Actual sick day

The flip of the finals schedule was like a gift from the rainy cloudy heavens. It’s the last day for teachers to be with students and I don’t have any finals to give. My grades are posted and my throat is scratchy. I took a sick day thinking I’d go workout, accomplish some major stuff (like what would that even be, idk), but my body has other plans. My body knows that I finally have the time and space to completely fall apart, sleep for 12 hours for a few days in a row, and then reunite with myself sometime in July.

Reflecting on this school year is strange because I don’t have the words for it yet. It went quickly and slowly. I was challenged in new ways because I was more equipped than ever to actually face those challenges. After a whole year of attempting to make one class in particular ‘better people’, I felt like a total failure when I approached them arguing outside of my class before our exam over if they should go in or not because it’s “not even my classroom anyways.” Context: I taught them Spanish in a biology lab. In our final two minutes together with the most silence I’ve ever heard, I thanked them for being my students. I thanked them for their challenges. And yes if that wasn’t disgustingly cheesy enough for you, I thanked them because they made me a better teacher. I couldn’t get away with anything, which as a non-perfectionist was tough. I’m talking a new activity every 7-8 minutes; shout out to primary school teachers.

Of course it all sounds so beautiful now, but there was some days where they brought out the worst in me. And funnily enough, did that also teach me to be a better person? They win again. In the depths of winter I was waking up at 5 am to do yoga, to meditate, to have ceremonies with myself about staying positive and to not get into an argument with a teenager. It didn’t always work and by the end of the year I wound down by sleeping in, but I learned how much connecting with my body and mind and breath could really change my energy and mood. I was a few heartbeats away from buying a crystal online. I didn’t because I probably ordered food instead.

Having my jaw wired shut almost 3 years ago now- and yes it makes me happy that I don’t really remember if it’s 2 or 3- literally formed me (and my jaw) into the person that I am today in terms of health and wellness. I’ve probably talked about this before, but it’s been a while so allow me to reminisce my diet of frozen nuggets, zebra cakes, cheese with a side of pasta, and multiple cookies and ice cream each night. Yesterday I ate a piece of pizza and my body was not pleased. Technically am I still on my 30 day gluten free dairy free trial? Yes, but my school was offering pizza to teachers that had subbed and saying no to free food is really another life challenge that I haven’t yet conquered. Also, do I think that dairy and gluten are a problem in my life? Maybe. Probably. So what this trial allowed me to see was that I don’t need those things every day at every meal. There are other foods and food is medicine.

The way that relates to teaching angst riddled youth is that I thrive with a specific challenge and I need that challenge in my face, in my way. I just  need someone to tell me what to do and I’ll do it and I’ll give it 95% because I’m realistic. If someone told me to stop eating so much almond butter, I could. I lived in Spain for 2 years and never had a spoonful, and here I am, doing a jar a week.

I’m probably well enough to go workout, and if my former trainer was in my ear he would tell me that I am a Scandinavian warrior and I love that because I love compliments. The other day someone told me that my Spanish was great (my job) and sure part of me felt like maybe I should be insulted because I’ve been working to master it for over half of my life and it’s what I do everyday to varying degrees of success, but I took that compliment and cherished it and let it spread through me like a warm spoonful of butter.

In other visual news, Campbell is a baller and also 2 years old.

Barre and cycling at SALT has also become a medium big part of my life. Over 3 months I’ve gone like 7 times because it’s really awesome but kinda $$. Also trying to grow beyond my superior health and wellness kick into something more of a have fun, go easy on yourself, la la la kind of thing.


And finally, closing out year 5, approximately 7 skin shades lighter due to the sun being very much absent in Chicago, and also heavily filtered to block out my mostly tired look.  It feels great to say that I’ve gotten over those first year hurdles, and this was probably the year that I cried the least (0-3 times) about school related issues.  Blessings.

year 5 teaching

Summer of Emma 2.0 coming soon,



Spring break

I watched as a freshman girl with her bold red lip, masterfully plucked the outlying eyebrow hairs off of her friend. Her head cradled gently in her lap as some strips of sunlight danced gently across her face and she looked quite serene about the rapid fire plucks.

