Monthly Archives: June 2014

An Extroverted Introvert

Confession: I’m secretly an introvert. 

No one would ever really know it, unless you look really close. I am outgoing, I enjoy meeting new people, I’m talkative and rather loud.

But I recharge by being alone. I love doing things by myself. I love being around people from 9-5, but after that, I love to be around  absolutely no one. In fact, I get pissed and extremely irritated if my alone time, my “me time”, my rituals of recharging are violated.

Going to the gym and exercising was my “me time” for a long time. That is until my friends began tagging along every fucking time. My room was my “me place”, until people starting coming in and coming over at their convenience. Eating breakfast alone every morning in my university’s dining hall was my “me time” until random friends began to sit with me to “catch up and chat”. Get the fuck away from me. This is my me time. Shoo. 

But I can’t say that to anyone. I can’t tell anyone that or explain myself because people do not understand an extroverted introvert. People don’t have a lot of tangible experiences with people like me. “But you’re so social!” they would exclaim, but what they don’t know is that I’m only able to be that way after I’ve had my hours and hours of independent and silent recharge time.

I have spent approximately 4 weeks surrounded by masses and masses of people. I’m bursting at my seams to get some quiet time and my own fucking space. It is exhausting. Everyone wants to talk. Everyone wants to just exist next to each other. I have no desire for either of these options… I’m around people and talking from 6:30 am until 11:00 pm every god damn day.

I went to the isolated and undiscovered second floor of the library to work and to chill. That lasted a few days before some crazy, chatty bitch followed me up there and “discovered” a great new working space. It’s now crowded with chatty bitch and her 8 chatty friends… Fuck.

I can’t go to my room because my roommate literally never leaves. I’ve never even seen her in the printing lab or copy center… I don’t know how she has been doing her lesson plans for the past 2 weeks… No idea.

That is why, I went to visit my sister this weekend. She lives 3 hours away. She is pretty damn similar to me in the sense that we both have no need to speak or socialize to feel fine about ourselves. We can literally sit and relax, watch a movie, do absolutely nothing, for hours on end with little-to-no verbal communication.

It was exactly what I needed. But still, it was too short.

Because here I came, back to campus, back to ATF social hour feeling fine and recharged. My resting bitch face was slightly less bitchy and life was ok. At least so I thought.

That was until I walk into my dorm room and my fucking roommate is cuddling her god damn boyfriend who is visiting for the weekend. I should have requested to have my own room. I thought angrily.

I fucking hate people 90% of the time. 

 

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Living and Learning: Confirming My Identity

 

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Every time I think I have perfected a lesson plan, I come to learn that I am very, very wrong.

Every time I think I’m a “big fish in a small pond”, I come to learn how amazing the people I am surrounded are. It is humbling and it is refreshing.

Every time I think that I have mastered a new level of patience with my increasingly bothersome dorm-mate, I come to learn that my patience is still very, very thin.

Every time I think that I have improved my resting bitch face and have intentionally appeared to be more social, I come to learn that I still look angry and intimidating.

Every time I think that I have made a new friend, I come to learn that a significant majority of people make me feel suffocated and claustrophobic. I don’t do needy people. They stress me out.

Every time I am around a person who is inherently negative, I come to learn that my positive pants might as well be tattooed on because there’s no changing my innate mindset.

Every time I’m tested, I come to learn that this is who I am. Embrace it. Don’t fight it. Enjoy it.

XOXO,

Sara Wildes

 

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Fairly Certain They Just Might Change the World

Confession: I have the best teaching quad and Org. Member Advisor (OMA).

Between the four of us, we (attempt to) teach 18 high school students Algebra I. Each and every one of the other teachers in my quad are the most amazing, sincere, humble, and inspirational human beings. I’m fairly certain that they just might change the world.

And my OMA, don’t even get me started! This man is insightful, caring, warm hearted, and damn good at what he does. I am so thankful. His name is Aaron and I adore him. I’ll never stop learning from him, he’s that kind of great.

Because all I have heard so far is horror stories.

Teaching quads getting into fights. Teaching quads hating each other. Teaching quads with know-it-alls. Teaching quads with lazy slackers. OMAs that undermine the whole ATF experience. OMAs that are harsh and unsupportive. OMAs that aren’t very accessible or available.

