Do what you love

The other day, one of my students asked me, “Ms. Evans… was it always your dream to become a teacher?”

I had to stop and think. As a child, I had some wild ideas about what I would be when I grew up. A singer? A dancer? A doctor? A lawyer? A teacher? A writer? An actress? A movie director? An FBI AGENT? (No lie… I actually wanted to be one for a while…)

But when it came down to it- when I was forced to declare a major back in college… it all came down to what my gifts were and where my passions lay. It had to be writing or teaching.

So, I went after what I loved.

And became a teacher who writes. Or a writer who teaches… depending on how you want to look at it.

And in that moment, I realized just how thankful I was that I was doing what I genuinely… LOVED. I wasn’t stuck in some dead end job trying to make ends meet… drudging through each day with the weekend as my only respite to what was otherwise an exercise in futility. I mean… how many people can say that? “I love what I do and I’m doing what I love.”

Can you say that? Because if you can’t… I encourage you to go for what you really want. Even if your dead end job is just a means to an end… work at it and stick with it and keep your eyes on that end result… because truly, it’s never too late. And life is too short. So, find what you love and do it.

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Ahem.

I know.

I’ve been ridiculously inconsistent about writing on here.

It’s not that I don’t have the time…

It’s just that… well there’s so much else to do!

Kids to tutor, kids to babysit, boyfriends to date, siblings to talk to, friends to keep up with, thank-yous to write, dishes to wash, laundry to do, books to read, music to listen to, cats to clean up after, road trips to take, prayers to pray, naps to sneak in, lessons to plan, new years to prep for, pretend arguments to have in my head…

And all of a sudden, one third of the summer is gone and I still don’t feel like I’ve had a vacation. I feel like I’m still on everyone else’s schedules… because I am… with parents to answer to for tutoring and babysitting… when all I ever wanted was a break. A break from screaming, arguing, challenging, whining children. And I don’t get a break…. It’s just that I get to deal with them for a shorter period of time and I get to sleep in a couple extra days a week… THAT’S NOT A VACATION.

I know. I do it to myself. Because I can’t say no. It’s all my fault really. But I’d be much obliged if everyone would stop POINTING IT OUT TO ME.

“What are you doing here?! School’s out! You’re on vacation!” says every other married teacher at the school who is simply maintaining this job on a disposable income kind of basis because their spouses are the bread winners and they just get to pursue their hobby of teaching.

No. See, this is my actual JOB. Which requires additional jobs in order to maintain. I actually have bills to pay. And I need food to eat. And clothes to wear… n’ stuff. So, I HAVE to work these extra jobs… along with this other teaching “gig”. I don’t do it just for fun. I’m not a public school teacher. Geeze.

I just want to sleep. And stare. And write. And drink coffee every day. And not set an alarm clock. And shower when I darn well feel like it!

I realize how petty and pathetic this all sounds. “Oh, BOO HOO. Annie has to work the rest of the summer like EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!”

I know. I’m spoiled rotten. I get it. I need to shut it. But hey, don’t blame me because you didn’t go into education. It’s not that it’s my fault that I have a cushy job that affords me the privilege of having 3 months off and the perks of working only 3 extra days a week for some extra cash.

Ahem.

I’m going to stop talking now.

And pretend this conversation never happened.

Because it didn’t.

I’m too busy for such pathetic, self-pity wallowing conversations.

Ahem.

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

Too. Much. Stuff.

I have a vacation coming up on Friday.

Yes, a vacation.

A bonafide vacation.

Like the kind where you go to the beach, and stick your feet in the sand, and lie back, kick up your feet, read a good book and just REST.

I have never, EVER been on a bonafide vacation before.

I used to dream about them as a little kid when my mom would sing the “V-A-C-A-TION” song to us at the end of every school year. I always wondered what one of those would be like. I mean, sure, we took road trips as a family… went to fairs and explored big cities and visited museums and went to see family… but it was never a “Rest and Relaxation” kind of vacation. Even my honeymoon. We went to Chicago (I know… Chicago?!) and walked ten miles every day and didn’t have time to rest and relax because we had to see everything in a span of four days.

So, this vacation? This is a big deal.

But I digress. This post isn’t even about the vacation. It’s about the prep work leading up to the vacation… which leads to other work… which leads to ridiculous frustrations… which leads to ridiculous blog posts. (Stay with me, peeps. This all makes sense in my head.)

