Thursday, October 14, 2010

Long-Held Personal Secret

This may be surprising to hear, but I strongly dislike jokes and comments about how much I talk. I'm very sensitive to it. I've been teased about it my whole life. It really hurts my feelings. (And I really hated getting that "most-talkative" award at senior banquet.)

Today at work, just after my lunch break when I was in a pretty good mood, my coworker asked me something about a book I had read. She asked a lot of questions, so I told her with excitement how much I enjoyed it and why. The two of us, and the student worker who was covering the desk, then got chatting about all kinds of stuff. I was all revved up and excited, so I was talking about all kinds of things. I started doing that thing (like the Bing commercial) where I keep switching subjects and one thing reminds me of the next. (Okay, so it's not as bad as the Bing commercial, but really...) I wasn't entirely dominating the conversation. It wasn't like they couldn't get a word in or anything close, but then my coworker* started teasing me about how much I talked. At first I was cool with it, kind of played along, but she just kept going on and on. She told me I do it all the time and that my boss can never get away from me because I keep asking him questions (in social conversations). Not true! I have trouble getting out of my boss's office, too! He's a funny guy and we enjoy the funny things we talk about (like his dog having bad gas today because he mistakenly gave the dog oatmeal). So clearly it just went down hill to all-out making fun of me. :( I exited the conversation by making a phone call I needed to make, then went on with my day.

If I just straight-up tried to quit chatting like I do, I would get so depressed. I would be a little mouse in a corner, never making anyone laugh, never sharing a smile, never truly connecting with anyone, and never sharing the Gospel with a complete stranger just because it happens to come up (which I've been known to do). I'd be a mess.

When people make fun of other people, they have to be careful. They may think it's just a joke, they make think it's all in fun, but they also may be completely insulting something they really can't (and shouldn't) change about themselves. It needs to occur to all of us that God made us the way He made us for a reason. I talk, because it pleased Him to make me talkative. (tear)

*This coworker seems to find something wrong with everyone. :( She had a bad day yesterday, so she kept interrupting me when people would ask ME questions and teased me - asking me if I was a doctor when I was telling our other student worker she should call her doctor about her knee injury before going home this weekend to see if she could possible get some pain medications to get her by until then. I couldn't do anything right by her yesterday. Today she was totally fine, except for the talking thing. :(

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inner-City News

Well, you probably noticed that "At Random" got a new look. :) I got kind of sick of the other template a while ago and decided today, for no apparent reason, was the day to try out another template. Alas!

To be honest, I'm pretty depressed lately. :( I've been working at a charter school since September/October sometime? and over "winter" break, one person quit and another quit within a few days after we started back. We were already short staffed at the time, but that was a HUGE hit. Long story short, I'm going on week four as a high school teacher working with inner-city "at-risk" students.

I have had next to no training and/or direction from my team leader or my supervisor, my school has this really odd way of "redirecting" behavior that is not working for me and there are about 30 9t-11th graders assigned to my room. I wish they would come to school, but on the other hand it's nice that I only have about 20 kids who show regularly. IT IS INSANE!

One might ask, "Kelli, why don't you quit?" The answer is, I don't really know. :-/ I really like the people I work with and I LOVE these kids, which keeps me going there day after day, but I'm clearly not cut out for this. I'm thankful that I've realized the students are too smart to hurt me, but they are truly out of control. One day my buddy "R" was in the back of the class yelling "Ms. Wood, yo class is out of control! How you not control yo class?! This class is out of control!" and I nodded in agreement as I had three students running around the room having a "book fight" (yes, throwing textbooks at each other) and others rapping at me. Sometimes I think, "this is probably what a non-medicated psych ward looks like." The only thing I can really do is write up a 3-day suspension for the kids who are out of control, then try to deal with them the rest of the day. I can't even kick them out of class because there's no place for them to go.

Today one of my favorite and most-helpful students flipped on me. She's 15 and pregnant, so I can't imagine what made her so moody ;), but she got mad at me for giving her letters (our "redirection" strategy) that she didn't agree with and she went off on me. Ouch. You lose one who's your "pet" and you've lost 'em all!

