Sh;t Five Year Olds Said This Week

Me: it sure would stink if you got your candy taken away (a threat, to child A)
Child B, looking genuinely confused: it doesn’t stink when you lose your candy… Miss G, do you stink when someone takes your candy?

“You look like fiona”
“Who is fiona?”
“Princess fiona”
Me,not asking whether she means in ogre or human form, “thank you ”

“Why is your face pink ?” (Asked again)
” I think thats just what color my face is”
“You’re supposed to be white.”
Oh, okay then, my bad.

I come back from my lunch break with my hair in a ponytail instead of down
“who did your hair?”

They don’t actually say as many crazy things as one might expect, when they’re being crazy at this age it seems to be mostly physical movement and nonsense sounds. There is one kid who consistently cracks me up because he’s just this little guy but he has this very deep voice.he has a tendency of being very quiet but when he walks by me or the teacher sometimes he just says “hey” with a wave and the casual, deep-voiced hey out of this baby is just so weird and cute. You probably have to be there, but whatever. The teacher was imitating it to me at recess today and it was so funny because it was on-point and also she noticed too, I’m not alone in finding it so hilarious.

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I Accidentally Found My Calling

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I’m all hopped up on three days of working as an instructional assistant for a kindergarten class and it’s really strange because it was supposed to be over tomorrow and instead of feeling relief about the coming weekend after four days straight with five year olds I was sad. Sad… Like, what? Anyway, I made it known that I would love to stay on, so they extended my assignment through next week and asked me to apply for the actual job (which it seems hasn’t been posted yet, so I got a head start).

I was supposed to be in Michigan visiting C this week, but we had a pet sitter snafu and that didn’t happen, so I picked up this 4-day sub position. Seems kind of like the michigan thing not working out was the best thing that could have happened because I could have missed this opportunity entirely. I’m not an everything happens for a reason person, but in this case…

They recently bumped it down to a part time position with no benefits and its 5 hours, 5days a week. This might help me because the teacher wants me to get the job and most people want benefits and a live able wage. The job wouldn’t pay much at all, especially because it pays zero for vacations and summers, no sick days, etc. It’s not a cushy position at all, but it would work for me since it is more money than I make now, I don’t need to make much and I have benefits through C. So, yeah I’m applying and hoping I get it and it all looks good. I guess the only problem would come once we finally have a child of our own if daycare cost more than I would make. But that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I come to it. In the meantime, I’m super excited, I want this and I could pay off my student loans in half the time, so wish me luck!

Snippets From Turning Stone Resort and Casino

Because I’m totally baller (according to my somewhat facetious brother) I was offered two free nights at the hotel at Turning Stone in Verona, New York. I had no plans for my birthday and don’t know anyone around here (still!) so it seemed like the perfect week to cash in those free nights. My brother managed to get a couple days off and we went to live it up for a couple of days. I drove two long days round trip (9hours one way, 12 on the return- DC/Northern VA traffic is the worst) and it didn’t even seem like too long of a drive for such a short trip because we packed so much in that it felt like 4 days, not 2. I barely slept but it’s not like I have to go straight back to work after vacations so it doesn’t matter, though the drive home was rough.

I thought id share five pictures that captured the experience well, though there may be another one coming with food, which was delicious.

The ceiling at Upstate Tavern
The ceiling at Upstate Tavern

A sight i haven't seen in a long while, fresh pine cones.
A sight i haven’t seen in a long while, fresh pine cones.

The  gorgeous foliage
The gorgeous foliage

I tried a flight at Upstate Tavern
I tried a flight at Upstate Tavern

A crowd just beginning to form at Lava (it was 18+ night and I was dressed as a 29-year-old librarian and didn't dance)
A crowd just beginning to form at Lava (it was 18+ night and I was dressed as a 29-year-old librarian and didn’t dance)

Noland Trail and a Meet-up Mishap

Saturday morning I went to What was supposed to be a meetup at Noland Trail in Newport News. Unfortunately, the organizer decided not to show up or update the event to reflect that fact which was a real dick move. She answered her phone and told me as much and that she was stuck in Williamsburg with no internet. As if she wasn’t talking to me on a smartphone, not unlike the one I had just used to go to the website and get her number. People.
Anyway, I was there, it had taken me twenty minutes to get there and I was dressed to hike or run so I just went out on my own and did both for a little over 3 miles. Turns out the organizer also didn’t research at all and there was a breast cancer walk at that very time, the after party for which let out just as I attempted to leave an hour after arriving. So, that sucked, but it sucked a lot less than breast cancer so I tried not to be too annoyed as it took me over half an hour to get out of the parking lot and onto the main road.
It was a really nice trail with a lot of hills and it was all along a big lake and the James River so I’ll likely be back. And I took pictures since I was taking it slow for two of the three miles.
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PreK is My Jam

