Life: It’s Going…

I have been on less-than-intentional hiatus from this blog for much longer than I would have liked. I’ve considered blogging several times and even thought about starting a completely new blog for this new chapter in my life. But I’ve decided against it for the immediate future.

One reason is that I don’t want my blog to be “a teacher blog”. Or even “a Catholic teacher blog”. It’s not that I don’t like those kind of sites. In fact, I often browse them for lesson ideas and the occasional dose of humor. However, as a first-year teacher, school is what I eat, sleep, and breathe. So it’s nice to have a little corner of my life that’s not all about that. This corner can be just me, not teacher-me or post-grad-me or any other label.

The stress of inhaling nothing but lesson plans, powerpoints, quiz grades, parent emails, and school generally is what has finally driven me to write again. So…I guess you could appreciate my insanity. You’ve gotten this far in the post so I assume you’re at least vaguely interested in what I’m saying and you have the craziness of my life to thank for that.

It’s not that I don’t love my job. I do. Deep down.
I just don’t like every part of it.

Let me bring you up to speed. In May, I graduated. Since then I’ve been offered 2 jobs in 2 different states, took the one in my hometown, moved back in with my parents, crunched financial numbers until I realized that being a Catholic school teacher with a mountain of private school debt who lived on her own was impossible if I wanted to be out of debt before I’m 30, bought a car, volunteered at a conference, adjusted to my new life as a middle/high school Theology teacher, juggled classroom management and grading and lesson planning and everything else, took my car on a road trip to the alma mater and there visited with good friends.

If that wasn’t enough adult adventures, last week I was driving to work when another car failed to yield and drove right into me. My car is going to be totaled and my hatred of round-abouts has increased and been justified. In the wake of the accident I’ve had backache and a headache that wasn’t just from the accident (see: middle school teacher).

So, here I come back to this blog a single, broke catholic school teacher. But at least, I think, my sarcasm is intact. I shall be chronicling my adventures as a new teacher, an adult who is still learning how to be one, and (that seeming paradoxic) a Catholic young adult.

And why have I returned? Because I need an outlet and a break. Blogging, for me, has often been a way to process things. Especially now that I no longer live with my closest friends, I think it will be helpful.

And if not, I at least hope it will be amusing to read.

Here’s to a new Beginning.

5768853238_fc6ebd7811_m.jpg
via Flckr

 

AMDG

August Goals

My monthly goals posts have always included a “better late than never” mentality regarding posting “deadlines”. Meaning, yeah, I’m a couple days late. But I usually am. (Maybe I should make one of my goals publishing on time.)

Anywho, July’s over and the ship has sailed on those goals. Below is a recap of July and then I’ll move onto August.2014 Goals August

You can see my reasoning (or lack thereof) for these goals in my July post.

July Goals

1) Write 5 blog posts/
-Result: ∅
Yeah…no. But I have been working on one that I hope to flesh out eventually and I’ve got a few ideas rattling around.

2) Compile my summer reading list
-Result: √
You can see my summer list as well as a list of a few of my favorite books here

3) Read: Finish “A Christmas Carol” and one other book
-Result: √

July was apparently good for book-related goals. I finished a Christmas Carol and read Catching Fire (which was great!).

4) Make a summer budget (spending limit)
-Result: √ (more or less)
I calculated how much I had already spent and set a limit for the rest of the summer. Then I divided that by the summer of weekends before I came home. So…I set a budget. Whether I kept to it is another matter.

5) Get ready for the new school year
-Result: not really…
This goal contained a lot: prepare for another year working with campus ministry, prepare for the semester, and all that. But I still have pretty much all of that to do.

6) Compile my road trip playlist take 2
-Result: still working on it…
I’ve started. But I don’t have a playlist–yet.

July was an ok month for goals. But I’ll be playing catch up for the next several days before I leave for school.

On to August!

August Goals

1) Blog! Darn it! (At least one post a week)
Last summer I blogged a lot. This summer I didn’t have as much free time and blogging definitely suffered. August is going to be a busy month…but I’m hoping to get a few blog posts in.