I want so badly to help these kids and to teach them something that will help them in life, but I'm obviously not cut out for this. I get defeated and discouraged every day and every day I go home with the reality that I taught them nothing. :-/ I'm at a loss for what to do with them, but if I quit they're going to feel I'm quitting on them when in reality I'd be quitting on the school, who I don't feel has equipped me or supported me as I've stepped in for a few weeks. Part of my problem in the classroom is addressing their hurt and anger about their previous advisor bailing out on them. Often times the most stable environment an inner-city youth has is the school. It's really sad. :( But they still need to learn to behave!

When I first agreed to step into this role, I was working about 28 hours a week, which was perfect. I still had time to do other things that are really on my heart to do. Ever since agreeing to this job, I work 8 hours a day at school (sometimes more) and then I take 2-3 hours of work home with me every night. I also have no prep period. I get 15 minutes to eat lunch and catch the toilet in the middle of the day. Otherwise I'm with the students ALL DAY. So I have these ridiculous expectations on me to complete work that's never really been explained to me and they won't pay me for more than 8 hours of work in a day. I found out last week, by visiting the WI Dept. of Labor website, that this is illegal (as I suspected) and that I'm actually due time and a half for everything over 8 hours I worked over the past 3.5 weeks. So I have this thing weighing heavy on my heart because there is some pretty serious economic injustice going on AND it's illegal and I am totally convicted that I can't allow it - for myself or anyone else. So how do you handle that one?!

There's so much... just so much. I'm really overwhelmed. I don't mean to jump on here and complain complain complain, but that's really what's going on with me lately and I could really use some prayer...

My mom and I always say to each other "what a tangled web we weave." Indeed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

1st Anniversary Getaway!

I was waiting for Lee to send me a couple pictures, but I haven't received them yet, so I decided to go ahead and post about our getaway anyway...

That's right! We took a little trip, following a wedding on July 12th, "up North" for our 1st anniversary. On Sunday we went back to Bayfield, where we took our honeymoon!

Here we are taking the Ferry over to Madeline Island.

Beautiful Bayfield from the Ferry.

We rented mopeds to cruise around the island! It was SO fun!

Ben always likes to take these contemplative pictures. :)

Ben records us - very dangerous!

Even though it was dangerous, I like that you can see some of the things were were looking at as we were cruising around. To the left is Lake Superior and off in the distance you can see Upper Michigan.

A picture I took on the ride.

We rode the town park where there was this beautiful lagoon! I don't know if the pictures do it justice because it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. We spent some time hiking around, cuddling at the beach and watching two dogs play. =)
After a long and breezy day, we took turns relaxing in the jacuzzi (while watching Sports Center :p)!

We were having a great time, but alas! we had to continue on...

... taking Hwy 2 down to "Grandma's" - Ben's grandma, really - in Eagle River! When we got there, we shared homemade pie and smoked fish we brought with us from Bayfield. :) We decided to stop there for a day so I could finally meet Ben's aunt, Mary, from Virginia.

Two fawns in "Grandma's" front yard. Mary and I had a good time quietly chasing them for these pics. I was a little concerned at how tame they were. I hope they get grown up and scared before November!
Lee and couple of his friends were there fishing for a couple days. We went out on Matt's boat water skiing and knee boarding on Tuesday! It was AWESOME! I had never water skied before, but I was proud of myself because I "got up" on the 3rd try! I had a hard time staying up, however. :p We didn't have a lot of time, so I didn't go a second time, but I'm confident I would have been skiing gracefully if I had. ;) Instead, I knee boarded for my last pass and had a good time flying off in an exhilarating water crash for my grand finish! I have yet to find a water activity I don't like. Ben has experience water skiing so he had not problem, of course. He did have one of those crashes where I wish I had it on video... my belly hurt with laughter! :) I have to say that being in Grandma's lake made me a little nervous, however, because it's known as a muskie lake... yikes!
In true Wood fashion, we forgot to take the camera on the boat, so hopefully Lee will send us the pictures soon!
When we got home at 10pm on Tuesday, the 15th, it was not too late (for me) to pick the first fruits of all my labor!! They were delicious and we keep getting more! =)
A lovely trip to celebrate our anniversary. Lovely. =)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Anniversary Date

On our anniversary, we got to spend the day together as Ben worked the 4th and took his holiday on Monday, the 7th. :) Since we had a wedding on Saturday the 5th, we weren't able to go away till the following weekend, but here are pictures of the "supa-fun" day we had on our anniversary!