So, yesterday, in preparation for this vacation… I did some laundry, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned out the litter box, and then took a gander around my apartment and decided to clean. (You know, because one’s home cannot be too clean before embarking on a vacation. I mean, what would the cat sitter think if they were to see your home in utter disarray?!)

absurd

I know, Nick. I know. I deal in absurdities.

SO, anyhoodles… I’m all… cleaning... and I come across a stack (yes, a stack) of … gifts… given to me by well-meaning parents and students. Gifts that have been piling up since Christmas of LAST YEAR. Gifts that have been piling up since Christmas OF LAST YEAR (thus the need for the stack) because… I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH THEM.

It seems wrong to just… toss them… they are gifts after all… but they are gifts that I will literally NEVER-EVER use.

EV-ER.

The apple cinnamon mini candle? Tell me you didn’t just regift that because you panicked at the last minute realizing you didn’t have a gift for the teacher.

The teeny-tiny apple picture frame? Whose picture am I supposed to put in there? Your child’s? I didn’t even like your child that much.

The mini book of inspirational teaching quotes? Do you honestly think I’m going to put that in my purse and pull it out when I need some wise words of encouragement? Um… Honey? Ain’t NO teacher got time for that!

The Mod-Podge glitter vase with my initials in it? Really? REALLY?

The LIP GLOSS?! Is that some kind of passive aggressive insult or were you just super desperate for a last minute gift?

THE BOX OF SPICES?! (SPICES?!?!) The ENDLESS array of teaching angels. The mugs… the mugs, the mugs, the MUGS! ALL THE MUGS ALL THE TIME. The candles and the calendars and the rosaries and the note pads.

I don’t know what to do with it all!!!

too much

Me too, Kevin. Me. Too.

Now, before you get bent too out of shape… I’m really not that mean and ungrateful. ANY time a student or a parent gets me anything, I’m always super surprised and delighted. I never expect anything for simply… doing my job. So, the fact that parents and students take the time to get me something always gives me the warm fuzzies.

It’s just that… once I look at the stack at the end of the year I’m all…

pile it up

But after a couple years of doing just that…

too much 2

(You guys… I’m going to let you in on a little secret… all the stuff? I piled it into a box bound for Good Will.)

Shhhhh…. No one will ever know.

Truly… I’m not trying to be ungrateful… but I have enough of my own stuff to contend with… stuff which also needs to be gone through and shipped off. (Heck, I haven’t even gotten through all the things from my parents’ house that I need to do something with. So, forgive me if I get all discombobulated with your candles, and picture frames and itty bitty books. It’s not you. It’s me.)

From now on, the only gift anyone will ever receive from me (Unless you explicitly state, “Annie. I would like item number 09283XL48 in red from page 243 of this catalog.” – I love that I assume people still shop from catalogs…) is a gift card. Because I know what you do with all the other gifts I have ever gotten you. You toss them. Or give them away. Or regift them. Because there is such a thing as TOO. MUCH. STUFF.

 

And this is why I’m going to hell…

There have been some firings and hirings going on at work.

(No, not me, you idiots. I’m awesome.)

But it’s been happening to other people. People have been changing positions, leaving for more pay (translation: minimum wage), getting “let go” because they suck… You know, the usual.

I had the opportunity to meet one of the new hires yesterday.

At first I was pretty sure I was going to like him.

And then he said this:

“Oh, I hate when students get me gifts. I’d much rather they give that money to charity.”

As I’m standing there holding my condensating iced mocha from Starbucks purchased with the gift cards I received from my students at the end of the year.

Another teacher piped up with, “Oh, I know! I tell all my parents at the start of every year that I really don’t need gifts. I’d much rather see that money put towards classroom supplies.”

And while they’re being all…

“Aren’t I so holy? I’m such a good Catholic. No purgatory for me. I even get an indulgence and a ‘Pass Purgatory, Collect $200 (that I don’t need)’ Card. Isn’t that lovely?”

With their spouse’s income and money to put towards savings and emergency funds and “extra spending money”…

I’m all standing there like,

“What the hell?! Do you KNOW how much we get paid?!?! The only reason I could purchase this drink is because of CHARITY. Otherwise, Winston would be without food until my next paycheck. Whores.”