My quad however, is golden. I have Catherine, a South Louisiana corp member and a bad ass from New York City. Buddy, another bad ass from Biloxi, Mississippi. And finally, there is Kacey. Sorry quad, but Kacey is the most bad ass and I adore her. She is from the Delta. She’s back to teach and she is damn, damn, DAMN good at what she does. I learn from all three of them every day. We get along. We are real friends. And I really respect them.

Every morning, Buddy and I eat our breakfast together in the dining hall before the other org members that teach at our school get there. We both don’t like to feel late. Every morning, Buddy plays gospel music on his iPhone for us as we eat and preaches nothing but positivity. It’s our special time and it starts me off feeling like I can, we can, do anything.

It’s exhausting, don’t get me wrong. But I am so invested. We have jokingly named ourselves Team Aaron and Team Aaron is so invested. I don’t sleep a lot. I don’t blog a lot. I write a lot of lesson plans that I don’t exactly use because you cannot plan for the exact direction the kids will guide your class. But I don’t mind all the stress and late nights.

Because so far, I’m having the time of my life.

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And then, it Happened.

I just finished my first week in the classroom as an ATF teacher. In the midst of the ups and downs of the roller coaster that has been my first week as a teacher, I discovered something: I love this. 

I love teacher jokes and #teacherprobz, I love planning a lesson, I love leading a classroom, I love learning, and most importantly, I love these my kids. 

Yes, one week in and I’m already claiming them as my own. Because I can and because I see the smallest part of myself in every single one of them.

Especially Douglas.

Douglas, by most descriptions, would be classified as “a little shit”. He’s hyperactive, he distracts on tasks students, he talks back. He’s me. I am Douglas. We come from different worlds, but we are one in the same. He’s smart too. So smart that he’s bored.

It only took three days before he reached the 4th consequence in my 50 minute lesson that I instruct daily: a phone call home. The numbers he provided on his student survey were fake, so I went digging through registration records and found his mom’s phone number. Haha! Nothing gets past me, Douglas! I snickered.

Like the nervous little first year teacher that I am, I consulted two mentors and constructed a full length script before I dialed the number. Once in touch with his sweet mama, she informed me of his ADHD and I asked for what has worked for him in the past and some insights since she is, after all, an expert on her son.

“Keep him busy,” she instructed. “Keep him challenged”.

I can do that.

He’s the sweetest too. Each time he’s getting out of hand (which only takes about 30 minutes into my lessons), we have a little chat in my most forced and practiced “relationship building voice” and, like magic, he turns himself around.

He would never tell me or show me, but another teacher in my teaching quad (a group of 4 teachers that work together over the summer) told me that he loves me and that I’m the only one that has gotten successful work out of him yet this week.

This, was the ultimate win. 

Obviously, I still have a ton of work to do and a ton of growing. This week, I have repeatedly failed my students. But I can only get better and I can’t wait to work hard and pour more of my sweat, blood, and tears into this jobs and these kids. Because this is what I’m suppose to do, and I know that because I love it.

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Out of Body Experiences

Shout to meeting the author of Chasing Piggens tonight! #mindblown #sohumbled

#Adultprobz

It occurred to me today that I am an adult and that it fucking sucks.

My two, very real problems that I experienced today included…

  1. The discovery that I have no (practical) health insurance–My university insurance expired and my parents’ international plan is accepted like, nowhere in the state of Mississippi. Today, I paid $34 for a prescription that is usually free…
  2. Right now, I’m a functionally homeless--I don’t have a place to call my own and no, the house of the parental units is not an option…

All comes with the territory of hitting the ground running as a twenty-something fresh out of school.

Bring it on, world! I’m “ready” to figure out how to take care of myself in ways I didn’t really contemplate a month ago…

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Birth Control and the Bible Belt

I’m pretty sure today is the day that it has hit me that I’m in Mississippi.

And it all revolved around birth control. 

I transferred my prescription from my CVS in Hipsterville to the only pharmacy, Walgreens, here in MS. Naturally, I did this online because it’s 2014 and that is my norm.

Two confirmation emails, and 48 hours later, I swung by the pharmacy to pick it up and the pharmacists looked at me like I was crazy.

“Your name again? Uh huh, birth date again?” she questioned me continuously. “You called this in?” “Well, no ma’am,” I practiced my southern manners. “I did the transfer online”.

“Oh, we don’t do that. We just call these things in around here,” she spoke sweetly. 

Wait, what. You have to physically call? And talk to a person? You don’t use the online transfer system that your national pharmacy has in place? Again, what?! Needless to say, I was shocked.

