Sunday, December 23, 2007

national christmas tree

so my neighbors and i headed downtown to see the national christmas tree, since we live in DC and haven't seen it yet. it's enormous.

I love this picture:

And just to prove that I was really there:

Further proof, if you're a skeptical sort that needs more convincing:

And the White House, just for fun:

Me and my roommate Julie:

Book Wish List

yet again... so many books, so little time

A Thousand Splendid Suns: By the author of The Kite Runner. I hear it's nothing like The Kite Runner, but that it's just as good.

13: Thirteen Stories that Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen: Being thirteen pretty much sucks. They are strange, strange people living in a strange, strange environment called middle school.

Emotions Revealed: The same friend that recommended The Prince has read a lot by Paul Ekman. Apparently it is really really easy to read people if you just know the tricks. I thought he was bluffing until he proved that he could tell me exactly what I was thinking at any given moment. He was alarmingly good at it. I need in on this!

The Evolution of Useful Things: Stories like these could be useful as a segue through my class I should be teaching this summer. (I can only teach it if there is enough interest to fill up the classes...)

some updates

#1: School is out!! Friday was our last day, and I am FREE until January 7!!! We spent the last two days of class building towers and other engineering-esque projects so we wouldn't all go crazy waiting for the final bell to ring.

#2: Our first book club meeting was a success. Everybody liked the book, except for Julie, who at least pretended to. How nice of her. And we ate the chocolates my students gave me for Christmas, and the homemade biscotti that Rochelle baked. Now I need to find The Story of Opal. This one is proving more difficult.

#3: I started reading The Prince, by Machiavelli. It's my friend's favorite book, and I agreed to read it as long as he would read The Schools Our Children Deserve, since that's one of my favorite books. He wasn't thrilled with the arrangement, but it turns out I'm pretty good at making him do what I want.

#4: I am finally going home tomorrow! I get to play with my nieces and nephew, buy them presents, and overall convince them that I am their favorite person on earth.

#5: I woke up early yesterday to brave the outlet malls. We arrived as soon as the stores opened, missed all of the crowds, and partook in all of the early bird specials. I finished my Christmas shopping and then bought myself two pairs of pants for $7.50 each, a sweater for $9.00, and another pair of pants for $3.50. I love bargain shopping.

Friday, December 07, 2007

do you have enough ideas yet, mom?

and this CD would be perfect for my stocking. kasey chambers is my hero.

please don't hate me

but i really want a pair of these boots.

i know they're ugly. hence the name ugg. but boy, oh, boy do they look warm and cozy. and i've realized in the past few days, what with the snow, and the snow delays, and driving the bus in the snow, and going to the Redskins game in the snow, that i need a WARM pair of shoes if i'm going to survive to my 28th birthday. and i would really like to turn 28.

so here they are. these ones are expensive, but there are some cheap knock-offs all over the place that will also be warm. i prefer the tall variety. brown or sand.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

stocking stuffers

per mom's request

MAC brow set: my eyebrows need SO much help. seriously.

Black tights. It snowed for the first time today, and it is COLD! Some in winter white and charcoal would be nice, too.

i also really love this coat. although it might be a little big for a stocking. and i might need something hooded for those crazy snow days.

and WARM winter clothes. a pair of sweatpants from my school, as cheesey as that sounds. and of course, i always could use some more books.

Monday, December 03, 2007

book club

book #1: The Kite Runner. My roommate bought it for me for my birthday (she's the best) and i can't wait to read it.

book #2: The Story of Opal. According to Matt (one of the book club co-founders), it demonstrates why we're told to be like children. sounds interesting

book #3: The Count of Monte Cristo: i can't wait to read it again! it's been a few years, and the story is great. i think i'll love it even more the second time around, now that i know the overall plot and can absorb more.

book #4: East of Eden. also an old favorite. everyone should read it. as long as you can handle some of the details...

this is how i impress my students

when we have a discussion in class about how it is physically impossible to eat six saltine crackers in one minute, because the salt dries out your mouth so much, i challenge them to a saltine eat-off.

and then during lunch, we collect all of the saltines we can find and i proceed to eat six in less than a minute. without a sip of water.

now i'm pretty much their hero.

Friday, November 30, 2007


now i don't have to work at anthropologie for $8 an hour. and i can afford this trip to SPAIN i'm planning over spring break.

i get to teach a summer class on engineering design/robotics. i'm pretty sure this is my dream. it pays well, it only 3 hours a day, and each class only lasts two weeks. i get to teach 3-6 classes. wahoo!!!

this leaves plenty of time for sleeping in, reading, and playing in DC. and i don't have to go through any sort of crappy application or interview process.

the moral of the story is: be friends with me. i bring good luck.

Monday, November 26, 2007


today i made the mistake of using the phrase "dumping loads" in one of my questions in physics. and then the class reverted back to second grade for a few minutes. and by a few minutes, i mean the rest of class.

(we were talking about torque and looked at a picture of a dump truck that had tipped over backwards while "dumping loads". haha)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

more books on my list

The Story of Opal: This is the first book that my book club will be reading next month. Have I mentioned that I just started a book club?

Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption: Next on my list after I finish The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager. Seriously, teenagers are fascinating.

William-Sonoma: The Kids Cookbook: Because, seriously, I don't have time to cook. And when I do have time, I don't really feel like cooking. So I need quick, easy recipes so I can stop eating frozen pizzas.

Survival of the Sickest: It comes highly recommended. Sounds like an interesting science book.

What the Best College Teachers Do: It got good reviews, and supposedly has research to back up its claims.

more to come....

Monday, November 19, 2007


so i just got an email from one of my students:

"Ms. Reed, I am seriously so siked about this exam tomorrow! I'm not kidding."

and now i pretty much love this girl.

a great book

for anyone who works with teenagers, is raising teenagers, is or once was a teenager.

