Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year means Pollen-Free Candy

If you were curious as to why there are 29 days this month, you should probably go ask my students. (I cleared up their misconception that February 29th is the day the world ends, so it’s probably safe to ask them.)

Mr. Knowitall marched into the classroom early this morning already giving a detailed explanation about the exact number of days (to the nearest billionth) it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. Because our calendar year is typically 365 days, he explained, we need to have 366 days in a year every four years in order to balance the gap that is created between our months and our seasons. Without February 29th, our seasons would be all mixed up.  And that’s not good.

“For example, if Halloween was in spring, pollen would get all over our candy.” –Mr. Knowitall

And that, my friends, would be tragic.  Thank the Lord for Leap Year. 

Enjoy your February 29th loves, for it only comes but once every four years.  :) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Workin' On Our Fitness

I woke up this morning and didn't know where I was. That's how deep of a sleep I was in.  And I went to sleep at 9:30pm.  Talk about exhaustion.

Friday I caravanned the five and a half hours to Virginia Tech with all of the other Group Fitness Instructors/Personal Trainers for the annual Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo.  We finally got to our hotel a little after 11:30, only to wake up at 6:30 for a 7:30 check in for our first workout. 
Hey slackers in the front...I see you. ;)
After 8 hours of work outs (Yes, eight. Four in the morning, an hour lunch break, and another four in the afternoon) we refueled and went to the social VT sponsored for us at the Holiday Inn.  The "social" was reminiscent of sophomore year high school homecoming, complete with mardi gras masks, the Cupid Shuffle and Lil' Jon's musical artistry. It was fantastic. There was also a cash bar which some people visited entirely too often. I never once made it to the bar; instead I was hassling the servers to refill the water pitcher every two minutes.  I think my exact words were, "Sorry to ask you fill up the water again but how could you be so unprepared when you know you are hosting a room full of fitness instructors?" Ha. This girl is grumpy when dehydrated.   

 Anyway, I'm glad I stuck to just water because Sunday morning's first session came all too soon at 8:00am. Four sessions later, we were on the road back to Maryland.  

The boys took "final relaxation" a little bit too far in Body Flow.  

I slept for half of the ride home.  The other half I sort of brooded over the fact that this was my final Fitness Expo. These weekends are intense but so incredibly eye-opening.  It is amazing share our fitness philosophies and knowledge with our peers, and even more amazing to be in a room with 15+ other Universities all with one common passion: to be fit.  Working out with fitness professionals and collegiate instructors truly is in an inspiring experience.  I'm excited to bring that inspiration into my classes this week - if you're a UMD reader make sure to go to fitness classes this week to see first hand all the new material we have to offer ;) 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Workin' On My Fitness

I am exhausted.
I am overwhelmed thinking about my career search.
I am reluctant to go back to school after a day off.
I am sore.
I am healing a severe turf burn due to illegal slide tackling in indoor intramural soccer (Too bad I was the offender.)
I am en route to Virginia Tech for the annual Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo!

On Monday,
I will still be exhausted
I will still be overwhelmed.
I will most certainly be reluctant to begin another school week.
I hope to be injury-free.
I will absolutely be sore after a weekend of working out.

Fitness Expo is one of my favorite things about being a fitness instructor on a college campus.  It's a whole weekend of sharing our best classes and techniques; yes it is exhausting, but we also learn a lot and meet a lot of really cool people. (Read about last year's Expo at UNC here.)  My over-exhausted self will be return on Monday (potentially) with the full low-down. Until then. 

Happy Weekend :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interviewing, and Losing My Mind.

In lieu of teaching today, I am attending a career fair at which I will interview for three teaching positions. 
Honestly, I do not wish to teach at any of the districts represented at the expo (where the Jersey schools at?!) However, I think this will be good practice in marketing myself and preparing for interview questions.
Even if I know that there's a slim chance I will actually move to Houston, TX or Alexandria, VA (hey, you never know) I'm still going a little crazy trying to perfect every last detail to make myself the most marketable candidate I can be.  

Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Word of the Day Wednesday

There are some unavoidable words that come up in the sixth grade curriculum that guarantee giggles and sly smirks.  And expectedly so.  For instance, I dreaded the lesson when students had to decipher the meaning of their vocabulary word "dictate" using prior knowledge. 

Ms. Y: "Think about where you have seen this prefix before" *underlines dict*
Ms. Thang: "You mean DIC??"
Ms. Y: (as casually as possible) Dict, as in dictionary, dictator, diction.
Class: Erupts in laughter. 

