Monday, March 31, 2008

Jane + Scott

I cannot believe that one year ago, at this time exactly, I was dancing with my new husband. It has been an amazing year! Some people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. I'm not saying there haven't been bumps, but the vast majority of the year has been everything I had hoped for and more. I understand now, even more than the day that I said "I do" what people mean when they say that you should marry your best friend. I am blessed enough to say that I have. I cannot imagine my life without the silly, mischevious, wonderful man I call my husband.

More to come, in the next few day hopefully, of the "Top 10 Memories List" of the first year, but for now I will sign off by saying I feel mighty blessed today to be able to be known as Mrs. McIntyre.

Hate is a strong word

I try not to say that I hate things because, really, hate is a pretty strong word. (that sounds like an English class lesson waiting to happen...discussing the strength of different words...hmm...). Today, though, I can think of one thing that I truly hate: the remote control to our TV. We love our Oleva TV. We got a really good deal on it. Scott did his research. In the research, the only negative comment was about the remote control. Those people were not lying. The remote practially eats batteries. The delay between pushing the buttons and seeing results is incredibly long...that is if pushing the buttons actually gets you anywhere. Luckily our couch is close to the TV, so I can manage to drag myself off the couch if I really need to change the channel...that makes me sound a bit lazy, eh? Admit it, you'd hate it if your remote didn't work very well, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I don't understand

The next book I'm teaching to my seniors is Night by Elie Wiesel. It's a very short book (only 83 pages, a "novella" according to some web pages). What is lacks in lenght, though, it makes up for in impact. You see, Elie is Jewish and at the age of 15, spent almost a year (or maybe over a year...I need to get my facts straight) in Auschwietz (I think I just misspelled that...sorry).

In the last week, I've read that book, read most of a book of Holocaust poetry (thank you, Lindsay), and now I just finished watching an Opera special about the Holocaust and a 60 Minutes special about the Rwandan genocide. I will admit, those things tend to put this girl in comtemplating, rather gloomy sort of mood.

How do I teach this book to my students? Several of them told me yesterday that they don't want to read a Holocaust book because they've studied it so much already that they're becoming calloused to it. Also, I'm an English teacher, not a history teacher, so I need to focus on the right things...but what things? How do I make it relevant to them, to me? How do we take this in and do something more than just be depressed for a bit and then move on? What's my role?

It's ironic timing (God's cool like that, eh?) that I should be doing all this the week after the message at Waypoint last week. This is something that grieves my heart.

Also, my students have their own griefs that need a voice, but I barely know they and they don't really seem to care. Can I figure out a way to encourage them to have a voice? To write, to speak, to move forward instead of harboring anger, guilt?

I don't understand...

Monday, March 17, 2008


I feel like I've been MIA for the past two months. As you all are probably tired of hearing me say, student teaching is the most mentally and emotionally difficult job I've had in quite some time. I'll admit, my jobs for the past few years have been pretty easy, mentally speaking. At Metro, once I had the "speel' down, it was just a matter of repeating it hundreds of times (oh, and learning how to drive a manual transmission, of course, but that wasn't mentally taxing, necessarily, just stressful!) Making lattes at Starbucks didn't require a lot of thought. The hardest thing I did at the United Way was the daily crossword, and the American Red Cross was basically crunching numbers and pressuring people to give blood. Peru was mentally and emotionally taxing, but nobody was evaluating my performance. I had only myself to answer to there.

So, in response to feeling a little overwhelmed, I've turned into a bit of a hermit. Few things make me happier these days than a quiet night at home. For whatever reason, I don't feel like hanging out quite as much as before. My mind seems to be consumed with thinking about the next novel I'm teaching or evaluating my job as a teacher and wife.

Why am I rambling about such things? Because chances are, if you're reading this, you're someone that I value having in my life. You're someone that I've laughed and cried with. Your someone who has listened to me for hours on end and given solid advice. You're someone that I enjoy having dinner with, working out with, going on a walk with, watching TV with, shopping with...seriously, the list could go on and on. All this to say, thank you for bearing with me during this odd-feeling season that I'm in. I appreciate it more than I'm sure I think of to tell you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Joy Givers

  • Wearing flip flops for the first time of the season.
  • Having the bed made before I leave for work in the morning. I love coming home to a neatly made bed.
  • Peanut M&M's
  • Sam's brand trail mix (only $5 at Walmart...yeah!)
  • A phone call from a good friend that I haven't talked to in a while
  • Watching a few minutes of sunrise while driving to school in the morning
  • A coffee travel mug that doesn't dribble on me when I take a drink in the car
  • A new bag for school that isn't blue, insulated, and ugly

Friday morning

Yesterday was the end of the third semester at Bryan (they have a somewhat unusual "intensive block" schedule, so semesters are only 9 weeks long...takes a bit of getting use to...anywho...) Of course, suddenly I have several seniors who have decided that they really do want to pass my class, since it's required for graduation. Hmm...maybe they should've been concerned about that a few weeks earlier? So, in a last ditch effort for a few who are just a few points away from passing, I have spent the morning sitting in the back of the room, supervising eight seniors as they watch Phantom of the Opera and 10 Things I Hate About You. They have to write a 40 question study guide (with answers) for each movie and then write a 200 word essay about which one should be used in class (since we can make a tie to a piece of literature with both of them).

I'm not sure how I feel about this "last chance to pass" day. I think it's an easy way out for some students who should've worked harder (and simply come to class more) throughout the semester. They're good students, though, who I hate to see fail, so here we sit. I'm definately learning that in teaching (as in so many thingn in life, I realize), there are rarely black-and-white rules to follow, answers to all the questions.

We've been talking in class a lot lately about the literary theme "Innocence versus Experience." I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I'd like to go back to the "innocent" part of life, when things seemed easier. But God's in control, so here I go!

Ok, enough of the random musings for the morning. Only 30 more minutes, and then off to enjoy my afternoon...woohoo!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bringing Scott to the Dark Side

If you know me, which you must since not a whole lot of people know I have a blog, you know that I have an addiction to bread. Well, I'm slowly but surely bringing Scott over to the dark side. Our new favorite thing, thanks to Kate, is Rhodes Anytime Cinnamon Rolls. Who needs to be all domestic when you can just plop four frozen cinnamon rolls into a cold oven, put the oven on 350 degrees, set the timer for 30 minutes and walk away. It's magic, I tell ya! Not as good as a cinnamon roll from Wheatfields, but you can't go wrong with something so easy that makes my mouth and my husband so happy. We highly recommend pairing the cinnamon rolls with an evening spent on the couch watching season three of "24". Our idea of the perfect day!