Image Map

Tough Questions

April 27, 2013

I'm linking up with (Everyday is like Sunday) for Tough Questions.

1. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would it be?

I try to live by the idea of not having regrets, but to be honest I do have one. I started off my college experience at Florida State University and at the time it was my dream school. My sophomore year I started dating my high school friend from back home and he moved up to Tallahassee for me. He hated it and convinced me to move back down and transfer down to UCF. If I could go back and talk to my 19 year old self I would tell her to not choose "love" and stay firm.

2.Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hmm. The standard interview question. In 5 years I will be 36 (scary thought). I hope to be in a job that I enjoy and actually uses my masters degree in Counseling, traveling more, and happily married. 
                              I can't wait to go to Italy one day.

3. Do you honestly want kids? My husband and I don't plan on having kids. 

4.What has been the best moment of your life so far?  I think I have had quite a few best moments in my 31 years of my life. Graduating college at 22 was a great moment, moving out into my own little apartment at 24, and most recently my wedding day in November.

5.What is your life theme song?  Good question. Maybe Dar Williams "Farewell to the Old Me" for this part of my life.

6.What is one thing you have yet to accomplish that you want to do before you die?
 I want to travel to Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. I would be sad if I died without making it outside of the United States.

7.If you could choose one thing to be known for, what would it be?

I would love to be a travel writer. Basically I want to be the female Anthony Bourdain, minus the drug past and foodie tendencies. I can try new foods but to the level he does. 

8.If you could do anything you wanted right in this very moment {no consequences, no fear, etc.}, what would it be?   Go on a shopping spree at my favorite clothes stores.

9.What has been the most challenging moment in your life?
I've had quite a few challenges but the toughest probably was moving to Massachusetts by myself back in 2007. I lasted a year up there before moving back down to Florida.

10. Summarize yourself in one word.  Complicated  HA!

Working for the weekend

April 26, 2013

Woohoo it is Friday!! I don't have too much planned yet for this weekend, which is sometimes a good thing. Friday night is usually date night for the husband and I. Lately our date nights have consisted of a bottle of wine, movie, and conversation. That is how we roll around here ha. Congrats to the man for officially filing his intent to graduate this morning.  Come August 3rd he will be the proud owner of a bachelor degree. Proud of you babe!


Current Obsessions

April 24, 2013

Last Sunday I went to a birthday party of my husband's co-worker and discovered this gem of a board game.

In a nutshell the game is like an adult and slightly offensive version of Mad Libs. I of course loved it immediately. Now it is on the top of my birthday wish list (cough, cough, August) and can't wait to play it again.

Game of Thrones is only getting better in the third season. I have loved the show since the first season and we even walked out to our wedding reception to the epic theme song. Daenerys Targaryen is my favorite character in the series. I'm actually contemplating dressing up as her for Halloween.

Now that Walking Dead is finally on a break, AMC can return to grown up television with Mad Men. Season 6 returns with classic Don Draper back in the game and with the social politics of the late 1960's already in play. Mad Men I missed you!

Let me introduce myself

April 21, 2013

I figured since my blog is brand new it would be a good time to tell you a little more about myself. I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for years now and finally decided to stop stalking all the awesome blogs out there and make my own.

1. I grew up in Mickey Mouse’s backyard (aka Orlando, FL) and I am one of the rare Orlando natives. For those of you not in Florida, many of the residents of the Sunshine State move down from other states and seem surprised to meet one of us local folks.

2. I may not look it but I am fluent in Spanish. My mom was born and raised in Puerto Rico and my father moved from New York to PR when he was 7. I am very proud of my Hispanic culture even if I look like more white girl than J.Lo.

                            This is from my last trip to San Juan, PR with my parents in 2009.

3. I am what I call athletically challenged, yet love watching sports. My team is the Florida State Seminoles since I went there back in the day. I heart my Noles. I just recently got into fantasy football and love it despite my losing record.

4. My love for 90’s music knows no bounds. I graduated high school in 1999 and I’m convinced that blasting 90’s music can lift me out of a bad mood.

5. I am a newlywed. I got married on 11/10/12 after dating for almost 5 years. I first met my now husband in June 2006 at one of my high school friend’s birthday get- together. I was 3 weeks out from a rough break-up and he was living in Indiana. So yeah, not love at first sight. It would take another year and birthday of our mutual friend for us to make a connection. 

5. I changed my major a few times before declaring it as English. I started off as a Psychology, went undecided, contemplated Sociology for a second, got interested in Journalism and upon my advisor’s advice I majored in English. I love writing and reading so it seemed like a natural choice. After I graduated college and was slapped by reality, I became a cliché and taught middle school English for almost 7 years.

6. I am a proud dog mommy. His name is Kavalier (named after a character in a book, hey we love books) and he is a black lab/border collie mix. We rescued him back in November 2009.  Also I’m one of those annoying moms with an iPhone filled with pictures of dogs, I can’t help it.

