Sunday, March 30, 2014

So I'm Running a Half Marathon

Hey Friends,

Yup, the title is true.  I just registered for my first half marathon.  Why?  Because I want one of those super cool 13.1 stickers for my car, Madden, okay?  Just kidding not really I do want one.  I'm running this for myself and because of the free t-shirt that's not really free because it's included in my registration fee.  Yes, I think I'm crazy, too.  If you asked me a year ago if I would run a half marathon I would have laughed in your face.  I would not have believed you.

Growing up I dreaded running.  Mile day in gym class induced in me a sudden wave of nausea and an earnest discussion with my gym teacher about how I was Amish and therefore unable to wear my gym clothes thus enabling me to perform such an athletic feat.  In case you were wondering my gym teachers did not buy the Amish thing.  Probably because of my cheerleading uniform.

While I was always an active girl, I always hated running.  I specifically picked athletic endeavors that allowed me to keep my running to a minimal.  I never had to run for dance class.  Cheerleading practice started everyday with a half mile jog warm up but that was fun because I got to run with all my friends and I knew that completing that run meant 2 hours of dancing, jumping, and cheering.  All things I loved therefore great motivation for running.

Flash forward to 2013.  I was between gyms (not loving Planet Fitness because it was a solid 1 in the motivation department) and needed some cardio.  I loved walking 5 miles a night but I wanted something more.  So (true story) one day I started running and didn't stop.  Just call me Forrest Gump.  I fell in love with running every night in the dark because it was quiet, private, and I could have all the alone time I wanted.  I like the sound of my feet hitting the pavement.  I like the solitude running provides me with.  I like the mental clarity running provides--everything!  I love it all!  I loathe running on the treadmill though.  GROSS!

FLASH forward to 2013 (fall).  A crazy idea pops into my head--I want to run a half marathon!  I wanna run the Disney Princess Half!  Well, I decided I wanted a practice half, so I'm running the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon in September.


Yes, Michelle Elizabeth Tanner, I'm a beast!

Let me preface this with I am not fast.  I have zero speed.  I am a good distance runner because I have high endurance.  My goal for my half is under 2 hours.  I have about 6 months to train and I can't wait to start.

I began my training today by purchasing some new sneaks.  My beloved magenta leopard sneaks are officially worn out so today I got these little babies for training.  

Get it right, get it bright

I also may or may not be in the market for a pink running skirt.  I also want a pink Garmin watch to track my pacing and training.  

I want to run this for me.  I want to achieve this for me.  I'm pretty pumped about training, new shoes, and obviously the running skirts!

Also, fingers crossed for some race day hotties as motivation!  Check out this lady's race day IG pics!  Love it!



Saturday, March 29, 2014

What Going On An Interview (or 3) Is Really Like

Hey Loves!

So this week has been crazycrazycrazy!  Between student teaching, classes, and homework I have had little time for blogging.  Well, today I will tell you all about my interviews.  As you may know, TCNJ has EID (Education Interview Days) where local (and some out of state-hello SC!) come and run speed dating like interviews with teacher candidates.  I applied to all the districts that were within an hour from my house and have Philadelphia sports allegiances.  I can't work in a school where the majority of the people support the Mets.  I had three interviews, one at 8:45, one at 9:15, and one at 3.

     I had a great prep interview session with my high school advisor.  She was amazing and helped me work out all my little kinks and gave me sample interview questions.  She helped me with teacher evaluation program details, gave me talking points, and taught me about Realtime and other online school management sites.  She was amazing and I was much more comfortable interviewing after talking with her.  It's dedicated teachers like her that truly show the world what makes excellent teachers such a vital part of our society.  She gave up 2 hours of her Saturday to coach a former student for an interview.  If you're reading this, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Well here's how my day went...

I got up around 6 6:15 to get ready to head up to TCNJ.  The coordinator said we had to be there a half hour before the interview and because I'm insane and don't understand that The College is only 40 minutes away and therefore I don't have to leave at 7 to make it by 8:15.  Anyway, I met up with Jaclyn and this happened...

pre-interview selfie
Then, we got caught by a school administrator and feared that she would be interviewing us and write us off as goobers.  Luckily this didn't happen.  Make sure you have predesignated a friend the look out (think pirate ship) BEFORE you snap your selfies,'ve been warned.    

