Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Full List of Things That Make Me Deliriously Happier Than They Should

Hey y'all!  I SHOULD be reading 3 chapters on comprehension strategies and letting all that educational goodness sink into my brain, BUTTTTT, I'm gonna unload a little random good time on you all.  Have you ever just reached the pinnacle of happy?  Like you're just having a great day and you wanna share it with the world?  Like you finally know what Pharrell is singing about?  I just can't help myself when I hear it I start steering wheel tapping like a dorky soccer dad.  Welp, congrats, you are in luck because I am having one of those super happy times in life right now and I wanna share a list of things that make me deliriously happy.  Probably happier than they should but you know what?  I don't care because it's better to be annoyingly happy than a complainer.  So here goes...the list of things that make me happy.  So clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth.

1.)  My besties.  I know it's a cliche but they are the best people in the world.

2.) Nutella.  Nuff said :)

3.) My pink Hunter Wellies.  I'm in love with these beauties and they are a great conversation starter.  Three people commented on how much they loved my boots today.  Threeeeee!!! In NJ that's an astronomically high number of complimenters.

4.) Baseball season.  I get giddy, weak in the knees, dance around my bedroom when I see that my Phils have all arrived safely at training camp and are prepping for the new season.

5.) Cut off jean shorts.  I realize I only have about 7 more good years in my cut-offs before it becomes a necessary evil to wear shorts that have an actual hem.  You know the classy chino kind?  Yeah, I'm gonna Sheryl Crow and soak up the sun for these last 7 years.

6.) When my USWeekly comes on Fridays.  Every Friday I wake up pumped because not only is it Friday, but it's when my USWeekly comes in the mail!  The best is when I get home from work and see the big yellow letters poking out of the mail box.  Be still my beating heart!  We all saw the Friends episode when Monica confesses that she knows it's shallow but she gets excited when her People magazine comes in the mail, welp...that's me.  I'm not actually sorry, though.

7.) Burt's Beeswax.  It's a lifestyle.

8.) When my favorite bloggers update their posts.  I really do get worried and concerned about their well-being when they haven't posted in a while.

9.) Bachelor Mondays.  Monday sucks.  Monday is the Aquaman of the week.  (Except maybe for Sunday after 7 pm...but the twilight of Sunday is only sucky because it means Monday is a mere 5 hours away)  Bachelor Mondays brighten my whole day!   During Bachelor/ette season I actually look forward to MONDAYS!  Why?  Oh I don't know because The Bachelor/ette is the greatest display of human emotion not directed by John Hughes.

10.) Coupons.  I just can't get enough of those little 30% off at the Gap, $15 sweaters at The Loft, and bogo food.  I will be there with bells on.  I'm a sucker for sales.  $5 off at CRAPYOUACTUALLYDON'TNEED?  I'm there!  I don't need it but thanks to your coupon I want it!

11.) Waking up to emails on my phone from said stores.  I have been known to wake up crazy early to get to the aforementioned stores at opening time JUST to snag the best deals.  Is anyone else there?  No.  Are these clothes still there a few days later and still on sale?  ABSOLUTELY!  But as all things in Erinland, go hard or go home.  If you're not first you're last.

12.) Will Ferrell movies.  That was a nice segue wasn't it?

13.) When my friends send me Pins from Pinterest.  I get giddy like a little girl on Christmas and think, "Oooooh what kinda goodies are they gonna send me?"

14.)  Target.  All of it.  All the time.

15.) Baked goods.  I know as a teacher I'm supposed to turn down the homemade treats because I know that children and hygiene don't exactly live harmoniously in the baking world, but I can't help myself.  I just love little baked goods.  

16.) Yoga pants from Victoria's Secret.  There's just something about their yoga pants that pulls me in and won't let me go.

17.) Pink.  Anything and everything.  Think Pitbull and Give Me Everything!

18.) Chicago songs.  No, not the acclaimed Broadway Musical--the band Chicago.  Whenever You're The Inspiration comes on you can bet your bottom dollar it is jam time on like donkey kong.

19.) Wilson Phillip's Hold On.  That's a windows down, sing at the top of your lungs kinda jam!

20.) Other people car dancing!  I'm glad others know and appreciate the good things in life!

21.) When I quote drop and people get it.  I seriously made a buncha good friends like that!  Try it!  You'll be surprised at what kinda awesome people appear in your life when you quote drop.

22.) Candy that is on sale.

23.) When Father of the Bride I or II, Legally Blonde, Pretty Woman, Game on With Eric & Jessie, or Real Housewives, Boy Meets World marathons are on TV.  Count me out for the rest of the day!

24.) Outdoor country concerts.  They count as being outdoorsy right?  Thought so!

25.) Songs that I forgot about that just appear out of my speakers like the little divine gifts they are!  You don't know why you know all the words (or why you forgot about the song) but as soon as it comes on you go hard!

26.) The penny arcade at TD Bank!  Helllloooooooo $50 in quarters/dimes/nickels/pennies!  If you're wondering, yes I do guess every time Penny Arcade asks if I want to; however, I've never been right.  I don't feel bad about it though because she always tells me that I did a really good job saving my money.

27.) When iTunes gives you the perfect unprompted playlist.  Sometimes it just narrates your whole day doesn't it?  I think Apple secretly taps into your soul, but that's just a working theory.  Also, when the radio does this and you're like, thanks God for always looking out for me!

