Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"We don't need no education..."

Or do we?

Pink Floyd, don't get me wrong, this song is a classic (p.s., if you want to see the most gruesome and disturbing thing of your life, watch the music video for that song. *shudder*). But let's be honest, most of us want to be successful in life, except people who prefer to wander the streets. I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

So, basically, what I'm saying is...

Anyone? Anyone...? Bueller...? (#1 most widely used movie quote by high school teachers. I guarantee it).

School is...
quite beneficial.

Clearly, because without my almost 13 years of public education, I wouldn't know how to use the word "beneficial"! And wouldn't that be a shame?

But really, I've never really hated school. I've rarely even disliked it.
(I know, you can bring out the torches now. Or...flaming Geometry textbooks).

Just to clarify, I'm talkin' public school here, since I've had the most experience there, with the exception of...uh...Sunday school. And pre-school. 

Nevertheless, advancing forward.

Yeah, I know, we waste a lot of time there, and people who are home-schooled learn the same stuff in half the time, and it's all just learning how to cheat the system, and high school is just a big game called "How Many A's Can You Get While Still Playing Sports and Having Friends?"

But there is a dairy air-load (ha, ha) of stuff I've learned in those less-than-sanitary halls:

1. How to talk to people my age
2. How to talk to people not my age
3. How to play foursquare (5th grade anyone?)
4. The art of margin decorating (commonly known as doodling)
5. How to color in the lines (we're talkin' math class and Spanish class last year, not kindergarten)
6. How to sing like a divine, angelic being (well...okay, how to sing in a choir)
7. That I should definitely not pursue a career involving ceramics
8. Every failed tryout or audition can be blamed on how "it's so political"
9. What you do isn't who you are, but everyone probably thinks that anyway. So go ahead and verify stereotypes by your comments in class, outfits, friends, and swagger. It's vastly entertaining for the rest of us.
10. Your classes are going to be harder next year. You're going to have more homework next year. You're going to have less time next year. No, you aren't going to suddenly have time to read the unabridged version of War and Peace, take up photography, do online classes to get ahead, go on a bike ride, write a novel, and learn to cook any time in the near future. You have to make the time. Accept it. Accept it RIGHT NOW.
11. That being said, classes are never as hard as the teacher says they are on the first day. "I want to make sure you all know what you're getting into. This class involves about 2 hours of homework every night. It is very challenging. I do not accept late work. I follow the school electronics policy. If this isn't where you're supposed to be..." Sound familiar? Yeah...I don't think one of those "scare speeches" has ever actually come true in its entirety. But it sure is effective in getting classes down to manageable size. 
12. Textbooks are exciting! ...if you continually stab yourself with a needle while reading in order to stay awake...
Okay I don't do that. But textbooks = uhhhn. Textbooks + food = a little better...uuuh huh...
13. Teachers have favorites. They might pretend to be fair. But don't believe them! Get on their good side while you have a chance!
14. Tactful procrastination. It's one of my best life skills.
15. Never, ever, under any circumstances: let people see your gum, know who you like, or "look at" your cell phone. Ever.

Yeah, I know, this perdy much turned into a "high school advice" column. 
But but but! It's okay! Because, don't you see? If it weren't for public schooling, I wouldn't have all this lovely info to share with the world wide web. (Is it just me, or is it considerably hilarious to say that just for the sake of sounding like 1992?)

So...I hope you learned something. If not, you just wasted...how long would you say it took you to read this post?

Stay cool in school this year! 
(this is where I go "haha I'm such a nerd!" and somebody rolls their eyes at me).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cliché End of Summer Post?

Nope, thanks. I'm not going to sit here and tell you about how I'm pining for the sunny, popsicle and swimsuit filled days of summer vacation to not be over. Instead, I'll give a little tribute to high school in the form of a satirical paper I wrote for my English class last year. Enjoy! And I hope you can get what I'm trying to point out here.

