Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What the State of the Union Actually Is

Hey everyone!!

Happy State of the UnionTuesday!  God Bless America!  Just a disclosure, this is not a political post.  Just a funny list of random things I think are entertaining.

Can we all agree that Dr. Jill looked amazing in purple?!  Whoever that Glamtastic woman in the pink suit is, we need more of her!  If everyone dressed like her, we'd be much less likely to ever have a government shut down.  How can I make this statement?  Well, with fashion that flashin, everyone would want to report to work everyday to show off their outfits! Elle Woods clearly did her job!  The fashion stole the show here!  I'm thinking of hosting an E! Live From The Red Carpet, State of The Union Address complete with a GlamCam!  I really loved all of the color and feminine styles worn by the Congresswomen.  Smash that glass ceiling with your stilettos ladies!

Okay, if you watched last night's State of the Union Address like I did you probably noticed some correlation between the SOTU and your own life!  Wait, you don't hold annual grand speeches at the Capital in which you address the American people and tell them a little catch all summary of what you've done or plan to do?  You need to get to living my friends!

Anyway, yes you do.  You totally do!  Every family party you give your own State of the YOUnion Address.  Here's how they are eerily similar exactly the same!

1)  About a week before this blessed family function rolls around you begin self-editing your reality.  You move things around, you omit, you use a lot of general/generic terms, you also use ambiguous timelines that make you seem like you are really on top of your stuff!  For example:
  • In the very near future, we will have a balanced budget.
  • At family functions you say, "In the near future I will be applying for a new job."


Near future is ambiguous because we don't know if they are talking about near future as in Mickey D's order-window time frame (under 60 seconds is impressive...even if it means that you have one minute to clog your arteries and forever damage your body) or the near future in the chronological sense.  Does near future mean 1 day?  One year?  One eon?  No one knows.  For the Solar System the near future can be 100,000 years.  However, I feel that in 100,000 years the Earth will be populated with robots and cyborgs.  The robots and cyborgs will most definitely have a balanced budget because robots and cyborgs don't have things like Louboutins and Kate Spade bags to procure an unharmonious budget.  

2) You know that your present state of life is not great but you're going to sell it like a pro!  America is in a tight spot right now people, you know it, I know it, Obama knows it.  But he's gonna sell it like a BOSS!  You do the same thing.  Maybe you're not thrilled with your personal finances, maybe you're not thrilled with your lackluster love life, maybe you're not thrilled with your living situation, or maybe you hate college and regret every time you yelled, "It's a town full of losers and I'm pulling out to win!" Whatever it is, you edit and sell it like a BOSS!

3)  You take appropriate pauses and nods when you just don't know what to say.  Obama is a pro at this.  He takes a beat, pauses, nods reassuringly and moves on.  He does this seamlessly.  We also do this.  We nod and smile when we don't know what to say.

4) Inevitably, someone in the room will hate you.  Your every being bothers them.   The way you breathe, the way you only eat from the veggie tray at holiday parties, what have you.  Just like Obama, we have to deal with the haters and just smile and nod along at their feelings on your incompetency.  Just a disclaimer-my family is totally awesome and everyone likes everyone else, this is just for those families that don't get along.

5) You're super upbeat and optimistic about the whole thing!  No matter what kind of emotional/fiscal/educational/health care disarray the country is in, Obama will sell these failures with upbeat optimistic promise and hope!  I think it goes without saying that we also do this!  Why?  Because we are American!  Pithy optimism is our thing!  Besides democracy and capitalism, this is our main export!  We will smile, flip our hair, and say, "Yeah, but you know what?  I'm doing really well!  I've learned so much and I'm just excited about the future!"  Let's decode this sentence

  • In 20 words you have managed to say absolutely nothing.  Nothing at all.  You expressed the exact same thing a 99 cent Hallmark graduation card expresses.  
  • You are as happy as a Republican in Brooks Brothers with shiny shoes.  
  • You've managed to wrap up any complicated and unsavory moments that have occurred in the last year with a smile and flowery nothing.  
6) Keep Working is your catchphrase.  Just like Obama will keep working towards ________________, you will also keep working towards New Job, New Car, New Screenplay, whatever you want!!

7) Unrealistic goals for the year ahead.  Yes we are going to end world hunger, immigration crises, and unemployment.  Just.  Like.  You.  In this year you are going to win the Olympics in Sochi, graduate with honors, go to the moon, and find true love while losing weight and becoming Beyonce levels of flawless.  

8)  You do all of this lying in fancy clothes.  Obama is giving the SOTU in a brand new and well fitting suit.  Your holiday outfit will also be your backdrop for your own State of the Union Address.  Fancy clothes make people like you.  It's just law.  No one can get mad at you if you're wearing a suit/nice dress.  If you're wearing a holiday outfit, your family will take away, "She might be wasting away her life/made epic mistakes, but she's wearing clothes that look great so she can't be doing that badly.

9)  Finally, I couldn't help this!

Just like Miss Norbury said about the Mathletes (in Mean Girls for those of you who don't know), one can draw the same conclusion about the Republicans:


"I would love to have a girl on the team, just, ya know, so the team could meet a girl." (Mean Girls)

Rep. Cathy McMorris apparently is the Cady Heron of the GOP.  Four For You Rep. McMorris!  You go McMorris!

Again, this is not a political post.  This is not a political blog.  I harbor no ill will towards the President or his policies.  These are just funnies that I noticed while watching the Address.


Monday, January 27, 2014

My Very Own Bachelor Wedding Party!

Happy Bachelor Monday!

Today was my first day back at Grad School!  Cheers to May 7th, amiright?  (If you were wondering, that's my last day...)  The parking situation needs to be remedied, TCNJ!  I had to park at the gym and hike it half way across campus (#spoiledgirlproblems).  Back pedaling, I student teach about an hour away and I book it here!  Anyway, student teaching happenings will be posted tomorrow.

So last night happened.  It was epic!  In case you live under  a rock or have, you know, an actual life full of super, important, compelling events, last night was the Grammys The Bachelor Wedding!  Congrats Sean & Cat!  Even though I don't understand them as a couple (if you really get them please fill me in) that still doesn't bar me from throwing a pizza, chocolate covered strawberry, bellini, and wedding cake fueled shindig with one of my lovely friends.  Ironically, this friend had never seen The Bachelor (say what?) and so I opened her eyes to the fantastically amazing world that is Chris Harrison's retirement plan.  I mean I had to watch.  I was there when they met for God's sake!  I was also there on their first date, their first kiss, and their first...elephant ride?!  Also, I feel it necessary to say that I will be inviting Trista and Ryan to my wedding because they invented true love.