The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager

okay, so i'll admit that i'm only on chapter 2, but i'm already loving it. so much insight into teenagers, what their lives are like, and the restrictions (good or bad) that our current culture imposes on them. the only disappointment is that it was written in 1999, so facebook and text messaging and some of the recent teenageer-isms are missing. but seriously, read it. it'll make you laugh and make you love teenagers.

my favorite parts so far:

Indeed, if there is any one thing that can make sex dull for teenagers, it is to teach it in high school. So true.

and, to everyone's surprise:

In other words, teenagers are just like people.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

book reviews, long overdue

The Power of One: So I totally have a crush on Peekay. Too bad he's fictional. This is one of the most inspirational books I've ever read without even an ounce of cheese. I could read it over and over again.

A Walk in the Woods: So funny. It made me want to hike the beginning of the Appalachain trail over and over again just so I can meet some of these people who try it out.

It's going to make you have, like, you know, a heart thing. Like when your heart stops beating and you, you know, die?

You mean a heart attack?

Yeah, I think that's it.

Slaughterhouse Five: Very unconventional war book. I think I'd read more history books if they were written like this. Although I couldn't really get into it as much as I wish I had.

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Eh. It was alright. Nothing is really as developed as I would have liked, so it's kind of a choppy read. But I guess that's what I should have expected from a reporter. They find one source that says what they like and move on. Funny thing is, that's what he makes fun of the whole book. Oopsies.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Sad story, but still kind of a feel-good book at the same time. Well-written. I'd recommend it.

Don't try This at Home - The Physics of Hollywood Movies: Every physics teacher should own this book. It's the best resource I've found in a really long time. Don't read it if you don't like movies to be spoiled.

The Teaching Gap: Totally changed the way I teach. I'm trying to talk my roommate into reading it. It makes me want to get into curriculum development.

more stuff i like

mainly because it's easier to decide what i want for Christmas than it is to figure out what to buy Brandon for christmas. Seriously.

This Jacket:

and a sweater like unto this one:

and i kind of like these boots:

actually, i love these boots.

and i need to read this book:

and this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Seriously. Everyone should watch it. Who could not love Danny Deckchair?

And this book has been on my list for a very long time, and i haven't read enough teaching books lately.

and i would like anything of the lavender vanilla variety from bath and body works. hand soap, pillow spray, hand cream, whatever.

Friday, November 16, 2007

three day weekends

oh, how i love you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

okay, mom

Okay, mom. Here's a partial birthday list:

From American Eagle (and all on sale):

This Sweater (xs):

These Pants (size 2 long):

This shirt (xs)

This shirt:

And this shirt:

Then I would also like these sheets. 800 Thread count in light blue for a full-sized bed.

And maybe a blanket like this for my bed:

This mattress topper is TOTALLY on sale. Almost 80% off!!!
And I could also use a large chest for storing my shoes, and another bookcase for my books. There's a chest that I found at Target for $60, but I can't find it online.

And I need a plain colored turtleneck. You can pick the color. Anything but black, because I have black already.

And I would really like to read this book Emotional Intelligence.

And I would pay good money for a batch of your eclairs.

Unfortunately, Anthropologie won't let me copy their pictures right now. But they're expensive anyway.

If you need more ideas, i've got plenty. Thanks, mom!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


so we had an assembly today dedicated to facebook, in which our school counselor informed us all that the biggest danger of facebook is your pride. then she showed us this video. I just about died. then she showed us this video and then this. a little bit funny, but so sad.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

dear madre la bomba

thanks for the gift card. it has been put to good use. and by "good use" i mean i bought a pair of completely unnecessary rain boots. but they will keep my feet warm and dry as i make the long hike from my car to my classroom on cold rainy mornings.

you're the best.

love, poodle

Saturday, November 03, 2007

birthday list

my birthday is less than a month away. and besides having a joint birthday party with my roommate, i also get my very own personal party. i'm pretty sure it's going to involve sushi, bananas foster chimichangas, and a pinata. and probably some other stuff. i'm still deciding.

in addition to this joint party and personal party, i will be buying myself some presents. because i deserve them. these gifts might include:

  • an awesome pair of brown knee boots
  • a memory foam mattress topper
  • sweaters from Anthropologie
  • a nice pair of flats to wear with my winter work pants
  • a new pair of winter work pants. preferably from Anthropologie
  • blackout blinds for my room
  • a light blue throw blanket for my bed
  • some tights to wear with skirts in the wintertime
  • listerine

Friday, November 02, 2007

name calling

So I have a student named Jeff. I call him Betty. To my surprise, he still likes me. The end.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

congrats, baby and little brandon.

my baby sister is engaged! Stop by her blog (and his blog) and tell them congratulations. and check out the gorgeous ring she designed for herself.

i am most especially happy about this wedding because i get to help pick the bridesmaid dresses, and i pretty much love any excuse to buy a pretty dress.

Friday, October 26, 2007

my book came!

yesterday. in the mail. a week earlier than they said. i'm already loving them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

great news

My department head came into my class the other day for a formal evaluation. Just to make sure I'm actually teaching. She filled out an evaluation form, on which she gave me ALL excellent ratings. She has never given a new teacher excellent ratings on everything. Pretty good for my self esteem.

My school gave me my very own tablet laptop. WHOO!!! This will be put to great use. (Namely, Office reruns, Facebook, blogging, etc.) Haha.

4-day weeks make me happy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

weekend recap

Even though I had a 3-day weekend, it was jam packed. I'm not even rested.

Friday, I went to the mall with Sarah, and showed her the beauty of MAC cosmetics. She's hooked. Our neighbor went ballistic when my roommate parked in her spot. I told her she was acting like a child, then ran inside and locked the door, because it's really not a good idea to piss off an enormous angry woman.

