Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

…and other advice you probably never asked for

Month: May, 2013

Almost June

Tomorrow is my last day of actual, timed out, activity laden, assessment-filled, over-scheduled TEACHING. After tomorrow I just have a two-day group activity and then a few tests and review sessions. And then that’s it for my classes with my seniors. Oh my God.

Today I helped out one of my friends who introduced Stalinism today by telling her 9th graders about come vandalism that happened last week that the school was investigating. I came by (as an investigator hired by the school) to pull 2-3 kids out to talk to about their possibly involvement, which severely freaked everyone else out. It was really fun. As soon as they were out the door I told them that they weren’t in trouble and that it was just for her activity, but I did get to designate one of them each period to read a fake confession to the class about what he did. The kids who read their confessions were awesome and very emotional, and I’m pretty sure the other kids believed them. Oh, freshman.

After my friend made the announcement for everyone to take a deep breath because there actually WAS no investigation going on, she introduced me as not an investigator but actually a student teacher. I definitely heard one kid say loudly under his breath, “A teacher? She looks like a student”.



Memorial Day Weekend

My best friend Marisa is going to Berlin for two months today, and EB and I hadn’t seen her for a long time (she moved to SF a little while ago), but the three of us were able to plan a Downtown day on Saturday and it was a success! We started in Chinatown (and ate at a Chinese-Cambodian restaurant) then winded our way through Olvera Street and onto Little Tokyo. Along the way we ended up at a beauty supply store where they were selling Essie brand nailpolish for only 3.75 a bottle. We were in heaven.


Bon voyage, Marisa! At the Avila Adobe on Olvera Street (the oldest house in Los Angeles).





Caramel-filled Churo at Mr. Churro!

Then Stephen met us in Little Tokyo and we got drinks, etc. Yesterday, Stephen took me to The Honey Kettle, a classy fried chicken place in Culver City that was DELICIOUS. Not only was the fried chicken amazing, but the restaurant has a vat of self-seve honey that you can take to dip your fried chicken in. MMMMMM. That was followed up by homemade pesto with lamb that night that we collaborated on. Then for lunch today we made procuitto and basil pizza, with the crust from scratch.


Honey Kettle. AMAZING biscuits.


All in all, I would consider it a successful weekend 🙂

Almost There

OKAY. Today is May 23th. As of today, I have:

*less than one month until the high school is officially out for summer (June 20th).

*About 3 weeks until my seniors are done (June 14th).

*7 days in which my students will be sitting in my classroom.

*2 days of actual direct instruction (because the other days are activity prep and tests, etc).

*2 weeks of my UCI classes (i.e. 6 more times that I actually have to be in class).

WOW WOW WOW. Also, less than a month until I move back home to Burbank 🙂

On Tuesday, Stephen and I borrowed our friend’s (very fancy) Angels’ season tickets and went to see them play the Mariners, right up behind home plate.


It was fun because I hadn’t been to a baseball game in forever, and this was my first game at Angels’ Stadium (plus my first Angels and my first Mariners’ games). It was really fun, but this photo was definitely taken before the Mariners lost 12-0.

Mad Men

What a terrifying and wonderful episode of Mad Men. I usually have a big problem with extended hallucinations (can you say Sopranos? THEY WERE ENDLESS) but this episode worked really well I thought. It helped that everyone was on the same level, having taken the same  whatever-it-was.

Mad Men is so good. There’s so much to analyze and dissect, and that definitely makes for good TV. Grandma Ida? Terrifying. I love Game of Thrones, but even with its complicated dynasties and politics and suspense and DRAGONS, it has nothing on this show that pretty much only takes place within the confines of one office and a few apartments.



(click on the image if it’s not moving!)

Long Time No Post

Let’s see, what have I been up to this week…

Well, most importantly, I got to see my friend Rachael for the first time since July (and for the first time EVER on the West Coast, and only for the second time in the US). She’s one of my best friends whom I was SITTING NEXT TO on my flight from Chicago to Paris in September 2011, which is how we met. And the rest was history. Anyway, she lives near Nashville so it was extra exciting that she and her family happened to be in La Jolla for a short weekend, and the timing worked out perfectly so that I could meet up with them. She’s seriously one of my favorite people in the whole world, we spent the whole time complaining that we have to live so far away from each other. It was very surreal hanging out in the Southern California sun amidst palm trees and the ocean, when we’re used to seeing each other surrounding by cathedrals, soggy shoes and the Paris Metro. But seriously, AMAZING.


Hmmm, let’s see, what else have I been up to. In class on Wednesday, my friends were seriously gaslighting me like crazy, and I know I looked like a crazy person to anyone across the room who couldn’t see them making me laugh. Also, I got some pretty awesome pictures drawn for me by other board credential students who were also trying to kill time:


Apparently I’m getting a reputation as someone who likes cats, sloths and France (and maybe pigs).