My interviewing outfit!

So  I didn't wear a boring pants suit.  I look like a ridiculous waiter at an Italian chain restaurant when I wear one.  So this dress was from LOFT.  Notice the hawt name tag.  Styling and Profiling people!

Next, we met up with some of our cohort, chatted, exchanged fears, the usual.  Then, time for the interviews...

How I felt walking into my first interview:


Fortunately, unlike my girl crush JLAW, I didn't talk about my peeing to my prospective employers.  

The employers asked me to describe myself:


I didn't say that but it took every fiber in my entire being to not say this phrase.  

One school wanted me to talk about my dance experience.  And opened with so tell me what you were like in high school?    


Just kidding.......I told her I was super involved in extracurriculars.  She was all excited and asked if I would want to be involved in extracurriculars with her district.  I said I would love to.  *Cue the volleyball game I will be playing in on Friday* 

The other interviewers talked to me about their towns.  One asked me what I knew about the town and I said I enjoy brunch at a local eatery there.  (Thank God for the Kitley's Sunday rule-No Pew No Chew translated loosely meaning if you don't go to church you don't get to grab breakfast with us)  Thank God for local eateries and brunch!

Going on interviews was not as scary as I had thought it would be.  I felt very good about the interviews and I was excited that I knew and produced quality answers.  I don't know if I will get any of these jobs but I hope I will!

Here's the goal of an interview:


Just so everyone knows, no interviewer asked to see my highly organized binder full of projects I carefully analyzed and chose to show off what kind of great teaching they can expect from me.  Kind of sad no one asked to see them, because I used really cute dividers...but's cool.  

Some jobs I really want, some I know I am not cut out for.  Hopefully good things will come from these interviews and the other jobs I applied for so far.  

Fingers crossed.  

The rest of the day included chatting with other SPEDS about interviews they had, will have, are scared of, etc.  One thing I really like about most SPEDS is that we look out for each other.  In a world where teachers are constantly criticized and a time where getting a teaching job can feel like landing that lucky break in Hollywood, it was nice to talk with each other and give each other tips and talking points.  We look out for each other and that is important.  I don't believe in cut throat tactics to get a job.  I don't believe in trying to hurt someone's chances of getting a job just to make you look better.  I told all of my friends the types of questions the interviewers asked.  If I knew an area of NJ better than they did I would give them information about the area.  They did the same.  It is nice to have such a positive group of women to call my colleagues.  We calmed each others nerves, reviewed each others' cover letters, resumes, and anything else we could help with.  

Job hunting is really fun!  I enjoy interviewing (probably because I like talking (...about anything...with anyone...for any and all reasons) but I like talking about education and teaching even more!  

Job interviews are hard.  These were the first interviews I went on knowing that I was most likely not going to get the job.  Prior to these interviews, I only went on one job interview and I was hired on the spot.  My other jobs I have inherited.  My dance studio job?  I inherited it because I was already there 5 days a week.  My tutoring job/babysitting gigs?  Usually word of mouth.  

These interviews were definitely full of pressure but also full of passion and excitement!  This is going to be my career in a few short months and I am beyond excited! 

Good Luck to alllllll my SPEDS!  Y'all are awesome and will be great teachers!  



Thursday, March 20, 2014

How To Completely Fail an Observed Lesson

Happy Thursday!

Today I had a completely different post idea ready to go but then the day's events were what they were and thus I have scrapped that idea and gone with this one instead.

Today I bombed my observed lesson.  Like really bombed.  This may have been the worst I have ever been.  EVER.  It was ugly.  I'm going to be the first to admit that it was completely my fault.  I take full responsibility for the fail whale that was my lesson.

Here's what happened!