28.) When you wake up with really good hair!  This only happens twice a year if you are lucky!  It's like seeing a shooting star...but in real life!

29.) Jennifer Aniston as a guest on any talk show!  She's my woman crush forever<3

30.) Friends reruns.  World crises could be solved by all parties watching Chandler, Mon, Ross, Joey, Pheebs, and Rache take on being 20 somethings in NYC.

31.) Errors in books.  I don't know why but when a published work has an error in it, it makes me feel good about my own writing flaws.

32.) Finally seeing the fruition of your shopping stalking pay out.  Shopping stalking you ask?  Well, sit down kids and let me tell you about shopping stalking.  When you shop as much as me, I mean I've heard this is done :), you know what is going to sell quickly and what you can hold off on until it drops in price.  Once it has been cast off to the sale rack you really have a decision to make.  Do you buy it now?  Or do you wait?  I wait.  I scan my email 30 times a day to see if one of my beloved coupons come in saying that all Clearance is an additional 60% off!  Then I swoop in and buy the bugger!  Some call it an addiction, I call it a gift.  Potato/patato.

33.)  Really fast internet.

34.) Libraries!

35.) People with funny t-shirts on.  I am that creeper who will read your t-shirt--and get irrationally mad when you move or are walking to fast and I don't get to finish reading it.

36.) Strawberry jelly packets at the diner.  Yes I still eat them independent of any accompanying food.

37.)  The perfect pb&j sandwich.  Only moms can make it this way.  It's an illusive little bugger but once you find it you just smile and enjoy your sandwich like the smug boss you are.

38.) Realizing you don't have to do laundry because you have an actual work appropriate outfit for tomorrow!

39.) When old school Destiny's Child comes on at the mall.  I have been known to pause, drop my sense of social appropriateness, and break into the famed Survivor dance whilst holding all my purchases.  People of Quaker Bridge Mall you are welcome!

40.) My Lilly Pulitzer planner.  I just love Lilly and the planner makes me feel like a grown up.

41.) Family dance parties.  They happen and they are intense!

42.) Snow days!

43.) Samples at Wegmans or the mall food court!  Hello free lunch!

44.) Gift cards!  I feel like I have so much more money because it is free!

45.) My shoe collection.  Those babies are my one true love.

46.) Cowboy boots!  God I love them!  They're just cute and remind me of summer

47.) Dresses.  Maxi, mini, skater, formal, sun, strapless, sleeveless, spaghetti strap, long sleeve, wrap, cinch waist.  Doesn't matter.  I want them all!  They make you look uber put together even if you are a hot hot hot mess.

48.) When waitresses call me honey.

49.) Being in the South.  I love traveling and I love the South with all my tough as steel Jersey Girl heart.

50.) Baseball hats.  So. Stinking. Cute.  I love wearing baseball hats.  I love when other girls wear baseball hats.  And most of all I love when guys wear a baseball hat.  Wear a baseball hat and you have the key to my heart.

51.) Baby/Bridal Showers.  I just can't get enough!  I love buying for them, the food, the outfits, the mingling.  Call me a weirdo but I just love them.  I get pumped about toasters, like you don't?

52.) Weddings and hearing about engagements.  I'm a hopeless romantic.  If you have a wedding album up on FB I've maybe definitely creeped it.  Hey, if you didn't want people to see it, you wouldn't have posted it right?

So there you have it!  A collection of delightfully strange things that make me one happy girl!  I hope you all have a great day and think about all the little things in life that make you happy.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Reaction To Princeton Mom's Letter To Us Single Ladies

Hi Friends!!

Sorry I've been MIA, I have been super busy being a goober and enjoying the snow by doing nothing.  I'll catch up with everything else soon...

Yesterday I read this article that really ruffled my hot pink feathers.  Have you read Princeton Mom's Open Letter To Women?  If you haven't, here's the link

I read this and after I picked my jaw up off the floor because this letter was written in 2014 not 1014, I began fuming.  

I know, shocking Erin was annoyed about someone writing something negative, sexist, agist, classist, and anti-feminist.  

But hear me out.  

First, this is not an attack on marriage or people's right to marry.  I support marriage for all consenting individuals.  I want to get married myself one day.  I have friends that are getting married soon and I know they will be happy and I completely support that.  As I've said before, life is hard for all people and if you can find someone in this life to ease that hardship then go for it!  I salute you!

Ok, so here we go.

The main point of the article that Ms. Patton is trying to make is that women need to abandon their studies and focus all of their attention on finding a husband.  I'm sorry I didn't know that I was living in Mona Lisa Smile.  This is damaging to women.  It again reaffirms that your value in society is dependent solely on whether or not you are married.  Whether or not someone, besides you, determines your worth.  This is wrong!  Ladies, women, girls, you are invaluable.  Your dreams are important.  Your life is important.  People do not make you any more or less valuable. 

In my Masters degree, single woman, feminist opinion, marriage only works if both people are whole people independent of each other.  Whole people are well rounded, they have their own ambitions, ideas, goals, self-respect, personalities, and interests.  These make marriages more interesting.  If you have your own life, think of how much more you will bring to your marriage.  You will have endless conversations and contributions that will make your union grow stronger and better.  Nothing screams Erin's getting a divorce more than me losing myself and hoping that I find myself in my marriage.  That won't work for me.  I don't think it's healthy to try to find yourself and your self-worth in someone else.  Kinda defeats the purpose...

