Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

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1. My schedule is quite a bit different this year- I am arriving home at a different time almost every day and it's taking some time to acclimate to. The beginning of the school year is always crazy, but between this, driving further to drop off and pick up Sawyer, and poor sleep, I'm just totally beat. I've also been "training for training" this month, running wise, which I know adds to my tiredness. My husband started a new job recently and has been putting in long hours, so that also contributes to the different feel of the last week. Nonetheless, I know within a few weeks we will all settle in to our new routines and it will be fine. But getting there? So much internal whining (and a little external, as we now see). 

2. This seems like a good time to articulate my annual birthday wish: a hotel room for JUST ME and a little something to help me sleep (I generally refuse to take anything, even melatonin, but my sleep cycle and schedule is shot to heck... Eventually when Sawyer is a little more reliable I'll probably have to talk to my doctor). That's all. Nothing ridiculously fancy. Just maybe fourteen hours alone, ten of which I can sleep. 

3. I had a nightmare the other day that a bottle of lotion exploded in my closet and got all over my dresses (I have a sort of dress... collection, let's just say). It was traumatizing.

4. I wish (sort of) that someone would make an app that would calculate how much I spend on Diet Coke. Maybe that would help me sleep. Just maybe. 

5. I finished Any Rand's Anthem, my first of her books, and I was pretty underwhelmed. 

6. My lunches this week have been a disaster: PB&J, Spaghetti O's, and frozen pizza rolls. Seriously, how old am I? Eight? 

7. My husband recently informed me that I can pre-order things on Amazon and not be charged, which was probably a huge mistake. For some reason I thought they billed you right away, but nope. I think I have at least one new book coming a month until the end of the year. Ha. 

8. I know that this isn't my job and that people aren't exactly checking daily for posts, but please know that I am well aware content and depth are lacking lately. The last two weeks have been so crazy and I need to be better about scheduling posts. So, for those of you that stick around, thanks! 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Hey! Link up, link back, say hi! This is going to be a short one, folks:

1. I cannot even begin to describe the anger I feel at Trump right now. North Korea is like a toddler, and Trump is like the caregiver that lashes out instead of rationally dealing with the craziness. Instead of arguing about watching extra Paw Patrol we're talking ABOUT DESTROYING LIVES AND RUINING COUNTRIES. 

2. I am listening to How to Murder Your Life, a memoir by Cat Marnell, and right now it's so bad it's good. Barely. 

3. I recently finished listening to Beartown and I still can't decide about the ending (I don't want to give it away). I was enraged when I finished, and still basically am, but I've rationalized it a little. 

4. Last Friday Sawyer and I drove down to Torrey Pines, a state beach north of San Diego, and while it was warm, it was absolutely beautiful. I have been before, many years ago, but I had forgotten about how many trails there are in the area. We will definitely be back once the weather cools down a bit. We met my brother there and then headed up to Solano Beach for lunch. That area is really cute too, so I'd like to explore it a bit more.

5. I'm already getting excited about fall outings and activities, despite the 95 degree temperatures. Apple picking, scarecrow making, pumpkin patch visiting... Too bad we realistically have six weeks until we might get a brief hint of fall (and that's if we are lucky). 

6. I have a lot of reading going on- I just finished a running memoir by Catriona Menzies-Pike called The Long Run (I love her name), and am now reading Ayn Rand's Anthem and Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers, about the slums of India. 

7. I started back to work for three teacher-work days on Monday and Sawyer is in preschool full time now (I have students tomorrow), and one minute I'm totally into it and thinking how well all of our transitions are going, and then the next I am dead-ass tired and wondering how I can sustain this sort of momentum (or even half of it). Ah, adjustment periods. Always fun. 

Summer 2017 Rewind

[Torrey Pines last weekend]

I know that the beginning of August is certainly not really the end of summer, but for teachers most of us mark the beginning of the school year as the end of the season. I started work today, so for me summer is done (unfortunately that doesn't mean cooler temperatures). At the beginning of vacation I settled for a list of goals rather than doing my usual monthly installment, so I'm here to review how I did:

Be Creative:
- cook new recipes- Yup!
- cross stitch- Lots!
- work on writing projects- No (well, at least not enough to claim a yes)
- think about new ways to teach- Sorta (a few new things in the works)
- get caught up on my 2017 picture book- Yes (all the way done through July! This is the first time this has ever happened; usually I do the whole thing in December)

Read in Excess:
- blog more- Yup  
- Read at least 50 pages a day- Even more (22 books total) 
- work-related reading- Partially

- read nonfiction- Check!
- watch TED Talks- I think only one or two, so not substantial
- squeeze in documentary- Nope (pathetic) 
- Sawyer counting, learning colors, being potty trained- Yup, yup, and yup!
- consider being an IB scorer- I will going to apply in the next month (I am trying to pay off my student loans early, so this will help) 

- spare bedroom- Nope
- my workout/stuff room- Yup
- computer- Ha! No way.
- my photos- Negative
- Craft/art cabinet- Yes

- my mind- Not a chance
- my eyelids- I think I got less sleep than when working (Sawyer wakes up at the same time and because I am "off" I go to bed later)

- day excursions with Sawyer- Yes! Many! (three or four museums, three trips to the beach, Downtown Disney, Northern California for a few days, etc...) 
- be social- Yup! I saw friends at least once a week 
- do fun things at home- Check

- run- Yay! Yes! 
- walk/hike- Yeah to both
- light weights- Oops
- Yoga- Not enough (everytime I do yoga I wish I did it more, but yet I still end up doing a million times more cardio) 
- Hip exercises- Got an awesome cortisone shot instead

I'm really satisfied with this summer, and while I do have a major case of wanderlust right now, I am still happy with what we did. 