The pharmacist then proceeded to take down all of the same information I submitted online 48 hours earlier and let me know that it would be ready in about 30 minutes to an hour.

1 hour later, I check my email. YOUR PRESCRIPTION IS CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK. 

DOUBLE U. TEE. EFF. 

They don’t keep birth control in stock?! That’s like the most common drug like, ever. So I called up the pharmacy to ask what was going on.

At first they put me on hold to check on the “situation”. Y’all. Christian music. Jesus Jams. That’s what was playing.

Needless to say I felt like heathen shit while I waited for someone to pick up the line.

“Yes ma’am! We don’t usually keep that in stock but we added it to our order and it is scheduled to come sometime tomorrow,” her thick southern accent elongated every vowel. “But that’s just when it’s scheduled… So in reality it may be between tomorrow and Wednesday. Sometimes it takes longer for it to get out here”.

Where am I? Mind. Blown. 

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Love me Tinderly: Tinder Confessions from Savannah

1. The disturbing profile pic.

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2. The infant…

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3. The clever.

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 5. The desperate.

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6. The workout enthusiast.

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7. The Danish vikings.

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8. The flexible…

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 9. The one with family values.

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 10. The deal breakers.

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11. The committed.

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12. The ones makin’ it pop.

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13. The blunt.

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14. And finally, the normal people seekers.

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Surprise, I’m Flawed.

 

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Last night, the first person left ATF.

She wrote a note. Packed her bags. Left some donations of her things in the lobby and she went home.

Yesterday evening, I was also pulled aside and told about the discovery of my blog. This blog. The Chronicles of the Chronically Confused. By ATF staff members. Hyperventilating, I blinked back hot tears and choked for air as I apologized for quoting my favorite staff, Kanisha as using the word “dem” instead of “them”. Surprise, I’m flawed. Really fucking flawed.

She explained she wasn’t offended, she wasn’t hurt, but that I should be aware. Thank you, Kanisha for your insight! I removed that whole portion of my stories from my previous post, just to be sure. As a writer, my intention was to paint a picture, not to offend. I’ve quoted my own mother’s accent phonetically in a previous posts. I made her southern drawl audible through how I scripted my language. But I can understand that it could be offensive. That’s why I removed it. 

But you know what, you have to be really digging to discover and focus in on one, three letter word. 

My life is wildly offensive. Do you know how many times I have dropped the f-bomb in here? To be clear, that won’t be changing. 

Lesson learned. Point taken. Understood. Won’t happen again. In the words of Kanisha as she addressed a group today, “you have not arrived”.

But you better believe I am going to keep blogging and doing so honestly right here on my personal blog.

This is not an ATF blog. This is a blog of my crazy, weird, extremely private life. ATF is just part of it. Keep reading if you want, my space will not be violated by prying eyes.

Instruction begins tomorrow and the crazy weirdness is about to begin. 

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I Just Might Fall in Love, Y’all.

Today, I had a conversation with a southern belle.

And she pissed me off.

I know, I know. Don’t judge! Be open! But just listen  to this story…

Today, said southern belle and myself were talking about the dreaded and hated question: Will you stay longer than two years? Yes, I call this question dreaded because there is a lot of pressure and judgement that is imbedded within the question itself. It holds a lot of weight. I don’t even know what day tomorrow is, how the fuck can I tell you what I want to be doing in two years from now?!

I was explaining that I do not want to commit, say out loud, or make any promises about where I will be or what I will be doing in two years from today. I don’t freaking know. I don’t know if I will be good at this. I don’t know if I will be beneficial to my students. I don’t know if I will be happy and fulfilled in this career. How can I answer that truthfully?

But then of course, I played devils advocate with myself. “But who knows, in these two years I might completely fall in love and never want to leave,” I marveled at the potential.

“Oh I know,” she purred in her deep south twang. “There’s a lot of really sweet southern gentlemen here. Especially in Jackson”.

HA! Okay. That just happened. That’s real. Don’t be mean, don’t be mean! I pleaded with myself.

“I meant fall in love with teaching…” 

And then shit got real awkward, real quick.

If I fall in love with a man in the next two years and don’t want to leave, that’s cool and all! There’s nothing wrong with that. But that’s not what I was talking about, that’s not what I meant. That’s not what I wanted to communicate, at all. Our mindsets were on two different planets in that conversations and we both knew it.

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