Illuminating

I’m really bad at questioning. I have always felt that in a science-y way, it was best to accept the mysteries of the universe. That feeling comes from a Disney channel original movie that I saw long ago about a girl maybe being a mermaid. Unclear, but probably best for me to move forward.

This feeling to move on was most recently inspired by some street art that I zoomed past on the bus.  If you’re in Chicago and on Chicago avenue, in that confusing little triangular area where the blue line is and Big Shoulders coffee (which looks like a nice spot) you will see this…

illuminate

Would it be better if it weren’t a gold toothed lizard spreading that message? For me, yes. But it really made me think. I still don’t know quite what that thought is, or what I will do with that message inside of me moving forward, but I do find it illuminating.

In other life news, I am taking a mini pause from my double life of being teacher and a beer maid so that I can attempt to be social. As an introvert in a profession where I act extroverted most of the time, I need my weekends to cool off and be away from people, yet I feel pressure to take advantage of that time to have fun, live my best life, etc.

This school year I give myself top marks for effort. I have gone out during the week at least three times, attended PD’s during the week that went late, took a weekend trip to New York and somehow taught the whole next week through, likely wearing the same pair of black pants everyday. Not to mention, working every Saturday (minus two). I’m sorry, but single people have to brag like this because the only other people that care are parents and it’s like yeah that’s nice but also my mom loves home made poorly written poems and misshapen mugs that you can’t grasp, and hold one drop of liquid. #doinggreat

inspiration

Last year It was easy to convince myself that I had become a much better teacher. I’d made it to year three, growing each year with experience and reflecting upon my observers critiques and feedback. It was super easy to get a big head when I taught honors kids. You say read, and they start reading? Wildly different things are happening in regulars, and it is teaching me how to be a better teacher and how to make them better learners.  It is essential to me that they actually learn things and not just rest upon their laurels; in the process of being discovered.

Another fabulous Angela Ritchie ACE camp -- I did an ACE camp in Sweden with Camilla Engman in 2011 and it was life-changing.  Martha Rich | Be Your Own Authentic Artist | New Orleans, Louisiana | September 4-8, 2014 — ace camps

I hoarded all of their work from Quarter 1 for three reasons. One, so that they couldn’t throw it away. Two, so that they couldn’t compare their grade to the person next to them. I guess the culminating reason that I didn’t think of initially was so that they could create “portfolios” which by definition is a whole other thing that requires much more work than what I’m doing. Basically they picked two things that they were proud of or perhaps disappointed by, and then tucked them into their little barf green folder until Q2.

I asked them, what does this show you about yourself as a learner. Why did you pick the things that you did? Who were you Q1?

a lazy person

I don’t know if that will change who they are moving forward, but they were quite honest.  As an adult I have gone through a lot of life experiences and milestones, but ultimately haven’t changed, so I really don’t have any answers.

aliceI posted this on my Facebook 5 years ago today to represent that I wasn’t sure where I was going with my life or what I was doing. Now I still have a lot of questions about what happens next. I certainly didn’t see myself where I am now. That god damn cat could just give me some clues.

rachel-wedding

What I want to know about this photo is, if I’m not looking at the happy couple kissing, where am I looking and why? Blissfully unaware….

Also this entire post would lead you to believe that I exclusively wear flower crowns to special events, or even on a daily basis. If only.

it happens everyday.

Deep thoughts,

xoxo

 

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Yes!

I just walked home from work, and it took me back to those feels that I had in July and August, seeing people sitting out on patios, sweat on the glass, laughing, holding hands, the good stuff. The stuff that makes me think, why did I already smash my jorts into the summer is gone bin? To make room for “professional” clothing probably…

So. School started. The first week was a blur, but then part of my car got stolen so I woke up from the haze of memorizing 130 names give or take.  It made for an interesting week but I am #blessed that a really kind colleague was able to chauffeur me around and remind me to take advantage of good Alliance coffee.

There were all of the usual hiccups that go along with remembering how to teach and use school technology and what not, but I’m trying to improve each year in remembering that work is work… but going home when it’s light out, going out to eat, working out, having friends, those are real life. Could I be working right now? Yes. Should I be? Actually, also yes, but that’s a bad example.

Aside from having no car, and then getting a rental that was actually meant for an NFL player and his family, there were other low points in my week that somehow my friends resolved instantly. They truly came to my rescue with a phone call, a text, a “want to go to riot fest Sunday even though it’s not the best idea?” and immediately after that a “want to go to New York this random weekend” and the ever popular, “want to drink all of this wine?”

YES. YES. YES. What am I even doing if I’m not taking advantage of this moment in my life… besides working and then ultimately getting criticized and having nothing go as planned?  Might as well just load up on the espresso.

