On Teaching, Being in Love, and Losing a Friend

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve just stopped to write down my thoughts. So here they are:

  • On Teaching: No, this was not my first choice career. No, I’m not so sure I want to do this for the rest of my life. Yes, I love the kids. I also hate them sometimes. It is really hard, and really draining. I’m going to go against the grain here and say, I don’t think the problem is that teachers don’t make enough money. The real problem, for me at least, is that we have to work too damn much! I can see why people equate this into a money thing, though. According to my contract, I’m making roughly $35 per hour. BUT that would only be accurate if I was working only my contracted hours, that would be 7:45am-3:25pm Monday-Friday. The reality is that I get to school around 7:20am every day and most days I don’t leave until at least 5pm. Then I usually do at least 2 more hours of work at home. AND I usually work at least 10 hours each weekend. If you’re going to break the salary down depending on actual hours worked, then no, teachers are not paid enough. But the real issue is that we have to work too much. 175 students it too much. An hour of prep roughly 4 days per week is not enough time for grading, lesson planning, and creating instructional materials. There is not enough time for interdisciplinary collaboration or departmental planning. And, beyond all else, there is not enough time to have a life outside of school. Besides the 1.5 hours I spend communing on weekdays, I have only about 2 hours each day to myself. And I need to spend some of that time doing things like showering, eating, and cleaning my apartment. And I’m just a single person living on my own. I cannot even imagine how difficult it would be to balance the time commitments with a family or a second job. Rant over, I don’t want more pay, I want more prep time, smaller classes, and more support.
  • On Being In Love: At the beginning it was the best thing in the world, all the time. Texting was even exhilarating. And nothing annoyed me. Now, being in love is still the best thing in the world. It just sucks sometimes. I’m only human, and I can be irrational and emotional. And I can also be very rationally upset, because I’m a human and I have feelings. The most amazing thing to me is that no matter how annoyed I am at my boyfriend over text messages or lack of communication, as soon as we are together I’m suddenly reminded that he’s not actually an asshole and I really freakin’ love him. And it’s pretty great.
  • On The Loss of an Old Friend: I learned last month that one of my best friends from elementary school had tragically died in a car accident, at the age of 23. A month later, it still hits me in waves and overwhelms me with emotions. I was remembering her and our friendship and wondering how it fell apart. I had remembered being close with her all through middle school and drifting apart in high school. But digging back through my middle school yearbooks and my memories, I realized that it had been much longer since we were friends. I remember getting mad at her in middle school because she was making new friends that I didn’t like, and I was jealous. I’m still not sure if our friendship ended because of me, or because of her, or just because that was the natural progression of things. But looking back through all of the kind posts memorializing her on Facebook, I realized that I didn’t know her at all anymore. Despite growing up in the same town and going to the same high school, there were so many of her friends who I had never even heard of, despite the fact that they too went to school with us. I remember being withdrawn in high school. But I thought that I at least knew almost everyone, even if I spoke to no one. It makes me sad to think back to myself as a high school student and all the mistakes I didn’t even know I was making. I guess I always thought I would at least get the chance to see everyone again at a reunion and we would be friendly, even if we would never be friends again. And there might be some closure. But I will never see her again and I will never get the chance to really get to know her. Despite our fall out, I know the world is now missing a beautiful soul. And I am reminded that sometimes we don’t get second chances. There are some old friends we will never see again, and they may never know how much their friendship meant.

Sometimes writing is nothing more than therapy. Now I need to get back to work.


How Can You Know It Will Last Forever

It’s been 5 months since I officially started dating my boyfriend. He’s my first love. My first everything.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in love with anyone else. I hear all these stories that when you start dating “The One” you will know the difference. It will feel different. But how will I ever know if my love for him is different than for everyone else, when I’ve never loved anyone else. (I’m talking about romantic love exclusively, or course. I’m not some heartless person. I love a lot of people, but I don’t want to rip their clothes off)

Maybe it’s just because he’s my first love that I can’t imagine loving anyone else. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way with their first love. Maybe in a few years I will look back with a greater understanding and it will all make sense. Maybe I’ll find someone else and it will feel different. But somewhere deep in my heart I know that no matter who I end up with, I will always have some love for my first. Not that I won’t be able to let him go, but I will always care about him.

