Yep, That’s Me

A couple weeks ago, I participated in a student vs. student vs. faculty competition.  It  was one of those competitions where each class competed against one another and the faculty.  I volunteered to participate in the obstacle course.   The obstacle was meant to be the day in the life of a student, so you start by getting dressed, then maneuver through laundry baskets, twirl around on a bat (I think this symbolized class?), sweep a ball through cones (the service component), make a lay-up (atheletics), then take off the clothes and hand them off to your partner.  I was third of four for our group.  We start off strong, but then our second person can’t keep up the pace.  Then I go and…

yep that hurt for a few days

As you can see I don’t have the most graceful of endings. The pants were slightly too long and when they hit the court running close to full speed, my feet just came out from under me.  Looking at the picture, I’m impressed I even got that good of a shot off.  But it of course took awhile to get up and even longer to make the lay-up, putting us squarely in last place.  I would have shared this with you sooner, but a friend just sent me the photos.  Seeing this explained so much about how much my side and arm hurt the next three days.

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A Moment of Calm

my favorite new accessory

As you have gathered from previous posts, this semester has been a whirlwind.  Right now I am procrastinating both getting ready for class AND writing midterm comments.  I’m still confused as to where all that extra time I was going to have has gone post-basketball season… Anyway, over the February long weekend, I decided to treat myself by knitting something I have been wanting to knit for awhile. It’s called the Textured Shawl Recipe.  I went all out, buying the really nice yarn and some new, square needles (they are supposed to help your wrists).  Despite my busy-ness this shawl only took two weeks to make.  It was an easy project to knit on the basketball bus and at department and dorm meetings.

outlining the shawl

When I asked David to take a few pictures of the shawl laid out flat, the cat couldn’t help joining in to model.  He’s become a regular model in our house because I can only take being photographed so many times when David is praciting using his new photography equipment.  Calvin has stepped up to the challenge and I think shows a real talent for kitten-modeling.  Meow-Mix here we come!

playful kitten

 

My Knitting Partner

the yarn swift (the wooden thing) kept hitting cal in the head but he didn't seem to mind

One of the hardest parts of finishing a new project (pictures to come later) is figuring out what to knit next.  While, I still haven’t fully decided what to do.  It’s nice to know that I have a furry friend, right there with me to help through the decision.

here he is eating the yarn swift

Sometimes he can be a little less helpful than others…

 

February Madness

 

i think martha would be proud

I’ll admit girls’ JV basketball at a New England Prep school is definitely no March madness, but my final week of basketball was definitely hectic…one could even say MAD. Turn on your favorite ESPN announcer voice:  “Four games, all on the road, twelve girls, one absent manager, and two coaches.  Can they throw together a winning season?  What do you think Marv?  Well….”

Sadly, the answer is no.  Here’s how it went down.  We went into the week 3-4.  Our first game, well there’s just not much to say.  After two hours driving south, while watching the Blindside on some fancy buses, we started of the game slow and just never recovered.  Let’s just say, our score was 10.  That’s total score…We are now 3-5.  In our next game, we played the best game of the season.  There’s defense, with steals abounding.  We start rebounding and putting back second shots.  Kids are making assists and scoring baskets.  It was awesome.  Record 4-5.  Unfortunately the streak doesn’t continue.  Next comes the worst game of the season.  We did score 13 points, but they hit somewhere around 40…Record 4-6.  Alright, winning season is now out of the running, but do our girls back down.  Heck No!  Next day we turn around and take on another opponent.  It is an intense final game.  While we always have the lead, they are never more than seven points away.  The other team has quick hands and even quicker feet.   And despite their inexperience they somehow keep hucking up threes that go in, but my team, we have determination.  We also have clutch free throw shooters.  That’s right 6 for 6 from the line in the last two minutes.  WHAT UP!  It was a nail-biter and our girls totally stepped up to win.

In celebration of our season, the other coach and I had a pizza party for the girls.  It was a lot of fun, with comical awards and lots of crazy stories.  One of my favorite parts was channeling my inner Martha (by that I mean Martha Stewart) to make some pretty sweet basketball cupcakes.  See above.

