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pretty mel

January 2011

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Jan. 30th, 2011

pretty mel

Writer's Block: Looney times

What was your favorite childhood cartoon, and why?

Bugs Bunny
Gargoyles
Sailor Moon

Jan. 7th, 2011

pretty mel

(no subject)

 Well...I am getting to that point, the point of absolute pessimism with my job. The state is tying us down like Gulliver and the Lilliputians, imposing even more testing for the students, micromanaging teachers into a pre-determined box. We will be judged by people who have quite possibly never set foot in a classroom. We will be measured as effective or not by how our students do on tests, regardless of their ability. Our ability to bargain for our contracts are anticipated to be taken away, and we are loomed over by the possibility of parents being able to sign our school over to the government if they do not like the way it is run.

I'm scared. I'm scared to death of it all.

Education is becoming less and less a career of which I want to be a part. Teachers are considered to be the problem here in Indiana and so we must be "fixed". Students are to be tested more and more and we are expected to teach to those tests, regardless of whether or not they actually say it or not.

I am dreading going to work in the mornings. I broke down into tears in front of my department-mates the other morning because I just felt so overwhelmed and afraid and confused about what they want/expect us to do and everything.

I have signed up to take my Praxis II test for Library Media Specialist on March 12. If I can pass this test, I can add Library/Media Specialist to my teaching license. I think I would like to be in a library, helping people find those stories that they can get lost in, the information that they need. I have a great time of it when I take my students to the school library and I help the librarian out every chance I get. I think I could enjoy it.

I need prayers/good thoughts/hopes for guidance as to what I am to do, where I am go to, etc. Like I said, I'm discouraged, I'm scared. People make a point of telling me that I'm only 27. I'm not tied down but, at the same time, change makes me nervous but I know sometimes that it is necessary. I am wondering if this is one of those times.

Dec. 27th, 2010

pretty mel

Warning: Rant

 So...tonight my father told me I'm getting "fat". At the dinner table. In front of my mother and my husband. I just had to look at him and say, "What?!" Then I turned to my mother, "Did he really just say that to me?" He then told me I'm getting "thick" and I warned the pot not to call the kettle black.

Let's just say that my self-esteem and any comfortableness that I seem to show with myself is in NO WAY thanks to my father. I love him dearly but the man is...impossible. Not once this weekend has he said that I look nice when I get dressed, not once. But tonight he decides to tell me that I am getting FAT?! What the hell, man? It's not like I haven't been worrying about that with winter setting in. It's not like I haven't told myself that I need to get back into my conditioning and whip myself back into summer shape. It's not like I'm not already DAMNED HARD ON MYSELF! Now you have to sit across from me with your protruding belly and tell ME that I am getting fat?!

Yes, I'm pissed. Pissed off! I love my father but there are so so so so so soooooooooooooooo many times that I must confess to not liking him. He opens his mouth and lets the stupid come out and those around him hurt for it. So I'm not a perfect size 4. Whatever! I don't have to be! I....

I can't even write. I'm too angry. I'm going to go do something else before I burst into tears.

Sep. 7th, 2010

pretty mel

Writer's Block: Sultans of swing

Imagine your first chart-topping album has just been released. What sort of music is on it? What does the cover art look like?

My album would lots of smooth standards and deep-throated croonings, such as "Why Don't You Do Right" and "Fever". The cover art would be something dim-lit, smoky, and classy, to remind you of the old clubs and burlesques during the 1940s. Nothing makes my blood sing like that style of music.

Aug. 22nd, 2010

lucy

Bombardment - 8/22/2010

Author's note: First off, I do not want anyone to think that this is directed at them or that I'm calling anyone out or trying to convert anyone. I'm not. I was sitting in church today and this poured out into my notebook. I'm posting it here because I want to be honest with my emotions with my friends and not start bottling them up and hiding them away like I used to. I'm not fishing for compliments either.

