Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nerd Squad

This year, more than any other has been filled with tumult and what seems to be a sort of "managed chaos".
There is never enough time for grading, planning, working one-on-one with students, participating in the culture of the school, more planning, visiting family and friends, or even time for reading to my favorite little peeps.
 etc.Image result for teacher memes
What I have made time for, however, is to really cultivate a solid group of women who are smart, funny, who share in similar professional battles, who sustain life with chocolate and text messages.

We have affectionately called ourselves the StormSquad, but we secretly are the ultimate NerdSquad and are proud of it.
Our sheer love of Bitmojis and having entire conversations of nothing but funny bitmojis, has propelled us from StormSquad into total Nerd-dom!
We collectively have made it through the rough days on campus where actual tears were shed.  We have held and lifted each other through the illness and passing of a beloved colleague and friend, we have earned a master's degree, we have pushed children through another grade, we have sustained each other through deployments, we have buyoed each other when a phone call from a child's school has resulted in said child showing other children their heiney, we have talked through infertility, adoption and of course endless conversations about the wack-a-doodle things our husbands do to make us crazy, to make us happy, or to make us swoon.
We have "curriculum meetings" just to vent about particularly crazy days, we do paint parties and BBQ's, and time around fire pits.  We send endless streams of chocolate from our stashes to one another and always share in the abundance of a class party.

Here is what I have learned. WOMEN NEED WOMEN.  We need to know we are not alone.  We, who are smart, need to know that is okay.  We who fumble around and make mistake after mistake, need someone to share in the chaos and force us to laugh at our shortcomings.  And, let's face it, we need each other for assurance that, YES!, all husbands are weird! Most importantly we need the chocolate!

I heart you NerdSquad and I look forward to many years friendship and folly! Long live the NERDS!

Toodles,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Marriage things.

Fisherman and I have almost been married for 4 years - it flies by, truly!  Having known the big ol' blue-eyed Fisherman for almost 11 years now, there are some things that I have learned:

  1. Wives will NEVER, repeat NEVER have control of the remote.
  2. When entering Home Depot, Lowe's, or varied hardware stores of any kind their primal instinct takes over and they feel the need to explain everything - i.e., - "this is a hammer and is used for the hammering".
  3. Dead (dirty) socks will NEVER end in a laundry basket. 
  4. There is no end to the number of baseball caps that will end up on the kitchen counter or table.
  5. Meat, with a side of meat, is perfectly adequate and COMPLETE meal.
  6. Taking into account #1 - a conciliatory gesture seems to be an episode of "the Simpsons".
  7. Any idea found on Pinterest is just...ugh!
  8. Although he has sat in a car in Alaska waiting for me to get my nails done, secretly men just cannot fathom the reason behind it.                                                                                                                                    
  9. ehicles primarily driven by the male spouse always seem to have just a hint of eu d' musky.
  10. F-A-R-T-S - enough said - see previous number.
And even though this list, however funny, cannot replace the absolutely amazing things that he does on a daily basis to to make my dreams come true.
  1. Our garden is beautiful and watered daily.
       
  2. The amazing barn door in our bedroom hangs and looks beautiful
  3. His coaching and endless hours spent on the weekend giving his time is done for the sole benefit of our home and family.
  4. Literally picking me up off the floor when I fell or putting me in the bath when I am soooo sick.
  5. Having a fire, blankets, and cocktails ready for a group of women after a paint party and strawberries too! 
  6. Being my constant cheerleader.
  7. Having pride in my accomplishments and shouting them from the rooftops.
  8. Realising that my Storm Squad (Nerd Squad) are important and sometimes the sole reason we make it through a rough day.
                      
  9. Loving and teaching our nephews and niece every time.                                                          


  10. Spending each day fighting the zombies, killing spiders, and wrapping me in love even when he doesn't like me too much. 

So, as I wrap up this blog post, and VOW to post more often. I love my Fisherman - enough said.
 More to come, I SWEAR.  Even as I type he is laying in the bed encouraging me to post more often.

'til we meet again,





Sunday, March 6, 2016

I am a FEMINIST!

I have spent a good portion of my brain power this cloudy Sunday thinking about my interpretation of the word feminist.  Before you change the station, click to the next webpage, or move down the "multi-task" list; wait!

This past quarter we have been talking about the role of media in society - editorials, etc. in my regular junior English class.  I must say that with the campaign in full-swing for this 2016 election season it has provided a great deal of fodder for debate within my class.  I typically do not divulge to my students my views on politics, hot-button issues, or most "debate worthy" topics.  I want students to come to their own conclusion and think through ALL the options

For the first time in history of this nation - there is an actual chance that a woman could occupy the top seat of power in our country.  That is remarkable.  It should be cause for celebration from my gender, and I am certain for many, it is.

