Hooters

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I seriously hear some of the most hilarious things from my students. For example, today THIS happened. 

 

Boy #1: I wish I worked at Hooters!

Me: I don’t think they’d hire you – you don’t have the right… equipment. 

Boy #2: What equipment? What equipment do you need to work there?!

Girl: BOOBS, FOOL!!!!

 

 

What a great start to my Monday. Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself laughing at something they do or say. 

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Book(s) Review: Fallen Crest Series

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I read the first book of the series, Fallen Crest High, a little over a year ago while I worked as a nanny. Two toddlers napping for 2 hours a day gave me plenty of time to read, so I finished this book in a few days. Now that I teach, I have less time to read for fun. Naturally, it takes me much longer to finish a novel than it did then.  I will do a quick review of the first book (or at least what I can remember) before jumping into the second.

Fallen Crest High – Tijan

Main character: Samantha Strattan. 17 years old, lives with her mother who is a little nuts. She finds out they are moving out of their house with her father – or at least who she thinks is her father – and moving in with her mother’s most recent conquest – a wealthy man in town. The two sons of her future stepfather are bad boys and known around town for their roughness. She is instantly, and naturally, intimidated by them but she doesn’t show it. She is a very strong character which is evidenced by her fierceness and the way she handles moving in with the Kade family.  When she stresses out she runs and runs and runs (literally, the girl runs for hours). Sam goes to school at Fallen Crest Academy, the ritzy private school in town, while Mason and Logan Kade go to the public school. Ahhh, the Kade brothers. *swoon* I really can’t blame the girls in the novel for fawning over these two. They’re rich hardasses with serious attitude, who develop a soft spot for Sam. They have a super protective bond with each other which soon includes Sam. They see her as  a new sister, friend, and potentially more?

Tijan does an exceptional job with this clever, witty story about young love and all the drama that comes with it. The chaos that surrounds the characters’ relationships and families is completely insane, but so very entertaining. A few grammatical errors which always drive me crazy, but the content made it all worth it. I loved how honest Sam was and I could really feel the way she changed when her mother was around. Overall, it was worth the read and I would definitely recommend it. **A few sexual scenes that may not be appropriate for younger readers.

Fallen Crest Family

Oh, let the drama begin. Or should I say continue… This girl is a magnet for boy drama, mama drama, and bitchy girl drama. I kind of feel for her. In the second book of this series, Sam is faced with many obstacles, from her seriously crazy mother, to her ex-almost-step-father, even to her future stepbrothers and boyfriend. Sam and Mason (yes, the future stepbrother) are officially together and they can’t seem to get enough of each other. They live in the same house, and not everyone approves of their relationship – including their parents. Mason and Sam and even Logan basically give everyone an “eff off” but that’s not working so well. Unfortunately, ultimatums are given and dirty threats are made and some futures are in jeopardy, but that doesn’t stop Mason and Sam from continuing their relationship. Even when Sam is haunted by a traumatizing event from the past, she still pushes forward and realizes that she is the only one who can potentially fix the problems with their families.

What I loved: the bond between the brothers and Sam. Also, I absolutely loved the new character they brought in, Heather. She is just the type of friend Sam needs. I don’t really know about Helen, the boys’ mother, but I think she stands up for her sons when they need her to. The whole Manny’s crew just makes my heart melt. They’re there for each other and they take Sam in when she needs them to most. The idea of a future between Sam and Mason and a future school year with only Sam and Logan. Where will their friendship go? How will Mason moving away to college affect their relationship? So many questions… Bring on Book 3.

What I didn’t love: The scenario between Sam and her mother when she was 11 is very strange and random to me. There was no mention of anything like this in the previous book, so it was sort of out of left field. Also, I didn’t like how steamy it got. I swear Sam and Mason are constantly going at it like rabbits. The way that Nate and the other guys seem to do everything Mason and Logan tell them to… I have a feeling it will all blow up one day. The social hierarchy of the kids in the schools kind of throws me off as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Tijan has a way of making the reader feel connected to the characters in a personal way. Even though it wasn’t my favorite, I would recommend this book to anyone wanting an easy, entertaining read. **Again, some sexual content that isn’t appropriate for young readers.

