Evolution & Patriotism Do Mix, and Happiness Reins Supreme

One thing about working in after-school programming is that it's imperative to have pockets.  I carry two cell phones, a walkie-talkie, various documents, lots of keys, writing utensils, and the occasional citrus fruit when I'm on patrol.  So this outfit does double duty, having the blue jean pockets, and two giant pockets in the dress.  Several of the teachers have, what appears to be, very cute "tool belts" for dry erase markers, scissors, pens, and all the other things I wish I'd had attached to my person when I had my own classroom.

I feel like reminiscing a bit, so indulge me...

This was my classroom last year, (on the first day, before havoc was wreaked upon it by doodle and destruction happy teenagers).  I miss it... even though it didn't have windows.  Actually, I don't miss that at all.  Now I'm in an office that has windows looking out on a hallway.  It's sort of like being in a fishbowl.  And yes, that is Kurt Cobain behind my desk, the exact same poster my tenth grade English teacher, Mr. Cochran, had.  Rock on.

This is a kick-butt bulletin board I did when I was teaching ninth graders the Odyssey.  They were in teams, or "ship crews," and they "sailed their ship" from Troy to Ithaca by doing well on homework and quizzes.  The symbols in the water marked where we were in the reading.

And these are some of my kiddos from last year - sophomores - dressed up to act out scenes from Antigone.  Sometimes I came home so frustrated with various students, administration, paperwork, policies, etc, that I forgot how much I laughed in my classes on a regular basis.  They cracked me up - even if I didn't always get to show it because I was supposed to be tough :)  My first group of babies are graduating this year, and I'm going to trytrytry to get back to Arkansas to be there.

Ok - memory trip over!  I actually need to go to bed so I can wake up for my current job.  Without further hesitation:

Dress and Belt: BB Dakota
Cardigan: Gap
Shoes: BCBG Girls
Jeans: Joe's Jeans

I also want to announce how excited I am to have gotten the Happy Award from Prima!  Danke danke!  (I'm also reliving my days in German class).

This award says to list ten things that make me happy, and I really need to do this right now because I've had a terrible, emotional day with lots of arguing and pouting.  Not very lady-like.

Ten happies:

1) Music I can swim in.  Lyrics, melody... I especially like acoustic guitars.  Sorry About Dresden came on a second ago and it seems fitting for the arguments I've been having.  That's music you can swim in.
2) Cooking and baking, when things turn out well and the people you feed smile when they taste it.  I really like kneading bread dough.
3) My puppy baby, who isn't really a baby anymore, and I adore even though she has yucky dandruff and licks herself a lot.  Ew.
4) The sea.  I have a jacket my mom ordered me from Lands End in seventh grade, and it still fits.  I wore it to the shore in Turkey and there are still crushed sea shells and sand in the pocket.  I love touching them.
5) Sale shopping.  And thrift shopping.  I like getting new things but hate spending money.  
6) Rare produce.  The words "heirloom tomato" make the room a little warm.
7) My grandmother.  Sometimes we drive each other crazy but I still love her and miss her a lot, and she likes pizza, beer, and new clothes almost as much as I do.
8) Photo albums.  I browse them a lot.  Facebook has ruined my life with the plethora of photos to go through.  I like remembering things to the point that it hurts.  This makes getting over past relationships hard.  I don't think I ever really let myself.  
9) Singing with the guitar on key.  I know I'll never be Beyonce, (I'm kinda glad...) but when I know a song and sing it while playing, it makes me really really happy.  
10) Aquariums.  Cutty took me to the Boston aquarium the last time I was there and I loved it.  Then I got to spend the rest of the weekend with my girls Joanie and Julia.  I went to archeology camp at the Toltec Mounds when I was ten, and a news crew interviewed me when I was digging in the dirt,and their cut away quote was me saying I wanted to grow up to be a marine biologist.  

Just ten?  There are lots more flooding to my mind - fresh flowers at the Fayetteville Famer's Market, strawberries, coffee and cinnamon rolls, Taste of Thai with Emily and Stephanie, going to lunch with Michael on Saturdays, playing golf with my dad, reading books about religion, researching and writing lesson plans, (yes I'm weird), The Flying Saucer when it's sleeting outside, recipes in my grandmother's hand writing, live music with dancing, kissingkissingkissing, open windows in summer, my grandfather humming made up songs in his Buick, Top Chef marathons with Scott... what a wonderful rush of thoughts!!

I'm supposed to tag people for this award - but can I be unconventional?  If you're reading this then I tag you.  Please take this award, post it, and write ten things that make you happy.  See if you can stop at ten.  I bet ten bucks you can't.  (I don't really have ten bucks, but the sentiment stands).