Too Cool for School


One Week

I've got dance class in ten minutes, so I'm going to crank this baby out in speeds that I normally wouldn't. It's hard because I'm a wordy-nerd.

In the past week...
Lindsey came to see me and it was just like old times.
Baseball is no longer my favorite sport. The Rangers sent my favorite player to their Oklahoma farm team.
We decided to launch a website just for our summer drama camp at Christ Journey.
Renee, Jen, Jamie and I learned how to say, "I'm awesome!" in Romanian.
I tried on a lot of swimsuits that just didn't flatter.
Elasha and I went to see Reckless Kelly and they're really good! (Elasha has introduced me to a lot of cool stuff this year!)
I resigned from my teaching position, which means that I now HAVE to find a teaching job in a timely manner.
Kim and I decided to definitely be roommates, which means I'm moving to Richardson.
I made contact with a childhood friend.
I got to talk to my favorite ACU teacher and she said she has confidence that everything will be alright.
I watched The Phantom of the Opera on DVD six times (I was showing it to all of my theatre classes).

This whole "I quit my job" thing probably shouldn't have been announced this way. But just now, I don't really want to talk about it. Let me finish out the year and then write about it.

Gotta dance.


Basic Instinct

Ack! TAKS week. Well at least it's over. Lindsey is coming to visit me tomorrow and then there's Renee's birthday (Nascar in 3D?) and the Garland job is bizz.

OK, you know what? I realized today that almost everybody thinks that they are open minded. Think about it. Who do you know that has ever said to you, "I'm narrow minded and I only see things my way." (Short of the Lord revealing that to them, of course.) We've all had to be open minded a lot in our lives just for survival. Example: A significant other gives you a cd of a band that you've never heard of. Would you say, "What the heck, fool, I don't know this band.?!!" You'd probably listen to least once. We're all open minded now and then, anytime a comfort zone is breached. And so we think, we all think, "I'm open-minded."

Yesterday, a student text-messaged her mother in the restroom during the TAKS test, and her mother came to the school to pick the girl up. Of course, the TAKS test is an issue of National Security! Cell phones are strictly prohibited and if your cell phone even goes off during the test, every student in the room will have their test voided. Anyway, the Mom came wearing what was apparently a low-cut tank top and a pair of short shorts. A first-year teacher went on about how skanky this outfit was, when finally one of the more bold substitute teachers said, "That lady had breast cancer in both breasts and a double masectomy, and those are her new breasts." My co-teacher (the head theatre teacher), even more gutsy, said, "I didn't think that outfit was inappropriate!"

Silence. In a minute, the teacher who had made the first comment about how skanky the woman's outfit was began to tear up. My co-teacher had made her cry! (How many times has she made me cry? A lot!) And this was all over saying something the first-year teacher thought would be harmless or at least accepted by the others at the table. She didn't think twice about judging someone based on her appearance. Do you? I try not to, but think about it, we all do. I think I don't, because tattoos and ponytails don't bother me, because I make friends with people from other races, or because I'd freely give a dollar to a homeless man.

But I do look at what people wear and judge their motives. Just like the mother that walked in in those clothes, and the first-year teacher thought that her inappropriate dress signaled some need for sexual attention. It's instinctive to judge, but we have to fight the tide. Instincts aren't our God.

In that moment, I was so glad that I hadn't even seen the woman who came to pick her daughter up. Was she dressed inappropriately? I guess I'll never know.


Clanging Cymbal

I had a friend who called herself a clanging cymbal. It seemed to us that everything she said was kind, but she would catch herself saying something that only she knew was unloving and say, "Oh! I'm being a gong!" Of course, she was referencing 1 Corinthians 13:1 a verse I never spent much time on,

If I speak in tongues of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

When I hear, "Gong" or "Clanging cymbal", my first thought is a couple of really boring teachers that I had in junior high. One loud, ominous sounding, the other brassy and chattery and full of sarcasm.

Now that I'm a teacher, I too am a clanging cymbal. By far the most frustrating part of being an educator is that nobody listens to you, and then you have to repeat yourself 1,000 times. You also have to say a lot of things that you never wanted to hear come out of your own mouth in the heat of disciplining a student. Words like, "If you do that one more time..." My students know me well enough to know that my bark is worse than my bite. It can't be helped. Even though I don't let them run over me, I don't exactly have them under my thumb, either. Nobody listens to anybody else. I can't help but think that if I'm not talking, then life is so much sweeter.
I have a library card. When I walk in, I just stand between the aisles, both excited and in pain. Excited, because I get to check out any book I want. I could just open it up and know something new. In pain because I will never read them all. And perhaps, I will choose the wrong one. Or maybe I won't be brave and explore the unfamiliar titles.

I start books but don't finish them. Who can still that long? But the thought of knowing all of those things...that thrills me! So I will grab a book and open it, read a little bit, and put it back. If I take the book home, it loses its magic and becomes a paperweight on my desk. I did check out this book, though, a book of poetry. I read it with my windows open while listening to classical music. Laugh, by all means. If I were you, and I were reading this blog, I would make fun of me, too.