Saturday I graded lots and lots of lab reports, ran errands, then watched the DC United soccer team lose. (Hi, Justin!) I'm pretty convinced that soccer is the best sport on the planet. How is it that every other country figured that out before we did?

Sunday was church, an awesome dinner of frozen pizza and peanut butter rice krispie treats. My roommate invited everyone she knows to our house on Sunday night. Then she left in the middle of the evening because there was another party that sounded like more fun. This girl gets stranger every day.

Yesterday I continued grading, planned a lesson, went to lunch with my roommate, and hosted the best FHE all year. Dodgeball was a hit. I am now eagerly awaiting my amazon delivery of:

Don't try this at home: The Physics of Hollywood Movies
The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager
and Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity

I'm so excited to read!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Books... because I have nothing else to say

Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t (or just didn't) finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
Underline those on your To Be Read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange - underline
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible*
1984 - underline
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray - seriously SO GOOD
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Ubervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things - underline
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - underline
Slaughterhouse-Five - strange, but pretty good
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed - underline
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - gag. never read it.
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers
The Agony and the Ecstasy - reading it now
Feed - best book ever
And so many more...

weekend recap

So even though I couldn't make it to the Turkish festival, it was still a good weekend. Friday I participated in our school's homecoming festivities. The soccer game was great, and we won in overtime. I even had time to watch a movie when I got home Friday. Saturday, I went to a picnic where I consumed way too many caramel apples and donuts, ran into someone I used to know, then went shopping with friends. I bought a skirt on sale for $10 at Banana Republic. I'm wearing it right now. Very cute. I tried to begin the comments that I have to write on each student by tomorrow morning, but got pretty much zero work done. Oops.

Sunday was church, then dinner with friends, and a nap. Awesome.

Friday, October 12, 2007


So I tried to go to a bluegrass concert last night, but my neighbors took their dear sweet time getting ready, and it sold out before we got there.

And then I was supposed to go to the Turkish festival this weekend with my Turkish friend and his Turkish friends. But then he remembered that the festival is Sunday, and not Saturday like he said.

But it's homecoming weekend. And instead of a homecoming football game, there's a homecoming soccer game. Pretty awesome.

Friday, October 05, 2007

busy bee

Okay, so seriously, I'm busy. I'm averaging 4.5 hours of sleep a night (besides weekends, obviously), and it's not just because I'm working all the time. There's the weekly Office party (as in the TV show, not a work party), way too much shopping, making friends, blah, blah, blah.

So here are a few things that have happened in the past week:

  • One of my students got his feet stuck in his lab stool. He started falling over, grabbed his neighbor, and hopped back and forth with the stool between his legs. I'm still laughing.
  • One of my students told me that I'm "doing much better" at explaining concepts. Whatever that's supposed to mean.
  • Every single student passed my first test. I love these kids.
  • I am going to a friend's cabin this weekend to watch conference. I realize that it's just the same watching it at home, but it sounds way cooler to say I watched it at a cabin.
  • We started our Movie Physics unit today. The kids love it. Hallelujah for that. It should last about 2 months.
  • My pink fur dice were lost in the scavenger hunt we did yesterday in one of my classes. Sad.
  • It's Friday. I'm going home.

Friday, September 28, 2007

good news

I got to watch The Office last night. WHOO!!! I skipped out of back-to-school night early. Hehe. They loved me anyway.

And then I showed up at school at 6:55 this morning and had a student sitting outside my door waiting for me. (They had their first test today.)

And we're doing an awesome lab in physics next week.

I need a nap.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

a few more things

  • One of my students had a bottle of fart spray in his back pack yesterday. It exploded during class.
  • Tomorrow night is back-to-school night. It is also the season premiere of The Office. They obviously did not ask for my opinion when scheduling back-to-school night.
  • Things I lost in my move: a skirt, half of my sanity, and a wedding gift I bought back in June. I suck.
  • I am in charge of family home evening in our ward. So anyone who has any ideas (ahem, Katie) please help me. I'm desperate.
  • Today we had a delayed opening at school. Great chance to sleep in. Except that the academic dean scheduled a meeting with me for 7:00 am. AM meaning, in the morning. She didn't even show up.
  • We played a totally awesome game in my physics class today. They loved it. Huge success.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

okay, fine

Katie's right. I'm not nearly as busy or important as I make myself sound. So to fill you in on what's happening:

  • The students at this school are not at all intimidated by adults. Not even a little. I think I like that.
  • My job is less stressful, but much busier than I thought it would be. And lots of fun
  • I have a bright orange LuvSac in my living room. That's about all I can say about that. I'm working on a plan to move it to the basement without hurting my crazy roommate's feelings.
  • I love Loehmann's with all my heart and soul.
  • I officially have a retirement account! And even though my retirement money is taken before I get my paycheck, it is still significantly larger than last year's paycheck. And I am paying significantly less in rent, and significantly less on food (since I eat enormous lunches every day, courtesy of BS.)*
  • The weather is beautiful.
  • My roommate thinks I'm totally vain and materialistic. She's probably right.
  • My bangs are finally long enough to wear without getting laughed at. I love them.
  • In one week, I have cut my daily commute from 30 minutes down to 20 minutes. Backroads are my new best friends.
  • I bought myself a beautiful coat from Anthropologie as a back-to-school gift to myself. Totally on sale, and probably the prettiest thing I've ever owned. I also bought a $200 dress on sale for $30. Bargains are also my best friends.
  • I went to Ann Taylor Loft and bought a pair of pants, a shirt, three necklaces, and two pairs of earrings. Whoever can guess closest to how much my total bill was wins a prize. And by prize I mean the glory of knowing you're a better guesser than anyone else.
BS is my school. Haha.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

sorry for the lapse

I'm keeping busy. But for those who are curious, my school is awesome, my students are brilliant and funny, and my apartment is starting to look cute.

