1.24.2014

What's Making Me Happy

I'm going through a weird phase right now where I am hungry all. of. the. times.  It does not matter how much I eat, what I eat, or when I eat. My stomach is constantly and audibly demanding large quantities of food and on top of that, I think I grew some extra ribs. I'd be concerned that I somehow ingested a gigantic Mexican worm, and that the worm is eating all of my food, but I also know my body does this (and has done this since my first six inch growth spurt in third grade). In fact, it's usually a pattern: first, a couple weeks of complete and utter lack of appetite (oh, no, that half a cup of chicken broth was just too filling), followed by a couple weeks of complete and utter starvation (um, yeah, can I just have the whole cow?).  Having a lack of appetite is cool because you save money, but right now....so many trips to the grocery store. So many.

Also, this is me all. of. the. times:


So, food is clearly not making me happy right now. But that's okay, because these things that are making me happy are stuffing the emotional hole left by the lack of satisfaction in eating. Except not really because your body can't digest these things. And some aren't even things. And some I refuse to eat.

1. This jacket from Marmot, in Sea Glass.


I've always been a little jealous of people with those Patagonia jackets that look thin but are super warm and make the consumer (I still have eating on the brain) look mega-outdoorsy cool. But the thing is, those Patagonia jackets are also really mainstream, so I decided to choose a less popular brand.

I'm kidding. I get teased for being hipster, but really, I'm just cheap, so I bought the Marmot version and it is aaaaaamazing! I have no complaints about this jacket, and I like to pretend I look mega-outdoorsy cool.

2. New teaching techniques in the classroom.
I'm going to be honest here, for just a bit, and then I'll get back to hyperboles and sarcasm: I don't know what's happening with me and teaching. I love teaching, I love my students, I love my school, I love my co-workers, but I really really don't don't love the recent changes in the higher ups of the district, and I'm really concerned about my future as a teacher, and about public education in general. This type of talk is much more suited for a post where I don't mention Mexican tapeworms, so that's all I've got to say about that. (More on this issue later.)

But, what I am loving about teaching right now is a new (to me) technique I'm attempting, which is the "flipped classroom" - essentially I record the lectures I would typically spend a class period teaching, and the kids watch them at home. Then in class we do really awesome things like discuss and read primary sources and debate and hold mock trials and write until their little fingers are bleeding stubs. It's really fun, and the videos magnify my dorky qualities ten-fold, which my students seem to enjoy.

(Oh, you'd like to see these videos because you think I'm funny - I'm not - and you just want to learn about the Cold War? By all means, feel free to check them out here.)

3. This dog.
This insane, obnoxious, unconditionally loving, expert cuddling, almost 6-year-old puppy. I love her to death. And I refuse to eat her.


4. This book, A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver.
Mary Oliver is ridiculously inspiring, and I think I'd like to invite her to a dinner party (plus Theodore Roosevelt and Justin Bieber, just because I think that'd make an interesting mix and would be entertaining).  Reading her poetry simultaneously inspires me and frustrates me because I have a chronic case of comparing myself to other people and how the hell am I supposed to write such moving poetry? I've decided that Mary Oliver is magic, and therefore, is not human, and therefore, can write amazing poetry.

Exhibit A, from A Thousand Mornings:
The First Time Percy Came Back
The first time Percy came back
he was not sailing on a cloud.
He was loping along the sand as though
he had come a great way.
"Percy," I cried out, and reached to him -
         those white curls -
but he was unreachable. As music
is present yet you can't touch it.
"Yes, it's all different," he said.
"You're going to be very surprised."
But I wasn't thinking of that. I only
wanted to hold him. "Listen," he said,
"I miss that too.
And now you'll be telling stories
          of my coming back
and they won't be false, and they won't be true,
but they'll be real."
And then, as he used to, he said, "Let's go!"
And we walked down the beach together.
I mean, what is that? I give up all rights to writing poetry ever. (That poem also always makes me simultaneously cry and think of my mom. I think she understands why. Or I hope she does because otherwise that just sounds creepy. She's not dead, by the way.)

So that's what's making me happy...what's making you happy?

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