Perhaps it is Spring with the blooming flowers, or the chance to mold my VERY OWN garden into my vision of Eden that has me thinking of the legions of women who have gone before me - the "true feminists".
I think of my grandmother - by far, one of the sassiest women I know.  She has shaped my life in ways that I don't even fully understand.  As I drove to get my "Sunday afternoon Sonic Soda" the song on the radio was "Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews - I always substitute the lyrics and sing at the top of my lungs "I am Wanda Lee's granddaughter..."
"Who I Am"



If I live to be a hundred

And never see the seven wonders

That'll be alright
If I don't make it to the big leagues
If I never win a Grammy
I'm gonna be just fine
Cause I know exactly who I am

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma's still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends that love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am
I think of my grandmother.  She was a true feminist.  
She was so all the way down to red shoes and to the top of her curly bouffant Texas hair.  She would tell me stories as a girl about why her favorite color was red - and why she wore it so often was because it was a taboo when she was young and "quite simply, nothing is stopping me from wearing it now, Sis"!  It carried with it the stigma of the "red light".  She loved to wear her red pants, or red shoes, or even red(ish) lipstick.  She was class wrapped in a firecracker and I simply adored her.  I always told her that she and I were twin souls separated by a generation.  She instilled in me my determination and the bootsrap, bulldozing, attitude that "anything you (the boys) could do I could do better"!  I miss her EVERY BREATH I TAKE!

I think of my mother who holds fast to her principles of feminism - different from my grandmother's and different from my own but no less valiant.  

She believes fiercely in family and showing gratitude and grace in all human beings.  Her feminism for me was on display when my father was injured and she led our home and family through the darkness single-handedly - often working 2-3 jobs and sleeping on the floor tending my father and raising my brother and I in her spare time.

Finally, I think of my niece who has been like a beacon of the possibilities that are yet ahead for us all.  She is the culmination of sass, fireworks, and brilliance that have rolled down the generations.  Quite literally, she has no barriers in her path.  She is smart, fierce, and determined.  She puzzles out solutions, twirls with abandon, and dances to her own unique little beat.

Now, what, pray tell might this all have to do with the elections, teaching, etc. (for Heaven's sake get to the point)...I say all this because I have a very distinct version of feminism and it has nothing to do with the candidate previously mentioned. In fact, I think about her being the definition of feminism to the little girls everywhere and I wonder, truly, will they ever know? I do not believe that SHE represents the ideals that most women engender as feminist. We prize determination not self-promotion whilst devaluing our own worth. We hold examples of strong women in our hearts - not women who have been made strong by highlighting the worst qualities in humanity. We can let our intellect and drive for perfection lead us while still holding fast to our value and morality. Most importantly WE ARE NEVER DONE...we will continue to press forward knowing there is GRACE in the attempt.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Take me out to the ball game...

Blonde bulldozer here...with some tales of a fish wife, although lately it is tales of a softball widow.  Fisherman is in fullswing with softball and I joyfully relish the 2-3 hours in the afternoon to dance around in my underwear singing "...you make me wanna shoop, shoop be doop" (sorry, not sorry for the visual).  I have been in a step challenge at my school and I have been gleefully exploring our neighborhood in the afternoons while he is at practice or games.

Today is Saturday and I have been solo Seiler since 6:40 this morning.  I did not even open my peepers until 8:30 and then I rolled toward the window to let the sun shine on my face as I woke slowly with the warmth.  Without a doubt this is my favorite thing in the world - to have the warmth of the sun wake me vs. having the obnoxious sound of my alarm clock.  I lolled around in my PJ's and watched the absolute brain decaying candy of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" while I had a bacon sandwich for breakfast (don't judge me).  I have kind of cleaned today, but mostly I have been lazy - gloriously, blissfully, lazy.

When I finally did get moving I got in my trusty wagon and headed to the local sonic - and got a strawberry limeade, aw yeah!  Still the baseball diamond was callin' my name.  I went and watched one of the 4 games that Fisherman coached today.  I can, without a doubt, say that there is nothing, repeat nothing I do not like about baseball (or softball).
 
I remember nostalgically as a child being raised at the ball park.  It was the stuff of my summer.  I was no more than seven when I, sharing the duties with my cousin Levi, got to be the bat girl for my older cousin Sass' team The Reds.  Later, I started watching teams all over again as my brother went through the Roberto Clemente -> Pee Wee Reese -> Mikey Mantle -> Sandy Kofax -> and then finally Connie Mack leagues.  I worked consessh, got splinters from Ricketts Park, ate 1000 pounds of sunflower seeds, umpteen thousand awesome Frito Pies, had Coke with the "good ice", sucked on cinnamon suckers (always dipping them in 7-Up), and cheered my heart out as the Reds, A's, and Bandits won and lost. A little fact, my hometown has a world series - The Connie Mack World Series - and my brother played on the team that went the farthest toward garnering a home team win of any team in history, check it out here.
My Jamie-lou-ia and I LOVED spending our time at the ball park - and still do.  We were ecstatic to have finally coordinated our schedules back in 2013 to watch a couple of the games of the world series.  I have to say when the national anthem was sung by some local celebrity - I got teary-eyed, and still do because those moments are...perfect.
And, finally today, I was watch watching the love of my life coach the next generation of "girl ball players" I was overcome, truly.  I love baseball.