Anyway, how awkward were Sean & Cat?  So much sexual tension!  And was it really necessary for ABC to have the creep cam?  Or I'm sorry, the Honeymoon Suite Cam?  Bleck!  So inappropriate!  I was actually schkeeved...and I have spent most of my professional life babysitting...aka changing yeah, it takes a lot to schkeeve me!

Anyway, Cat looked the best she's ever looked.  Can we talk about Lesley though?  She looked super hot!  She was my fave in that season!  Why she wasn't The Bachelorette will be a question that plagues me until my last breath escapes my hot pink lipsticked lips.  Yes, when I am old I am going to wear hot pink lipstick everyday because I can.

I mean don't all parents tell their children, yes honey, Aunt Lesley and Daddy do hold the Guinness World Record for world's longest kiss.  But that's totally normal!

Ah, no, that doesn't happen...nor should it ever.  Didn't we all read Greek tragedies in high school?  Yes, yes we did.  THIS is the message that is supposed to transcend 9th grade English.  

Anyway, my wedding will not be Grown Sexy Themed?  What is that?  Um, I'm sorry but Robin Thicke IS NOT sexy or grown.  No thank you.  

This ladies, is GROWN AND SEXY!  My friend called it, the theme was Grown Fairy Tale.  It was beautiful!  Also, Lisa Vanderpump was there!  Up the classy notch tenfold.

However, I was disappointed that ABC didn't show the reception because this girl loves herself some first dance watching.  At every wedding, without a doubt, my favorite moment is the first dance!  I think by then it kinda hits you that you are married.  Also, everyone looks awkward because not only did the gravity of the situation finally hit you, but also 100+ people are just staring at you slow dancing.  That's when I whip out my camera!  This has to be the longest 3 minutes of dancing ever...even if you've attended a child's dance recital, the first dance has to be worse.  What are we the crowd to do while you two dance?  Life's unanswered questions people.

Also, Sean shopping in that lingerie store?  

Thank God I was watching this with my friend!  I think this took our friendship to a whole new level!

My reaction to boys in lingerie stores:


Side Note--How presh was Sean's dad as a minister?  The answer is Pug puppy+little girl in a tutu at her first dance class+man with baby.  That level of presh!

Jason and Molly Mesnick were there, too...

#TeamMelissa4Life!  I'm still salty about that on TV betrayal.

My wedding bill will most likely not be footed by ABC and Disney so my wedding probably won't have 100000000000 flowers and an orchestra that plays the traditional wedding march MJ's Human Nature as I walk down the aisle.

Can we get a collective...comeagainpleaseandthankyou?  So my wedding will probably feature the exact same cuisine as last night--Pizza, funfetti cake, and chocolate covered strawberries.  I don't really see a big problem with this.

Quote of the night though:  "You are the light to my bug," Catherine Lowe.  Doesn't everyone want to reference moths in their vows?

Real life quote of the night:  "Erin, we're so fun!  Like we're really fun!"-J
"I think it's because 90% of our hang outs involve baked chocolate goods.  Like even when we go out. We order brownies!  Did you know not everyone eats dessert out?"-E
"Yeah, last week I went out and I wanted to order the brownie and everyone looked at me weird,"-J
"They're weird!"-E

Now some pix from my party.  Notice there are no face pix because this was a pajama party!  

pizza...a must at all Erin wedding parties!

bellinis and cake...and cute jambes

it's totally normal to bake a wedding cake for The Bachelor right?

If you don't host Bachelor viewing parties you should!  I've done this for years and it is the highlight of my week!  



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ex-Girfriends Club: The Best or Worst Idea I Have Ever Had

Happy Thursday Everyone!!

Today was Day 2 of Student Teaching.  We had a delay so it was really just another 4 hour day.  Tomorrow I will be there allllllll day!  I'm really liking it!  I still feel lost, but I am learning.  Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement!  It really meant/means a lot to me!

Okay, so I think this post pretty much defines the label of land o' rando.  Ahhh, to be in the brain of Erin.  It's a crowded place if you were wondering.

Well, here we go.  I think it's safe to say that we have all seen First Wives Club.  If you haven't, you need to run-don't walk-to your local Netflix (if you don't have it, go next door.  In my experience, if you bring a baked good, they'll let you watch for free.  That might be a college thing (and by baked good I mean a box of Entenmann's) so I'd knock first.  But worth a shot, right?  Anyway, I think we can all say that First Wives Club is the zenith of late 80s-early 90s leading lady material.  (With the exception of Meryl Streep.  Meryl legitimizes any film.  She's the female Morgan Freeman.  Come on, that man made the world care about the migration pattern of penguins.  He and Jennifer Aniston also added much needed intelligent credence to Bruce Almighty.  Side note--in my heaven, Morgan Freeman is also God.)  My brilliant plan is like 80% First Wives Club and 20% Ross Geller's Divorced Men's Club.  Yes, Chandler we'd let you play basketball here.  Could we BE more generous?   It's the Ex-Girlfriends' Club.

Ok before you scream this is a disaster of Britney Spears at the 2007 VMAs proportions hear me out. 


You, and all your exes exes meet up at a safe, neutral place. Probably a coffee house with a fire place and comfy oversized chairs.  Nowhere any of you went on a date with him. You would all sit around and chat, gossip, exchange war stories, nurse broken hearts and wounds of yesteryear together. And yes, you do have to invite the newest ex gf no matter how much she may or may not look like a muppet and no matter how fake her nails are.  Claws down ladies.  Welcome her into your coven.  Yes you can still think she's a downgrade.  We all know he'll never find anyone as awesome as you.  We agree you were the gem that will forever be missing in his crown.  Taylor Swift and Adele will come with beckoning soft open arm voices through the radio(does that make sense?) and freshly baked cookies and chocolate will come wafting through the room.  P.S. everyone has to eat the cookies and chocolate because we're not playing the she's hotter than me game here.  We're all equally hot.  Also when we're ready, Carrie Underwood and Beyonce will replace Tay Tay and Adele. When the time is right of course, when the time is right. 

