Thursday, October 24, 2013

On Getting Older

I understand that in perspective, I am still very young.  I'm only 29 years old and have plenty more living to do.  But, recently I had to once again face the sad fact that I no longer have the energy or body of a 19 year old.

New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio played at the Warfield in San Francisco and I went with Christine, Siobhan, and Siobhan's friend Wallace.  I've listened to NFG since high school.  So, about half my life, and they're my favorite band.  I've seen them 7 or 8 times and they never disappoint.  This was my second time seeing AK3 and they're awesome as well.

Christine and I had GA floor tickets, but Siobhan didn't buy her tickets until way later, so she and Wallace were upstairs in the balcony.  Christine and I  found ourselves in the crowd close to the front, but off to the side so we weren't in danger of a circle pit forming around us.  This was red flag number one.  Ten years ago, I wouldn't have cared.

NFG was amazing and they still have so much energy, but being so close allowed me to notice how much they had aged.  They're all in their 30's now.  Some are married, some have kids.  Some of their hairlines are are not where they once were. Of course they're older, but it seemed to be obvious.

Being in the crowd on the floor was enjoyable through NFG's set, but my back started to hurt toward the end.  We all met up in the hallway between acts and when it was time for us to go back out to the crowd for Alkaline Trio, the idea of standing in a crowd for another 60-90 minutes seemed daunting.  I texted Siobhan to ask if there were any empty seats by them and the two next to them happened to be empty.  So, Christine and I went up and sat with them and truly enjoyed watching AK3 from the comfort of a chair.  Realizing that even though you feel young mentally, your body is not what it once was, is a harsh reality everyone faces.  There were many people younger than us at the show.  I realized I'd been seeing shows at the Warfield since 2003.  That's 10 years.  I can't even remember all of the bands I've seen there.  Yellowcard, The Starting Line, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy (before they were popular), Matchbook Romance, etc.  I hope I am still seeing shows there 10 years from now.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On doing good

"Nu-uh, superman does good. You doin' well. You gotta learn your grammar, son." -Tracy Morgan (30 Rock)

But I mean it in the superman sense. My leadership class is doing good. We are doing good things for others. They have requested their own chart for the Awesome Year Project. In addition, I knew I needed to find things for us to do when there wasn't anything to do (no events to plan on campus). So, I turned to They have a bunch of great projects that individuals can do. It's geared toward young people (middle school - college) because with each project they complete, they are entered to win a $4,000 scholarship (they have to create an account for that. It's free). This week, we made birthday cards for homeless youth. 
I'm excited about all of the good we are doing. And I think my kids are too. 

Also, here's an update in our #avidawesomeyear project 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On Recharging your batteries

We are on Fall Break this week and it has been so nice to just recharge my batteries. I drove down to Huntington Beach to visit Lesley and since her husband was working that night and her mother-in-law was watching her kids, we had a real girls' night. Well, the way WE do girls' night, which involved dinner out (during which we did nothing but over-analyze Sons of Anarchy), and then drinking and watching funny YouTube videos and old episodes of Sons of Anarchy. We got up and were at Zumba by 9 am. Her hubby and kids came home and we all went to brunch. It was so wonderful to see her and the rest of their family. I love them and have missed them so much. 
   The rest of my time has been spent obsessing over my adorable nephew. 

I drive back tomorrow, just in time for practice. We have an away game in Fresno this weekend, so I'll have to get the rest of my rest (ha!) in before Saturday. 

Really high up on my list of things to do is is clean my room and donate old shoes and clothes. 

I've been checking my EdModo site periodically and am so proud that my AVID kids continue to post the #avidawesome year things they are doing. 

This break will have gone by too fast. I need to get organized for 2nd quarter!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

On Teamwork

Last night, we had a team dinner for my home team, the Babes of Wrath.  We've recently had quite a few changes to our roster, so it was nice to get everyone together and hang out.  Our captain ran us through a couple of party mixer type games.  One of them happened to be called "Protect Your Egg."  In a nutshell: teams get a bag full of random supplies (each bag contains the same supplies) and using only those supplies, you must construct something that will keep an egg from breaking when it is dropped onto your construction from atop a ladder (approximately 15 feet).  In our bag we had: 3 clothespins, a napkin, a small snack bag, two zip ties, a wooden skewer, a paper straw, 3 candy corn, a couple of zip ties, a piece of parchment, a glue stick, a piece of a plastic bottle, and a piece of masking tape (perhaps there was more, I'm not sure).  My awesome team won.  Check the photos below.

It wasn't 5 minutes into construction with my team that I knew this would be a great team work project for my AVID classes.  So, I pulled it together and we did it today.  Here are some great photos from today.
What's In The Bag?
Tongue depressor, business card, piece of string, binder clip, 1 piece of printer paper, 1 napkin, a lifesaver, a twist tie, a toothpick, a bendy straw, a sandwich bag, a piece of masking tape, a paperclip, a Q-tip

8th Graders

7th Grade


Watching the kids do this was so much fun.  It was cool to see the very different ideas they all came up with.  Some of them came up with things that my team didn't think of last night and made me feel really stupid.  (Why didn't we blow the bag up like a balloon for cushioning???). 1 more day until we get a (VERY WELL DESERVED) week off for Fall Break.  I can't wait to visit my nephew!  I'm also going to see Lesley for the first time since she moved.  Bring it on, Fall!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On paying it forward

I blogged a couple of days ago about something exciting that is happening in my AVID classes and I am enthused to be able to share it here now.

You may or may not know that my students and I are huge fans of Kid President.  I have used a few of his videos in my classroom.  I recently saw his Awesome Year Challenge video and knew that I wanted to bring that concept to my AVID kids to start and possibly extend it to my Leadership class.  I decided to make it into a year-long project.  Kid Prez gives us 25 things we can do to make the year awesome for someone else.  Some of them are not very practical (mail someone a corn dog), but some are effortless (smile, high five someone, free hugs).  I made a chart with some of my favorite of Kid Prez's ideas and left spaces for my students to come up with their own.

On Tuesday, when they came into class, I told them I had an exciting project for our class.  I showed them the Awesome Year Challenge video, and then I presented the chart I had made.  I told them we would be keeping track of the good we were doing for others.  It would not be for a grade and there was no pressure.  Doing things for others should not be done for a reward.  I encouraged them to go outside of their comfort zones.  Smiling/high-fiving/hugging your bff doesn't count (unless they're having a really bad day and need a pick-me-up).  I also made sure to point out that not everyone was okay with physical contact and that you shouldn't go around hugging strangers without their permission.  I hung up the chart and some stickers next to it.  Whenever they did something to make someone else's year awesome, they should put a sticker on the box.  Our goal is to make so many awesome years that we cover the whole poster.

 I then gave them time to discuss other things we could add with the people around them.  And while they were doing that, I gave them--cupcakes for no reason!

We brainstormed our own things to add to the chart.  After my 8th grade AVID class yesterday, the chart looked like this:

And undoubtedly, kids in my other classes want to get involved too.  I invited them to add their own stickers for doing nice things.  After 24 hours, our chart looks like this:
Anyone who tweets or instagrams about our project is using the hashtag #AVIDawesomeyear.  We are having a great time.  My heart is full.  My students are awesome.  I can't wait to see what this looks like at the end of the year!