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Nov. 15th, 2010

vintage wannabe

So I like vintage dresses but i just haven't found a bay area vitage, resale shop that I adore. Scratch that, I haven't even found one to frequent. So anything vintage I own I buy from my FAVORITE place in Austin. New Bohemia Retro Resale. It's wonderful. Anything I buy there I get complimented on EVERY time I wear it. This dress is no exception.

I wanted to wear this dress today but it's been chilly so i was stuck on how to layer it up.Last night I was trying to decide: What color tights, what shoes, what sweater. I got my roommate in on it and she pointed out that it was going to be in the 70's. Problem solved for now. I'll come back to it when it decided to stay cold. For now, a light sweater was more than enough.







Cardigan: Target $10, belt: Target $15, vintage dress: New Bohemia $15, Oxfords: Frye resale from Mirabel $60

Nov. 13th, 2010

shop cheap, shop often

Here goes my attempt to switch gears and change the focus of this blog. Created to keep my family informed of my life happenings once I left Texas yet again...my interest in blogging about life has waned. Having become a daily follower of way too many style and fashion blogs, I am inspired to start my own.

I worry that this endeavor is way to egocentric. Seriously, who cares what I wear everyday? You know what? I do! Life and work can be tedious and I get great pleasure out of fashion and clothing. My personal style is constantly changing as I try new things and add new pieces to my wardrobe. I get ideas from blogs, magazines and people on the street. This little blog will be my outlet, my means of further expressing myself.

Amateur photography on a crappy point and shoot that I have no idea how to use...check! Exciting locations like my living room...check! High fashion looks from target and thift stores...double check!

My name is Aubrey. I shop often and I shop cheap.




cardigan Anthropologie clearance, dress Sway, skirt Old navy clearance, belt Target, fishnets Kohls, socks Target, boots Steve Madden clearance
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Jan. 17th, 2010

rainy day musings on the new year

A friend of mine informed me that the media says that 2010 is called twenty-ten and not two-thousand ten. I'm not sure if that's true or not. Either way I continue to write 2009 on checks and anytime I write the date. It has not sunk in yet, this new decade. However, it has taken a hold of me and for once new years resolutions have meaning and purpose. I've never felt that rush of motivation as a new year begins. It's always just another day. That could be b/c January 1st usually finds me recovering from NYE festivities. It was such a refreshing change to greet 2010 feeling 100% awake, aware and alive.

Ever since I have been riding the wave of New Years motivation for all it's worth. Items that have been stagnating on my to-do list for months, done! Back to the gym and boot camp, done! Cooking and baking again, done! It has been a wonderful few weeks! I feel great! When Thanksgiving break hit I totally dropped the ball on working out. I stopped running, going to the gym, doing yoga. And it lasted until the new year. How cliche of me. A two month hiatus from exercise is not a new thing to me and I would not have thought it would be that hard to get going again. I was W-R-O-N-G! It has been so hard! Running is a huge struggle. I can't run as far, as fast or as long. I hate that! I've always enjoyed running. Well maybe not always enjoyed. I started enjoying my runs on Onotoa. But enjoyment aside, I've always run. I have been shocked by how difficult running has been these past few weeks. But I'm determined and I struggle along. With enough time I'll get there.

Many of you know that the maternity leave I was covering is over. So, now I find myself a lady of leisure. And it is blissful!! I'm getting called for sub jobs but if I don't feel like working I don't accept the job. It's pretty awesome as you might imagine. You may be thinking, scornfully, "shhesh, it must be nice to just not go to work if you don't feel like it" Um, yeah it is but just remember, not getting a full time job this year was not my choice! I tried to find work and no one would hire me b/c California doesn't put education very high on it priorities and there are too many teachers and not enough jobs. I am just making the best of the hand I was dealt this year.

It is so cold in my apartment! Typing is difficult because my fingers are alittle numb and are not cooporating. Speaking of my apartment...I finally did a video tour. (riding that new year's wave!) Hear it is.



Hope that worked.

It is rainy and overcast today. Weather says it is supposed to rain for the next 10 days. I took advantage of our last day of sunshine yesterday. I went for a hike with this guy I've been seeing. It's only been a couple of dates but I don't think it's going to work out. That spark just isn't there.

I played hooky from boot camp today. It was supposed to be a tri-fun day. 30 minutes in the pool, 30 minutes on the stationary bike, and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I just didn't feel up to it and I definitely didn't want to get in the pool. So Erika (roommate) and I went for a jog around the lake. She is Miss Health Nut Fitness Enthusiast and I warned her that there was no way I could keep up with her like I used to. But she assured me that she wanted to go slow. I didn't factor in that it would be raining. We went and there I was one of those crazy people I marvel at that run the lake in the rain. I haven't run the whole lake in weeks, if not months but it was a nice, albeit wet run.

