|—||The Harlem-born-and-raised 4th grader I tutor|
Since I am well on my way to becoming the worst blogger ever, I figure it’s about time for some updates.
- So, as it turns out my beloved Levoxyl might not have been so good for me after all. (See here) Way to go Pfizer, once again. I’m adjusting to Levothyoxine, but I’m just not 100%. Large Dunkin iced coffees WITH the turbo shot are making up the difference for the most part.
- SPRING HAS SPRUNG! Which means that not only are my middle schoolers stir-crazy, but they also have extra body odor when they come in from recess!
- I recently invested in a pair of Toms shoes. Say what you want about sustainable charity and whatnot; these things are comfy!
- I GET MY MASTERS IN 2 WEEKS! Meeting all of my graduation requirements has not been very easy. As per usual, my luck made it so every transcript I sent to my graduate school had been misplaced or incorrectly labelled. But alas! I recently received an email confirming that my requirements are met, as long as I pass all of the classes I’m in now with a B or higher. Which reminds me….
- Finals week is upon us! And so, I offer up the FINALS PRAYER:
Lord, give me the strength I need
to drive through these tedious tasks.
Provide for me the caffeine,
which supports my nutrient-deficient frame.
Grant me the patience to deal with the moments when
My elderly Macbook wants to update Adobe not once,
but THRICE in three days.
May my printer be full of ink, and my binder rings hold tight.
May my hair look non-greasy EVEN when I have not washed it in 72 hours.
My my boss accept that this week, leggings are indeed pants.
Lord, help me to demolish the heck out of these projects, papers, and exams.
And then the medication I need to live just STOPS BEING MADE.
Nice job, Pfizer. Millions of people with thyroid problems will now have to go through a massive and painful hormone storm in the next month because you can’t get yourself together. I’m so glad you think we should start our summers off miserable.
I teach middle schoolers.
6th and 7th graders, to be exact.
And I don’t know about any of you, but I look back on my own middle school years as some of the most miserable in my life. To put it plainly: puberty is really, really hard. And like most girls, one of my major challenges as an adolescent was my perception of my body. I was an awkward kid; I hit my growth spurt earlier than any of my peers, and so suddenly at 11 I had these curves that I thought were just awful.
I was secretive about my perception struggles because my family, my teachers and all the magazines and public service announcements said I should never worry about the way I look, I’m beautiful just the way I am. So, my teen self figured, I must be doing something disobedient if I’ve been told over and over to love my body and I still don’t. I’m the one who is in the wrong. So I better not tell anyone. Instead, I just quietly began obsessively calorie counting and scrutinizing my appearance constantly.
And I can’t say that I never have rough moments anymore.
I mean, I’m more well-informed nowadays. I’ve built a healthy lifestyle for myself in the last 2 years for a lot of reasons, only one of which is that I am conscious of my appearance. (Just for reference: I eat low-carb-ish, and I generally keep track of my calorie input and output daily, and I work out at least 3-4 days a week. I own a scale and I step on it every month or two. I work hard.)
By the way, his whole outpouring of personal history is just precursor to my confusing teaching moment of the week:
Yesterday, a few of my female students noticed that I’d packed myself almonds for a snack for the day. They asked me if my almonds were the reason why I was “so fit”, and I told them that I exercise and eat healthy, but theres no one magical potion for being fit.
Today, they informed me that they had decided to go on diets “Like you, Ms. B!” I was horrified. I told them no, I’m not on a diet. And you shouldn’t be either! You’re 13! You are still growing! They retorted with “But we want to be like, skinny. Like you!”
Ugh. As one of my friends who I reached out to for advice later pointed out, this is the kind of comment that most women take as a compliment. But it made me feel ashamed. As if I’m messing with my beautiful student’s heads somehow. As if my own head is messed up.
I took the girls aside, and discussed the difference between healthy living and dieting, and how everyone’s body has its own normal, and they’ll learn how to feel comfortable in their new, grown-up skins soon enough. I told them that they were all very beautiful and healthy young ladies. They told me about comments and mis-advice they’ve gotten from friends, family, the media. I tried to clarify everything, but mis-information and adolescent angst runs deep. I left feeling like I’d confused them more, and wishing I was a little less confused myself.
After work I ate a chopped salad and then worked out, as I do almost every night. And as I did I went over and over in my head how I could have done a better job talking to them, but I have no idea how. I’ve come to no conclusions here; so if you have advice, feel free to send me a message or reblog and comment or something!
You might be wondering why I haven’t been posting much lately.
Well, I can’t say my excuse is too original: I’ve been busy.
What? I have been! don’t be so judgy! Being overextended is a real thing! It’s a problem in my life! It’s…you know what?
WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF.
Follow the directions of this sassy, sassy toddler and worry about yourself. I’ll get back to regular blogging sooner or later. Possibly when my final exams are over, IEPs are all in compliance, and my room is clean-ish.
