Saturday, November 21, 2015

Facebook Stalker

So, I have a little confession to make and I'm afraid you'll think less of me after I confess it.

I could just not confess it, but I feel that I need to share because then maybe I'll feel a little less dirty. That and maybe I can help someone else feel better about themselves.

I'm a Facebook Stalker.

Yes, you read that right. Honestly, I can scarcely believe it myself.

You see, I lack the skills required to meet a new person and remember their name. I'm not talking about not being able to remember their name a week later, but immediately.

Like their name goes in one ear and out the other like greased lightning. It's embarrassing.

I blame my mother for this because I can. I remember my short-term memory being a problem for me as far back as first grade. I now refer to my brain as "Dory Brain" because I'm just like the fish, Dory, in "Finding Nemo."

Names are a problem for me until I get to know a little bit about a person and their personality. When I don't remember people's names it looks like I don't care about them and that's far from the truth. 

As a teacher I relied heavily on my Smart Seat app to learn my students' names. On the first day of school I would take pictures of the kids in the seating chart app, and then go home and quiz myself until I learned their names.

Now my problem is mostly remembering adults'  names and it has become even more glaringly obvious in my job because my professional counterpart, the Elementary Math Specialist, is a rock star. You think I'm kidding, I know, because I kid a lot, but I'm not lying here when I say that he knows everyone in this town and they know him. Walking anywhere with him is tedious because of his rock star status. Rodd the Rock Star.

Now I just refer to him as Rodd Star. I'm sure he loves it. Why wouldn't he?

So I've decided that I need to make learning people's names a priority, and since "There's an app for that!" is sort of my mantra, you know I went and looked for an app for that.

Here it is. It's called Name Shark, and I love it.

However, imagine if you can, how awkward it is to meet a new person and immediately ask if you can take their picture.

"Do you mind if I just snap a quick picture of you for my Creepy Stalker Wall?"

It's not cool.

It's awkward and there's just not an easy way to sneak a picture without giving the appearance of being a stalker.

Enter Facebook.

Where you can stalk people anonymously. Now, not everyone is on Facebook, but most people are. I've found that even though I'm not Facebook friends with everyone, like Rodd Star, most of the time I can at least view their profile picture and take a screen shot of it for my trusty little app.

Yes, it does feel creepy. It feels really creepy, but that's because it is. It's super creepy and it's not supposed to feel right.

There's no way around it though. I've found that the creepy feeling mostly goes away when I delete their pictures out of my Photo Album and just have them in the app itself.

So I've been creepily adding names and faces to my app and I quiz myself with the built in quizzes in the app.

It's my new favorite app.

And yes, I feel dirty, but I am learning the names.

And someday soon, maybe I will be a rock star too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crazy Town

Would you look at those crazy, crazy colors? I just finished a project with these colors that took me a month to complete from start to finish.

Do you remember this kitchen table that I refinished over the summer? Well, I cutified the chairs that go with it. No way was I going to strip, sand, and refinish six chairs, so I opted to prime, paint, and seal instead. 

Each chair took a rough sanding, then two coats of primer, two coats of paint, a coat of crackle glaze, another coat of paint, and two coats of clear gloss. That's a lot of drying time, my friends.

Hence a month to cutify six chairs.

And it was worth every day.

I'll give you a minute to process what you're seeing.

Are you ready now?

Are you ready now?

How about now?

Peanut Head had a similar reaction. When I started on this adventure, I had just finished covering the first chair in pumpkin when he opened the door to the garage.

He stood there with his mouth agape and he had no words.

"You're stunned. I can see that," was my response. I don't generally give Peanut Head a heads up when I'm about to embark on decorating adventures like this, because I don't want to give him the opportunity to try to talk me out of it.

Hence the startled silence.

He then gave me his blinky eyed looked, not unlike the beginnings of a seizure, and replied "That's exactly the word I was looking for," and turned around and quietly closed the door.

I think he needed some time to process what he saw.

Zoe was a little more vocal with her opinion.

"Mom! What are you trying to do to us?! Nobody is ever going to want to buy our house when you keep doing all this crazy stuff to it!"