1.)  Today was the first day I ever taught a whole group lesson in my 4th grade placement.  Previously I have been observing, monitoring, working 1:1 with students on specific skills-never full group.  Mistake numero uno.  NEVER I REPEAT NEVER schedule an observation for your first taught lesson in a placement.  It will be bad because you are green and you don't know anything.  I'm not beating myself up I'm being realistic.  You have a rapport with the students, yes, but not an instructional rapport. Scheduling your observation on your first day teaching a new subject is not a ballsy move.  It's stupid.  (Side note, this was a scheduling issue, not my first choice of days.  Still, I should have not said yes to this dress day)

2.) The actual lesson and teaching part was fine.  I taught a math review lesson.  I didn't tell kids 5+7=46463 or any of that nonsense.  It was classroom management.  Classroom management has to be the hardest thing to learn.  Honestly, I think you can have all the behavior charts, positive behavior supports, and red/yellow/green cards your Pinterest heart can handle and you can still screw this up.  With that being said, this is probably the most important thing to master as a teacher.  You have to have your kids in line or no one will learn.  It is that simple.  Sometimes you look up from working with a student and this is what you see:


JK it wasn't like that at all.  There were a few kids who finished early and walked around to talk to friends (next time I will have work for them), a few kids got too loud, (I will monitor them better), and some kids lost focus.

3.) Writing on a SMARTboard is hard.  Diamond hard.  There is no feasible way to write on the board without blocking someone's view.  Unless maybe I squat under it and point like, "Hey kids just ignore me squatting here under the board. Y'all can all see right?"  I am a great wall.  

It's hard to find a spot in a classroom where you can watch 23 little munchkins, write on the board, be entertaining, and move around like I need to.  I can't stand still.

4.) So the lesson got a little crazy in center time.  One of my co-ops had to tell my group to be quiet.  Never Good.  NEHVER. GUUUUD.  It ended...awkwardly.  There was no conclusion because I could not tell if my co-ops were done with their groups yet (maybe we'll come up with a signal of sorts for next time?) so my advisor asked to see me in the hall and, "Bring paper and pencil."  

So into the hall I went with my tail between my legs.  And she starts the same way she does every time, "So, how do you think it went?" (Side note-I love my advisor!  She's great!  She is honest, direct, a straight shooter, and gives me tough love.  I could not have asked for a better advisor.  The fact that I still like her after she gave me a bad review really says something about her and the level of respect I have for her.)

Gulp.  "I think the lesson went ok, but the classroom management was something I need to work on," I said to her.

"You completely lost control of the class," she deadpanned.  

Cue waterworks.  I started to cry!  Ugly cry!

She wasn't even mean about it!  Apparently, if you never cry ever until you're 22 years old, all your tears will build a forcefield inside your eyelids and then explode at the drop of a hat whenever something remotely sad happens.  TrueLife I'm a Late in Life Crier.  John Legend is so NOT talking about me when his rich and creamy voice of an angel coos, even when you're crying your beautiful too.  Not true for me.  Now, I'm trying to pull myself together but once I'm gone...apparently...I'm gone.


So now I'm trying to calm my sobbing self down...


And it's not getting better.  Worse actually.  A lot worse.  Now my blubbery, snotty, drooly mess of a self is listening to my advisor tell me that I need to stop it because I'm not perfect and she doesn't expect me to be.  She reiterates that I'm new and I'm learning but that's not good enough for this crazy type-A lunatic that is me.  So as I'm sitting bawling my eyes out, contemplating how I am the worst teacher candidate to ever go through the program (my thoughts not hers) and I'm going to screw up the kids so bad that they will all fail the NJASK in two months, I now start apologizing for crying.  Let's add this to the list of emotional instability I display in the work place.  I keep saying I never cry I'm so sorry, and she says, "You're high anxiety and you're too high strung" (ironically this is not the first time I've heard this...probably the only negative about being Type-A).  Now she brings me into the classroom to face my co-op.  Oh, while I was crying all my students are leaving and walking past me.  So there's that.  Coupled with the fact that I won't be there tomorrow means that they'll probably think I've gone insane in the membrane.

So we chat and I start crying harder.  Now I'm embarrassed, crying, and recovering from my fail whale.    

Then my advisor gives me a hug and tells me that I was a good teacher and had a lot of confidence but that I just need to work on my classroom management skills.  So she leaves and my co-op and I chat and I feel better.  Still crying, though.  Can't stop the waterworks.  