I'll be back at the end of the month with some goals (all I want to do this month is get back into the swing of things). 

New (School) Year's Goals

Tomorrow marks the start of my twelfth school year, and my eighth in high school. I will be teaching all senior IB English this year, as well as a section of IB Theory of Knowledge, which sounds like a dream, but the grading is absolutely unreal. We also have IB assessments to prepare for and conduct twice during the year, which are always super stressful, too. I help with our Extended Essay portion of things, which I enjoy, but it is still, obviously, more work. Between work, home, and my own interests, my plate is constantly full. Like go-to-a-delicious-buffet-and-get-all-the-food full. So, in order to keep things as manageable, efficient, and happy as possible, I've come up with some things I want to focus on for this school year:

1. Continue living and dying by my grading calendar- Just like I assign my students work, I assign myself a certain number of papers to grade each day. This made things a million times better spring semester, so I'm excited to start the year off with this habit. 

2. Summer work graded by 9/1- My students had a few assignments to do over the summer, and starting day one off being behind is hard (140ish students times 3 assignments = sad tears). I want to get it over with as soon as possible. The stuff they had to do is important, though. 

3. Lift weights at lunch- This is silly, but I am going to stash a set of 8 pound weights in my desk and do some reps at the start of lunch most days. I spend the first fifteen or so minutes before my friend joins me playing around on my phone most of the time, so even just five minutes five times a week will be 25 minutes more than I am doing now! My room is always freezing, so I don't have to worry about working up a sweat, either.

4. To bed early one night a week- I don't stay up late at all, but I think making an effort to go to bed thirty minutes early just one night a week will help. 

5. Keep track of hours- This is for purely scientific reasons, but I want to log the time I put into my job outside of my contractual day.

6. Suspend future worries- I have this tendency to start worrying about the next school year way too early (schedule, logistics, etc...). I need to hold off on that until, let's say, February or March at the earliest.

7. Build classroom library- It's pathetic, but my classroom library is pretty lean. I want to work on bulking it up this year.

8. Be less critical- I think one of the problems of working on a high school campus is that sometimes the teachers start acting like teenagers themselves at times. I am definitely guilty of picking up some less-than-stellar bad habits and I need to remember who I am and what I am doing. At the end of the day, my classroom and my students are what matters the most when I am work. This "be less critical" goal also applies to myself. I do a lot. Sometimes balls will be dropped. 

9. Test Prep- I want to make sure my students are confident and knowledgable as they go into their various IB tests this year. If they're willing to work, I most definitely am. 

10. 30 minutes straight of 100% Sawyer-time a day- For those of you who don't have kids this probably sounds so simple, but it's easy when you're a mom to multi-task playtime (sure, I'll play LEGOs with you, but I'm going to jump up to switch over laundry, or I'll hang out with you while you eat your snack, but I'm going to grade a few papers too). 

How many more days until summer?

But seriously, here's to a good school year! 

A Picture an Hour

I've seen other bloggers do "a picture an hour" posts before and I thought it would be a good way to commemorate a fairly-typical summer day this year (and easier than the "day in the life" posts that require so much note-taking). These sorts of posts are typically done for more selfish reasons, so I can look back later and see what a typical day with a three-year-old during my summer break was like. This was from a few days ago that was pretty typical (minus the crazy, for us, weather, which prevented afternoon pool time) for us- nothing monumental, but still good:

[6am-7am: opening the windows
before it's too hot and gross]

[7am-8am: a quick run]

[8am-9am:  finally my breakfast, easily one
of my top five cereals]

[9am-10am: last gymnastics class for Sawyer]

[10am-11am: some chores for us both]

[11am-12pm: Cheesecake Factory
for lunch with Sawyer and a friend/
previous student]

[12pm-1pm: Putting Sawyer down
for a nap]

[1pm-2pm: getting up a blog

[2pm-3pm: we made "sand castles" for
his stuffed animals]

[3pm-4pm: storm watching]

[4pm-5pm: my hair stylist lives
a few minutes away so she stopped
by to give me a trim]

[5pm-6pm: a few minutes to read while
Sawyer occupied himself]

[6pm-7pm: homemade mac and cheese
went down]

[7pm-8pm: bedtime stories]

[8pm-9pm: cross stitched while we
watched an episode of Fargo]

[9pm-10pm: running schedule for the
next six months]
[this is me, setting my alarm for
the next day, being optimistic
about even sleeping in that
long (I was woken up at 5:50...