The third book of the series, Fallen Crest Public is rumored to come out in December 2013, so we will see how the rest of story unfolds…

TAFE

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As I have mentioned, this is my first year as a high school English teacher. I graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor’s degree in English, but I didn’t get certified to teach right away. Instead, I worked as a waitress, nanny, tax office clerk, substitute teacher and day care teacher for 2 year olds. Keep in mind that I’m only 24 years old. I often had multiple jobs at a time and considered going many different directions in life, but teaching was always at the end of the road for me. So about a year after I graduated from college, I decided to enroll in an alternative certification program to finally get certified to teach. I thought I would definitely want to teach 4th grade, I always had wanted to and that’s what I was going to do. Then I went to sign up and the program was only accepting Secondary applicants. Secondary… meaning High School. I did a little soul searching and a whole lot of praying and finally decided to give it a try. At first I was scared to death (Teenagers? High school kids? They’re only a few years younger than I am… they’ll eat me alive!) But I finally decided to go ahead and enroll in the program. After all, they said I only had to teach high school for one year, then I could just take the EC-6 exam and find a job as an elementary teacher once I was officially certified. That was the new plan. 

It finally came time to start looking for jobs and putting in applications. I live in a small town where teachers either die or retire from the high school, so I knew finding a job there would be difficult. I started applying at all the neighboring small towns and communities, realizing I would have to drive quite a way to work every day. There was a school about 30 miles down the highway and they were looking for an English teacher. I was asked to come for an interview within a few days of applying, but then after my interview I hadn’t heard anything for a few weeks. I started to get really bummed out because I didn’t think I would get the job. Finally I decided to call the Principal just to let him know that I was still interested and to check on things. As soon as I told him who I was, he offered me the job! I was so excited! My first “big kid” job! A real paycheck! (or so I thought…) Things were finally feeling real. But of course, I was planning on only teaching high school for a year… 

When I got to RHS I knew I would never teach anything other than high school. I absolutely love it. I can talk to the kids and be honest and real with them about things and they don’t whine and cry like younger kids do. They understand my sarcastic tone and my witty humor. I can’t ever see myself teaching any kids younger than this. 

Within a few minutes of meeting my new coworkers in the English department, I knew I would love it here. Since I am only on a probationary certificate because of the alternative certification program, I had to be assigned a mentor. Mine rocks! After attending a workshop with my fellow “interns” as they call us at the service center, I have heard many horror stories about mentors not helping or doing their required paperwork and I am so grateful for mine! 

Not only does my mentor exude awesomeness (shoutout to Mrs. T!) but she also sponsors a group on campus called TAFE (pronounced “taffy”) which stands for Texas Association of Future Educators. I spend a lot of time in her room after school and during our conference period so I have constantly been around this group of kids. They do really great things in the community and they all actually want to be there. I teach students who absolutely hate school and everything to do with it. It gets very disheartening at times, so witnessing these kids who actually WANT to stay late after school and do service projects is very uplifting for me. Yesterday after school, I asked my mentor if she ever needed help with TAFE and after talking for a while, we decided that I would be her co-sponsor! YOU’RE LOOKIN’ AT THE NEW TAFE CO-SPONSOR right here! I am probably way too excited about this, but I can’t wait to be a part of this group! If we had a group like this when I was in high school, I definitely would have joined, so why not just help run the show now? This weekend we are having a “fun run” 5k fundraiser to support breast cancer awareness and donating 100% of the funds. It’s so great to see teenagers who actually want to positively impact their community.

 

Have a TAFE Tuesday, y’all… even though it’s Wednesday. 

Gray Hairs?!?!

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Wow… I’m 100% speechless. Well, obviously not, because I’m about to write a blog post, but you get the picture. 

After lunch, as I made my daily trip to the ladies’ room, I was washing my hands when I noticed something glimmering in the mirror. I looked up, ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED, to find not one but two GRAY HAIRS staring right at me. My long, dark brown hair that everyone is envious of, is being invaded by nasty silver ones!!! I am only 24 years old, have only been teaching for two months, and already have these awful things creeping into my life?!?! *faints* TELL ME THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. 

 

The worst part is that I can pinpoint exactly where those ugly gray hairs are coming from: 5th period. The class sandwiched between my lunch break and my conference period (THANK YOU BABY JESUS – because I need serious mental health time to prepare for them, and again to recover). This is a class of only four students, but trust me, these are the four most annoying, frustrating, needy, make-you-pull-out-your-(gray)-hair, kids. “They’re just kids,” some of my coworkers say… Well you’ll think otherwise when they get to your class. They really drive me absolutely insane.  