That's all I have time for .

Thursday, August 30, 2007

so things just keep getting better

I just found out that next week, I get to accompany the seniors on an overnight rock climbing trip.

And by "seniors" I mean 17-year-olds, not senior citizens. Although I'm not sure which would make for a more interesting trip...

now accepting

So there's a man standing on a particular corner that I pass on my way to work every day with a sign that says "Now accepting Visa/MC/American Express." Clever, and not a little bit sad.

But on a brighter note, my school gave me a computer and classes finally start on Tuesday.


Okay, guys. News flash. The fact that marketers slap the name "Einstein" on their product does not make their movies educational. Just a hunch, but I think if he were alive, he might be insulted. And I'm pretty sure that staring at a television screen is not highly educational.

Unless educational is defined as "modeling after our education system." Because staring blankly in front of them is what children do in school every freaking day.

I'm not really sure who decides what goes on in schools, but I'm pretty sure they've never met a child.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

So did you know...

That live explosives from WWII training can still be found along some hiking trails in West Virginia? And that if you should find any of these live explosives, you should not touch them, but rather contact a park ranger immediately?

Well, I do.

I also know that there are aggressive bears along some hiking trails in West Virginia, one of which attacked a family in their tent, a man who was innocently hiking and minding his own personal business, and a few other people, all in the course of a couple of days. That is one busy bear.

So we found a different trail. The end.

more love

So there are so many really great things about DC that you don't figure out until you move here. I think I've already done more in the past 2 weeks than I did the entire time I was in Georgia. Such as checking out Alexandria and learning all about its history, checking out Pentagon City, learning about the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and backpacking in West Virginia.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

DC loves teachers!

I get discounts at Ann Taylor, the gym, and free checking at banks that otherwise would not offer free checking. I love this city!

some hilights

So my new school is pretty darn cool, for many reasons. Like the fact that my department head has been bragging to everyone she talks to about how awesome she thought my job interview went.

Or the fact that I have an average of 13 kids in my classes. Ahhh.....

And then we have a few famous students (or rather students with famous parents.) Like the owners of a rather large candy company that makes little bits of chocolate with hard candy shells. Or the kid whose parents founded a program that brings recent college grads into inner-city schools to teach. Or the owners of a major hotel chain. Am I intimidated? Yup. But I'll never tell them that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

i start my new job tomorrow!

Wish me luck.

Even though all I have to do tomorrow is get an email account and a tour of the school and my first paycheck. (And sign up for a retirment account, since they match my contribution. I love this school!) Oh, yeah. And I have to let them take me out to a fancy dinner. So I'm pretty sure I like this new job already.

here's something weird

So after I packed up my apartment, I walked down to Wal-Mart, because my fridge was empty and my car had a U-haul attached to it, which makes it a whole lot of zero fun to drive.

So the point is, I walked to Wal-Mart for some food. And saw one of my old college professors. Not so strange unless you consider the fact that I went to college on the other side of the country. But there he was, my very first engineering professor EVER. So strange.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

moving is a delight

especially when you're moving somewhere fun. I have accomplished so much since I left Houston last week. Such as:

  • Selling my car. Have I mentioned how much I love craigslist?
  • Packing everything I own into a small uhaul trailer.
  • Scoping out all the good malls in the DC area. There are too many to count, really
  • realized that hiring movers is SO worth the cost. I am not touching another box until it is sitting safely in my bedroom.
  • Found 3 routes to my new school, which is even prettier than I had remembered

Friday, August 10, 2007


Tomorrow, I am headed back to Georgia for the very last time.

And Wednesday, I am headed to DC for pretty much forever.

and that is the end of my story.

Monday, August 06, 2007

thanks, mom!

Want to hear a really great story? I thought so.
After eight years of living in different countries, my mom decided it might be kind of fun to live with her husband. Pretty neat idea, if you ask me. So now my mother is pretending to love living (with her husband) in Mexico, where she spends her days hiding from the maid, wishing she had chocolate chip cookies, and trying to learn Spanish.
So, as it turns out, there was no need to take a car to Mexico, and since my mother is apparently emotionally attached to this car, she didn't want it to "leave the family", despite the $15K she could have sold it for. So that's where I come in. Is sentimentality really worth $15,000? Sure, why not. And that is why my mom is the best. And that is why my dad is still rolling his eyes.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I am moving to DC in 3 weeks. Do I have a place to live yet? No.

The beautiful apartment I posted about fell through. And nothing else is quite as beautiful, and nobody wants to rent to me if they haven't met me. So rude.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

and then there was the time we almost got robbed

Also in Costa Rica. Don't worry, it's not as dangerous as I'm making it sound. And remember that these stories always involve the word almost, which means none of these events actually happened. They just could have.

But we did almost get robbed, when we stopped at a cafe for breakfast on our way to the airport. And since it was such a lovely day outside, we sat at a booth on the sidewalk with Ashley's backpack on the seat next to her, pretty much asking someone to steal it.

And someone did. Or tried to, at least, until she chased them down and the cafe owner threatened to kill his accomplice if he ever came back and there was a general ruckus in the street. (All in our defense, of course.)

So the moral of the story is, Costa Rica is awesome.

so pretty!

I think I'm going to be living here starting next month. It's tiny and overpriced, but I get it all to myself, and it's in one of the best areas in the city!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

check this out!

I think every state should do something like this:

No Child Left Inside

In an attempt to get kids outside and active, the state of Connecticut sponsors a scavenger hunt where families search for clues at all the different State Parks. So cool!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Costa Rica

It's pretty much the greatest thing I've ever seen.

