A *health* post

Y’all know who Jane Fonda is, right? Or you’ve at least heard of her name, maybe.

Honestly, I don’t even know all that much about her, except that she’s a fitness personality (is there more to know???).

My mom had this exact tape. And, wearing my sister’s old leotard (necessary), I would put this in the player, and do this workout every day or every other day in the living room. This was after I had moved on from Denise Austin, whose workouts I did before leaving for school, all still in my uniform.

I’d eventually advance to fitness DVDs and the like, but it’s pretty clear, yeah? I was really “into” fitness.

At 14/15, having a what I considered a “nice body” was one of the keys to being liked, was what I thought. In any case, this desire for looking a certain way went on through the rest of high school and college. I went to a fitness program at my second high school, I ran around the green-way in my neighborhood, I got suckered into Planet Fitness’s $10/month deals (and hardly went, needless to say), I’ve followed fitness blogs and YT channels, I’ve eaten fairly “healthy” (at one point in high school, I legit did a thing where I at 1/2 of everything), I kept food journals, I’ve taken countless “before” pictures, started and stopped fitness programs countless times, said I would start challenges, and surprisingly!, never did… and so it goes.

I’ve failed every single time because I was focusing on the wrong thing.

And I have, for the most part, moved beyond that faulted thinking that made me half-heartedly put effort towards the wrong goal. And I still like fitness, and want to eat healthy, but like…

do I really?

The question I have to ask myself is: what do I want, really want?

I know I want to stop feeling the occasional odd pangs of pain in different parts of my body. I know I want to not feel lethargic and fatigued, even when I’ve been laying about all day. I know I want to be more focused, and not so forgetful. I know I want to do something more productive than eat when I’m stressed (which I’m in the midst of right now), or eat when I’m bored or sad, or in any other strong emotional state.

I really have to re-think my relationship with food if I want to be successful. Even though I’m not into “diets”, I have been looking into and doing research on some particular ones, and I’m still considering the best route to take so whatever changes I make become sustainable.



Today is…

Today is July 20th, 2018.
Today, the average is 80 °F.
Today, I woke up to discover bite on the back of my thigh that has become as big as my palm.
Today, one of my favorite artists released a new album.
I am also very, very broke today.
Today, I said I was going to do laundry, but it’s still piled up in my laundry basket.
Today, I lit a candle.

Today is the day my mom passed away, 11 years ago, Today marks a very big change in my life.

There are so many other things happening, today. I look outside, and see people walking and cars driving. Their “today is…” will be different from mine. Their today might be the same as it was yesterday. It might be great. Or not.

I remember thinking, in the weeks that followed, “How will I feel in 5 years? In 10?” There are so many roles that my mom’s death played in my life, ones that I didn’t suspect.

Language learning trek (1)

It’s spring break, and I’m valiently trying to pick up one of my hobbies again – one of them being language learning. Right now, I have about 15 or so tabs open on the topic, and my biggest, hm, obstacle is creating a curriculum. How should I go about learning? What the most important thing to learn first? How do I incorporate all the aspects of language so that it makes sense?

I have an idea of how I want to go about it, and I did try this way when I was studying Portuguese last year, but then as I kept stuyding, things got a bit complicated, and –
Thinking on it now, I guess the real problem is not adjusting my plans.


Repost: The Mind, Body & Soul Challenge with @Ghana_Goddess!

Source: The Mind, Body & Soul Challenge with @Ghana_Goddess!

I’m gonna do it! Like, for real this time.
Honestly I’ve been feeling pretty down, pretty apathetic, pretty useless. And I’ve been eating it all, which in turn screws with my budget a bit. In any case, I want to start feeling better about myself. These feelings aren’t anything new, and though they fluctuate, I’d rather try to keep them at bay permanently. There’s a lot of, “If this changed then…”, “Once I’m… then…” type of thinking. And sure, yeah, that may be the case. But none of that is happening now, and it seems ridiculous to wait until it does to try and do something. Some things I can control, and some things I cannot. I think this falls into the former category, even though at times it doesn’t feel that way…
Anyway, I’m hoping to come out of this simply feeling better about myself overall, with habits to stay that way, or at least to bounce back faster from all the disparaging.



