weather that we have in Texas during the summer. Does that mean that what I’m doing is a sport? I think not. People that play golf get to stand around and chat with their friends and sometimes even drink beer!”

Aaron – Rachel, it’s a sport. That’s it.

But it wasn’t it … because just that weekend while I’m enjoying some Jen, I come to the part where she talks about how she hates golf because any “sport” where you just sit around and chat with your friends and drink beer is not a sport. Then, her foot note was: “I’m talking to you too, bowling.” I screamed out AHA!! Jen says it’s not a sport too!!!

But, Aaron refused to use that as my argument because I did not specifically know Jen as a person. What ever.

In Jen’s newest book My Fair Lazy, she tries to give herself a bit more culture instead of just watching reality television all the time. This, is a guitly pleasure of mine too. I just LOVE the drama! Seriously, Rock of Love is probably the best reality show out there just because of those trashy drama filled girls trapped in a house with copious amounts of alcohol! In fact, during the reading Jen talked about a new show that she found (which I also found while I was pregnant one night when I couldn’t sleep) Sex Decoys: Love Stings! It’s about a cougar that has three daughters and she runs a private investigation company where she uses her daughters and sometimes even herself to try to catch men (or women) in the act! She started mentioning it and I couldn’t help but screech out “OOOOO!!!!”

So, needless to say … Jen and I… soul mates. I mean yes, Aaron and I … we’re soul mates in the lovey dovey sense. But, Jen and I … soul mates in the everything about us is the same and we’re super awesome sense of the word.

Look up her novels and read them if you haven’t … they are GRRRRR-eat!

My Dreams are Slowly Crashing Down Around Me


Imagine this: Once, 18 or so years ago, I was a small, little, incredibly tiny first grader. (Seriously, my nickname from all adults was munchkin back then) And back then, 18 or so years ago, I wanted to be a teacher. I absolutely loved my Kindergarten teacher from the year before (except that one time that she made me cry), and was starting to also fall in love with my first grade teacher. Teaching was so much fun! We had all kinds of Continue reading

History of the Blog


ComicStripI’ve been somewhat of a blogger since somewhere around 2003. It started when a friend introduced me to “Xanga.” “Xanga” was the coolest thing around. A lot of the people from our graduating class, lower classes, students from other high schools that we knew or didn’t know all had one. My name: Drama_Angel, named because of my theatrical aspirations rather than the other definition of the word which according to urban dictionary involves backstabbing, gossiping, betraying, and otherwise bitchy behavior.

The blog pitter pattered along, starting as a place to get out my “feelings,” and moving into some full-blown “featured content” 30 + (which was so much back then) comments. Then, push came to shove and I shut it down. When I blog, I get ALL of my feelings out. All of them. Not caring one bit about other people’s feelings on the matter. I’ve tried to move away from that, matured and what have you. Maybe.

So, I moved into another Xanga blog: Still_Me_21. I tried to keep my same following, which had moved from the locals to a smattering of people from both the east and west coast. It was cool. It got by. But, it was never quite the same as the first. I couldn’t find the inspiration. I couldn’t find the readers. I couldn’t find the drive.

I thought to myself … maybe it’s the space? That’s right, I moved again. This time to Blogger.com. Rachel-Allen.blogspot.com which ended up turning in to LittleMissEnglishTeacher.blogspot.com once I became a teacher and didn’t want to have my blog easily googled. The blog started out amazing. It had a dab of everything: Movie reviews, Television reviews, Blogs about the going ons in the news or pop culture. Until it didn’t anymore.

My writing had regressed back to those old days of 2003. I would simply rattle on about what happened in my life that day, or that week, or that month depending on how often I actually signed on to update the blog. So, it’s time for a change. (Again?) Let’s see how long this one sticks.

My plan is to experiment with a little bit of everything. Some mommy blogging about my sweet little boy as he grows up, my struggles with my idealistic views of the educational system, reviews of books, movies, television shows (if I can ever actually catch up with my DVR) and anything else that I can come up with.

My goal is to not post just out of boredom. If I’m bored that day why should I put that on someone else? If I feel guilty because I haven’t posted in over four weeks, why burden you guys with a crappy post. I’m not going to set any unreachable goals. I’m not going to say I’m going to post every day, but I’ll try the best that I can. All I can do is hope that what I write will gather some readers. If you write it, they will come right?

Here’s hoping for success.

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” – Anaïs Nin