Why is this a brilliant idea?  Well here's why. A) we know you all stalked each other. And isn't it time you put that Facebook and Instagram stalking findings to good use?  Yes ladies it is.  
B) You may have even scrolled through their likes and in between mocking her that her favorite book is Twilight, you maybe see that oh wow she likes Carrie underwood too. Maybe she's not an idiot stick figure with no soul after all? C) you probably have a lot in common.  D) You could share pearls of wisdom like these:



Now before you burn me at the stake and scream "how could I, the best thing that has ever happened to him, have anything in common with her" let me explain. The common factor in all of these relationships is him. You're all his type. You're probably all blonde, or brunette, or tall, or short. You're probably all into sports or you all like to read. Or you're all funny.  Notice I didn't say smart, we all know boys don't like smart girls.  At the very least, you all liked him!  Or maybe you are the exception to his rule.   God knows I've been the only normal boxcar in the crazy train of exes exes, but mostly you can find common ground.  Also, if you are the only normal boxcar in the crazy train, don't you wanna know about those looney tunes?  God knows I do!  People have types and at our age, they rarely stray. 

You also are all bonding over the one of two female friendship solidifies: heartbreak. The other female  friendship solidifier? Giving a stranger a tampon in the bathroom. We all have done this and been the recipient of this. We also all saw the Sex and the City episode where Carrie gives the maĆ®tre d a tampon and they get a table. It's true!  You will be life long besties if you give a tampon to another woman.

You can all bond over this heartbreak, over this person who hurt you all. You can trade ideas and solutions about how to heal and move on. Also you can mock him endlessly (which, while it is technically mean, it is the pinnacle of healing)!!!  Who else in this world knows why he wears denim on denim, or why he thinks planning dates in military time is good idea, or why he insists on singing show tunes in the car?  These are all based on true events!  I think it would be a beautiful thing. Also you may make new friends and that's always a win!


Also, think of the revenge!  One angry ex scares the pants off any man. Think of what 3-5 of them will do!  Picture this: it's a Friday night you look super hot you post that you're going on a Girls Nite with your new bffs and you tag all 5 of these women. Exes mind will be blown! (Clearly he's still sitting at home on a Friday fretting over his pathetic life because he lost all of you) and BAM now you post pix where you all look hot to trot and he's like noooooo the worst has happened!  No William hung isn't doing a lullaby album, my exes have united to wreak havoc on my newsfeed!  This is genius ladies!  Ultimate revenge. Ultimate healing. 


So, this idea is just in the planning stages, like a beta-club right now, but I think it has potential.  


If you ever try this, let me know!  I'm still debating if I will try this.  If I do I'll share!



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Things That Should NEVER happen on a Snow Day

While I'm writing this I am sitting inside a snow globe of about 10 inches of snow.  Brrrrrrr!!

Today I slept through shoveling (I do feel a little guilty about that.  But I'm not sure I would have been any help) and am currently curled up on the couch watching Bethenny and enjoying left over chicken chili.  I'm also watching a Breaking News update from Mayor Nutter with an ASL interpreter and proud of myself that I can interpret what he's saying.

  • Your TV keeps pausing and the sound goes out forcing you to watch Bethenny in lo-D.
  • You're out of yoga pants.  You didn't wash set yoga pants because you thought you were going to be wearing teacher clothes all week.
  • You're forced to wear 3/4 leggins because of said yoga pants debacle...I guess it's gonna be a cold ankle Wednesday.  
  • Your Netflix stops working on the "Big TV"...not cool Netflix
  • When you have read all of the funny Buzzfeeds
  • When you made brownies but you neglected to cover them so they get crusty
  • TCNJ cancels all classes except for classes that come after 5...i.e. my class.  Thank you Dr. Cohen for canceling though!
  • Panera doesn't deliver...neither does Chipotle
  • You ran out of Girl Scout Cookies
  • Chris Evans doesn't know you exist, therefore he doesn't come over to cuddle
come on, who doesn't love him?
  • Dr. Travis Stork uses scare tactics to try to pry those brownies out of your hand and curb your sugar addiction.  Well guess what buddy?  You also told Sarah (on The Bachelor) you loved her and wanted to marry her and you were wrong about that so, I DON'T TRUST YOU!
  • You watch Dirty Dancing and realize that you will never have the Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey caliber love story--mostly because like 80s fashion, love stories like that are a thing of the past.  (And of movies...oh that little thing)  This makes you even more sad, thus eating more chocolate.
  • Your mom refuses to share the blanket with you.

Things Snow Days Are Made Of:
  • Cozy TCNJ Alumni sweatshirts (it's still weird that I'm technically an alumnae) 
  • messy buns
  • leggins
  • big socks!
  • brownie/chocolate eating
  • BBQ chicken chili
  • Boy Meets World marathons
  • Dirty Dancing 
  • Glamour magazine arrives at your house 
  • looking at the snow through your window.  I.E. where it is warm
  • Eat all the food you can possibly fit into your mouth

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Student Teaching and Snow Plowing

Welcome to Greenland folks!

Oh wait, we're in NJ, not the inside of a snow globe.  Today was my first day as a student teaching!  I loved it!  My kids are precious and I can't wait to spend the next 7 weeks with them!  I'm doing my first 7 weeks in a self-contained Autistic Support classroom grades K-2.

Okay, the truth about student teaching.

You will feel like you are in the way.  You never know what to do.


You don't know the classroom rules.

You don't know the kids' limits and what they are trying to get away with.  You inevitably end up looking completely incompetent because you are being played like a fool.


Yes, yes, very funny.  You have once again proven that you are infinitely smarter than Miss K.

You don't really know the kids yet.  You're trying to figure out personalities, learning styles, and behaviors.  It's really hard but it's the most fun you're ever going to have.

You feel completely overwhelmed because you don't know the assessment portfolios or anything like that.  I'm learning how to do them.  I also learned how to give 2 different assessments today.

You wonder if you're any good.  You wonder if you're going to fail...and fail big.  Like people who wear harem pants in public.  That kinda failure!  I asked myself, "Are you doing this right?  Are you actually good at this?  Do I stink?  Was I nice enough?  Was I too nice?  Oh, no I don't know what that term/acronym means!  I have to tell her, but how will that make me look?" multiple times today.