I don't know about you but I would not/could not/should not marry anyone who did not intellectual stimulate me, enjoy travel, was well read, had their own life, their own career, and their own sense of self.  

Anyway, go on Ms. Patton...

Ms. Patton's next point is that the "cornerstone of your happiness will be the man you marry".  

I think what she means is, "the cornerstone of your marital happiness will be the man you marry."  

Yes, yes if you marry Freddy Krueger, your life WILL SUCK!  Why?  Oh I don't know, all the ugly sweaters, the killing, the police reports, the fact that no one will trick or treat at your house, the list writes itself people.  But no, your happiness does not depend on whether or not you have a band of gold on your left hand.  Marriage does NOT instantaneously grant you eternal happiness.  I think some women feel that marriage=happiness, it does not.  In Erinland marriage does = happiness but that's because my marriage will be a piece of my happiness based on the life that I want and the type of relationship that I will create.

Teaching women that happiness only comes from a marriage certificate is belittling to all of our other accomplishments.  Yes, when I get married I will be happy.  But I will be happy because of the person I marry, not simply because I am married.  Remember, sometimes the grass is greener on the other side of the fence because it rains more on that side of the fence.  

Now she talks about "investing my energy" into finding a husband and abandon my career ambitions.  Okay, I'm going to go with a big....yeah about that.

I'll use my girl Olivia Munn's quote:

“People tell me, ‘Your work won’t keep you warm at night.’ But it does pay for my heat and my down comforter, so it technically does.”

Here's where Ms. Patton takes a jump even further down the crazy hole.  She claims that if I spend my 20's building my career I won't have time to find a husband until I'm in my...gasp...30's!  Ok, we're not 8 anymore, 30 is NOT old!  What ever happened to 13 Going on 30's mantra of 30, flirty, and fabulous?  I will take Jennifer Garner's word over Ms. Patton's any day.  It's damaging to women (and clearly agist) to say that at age 30 no man will desire you because of your cacophonous biological clock.  I'm sorry but maybe Ms. Patton is unaware of these fine looking ladies who are all...gasp...over 30 aka shoulda fallen off the face of the Earth by now because they are O-L-D OLD!  




Sorry Ms. Patton, I think I'll take my chances and say that at 30, I'll still be fine.  Also, this article says that a woman's worth is dependent on her looks and age.  DAMAGING!  Also, guess what?  If you get married in your 20' will eventually hit that 30th birthday and then what?  Ms. Patton inadvertently suggests that you will not be attractive to your husband because he will want a 20 something girl.  

Ms. Patton clearly has a different definition of marriage than I do.  

Ms. Patton then says that if I chose to forego her wisdom and keep working on my intellectual endeavors, that I should probably marry down.  Fellas, this is where it becomes offensive to all humans!  She says men who would be an educational and intellectual match for us are not interested in brainy ladies.  


I will say that sometimes this is true, but it is not a universal truth!  If this is the truth, I'd rather die alone than married to a man who detests what I bring to the table intellectually.  I wouldn't be able to do it.  I could not, would not, should not, spend my life married to a man who hates my brain.  We shouldn't sell men short here!  Men don't suck!  We need to stop selling them short and teaching this crap to our daughters!  Don't teach them to settle for men who, according to Ms. Patton, find their intelligence emasculating!  Teach them to be proud and unapologetic about their accomplishments!  Teach them that marriage is not the be all end all of life.  Marriage is great if you marry someone who respects you, your accomplishments, and supports your life and dreams.  

Women should not ever date a man who is so intimidated by their intelligence that he can't bear the thought of dating them.  He is not your lobster.  Any man who feels this way is emasculating himself.  If a man can't handle your intelligence or earning potential, trust me, he can't handle you.  Let this breed of man become extinct.  You should only date, and if you so choose to, marry, men who appreciate you and all that you can bring to the table.  

Another gem delivered by Ms. Patton?  The line that once you leave college you will never again find such a great display of male specimen.  Ummmm, Ms. Patton?  Where do you think these men go?  Space?  Oblivion?  Or worse...grad school?  Oh, I forgot, higher education is only applicable to males.  They go back to the real world.  There are men.  Lots of them.  Just look out your window, they're outside walking around and interacting with other humans.  Seriously, where is this woman coming from?

Ms. Patton concludes her letter with the idea that if you don't find a husband by the time you leave college you are doomed to a life of (to use an antiquated term like Ms. Patton probably would) spinsterhood.  OhsweetbabyJesus.  I guess I'm doomed to a life of ordering Chinese food for one, world travel, EdD's, invigorating academic pursuits, friendships, love, children, happiness, family, career, excitement, and my own bank account.  Oh, wait, that's not so scary after all.  

But she does leave us with the hope that maybe in grad school we will find someone...that is if they will find it in their heart of hearts to overlook our warts and detractors such as our education, our careers, our personal interests, and our cacophonous biological clocks.  