It is in my blood and I carry all those wonderful memories around to a new baseball season.

Now, I get to not only watch Fisherman and proudly exclaim "I Heart the Coach" but get to watch my little nephew suit up and look mighty handsome as he struts his little self out on to the diamond.  Last year was his first season and he was a rockstar.

Roughneck (my brother) and I were walking with him along the hallowed ground of Justis Park and we looked at the trees and ivy and laughingly commented on how many miles of sunflower seeds, baseballs, and fun dip comprised the back ivy of the park and how much it just smells like summer.
I can't wait to watch him play, I can't wait to watch my littlest nephew Noah play, and I am overjoyed to have Fisherman coaching and seeing his team bat, bunt, run, slide, and homerun their way to victory.

Bring on the boys and girls of SUMMER!

yer.....OUT!,


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Technology Woes...

Let me begin by stating that I LOVE MY JOB.  However, as any teacher can attest, there comes a point in every semester where one is just "DONE" - pushed to exhaustion, grumpy-pants-ness, irritable, did I mention exhausted.
Image result for teacher memes exhaustion
Things have been trucking along exceptionally well this year.  My classes are awesome but the sheer amount of grading has taken my breath away more than once.  I have 4 sections of Advanced Placement and my time is scarce when it comes to what I have to give.  So my excitement level reached an epoch when I found out that we, as a district, were migrating Google (Gmail) late in the summer.
Image result for teacher memes
The move has been seamless for some and for others (or so I hear) it has been...well, let's just say "the struggle is real".  I am GRATEFUL everyday that my Grandmother instilled in me - all those years ago - a love for technology and advancement.

Additionally, we were very happy last year when we were told that they were increasing the number of "mobile labs" - or COWS (carts on wheels) as Fisherman's campus calls them.  As with every "good" there is the equal and opposite "bad" and in this case the COWS were to be used for PARCC testing (the endless standardized testing)...I can't even...  So, testing came and went and gloriously the COWS were returned to the masses for general use.  Last week, we received the not-so-welcome news that again, the COWS would be "sucked up" for PARCC retesting (those who did not meet the mark last March/April), leading again to a shortage.  To say that I am experience COW withdrawal this week is vastly understated.  I went so far as to put a plea out to those in business I know to sponsor a classroom...namely, MINE!  In fact, I was able to share my love of tech with my campus and show colleagues how to use Schoology - and I am happy to say, this has been like LIGHTNING (fitting for the STORM (our mascot)), teachers posting happy thoughts and warm fuzzies regarding Schoology.
Image result for teacher memes technology
Lastly, my most recent angst has come in the form of "blockage" - or being "FILTERED" - I really try to find lively, colorful, rich content for my students but am stymied at the fact I am blocked and always have to double, if not, triple plan just in case I can't gain access at school.

Which FINALLY brings me to my final point and a little ray of sunshine in my CHAOS.  **spoiler - this is the point where I totally, "geek out".  I have found a way to sync my files from Dropbox, which I usually use, and Google Drive - which I am allowed at school; ta-da, ladies and gentlepeeps - I give you CloudHQ!
Image result for cloudHQ
Check it out...I'm sure you will dig it.  In a world where chaos is KING, this has been a little slice of awesome!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blog revamp...and a little fish tale.

Well hello! Those of you who read our story and have kept up with our ever-changing world should notice the re-vamp of this here bloggy.  As we have started our life and become "contributors to the tax base of America" I thought our blog could use a re-vamp as well.

I was telling Fisherman's sister, who shall now be known as "Bossy Barbie" (a name she was given by her students) that I haven't done a blog post in a while - believe, me not for lack of blog topics - but because I have just been relaxin' and enjoying the summer.

I will say, however, that the full-on panic attack I had on the 4th of July as I went into Target to get sunscreen and s'more paraphernalia, was started by the early arrival of school supplies lining the shelves where the summer goodness once stood.

