10 Random Things: Summer Edition

Ugh, I hate starting blog posts by pointing out how long it’s been since my last post, but, well, it’s been over a month since my last post, so there is a lot to cover, which means that every time I think about updating my blog, I get overwhelmed by the fact that there’s so much to cover, so I just…don’t. This has been a terrible plan because it just gets me farther and farther behind. So, let’s get to it.

Since my last post, the following happened:

1. I turned 40 and celebrated my birthday by having dinner with a friend of mine, my daughter, and some of her friends. I also went to see Toy Story 4 and enjoyed a cupcake.

2. I shipped my daughter off to China for a Buddhist boot camp that she has described as a “hell realm.”

3. I attended the Rocaberti Writers Retreat for screenwriters in The Dordogne, France for  a week. It was held at Marouatte Castle, which is an honest to god medieval castle in France.

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Five Random Things

1. This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I want to give a shout out to all my colleagues and teacher friends past and present. They inspire me every day and help me in so many ways. I was going to try to list just how they do that, but I realize that it would just be too much to catalog because it’s just that much and that often. I am just truly grateful to have so many awesome people in my life.

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A List of Things I Have Done Since My Last Post

1. I went to a panel with the Jane the Virgin showrunner as well as several members of the writing staff. They played the clip of Jane’s reaction to the major spoiler that happened at the end of last season and then answered questions from the moderator (who was the show’s narrator!!!) about the process.

Two fun facts: (1) The whole season is planned in detail from the beginning. (2) They always reveal secrets instead of having characters keep them.

secrets

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7 Random Things #SOL19

Whew, there is a lot to cover from the past two weeks, so let’s just dive in.

1. First of all, my brilliant daughter got accepted to not one, but two study abroad programs: one for the summer and one for next school year. The summer one is at a Buddhist monastery in China and completely funded through scholarships. The second is at a university in Japan, so she has started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs. Please click over, read her story, donate if you’re so moved, and/or share her page with others. Everything helps!

My daughter is also posting all of her pre-study abroad prep on Instagram and plans to keep it up while she’s abroad, so if you’re interested in that, please follow her there (@starless_knight39) as well. At some point, she’s going to start a vlog about all her adventures as well. I mean, the girl is on the move and living all of her dreams. I’m so proud of her.

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Glasses #SOL19

I had high hopes of participating in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge, but my eyes had other ideas. So, basically, my eye fatigue or computer vision syndrome came back with a vengeance–just in time for the beginning of the semester AND the start of SOL. So even though I had already signed up and had every intention of blogging every day, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the commenting commitment and wasn’t entirely sure I would be able to post every day, especially since I knew I would have to do screen-free weekends to give my eyes a break. This also led to me not updating my blog at all for the past two weeks. Of course, that could just be typical beginning of the semester stuff.

Anyway, all of that wonky eyeball stuff also led me to getting glasses. More specifically, I got glasses that are specifically for filtering out blue light so I can use the computer without causing my eyes extra stress.

When I went to the optometrist to double check on the prescription I got last summer for reading glasses and ask about the computer glasses, the young woman who explained my prescription to me pointed out that I have a very slight astigmatism.

Now. This might not be a big deal to those of you who already wear glasses, but I have often bragged about my 20/20 vision. Do you know what an astigmatism means? No more 20/20 vision! But, I told myself, there’s a bright side to this diagnosis. Because do you know who else developed an astigmatism? Malcolm X. And he was a brilliant civil rights activist, so obviously I am (a) a huge nerd and also (b) in fine company.

But then I reminded myself that he got his astigmatism reading voraciously by dim prison light in order to educate himself, and I got mine from fooling around on the internet. So, you know, never mind.

In conclusion, I’m posting today because I got my new glasses. It’s a different world behind lenses, y’all.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Come on Down! Part II: That Time I Was the Next Contestant on the Price Is Right

In case you missed it, I went to a taping of The Price Is Right on Dec. 18, 2018. Even though today is Feb. 26 (five days after the episode aired), I am writing this post on December 20 while it’s still fresh, which means by now you should (could?) know that I was called to COME ON DOWN and be the next contestant on The Price Is Right!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

So anyway, yes, that is a thing that happened, and I am STILL riding high from it! I also imagine I still will be in February (when this post goes live) because it was one of the greatest moments of my life. We are talking lifelong dream stuff here. I MEAN. Whew.

Okay, so here’s what happened.

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It’s Monday, and I Obviously Haven’t Read Any Books

Because I was on a reading deprivation, remember?

Full disclosure: I was much more lax with the deprivation than last time–by which I mean, I did do some online shopping and I read my emails from Goodreads. But, all in all, it was nice to turn down the noise that social media and the other words I invite in bring for a little while.

1. Now that I’m back to reading again, I have picked up where I left off in my reread of June Dreams (Book #1 in the Summer series–republished as part of Beach Blondes) by Katherine Applegate.

Yes, yes that’s my original copy from 1995.

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Blah blah blah PODCAST?!

So I’m starting to think posting my January wrap-up last week (on a Thursday!) was a mistake because I haven’t finished any books so have nothing, really, to talk about. No worries, though: I won’t let that stop me from attempting to post.

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The Teacher Becomes the Student Who Be Clubbin’: January Wrap-Up

1. I went to a club with my friend last week because it was 90s’ night. First of all, the start time for the event was 10 p.m. AT NIGHT. And yes, I said that like the old person that I am.

Her: Did you nap?

Me: Of course! I have to take a nap just to make it to bedtime.

Anyway, we had fun, but the music was not great. We found at when we got there that it was a mix of 90s/00s, and at the end of the night, we both thought of songs that should have been played.

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I went to Hawaii!

Some colleagues and I presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities (our topic was multimodal assignments), which means I finally got to go to Hawaii, one of my lifelong dreams.

Our conference presentation went well, though the turnout was light. We think it was a combo of being scheduled to present at 8 a.m. (later sessions had higher turnout) and not using some keywords that may have intrigued more people (e.g., “creative problem solving”). My colleagues are amazing and do really creative and innovative work, so it’s always exciting to hear what they’re doing in their classrooms–not to mention hearing from people at other institutions about the interesting things they’re doing in their classrooms. I got so many great ideas for assignments and not always from other English teachers. A really cool one I got from some drama/costume teachers is to have students create a shoebox that represents the mood of the play. I may play around with that next fall.

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The best of all quotes which is a picture I took of someone else’s picture on their phone because the slides went by too fast. Text says, “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking, in order to make your thinking better.”

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