My advisor leaves and leaves me blubbering with my co-op.  My co-op calms me down and we start talking about math terminology because it's, "not emotional at all."  LOLZ!  Made me smile, then snorty tears some more.  It made it worse that I could not control myself.

We chatted, everything was fine, I went about making my lessons for tomorrow.  I ended up leaving too late to make it to Pilates :(

So this is going to be the Serindipity moment.  I tweeted Sometimes the best part of bombing your lesson is knowing that it can't get worse and CNN_Tube favorited it?  That's a random win.  

Then, I cried on the drive home...

Because who doesn't want to be known as the emotionally unstable student teacher?  Hi yes, please hire me after this 3 months of daily job interviews, and yes I did cry.  For an hour.  But that shows heart and passion and a determination to be the best!  No?  It shows that I'm the mayor of Crazytown?  Okthanksit'sbeenfuni'llhaveagreatlife!  I had a not-so-desired Sex and the City moment (how come I rarely have the good SATC moments but always the awkward ones?) and had flashbacks to Charlotte when she says that she cried once and suddenly it's like don't make Charlotte cry.  

I learned a lot today.  I learned that I need to relax because I still got good marks (not great ones but what are you going to do), I learned that I love my job and take it seriously.  I learned you're not always going to be perfect.  I learned I'm not okay with not being perfect.  Something to work on.  Being a perfectionist is not always a great thing. 

I also learned that giving up sugar for Lent is not a great idea.  Since I wanted it so bad today I made a smoothie to combat my sugar craving.  

But what do we always tell our students?  Mistakes are opportunities to grow and learn.  If you don't make mistakes you won't learn or become better.  So here's to knowing that it can only get better!  Also, I like to think that Jackie O cried once in a while, too!

So I did what any lunatic Type-A girl would do...

Browsed Pinterest for inspirational quotes!  

Cheesy?  Velveeta level yes!  Accurate though!

So there you have it!  My fail whale of a day!  Sometimes we cry and bawl in front of our co-op, but like Dolly says, you gotta put up with the rain.  Anyway, good news is:  It can only get better!  It really can't get any worse!  And as JPG says


Happy Friday!



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When Saying Yes Leads To Volleyball...

Hey Hey Hey!

Happy Tuesday!  This is one of those weeks that is both dragging and flying!  I have a short week at ST because I have interviews Friday (EEK!) and we had a 2 hour delay yesterday because Jack Frost wasn't finished with NJ yet...Ya can be done now my frenemy.

Soooooooo, student teaching (ST) is interesting.  Full post on that later.  It's a complete 180 from my last placement and therefore bittersweet.  Anyway, today played out like this:

I'm a huge believer in saying yes to things that scare you or take you out of your comfort zone.  Most great things total disasters that then become silver linings in my life start as me being like, "OOOOOhhhh, a little uncomfortable.  Okay this isn't so bad.  ERMERGERD I LERVE IT!"  Today my friends was one of those days.  So the district I ST in has a Volley For Support Event every spring. Every year teachers from across the district compete in an elimination volleyball tourney.  My school is obviously participating but up until 8:22 am this morning I was not.  That is...until one of the fellow 4th grade teachers asked if I wanted to play because, "We could use the height."  I was secretly intrigued by the game and agreed.  Sometimes I channel my inner Bethenny Frankel and come from a place of yes.  Usually I say yes to things like the second piece of cake, glass of wine, random Girls' Nites etc, but this time I said yes to v-ball.

