Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

…and other advice you probably never asked for

Month: May, 2014

4 Weeks to Go

It’s been an eventful week!

On Wednesday, I broke out in hives (pictures happily supplied upon request) due to a surprise allergic reaction to some antibiotics. I had to be at school for a meeting in the morning, and while I did my best to avoid students (IT WAS ALL OVER ME) running into them was unavoidable (“Miss, what’s wrong with your face?”). Missing school on Wednesday shifted my whoooole week, because I missed a day in the middle of BOTH my heavily planned and very meticulously scheduled Capstone project, as well as missing a key day right before I was about to have my formal evaluation. This led to a lot of lesson plan re-writing and scrambling, but I think I’m almost recovered. 

I’m still deep into my Induction work (it’s the mandatory 2-year program I complete in order to keep my Credential), and I fell pretty far behind on everything so now I’m scrambling to submit that work.

It’s not all bad though, it’s just a lot. Speaking of, I think a color-change for this blog is in order. I want this blog to reflect how much I LIKE teaching, and right now I think the dreary black and white isn’t exactly cutting it. I’ve been pouring over the internet lately collecting ideas for next year, while trying very hard to implement changes NOW (because, as my Induction coach very wisely told me, next year will be too late to make those changes). These changes range from classroom management techniques to lesson designs to changes in my classroom set-up. I have a TON of ideas I can’t wait to put them in place when I have some room in my brain to think.

This weekend was VERY PRODUCTIVE and very fun. First of all, I ran a bunch. Stephen and I ran in West Hollywood on Saturday morning and it was beautiful, though I didn’t make it the full 22 minutes. Today I decided to push myself and ran even though it was much warmer than usual for me, but I made it the full 22 minutes with no problem at all! No heavy breathing, no pain, etc. This is an especially big triumph because I’ve been having trouble getting over the 22-minute hurdle for weeks now. 

We had read about a restaurant called Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea, and Stephen was intrigued because it had pecan rolls (he likes pecans). We ended up having to wait in line foreeevver, and by that point we were hungry enough to get real food. My pork belly hash was so worth it! I want to recreate it. Stephen got a BLT with added pork belly.

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Later that day we drove down to Anaheim because our friends Jackie and Roy had extra (very nice) Angels’ tickets. I really like baseball, but Jackie and I were both exhausted for various reasons and were ready to leave, so of course the game went past 12 innings. We all went to an English Pub afterwards, and my delicious shepard’s pie made up for the ear-splitting cover band music that was playing. 

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Oh, and let’s not forgot the espresso almond pie I had last night at Republic of Pie with Sarah and Andrea. Image

 

All in all, this was probably the most productive weekend ever in terms of the sheer amount of work I accomplished, AND the sheer amount of food I ate. 4 more weeks of school. Gotta make it count and stay sane! 

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Technically Difficulties

My projector stopped working today! Arrrgh. I borrowed a portable one from the office, which took forever for 3 students to figure out how to turn on (and one of those students had to literally crouch on the ground and hold it in place for 30 minutes so the class could use it). But this projector wasn’t hooked up to the document camera (central to today’s lesson), so I got to experience the joy of switching back and forth between two projectors, who both responded to the same remote control (i.e. sometimes they BOTH turned off at the same time when I only needed one to, etc). 

But other than that, my lesson went well. 

Garage Sale Haul 5.17.14

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I’ve been wanting another cat so my dad found this one for me. It resembles Harashou perfectly!

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Beaded shell purse. I have a similar one, but this is a different color and you can’t have too many. $2.

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Black clutch. $3.

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It’s missing some stones but I still love the details!

New Shoes & Mother’s Day

First of all, new shoes! I ran in them for the first time today and they felt great. I can’t move past the 20-minute mark. That is, I’ve done 20 minutes once and for some reason haven’t been able to do it again without stopping around the 14-minute mark. Today I had to stop in the middle for about 60 seconds to adjust some things, but overall it was much more successful than it’s been! 

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Since today is Mother’s Day (and since I have a job!) I took my mom to The Little Next Door for breakfast today, and it was delicious. It’s my favorite French restaurant in LA (actually, it’s my only French restaurant in LA), but I love the food and the atmosphere is great, and I figured my mom would like it too.

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Mom ordered a frittatta, and OMG were my smoked salmon eggs benedict amazing. I’m going to practice poaching eggs soon. We also ordered something called a white infinity (the little white tart with the flowers) and a blood orange tart. I also tried the mint Moroccan tea (in the blue glass) to see how similar it was to the tea served in the Paris Mosque. It *was* similar (and it brought back lots of memories), but it was missing the thick honey that I associate with the other one. Another thing to try and recreate (which means I have an excuse to buy those amazing tea glasses!)

Short Week

This week started out rough because classes were only 45 minutes long (instead of 65) and I think students were under the impression that it was not a real week. But this week has ended up being a really good time to figure out how extra accessible I can make a text in a short period of time. Why not do that all the time, and then spend the rest of the class period discussing or debating? 

A Turning Point

My week this past week, I think, signaled a turning point in my classroom behavior and management. My Induction coach Karman came to observe the last ten minutes of my most difficult class on Friday, and she told me what I had felt myself: that there was something different about my presence and authority. 

I’ve been trying new techniques in terms of what I’m doing to signal for attention, and I’ve also been responding differently to student behavior. While not perfect, it has been the biggest “Ah ha” moment of this entire year. There will be difficult days ahead where students choose to ignore usual expectations (as usual), but this is a huge triumph for me. I’m trying to stay positive and consider the students who are with me, ready to participate and learn, and not let the students who (apparently) had pre-decided to encourage their cohort to rate me badly on the student surveys the school did last week. It also helps to consider that if I start the next school year as I have been approaching behavior this week, it is less likely that I will have a cohort next year who is so opposed to me and my class. Good things are on the horizon! 

And now for some recent cooking adventures:

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Stephen and I made lamb (I made the marinade!), red pepper green beans and very cajuny sweet potato fries.

 

 

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Bourbon-glazed (more like a sauce) salmon (MMMM), mashed potatoes and asparagus. 

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Mom made a jello mold!

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The return of my monkey bread cake.