2) Set Semester goals
Yes, one of my goals is to set more goals.

3) Read one book
This will probably be one of the novels I have to read for seminar this semester. #englishminor

4) Set my schedule for the semester
When am I cleaning my room? When am I exercising? Working? Office hours? Classes start the 27th so I’ve got a few days to try out the schedule and make any needed adjustments before the end of the month.

5) Figure out how to save money/spend less this semester
Okay, I’m terrible with budgets. But something needs to be done. Maybe it will be that I put a certain amount every month or a set percentage of each paycheck into savings (where I won’t touch it!). I’m hoping to add to the “car fund”.

 

So there are my August goals. It’s going to be a busy month! Check back at the end of the month to see how I did!

July Goals

Where has time gone?!

I haven’t written monthly goals since…mm March. Wow. That’s bad.  It’s now July and the year is half over. Well it’s time to jump back in!

So, we’ve reached the midway point of the year. As a reminder here are my 2014 Goals which includes A Year of Blogging Well. So far, I haven’t been doing all that hot. But that’s why I need to get back to it!

 2014 Goals--July

July Goals

1) Write 5 blog posts
I’ve been really slacking on blogging this summer. Frankly, there’s not much time. But I’ve also been struggling with being inspired and I just need to find a few topics that work and write. This is actually a low number considering my goal of 100 posts this year (this is number 31 so far. eek. ).

2) Compile my summer reading list
Okay, so summer is half over…but I’m still going to make this. It’ll just be really, really, short.

3) Read: Finish “A Christmas Carol” and one other book
I’m reading Dickens for a class I’m taking in the Fall. I’m not sure what the other book will be but I’ve got quite a few I haven’t read yet.

4) Make a summer budget (spending limit)
It may be summer but that trip to the mall a week ago taught me a couple things, one being that I shouldn’t shop when I’m having a bad week unless I have a set limit. Budgets in general are just a good idea for me when I go shopping.

5) Get ready for the new school year
This goal contains a lot, mainly: prepare for another year working with campus ministry (finish planning usher and lector training, and plan the first bulletin of the year) and prepare for the semester (maybe start on semester goals, think about classes and books and such).

6) Compile my road trip playlist take 2
Last August when a friend and I road-tripped back to Kansas for our pre-year campus ministry retreat we each made a playlist. Now we’re doing the same thing again this August! Complete with playlists 🙂

So there are my July goals. It looks like a lot when matched with working 40 hours a week and still trying to have fun and be social with my roommate. But we’ll see what happens. Check back at the end of the month to see how I did!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 35) About Teaching and Reading, oh, and Valentine’s Day

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary!

— 1 —

Happy Valentines Day! Or if you prefer, Singles Awareness Day 😉 Today I read this article from catholicsistas.com about the single life called “The Dilemma and Joy of Being Single”. It was a really good piece. One of my favorite quotes was “if you are a single woman, you are able to mother everyone”. It’s so true. In a paradoxical way it makes me see what people mean when they say that being single is being free. The vocation of being a wife and mother requires a woman to devout herself to her family. It’s a beautiful vocation. A single woman, on the other hand can devout herself to others. But as the article reads “either vocation, married life or single/virginity, entails giving up something in order to be fruitful in some way”. That’s living your vocation. While I’m always looking ahead to my vocation in life I should also remember that

— 2 — 

So, I didn’t write my quick takes last week…in fact I haven’t blogged since the first. That’s terrible. Last week, though, was pretty crazy. I turned in my portfolio to the education department on Friday. It was a huge weight off my shoulders. I was working down to the last hour I could. Then it was done. I spent Saturday making muffins and reading and just relaxing after that craziness.

— 3 —

I then had my interview on Monday. A teacher from the education department and another woman interviewed me. I think it went well. I’ve also been doing lesson planning lately for my classes. I really liked the first one I did. The second one I found the format annoying. But it’s exciting to be doing real teacher stuff! 🙂

— 4 —

I read Divergent! That’s what I was reading last weekend. I finished it last night. It was pretty good. But mostly it just feels good to reeead! And to have finished a book. It makes me happy. I’m keeping right up with my #5 year-long goal and with one of my February goals. It makes me feel less busy and so good to have found time made time to read just for fun.