Diary of a High School Teacher
        I've been teaching high school for about 17 years now, and I've cherished every moment of it. I just love trying to re-shape young minds that are already set in their ways. I just love reliving the insignificant teenage drama that plague the halls. And, of course, the paycheck is simply more than I could ask for.
        The students here are amazing. I teach mostly juniors, so 16 and 17-year-olds. I know I'm a lot older than they are, but I respect and admire them for how serious they are about their learning. And of course they have the other areas of their lives completely mastered – they're so cool. There' something about a certain moment that occurs every so often – I'll try to describe it in a way that does it justice.
        It's about 20 minutes after the bell has rung. That kid – you know the one I'm talking about – saunters in, swinging their lanyard back and forth, with the keys to an expensive car attached, and a Coke in the other hand. Every soul in the classroom stares, transfixed, as they make their way, gliding like a celebrity, to their seat on the opposite side of the room. I don't mind the interruption, I'm in awe just like everyone else, thinking to myself, “They definitely...deserve...an A...” until the purposefully loud clank of the keys being dropped onto the desk brings me back to my senses, and the lesson.
        Besides distracting grand entrances, I love the way students text throughout the class period. It's amazing they hold off for how much of class that they do. I know when I was in high school, my attention span was nowhere near that extent. There's also no way I would be able to hide a phone so well. I'm rarely able to notice when someone is texting during class time. But when I do spot them, I just respect the student fro trying, and I would never dream of wanting to embarrass them during class. And what if they weren't really using their phone? I mean, you can never tell with teenagers. It's perfectly reasonable that they might just like staring at their empty hands in their lap for long periods of time or that they need to keep their hands inside their bag to keep them warm or they need to prop their binder up for educational purposes. Besides, I understand how desperately important it is for them to chat with their friends – especially when they have to wait all the way until lunch time to see them.
        Speaking of friends, high school is the one place where you see strong, true friendships – groups of friends that are, as a rule, the same race, social status, athletic ability, intellectual level, and level of fashionable-ness. Wow I just love to see shallow friendships that are broken up on a regular basis over tiny, misunderstood rumors. It just adds an exciting dynamic to the whole atmosphere. I wish I could participate, but no other staff member qualifies as a potential friend for me, based on the aforementioned criteria.
        Besides casual friendships, there are other, more serious relationships I see in the hallways, between equally matched guys and girls (once again, based on the Official High School Friend Criteria). When I see how much that football player truly loves the cheerleader he's holding hands with walking down the hallway, my 15 years of happy marriage just seem so insignificant. Who cares that in 10 days or less they'll be burning every possession that reminds them of their former significant other? For now, they're the talk of the school. Why would you want to establish good friendships and spare yourself emotional damage when you can create a short-live popularity and shallow admiration that is always accompanied by emotional damage? High-schoolers just understand how these things really work.
        Now I know it can be stressful to deal with raising a family, working all day and them going home to make dinner, doing laundry, and washing dishes. I know it can be somewhat difficult coping with mortgage payments, electrical and heating bills, credit card bills, food and clothes, insurance payments, saving for retirement, and an endless list of other responsibilities. But when I hear these poor victimized kids complaining, I sympathize completely. I forgot how truly miserable life can be when you don't have enough cash to go out to lunch, your teacher won't give you a free “A”, or someone said that someone else thought it seemed like that one girl was hinting that that other guy isn't planning on asking you to the next date dance. Of course, when I hear excuses like these, I immediately feel obliged to erase all tardies, give free full points for all missing assignments, and buy the whole class lunch.
        While teaching at a public school may be an infamous career, there's no other occupation I would even consider choosing. I absolutely love what I do – it gives me classrooms full of near-perfect examples to look up to, despite their young age. It also gives me new insight on life – it helps me keep in mind the seriousness and reality of high school life, as opposed to the outside world. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Deeper-than-the-Ocean Clean

You know how people are always like "I'm deep cleaning my room"?
They don't know the meaning. They didn't go through what I went through last week.