You learn the classroom's climate.  My co-op told me that in her classroom they always try to create an atmosphere where the students feel cared for and happy.  She said that teachers who are really uptight, that uptightness, reverberates to the students.  Then she said that they all really love the kids.  This made me smile and happy.  My mom works in a room that is similar to this classroom and everyone in her room is the exact same way. I love the attitude, climate, and atmosphere of this room.  It's just a positive, supportive, and loving place.

Everything melts away when you are working with the kids.  You forget all of your problems, concerns, self-doubt, inferiority, (and yes you do lose some self-confidence), because for those hours you're in the room, all that matters is the kids.  You just fall in love with them because they like being there with you.  How many careers allow you to say that all of your co-workers actually like you?  Not many.   Teaching is a beautiful thing because you matter.  Just by smiling at the kids and being there with them and talking to them, matters.  You don't have time to worry about a bad grade, the snarky driver who cut you off in the morning, the jerk you dated, nothing.  You just focus on them.  It's therapeutic, what those little kids do when you walk in the door.    

Anyway, the school I'm interning at did not close early like EVERY other school in the DelVal, so I was facing the very real possibility of driving home in the snow storm.  On my way home, I plowed out Camden and Burlington Counties (you're welcome public works...I'll send you my bill), drove 11 mph, took 80 minutes to drive the usual 20 minute route.  It was not fun!  I was so scared!  I drove like a Gramma and didn't even care.  I was crunched over the steering wheel complete with bear/claw like hands.

An hour and 20 minutes later I wound up at my house.  But now I had a new problem.  The streets weren't plowed yet so my little Cobalt became Plower 1 and demolished the snow.
I came in like a wrecking ball!  (sorry I tried to help it, but I just couldn't)  Literally Madden was a SNOW BEAST!  So I turned onto my court and now the biggest problem:  I couldn't find my curb/driveway.  The snow had covered the entire court evenly and I had no idea where my driveway started and the grass stopped.  I did miss the flower pot though, so that's a win.  I parked in what I think is my driveway (mostly because I couldn't find the curb) but then my car stopped moving because the snow was too high.  I decided that was a great time to park.  So Madden was abandoned in my driveway.  

Daddy and Deb got to come home early, too!  We're gonna have some BBQ chicken chili and brownies so the snow day will be absolutely awesome!



Friday, January 17, 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Student Teaching

Happy Friday!  We made it!!

So I have a few snaps for Erin moments recently.  This is not a humble brag.  This is a full on gloat fest!

Tuesdays and Thursdays are some of my favorite days because I go to Pilates and just breathe out my troubles.  My Pilates instructor is the loveliest lady and always closes our class with a lights-out stretch sesh.  It's OOHHHHHMMMazing!  She pulls your body to fully stretch you out.  All of this is in the dark and with quiet zen music playing and I'm not gonna lie, sometimes, I leave that place so high on life that I just skip to my car!  Anyway, speaking of my car...THIS GIRL PARALLEL PARKED HER BABYDOLL MADDEN YESTERDAY!  Ok, I love love love my gym!  It's so much better than my old gym.  (Definitely a trade up not break up!)  But the only downside is there is no ever!  Especially no parking during Pilates time.  So as I drove up to the gym I said to myself (something I do all the time in my car.  Sometimes I also talk to my self like I am my very own Casey Cobb personal assistant), "Oh crap, Erin!  There's no parking.  What are you going to do?  Well, you're not going to get to Pilates on time.  You're going to have to sit behind the pole.  Well that sucks. Oooooh!  Ooooh!  Ohhhh!  I could parallel park?  You can't parallel park?  You can barely park!  Or can you?  You don't know because you haven't ever tried it except for your driving test.  I did kill it during my driving test!  So are you going to try it?  ABSOLUTELY PRINCESS!  Let's go for it!  Okay, if I remember right, we pull up we crank the wheel 3 times to the left.  Okay, cranking, turning, going backwards.  GREAT!  Okay!  Now we're cooking!  We crank 3 times to the right?  (crank 3 times to the right)  Ok, that seems okay!  Let's just straighten ourselves out.  Don't wanna look like the car equivalent of a walk-of-shamer.  Ooooh!  OH YEAH!  THIS GIRL PARALLEL PARKED!  (cue awesome girl dance in car) ERIN!  Snap out of your dance!  Now you're gonna be late because of car dancing!"

I like to think my celebration dance looked something like this:

Because don't we all look just like that when we do something silly?

This was an actual verbatim transcript of my self-talk!  Dueling Erins for sure!  I shoulda taken a pic but I was dark...I am more of a Cher from Clueless kinda girl myself, "What's the point?  Everywhere you go has valet!"  Actually though in Erin World, everywhere you go has parking garages.  Why?  Because this in NJ/Philly and we know what's up!

Another Pilates gloat fest moment-

When the big hunking athlete guys come to Pilates "for a cool down"

How I respond?


Because after about 10 minutes they are panting and dying and making wildabeast sounds in the back of the studio.  I get on my high horse (or high bridge) and just do my 8 minutes of teasers like Beyonce would!  Shoulda gone to ballet once in a while boys!  I love when the grown, muscley men cry during planks.  It makes my heart of stone smile.  Is that bad?

Anyway, back to student teaching!  So I start student teaching on Tuesday and I couldn't be more excited!  Because I will be dually certified (special ed/gen ed) I will be spending 7 weeks in a K-2 self-contained Autistic Support classroom and 7 weeks as a gen-ed 4th grade teacher in a co-taught (eek I'm excited because my dream teaching job would be to be a special ed teacher in a co-taught classroom!).  Today I went to visit the K-2 self contained Autistic Support classroom!  TCNJ's masters track has you pick 1 of 5 possible "focuses".  I picked reading.  I haven't really been in classrooms with students with severe disabilities in a few years.  Mostly I worked with students with learning disabilities/ADHD/ADD/high level Autism etc.  This will be a new experience for me and I'm excited! I learned two new things today in the 45 minutes I was there.  I am excited to be in this environment because it is something totally new and different to me.  I want to soak up as many diverse special education experiences that I can.