Oh, crap! Gotta get dressed for work. t's Sunday, one of my shifts at the restaurant. Hope you enjoyed the videos and were properly awed by my wonderful apartment. :) Mwah!


Dec. 28th, 2009

Visits, homes

Why, oh why do i fly stand-by? It is the biggest hassle in the world! It is stressful, inconvenient and fraught with disappointment. Why do I put up with it??

Oh, yes I remember. Becuase I am a cheapskate and will take many an inconvenience if it will save me a penny or two. Because those are pennies that I can save and spend at Target or Sway. So I yet again, braved the non-rev world not once but twice this week. In the past six months or so I have flied (ha just caught this and should change it but its funny. I am aware that flown is the proper word) standby maybe 4 times and two of those times have gotten screwed. I got as far as Salt Lake City and after spending all day tryng to get to texas had to turn around and fly back to Cali. Not fun at all! Especially when you end up missing a family reunion and a pre-wedding family gathering. So, I've been burned this year.

I figured having two weeks off for the Holiday break, I'd have enough flexibility to find an open flight. I chose to fly to Dallas monday at 5:15 am thinking it is the first weekday and furthest weekday from Christmas. There was that blizzard on the east coast Sunday and I was worried it would mess things up. The flights did not look very open at all and it was gonna be close. I didn't think I would get on. The gate was super crowded! I wondered how all these fools were off work and out of bed at 4:45 on a Monday morning?? Sheesh, doesn't anyone work anymore?? Oh, probably not being the economy sucks and California sucks more than the rest of the country. Somehow I got on that flight. The gate agents were being crazy strict about only having two small carry ons. i have never seen them turn so many people away. People traveling are so freakin rude. They were so huffy with these gate agents who were just doing ther job and making sure passengers weren't pack-muling on mountains of bags. Some people have no manners or courtesy. They were trying to agrue their way on to the plane with a purse, briefcase, rolling suitcase, carry on and plastic shopping bag. For just one person. They stood there arguing as if the rules don't apply to them. Call me crazy but I follow rules. They are there for a reason and I don't get the nerve of people. I was rooting for those agents each time they turned people away and told them to consolidate their things. So I got on and got first class. Ahhh, the good life. :)

I made it to Salt Lake and was again worried b/c Salt Lake hates me. Somehow that flight that had looked full was pretty open. i got first class again and made it to dallas without a single hitch. The weather was gorgoeus. Very mild weather considering it was December. Dallas was nice as home always is. I was smart and made plans before arriving. Last time I came in without doing so and found myself trapped in m mom's apartment watching Netflix all day because everyone was working or busy and I had no car. This time I had a full week and got to see a number of friends. It was great. Made me miss Texas and regret (just a bit) moving so far away. I got all my Christmas shopping done, had too many good meals out and kicked butt in a gingerbread house decorating contest with Abby's family. I even went out one night and got hit on by a fellow child of a delta pilot in Las Colinas. That was very random but fun times. Christmas eve mom and I went to "help" with a breakfast thing for AIDS services of Dallas. I did not help at all but I did an awesome job of standing around all creepy and silent. Some people are good in groups of strangers. I am not one of those people. I stand awkwardly and that's what I did Xmas eve in Oak Cliff. Then I went to stay with Uncle Jerad while my mom went to work for a bit. Jerad and Brad are good friends of my moms. We went to their place for Christmas eve dinner last year. I am now facebook friends with them :) It was a fun Xmas eve.

Early the next morning, after a whopping 2 hours of sleep I went to the airport again. I got there only to find out my flight had been delayed 3 hours. We got snow in Dallas the day before and as usually in Dallas it turned to ice. This made the roads impassible because the city doesn't have the resources to sand all the roads and highways. On top of that, the snow had delayed the previous days flights. I was sure I would not get out. According to the screen there were 16 seats and I was #16 on the list. I slept, curled in a shivering ball behind a row of seats. I now always bring a pillow when I fly because more often than not I spend hours in the airport and am alwys sleep deprived. It was so cold!! I found a white blanket next to a folded up airport cot and stole it. It kept me a tiny bit warmer and thanks to my ability to sleep anywhere I dozed intermitently until the flight started boarding. I got on it and skipped down the jetway as a called my dad with the good news.

