Confessions of a Kindergarten Teacher

At 23 year old, I would consider myself an average yopro living outside of Washington DC.  I live with some of my best friends, have a full time job, get a little sloppy on the weekends, and occasionally, during the week.  I live for $2 mug night on Thursday’s, and of course, dread going to work the next morning.  Waking up with the pounding headache, the parched mouth, and the stomach that is yelling at you, saying “I am pissed at you for feeding me all that toxic shit last night.  Try and eat…see what happens,” is not fun for anyone, especially for me, a kindergarten teacher.  Now, let me preface this by saying that I work hard, I care about my kids, and by no means do I go to work hungover every day.  But there is the occasion….I mean I really have only been legally drinking for 2 years, right? Plus, sometimes a beer or 5 is the only thing that will cure a bad day. 

As my second year of teaching comes to a close, I have learned a lot about how teachers act outside of school, and want to impart some of my wisdom on you.  When you were in kindergarten, you may have thought your teacher lived in their classroom, but I have news for you…we have lives. As I look back on my own experience as an elementary school student and now as an elementary school teacher, I have come to a few conclusions.

  1. When your teacher looked tired and said they had a headache, they were for sure out until 2 am and were nursing a wicked hangover.
  2. Your kindergarten teacher was like 60, right?  Wrong. 
  3. When you accidentally let one out during class and all the other kids laughed at you, your teaching was laughing, too. Just on the inside.
  4. You can be sure that at some point in your life, your teacher told a story in which you were the butt of the joke.
  5. Your teacher did not know everything, and they absolutely did not have eyes in the back of their head. 
  6. We are more excited for Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, winter break, any President’s birthday, and summer than you were.
  7. You know how you would long for pizza day on Friday? So do we.  It’s the best thing for a hangover.
  8. Sometimes you deserved to get hit back by that kid you called poopypants, even if we have to act like it’s not ok.
  9. The first day of school is terrifying for all parties involved.
  10. Teachers are always broke because of all the shit we buy for you…you should probably start sending thank you notes to all of your past teachers. 

And now I’ll leave you with a little kindergarten good-bye…

See you later, alligator.

Bye-bye butterfly.

Be sweet, parakeet.

Blow a kiss, jellyfish

Give a hug, ladybug

Out the door, dinosaur

Take care, polar bear

See you soon, raccoon.

So long, King Kong.

Good-bye, said the fly.

-Ms. J

Advertisements

Twenty sounds…old.

Twenty. Twenty. TWENTY! The words rung through my head as I laid in bed on the eve of my twentieth birthday. Twenty sounds ….old. Most of you over the age of 20 are probably rolling your eyes right now thinking “she still has to use a fake ID! How can she think 20 is OLD!?”  And yes, I do realize how young 20 actually is.

Looking back on my teenage years, if as much happens in my twenties as in my teens, than I am one lucky girl. I was blessed with teenage years full of endless sleepovers, high school dance drama, sports teams, and a supportive family. I know this blog is about the twenties, but I have been thinking about the things I have learned in my teens that has led me to the twenty year old I have turned into:

  • What goes around comes back around – karma is real.
  • Sometimes an advil and a long nap can solve all your problems.
  • Friends will come and go, specifically in the time between college and high school. You quickly learn who your friends are in your teenage years.
  • Putting up pictures of you drinking on facebook doesn’t make you cool. At all.
  • Everyone has drunken nights that they wish never happened. Learn from it and move on, the more you dwell on it, the more everyone else will.
  • College is fun.

Not much advice – but for now that’s all I need in life. Being 20 is a big milestone. The twenties are the years of your life for the end of college and the beginning of the real world. The beginning of the age of testing out who you think you want to become and who you actually become. The twenties bring a decade full of rent paying, grocery shopping, and a time where it is no longer acceptable to either be too drunk or too hungover as an excuse for everything.

For me, I hope the twenties bring me a decade full of happiness, peace, and joy. Cheesy, I know. But who doesn’t want that at any age??

Old School Social Media

Nowadays we are all on Facebook, Twitter, various blog sites, and Pinterest. But what did we do before the time of current social media? I’m sure our fifteen-year-old selves wanted to share our obviously intelligent thoughts and pictures of us in braces and scrunchies. While reminiscing with some friends I decided to compile a list of the old “social media” outlets.

  1. Webshots – This was where you uploaded pictures before Facebook albums existed. After four attempts at guessing my Webshots username I finally got in using my password that I originally used with my first AOL screenname (puppy2117). Of course I still use the same password today. The pictures date back to 2005 and showcase birthdays, proms, snow days and trips with my family. I also realized I was “friends” with some of my high school pals on webshots which led to even more albums of awkward outfits (I particularly enjoyed my jeans that had patches on them that I had sewn on), unfortunate facial blemishes, and days before we knew how to use hair straigtheners and hair gel.