Chances are we won’t be together for as long as I imagine when I let myself dream. And if this thing ends, I will know that it just isn’t meant to be. But I also know that if we somehow end up together forever, I will be happy with that. Not just content, but extremely happy.

Of course, maybe 5 months isn’t long enough to know any of this. But I can’t keep myself from thinking about it.

My Boyfriend is a Heartless Vampire Clown

9 Reasons Why My Boyfriend is a Heartless Vampire Clown:

  1. He never cries during movies
    (not even Marley and Me!)
  2. He wears sunscreen and a hat every time he goes outside
    (even when it’s raining)
  3. He loves puns
    (even the ones that are too stupid for little kids)
  4. He couldn’t stop making jokes when he thought his pet bird was going to die
    (although he at least waited till his sister was in the other room)
  5.  He hates perfect sunny days
    (but he loves the clouds)
  6. He is constantly making weird faces
    (for no reason at all)
  7. He hates poetry
    (but still seems genuinely interested when I talk about it)
  8. He stays up late with me
    (even when he has to get up early)
  9. He makes me laugh every day
    (sometimes even when he’s making weird faces)

Those are the reasons why my boyfriend is a Heartless Vampire Clown. And those are just some of the reasons why I like him so much.

Falling in Love… It’s Not Like in the Movies

Ok, so I’m going to be cheesy for a while (I apologize in advanced).

Last summer I worked in a sandwich shop (I still work there, unfortunately) and I worked with a guy I went to high school with (well, we’ve actually known each other since elementary school). Long story short: I really liked him and apparently he liked me too, and when he went back to school we kept in touch and when he came home for Thanksgiving break I took him as my date to my cousin’s wedding, and we decided right there to make it official (even on Facebook!) and we’ve been together since then. (Don’t judge me for the run-on sentence, I realize it’s not grammatically correct and I don’t care.)

I’m 22 and he’s 22 and this is the first time either of us have been in a relationship (also, we shared our first kiss and all that stuff – I will be writing about that soon because I think it’s stupid that society makes us feel bad if we haven’t been kissed by the time we’re 16. And my first kiss at 22 was probably the most perfect first kiss in the history of first kisses, just sayin’).

So everything is new and sparkly and perfect. Honestly, I’m afraid it might be too perfect. Seriously, how can it be this good! It’s even better than in the movies! I thought that movie love was the pinnacle; life could never be as good as fiction. But it’s actually better!

Maybe it’s really not as good as I think, and maybe every relationship feels this good in the beginning. I don’t know. I don’t have anything to compare this to. And since I’ve never done this before, I really don’t know if I am in love, as the title of this post may suggest. I’m certainly in the process of “falling” in love, but as to when I will know for certain that I’ve finished falling, I haven’t got a clue. How do you know when you’re in love? I don’t know. But it’s good, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I do know that it can’t stay this good forever. I’m naïve, I will admit, but I’m not so naïve that I think this will always be perfect. Chances are high that this relationship will end – most relationships end. (I’m just going to make up a fake statistic, but if I had to guess I would say at least 95% of relationships end. Think about it: most people date several people before they get married, and many marriages end too.) I can’t see it ending any time in the foreseeable future, but I also can’t foresee what I will have for lunch tomorrow. It might end, it will probably end, but that’s ok. Because it has been absolutely amazing.

I am dating someone who is kind and smart and thoughtful and ambitious and hardworking and sweet and respectful and attractive and nerdy and who likes me more than I ever thought anyone would. I still can’t believe how lucky I am, because this is better than I thought it could ever get.