Lastly, I’m planning/teaching my last unit right now on The Supreme Court and the Bill of Rights. I thought it would be easier than my other units but it’s proving to be difficult :/


Today has been a coffee-and-iced-coffee-before-i-even-leave-for-school kind of morning.

San Juan Capistrano

Has it really been 6 days since I last posted? Whoops.

On Saturday, Stephen and I decided to take a short trip to San Juan Capistrano, because I had never been to that particular mission (and because Stephen, not growing up in California, had never been to any mission. Weird!).

But before that part of our day started, fortuitous timing led us spontaneously to Pie Not, a very new Australian meat pie place that had literally just opened the week before, and which, even on a hot day, was brimming with people and pies.



Mmmmm. Then we drove to San Juan Capistrano, which was SO CUTE and so close to Irvine. How did I never go before? It reminded me of Ashland, except more missiony.

We spent way to long in my little hot car looking for parking, because apparently we had picked the one day of the year to visit when a gigantic Mariachi festival was going on. Literally all of the parking spaces in the whole town were taken up by Mariachi and their large extended families. We finally found a spot though, and then after all of that we decided to come back to the mission an hour and a half later due to the long Mariachi line that greeted us. When I asked one of the crowd control guys if this line was for the mission as well, a woman near by chimed in, “We didn’t know about the festival either! We’re here for my son’s mission report!”.

So we decided to kill time by exploring the area, which was a good idea because it was so cute! I had read about a place called Hidden House Coffee, which literally was kind of hidden on the other side of the railroad tracks and away from the main road.


So cute, right? It was cool and dark and coffee-y inside, and cute and breezy on the outside. Highly recommended for charmingness.

Then we went to the PETTING ZOO next door!!! Well, we at least looked at the llamas which were near the fence.


I was very excited.

Then we walked around more. It was very cute. Look at these awesome stained glass windows floating in someone’s yard — I love this affect! Note to self: find some stained glass windows to hang in yard.



Then we finally made it back to the mission. It was teacher appreciation day, so I got in free! YES. MY CREDENTIAL TUITION IS FINALLY PAYING OFF.

It was a pretty nice mission, to put it mildly. It would have been even nicer without the remnants of a large Mariachi festival and a million people, but what can you do. There was lots of stuff to look at, exhibits, etc. Oh, and swallows or whatever, even though I didn’t actually see any. But our entry hand stamp was shaped like one!


Cool, no? The old part of the mission. An earthquake destroyed a lot of the original structure.


Did I ever tell you that I’ve seen the remains of the Saint Vincent de Paul? Well, I have. They’re resting creepily above the alter at the Saint Vincent de Paul church in you guessed it, Paris. One of my friends had her language clases in a room in the church, so she passed by the eerie form of his bones encased in a wax version of his body every week. Shudder.

So obviously I would recommend visiting San Juan Capistrano. I don’t particularly want to live in Orange County, but I could see the draw of living somewhere as charming as this place.

Grad School

We started our new 5-week long classes this week, and they have both been particularly bad. At least in my other classes which I didn’t like, we were (most of the time) doing something that we couldn’t be doing at home. But these two professors pretty much lectured at us for 3 hours each and included “discussion” activities that didn’t count.

For Tuesday’s class, it turned out that they had double booked the room. The professor was still in a cheery mood (I’m actually pretty sure she’s Canadian), so she led all 50-60 of us outside and proceeded to lead class in the courtyard surrounded by two tall buildings. We sat on metal chairs at metal tables where we couldn’t plug our laptops in, as half the class shielded their eyes from the sun because it was so bright. Also, we were all way too spread out so we couldn’t hear each other and she couldn’t hear us when she asked us stupid questions about ourselves. She decided to lecture using her powerpoint slides on her smartphone, but every few moments her phone would lock her out, which led to an awkwardly long pause between every one of her thoughts. This lasted for 2 and a half hours. Oh, and then it got to be freezing but she kept on lecturing. It was very strange.




Plans for the Summer

1. Lots of picnics

2. Eat 1000x more fruit than I do now.

3. Drink more mojitos.

4. Not live an hour+ away from so many of my friends and loved ones.


6. Read everything out there about Vietnam, Imperialism, Ancient China, Foreign Policy, Totalitarianism.

7. Maybe take/pass some CSETS for English?

8. Eat more fruit.


Today I taught about the Electoral College. My mentor teacher told me that my lesson plan was very impressive for a first year teacher, which felt AMAZING.

The only problem with sharing info like this with all y’all (as well as sharing the quote from my reviewer on my TE) is that I keep getting “I told you so!” comments from people who’ve had to listen to me FREAKING OUT since February…but I suppose it’s better to know that one has support from the people around them, even if all of these HEAPS OF PRAISE that I share eclipse HOW HARD it actually is for me to plan this stuff 🙂