The other day after I returned from substitute teaching in the district, my husband played me this video. I didn’t notice anything. See if you do. And I will play it for my adult class of Deputies and see if they notice.


I need to wake up my students and let them know that I too hear the beat of today. And that is what I did. We were talking about inspiration and being inspired by poetry. The other night I overheard how Eminem is playing a part in
this Skier’s Chase for Olympic Gold.

Mikaelia Shiffrin’s latest means to motivate and inspire her while on the slopes isn’t what you might expect. She’s started using one very specific Eminem song to her advantage. She’s begun listening to Eminem’s 2014 song “Guts Over Fear,” featuring Sia, over and over again.

This interested them. Then I mentioned that Blondie was the first rapper. Well some will argue that. There was dead silence in the room like the parting of the sea. Then I heard a laugh and someone might have said, “Blondie, who?” Since I am teaching adults ranging in age from 24 to maybe early 50’s, there were several pauses and redirection of the conversation but it woke everyone up and everyone got involved. Do you remember where you were when this was a hit? I remember that I went to every dance class at Steps Manhattan studio and every time this song was played, i followed the steps of my wonderful dance instructor along with 20 other want-a-be actors/dancers/models. Those were the good old days when I left my day job with the city, parked my car, and had enough energy and motivation to take 2 jazz dance classes before trundling home to Forest Hills, Queens where I shared an enormous apartment with a wonderful lady in her 70’s still working in sales at Lord & Taylor. She would often dish out advice and food in the same breathe to a wanderlust me. It was the late 80’s and life was good. It was also around the time of a real estate crash in New York. Several jobs were cut and I remember there was a popular play about the challenges of finding a place to live your could afford in New York City. Some things remain the same.

I am sure everyone remembers Blondie and yes, I know her name is Debbie Harry and that Blondie refers to the group.

And then you’re in the man from Mars
You go out at night eating cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subaru

And you don’t stop, you keep on eating cars
Then when there’s no more cars you go out at night
And eat up bars, where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek

One to one, man to man, dance toe to toe, don’t move too slow
‘Cause the man from Mars, is through with cars
He’s eating bars,yeah, wall to wall
Door to door, hall to hall, he’s gonna eat ’em all, Rapture, be pure

Enjoy your Sunday everyone and have a great week!

For when you need the extra rush of energy for the day, play it again shaun White!

via Razor-Sharp Thinking: the What-Why Method

I liked that the book began by the location in Syria in the year 1925. There was lots of history and I could tell the authors researched the book. The book follows a young widow Katerine Demarchis traveling to the Mt. Denali with her grandmother after the death of her husband. There is much background information about Alaska and the Curry Hotel. The main characters of Katherine and Jean-Michael, a war veteran and a former fiancee of Katherine are believable and interesting.

This wasn’t the type of book I usually prefer. I usually stay with crime stories and closer to present day but I will return and re-read parts of it if only for the meticulous researched history that the two authors, Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhuse have so thoroughly researched. I believe I would have enjoyed reading the first of the series to learn more about the set up of the Curry Hotel.

I would give it a 3 in the category of historical romance. “Out of the Ashes” The Heart of Alaska-Book Two Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

I remember years ago while living in my 20’s in New York City, I dated an attorney just starting in the field. He was a native New Yorker and his beginning job reminded me of the attorney on Night Court dealing with all sorts of people. He told me that to relax and rev himself up for the job, and the challenges he watched downhill skiing. Sometimes he said he replayed them successfully completing a run downhill and sometimes crashing. It calmed him, he said.

I got that. Totally understood by watching the Winter Olympics and this brave young man,Red Gerard, who practiced in a makeshift little part of Colorado wins the first U.S. medal at Pyeongchang. Congratulations to those who are so ballsy as Mike put it. Enjoy the weekend!

My dilemma today was “to go or not to go.” Some may think since I work as an adjunct, I work part time but the reality is that between teaching my night classes which are five hours for one class once a week; I also substitute teach at a variety of schools testing the waters from kindergarten through twelfth grade. In addition, I am taking a graduate level class this term in Instructional Design through the Universities online class where I adjunct. I get tired, very tired.

