Monday, December 28, 2009


I was on the news. Not my best hair day ever, but it'll do.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

good news

  • Ashley is flying in tonight! And to celebrate, we are eating lots of sushi.
  • I now own a pair of ski pants and am officially ready for skiing tomorrow and Friday
  • I got a new drivers license today. (I somehow lost my old one. Oopsies.)
  • My order from Barnes and Noble came just in time for holiday reading.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

let it snow

Even though I didn't get a day off of school (the snow came a day too late) we had a pretty good time being snowed in. I snowshoed over to Troy's house:

Where we played some snow football (much more exhausting than regular football):

Showed off our new snow jackets:

Sledded down a few hills:

And then rode home behind the truck. It's a good thing Maryland does not know how to deal with snow. Riding behind the truck on concrete would have been way less fun.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

jingle all the way 10K

I ran in the "Jingle all the way 10K" this weekend. It was cold, rainy, and miserable. And I dropped my puffer vest in the middle of the race and was trampled by other runners. I never got my vest back.

However, it was all worth it for the jingle bells on my shoes and the great race tshirts. They are, without a doubt, the cutest race shirts I have ever seen. (This is last year's tshirt. This year's shirt is way better.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

three days

And then two weeks of freedom. To say that I am looking forward to two quiet weeks at home is an understatement.

But since the end of the semester is upon us, I have begun receiving holiday gifts from students. (They're nice.)

A few of my favorites include:
Barnes and Noble gift card. There's nothing better than being able to order 4 books and pay nothing.

Sugar Wafers. One of my students brings snacks to class every day, and I always steal them. The sugar wafers are my favorites, so she bought me a package that I get to eat all by myself.

American Express gift card. Okay, maybe there is something better than being able to order 4 books and pay nothing. Being able to buy whatever I want and pay nothing.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

i am so good

I am so totally on my way to accomplishing all of my 30 before 30 goals.

In August, Ashley and I are going here:

I realize not everyone considers Canada an "international" trip. Whatever. Don't hate. I am, however, accepting offers for other international trips as well.

I found somebody to run a half marathon with in March, which will keep me motivated to train for a real marathon in June. Who wants to join me?

I bought some winter running clothes so that I can train in the winter. It's hard.

I just bought almonds in bulk to bribe people to come to book club. (And be my friend. Sometimes they need extra incentive, apparently.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

look, ashley

Santa came!


I turned 29 last Sunday. Having a birthday is pretty fun when it gets you a brand-new Garmin wristwatch! With a heart rate monitor. I think that alone makes it worth living another year.

In honor of turning 29, I made a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. (Which happens in a year.)

I was going to make it a goal to only own clothes that fit in my closet. (I have a tendency to buy too many clothes on sale. Sometimes my closet overflows.) Bethany told me I can own as many clothes as I want and still consider myself a responsible adult. That's why she's a great sister. So I crossed this one off the list. Bring on the outlet malls!

Instead, I included the following goals (among others):

1. Keep my book club going the whole year. Apparently the trick to getting people to show up is making almond macaroons. Apparently that's also the trick to getting Katelyn to be your friend.

2. Read at least 30 books. (easy.)

3. Run a marathon. (anyone want to join me?)

4. Go on an international trip. I'm waiting for someone to invite me somewhere cool. I think it'll happen. I'm fun.

5. Get a massage. (Merry Christmas to me!!)

6. Go skiing (check)

7. Buy a bike (so I can do a triathlon)

8. Go camping at least twice this summer.

It's going to be a good year.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

dear ashley,

I am the best santa claus ever. i keep staring at all the pretty things i bought you and wishing i could keep them for myself.

so i wrapped them early so they don't mysteriously end up hanging in my closet.

you're welcome.


Friday, November 20, 2009

"so we were bumming around the physics website...."

"And we noticed your birthday is coming up.

So we decided we needed to celebrate."

One thing I am thankful for this Thanksgiving: Students who find it cool to "bum around the physics website" and who love stupid physics jokes as much as I do.

(In case anyone is wondering, "Force Magic" is what my kids use to explain anything they can't understand. I'm not sure how it started, but it stuck.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I am almost done reading this book, and I LOVE it. Go out and buy it.

my first

I ran my first half marathon last weekend. It was delightful, although I have to say I was disappointed in the junk food options at the end of the race. They had lots of good stuff during the race, but who wants to stop and eat pound cake when they're running 13 miles? As it turns out, not me. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Ben was nice enough to come along and act as official photographer. He's great. He also discovered all kinds of settings on my camera that I never knew about. Guess what?! My camera can automatically take a picture when the subject smiles! And a lot of other neat stuff. Go Ben.

