Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I heart Social Studies and teaching! (Pick me, you'll find no better nerd than me!)

"I am interested in applying for the Social Studies Teacher position at your school. With five years of classroom experience and a strong interest and background in history and government, I know I would be an excellent addition to your staff."

This is the boring blah first paragraph to my cover letter for a job I would like to have. What I'd really like to say is:

"I HEART history and government! I am a nerd! I have such a PASSION for teaching I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life!!! I get a thrill at those "aha" moments when my students get it! I can inspire even the most resistant of history haters, because I have a talent for finding things they can relate to. I get my students to learn because they don't want to disappoint me, because they catch my enthusiasm for life long learning. I am one of those "good teachers" that this country is so much in need of. I constantly think of ways to improve my teaching, to continue learning, to make changes for the better. I'm fiercely loyal, and I would bring life and love and excitement to your school and you would never want to let me go. I'm a complete package of totally into my subject AND my students! And that's not Italicall... I also am a computer nerd, up to date on all classroom technology. And if you call NOW, I can coach several different sports! PLUS, I'm cute!"

Would that be "unprofessional"? I just don't know if a cover letter can portray this, and I'm not sure how to convey this passion and excitement in an interview in the appropriate way. They just have to get to know me! I'm thinking of choreographing a song and dance routine.

So here I am again, waiting by the phone for someone to catch a glimpse of something in my letter or resume that they like and take a chance on me.

PLEASE?!?!? I promise you'll love me!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My love story. Happy Valentine's Day!

The first time my now husband ever told me he loved me was at a high school dance, and we weren't even dating. We were just friends, dancing to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (I know, I know!) and I have no idea where those words came from. They surprised me, but I understood.

Our first kiss was simultaneously the worst and the best. I had broken up with one of his friends after he started to imply that he was assimilating me like a borg. "How are we today? What are we feeling like? What are we thinking?" I was thinking he was creepy. I was very traditional in this month long relationship and waited patiently for that first kiss, but it never happened, because he never made the first move. Obviously heartbroken, he began telling locker room stories about how I had a chastity belt from my neck to my knees. Jeremy begged to differ.

He was sitting behind me on the bleachers at a Varsity football game after his JV game with his friend Levi. They were debating the truth to this accusation and Jeremy said, "Oh yeah? Watch this!" He tapped me on the shoulder, grabbed me when I leaned back and gave me an upside down kiss. "What the hell?" I thought. But then I thought, "I wonder what he really kisses like?" So after the game in the parking lot outside my car we tried again, and it was really, weak in the knees, want more forever, nice!

We didn't start dating then. We dated other people, even each other's friends. And then at dance team state competition he kissed me again. And I guess we made it official that Monday at school (Which he will argue with me on this, was Dec. 4th, 1993, but that's when it was official, no, that Saturday with the kiss doesn't count, Jeremy!).

He proposed to me at my favorite place on earth, the deck of the boat house overlooking a perfect sunset on Rock Island, WI. What did I say? I said first, "What did my father say?" and then I said yes, of course. (My father would interject here that he was not asked, but was told.)

Our wedding day, after a brutal rehearsal the day before (we are all surprised no one was killed by me), couldn't have been more perfect. June 2nd, 2001, a bit of drizzle and clouds in the morning to cool things off, bright sun after we emerged from the church as Mr. and Mrs. Rudd. We had an extremely complicated schedule of picture taking to avoid the bad luck of seeing each other before the moment. I didn't have nerves, surrounded by my best friends preening and primping me like a princess, I was just extremely excited, like a bridled horse pulling on the reins, ready to bust out into a full out gallop, just to feel the wind blow by!

And when the doors opened, and I stood before him as his bride to be, I was awash with the knowledge of the blessings I had in my life to be marrying this good, loving, hardworking, man.

So what do I love about my husband? Here's a little list:
1. When I think he is not paying attention and doesn't know who I am or what I like, he proves that he knows me better than I know myself.

2. He's a good kisser. Really, it is the reason I agreed to go out with him. He still turns my knees to jelly!

3. I like his nose, it's very Romanesque.

4. The way he tells stories! I get to hear them over and over again, but his face just lights up and his arms start going, and everyone is enraptured with his tale.

5. Together, we feel strong, able to face any challenge and any joy. I wouldn't face them with anyone else by my side.

6. He would follow me through hell and back, pushing, pulling or carrying me if I needed.

7. He gave me 2 wonderful little girls, that he loves very much and would do anything for.

8. He likes to cook... need I say more? But I will...

9. He's smart. He has a problem solving approach that is fail safe. First he talks to himself in an upbeat, positive way, like brainstorming, but the thoughts always trail off and sentences are never completed. Then he gets quiet and brooding. Then he mumbles. Then he swears. Then he threatens to give up. Then he swears some more, and maybe throws things or kicks things. Then more moody brooding. Then an aha moment! More talking to himself in unfinished thoughts and phrases. Then excitement and a flurry of activity, and viola! He's McGuivered himself a solution!

10. He can't say no, no matter how much he would like to sometimes, even to his detriment, to someone in need. He would bend over backwards for a stranger to help them out.

So, happy Valentine's Day, I hope your marriages/relationships are full of love and laughter, passion and romance, but most of all that you realize why you still love each other! I love you Jeremy Eugene Rudd!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My own Babyrific Friday

I am soooo excited about Tara and Trinity's baby! He's finally here! I'm sure stats will be up on his page, so I won't ruin it, but I'm sure he's cute.