Here's a leeetle peek into my v-ball history:

Age 5- Builds sand castles in volleyball court at swim club.
Five minutes later-gets bored with sandcastles and plays on swings.
Age 8-joins 4th of July kids volleyball tourney at said swim club.
Five minutes later-misses the ball and quickly everyone learns I suck at volleyball.
6th grade-Volleyball comes to gym class.  I miss more than I hit.
7th grade-Volleyball, I've come to learn, is what gym teachers make you play in the winter because there is nothing else to do with middle schoolers.  I improve but still prefer to hang with my Blonde Mafia in the back.  (Yes, my gym friends and I were the Blonde Mafia because 2/3 of us were blonde and one was Italian...)
8th grade-Standing in the back row and refusing to actually play the sport makes me a pretty good server.  Ok, good enough to not be the impetus of groans when you stand in the fateful serving spot.
9th grade-Get an 100% on written Volleyball test.  YAYAY!
9th grade one day later-Permenantly plant self at serving position because that's all folks.  Got no other skills.
10th grade-Learning that bumping the ball is something I don't suck at.  Win!  100% on v-ball written test.
11th grade-I can hit it over head.  P.S. still rocking that 100% on the v-ball test.  Yes it's still the same test since the dawn of gym class time but a 100 is a 100 people.
12th grade-Didn't get picked last for v-ball because I don't suck at v-ball (aka baller server and bunting skills--HELLO!) and because most girls have fake nails and I'm au natural in the nail department!  *Welcome to NJ y'all!*
12th grade Spring-I join am forced to for service hours the NHS v-ball tourney with 5 other cheerleaders and we won 2 rounds before being eliminated!  Go us!

Age 23-Playing on the K. Elementary School charity v-ball team!  We had practice today and I did pretty well!  I'm pumped to play and will be sharing my *training* lolzlolzlolz with y'all as I go!  2 weeks til show time...errr--GAME TIME!  GOD ERIN YOUR DANCE/CHEERNESS IS SHOWING!  (I will never spike the ball because I love my nose too much)

Senior Year NHS V-Ball Tourney With My Cheer Friends!

For those of you wondering our theme was Let's Get Physical like the Olivia Newton John classic jam

*Our theme for cheer camp was also Let's Get Physical!*

Anyway, here's to a great week!  Happy Hump Day! *P.S. yes I still own the socks I'm rocking in that pic!  No I don't still sport the pig tails (mostly because they are a pain to get centered and even)*

Bump, Set, Spike,


Friday, March 14, 2014


*read this in hushed tones*

Hi Everybody!

Happy Friday!  I hope it was filled with pizza sans meat like me.  Womp womp.  How come I only crave chicken and turkey on Fridays in Lent?  Does that happen to anyone else?  Nope?  Just me?  Okay then, moving on.

This was my first week in my fourth grade classroom!  I miss my little guys sooooo badly!  I've been able to sneak in seeing them here and there which is awesome.  It's amazing how much you miss your kids when you're no longer their teacher.  But I have a whole new crop of 4th graders who I can't wait to work with!  Let me tell you, 4th grade is no joke!  Wayyyy different than my previous room.  I'll explain more in a later post.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  (P.S. I should totally grab one of my 4th graders' graphic organizers to organize my thoughts into a coherent, singularly focuses piece, but oh well, this is my lil corner of the world and EEEES OK!)

I'll recap The Bachelor and my feelings on it laytah!

Ok, so once upon a time last Friday night, Jess and I were driving up to meet Cara for some din din and yoga, when we both turned to each other and said, "I wanna go to the Sara Evans' CD release party!"  So NSYNC we were practically Justin Timberlake's pointy bleached curly fro thang.  That in sync we were.  So we decided to go.  Only problem?  It was on a Tuesday night and we both have work in the morning.  Well, we decided to *shhhhhhh* go out on a school night.

Seriously, nothing makes me feel more like a grown up than going out on a school night.  Why?  Probably because I'm a goody two 77 shoes and don't like to break the rules.  Buuuuuuttttt, I mean if I didn't go, Jess would have to go by herself and therefore I wouldn't be a very good friend now would I?  No I would not.

So Tuesday off we went.  We had school so we didn't get to leave until 5:30.  The doors open at 7 and we were told to get there early or else it might sell out.  So we were apprehensive about not getting tickets, but we ended up being totally fine. We scored ourselves third row seats stands!  We waited for Ms. Evans to come out and met some...interesting people.  Country concerts attract, as Miss Miranda says, all kindsa kinds.