Atlanta has been nice peaceful family time. It's great to relax and do chill family stuff. Beth's whole family (minus two) were here so we had lots of family around. So these past three days have been carbs, carbs and carbs non-stop delicious carbness. That coupled with hardcore napping and couching have made for exactly the vaction I needed. 30 minutes of hula hooping on their wii and walking my dog Peanut has been the extent of my physical activity. Peanut is really their dog now but she was mine at one point so I still think of her that way. She has a better home here with a big house and kiddos to play with.

I will probably try to fly back to Cali on Tuesday. I have to be back before New Years Eve to work at the restaurant. It's mandatory. I'll be ready to get back by then but this week of travel has been bliss.

I

Dec. 5th, 2009

December already??

Early-ish Saturday morning, the only day of the week I don't work at one of my two jobs, cinnamon-hazelnut coffee at hand, pandaora playing the Supreme's station. All of the these things make for a feeling of contentment and lazy bliss. The only black mark marring my morning are the 19 report cards I have to finish this weekend. Blasted, ridiculously long and tedious first grade report cards! But for now I'll just tuck that thought away and enjoy this first hour I'm up.

How is it December already? Where did 2009 go? Seriously, time, it is a flying. Now Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas approaches. My Thanksgiving break was pretty great. It stretched on endlessly, rather than speeding by. I took a road trip with a friend who also had the week off. We had both been talking about the need for a road trip. The bay area is the perfect place to live and get out and explore. It's driving distance to all sorts of different landscapes. Mountains one way, national parks, sandy sunny beaches a few hours south, rocky, cliff beaches (a la Wuthering Heights) to the north, desert one way for those that would want to visit a desert. then there's Tahoe, wine country, and all sort of other places. The problem is that there is also so much to to in the immediate vicinity of home. You can happily go weeks and weeks only getting as for as your local brunch spot and farmers market, maybe getting as far as the city if you're really ambicious. So to get to the point, Thanksgiving provided the perfect time to get farther out.

We diecided to drive southeast to Sequioa National Park...or is it National Forest? hmm google will know. Oh, no wonder I've been confused, there is Sequioa national Forest and Sequoia National Park. I guess we were in both. We got up super early Monday and drove to Three Rivers, CA . It's a town right outside the park entrance to Sequioa National Park, so it's like a jumping off point for both Sequioa NP and Kings Canyon Nat'l Park. Our plan had been to drive there hike for the day, spend the night, get up and hike some more and drive further south to Lake Isabella to spend one night. We made great time and got to Three Rivers by 9:30 am. As a further good omen the curt, unfriendly desk person at our motel, who at first told us we definietly couldnot check in early, caught up with us in the parking lot to say her boss had just called and told her to let people check in if they showed up early. So we were able to drop our bags and layer up for hiking before grabbing a bite to eat and heading for the park entrance.

It was pretty chilly. I've lived in the bay area for over a year and froze my ass off most of last winter with no one clueing me into LONG UNDERWEAR. AKA world's greatest invention. I had no idea that people who were not grizzled, bearded gold miners frm 1920s actually wore long johns under their clothes. Because, to my knowledge, no one in texas wears long underwear. it just doesn't get cold enough. So while shopping for winter hiking gear, Rita mentioned long johns or thermals. What a great idea!!! Our shopping mainly consisted of us walking into places like REI and exclaiming "$200 for a pair or socks!!" "$50 of a coffee mug with REI stamped on the side!" "$400 for a puff jacket" while REI clad , mid-30's, north berkeley, power couples milled around buying $60 t-shirts and $100 baby hiking boots for their toddler like they were going out of style. We slunk out of REI because we clearly didn't belong there. It was like a Hybrid SUV bomb went off in the parking lot :) We tried a couple other outdoorsy stores but eventually went where the other riff-raff shop...Target and bought thermals, mittens, and heeled boots (not for hiking but at $30 I couldn't resist). I am the proud owner of my first pair of hiking boots purchased on sale at an outlet store. I ended up not buying a warm jacket. I just can't justify over $100 for an ugly, puffy jacket. And $100 would be for a jacket on sale. A new one would cost upwards of $200!!! I have a puffy vest with a hood I bought last year at Kohl's on sale. I'd just use that. ((((Music change b/c this is the 3rd time I've heard Jackie Wilson sing "Higher and Higher". Let's try the Amber Rubarth station))))

