- I’m writing this on Tuesday night, right before I begin my first real vacation in over two years. To say I’m excited is putting it mildly.
- To some, this vacation might not be exciting. We’re not going on a cruise or spending a week in NYC. We’re spending 4 days in Orlando, which is about a 2 hour drive from where we live. We’re leaving today around lunchtime to drive up there and then will be hitting up 3 parks: Aquatica on Thursday, Disney World on Friday, and Sea World on Saturday.
- I’ve never been to Aquatica. It’s the newest water park in Florida (this is a total guess, but it’s pretty new) and looks like a lot of fun. Plus, the park is opened year-round, unlike Adventure Island which is only open seasonally. (Adventure Island is about 20 minutes from me.)
- The last time I went to Disney World I was about 11 or 12. I think I grew out of it, after going every year since I was a kid. I wanted the more fun, less “childish” theme parks like Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Busch Gardens. But I am so excited to go back and see how much it’s changed and stayed the same.
- Sea World is by far my favorite theme park. I’m a total animal lover so this fulfills all my needs. The shows are amazing and being so up close to the animals is great. You can pet dolphins and stingrays and feed sea lions and seals. It’s a blast.
- Sadly, I have to wake up early to get my run in. I’m scheduled to run 2 miles and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. I ran on Monday so I wouldn’t have to run on Saturday and it was pretty rough. I’m hoping this run will go much better.
- In any event, it’s going to be such a fun vacation! See ya on the flip side, yo.
Recently, I found out my first blog (where I was actually serious about blogging, and not just writing lame updates once a month) and I’ve been reading through my posts. I wrote for no audience and sporadically. I’ve been reading through the days I was in my final internship and I’ve been struck at how awful that time truly was.
So I decided to repost a post from October 30, 2008. It was exactly one day after I was told I wouldn’t pass my internship. It holds emotions ranging from bitterness to sadness to confusion. It’s heart-wrenching and real. I really don’t hold back with this blog posting and thought I would share it with you.
My P.M. teacher gave me the reins of teaching at Week 4 or 5. It was up to me to find out where he keeps his pacing guide (and he never showed me one for science or social studies). He never asked me for lesson plans. Except for 1 or 2 times, he never told me what I was doing wrong. Obviously, when you get no feedback, you think you’re doing an A-OK job! I had given and graded 2 separate math tests before he told me how he graded. His communication skills sucked. And I knew he didn’t like me. I could just tell. And he said something to the effect that people know when he doesn’t like them. Yeah, I knew.
As for my A.M. teacher, she came to me about three Mondays ago and asked to see all my lesson plans for the week. So, OK. I give her a sheet where I had written out in shorthand what I would be doing that week. “No,” she says to me. “I need the lesson plans that tell me exactly what you’re doing.” Oh, OK. I had seen her make 2 different types of lesson plans. The first was a shorthand, teaching points for the week and the second was more of a format of “Teaching Point/Modeled/Active Engagement/Link”. So I worked on that that night and showed it to her the next day. Do you think that’s what she wanted? Nooo. Her communication skills are JUST AS BAD as my P.M. teacher! So I wrote out 4 lesson plans of EXACTLY WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY, a script. She never told me, nor did she show me hers. She assumed I should know it. Um, does she also assume that all of her students know when to put an exclamation point or question mark at the end of a sentence? I didn’t think so.
Every single time I went in for my internship, I cringed as I thought what thing she could criticize me on today. She never gave positive feedback. It was always negative. I started calling her Ms. Negativity. She totally was.
When I told her I was feeling very overwhelmed with the writing, she told me that concerns her a lot. Wow. Thanks! Way to boost my confidence in teaching, Ms. Negativity! How about, “Well, then let’s do something to help you feel more confident. What can I do to help?”
It was such a bad situation that I feel a sense of relief. I felt so alone there, my teachers weren’t there to support or help me. They were there to get a few hours of peace from teaching. They didn’t help me out and expected me to do things they had been doing for the past 10 years. My teachers had a conference with my UP during the kids’ PE time where they told her they wouldn’t be able to pass me and were not “impressed” with me. Well, honeys, I wasn’t very “impressed” with either of you! (And, on a side note, my UP agreed with me on this one) I keep debating whether I should send them an e-mail. They were so sneaky about everything. Except for once (which was the week she kept wanting the long lesson plans), they never sat me down and told me what I was doing right or wrong. They never conferenced with me alone. It always had to include my UP. I felt like they were tattling on me! Every time we sat down with her, it was as if I had been hit by a Mack truck because they were telling her things they never told me. They had a meeting about me during the kids’ PE time yesterday and that was when they told her they wouldn’t be able to pass me. Again, being sneaky and underhanded. They never told me this. They never said, “We’re getting concerned that we won’t be able to pass you.” They talked to my UP and then she came with me to the classroom where I got my stuff and left. They said absolutely nothing to me. I had left some things in my P.M. teachers room and he had the kids give it to me.