With my jeans from COLLEGE, my bra from 1993, and a pair of old prescription glasses which pretty much make me a danger behind the wheel.

Oh, and did I mention I JUST got a $1,000 bill from the clinic thanks to the AWESOME health coverage I get?

So, yeah, I’m gonna take the gift cards, AND the school supplies, AND any money they bring in for Mass offering. You alright with that?!

Step. Off.

Clearly, this was quite traumatic if I’m still worked up about it 6 DAYS LATER.

In other news, I just found out from a Catholic acquaintance that Catholics can actually EARN a PLENARY INDULGENCE for a HOLY SOUL if they…

  • Pray for the pope
  • Go to confession every 21 days
  • Attend daily Mass and receive daily communion
  • Stay in a state of grace

I don’t know if this acquaintance is accurate on this point, but if they are, isn’t that the equivalent of a “Get out of Purgatory Free” card? Isn’t that the equivalent of EARNING ONE’S WAY INTO HEAVEN?! Isn’t that EARNING SALVATION BY WAY OF WORKS?!?!

Isn’t that just a….

TO EVERY PROTESTANT EVERYWHERE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE?!?!

I MEAN, WHAT IS THAT?!?!

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS THIS:

ABOUT THAT?!?!

And I found that out a WEEK AND A HALF AGO!

Clearly, I am not in a good place with this…

To top it off, I have to talk to one of the fathers this week about the religious education curriculum. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to address this if only to get some answers. And I’m kind of afraid of the answer they’re going to give me. Plus, I have a raging case of PMS, so let’s just hope I don’t burn the place down.

Don’t get me wrong… I love my job, I love my work peeps, I love the church peeps, I love the Catholics, I love everyone and everything… but… SERIOUSLY?! All of the above was just TOO. MUCH.

SO… if we’re keeping a tally of what sins are going to send me to hell in a single blog post (I figure I better keep a record for confession purposes in case I ever decide to take the leap and join the Catholic church..) here’s what the current total looks like:

  • Called you guys idiots (Slander, 5 demerits)
  • Called myself awesome (Pride, 2 demerits)
  • Used gift cards with too much relish (Greed, 10 demerits)
  • Recalled my story to others whom it did not concern (Gossip, 5 demerits)
  • Mocked people (Mockery, 35 demerits – because I did it repeatedly)
  • Insinuated violence (Wrath, 55 demerits – ’cause that’s like a mortal sin, right?)
  • Used church inappropriate words (Profanity, 10 demerits)

For a grand total of….

122 demerits

And this is why I’m going to hell…

Any Catholics out there with a “Get out of Purgatory Free” card? I’ll pay you for it.

(DANG IT! BRIBERY! Another 20 demerits! I gotta get this under control…)

 

 

Since you’ve been gone…

Since you’ve been gone…

Or rather, since I’ve been gone…

Let me get caught up with the following series of interpretive images…

12801214_10153421292161179_6693732973209276517_n

Trump? Really? Not even this is as bad as that:

8

Which pretty much leaves us with this:

clinton-funny-election-memes-2016-presidential-election

In the apolitical arena, this has been my life:

09f4b3ed6ebafe623899db8478bcd976 190e4558d61768ead801acf90576c41a 19033884582d3d45073ff7383aa94fea b98f37f89e3f35c4fbb47b3abef40249 dd85c78f4b434b9f79b91d1fd1793c91

Not to mention getting used to and indoctrinated into this:

4ec95753b7fff51c3fa49ee507e54153 mass-day via-thecatholicrealist.com-2

Which I have loved and been completely into… I find the whole thing fascinating… and occasionally… odd. But like… “good” odd. You know?

And then there was the time I almost passed out at Mass, froze to death in Urgent Care, fell in love with a priest, had a kiddo desecrate the host and fell all over myself trying to crown Mary. But those are other stories for another time.

What’s new with you?

Ms. Evans needs a time-out.

Teachers…

Have you ever had those times when no matter how many ways you approach a subject or how many techniques you use to teach it, or how many times you go over it, or how often you review it, or how often you beat your students over the head with the information… THEY STILL JUST DON’T GET IT?!

And you’re all…

This is not happening…

So, you’re like, “Clearly, I need a different approach. And we need to review. And we need to go over this. One. More. Time.”

