Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Power of Politics

Yesterday morning, Barack Obama entered Portland's Memorial Colosseum to find thousands of people ready to listen.
Unfortunately, I was not a lucky members of the hoi polli screaming, shouting, crying and smiling. Ironically, there was no way I could afford to take a morning off from subbing to hear someone talk about how they were going to make our economy better.
But, I did listen to the speech at the gym later that morning. Among the many moving moments and powerful realizations that flooded over me, the biggest was the reminder of how much I love politics.
Yes, it could be the debating, the constant picking on Bush, watching Anderson Cooper on CNN and the insane amount of articles I get to read about it and- probably mostly- a politician's desire to actually make me agree with them when they say America is a great country.
Of course, all of this I knew and was reaffirmed during Obama's speech. However, what most moved me was the response of the people. Our country's morose disposition due to the current economy, war, education system (and the list goes on) can easily allow people to crawl into a ball and make them wish they were, anywhere but here. In fact, as a part of the youngest voting generation, I often feel that's how it is. While I am lucky enough to have many friends who are politically aware and inspired, I still have some who are not. And there are even more young grads and college students out there who feel that this next election cannot matter. That a president and our votes don't change the country. How sad that makes me feel and yet how true.
I can't say that I disagree with those who feel the government is a playing a game of "Who the Hell Cares" out there in Washington. But, for some reason- despite my lack of optimism for everything else in my life- I am optimistic about our future government. Maybe I have to be.
I'm relying on someone to save us from global warming, acknowledge that teaching is hard work and I need more resources for my students and maybe some cheaper gas prices to get there.
But it wasn't Obama who showed me this power yesterday, it was the crowd. Sure, Obama was the catalyst for the reaction, but the people responded. Nothing is going to change in our country if we don't respond. It will take more than some rallies and shouting to clean up the status quo, but the U.S. cannot become better if the U.S. people are apathetic.
Here's to Portland whose shouting, screaming and ""I love you, Obama!" reminded me that we are ready to be less reliant on fuel, more respectful to immigrants, willing to end a shady war, intelligent enough to recognize Global Warming as a crisis, happy to pay our teachers more, fighting to bring health care to all and strong enough to make America everything we say it is.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thought for Food

This is a new type of post I'm hoping to write once a week, at the beginning of the week.
Basically, I will post a quotation of some interest- political, funny, philosophical or what have you.
It is then your job to leave a comment in response to it. Say you hate it, love it, add to it, defend it, offend it, respond with a similar quotation, or ask a question. I don't care what you say and it's not really for me to respond to, unless you request it. Think of it more as a forum. A way for you to get your mind out of your exponential amount of to do's and find zen in a place of thought and nourishment for your noggin.

So, here you have it: your first "Thought for Food" quotation

",,,My politics could be considered extreme, as I truly believe that people who molest or otherwise abuse children should be buried in pits. And I do believe our country has been served by white male presidents quite enough for the next few hundred years. I really could go on and on here, so I'd best stop." ~Augusten Burroughs (author of "Running With Scissors")

Monday, March 17, 2008


So, I was at the gym Saturday- as I am most everyday- and I did my 20 min run on the treadmill, which was quickly proceeded by OMG I am in SOOOO much pain! Not running too much pain, but friendly monthly pain. So, I walked briskly to the bathroom; sweating a river off my face, hoping that a couple minutes of breathing and cooling off would relieve me enough to do my elliptical and weights work out. A quick couple of minutes did not do it. Since I was still crazy hot (no idiot, not sexy hot- remember I'm at the gym and sweating) I, wait for it...
laid down on the floor in the stall!!!!!
In the 2.5 seconds I actually thought about my action I thought, "Eeew, eeew, eew, and OMG please stop hurting all over."
I gave myself two tasks while lying there in pain:
1. Come up with a myriad of reasons this should not gross me out.
2. Keep a wicked look out to the enterance of the bathroom so that some person doesn't come in and scream when she sees me on the floor resembling death.
I don't know how successfully I accomplished task one, but two went smoothly. After a few minutes I felt better and decided to try the work out again.
So freaking glad I did. Not only did I feel magically better thanks to a laminate bathroom floor, but That Thing You Do was on the T.V. Great movie: Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler, a movie about a fake One Hit Wonder group, lots of music, all of which make it way easy to work out to.
It was pretty packed in the cardio room, so i knew there would be no hope of awkwardly asking people if they were watching the T.V.s and then be able to quickly change it to a semi-decent show. It was rabbit foot lucky that one of my fav movies was on the T.V. If you've never seen it, you should. Needless to say, I was on the elliptical for over an hour enjoying the movie, minus the lame-o commercials.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Feeling like a real teacher

Yesterday began my week long adventure as a junior high school Spanish sub.
So far so good...

Below are several comments I've heard (repeatedly) over the past two days. All of which have made me realize: I still have the teaching bug, I am on the wagon, ready to sail, I so want a classroom next year. However, I always take students' comments about their teachers with a grain of salt.

"Whoa, you're like way nicer then our teacher. Can you stay forever?"

"Hey, you don't yell. When our real teacher gets mad, a vein pops in her head. Seriously." (I've heard this story 10 times in two days.)

(After describing that I would stamp homework that was completed and homework that students did without copying off of other students. Thereby forcing me to not give a kid a stamp because I saw him copy it from another student.) "Man, she's cool and she doesn't take any crap."

"You speak better Spanish than our real teacher."

Student: "Have you seen Hot Rod? You can come over after school and watch it."
Me: "My mom says I'm not allowed to go home with strangers."