Or how about in a Shakespeare poem when the word "breast" has to be changed to "chest" to appease the awkwardness overwhelming the sixth grade atmosphere.  
(I can also hear my boyfriend laughing from here.)

One word that I never thought I would have to avoid?

Seriously,the word was read, and giggles ensued instantaneously. 

Really? Is there another connotation of which I am unaware? 
Gotta love the sixth grade. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dear Monday

A collection of brief letters intended to summarize my wonderful weekend ;)

You came entirely too soon.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the perfect compilation of weekend and I was not prepared for your return quite this early.  

Dear Loverboy,
Thank you for coming down MD to visit with me for the weekend. Thank you for making, and cleaning up, breakfast. Thank you for paying for everything when I lost my debit card. Thank you for driving us home from Baltimore at 3AM.  Thank you for continuing to come back to College Park even after you've had two incidents resulting in having to call the police. (At least you still have your license plates this time...) I hope you had as much fun as I did - only three more weeks until our reunion in Jersey! I love you, I love you, I love you.

PS Loverboy,
You were really cute learning how to pick a crab. Not only was it comical to watch, but it made me happy to see you bonding with the Maryland fam :)

Dear Business School Student,
How many morals do you lack that you would think it was okay to smash into someone's car in the parking lot and drive away?  You are the second reason C has had to get work done on his car after being parked on campus. You give female MD drivers a bad name, shame on you.  

Dear Sweet Samaritan,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for copying down the license plate number of the girl who hit C's car and continued driving. The note we found on his windshield when we got to the car hours later truly was a gift! Your sweet actions were immeasurably helpful, and I only hope that there is lots of good karma coming your way.  There need to be more good citizens in this world like you. 

Dear Congress,
I understand it is still up in the air whether we are nationally celebrating the birth of George Washington on this third Monday of February or if we are celebrating our nation's Presidents in general, either way I am thankful for this holiday. 

Happy Presidents Day!
or is it President's Day?
..or President's Day?
Sometimes holidays drive me up a Grammar wall. 

Friday, February 17, 2012


You guys, this has been a very long week.
But it is finally Friday and I am so thankful because THIS GUY is coming to visit-
:) :) :) :) 

Oh yeah, as well as three of his teammates. So, I will be hosting four defensive linemen in my tiny apartment this weekend. Somehow I don't think the relaxing weekend I so desperately need will be making an appearance until this week. Oh well. 

Happy Weekend everyone! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keeping Up with Resolutions

Simply remembering a New Year’s Resolution over a month later is a feat in itself for most people, so I’m not going to hide how impressed I am with myself that I am still resolving to learn how to cook and it's February 16th.
Every weekend I pick out a new recipe to try, from which I will make a grocery list with ingredients outside of my typical shopping list.  So far I’ve perfected a healthy chicken and bean chili, I have learned the proper way to tenderize chicken breasts, I have surprised myself by making a truly delectable Chicken Marsala, and most exciting to me, is that I tried my very first eggplant parmesean, and absolutely loved it. 

I researched how to choose a good eggplant from the store, how to slice it, how to salt it, and then I half followed, half created a recipe to make a delicious eggplant dish. 

Preparation is a little lengthy, but simple! I highly recommend this creative recipe for anyone that has the time (the eggplant has to sit for a half an hour before it bakes for an hour) for a simple, tasty dish. 
Also, eggplants are big.  One of these babies is going to feed my roommate and I for at least three days. College-student score!

You will need:
1 medium sized eggplant
6 ounces fresh mozzarella
8 ounces tomato sauce (I took the easy way out- Prego!)
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
3 eggs
¾ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon garlic salt

SO here’s what I did:
-Cut the stem off and slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices (our knives stink over here in the apartment, so my slices were less than uniform – but it didn’t make a difference.)
-        - Put the slices in a colander and set the colander on a plate.  Sprinkle salt all over the eggplant, toss, and let sit for a half an hour
-     Crack 3 eggs into a shallow bowl, whip
-          Combine breadcrumbs, garlic salt, and pepper into a different shallow bowl
-          Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large frying pan
-      -  Dip eggplant in egg batter, and then breadcrumbs
-       - Fry each piece for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown
-       - Place fried eggplant into a 13x9 inch baking dish (College Apartment living limited me again; I only had a square casserole dish and a small baking dish so I distributed across two dishes – still worked just fine!)
-      -  Cook pepper and onion in the same frying pan for about 5 minutes
-      -  Place peppers and onions over the eggplant, and then pour the sauce in the baking dish and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
-       - After 25 minutes, take the dish out of the oven and place sliced mozzarella on top.
-      -  Bake another 25-30 minutes.
-       - Cut, and Enjoy!!!!