Luckily, my UP was able to get me a spring internship where I am already formulating a list of everything I want to say to my new cooperating teacher. I’m really thinking I’d like to try out 2nd grade. I definitely don’t want 3rd or 4th. Maybe 5th. Because of Florida Writes and FCAT, 3rd and 4th grade will be so busy with that for the first 2 months of my internship. I don’t think it’ll be SUCH a big deal with 5th. I always said I wanted to to intermediate but I did just fine in my primary internship. Maybe that’s where I’m supposed to be. I don’t know. I don’t even know if teaching is what God wants for my life. Scratch that. I know teaching isn’t the Big Plan God has for me. I know it’s writing. I know God wants me to use my ability to write for His good. So maybe I should just take some writing classes next semester? Maybe I should change majors? I. AM. SO. CONFUSED! I honestly don’t know what to do.
I really need to pray about it and see what God wants. I always said, “God, close doors in the places you don’t want me to be and open doors where you do want me to be.” Is this a closed door? Have I been fooling myself for the past 2 years? I just don’t know.
- I ended up dropping two of my courses. I received an e-mail on Wednesday saying that if my tuition wasn’t paid in full, I would be dropped. I called the cashier’s office and was told I may or may not be dropped if I didn’t pay the whole thing. All in all, it came down to money. My books for the semester were going to cost close to $200. And on top of that, tuition was going to be $1,600. To be quite honest, I don’t have that kind of money. My mom is not rolling in dough and I need to help her out with bills as much as I can. So I’m back to square one: learning Spanish myself. Any tips?
- My hours were cut slightly at work. Our numbers are usually low in the summer and they’ve really been dropping like flies in the past week. We lost three toddlers in one week. The classroom I was in now only has five toddlers on roll, so I’m not needed in there. My boss has found things for me to do, though, and I’ve actually gotten a lot of hours this week due to people calling in. Yay for that?
- Honestly, the comments on my last post were the best ever. I was worried I would get a lot, “BUT YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!” and people would think I was being self-pitying and looking for comments. I wasn’t. I think it’s something every girl struggles, or has struggled, with. Also, as a side note, I did not mean to take a boob pic. It was supposed to show my non-collarbones and I really didn’t think as I posted that picture. But thanks for the sweet comments.
- Today, I start Level 3 of The 30-Day Shred challenge. I am proud to admit that I’ve done this challenge for 20 days straight. I’m surprised at this fact and that I’ve stuck with it. Honestly, the video is only 28 minutes long and I cannot understand how Biggest Loser contestants deal with her for hours and hours for four straight months! (Well, I do. And believe me, Jillian is good at pushing people to accomplish things they never thought they could.) I plan on giving a full report on the workouts, pounds/inches lost, and how I liked this when May is up. I will say that now every time I see Jillian outside of this video, I want to punch her in the face.
- Lately, I’ve been struggling with lunch. Luckily, my schedule permits so I can go home for lunch but I have such a tough time thinking of what to eat. I did the sandwich thing for a while (tuna, PB&J, turkey with lettuce) but it got old. Then I did the salad thing for a while but honestly, I can only have so much salad before it makes me want to vomit. I’m at a loss. Blog friends, or real life friends if you’re reading this, what do you eat for lunch? It doesn’t have to be quick and easy but I need some ideas!
- This post title and idea was stolen from Ashley. That is all.
I’ve seen other bloggers do these type of blog posts but never felt as if there was anything that significant I was counting down to. But I definitely am now:
16 hours until I’m finished with Spring Semester 2010
2 days until my Recuperate Day (where I’ll spend the majority of my time cozied up in bed, reading and relaxing.)
12 days until my advanced reporting class starts, a 6-week intense class
25 days until I complete The 30-Day Shred challenge
2 months until a (tentative) weekend trip to Orlando
3.5 months until my (hopefully!) last semester of college begins
7 months, 1 week, and 3 days until graduation
What special events are YOU counting down to?
Last week was crazy. CRAZY! I really don’t want to have to live through another week like that ever again. It was just too insane.