And I really do have lots of stories to tell, which start with this. I almost died. And not in the oh-this-place-is-so-beautiful-I-feel-like-I've-died-and-gone-to-heaven kind of dying, although that aspect was certainly present. I'm talking about the real kind of dying, where they'd have to find someone to replace me at my job, and my plastic utensils and books and other valuables would be divided up and whatnot.

It's my own fault, really. We tried out the touristy beach and realized after about 2.2 minutes that we are not really "beach" people. So we found another, more secluded beach with iguanas and crabs and monkeys and the whole deal, and got so excited about watching the iguanas eat the crabs that we failed to notice the tide was coming in and washing our stuff away into the deep blue ocean.

But then we noticed. And then we noticed the jagged boulders separating us from safety. And then we panicked.

So now we're definitely not beach people.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

So i've been gone for a while.

Oops. I would apologize, but I'm not really that sorry, mainly because I was off doing stuff that's way cooler than blogging. Seriously.

Like flying up to Colorado for Katie's wedding, which was beautiful and a lot of fun, even though I was late on account of my not bringing my invitation and forgetting when exactly everything started. So I was off finding great deals on DC-appropriate clothes, which was great but not quite as great as being on time for the ring ceremony would have been.

But once I made it to the wedding, I ate some cake and caught up with Alan, whose life is filled with things way more important than blogging or reading blogs. Which is a good thing, because I have a limited repertoire of stories, and I could tell him all of the stories that I tell here, and he thought they were all brand-new and just for him. They weren't.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


So I decided recently that I eventually want to go into educational policy. Good thing I'm moving to DC. I mainly want to do this because our current educational policy basically sucks. My friend, who teaches at a public school, sent me an email saying:

the 2 students I was most concerned would not pass the end of course state test and hurt my stats have been arrested and kicked out of school. So now I can reach my goal of 85% passing.

Which I found particularly odd, because I thought that no children were being left behind these days. Huh.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

road trip

So I went out to San Antonio this week to visit my mom, because she was bored and lonely and has a really great chocolate stash. Now, my parents have a kayak, because we are fun kayak kind of people, but since they are moving and becoming fun Mexican people (which does not involve kayaks, but is a completely different kind of fun that I'm not sure I'll ever entirely understand) we decided to strap the kayak on to the top of the car and drive it out to my brother's apartment. He is not moving to Mexico, and therefore plans on remaining a fun kayak person forever.

So we tied the kayak down, using my dad's oh-so-precise directions to "mess around with it until it looks right". He forgot to mention what "right" looks like, but we did figure out that the straps should probably be attached to the car somehow, and that simply closing the straps into the door wasn't quite enough, which made me feel pretty good. So we took off, with the kayak on the car and the chocolate stash on my lap.

And everything was going just fine until the kayak decided to slip off the side of the car so it was hanging precariously outside my window. Now, I'm no kayak expert, but I was pretty sure that this is not what "right" is supposed to look like, so my mom pulled over a whole foot and a half off the freeway (she values my life very highly) so that we could fix the kayak. This was pretty exciting, because it left a whole 12 inches between my head and the 75-mph traffic whizzing by. (My mother knows I love an adventure, and was worried that my trip hadn't been as adventure-packed as I like. So this is how she made it up to me. She's nice.)

At this point, my bossy side came out, and we strapped the kayak on correctly, and made it the rest of the way with no incident.


So after school ended, I totally needed a break from everything. So I took one.

But I'm back now, and can fill you in on my plans for the near future that will more than likely make you jealous. And if they don't it's because you're boring.

First, I am heading out to Colorado for Katie's wedding. Which will be awesome.

And then, I am going to Costa Rica for a week of excitement, which will include the following:

  • Fly in at around 2:00, pick up the rental car and drive to la fortuna to see the live volcano
  • soak in the hot springs while we watch the volcano explode
  • hike Cerro Chato, a dormant volcano with a lake in the middle.
  • go mountain biking or to the national park to hike on old lava flows
  • drive to monteverde to do the zipline/canapy walk and see the cloud forests
  • drive to the coast, go to the national park and see the crocs
  • go to manuel antonio, go to the beach and hike the rainforests
  • go to the gold museum and national theater
  • possibly make friends with the researchers so they will take us out on their boats to see the turtles
So Costa Rica has way more to do than sit on the beach, which is what somebody who will remain unnamed implied.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

so busy!

There are so many things I need to do before I leave this town forever on SATURDAY!!!

these include, but are not limited to:

  • having lunch with my friends
  • finish packing
  • sell my car (Luckily, several of my students are interested, so this may not be as hard as I thought!)
  • re-paint my apartment
  • clean my apartment
  • grade 62 lab reports
  • clean out my classroom
  • attend the end-of-year faculty party
It doesn't look like much when it's all written down. That makes me smile.

Friday, May 18, 2007

last day

Remember how on Monday, teaching was not good for my self esteem? So do I.

Today teaching was good for my self esteem. Mostly because it was the last day of school.

And because my fifth period class hung signs all around the room telling me they loved me.

And left me a note telling me how happy they are that I've found a place to move that I'm so excited about, but they will miss me and learned so much and asked me to promise that I will never love another class more than theirs.

I promised. Mainly because this is the class:
Notice how there are only ten of them? Yes, that is the whole class. And that is what we call a dream come true.

Monday, May 14, 2007

sometimes teaching is good for my self-esteem

And other times it is not.

Today it was not.

shopping profile

Because, as shallow as it is, I love clothes.

Favorite item to shop for:
shoes. (Or plane tickets, if we're talking outside the realm of clothing.)

Least favorite: jeans. They're either too expensive or don't fit right.

Most difficult to find: dresses. I want one I am madly in love with, but it remains elusive.

Favorite time: whenever there's a sale.