My co-operating teacher or Co-op as I will probably refer to her, is amazing!  I can tell she loves her students and her job.  Her brain is a treasure trove of information and I can't wait to pick it and learn more.  She had a TCNJ student teacher last year, too, which is good because she will know the ropes.  (This is especially good because I don't know any of the ropes!  Not even a thread!)  The students seem great and I can't wait to work with them!  Just as a disclaimer, I will not be posting anything about the students when I write about my STP (student teaching placement) for confidentiality reasons.  I will just write about lessons I made/things I learned or tried or failed miserably at!  I'll tell about my experiences and what it is like for me--not the kids.  I learned today that I will be learning to mark/graph/track progress using a precise systematic spreadsheet.  I learned all about how my lesson planning will go and a bunch of other cool things.

I felt prepared and lost simultaneously.  I felt like I knew the forest but not the trees.  If I lost you there let me explain.  I knew the philosophies and logistics just not the exact terminology.  Since I have been riding on the reading track, I missed out on some of the terminology used in severe disabilities' classrooms.

I officially start on Tuesday!!  I'll post a recap about that experience then!  I have a ton of fun stuff coming up this weekend including a much needed Girls Nite with Jess where I will be picking her brain  about student teaching and life in general!  Then, I have dinner with two of my old babysittees.  I used to babysit them when they were 3 years old and now they're driving!  We're gonna do a dinner and catch up!  Then Monday I have an interview info session at TCNJ and then family movie night!  We're thinking Frozen!  

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'm off to shop!  What?  I need new student teaching clothes!  It's important :)  Can't go naked!

Love Love Love,


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Million Dollar/Most Loaded Question In Sub History

Hey Friends!

Today is another excerpt from the Sub Files.  I'll just jump right in.

I was in kindergarten the other day and, well here we go:

Student:  "Do you know what you're doing?"

Me:  "Oh, yes!" (I wanted to ask, why can you smell my fear?  But alas, I refrained)

Ok a little background info for you all.  Before you think I was up in front of the classroom preaching 2+3=7, here's what happened.  The normal route to the classroom wasn't avaliable so we had to take an alternative route.  The student was just referring to my navigation skills.  I told her, "Yes I know where we're going.  I went to this school when I was younger!"  This later spurred the conversation of, "How OLD IS THE SCHOOL?!"


I was like I remember when I was 5 and thought everyone older than 10 was a dinosaur, too, but really!?  I'm 23!  Then they ask, "Who were your teachers?"  I have the harsh reality of telling them, "My teachers are all retired."  Then they ask what retired means, "Retiring is something you do when you have worked a long, long time.  Usually people in their 60s retire."  Then you get, "Miss K, are you going to retire?"  I answer with, "In about 50 years!"

But in reality this question of Do you know what you're doing? is a loaded one.  Like a bacon cheddar with scallions waffle fry LOADED question.  Do I know what I'm doing?  The answer has two parts:  information versus implementation.  Information part?  Yes!  Absolutely I know what I'm doing!  I've passed all the necesasary tests to become a teacher.  I've gotten Dean's List every semester of college, I played school every day from age 3 to...well now, I guess. I can regurgitate countless learning theories, reading systems, teaching philosophies, and behavior management strategies.  I know the difference between centers and stations, ABA and PBS.  I can quote IDEA (like a BOSSLADY!) and know every acronym under the educational sun.  So yes, informationally I know what I'm doing. (except with lattace math...that my friends is as hard as Honors Calc.)

Seriously people?  Can you tell me why there are arrows/numbers/boxes/and triangles?
I'm proud to say this only took me 2 weeks as a college freshmen to learn.
Yes I was in the upper curve! 

Now to the implementation part.  The answer, the true answer?  Is ehhhh, maybe?  Maybe I know what I'm doing.  There is a gargantuan difference between knowing these theories and implementing them into a running, thriving, shining, classroom full of actively engaged students.  That my dear little kindergarten girl, is the part that scares the bejeezus out of me.  Because guess what?  TCNJ doesn't teach you what happens when your "Give Me Five" or "Show me quiet hands!" Mumbo Jumbo doesn't work.  That's when you get creative people.  That is where the information part of knowing what you're doing goes out the window and implementation, and lack of implementation experience, stares you in the face.  That my dear little kindergarten friend is where I maybe don't know what I'm doing.  That my sweetheart is what I'm trying to learn and better myself at every time I walk in the door to sub.  I am just trying to wade my way through the information I have learned and some how bridge that information to implementation.  All of you vet teachers who want to share your "What Do I Do Once The Teacher Talk Glittery Gibberish Fails?" wisdom...please!  I'm begging you!

I do feel that I've gotten better at implementing behavior management and instructional methods but it still scares the bejeezus out of me.  But alas, that is the good thing about teaching.  (And the even better thing about subbing) If something doesn't work, you just change it.  And as a sub I soak up all the information/classroom set ups/behavior management systems/worksheets/lessons/technology/devices/seating charts the teacher has left me to decipher and process.  You study it, analyze it, revise, rethink it, ask (I always ask first because vet teachers are a well of knowledge and it's better to talk to them than think of your own idea.  They've been there and they know what works.  And as much as "it hurts my heart" (aka teacher speak for please stop doing that immediately) I know not all classroom management solutions can be cured via cutesy Pinterest behavior chart that I looked up on my lunch break.

So little kindergartener, in short to answer your multilayered question, I'm going to say, "I may not know all of it (or let's be 100% honest, even a fraction of it), but I'm going to work on it.  I'm going to work on it and find out."  Then I'll probably make a connection to a story we read and talk about how when Character A didn't know what the answer was she/he tried again and again until they figured it out.  Every moment is a teachable moment, right?  Yes!



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Golden Globes

Hey Loves!