So Ms. Patton, author of "Marry Smart: Advice for Finding 'The One,' ", forgive me if I don't take your advice.  I'd rather live a modern fairy tale in which I am my own heroine.  A fairy tale in which every day I come home to the house that I paid half for, the family that my equal and I built, the husband that enjoys my brain and intellectual pursuits, and a car that my advanced degree wielding self bought.  
So ladies, don't listen to Ms. Patton.  Yes, who you marry is the cornerstone of your marital happiness; however, it is not the cornerstone to your personal happiness.  



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Actual Real Life Humans That Exist At The Movies


That's NJ for hello!  

This past weekend my family and I went to go see Monuments Men.  A great cinematic adventure made even more magical by the fact that the movie theater had reclining seats.  Not only seats--LAZY BOYS!!!  Like big, plushy, butt sinks into the leather, seats.  Heaven on Earth!  The movie was great and I enjoyed it, as a history nerd I couldn't help but point out historical inaccuracies.  If you've ever seen a history movie with me you know this is a bad habit of mine.  I'm just a snob.  Get over it.  

Anyway, when I was at the movie I noticed some people.  Why?  Because I am a serial people watcher.  Like I go outdoor restaurants just to watch the people.  And eat dessert.  Duh.

Here are some real life people I noticed.

The Newly Dating Daters:

You can spot these people because the girl is still wearing skinny jeans.  She has not evolved into the yoga pants phase yet.  The boy is still holding up the wall while she leans her whole body into him and they're making out.  This is Monuments Men.  NOT 50 SHADES OF GREY!  You don't need to make out during probably the least sexy movie of all time.  There's no kissing at all in it.  George Clooney (the sexiest man alive) didn't write any kissing into it.  You know why?  Because it's NOT ROMANTIC!  Say no way to PDA.

The Love-Me-Long-Time Daters:

She's in yoga pants and texting and he finally got to pick the movie.  That's why they're at the 10:25 pm showing of Monuments Men (a film with no romance) and she's texting and wearing sweats.  

The Movie Buff:

This man is a movie fan.  He has seen ALL.THE.MOVIES.  All of them.  Every film ever created.  Just make the mistake like the poor schmucks next to me did and ask him about them.  Instant regret on their part...

He's the kinda guy you wanna do a Jimmy Kimmel Live like thing and ask him about movies that have not been created just to see his smug little self tell you (in detail) about the intricate plot lines.  He uses words like characterization, mood, theme, and motif.  Ironically, he attended the movie alone.

The Early People:

That would be my family.  

Okay, we got to the movie about 45 minutes before it starts.  Why?  Oh because some people (cough cough) don't understand that when a place is 20 minutes will always be 20 minutes away.  No, no one moved the theater 30 more minutes away.  No we don't have to buy tickets (Thank you Fandango).  No. No. No.  Everything is fine.  It's 20 minutes away.  Well, we leave about an hour before the start time.  Once we arrive, 45 minutes early beeteedubs, we just stand around our theater waiting for the previous showing to let out.  After exchanging glances at my Deb for 5 minutes, she says, "I'm sorry I thought it would take longer to get here."  

Side note-I love my Deb but sometimes I'm like the movie won't start early.  

Anyway, people from the previous showing start to file out of the theater and we meet...

The Crier:

Every movie has one.  This movie wasn't sad.  America comes in and saves the day!  George Clooney and Matt Damon are both alive and the world is good!  Hitler has been defeated and America has bested the rest of the Axis powers!  Good.  Day.  For.  Alll.  However, one lady came out bawling her eyes out.  Like not little tears.  Nope.  Full on sobs!  I turn to my Deb and say, "In 2 hours that will be you."  She smiles because she knows I speak the truth.

The Awesome Older Ladies:

These ladies are in their late 60s early 70s and are too cool for school, too cool for rules, and too cool for me.  

I'm not going to lie I can't wait to be an old lady.  They're just too fab!  These ladies were wearing furs. Real life furs to an 8 pm movie in suburbia.  They know what's up!  Anyway, as they're leaving they are talking in cryptic code and I overhear this:

"Let me know if you are going to wear anything tomorrow, Joyce," Cool Old Lady #1.
"Oh, believe me," Joyce replies over her fur laden shoulder, "If I do?  You will be the FIRST to know."  

Tomorrow in this case refers to Sunday.  What kinda crazy things are you ladies doing on The Lord's Day?!

Joyce and Cool Old Lady #1 are the most awesome people in the theater!

Quiz Boy:

As said people are filing out of the movie theater, the movie attendant decides to ask each and every person how the movie was.  I didn't know there would be a quiz at the end of the film, so I haven't prepared my answer.  Will I go with great!  Does that not sound enthusiastic enough?  Should I go with AWESOME and be THAT girl?  Fine is definitely off the table because that's how you refer to a sub par diner meal.  Do I go with Roeper and say 5 Stars!?  I immediately start to feel my collar closing in.  

The Quiz Boy actually expects an answer?!  What does he think this is?  The South?  We are NJ!  Don't talk to us!  And surely don't expect an answer with actual formed human speech.  No, the majority of people give him a smile and nod.  

He actually cares what the people are saying!  He makes appropriate comments back to them and affirms their judgement.  What is this!?

Anyway, he finally puts the Socratic Method to bed and moves on with his movie theater cleaning thing.  