Anyway, here’s some of the “fun” that happened this week.
I missed you guys!
Taking a break from blogging was exactly what I needed for this week but I missed it more than I thought I would. I missed writing my blog posts, publishing them, and checking my phone a million times a day to see if anyone had commented. I missed reading blogs and commenting. So I’m super stoked to be back and hopefully, I won’t have another week as crazy as this one was.
Also, I changed my layout this weekend and for some reason, Disqus has not been working for me. I cannot get any comments to show up. I’ve probably run through their installation system 10 times to get comments to show up to no avail. I sent a service request so we’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m back to the old Blogger commenting system. (But no word verification! See? I’m nice!) I’m just really confused and annoyed by all of this.
My “dad” wrote back.
I got a message on my phone on Friday, while I was over at my brother’s. The good thing is, I read the e-mail out loud while my brother and my mom listened. So I’m really glad I didn’t have to read that e-mail alone. Because it was an awful e-mail. Once again, he took no responsibility and laid it all back on my shoulders. He told me to stop using him as a “crutch” for why I cannot have a good relationship with a guy, tried to take credit for raising me (the way my brother and I turned out had to do 75% of US and 25% of my mom. 0% of him. We turned out the way we are IN SPITE of him), and didn’t once say “I love you” or “I’m sorry.” Oh, and he also talked about the great relationship he had with my mom. (Go ahead, laugh. I did!)
I have plans to write him back and the e-mail I write back to him will not be anywhere near as nice. I tried to leave the door open for him to have a relationship with me and he firmly shut the door in my face. I’m giddy with excitement of everything I’m going to write to him. No sugarcoating and no sweetness is going into this letter. It’s going to be blunt, mean, and scathing. I just want to give myself a few days to calm down from the e-mail so I know exactly what I want to say.
And after that e-mail, it will be over. I’m done. I’m fed up with him and his lack of responsibility. And I’m just tired of it all.
A project, a paper, and a monster test.
This week was, by far, one of the busiest I’ve ever experienced. And I know it doesn’t seem like a lot. I know I’ve had more due in one week but none of this caliber. The project took hours to complete, using InDesign, a program I’ve never had any experience with until a few weeks ago. So my designs feel like kindergarten scribble compared to some of my other classmates. And I got the extreme pleasure of having my newspaper frontpage critiqued by my professor and classmates. Luckily, the critique wasn’t as bad as I expected and I do get to fix my mistakes and resubmit the project.
The paper, with which I did 4 live interviews and 2 e-mail interviews for, was probably one of the worst I’ve written. I wrote it in under an hour and was just trying to get it done, somewhat edited, and sent by Tuesday night. It was for my News Editing class and the head of the journalism department is my professor. Needless to say, I’m pretty certain he wasn’t all too impressed with it.
The monster test took up most of my week. I spent the weekend looking through the study guide and finding the answers and then Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday night studying my notes. And I’m a terrible studier. I just can’t sit there and study for hours and hours. So I headed into Thursday (test day) very uncertain of my study materials. I ended up taking Thursday morning off work and met with a friend from class before the test where we studied together for 2 hours. And it was SO helpful! I realized I knew a lot more than I previously thought and ended up going into the test feeling very positive. And I think I did better than expected on the exam.
Exhaustion and sickness.
I ended up catching some kind of bug starting on Sunday. It started with a scratchy throat which morphed into an annoying sore throat. Then I got the snifflies and a cough. The sickness was bad enough. But let’s add in exhaustion. Extreme exhaustion. Exhaustion where I’m a little frightened to drive because I don’t know if I can keep my eyes open. I think my tiredness had to do with the 4-5 hours of sleep I was getting a night, the bug, and just feeling completely worn out and run down.
There were so many days I just wanted to come home and sleep for hours. But I couldn’t and drank way too much Coke to try to keep me awake. (I’m more of a Coke girl than a coffee girl when it comes to caffeine.)
Next week is going to be crazy, busy, stressful, and a whirlwind. I have so much to do, including:
- Designing a newspaper front that has to be spectacular, since my other projects have fizzled badly.
- A big, monster law exam on Thursday for which I’ve never even opened the book for. (Oops?)
- A news-worthy story to write. I need to do loads of interviews for this and just figured out my topic yesterday. (By the way, have you or someone you know ever found out they had breast cancer due to a self-exam or mammogram, done before the age of 50? It would be SUCH a help if you could help me with this.)
- Finally open my textbooks and do my assigned readings. (Yes, I know. I’m a slacker.)