Believe it or not, a lot of babies come to the brewery. It’s cute and their families are cute, and I like babies now that I know one (Campbell- hey!) But I also think about how they have to go home and keep hanging out with their baby nonstop for the rest of their lives. No babies here. No dogs, not even a plant needs anything from me. Not even a cactus, because those have died under my care.

Maybe my moment is way longer than I think, and I might have the rest of my life to “do me” but just in case, I’m doing it now, making up for that lost year.

If my summer of Emma was any indication, I think I can consider this second half of 29 one of my better years of life.  Unfortunately I didn’t photograph a lot of the cool fun things that I did, but they are in my memories for sure and I’m really happy about that.

soho

rachel

daca

IMG_3269

xoxo from me in the future when I have a cute vespa that I can drive in heels.

Dear Future me

I came across the site futureme.org when I was teaching English in Spain because I thought it would be a fun final activity. What I should have done was start with it so that the students could receive their e-mail at the end and laugh or say “wow” or whatever. Basically you compose an e-mail to yourself and send it to the “future” and it has to be at least 6 months into the future (I think). I’ve done it a handful of times now and it’s always a nice little surprise in my inbox. Especially nice to have a break from unsubscribing from Banana Republic and UDems, which I wasn’t even really in, but now I’m permanently on their mailing list. DEM4LYFE.

I just wanted to share 99% of what I wrote. I only changed one percent to just take out a name and like one other touchy thing…

Dear FutureMe,
Hey, you just got a letter today from March- talking about breaking up….living at home…all of the very difficult times you went through last year. Right now there is a light at the end of the tunnel in ALL senses of that phrase.
1. Surgery is done and recovery is going well. Aside from having numb chin and lips, can’t complain. Hopefully when you read this you are like wtf, I can feel everything on my face yay.
2. Braces for only 3-4 more months (maybe less?!?!) Last time I had an appointment he said around 3 months, but again that was 6 weeks ago. I have one Jan 5th and I hope he can give me more of an idea of that date. PLZZZ BE SOON!
3. Moving to wicker park! I’m so excited. It’s taken me literally an entire year to get to this point. I stayed after the break up and then I just kept staying during my surgery. Now I can finally be independent as fuck. yes. yes yes.
4. Teaching is great this year. Not getting observed has really calmed me down a LOT. I also have pretty nice classes and I’m not completely clueless about what I’m doing. Thank goodness.
I can also see myself staying …… longer than I originally anticipated. I thought I’d do my 4 years and be so ready to fly out of here but the more time passes by it seems pretty easy to just stay a little longer. Get my loans forgiven. Do a really good job. I think I will move on eventually, but closer to year 10 than year 5? We shall see future me.
5. Hope you’re still eating healthy as fuck. I’m having a smoothie right now that’s like fruits protein powder, flax etc…all that good stuff. Keep it up.
Wonder if you’re still single? Obviously haven’t talked to any boys  since…… so that’s a pretty long dry spell. You are so ready to get out there if you aren’t already. Go on a date with like literally anyone. Why not. A bartender, a clown, a baker, just not a bum or a jerk lord.
All right I came to school to grade. You are on summer break now you lucky betch. Hope you’re enjoying it!

 

 

So man that last paragraph had me in tears. Just not a jerk lord. Those are my standards. And yes, I decided to eat healthy AF this morning so I’m having yogurt with berries. Thanks past me for that reminder.

Whatever it takes, figuring out the best ways to take care of yourself and be the best version of yourself. The most effective ways to get a variety of workouts in and never get bored! Studiohop Fitness! via Lauren Jade Lately

In the meantime….

xoxo

Summer of…

I am sick of hearing my name. My last name anyways. I’m even sick of hearing the way that kids are starting to spice it up-Ms. Camby, Camby-bell- K-bell, or just Ms. Ms. Ms……..uhhhhh. Somehow I remember 130+ names and you can’t keep track of 7 teachers. #Getmeoutofhere

teacher-funny

And while this time of year is the time when we are all the most drained, and the kids are also the most drained, there is more of an ease with the management because you really know each other. And then it ends.  And you have to figure it out all over again in the fall over the course of several months.

end of school

You guys keep working, I’ll just be over here “grading”

 

I guess that’s what keeps me coming back though.  Those kids that I roll my eyes the most about; I couldn’t do it without them. I could probably do a way better job, but it wouldn’t be as hilarious in retrospect.