And so you do. And you spend ANOTHER two weeks on it and still they’re…

As though this is an entirely new concept they have never even heard of before.

Until you’re just…

Seriously. You are clearly incapable of learning anything. Unless it’s the new Taylor Swift song. Whatever. Just… go away.

And then YOU get blamed for being the reason why all of American society is so stupid because clearly you don’t know how to teach, when you just want to scream, “Um, DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU PEOPLE THAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE JUST STUPID?!?!”

And then you’re put on unpaid leave because apparently that’s not okay to say or something…

Okay, so clearly I don’t feel that way about my kids. I adore my kids. They are the best things about my day. But if I have to teach SUBJECTS and PREDICATES ONE MORE FREAKIN’ TIME… HEADS ARE GOING TO ROLL, PEOPLE.

How hard is this? HOW HARD?!?!

On my last test, I asked them to circle the subjects (the thing the sentence is about… it’s usually at the beginning of a sentence) in the sentences that followed. You see the part I put in parentheses? I actually put that ON THE TEST. So there would be no confusion. And a bunch of them failed it. Then on the retake, I put the same thing in BOLD LETTERING. They actually did WORSE on the retake, than they did on the original.

That’s not even humanly possible.

Why do I even bother?

I just… I just… it’s not even… I mean… why do… how come… how can… what the…

See?

No. Words.

Clearly, Ms. Evans needs a time-out.

 

S’up, Blogosphere?

S’up, blogosphere? First of all, let me apologize for my extended absence. I mean… seriously, Annie? You never write anymore. Everyone hates you. No one even cares anymore… loser.

Which I’m sure is partially true, but I have missed writing, so I think it’s best if I get back to it, you know?

So, let’s get caught up, shall we?

  • I returned yesterday from a visit with my Sister Who Lives Far Away. It was the first time I had flown since high school and pre 9/11. It was the first time I had flown all by myself. And even though I was a bit nervous, I discovered I LOVE flying. I get to sit there and READ and THINK and STARE OFF INTO SPACE and COLLECT MY THOUGHTS while someone else does all the work of getting me to my destination. It’s BRILLIANT. I never got to fly when I was married to the ass-hat. He was always, “But flying is so boring, you don’t get to see anything…” Which I found totally absurd because who wants to drive 15 to 20 hours to a destination and have to endure the torture of seeing nothing but farm fields through most of the central U.S.? That’s not fun. That’s mind-numbingly boring. So, it turns out, I love to fly. Especially with Delta. They give complimentary snacks… which is awesome. And even getting through security wasn’t that bad. The TSA agents were quite lovely, I have to say.
  • My dyed-in-the-wool protestant family are horrified to discover that I am curious about Catholicism and considering joining the Catholic church. Except, I haven’t admitted that to most of them… you know… because of the “horrified” part. Turns out, I love what I’ve seen about the Catholic church. I don’t know if I’ll actually join or not… but it’s on the agenda of things that need addressing.
  • Father McCutie is still as adorable as ever. The crush has not subsided. However, just so we’re clear, that is NOT why I’m considering joining the Catholic Church. It truly has nothing to do with him… or anyone else. He’s just cute, that’s all.  *sigh*
  • I still have not fully mourned my mother’s passing. I have zero feeling when it comes to that topic… and I don’t know why. It’s not like we had a bad relationship. In fact, it was just the opposite. That woman was my best friend and we were ridiculously close. And yet… nothing. No tears. No sobbing. No depression. It’s weird. My family is falling apart around me and I’m all… fine. I hate myself for that. I know people grieve in different ways, but it’s like after the funeral, I was all done. Who does that? I think I’m broken.
  • I’m still hopelessly in love with this job that pays me diddly-squat. I seriously have never been so happy in a job. It’s actually kind of gross and nauseating. I’m pretty sure people are sick of me talking about my kiddos and my school and my church… but honestly, if I wasn’t talking about that, I’d be talking about Winston and nobody wants to hear about my cat. Who is quite well, by the way. Thank you for asking.

ANNNNDDDD… I think that about covers it. For now. I’ll have more to write once school starts back up. Which I know you’re hopelessly excited about.

Holy crappers this was a boring post. What? It takes a while to get back into the swing of things. Give me a break, blogosphere. Give. Me. A break.