Friday, May 30, 2008

A moment of panic...and a new appliance.

So, as we're installing our new (but used) fridge, I look around and ask Casey..."Puppies?" "Oh, in the back yard." And then the image of the open gate flashes in my mind. 30 seconds later, I'm running down the street thinking, "How far could they have gone? What direction? Are we going to have to put up signs?" How depressing...I'm lost my puppies! And there's two of them, so will they stay together? So, I round the corner to back behind the block...and I see those pointy ears of Charlotte. A couple of kids and their mom who live right behind us had grabbed them. Thank goodness. They really hadn't gone far at all and were back home within 5 minutes of us realizing their escape. I'm just thankful we live in a neighborhood where people would be out and about and nice enough to grab hold of two stray dogs.

AND, we have a new fridge! So, our food will be cold (because the old one wasn't getting it done...for the third time), plus we'll have a working ice maker! (You can tell, I'm a simple woman...simple pleasures) and the dogs are back, sleeping on the couch. All is well.

Plus, there's just 3 more days of school left. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This boulder I'm pushing up a's getting heavy. And it's not just rolling a boulder uphill...I think the boulder is pushing back.

See previous blog "the myth" if you have no idea what I'm spouting out about. %-)

Monday, May 26, 2008


Ponytail no more!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A pleasant surprise

The last two days, my students have been taking the French "Benchmark" test...which is just our school district's standardized test. So, it's the only assessment that judges my students and my teaching that I don't write myself. (Of course, I still grade it...but it's a start). It has a speaking, writing and multiple choice section, which includes listening, reading and grammar. So, it's a pretty comprehensive test, and I feel like it's a fair judgment of their understanding. (As in opposition to the TAKS test, which most teachers cry and moan about because it has little to do with what they want to teach but don't get to because of TAKS.)

All that said, I was telling Casey yesterday that I would rather get an enema than grade their writing. But I did most of it anyway...and was pleasantly surprised, especially with my French 1 students. Some of the kid's writing was so good I wondered if the kids had copied off of the test (but there wasn't anything for them to copy off of) and I didn't give them the prompts ahead of time (unlike some sp****h teachers) and did a very general review. So, my students actually learned to write with some 22 weeks. I suppose, if you're not a language teacher that may not seem significant...but for me, that's a Rocky-theme-playing-in-the-background moment.

I'll try to enjoy it while it lasts. That and there was cake today at lunch. It was a good day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I am a sap.

This morning, Jordan our pastor, use Max Lucado's "You are special" in his sermon. I had tears on my cheeks after the first page. Extreme Makeover Home Edition came on, and I wasn't even watching it as I was making dinner in the other room, but when I heard that they were re-making a house and church for Katrina victims..more tears. I had to stop watching that show because it would make me sob. Sure, that's what they want to you do, and that's just fine...but as I'm crying, I know if I wasn't, I would be making fun of the saps that go for that show. Of course, that's me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I love running.

After running about 6 1/2 miles of my speed drills and being pretty much done and doing my cool-down, Better Than Ezra's "Misunderstood" comes on, and I can't help but sprinting around the track one more time. I was tired and sprinting kinda made me want to puke after doing sprints for nearly an hour, but I couldn't help it...I just wanted to RUN!

Growing up, I was totally un-athletic. Everyone knew better than to pass me the ball, and I still will not play volleyball...bad memories from middle school PE.

But now, there is freedom and exhilaration and power in just being able to run. I'd recommend it to anyone. :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Today was the Katy Trail 5k Race. The Katy Trail is one of our favorite places to run. It's a soft surface, it's shady, and it's nice scenery. We usually run the whole trail on Wednesdays which is 7 miles total. But today was the Katy Trail's a fun race and afterwards there's a picnic where all these different restaurants give out samples...pieces of pizza, mini sandwiches, a little plate of pasta salad, chips and queso, cookie ice cream sandwiches, cups of fudgy-brownie stuff, etc. It's yummy. But crowded.

It's been a while since we've run a 5k, as we've been more interested in running longer distances, but I've been training with some speed work, and I definitely knew I was getting faster. The last 5k we did was December a year ago and our time was 28 something or other...9 minute miles.

I've done tons of 5k's, actually. Growing up with an avid runner for a father, my dad would cajole me into coming along with him because I desperately needed the exercise...and I would run-walk them. I was used to running surrounded by middle-aged semi-plump women.

Well, today's race, looking around, I felt proud of the company we were keeping. Folks were younger, older, taller, shorter, but all fit and strong looking. As we were finishing, the people directly around me were fit-looking men, which was startling. Casey finished a little before me, but my time was 23:28, which is 7:33 miles.

After stuffing my face, of course, I talked to my dad and told him my time. He was so excited for me. He's not one to pander to someone's feelings and when he gives praise, it's sincere. He said over and over how proud he was of me and how impressed with how fast we ran. It made me feel really good. I guess no matter how old you are, you still need your daddy to be proud of you.