Whoa, that was a long side note about shopping. So, I had long underwear under my jeans and like 4 layers under my puff vest, warm socks borrowed from my friend Sarah, and new hiking boots on my feet, shiny and clean, pegging me an outdoors rookie. We had been worried that it would be snowing in the mountains because then all the roads into the park would be shut down or require tire chains. As luck would have it, further proof that Sequioa was smiling upon our trip, it had yet to snow this winter. The weather was cold but sunny and clear. We were able to drive to the Giant Forest to see General Sherman, the biggest tree in the world. I had never seen Sequioa trees before and honestly, they freaked me out alittle bit. It doesn't make sense but something about their sheer magnitude coupled with their age. The fact that the tree standing before me had been their for over a thousand years was kind of scary. And they are hollow, they feel like styrofoam when you touch them. I was really creeped out. Trying to take a silly picture wrapped around one was an event. I'd get my arms close to it and leap back, shuddering and shrieking. Finally I stamped down my heebie jeebies long enough for the camera to click. Beyond their creepiness, they are amazing. This is not a widely held opinion...their amazingness, yes. Creepieness, no. I think I'm alone on this one, but they are!!!!

Hiking at high altitude was another first for me. I have no idea what the altitude was when I hiked in New Zealand and SE Asia but we must have been taking it easy. I thought after a year in the bay area I was a champion hiker or something and pictured myself sprinting up mountains with ease, barely breaking a sweat. This was not the case. I huffed and puffed along the trails, whining in exhaustion, begging for breaks every five minutes. Rita said it was the altitude that the trail I hike in the bay area are less than 1000ft at their highest point. In Sequioa we started at 1000 ft and hiked up to 2000ft the first day. After seeing the giant sequioa trees we drove to something Dome. It was this rock with 360 degree views. I dragged myself to the top of that and collasped. it was beautiful! We were so high up, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountain range in every direction. Anticipating soreness the next day, I attempted some stretching up there. But yoga poses in jeans, puff vest, and hiking boots doesn't really work so well. :) We planned to stay up there for the sunset but because we were so high up, it set later. Thank goodness we didn't wait for it because down at my car it was already dusk. Had we waited for sunset at the peak it would have been dark down at the car and we would have been driving the winding mountain roads out of the park in darkness. We got back to the hotel around 6 and planned to shower and go to the local tavern for a drink. But a power nap at 7pm turned into us crashing for the night. I woke up at 5 am because a gal can only take so much sleep. I turned on a light to read and Rita was none too pleased but I was like "I've been sleeping for 10hours! There is no way I can sleep or lay in quietly for another second!"

Day two!!! We got breakfast and headed back into the park. Since we saw the sequioas already we decided to hike the foothills for a change of scenery. There was a trail along a river recommened by one of the park rangers. She said it was like 5 miles round trip. We started out oll layered and bundled up but this trail was on a dry dirt road and once the sun came out we began to peel off layers. Here we were worried about snow and I ended up worrying I had not worn enough sunscreen. About an hour into the hike we turned a bend and froze as a furry brown leg dissappeared around the next bend. For 30 seconds we stood like deer in the headlights, eyes darting between each other and the trail ahead. We stood waiting for a mama bear to come charging after us for having the audacity to disturb her cub's breakfast. When no roaring bear emerged, we turned and high tailed it back the way we'd come. I wasn't too freaked out to be honest but Rita was practically running down the trail. She began talking about how the back leg we saw was bigger than her torso. Ummm, no, not true. It was a baby bear and it was like the size of a labrador retriever. Not so scary but had the mama bear been around we would have been in serious trouble! So we returned to our car and went to another trail. this one was 2 miles out to a waterfall and 2 miles back. It would be a higher elevation than the day before we would start at 1000ft and reach 4000 ft at the highest point. Yes, uphill the whole freaking way!! So much for outdoorsy me. I was over it 30 minutes in. Plodding at a snails pace, climbing and climbing and climbing some more on a tiny trail that wound around mountain after mountain without end. Higher and higher I got to a new level of tired, cranky and over-it. It was 2 hours to the "waterfall." By "waterfall" I mean a dinky stream, clogged with leaves and branches, trickling over a few big rocks. Apparently in the winter the waterfalls are less impressive. Bitching aside, the hike was beautiful. I was able to see that in my weak, exhausted state. I could blame the elevation but it probably more accurate to say I'm not in serious hiking shape. Four hours later we stumbled back to the car and got on the road again. Lake Isabella bound!!