Aren't they so cute together?

If you look really closely, you can see Erica in purple, dashing toward the finish line.

I have about eight pictures just like this, because my camera took a picture every time we smiled! I love this camera more every day.

Pre-race, when I was really happy and not at all sore. That didn't last long.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is my school

humidity blocker

This might be the single greatest hair product ever made.

Today, I walked through the rain and my hair didn't frizz or curl. I didn't have to put my hair in a ponytail. That's the first time this has happened since I was 5.

Not only does my hair look better, but my overall quality of life just shot up.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

One more picture

I also participated in the wheelbarrow race at our school olympics. It's way harder than I remember. We lost miserably.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

school life

Otherwise known as, I Love my Job

Reason #1: Spirit Week! I'm hiding under the tarp. It was cold and rainy, but I had blue hair and a home-made Faculty 4x100 Team Tshirt. What more could you want out of spirit week?

Reason #2: Experiential Education. We took our freshmen on an overnight rafting/camping trip. We made them stand in freezing cold water and pass their packs across the river. They hated it. It was fabulous.
I am SO helpful. Good thing those kids had me around to carry that raft down to the river.

Friday, October 30, 2009

someone you can count on

This was my Halloween costume this year. Get it?

I think it's my favorite costume I've ever worn.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009



Last night I bought a product called "Hair Supply" just because of the name. Get it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i can't help it

Sometimes I get emotional when I sing Air Supply.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So I walked into the restroom at school on Friday, and one of my students was standing there with no pants on.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

hi, violet

Want to hang out sometime? I promise I'm lots of fun.

Can't wait to meet you.



Thursday, October 01, 2009


In 43 days, Erica and I (and Katelyn if we can convince her) will be running the Richmond half-marathon.

Why Richmond? Because it wasn't full. And because there's a junk food stop at mile 8. That sounds like my kind of race!!!

Plus, it's fall and it's pretty. And if I don't sign up for something, I'll probably stop running.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

things i learned

while trapped in a car for 30 hours.

  • I really need a Garmin wristwatch. Erica let me borrow hers, and it makes running so much more fun. It tells you how far you've gone, how long you've been running, and your current pace. Awesome.
  • I also need a sport rainjacket. I've been looking for one forever, but am keep holding out for a better deal. I just need to buy one already.
  • Song wars are way more fun if other people are willing to participate.
  • Everybody has a secret love for Air Supply. They're just ashamed to admit it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Our team t-shirt:
Some other favorite team names included:

Myasis Dragon

Half-fast Runners

We've got the Runs (grody, I know. But so funny.)

ragnar (our worst failure yet greatest accomplishment)

was more fun than I had even imagined.

Here are some pictures. More stories and details will follow. (There are some good ones, trust me.)

Me and my roommate Merry, heading out the door

Our van, looking happy and optimistic. (In other words, this picture was taken before any of the actual running started.)

Stretching our legs. There's only so much room in those vans, so you do what you can. (Notice Erica's disembodied face? I think that's my favorite part.)

As it turns out, nobody looks that cool wearing a headlamp, reflective vest, and tail light.

Still looking happy. I think this was right after I happily discovered that my friends found my obsession with Air Supply amusing instead of annoying. That's when I realized just how much I love these people. If that's not true friendship, I don't know what is.

At our post-race pizza party (minus Erica - she's still a newlywed, so decided that going home would be more fun.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

run, run, run

This Friday, I am climbing into two vans with 11 friends and driving the 193 miles to Cumberland, MD.

Then we are running home.

Don't worry, we're taking turns doing the running. I'm only doing about 18.7 of the miles. (I think.)

Then there's the National Book Fair in DC! If I'm not too tired, I may meander over to the mall to hang out with other book-lovers.

Up next: Philadelphia half marathon in November. (Right, Erica?!?)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I showed this picture to my AP class last week during our discussion of circular motion and asked them what it was a picture of.

After an awkward pause, I finally asked Kevin to help us out.

After another awkward pause, he finally said "Um, a loop-the-loop"?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I ordered a book from the other day for my class.

It ships from Gaithersburg, MD, which is about 5 minutes away from where I live in Kensington.

Yesterday, it shipped.

Today, it is in New York.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Since about half the women I work with are currently pregnant, I obviously had to share with all of them the story of my niece's birth. (She was born in the front seat of the car while my brother-in-law attempted to flag down help.)