Something I refuse to do while shopping: pay full price. Ever. This is non-negotiable, unless it's a very special occasion, or something that just doesn't go on sale (like makeup).

Favorite Purchase: cream-colored (fake) snakeskin shoes from Ann Taylor. $20, thank you very much.

Items I rarely shop for: Bras. Music.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

i am DONE

So today was my last real day of teaching.

Depending on how you look at it. And since I've always been a glass half full kind of girl, I'm looking at it as my last day teaching. Even though we still technically have a week and a half of school left. But that's pretty much not the point.

The point is, today was my last real day of teaching.

Because tomorrow we have mandatory silent reading, which does not involve teaching, and then Thursday and Friday we are watching The Incredibles, which also does not involve teaching, but merely involves eating Chelsea's famous chess cake. (Which is to die for, by the way.) And making notes of the physics mistakes involved, which, considering there is an invisible girl in the movie, should not be too hard.

So yes, today was my last day of teaching. Unless you count the two days we are spending learning about Einstein's theory of relativity. (The special one.) Which I do not count, being the glass is half full kind of person that you now know I am. And because my students begged (yes, begged) me to teach them this unit, and teaching kids stuff they want to learn about doesn't count as work. It's a good thing that my one superpower is the ability to make teenagers like physics.

Monday, May 07, 2007

9. 9. 9. 9. 9. 9.

This is the number of days of school left this year.

Which is about all I can take, considering today a student stuck a paper clip in the power outlet and nearly caught the classroom on fire. And then told me he was just tying his shoe, and the outlet threw a spark at him for no apparent reason. Right.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

how to be happy and have fun

Step 1: Attend Happy Fun Day. (Formerly known as "Positive Attitudes Day" before we realized that the one surefire way to invoke negative attitudes in teenagers is to force them to attend an event called "Postive Attitudes Day".)

Step 2: Challenge your students to the Bungee Run. Beat them all. Ignore the fact that you are supposed to be the mature adult and gloat for hours. Then go home.

Friday, May 04, 2007

placing bets

Who thinks I can survive the next three weeks on $40?

Because that is exactly how much cash I have at the moment, and what with the moving and the exorbitant price of living in DC, and the exorbitant price of moving my furniture up to DC, and my upcoming trip to Costa Rica and whatnot, I'm trying to not spend money. That would throw off my carefully planned budget, the one that I created based on the amount of money I actually have in my account at the time.

Based on the fact that my freezer is currently stocked with corndogs and chicken nuggets, and that my school is feeding me more than once in the next few weeks, and the severe lack of shopping in this little town, and the fact that I can be alarmingly stubborn when I so choose, I'm pretty sure I can make it.

Who wants to place bets?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

overbearing parents

Sometimes make me laugh. Especially when they try to do their child's homework for him, and do it wrong.

Apparently having a college degree does not ensure that you can pass high school for your kid.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


There are so many reasons that I love craigslist. So many.

There are so many reasons, in fact, that I spend my hour-long "planning period" every day perusing craigslist. And posting items that I might want to sell.

And then, just when I think that this might make me lame, because I do not want to be the sort of person who peruses the same website for hours on end when she clearly has other, more productive ways of spending her time, I get an email from a guy named Lee who wants to buy my washer and dryer for the price that I asked.

And then I get another email from a girl named Rachel who wants to sublet my apartment for the summer for the price that I asked.

And then, after a full month of believing that any location within 15 minutes of my new school is way out of my price range, I find an apartment in the basement of a very nice house in a very nice area just five minutes from my new school, which is within my price range. And this basement apartment happens to have its very own washer and dryer, so Lee can go ahead and buy mine from me.

And then I realize that maybe perusing the web for hours is not such a waste of time. Except when it is.

Monday, April 30, 2007

one more reason to be happy

Besides the fact that Brother received an offer on his house. Great for him, but not nearly as exciting as the fact that

I am going to COSTA RICA this summer!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

reasons to be happy

  • I receive my first paycheck for my new job on July 15
  • Even though I receive my first paycheck for my new job on July 15, I do not have to start work until August 20
  • I receive my last paycheck for my current job on July 30
  • Even though I get paid June 30 and July 30 for my current job, I do not have to work after May 26.
  • Which means I receive two paychecks for the month of July without even working during the month of July.
  • 14 days of school left.
  • 9 days of real class before we start reviewing
  • 7 days of real class before we start evaluating the physics of Superman in my Freshman class.
  • Craigslist
  • I am almost finshed packing my apartment.
  • 1 month left until I move!

Monday, April 16, 2007

the good, the bad, and the ugly

I gave my physics students a project a while ago to design something useful using their newfound understanding of heat transfer. Some of the projects were excellent. Some were not so excellent. Here are a few of the highlights:

Turkey defroster that contains a pressure sensor and temperature sensor to automatically de-frost a turkey. This can double as a cookie cooling rack, and the temperature sensor will activate a fan instead of heater. Pretty awsome.

An alarm clock that cooks your breakfast for you after you hit the SNOOZE button. She built the thing and got it to ACTUALLY WORK!! Incredible.

A sensor that reads the temperature outside and rotates the clothes in your closet accordingly. On hot days, you will be greeted with a fine selection of summer tees and shorts. On a blustery winter day, you will awake to an array of turtlenecks and wool pants. They were definitely appealing to my tastes here.

The Bad:
The solar oven whose design was copied straight from the first website that pops up when you google "solar oven". No, I was not born yesterday. And I am a champion googler, thank you very much.

The Ugly:
A microwave utilizing a bi-metallic strip. Apparently she's never used a microwave before. Metal + Microwaves = bad news.

A device that automatically turns your computer on for you. Unfortunately, to get it to work, you have to spit on it. You know, I'm not sure it's that difficult to just hit the ON button.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Is not something that Catholics are allowed to say during Lent.