I was born and raised in Boston, and it is my favorite place in the world.
What happened there today is chilling on too many levels.
I’m thankful that my close friends and family members are all accounted for, and my heart goes out to all those whose lives have been changed by the events of today.
Last weekend, I took my 6-year-old cousin to Palm Sunday mass with me. And her reactions were pretty great.
- Me: “What did you learn about in Sunday School this week?”
Kid: “The Father, the Son, and the HOOOOOOOOLY Spirit!”
- Me: “Here, dip your finger in this bowl of water and make the sign of the cross.”
Kid: *looks at the holy water and then back to me with a look of disgust on her face*
- Me: “Okay, now we have to stand up!”
- Me: “Now the reader is going to tell a really long story. The longest story they tell all year. And we have to stay standing up. It’s going to take a while, but we’re going to get through it!”
Kid: “Yeah! we’re going to get through it!” *5 minutes pass* “I’m just going to sit down. I think it’ll be fine.”
- Kid: *look of horror on face* “What do those bells mean?!?!”
I spent last week at my parents house in Boston, as the NYC school system had the week off. While there, I did what I always do while haunting my childhood home: I watched a TON of my parent’s cable TV.
One of the on-demand offerings was Downton Abbey. I am a big fan of Downton. Well…I am a big fan of the first two seasons of Downton, before my favorite characters started dyeing off and everything became terribly sad.
My dad is the reason why I am into historical fiction in the first place; he too has a soft spot for period television, film, and books. And he’d mentioned to me that he’d heard Downton Abbey was great. And so I pulled up the first season of Downton On Demand and we were off!
I recorded some of my father’s reactions as we watched, just for posterity. And also because I, like most grown-up-children, think my parents are absolutely hilarious.
- “If I was Mr. Carson, I’d tell Thomas to shut the hell up!”
- “Is Thomas ever going to get slapped?”
- “Is Mrs. Obrien ever going to get slapped?”
- (During a particularly scandalous scene) “Scandalous! And to think Michelle Obama watches this!”
I’ve been gone for a while! This is because I’ve been embarrassingly lazy lately…which is such a non-excuse that it’s actually a pretty solid excuse, I think.
In my laziness, I started looking up some cool new healthy recipes to try out. Because bathing suit season is fast approaching, and my wintertime insulation will be nothing but a nuisance in my second-story, non-air conditioned bedroom that inexplicably gets hit by the sun all day long. Also my clothes don’t fit and I’m too cheap to buy more. So it’s back to jogging and eating like I care about my own well being!
My first healthy cooking session of the season went well, although I created something that wasn’t ACTUALLY what I was meant to create. You see, I found this cool quinoa stir fry recipe on Pinterest, but then I left the list of ingredients I actually needed to buy at home when I went to the store. Fail. So I bought what I felt I might need, and what I might like, and once I got home I kind of just made up the recipe as I went along… So here’s the make-shifted result!
Sweet Quinoa and Squash Stir Fry (4 servings)
1 cup Quinoa
1 Butternut Squash (cut and peeled)
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 can Chickpeas
1 small Avocado (cut and peeled)
1 Lemon (or a few squirts of lemon juice)
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
Prepare Quinoa by mixing 1 cup of Quinoa grain with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed.
Soften the squash by brining about 1 cup of water to a simmer in a wok, put the cut and peeled cubes of squash in there, cover and let steam for 5-10 minutes.
Reduce the heat on the Squash and drain if needed. Add drained and rinsed chickpeas along with some olive oil. Add Quinoa when ready. Add cranberries, almonds, and chunks of avocado if you so please. Squeeze a lemon over the whole concoction and stir.
TA-DA! Here’s a protein-filled big-girl meal! Hooray!
I tastes kind of strange, but also very, very delicious. Enjoy!
This week has been a not great week for the following reasons, which I have put in order of importance, 5 being “This wasn’t the best thing about my week” and 1 being “THIS IS RUINING EVERYTHINGGGGG.”
5. The toilet flusher on my toilet has broken, and now my roomie and I have to pull a little lever in the tank to get it to flush.
4. I never actually went grocery shopping this Sunday, like I usually do. Actually I never left my bed on Sunday. (See: I celebrated St. Patty’s too much on Saturday.) So now I only have weird food left in the house to eat.
3. My pharmacy ran out of my exact dose/brand of thyroid medicine, which means I have to treck BACK out to Siberia *AHEM* I mean the Upper East Side to get my medicine again tomorrow. It’s little inconveniences like this that make me think the universe hates me.
2. It’s the week before spring break, and my students are all acting like FOOLS!
1. My allergies are back. Even though it is still 40 degrees and snowy out. I’ve got the stuffed up nose, the sinus pressure, the splitting headache, and the itchy eyes. I feel like Snuffleupagus. SNUFFELUPAGUS.
Words of wisdom, advice, or cheer are very much welcome!