Since we were on the topic of childbirth, my co-worker Tom told me about when his wife was in labor with their first child. He put together an Excel spreadsheet that allowed him to enter the timing and duration of contractions and would signal an alarm when it was time to go to the hospital. Or something. I'm still not really clear why he needed an Excel spreadsheet, but at the time, it was his pride and joy.

I thought he was joking, because he has a tendency to make fun of his own dorkiness. (He wasn't joking.)

Unfortnately for him, by the time Excel let him know it was time to leave for the hospital, his wife was out the door and waiting in the cab. She almost gave birth in the car.

Lucky for her, they made it to the hospital in time to deliver.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

leah bluebonnet

welcome to the family.

love your name.

can't wait to see you! promise me you won't grow too much in the next two months.

your favorite aunt,


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

welcome back

Today was the first day of school. It is good to be back.

I received exactly 12 compliments on my shoes, so I consider the day a smashing success. (Although my feet are in pain.)

The freshmen boys that I teach are each approximately 4 feet tall, but make up for it with enthusiasm. However, they are so not intimidated by me. I find that partly charming and partly scary.

My AP students blew me away with how much they remember from last year. Those kids rock my world.

Monday, September 07, 2009

more book reviews

The Book Thief: The middle 300 pages dragged a little bit. (or a lot...) But the ending was phenomenal, and totally worth the wait. I would recommend this to just about anyone.

The Time Traveler's Wife: I'm still trying to figure out how this book is a national bestseller. I have lost all faith in the American public. Sigh.

Funny in Farsi: It is pretty funny. Too bad it's not very well written. But it's short, and definitely an enjoyable read.

My Sister's Keeper: Overall, it was a quick, enjoyable read, but the ending was such a cop-out. You cannot write a book entirely about a major moral dilemma, and then avoid resolving it.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: While it was interesting, I have to admit I couldn't read it straight through. It's the kind of book I had to read small portions of at a time. It did, however, inspire me to support local farmers by signing up for Washington's Green Grocer delivery service.

up next:

The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Erica and I are starting a book club to make sure we still hang out even though she ran off and got married. Who wants to join?

Into Thin Air: I read and thoroughly enjoyed Into The Wild, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Friday, September 04, 2009


I am totally doing this in my class this year. (only on a slightly smaller scale. I'm thinking maybe a large plastic rectangular container.) Honestly, can you think of a better way to introduce non-newtonian fluids? I sure can't.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

because i'm feeling nice....

And because my school gave me a new laptop (even though I knocked mine off of the table last year with my high heel. Apparently they were amused by my "high price of fashion" email.)

We started off the trip with a long (very long) flight to Dubai. Jana slept. Phil and I caught up on the past 4 years. At the beginning of the flight, we were looking happy and alert. (for probably the only time on the trip.)

Jana was convinced (really, truly convinced) that if she looked cute, a Frenchman would take pity on her and lead her to the front of the security line. She got all dressed up for the occasion, but alas, we still had to wait in line, just like everybody else. Poor Jana.

i know, i know

I promised i would be back on Monday with pictures and stories.

Today is Wednesday. No pictures, still.

But yesterday, I went on a faculty bonding retreat that involved ropes courses and swimming through some rivers. Which was great. I love our back-to-school "meetings."

I get to go back next week with the freshmen. I am thoroughly looking forward to watching 75 ninth graders carry their overnight packs through a river. And sleeping in a treehouse.

Tomorrow, I actually have some free time in my schedule, so I will post so much more.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I'm back, and still recovering.

I go back to work on Monday, and couldn't be more excited.

Rome is unbelievable. If you get a chance, go. Paris is totally lame compared to Rome.

I'll be back with stories on Monday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


i leave for dubai tomorrow.

right now, i am trying to solidify plans with troy, pack, and watch cake boss all at the same time. sometimes being me is really hard work.

i promise to come back with plenty of stories and abundant pictures.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The new school year starts in just one month.

Today, I got my new schedule. This is going to be a great year for several reasons:

  • My largest class has 12 students. What a dream!
  • The one student that I absolutely did NOT want to teach this year decided to drop my class. I usually love my students, but hey, I'm only human.
  • I talked to my boss and convinced her that it would be a really bad idea to make me coach track next year. That was quite possibly the most liberating conversation I have ever had.
  • One of my classes consists of my 12 favorite, hardest-working students from last year. I'm pretty sure they're already my favorite class.
  • I get to teach freshmen this year!! They're adorable.