And since I work at a Catholic school, I am made aware of these things, and I pass that knowledge on to my students so that they all know that I am Catholic-friendly.

But sometimes I wish I hadn't shared this with them, because it turns out I say Halleluiah a lot. Like when teenagers do dumb things. And then they stop doing dumb things, and it just makes me so happy I have no choice but to shout Halleluiah!

And that may or may not make me a sinner.

so in the Denver airport

As I was traveling home from my Seattle job interview, I saw my old friend Steve. The Steve that I haven't seen for almost two years and is now married to a girl who would not allow him to send me a wedding announcement, because I might send them a Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card or something else equally inappropriate. (And yes, a Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card is highly inappropriate, what with the words Bed and Bath in the name.)

And as he walked by, he was preoccupied with finding his flight and whatnot, so he didn't see me. So I made sure I wasn't going to miss my flight, and followed him through the airport because the chances that you would run into an old friend in the Denver Airport of all places are so slim that I couldn't just let this opportunity pass me by. Plus, he is married to a girl who would not allow him to send me a wedding announcement, so I'm pretty sure this is the only chance I would ever have to speak to him.

So I followed him to his gate and stood in front of him waiting for him to look up and recognize me and start a conversation, so that I could not be accused by his wife of starting a conversation with a married man. And then he looked up, and started talking. And it wasn't Steve. Although I'm almost convinced that he was disguising his voice so that he wouldn't have to talk to me, because other than the voice, he was an exact replica of Steve.

I wonder if he knows he has a twin.

Monday, April 09, 2007

and the winner is.....


It's for real. I'm moving, and so excited I think I might throw up. (Okay, maybe not. But I'm thrilled.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

a few things about me

Mainly because my blogging as of late has been BORING

Latest obsessions:

  • Sushi. In particular, spicy tuna rolls
  • Guacamole for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Finding fabulous deals on beautiful spring clothes
Current Entertainment:
  • Reading, and lots of it
  • Watching a (not so intelligent) bird fly (and crashland) repeatedly into my window. For hours on end. This has been going on for weeks now. I'm pretty sure he's brain damaged at this point.
  • Flying around the country and being offered fabulous jobs.
  • Cheesy country love songs. As usual.
  • Learning juicy gossip about old friends and trying my best to keep it quiet.
Recent pet peeves:
  • The cost of living in Washington DC
  • Winter weather thinking that it has any right to show up in April, when Winter is clearly and officialy over.
  • Changing the oil in my car. How is that ever fun or convenient?
  • Stupid movies.
  • The ending of Spring Break
The stuff that keeps me going:
  • Knowing that I get to hang out with my nieces all summer long
  • Moving!
  • 28 days of school left
  • My upcoming road trip
  • The end.

Friday, April 06, 2007

bargain hunter

I realized today that sometimes, I like finding good deals on clothes better than the clothes themselves.

Like the shirt I bought from the GAP for 97 cents.
Or the sweater I bought from the GAP for $5.
Or the $100 skirt that I paid $20 for.

These are all prizes for myself for being offered such an awesome job in DC. I'm pretty sure I deserve it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

job search update

In the lead: DC. By far

Up at bat: Seattle. I'll be there Sunday through Tuesday, so they're still in the game.

Tampa lost miserably. I should have known better than to think Florida was a good idea.

Monday, March 26, 2007

please tell me there's nothing wrong

with wanting to move to Seattle just so I can drive all the way across the country with my sister on what would surely be the world's best roadtrip.

That seems like a perfectly legitimate factor on which to base a life-changing decision, right?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

how i scared a very nice student

Completely unintentionally, of course. I assure you, it was all very innocent.

Elena (in a desperate attempt to distract me so I would not start class): Ms. Reed, when was the last time you plucked your eyebrows?

Me: Yesterday. I do that practically every day.

Which terrified Matthew, he having been only halfway paying attention, and therefore having heard "when was the last time you plucked", only without the P and the L. Which led him to substitute an alternative letter in their place. Yikes.

but on a brighter note

Because I really do love my job, and enjoy it even on days like this.

I gave out eight detentions in one class period today.

And they all thought it was a joke, because I wasn't yelling or mad. So they laughed a lot.

But then they found out it was not a joke after all, and were no longer laughing. But I was.

i love track season

Because I get to be at work from 7 am until 9 pm.

And work Saturdays.

And then our team sucked last night because two kids quit because they were caught having sex at school.

My job is awesome today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

this is how you know you're loved

If you're standing on a playground talking to a group of 15-year-old girls (because you teach said girls, and the baseball game you are supposed to be watching is less than exciting) and one of their friends walks up to join the conversation.

Hi. What's your name?

Well, they call me Ms. Reed.

(brief pause)


My thoughts exactly...

Ms. Reed the physics teacher?!?!

That's how I'm known by some.

OMIGOSH, I have heard SO MUCH about you!! You are so awesome!

So now I am Ms Reed the Cool Physics Teacher. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make that an official title. Much like William the Conqueror or Catherine the Great, only better.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

pro/con list

as requested, here are some pros and cons about each school

School #1: (Washington, DC) There is definitely a "snob factor" at this school, which can be expected since tuition is $27k per student every year. Incredibly wealthy plus incredibly privileged equals at least some amount of snobbery. However, this also means that I have an unlimited budget for labs and whatever else I want. (They recently bought the chemistry teacher a class set of brand-new laptops, just because she asked for them.) And I can deal with snobby pretty well. And I would be teaching AP Physics and Freshman Physics, which I would LOVE. It's the only school where I'd only teach physics and no chemistry. That's a plus for me.