  2. Xanga- While I was not a Xanga owner, I have friends who were. From what I gather it was like a blog where you write your daily thoughts and then have your friends comment on it. Rereading some of the posts definitely allow for numerous laughs especially about having to sign off quickly because “Dad is going to turn off the internet”. Our biggest problems also seemed to be not being able to hang out with our boyfriend/girlfriend or not being able to get into an R rated movie.

  3. Expages- I was a big fan of Expages and during my computer-programming phase even created pop up boxes that would allow the visitor to enter their name so the site was personalized. What a nerd! I think I had about 4 different Expages some which contained quotes, some cartoon dolls (remember those!? If not its that weird fairy thing at the top of this post.) and some that were just my ramblings. I have tried to no prevail to uncover these old sites and see just how weird I was as a teenager. Guess I will just have to imagine what was on there.

  4. AOL- I will forever remember when my parents finally let me download AOL. I had begged them for months and was beside myself excited when they allowed me to get it. I created my aforementioned screenname, puppy2117, and added my friends who I would chat with for hours about who liked who and what they were wearing for Spirit Week. Of course I created ridiculous away messages such as; “What if the hokey pokey really IS what it’s all about!? Will we all have to turn ourselves around?” or some emo song lyrics that I thought I could relate to but really had no idea what it meant. Then there were the AOL profiles that included all your best friends initials, a countdown until your next beach trip and various inside jokes that only made sense to one person on your buddy list. I can’t forget to mention SmarterChild who I always tried to trip up with a ridiculous question. I like to think Siri is the modern day SmarterChild.

Nowadays it seems you know exactly what everyone is doing and thinking at every moment of the day. I am nostalgic for the days of choosing your font and color for your AOL profile and reading your friend’s Xanga that details their track meet and tanning by the pool.

You Know My Heart More Than I Do…We Were the Greatest, Me and You

It was that moment in my car, driving to the mountains to get away, and listening to the Adele CD “21” for the third time straight and still bawling that I realized that I had had enough with him.  Five years of insane ups and downs had come to this moment where I had officially become “that girl” – irrational, overly emotional and hanging on to every word that Adele sang.  That’s when I turned my car around, drove back to the city, and decided that I was going to be over him. 

That was last March.  One year later has brought me a plethora of other awkward, hilarious, cringe-worthy and awesome encounters with other guys.  The year also brought me back to him.  On a real date last night.  Our first one since 2009. 

For two hours before dinner, I seriously considered canceling on him at least fifty times.  Why were doing dinner now, after all the bullshit that he had put me through during college and after?  Could he have really changed?  Do we both want to do this?  It wasn’t dinner that I was scared of…it was how I would feel after. 

I walked into the restaurant and immediately felt, as I always do with him, like the 18-year-old college freshman that I was when we met.  There is just something so familiar and comfortable about him, when combined with all of the things that I love about him, make me go weak at the knees and forget all the ways that he’s hurt me. 

Three sushi rolls, two and a half hours, and a bottle of wine later, we were just as we have always been.  We were laughing while rehashing college stories, commiserating about our jobs, and reevaluating our dreams.  So familiar, so comfortable, so everything-I-have-always-wanted with him. 

I can see myself being married to him, which sounds insane because of all of the ups and downs.  Being with him just feels right.  No one in the world can make me laugh harder than him, or make me feel like I can just be myself.  But then there’s that nagging feeling again that reminds me of all the nights I went home crying because of him.  And the way I would get dropped like a bad habit.  And the way he promised every time that it would be different, and then it wasn’t different at all.  It would end worse than the time before.  Every time anything got too serious, too connected, we would end. 

So, I guess that’s where he and I have to leave it.  What could have been, isn’t, and probably won’t ever be.  I’m not sure that I have anything left for a relationship with him beyond a friendship.  Though he may not realize it now, he doesn’t either.  “We could have had it all…” but it’s just too late.

Expectations

I remember reading Shakespeare in high school and only understand half of what the dude was trying to say. Tonight though I certainly understand one thing he said; “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

I’m definitely a glass half full kind of person which can be really good but sometimes I have my half empty nights as well. Tonight is one of those. As humans we expect things from people and when they let us down it can really hurt. I guess the point of this post is me debating whether it’s better to expect things and be let down or to not expect anything from anyone and be pleasantly surprised. The latter approach seems so depressing to me.

It’s amazing how even the littlest expectation when not achieved can feel like the ultimate loss. I get a little bit sadder and wonder why I ever expected anything in the first place. And ah the worst part of all is I still keep expecting. Even if I know I shouldn’t. This may be a semi-cryptic post but I think everyone has gone through these emotions before. Whether they let down themselves by not passing a class or whether a friend let them down by not showing up when they said they would.

I’m not sure I can ever not have expectations which I guess is the hardest part of all this. I want to think the best of people. Maybe I shouldn’t?