- Prepare for my graded in-class editing assignment and quiz on Wednesday.
So, I’ll be away from blogging for a while. I’m hoping to be back by next Monday and I’m going to try to keep up with reading blogs, but I can’t promise anything.
Anyway, I’m coming up on my 100th post. (Crazy!) And I know I should do something big and major for it. Since I’m a poor, college student barely making enough to afford a Target shopping trip every other week, a giveaway is not in the budget. (Sorry, I suck. I know.)
Instead, I’ll be joining the Q&A bandwagon. Ask me anything you want in the comments and I’ll answer them in my 100th post. This post is going to be up for a while so come back and ask me more questions if you want! (I’ve always worried that I would get, like, 3 questions if I ever made one of these posts. So please ask me questions and ease my worries!)
Ask, ask, ask!
On Thursday, I was given my first “mission” at my internship. I was going to have to call a whole bunch of businesses, radio stations, and newspapers to talk about a promotional item and see if they were interested.
Let’s repeat. I had to call major businesses, radio stations, and newspapers. Do I need to remind you of my phone phobia? My phone phobia where sometimes I’m so nervous to make a doctor’s appointment that I keep putting it off? I knew this was going to be a test of my abilities and it was extremely nerve-wracking, especially since I was calling from my cubicle where everyone in the office could hear me. But I called these places (about 20 total) and it wasn’t as awful as I first suspected. It actually ended up being kind of fun! Imagine that! I would definitely chalk this down as a Good Experience.
After calling the places, I then had to hand-deliver the items. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Only problem was, I had to deliver them downtown, which is full (FULL!) of one-way streets. And sure, I’ve grown up in this area but always in the northern part. I’ve ventured down to downtown a few times but I’m either a.) not driving or b.) know exactly where I’m going. (My university is downtown but super easy to find.)
Hand-delivering the show tickets was just the beginning of my mission. I’ll give a quick recap:
- I turned left down a street and couldn’t seem to find where to turn exactly so I ended up driving through the bus stop lane. Luckily, there was nobody around and no buses during that time but can we spell e m b a r r a s s i n g?
- MapQuest gave me completely wrong directions and I ended up in a boating park. (Thank God for the GPS on my phone.)
- I was so flustered by the wrong directions MapQuest gave me, that I stopped for probably 5 minutes at a stop sign until finally realizing it was a stop sign and not a red light.
- While turning right onto a street, I hit a curb badly. And I’m talking made the back end of the car bounce and the CD skip badly. I don’t think the tire is ruined (yet) but it scared me. I would be lying if I didn’t almost start crying and wishing for my mom at that moment.
- I stopped at 2 green lights for a full 2 minutes.
- I parked at a few metered parking spots and had to rush to my destination, hand over the items, and rush back to my car. I was scared to death I was going to get a ticket for sitting at a metered parking spot for 3 minutes!
- I drove past so many streets, it wasn’t even funny. (Especially when it’s noon and the only food in your body is have a bowl of soggy cornflakes. I don’t function well when I’m starving and weak.) And since I’m downtown and around one-way streets, if you drive past the street you need to be on, you have to drive at least five blocks to the next available street to turn on to get to where you need to be.
All in all, it was an adventure. But it was also fun. It was neat going to all these different places and seeing the people who worked there. I went to an art studio for one delivery and for the first time in my life, I thought about becoming an artist. (But since I can’t draw a stick figure without messing it up, I know that’s not the path for me.) And I’m learning more and more about downtown and I’m hoping my next adventure won’t be as crazy.
I knew this internship would stretch me as a person. I would have to do things I wasn’t totally comfortable with and get over my fears. And it’s doing that. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and stepping into the path of a career woman. It’s scary, exciting, frightening, and thrilling. It’s a slow process but I’m getting there.
And that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I take a leap of faith out of my comfort zone and into something completely different that Old Stephany? It’s amazing. And I want to have that feeling every day.
There’s a new post on my weight loss blog: Blogging to Lose. This week, I’m talking about taking this whole healthy lifestyle approach slow and steady. Check it out!
One of these days, I’m going to think of a catchy name for this. I was thinking on it a few days ago and thought to myself, “Oh! How about Five on Friday?!” And then I realized how familiar it sounded. So…yeah. Still thinking.
