Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Business

Business School Stint ended this evening.  The good news is that no one else was sexist or arrogant.  SCORE! Everyone after Benjamin seemed v. pleasant and interesting. There were no women, so that's something they could work on, but overt rudeness is always a plus.  This week I toyed briefly with the idea of going to business school myself, but I'm heading out to Israel next year so timing's not great. It's fun to learn about new things though.  I would not mind going to school for a master's in something new.  Might be fun.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Arrogance

Had to deal with a bit of arrogance and sexism today, I'm sorry to report.  I am spending 3 days at a Leadership institute.  Today the presenter yakked over and over again about how he's going to simplify the research for all of us teachers because he knows we wouldn't be interested in statistical information.
So after about the 50 gazillionth time he said that I couldn't handle it anymore and said, "I hate to interrupt, Benjamin, but you seem to be making an assumption about all of us right now that I find a bit offensive."
     As an arrogant person he stood firm to his belief saying, "You don't understand.  I'm talking about articles that have STATISTICS!  Even graduate students will frequently not understand these articles.  I"m being mindful of my audience right now."
    And then I said, "It feels like you're not being mindful of your audience Benjamin.  The teachers in this room have spent many years dedicated to our profession.  We have advanced degrees.  We read research."  
    Still, Mr. Arrogant stayed strong. "Well, I could send you an article some time.  I'm sure you'd be bored, but your husband will probably enjoy it."  (I'm not kidding here, peeps.  Benjamin actually said this.)
     So I said, "Well, you don't know me, do you, Benjamin?  You actually know nothing about me.  Isn't that true?"
     Then he said, "Well, that's true. I don't.  And I hope everyone in the room will forgive me.  I know Lee will not, but maybe the rest of you will."
      Being the bigger gal I said, "I've already forgiven you Ben.  It's all going to be okay."
      2 women later thanked me for my comments, but it was kind of hard to shake my bad mood after that, though I stayed outwardly upbeat.  This is the kind of nonsense teachers have to deal with every day.  Super annoying.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The News

Last night we had dinner at Finches with our good pal JR and our good son, #1 Son.  It was great to have a pal there who asked #1 Son a ton of questions about his schooling.  We found out a few things we didn't know. Food at Finches is delicious.  Love that place.

And the Grunwald Gallery has a great show of pieces by former IU students.  Provocative, Beautiful. Odd.  Stuff I love. My faves were these floating abstract-y boatish type pieces.  Got some fotos to share.  No worries.

I also slogged for 40 minutes yesterday.  Heading to my first 5K in a few weeks in Georgia.  Going to back up the pack behind my older brother and younger sister.  A family run reunion.  I'm wondering if I want to do the podcast for 5K to 10K.  I've decided I'm at peace with going slowly, and I like to slog for longer periods.  Hence, the wondering about the new podcast program.

Still and all, let's get focused today.  Lots to do, plus an IU basketball to view.  Tonight I'm part of a Leadership Pilot program at IU, along with some great pals at school.  Not thrilled with a Sunday night work obligation, but maybe something interesting will be shared.  I'll keep you posted.

Listened to Seth Goldin on the radio this morning.  Interesting guy and I'm wondering why I never heard of him before. He says it's okay not to be a famous blogger, but if we have a few readers, we are successful. New mindset, peeps.  You can see how this thrilled me no end.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Lab

Gabor Peterdi
I've been stuck in the computer lab setting up tests for over 2 weeks.  Yesterday I had a few make ups to do, but most of the day I got to head on into classrooms. I'm FREE! I was shouting to anyone who would listen.  The lab situation really brought me down. I talked with my PAL, the principal and we have a new plan for testing in the future.  It's a plan that makes sense and is in line with how all other schools do computer lab testing.  I'm feeling like a new day is coming where no one has to be trapped in the lab for days at a time, clicking in passwords, clicking on icons.  Except the kids of course.  But they're only in there for a short time, compared to me, who was in there for 2 weeks.  I feel a great sense of freedom and relief as you can probably notice.  You see the world a little bit differently after you've been released from a stint of hard time.  Shiny and new.

