Saturday, December 6, 2008

One of Those Days

Yesterday was one of those days; one of those really poignant days. A day where you hope those hearing are listening and will take that message and begin doing. A day where if the ideas turn into actions it could be one of those days you talk about for the rest of your life. Am I being cryptic enough, let em explain.
Yesterday a good friend my mine who is involved in politics can and spoke to my class. He talked about his life, how to run for office, how he lost and even how he is totally okay with that. (he was a 3rd party candidate I believe him) Whole that was good and all the focus of his talk was to have my students see concerns in their school, town, community etc. and to do something about them. They had a very easy time pointing out all the things they hated. "Uniforms are lame!" "Binders are stupid." and my personal favorite "The cafeteria food like like my dog barfed on a plate and then peed on it." Jr. High students can be very descriptive when the mood strikes. But, when asked by my guest speaker how to take their concerns and turn them into arguments they were lost. He did though teach them alot about how to do just that. How whining and strikes don't always work but goor arguments with thoughtful composition and intelligent rationale will get you somewhere.
When student asked him about sit in and all the protests Martin Luther King Jr. did he had a very astute observation. He said," Yes, he did do that and all those things brought awareness to the problem but was that the solution. No! Martin Luther King is best remembered for his I have a Deam speach, an opportunity to clearly tell his arguement and what he wanted to see done differently." Now this sparked some interest in kids and I think they saw the light bulb go off. Activism without words does nothing.
So why then an I rambling about some speaker. How does this connect with one of those days. See that is my goal in teahign history. That in just one of my students they see they to are a Thomas Jefferson or Susan B. Anthony or Martin Luther King Jr. and they stopp bitching and whining and decide to do something. Maybe this guest speaker will help to light that spark under my stuents and they will decide to start do someting. I know a hard feat, especially when apathy is the top emotion in the life of a teenager but it has been done before and I hope with this new found understanding my students will do it again.
Here's to hoping that yesterday was not just another day but one of those days...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SO it was one LONG damn hiatus

This idea of weekly blog writing is really great and I blame not updating mine more on my friend Charlie. See we made a pact of writing once a week and he hasn't held up his end of the bargain so neither have I. Wow, my students' logic is rubbing off on me more than I thought. Yes, another school year has started and once again I have stretched myself in way too many places and at times have felt a bit thin to be quite honest. (if only that thinness was reflect in my pants size instead of just my spirit) I have so truly great kids this year. Of course I also have some lazy bums but I have decided to put my focus and energy on those who work hard, are nice, support each other and remind me why I choose to leave a promising legal career to be here. I have decided that every time I write and if Charley steps it up it will be every week I am going to focus on the positive and tell you something good/funny that is happening and leave the assholes where they should be; in the corners not taking my precious time.
There is this one young man that I am so impressed with. School is hard for him. He can hardly read anything let alone an 8th grade textbook or understand the politics section of the newspaper I require them to read each and every Tuesday. He cant' spell most words, barley knows his math facts. Really people I could go on and on here but guess what unless most of his peers he wants to learn and somehow someway and fir has been lit inside him. He knows he has a hard time so he comes to me twice a week to get help. As soon as the bell rings for school to end there he is at my door ready to learn. He stays until he gets it and is always patient and never gives up. He has such a desire to be successful and will do anything I ask in order to pass my class and learn those MUCH needed basic skills. I asked him what he does after school the other three days and he says he works with his mom at her cleaning business so they can make some extra money. What a truly remarkable young man.
To top it all off last year he got shot in the face. It was a freak drive-by wrong place wrong time knind of situation. He needs more surgeries to finish up the work and get him new teeth (the bullet blew through a bunch of them) but can't until they make enough money to pay for it. I am just constantly amazed by this young man. Where others in my class are giving up with much less adversity here he is working that much harder. When I asked him why he has choosen to work hard be said it's to make him mom proud. She never went to school because she had to work in the fields in Mexico as a child and he doesn't want to disappoint her and make her hard work not mean something. Now that is one awesomem kid. I just hope he learns to read, write, and do math because if he can get those skills he will be so successful. It makes me mad because all those cocky smart kids where things come so easy to them will get the scholarships to college, the good jobs, the big houses and here is this kid who has all those amazing skills you can never teach someone. Skills like hard work, patience, kindness, never giving up, respecting others.
So to all five of you who read this if you get a chance give the person who may not have the perfect resume, credentials, etc a chance because in the end they may be so much better because they want it that much more and will work that much harder to keep it.
And as to my student (even though he won't/can't read this) you will get those skills as long as you never give up and I will support you every step of the way to get you to your final goal.