This saga of sorting and chucking consisted of: a total of approximately 7 hours, spread over 3 days, with 3 large piles of paper to be recycled, and most importantly, a now clean room.
Now I'll just let the photos do the rest of the talking. (With between few and many comments from me).

This was my "desk" before the organization apocalypse. Desk is in quotation marks because it should be called "that one part of my room where I pile all my stuff". I mean, LOOK at it. Do you think I could do homework on that? No siree. In fact, the whole reason I spent my precious time on this whole cleaning ordeal was because I wanted to be able to use that desk this year. Last school year, I would come home and promptly plop on my bed to do my homework there. Guess what happens when you try to read The Scarlet Letter while laying down on your bed? Yeah. Snooze-y time. So, the objective was to clean up my desk area enough to provide the possibility of using it for a homework. Results will [hopefully] include: increased productivity after school, better grades, more scholarship opportunities, getting into Stanford and Yale and Harvard, possibly developing super powers, and maybe even solving worldwide economic crises. Although, I'll be down with just getting more homework done.

And now, some of the treasures/non-treasures I uncovered:

First, my "Summer 2011 Bucket List". Ironic because: A. I recently had a post saying how I don't think it should be called a "summer bucket list", B. it doesn't do much good if I forget I even had a list, and C. because I actually had done most of the things, without even knowing it. Ha!

Here's a slew of things I found expressing my hatred for my 8th grade geometry class. And this isn't even the half of it. Apparently that class was worse than I remembered.

One day, my teacher was saying some weird stuff, that really didn't have much to do with math, so I said "maybe I should take notes anyway", and this was the result. No joke, these are my notes from an entire class period. I'm sure Chuck Norris could relate to math somehow, I mean, come on, he's Chuck Norris. But hair color...?

Everything I learned in my sophomore year Spanish class is right here. I learned how to draw a dinosaur, I learned that making teacher bingo games is absolutely the best way to survive an otherwise morbidly horrendous class, and I learned that Migdalia is a real name. MIND BLOWN!  (If, by some chance, you are reading this, and your name is Migdalia, please tell me. I would be honored to meet you and most likely you will be my new best friend).

The pile of papers I threw away (don't worry, they're in the recycling) one day. Between the other 2 days I was doing this, I had at least this much again. All I can say is, "How...the heck..." and "What...the freak..." and "Let's get yogurt!" ( Teen Girl Squad, anyone? Seriously though. Let's).

And now (drummmmmmroll), the point/moral/object/whatever you want to call it.
Uh...it feels good to get all the crap out of your life? HEY! This could actually be a great life lesson. When you keep all your 9th grade P.E. notes, biology diagrams, and Spanish worksheets, you originally think you might look at them again later. Or you think "I put so much work into these, I can't just throw them away." But then, you eventually take a plunge (into the recycling bin, that is) and voila! You feel free. Those old notes and assignments could be anything for you; an old grudge, a bad habit, anything, that you think you need to keep. But just throw it away, and you realize what you've been missing out on.

And who knows, if you deep clean your own room, you might have a chance at being almost as deep as yours truly.
Ah, I crack myself up.

Monday, August 15, 2011


If there's no french toast with homemade apricot jam in heaven, I'm not goin'.
(I'm pretty sure you know that's an exaggeration).
But really, it's good stuff.
Speaking of which, guess what I had for breakfast today?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Drama Repellent® Worked for ME!