Career Fair

     I am now in the post-graduation, pre-career phase. And it’s weirdly overwhelming. There is no immediate pressure from anyone around me to find a job right now, why haven’t you found one, what do you do all day. Which is relieving, but I wouldn’t mind a little pressure. I’ve been quite passive about my job search – looking for and bookmarking positions on job board websites, only to see that when I check back a week or two later, it’s gone! A grand and disappointing surprise, I tell you.
      So when I saw that one of the job board sites I frequently check (i.e. everyday) was hosting a career fair, I signed up immediately. A chance to directly meet with people from schools – some of which I really, really liked – without having to write a cover letter? (Side: I hate writing cover letters because I get stuck on how to write them without sounding like a pompous faux-erudite that thinks inserting a superfluous abundance of vocabulary will beget a positive response.) I’m in!
     I’ve never been to a career fair before. In undergrad, I was never confident enough, considering my lack of experience, to attend any. And in grad, the career fairs were always at inconvenient times – like, 10 am on a weekday. Of course, Google was my mentor with this one. “How to kill it at a career fair!”, “The Do’s & Don’ts of career fairs”, The Elevator Pitch, What Recruiters Look For, etcetera and so on. It was a lot, actually. The basics were pretty much obvious to me though. Research the company, eye contact, firm handshake, clear voice. Makes sense. I worked enough years in customer service to do this with no issue. But the elevator pitch? It’s like an abridged cover letter. Dude.
My biggest qualm being, how do I even do that though? Do I just go up to the table, introduce myself, and delve right in? Isn’t that kind of… rude? Like, bragging?
But Mandy, that’s the whole point, yeah.
     And, really, it isn’t as procedural as all that. A lot of the articles I read and videos I watched advised that I have something ready, to pre-write the pitch and be familiar with it. However, the most helpful video I watched was this one:
     It’s actually kind of cute, because they do a small skit to go along with their advise. The takeaway I got was to make it more like a conversation. Instead of laying down a pu-pu platter of all your skills, it’s more like à la carte. (If that makes any sense….) In any case, I felt more comfortable with that approach, and it felt more natural to me. I will say that writing what you would like to say writing down a pitch could be beneficial, so you’re not floundering around for how to phrase what you want to say. At least you’ll have something in mind.
     So my newbie advice is to really research the company and see what they position aligns with what you’re looking for. Ask for more information about it, and match it up with your experience.
E.g. Recruiter: Everyday, there are collaboration meetings to make sure the pace of the curriculum and our planning are addressing the needs of the students.
Self: Wow, that’s great. During my practicum, me and co-teachers reviewed our plans daily so we could assess how we did that day, and what we could improve daily. Collaboration is so essential to having an effective curriculum.
     I know that sounds a bit generic. (Also, I’m paraphrasing. Also, I’m under the impression that my program’s practicum course is different than others? I could be wrong with that assumption, obviously.)
But do you see what I’m saying? It’s like a matching graphic organizer (ho ho ho look at the totally original teacher-ly joke), or something.
Overall, be confident in your skills! Be proud of your accomplishments and experience. Even if you don’t think you’re all that, pretend you are just for those few hours! It’s all about making a connection, don’t miss the opportunity! 😀
#Also, smile!
#I was so tired that day though because sleeping schedule is ???
#Pre-classroom Novice Teacher Advice 101
#Rejected title: Career Fair Affair 

Repost: Being active in these tumultuous times

Hi, I have a coworker from Iran. The President is about to announce awful policies around admitting people from countries including Iran. I’m pretty sure he and his siblings are all here on non-permament statuses, though I don’t know for sure. He’s a friendly acquaintance, not someone I’d say I have a close relationship with, […]

via #938: Supporting Immigrant Coworkers in the USA. — Captain Awkward

Often times, I will read or see videos about how bad an issues is, how wrong it is, and how mad it makes the poster. And I will more or less agree, but then I ask – what can be done though??

Obligatory New Year’s post

Has it really only been four days into the new year? It feels like a lot longer because I have been doing nothing for awhile. Nothing but working on my edTPA, looking for jobs, and sleeping.
I am offically (kind of, I get my degree at the end of the month) DONE with my program! I was so busy with student teaching, but now I have so much time I almost don’t know what to do with it (Almost: see above). Just figuring out all the logistics of it all for going forward.

2016 was certainly a year, yes? But there have been notable years in the past, and there certainly will continue to be. 2017 will be so new to me since it’ll be my first year where I will not be a student – which is just weird. But I’m excited! I have my goals all written down, and I’m interested to see when and how they’re accomplished. The only real downside about ending in December is that it’s the middle of the school year, and a bit harder to find jobs. Not impossible (living in NY, I feel like there’ll always be jobs around), but it’s not quite ideal.  I’m just so ancy! I’m ready to get back into a classroom.
I’m hoping by the end of this month I’ll have secured something, because doing nothing is only fun when you’re actually busy.

I also have a goal of posting more, so we’ll see how that goes!