7. I have a case of the wanderlust. I love traveling and look at a map of the world as places I want to explore. I have yet to travel to Europe, Africa, or Asia. I have traveled to Puerto Rico (many times), Mexico, Jamaica, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Key West (my favorite part of FL), NYC, Boston, Philly, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, and Atlanta. I really want to visit Austin, Portland, and Seattle soon.

 I went to the Jon Stewart Rally in Washington DC in 2010. 


April 18, 2013

It has been almost a month that I walked away from my teaching career. Honestly it quickly felt like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulder when I walked out of my classroom for the final time. A little wave of guilt comes over me when I think about leaving at the end of the 3rd marking period, but I can not deny that I did what was right for my health and sanity. I always tend to put others first and now I'm realizing the importance of taking care of yourself.

Next week I start a new job in a new field (social services). A job that I have no doubts will challenge me and will be a first step in a new life/career direction. I'm ready.

Why I Left Teaching

April 09, 2013

“Wait. So you are done with teaching? Why?”

That has become the ever so common question in my life. I know that for many people in my life the idea of ending my teaching career at the end of the third nine weeks was hard for them to wrap their head around. Logically, it might sound crazy, why leave a full-time job with health benefits in this economy? The rational side of me would even agree with those people. But what fun would life be if you just listened to the logical side of your brain?

The short answer is that I left my 7-years of working in the public school system because it was literally making me sick. It is one of the worst kept secrets that being a public school teacher is a stressful job, and in the last few years it has only gotten worse. When you add in No Child Left Behind, apathetic students with parents who want no part in disciplining their children, and a new teacher evaluation system where half of your score is based on standardized test scores, you start to understand why 50% of new teachers barely make it to year 5 in the occupation. But to really understand the how and why of my departure from public education, you have to know how the journey began.

I was hired in the fall of 2005 as a bright eyed, confused English major who figured that becoming an English teacher would qualify for post-collegiate stability. After a few short months of working as a substitute teacher I was handed a set of keys and told to teach my little heart out to middle schoolers. A month later the staff was told that they hired too many teachers and 10 of us would be reassigned to other schools. I was reassigned to arguably the toughest high school in Orlando and definitely not the place for a brand new teacher of 24. The day I arrived I was given a tour of my classroom and a puzzled look to my repeated questions of when I would be supplied textbooks for my students. It would be almost a month until I finally received assistance in getting the needed books to properly teach. The daily struggle of compiling lessons, attempting classroom management as a rookie, and generally living in the survival mode that is the life of a first year teacher often had me crying on my drives home from work. The lowest point of my first year was when a student threw a book at my head during class one day. I kept wondering why they would knowingly place first year teachers in such a tough and struggling school. I was incredibly lucky to be moved yet again, but this time to another middle school. 3 schools in a teacher’s first year. Most veteran teachers I came across would tell me that I shouldn’t have made it past November with that introduction to teaching. But I did. Actually I almost made it seven years. It was the last year that did me in.

“ Babe. I’m having trouble breathing, do you think I should call in to work?”

A rational and sane person is probably thinking what a dumb question to ask your husband. My husband (a rational and sane non-teacher) had to remind me not to feel the normal teacher guilt of calling in sick and that it is not normal to try to go to work when you are having difficulties breathing. As soon as I got off the phone with work I realized that I could no longer ignore what had been building up for the last few months. The euphoria of June when I accepted a job at my “dream school” had faded into weekly panic attacks, an unsupportive administration when it came to classroom discipline, and a growing depression when thinking about my job. I had become one of those people who started dreading the workweek on Sunday night. It was getting to the point where it took all of my daily energy to get through my 7 period long workday, like a wind-up doll. I would begrudgingly wake up every morning telling myself that things will start to get better. I would start my day off optimistically and by 6th period I would be clearly defeated. I would come home so drained of energy that I could not fight the urge to talk a nap right after work. When I started teaching I still made time for hobbies like yoga or writing, but lately my life was a constant cycle of work/nap/lesson plan/sleep. I realized it during my two week long winter break how much more relaxed I seemed when I actually had time to read the books I had long ago downloaded to my Nook and even write in my journal for the first time in ages.

As I sat in my doctor’s office still reeling from that morning’s panic attack and having my blood pressure checked, I could no longer deny the realities of my life. I hated what my profession had become and how it had changed me. I made myself a promise in the beginning of my teaching career that I never wanted to become like my senior year English teacher. Her burnout was obvious to all of her students and you got the sense that she did not enjoy her job. I didn’t want to bring the kind of energy to my students, what teacher does?  So I made a choice to walk away from a job that no longer fit me. While I still do love some aspects of teaching, I can’t teach in the public school system anymore.  To do this job at the level you are expected to perform at you have to give it all of you. You have to make it your whole life and I just refuse to do that anymore.