It plagues high school girls around the world. It causes heartache, arguments, stress, anger, lack of focus, tears, broken friendships, emotional outbursts, breakdowns, eating disorders, over-consumption of ice cream and chocolate, car crashes, suicide, and/or death.What is this terrible curse on our society?
Friend drama.
How many times have you heard a 16-year-old girl say:
"UH! I'm sick of all the DRAMA!"
"I am SO MAD at her right now!"
"They are so INSENSITIVE!"
"No one understands!"
"How DARE she steal my man!"
etc, etc. 
In case you're still not clear on what I mean by friend drama:
Friend drama generally consists of close girl friends being in a fight. In most cases it has to do with a boy. Common examples are: liking the same boy and one goes on a date with him, one friend choosing her boyfriend over her girl best friend, one girl "unintentionally" flirting with the boy the other girl likes, and many others. Each individual case is different, but often equally serious. 
But, recent studies have shown that there are preventative measures that could save YOU from needless self destructive behaviors and stressful relationship situations. 
Drama Repellent® has been proven in one or more cases to be the most effective tool on the market to avoid various types of friend drama. 
Drama Repellent® contains the following active ingredients:
  • Not assuming the worst
  • Being sure of tone in a text before assuming anything
  • Not trying to go out with every boy that comes your way
  • Forgiving small, unintentional blunders
  • Not having a high school boyfriend (this is not always a key ingredient, but provides added benefits for some patients).
  • Focusing on what matters most rather than small, insignificant details
  • Not looking for reasons to be angry at other people
  • Allowing friends to explain themselves after an apparent wrongdoing
  • Not flirting with every boy in the school
  • Understanding sarcasm and jokes
  • Being able to take constructive criticism
  • Honesty and communication
  • Talking to people face to face and not always over Facebook or text
  • Not obsessing over one boy
  • Being happy for your friends, not jealous of them
  • Not making a bigger deal out of something than it is
Side effects may include:
  • Better, stronger, and more friendships
  • More fun times
  • Less stress
  • More laughter and jokes
  • Better grades
  • More people that like to be around you
  • Being able to function normally around peers
  • A brighter future
So what are you waiting for? Ask your doctor about Drama Repellent® today!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dear Guitar,

I know you're neglected. And I'm sorry. But I'm just not skilled enough to do you justice. Besides, you're not even mine. I have to hold on to Uke too, because when Kaal comes home from his LDS mission, he's going to want you back. But let's be honest, I spend more time with you than he ever did. But it's just so hard to find the time. Especially when I want to give you, Uke, and Piano equal attention. And there are so many people in the world who are better than I am at playing that I just don't know if it's worth it to try anymore. I can give you some chords, and quite a few songs. I hope that's enough for now. And I have to apologize in advance, you might get a little lonely during the school year. It's not that homework, grades, friends, money, or exercise is more enjoyable than you, it's just that they are more demanding. They aren't as patient as you. So please forgive me for my negligence (and for that time when I accidentally bumped you into the wall...and the chair...and the wall again...I promise it was unintentional). And remember that I still care about you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Bucket List

I know this is what's going through your head right now:
"Uh, you know summer's almost over, right?"
Of course, you rabid porcupine! (I don't mean that - just quoting Psych...haha)
The point is, this isn't your average "bucket list". This is like no other bucket list you've EVER SEEN!
...You'll see what I mean.
And, presenting:

Aub's Summer Bucket List 2011

-Corn seeds
-Weeds from the flower bed
-Water balloons
-Burned out sparklers and fireworks
-Ice cream
-Laundry detergent
-Car-washing brushes
-Lake water
-Tomatoes, corn, green beans, squash

This is actually a list of things I put in, see inside, or store in a bucket in summertime. This is not, as most peoples' are, a list of what I was to accomplish before summer's over. In fact, that would make it a complete misnomer. It's called a bucket list because it's what you want to do before you "kick the bucket". So, unless you're planning on keeling over once school starts, (which, don't get me wrong, is perfectly plausible for most of us) it technically shouldn't be called a "summer bucket list".
So there you go, a deceiving bucket list turned soapbox. Don't get your britches in a twist over it.

Oh yeah, here's another "summer playlist" song. Or two. I've been listening to Weezer and Oasis a lot lately...here are my faves of the day from them.
"Burndt Jamb" by Weezer

"Roll With It" by Oasis