The boys in the back row nearest me had been doing a deep dive into the Giardano’s menu when one of them suggested he bring his liter of pop from home and they eat the pizza outside. “Nahhhhh” was the response.

I think the whole fun of it, or at least what I assumed, was to be inside of the restaurant. Downtown. Big first night out on spring break.

This moment in time at high school brought me right back to my teenage eyebrows, which at the time were pretty decently shaped but overgrown fuzzy caterpillars. Over the course of one or two days they became thin lines with no arch and stayed more or less that way for the next decade.

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Everything that was cool then was doing us zero favors.

I remember doing very little calculating or budgeting as to how I would spend the $10 or $20 dollars that I would get if I was to “go out.”  Sometimes it was for pizza and cheese fries, or anywhere where tipping wasn’t really a thing. More often than not it was a movie and an expensive candy. I remember getting junior mints once because I read that they had less calories. I didn’t even like them.

High school is an emotional time for all and I certainly felt bad enough about myself without social media. I’m more inclined to think that our depression, ADD and anxiety is  linked to when we all started drinking and bathing in round up, but I don’t think social media is helping either. I’m planning on doing a detox not in terms of how I use it, but what I consume on it. I started following more posts about books and health and feeling positive, and less models and former bachelor contestants.

I’m here in my cozy and semi clean kitchen slowly typing, listening to podcasts, not making any power points or worksheets, kicking off spring break with my brand new book shelf that my parents got me off Facebook marketplace and some major hair washing plans.  Beyond that I look forward to continuing all of the wonderful me time, friendship time and family time that I’ve had lately. It’s been real good for my soul, my confidence and my ambition.

Welcome to my “office” where it is now slightly less bohemian with the piles of books off of the floor and on an actual shelf. I’ll likely never do a color coordinated book line up. I think that’s just asking to much of people and is not my aesthetic. Looking forward to hanging those shiny degrees though.

In making my relaxing “staycation” spring break plans I need to gently remind myself that the bills will always be there, but the moments to laugh and eat tacos, drink a beer or a wine will get less and less. It’s easier said than done. Trust me because I’d almost always rather be alone doing nothing, but I don’t often regret doing something cute and fun as long as I’m home at a decent hour.

campbell and dad

drea and wine

As for my blog hiatus, it’s just been a busier year with new preps for the 4th year in a row on top of having a much more well balanced  and interesting social life. After one of my toughest weeks so far this year with my highly annoying class (Besty Devos please come teach my 3rd period but bring 10 more students so that they can have more people to hit, bully and yell across the room at. Ahem, I mean *collaborate*).  I walk down to my mailbox and see that I have received a freshly made bouquet of flowers and a card from a student. Not surprisingly she is in my best and brightest class and does not need to give me flowers because she is an absolute joy, but that’s the way things go in high school land. I will mostly always attempt to keep giving, and if you don’t want knowledge, kindness, and humor, than semi-good riddance because I’ll probably keep trying.




Six years ago I went to meet my parents for NYE in Sevilla. I took a fancy speedy train where I sat near an annoying child listening to a movie without headphones. Luckily Spanish people are really open when they have a problem with you and a nice dude in a nice suit came from a few rows back and was like “you need to turn that sh*t off”. That’s how I would have translated it anyways, but thank god! I don’t know why in moments like that I would feel bad about causing a stir or hurting someones feelings or having to ride with them the rest of the way after ruining their unique and terrible plan to entertain their child. I tried to be chic and go hang out in the bar area with the other fancy men for a bit, but mostly I enjoyed watching the countryside whiz by in solitude.

If we could make train travel a thing, I’d be into it. Somehow meeting up with my parents was like a miraculous sighting near an orange tree and a statue of Don Juan where we rejoiced and then went into a windy path to their apartment.

Image result for statue of don juan in seville

That wasn’t the last time that I was in Spain, but it was the last time that I was there for the New Year.