Monday, August 25, 2008

And We're Back

Now that the Olympics have been put to bed for another four years I can resume my life and once again return to the things I have to go do; i.e. teach, work, clean the house, shop, the regular stuff. Before I close the Olympiad book for good I would like to say a few things good and bad about the 8 greatest days Beijing has ever seen, aside from Mao you know.
Michael Phelps was beyond good, beyond great, it was like God made him for one purpose and one purpose only; to kick every one's ASS!!!!! like it had never been kicked before. Gymnastics was pretty damn awesome as well. Sure the Chinese have small preschool aged children competing but I think that only makes it more amazing. I could barley so a somersault at the age of 5 and these girls WOW! that's talent. Diving. I still don't know how they can jump from 3o feet in the air twist like that and not just eat shit when they enter the water Those athletes are remarkable and the sport VERY scary.
The US 4x100 relay team. Sure watching from your couch really makes you the backseat sprinter but come on people. Passing the baton, wasn't that a skill covered in 4th grade gym class. If they fuck up something I can do they are NOT Olympic caliber athletes; I might even call their entire athleticism into question. Additionally, I know that watching Michael Phelps win gold medal number 3,000,000 live is much better that tape delay but when that live coverage is at 2:15 am I start to seriously question how much better it can be. I really do think the IOC owes me about 27 hours of lost sleep during the month of August.
So over all great. I just love the Olympics. The wins by 1/1 gazillionth of a second. Those touching special interest pieces where you cry for that kid who had to sell his kidney just to keep training with the Karolyi gymnastic elite. Even the insane amount of food Michael Phelps eats a day was rather interesting, sick and gross but interesting none the less. My hat is off to you Beijing and 29th Olympiad. With 1.5 billion though you know China was gonna outshine every other Olympics ever, was there even an option. It was there one opportunity to show that having more people in one country than you think humanly possible can actually be an asset; that and if they ever decide to try for world domination.

School starts in a mere 10 hours so off to be I am and will re cap day 1 of a new year tomorrow.
Same bat time same bat channel

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Due to the once every four year amazement of the Olympics I am taking a hiatus until they are over. I am sorry but I cannot spend every single free moment watching said Olympics and trying to blog. The blog will be here after August 26th the Olympics my friends sadly will not.
In case you want to know what I am watching every free second of my days go to
Don't worry sports fans I will return soon but in the mean time I ask you this: Is this girl 16 like her "passport" says or 11 like her face says?
I let you be the judge.Hopefully when I return I will have answers but Communist China is rather sneaky.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I have a dirty little secret to share

I consider myself an intelligent person. I have a college degree, am well read and like to engage in intelligent activities. I even teach history which definitely means I know ALOT about that subject. But there is a secret. Remember that episode of Sex and the City (all hail SJP) in which Carrie discusses secret single behaviors. These are things that women do that they would never do in front of their boyfriend/husband. Things that are guilty pleasures in whihc the woman loves but knows that if this gets out she will be ridiculed by siad man. If you reclall her's was wating sandwiches of white saltines and and grape jelly standing up in her kitchen reading fashion magazines, particuarly Vogue.