— 5 —

I guess the reason why is JOY. It’s my new philosophy if you will. It’s a new way of living for me. A motto. I haven’t put it into a post of its own (yet!) but essentially JOY is about not letting little things get to me and stress me out. It’s keeping on top of things. It’s not being freaked out about stuff over which I have no control.

— 6 —

Speaking of goals…I still need to redefine goal #4 of my year-long goals. I have some thoughts but I think I’ll put this into its own post and discuss more reasons for wanting to have some technology-free times. In general my goals aren’t doing too hot. But it’s only February. If I had everything checked off by now those would have been really lame goals. Speaking of which, my February goals are looking good, except for the whole write 10 blog posts thing. I need to step it up on that one.

— 7 —

One more take about education. (Clearly teaching is on my mind.) Another article I read this week was about Common Core and how it devalues literature. It’s true. What happened to reading for reading’s sake? What happened to literature and books as art? Literature is good for the soul and the character. Have we forgotten that? I got a happy surprise at the end of the article when I discovered it was written by Anthony Esolen who will be coming to speak on campus on Monday.

As always, I’ll be back next friday with more quick takes!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

January 2014 Goal Review

It’s been quite a month. Now let’s see how productive it’s been. It’s once again time for my monthly goals review. Let’s see how many of my goals for January I accomplished and what goals I’ll be setting for February.

2014 Goals--January/February

January Goals

1) After I get back to school, clean up my room in preparation for this new semester
I did ok at this. I reorganized my closet and everything! But my desk…well, it’s still a mess.

2) Figure out my schedule in a typical week of this semester (including exercise, reading time, homework time, weekly cleaning etc)
Yeah, I haven’t scheduled out those things. But maybe I don’t need to. My schedule isn’t always predictable. So it might be  impractical to schedule everything.

3) Write 8 blog posts
Yes! Goal accomplished. I wrote a bunch of Quick Takes posts, as well as writing about staying and praying at school when so many were gone on the March for Life, and a piece on trying vs. doing and how we often get so caught up in achieving a prize that we don’t value the effort.

4) Come up with a budgeting plan
Haha. No. I’ve been saving receipts and in the beginning I was pretty good about entering purchase amounts on a spreadsheet. I’ve also had the idea of rewarding myself with little purchases if I keep my spending down. So far though, I’d hazard to guess I’ve spent more than I would like. I guess there’s a loose plan in place it just needs to be finalized and actually followed.

Overall the month wasn’t so bad. I did better than I thought.  Now, what goals shall I set for this month?

February Goals

1) Finalize and follow a budget plan

2) Re-examine goal 4 of my year-long goals and figure out how I can incorporate limited technology time in my life

3) Pray and decide if and how I want to be a part of Campus Ministry next year.

4) Write 10 blog posts

5) Continue reading just-for-fun books 🙂

Well, there we have it. My February goals. Check back in this time next month to see how I did!

 

Linking-up with Laura! Check out her monthly goals link-up!

My Goals for 2014

It’s a new year! For me, that means it’s time to set new goals. Yesterday I reviewed my 2013 goals. Now it’s time to decide what I want to do in 2014.

Those listed below will be goals for the whole year. Here’s hoping this will be a great year for all of us!

2014 Goals

1) A Year of Blogging Well
If you’ve been following my blog you’ll have heard of this blogging challenge I’ve given myself for 2014. It involves writing 100 posts during the year, including more pictures, and generally giving this blog some attention.

2) Give Time to God in Prayer Every Day
This might be adoration, rosary, the liturgy of the hours, or just meditation/journaling. The important thing is making a commitment to this. Every. Day. It should be a time for me to lay everything at His feet and just remember that He is the most important thing.