I finally ditched my coffee stained lunch box that was 45% ombre brown for about 6 months of the year. With just a week left, I took the plunge and got this new little lunch box. Honestly, if you’re having a bad day, you have to at least have something good for lunch. And at the very very least, a cute lunch box. This year I pretty much isolated myself during lunch because it took me all the extra minutes of getting rubber bands in and out and brushing up afterwards that it just didn’t make it worth it to go downstairs. I also still never got those nerve endings back in my lower lip/chin area so I often find little dribbles there and I am constantly wiping that area out of habit.

lunch box

The good news is that I got my braces off, and that makes things a good 90% easier. Non- braces people know that you can still get food in your teeth, but getting it out is much simpler.

braces day1-end

teacher emma

I also get to be an aunt to this little nugget of joy below featured in his baby-aviators…baby-ators. As far as he knows, I’ve had a dazzling smile for his entire life, and not just half of it. While I have tons of pictures of him and am so proud and giddy, I don’t think we have a photo together. I’m not against it, but when I see a photo of a person as old as me with a baby, I figure that it’s their baby. To clarify, it really depends on the pose and the location. I wasn’t about to grab him for a photo-op in the hospital because I randomly looked worse than the person that had just given birth and all of the nurses on hour 37 of their shift.

campbell

In conclusion, just trying to get a feel for if being an aunt is a pick up line or not, because despite what I was imagining, there was not a line of suitors outside of my door the day after I got my braces off. I think I came home and did the same things that I always do, in no particular order….eat something with a lot of olive oil on it, 2-3 episodes of something on Netflix, complain to myself about dumb things, try to go to bed by 10 pm.

That photo of the article “Single in Chicago” was something that my dad handed to me approximately four years ago. I might have been back from Spain and just starting my little Chicago life.  A lot has changed since then, and in the fewest words possible, I’m ready for the summer of Emma.

xoxo

The final countdown (probably)

Last time I checked in I was still uncovering clues as to what “June” meant to my orthodontist. He said the beginning of June. But then he said I will “graduate with my students” so I was like…damn, when do they graduate? But then he said maybe even by the end of this month. This month is May BTW.  I’m talking about getting my braces off BTW.

Let’s just say, nobody knows how many days that I’m counting, but I am counting down.

teacher things

I am also counting down to the end of the school year, which us CPS teachers can now accurately do. Somebody came around and thought it would be a good Idea to go until the bitter end, and I think we can all agree that the kids need it and the teachers(*) would have needed a little more warning and money to prepare for the loss of those final paychecks (*me). More proof we’re all in it for the ca$h!

As you can see, I can’t even keep a cactus alive until June, so there’s a reason we get “summer off”

teacher life

During those joyous months of debt accumulating anxiety, I tried applying to a couple of summer jobs. I didn’t come across much, mainly because I have no other skills aside from teaching Spanish, inventing smoothie recipes and buying things on amazon prime. I was also being a little snot and refused to consider anything that had to do with Spanish, children, students, school, children, babysitting, uhg. #nogracias.

Well a miracle happened and a brewery decided to hire me. One excerpt from our phone interview: “Can you name some breweries in Chicago?”

“Lagunitas.” “Yep, any others”

“Two Brothers is something I see at the store.” “Well, no. That’s in _______” (I forgot, but it’s in Illinois).

“Well hey pretty close, same state…, well so yeah then I’m not going to embarrass myself any further”

Aside from that, I’m not a moron and I’m fun.  I was so excited when I got my gear and employee handbook that I ran home in the rain and laid everything on top of myself and took this flattering photo for you all to enjoy. And now I guess you know where I work.

on tour

Back to my teeth/jaw update. I’m pretty sure I will be living out my days with a numb lower lip and chin. Could be worse. That’s the risk you take. It’s not like I was a professional food taster. Probably could have been. Now we’ll never know.

week 8 month 8

I had captioned the photo on the left something along the lines of “can’t wait to compare week 8 to month 8!” Well here ya go self!

Mouth before surgery/braces. Mouth at month 8 (closer to 9) post op. I think I can see the differences in my lips and chin. Slight of course… but also my nose.

 

And finally, it’s hard to catch a good selfie these days, so that’s just scraggly me at the end of a relaxing day of teaching. The one one the left is the day that I got my braces on a year and a half ago. I think I look a lot less tooth-y if you catch my drift. Obviously my surgeon went ahead and tucked my upper jaw back into my face more. That’s the technical way of explaining it.

In other news, I deleted my Instagram off of my phone for a little social media cleanse. It’s only been a week now and I think I’ve lost weight and gained self esteem. I was getting so obsessed with looking at all of the healthy meals people were making and all of the workouts that they were doing that I was just bumming myself out and making myself worse. I was literally COUNTING calories. Waste. Of. Time. To.The.Max. I’ve also had snap chat off of my phone since I got my iPhone which was months ago. Haven’t missed it.

But don’t worry folks, I’m not better than you. I’ve left my house just a handful of times today and I just wrote this blog so that there was enough space in between me eating my lunch, taking a nap, and having dinner. The only reason that I may be slightly better is because this morning I moved my oven and fridge and sucked up all of the mysteries that were lurking underneath them. If you call it a black jelly bean, it’s a black jelly bean.  love yourself

xoxo