I barely followed the original recipe for the eggplant parm bake that I found, so I was quite nervous with how my concoction would come out.  Much to my surprise, it was awesome. And therefore, I share.
I don’t like mushrooms, but my roommate suggested mushrooms might be really good in the bake as well.  Go wild!

Feel free to share with me any of your creative/simple recipes because as you know, I really am trying to learn how to cook! I’m hoping this resolution has me on my way to domesticity in no time ;) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love being a teacher on holidays. Especially holidays that can be incorporated into a grammar lesson. 
Like Valentine's Day.  I'd be lying to myself if I didn't say the best part about Valentine's Day is identifying "Valentine's" as a singular possessive noun. 

Coming in close second in all things great about Cupid's Holiday are all the ways we remind the people we love exactly that.

And if you tell me that face isn't the sign of total adoration, I have been celebrating Valentine's Day completely wrong for the past five years....
(ha. just kidding. I swear he loves me...)

Seriously, though.

My momma is always thinking of me. Thanks to her, I have sweet new "jewels" (as my preschoolers would say) to wear to school on V-Day. Plus, some pretty sweet heart socks (who doesn't love corny holiday themed socks?) and a delicious mini heart box of chocolates that, I can assure you, will be gone by the end of the day. 

Hollywood Elementary sent all the teachers heart shaped "suckers" :-)

My handsome, handsome Loverboy sent me the most beautiful note to accompany a brand new MK scent. Even more perfect? It's called "Very Hollywood." I foresee this box doubling as a container for Post-Its or paperclips sometime in the near future. 

I'm looking forward to sharing with you all the drama that will certainly follow a group of hormonal sixth graders after a day of celebrating Valentine's Day. And I look even more forward to Friday when Loverboy comes down to MD for a belated Valentine's Day celebration. Yay! 

Enjoy this day and make sure you tell anyone you love, that you do.
Also make sure you say ValentiNe's with an "n" and not an "m."
And don't forget that apostrophe - it's possessive, not plural! ;) 


PS - My best Valentine's gift ever? That's a toughie, because C is so, so good at gift giving. However, I've had this hanging in my room for four years because I am so impressed that a 17 year old boy could make something so crafty and cute. Loved it! It takes up about a 4 by 3 foot space on the wall above my bed. Still love it, and will be holding on to it for a very long time. 

Is he not the greatest Loverboy, possibly ever?
:) Love you C! xoxox

Sunday, February 12, 2012

When Emptiness Brings Happiness

The list of things I hate to see the bottom of is relatively small: 
a good drink, my wallet, a bag of Peanut M&Ms...

What is definitely not on the list of things I do not appreciate empty is my laundry hamper.
I feel warm and happy inside after a Sunday afternoon of washing and folding my colors, whites, and delicates, to see the canvas bottom of my hamper.  

Unfortunately, this feeling is typically short lived. My laundry euphoria steadily decreases as piece by piece of the day's dirty outfit are dropped deep into the container that never ceases to fill all too quickly. 

The articles that pile upon each other not only literally bring themselves slowly to the top of the hamper, but also figuratively bring me rapidly to an unwelcome Monday morning.

Alas, another weekend has come and gone. No matter if you mark your days by dirty laundry or something more traditional, I hope you appreciate your days and take the time to enjoy this week. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's OK as a Student Teacher

Welcome to another Glitz and Grammar edition of It's OK Thursday.
Go ahead and link up with Neely and Brunch with Amber if you feel so inclined to join in on the fun :)

This Thursday, I proclaim that it is absolutely OK....

... that after wearing heels for the past three days in a row, I am going to school in the comfiest teacher-appropriate outfit I can find.  Because on the fourth day, God made Sperrys.  

... that it was 9:44pm when I turned out my lights and went under the covers.

... that when I woke up after almost 8 hours of sleep, I was still hoping for a delayed opening so I could sleep more.

... that I have 3094835 things to do this weekend but I am just so excited to celebrate my roommate's birthday that I can't even imagine getting any of them accomplished.  