Much in the fashion of other single women I too have those SSB's and I fear that I, like Carrie Bradshaw, need to come clean with my SSB. I am obsessed with Tori and Dean: Homem Sweet Hollywood. I cannot get enough of that show. I DVR it so I can watch it when my husband is gone. I read the blog, go on the website and generally obsess over it. Last night with the episode of the birth of thier daughter Stella I was crying, especially over the lame song they sang at the end. Really people this is sad stuff but I love it. I cannot get enough of this show and get VERY upset if I cannot engage in this Secret Single Behavior. I have not yet become one of this crazy people that sends baby gifts go celebrity strangers but it could happen one day. I am even secretly checked out the boot Tori Spelling wrote STori Telling and can't wait to secretly read it!.

So there you have it folks there is my SSB my all comsuming love for the Spelling/McDermot clan. Feel free to share with me your SSB's unless it is Tuesday at 10 then Tori and Dean will be on and I will be engaging in my own SSB and hate to be bothered.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I heard the pool calling to me all day.

Well folks one of the worst days of the years has happened. That day I have dreaded for weeks now. One that I did not want to think about or even admit was quickly approaching. Yes it is that day, the day I had to go back to work. Luckily though it was not teaching per say but rather this pretty cool U.S. History institute I was chosen to be a part of. While I feel that these next two weeks will actually be useful and I will (gasp) get to take material back to my classroom that I can (double gasp) ACTUALLY USE!!!! in general the end of summer SUCKS rocks. The people cool, the grant director cool, the lecturers even cool but couldn't we be doing this work by the pool or even on the grass. Anywhere please besides inside some dull classroom with the AC on full blast, artificial light and windows that DO NOT open. It took all my strength to not leave at lunch and spend my afternoon by the pool.

In a very haters are us type of sentiment I have to hate one some people for a moment or twenty. I HATE, HATE, HATE, when people raise their hand to ask lecturers a question when really all they want to do is espouse their stupid rhetoric and show off to everyone else how learned they are. I especially hate it when their perceived GENIUS comment has really nothing at all to do with the lecture and they are invariably wrong. In case you couldn't tell by my ranting this happened to me today. In my institute I am attending every morning of the the University professors lectures to the group about a topic in US history. They are usually experts in their topic, very engaging and you learn a lot. There is always a Q and A session and most people ask good questions where they want clarification, to get more info or whatever. This morning though 2 people asked a "question" and then rambled on for, I kid you not, 10 minutes about nothing. Ans what was especially horrible was that their nothing was a wrong nothing and the professor kept having to correct their inaccurate information.
Personally there is NOTHING more I hate than stupid people trying to pretend that they are smart and in doing so expose their severe ineptitude and pompousness at at once. First off if you want to espouse your bullshit craptastic rhetoric then become a god damned college professor. Second, and more importantly I might add, if you are going to ramble on for 15 minutes and waste all our time then at least be right about the information you are boring us to death with.
All in all an okay day but laying at the pool would have been better, especially since there would be no stupid people cramming their inaccurate bullshit down my ever annoyed throat!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Facebook the 10 year Reunion of the 21st Century

As I laid by the pool this afternoon catching up on my tanning and thinking about a whole lot of nothing I realized that I am getting old and that a true sign of that is my 10 year high school reunion will be next year. Ten years! F*ck where has the time gone, have I really become an adult where not so long a go my biggest concern was what friend was coming over to hang out.
Over the years my friends and I have debated going to our ten year reunion. There are a group of about 5 of us that have stayed super close since high school and everyone else has seemed to fade.
People that, at the time I enjoyed talking to, drinking with, and trying to go on a date with but does that mean I really want to see them now. And furthermore do I want to actually have to talk with them and listen to their endless dribble about a life I know nothing of and frankly don't care about.
I want to go for the reasons why everyone else wants to go. I want to snoop. I want the gossip. I want all the goods without all the chit-chat See who has improved since high school and who hasn't, who has become a loser and who, against all odds made it big.
As I was thinking about these things I realized I have already attended my high school reunion and even better I didn't have talk to any of them to find out the gossip I wanted. All I had to do was look them up on facebook, ask to be their friend, wait for them to say yes (everyone says yes) and viola instant reuion. Facbook gives you all the information that you want at a reuion. Pictures of them as the ten years have either given them money to get plastic surgery or shown that yes metabolism slows and they have have gained weight. It gives you that one vital stastic, single or in a relationship. It tells you some other things you may care about job, interests, and most importantl the wall where you can read all their posts from their real frinds to get the dirt on their lives without ever having to talk to them ONCE!!! Also you can see their friends which is a gold mind for other ex high school buddies you also want to snoop on. Now if you really want to maxamize it get together with the friends from high school you actually see and care about and swap usernames and passwords so you can see exponentialy more old acquaintences without bweing one of those freaky people with like 1,000 friends.
Thak you Facebook. With you I can go to my high school reunion in my jamies and unwashed hair, learn the gossip on everyone withoth ever having to open my mouth and the best part call my real high school friends and gossip in person to them about the LOSERS our high school acquaintences became.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I miss you my dear San Francisco