We met two women who we could not understand.  They were regulars at Deuces Wild.  They knew XTU's Crocket by name?  (This is always impressive to me for some reason.)  We couldn't tell how old they were, if they were married, if they had kids?  It's not really important if they were married or not, their conversation just bounced from their "baby" to "that guy's wife keeps grilling me, do you think she knows?" to "my husband".  HEADS. WERE. SPINNING.  But they volunteered to take our picture and we returned the favor so all in all they became our concert friends.  They also said, "Wouldn't it be funny if we wore Phillies hats to the Jason Aldean concert?  You know because it's at the Phillies' stadium?"  Yeaaahhhh....But they are the photogs behind THIS pic so you know...

We didn't intentionally match...

Next we met this guy:

He seriously kept his beer in his back pocket for the whole concert.  Also, he was talking about his wife, yet buying other pushy girls drinks?  Hmmmmm...

Then we met Crocodile Boots Man.

My foot looks super long here.  But I had to get that guy's boots!

Mine are the cute brown ones, his are the crocodile boots.  Someone's fancy!  He also had a shirt that Cam from Modern Family would wear.  Rolled cuffs with patterns and everything.  Commitment y'all!

Then, Ms. Evans came out and rocked the house!  I saw her two years ago when she was opening for Rascal Flatts and let me tell you she was great then, but this show was fabulous!  We were so close to her and she was amazing live.  Usually country artists are great live.  Except Rascal Flatts--don't waste your money.  Their show is an hour long...when they headline and they mash up all their hits.  Just...blah.  

Anyway, she brought her whole band and played for an hour.  For a small venue and album release, an hour set is appropriate!  She played all of her songs even the good old ones!  She even covered Bruno Mars' When I Was Your Man, but she sang it like me.  Let me explain.  I change the words to "You know he buys me flowers, and hold my hand.  Gives me all his hours when he can.  Takes me to every party because he knows how much I love to dance.  Does all the things you should have done when you were my man."  I just think this is a better version ;)  She also covered Pink's Just Give Me A Reason with her guitar player.  It was banging!  Then, she covered Everybody Talks To Much.  Also fantastico!

Jess--The Queen of Dance Pictures!
I love country singers for many reasons.  One is that they truly love their fans!  Sara signed cd's while she sang and even posed for a picture for me!  Yup, we were that close that she made eye contact with Jess and me!  I was trying to get a good nonblurry picture and she just looked at me (acknowledged my pain lol) and posed!  She's the best!  

Posing Just For Me!

Also, when I'm 43 I wanna be hot like her!  Girlfriend can rock it!  

*Side note* her cd is pink!  EEEK!!

Everyone needs this CD!  I haven't stopped jamming to it since I got it Tuesday
Her CD is amazing!  Jess and I always say that we relate to her jams because she seems to know just what we need to hear (Better Off) and gives us the best picture of love (Perfect).  Awesome CD!  Everyone needs a copy of Slow Me Down.  

Loving Sara Evans' Concert!



The concert ended around 9 and sometimes Jess and I look at each other and just know...Applebees?  
When we left the venue we decided it was Beach Weather!  In NJ there are two types of Beach Weather:

1) It is 8000000 degrees and you need to cool off.
2) It is 60 degrees, late at night, and you need to wear cutoffs, a sweatshirt, a messy bun, and Old Navy flip flops while waking the boards.  

Tonight was the latter.  But what do you do when you are not down the shore?  You roll your windows down like you're in a Keith Urban video with a supermodel and you jam to Slow Me Down.  About 20 minutes down the Schuylkill we decided we were freezing too eager and shut the windows ASAP!   

So we headed back to NJ and devoured some spinach dip and wings.  What?  It was half priced apps!  You get to eat two!?  Sound logic right there.

Anyway, when you go out on a school night you know the inevitable will happen.  You will be dog tired the next day.  Ironically I went to bed at 11 that night--a full hour earlier than usual--and still woke up feeling exhausted.

We Couldn't  Help Ourselves

I mean when you put it right're asking for it!

Anyway, I hope you all had a great week!  Any fun plans for the weekend?  I'm doing a mid-term...


Happy Weekend!


