Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Tomorrow I am going to St. Marteen for a week! YAH! Caribbbeeannnnnn :)

Anyway foos, just wanted you to know I am not neglecting the blog, and will definitely be right back on when I get back. Hope you have a fun week everyone. Catch ya on the flip side!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pine Bluff Friends!

Our new nearest friends! YAY! The Pine Bluff Corps Members (all 6 of them) are officially our nearest friends! They are a great group of people that have a lot going on and I am sure are going to do great things in the coming years. Each one has a strong personality and seems to have a great work ethic.

They are also placed in one of the more "urban" areas of the Delta. This group will be in a town that used to be upwards of 60,000 people (that's REAL big around here) but has in recent years drastically decreased in size due to racial tension. The students are definitely hardened and considered some of the more dangerous of most Delta schools.

Oh and P.S. their house is SICK. Let me tell you a few things that I found at the house today; a six car garage, a wrap around drive way, 7 bedrooms bathrooms for EVERYONE, top of the line kitchen, security system, master staircase, a pool, a pool room/cabana (seriously wtf!) a SLIDE to the pool - so bomb btw, a master suite with a whirlpool/hot tub, ETC. Like really, etc. That's not even everything. Sooooo, there's that.

We are officially no longer the coolest house in the Delta anymore. Super jealous.

Day 09 - Blogger Challenge

Day 09 — A photo you took

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 08 - Blogger Challenge

Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad

Went to the pound today to look for a puppy. Kind of perfect timing for this blogging challenge. I wish I had gotten pictures of the puppies, but the place was an absolute mess. And it didn't look like it was getting much better. Makes me miss our little buddy from last year (we had him for a day :( and I want him back now!)

First Weekend Trip

Yesterday we picked up our good friend Josh at the Little Rock airport and ended up driving him to the lake house, after saying we were for sure going to stay home and just drive him today. Good news though! He lives near Tunica, MS where there are lots of casinos. Now, I have NEVER cashed out at a casino because I always lose the money I put in. BUT last night was great - I won $32.50! I only put in 20, and walked out with 52.50 total!!

Looks like the weekend trips have begun. I really thought I'd resist them, clearly it's not going to happen. At least he lives on a lake and has a boat! Look at this view from his porch....

Day 07 - Blogger Challenge

Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
What a great way to start the week. I'm going to give you a few.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 06 - Blogger Challenge

I am doing it at 1AM so I don't forget tomorrow! Strategy!
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Tonight we're talking about the word "hate." Sometimes people preface stories by saying, "oh sorry I know you hate this person, butttt...." I really dislike this preface. I mean really how many people do you truly hate in your life? I don't think anyone at this point. Definitely when I was younger I can think of a nemesis in elementary school or something, but certainly not someone that I still hold that grudge to.

Now, that's not to say that I don't love everyone. But I just think that the phrase and word in general are overused to the point of it not truly meaning much anyway. It's okay to have opinions about people and it's okay to not love everyone equally, as we are adults. But at the same time, even if you find some characteristic or attribute you dislike, it does not justify hating the person. Perhaps though, if people say this to you, it in turn must mean that one needs to self reflect. Because if people have this perception that you hate, then obviously you give that vibe out too.

Lots of random thoughts in this one, sorry. but the challenge was "whatever tickles your fancy!"

Day 5 - Blogger Challenge

Day 05 — Your favorite quote

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

...In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley, Invictus

I am making my students memorize this poem this year. It's going to be the first thing I teach and also be a part of a competition for an October incentive.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Arkansas State University

The prettiest pictures I could take...

Work of Art at the Store!

Anyone watch Work of Art? The challenge in Week 3 (I think it was this week) created a book cover for a classic work of literature assigned by the judges. The winner of the challenge designed a cover for The Time Machine, and did a great job! As the winner his work is now displayed on the cover in bookstores nationally...and I found it!

Day 4 - Blogger Challenge!

Favorite Book: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Blurb about it: Running with Scissors is a 2002 memoir by American writer Augusten Burroughs. The book tells the story of Burroughs's bizarre childhood life after his mother, who had an obsession with Anne Sexton, sent him to live with her psychiatrist.[1] Running with Scissors spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. (Wikipedia)

I love this author in general. His other books are interesting too, he has a great ability to tell his story in narrative form. His other books are Possible Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table, Magical Thinking, You Better Not Cry, etc.

Try it out!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 3 - Blogger Challenge

Day 03: Your favorite TV show
I really like to watch reality, but overall I'd say my favorite shows are all found on USA Network: Burn Notice, White Collar, and Royal Pains. I just started watching White Collar earlier this summer, but it's a keeper. Burn Notice has been my fav for a few seasons now, and Royal Pains I love (well, and it's right after Burn Notice, so I usually just end up watching it!).