3) Budget–even if it kills me 
I don’t like playing the guessing game of “how much is there now?” when I log into my bank account. I need to keep track of my expenses. More importantly though, I need to be thrifty as I save up for a car (eventually).

4) Be Computer-Free One Day a Week
I can still watch movies on netflix and check my texts. I’m not talking about going completely offline. But I think it’s important for me, and perhaps many of us, to get away from the distraction and pointless noise of computers–and especially the internet. This will be Saturdays for now.

5) READ
Since I went off to college it’s been difficult to read. Most evenings I spend doing homework, watching TV occasionally, and/or who am I kidding mostly (you guessed it) on the computer. I have a list as long of my arm of books I’d like to read. It’s time I got down to it. I miss the days when I would check out 5 books from the library every 2 weeks.

6) Make Time for Other Hobbies
I’d like to crochet again (my roommate and I have been talking about it). I miss drawing too. I love to draw. It would be nice to once in a while spend a lazy Sunday afternoon doing something fun and constructive.

7) Make Exercise a Regular Part of My Life
I know this won’t happen right away. I also know it probably won’t happen at all over breaks. But at least while I’m at school it would be nice to get some exercise. That might mean a workout video or just going swing dancing Sunday night. I could also go to the pool on campus or use the tennis court right next to my dorm (after it warms up a bit)

8) Commit to a Weekly Cleaning Time for My Dorm Room
In general, I just want my life to be more organized and clean-cut. Keeping my dorm room clean should hopefully help de-clutter my life too. It should also help me to not feel like a fail of a roommate. I’m fairly good about not leaving stuff on the floor for my roommate. Instead, my mess stays on my desk (and that area), inside my closet, and under my bed. I’d like to keep these areas tidy. Hence, a once-a-week cleaning time.

In addition to these year-long goals, I’ll also be posting goals for each month. Then I’ll review them at the end of the month when I set the following month’s goals. Some of my monthly goals may reflect or even duplicate my year-long goals, others may be completely unrelated. Before I finish here, I want to list my monthly goals for January too.

January Goals

1) After I get back to school, clean up my room in preparation for this new semester

2) Figure out my schedule in a typical week of this semester (including exercise, reading time, homework time, weekly cleaning etc)

3) Write 8 blog posts

4) Come up with a budgeting plan

In addition, I want to keep up with/work on my new year’s goals: praying every day, no computer on Saturdays, etc

So there you have it, my new goals including 8 things for me to do in 2014. These goals will take diligence. It’s going to be a challenging year but a good one. If I succeed I will have cause to be proud of the person I become. Hopefully, putting these goals down in writing and publishing them here will encourage me to accomplish them. I’ll also be posting them on the wall in my room when I get back to school.

I’d love to here about your New Year’s resolutions or goals. Leave a comment below!

A Year of Blogging Well

As this year draws to a close I look back to evaluate and look forward to plan.

But I’m forced to say that not even the rosiest of glasses can hide the fact that I’ve failed. These last few months–lets face it–have not been good for blogging. I can chalk it up to a crazy-busy college life but I’m done with the excuses. If I had been more committed I would have made time for this blog.  It boils down to that: laziness. Ugh.

I have a problem with self motivation. I’m also a planner. That’s why I set goals. They provide the kick-in-the-pants I need and satisfy my urge to act as if I have some control over my life. It will soon be a new year: new classes, new challenges, new joys, and the threat of becoming a junior looming on the horizon. It’s time for new goals.

My 2014 goals will be up soon. But before I post the long list I wanted to tell you about a particular goal for this next year.  This blog needs some TLC and I really should be taking better advantage of the ability to chronicle my life in college. So I propose a challenge for myself (any anyone who wants to join me!): a year of blogging well.

A Year of Blogging Well

My goal during this year will be to write 100 posts. That averages to about two per week. But more than that I want to write about things that matter to me: discernment, femininity, being Catholic, my life as a future teacher, family. I want to use beautiful pictures and crafted words. I don’t want to just blog more in quantity, I also want to blog more in quality.