All that and still she wasn't done.

"I could maybe see it if we were a Mexican restaurant, but our house is not a Mexican restaurant!"

Then after that she just kept talking and I don't know what all she said because I had to just tune her out. Her negativity was harshing my mellow.

The yellow chair in particular is her least favorite. It looks like puke she said.

It's all good though because Stinkerbell is on my side. "It doesn't matter what they think," she said, "because neither one of them is very artistic, so their opinion doesn't matter."

Yeah. What she said.

Zoe is not allowed to sit in my pukey chairs. I sit in all the chairs because I love them all so much. Sometimes I sit in two chairs because I can't decide which one I love the most.

Changing the subject, a lot has happened since I last visited with you.

My babies started another school year.

Zoe Bug started high school.

She still has no horse.

Stinkerbell started middle school.

And Cross Country.

She's very, very tired.

Glitter Man and I succeeded in our attempt to bring the Renaissance Woman into the twenty first century by holding her hand while she bought her first computer. #shepaidwithacheck

We have crazy amounts of cherry tomatoes in our garden.

So I've been making a lot of this salad. I can't get enough of it. The recipe calls for cilantro and olive oil as well, but it really doesn't need either one. It's perfection in a bowl, I'm not kidding.

I've also made a couple batches of this Fresh Roasted Summer Garden Pasta Sauce for the freezer.

So you can see I've been happily busy doing my thing, so I think it's time to update you on my job situation. I did mention that I accepted a position as a Math Specialist in our district, but I haven't really been talking about it because a) it's a new position and I wasn't crystal clear on what all my new position involved, and b) I was still feeling a little icky about the whole "I'm leaving education/just kidding, I'm back" flakiness that it appears I'm exhibiting with this announcement.

In my mind I was finished with education. I wasn't kidding and I was serious. It happens sometimes.

About a week and a half into my summer vacation I started panicking and thinking "What have I done?! I'm a teacher. It defines me. Who am I?" Blah, blah, blah. I was practically having a midlife crisis, except I was happy and well rested. And I was still driving a minivan so there's my reality check right there.

No corvette = no midlife crisis.

Anyway, all the while I was still applying for jobs. And applying for jobs. Lots of jobs. And had two interviews. Two.

And, because that wasn't enough to freak me out, nothing I was applying for paid more than $15 an hour.

And that's not enough.

So late one night when I couldn't sleep in my unemployed loserness, I visited our school district's website.

And there was My Job. Math Specialist. Teacher Schedule. Teacher Pay. No Teacher Stress. No Yelling Parents. Nerd Out on Math and Data While You Sit in Your Chair Not Sweating.

Sorry about all the title case, but Math Teacher. I don't have to follow those other rules.

Anyway, Dream Job. It's a pretty sweet gig. I have been learning so, so much. I've been able to help teachers. I love teachers. And do you want to know what the biggest perk is? I get to go to the bathroom whenever I want. 

Let me say that again.

I get to go to the bathroom. Whenever I want.

Maybe only teachers, nurses, and truck drivers get this, but it is a pretty big deal in my world.

So I've been dressing up a little more since I have to act more mature than I'm naturally inclined to do. And I'm looking a little more conservative than usual.

As evidenced by my manicure.

Okay, maybe not my nails, but I can just shove my hands in my pockets when I'm meeting with serious types, right?

I've got to hang on to some of what makes me Me, right?

I can't wait for Halloween nails. This weekend it's happening.

Anyway, back on topic. My job is going well. I'm loving what I'm doing, I get to see all my favorite people every day, I'm meeting new people, I'm learning tons, I'm not bringing work home with me, my weekends are mine, and I have free time. Life is good.

I'm not going to lie though, I feel a little guilty. Like I've left all my teacher friends on the battlefield. 

On the other hand, from this new perspective I'm able to focus on the good in teaching and there are parts I really miss. I knew I would. I listen to my friends tell stories at lunch and I laugh. Kids and their funny personalities have a way of brightening every day.

I don't know what the future holds for me, but today I know that I am where I need to be right now.