Riding some waves these days. School is going both well and poorly. My grades are suffering more than ever in my school career; this has affected me mentally and emotionally in a stronger degree than I thought. The positive side has been the many extracurricular activities I’ve derived so much joy from. Last weekend, I was able to travel to Dallas for the NODA conference, a learning opportunity all about orientations, transitions, and retention into college. I was able to explore teambuilding, leadership, mentorship, self-awareness, and mental health in depths I haven’t been able to in a while. A super neat breakout session was based on the film Inside Out and delved into what we believed our dominant emotions to be and how to work with a variety of personality groups in our team. Being an introspective learner, I loved this session and it inspired me to watch Inside Out as soon as Spring Break began (highly recommend!). Downside of the conference was that I was attempting to study in between free times while being so distracted by all the fun I was having.
I unfortunately had a panic attack of sorts once I got home from Dallas due to a buildup of academic stress. Some self-care is in order. It’s difficult to see life through reality when depression and anxiety are in the picture, kinda like how Sadness from Inside Out sees the world, for the worst. That’s part of the reason I began this blog, to look back on some of the positive, but also to be transparent about myself.
I’ve been able to find so much pleasure in volunteering though, and I was able to over this week. Saturday morning, snow was falling in fluffy flurries and it was the day of a middle school science bowl hosted at a local college. A moderator role was given to me and I asked middle school students several math and science based question, in awe of the amount of knowledge in these youths. Then, Monday, I was fortunate enough to present at a young women’s STEM event, where I demonstrated the wonders of polymers with a couple other chemistry gals. We showed 60 12-17 year old ladies how to extract the DNA from a strawberry and how to make gluep. It felt awesome to be a role model for the STEM-inists of tomorrow.
Here’s hoping I can get a better hold on academics over this spring break while I’m baking cookies, catching up on laundry, and experimenting with different Korean sheet masks.
It’s been a year and a half since I last blogged, so it seems past a good time to begin again. I’ve done myself a great disservice not blogging all this time as I’ve changed in this short time. While I am still pursuing teaching, I decided to specialize in middle school science due to my somewhat newfound love of chemistry. The chemistry club, linked to the American Chemical Society, has given me fantastic opportunities to get more involved in my school, including working within Campus Life.
This year has shifted many of my perceptions of both myself and my role with others. I’ve found myself in more leadership roles over this past year, but I want to have my hands in service; I’m a do-er and I’m still learning delegation. My hope is to be increasingly humble, wise, and diligent no matter my position. Truly, the impersonator syndrome is real, but less can be accomplished from inside my shell so I’m going to try to use my leadership roles to bring positive experiences to others.
Classes are complete for a couple weeks once more. I’m covered with some relief as I don’t need to check Blackboard every few days for assignments and due dates, but I love feeling productive. So much of me loves change and hates monotony, making weeks like these ones so valuable. While working on my school career builds up my mind and status for future jobs, these times all to myself are spent exploring my own limits and deadlines. This upcoming weekend is my second anniversary of marriage and the husband and I are celebrating by doing a 5k in a botanical garden together. The training for that has been so exciting and a period of bonding for us as we complete these goals together. Additionally, I’ve been attempting more kitchen adventures and watercolor tasks. For the first time in my life, I have whisked together a pasta I’m anxious to eat, none of it from a can. This break from my studies are more than an opportunity to sleep in for awhile; these are times for keeping up on what makes me the person I am.
Daffodil for a future series
Other than painting, cooking, and running, I’ve been listening to all the Harry Potter books on audio. Working through Deathly Hallows and I’m not ready for it to end all over again!