So that’s the plan. 100 posts in a year. Content I enjoy. Pictures. Beauty. And hopefully a revitalized blog. A Year of Blogging Well. That’s my blogging challenge.
Any of you fellow bloggers care to join me? Have you set other blogging goals for the new year? I’d love to hear about them!

7 Quick Takes Vol. 28: I’m Actually Going to Blog Again ~or~ Christmas Break

— 1 —

It’s Friday! I have been so bad about doing these quick takes lately. I think it’s nice to have something like this though: short, a way to keep blogging, and scheduled. This is something I should really work on being consistent about.

— 2 —

Finals are over! We didn’t get out until late this year. So many other colleges had finished before us that it was kind of depressing to still be taking finals. But I made it through! And I only lost my mind three times. 😉 Also, one of my teachers gave us candy during our final (yeah, we learned about classical  conditioning in his class).
I also got my grades back. Keeping them up I’m glad to say. Spanish was my low grade this semester and I wasn’t sure how the final was going to go. A matter of mere points  would decide between letter grades. But I pulled it off. Overall in that class, I wish I’d been a bit more diligent. We had homework due 4 nights a week and I missed some of them just because I forgot and wasn’t able to turn them in late. Next semester I need to be better about that.

— 3 —

I’m home! Back with my family. Honestly, it’s not all warm smiles and watching Christmas movies. But it is home. The day after I got back, some of my family and I went to the city. We did some shopping and spent most of the day at the big department store downtown. We went out to dinner too.

— 4 —

Christmas time! It’s sort of weird. Back at school everyone was clinging to Advent hard. People protested how early the Christmas decorations started going up on campus (mid-November) and some people weren’t playing Christmas music. But here at home things are a bit different. Christmas music is certainly not taboo, the outdoor nativity set glows in our front yard, and the tree will be going up later today. But at this point, Gaudete Sunday has passed, the O antiphons have begun, and  Christmas is only 5 days away!

— 5 —

Five days!!! Ah! I haven’t finished shopping! I’ve bought one gift. I have a sibling to buy for still and oh yeah, my dad. Are your parents as hard to shop for as mine are sometimes?

— 6 —

Also, with break I have much more time for blogging. And I have a few ideas floating around so I’ll hopefully be posting more over the next few weeks.
After reading Jen’s Post I find this kind of ironic. She advocates for shutting down the internet from Thanksgiving to New Year’s because no one has time to write anyways. Haha sorry but I’d have to protest that! Christmas is one of the few times I can actually post with any sort of frequency. That and the summer. Basically any time I’m not drowning in responsibilities.

— 7 —

I have a few other things to do over break too. I’ve got some essays to write, books to read, a prayer life to improve, goals to finish, new goals to write, a driving test to take (finally), and time to spend with my family.

Merry  (early) Christmas!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

November Goals

As always, I’m back to review this last month of goals and set my new goals for this month.

October Review

1) Keep to my bedtime

Uh…yeah, no. I did ok some nights, but honestly I’ve never been good about keeping to a consistent bedtime. Overall though I think I was better about getting enough sleep this month than previously. But, on Thursday I was up until 1:30.

2) Eat breakfast every day

Hahaha. I did a little better. If microwaving a frozen waffle and wolfing it down counts as breakfast. But I didn’t even do that every day.

3) Pray every day

No comment.

4) Use my budget

Nope.

5) Draw

No.

Wow. I failed every single goal. That’s impressive.

November Goals

1) Pick a breakfast food that’s quick, easy, and which I will enjoy

This is to help me eat breakfast more often. Also, I need to get up with enough time to eat too.

2) Read through Part 3 of Rediscovering Catholicism

I’m working my way through it in spurts. I read some in the summer and read a bunch last week over Fall Break. Now I want to be more consistent. But I’m trying to be realistic. Part 3 is about 100 pages. So that’s an average of 3 pages per day. I also have the weekends and Thanksgiving Break to read larger chunks.

