Monday, October 20, 2014

5.20 Lessons - Don't Be Afraid

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twentieth day of each month is "Lessons."
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I was a perfectionist when I was a child, afraid to try things until I knew I could do it perfectly. Anything that was attached the idea that “practice makes perfect” was something I would steer away from because if I couldn’t do it right, I wasn’t going to do it.  But then I spent summers with Uncle Lenny and Aunt Debbie.  

What? You can’t swim? That’s ridiculous. Let me teach you. I would never have tried if they weren’t there to reassure me that everyone had to begin sometime.  It was the first time I was really introduced to the idea of hands on learning and it’s something I’ll never forget.
I'm not so much smiling as grimacing here. I was leaning off a platform into a tree!
Last fall I desperately wanted to do this ziplining course, but it was expensive , we ran out of weekends, and it just didn’t get prioritized. But I thought about it all year and at the end of this past summer, I made a plea that we do it this year no matter what.  And last weekend we did it.  

I’ve never been on a zipline before. I’m actually a little bit afraid of heights. But it was glorious and beautiful and fun and empowering and hilarious and worth every penny we paid.  Sometimes you just have to stop being afraid and try something new. It's always worth the risk.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

5.19 My Best Friend - To Lettuce

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the nineteenth day of each month is "My Best Friend."
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Bestest Friend sent me a card and I received it in the mail yesterday, just in time for this prompt. I think she did that on purpose to help me remember her awesomeness so I'd have lots to write.  Inside was this doodle prompt. I, of course, immediately starting practicing things to doodle on the paper, but in the end, I was kind of grumpy that the boy was working on his bicycle this morning, so I imagined him throwing away his entire bicycle. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure my bicycle drawing skills produced something resembling an oscillating fan rather than a two-wheeled form of transportation, so I went with just a tire and wheel.
Anyway, Bestest Friend did a sort of word association on her card to me. I will do the same. Bestest Friend. Phone. Cracked. Egg.  Bacon. Pig.  Pink. Purple. Harold. Kumar. Immigration. Borders. Wallpaper. Flowers. Wilting. Lettuce.

And that's how you get from my Bestest Friend to lettuce.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

5.18 Favorite Memories - Marching Band

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the eighteenth day of each month is "Favorite Memories."
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Atten-hut.

Blistering hot days in the sun, pushing flags into a pitted practice field, glide stepping my way from one formation to another.  Endless practice of eight steps for every five yards on that same practice field, fingers moving to the fight song playing endlessly in my head. Blisters on my heel from the miles up and down parade routes. Ice crystals on my reed at those late season competitions where I was half convinced the flag girls were going to get hypothermia and possibly frostbite.  Waiting in line to return my uniform, only to be told the jacket was on the hanger the wrong way. 

Mark time-hut.  Horns up.
Hours sitting with my best friends on a bus, traveling across the state, laughing, reading, studying, and gossiping. Watching endless football games with no awareness of what happened on the field.  The thrill of learning those songs, the formations, and how to avoid getting hit when the trumpet players surround you during the company front. The satisfaction of that moment when it all comes together, you know you were an integral part of an amazing performance.

About face.  Parade rest.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Friday, October 17, 2014

5.17 Bedtime - The Final Sigh

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the seventeenth day of each month is "Bedtime."
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You know the moment - you slide into the sheets, your head hits the pillow, and you let out that final sigh for the day. My favorite moments of the day are when the boy wakes me up in the morning, when the kitty climbs on my lap for pets, when the boy and I covertly sneak away in the middle of the afternoon for a cuppa together, and that moment at the end of the day, all thoughts of whatever crappiness happened goes away, and we both sigh and reach across the bed to hold hands for a brief second before we reach over, kiss goodnight, and close our eyes.
Tomorrow we're going on a "canopy tour" of the fall colors here. They claim to be "world class," and you know that I aspire to classiness, so I've been pressuring the boy into going for the better part of two years now. It involves a zip line and what I can only imagine is absolute joy.  Here's a sneak peek of the glory I'm going to be in the midst of in just a mere twenty-four hours.
Click to make bigger!
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5.16 Beauty - Crossed Off

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the sixteenth day of each month is "Beauty."
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Sometimes what is beautiful is simply a to do list that is not overwhelming. Also, seeing a crossed out list to remind me off all I have accomplished already this week.  Day to day can be overwhelming because there are so many little things that just don't make the list, but it's good to have a reminder that things do eventually get done.  I don't need external headpats for doing my job, but I do need internal motivation.
I'll ignore the stacks of grading still to be done, the blue books stacked in the corner as a warning against being too confident that I have it all together, and the emails of complaint constantly vying for my attention.
Because today all I have to do is write all my lectures for a class next week, teach a class on campus, come home and get the CSA basket, clean the vegetables, figure out something for dinner, drive to Madison, teach a four hour class, and drive home.  I got this.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5.15 Inertia - Well Kitty Check

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the fifteenth day of each month is "Inertia."
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I'll admit that it seems a little bit cruel to take a picture of Zelda in distress at the vet's office, kind of like posting a picture of your toddler having a meltdown when he's trying on his Halloween costume, but Zelda is such a 'fraidy cat when she has to go to the vet.  She lets me give her pets, she digs her nose into her blanket, and she burrows as far back into her carrier as possible. She's essentially an entirely different creature than she is at home.
When the tech came by to get her weight and we had to take off the lid to get Zelda out, the true Zelda came out, though. She stopped shaking and started glaring.  That's my girl.
$70 to be told that my cat could stand to lose half a pound, she seems healthy, and that I should probably give her OTC hairball medication and some flea prevention medication. Thanks for that, well kitty check.

Next year: shots. I'm not sure Zelda's I'm ready for that.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5.14 Reach - Taking on More

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the fourteenth day of each month is "Reach."
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I'm teaching more this semester than ever before and it's been hard. It takes me forever to research and prepare my lectures (about five to six hours for every seventy-five minute class period), but the time costs of writing assessments, grading, answering emails, attending staff meetings, and doing the readings for the classes add on so many more hours.
But this semester has  also been delightful. I've stretched my abilities, as well as the list of classes I've now taught at the college level. I'm sort of co-teaching one of my courses with a colleague and the give and take of ideas has rekindled my love of what drew me to academia in the first place - the collaborative nature of learning, the sharing of ideas, and the generousness of spirit with which knowledge is passed from one to another.
I struggled with finding my place when I dropped out of my graduate program without obtaining a doctorate.  I beat myself up for being a failure. I made myself sick with worry that I would never stand in front of the classroom again. I silently chastised myself for setting back the cause of womankind for relying on my husband's income. I not-so silently lamented that my days of feeling mentally challenged and stimulated were left behind.
These trees again. I can't help it. This time of year is so fleeting. I need to document it.
But now I am filled with optimism. I won't get tenure. I will live with the uncertainty of a semester to semester contract. But I will get to teach young people, hear their thoughts, and learn from them.  I am learning so much from and about these students. I will do research on things that interest me, send articles out for review, and get rejections back without the fear of losing my job because that one reviewer didn't like the format of my graph.  I will do something here.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.
 
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