The mental stimulus is good for me and the challenge of the “Intro to Instructional Design” class is needed but did I mention the other day, I spent eight hours preparing for an assignment because I didn’t quite understand which graphs and charts to use. I learned that I was not the only student with this question. When I teach online for the University, I usually review the modules thoroughly noticing that there may be some confusion as to what is stated and the student’s expectations. The Professor for this class didn’t seem to understand this or return my email, so I waited until the evening until I got a response. My husband thought I was crazy. He said, ‘just turn in and let it go.” I couldn’t. Finally, another student turned in their work and I modeled some of mine after his interpretation. He is working as an instructional designer, so I went with his interpretation as did the other students. He is like our leader and always the first to post. The whole day was confusing and made me angry as it was my day off. I wanted to relax a little.

My husband spent some of the day with the VA calling him about appointments for the little tumors they have found on his thyroids which are common. He suggested that my tiredness should also be looked at as I am not always sleeping well. The other day, while I was driving with him I began to cry. This is what happens when I begin to think of our situation and his cancer treatments. I have his symptoms written down “Precursor to colon cancer” and he is receiving Lanreotide which is working. When it stops working, they will have discovered another treatment. So the treatment makes him very tired and his body fights the cancer cells. Sometimes he gets very bad headaches. I had a very bad headache after my day of struggling with the directions which could have been avoided if the instructions had been clearer. I usually substitute teach 3 days a week, so between both of my jobs I work close to 40 hours which is less than a regular classroom teacher might after lesson planning, meetings, etc. Sometimes while I was teaching in the school district, I clocked 50 plus hours easily.

Today I took off and my husband was going to deliver some paperwork to our accountant across the bridge and then he mentioned going to Mazzaro’s which is a wonderful Italian market with great coffee and pastries. I was all set to go and then I began, like any instructor worth her salt, to think about my Saturday five hour class and how I wasn’t sure of the order of things; I needed to prepare them for the final; essays to correct, oh, and did I mention: my feet hurt. Yesterday, I was on my feel most of the day watching a middle school social studies class compete in a sport’s day. It was an interesting substitute assignment and I had the opportunity to meet another sub and discovered we had some things in common which made for an entertaining day. I was tired and didn’t want to go, yet I was afraid to let my husband go alone and that he would get tired. It is so nice sometimes to be alone in our home preparing my lessons, writing, or just reading a book. The silence envelopes and nurtures me, so I can think. I thought I was the only person like this and then the other day, one of my adult students mentioned that his wife often just left him alone in the house when he had work to do. Yes, I understand. Michael has his alone time in the house but I don’t often lately and my body craves the peacefulness. I asked three times or maybe more, ‘you will miss me?’Will you be ok?’ and then I determined that he was looking forward to driving to our accountants as he likes talking with all of them and going alone to Mazzaro’s where he would pick up a deli sandwich for our dinner. He asked me, “Are you going to be thinking of all the work you have to do when you come home?” I imagined myself fidgeting as he was speaking with the accountant and thoughts of papers, discussion danced in my head. “Yes.” And so I stayed home relieved my decision was made.

And as for me, I am happy as a clam finishing my lesson prep, resting my tired feet, drinking another cup of coffee leisurely, and correcting a few papers. I am good with that. Tomorrow will be a busy morning beginning at 6:00 a.m. I know if he had mentioned we were going to Croatia and a beautiful island I read about on a blog the other day, I would have discovered the extra push and energy but suddenly the reward of good Italian food and the relaxing atmosphere of Mazzaro’s just didn’t interest me as much as getting my stuff done, so I can take a breather. I need also to trust that he is ok and not over worry constantly about his health.

Enjoy the weekend!Thanks for listening.

update: Mike returned with fresh Stromboli, and 5 hours later, all my work is finished and I am enjoying coffee and Stromboli. He missed the heavy afternoon traffic and we are loving the rest of our day.