Work


I’m really struggling at the moment…

It’s my senior year. I’m swamped with school work… My classes are intense and challenging- I threw in an extra minor last semester so this semester is heavily focused on Management Information Systems which isn’t something I’m passionate about but I do think Computer Forensics is interesting, and I know living in DC it’s a great “fall back”…

Which could prove necessary…

Because my school district is doing major cutbacks.  It’s so scary.  Basically all our jobs are at risk.  Seniority, education, position, work ethic don’t really matter.  The specifics on how they chose have not been revealed, but I’ve been worried about this for awhile but didn’t know if I should share.  I guess since our Chancellor is all over the news defending this decision it’s okay.

I keep saying “I’m not worried about it. It’s no big deal. It’d be great to get a severance package and hang out at home for a bit.”

That’s not entirely true though.  Even though I’m super busy I don’t want to look for another job, leave my students, start over, lose my direction… Plus, since I’d want to be re-hired in a new position next year I couldn’t take out my aggression, I’d just have to be mature and shake hands which would take out the only possible joy in the situation!

This intensity has led to some really bad choices.  I can’t tell you the last time I exercised (other than the walks and swims with my afterschool crew)…

I didn’t take pictures but I need to be accountable-

Breakfast: rice milk, plain yogurt, protein powder, PB2  and a banana (=smoothie)
Snack: Vanilla Frapp
Lunch: 2 slice of pizza, diet coke and 2 cookies
Snack: Large brownie
Dinner: Chicken sandwich, fries, diet coke, cookie and a cupcake

Truth? I wasn’t hungry after lunch. In the end, the list isn’t very long but the choices were horrendous (except breakfast) and I could have made much better choices.

Honestly, I don’t know what to do. I start my days with the best intentions which is why my breakfast choices have been pretty good lately and I can even make it through lunch (if I pack it) but then I’m exhausted after my 8-3:30 school day, followed by 3:30-5 afterschool group (parks, pool, walking, high energy) plus the stress of getting my school work done is overbearing.

I’ll keep fighting the *good fight* though. My health is worth it. I’ll figure this out someday.

In the meantime, I’ll keep that smile on my face and make the kids laugh… Apparently Ms. Rebeca is soooooo funny 😉

Any tips?

This week has been a little strange for me and I know that it has been noticeable in the classroom.  It’s sometimes hard to see the big picture and that makes this last year of school (at least for this degree) seem so daunting when coupled with an incredibly difficult class to manage- although it’s fun, it’s certainly not easy.

Today, I found myself frustrated and saddened by things that occur all to often in our nation’s schools.  I stood in the cafeteria helping five classes through lunch with the help of only one other adult.  It was madness and then when we tried to take them out to recess it was a mob scene.  I was ready to scream but since I don’t yell at kids, I just tried to control the situation as best I could.  In the end, the principal worked it out and they calmed down enough to get to go outside… it was rough going though.

In those moments, I was renouncing our school and the system for making the whole situation so difficult but every time I did I remembered the first thought I had this morning when thinking of something to write about today-

You see, the other day, I shared my career doubts with a colleague and said how nice it would be to sit in an office, alone, in front of a computer screen all day.  He reminded me that it might get boring.  Then he said something that really made me so comfortable and sure in my chosen path.  He basically told me that I should never doubt my decision to be a teacher because to do something else would be a waste of my passion, drive and innate ability to do so.  Coming from someone who I respect so much as both a person, and an educator, it meant a lot.

I know that there are still days when you want to strangle the people you work with- everyone has those moments… but there is always something to be thankful for.  Even in the worst situations you can always learn something from your colleagues.

You can take their skills and their drive and use that as motivation to be better and achieve more.

You can take their negligence, their cattiness and their downright stupidity (come on, every workplace has at least one and if you can’t think of one, maybe it’s you ;)) and use that as motivation to be better and achieve more.

There once was a psychologist who interviewed to identical twins whose mother was an alcoholic.  He asked the first- “Why are you an alcoholic?” She said, “Because my mother was.” He, later, asked the second “Why aren’t you an alcoholic?” She said, “Because my mother was.” The first used her mother’s disease as the reasoning behind her own, the second used the same upbringing and DNA to choose to never have a drink.