 

So now I have gray hairs. I’m appalled. Thankfully I’m already engaged, so I don’t have to worry about finding myself a man SINCE I’M OBVIOUSLY AN OLD SENILE WOMAN. Guess it’s off to Walmart for hair dye this evening… and it’s only October… 

***New Addition to Teaching Teens!***

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It should come as no surprise that as an English/Reading teacher, I absolutely love to read. Unfortunately, I rarely find time to indulge in a great book, but when I do, the Young Adult genre is my guilty pleasure. You’d think since I have a degree in English Literature that would be my favorite. But really, are you kidding me, I spent four (actually five – victory lap!) years studying that crap, why would I want to read it now for fun? There’s something so simple and easy about the YA genre that really captures my attention. I could seriously sit around reading YA books all day every day if I didn’t have to support myself with a job. I’m serious – ADED – all day, err’day. Bring on the teen angst and boy drama – I love it! Whenever I get time, I try read new books by random YA authors. I have a few favorites (cough, Sarah Dessen, cough) but I’m really up for anything. My sweet fiancé bought me a Kindle Fire for my birthday last year and I have definitely put that bad boy to good use. Since I’m living on a teacher’s salary, I often browse the “Daily Deals” section or the “Under $3.99” section of the store. I have found some really great books for under a dollar OR EVEN FOR FREE! So I’m by no means a book snob. Anyway, onto the actual point of this post (I’m obviously a little ADD)… I’m going to start including Book Reviews (!!!) to my blog. (DISCLAIMER: THESE REVIEWS WILL PROBABLY ALMOST ALWAYS MAYBE INCLUDE SPOILERS!!) I’ve never really written book reviews before, but it seems like simply talking to someone about a book and/or why you liked/disliked it. So, just as a head’s up, get ready for some reviews. 

Oh, Monday…

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Mondays are always rough – at least Monday mornings are. Growing up, I always loved Monday mornings because I loved school. Now that I teach high school, I still love it, but I absolutely hate getting out of bed to go. I have this really warm, soft, goose feather down comforter and a fluffy body pillow, and my sweet furry pup cuddled up next to me and the last thing I want to do is leave that little piece of heaven every morning. Once I’m out of bed and moving, I’m good to go, but until that point… good luck. 

 

So my 0-4 football team did the impossible and won the Homecoming game Friday night! The final score was 27-13 and I couldn’t be more proud of those guys. The dance was exponentially more fun due to the fact that the team won, so that was a definite plus. There’s something so surreal about seeing all of the smiling faces of my kids out there having fun together on a Friday night. 

 

Onto Saturday. I had to wake up way too early to go to a teaching workshop (oh, joy.) but the up-side to that is that I definitely made a pit stop at Starbucks for a HUGE pumpkin spice latte. Another positive note is that I got to spend my 30 minute lunch break indulging in a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich AND waffle fries. (win!) After the workshop ended I had a few errands to run before heading home for a baby shower for my future brother and sister in law. I was in charge of picking up the cookie cake. The mall was extremely rowdy, so as soon as I got the cake I bolted. I was already running late (thanks, teaching workshop!!) so I was filling up with gas and heading out. While I was waiting for the gas to pump, I looked at the cake again and read the sweet words, “The big day is drawing near, Baby is almost hear!” —-WAIT, WHAT?! (DISCLAIMER: as an English teacher, it should be known that any and all grammatical errors give me high blood pressure and make me think bad things about people.) Did these unintelligent people seriously just misuse a homophone? “Hear” has the word “ear” in it… meaning that you HEAR something with your EAR. “Here” is a place, a direction. The baby is almost HERE. No, he can’t HEAR what you’re saying because he isn’t HERE yet!! I was so incredibly angry about this, but I had already picked the cake up and was heading to the party – there was nothing I could do. So, naturally, I made a joke about how the cake decorators could use a day or two in my class to get their homophones right.

The party ended up being amazing. We played some fun games and the guys made incredible fajitas. The night ended with mostly everyone playing dominoes and drinking beers. I say mostly, because I had nothing to do with dominoes since the A&M game was on. Obviously I was glued to the tv for a few hours. Then of course I spent my Sunday watching football as well.

This leads me to another reason I have an issue with Mondays. Football. I stay up late on Sunday night watching big games, as do my students, so we are all exhausted on Monday and no one wants to work. Then we come home and do the same thing for Monday Night Football. It’s a revolving door. Thankfully, I’m a genius first year teacher and I plan laid back lessons on Mondays to benefit both myself and my students.