Dos and Don’ts of Flying

Do Know the Rules and Regs

I know it’s a lot, but TSA has a website and every airport has information centers you can call. You need to know if your bag will fit. You need to be prepared for security. Do your homework.*

Don’t take over the armrest

If the thing you are doing requires you to enter my personal space, ask yourself how necessary it is. If it is extremely necessary, make it happen fast and apologize for elbowing me in the ribs (lookin at you lady-from-yesterday’s-flight).

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Do pack snacks. 

One time I bought an orange juice at an airport Starbucks and it was $8.

Eight. What.

Airports are like theme parks except airports allow you to bring food in so, get you some snacks before you get to the airport and save a dime. Or eight dollars.

Eight!

Don’t shame a parent because their child is crying. 

I don’t like screaming children, you don’t like screaming children, their parents don’t like it either. But there is nothing they can do so, buck up buttercup, life is hard and the babies feel it all.

Do pack water. 

An empty water bottle is allowed through TSA and can be easily filled at a water fountain past security. Planes are dry and flying does weird stuff to your body so hydrate.

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Don’t play your sh*t out loud

This is a rule for life I think. If you are in a public space and you’re watching videos or listening to music, use headphones. Because, are you kidding me, don’t be a d*ckhead.

Best of luck

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*If you haven’t already researched it, look up ID requirements for 2018 flights. The laws are changing and certain state licenses won’t be accepted.

Dos and Don'ts of Flying (1)

A Teacher’s Schedule

2:00 am

Wake suddenly either from a half-baked nightmare where the students begin eating their homework instead of doing it and you’re blamed for endangering their safety, or due to a moment of panic about whether you’ve fully planned for tomorrow’s class (spoiler alert: you haven’t).

5:30 am

Wake again and wonder if you should maybe switch the third period jigsaw for a stations activity. Wonder if you should assign the essay earlier, if you should weave in more test prep for state testing next month, wonder if you’re getting enough sleep…

5:45 am

Give up on sleep, get up and get going. Review lessons while reviewing news for the day while replying to the emails you’ll never catch up on while attempting mascara.

7:20 am

Arrive at school, take a deep breath, try to let out said breath in something softer than a scream. Find hope, remember that you love them and your work.

8:19 am

Run around wildly trying to collect your things before going to first period. Forget your keys and wonder how time speeds up around the start of the day.

First Period

Teach and remember all the reasons you love your students. Because they are sweet and hilarious and great. Until one (or all) of them turn on you and put their heads down/curse you out/call you obscenities. Wonder why you do this. Run into that one kid who always makes you laugh while leaving class. Remember why you do this.

Prep

Walk to teacher’s lounge, stare at blank browser on laptop for a full twenty minutes. Ask other teachers if it’s just you, find that it isn’t. Begin writing lessons for next week, or maybe tomorrow, why are you never far enough ahead? Get excited about the lesson you’re writing and how the kids will respond.

Third Period

Teach, expecting chaos. Be pleased when none is thrown your way. Inspire students to make the world better with their intense greatness.

Lunch

Lead women’s study hall or regular study hall or maybe you’re in the gym today…? Receive hellos, hugs, high-fives from students. Answer questions. Tell students that coming to school on time/showing up for study hall/doing homework will make life easier in the long run. Smile.

Prep

Sigh, a lot, like you haven’t slept in days. Check your email while eating the lunch you packed last night. Ask other teachers for advice. Drink your fourth cup of coffee and say repeatedly it will be your last. Breathe and don’t forget to pee before class.

6th Period

Teach. Laugh. Get a little silly because it’s the end of the day and aren’t we all kind of losing it? Run out of staples. Show a video clip you thought they’d hate and find that they are actually engaged and interested. Do an activity you just knew they’d love and watch it fall apart.