It’s so easy to be thankful for what is good and easy and fun, but the bad, the challenging and unpleasant can often teach us even greater lessons.

Hey Buddies…

It’s been a bit, no?  I had a strange little weekend.  It was really fun just not the norm.  I pretty much unplugged- at least from school work which means this post will have to be fast but it was marvelous.

First, some housekeeping.  I *sent* prizes awhile back by placing the packages in my school office to be picked up.  Today, I was in there doing some work behind the front counter and guess what I found underneath it? Yep, your prizes.  I can’t deal with that… but hey I’m not exactly shocked by the lack of organization. Anyway, I’ll be taking them to the post office this week.  Hopefully, I can get there before they close tomorrow, if not then I’ll run over during lunch on our Professional Development Day later this week.  Again, my apologies!

Friday, I stayed at work for a couple of hours and got major work done.  I may need to make that a habit.  I sit in my quiet classroom plug-in some headphones and just WORK.  It’s kind of fabulous.  Then I met an old friend from from Tufts (where I spent my freshman year).  We had a great time at this little restaurant at Union Square (nothing to write home about).

The rest of the weekend was spent lying around watching standup and movies.  It’s not something I usually do but it was amazing.

Nothing really of note was eaten except for about a pound of guac on Sunday while I was watching FOOTBALL.

Anyway, I’m on a mission. My new schedule has me leaving my place at 6:40, getting to school at 7:50 and starting work at 8:00 to 3:30.  Lunch is at 1:00 and after school I work until 5 or so.  So that means I need something that will carry me at least from pre-6:40 to 11:00 (when my kids have a healthy snack and I can snag a handful of baby carrots or something).  Then a lunch that will carry me to 6:30.  I don’t want to get home starving because that leads to bad decisions.  I can have a snack at 3:30 but I’m not really hungry then.

So, I’m trying to find the combination of nutrients that will work for me.  Today, I went with my favorite. Carbs.

I made overnight oats but then I realized the yogurt was way expired and it grossed me out so I ditched it. Instead, I had leftover noodles.

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Cold sesame noodles isn’t exactly standard breakfast far and honestly I had maybe half a cup and it wasn’t nearly enough because I was starving at around 9 and since the snack was yogurt tubes I had to wait till lunch.

Lunch was more pasta.  That’s mainly because of my unplanned breakfast. Promise I wasn’t trying to eat pasta for every meal 🙂

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Half was penne that was mixed with red peppers and baby spinach.  The other half was tortellini (unstuffed) and pesto and there was enough pesto covering those noodles to get on all the pasta.

It was good but then my co-workers started sharing junkie snacks and I ended up eating half a honey bun (my fave snack of all time) and some Fritos.  I’m not too worried about it though.

In the end- EPIC fail (hence the suspicious lack of photos).  Those carbs went through me (I also walked/ran a couple of miles with the kids after school) and those simple carbs didn’t work (it was white pasta too, yikes).

Tomorrow, I’ll try something different.

Anyone else out of their home most of the day and have healthy, packed meal tips?  How about fun easy to pack lunches?  Or even, make ahead dinners so I won’t succumb to bad choices when I get home? Any help/idea/tips would be greatly appreciated 😀

Notes: I can’t carry a bunch of containers because I’m trying to protect my back which is jacked up.  There is a fridge in my classroom so I was thinking that I could keep lots of cut up fruits and veggies in there so that I can just pack a “main dish.”  Last year I kept a loaf of bread, hummus and cheese to make sandwiches but I didn’t like being forced to eat the same sandwich everyday.  I also can’t really eat breakfast at work so my meals definitely need to be done before 8 and eating on the Metro is against the “law.”  Thanks guys!

On a very sad note… the Bills lost. Seriously… My heart is now broken.

Hey y’all…

I’ve rescheduled my entire life.  Well, at least I’m trying to.  A lot of my worries have been eased and while I still have some things to figure out, things are much better over here 😀

So… in keeping with my new attitude and my commitment to do the things that I love along with the things that I just “have to do” I’m going to commit to food blogging again.  Mainly for me.  It definitely stabilizes me and it certainly ups the quality of my eats… sorta 😉

I’ve been battling some illness so I had a liquid breakfast

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A nice mug of Yogi Throat Comfort Tea which has been my saving grace this weekend… Normally, I skip sweetener but I know that honey is actually really good for sore throats plus it made the 10-12 cups a day much more interesting.

