Teaching week whatever


I've purposely lost count of the weeks. We're half way through, sort of. The second semester is longer than the first and that fact seems to be sitting in my stomach like a stone. My break was fun but short and busy and I landed back not feeling fully rested. I have a healthy dose of anticipation for that long weeks ahead that is making that worse. Just having a hard time settling into the rhythm of happy. My classes are going generally fine, I just can't shake the notion that the tired will become unbearable. And soon.

Christmas part deux

We flew home early the morning after Christmas, picked up the girls, then met my family at our house for another Christmas morning. Ben and Katelyn flew in for a visit and that made the week really special. We did lots of Austin-y type activities until the allergies/colds of the winter crashed down on Nathan and me at the end of the week. Lots of games, food, and all over silliness.

I love these girls. They are my heart. Even when they're terrible.

Puppies eventually get tired! Odysseus on the right and Zephyr on the left.

We spent a glorious afternoon outside at Easy Tiger. Yay for Texas winter.

I did not photo document all of the Austin antics. But we do love taking people to our local panaderia. Such a wonderland. So glad Ben and Katelyn came to visit.


Christmas for Nathan and I was spent in New Orleans. It was my first Christmas without the girls and it was both terrible and fine. The terrible part is obvious, the fine was due to the fact that we were planning a Christmas on the 26th home in Austin. And also because Nathan's family is so incredibly welcoming and hospitable and just fun to be around. We had a very quick trip of only two days but I was really glad to experience Christmas there. Too much good food.

Gingerbread Day

I'm not sure how I felt about gingerbread day this year. On the pro's, there's gingerbread. I love it so much I really don't know why I only make it once a year. Also there's tradition. But there's where this list starts to teeter towards the con's side. I know tradition is still good for my girls, but it felt like neither one of them super cared and the amount of work I put in certainly doesn't diminish. The equation didn't quite balance. Funny enough, their friends seem to enjoy it more than they do. Alas, I'm sure I will continue.

Oh, Tessa.

Teaching week 15


It's the end of the semester and that brings good and bad. I'm done lesson planning for a few weeks and I'm not teaching new content which is a much needed respite. But there are students left and right scrambling to bring up their grade and that creates a lot of chaos for me. To compound matters, this week was retesting for students who have not passed their EOC exams which are required for graduation. The ELA 2 exam is an especially heavy hitter for the population I teach and close to half of my students were missing on Wednesday which just happened to be the day I was giving the only test of the six weeks. Blurg. So I'm at work again on the weekend, getting caught up on my grades. It feels especially important as finals begin this Thursday for students to know exactly where they stand in my class. If only they were as concerned about grades as I am.

Teaching week 14


Sick. Not ready to be back from Thanksgiving break. Holding on. Counting down.

Thansgiving 2016

We road tripped to New Orleans for Thanksgiving again this year. This time with the girls and my mom in tow. It was a lovely week of sleep and delicious food.

We showed my mom around New Orleans, this being her first time visiting. We of course hit a cemetery, beignets in City Park, the sculpture garden, driving through the garden district, and of course lunch at Avery's.

We also spent a few days in Mississippi, always a lovely retreat. It was hard to come back.

Lost Maples

I thought I was majorly on my game when I booked not one, but two weekends at Lost Maples *a year ago* so we could backpack in the fall colors. But alas, both weekends I picked were still before the major color hit. We got a tease of color here and there but mostly not. Still incredibly worth it. Highlights for me would be finally getting Sylvie to nature pee and the glorious blanket of stars we saw as we meandered back to our tent. It was so nice to have a few days with the girls and no distractions (read: phones). Well, Sylvie did bring her graphing calculators (strange girl) so we were almost technology free.



And also, me.

The words to describe how I feel about this election are far beyond what I can muster today, after a night with little sleep. I am in complete disbelief. I feel physically ill. That this man and his insults and injuries, his bigoted policies, his outlandish lies is electable. I am grieving that half of my fellow countrymen decided that either his policies were great or his offenses were defensible. Either side of that equation is incomprehensible to me.

The past 12 months have been stupid emotional when I recount it all. I have dealt with domestic abuse of a family member, an exhausting pregnancy and miscarriage, a protracted and bitter fight with another family member, and some teenage antics that veer into the realm of personal harm. All of them viscous and taxing from a mental health standpoint for me. But honestly, this election cycle and this spectacular resolution totally ranks among the worst for me. It is more than I can carry and need desperately to find a way to set it down.

Teaching week apocalypse

I've been off the blogging train for a few weeks due to some epicly stressful personal events that I won't write about here. I'm struggling again with using a public medium to journal my thoughts. Because other people are involved, I don't always feel comfortable making the decision to disclose. Anyway, it has been one one of the most trying months of my adult life.

Enter election night and the nightmare that has unveiled. Teaching today has been so very difficult. It is the second worse day I have faced professionally. (It is thankfully second by a long shot.) There are so many of my students that are affected in a very real, very personal way by the election of Donald Trump. I have really struggled to maintain my composure at various points in the day. As have some of my students.

My greatest worry (for my students, the list of worries for myself, my daughters, and my fellow humans is longer) is that students will disappear from school because they fear deportation. The supreme court (at least currently) has guaranteed asylum at public schools for undocumented immigrants, but perception and fear are strong forces. How are they not expected to believe the man that has been threatening to deport them for months now? Students that do not get even the most basic education have such a small chance of being healthy contributing members of society. The path to shadow economies and crime opens wider.

Personally, I feel so disappointed today in my country. Minority poor kids are tragically accustom to being marginalized and dismissed. They know they have way bigger hurdles to face than their wealthy white counterparts. And yet they on a daily basis laugh, they shine, they climb. And this feels like we have failed them. These kids have been sent a message and it has been received loud and clear. They deserve so much more.