7th Period

Teach. Teach like you are dragging yourself through the desert. So tired. Speak quietly so they’ll have to stop talking to hear you. Make a dumb joke and watch them try not to laugh. Remember that they are kids. Be proud of them while being irritated with their behavior. Watch the world stand still for a second while you take in this moment with these beautiful souls. Watch the room stand still for a second when someone knocks the pencil sharpener off the table. Call for a custodian. Tell them to have a wonderful afternoon.

After School

Get visits from students who struggled through your class last term. Perfect a jumping high-five with Pete. Chat with Jorge and Ally about their other classes. Yawn. Lesson plan for too long and then realize how late it is.

5:00 pm

Head home and hope you’ll get a little time to relax and maybe spend time with people who are not your coworkers or students.

5:45 pm

Arrive home because the subways were delayed. Stare at wall. Listen to Boyfriend who is also exhausted. Watch something on Netflix and eat dinner.

7:00 pm

Lesson plan, research, lesson plan, answer emails, wonder if your students are getting enough reading and writing practice, wonder if Elci’s father is still hospitalized, wonder if Franklin could get any more ELL supports for testing, wonder if you’re getting enough sleep.

10:00 pm

Try to get some sleep. Remember all the smiles and jokes and hugs. Love your students and your work fiercely and steel yourself to do it all again tomorrow.

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Millennials Are Not Idiots

Hi. My name’s Becca and I’m a millennial.

I like Snapchat and Instagram, I send a lot of obnoxious selfies to people I haven’t spoken to in person in months. I spend a lot of time considering my identity and watching Netflix. I know too much about the Kardashians. I write a damn blog. I tweet my feelings about politics, religion and ice cream. I don’t really remember the world before everyone I’ve ever met was at my fingertips.

I don’t know any recipes by heart, I can’t name the presidents in order, and I am not totally confident that I can spell, well, anything. I don’t need most of that information anymore because it’s with me all the time, on my phone, on my computer, buzzing around in the cloud. Instead of focusing on memorized facts, I can develop theories and skills.

Here’s the thing: millennials aren’t dumb, they aren’t selfish, and they aren’t irresponsible. We inherited a pretty rough landscape from our forbearers. I have heard the stereotypes and BS arguments a thousand times:

She’s living with her parents?? She’s 28! She should get a job! Getting a job nowadays is not as simple as walking from store to store and handing out resumes. You need high school and college and then grad school to get to basically anything worthwhile.

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So then, sure, I’ll go through all of that schooling and then just get a job, right? Wrong, brother. To land a real job in your field, you’ll need some unpaid work, probably while working another job for income. Yeah, many of us moved back in with our parents and you should probably step off.

We’re trying to fix things and make the world a little better, maybe while checking tumblr. Or maybe we’re staring at our phones because we’re looking for a job online, maybe we’re reading an article about how absolutely f****d this country is politically, maybe we’re emailing our mom, or maybe we’ve forgotten why we unlocked it because we’re so. damn. tired.

Millennials work hard. And sometimes we’re little sh*ts. And sometimes we’re deeply poetic or innovative or charitable. We are a great many things that none of the aggressive, facebook-pandering, condescending articles out there can take away.

Step off, bro, we’re fabulous.

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Oh, and…

Best of luck.

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Adoption Story: Becoming a Cat Lady

A few weeks ago fate showed up and she gave me a cat. Sitting in the teacher’s lounge after school one day, I overheard a teacher, Bryn, ask our principal if she was interested in adopting another cat. The second the principal replied that she had too many already, I chimed in, “a cat, you say?”

Bryn and her wife had found this adorable cat one day when they were locked out of their apartment. Bryn’s wife plastered the neighborhood with “found cat” posters and asked around for weeks with no luck. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for pets to get left behind in this city when owners move away.

So they sheltered him in their back yard, but it was getting cold and Bryn was worried. With three cats of their own and a baby on the way, he wasn’t going to find a long term home with them. Until that day in the teacher’s lounge.