3) Work on Summer Internships–email archdiocese, pick 3-5 solid possibilities 

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next summer: Totus Tuus? Internship with my diocese? Education internship somewhere? I need to do some thinking about this and get in contact with people.

4) Do an exercise video once a week on Saturdays

Along with Zumba classes twice a week, this will give me 3 exercises every week. The plan is to do this on Saturday with some of my suitemates. Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t count.

5) Make Spanish flashcards

I’d like to do better in that class and since I got back from break I’ve been feeing a little lost in the vocab. So, flashcards I think would be a good idea.

6) Start ministry-related tasks before the day they’re due

I have a tendency to start things the day they’re due. Or the night before, if it’s due in the morning. For ministry-related stuff this sometimes means I’m stressed out the day of.  Hopefully I can remedy that by planning ahead and getting a jump on things.

7) Take my temperature every morning as part of charting

So, charting hasn’t been going so good lately. I have not been on top of it at all.

8) Go to Thursday Mass

I have an adoration slot right after the 12:05 Mass, so it makes sense to go to that Mass. Also, I need to go to a Mass where I’m not an assistant sacristan so that I can appreciate and absorb it.

9) Write my 7 Quick Takes every week and 3 other blog posts throughout the month

I have not been good about blogging lately and I’d like to do more.

 

Check back in next month to see how I did!

2013 Goals: August Review/September Goals

It’s September already! This month just flew past! And I honestly haven’t blogged for quite a bit of it. But it’s been a hectic few weeks. Anyways, it is time to review my goals for the last month and make another set of goals for this month.

August Review

1) Spend no more than 1 hour on the internet each day (Sundays excluded) browsing blogs/news/Facebook newsfeed

I actually kind of forgot about this goal. But I’m just going to pass myself on this one. I’ve probably been better about wasting time online, especially since for the last few weeks I haven’t had much time to waste!

Since I did…I don’t have to cut myself off from “fun” internet for 3 days

2) Write letter to my futures self

Fail. Complete and utter.
Since I didn’t… I don’t get that ice cream I promised myself  😦

3) Do the stuff i should before I head off to school

This is mostly a pass. I paid my tuition bill, helped my brother with the essays he needed to write before the beginning of the school year, packed, and made a road trip playlist.
(No consequence)

4) Take an awesome road trip with my roomie out to school, also see beautiful Colorado

Yes I did. And while I was in Colorado I climbed a mountain 🙂

PROOF
PROOF

Since I did…I got to enjoy that 😉

5) Survive and thrive!

I’ve survived quite a bit this month: 4 days of VBS with my 2nd and 3rd graders, packing and flying to Colorado, climbing a mountain, driving to Kansas with my roommate, a 2 day retreat with campus ministry, a week of training after that, making 2 bulletins, writing various Mass petitions, flying back home for a funeral, the start of classes, a new dorm room….yeah it’ been a bit crazy.

Since I did all that…I’m supposed to get to relax and hang with my friends resting in the knowledge of all I’ve made it through. Well, tonight I had dinner with some of my suite mates and after played apples to apples.

Now onto my goals for this month.

September Goals 

1) Use my budget

I’m starting my budget this month. I have set amounts for different categories of purchases. Hopefully this will help me to watch my spending, especially until I find a job on campus this semester/year.

2) Be consistent about checking my temperature

Because I’m charting with my new thermometer I need to take my temperature every morning when I wake up. This month I had a straight week where I didn’t temp at all. I should be better about that.

3) Get organized 

We started classes on Wednesday and so far I’ve been behind and confused. Also, I haven’t been blogging for a while. I need to get scheduled and organized with my life.

4) Have  better prayer life

Maybe go to Mass every day or say a rosary. Just something to reconnect with God especially in the midst of 18 credit hours, ministry work, home work and possibly work work.

5) Take care of myself

I sometimes sacrifice important things like enough sleep and square meals (or a meal completely) to get stuff done. This is not ok.

I decided I wouldn’t have consequences and rewards this month. I wasn’t coming up with good ones anyways. All right, we’ll see how I do this month. Wish me luck! I’ll see you all next month to see how these go!