Monday, January 21, 2013

S24: The End

Another blog challenge comes to an end.  Sankalpa is a nice way to start the new year.  So thanks, One Woman for getting this party rolling and to Miscellaneous Missives for exploring this idea with us.  2013 is well on its way and I'm committed to health, both physical and emotional, throughout the next 11 months.  Right now I'm drinking wine and watching The Bachelor, and that doesn't seem super healthy, but it feels okay.  Today I worked on data entry for 4 hours at Artful School.  I got about 1/3 of the way through the data entry I need to finish this week, so that's kind of good.  I'm moving forward.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

S23: The Orchestra

We have tickets to see the Cleveland Orchestra this week, with home town guy Joshua Bell.  Tonight we're seeing a movie called Holy Motors. So that's good, that we are doing stuff and having adventures.  With this post, I'm caught up with the Sankalpa challenge.  One more post tomorrow and stick a fork in it.

I wasn't sure why we were doing this challenge for 24 days but then I read more about 24 days and sankalpa on this page.  I agree with what this writer says about attachment:

"Over-identifying with feelings or things can cut us off to life's bountiful possibilities." 

 I sometimes find it extremely hard to let go of hurt feelings and I've been working on this, over the course of these past 23 days.  My over-identification with negative feelings keeps me from feeling at my tip top emotional health.  So I've been doing my best to let go of unhealthy obsessive thoughts, but please remember, if you're reading this blog, try your very best to never hurt my feelings in the future.  It really gets me going down a long, bad path. And keeps me from life's bountiful possibilities.  Let's all work on this goal together. Win win.

S22: The Museums

“Life always gives us 
exactly the teacher we need 
at every moment. 
This includes every mosquito, 
every misfortune, 
every red light, 
every traffic jam, 
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), 
every illness, every loss, 
every moment of joy or depression, 
every addiction, 
every piece of garbage, 
every breath. 

Every moment is the guru.” 
 Charlotte Joko Beck

Yesterday Husbandman and I ventured up to Indianapolis.  We saw an exhibit of National Geographic photos of the American West.  Then we went to the Indianapolis Art Museum.  Saw some great prints by Gabor Peterdi, a new artist for us.  And a great exhibit of some Hoosier fashion designers:  Halston, Blass, Norell, and Sprouse.  All these guys lived for some time in our Hoosier state.  We finished our day at one of our fave restaurants, Zest.  On the way home, I deejayed, playing one track after another from our fine CD collection.  What a beautiful day.  And I'm happy to report that the day began with a week 7 slog from the C25K program.  I'm glad I'm back in the slogging saddle.  I feel healthier when I move a little bit more.

S21: The Locks

Brought a kinder to my office for a reading test on Friday.  We have a new policy where everyone's supposed to keep their doors locked and closed in the building.  I have been ignoring that because it's just me that's going to be killed if a murderer comes in.  Anyway, the kid started reading and then asked, "Can I shut your door because I could get distracted?" I said he could.  Then he asked, "Can I lock the door?"
"Yes, you can lock it."
Then he read like a champ.  We were walking back to his classroom when he said, "We'll have to knock on the door to get in."
Proudly I showed him my master key and explained to him that since I'm all over the building I can unlock any door so I don't interrupt teachers.  He stopped in his tracks, pondering this with a frown.  Then he said, "Well, I guess that's good, because you're not a bad guy."
"I absolutely am not," I reassured him. I was actually a little taken aback that he had to consider my status as good or bad for a few moments.  Obviously I'm not a bad guy and everyone should know that.
This locking of the doors thing is kind of a hassle.  I hope this little guy can let go of his concerns and enjoy our Artful School as the safe fun place it's meant to be.

Still working with nurturing my Sankalpa: A seed has tremendous power, but only if it is sown in fertile ground, looked after and tended daily, with the inner certainty that the seed will produce its fruit in its own time.

S20: The Frolicking

Missed out on some days of the Sankalpa challenge, mostly because I've been frolicking with some friends this week.  All good. This photo represents our dishwasher.  Husbandman claims that he is always superb at loading the dishwasher, but that on this particular day, the loading reached an unparalleled level of perfection.  He even sent me a picture of the dishwasher for me to blog about.  So here you have it.  GREAT JOB, HUSBANDMAN!
I have a different approach to dishwashing.  I like to run the dishwasher each evening, whether it is full or not.  GREAT JOB, ME, for consistency and commitment.

As for Sankalpa, I fell a little away from my intentions, but that's okay, according to a writer over at Elephant Journal:

Once I choose an intention, I keep the idea in the back of my mind through all of my everyday activities. When I reflect on my actions and habits (samskaras), I look at them through the lens of my intention and see if I’ve behaved in a way that is compatible with it. If not, I make a point to learn from the experience and to try to act with more awareness in the future.