School #2: (Washington, DC) It's a little bit farther out of the city, and pretty rural. VERY close-knit community, where I will run into my students likely on a daily basis at the grocery store and other places around town. Nice, but may be a little much for me. And the pay's not fantastic, but they said they're willing to make some adjustments if it will encourage me to accept the job. Quite possibly the most welcoming people I've ever met.

School #3: (Tampa) Cost of living is way lower, I would have a huge say in how the science department is run, and what equipment to buy for the new labs they're building, and the guy who interviewed me was very excited about me. Which is flattering. Also a very small school, but apparently pretty good, because they have some graduating seniors who have already been acceted to Yale, Brown, Princeton, and other impressive universities.

School #4: (Tacoma, WA) While I know very little about the school, Washington sounds cool. And it's gorgeous out there. I do, however, love the east coast so I'm hesitant to leave it for something I know very little about.

And there you have it. My future, in your hands.

Monday, March 19, 2007

here's your chance

Since I am so popular, and so many schools want to hire me and offer me fabulous jobs, i'm having a hard time settling on one.

So I am putting my future in the hands of my readers. (Frightening, but true.)

So here they are:
School #1: Incredibly wealthy, pays well, and I'd be teaching AP physics and regular physics. And it's just outside of Washington DC.

School #2: Not quite as much money, their technology kind of sucks, but incredibly welcoming and nice people. I'd be teaching physics and chemistry. Again, outside of Washington DC.
They liked me a lot.

School #3: Small school, in Tampa, FL. Again, physics and chemistry.

School #4: Tacoma, WA. Sounds exciting, but I know nothing about the job so far.

Browse their websites, cast your vote. Please.

it's a good thing i have no pride

Otherwise, it might bother me when my student tells me he's pretty sure my shirt went out of style in the 1850's.

or when his friend asks me where my eye patch is.

News flash: it's not a pirate shirt. It's stylish. Too bad they have no sense of style.

Monday, March 12, 2007

this weekend, i...

  • interviewed for a job
  • was offered said job
  • did not decide whether or not to accept
  • ate a fabulous steak
  • hung out with my sister
  • saw a boy trying to carry a boogie board onto the airplane. seriously.
  • saw a 24-year-old girl wearing leggings say "oh, the yewsh." (as in, the usual). laughed very very hard at that
  • tried to buy a knock-off Coach purse
  • and that's about all

Monday, February 26, 2007


5-calls I have received from different schools (in the past 4 days) wanting me to interview with them
3-times I made the science department chair at my current top choice laugh during our interview
1-students to receive zero credit for any of the problems on my last test. yikes.
30 - students to receive an A on my last test
10- episodes of The Office I have watched in the past 4 days
800-dollars I had to pay to get my car fixed last week
2-days that I had my car back from the shop before the engine light came back on
30-students I bored today with my lecture on mirrors and lenses. snore. i'm pretty sure I bored myself with that one

everybody loves me

Okay, so maybe not everybody. But at least the dean of faculty at a school in Maryland loves me. Because he looked at my resume and told the science department chair that she HAD to call me today.

And so she did. And now she loves me too. Which makes me feel... loved. And flattered.

And this also means that I get to fly out for an interview, and will possibly be teaching there next year. Which makes me want to explode with happiness. Because I will be teaching honors and AP classes, and will have an enormous spending budget for labs, and my life will overall be happy.

The end.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

an embarrassing confession

When I moved to Georgia, (a year and a half ago), I bought a hand mixer for those occasions when my sweet tooth got the best of me and forced me to make cookies or a cake or a pie. I used this hand mixer for the first time on Thurday, to make cookies for my physics class.

That's not the embarrassing part. Here it is: I used to pretend to like cooking. And now I (and everybody else) knows that I was living a comlpete and total lie. My integrity has been shot.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

and then everything is truly better

because I get to go to my 5th period physics class, which happens to consist of the funniest group of children at our school. And within the first five minutes of class, they make me laugh so hard I cry, and then they think that I might be really crying because they did not know the answer to my question about electromagnetic waves.

but then I realize that it's all okay

Because I found a 100% cashmere designer sweater for over 75% off. So at least I will look pretty while I'm PMS-ing.

and then sometimes i am astounded at the nerve of teenaged boys

especially when they think it's appropriate to ask their female teacher if she is PMS-ing.

sometimes i hate adults

Especially when they show up to high school basketball games, and are entirely incapable of understanding that it is just a high school basketball game, and spend the evening screaming at their daughter, who just happens to be the smartest girl in our school, and also quite possibly the nicest girl on the planet, just because she missed a shot.

And that is why I sometimes hate adults. Good thing nobody can tell that I am one.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

8th grade boys scare me sometimes

Especially when they walk up to me right before track practice wondering if it would be okay if they ran in their boxers if they get too hot.

And especially when I'm not sure how much the question was meant as a joke.

how i solidified one student's hatred with a click of the mouse

The Letter (written in much kinder language, but with the same general message):

Dear Mrs. Joseph's Mom,

I am writing to inform you that your son is obnoxious. His grades suck, and he's lazy. Thanks for listening!

Ms. Reed

And then it was sent. And then I realized it's Joseph's birthday. So now I suck.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

and then i almost got kicked out of the indoor soccer game

The one that I was "coaching."

Just because I look 15 does not mean that I am 15.

"Um, excuse me, ref? What's the problem here?"
"We need an adult out here with these kids. Oh. Oops. I guess you are one. Sorry."

Monday, January 22, 2007

there was almost a fight in my class on friday

Until I kicked the kids out of class and yelled at them for being immature.

It was the talk of the whole ninth grade. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

sometimes i like working at a catholic school

Especially when the "Christian inspirational" speaker informs the audience of 115 15-year-olds that he is about to "lose his christianity."

Except that I have to try REALLY hard not to laugh, cause I'm supposed to be the mature adult here.