Tuesday, October 30, 2012
After reading the first chapter of The Spark and learning more about Chris I got to thinking a little bit. Well ok, I thought a lot. I thought specifically about mistakes I've made in my life. Nothing too dramatic really. Got married too young (terrible idea, got the divorce papers to prove it). Trusted the wrong people. Got into a wrong relationship or two. Won't go into it any more than that, not here anyway.
The point is it all could have turned me off men and relationships and trusting people completely but it didn't. I am in a wonderful relationship right now, planning on moving in with him and having a life with him. So, you see, my mistakes haven't stopped me. Merely delayed me a bit.
It's been a long road. In between mistakes I've lost 70 pounds, received my B.A. in music, sung in front of 40,000 people on the 4th of July (with my ex-husband's sister no less), gone to Italy by myself for a few months, and started forging a teaching career for myself.
You'd think that any mistakes after all that would seem minimal, right? Granted I haven't married anyone or gone trusting the wrong people again, but I have made mistakes. The most recent seems to be my demeanor in the classroom. Or maybe I'm just blaming myself instead of the poorly behaved students? From the first day I've been determined to be the nice, but firm, teacher. The one who wouldn't put up with misbehavior in her classroom and student would feel comfortable with her. It appears I've done that second part too well. Students are so comfortable in my class that they misbehave. Constantly talking with their friends, not paying attention, being disrespectful and being seriously shocked when I do something about it (detention). Luckily this job is temporary and my main goal is just to get through til the middle of December. But still, I'd like to prevent this from happening again.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Good morning! So I the past couple of months have been a little rough. I'm teaching music in a small private school. I'm responsible for general music classes for grades Pre-K to 6, the grammar school chorus (grades 4-6), and the middle school chorus (grades 7-8). It's my first time working with such young kids and it's taken me a while to find my way. But I finally feel like I've found it!
Anyway, I've been exhausted. When I get home from work I sprawl out on my bed and I just stay there. Been getting the rest I need that way, but I haven't been taking such great care of myself. I've been neglecting my nutrition and fitness. So yesterday I decided to give myself a fresh start to the week. Included a fruit or veggie with everything I ate, drank plenty of water, cut back on the coffee (that's the hard one for me). Then after work I rested for a couple of hours and after dinner my boyfriend and I went to the gym. As he did his usually weight lifting routine I decided to spend the time on the stationary bike. Taking it easy, right?
Wrong. I rode 9.5 miles in 45 minutes.
And, you see, I brought my Kindle to the gym with me. So while I rode I read The Spark. I haven't read it in a while and when I did read it I didn't really read all that carefully. So last night I really read it while I was riding. And I have some thoughts, but I just realized my first lesson is coming soon so writing about it will have to wait til my break.
Have a great morning!
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Six years ago I started following Frodo's path from Bag End to Rivendell and beyond as a way to get myself up and walking more often. I counted every mile and compared my progress to Frodo's. I did it faithfully for a long time, but then I stopped. Or at least I stopped counting miles and have lost track of where in Middle Earth I'd be.
So today I'm starting over. This time I'm following the path of Bilbo, in The Hobbit. The first leg of the journey is 357 miles from Bag End to Rivendell. So far today, I've walked 1.5 miles.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
This week I did a unit about food with my ESL students. These are intermediate students, so it wasn't just vocabulary like apple, beef, chicken, etc. It was about the way we eat. We read about several different popular weight loss programs. After we read, I asked them what they thought about each program and their response was the same each time. "This is crazy!"
We also discussed how eating habits in the U.S. are different from eating habits where they come from. Honestly, this isn't the first time it's been on my mind. It's been on my mind since I came home from Legnano.
For some reason, we truly believe that we will starve to death unless we eat every few hours. Most of us eat 6 meals instead of 3! I call it eating like a hobbit. Breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack. I think eating like this is reasonable if each of your 6 meals are 300 calories are less. But let's face it, who is satisfied even for just a few hours on 300 calories? Most of us reach for a little snack in between those meals. And this is especially true if we are eating fat free, sugar free, low carb.
Eating that way made it so the eating habits in Italy shocked me! I didn't have anything fat free, sugar free, or low carb over there. Hello! It's Italy! What's Italy famous for? Cheese, pizza, pasta, and wine. Right? I enjoyed large portions of each and ,despite my fear that I would gain, I lost weight! How on earth did that happen? I was stumped until I thought about it later.
There were 3 meals a day. Breakfast was usually a cake of some sort or some biscotti. And if either of those was dry my host mother handed me a jar of Nutella. Lunch wasn't until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. And it was a big meal! Usually meat, followed by some pasta or rice or polenta, then the vegetables. And after that they pulled out some cheese, fruit, and bread. Dinner was the same and not until 8 or 9 at night. Sometimes between breakfast and lunch I would go out for a coffee with the other teachers. Most of the time it was just coffee (espresso). Sometimes for an extra treat we grabbed a brioche. A couple of hours after lunch my host mother would make some coffee (still espresso). Sometimes there would be a treat too. Those snacks were rare. Most often we were too full from meals to have snacks.
I felt better when I ate like that! I didn't have the constant munchies that I do at home. Lately, even though I haven't gained weight, I feel bloated and gross. Most of what I eat here is fat free or low fat, there's very little sugar (I like Splenda), and very few white, refined carbs (I prefer whole grain!). So what on earth is going on?
Here's what I intend to try this week. It's time for me to go back to the way I ate in Italy! I'm going to try it this week and see how I feel. I will have 3 balanced, more calorie dense meals a day. This will be easy on work days because I teach for about 5 hours straight. And on those days I walk a lot too. I walk to the bus stop in the morning and I walk from the bus to the school.
Anyway, there's my challenge for the week. Focus on 3 balanced, dense meals a day. Walk whenever I can, and go to the gym on my days off.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
I met with my favorite accompanist yesterday so we could practice the songs I've been learning. Despite my voice being somewhat out of shape it went pretty well! And the reason she's my favorite accompanist is that she knows what I need to hear. She asked what I've been up to in my free time (which is like...all of my time). I told her that when I'm not job searching or going to the gym I'm playing computer games. She asked me what on earth I was doing that for. So she helped me come up with a plan to get myself moving in a good direction, rather that being stagnant until a job comes. Here's what we came up with:
Step 1: Make some business cards!
Step 2: Start building up a client list. Do this by leaving some business cards and flyers at local churches, grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats...etc.
Step 3: Find a place to teach! It doesn't have to be my house. Her idea was a local church, maybe one would let me rent the space in exchange for my musical services. If the church doesn't work out, maybe the local library? I'm supposed to be helping them develop an ESL program anyway.
Step 4: Find a free class somewhere and get my mind working again! Also, I need to be doing something musical. So maybe a music theory class or learning some of the music that I have. (It's a pile of music she gave to me that she believes is a good fit for me, and I trust her!)
So hopefully I'll be feeling like myself again soon. Sitting around looking for jobs and getting rejected is driving me nuts. Time to make it work!
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