This is a running stream of everything I thought of during the Golden Globes!  Enjoy
  • Every girl wants to marry a man who is Tom Hanks
  • JLAW is Queen of the World!  
  • Thank you Golden Globe's for having Channing Tatum present.  
  • I have an inapprorpriate crush on Robert Redford
  • Tina Fey & Amy Poehler are killing this!  They should have written all the acceptance speeches and teleprompters
  • Awww see?  Even celebs get drunk at work parties!
  • Rita WIlson's body/dress/hair...AMAZE!!
  • Jacqueline Bisset...what is that?
  • Matt Damon is aging well
  • Emma Thompson gets better with age; however, I don't think Nanny McPhee would be too happy about being a drunky monkey and taking your shoes off at a black tie gala...
  • I like when celebs laugh at themselves
  • I like a party where people get awards...The Dundees anyone?
  • IF George Clooney doesn't win an award does the award show actually take place?
  • JLaw should thank the man that held her hand while she walked up the stairs...don't wanna repeat the Oscars...
  • If I won a GG I would make my speech go like this "Thank you for your applause.  I'm not going to bore you with one of those I didn't expect it would be me because let's be should be me.  I worked hard, I did an outstanding job, I rocked this!"  Then I'd stare blankly at the camera for a few awkward seconds-blink once-then smile smugly.  I'd then kiss my statue and totally disregard Miss GG and jump off the front of the stage Janice Ian style from MeanGirls.  I would then leave the world to put aside its global problems and ponder the most crucial question of all time: if I was being sarcastic or just rude?  My acceptance speech would go exactly like that or it would be another Whitney Houston Bodyguard moment.  (That's what I do when I'm handed a mike!)  Yes it is very hard to lector at church and refuse my natural instinct of belting out (Dolly's hit first) AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHNNNNNNNDDDD EEEEYYYYYYEEEEIIIIII WILLLL ALLLLLWAAAAAYYYZZZSSSS LUUUUUUHHHHHVE YOOOUUUUUUUU!  It's very hard!
  • I need to see The Wolf of Wall Street 
  • I think it's ironic that Paula Patton decided to do the complete opposite of Miley Cyrus in terms of her award show wardrobe. While Miley decided not to wear ANY fabric, Paula decided to wear ALL the fabric in the world
  • Everyone knew Bryan Cranson was going to win. 
  • Hayden Panettiere should win for Nashville...she was robbed!
  • Breaking Bad will win everything
  • Paula Patton's dress is probably the leading culprit in the conflict that is the geographical engineering faux pas
  • P. Diddy tried to steal Usher's thunder.  Honestly I didn't know those two divos could be on the same stage at the same time.  I thought the world might implode.  
  • Kate Beckinsale is perfect...way to show up that ex-husband girlfriend!
  • People need a social story on giving an acceptance speech.  Sample lines:  It is a good idea to think about my speech before accepting my award.  It is a good idea to use words when accepting a speech.  It is a good idea to finish an acceptance speech when receiving an award.  My friends don't like it when I drink before I accept an award.  
  • Is the winner of best original score wearing a banana clip?  If so where did he find that artifact?  What musuem did he rob?
  • Why isn't Queen Jennifer Aniston here?  I don't care if she isn't nominated!  She is a gem in the crown of American cinema!
  • Taylor Swift is nominated for a GG!!!  It's tough because you're against Bono...he's kind of a big deal
  • That other guy in U2 looks a lot like Bryan Cranston...just saying
  • Gwenyth Paltrow....what what what are you wearing?  Look at your life, look at your choices!
  • In 7th grade I wore the same sunnies as Bono!  Claire's 4 EVA!
  • Wait a minute...Aaron Paul didn't win?
  • Why are you people nervous?  Just say, "Thank you!  I thank God, my family, friends, my agent, and you people for watching a box in your living room!  I'm not trying to change the world I'm just trying to make you laugh/cry/smile/think." 
  • I wonder what would happen if someone wore Yoga Pants to the GG's?
  • Did Julia Roberts forget to shave her armpits again?  Is that why she's wearing that men's top under that beautiful dress?  I love her hair though.  
  • Ellen's dropping floor game should be imported to the GG's for people who talk too much
  • Amy Poehler as Randy is a great potential SNL skit
  • I wonder what the celebs are all laughing about at their tables?  Or is it like the youth game of "Oh, he's looking at us!  Pretend that you just said something really funny!  HAHHAHAHHA!" 
  • Jared Leto and I have the same hair style tonight!  Rock on Erin!
  • I don't understand ANY of the plots for ANY of the nominated movies.  Give me a low brow romcom any day!  At least I understand those plots!  Guy wants girl who at first thinks he is repugnant, girl rejects boy, girl dates loser boy, realizes she loves boy, boy has new girl, girl tells boy she loves him now, boy leaves new girl, new girl understands bc boy and girl are lobsters, boy and girl get together, boy and girl live happily ever after.  
  • No one here is sober.  AT ALL!  It's like watching what would happen if you video taped the drunken college kids at a Frat Banquet receiving Dundees...
  • Sheldon was robbed
  • I would want to wear a necklace made of candy so I could eat a snack at the GGs
  • When the celebs say "A huge thank you to all of you who helped me get here, you know who you are," I know they're talking about me.
  • What is Emma Stone wearing?
  • I did a tap dance to the song that is playing during Woody Allen's Cecil B. DeMille Award montage.
  • If you are weird enough, cough Woody Allen cough cough, you will be a smashing success!
  • No thank you Diane Keaton, I don't want to take the mystical creepy journey into Woody Allen's mind.  
  • Oh I feel safe!  Liam Neeson is here!  He can destroy everything!
So those are my feelings on the the GGs!  Hopefully you all enjoyed (survived) the drunken mess that is rich, beautiful people accepting awards for pretending to be someone else. AKA everyday at Beverly Hills Middle School!



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Favorite Things: Baby Showers

Happy Sunday Funday!

    With the fam returning Dylan to school I have the house to myself.  Mwahahahaha.  Since I loathe long car rides (10+ hours locked in a car with no internet connection is no bueno) I get to be the dog sitter.  Most 23 year olds would have a party while the parentals are away.  But not this girl!  I'm just pumped because I get to wear yoga pants, a messy bun, eat Panchero's burritos, and watch Bridesmaids!   Also, my woman crushes always, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting The Golden Globes again tonight!  (YAY) I love awards season!  Mostly because I get to see Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence!  I'm planning on accompanying the Globes with some dessert :)

Yes Please!

     I digress.  We're talking about Baby Showers.  Baby Showers are the best!  As a early twentysomething I look forward to spending my weekends at baby showers!  The baby shower I was just at was amazing!  The mother-to-be is my cousin's wife and she would make Kate Middleton jealous.  She just looked stunning.  I doubt I will be that lucky.  I will look like Richard Nixon with his jowls and burliness.  It won't be cute.

    Why are baby showers amazing?  Oh I don't know, do you need a reason besides these cookies?

To Die For!