Monday, August 10, 2009


That's the number of days until I leave for Dubai. The reasons I am excited are listed below, in order of importance:

1. I get to see Ashley. Who in their right mind would not be excited about that?
2. I get to see Phil.
3. I get to go on a desert safari on which I will ride a camel. And ski down the sand dunes. And eat good food. And ride a four-wheeler over the sand dunes. And take pictures with my new, indestructible camera.
4. The shark waterpark.
5. I just bought 5 new books to read on the airplane.

Numbers 2-5 are all pretty close, but the #1 reason I'm excited about Dubai is that Ashley will be there. Everything is more fun that way.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Now that she has learned the fine art of self-portraits, Caroline is officially ready to be a teenager.

Friday, July 31, 2009

the end

Today is the very last day of summer school.

I am never doing this again. Ever. It makes me want to crawl into a hole and hide.

But now that it's done, I have an entire month of freedom! Which means I get to take lots of trips, spend lots of time in the sun, and stay away from school. I can't wait.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Here is the final product. I decided to go with cut #1, so that I could wear it wavy to look like cut #2 when I felt like it. It needs to grow a little before I can do that, but so far I love it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

word verification

as found on blogger's word verification thingy:



Thursday, July 23, 2009


So I think one of my students accidentally put her underwear on this morning thinking they were shorts. How embarrassing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

in case you were wondering

500 Days of Summer is an awesome movie.

Trader Joe's tomato and roasted red pepper soup is delicious.

P90X rocks my world. So much that I don't even care that my family will make fun of me for saying "rocks my world."

My waterproof/shockproof digital camera came in the mail yesterday!! I haven't tried it out underwater yet. For the first time in my life, I am reading the instruction manual just in case there's something special I have to do before putting it underwater.

My books also came today! I am starting with The Magician's Assistant.

Only 7 days left of summer school, and it can't go by fast enough. If I have to listen to one more argument over whose idea it was to name their robot Wall-E first, or another kid who thinks its really clever to name their program "Bob" or "Fred" and then act shocked when every other 12-year-old in the class also named their programs "Bob" and "Fred", I might lose it.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is hilarious. And probably a lot funnier if you were a kid in the 50s.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was pretty good. It's a 9/11 story, which I was worried about, but it took a surprisingly different angle than I was expecting. I hate it when books (or movies) take a tragedy and turn it into an awful made-up love story with a bizarrely happy ending. (Did anyone else see Pearl Harbor? Seriously. )

The Wednesday Wars blew me away. After about the first 40 pages, it was just okay, but after that it gets better with every single sentence. And by the end of the book, you want to go back and read it again. I love Mrs. Baker. (Partly because she's a teacher and partly just because she's secretly awesome.)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is also a good read. I didn't start to love it until the last 3 pages, though, and then it was over. Overall, though, a good story with loveable characters.

dear asher,

You're right, you are the coolest.

Want to play with me in a few weeks? That would be awesome.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

love, poodle

Dearest Shademaster,

Check the mail. You won't regret it.

Love always,

Dear Bexie,

Start with The Hunger Games. You'll know what I'm talking about in a few days. Just wait.

Your favorite sister,


ps - I'm flying in on August 1.

Dear Caroline,

When I come to see you, will you teach me how to be cool? You have it down.



Dear Mabel,

Want to come have a slumber party with me and Caroline in August? Annie can come too, if she wants, but you're probably more fun at slumber parties.

See you soon,


Dear Annie,

You are the cutest thing I've ever seen. Don't grow up.


all in a day's work

This is what I have been doing all morning while my students are happily building their robots.

I think I need a new hairstyle. I have finally realized that my hair is not thick enough to pull off a long hairdo, and the fact that my hair is now 50% gray (thanks a lot, dad) means that it frizzes. A lot. Especially when it's long.

So I'm thinking of something like this:

Because I could easily make it nice and wavy if I get tired of the straightness. (I don't really like the layer thing with this cut.):

Maybe some swoopy bangs? I am a huge fan of this haircut, but I'm not sure it would work for me:

But I kind of love this cut too:

Although I'm not sure that I would love it when I couldn't put my hair in a ponytail. Or when I'm having a bad hair day. And it could easily turn into a mushroom poof if I don't find a really good stylist.

I'm pretty sure I could never pull off these bangs:

But maybe something like this? With a shorter hair cut (because I can't do the long hair thing anymore.)

(Thanks to the In Style makeover page.)