Thursday, April 29, 2010

not alone

"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us"
It is inherent that, as a reading teacher, I must like to read.

Not only like. But love. And I'm okay with being bookish and nerdy. It suits me.

Books are a source of solace and comfort.
They make me forget, yet make me remember.
Their stories fill my head with hope that there is a world out there for the taking.

Currently, this is my favorite place to read (and everyone needs a favorite place to read):

A blue chair by my sliding glass door.
I mold myself to it like a ball nestled in a worn glove.
I like to sit here in the late afternoon, when the western sun is pouring in.
When it's nice out, I'll keep the door open and listen to the sounds of the chirping birds, rustling leaves, and laughing children..
Oftentimes, there is a glass of wine accompanying me.

Now, back to being a reading teacher. I originally became a reading teacher because of said love for reading. Ah, so naive, Kim. Little did I know that the kids I would be working with dislike, even to the point of hate, reading.

I guess I can't blame them totally. Most of my students have had repeated failures and struggles with reading growing up. They've built up a wall of defense to avoid struggling and failing. I mean, who wants to do something that's hard for them? To most, reading and writing is frightening. Some don't even see the point of improving their skills in reading and writing. That is what frightens me the most.

Sometimes it's a battle to get a piece of literature in their hands or a word written down.

When a student writes mentally breaks a sweat and composes a good piece of writing, or when a student really gets a story, all that toil seems worth it. Those successes, however, are few and far in between.

But I'll enjoy those moments when they do happen...

But for now, I'll enjoy my blue chair and hope everyone has a blue chair to fly away for a little while...

"She had learning something comforting, that we are not alone"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

slow burn

My eyes burn 
like the my soul's hazy discontent.

I'm tired.

I'm tired of not being

smart enough,
funny enough,
                                                      pretty enough,
                                                      thin enough.

                                                      Maybe someday
                                                      I'll wake up,
                                                      with clear eyes, 
                                                      realizing that I'm

                                                      Good enough.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Teaching is like a battlefield.

Each side considers the other a foe and schemes to capitalize on their enemy's weakness. To beat them to a bloody pulp. Sometimes there is a clear victor, sometimes there is a stalemate. Either outcome leaves casualties littering the ground.

A typical casualty is my sanity and patience.

Often I find myself working harder than my students. Sometimes I can bend and not break with their silly immaturities. Other times it's the pettiest infraction that sends me flying.

No, you cannot just sit there doing absolutely nothing because you don't have a pencil. Yes, that's right. Use your big kid words and ask for one.

That's okay, just stare at me blankly when I ask you a question. I like talking to myself.

Those feelings of defeat and frustration leave me deflated like a sad balloon leftover and forgotten at a birthday party.

After days like these, I need to get to my happy place. Here are some ways I find my happy place:

* Singing loudly with one of my favorite songs. Even though I sound like a poor animal dying...

*Getting outdoors. There is something invigorating about getting out and smelling the air and doing something with my body that prevents my mind from spinning wheels...

*Ice cream. Any kind. Preferably by the pint.

*Laughing uncontrollably until I cry. Then crying.

*Reading. I love being so engrossed in someone else's issues instead of my own

*When all else fails, open a bottle of wine or a cold beer. Or both.

What does my happy place look like? Something like this...

And this...

Or even this...

What does your happy place look like?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Sprightly like a daffodil, swaying gently in the breeze.

Clean like the pale green buds on trees, ready to pounce into the world.

Fresh like the green grass, reawakened with sun and rain.

Pure like the air that rustles through my hair.

Signs of renewal and creeping and peeping though the vestige of winter.

I want to be like spring, where possibility, vitality, and beauty grow and reign inside me.


It's 4/18/10, another arbitrary date. Three months ago I started this blog to seek clarity in my otherwise hazy life.

Mission accomplished? While there are some aspects in my life that have remained hazy, some aspects have become more clear and perceptible.

 I  figured things (i.e. love, job, me) out about myself, but I realized that there are just some aspects of life that will remain a mystery. Sometimes it's best to let them be revealed and resolved on their own rather than hunt them down and rip them open. 

With respects to my work, a valued colleague recently said, "I have a job, when I want a career." That simply stated thought spoke volumes to me. That's what I've been searching for. A career that has meaning, order, goals. Not a job to barely pay my bills. But I learned to be thankful for what I have. I can turn my job into a career, but it has to be me that does so. I can't wait for someone else to do it.

With regards to Ty. Well, he's a complicated person who complicates my life. But I know now that whatever role he plays, it's not the love of my life. That role is still to be determined and casted...

About those "big life decisions:" Those will come when they're ready, and whether or not I'm ready. But I'll be awaiting them, while my fingertips fluidly tap the keyboard, detailing it all on the blogosphere, with eyes wide open...

Friday, April 16, 2010


"Be not simply good, be good for something" -Henry David Thoreau

"How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?" -Vincent Van Gogh

I came across these quotes recently and they left me wondering, feeling somethat perplexed:

"Something" is so vague, intangible, undetermined.Something can mean anything.  What's my "something?"