Look at these cookies?!  How cute is that onesie?
If you are not salivating yet and saying, "Yes, yes, Erin you are right these cookies make me love baby showers," and need more reasons here are a list:
  • You get free wine.  Plus there is one less person drinking the is more wine for everyone!
  • Baby shower food!  So much carbs!  Plus every kind of food that the mom-to-be wants!  Moms-to-be want cookies, cakes, pasta, fruit, tomato pie, chicken dishes, bread, and pretty much anything else you ever wanted!  It's heaven!  Plus the little mini-real-food-dinner-things-as-small-appetizers are genius!  I went to one shower where there was mini chicken parm on a stick!  That is a genius idea!  Take that to the bank!  It was a skewer with a piece of popcorn chicken coupled with a cheese cube and a tomato!  I enjoyed that!
  • Games!  I love playing disgusting guess what kinda chocolate is in the diaper?!  Finally, I have some place to execute my candy-loving-sugar-monger skills!  I am a baby shower game wizard!  You want me on your team!  Why?  Oh I don't know maybe because I worked at a daycare with the infants to 2 year old crowd for 2 years?!  Maybe because I babysit all the time and have for 10 years?  I don't think I need to all get it!  I'm also competitive as a Russian gymnast so things can get real...pretty fast!  
  • I pick out great gifts!  I am up on all the latest and greatest Caldecott Winners and Honorees because of my job and major.  I am also a great baby stylist because I watched that Friends episode where Christina Applegate dresses Emma and pierces her ears.  That's clutch.  Baby stylist Erin to the rescue!  
  • I also thoroughly enjoy Babies R Us' aesthetic appeal.  Why?  Oh I don't know, maybe because I find the bright pastel colors soothing?  Or maybe it's the joy emanating from the parents to be?  Maybe it's the fact that there are pirate ship beds there?  #jealous Maybe because some of things at Babies R Us are hilarious?!  Butt Paste?  Come on people, that joke writes itself!  Funny stuff!  Plus babies are Cuuuuuuwwwwwtee!  There is nothing better than walking through Babies R Us and seeing an adorable baby and coo and ahhh at the baby and smile at the mom and know that you have zero financial/emotional/social responsibilities for that child.  You just get to look at that baby and say, "She/He is precious!"  That's kinda where I am in my life right now.  I just like to look at the babies and tell their mom that they are visually appealing.  
  • I get to hang out with my family!  I love being with my family and I will take any excuse I can to hang with the whole fam!
  • Girl Time!  
  • Baby clothes are fun!  Baby stuff is fun!  Baby clothes are adorable!  At Babies R Us, my mom and I saw a precious red tartan miniature suit for a baby!  Whose baby doesn't need a red tartan suit?  Oh, did I mention it came with a beret?  Precious!  I died a million deaths it was so cute!  
  • Children's books run amok at baby showers!  I heart children's books and the morals they teach.  Especially when they teach things like the importance of saying Good Night to all the objects in your home (Good Night Moon) revenge/karma (Chrysanthemum) and the importance of cutting down the one thing that has always helped you (The Giving Tree).  These are life lessons from literature folks!  
  • Baby shoes!  The little baby received like 8 pairs of shoes!  That's great!  Babies need to appreciate the importance of shoes, too!  I have 50 pairs of shoes, so I think I know the importance of shoes in one's life!  The baby received 2 pairs of Chucks, little slip on booties, sneakers...I could just go on and on!  The baby is going to be well heeled let me tell you!  
Some people don't like baby showers but I don't like those people.  I love the merriment, the food, the trip to Babies R US!  It's all great!  I hope you all have a great weekend--what's left of it!



Friday, January 10, 2014

You Know You're An Old Fart When...

Hey Bloggies,

How was your week?  Mine was pretty close to perfection I gotta say!  I got to go to all my favorite workout classes, I got to work everyday, I got my student teaching placement (well one of them), I got to drink juice, I had great hair days, and above all I got to see my bestie and we got to watch Anchorman 2.  More on that to come.  Aren't there just some weeks that make you smile and forget all the crazy?  Those are the weeks I live for!

Ok, so onto Anchorman 2.  Friday I ventured to visit Ra and bring her some juice.  She agreed that it tasted just like the color green.  I say venture because it always is an adventure.  Do you have one of those friends who whenever you see them, no matter how mundane the activity is supposed to be, always turns into an adventure and a half?  I do.  That's Ra.  I think this happens to us because God knows we love to laugh and supplies us with endless opportunities.  (Coincidentally Ra and I also usually unknowingly match each other 90% of the time.  I'm talking Sears Family Portrait Style...)  So on my way to Ra's I had to drive through the woods, cross the Rubicon, and drive in figure 8's because of numerous detours!  Also, my radio statics and I lose my jams for a hot minute.  They are then magically restored and lead me to think that there really is something creepy living in the NJ woods.  Creepily on the way home my GPS lost satellite on the darkest road ever.  This road has no lights, no people, and no consideration for my fear of the dark.

Anyway, we went to see Anchorman 2 because we are both stupidly in love with Ron Burgundy & The Channel 4 News Team.  The one thing I am not in love with are the youths.  I had forgotten that Friday night at the movies was Youths Invade The Cinema Night.  I know I was once a youth but I wasn't like these youths.  Let me paint you a picture of these youths:  9 (5 females/4 males)Youths (Who has 9 friends in middle school?  I had like 3.  People are mean in middle school.  I think if you have any more than 4 friends in middle school you deserve a medal) age 13 maximum.  The girls were wearing Teen Uniform One:  Super straight black hair (think Cher circa 1971), black raccoon eye liner (#tooharsh), the tightest skinny jeans in the world, PINK sweat shirts, Uggs.


It was clearly a middle school date.  In every group of youths there are the "dating youths" and the "watcher youth".  How do I know this?  Because I was the "watcher youth".  "Watcher youth's" job is to disregard the cinematic adventure at hand and survey and analyze the other "dating youths".  You then share your analysis post-movie at the inevitable sleepover.