My Winter Reading

All my life, I have loved to read, especially before going to bed.  But marriage ruined that. David gets in bed and he instantly falls asleep, so I also fell into that pattern.  Until now.  Over the last nine months, I have slowly gotten David into the habit of reading before bed also.  I love it.  I think he does too.  While he enjoys reading photography and gadget blogs, I’ve been delving into novels.  Here are my most recent two books, both of which were incredible.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Mohsin Hamid): This book is about a Muslim from Pakistan who has come to America to study at Princeton.  The book begins as he is offered a really great job in New York City. Shortly after this 9/11 happens.  It gives a really interesting insight into what life might feel like to a Muslim living in New York just after 9/11.  The way the story is told is what makes it so intriguing.  It is a one-sided conversation between the Muslim main character and an unknown listener.  If you read it give me a call because I would love to know how you think it really ends.

The Forgotten Garden (Kate Morton) : I LOVED this book!  Seriously. I started it on the flight home for Christmas and probably would have finished in a couple days, except I was hanging out with family and friends.  This story is also inventively told from multiple perspectives and multiple different time periods.  It’s a little bit mystery, a little bit love story, a little bit historical fiction.  I fell in love with the characters and honestly missed them a little once I finished the book.

Now I’ve started the book Little Bee. More on that to come in future posts.

Back in Business

 

i'm working in a winter wonderland...check it out

To all my loyal readers (that’s a shout out to those 2-3 of you who keep checking on the blog despite my absence)…I’M BACK!  At least I hope to try to be back more regularly.  Note the hesitancy of that statement…

But I think it may really happen this time because in one short week, basketball season will be over and I will have two more hours a day + all of my Saturdays back.  While this is good for my personal life, my blog life, and my knitting, I’m actually a little bummed about the season ending.  In all honesty it is probably the best part of my job right now.  The girls we coach are really great.  Nice, enthusiastic, team-players, I could go on and on.  Our record, not the best ever, but better than my team’s record my senior year.  I also love the woman I co-coach with.  She’s been coaching and teaching for over 30 years and teaches me a lot everyday.  There have been so many days I have come to practice after a frustrating day of class or worry about my lesson plan or fear of how to grade and she talks it through with me.  She is also a real coach, and so I am finally learning how to coach rather than struggling alongside another newbie.

Teaching…well teaching has been a challenge this term.  At this school, students take three full classes in one semester.  So coming back in January, I have all new students, even though I am teaching the same material.  I thought it would make the semester go much smoother, but I have actually found this semester to be more difficult.  I really grew to know and care a lot for my students last semester and so walking into a new term with new faces, new personalities, new annoyances, and new gifts has been hard.  I keep reminding myself that it took weeks before I developed a rapport with my students last term, but what I remember is the last week of classes where I knew the students really well and they knew me well.  I knew how to get them to settle down, how to get them excited about the material.  I knew who to go to with difficult questions and I was starting to learn how to draw out the quiet students.  This semester it is definately a whole new ball game.

Rather than ending on a hard note, I thought I would tell you a funny story from my first week of class.   So on the Friday of the first week of class we were discussing our method for studying religions and I was trying to explain how it is difficult to compare the religions because we would just be scratching the surface of each of the traditions.  To make my point I decided to draw a diagram.  I started off drawing a big circle and saying, “Imagine this is all there is to know about Buddhism…”  Then I draw a smallish dot in the middle of the circle and say, “And this is about what we will get to cover in this class.”  Some of you have probably already figured out where this is going.  Next I draw another big circle, right next to the first and say, “And this is all there is to know about Hinduism,” as with the first, I again draw a smallish dot in the middle and say, “And this is about what we will get to cover in this class.”  At this point, I hear some snickering behind me and I look down and I realize what I’ve drawn…BOOBS.  That’s right, I drew a big pair of boobs right on the board of a class full of sophomores.  I’m shocked they did not lose it.  I then proceed to keep talking as if nothing was unusual and as I talk, I quickly erase the board and start writing up something different.  To add icing to the cake, after class I walk over to tell the man who hired me what happens and his response is, “Well you know you have to do that in the next class because they’ll be expecting it.”  That’s why I like working at in my department, they don’t take themselves too seriously.