... to find students passing notes, but find them entirely too humorous to apprehend them so that they discontinue the habit. Honestly, as long as they can still pay attention while writing these nonsensical notes to each other, I don't mind.  And as long as they keep accidentally leaving them out on their desks when they are dismissed, I'll enjoy keeping up with the gossip ;)

... that while I enjoy finding notes, I am still not sure I understand them completely. Is it OK that I'm only ten years older than these kids but their conversations are alien to me?
Girly 1: "LMAOO What's up! Skool's BORING."
Girly 2: IKR! and nun cooling Hbu

Happy Thursday! 
(It's almost Friday!!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nouns have jobs.

It is very characteristic of my students to mix up the parts of speech of words, oral and written.  For example, did you know "foresight" is a preposition? As in, "I got some banging popcorn foresight the movie with my girls on Saturday."

Or, did you know "blonde" can be not only an adjective or noun, but also a verb? As in, "Miss Jaaaalensiis did you blonde your hair more? Like you know, add more gold paint?" 

The fact that there is so much confusion with parts of speech in every day conversation makes me apprehensive to begin this week's lesson on identifying the jobs of nouns in a sentence.  If getting my students to formulate oral sentences properly is this hard, I can only imagine getting them to diagram written sentences is going to be like pulling teeth.  Any ideas on how to sufficiently explain to an eleven year old who thought the word "vegetable" was a verb that nouns are more than just "people, places, or things," and are actually subjects, complements, and objects of prepositions? 
Suggestions welcome!  

Gotta love the Glitz and Grammar of teaching middle school, right?  ;)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Happiness

Two great things happened this weekend. 

1. My Blackberry died. Which is a good thing, because then I picked up this beauty:
Consequently, I spent all Friday and Saturday instagraming everything I came in contact with, as well as playing enough Words with, Scramble with, and Hanging with Friends games to leave me with a visually impairing headache right between my eyes.  

2. My Giants won the Super Bowl. (Just in case you were living under a rock and didn't already know.) 
To make the win even more memorable, the last time the Giants won the Super Bowl (against the Patriots I might add) was my senior year of high school. Now I have two Super Bowl celebrations for each of my senior years. Pretty cool, huh? 

Happy, happy Monday! 

PS: Is anyone else having a hard time wiping the grin off their face after this weekend?!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wedding Fever

If it wasn't already confirmed, my wedding has officially taken me victim this past weekend.  On Saturday I went bridesmaid dress shopping with the rest of the bridal party for my cousin's upcoming August wedding.
Seeing all the possibilities for color schemes, dress styles, shoe option, etc., made me want to plan my own wedding...badly. 

A glimpse into my wedding future perhaps? Thank you pinterest for fueling the fire to my wedding planning disease:
Fact: Calla lilies  will be at my wedding. 
Fact: Sparklers will be necessary for the required sparkle factor on my wedding day.

As if bridesmaid shopping wasn't enough, I went to an engagement party on Saturday afternoon. C's sister is engaged to marry the man whom makes her happier than I have ever seen her in the six years I have known her. We were surrounded by a room full of elegant black and white damask detail and close family and friends who were equally as happy to see these two together. How could you not catch the fever?

The future Bride and Groom <3 
It's not even that I want to get married as much as I just want to have a really big party.  Since the day my Sweet 16 ended I've been brainstorming the ultimate reception. (ha.) Maybe I should just go into wedding planning... maybe that is the "prescription" C keeps telling me to get to cure this "fever."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hit the Ground Running...Literally

I think I have too much on my plate. 
Yesterday was one of those days I had very little time to breathe let alone slow down.  After the school day, I had almost a half hour to shovel food in my bag and run a quick errand before a mandatory intern meeting at a further Elementary School.  I had to sneak out of the meeting early to speed back to campus to teach the a much anticipated BODYPUMP launch to our students/faculty. 
After almost an hour and a half of pump, I changed (inefficiently, with matted hair and leggings turned inside-out) to go cross campus to an Education Association meeting.  

I was literally running through a parking lot in my dress and teacher bag when my patent leather flat got caught on a curb. I not so gracefully fell. Hard.  My right foot/ankle skid across the gravel as my left knee hit the ground.  Thank goodness something was in front of me to catch my upper-body from slamming into the black top: a dark blue Honda Accord.  

Yes, I hit a parked car. I smacked the front of that sedan so hard it made a noise that had to have echoed across the parking lot.  I bet the girl unlocking the car next to the one I unintentionally hit had a good laugh on her drive home. I'm probably a trending topic on Twitter by now.  #thatawkwardmomentwhen #somegirlrunsintosaparkedcar #hahahaha

Lesson learned: I think I need to slow down...hit the brakes a little bit. (No pun intended.)
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