I celebrated by chasing our dog Charlotte around the living room. She won, but she cheats....I don't jump over the couch, but we were both happy. :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Myth of Sisyphus

Teaching in the month of May is like being Sisyphus, a Greek legend of a man condemned forever to push a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll to the bottom before he reaches the peak, and to roll it up again.

I'm pushing my students up that hill, all 85 five of them....Do your warm-up! be in your seat, do your work, your homework, study, etc...and like any motion on a rock face, some are falling off like rubble...but I keep teaching...keep pushing them up that hill.

Because, like Sisyphus, there is a a heroism in accepting an impossible challenge. Even when it's frustrating and everything seems futile, as Camus said about Sisyphus, "All is well."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Life Goals and How I Plan to Reach Them

I thought a good way to kick-start this blog is with some here are my current life goals:
  • Run a Marathon (To be accomplished by this December...if not before)
    • (with an additional goal of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon...but I'm going to have to train like mad for that.)
    • I've gotten more serious about my running. Rather than just running to exercise, now I have more purpose as I go. I started running a third time a week doing intervals (as in, run fast, then slow, fast, slow, etc at a certain pace). The other two runs a week I haven't been as intentional following a program...but I will. :-)
  • Get a Master's degree in French
    • It's not really for professional gain, but it's just something I need to do for me. That's in progress now.
  • Have a couple kids and a happy marriage
    • No babies yet. The above two (excluding the Boston bit) should come first. A very happy marriage we have...I do know it takes work to maintain that.
  • Write and have published a book (specifically a young adult fantasy series) I already have in mind the plot sketch, setting the main characters, etc...It would be a trilogy, based in Paris.
    • I read/listen to mass quantities of young adult literature. The most famous current example of the genre would be Harry Potter, but there's a huge amount of pretty recent, quality books in the genre. I remember from a creative writing class in college one of the best things I can do to prepare for writing a book is to read, read, read the kinds of books I want to write, and so, even though it's for entertainment, I can consider my love of 9-15 yr old's books research. My book idea isn't a wizard/witch series, even though there are a lot of those out there. I'm apprehensive to say more...but I will write it, someday.
  • Live in the Park Cities
    • I'm not doing a ton to accomplish that...other than I am extremely thrifty and Casey and I live well below our means. We have been deliberately paying off debt and buy nothing on credit (except a car, which we absolutely needed and paid off in 9 months). So, we live off my income, and Casey is soon going to go into paying off the mortgage and building up equity that way so we can get a house in the Park Cities in 8-10 years.

Hmm...once that's accomplished...or abandoned...I'll come up with new ones. But that's plenty for now.

WARNING: Superficial & (maybe) Braggy

So, Casey and I just went to the mall to bring my mom her Mother's Day present at work (she works in the sleepwear department at Dillards). Well, after that we walked a loop around Northpark. It's a pretty place, and sorta a place to see and be seen, but some of the stuff they sell there is ridiculous both in fashion and in price. I distinctly remember looking at a manikin and thinking, "That must be a size two. No one's a size two. Why do they model a size that no one wears?" Nothing against stick-people, but I thought that because most of my life I've worn a size 12 or so, and so that's how I think of myself.

Casey wants so new shorts, so we went in the GAP. Out of curiosity, I tried on a pair of pants a size smaller than the size of my newest shorts, which is the smallest size I've ever worn, a 4. So, I try on the size 2 pants, and they fit. Fit, and better than the shorts I own. So I try on a couple other pairs that size to confirm. They all fit. I do I little dance in the dressing room like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction.

Then out of pure reckless curiosity, I grab a pair even smaller, the mythic and unachievable 0. I mean...0 makes no sense...if it's 0, then it's can someone wear it? And though it's not my fits. I can sit down, move, etc. How is this possible? That is for stick-figure people. I have big quads and a butt that sticks out disproportionately to the rest of my body. And I would never wear it because it's tighter than I would wear my clothes...but just the idea makes my mind spin...if this is 0, what does Sarah Jessica Parker wear? Is there a -8?

So, in celebration, I bought both a cookie and a brownie at Mrs. Fields. be honest...I haven't eaten them yet. Maybe I am a stick-person. How disgusting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Rant Returns!

So, I used to have a web log, before the word became blog. I started it my freshman year of Baylor in 2000 until I moved back to Dallas in 2005. Now, that's a fair amount of my life recorded for the world to see. The reason I stopped, among other reasons, is I lost the password to edit my website and so could not update it...and I had moved, got married and had a new other priorities.

The old one still exists at: For you viewing pleasure, or not, as you will. :-)

They say "Let your days be numbered," and rather than let them waste away in obscurity, I will number, some of them, in this blog.

luv, V