P.S.  I was super proud of my outfit that day. I love flowy tops over jeans with cowgirl boots!
Top/Necklace/Bracelet: LOFT
Jeans:  Jessica Simpson
Bag: Kate Spade
Boots: Ariat

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Went To National Pancake Day...And We Brought Our Own Nutella

Jouex Mardi Gras y'all!

First, let me send a big Advil and Bloody Mary to all my NOLA friends.  I love NOLA and can't wait to go back this summer!  Also, Jess is coming (yay) so the whole Creative Writing Famsquad will be reunited and it'll feel so good!  A little NOLA nostalgia for y'all.  Please excuse my hair and face-this was the first day I was here and I'm really gross and sleep deprived.  Thank you Zach for always making NOLA the best!
In front of Princess Tiana's Castle in Jackson Square
Pirate's Alley sans the Pirates.  I'm jealous of my tan here...

Anyway, I'm T-1 hour until no more excess sugar for this girl.  LENTEN promise 2014?  No excessive sugar.  Wahhhh, I'm gonna be miserable.  Oh well, I need the detox.  

Anyway, here in NJ we celebrated Mardi Gras the best way we can.  In 24 degree weather, that is.  Jess and I went to IHOP's National Pancake Day!  That means FREE pancakes!  If it's free it's for me.  


Now, we're not just their for the free pancakes.  No no.  We got the free water (lolz) and we brought our own NUTELLA!  I'm cheap, I'm frugal, and sorrynotsorry!  Grad school is expensive!  Nutella from home is free.  Nutella at IHOP?  Not free.  

So as I was telling my Deb my plan last night, she was like does Jess know what she's in for?  I'm like yes, duh!  Life is expensive and a girl's gotta make her budget.  

Just so you know, this is not the only way that I cut my corners.  No siree.  I'm a frugal girl and I like it.  In college I was a wiz at saving my money and stretching a dollar.  I rocked the poor college kid mentality.  Here's what I did.  I have no shame beeteedubs:

1.) The jellies at the diner.  I open my purse and put the strawberry jam right in.  It's free!  

2.) The 7 pm. cutoff for bread at Ewing's Shop Rite.  At 7 pm. the Ewing Shop Rite moves all the bread from that day to the "Day Old Bread" Rack.  This includes your bread, cupcakes, dough, rolls, treats, etc.  All of this was "Today's Bread" and guess what?  The difference between 6:59 and 7 is 60%!  I don't mind eating bread 1 minute after 7 for $1 as opposed to $3!  I honestly would wait around and lurk until the clock struck 7 and the bread became discount!

3.) Applebee's!  Applebee's is a gold mine for poor college kids.  First of all, the Lawrenceville Applebee's gives TCNJ students a 15% off discount.  SCORE!  No wonder we frequent them so much.  Also, Applebee's Half-Apps and Drinks make your eating abilities so much cheaper and more daaalish!  I would be able to grab my beloved wings and sangria for $6!  Where can you get that?  No where that's where!  Heaven.  On.  Earth.  

Those are my big three ways to eat cheap in college.  

Here are some pix from Pancakestravaganza!

When we first got there, the hostess said that we could wait for up to an hour.  We were like that's cool, the pancakes are delish and freeeeeee!  Why wouldn't you wait?!  And then, the hostess uttered the Golden Words of Restaurants..."The counter has no wait!"  It was like the heavens opened up and the angels were singing sweet arias.  We volunteered as tribute and because we're not fancy at the IHOP we got seated right away.  Suckers!  Why wouldn't you sit at the Pancake Bar as we call it?  You get your pancakes quicker people!  So we sat down, ordered the greatest pancakes ever (except McDonald's pancakes but McDonald's doesn't give their hotcakes away for free so they can be my second fave)  So we got our pancakes and out came the Nutella.  People talked.  People stared.  People judged.  But guess what:



Before Ravenous Blondes Destoryed the Dollops

Jess Being Presh With Her Nutella

Shhhhh, Don't Tell Anybody!!


Blessed With Nutella

My Fave Kinda Bill

Happy Mardi Gras!



