Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The List Revision

Happy May, the month of my birth!
If you think I'm always this chipper, read on for TMI.
After this month, I will have one year before I turn 30. I've got to admit, this 30 before 30  list stuff has really saved my sanity and my optimism this school year. This has probably been my roughest year since I started teaching six years ago. I don't know if I've ever felt so down. I mean down like, "thisclose to rock bottom" down. Down like, "Today I'm going convince myself to go to work by buying myself a super sized Starbucks Latte and maybe even a cakepop, yes, definitely a cakepop" down. Down like "If I make it through another day of work I will buy myself a new sweater but now I'm just buying it anyway because I'm depressed and why do I have five sweaters?" down. You know what I mean.
This card from my friend A.J.'s creepy deck is symbolic of how freaking down I was this school year.
I hate clowns. I was like the kid in the party hat from November to March. 
HOWEVER... I am not one to stew in my own funk. That's why I'm so glad that writing a simple list and trying to reach my goals was enough to pull me out of the funkiness. I'm not very hard to appease. Is that a good or a bad thing? 

This leads to a revision of a goal on my list. Directly after attending an unexpectedly inspiring lecture a few weeks ago by Dr. Chris Higgins (author of The Good Life of Teaching: An Ethics of Professional Practice, which is now on my pile of books to read), I made a decision to revise goal #24 on my list:
Goal #24 Revision (5/1/12): Make some decisions about my career and/or PhD prospects. Apply to PhD programs. 

I decided to do this after Dr. Higgins talked about teacher burn-out becoming teacher burn-in. If you are a teacher you've seen teacher burn-in. It's what happens after you hit rock bottom and completely burn the eff out:
It's deciding not to give a shit anymore and "burning back in" to your job as someone who does not care. Not care like, "Here is this worksheet I got offline without really reading it and we are doing a variation of this every day until I retire in 20 years so don't talk to me because I'm watching a Netflix movie on my computer" not care. It's this glassy-eyed blank look that teachers who absolutely loathe their jobs wear on their faces. I vowed never to let this happen to me. So here we are. 

In some ways I guess you could say that goal #24 is complete. I've decided to apply for PhD programs and if I am accepted with funding we are headed out of Michigan for a few years. If not, I'm going to aggressively apply for a job doing something in education where I get to work with smaller groups of adolescents... who knows what. If that doesn't pan out, I will stick around and keep working with university students. I like plans, so the goal is getting revised instead of completed.

It took far too long to get out of my funk this school year, but since I've been out of it for two months, I'm gonna make it funky James Brown style:

1. Complete an indoor triathlon. 2/12/12
2. Complete an outdoor triathlon.
3. Swim across West Twin Lake and Rose Lake.
4. Bike the Kal-Haven Trail.
5. Play the piano in front of people.
6. Visit my family in the Philippines (or at least have tickets booked by my 30th birthday).
7. Have a conversation with a dear Senegalese friend in French or Wolof (preferably Wolof).
8. Visit my grandparents in California.
9. Pop a champagne cork with no fear.
10. Make leche flan (it's Filipino, it's amazing, and I'm makin' it).
11. Jar or can veggies, pickles, sauce... something.
12. Revised 5/1/12 because I remembered that I'm supposed to graduate in December and my Master's degree is really important to me!!! Get my Master's degree and submit some of my academic writing and then, maybe, you know... get it published.
13. Travel out of the country with Nate.
14. Pay off at least 50% of my remaining undergraduate credit card debt.
15. Sing karaoke by myself in Kalamazoo in front of all of my friends.
16. Eat clean for one month.
17. Pick berries and bake something with them.
18. Write at least one chapter of the novel that I write in my mind while I'm walking the dogs.
19. Thank my mom for everything she's done for me.
20. Go further into the UP than the Mystery Spot tourist trap and jump into Lake Superior.
21. Get chosen for one more summer fellowship in another country where I am able to work with youth.
22. Go on a police ride along.
23. Get to 200 blog posts.
24. Revised 5/1/12 Make some decisions about my career and/or PhD prospects. Apply for PhD programs.
25. Attend roller derby training so I can learn the moves.
26. Learn how to flip turn when I'm swimming laps. 4/19/12
27. Take a real personal day.
28. Learn how to drive a stick.
29. Go horseback riding.
30. Poach an egg perfectly.


Anonymous said...

You inspire me.

do_it_ajen said...

Inspire you to eat cakepops!?!

Lol, just kidding. Thanks so much :)

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