There are many reasons why my husband and I decided to leave San Francisco.
First and definitely most important reason why we left: the absolutely horrible weather. To all of you out there that love the damp dreary summer of non stop fog, drizzle and general misery I don't even try to understand your insane type of outlook on life. To me summer is nothing less that a deep golden bronze, preferably gotten laying on the smooth southern California sand but the pool at our condo will do.
Second reason to move the fact that any decent property in that town costs you not only your life savings but that of your whole family and 3-7 neighbors. For our cute and I must say pretty darned spacious condo which is very safe, sunny, and full of vegetation suburbia we could have bout a studio on the corner of crack addict and rape in the worst part of the city. Instead of the smell of fresh cut grass and flowers we would have had the unmistakable smell of bum filth and urine wafting through our barred windows.
Third reason to move: You have to have same insane connection to SFUSD to get a job there. I am not sure why a job there is harder to get than a CIA operative but it is and since i do not have stealth ninja like skills to get a job I had to leave.

Why then is my post titled I miss you San Francisco. Obviously so much of San Francisco I do not miss. Even the shopping here is pretty comparable and parking is always available and FREE!!! Weather much better, air cleaner, better schools, parking, etc. I could go on. But as I was laying out at the pool getting my dark golden bronzy tan I was reading San Francisco magazine. No big deal, usually I hate the yuppiness of this magazine but this was the restaurant edition. OH MY GOD!!! How I miss the incredible food of San Francisco. A place where chain restaurants do not exist. A place where you can get literally anything to eat and it is all so good, so authentic and depending of the place so cheap. I can't even put the difference in words because there are non to compare absolutely mind blowing awesome with okay, boring, run of the mill, cookie cutter type dining. I think that this is the only reason why I even think about moving back to that terrible.
Well that, and all my awesome friends there.

So long restaurant bliss instead of family and close friends we are now only those distant relatives you see once in a while. But when you do the reunion is that much sweeter.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fellow Snippy condesending writers

So I, in a feeble attempt to regain my writing skills that I have pushed to the VERY back of my consciousness since June 11th I have decided to up the posting. That and I have to redeem my crude, crass, snippy attitude where I make fun of things and generally make witty, if rather desperigating remarks about everything. Top on the list of recent though are my walrus like arms I see in every wedding photo. You are thinking Emily, you look lovely and walruses don't have arms. I says you are just being nice and I know walrus's do not have arms. My arms look like a walrus.

Okay enough self-depreciating behavior. What will I write later in life when I get a neck waddle, my boobs are literally touching my kneecaps, and my arms have grown a walrus family.