Monday, March 3, 2014

When Classroom's Attack and Other Grad School Problems


How was your Monday?  Were you as disappointed in the snow as I was?  Yes, I liked my snow day, but TCNJ didn't cancel so I still had class.

Today I was a total brat about having to go to TCNJ

Not that bad, but kinda in the same vein.

As my time with grad school is coming to an end (I really do like school but I just want to be done and working), I am having a much less tolerant attitude for some nonsense and shenanigans than I previously have had.  

Sometimes I also think my lecture hall is out to physically harm me...just a theory but an accurate one.

1.  Leave your trash on your desk.  What's the matter with you?  Do you think I wanna come in to class and sit behind your used coffee cup?  No.  No, I do not.  Do I want to sit behind your left over sandwich and orange rinds?  Nope.  The previous class' food du jour?  PIZZA!  SIX PIZZAS!  
cower to the trash
2.  The Bang-Your-Shin-Chairs.  My classes this semester have confusing chairs!  I can't sit in them.  They swivel independent of your body control choices.  First you have to pull them sideways? 
Next, you have to pull it back.
Third don't wear a dress or skirt.  You will look like an heiress circa 2006 and be flashing people.

Fourth (there should never be 3 steps prior to you having to sit in a chair), you have to slide into the chair  like a classy lady

Fifth (again, toooooo many steps) you need to make sure you follow preschool sitting rules:
  • fold your hands
  • feet flat on the floor
  • do not kick your feet.
Why?  Oh, because if you so much as lift your feet off the ground you will send your shins colliding into the painful half desk and welp

3.)  Being assigned readings that you have already read but can't remember the jist so you have to reread them.
4.)  Not getting to park in the New Ed lot.  Ok, this is a real life first world problem right here.  Sometimes I don't get parking in the close lot and I have to walk half a mile to my class.  This annoys the bejeezus out of me.  Mostly because I feel like as a grad student I have the natural right to park in this lot.  I paid my dues.  This is the same logic that dictated the elementary school bus rules.  The 2nd, 5th, and 8th graders get to ride in the back of the bus because of Divine Right.   Usually I think Grease and use the whole The Rules Are There Are No Rules mantra and go the wrong way in the lot.  Rude?  Absolutely.  Necessary for sanity?  100%


5.)  Not sitting at tables.  We now sit in a lecture hall with killer desks with equally malicious chairs who are undeserving of the soft cushy connotation previously held by those contraptions of demonic terror listed in number 2.  This girl likes her tables.  I like sitting with 4-6 of my closest friends discussing life, current events, family stuff, eye rolling, and fellow classmate people watching.
Don't deny me my happiness, desks!

6.) When one of your friends is absent.  I'm not going to lie, I need all my people around me in class in order to function.  I feel like John Legend what would I do with out your smart mouth (ps that song is amazeballs and I'm guilty of jamming to it in my dorkily in my car) because we function better as a unit.  As I said before (in a delirious moment brought on by an annoying barrage of questions from The Questioner aka the person in your class that just asks nonsense questions for the sole purpose of prolonging class) This group runs on good looks and wit.  We just work better as a cohesive unit!  Like when one of your favorite sitcom stars goes away to shoot a movie and they say that they went on a work trip or something.  The show is still great, but it's not the same.

7.) Non-Stop Question Asking.  I like a good question.  You know, breaks up a lecture, enhances my knowledge, gives me more questions.  I do not like 1005426260206 questions...from the SAME person.  Do not ask questions about your own personal life.  Do not district bash.  Be happy you have a job.  Your questions are annoying us all and we all want to cry when you speak.  A good way to self-assess?  Did I ask 25 questions in 10 minutes?  If the answer is yes, then yes you asked too many.  


8.)  People who do not understand that the last 5 minutes of class is not the time to start asking all of your questions.  Class ends at 7:20, think like a deli-the grill closes 15 minutes before.  Grill is a euphemism for your questions.  7:05 end of questions.  Some of us girls have lives.  Some of us girls have The Bachelor to watch.  I need a full 40 minutes to get home.  Do not carve into my The Bachelor time.


Anyway, complainy rant is over now.  In 2 days it will be TCNJ's Spring Break and I will get my nights free to do work.