Also, understand that some of these things I may and others I may not be up to talking about. Not to be mean, just a forewarning. I love you all and I appreciate the time you take to read my ramblings and the prayers and good thoughts you have for me.

Mel

= = = = =

I'm sitting here in church and I feel small and alone, as though I do not deserve to be here. That I have been stupid and faithless and God had turned from me because of it. Things have been hard, yes, but I know that we are still so much better off than many others. I just feel like I have been very silly lately, handling things wrongly and worrying and fussing and not thinking.

I miss my friends, their love, their encouragement, their honesty, their hugs, prayers, and even their tears (when they shed them with me). I sang a song in church this morning and it reminded me sharply of being SCF (Student Christian Fellowship) in college, surrounded by friends who love me and love God. Things were not totally easy by any stretch of the imagination for all of us but I remember what those relationships felt like, what that love between friends was like, what that closeness was like. I miss it - and them - terribly. Don't get me wrong, I adore Ben and love having him near, as well as those friends that I have made and am still making here. But I still get lonely. I feel alone. My latest attempt at making new close friends crashed and burned badly, and I really feel that I have made things very difficult for both Ben and I because of it. And now the depression and pessimism with teaching and not knowing why...also hard and bringing me down mentally and emotionally. What have I done? Or what am I not seeing?

I burst into tears in front of a fellow teacher this week and also did so here in church because I have no idea of where to go, what to do, or what to think. I don't want to think about how wonderful Heaven might be some day. I want to know how to deal with and get through the next week. With students and house cleaning and grading and bills and everything else. I've failed at my quiet times and re-centering myself at the end of the day, too, which should have been relatively simple.

I know. I'm a wreck. I am all over the place. I can't settle. I can't fully relax. I just...feel frayed and knotted and I don't know how to get untangled. I know don't what to pray for, though I try to give thanks that things are still - in the grand scheme - quite good for us. I am just sort of...here. I am lonely, discouraged, and I want to be better. But how?

Jul. 6th, 2010

write

Writing Blog

Check it out: http://awriterbecoming.wordpress.com

Mar. 15th, 2010

pretty mel

Update on Ben

As most of you know, Ben was in a car wreck on Feb. 25 and ended up having surgery on his thusly broken ankle the following Thursday. They put two screws in his ankle to hold the broken bone together while it heals.

We had the follow-up appointment with the surgeon today. They took some x-rays of Ben's ankle and the surgeon is very happy with the progress thus far. They took his foot out of the splint, took the stitches out, and gave him an inflatable foam boot to wear. He's still not to put any weight on it for the next few weeks (our next appointment is Apr. 5). However, he can start trying to move it a bit in a week or so. After the 5th, Dr. Damer will start having him put some weight on it to strengthen it again. After about 6 or 7 weeks since his surgery, they will give him an ankle brace.

Altogether, Dr. Damer says it is usually 9-10 weeks after surgery for full healing. So please pray for/send good thoughts or vibes to Ben. He was honestly hoping for better news, so he's a bit saddened and depressed that it's going to take this long.

If all goes well, he should be right as rain by summertime.

Again, prayers and good thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Jan. 30th, 2010

pretty mel

Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce

 My previous experience with Tamora Pierce consists of her Daughter of the Lioness duet (Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen) and I truly enjoyed those books. I love Pierce’s ability to weave a story and characters that you just fall in love with.

So far I really enjoy Evvy, or Evumeimei as Luvo calls her. And I ADORE Luvo. Who wouldn’t adore a living, walking, talking heart of a mountain composed of green and purple crystal in the shape of a bear? I love the way that Pierce describes ambient mages like Evvy (stone) and Rosethorn (plants) and their powers. Evvy’s connection with stone and gem is just…for lack of a better word, magical.

Evumeimei is fiesty, distrusting and as hard and hale a character as one could want. Having already gone through gang warfare over her magic and a war proper, being just a teenager, Evumeimei is rightfully somewhat hateful of humanity, preferring the company of her rocks and Luvo. I adore her.