In Lake Isabella we planned to just chill by the lake and relax. Along the way we passed a sign pointing down a small, east-bound highway that said California Hot Springs 35 miles. After a shared glance, I pulled a u turn. We laughed in comraderie at our spontaneousness. Oh the beauty of a road trip, traveling where ever the wind took us. Free as birds. Aren't we grand? We talked about how perfect hot springs would be perfect after two days of hiking. I pictured warm bubbling water set amid boulders in a forest. After 35 miles traveling along what loooked like Kansas, we descended in to a beautiful green valley into a town named California Hot Springs, CA. W-----T-----F??? The town was called California Hot Springs??? That sign had not been advertising Hot Springs?? No freaking way. Aren't we grand? We drove through the tiny town, passing Hot Springs Elementary School and felt like jack asses. Then we spotted a decrepit, paint peeling, boarded up, white clapboard, building with "California Hot Springs" in faded black letters across the side. After a brief silence we exploded in laughter. What idiots! Lured by a sign and our sense of being free-spirited travelers, we had gone 70 miles (roundtrip) out of our way for this. An tiny ghost town and an ancient building that boasted hot springs in 1947!!! It was too much!! Hahahaha! So a few miles later we came to a newer version of that building and it did indeed have 3 swimmming pools fed by local hot springs. unfortuanatley it had closed 10 minutes before. At this point we were past caring so we got back in the car and head back through the empty town (we seriously didn't see a single person), up out of the green valley, down the Kansas look alike highway, to the cursed Hot Springs California 35 mi sign, onto the highway we'd left a hour and a half earlier drunk on our own spontatneous, carefree existence. Onward to Lake Isabella!!!!!

Then Wednesday afternoon we'd power on to Las Vegas. My friend Rita's sister was spending Thanksgiving there and told us we could crash in her hotel room. Turned out my dad was going to be in Vegas on Thanksgiving too, on a lay-over. So I was super pumped to get to spend the holiday with at least one family member. I figured I'd give Rita and Nita some sister time and spend time with my dad. We planned to lay kind of low in Vegas

Oct. 15th, 2009

playing hardball

 Things have been crazy this past month. Lots of trips out of town and out of town guests visiting me. On top of that I have been subbing every day. That subbing led to my recent drama. It all came to a head today.

I took a week long sub job in 2nd grade for a teacher who needed to take some time off. I was told she was having a nervous breakdown. TMI and I'm sure she would have preferred I didn't know that bit of very personal info. That one week turned into 2 weeks, which turned into 2 more weeks. I have now been with this class for 4 weeks. Their teacher had only been with them for 3 weeks. Well, she resigned last Friday. You're thinking "Great! Perfect for you Aubrey!" Right?? Not so much.  

Remember I committed to that maternity leave and job share at another school? So I was torn.  The second principal was encouraging me to apply for the open position yet at the same time telling me he couldn't technically offer me the job b/c of my commitment at the other school. Yet he wanted me to apply and all but told me that if I got clear of the other jobs he'd hire me.  Again, he gave me no guarantees but he was definitely dangling a carrot. So all week I have been talking with him, he's been talking with the other principal, I've been talking with that principal and I've been talking with the other 2nd grade teachers. Finally, of course I've been talking to friends in education getting advice from everyone.  I felt sick at te idea of going back on the verbal agreement with the first school. The teacher goes on maternity leave soon and the timing of all this couldn't be worse.  At the same time I have not signed a contact with them.  Full time teaching jobs are scarce and I would be crazy to pass up this opportunity.  There are so many out of work teachers that a replacement for the part time job could be found fairly quickly.

The tricky part is that the job was not promised to me. The principal gave me no assurance that the job would be mine. He hinted but seemed to be dragging his feet. I didn't want to burn my bridges at the first school, then not get the full time job and be screwed.  So I got some solid advice from my stepmom. I struggle with being assertive. I do not like people to be mad at me, as lame as that sounds. 

This bring us up to last night. She told me that the next morning I needed to go into his office and tell him that I need something in writing by the end of the day.  If he wants me for the job he will be able to make it happen and if he doesn't then I'll have my answer. So this morning I marched into his office and laid it all on the line. I said, "I need to have this settled by the end of the day. It is not fair to keep Jennifer (the other principal) dangling like this. If I am going to back out I need to give her as much notice as I can. I would very much like to continue with this class. I have bonded with them and the parents are familiar with me at this point.  I have been here for 4 weeks and you know that I work well with the team. I am credentialed and have plenty of experience. I'm a wonderful teacher and if you called my principal from last year right now he would give you a sterling reccomendation. But if you can not make a decision by the end of the day, I will be disappointed but I have to honor my commitment to the other school."
 