This summer, Fisherman and I traveled and are back to our usual vagabond ways - first a trip to Las Cruces, White Sands, then home - a real home of our own, then to our cabin in Vallecito, then some time at the Sandoval casa, then some time at the Fisherman's mom's house and Big Sky Country.  We've been in so many different places that the other night I woke up and for a split second had a flash of panic because I didn't know where I was.
The past week Fisherman has been attempting to teach me how to fish...go figure.  I postively LOVE the idea of learning a new skill and trying something I have never done, but I can honestly proclaim that fly-fishing is T-O-U-G-H.  It is little wonder that doctors do not perform surgery on their own family, because I can attest to a zenith in my level of frustration at learning this art.  For the past several months, he has been sending me articles that he has found online about wives and fishing, etc., but still, there is enough frustration to pass around for seconds.  I am however armed with my sassy determination, but can testify to a small tantrum two days ago wherein he was trying to show me some details of the finesse of the fly-line and "letting the back cast load-up" when I stomped my feet like a small child and proclaimed out loud and on purpose "I'M NEVER GOING TO GET THIS!!! {{punctuated with some very choice adjective phrases}}.

I am however, determined to learn.  My chief reason is that I LOVE my husband and all of his fishy ways {{wink}}!
Isn't he cute?!
It is important to me to keep trying, though he may kill me or vice versa.  Last reason to force my determination is I get to buy new gear {{squeal}} - I may even crafty up-style my very own fishing vest...do you think I can bling out a fishing vest and live to tell the tale er, fish story?  Check back...

...'til all the rivers run dry,


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tomorrow!

I sit here in our packed up rental on the eve of our home ownership.  I am not sure if it is nerves or the fact that my Roughneck brother's voice keeps ringing in my ears - but, I am queasy.  I KNOW we are doing the right thing and I know that this is the right place for us, but nevertheless, QUEASY, buddy, QUEASY.

A thousand questions run through my head all at the same time:

  1.  What if something happens to Fisherman - can I pay the mortgage?
  2.  Where did we pack the toilet paper?
  3.  Will my precious wedding china survive the 2 mile move after surviving a 3000 mile move down the Alcan?
  4. Am I going to kill Fisherman before we move in?
  5. Will the people who are measuring our house for new carpet EVER call us back?
  6. Where did we pack the toilet paper?
  7. If Fisherman repacks something I have already packed will I have anybody who has enough bail money to get me out of jail for homicide?
  8. What is with the thousand mosquito bites on my back and what shall we have for dinner in our packed up pad?
  9. Seriously, where is the toilet paper?
  10. How can it not be Wednesday yet?  I am ready to own this HOME!
At any rate, tomorrow at 8:30 am - Fisherman and I will own a home and I could not be more excited.  I know that thousands of people own their own home, but this is a first for me and these are my thoughts as we enter into this new adventure (filled with excitement or terror).

Wahoo and love from Alcano Circle NE!




Friday, May 22, 2015

Year 17...and counting.

Teachers are such unique creatures.  We are by our very nature always in a state of "goodbye".  I find myself contemplating the oddities that seem to follow the life an average American high school teacher.
We begin each year knowing that the "crop" of kiddos we have are destined and even pushed away from us every day with every assignment, discussion, and class.  We hope that they are making the ever growing leaps in the increase of their knowledge and we, like the "greater fools" hope we have made a difference in their lives in some way.

This year, like all the other years, Fisherman and I have been counting down to TODAY.  Today, we checked out (both literally and mentally) of school for the year.  We were issued our little "sign-off" sheets which include items such as - bookroom clerk signature, department chair signature, computer clean-out signature, classroom clean-up....again, signature.  The last two "signatures" are where we turn in our ID badges and our keys. And so, with paper completely checked off, I ended my 17th year of teaching.
I love what I do.  It bears repeating...I. Love. What. I. Do.  I chose to be a teacher out loud and on purpose.  I did not just fall into teaching.  I most certainly do not approach my classes in that manner.  I passionately, wholeheartedly believe in the youth of society.  Do they mess up from time-to-time?  Do they occasionally make poor decisions? Do they listen to music that makes me want to peel my own ears off?  Do I have to repeat myself in my classroom at least 5 times daily?  Do freshmen know that bringing shaving cream to school just reaffirms to the upperclassmen that they are freshmen...yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!  And, yet, I love what I do.
Photo: Gary Herron
This year...year 17 I had students in my AP class who obliterated the bell curve with every test.  This year, year 17, I had students who could write so eloquently that I had to examine my own writing, just  to see how I could improve my own.  This year, year 17, I pushed myself to the absolute breaking point and realized that I am continually buoyed by my students and their ability to read a piece of literature wherein every student in the class can (and typically does) have a valid but varied opinion about the topic at hand.  Finally, this year, year 17, I had students that I dearly loved and I said goodbye to them today and they repeated the very same sentiment that has been echoed to me year after year..."Mrs. Seiler, this was by far THE MOST difficult class I have ever taken, but I know I learned more than I ever have, so thank you" {{heart melting}}.

...with miles to go before I sleep,