Today I will try to act with more awareness.  After I write a few blogs and watch the IU game.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

S19: The Eavesdropping

Walking thru the hectic lunchroom I overheard a firstie say my name.  He seemed to be deep in conversation with another firstie so I was a little surprised.  "Bud, are you taking about me?" I asked the little. "Yes," he said seriously. "I was telling her that she's small now, but when she's ten, she'll be up to Dr. H's boobs."
    "Okay," I said as I walked away wondering about this odd little anecdote that had occurred right in front of my eyes.
     The cafeteria was a highlight of my day today.  Watching Bernie right now with Jack Black, and Husbandman.  Enjoying it quite a lot. If you want to see it, you should.  It's a nice way to end a kind of long day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

S18: The Pep

I woke up on the grouchy side, but I've perked up considerably as the day's gone on. My spirit lifted when I came across our assistant principal talking with a young miscreant.  THE AP read from a referral paper, "Your teacher says you are not doing your work.  Is this true?"
     Miscreant: No.
     AP:  It's not true?  Is your teacher lying?
    Miscreant:  Yes.
     AP:  Oh really?  Well it says here that you went over and took a juice box without permission and you started drinking it when you were supposed to be working.  Is that true?
    M:  No.
    AP:  No?  Your teacher's lying about the juice box?
    M:  Yes.  She's lying.

 I couldn't stay to find out if AP was able to break Miscreant down but what a charming hilarious scene.  Miscreant was sticking to her guns. And her stoicism filled me with glee. I repeated my sankalpa several times today before I got cheered up by Miscreant.  Like Miscreant, I was getting pretty rigid in my thinking on a few topics of late. So that's pretty good that I recited my sankalpa and overcame my rigidity and acted fairly maturely for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, January 14, 2013

S17: The Resolve

I worked with some fenomenal first grade teachers after school today to make some plans for their upcoming quarter.  We looked back over some work we've done in the past to see if we could re-use anything. I was happy to find a writing prompt we made a few years ago.  Firsties have to write about "events," so we found a photograph of a person riding their bike underwater, on top of the back of a shark. We were all laughing when we came upon it, remembering how much we loved it.  Sadly, the kids had a hard time getting into character and writing about this wild event.  Still, I'd be willing to give it another go.  Let's shake stuff up and act a little weird.  That's been my motto all along.

Today I let go of a bunch of old videotapes.  Why on earth do we still have these? I asked Husbandman.
"We like them?" he offered.  Out they go.

I worked late tonight so I didn't get in my slog. I did an easy peasy to quite easy peasy yoga dvd instead.  It still counts toward my sankalpa, so for that I'm thankful.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

S16: The Involvement

Today I'm letting go of thinking I have to be involved with everything.  I stepped back and stepped out a few times today.  Seemed to go pretty well.

Saw a not so good movie tonight:  The Loneliest Planet.  Not awesome, but see if if you want to.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

S15: The Relaxing

Let go of busy-ness today.  Slept late, watched the Hoosiers win their game, slogged.  Husbandman and I walked quickly through our little campus art museum.  I saw a photo collage of a woman with a bee in her ear.  This piece was from a set of pieces that connect in some way to the poetry of Sylvia Plath. I've spent the evening reading about Plath and Ted Hughes and Assia Wevill.  What a wild story.
Soon I have to face the music and get back to some work I want to do.

Friday, January 11, 2013

S14: The Balance

My new friend Emily read my book a few years ago.

Okay, Friday night.  Just had a grand old time at Truffles with good pal KVS.  We missed Ms. Lewis who had sinus surgery today.  KVS (Judith's sister) and I talked about school and kids and people who insist on wearing perfume even though it gives us a headache and we basically solved all the problems of the world.  Today was weirdly warm. So pleasant.  I'm in week 6 of the C25K.  Legs?  Hurting.

Guess who we saw at the restaurant:  The Creator of the Sankalpa Challenge!!!  Love our one woman.  And she's helping change my life with sankalpa.  THANKS, OWA! What did I let go today?  The idea that I don't have enough time.  I have plenty, btw.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

S13: The Club

Wah.  Didn't exercise today.  That's why I was getting stressed out, but book club turned me around.  It was phenomenal.  We ate and drank wine and discussed State of Wonder which I had read quite awhile ago. I'm pleased with my memory. I remembered a lot about the book and offered many good points to the discussion.  If you haven't read it yet, is it because you don't feel like it?  What's going on?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

S12: The DVD

When I woke up today I did a little yoga DVD.  It was difficult to very difficult.  And I was actually sweating, standing in these odd positions.  But the yoga was something to brag about during the work day, so that was to my advantage.

