The Touch, The Feel

Nope, this isn’t about cotton.

I know you were singing the cotton jingle in your head.

This is about books.

I made a silent promise to myself that I’d read more this year and so I’ve been trying my best to do that.

I’ve read three books so far and am smack in the middle of my fourth (thanks, Miranda for telling me about the Divergent series).

Usually, I buy physical, actual books. I kind of die a little inside whenever I step into a bookstore. Die from all of the overwhelmed-ness (yep, that’s a word) that I experience. And I die knowing that I am going to spend WAY too much money on ALL OF THE BOOKS.

I love the way books smell.
I love the feeling of a good book with lots of pages to turn.

This year, though, I put a book on my iPad.

My first e-book.

I have to admit that it was nice to have my book with my on my iPad, something that I carry around daily anyway because of the nature of my work.

I travel from building to building and sometimes I have a bit of downtime in between projects, it’s nice to just whip open my iPad and start reading. I try not to be a bag lady and go into schools with too many bags. I don’t have a set place and I go to lots of different buildings, so I don’t want to go in there and start misplacing things.

I have to say. I don’t miss it.

I don’t miss having a physical book to touch and feel in my hands.

I mean, I kinda miss the smell… I know, that may be strange.

But I just added Insurgent and Allegiant to my ebooks on my iPad.

So, is this the start of something new? Will I never buy a real book again?

I know I will. Cause nothing can replace having a real book, but having ebooks will definitely help me reach my goal of reading more this year knowing that I won’t have one more thing to carry around.

How about you?

Have you jumped on the eBook train or are you still a physical book kind of person?

Also? What are you reading right now? I’m all about recommendations. The more books I can read this year, the better.

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Five Reasons Why You Suck at Being a Dog Owner: A Rant

I don’t like dogs.

I mean, seriously, I don’t.

More specifically, I probably don’t like your dog.

Oh, and have you seen my gorgeous dog?

photo

 

He’s 8 years old this June.

He can sit, shake, semi-roll-over, play dead and fart like nobody’s business.

Oh… and he doesn’t bark.

I mean, almost never.

Your asshole dog, though, does.

And it’s annoying.

That’s kind of one of the reasons you suck at owning dogs.

1. You let your dog stay outside and bark incessantly- disturbing all of those who have the poor fortune of living around you.

1a. You make dumb ass excuses to your neighbors for your dogs incessant barking. You know, excuses like “Oh, she’s not  mean, she’s just vocal.”

Uh

2. Putting your dog on a stake outside on a retractable leash is not walking your dog.

Your dog is not a cat that can go roam the neighborhood on its own. Which, don’t get me started on random cats in the neighborhood. Your dog needs to be walked. Your dog would probably like to go to the dog park every once in a while. Being a dog owner meant that you promised to keep your furry friend active.

Image from Franks Online Pets

2a. Putting your dog on a retractable leash means that your dog gets into my yard and gets to bark even closer to my back door…

Thanks.

3. You set out for a walk with your dog and don’t bring poop bags.

What? You just imagined that you’d let your dog out after being home alone all day and there’d be no poop? Or were you hoping that you’d go out and your dog would poop and you could do it without anyone seeing you?

I’m the girl that happens to step in dog poop all of the time. Just for good measure.

You make me sick.

PICK UP YOUR DOG’S SHIT

4. Letting your dog ride in the bed of your pickup truck isn’t how you give your dog some fresh air.

dog-truck-bed-2Image from Life with Beagle

Your dog could end up with rocks, dirt or other debris in its eyes from all of that wind blowing. You never know, you may hit a bump, step on your brakes or do something that could send your dog flying right out of your truck bed. Then, your dog could be injured or road kill. I digress…

5. You think it’s cool to leave your dog in the car.

Really?

In all seriousness.

Sometimes, I think people don’t realize what an undertaking getting a dog is.

I also think that just like parenting, sometimes we forget that what our dogs do can have an effect on others. And that sometimes we can control what our dogs do.

Hey. Be a responsible dog owner.

Starting with getting your dog trained.

(Cause FYI dogs shouldn’t just bark to be barking)

I mean, I’m not Cesar Milan- so what do I know?

End Rant.

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The Priority List {Review}

The Priority List

** Legal Stuff: I was provided a copy of The Priority List from Simon & Schuster to read and review here. **

I think we all, at some point in our lives, stop and think about the things that are most important to us.

As I continue to truck through my yearlist, the next book that I’ve read was The Priority List by David Menasche.

For David Menasche, The Priority List was something that his AP English students did for him each year. When faced with brain cancer, though, Menasche creates his own Priority List.

Click here to read my review. 

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Keep Swinging Your Arms

Something that I’ve read over and over is that moving your arms while you’re running helps to propel you forward.

I don’t know if this is true or not, though all of the literature I’ve combed through tells me yes.

On rough days, when it’s freezing cold outside or I’ve circled the track over-and-over and I’m feeling like I could just stop- I push my arms back and forth.

Even if it’s just mental, I hope that by doing this, I will be propelled forward.

In my quest to know more and be a “real runner,” I have been reading books on running and buying magazines. In those pages, not only do I find motivation for running, I learn about upcoming 1/2 and full marathons, which tickles me with excitement just reading it. I tore out the page with the 1/2 marathon I’ll be running and pinned it on my board in my office. This is what keeps me heading to the track at lunchtime… ’cause I can do it. I find info. about gear in those pages and I’ve found insight into running stairs post-run and other cross-training that I can do.