It was the only time I wasn't the least bit annoyed at a text message yesterday just before 3pm saying her water had broke. And then this morning as I was debating smacking snooze on the alarm I heard the "beep-beep" and I flew out of bed because I knew it was them!

YAY!!!! Welcome to the club!

So, since I'm not sure if Trinity will get around to babyrific Friday, I'm holding my own...

Monday, February 9, 2009


Emily in her Christmas finery with cousin Amanda

Emily with chew toy

The Children... deceivingly charming.
Another dress!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The way NOT to teach (my rant).

I did not decide to become a teacher because of an inspirational mentor or exceptional teacher that touched my life. I remember as early as third grade thinking "If I was the teacher I would never do it like this." For example, giving a capable student a photo-copied packet of 20 worksheets to teach a lesson while they sit and read is not something a capable teacher should do, unless it's for punishment... which it might have been. Telling a student they're stupid in no uncertain terms is also something I wouldn't do. And letting a student do whatever they want to gain their approval and increase a teacher's "coolness" factor, not okay.

I'm working right now. I'm getting paid to babysit a bunch of students that get to do nothing all day. Let me repeat: ALLOWED to do NOTHING for SIX HOURS!!! Yep. A lesson plan for one class was to watch "Finding Nemo" or "The Incredibles", as long as they worked on something. "But he doesn't make us. We have nothing to do." In one class they spent an hour and a half playing on addictinggames.com. In another class they spent the entire time texting on their cell phones. Currently I have one on yearbook page, one playing a psp, and two texting to each other. NOTHING. They tell me they have no homework, no makeup work, no extra credit. And apparently this is normal, according to the kids AND the other teachers. "Oh, they have a 504, they don't do anything", like it's some excuse. What the hell? They get texts from teachers and view their face book pages. There is no Internet fire wall, or use policy.

They adore their teacher because he's young and cool. I get the impression they would do anything for him if he asked. I'm not sure he does. He's around 25 and they tell me he's written a memoir, they've read the intro, but they can't tell anyone because its "pretty R rated." Again, what the hell? But he won't be sticking around because he's not getting to teach what he wants.

It's apparent he has a lot of passion for diversity, tolerance, civil rights, Dave Matthews band, oasis, soccer, baseball, and Obama... which to go off on a side rant, I feel is completely inappropriate due to the impressionable minds of students. I believe that teachers, in a position of power, should not influence students, but teach them to look at political views and decide for themselves. Some of my students are still trying to figure out who I've voted for. I always strive for an open discussion of politics in my classroom, and to encourage them to find the truth. Also to be able to support and back up their views. One of my proudest moments was when my 8th graders put a MA state senator on the spot, telling him in Mrs. Rudd's room he had to support his statements. Which he did well, and taught them that even 8th graders can hold their public officials accountable. BUT, I digress...

He has written a 300+ page book sort of about his life? He's 25. His room looks like a teenage boy's, with posters of rock stars, sports giants and only one bookshelf full of text books, unless there's something in the cabinets... uncharacteristically I haven't snooped. I'll be right back...

His Internet history consists of sports, stocks and fishing sites... I'm bored to tears!!!! And I have an hour left...

So this is the teacher they warn you about. This is what is wrong. This is not okay. What are these students learning every day? It is okay. It is okay to not challenge yourself. It is okay to be spoon fed answers. It is okay to not work hard. What are the consequences? They are that someone will pick up after them, help them along so they can pass out of school without effecting the teacher's scores of passing students they have to submit to the government. These children are being left behind, as a direct result of that legislation. So am I jealous? Why does this guy have a job, and I don't? I've got so much to share and do and help and teach!!!

I learned a lot about the students I was able to engage in a conversation. They shared their stories, and I felt I would love to teach them! I shared my knowledge about plate tectonics, Hawthorne, computers, animal cells and colonial America. It felt great, but it took time, and often they were adamant they didn't want to learn anything, turning away from me and flipping open their slider phones... which, if these kids are such poor workers, how do they afford things like that? And I'm not even sure you could pull the "Maybe they're not cut out for academics."

Here is a big "how I don't want to teach." I can't wait to get out of here... it is sucking my will to live!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Have you missed me?

I have missed you...

Where have I been? I have been working my butt off at all the local schools, earning the big bucks! It is so nice to get out of the house, go do something useful, and come home to appreciate my wonderful family. And I don't bring any work home, which is nice.

However, it sounds like I may be doing this for a while. There is talk that most schools in this area are laying off teachers. Not good, but if I can continue to sub for next year, perhaps I can go back to school. YAY!!!

You want to know the sad thing? I'm very tired at the end of the day. I feel like such a wuss.

So my birthday was yesterday. I don't think February is the best time for my birthday. I would like it to be moved to July, okay? The stresses of work, family, time restrictions like a 10pm bedtime and 5:55am wake time prevent me from truly celebrating this momentous day. When it is moved to July, it will be sunny, warm, and I will be on vacation, able to live the good life, stay up late, sleep in, and relax. July 21st, 2010, I will be 29 for the 4th time.

I got wine, cake and ice cream, and spaghetti for dinner, and an hour of bubble bath time and book reading. It was very nice. Not like when I was 20 something, but nice. I also get to go shopping this weekend with my mommy!

So now that we've caught up, I promise I will post more mundane narrative of my life in the coming days.

Sofia, great to hear from you! How are you feeling? I'm very happy for you!