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The second part included this really cool powder I was sent.  Macrolife Naturals is a line of food supplement powders and bars.  I know a lot of people are “anti-powders” but I’m a fan.  Last year, when I was a nanny and was home all day I had time to make sure I was covering all my nutritional bases.  Now, that’s not really feasible because I’m out of the house and chasing five year olds seven hours a day.  This helps me meet my nutritional needs without much thought.

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Anyway, it comes in two varieties and this Macrolife Reds is fab-u-lous.  I popped it into the blender with half a frozen banana and some vanilla soymilk.  It tasted similar to strawberry banana but not quite (I’m so eloquent, no?).  I actually hate strawberry banana but I liked this because it wasn’t quite that.  It was berry banana more accurately which I like! A lot!

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Obviously, there was some (soy) milky unsweetened coffee to go.  Obviously.

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A Panera “Bogel” was also consumed.  Cinnamon Krunch.  I have no idea where the other five went.  None.

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Lunch was kind of thrown together. A nice sized salad with romaine, tomatoes, red onion, olives and feta. Oh, and some yummy Greek Dressing.  This is by far my favorite version of salad.  Simple and delicious. Next time, remind me to add capers, k?

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Along with that I had another Macrolife product- one of the bars.  Chocolate Cinnamon. Honestly, this isn’t my favorite combination of flavors.  Chocolate alone would have been grand.  I do love that this is a raw bar and that the first ingredients are brazil nuts (yum) and date paste.  It’s not a Larabar but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  There are some other flavors that are more on my radar- Apple Lemon and Berri Berri are great.  Especially, Berri Berri.

Would I buy these bars and the powder? Honestly, it’s out of my price range.  A three month supply of the powder is $100.00.  That comes out to a dollar a day and believe me I think that health is priceless.  The bars are ~$32.00 for a pack of 12.  That’s almost 3 dollars each.    I did feel really good today.  Significantly better than I did over the last four days that I spent mainly lying around blowing my nose… The feelings could be related to that but maybe the sheer amount of healthy supplements in these products that bombarded my body with what it needed to heal.  Who knows.  I think further research is necessary.

I had an appointment today- good news I don’t have H1N1… for all the concerned parties out there… and if you are sick… go to the doctor better safe than sorry… even if it’s just a cold, you don’t want to share those germs with those around you… Believe me then you’ll feel awful.

By the time I got home, I had a serious craving out of nowhere (actually it’s from a Psych commercial, ten points if you know the one ;).

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Don’t hate. Baked (formerly frozen) fries and some grated Organic Valley Colby cheese.  Mmm. Perfection.  Actually, even though my tummy was full I wasn’t satisfied.  That finger food doesn’t work for me.  I must say though that I think that was the second time in life I had cheese fries (okay third?) I totally see the love.  Yum. (Salad plate- obvi).

I decided to put all that carby goodness to use and went for a treadmill run (so I could get some major reading) done… 40 minutes of that, followed by a quick cooldown on the stationary bike (mostly just so I could finish the chapter!).

I feel great tonight.  I’m not sure what it is but I had a great day… My attitude has definitely shifted and though I have a lot on my plate there are those who have a lot less than I do and I am thankful to be so fortunate.  I got a killer afterschool job that’s just an hour and half which makes my impending move and rent increase (worth it for a bigger place) much more feasible AND I’m loving my classes which makes all the reading and assignments enjoyable.  Gotta love it.  Oh and I got two new students today which splits our class pretty evenly among those lovely strong personalities and the more mellow (read: don’t scream in the hallways) crowd.  I figure that in the next month or so the strong personalities will duke it out and instead of competing will learn how to work together 🙂

Ok… I’m still a little gross in need of a shower and to prep my lunch for tomorrow. Night loves.

We went back to the American Indian Museum. Did you know that there are no straight walls in the museum, they’re all curved! Very cool!

