Wednesday, February 29, 2012

rain rain, please stay!

Woke up today at 6:50⎯a real luxury in my line of work! After staying late at the Teach for America headquarters last night, blubbering to my teacher and my mentor in the corps, I felt I deserved to sleep in a little bit. Good decision; I feel considerably better! Waking up with actual light coming through the window, listening to the pleasantly soft sound of rain and cars outside, was wonderful. I feel considerably better.

I am lucky to have some real support in my life, including the support I get from you guys who read this (reading your comment this morning was helpful, Ms. Kirsten!). Came to school today and was excited to see my kids. Played Cat Stevens, danced around the computer lab where the kids are taking their monthly reading assessment, and told the kids they are wonderful. They are quietly working now, everyone on task⎯freaking angels, seriously! :)

Anyways, I like the quietness the rain brings, and I'm feeling calmed by it. Things are going to be okay, I think.

teacher Leila!

And because this song made my morning (and life) seem so much more manageable, I wanted to pass it along to you all as well. Never fails to make me smile. You go, Cat Stevens!

big decisions and little vacations

Is it only Tuesday? My brain feels like it's been in the Olympics for weeks! It deserves a medal for all the twists and turns and complicated maneuvers its been doing. I'd hoist it up on my shoulders and parade it around, but it's already up there. Good work, brain. Hang in there for 3 more days...and the rest of the school year.

Been really self-reflective lately and lost in thought about what I want to do in ~the future~. I'm conflicted about a lot of things. I threw away much of my youth being a SUPER-STUDENT in college, giving myself no time to do the things that I think are valid and important to growing as a blossoming individual. There were (are?!) depressingly few parties in my young repertoire, and a nearly complete lack of reckless behavior. I have been acting like a mini-adult since I was 18, working and teaching and studying my ass off for...what? I mean, come on, it's pretty crazy that I'm teaching high school at the age of 21. Pretty sure I was in high school myself only 4 years ago.

I think the problem is that I am totally capable of doing these things, regardless of my age, and it's my ability to that I mix up with my responsibility to. Sure, I am a totally on-the-ball high school special education teacher⎯but why did I feel the need to sign a contract for a career, 40-hour-a-week, grown up job before I was even able to legally buy a drink (because, yes, I was interviewed for this job when I was 20)? I really care about this school, and the people I work with, and the kids I teach, and the mission of this movement. I care about all these things so much that I continue to do this, even though I'm not sure it's good for my personal/mental development or my health. I don't know how long I can keep it up.

So I've been mulling over some really difficult stuff, because it's starting to hit me that I'm so young, and still, I won't be young forever. Is this the best thing for me to be doing? Can, or should, I continue to sacrifice parts of my life? I don't know. But this is what I'm thinking about. It's not the school, or the kids, or my peers. It's just me. I need time to be young. I don't know when I can take that time, or if I can without feeling selfish or silly or shallow-minded. Big decisions, and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I know I am privileged to have a job, and recognize that these choices were choices I made on my own, but these things do not do much to change how I am feeling currently. Le sigh.

But, on a more pleasant note, my trip last week was really enjoyable. I've got icky-gross-yucky TFA teacher class tonight, but I thought I'd post some Instagram pictures from the trip as part of this ongoing "Leila-went-on-February-break" series. :)

 can you read it? it says "I ♥ you" in the sand!


 Monterey Aquarium!

kind of messed up to eat seafood after visiting an aquarium, was really good.

 hostel breakfast condiments


Saturday, February 25, 2012

going going, back back to Cali Cali!

Or Nor. Cal., I suppose. :)

Back from vacation! L.A. was "hella" huge. I taught there over the summer (at Hamilton!) for 2 months, but didn't actually explore the city much, as Institute sucks the life out of you and gives you pretty much zero time for exploration. Anyways, my visit to L.A. was enjoyable and eye-opening. I have tons of pictures to post soon, but my friend Sarah flew in from Michigan (hi Sarah!), so I'll be running around being a host for a while. I promise to write about my trip soon. :)

In the meantime--film pictures! They're super bright, because unfortunately I only had a really high ISO box of film with me, but still tolerable I'd say. :)

at the hostel in Monterey

 driving on the coast 

can you spot the big seal creature thing?

 squirrels sitting on people's laps

 henrik and a beach treasure (likely kelp)

 middle eastern stall on the side of the road = DELICIOUS

 dramatic fry eating


 ghost Leila and Henoch

 ghost Henrik and Henoch

 venice beach, aka Henrik's new fantasy-land

 soooo.. you can't see the names, but this was Chuck Norris

 and Marilyn Monroe..


and ending with a blurry Leila, aww yeah

So yeah! The film version of my trip. :) I took lots of photos with my regular camera and my iPhone, and also video, so you will be all sorts of aware about every aspect of my mini-vacation, haha. :) Visiting Henoch was a lot of fun. He taught with me over the summer at Hami, and I miss the heck out of him! For how hectic Institute was, I really did make some great friends. (Dave, for example, helped me move in a new couch yesterday! Yay Institute co-teaching buddies!) 

Now, I'm off to San Fran for the day. Hope you all are doing well! :)


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