Leaving the house for lunch.

Sad our favorite Thai place was closed, forcing us to eat at the crappy Chinese place next to it.

This was the BEST part of the day! After going to the museum and watching this really cool movie about the great lakes in the IMAX, we went to Grand Slam USA to hit some balls in the batting cages. After hitting for a while, we decided to play spaceball! The floor of the net cage was one big trampoline! The object was to throw the ball at each other through these 2 holes in the wall that separated us and try to get the other one to drop it. You switch servers each play, but you can only score a point if you serve. It was a great cardio workout, as you can see by all the sweat. I won 3 games to 2 in sudden death. =)

My husband makes me do the craziest things. Here we are holding Ben's sign on Wednesday, the 9th last week, trying to get it on FSN. We went to the game with Jason & Rachel, which was a real treat.

Speaking of a real treat. We came home and ate some of our anniversary cake after the game! Our cake shop provides a brand new anniversary cake for your 1st anniversary free. That enabled us to eat the first one on our honeymoon last year. ;)

We just returned home last night from our anniversary getaway. We spent four days "up North" and even got to spend one day back in Bayfield, WI where we took our honeymoon a year ago. A post to follow will include pics and more details. Happy anniversary to us!

Monday, July 07, 2008

One Year Ago Today!


Most people have to wait 365 days for their first anniversary. We had to wait 366.

(It was a leap year this year, if you're still trying to figure that out. ;) )

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Garden Post, Inspired by Abby

Well, I've been wanting to post pictures and details about my garden, but I didn't quite get to it last week. Over the weekend we had 6.85" of rain in our neighborhood and my garden is very muddy. Many of my plants are pounded to the ground and a lot of my flowers lost all their pedals! They all look like they'll bounce back, but I'm not going to post pictures till they look a little better and the soil dries a bit.

I, like Abby, have planted my very first, very own vegetable garden! I am growing peas on the vine, red and white onions, carrots, salad greens, cucumbers, green bell peppers, red chili peppers, yellow bell peppers, 1 cherry tomato plant, 2 large tomato plants, 1 medium tomato plant, green beans, 1 butternut squash plant, and 3 zucchini plants! I planted everything closer together than recommended because we just didn't have the room. We'll see how that works out. :) I also planted chives, cilantro, basil, rosemary, and parsley? I think that's right... I planted all my herbs, including the chives, in little pots with the hope of bringing them in for the fall/winter and having fresh herbs all year. I planted about 3 or 4 weeks ago and everything is up and growing well!

I also planted a host of last week flowers and they're doing okay. If I could do it over again, I would have had a bit more variety and I would have grouped things together. They're all planted sporadically with other flowers and other colors. It doesn't really flow, but I guess the way to learn is by trial and error, right?

The best addition to my garden is my rain barrel!!! For my birthday, Ben built me a rain barrel! (One of the benefits of marrying a civil engineer who works with water supply and water distribution, I guess.) It catches rain water off the roof of the garage into a 60 gallon barrel. It only takes a half inch of rain to fill the barrel and in a dry week, I'm estimating I could water my whole garden, vegetables & flowers, at least twice. Rain water is best for my plants, plus we're being good stewards of our resources, while saving money at the same time. Although I was a little disappointed to open a box of PVC pipes on my birthday, I've grown to love my rain barrel so much that I'm having Ben build me a second one for the other side of the garage. Here's a picture of it, including the watering can he bought to go with it:

Oh, I guess you can see my tomatoes growing in the back. :) It's funny, I call it a rain barrel and Ben calls it a "rain water catchment tank."