But anyway, the whole goal was to share this poem.

"Before Easter"
by Isobel Thrilling
yet still frost builds
dead palaces.
We hear the crack from
icicles of bone,
snow crowns
have snapped the throats
of daffodils,
the ice-queen walks in
her brittle dress.
No rose-blood in the stem
no cumulus
perfume in the trees,
each day
is a coffin of glass.
The sun is turned
to crystal,
it is our alchemy of winter;
inner cold.
Christ sleeps
behind a quickening stone.


Schizophrenic Sunday

I don't think that I woke up as myself today. Last night after I got in (very late) and wrote the confusing blog below which I'll later explain, I took a shower, went to bed, and planned nothing but sleep and church for today. But this morning, instead, of myself, I was my sister. My body cried, "Get out of bed! Go running!" I don't run anymore...I used to, but dance is my exercise of choice. I rolled over, wanting to sleep even though I wasn't tired. Then my Mom's voice popped into my head. The idea that I needed to change the sheets suddenly seemed like a novel idea. "Noooo!" the other part of me raged. Alas, I couldn't go back to sleep! (Just like Kim Perkins!)
My hair, of course, was frightful because I slept on it wet. But at some point as I was getting ready to go out later in the day, Renee took over and sa, "You don't need makeup! Just go!" So I got dressed and walked out the door, no idea where I was going to go. This was indeed strange.
After driving to the big Burleson strip mall I went to Pier One, and spent about 30 minutes looking very closely at everything, taking it all in. Ok, that's me. I like to look at all of it. But for once it didn't bother me that I couldn't buy anything. That's like my Mom.
Next, I went to Michael's. Good. I actually need something there. Thirty minutes later, I walked out with two canvasas, a new set of paintbrushes and some acrylic paint. Who am I? Lindsey Jackson has taken over my body now. I even bought the kind of paints that Lindsey buys. I'll tell you what I'm painting later. I haven't painted since third grade, when I took lessons from my Aunt Marie and I realized that every creature I drew looked like it had a flesh-eating cancer.
I Hadn't eaten yet, so I put some chicken in my grill. But instead of my usual food, I made my own pasta sauce from scratch, and cooked the chicken with pineapple. (Yum!) This is very much like Lindsey, because I'm just not that into cooking.
What the heck! I've loved this day, but honestly, I think I'd still be in bed if I hadn't woken up with multiple personality disorder.

Oh! An explanation of what I wrote earlier. Yes, you guessed right. My school didn't cut my position. Unless something drastic happens to the district's money, I've got a job. But I might be teaching speech OR teach half a day at the junior high. I've decided I'd make the sacrifice to teach at the junior high...but speech? Throw up! I think I'd rather teach TAKS remediation.

It's something I'm going to have to pray about...a lot. Thanks for your prayers. Thanks to to everyone who stood by me in the frustration of not knowing my future for so long. It looks like I still don't know, but that's what makes life exciting, isn't it?


They renewed my contract at my school

That's right.


Just Bleachy

Plumbing. You never think about it until it goes on strike. I live in an apartment, so who knows what my neighbors have flushed, but my toilet runneth over. That was alarming, as I did nothing to make it run over. Hey! I'd admit it if I'd thrown a bag of trash into the toilet and tried to flush it. I did no such thing. Whatever. Anyway, it's about 11:30, I've been to dance class, and I take a shower. While I am in the shower, I notice that there is a steady stream of water coming out of the commode, covering my floor as far as the eye can see. I step out into it, freezing cold, and about an inch deep. I try mopping it. No. Wiping it up with towels? No. Finally I am scooping it up and pouring it into the bathtub. I'm not old enough to have a set of 15-year-old ugly towels. I use the only towel I have that I don't mind sopping up toilet water with: The Butt/Face towel. The towel was a birthday gift from Cole and Lindy, and it's designed so that you won't mistakenly use the same side of the towel to wipe your face and your butt. Now, said towel is hanging off of my balcony to dry. Imagine my neighbors looking out to see a towel with the word "Butt" embroidered on one side. I put the face-side out. I mopped my floor with bleach yesterday. It's sad knowing that in order to clean something, you've got to murder thousands of your own brain cells. But I guess that's the price you pay for sanitary living conditions. Now my toilet is fixed, thanks to Richard, the maintenance guy. Or he says it's fixed. We'll see what comes up.

Today I went to a job fair for Keller ISD. There's an opening at Keller Fossil Ridge, I found out. Meanwhile, their fine arts representatives told me I should consider teaching middle school. I can learn to love all people with the exception of middle school kids. They're either asleep or they're bouncing off the walls, and their love affairs are more rocky than Days of Our Lives. But I have this feeling, down deep, that I'll find myself at a middle school next year. I'm sure I can learn to love them...but it's on my list of unlikely things, along with attending the University of Texas and my Mom getting a tattoo. Quotes