Look at these beauts and tell me you wouldn't want to watch:
White Collar
Burn Notice & Royal Pains

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I am going to be running a 10k in Greenwood, Mississippi this September 18, 2010. I am pretty nervous about it, since I have never done more then a 5k before. I ran about 3 miles last night, with some walking, and I was told that if I can run 4.5-5 miles (even with some walking) I should be good with some additional adrenaline that comes with the race. I don't know if this belief is true, but I hope so, because I can not imagine doubling my current running in a month and a half.

For you Delta friends, if you want to join here is the info:

Sep 18, 2010
300 Oaks Road Race
The 300 Oaks Road Race is an annual event which includes a 10K Run, a 5K Walk and a One-Mile Fun Run. New this year - a 5K run has been added! The event, held on the third Saturday of September each year, is sanctioned by the Mississippi Track Club and is attended annually by more than 1,000 participants, both locally and from out of town. The 300 Oaks Road Races are the largest sanctioned race in the state of Mississippi.

My favorite HH companion!

We quickly took over Cafeteria (in Uptown) ordering every Happy Hour drink on the menu....and subsequently creating an army of little happy men (see glass edge). Thanks Abbs for making my visit to MSP super special! We definitely were in our own little world. The man down the ledge (pictured below) and done the same thing so we decided to start the battle. I think we'll win. ;)

P.S. Goal Met

By the way, 2 day challenge was UNNEEDED! I finished my Long Term Plan and Big Goal document today (even added my Investment Plan to the website). BOOM.

OH MY GOSH, you HAVE to watch this video

We are currently watching these videos in our AP Training ... what do you think, should I show them to the kids next year? SOOO funny!

Sassy Gay Friend: Othello
Sassy Gay Friend: Adam and Eve (The best one!)
Sassy Gay Friend: Romeo and Juliet
Sassy Gay Friend: Hamlet

Satire at it's best. Get it, boy!

Day 2 - Blogger Challenge

Favorite Movie: Invictus (here's the trailer, I love it so much!)

Invictus is also my favorite poem (by William Earnest Henley). I've posted this poem before, but I love it. I am actually considering having it take up my whole door this year and making the students memorize it (and as an incentive in October-if they do well, we'll watch parts of the movie each week). If you aren't touched by this poem, go see the movie then try again. I bet you'll love it :)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I am also considering getting a tattoo of the last two lines somewhere. I've been thinking about it for over a year (the time period I told myself I would have to want a certain tattoo before ACTUALLY considering getting one - thanks Cosmo for the tip (in 2001)). What's holding me back? I don't exactly know where I want to put it.

Other favorite movies: Bridget Jones Diary, Bridget Jones Diary II, Mean Girls, Zoolander, The Hangover -- Obvi you can see I have a funny side too. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacays around the world.

I read (more like drooled over) this article earlier today. America DEFINITELY needs to go on more vacays, like ASAP. I propose we start this year!

39 Countries that Take More Vacation Than the U.S. (In a PHOTO display)

2 Day CBB Challenge!

I mean, if we're in the mood for some challenges, I guess I'll make some more for myself. Remember how I told you that I was done with my Big Goal and Long Term Plan for the year? Well, maybe in my head I was, but now that I've looked at the TFA outline for how I am supposed to do my LTP and BG obviously I am not.

I have my "general goals" for the year done, but these documents actually make you think about what you need to do. Similarly, I have what I want to teach each quarter and what I think is important for my LTP but based on the document it was clear that "I want to teach this" is not good enough. At first I though, DAMN. Now, I've worked through the BG (DONE DONE DONE!!!!) and am about 45% into the LTP.

Now I can officially say (for 100% realsies this time) I have COMPLETED my BIG GOAL.

So the 2 Day CBB Challenge is: Finish your damn work and do the LTP. Oh, and work on that first unit assessment. Here it goes!

30 Day Blogger Challenge!

Let's see if I can keep this up. I don't know if I'll be able to follow through every day, especially after school starts, but if I remember I will!

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 01- Favorite Song: Move Along, All American Rejects or Hey Soul Sister, Train

I know, so deep. I feel like everyone out there is going to try to think of a really creative answer to this, but let's be real ... I LOVE POP. I love blasting the radio (off course the last top 15 radio station) while driving anywhere and singing at the top of my lungs. Actually, when I drove home from Arkansas in June I lost my voice I had been singing so loudly for so long.

Move Along aids to that very well, as it is a "upper" type of song with a loud beat and crazy energy. Listen to it when you need to go running and run faster! "Hey, Soul Sister" is more of that too. Love the beat, love the excitement, yay! It's a lot of fun to listen to every day. Go, listen to both of them. I'll even attach the link to the videos on YouTube.