I’ve been thinking lately about my image. With my Tech for Teachers class, I’ve had to create a variety of online platforms to work on and display my work, ideas, collections, and intentions. Twitter has given me so much in the way of reaching out to and speaking with educators and seeing what their exploring further; Pinterest lets me organize all these links and ideas (as well as being my digital recipe box). This blog is something I’m still trying to figure out. I’m hoping to start inviting the students and parents I work with to view this because I really want to make my intention clear. I love the children I work with! They’re so funny, creative, excited, and smart! Additionally, I’d like to be closer to my teaching assistants at church; there are teenagers that work with the kids and play games with them, which is great because it connects the two age groups, but I feel as though there’s a slight divide between the teachers and the teens.
One of the ladies I’m in a group with was talking to me about her teenage daughter who happens to think I’m so cool with my tattoos and adventurous haircuts. I was flattered that a person to close in age looks up to me, but the more I consider it, I’d like to get to know the girl better. I’d really like her to know how cool she is in her volunteering spirit, the way she treats her brother with down syndrome, and her kind use of words. I want to be seen for trying to make the world a better, more beautiful place and to make others aware of how they bring their own beauty to my own life and goals. My mission is to become a person who is easier to talk to and get to know because we are more similar than different if we think about it.
Vacation Bible school has come and gone. The week was such a blast and a roller coaster. Yesterday, I worked with 3rd graders and was pretty excited for the day to start. The large class came to my room with lots of energy and little attention. After much reiteration of rules and going into “teacher mode”, I became discouraged at my wishes for the day to just be over. Today, I came into the class with a renewed mind. Fresh morning, tasty coffee, plenty of helpers, and around eleven 1st and 2nd graders. There were bumps in the road, but nothing too unreasonable or difficult to handle. Overall, I was happy and so were they; I even got a hug from a little girl as she said good bye.
I’ve been blessed to have these opportunities to share what I know with the next generation, waiting with anticipation to see how they grow.
SonSparks Lab Theme of discovery
I finally feel caught up, well, or at least less overwhelmed. Husband and I are really loving the new home. I’ve made a cup of coffee there, watched “The Office”, and listened to plenty of podcasts, so I have officially nested. We cleaned up our rental home, so now all there is to do is hand over the keys. While vacuuming every corner and edge, we chatted about what we miss about the old home. We couldn’t come up with very much that we preferred in the old house versus the new one (great sign!) other than the location. The old house is 15 minutes from almost everywhere we would like to be in the city, not too close to downtown to get horrid amounts of traffic, but not too far to stress the drive to work for Husband. The new home is about 20-30 minutes out from downtown and, most importantly for me, out of range of public transit. I’m hoping that I learn to fall in love with the community of the new home; we’re planning to be there a long time.
On another note, yesterday was my first day teaching at vacation Bible school and it went splendidly. The lesson the teachers present is the same everyday, but the age groups switch between the teachers. My lesson is over the plan of creation. In many ways, I struggle with the nit-pickiness of 7-day creationism and 7-period creationism, so I completely avoided that with the kids as they will explore their faith further as they grow. The lesson focused more on the perfect provisions of Earth, the Sun and Moon and stars, the gravity, water and land, animals, all the tools that make our planet so inhabitable.
I was so proud and amazed by how intelligent and curious the children in my class were! Their ages ranged between 9-11 years old. They displayed a great accumulation of knowledge and intense imagination that lead them to ask questions that made me think and helped them learn about the early world. In addition, I was able to talk to them about books, which was helpful for me to learn about and apply from my Children’s Literature course. I’ve been so inspired by the kids to reevaluate my sense of curiosity and to open my eyes and ask more questions.
It’s really great when a stressful weekend works out in the best way possible. This weekend, my husband and I closed on our first house and moved in. The entire process of putting all our things in organized boxes and tying up lose ends wore on us heavily. By the time we had the U-Haul we were tired, irate, and unsure of how well the next day would go. It had been raining the past several days, but yesterday, the rain halted all day and the sun shone. The weather was hot and humid, but for moving day, it didn’t rain a drop. We also had plenty of help, eleven additional people. All the boxes are in the house, we have a bed set up, and we have a roof over our heads.
Amidst the clutter, I’m just so happy to have a place to call home.