That was my shpeal, for the most part.  He didn't seemed too jazzed about the time line but agreed. After a week of being torn up with guilt and indecision I finally felt good. Hopefully I would have a full time job and be able to give Jennifer a week to find a new sub. Worst care scenario I would follow thru with the part time job I committed to weeks ago and still have my integrity. Not such a bad worst case at all.

So at the end of the day I went to his office to hear his decision.  Right away he said he needed more time and gave all these reasons as to why he couldn't give me the job right then. But of course he made it sound like I would have a chance if I could wait a bit longer.  Is anyone thinking I should give in and give him a few days??? Well I did not! Bottom line is that he wants to see if he can find better than me.  He wants to have his cake and eat it too.  Keep me dangling to the detriment of my position at this other school, while exploring his options in the over- saturated educator job pool. I told him that I am not willing to be left in the middle of this situation any longer. It is not fair to anyone and while I am disappointed I hope we can work together in the future. I walked out of the office shaking and willing myself not to cry until I was alone in my car. I felt good though. Relieved it was over and I had made a decision I could live with.

So I may sub with "my" class next week just to help out until they can find a teacher to fill the position. Then it will be time to start the maternity leave.  I'm proud. I was assertive. I said what I needed and stuck to it. How about that? Maybe it's the start of a new Aubrey. Is anyone who knows me well laughing?? Shame on you, I could change! Maybe :)


Sep. 20th, 2009

rambling instead of going to bed

After complaining of going stir crazy with no job I find myself busy again. Funny how that happens. It never rains, it pours. This past week has been a busy one...pleasantly so, but definitely busy. I subbed three days last week. On Friday I took a 2nd grade sub job at a new elementary school (new to me that is). That turned into a three day job this week.  The school is Vannoy Elementary.  It's way up high in the hills of Castro Valley. It's beautiful up there. The school is built on the very top of a hill. It looks pretty small but I guess it's an average sized elementary.  Maybe 2-3 classes per grade.  I was asked to come back this week.  I am pretty sure the teacher who talked to me should have been a bit more discreet.  She told me that the other 2nd grade teacher is having a nervous breakdown or depression issue and needs to take some time off.  Ummm okay. The depressed teacher is young too, she's like my age.  And it's 3 weeks in.  Sucks for her. I can't even imagine what that would be like. I mean, you have to work but while going thru a serious depression.  That must be hard. I met her and she was like a zombie...a tearful, mon-tone zombie.  I'm thinking a week is not going fix what ever is wrong with this woman.

it sounded like the other 2nd grade teacher was already thinking long term, as in the possibility of having to replace her.  I've already committed to the two jobs at Stanton so i mentioned a teacher I taught with last year who is still job searching.  For the time being I'm going to sub this week in her class and I guess they will see what happens after that.

I worked every night this weekend. Fri, Sat, Sun. Kind of a bummer but good for the bank account. Saturday I was in a cooking mood.  I made a weekend breakfst and then spent the day doing laundry and browsing my cookbooks.  I ended up making a quiche, which was amazing if I do say so.  Everytime I decide to bake I realize in some key step that I am missing an ingredient and have to rush off the the store.  Every single time!!  It's ridicuous but sooooooo Aubrey.  This time it was eggs.  Just as I put the crust in the oven I realize I only had two eggs and no cheese.  The crust only needed 10 minutes and the grocery is about 4 minutes away.  I could have waited until the crust came out but noooo that would be too easy and not at all stressful.  So I, of course, grabbed my purse and ran down the stairs, hopped in my car and drove to the store right then.  I did not burn the house down, nor did I burn the crust. Some people, like yours truly, have some inner demon that craves stress, procrastination.  That rush of adreniline you get from pushing the envelope.  I am not proud of this yet I don't try to change it.  My goal is to slow down.

Yes, slowing down would be nice.  Stop and smell the roses.  Get back to island time.  Is 28 too late to break a habit?

Moving on. I'm  going to Texas this weekend. It has been 10 years since I graduated from high school. Somehow it seems like forever ago while still having flown by so quickly. Most of the people I talk to didn't so to their 10 year. They are super blase about it. I feel like it;s a milestone.  A rite of passage even.  There a things in life that you do and going to your high school reunion seems like one of them.  Think of all of the movies that center around 10 year reunions.  I am curious to see how mine plays out.  I am especially excited to see my group of oldest friends.  We have known each other since we were 11 and now a days we don't have many chances to get together.  This weekend should be fun :)

Sep. 10th, 2009

morning contentment

Yesterday was my first sub job at Stanton! Woohoo! Finally an income. I'm not going to lie I felt a twinge of nervousness reading over the sub plans waiting for the morning bell to ring. It was fine though. It was fun actually. It definitely beats sitting in the back of a classroom observing.  Observing is very insightful now that I have a few years teaching under my belt but it is boooooring.  Last week may have been the slowest week of my life. Yesterday morning flew by. Being in the classroom, teaching makes me happy and I am grateful for that.