The I'm-Just-Gonna-Check-Couple:

These TWO!  Everyone knows them!  Hopefully you aren't them.  These two arrive at 10:10 and see us all standing around (oh you know about 20 people) and still, STILL, they check the theater door to see if the movie theater is open.  Really guys?  You think we all forgot to check the lock status on the door?  Do you think we've never seen a door?  That the door is this anomaly and it is up to you two geniuses to decode for us the opposable thumb's magical powers of opening things?  I'm sorry please proceed with your investigation of the door and exclude the 20 some human context clues that the door is in fact not meant to be opened at this time.  


So the genius tries the door.  Finds it open but then is promptly told by Quiz Boy that the theater isn't ready.  The guy turns to us and says, "I just had to check."  


We know.  We all know.  He and his lady friend then sat directly in front of the theater doors.  As in, so close, that they would/will/are most definitely going to hit him once Quiz Boy opens them.  We're all waiting with bated breath hoping and a wishing and a praying that this happens.  Unfortunately for us, his lady friend advises him to move back.  So he does.  RATS!  About one foot back to be exact.  Yup, yup, he has to be first in the theater.  

The Non-Movie-Theater-Appropraite-Snack-Guy:

Also, THIS GUY!  Yup the same checker of doors guy was eating non-movie theater snacks.  Here are a list of movie theater snacks as approved by Dane Cook and me:

  • candy
  • popcorn
  • Blue Icees
  • Soda
  • Fruit
  • Water
That is it!  Literally, those are your six choices. 

No, no.  Not THIS GUY!  This guy had 6 chicken wings.  

And a PIZZA!!  


He also had a fork.  I didn't know why as seeing that he had no fork-needing foods.  I was intrigued to say the least.  About 20 seconds later he showed the now captivated audience why he had the fork.  TO SCRATCH HIS LEG!  I'm not even kidding.  By now we're all grossed out but he keeps scratching.  I'm like "honey, you shoulda gone to a dermatologist about 8 scratches ago...Get that checked out!"

Now, once Quiz Boy has deemed the theater pristine and the sanitary equivalent of a hospital (you're not fooling anyone...we know you just wiped up the popcorn, you didn't even bring out the Lysol wipes for the chairs) SCRATCHY MCNONMOVIETHEATERAPPROPRIATEFOODGUY bounces up and runs in.  Yes it took all my strength not to jump and dodge and elbow my way into the theater first.  Snaps for Erin!!

You woulda thought that once in the theater the madness would have stopped.  



And he had to find the Musical Sweet Spot like he was Sheldon Cooper!

You are not Dr. Sheldon Cooper!  Plus this theater has assigned seats!  Seats you ordered online like everyone else!  He did try to get new seats by the way.  I think he was successful.

The Judgey Family:

That's my family.  That we be us.  The three of us stand there drinking our cokes and just observing.  Making comments in our heads.  It's nice to look out at the world and be the normal ones for a hot minute.  

The Sleeping Couple:

After the movie, as we're all filing out and Deb has once again reprised her role as The Crier, we notice a sleeping couple.  This is by no fault of their own:  DID I MENTION THIS PLACE HAS RECLINERS?  And yes people frequently bring pillows and blankets.  The arm rest also folds down so you can actually cuddle, too.  Great Invention!  Because America doesn't have enough PDA filling it's streets.  I digress. Anyway, these two sweethearts are sleeping all romantic comedy chic style and guess what my fellow fine Americans do?  Wake them?  Nope.  Gently nudge them that the movie is over?  Oh no.  Nope.  They start taking pictures of the sleeping duo!  This is why I love America!  Oh you're sleeping and I should probably wake you up before Quiz Boy comes in and badgers you with Stabler and Benson like questions?  Psych!  I'm gonna take pix of you, "And I'll put it on Instagram!"  That is a direct quote from someone.

Some people photobombed the sleeping beauties, too.

I was kinda proud of the photobomber's creativity.  

Anyway, have you ever seen movie theater characters?  Thankfully there were no youths present.  That's the perk of being pretentious...very little youths want to see Monuments Men.  



The Night The Lights Went Out In PA

Hey Everyone!

I've been MIA because of student teaching.  It's going really well!  It's tough.  It's hard.  It's messy.  Very messy.  Yesterday I wore boogies, saliva, shaving cream, yogurt, and juice...with a side of pants.  P.S. none of the bodily fluids were mine.  But I love love love my kids and my placement.  I'm going to miss them when I leave in 3 weeks!  Three weeks is all I have left with my kiddos.  I don't like that one little bit!  After that I'm off to fourth grade and as my fourth grade teacher so eloquently read us Fourth Grade Can Only Kill You.  JK I'm psyched for fourth grade!  I'm just happy I get to be student teaching.  It's a strange feeling knowing your dream is only 2.5 months away.

On that wistful note, I got my invitation to graduation.


It honestly does feel like I just started school.  But then I quickly remember all of the tests, papers, exams, projects, lesson plans, practicums, observations, and stress and I go who am I kidding I'm ready to be donezo!

Anyway, NJ is facing record breaking snow...this phrase has been said more times than Chris Harrison has said Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony.  EHHVERRR.  And you know what?  I'm loving it!  These are my last snNOwconsequence days.  See as a student teacher, you don't have to make up the snow days.  Why?  Because my district has a locked in Easter Break (which is the week of Passover aka I can sub that week!  I'm a much better human when I work) and I won't be there at the end of the school year for the additional days.  See?  SNOwconsequences!  It's da bestest!  