We have 2 music teachers.  I love both of them.  The old music teacher is just one of the best on the planet and I love her very much.  The new music teacher is young and v. dear.  Today I walked up to him in the lunchroom and said, "What's going on with the yoga that you said we might have after school?"  I asked him this because he's our new wellness coordinator.
"Well I think we might have a nutritionist come to talk about weight loss."
"No. I want the yoga," I told him.  "I did a 40 minute yoga DVD this morning, and you said you were organizing yoga."  Then I jabbed him a few time with my finger right in his sternum.
"Well we  may have zumba."
More poking into the sternum. "Look.  Get on the yoga.  That's what I said I wanted when we voted last fall.  Let's get it done."
He's young and kind and smart so he just said, "Okay, I'll look into it."

On another note, here's a pretty good power point about sankalpa.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

S11: The Napkins

Because it's the dawning of a new semester, it was time to review procedures in the lunchroom.  I'm a natural at this.  "Say you want a napkin.  Do you jump up and run over to Napkinland???? No, you don't.  You raise your hand and ask one of these handy adults to help you out." Not every class listened attentively so some people will be reviewing procedures again tomorrow.  That's okay.  It's not that big a deal.

I'm entering data this evening so I don't have much to offer in the Sankalpa department. Did release a few books from my book shelves.  Did keep an okay sense of balance at the school site.  Did complete week 5 of C25K.  Legs are hurting quite badly right now, but that's neither here nor there.  Back to EXCEL, which I wish I could excel at.

Monday, January 07, 2013

S10: The Stars

I think second semester is always a little nicer than first semester.  We're halfway through, and we pretty much know what's what. But I had a bad stretch today, on my first day back. I packed a bag of exercise clothes this morning thinking I could take a little slog at lunch time since today was a work day without kiddos.  Well come to find out, I left my shoes at home.  Can't tell you how much this irked me and got the old soundtrack playing in my head, "You'll never exercise now, blah blah blah."

But come to find out I left school at the end of the day and headed out for the C25K once I got home and found the missing shoes.  As I slogged, I noticed two stars over head. It was pleasant to let go of the constant thoughts and give myself a break and see those first stars.  Thich Nhat Hanh says it best, "People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer any more." It took me awhile, but I let go of my views for a very brief time and felt okay.  Tomorrow, kids come back to Artful School.  I can not wait to see them. I'm even kind of looking forward to the lunchroom gig.  Kind of.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

S9: The Movie

After finishing Week 5 Day 1 of the C25K program, I headed in to work and spent 6 hours there.  And the world did not come to an end. Nothing crashed down on my head.  I'm still the healthy person of well being I've always been.  And now it's time for the last film of the vacation.  Heading to Bear's to see a French Film and I can't quite recall the title.  C'est la vie.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

S8: The Fire

#1 Son and #1 Dog

First, some good words about Sankalpa:  Sankalpa teaches us that we are both being and becoming.  There is that part of us that doesn’t need anything and a part of us that comes into life with a purpose and that is always becoming. Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga says “It’s vital for happiness that you walk both paths simultaneously.  Direct your energy with intention, but be mindful that your nature is unchanged whether you achieve your goals or not. Live as contentedly as possible in between the goal and realizing the goal.”

These are good words for me since I had every intention of going into the work site but ended up building a rip roaring fire in the fireplace, drinking tea, and reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich.  So though I did not achieve my goals, my nature is unchanged.  Today I let go of my nervous pre-work jumpiness and decided to enjoy my day in a quiet house.  I was not productive, but I am a productive person.  So there you have it.  Tralala.

Friday, January 04, 2013

S7: The Adults

Goodwoman's Work
I'm trying hard to let go of thinking that my kids need or want or even listen to my little tips for living.  It's so hard to not give suggestions at every moment.  I can see they get annoyed.  I am trying to let go of their child identities and forge new adult relationships with them.  Tough stuff, when you come to think about it. I'm sure it will happen in time.  Because I AM the parent of two adult people.