It was only a half day so I took off after lunch.  With my day free I walked around the lake to the gym and then went for a run with my friend Sarah. Well, we ran together for a short time then she sped ahead of me :) We were supposed to go to yoga but the class was cancelled.  Instead we went to see Adam.  It's a movie about a man with Asberger's Syndrome.  It was cute. The theater was full of women old and young.  Part way into the movie a phone rings. I roll my eyes but know that I've probably done that too. Then, to everyone's surprise the person answers it! Not only that but he puts it on speaker phone and proceeds to have a conversation!!  I think everyone is shocked and immediately annoyed.  You see the entire theater of women collectively turn back to see this young black guy sprawled out alone, a few rows back.  Feet up on the seats, lounged back, dropping f bombs, talking at a normal volume.  Everyone starts hurumfhing and shushing him.  A few people outright tell him to take it outside and a couple get up to go report him.  It was the most bizarre thing ever. 

It's 7 am and I'm having my coffee and breakfast.  About to bruch my teeth and head to school to sub again. Tonight is Back to School night where I will meet the parents of the two classes I'll be taking over.  Wish me luck! Mwah!

Sep. 7th, 2009

part time teacher

I accepted the part time positions at Stanton.  The maternity leave and the job share. So here I am: part time teacher/part time server. I feel good about it. I spent all of last week up at Stanton observing in a few classrooms, helping teachers and getting to know the school. It is a wonderful school and the teachers I observed were great! From what I have heard and seen Castro Valley has more money than San Leandro.  The school I am at is title 1 but the student population is mixed.  There are familiies with money that live in the hills in giant houses and families on free and reduced lunch in the apartment complexes. I think the school is like 40-60 with the 60% low income qualifying the school for title 1.  I have to confess that this school has way more white kids than any school I have taught at before and I feel like kind of a sell out because of it. People say that Castro Valley is a great district to get your foot in the door at.  I've been asking around to find out why...please tell me it's not because the parents have more money and there is less diversity in the classroom. I am not a teacher whose ideal school is a class full of priviledged, white kids (oh there are teachers who unashamedly, broadcast this).  Suffice to say I have stereotypes and prejudices of my own that disincline me to want to teach at those kind of schools.  It's just that I don't think that is reality...we live in a country full of diversity and most wealthy suburbs do not reflect that.  It's a self segregated ltitle bubble that does not represent the world we live in.  That is all I am trying to say.

So here I am in a district with one foot in the burbs and one foot in title 1.  But I suppose I am a hypocrite b/c I KNOW that I have NO desire to go into the ghettos of Oakland and teach there.  *sigh* Castro Valley is a good district.  And it's not because of the student population. There is opportunity for growth and development. There is support and cohesion b/t district administration and teachers.  Also, my new principal is wonderful. The teachers I'll be working with have already shown themselves to be kind, generous and knowledgable.  This school is everything I was looking for.  As for not getting a full time teaching job this year.  I am honestly relieved not to have gotten that 2-3 split.  I confessed this to a second grade teacher at my new school.  She was on the panel that interviewed me and she in turn confessed to me that I am right to feel relieved. She said I'm lucky not to have taken that position.  The teacher who got it had no time to set up, still hasn't recieved all of her classroom materials from the district, and is dealing with 20 sets of parents who are a)unhappy to have their child in a split class and b) doubting her ability to teach their children.  From what Jan says it is not a position anyone shoud want. 

Next week is back to school night. My principal Jennifer wants me to attend so I can meet the parents of the classes I'll be taking over. Sometime in Oct I'll be taking over Kristin's 1st grade class while she goes on maternity leave.  She will be back in January. Then March 1st I'll take over Maria's 2nd grade class and finisht he year with them.  She is on this retirement program where she teaches the first 60% of the school year and another teacher takes over for the last 40%. 