We quickly set up a time for Boyfriend and I to meet the cat and Bryn assured me there was absolutely no pressure. We spent about 15 minutes marveling at this personable, friendly, and calm cat. The entire visit, these two huge huskies barked at us from next door, but the cat was no more than mildly perturbed.


Boyfriend and I said we’d talk about it and set out on the two mile walk home. Five minutes in, after discussing the details, he turned me and said “but we’re adopting this cat, right?”

So, we did.


We named him Oscar, for his weeks spent living in a sidelong trash can in Bryn’s backyard. He’s lived with us for about two weeks now and I am totally in love. He chirps and purrs. He sits on command before receiving food. He loves cuddles and people and food, he really loves food.


He’s probably the best cat ever. Oscar, the wonder-cat.


Best of luck.

 

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Can I Be a Friend Right Now?

Life is stressful these days – I’m fully immersed in a big old pool of grad school, which often sometimes feels like drowning, while preparing for my first year of teaching in a New York City public school.

I’m fine. Everything’s fine.*

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In my time here, I’ve met some amazing humans, a few of whom are responsible for my ability to get through all of this madness. I love and respect them so very much.

I’ve been trying to improve my listening skills for the last few years because, well, listening is really important and a huge part of knowing someone deeply. I’m practicing this because I want to get better, because I love my friends and want to hear them.

Trouble is, sometimes hearing everything creates a battle between being a good friend and anxiety.

An example: there’s this paper due at the end of the month for a class I’m taking and it’s a doozy. I won’t get into the details but the issue is that it’s very involved and no one really seems to be clear on the topic, the expectations, or the process. We’re all shooting in the dark, we’re all nervous wrecks.

So we talk about it. A lot. Sometimes I’m really upset and nervous and emotional about it and sometimes I’m not. When I’m not feeling negatively about it, negative talk around me brings me down. So it’s a cycle of panic that none of us can seem to escape.

Some of my pals got an extension but I chose to turn my paper in on time; I’ll get my grade next week and I’m scared. Every time the paper comes up, I think about what happens if I messed up. What happens if I failed? It’s not a useful thought. So the conversation comes up and I get anxious about something that has yet to happen, something that might not happen.

So the answer is to stop engaging in the conversation, right? Well, remember that ‘being a good listener’ thing…?

I want to be a good friend but I also can’t hear another damn thing about this paper while my fate hangs in the air. And how do I even express that without hurting the people I love?

“Oh hey guys can you shut the hell up because I’m avoiding my feelings?”

This is a post without an answer. I don’t know what to do or what I will do. I don’t know what you should do if you’re in a similar situation.

Thoughts?

Best of luck.

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*But don’t you dare tell me things are only get harder from here because I will cut yell at you.

 

Sentimental Saturday: Relationship Fear

I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t want to write this post. I google searched a million other blog post ideas until I got down to “what the hell do I write on my blog today, google?” and google responded “girl, I don’t know your life.”


Why is this so difficult? It’s too real, I’m not detached enough from it yet. However, I truly believe that while some things need time to process properly before you talk about them, others need to be processed along the way or they will eat you alive. That said, this:

In January I’m moving to New York and I am shaking in my boots.

I’m moving to a very big city I’ve only been to a couple of times. I’m going back to school, something I haven’t been a part of in almost six years. I’m starting a program and career path that I’m still floored I was even accepted into. More than anything though, I don’t have a plan for what’s going to happen with Boyfriend and I.


I’ve told y’all about lovely, lovely Boyfriend before; he is a unicorn of a human being that I am beyond fortunate to have in my life. When I got a mouth guard for my sleep grinding, he stayed up with me making up funny phrases for me to say with a lisp. When I panic in the car in the rain and traffic, he drives and distracts me simultaneously.

He has an amazing ability to make me laugh even in my darkest moments while still allowing me to be whatever sadness or anger I need to be. He doesn’t get freaked out when all I want to do is sit in the comfy chair, write in journal, listen to Lana del Rey and cry.

I told you, he’s a unicorn. Continue reading