Speaking of Bestests, last week my roomie Ra called to see if she could stay at Casa de Kitley because her apartment didn't have power.  My answer?! 


See Ra and me go together like peez and carraaats!  You may be wondering why my roomie wanted to stay with me if we are infact roomies wouldn't logic dictate that we live together?  Well, my friends it would.  But let me explain.  Ra and I lived together for pretty much 4 years of college. We technically lived together soph and senior year, but freshman year we spent every day together and lived down the hall so that technically counts and junior year she came over 3 times a week so that counts, too.  College roomies hold a special place in your heart and Ra is not just my bestie, she's my roomie!  Also, if autocorrect keeps changing roomie to rookie I'm gonna freak out!  

Anyway, Ra came over and since she's practically part of my family Deb and Daddy were pumped, too!  Ra and I went to Panera and then gossiped and were our usual 6 year old selves.  Ra also got to watch our Wednesday line up with us...lucky girl.  

The next day I said bye to Ra (so sad) and told her if her power was still out that she should drive her little self right back to our house!  She agreed.  And guess what? PECO couldn't make the PECO POWER PLAY and Ra came back!  So she got to join in our dance party (Deb declared Timber her new favorite song) and we all ate about 50 Wegman's chocolate chip cookies.  See, I made cookies for Ra and Ra brought cookies.  We are soul mates.  


Not that Ra and I have plotted any deaths...

So she came back over and we ate all the cookies and the pizza and then chatted with Deb and then we went to sleep.  When we woke up (Ra also knows the rules of Erin when waking up...because Ra has rules of waking up, too.  Our rules are the same aka why we lasted as roomies!)

The Rules Are:
So Ra had to get up superduper early and go to her student teaching placement-like 5 am early.  That time doesn't exist on the Erin International Time Scale.  I sleepily said bye bye to Ra and then woke up at 6:30 and realized I was a sad bunny because my roomie was gone.  Sad but happy that there were two spontaneous Sleepovers filled with fun, gossip, carbs, sugar, and wine.  

So PA, if you wanna lose power again???  I won't stand in your way.  Because then Ra can come back!!!!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thoughts of Summer!!

Happy Hump Day!!

Today is a great day in the history of Erin.  Why?  Oh many many reasons!

1.)  It was a 2 hour delay so I got to sleep in!  Thank you winter.

2.)  My class was cancelled tonight!  Thank you again winter!  Girls' Nite was supposed to be made up tonight but alas, it was cancelled.  Don't cry too hard because we've already rescheduled for next week.  Phew!

3.)  My roomie from college is coming to sleep over because she currently doesn't have power.  Sad about the no power but happy about the roomie reunion and and impromptu dinner plans

4.)  It's Wednesday!  My most favorite television night ever.  This is not sad and pathetic this is awesome!

  • 8 pm-The Middle the most underrated tv show on the air now.
  • 8:30 pm-OFF (aka cruise the channels searching for Modern Family) I came too late to this party but I am a fan!
  • 9 pm-Criminal Minds daily dose of psychopaths.  Everyone needs that...if only to make yourself feel normal
  • 10 pm-Nashville  Just a great show about country music!  What could be better!?
5.)  Speaking of country music...WE GOT THE MEGATICKET AGAIN!!  That means this girl and Kate and Jess will be grooving and jamming to a few of my friends all summer long!

Have you met Luke?












I thought you might know them <3  This is my favorite time of year!  You can also bet your bottom dollar that I already wrote these dates down in my Lilly P planner.  Can't double book my summer!  Kate and I have gone the past few years and this year we're excited to add Jess to our country cutie jam sesh!  Is it bad that I'm already planning my outfits?  Yes/No/Maybe?  Cowboy boots and cut-offs?

Jess and me Blue Steeling before the show

Kate and me selfie-ing it up before the always eventful train ride!

All the girls at Blake!

6.)  Speaking of jam sesh...Deb and some of her friends from work got Bruno Mars tickets today too!  Deb got me at ticket, too, just because she's the best Deb that ever lived.  

7.)  Also, I got my Phillies tickets for the season!  So more Daddy Daughter Phillies dates!

The time we lived large and sat 3 rows behind home plate!

It's going to be one music and baseball filled summer and I wouldn't have it any other way!  So now all this winter nonsense can slip away so I can jam out and cheer on my Phils with warm weather and the Philly skyline as my backdrop!

Beautiful CBP!

The best mascot in MLB

Da Bell!

Keep thinking those warm thoughts!



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Brain Ninjas

Hey Y'all!

How was your Tuesday?  Mine was fab because I had a two hour delay.  Teacher Win!

Today I got to thinking about Brain Ninjas.  Did you watch the Dane Cook Brain Ninja bit?  If you haven't call 2005 and ask for a refund.  Or just click here to watch it.  I'll wait while you watch it.

 In a nutshell, Dane Cook says that women are Brain Ninjas because they say things to you that will seem so insignificant but then fester in your brain like little Brain Ninjas until they explode into fruition.  Did you ever have that?  A little bit of advice that haunts you?  I like to think they are God's little messages to help remind you of the important things in life.

I'm going to tell you some of my recent and not so recent Brain Ninjas.

1.) Just wait!  One day you'll meet someone who doesn't care at all and you'll regret what you're saying.  