20 Something's off on an L.A. adventure.  Feeling better, but not totally up to snuff.  Our vacation's over.  #1Son packed up all the Goodwill stuff so bags of clutter have left the building.  Yay.  I let go of a lot of great clothes I used to wear when I weighed less.  I've been hanging on to them for so long.  Not sure why.  Having clothes that don't fit in my closet was getting me depressed.  Say good bye and wish them well.  Another thing I've gotta work on is restaurant eatery.  I spent a ton on restaurant eating last month.  My next Sankalpa, possibly:  I am a person who eats at home?

Feeling sluggo now.  Missing 20 Something.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

S6: The Spoon

It seems to me that physical health might be easier to work on than emotional health.  I get turned around and lose focus in the emotions department when work starts rolling.  I like this advice for following the path over here on a site for drug addicts.

Other odds and ends floating through my monkey mind:

Have done a fine job decluttering but getting the stuff over to the Goodwill needs to happen soon. Now I have a massive ton of junk that I want OUT, but I want #1 son to help me with this.  Jury's out on when/if that will happen.

I'm at Runcible Spoon.  Have a project to work on.  I met an editor at NCTE who will read some of my stuff if I get it all together and send it to her, in the hopes that a book proposal might emerge somehow. Have been putting this off and making it too high stakes in my mind.

Upcoming work worries me, but this break has been a miracle for helping me remember the stuff I love about my job.

Loved slogging thru Day 1 of C25K Week 4, but am nervous that I will quit next week when work starts.  I know that sounds lame, but that's how I'm feeling.  Maybe Miscellaneous's group challenge will keep me on track. Who can say?

Husbandman and I both are going to miss having the kiddos around next week.  We love having the quartet back together.  I am remembering that they are adults now and have their own exciting lives out there.  Something to celebrate.

Happy to have some moments here to fool around the internets, all on my own.  I am just doing what Gandhi recommends according to this yoga site:  Renouncing.  Rejoicing.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

S5: The Gender

20 Something told me today about an incident with a Greenpeace worker that made me pretty happy and proud.  She said she was already in a bad mood one day when a Greenpeace worker stopped her and her friend and asked, "Do you 2 want to help the cute cuddly furry animals?"
20 Something asked him, "Is this your approach when you solicit men?"
Greenpeace Guy, "So now I'm the sexist guy?"
20 Something, "Could you answer the question?  Do you use this approach when asking men for donations?"
Greenpeace Guy peevishly answered, "Yes, I do."
20 Something replied, "Just wanted to know." And she and her pal kept on walking.
I asked her if I could blog the story and she said it would be fine.  I love how she stopped sexism in its tracks in this incident.

As for my healthy beginning to the new year, I did something that I wish every person on the planet could do ASAP.  I had a massage today. Haven't had one in eons, and it was extremely delightful and calming. I was going to do some work today, but I let go of my guilt and anxiety about work and relaxed with the fam. Sure there's a little naggy get back to working feeling, but mostly I'm pleased as punch at how this break's going.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

S4: The Pi

The only time Life of Pi plays in 3D in this town is at 11 am and 11pm.  So come  to find out, Husbandman and I trekked over to the theater this morning to don the plastic glasses and enjoy this tale about a guy who sails the Pacific in a lifeboat with a bengal tiger.  I read this book a bunch of years ago and did not enjoy it much.  Still, I wanted to see Ang Lee's 3D version with the tiger, the meerkats and the whale breeching in the night time sky.  Lots of fun visually, but the movie's not the best, imho. Still, there was a Sankalpa moment in the movie where the character says something like (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Life's full of letting go, but it's hard when you don't get to say good bye."  Something like that.  The thing is (SPOILER ALERT STOP READING HERE IF YOU CARE ABOUT THIS RIDICULOUS STORY), the kid in the movie is sad ("heartbroken") because when the tiger leaves him at the end of the voyage, the tiger doesn't even look back at him before heading off into the jungle.  KID, it's a tiger.  What the heck do you expect?  And I admire the guy's care and compassion, but I really can not grok that scene where the tiger jumps off the boat and then wants back on and the kid (PI) helps him get back on. Who would do that?  I'm sorry the tiger's going to drown, but the kid gave up his one chance at some peace of mind. Of course at the end we learn that there probably was no tiger, so it's all a moot point.  If you want to see Life of Pi, go ahead, but I would recommend the 3D.  The way they filmed the digital tiger is quite amazing, so you may want to read about that before or after you go.

Today I finished week 3 of the Couch to 5K program.  Week 4 is going to be tough, but it is my heartfelt intention to complete it.

The New Blue

Our home is being painted .  I love this new blue.  It used to all be the red brickish color of the deck as shown above.  For various reas...