People search for this "something" all their lives. Purpose, passion, acceptance, release.

So, what am I searching for? I've realized these past three months that even though I'm not sure what my "something" is, I want it, I need it! I want to know that my life is headed somewhere, but more importantly, that I'm serving some sort of purpose.

I want to be good. Good for what I stand up for, good for those I love. Good enough.

It's almost like this "something" is in my peripheral vision. I can see the blurry edges, but no defined shape.

It's just a matter of turning my head and looking in the right direction...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spinning my wheels @ Perfect Blend

I do some of my best wheel-spinning while drinking vanilla lattes at Perfect Blend, as I wait for the overpriced spin cyle to stop next door. Grateful Dead playing. Things are good...

Well, Kimmy did a bad, bad thing. I wasn't going to mention it, but I feel I have to be honest in my misadventures (Mrs. Mediocrity , don't judge!). Twice now, Ty and I have met up for a sordid, no-strings attached, top secret (even though I told Alissa, partner in bad decision-making), affair. I know, I know, I've just about broken all my rules for my 3 month-to-clarity, but I can't help it! Call me "Yes-Woman."

But, as I think about our past two encounters, the question is: Is there really such things are "no strings attached?" I'm beginning to think not. It we were truly over each other, we wouldn't be doing this. We do quite a bit of "I shouldn't be telling you this but..." prefacing where we reveal to each other things we never planned on telling each other. For example, he told me he had a ring picked out for me. EEEEK!

After though, I don't feel the need to reconcile and reunite. If anything, I feel validated in my decision. However, I have to admit, reader, I think I've damaged him. He's so anti-women, anti-marriage, pro-drunken debauchery (as if to drink it all away). I feel fairly certain our broken relationship and my actions have led to this. In fact, during our last clandestine meeting, I made a fairly harmless comment, "you need a girlfriend." To which he replied, "Why do I need a girlfriend when I can just just have no strings attached sex with you?"  While I can't deny we have the physics, I find more and more we just don't have the chemistry...

So, why am I doing this? Are we preventing each other from moving on and meeting other people? Are we just lonely and seeking comfort in each other?

I mean, I think I'm trying to meet people. In fact, I met a really nice guy the other night at my friend Lauren's birthday dinner. We talked all night and I felt we have a connection. It was like a glimmer of hope. After, on the drive home, I called Lauren to get the scoop. Her response was disappointing to say the least: "He's attracted to you, but isn't dating. He's had a lot of relationship issues and just wants to have fun. You guys can be friends, though." While I appreciate the honesty, but really? Haven't we all had relationship woes? Isn't that what you do to get past them, date other people? Spinsterhood is looking more and more appealing everyday.

As the spin cycle ends next door, this wheel-spinning definitely won't. But hey, we all get stuck in the mud occasionally before we get out of our rut and back onto the road. Riding smoothly toward our destination.

Living it up in Leisurevile: A collection

My grandparents live in a retirement community called Leisureville, in Boynton Beach, FL. All the homes look the same; ranch-style, tiled roof.

Palm trees line the street...

Gardenias and bourgenvillas from my grandmother's yard...

Delray Beach...

Path leading to the beach...

Seagulls scoping the scene for food...

Footprints in the sand...

Birds overhead...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why I long to be a blonde by the ocean

Judging by my blog's web address, one would think that I live somewhere on the coast, within easy distance to the ocean.

That's so far from the truth. I live in the northeast, where all four seasons exhibit their splendor and wreak their havoc.

This week, however, I can live out that ideal. I'm visiting my grandparents in Boynton Beach, located on the eastern coast of Florida. Ten minutes from the beach. Glorious.

I went to the beach today and I was reminded of how calming the deafening roar of the waves can be. Now, this isn't a private, exclusive beach; it's a run-of-the mill semi-public beach. I've been there dozens of times.

However, going there makes me forget the spinning wheels in my head and focus on my senses, which I believe people can easily tune out.

The touch of the hot, grainy sand...
The taste of salt on your lips...
The sound of the waves incessantly pounding the shore...
The smell of the fresh, salty air...
The multitude of blues and greens, so mercurial, that color the ocean.

I would describe myself as a water person, so it's no surprise that I have such an affinity to the ocean. It's a getaway from reality. Could I get my insurance to cover the expenses as counseling?

Even though I'm thinking about renaming my blog, it doesn't change the fact I want to be a blonde (albeit dirty) by the ocean.

Stop t-t-talkin' that blah blah blah

You're rude
You're crass
A binge drinker (Is there life without it?)
Ever hear of empathy? Comforting?
You talk entirely too much about yourself
with little regard to what I have to say.

You rarely say the right thing.
It's all about you and not

Yet, in spite of that all,
I just can't seem to
shake you.

You're like a bad habit.
Wonderful while doing it,
but it's the after that makes me realize
this is something
I have to quit.