Okay, let me explain.  My senior year of high school I had a puppy.  A puppy is a guy that cares wayyyyyyy more about you than you care about him.  He will always call when he says he will (and 5 more times until you pick up) just to see how your day went, he will be overly concerned about your day/family/friends/tests/school/etc, and he will want to be involved in everything.  He's great on paper but you just have no zsa zsa zsu.

Preach it Carrie
So I ended it.  I went to my cousin's wedding that weekend and I was recounting my failed relationships to one of my favorite cousins-in-law and she said this Brain Ninja!  It has haunted me ever since!  Every time I have dated someone who didn't care at all (I regretfully tell you this has happened wayyyyy more than I should allow it) I hear her voice ringing in my little blonde head.

2.) Don't let them in your classroom.

This was said by one of the advisors on a student teacher panel I went to last week.  The woman said to keep your phone away all day.  She said that by letting too much/too many outside people enter your classroom via texting, calling, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will cause you to lose focus.  Think of your classroom like your very own Superman's Fortress of you think I'm a dork yet?  Your focus is now divided not only by 25 little sweethearts but now you've added someone else and their troubles to your day.  You need to bar anyone but your kiddos from being in your classroom.  I used to let "outside people" into my classroom all the time.  I'd check my texts on my prep and during lunch.  Once I let someone into my classroom and ended up crying like a baby in my classroom.  I read that text during my prep and it destroyed me.  I ended up crying during my prep (don't worry I turned myself around in the chair and dried my eyes before my students came see, no foul right?) not my proudest moment, and then feeling like a pathetic loser.  Again, Sex and the City told us that you can't cry at work because Charlotte cried once and remember what happened to her?  She became known as the crier.  So this past week I have not checked my phone until I have officially left for the day and am in my car.  I have a new found sense of clarity and focus.  I don't let anyone, not even my besties and their plans for us for this weekend, infiltrate my fortress of solitude.

3.)  If you have chemistry, you only need one thing...and that's timing.  And timing is a *%^@$.

Yeah, I cleaned that bad boy up for you.  It's from How I Met Your Mother and like all things TV related it is true and fact in Erinland.  I like to think that God has a special plan for all of us.  He will send us people that would be/should be/could be perfect for us but the timing is wrong.  Maybe we will reunite when the timing is right?  Maybe we won't?  Maybe we have someone even better (fingers crossed :)) waiting for the perfect timing.


Oh hey Chris Evans!  When did you get here?

4.)  Don't eat yellow snow.


5.)  If you forget just follow along and keep dancing.

This little pearl of wisdom was dispensed by my dance teacher.  I was bad at tap.  Like really bad at tap. Like GOD AWFUL!

I just couldn't remember any of it.  Irony is that I tapped the longest of any dance style.  I'm just bad.  I only did tap because my friends were in it and the costumes were to die for!  And this was how my dance teacher told me to remedy the tap situation.  Just keep dancing even if you forget.  This is excellent advice and I use across life settings.  I use this when I feel like I don't have a clue what is going on in my life but I know that I have to keep moving.

6.)  You sometimes don't get to stand in the front for every dance.  

This is another dance pearl of wisdom.  In dance I liked being an attention hog.  (Except tap as previously noted)  I felt that since I was a senior I deserved to be in the front for every dance.  Well, my dance teacher told me that I didn't get to stand in the front for every dance.  Sometimes you have to be on the second line (jazz) or the wayyyyy back and far left (tap ;) )  For the record, in tap I always found my way to the back...Sometimes you are not going to excel in every area of your life and that's ok.  This is a lesson I need to learn because my Type-A self doesn't get that.  You're not going to be the best at everything and the sooner you accept it the better.  Sometimes you have to realize that other people are better than you at certain things.  Sometimes it's better that you are not in the front--like me and tap!

These are just my little Brain Ninjas.  What are yours?  I think that sometimes we all need to reflect on our Brain Ninjas to help us navigate our lives.  They remind us to listen to the little voices in our head that direct us to better ourselves.

Fingers Crossed for a Two Hour Delay tomorrow!!



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Student Teaching Week 2!

Hey people,

Happy Sunday!

Today is one of my favorite food holidays of all:  Super Bowl Sunday!  First off, over a billion wings will be consumed?!  That's great news and I will happily participate in that American tradition!

Second of all, I'm cheering for the Broncs because I like Peyton Manning.  He just seems like a good guy, no?  And because Eric Decker is on the team and I love his show with Jessie James.  Thank God it has been renewed!  Deb even watches it with me...shhhh don't tell her I told you she is a closeted E! reality show junkie...not really just this show because she thinks they're funny.  Which is true!

Now on to Student Teaching News!

Week two went really well.  It amazes me at how much I am learning from just observing the classroom.  I'm picking up tricks, techniques, ideas, discourses, mannerisms, and interpersonal relationships that make a school go round.  I couldn't be happier with my placement.  For those of you that didn't know I'm in a K-2 Autistic Support classroom.  Prior to this placement I had only subbed in a classroom with students with Autism.  I also knew their teacher and their paras.  This time it was very different because I didn't know anyone!

This past week I got to meet my advisor.  Each student teacher is given an advisor that works with you and 3 other students.  Their job is to read your journal entries, give you pointers, observe you (I have my first observation on Wednesday--wish me luck!), critique you, and help you along.  They, mixed with your cooperating teacher, give you your grade.

