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#high school

Dear High School Students,

I’m sorry, I know this year has been hard. There are no words to describe how truely awful and painful this year has been so far. A lot has changed from what you are used to. You all are going through so much right now. Tests, homework, distant learning, poor sleep schedules, upcoming mid-terms, and (for you seniors out there) college exams. All of this with COVID on top.

All I can say is take a deep breath. It’ll all be okay. You are all strong, smart individuals. You can overcome these tough times. Please take care of yourselves. Go to bed early, eat a good breakfast, keep yourself hydrated, and manage your study/ homework time effectively. Take breaks in between doing homework/ studying. Don’t stay up late cramming those extra few minutes of study time. And don’t skip breakfast because you “don’t have time”. Care for you mind and body. Keep yourself safe and healthy. Don’t worry, you’ve got this. I believe in you.

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I mean, shy enough that in high school I was excused from essentially all presentations/anything to do with reading aloud or talking because I’d just cry from everyone looking at me 🤷🏼‍♀️😂 I’m a lot better than that now but I still despise preforming in any way or being the center of attention outside of very small groups.

Ngl by the end of high school I was totally milking me being excused and I would “try” aka get through like a minute or two out of a 5-10 minute presentation before putting on the water works and getting an A for trying 😂 my friends got SO done with my shit because they were in on it at that point. In Spanish class my junior year we had to do a 10 minute (I think?) presentation completely memorized and I am AWFUL at other languages. I got through maybe 3 sentences before crying and my teacher not only let me stop, but she let me leave to go walk around for the period. Winked at my friend on the way out and she was BOILING that she got a B on hers the day before and she knew I was going to get an A for that beauitful performance 😂

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When I was 14 I had this guy friend/not-quite-boyfriend that I was madly in love with, and we used to write each other letters in two marbled composition notebooks. We communicated like two doomed, tuberculosis-stricken poets in the 1700s. It was great.

Anyway, we would trade the notebooks during the one class period we shared, not-so-subtly slipping the notebooks inside each other’s backpacks like we were doing a drug deal. But I wouldn’t read it right away. I’d keep it tucked away inside my backpack for the rest of the day until I got home and flopped on my bed and could read his letter undisturbed, two, three or more times until I absorbed and savored every word before I scribbled my response.

And when I say we traded letters, these were not exactly romantic letters. Like we weren’t professing our undying love for one another or how we’re meant to be and nothing will keep us apart. We talked about what was going on in our lives and our classes, what we were worrying about, what we thought or feared our futures might hold as we straddled this precipice between high school and college, between the mundanity of childhood and the question mark of adulthood. It was cliche and sappy and boring and wonderful. Like a John Green novel but where the female protagonist is less manic pixie dream girl, more boring, girl-next-door whose life goal is to get her cystic acne under control and braces off before college.

I don’t miss him but I do miss that time in my life. Because I realize I’ll probably never have that again. That moment when you’re falling in love for the first time and everything is life-or-death stakes looming in your hormone-raging adolescent brain simmering in a vat of electric pheromones. When you’re earnest, vulnerable, stupid and sappy and you don’t feel self-conscious or embarrassed at all because, in that moment, you’re new and whole and this is the first and only time you’ve ever felt like this before, and you know it’s real because, of course, it’s real - how could it not be?

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My day started out super not great.I was planning to wake up early but last night I went to sleep pretty late because I was watching YouTube.

Here’s a view from my window. Winter’s approaching so it is gets sligghttlyyy chilly in the evenings but we have no snow🥺

Work hard and stay hydrated 💛

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// 28.10.20 //

day 16 of studyblr community challenge

tag someone who has beautiful handwriting 

@alevelblr i’m absolutely in love with their handwriting - it’s so neat and small and i just love everything about it to be honest. each letter is perfect and it’s so weird to obsess over someone’s handwriting but it’s just so good??

♔photos are mine♔

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The funny thing is after high school they all moved in and flatted together in bigger cities while I never got spoke to again then became too chronically sick to do anything. Why was I dealt this card.

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Today a bunch of myself and a group of other teachers spent out lunch break planning a new soup restaurant called The “Broth”el.  Commence with as many dirty references and puns we could make for the idea.  Before that it was a death themed pizza place which was abandoned when we realized the perfect name was already taken by “Tombstone.” 

Yes, these are the sort of things teachers talk about in the longue.

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My students have to write an essay about religion (either detailing an aspect of one, or comparing/contrasting two, depending on their level), so I drafted a model essay comparing Buddhist and Taoist influences on the practice of martial arts, which we read together yesterday. I did a couple quick karate tricks, as well, and that went over really well, so I promised that today I’d show them more. 

Bonus: getting to wear my gym clothes to work, which was also suitable because today’s theme for Spirit Week was decades, and late ‘90s/early ‘00s me was always in gym clothes because of track practice.

I started by teaching a bit about the history of the style I practice (Okunu Ryu), and how it emphasizes mindfulness, intent, and discipline because of the influence of Zen Buddhism, in particular. Mr. F served as my “opponent” so I could demonstrate a few simple moves (he’s got remote classes this rotation, so he was able to step away for a few). I kept emphasizing the need to be in control and do no more harm than necessary. I told my students that anyone can act like a tough guy or a bully, that’s easy. Anyone can be loud, angry, and aggressive, and so none of that is actually impressive; being calm in the face of that kind of thing is impressive, having discipline is impressive. One of the boys said, “Yeah, but what you get called a coward?” and I said, “What difference does that make? I know exactly who I am and what I’m capable of.”

That earned me some thoughtful looks, a few nods… And I really hope that lesson sticks.

I tied it back to Buddhist and Taoist ideas of understanding yourself and your place in the universe, thanked Mr. F for his help, and returned my students’ attention to the model essay that had started this whole thing. Then I gave them their essay instructions, and tasked them with choosing a topic that’s of interest to them and starting their research. They’ll be working on research, outlining, and drafting for the remainder of the week, and on Monday, as well. 

Midway through the first block, it started snowing, and continued snowing all day, but the students in both my sections still wanted to go outside (we take breaks because the blocks are long, and being outside means students can take their masks off as long as they stay six feet apart from one another). So we walked around in the front parking lot, they tried to catch snowflakes on their tongues, and then we headed back into my warm classroom. None of the snow stuck on the ground, it’s still too warm for that, but it might on Friday…

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