And here we are the year before in Madrid. Thank goodness for the year on the glasses for chronological purposes
madrid 2012

Those were probably some of my favorite NYE because it wasn’t insane or expensive or me wondering who I would kiss at midnight and concluding that it would be nobody before the night even began…when you party with your parents you don’t have any of those worries. I’ll be going back to that wonderful worry free experience because it is all organized by EF and I will be one of many on a dorky tour; teachers of the Midwest unite.

While I only get three real days in Madrid, I’ll take what I can get because it’s probably one of my favorite cities in the world and also it’s basically free. I’ll pay for it later when I take my students on a ten day tour through Germany and Switzerland.

It’s going to be a wonderful conclusion to what has been a pleasant year overall. I’m not sure at what point exactly I’m measuring my year, but September feels most accurate for my teacher self. Summer was just me working mostly all of the time, so I feel fortunate that I get to have a true vacation where I get to go somewhere besides my bed!


best of 2018

No one usually writes about being 31, and while 30 was a nice age, it really does just keep getting better. For example, this will be the year I’m confident that I will tell a child to put on some god damn headphones/ stop kicking me/ shut the F up 4real/ read a book. Besos, felices fiestas, and updates coming from Madrid in 2019.



I started typing this post in a word document because it was all I could think to do while my internet and cable was being set up. My phone let me know today that I’ve spent 27% less time looking at it this last week, which seems surprising considering I’ve been on the phone with what feels like EVERYONE. Mainly just the fine folks at Comcast, ComEd, Move-tastic- etc. I have never experienced worse luck in setting up simple transitions, which I did weeks in advance because I was so excited to move and I knew that the week before was going to be way too chaotic. Anyways, the lesson that I learned was not to do things in advance because nothing matters, especially not appointment times. Below is what I actually started typing….


(Those photos represent me being “so busy” because it was important for me to watch Campbell do Halloween and also participate in Halloween because I was working last year. Update: I don’t even crack the top 15 of things/ people Campbell likes)

It’s strange to think that maybe someone else with the same bra size, taste in socks and need for a navy blue storage décor item literally took my cart away from me, but it’s also strange to think that a Target employee was so frustrated by an abandoned cart situation that they figured out a way to make it vanish in a matter of seconds. Honestly, I’m trying to by sympathetic and see how a seemingly abandoned cart would get more annoying with each occurrence, but I feel like you could scan the area and see that there I am just a few meters away looking at things that I don’t need for 2 seconds!

That was just part of night one of me being alone in my new place. My parents left me all by myself around 6:30, but I’d eaten lunch at 5, so I didn’t really have dinner plans to look forward to, and I had no cable/internet yet, so it seemed like a long bleak amount of time until I could go to bed. I ended up finding a random USB titled EMMA with a bunch of movies on it, and I started watching Office Space, and then I got inspired by how close my car was (permit life) that I decided to venture out.

Funny Picture Dump Of The Day 40 Pics

After my cart was swiped basically from under my nose, I had to do a quick re-shop and obviously forgot some of the more essential things that I’d gone out for in the first place, like toothpaste. I didn’t even know that until I got home so I wasn’t sad yet, just regular frustrated. I parked sort of far down the block from my place and heard a bumping party going on. I thought it was a little strange because It was 8:30 which in my mind seems early, but also, I was at Target on a Friday night for at least an hour buying socks, so it’s hard to say who is better or worse off in life.

Feeling sad for my dirty teeth and tired body, I put on my coziest jammies and reached out to grab my phone and nada. My apartment was a hot mess at this point, but I was pretty sure my phone would be out and about and easy to spot. Pockets, purse, counters, the usual “everywhere”. Then I remember this classic little mistake that I do sometimes which is to leave it in the cup holder in my car.

But I’m in my jammies, and my car is in front of a wild party. Welcome to the neighborhood.