I just want to tell you about this great little website called
I read it and think it is genius. I am sure there are those of you out there that think. Hey this guy is painting us white people in a bad light. But come on it is so damn true. I had those unpaid internships because my middle class parents were willing to shell out money for my rent. Not that I don't totally LOVE my parents. They are amazing and I am So lucky to have them but it's true. If I was a poor kid who's parents were on welfare living on 3rd and Palou (SF you know this corner) could I have worked for free. HELL no. My parents would have said. Get a job we can't afford to support you as you work for free.
Every single post I read I agree with. Being a white person myself does this mean I am one of those terrible people writes about. Or one of those terrible people he writes about but can see that and enjoys being somewhat put down and called out for my "whiteness"

#76 Bottled Water
That is so true. I the lone white person at times in my classroom can hardly take a step without my cute Sigg water bottle filled with bottled water I poured into there from other bottles. My Non-white students. Get up and drink from the drinking fountain. I gasp while they gulp happily.
I have become sad and oh so privileged without even knowing it.

True Companion

***********SAPPY NEWLYWED POST ALERT********
So as you all know I got married this summer. (If you are reading this blog and do not know me that is sort of creepy but whatever.) Also as you all know some really amazing friends of mine also got married this summer. Their wedding was like a fairy tale, complete with a nap in a pretty princess bed, more on that later. But at their wedding a good friend of their played and sang a song called True Companion by Marc Cohen. The song is amazing and on constant repeat both on the stereo and in my head. I think that my husband is starting to think I have a serious case of O.C.D. but it has a hold on me.
As I listened to it for the 1 millionth time I was thinking why do these words speak to me so strongly right now. Is it because I am a sappy newlywed who married her best friend and true companion? And then I thought yes, I guess he is. Believe me he is not the man I envisioned married to as as a 8 year old playing wedding with my neighbor. We were convinced we were going to marry tall dark muscly men with Sean Connery accents, who spent all day writing us love letters, sending us flowers and general "sweeping us off our feet" behaviors.
Is my husband my 8 year old vision? 100 NEGATIVE. He is smaller than me AKA the Ethiopian girl with blue eyes, little hair and always gives me a hard time. He has told me flowers die, thinks accents are for frenchy poo fag nasties and is more likely to laugh at my feet than sweep me off of them. He reads highly intellectual books like Dante's Inferno, for FUN while I am reading true trash like Stori Telling. He is the kind of guy that when worried about something turns in and thinks by himself in his man cave for hours about it. So unlike me who, when has a problem, wants to talk and talk and talk for hours about it and get every single person's opinion I know about the issue. He has dreams like hike the ENTIRE pacific crest trail, make 80 bajillion dollars, and live for a summer in truly the middle of no where. My dreams are have a 10 foot force field where not a bug, rodent, or other gross animal could touch me, live for a summer in the heart of Manhattan and sleep in freshly cleaned sheets every night of my life. When he lost his cell phone he was like no big deal when I lost mine we had to drive 2 hours to retrieve it.
How then could this man; so utterly unlike me, so 110% opposite be my true companion. I think that is the answer. My true companion is the person who makes me stretch myself in ways and places I wouldn't. My companion is real and honest and always treats me like his equal. Simply put in the end loves me regardless of time, place, or the hours he has to drive to retrieve my cell phone. In the end I made a choice. Sure I could have spent my life looking for my 8 year old fantasy or I could start my life with this amazing and complete opposite right in front of me. As you know I made the right choice. How do I know it is the right choice? Be he filled a space in my heart I didn't even know was missing.

And as the title says He didn't kill me so we all know he made me stronger.
Okay enough sap. I am sure the surely, unruley 14 year olds will cure me of the saps soon enough but had to get it out of my system.

What does not kill me revived - maybe this time I won't die

So I know I have been the world's worst blogger. I don't even think I can call a paltry 4 posts a blog. Real bloggers have that many posts in a day. But whatever, I am not a real blogger I just dabble at times, hopefully more so this year.
Therefore I am making a pact with my friend Charlie and the four of you that read my posts that this year will be the year. This year I will blog religiously once a week during the school year every Friday. It will be a wrap up of the craziness that happened. But i decided to post now to get out my rusty writing skills and just start writing again so that way by the time school starts I will have at least written something in the last three months besides grocery lists, and reasons why summer vacation is the world's gift from the Gods. Sorry to all of you of which it is not bestowed upon, you really should try it out sometime.