It was great, but for very different reasons than last week- mostly, the interesting conversations I had with some of the parents… It’s amazing how different parents are from one class to the next but this ‘batch’ is pretty stellar, in my opinion. The kids were a little off today though, but that’s to be expected when Mom or Grandpa or whoever is there. I know I was always an angel around my teachers and not so much around my parents (I mean the halo didn’t shine as bright, we all know I was the perfect child… and teen!).

Anyway, I packed my breakfast this morning because I wasn’t hungry at all… and didn’t want to force myself to eat.

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Good thing I made those eggs, they were perfectly light for my *not so hungry* self but filled me up just right. Paired with a banana, I was content.

At the museum, I had a clementine but the picture is MIA. Weird. I would take another picture but I’m fairly certain that everyone know what they look like, if you don’t then I promise I’ll eat one tomorrow so you can see it then 😉

One of the moms also got this amazing chilled avocado soup that I had a bite of. It was basically avocado+veg broth blended till creamy and then chilled. It was served with diced tomatoes on top and had some back heat so maybe there was some sort of pepper in the puree. I will be recreating that! Yum!

Then I came home for a lunch. I was hungry. Hungry for produce.

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Enter my salad- TJs Sorrento mix, broccoli slaw, green peppers, tomato, capers, fresh basil. I topped it with two eggs that I hand mixed with a little bit of EVOO mayo and paprika. I just got lazy and didn’t want to take out any bread to make a sandwich to go with lunch. Good thing because I was full for… 6 hours. You know those containers that organic spinach and greens come in? Well that’s what housed my salad. Sometimes you just need a big one (TWSS).

Honestly, it was past 10 and I’m wasn’t hungry at all, but knew I needed to something before bed, so I’m made a quick smoothie.

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~1/2 cup of unsweet vanilla almond milk, ~1/2 cup of H2O, a large banana, a cup each of strawberries and blueberries. When you add strawberries to a smoothie do you take off the green? I don’t. Partially laziness and partially because if I can drink a green monster than I should be able to deal with a little green there, right? That’s what those little flecks are 🙂

I think it’s a combination of busy-ness and tiredness that has zapped my hunger.

Tomorrow, I plan to go see Food, Inc. *free screening at E Street Theatre at 7:30* (hosted by Chipotle. Once I was at the salon and a lady called it Chip-O-Lay. Hehehe) Anyway, I plan to pack a lunch and do some work at a Starbucks until movie time. I’m going armed with lunch+snacks+camera+Macbook+iPod(s)+textbook, I’ll be a regular old bag lady tomorrow!

Do you eat more or less when you’re tired?

I used to eat more to keep my energy up, but that’s when I ate more *crap food* Now that my daily eats are more wholesome, in general, I get enough energy from them that I end up eating less. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

Alright, instead of saying I’m going to bed and then getting caught up in something, I’m going to actually go to bed! Night!

Wow… Ecto really ruined things for me today. I was all set to take the plunge and get it but now I’m not so sure. It was supposed to send a post to drafts on the server and it published it instead. I’m very annoyed because now a post that’s not supposed to be up till August is on the RSS feed. I’m trying to deal with it though :/ (Of course this post goes up as a draft as it’s supposed to, figures!).

Today was strange. I had some issues with a customer who was supposed to be my friend but who wanted some things for free, things that require a lot of time and effort on my part and that are certainly worth the asking price. As a result this friend who is also employed at my school felt the need to say some not so wonderful things about me. I would like to say ‘I could care less’ which is partially true, as I know from experience that character speaks much louder than the words of others. Especially at work. I’m kind to everyone and go out of my way to help others, especially the kids, so I’m not worried about it too much. Although, this person was one of my ‘bestests’ in town, so that’s not great. Oh well, I’ll just have to enjoy my other (real) friends more, right?

But really, Why do people think that because you are nice and generous that they can just walk all over you constantly?

Moving on!

I woke up this morning and decided that my bed and I hadn’t spent enough quality time together, so I stayed in it for a bit. Seriously though, you have to spend time to build a good relationship. I have to say the bed and I are quite happy (although, I think it gets jealous of the iPod and MacBook love at times, eek).

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I did manage to eat breakfast at home even though it looks blech, it tasted amazing! It’s a generous serving of Trader Joes High Fiber Twigs and TJs Oat and Wheat Bran Swirls. Heather was right, it’s like cookies and milk. I should have read the label though because it doesn’t follow my cereal rules.