Anyway, these youths come clopping into the theater.  Youths don't walk, youths clop.  Youths also laugh cackle.  It's the worst sound known to mankind.  They sit 2 rows in front of us.  After collective eye rolls from the rest of the theater they begin to commence with the youth speak.  Youthese is not English.  It has 2 phonemes:  eeeeeehheeeee and NUHUH?!  That is all youths say.  Anyway, the youths were so loud we couldn't hear the previews.  THIS GIRL NEEDS TO SEE THE PREVIEWS!  Especially when Channing Tatum's trailer for 22 Jump Street graces the screen with its presence.  I was like, ok Erin don't be an old fart, these are the trailers.  If they keep talking during the movie you can throw your shade and shhhhhhh them.  Well apparently one of the other movie patrons did not agree with this and told security on them.  This is why all good movies should be rated R.  Keep out the youths.  Security came in and told them to act like a group of adults not crazed youths (I may be paraphrasing that but you get it).  Well the youths quieted for a few minutes--that's the good thing about youths--they embarrass easy.  Then, they started talking again...Well you can bet your bottom dollar that this girl shushed them like they were my own bratty youths.  They immediately quieted.  P.S. at one point, 5/9 of the youths were holding hands.  Youth cult?  Youth prayer?  Youth dating awkwardness?  I really don't know.  The order went boy/girl/girl/boy/girl (we're actually not sure if the "watcher youth" was holding hands or not.  We couldn't get an accurate visual.)  The quad-hand-holding-conundrum signified to me that they were the "newly dating youths".  The two "couples" in front of them were the "going steady youths" aka they've been together for 2 weeks but are 100% sure that they love each other and will get married.  Oh reality youths.  It's a evil female dog.  The shushing of youths with such fervent talent made me think Oh great!  Cue the old lady status!  So this got me thinking...what are the other things that signify to me that I am no longer a youth?  What makes me an old fart?

  • Shushing Youths--I paid $11.50 of my own money--money that I worked for...not money Mommy gave me--to attend this cinematic adventure and I'm going to enjoy it.  Speak during my movie and I'll shush you.
  • Keeping my mouth shut when adults do weird movie theater things.  Sir?  Yes you.  The one looking up at those things?  Those are called lights sir.  Oh I'm sorry, you don't "like the pitch" from your current seats?  Yes please move behind me so you can find the pitch perfect spot.  I thought I was living in a Big Bang Theory episode.  
  • You wear a Ralph Lauren inspired Casual Friday outfit to sub and one of the students asks you if you are wearing a cowgirl costume.  Apparently the Ralph Lauren Fall 2013 line went right over her head? 
  • When you actually consider telling security on the youths.
  • When you drive the speed limit.  Responsibility behind the wheel is important.
  • When you call drivers who are driving 5 mph over the speed limit in a rain storm "Crazy Drivers!  What are you doing?  You're going to hurt someone!"  I opened my mouth and my Deb came out!
  • Turning the lights off when you leave a room.  Saving electricity is important.
  • Ordering fancy pizza (bonus points if it comes with veggies on it) that does not include BBQ or Buffalo Chicken.  
  • Driving 10 mph when there is ice on the road.  This is good safety but youths don't do it.
  • When you and your bestie start laughing uncontrollably at the (as predicted) Youths are embarrassed that their mom is picking them up in her minivan.  Seriously youths, what mode of transportation do you think we think you get home from the movies in?  Baby Einstein's rocket ship?  
  • When the youths you shushed see you while leaving the movies and immediately move out of your way because they know you are a grown up and have the power of reporting them to security.  These kids moved--like knees to chest moved--when they saw us walking out of the theater and in the general direction of our car.  The youths were sitting on the curb waiting for the Baby Einstein rocket ship to come take them back to their respective houses.  If you're wondering...2 youths moms pick up the youths.  The girls go with one mom and the boys go with the other mom.  
These are also a list of Old Fart Things I did today...not of all time.

Now to Anchorman 2.  The beginning half of the movie was fantastic like I hoped it would be.  The last 20 minutes made no sense whatsoever and I was completely confused.  If you watched it and understood it please let me know.  

Anyway, I enjoy no longer being a youth.  It was painful.  I like being an old fart.  It is safer and you are wayyyy less annoying to the general public.  I think you know you're an old fart when these benign yet annoying youths start to really upset you.  You start thinking, what kind of parents do you have?  Did you miss the M&M's crafty commercial about being quiet during the film?  Then you start to get scared because you realize that in 20 years or so those youths could be your youths.  I shudder at the thought...Because I wrote this I'll probably have those youths as my future children.  



Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Greatest Moment In Sub History

Hey Hey Hey!     Happy end of the week!  We made it!  Do you have little dorky career dreams?  Like not, I wanna be a superintendent or I want to be a rocking teacher?  No I'm talking about the little everyday career dreams.  Like I want to use a red pen to grade a test.  I want to use stickers that say outdated phrases like TEEEERIFFIC on said tests.  Those kindsa dreams?  Well, yesterday, one of mine came true.  It was glorious!  
     Yesterday I had another adventure in subbing.  I got to experience the teacher wannabe equivalent of THE BEST DAY EVER!  This moment can only be compared to a pilot's first successful solo flight or a cardiologists first successful heart transplant.  It's wearing the teacher microphone necklace.  This little device came out about 10 years ago and since my beloved 3rd grade teacher wore one I have been dreaming of the day when, I too, would get to wear the microphone necklace and hear the cadence of my voice spewing words of wisdom like, "Remember, when we have 10 ones, we can trade that for a long!" and saying things like, "I'll just wait for you to be ready," in all of my HD surround sound glory!    NEedless to say, I began wondering what is the actual dream of wearing the microphone necklace?  DUH!  It's belting out...AAAAHHHHNNNNNDDDDD IIIIIIIYYYYYIIIIIII WILLL ALWAYS LOOOOOHOOOOOOAAAAAVEEEEE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!  Whitney from Bodyguard style.  

Hands starting low by my side, then rising as the words fall unskillfully and out of pitch from my mouth, until they reach their apex over my head and let me pull them down in a fist position.  You know exactly what I'm talking about because you too have probably had this vision yourself whenever anyone handed you a microphone.  If you don't immediately want to do that, I don't really know what your problem is.  Why do you hate fun?  In case you don't know what this microphone necklace looks like, here is a pic.  

This will be forever one of the top 100 life moments for me.  I'm sure when I'm actually teaching the sound of my own voice amplified will eventually drive me to an early retirement, but for the time being I am basking in the afterglow of teacher mic wearing.  

Anyway, I hope you get to experience this little career lift every now and again because it feels amazing!

Happy Friday!