Move Along
Hey, Soul Sister

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ist Year Woooos

Forgot to mention: I met a woman today who is starting teaching this year! She is in her mid thirties and used to be a photographer. Little does she know though, that her new school district is doing her a bit of an injustice. Look at this schedule she has (mind you, there are only 7 periods at her school and by law she is required to get a prep);

1. Pre-AP 10th grade English
2. Inclusion 10th English
3. AP Literature, 12th grade
4. 12th grade Inclusion, English
5. Drama
6. Speech

Crazy right? Imagine having to make 6 lesson plans every night in your FIRST year of teaching. Well actually, any year. It doesn't matter if you've been teaching for 10 years, that's a lot. And, if you have a bad lesson, you don't really learn from it for the next class, because you're teaching something different every period! Oye, sounds too stressful for my liking.

Good luck to her!

Some Light Reading

First day of AP training complete at AP Institute in Jonesboro, AR. So far, it's been allright. I mean, it's nice to be back on a college campus, nice to have a salad bar for the taking, have my own room in climate controlled dorms, but these are all things that are not happening in the classroom! So far in the actual classroom I haven't benefited a whole lot, except to be multitasking on other work I have to do for the school year.

I've started to journal a lot more of my plans instead of just sitting down in front of a computer and writing it out. It's been nice because it causes my plans to be more thought out, instead of hammered out in one setting.

But there is quite a downside to this whole process. I was supposed to have turned in all of my documents to my summer Program Director last week. Oops. I do have them done Teach for America! I promise, just not uploaded to the Google doc. Blahhhhhh I guess I should go do that.

Back to Maple

Moved back in this past weekend to the beaut mansion of Maple Street. So lucky once again. I am a little nervous because this week (starting today!) we are hosting 8 Corps Members (2010's) that are still waiting on placement/looking for their own housing. I hope they don't expect to find a house like this, since it was definitely a diamond in the rough for us. We are blessed to have this place for a second year, and I am always going to want to live like this!

Welcome new CMs to Stuttgart, AR. I wish you were staying the whole year!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Orientation, Round 0

Welcome 2010 CMs. I had such a great time briefly meeting everyone today and yesterday!! We also found out some interesting facts about the new Corps:

1. 247 new CMs will be joining the MS Delta this year
2. 98% of those CMs HIGHLY PREFERRED placement in the Delta (that blew my mind! so great!)
3. 147 colleges are represented in this Corps class
4. The age range is from 21-70 years old (70? Yes!)

This group is interesting, fresh, diverse, and eager. Happy to be apart of the movement yet again.

Welcome everyone, again. We can't wait to help you through year one.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Anyone Remember Rob & Big?

Ah! I just died. I was thinking about Rob and Big and how I loved that show. Does everyone remember how funny that guy is? Now he has the Fantasy Factory on MTV again, and I am sure it's going to be just as successful. I GOOGLED IT and look at what I found! There's now a new baby Meaty named BEEFY. I love it.

Here's the blurb with more pictures. I love Rob Dyrdek!

Thanks Everyone in Minneapolis!

Just finished a great visit to Minneapolis. Some of my conclusions:

1. I need to live in a city for the rest of my life (post TFA)
2. I really like happy hour with friends
3. I have GREAT friends that are going serious places without a problem
4. Lakes/Water needs to be a part of my life, always!

Some pictures from my trip.

Teach for America in the news!

The New York Times wrote a great article about the program and some experiences. Check it out!

A Chosen Few are Teaching for America

P.S. If you need to register it's easy (only 5 minutes) and then you can access the NY Times all the time :)


I've decided that I need to sharpen and shorten my blog entries. You know when you open an article and it's SO long that you just read the caption on the picture and the title. That might be my blog. Look forward to the new and improved!

(Notice how short this post is!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Non-traditional Licensure a headache.

That's all.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Visits Galore

Minneapolis here I am! How I have missed you so much! As I road into MSP a few days ago I immediately felt so nostalgic of a time that we will not have again. (College, damn). Catching up with old friends, frequenting some local eateries, driving around the first city I explored without family influence, ah, it's so nice!

I've been touring around and just hanging out. I'll be here for two weeks (well only 1 week left now), and time is flying. The people, the culture, the city vibes are great to be around. I have kind of forgotten what it is like to be around young people all the time. It kind of convinces me that I have to eventually working at a University of working in a city that is bustling with different types of things always going on. So, not rural, not small town.

Yes, I do like some of the things of living in a small town. But overall, I do not see myself settling in anything smaller then Milwaukee, in the end. Well, at least hopefully! I just love having something to do every night and being able to see different crowds at different places. So excited to be here!!!

Wedding! Jamaica!

The wedding went off without a hitch! Brendan and Kristin looked beautiful! Jamaica was a great country to visit and a great place to be married in. The people are overwhelmingly well mannered and welcoming. Yes, I know they work on a resort, but they go above and beyond by having intelligent conversations and educational for us visitors.

I hope to post some pictures soon, but imagine this (a little imagery for you non-English teachers); beach at sunset after a long rainstorm, water breaking at the perfect volume, laughter from restaurants a little up the beach, and surrounded by a great family. Sounds great right? It was!

Congrats to Kristin and Brendan Butler!