1)  You'll find it easier to control students because you are pretty.  They'll want to listen to you.

FALSE!  First of all, what do I say to this?  Do I say thank you?  Or do I say LIES!  As a dance teacher, sub, babysitter, tutor, and practicum placementee, I know that this is false.  Kids will come up and tell you that you are pretty and they will behave for a little while, but guess what?  Kids smell fear! Kids know when you aren't prepared!  Kids know when you are not actually confident in your lesson.  This is where I have the most trouble.  When I sub, I am thrown into a classroom at 8 am and expected to teach someone else's lesson to someone else's kids with someone else's supplies cold.  There is very little prep time for the sub and the kids get out of hand when you don't know where the scissors are.  As a teacher candidate I have heard this time and again...The students will act up if you don't have everything ready and constantly keep them busy.  If you want kids to behave and follow suit, be organized, keep them busy, and squash the behaviors as soon as they arise.  Those are the three hallmarks of behavior management that I have found to be most helpful in teaching thus far.

Also, one of my previous co-op teachers told me to wear my hair in a bun and not to wear make up.  She said they are more likely to listen if you don't look your best.  They will respect you the less, I guess the right word is, attractive, you are?  Conflicting messages.  I usually wear makeup and either rock a ballet bun, curls, or straight because I think it looks unprofessional if you put zero effort into your appearance.

2)  Kids today are so well behaved.  Especially in wealthy districts like yours.

I do student teach in a wealthier district; however, I'm on the lower SES (socioeconomic status) side of the tracks.  My students come from all over the town though because this school is the program's home.  This is true/false.  Yes I am going to say it and I will continue to say it--SES makes a huge impact on students' discourse and learning outcomes.  Why?  Background knowledge, expectations, home life, the list could go on forever.  Poor is a disability.  Even if poor is not found in the list of classifiable disabilities it is a HUGE educational disability.  It is impactful on students' ability to learn!  Now that I'm off my rant here's my experience.  Sure, students who come from higher SES schools are more likely to know proper school discourse, but does that mean that they will always follow it?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Through my teaching experiences I have encountered students who come from boatloads of money.  Literally boatloads of money--they showed me pictures of their boats...I have also worked with students who came from inner city lifestyles and don't have two nickels to rub together.  Guess what?  Their behavior was not dependent on the money!  It was dependent on the way they were raised (cough parents cough) and the societal expectations.  Discourse is what distinguishes between behavior.  What is acceptable in a higher SES school is dependent on the accepted discourse of that school.  What is accepted in lower SES schools is dependent on the accepted discourse of that school.  There are pros and cons to both situations.  Some of the higher SES kids feel and act towards you in a manner that suggests that you are their servant.  This makes them feel entitled to treat you in such a poor manner.  The students in the lower districts sometimes behave as if what you are teaching them has no purpose in their lives.  However, this is not a universal truth.  I have had students who are very wealthy who are very polite and respectful.  I have also had students who are very poor act in the same manner.  It is very dependent on the parents, the student, the teacher, and the environment.  I hate it when I hear people say that parents of students in low SES and inner cities do not care about their kids.  This is 100% false!  In both of my practicums in an inner city parents came into the classroom to participate, parents dropped off their children, parents wrote the teacher notes about their child, they were actively involved!  In the time I spent in the classroom (a total of 15 3 hours visits) I met 6 out of 24 parents.  That is 1/4 of the parents in the class!  Just because students are rich does not make them better behaved.

3) Don't worry, when you graduate you will have your pick of positions

I HATE THIS LIE THE MOST!  People wonder why we are the "entitled generation"?  Well this is why!  The truth is that not everyone gets a job.  Jobs are not handed out to you, you have to compete, you have to work your butt off trying and preparing and hoping that you get lucky to get a teaching job in NJ.  Every night I lie awake praying, hoping, and wishing that I will get hired.  Times are tough out there!  I will probably not get my dream job right off the bat.  That is an impractical way of thinking about things.  I'm probably going to take the only job that will be offered to me.  Maybe I'll get lucky and have the option to pick from two--probably not though!  I wish people would stop saying this.  This also makes those of us that don't get jobs feel like crap.  If jobs are so easy to get, and just given out like you are suggesting, then what is wrong with me?  Just tell us the truth--you may get hired is a much more appropriate assessment of the current educational hiring climate than this lie.

So now that my rant has come to an end I will tell you about the exciting things I get to do!  I started leading Circle Time!  I love Circle Time and I'm a big believer in Morning Meeting and all of the great things it does for students from modeling behaviors, conversation skills (both receptive and expressive), and to learn more about your fellow classmates.  As a teacher it lets me learn a little bit more about my students as individuals and as communicators.  We used PECS.  For those of you that don't know what PECS is, let me explain.  PECS is Picture Exchange Communication System.  The students essentially match a picture to the concept/book/song/weather pattern/desired activity that they want.  It's a great stepping stone to a talker.  It also allows students to voice their feelings, choices, desires, fears, and wants to the group.  This week I added new weather PECS to our Circle Time routine.  The kids all responded well to the additional PECS and we will keep incorporating them into our routine.

I hope you all have a great week!  Fingers crossed for a SNOW DAY!!!  My school has pajama day tomorrow so it will be a rocking Monday for me either way!