I throw my coat on over the jammies and peek outside. I see about 6 or more dudes near my car, on top of my car and maybe inside of it, but it was hard to know for sure. The first thought that I had was that they were doing something evil. This is just based on other weird car experiences that I’ve had in the past and unrelated to the mystery party dudes. I’m basically frozen on my porch, so I guess I’m just going to watch them break into my car. I notice one guy sort of break free from the group, and he’s clearly full out dancing and singing or at least lip syncing for his audience. Then I see a guy with a camera- and not just an iPhone camera- a full on professional looking camera, and from my apartment I can see that extra screen area where you can see what you are filming without looking into the tiny eye hole.  So really what is happening is that my car is in a music video. I felt uncomfortable about that since I was recently an extra on a Netflix show and I know my minimum wage worth, I figured that Silverado (my cars name and not the type of car that it is) should get a cut. I clicked the unlock and lock button a few times, but the show must go on as they say, and the filming and dancing continued.

After going back inside and whispering what the fuck for about 5 minutes, I reasoned with myself that the video shoot would be over shortly- maybe 10 minutes at the most.  I’m not sure how much time passed, but I was able to get my phone out of the car safely and for the most part was not spotted by my neighbors.

In conclusion, shout out to Move-tastic for their tastefully named trucks and rent-able wardrobes. “Brenda” got the job done, and her more sexy friend Olga was able to stop by today and drop off some misplaced moving blankets.

I’m cracking the surface on what Quarter 2 looks like for Spanish 1, but also trying to take some time to have a rainy Sunday.


Gut feelings

Bleary eyed but nonetheless wide awake at 6 am on the second truly cold day in Chicago, I look at my phone and it knows that I’m looking at it because I get an alert from the Times about eating more fiber. This is literally breaking news right after Saudi Prince and icky details of his final moments in Turkey.  Also I followed up with a quiz on the New York Times that was like “do you know what’s going on in the news this week” and I started taking it because I was pretty sure that I did since I fully participate in consuming the news via podcasts. I got a 6/10 and they said that 97% of people that took the quiz know more than me. I find that result rude and hard to believe, but I’m going to put in more effort this week and I might even buy a physical newspaper because at the very least I will use it to cushion silverware and other such things for the big 1 mile move.

I just double checked on Google maps and it is in fact exactly 1 mile, 20 minutes walking and 5 minutes driving. This whole decision to move came about after probably having one of the two years that I lived in my current apartment feel very complain-y about rent and having no sunshine and smelling all sorts of good things from the bakery but hardly ever buying them to try to save my pennies. I have a Masters degree and I still work occasional weekends at the brewery just to be able to participate in life in such a way that I feel a woman with no children should. I know I’m not alone, but it sure feels like everyone else is doing fantastic.

After feeling like my only option was going to be me sleeping, eating, and doing everything, while looking at an oven for not that much less than what I pay now, I found a place. I feel really good about it and I feel like most (not all) people I’ve told are having an inner judge fest to the max. I get it because it’s fun to judge other peoples weird life decisions that seem ill timed, not worthwhile and bad. However, I know that this is the right choice for me and it’s just hard to put into words that don’t come out overly simplistic.

I have been pretty lucky lately though. First of all, I’m lucky that the brewery even needs and wants me to work there. One of my students was telling me about his job at McDonald’s and how his boss is late and yells at people for being fat (even though he’s fat- his words not mine) and yells at them for not speaking English. Meanwhile, the brewery got me a gig being an extra on the show Easy on Netflix. As a child I was certain that I would be something artsy and actress-y later in life, but as it turns out I’m not great at it and have zero dedication to standing around. Pretending to party in a garage was exhausting and I couldn’t control my face to not look weird and laugh at the fight that they were acting out. I guess at the very least I semi touched Dave Franco’s arm. Literal brush with fame.

One of my students told me that recently as well- about my face. He said, Ms. Campbell you be lookin at us all weird sometimes. I said, have you ever looked around this room? Before you’re all like omg that’s so mean, literally come and teach my 3rd period for 6 weeks. Thanks.

This is a lot of words and I have no visuals for you this month. Perhaps once I move! For now, getting ready for a cold pumpkin patch experience.


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