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01.07.2014

So today's deep thoughts about Food Network are 100% percent indicative of the fact that school is out and I'm at home and I have wayyyy too much television-watching time on my hands. Nevertheless.We shall begin with Giada De Laurentiis. My immediate thought every time her shows come on is, "For real?" She's a doggone chef who cooks all the time, yet she has the figure of a fashion model. She weighs like 82 pounds and smiles with those perfectly white teeth, and I am (understandably) inherently distrustful. I like my chefs to have the figure of Barefoot Contessa or pre-scandal Paula Deen. I need to know that they eat what they cook and that if I were to somehow begin cooking the way they do, I would blow up and am therefore justified in my less-than-Food-Network-worthy culinary prowess. It makes me think she's a wizard or something. Plus, "Giada at Home" contains views of the ocean through her window. Unfair.Barefoot Contessa. Ina Garten. Whatever you call her, she is a character. She says things like, "I suppose you could always use a store-bought chicken stock, but it's just so easy to kill and roast a free-range chicken from your...

17.05.2014

I needed a break from the world. Life was chaotic, I was overwhelmed, and the constant barrage of perfect pictures of everyone else's world was about to do me in. So I did the 21st century version of squirreling myself away from society for a while - I logged off.I didn't blog; I didn't read blogs. I swore off Facebook, and I shunned Twitter. I gave myself a time-out from the nonstop updates that stole my minutes and brought out my envy.It was glorious.And now that I've allowed myself some social media again, I almost wish I hadn't. Perhaps it's just my personality type, but I've come to realize how few contributions social media actually make for me personally.Sure, I can see what people I went to high school with are up to (and goodness gracious, that's more than I needed to know), and I can learn quickly who just got engaged or took a pregnancy test, and yes, I don't know how we lived without knowing who was at the gym or seeing a picture of their meals, but truly - does the information we're obsessed with posting and fanatical about reading enrich our lives? Does it make us...

27.02.2014

As a teacher, this is how I envision myself.I'd like to think that, like an Olympic torch bearer, I am beckoning all hopefuls to follow the flame as I dutifully lead them to the place of dream-realization.Unfortunately, this is a more realistic picture.When I went into this profession, I honestly believed that I would be the teacher to make a difference. I would inspire adolescents to love learning, and they would look back on their education and hallowedly speak my name as The One who made all the difference.Nobody told me that the reality would be slightly different, with me admonishing the same 14 year old three days in a row for failing to bring a pencil, or that I would slump in my chair at the final bell wondering just why I thought I was cut out for this. Nobody explained that the kid in all black would cry out for attention in ways I had never seen. Nobody said that my heart would break when my student's mother died while he was in my class.Teaching, in case you don't know, is not always leading a charge with a flame. It is pulling your charges towards a pinprick of...

11.02.2014

Just in case you ever want to ruin the morning of a perfectly good snow day, all you have to do is this:1. Wake your seven year old daughter (who went to bed later than she should have the previous night) and inform her that she has a dentist appointment.2. Attempt to dress said seven year old daughter as she thrashes about and wails, "But I just wanna go back to sleeeeeppp!"3. Then wake your eight year old son and tell him he has to tag along to the dentist - repeating what you said one more time, louder, so he can hear you over the dramatic protests from the room across the hall.4. Drive to the dentist, through the snow, wishing you were back home in your warm bed.5. Pretend to be happy at the dentist's office when the receptionist asks you to update paperwork. Think, "It's not personal. Insurance requirements. Grin and bear it."6. Enthusiastically usher your increasingly-nervous daughter to the back where the poor hygienist is waiting and has no idea what she is about to face.7. Hold your precious second-born as tears well up in her eyes at the announcement that all six-year molars are in...