- My grandma went in for a PET scan last week. Her last 3 have been clean, although on her last one, they found a spot of something on her lung. Since the doctors didn’t know what it was, they weren’t too concerned. Well, that spot has grown and is now cancer. Boo. There is good news, though. The cancer is small and treatable. It’s only 10 millimeters long and she’ll have to have surgery to remove it, and then take a chemotherapy pill. (Yes! A pill!) Luckily, the chemotherapy won’t be as strong as it was her first time around so she won’t be as incredibly sick and weak as she was before. Still, it’s scary and I’m not very happy about this!
- I’ve run into a big problem this week: lunch. I’m not a girl who likes to skip meals. I like to eat and get extremely cranky and weak if I don’t get my nourishment. But I didn’t seem to schedule enough time between work and classes and my internship to have time for lunch. The two days I’m having the most trouble with are Tuesdays and Thursdays when I go straight from work to a class and then have about 30 minutes between the end of class and the start of my internship. Only I have to use that time to change from Preschool Teacher (i.e., uniform, no make-up, messed-up hair) to Professional Intern. It doesn’t leave a lot of time to eat lunch. I know I need to start scheduling my time better, because this can’t continue! A busy girl needs food!
- I’m really, really interested in buying my own domain. And I want to move this blog over to WordPress. I talked to two girls about it and am fairly certain of how to make the switch. But I need your help! Who would you recommend me buying a domain from? I’ve only really heard two names thrown around: Go Daddy and BlueHost. Please, please, please, please, PLEASE give me some ideas! I will love you forever and ever, amen.
- Well, I’m now a freelancer for my school’s newspaper. I was really upset I didn’t make it on as a full-time staffer but this is probably a better situation for me. As a full-time staffer, I would’ve had to write 2 stories a week but a freelancer only has to write 2 stories a month. It’ll probably be much easier to handle, but now I have to think of something to write about! Yikes!
- Also, for all you football fans! GO COLTS this weekend! I’m not too picky on the NFC Championship game because it would be great to see Brett Favre in another Superbowl but then the Saints deserve a Superbowl trip, too! Both are extremely great football teams and I’m looking forward to a good game! (Although, I could care less about a good game with the AFC Championship game. I just want the Colts to beat up the Jets!)
- My first week of the semester is done. It’s been exhausting, exciting, and extremely stressful. Monday was horrible, Tuesday was fantastic, Wednesday was tiring, and Thursday was lovely. Luckily, I was able to get into the Tuesday afternoon class which is the best news of my week. I’m excited about this semester! I think I’m going to learn so much about journalism itself and where I fit in the journalism world. And I’m going to be tired. Very tired.
- I have applied to become part of my school’s newspaper. I don’t remember how many staff writers they’re hiring, but if I don’t make the staff position, I can be a freelance writer. It was really nerve-wracking to be in the meeting and hear people throwing out story ideas. Newspaper journalism is not somewhere I want to be but I think it’ll be such a great learning experience and also give my confidence a boost.
- I really, really want to redesign my layout for this blog. I know exactly what I want my blog to look like but I’m not HTML-savvy at all and have no idea how I would even begin to create my own blog layout. Any tips?
- The first week of my internship went really well. I didn’t do much this week but some amazing opportunities have presented themselves for next week. I really think this internship is going to help me have some belief in myself. I can’t wait to get more involved with the company!
- My weight loss efforts really stalled this week. I’m so upset with myself and I just want this year to be different and for me to finally start living a healthy lifestyle and drop the weight. I just need to stop making excuses. That is what this whole week has been – excuses. And it’s really hard to start each week, worrying about when I’m going to fail. Not if, when. It’s such a sad mentality to have.
- I’ve been doing fairly well on achieving my monthly goals. After my utter December failure, I’ve been really focused on them. I’ve started running and have made two brand-spankin’-delicious meals in the Crock-Pot. (Well, I made one and my mom made the other.) I’ve been working towards credit card payments and loved all the comments about paying them off. My balance on the cards are $300, $500, and $3,000 so it’s not going to take me long to pay off the first two. I’m hoping I can get them paid off by June. The third credit card is going to take a while to pay off but I will do it! Somehow, someway. Unfortunately, I’m still having trouble “finding” time for God. I don’t want to make it leftover time, as in “OK, God. I finally have time to sit down and talk to You! What’s up?” I want it to be meaningful and it might require me to fast something (i.e., TV, Internet) to make this time meaningful. And my 101 in 1,001 list is coming along fabulously. I have set aside some goals I want to start accomplishing soon, have a few in progress, and even got to complete my goal of getting 20 comments on a blog post! It’s happened TWICE! This excites me immensely. IMMENSELY!