Friday, June 25, 2010

School's out

Got up at 8:30 - probably the latest I've awoken in three months. Now I'm working from home on my couch, wearing sloppy shorts and listening to CNN. I cannot convey how awesome this is.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This is not okay

Last night there was a shooting across the street from my school. Three men, all in their 30s. One died. Guys, this happened where I take my class when we have a fire drill. So many of my students live on that block. He's got to be someone's dad or uncle or cousin or something.

Earlier this week, I found out that the reason one of my favorites* has been coming in messier than usual is because her mother packed up and left a week ago. Her 11-year-old sister has been taking care of her and their 6-year-old sister. An older sister? cousin? comes by sometimes, but she uses food as discipline and they're always hungry. And apparently this has happened before.

None of the sisters came to school on Thursday or Friday. A social worker drove by their apartment and said it looked like no one had been living there - there was trash in the cans, but no lights or noise. Nobody knows where they are. Three little girls are basically missing - and no police, one social worker, and a couple of teachers.

This is not okay. It's almost my last day of teaching - I should be ecstatic. But all I can think about is where this little girl is.

*If you think teachers shouldn't have favorites, you've obviously never been a teacher.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Three days

Dear Mrs. Palczinski: I know why you dumped out my second-grade classmate's desk and made her clean it up. It wasn't a stellar moment for you, but I know why you did it. Children do it to you.

There are three days left in the school year. I honestly did not think I would make it this far - if you'd asked me in January what summer was like, I would not have been able to tell you. It was too far away to make sense. It was bad then - but it's gotten better. There are still times when I want to pull my hair out, but at least I know what I'm doing most of the time.

It's hard to believe how much has happened. A year ago I'd just graduated from college. I'd been engaged for three weeks, and I was about to move 800 miles from home to start a new life and a new job. I had no idea what I was getting into.

D.C. summers are notoriously hot and muggy. Bring it on.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Video games and being awesome

I cannot play video games. First-person shooter games make me wish I could turn the gun on myself. I am invariably last in racing games. Even Frogger defeats me. Moreover, I never really had an interest in them when I was growing up.

This has actually had an impact on my relationships. In fourth grade I made a fool of myself playing a soccer video game with a boy I liked. In high school, I spent a lot of time squished on the edge a couch while my boyfriend, his buddies, and their girlfriends chased each other around various courses. Sometimes I napped.

I was not an Awesome Girlfriend. Because my hands turned into donkey hooves when I held a controller, I could never be as cool or epic or sexy as a girl who's good (but not too good) at driving a car and shooting zombies. A girlfriend who plays video games is exponentially more attractive than one who can't navigate a frog across a street.

This came up a few nights ago. Jim found an admittedly fun-looking game on Xbox Live - a plane-chase game based on the Peanuts characters. He asked me to play. I said no, I said no, and then I got insecure. If I keep saying no, then I am a Downer Girlfriend again. I'm always saying no. So I agreed to play.

Of course it was a shit show. I couldn't move the plane where I needed to and Jim was (literally) flying circles around me. I got more and more frustrated and all I could think about was how I am not epic, I am not awesome, I blow really hard at a very simple hand-eye coordination task. I was in tears.

I know Jim does not base his love for me on my Call of Duty or Modern Warfare performance. But I think my inability to play video games taps into a big fear I've always had in relationships - that I'm simply too dull to sustain someone's interest.

Do you have a relationship fear or worry as silly as this one?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

You're entitled to your opinion ...

..but I feel that fat is definitely a feeling, and it is entirely what I am feeling now.

This wasn't the image I had for my 500th post, but that's the way it is.