Cereal Rules

1. First Ingredient Whole Grain

2. Under 200 kcal for 1/2 cup

3. Under 25% of calories from sugar

4. Five grams fiber or more

While the first ingredient is a whole grain (rolled oats), the next two are evaporated cane juice (sugar) and brown sugar. With 200 kcals per 1/2 cup and 34% of them from sugar this is definitely more of a treat then part of a healthy breakfast, for me. I’d eat this as dessert any day though 🙂

I was on the run after school heading to DC Public Library to return some books, and Montgomery County Library to pick some up. I got a ton of vegan cookbooks and some others that I plan to review here, one of these days 😉 Schools over next week, both Summer Camp and my summer classes and I plan to just lay around reading and relaxing since I haven’t had a real vacation (no work+no school) in about 3 years! I did eat while out an about but I’ll talk about those eats later 😉

For dinner, I decided to use some of the food from TJs and some things that needed to be used up in the fridge.

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I took beautiful veggies and sauteed them a bit in butter, well organic whipped butter.

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And scrambled them up with some eggs. It was pretty simple (and not so beautiful) but very filling and delicious! As I was scrambling, I realized that my eggies where expiring today, which isn’t a big deal since I store them in the back of my cold fridge, but I still hard boiled them since that’ll mean easy fast breakfasts and protein options for the rest of the week 🙂

I keep feeling guilty for glossing over what I’m eating because I know how much of a trigger it is, personally, when I see people blog and their eats seem to be less than my own. Trust me though that I’m eating plenty and while the food is healthy I’ll share it when the times right 🙂

I have been working on blog stuff all afternoon and haven’t done any of the other things on my to do list (clean floors, MIS work, discussion and article stuff for history, writing projects, major strength training day, etc. etc.). Worth it but I feel behind! I’m going to try to get some stuff done in the next hour or so and go to bed early tonight!

In Other News: Guess Who Came Out of Hiding Today?

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Our Class Butterfly came out of her cocoon! Manzana- Apple in español– because she (?) ate an apple today, the other choices were Nick (Jonas) and Zenobia. I like Manzana, she’s beautiful and low maintenance!

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love my readers? Your comments and emails always make me so happy, feel so much better after a bad day, and are just generally uplifting. So… thank you!

I took the longest nap just now (okay three hours) but it was amazing and I feel so much better now. I could actually go back to sleep now which hopefully means my body is ready to listen to me now!

I went to bed last night with plans to sit down and have a real breakfast this morning, but I was sleeping so decided to get up as late as possible, and ended up having another grab and go breakfast.

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Oatmeal to Go. I hate these. They taste fine but I have to shut my brain off in order to eat them now. It seems like the more I educate myself the less I want to eat all the horrible things in your average food product. Quaker really needs to get on the ball with that, I imagine that the market for natural, wholesome, real ingredients is large enough that it’d be worth exploring. Right?

Then my class went here.

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The National Museum of the American Indian. The building is gorgeous, right.

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First, we participated in the freeing of catarinas/mariquitas (depending on where you’re from).

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They let free about 5000 of them and they help the plants in the museums garden to grow, and help protect their produce and such.

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It was incredible although slightly weird since I can still feel them tickling my arms and fingers. Although, I left them all in DC (I hope).

Then we watched a presentation by a Mayan woman and my group and I heard Native Stories of how the stars came to be. My favorite was on the Quillwork Girl and her Seven Brothers.

Before the presentation but after ladybug fun (and hand washing) we had lunch outside.

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WW Pita Pocket with mashed avocado, spinach and the last of my turkey slices.

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Cucumbers and artichoke kalamata hummus.

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And had a handful (or two) of baby goldfish. Satisfied whatever my stomach (or brain) needed.

Have I mentioned how much I love this class? I do. I do. I mean they’re all at school everyday during the school year but being a mixed age group really changes the dynamic.

Anyway, I came home and read some emails, took a fabulous nap and woke up because my stomach was growling.

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So, I took care of it with some Clifford Crunch, PB Puffins and Unsweet Vanilla Almond Breeze.

I’m soooo ready for bed but I’m going to do a little blog surfing beforehand. Night night 🙂

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