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Book Update

Since 2012 began and I wrote out some resolutions for 2012, I’ve actually read a few books. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m actually a very avid reader, but I”ll go through phases where I read a TON and not read at all. It’s a little difficult now that I’m doing 2 classes (online…with a ton of reading). But I’ve included two of those books plus one other since they are some books I’ve read thus far.

This was require for my “Educating Diverse Populations” class. I found this book fascinating, and honestly couldn’t put it down even when I had read the required sections for the upcoming class sessions. It was truly eye-opening into the reality of poverty in our country.

From bn.com: “Most of the people I write about in this book do not have the luxury of rage. They are caught in exhausting struggles. Their wages do not lift them far enough from poverty to improve their lives, and their lives, in turn, hold them back. The term by which they are usually described, ‘working poor,’ should be an oxymoron. Nobody who works hard should be poor in America.” —from the Introduction

If there’s one thing I really learned/saw in this book is that poverty is a horrible, vicious cycle. After reading this book, I’ll never think to myself, “Why don’t they just ____” or “he/she should just ____”. I learned it’s not so simple and I’m grateful that my perspective has changed.

This is another book I found fascinating. I learned a lot about race and racial identity from Tatum, and the key point I gleaned from her is that race is not necessarily negative actions or words, and is very prevalent in our world today.

Form bn.com:

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see black youth seated together in the cafeteria. Of course, it’s not just the black kids sitting together-the white, Latino, Asian Pacific, and, in some regions, American Indian youth are clustered in their own groups, too. The same phenomenon can be observed in college dining halls, faculty lounges, and corporate cafeterias. What is going on here? Is this self-segregation a problem we should try to fix, or a coping strategy we should support? How can we get past our reluctance to talk about racial issues to even discuss it? And what about all the other questions we and our children have about race?

I’m also conveniently on the summer reading committee at school, and this is the first one we read in our search.

I thought is was a good story, but I’m honestly pushing to nix it for our summer selection this year. It’s a good story about self identity and reality vs. perception, but I’m hoping for a book with a theme that is bigger than just the high school experience. I liked the story, and I hope to read more of John Green’s novels at some point.

What I’m reading now:

I just started it and really like it five pages in :) With my other reading/coursework, this will be slow going but I want to finish it because I already find it fascinating.

What are you reading now? Any recommendations?

Emily:

This is absolutely excellent. I would like to pass it out to parents on parent night.

Originally posted on Rochester SAGE - Supporting Advanced & Gifted Education:

Heinlein Quote

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do. – John Stuart Mill

I want my kids to fail.  That probably isn’t at the top of your list for your kids, but it should be.  Failure is one of the most important experiences they will ever have.  The road to success is paved with failure because failure teaches us how to succeed.

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Weekly Workout Update

This past week, I finally got off my butt and hit the gym for some serious cardio and weights instead of just minimal running. :)

Sunday: 110 min (~8 miles treadmill)–not bad, the time passed quickly

Monday: AM gym–30 min cardio

Tuesday: AM gym–Body Pump, 3.6 mile run after school with Nicole (it was so nice outside!)

Wednesday: nada–rest

Thursday: AM 3 mile run (sprints), afternoon training sesh with Nik the Trainer!

Friday: nada (sooo tired and sore)

Saturday: nada

Overall, I did more this week than I have for quite awhile. This was my normal workout schedule last year at this time, and it’s obvious in many ways I’ve been slacking off. The good news is I’m excited to do it all again, and so hopefully I’ll start seeing some results. After the Disney half marathon is over, I’m taking a break from running and really, really hope to start swimming and spinning. I think the change will be really great.

Tons of stuff to talk about today…

What a great weekend! I’ll start off with 30 Days of No Pants (I’m overdue for two days!)

Day 11

This has been one of my favorite dresses from Ann Taylor. I got it on sale towards the end of fall, and I just love how it looks and fits. You can’t tell, but there’s slight rouching on the sides and so it’s very flattering. I added a fat belt, which really jazzes it up a bit. I also wear my flowy black cardigan only becuase it keeps my cozy at school.