So, I’ve been an active substitute teacher for two weeks now and have worked four days- one as a reading interventionist with 1st and 2nd graders, one hellacious half day as a first grade teacher, a day as a preK teacher and a  half day as a preK paraprofessional. The only bad day was doing first grade because the kids completely changed as soon as their teacher left and there was no getting everyone to be quiet and focus at the same time, or to stay on task, so it was chaotic and I couldn’t really get them to complete anything.

Working as a reading interventionist went well because the largest group I had was six kids so it was easy to keep them on task and engaged. PreK has been amazing because there are two adults (a teacher and a para) for each class of 18 kids. This generally means that there is a familiar adult in the room even when there is a sub, so the kids don’t act out like they tend to when there is a sub. All of the kids, the first graders who handed me my ass included, are so freaking cute, but I think the kids can sense that I’m really pretty nice and also don’t know every classroom rule and so they definitely tested limits and I always had a group of kids harassing other students while another handful were asking me for snacks or the bathroom or complaining about kids taking things from them, etc. I just had to realize that I might not be the best at wrangling a classroom full of unfamiliar six year olds by myself.

Basically, I’m thinking of sticking with preK and I’ve already gotten to know two teachers who would like for me to come back next time they’re out, so I think the plan could work. I was actually supposed to teach high school English today, but the school I was going to be at has been on lockdown once this week (yesterday!) for gun threats and has been in the news three times this week for the same reason, threats of a shooting. I felt like based on that, this probably wouldn’t be an environment I’d be comfortable in, especially as I was already nervous about working with older kids because I’ve heard of teachers getting harassed and threatened and I don’t know if I’d be able to keep them from acting out. So, yeah, I threw that job back into the pool and I’m sticking to the little kids that I have loved working with. With the h.s. thing, even if the rumors hadn’t come to anything yet, I figure where there’s that much smoke, there’s going to be fire. Scary.

Our Apartment: The Settling in Edition

The last time I posted about our Virginia apartment, it was still an unpacked mess, so I thought I’d update with a few new pictures since we are more settled in now. Also I finally got the hutch I’ve had my eye on for over a month that I didn’t think I’d actually get. It is THE FIRST piece of furniture I’ve ever gotten to pick out for our home, as C. holds the purse springs and has chosen, without my even seeing them, the couch, coffee tables, end tables, bed frame, washer/dryer and etc. He did a great job choosing everything and mostly it’s bargain stuff anyway, aside from the  bed frame and washer dryer (which I loooove), but it was high time I got a little say in our decorating choices, and that’s why I’m so ridiculously excited about this new addition to our house. It’s just so pretty, and we don’t have a lot of pretty things as they are obviously mostly pretty masculine or neutral.

So, yeah, pictures.

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Cooking; A meditation

Today, I accidentally discovered what it is that I love so much about being alone in kitchen with my music, just cooking at my own pace. I had this great acoustic mix playing, had slowly and carefully prepped my ingredients at my own slow pace, not trying to be efficient or worrying about getting anything done before something else, because I did everything just one single thing at a time. My favorite way to cook is to spread what could be done over 45 minutes into a 2 hour ritual, to make it a sort of meditation.

So, there I found myself, swaying slightly and un-self-consciously to a lovely, strumming, jazzy song as I slowly, carefully, peeled two soft-boiled eggs for a cold ramen dish. I caught myself, just purely in a moment. That happens so rarely for me, I think so much, the same thoughts often roll over and over in my head, it’s not even anything new, it’s not even important, it’s just a constant rumination. And of course, I was still thinking my own little internal monologue while peeling, but it was just so much slower and softer than I am used to. When I take cooking slowly, and especially in the prep time when the over-sensitive smoke alarm isn’t crying out at my attempting to sear something, there’s just something so gentle and soothing about the little purposeful movements involved. This is a pretty strange blog post I guess, but I guess that’s what I wanted to explain- how different cooking can be from everything else, writing especially. It’s so outside the self in a way. Anyway, I’ll just leave you with that. A meditation on the meditation of cooking. A post with the most variations on the word “slow” I’ll probably ever write.