Last night I had the server dream.  I HATE the server dream.  Anyone who has waited tables knows what I am talking about.  It's that dream where you are at work and you keep messing up.  You are in the weeds and can't get out.  Last nights version involved a ton of customers coming in right before close and me being the only sever.  I was running around but time kept speeding by and tables were getting pissed at me but I couldn't seem to do anything right. I would take an order and then forget about it.  I'd go to get drinks and like 30 minutes would go by in the time it took me to get back to the table. I was getting yelled at and I just kept apologizing over and over.  Finally there was one table left and they ordered two waters, a coffee and a cappucino.  I went to the back and got the waters.  Then the lights went out and it was like I was moving underwater.  I couldn't make my limbs move.  I could not find anything.  I finally found the lights and turned them on but then the machine was turned off and taken apart.  I got it put back together and was steaming the milk...mind you still moving like I'm underwater.  By the time I finish the damn cappucino and put it on the tray with the other drinks I am panicking b/c I know it's taken me like 15 minutes.  Sure enough I head out to birng them their drinks and see two angry faces.  Then I wake up with my heart racing and think, "aaaarrrrgghhh!!! I hate that freakin dream!!!"

Now it's Monday morning and I'm enjoying a cup of coffee in my living room.  Toda  I have nothing pressing on the agenda.  Just a chill Labor Day.  I hope everyone enjoys their day off.  Mwah!

Aug. 30th, 2009

relief and opportunity

I didn't get the job. The principal called me a few hours ago and told me. She said that it had been nice to meet me but they can't figure out if my credential is cleared. They can't hire me b/c their HR person can't figure out if I am clear to teacher. I have taken one California teacher credentialing exam and thought that was all I needed. I took the CBEST and didn't think I needed the CSET. They are saying I do in order to be NCLB compliant (No Child Left Behind). But looked into this last year and I swear I asked someone either with the state credentialing organization or possibly my school district and was told I do not need the CSET.  Something about reciprocity. I said I would take the next available test. So I think with school starting in two days they need to hire someone that they are for sure is NCLB compliant. That maybe I would have been their first choice but am not clear to hire yet. Or maybe I wasn't their first choice.

But she said they do want to bring me on in their district. There is a long term sub position for a 1st grade teacher going on maternity leave. It is from Nov to January. There is also a job share in 2nd grade starting in March. They want to hire me for both.

To be honest I am relieved. I was hella nervous at the thought of moving the mountain of boxes in my garage all filled with the contents of my classroom, on top of unpacking it, organizing it and setting up a new classroom, in addition to planning lessons for a multi-age class and the kicker of it being I would have had ONLY TWO DAYS TO DO IT! I know that it would have been a full time job and it would have been a challenging position that would have only made me a better teacher but holy crap it would have been absolute madness!! I seriously have at least 3 carloads of boxes piled up in the garage. We can barely get a car in. Do you know how long it would have taken me? And I'm a bit relieved to be spared the nightmare of it. Sounds awful and irresponsible of me. I would have done it and done a good job but since I didn't get it I can be relieved.

So this is a good school district and I think I want to accept the long term sub job and the job share. It will get my foot in the door.  I do have one other possibility. I heard from a teacher in my district that she thinks they will open up a class next week at her school. I told you that my principal said he was almost positive it wouldn't be at Madison (my school). Well, this teacher thinks it will be at Garfield and she was encouraging me to ask my principal to recommend me for it. Garfield is involved in a special program that allows them to keep low class size.  I think they have high population of at risk students and in order the raise test scores they signed up to be part of some research called Dataworks. According to their website they focus on improving the way teachers teach and as a result students test scores improve.  Anyways, Garfield has been a part of this for a few years and their test scores have drastically improved. The grants they have recieved have allowed them to maintain lower class size for k-5. Pretty impressive! Who knows if SLUSD will even open a new class and who knows for sure if it will be at Garfield. Just something that has come to my attention that I plan to look into.

Went for a hike this morning with Sarah. I do love living in the East Bay. The weather and mountains almost make me forget that their priorities are all out of wack and no one here cares about education. Almost.

I have to work tonight. I still like waiting tables. it's kind of a two way street. The stress and hard work of teaching makes me appreciate the simple mindless work of serving.  Yet the crappy tips, thanklessness, and monotony of serving makes me appreciate the challenging and rewarding work of teaching. It works out. I have some perspective about what is important to me and thanks to this server job I have a little more freedom to wait for a good job that suits me. There are not many teaching jobs out there right now and so many people are scrambling taking any job they can get. But to me, I feel very confident in my worth as a teacher and I am not going to just take just any position. I want to make sure if I sign a contact and lock into a district or school for a year, it has a be a good place to be. And I don't mean how much they pay, how much money the parents have, or anything like that. I mean a school that values their teachers, supports them, has plenty of opportunities for staff development, some kind of mentoring program, veteran teachers to learn from, a competent, enthusiastic principal and so much more.

I need to finish my laundry and head to work. Hope the weekend is treating yall well. Mwah!

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