So I am very much looking forward to finishing this story, as well as reading Pierce’s novel that covers the time of the war that Evvy and Rosethorn went through on Gyongxe. Yes, very excited! ^_^

UPDATE, 1/29/2010: Oh, yes! I was right. I adore Evumeimei! She is an awesome, though stubborn, character.  Pierce’s descriptions of her ambient power with and within stone are engrossing and beautiful. I never stones could be so fascinating. Her interactions with others are a constant surprise to her, especially when they do something that causes her to respect or even like them. She doesn’t have much use for humans, obviously, so it’s fun to watch her have to admit that some humans are worth the breath in their lungs. Pierce writes Evvy in such a way that you almost agree with her that most human beings just aren’t worth dealing with and you can feel her love for her stones and the care that she gives them. A very well-written character.

I have about a 1/4 or 1/5 of the book left to go. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to finish it today. That would be two books finished in a week. :)

FINISHED, 1/29/2010: I finished the book today and I was rather satisfied with the ending. It felt rather unconventional but it fit in with the story quite well. By the end of the story, you have seen facets to Evumeimei and Luvo that you never expected.

I adored this book! It’s been a few years since I read a Pierce novel and I once again realize why I enjoy her work. I cannot wait for her book on the war in Gyongxe. I need to read Street Magic, the novel where Evumeimei is introduced into Pierce’s world through Briar Moss, another former street rat and “green” mage.

Bravo, Tamora! Another story well-woven!

Jan. 14th, 2010

pretty mel

Purging anger

OK, I know I'm at work, but the children are working in groups on poetry analysis and I'm keeping an eye or ear on them. But I have to purge this out of my system or I will scream. I got told by another Reading/Literature teacher today that "what we read can't be different, Melissa! We have to start reading the same things, that's what expected of us!" because of some writing prompts that we are expected to develop for the coming years. A fine thing to say for someone who, right now, isn't doing everything that's expected of her here at school. I'm working my behind off trying to accomplish everything that administration expects me to do, as well as trying to make what the students are learning interesting, relevant, and carriable into next year, while not boring myself to tears and here she is lecturing me IN FRONT OF OUR PRINCIPAL, when she herself admits that she reinvents the wheel every year.

I probably shouldn't be angry but I am. I felt like I was being told that I'm not doing my job as a Literature/Reading teacher because I am not teaching the same things that she is. I'm the one who's stuck with creating new units because the students have already read some stuff in my textbook because they had seventh grade with her last year. PLUS, I am teaching the honors kids as well, which is a completely different beast.

I feel like screaming, crying, and just being altogether angry. My obssessive self-criticism has kicked in, is making me feel guilty and under-developed, and has already started planning how, between now and the beginning of summer, I am going to sit down and plan out my whole syllabus to read four novels next year AND go through "the whole textbook", as this other teacher purports to do every year.

I hate this. And the day has only JUST begun.


Jan. 9th, 2010

pretty mel

The Brutally Honest Personality Test

Your result for The Brutally Honest Personality Test...

Freak- INFJ

13% Extraversion, 53% Intuition, 40% Thinking, 67% Judging

Well, well, well. How did someone like you end up with the least common personality type of them all? In a group of 100 Americans, only 0.5 others would be just like you. You really are one of a kind... In fact, I do believe that that's one of the definitions for the word "FREAK."

Freak's not such a bad word to describe you actually.


You are deep, complex, secretive and extremely difficult to understand. If that doesn't scream "Freak!" I don't know what does. No-one actually knows the REAL you, do they?


You probably have deep interests in creative expression as well as issues of spirituality and human development.


You've probably even been called a "psychic" before, because of your uncanny knack to understand and "read" people without quite knowing how you do it. Don't fret. You're not actually psychic. That would make you special and you'll never accomplish that.


You're also quite possible the most emotional of them all, so don't take this all too hard. Nevertheless you most definitely have the strangest personality type and that's not necessarily a good thing.


*****************


If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.

Take The Brutally Honest Personality Test at OkCupid

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