Category Archives: Music

Growing Patience

One of my Sunday School teachers in high school pointed out that patience is a fruit of the spirit, and fruit takes time to grow… just like patience.

I have to keep reminding myself of that to keep from getting antsy about what I’m going to do next year. I have no idea where I’m going to end up or what kind of job I’ll have. I’ve applied for a lot of teaching jobs all over the place, but so far nothing has panned out yet. That’s nothing to stress out about either, though, because many school systems haven’t even figured out how many people (if any) they’re hiring for next year anyway. I keep reminding myself that God has a plan for me, and that whatever He has planned is what’s best for me and will happen at the right time. It can be hard to focus on the big picture, however, and not get caught up in the worries of everyday life.

Student teaching has been amazing. I am so blessed to be at the school I am, with my host teacher, and with my students. I have been exhausted these past three weeks– I’m just having a hard time getting into the swing of a 40-hour week work schedule (does anyone ever get used to it?)– but being tired is my only complaint. And that’s not even a complaint, because I savor my free time even more now. It should serve as a reminder that last year I was wishing and praying that I would go to another school in another city’s MAT program rather than staying where I’m at now, and thank God that that didn’t happen. I’m exactly where I need to be. To quote my main man Garth Brooks, “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

On a lighter closing note, here are a few songs I’ve been obsessed with lately.

“Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band

This song is so beautiful and haunting. I love the lines “well it’s a winding road when you’re in the lost and found, You’re a lover, I’m a runner, and we go round and round.”

“Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

I have a huge crush on Jason Aldean, so any love song by him makes me weak in the knees anyway, but on top of that this song is one of the most passionate and powerful duets I’ve heard on the radio in a long time. I love Kelly Clarkson too, I really wish she’d do a country album.

“Somewhere With You” by Kenny Chesney

I haven’t liked anything Kenny Chesney has come out with in years, so I was shocked at how much I love this song. I love the rambling sound of it, it reminds me of a train. “If you see me out on the town and it looks like I’m burning it down, you won’t ask and I won’t say but in my heart I’m always somewhere with you.”

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Happy New Year!

Happy 2011! I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the new year.

The girls I spent New Year’s Eve with and I all agreed that the way you ring in the new year sets the tone for the year ahead. If our theory is right (and I’m confident that it is), 2011 is going to be a great year for me.

I spent New Year’s Eve at Union Pool, a bar in Brooklyn, with three lovely girls, one of my friends from undergrad and two of her New York friends. We drank champagne and danced into the night with awkward hipsters. The bar had a great vibe and the music was fun and upbeat. They passed out free champagne at midnight, there was confetti, and the first song of 2011 was “All You Need is Love” by my favorite band, The Beatles. It was perfect.

My prediction is that this year will be full of adventure and good friends, fun and laid-back.

As for New Year’s Resolutions, I have two:

1) Live a healthier lifestyle. I’m a pretty healthy eater and am active already, but I know the healthier my lifestyle is the better I’ll feel.

2) Enjoy. So many times I struggle to be in the moment, always thinking about something else or making plans. This year, I want to enjoy each and every moment to its fullest.

Happy New Year! All you need is love.

I have to get this off my chest.

I don’t get Nicki Minaj. I would post a video to demonstrate, but I can’t put anyone through that.

Time to breathe

After I take a final today at four, I am done with this semester. The long break is much-needed–I graduated in May and had three weeks off before starting grad school.

My to-do list for break looks like this–
-Send resumes and letters of interest for jobs next year to another group of schools I’m interested in working at
-Shadow a handful of teachers in my hometown
-Clean room at parents’ house
-Read
-Run
-Crochet
-Write
-Watch movies

I have never been happier with a to-do list in my life.

I’ve been really into Edith Piaf lately, and here is her most famous song. The title, “Non, Je ne Regrette Rien” translates to “No, I regret nothing.” I love it!

I’ve wrapped up my reading of a couple of books over the past couple days.

I must be honest, I’m not crazy about Stuart Dybek’s I Sailed with Magellan. It’s written in the spirit of James Joyce’s Dubliners, a collection of stories about Chicago residents. While Dybek’s vision is impressive, it just does not add up for me. A handful of the stories were really great, but others were a little exhausting to read. However, this is just my opinion. Many people love this book, and it was actually loaned to me by a friend who is herself a talented writer with good taste in books. So perhaps you should give it a chance, but I was not impressed.

I also am not the biggest fan of Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution. This book is a collection of stories and essays about Claiborne’s radical practice of Christianity. The writing is good and the stories interesting and inspirational. Perhaps what rubbed me the wrong way is that I am also a Christian, but my practice is incredibly different from what Claiborne suggests. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in religion and social change.

I hope to be writing here at Electric Spiel a lot more than usual while I’m on break and look forward to reading your comments.

Well, it was bound to happen.

As Mr. Shuester pointed out on last night’s Glee, being a high school teacher leaves you exposed to all kinds of germs. Art imitated life last night as I was sprawled out on my couch in despair, surrounded by tissues, watching Mr. Shue feeling the same way.

I have suffered through and survived my first teacher sickness: an upper respiratory infection. I went to school sick on Monday, made it through a whole day, including an hour and 1/2 stuffily talking to ninth graders I had just met for the first time about poetry. I then powered through a night class before coming home to pass out in bed. I bought a Dayquil/Nyquil combo pack from Walgreens after school, sure that that would cure me.

I was proven wrong when I awoke Tuesday morning to a small fever, feeling like death warmed over.

I stayed home yesterday and today. I finally broke down and went to the Student Health Center this morning, where they diagnosed me with an upper respiratory infection and gave me medicine.

Tonight I have found the will to live, thanks to two days of resting in bed, medicine that works, and lots of juice.

I watched a couple of movies while I was in bed, including Nursery University, a 2008 documentary about NYC parents trying to get their toddlers into the city’s best preschools, and Lolita, Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of Nabakov’s novel, with the screenplay also written by Nabakov. Both of these movies were simultaneously interesting and a little off-putting.

I made it through an entire semester without getting sick until the very end, and the sickness was short-lived, so that’s a blessing. Hopefully I’m building up my teacher immune system!