Dress: Ann Taylor
Tights: Ann Taylor
Cardigan: Ann Taylor
Belt: Target
Boots: White Mountain via DSW
Bracelet: Stella and Dot

Day 12

I had my eye on this dress ever since I saw it online and in store. I patiently waited and, lo and behold, it was 40% off in early January! Totally worth the wait. I got a lot of compliments…people were surprised that I wore something so nice on a Friday.

Dress: Limited
Cardigan: Talbots via my mom’s closet
Belt: Ann Taylor (current)
Tights (polka dot): Limited
Shoes: Naturalizer via DSW
Necklace: Limited

Sunday morning, I actually got my long run done. I told myself for about 2 days that it would indeed be inside on the treadmill, and I think talking myself into it for so long and planning on it made it a little easier to stomach. I don’t think I hate the torture-mill as much as I’ve  convinced myself that I do. I did 60 minutes, then another 40. I took a few walk breaks, but my overall goal was to keep my legs moving for 90 minutes, and I surpassed that so I’m more than pleased.

I also accompanied my parents to the Boston Wine Expo, which was a great way to refuel and rehydrate. NOT.

They give you your own glass too:

And the best news I’ve found out all weekend….

My favorite company is having my favorite race in my favorite part of North America :) I’m totally there, and have already figured out all the deets. Just have to wait for the dinero to sign up!

Hope you’re having a happy Sunday! oh…and GO PATS!!

My ‘Other’ Resolutions

Since I posted my resolutions, I’ve come up with two more.

I was cleaning out my closet on Monday (and putting together new outfits) when I realized I have a TON of clothes–especially skirts–that I don’t wear that much. I got rid of a ton of stuff that I just don’t wear and I pulled out a lot of items I haven’t worn and planned outfits around them. It ocurred to me that I should challenge myself to actually wear these new outfits and so I decided that during the month of January I will wear only outfits with skirts to school. I’m probably going to call this 30 days of skirts, although I really wanted to dub my new challenge “30 days of no pants.” I don’t necessarily think this is inappropriate, but I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea to any newcomers. This will actually come out to 19 outfits with skirts since I’m off the hook after school and the weekends, but I think that skirts 5 days a week (even Friday!) is quite the challenge. Dresses once in a while will be acceptable…as long as I don’t wear pants. I’m also challenging myself to NOT shop this month (with accessories being ok…or really, really good deals that I don’t want to miss…or something that isn’t black).

30 Days of Skirts (i.e 30 Days of No Pants) Day 1

*Edited to add: I’m going to have to teach Janette to take better iphone pix. My tights are actually polkadots and the belt is yellow. I was going to a splish-splash of color.*

Skirt: Banana Republic
Top: Banana Republic
Cardigan: JCrew
Tights: Limited (current)
Shoes: Naturalizer via clearance at DSW
Earrings: Limited (current)

My second resolution isn’t really a resolution, but it is something new: I started Weight Watchers. I’m perfectly happy with my body, and I’m certainly not anywhere close to weighing as much as I did this time two years ago, but my eating has been all over the place and if I keep it up, I know I will find myself in an unhappy, unhealthy place. I just want to get my eating under control and this will help. I’ve tossed this idea around for quite awhile, and I refused to pay the money because the thing is, I do know how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy, ‘feel great’ weight. I’m just not doing it. Now that I see beer, chocolate etc in ‘points’ I’ve already started making better decisions and more importantly, I don’t want them. I’ve been really, really hungry even after eating all my ‘points’ for the day, which shows that I’ve been overeating tremendously, so hopefully that will subside.

I will write about running another time because that is a whole ‘nother story.

Bienvenido 2012

Helloooo 2012! Yesterday, I recapped my 2011 resolutions, and so here is what I hope to accomplish this year.

Personal:
Complete my 30 before 30  list (a lot of my resolutions are on this list)
Run 1 race each month…even if it’s a nearby 5k (a race I’ve yet to do anyways)
Read 25 books, 10 of them being classics I haven’t read yet

Financial:
continue with saving
continue paying off credit cards

Professional:
create a podcast curriculum
write an article for submission to Language Educator on using blogs in the classroom