For someone as frugal as I, it’s a costly purchase, but worth it. It helps me to keep swinging my arms, even when I don’t want to.

Women’s Running is giving me a free 1-year subscription for one of you! I got nothing else in return (no subscription for me, so lucky you!).

Click here to enter and keep yourself motivate to get out there and run!

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation from Women’s Running, monetary or other, to write this post.

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Feelings of Failure

Today, I felt dumb.

I walked into a computer-based testing center to take a test for educator licensing. More specifically, a professional knowledge test for Pre-K through 3rd grade. One that I did not feel adequately prepared for and really by no fault of my own I might add.

Let’s go back a bit…

In 2005, I graduated from the best teacher education program at a small, liberal arts college in the country (I’m pretty biased here, so…). For four years I learned how to be a teacher. I took the Praxis I in reading, writing and math and the Praxis II in Elementary Education. Aced ‘em all. I spent countless hours in the classroom either tutoring, observing, helping- whatever and felt prepared to enter the workforce.

I’ve held a teacher’s license in Vermont, Florida and Colorado. We’ve lived in four different states and 2 out of 4 times, the process was seamless to get my teacher’s license in that state.

I couldn’t work in California because even though I held a teacher’s license and had a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and had worked in the classroom for four years- they still wanted more.

Fast-forward to today.

The state of Ohio says that even though I have 4 Praxis tests under my belt, I still needed to display my professional knowledge using their new and improved teacher assessment system.

Okay. Fine.

$105 later, I learn that there are no preparation materials for said test.

I think … my frustrations are best described via a series of emoji, compliments of Facebook.

angry cat

angry face monster look

angry girl steam fire

angry guy

 

As teachers, we aren’t taught to send our children into tests blindly, hoping that they succeed… yet here out was being thrown out into the water, hoping that I wouldn’t drown.

Now, I wasn’t trained in early childhood education. And bless the hearts of all of the teachers who educate anyone under the age of 6, because… I can’t.

Jesus didn’t make me that way.

So taking a test where they ask me about the gross motor development of a 3-year-old and the appropriate actions that I should take if said 3-year-old isn’t performing said gross motor task?

And then they word the answer in a manner that doesn’t make any real sense to me?

Yeah…

I question the place of standardized testing in our country.

And the significance of what these results are going to prove to those looking at the results.

And this is not new. I fought this tooth and nail when I was in the classroom and was giving CBMs (curriculum based measures) to my 6-year-old first graders multiple times a year.

I continue to question the weight that we put on standardized test results as I don’t feel they adequately show what someone knows. It’s not the whole picture.

Outside factors can come into play when looking at standardized test results.

Like maybe that child didn’t eat this morning, maybe that child didn’t study, maybe that child didn’t study well, maybe that child’s (mom, dad, brother, cousin) was arrested last night, maybe that child’s teacher didn’t cover that material, maybe… maybe… maybe.

I digress.

I didn’t study well.

Because I didn’t know what to study.

So I studied all things Pre-K through 6, behavioral psychologist, classroom strategies, NAEYC, related…

But I feel like I failed.

I’m not bashing standardized tests in any manner. I’m a teacher, remember? I understand assessments and where they fall. I sometimes think that we put too much value on assessments. I also feel like sometimes we over-assess and don’t stop to ask ourselves why we are administering a given assessment (whether standardized or in-class assessment)

Today, I felt kind of like a failure.

There were so many questions that confused me… that I wasn’t sure of the answer to.

I don’t like to fail.

Or feel like things that I should be able to control are out of my control.

Or feel like there are things that I should know that I don’t.

Yeah, today, I felt dumb.

FOF

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Thank You, Internet

Y’all.

The Internet gives me many things. But this?

I think we’ve reached an all new low.

The Internet gave me this precious gift last night-

Billy Ray Cyrus has remade Achy Breaky Heart.

I mean, really?

With a rapper?

And the space-aged chicks?

With the booty poppin’?

And the smoke?

And the lights?

I can’t.

Send shrooms. Or Molly. Or acid.

Cause that’s what this video was made for.

Trippin’.

But I’m not promoting recreational drug use, cause- no.

Did you miss the booty clap? And Billy Ray’s raggedy hair?

One more time.


What does twerkin’ and space ships and thongs have to do with telling someone about your achy breaky heart?

Really, Billy?

Cause if she wasn’t leavin’ you then, she’s DEFINITELY leaving you now after this video.

If for nothing else, just for the sheer embarrassment that it’s brought her.

Cause I’m pretty sure that you, Billy Ray Cyrus, have lost all sense of what’s right and wrong in this world.

But maybe not. Cause here I am talkin’ about it- and the whole Internet is talking about it.

So, maybe your publicist is a marketing genius. Maybe this is all a great marketing scheme. Maybe this video is a hoax, a parody to make you relevant again?

Please, baby Jesus, say yes.

Thank you, Internet for making me lose faith in all humanity with this (please sense the sarcasm here).

And you’re welcome, readers, for this gem. Also? If you go download Achy Breaky Heart 2 on iTunes we may not be able to be friends anymore.

“Or you can tell my eyes to watch out for my mind
It might be walking out on me today*”

Yes, Billy. Your mind has walked out on you.

Miley must be so proud.

*Actual line from the original Achy Breaky Heart…

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