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Jessica

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What's Finished Was Finished [22 Jan 2008|09:30pm]
[ mood | content ]

Today I decided that it is time for me to retire my LiveJournal. I have another blog that I will give you the link to should you ask me specifically. To me, this LiveJournal represents a chapter in my life that I can close, and so I am closing it. I will still probably read my friends page and comment, etc., but I doubt very much that I will be posting anymore. I'm going to back up my entries, and that will be that. Who knows? Maybe I'll make a Michael Jordan-like comeback someday, but I just don't want this LiveJournal anymore. The life that it contains isn't really my life anymore.

So good night, good luck, and good bye LiveJournal. It's been real.

5| For the road

But I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For [05 Jan 2008|01:10am]
I find that I'm kind of dissatisfied with my life. I feel like I'm always searching for greatness beyond my present situation, which I guess is a good thing. One of my major fears is stagnation. I fear becoming too content with my present situation (now or in the future) and just living with it. So I guess if that is one of my major fears, I will probably avoid it at all costs. That's kind of why I'm afraid to teach. I'm afraid that once I get into it, I'll just stop seeking further education. I've often thought that I'd like to get my Ph.D., but will I actually do it? I hope so.

I am afraid to become too contended, and I think that's what sometimes thwarts my quest for personal happiness. It sounds strange to be afraid of happiness, but sometimes, I think I am. It sounds weird, and I can't completely explain it. I'm afraid to get too happy because then I'll become too comfortable and quit growing, give up on my quest for greatness. I don't even know why I'm worried about this at 22, either. Probably because I'm focused on my quest for greatness right now.

I think Emily and I need to split a bottle of wine and talk about it until 1am on a Thursday.
For the road

I usually don't do these [29 Nov 2007|12:49am]
but...Collapse )
For the road

Now I Get It [28 Nov 2007|01:56pm]
[ mood | impressed ]

My middle school and high school years were very difficult for me socially. Sometimes, my group of friends would just decide that I wasn't cool enough to hang out with anymore. It also wasn't cool to admit that you were smart. Even some of the smart kids hid how smart they were because it wasn't cool. School was all about fitting in, and if you didn't, well, too bad for you. I was never afraid to be openly smart. I thought (and still think) that it was ridiculous to hide how smart you were just to fit in. I guess that the friends who "gave me up" were not really the type of friends I wanted in the long run, anyway.

However, no matter how bad things were, I could always go to class and feel comfortable and safe. I knew that no matter what people said to me outside of class, my teachers would still value me as a person and recognize what I could contribute. My teachers got me through. Honestly.

I went back to my middle school to observe in my seventh grade math teachers classroom over Thanksgiving break, and we talked a little bit about me in seventh grade. We had a bond, and she said it was because of my sense of humor. It was because I was the most sarcastic 13 year-old who ever existed. I had a more adult perspective on life than a lot of my peers, and I saw things from a perspective that they didn't want to, didn't, or couldn't understand. And I think that's what caused a lot of the problems.

It was so great to see her again, and when I was watching her teach, I realized why I liked her so much in seventh grade. When I was 13, I knew that I thought she was nice and a cool teacher and that we got along pretty well. I think we were kind of kindred spirits. Anyway, now I understand the theory behind why I liked her (and so many of my other teachers) so much. She strikes the perfect balance between relating to students' emotional needs and their educational needs. She had (and has) high expectations for her students. She clearly explained those expectations overall and for each lesson. She gave clear directions, and her class was organized. I never had to try to figure out what we were doing or what we were expected to do. Students learn best in an organized classroom. She has very few discipline problems.

This is not to say that her classes were the same every day, either. She varied her lessons and adjusted her plans based on what we needed. However, her expectations were consistent. She always expected us to do our best, and our best was always good enough. She constantly encouraged us to make our best better.

I saw a perfect example of the balance between relating to emotional needs and educational needs while observing in her classroom. She had the students in the computer lab working on puzzles related to the Pythagorean Theorem. It was kind of a fun activity that allowed them to use their knowledge of that theorem in a different way. It allowed for mastery beyond using pencil and paper. It was the day before Thanksgiving, so she knew the students were going to be geeked up for the break (emotional), but she knew they still needed to learn this and wanted them to learn this (educational). So she used the tools available to her to strike a balance between relating to emotional needs and educational needs. And she still had clear expectations and directions. The students were only to go to two websites, and they could only go to the site with the puzzles and a site with math games. However, they couldn't go to the math games site until she had checked that they had completed their puzzles.

When I was in middle school, we didn't have all this technology, but she did a lot with what she had available. And I was so inspired by the fact that, after 32 years of teaching, she still makes an effort to constantly improve her teaching. She said that the principal at the middle school is very supportive of teachers' efforts to improve themselves professionally. She now has different and better tools than she had nine years ago, and she's integrated them into her curriculum to help her students have the tools they need to succeed in their future education. She didn't just allow her teaching methods to become stagnant and outdated. And I am so impressed and inspired by this.

I feel like all the best teachers I had taught like this. I can honestly say in 13 years of my public education in Linden Community Schools, there was only one teacher who I thought was a bad teacher. One. I think those of you who know me well know who I'm talking about. I understand the theory behind why I liked Mrs. C. and so many of my other teachers so much. They were truly amazing.

I love teachers. They are great. And my teachers inspired me to become a teacher. Good teaching always impresses me. I love to talk about it, as you can see.

For the road

Everyone Has Choices [09 Nov 2007|01:10pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

There are times in my life when I am reminded by Mr. H's choices speech. It's one of those lasting impressions he left on his students and quiz bowl teams. Everyone does have choices, and the trick is to make the right one. The right choice is the choice that works for you - the choice that gives you what you want, and you can never forget that you are responsible for the consequences of your decisions.

This week, a student who went on the Academic Year in Freiburg, Germany, gave a presentation in both my German classes, and both times I was sad that I am not going. I even went so far as to resent the College of Education, but, as Brianna pointed out, I can't really blame them because the education system in Germany is completely different than the one here. So any education courses I would take would not apply to any education courses here.

So every time I say that I can't go to Freiburg, that really translates into "I'm making the choice to complete 2008-2009 school year at MSU because I want to graduate." If I go to Freiburg, I will not graduate in 2009 because I have to take my two final education classes here. I'm sad that I am unable to take advantage of the opportunity to study in Freiburg, and I will really, really miss my friends who are going, but because I am staying here, I will graduate. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, so I really shouldn't be sad that I am choosing to stay here, but it's kind of hard not to be. The consequence of my choice not to go to Freiburg is graduating. I can deal with that consequence.

I keep thinking that if I'd figured out my major sooner, I would've been able to go and still graduate on time. However, I've decided that all those major changes gave me life experience. It allowed me to determine that I really do want to teach. I went back and forth for so long, but I am sure now, and I don't think that I would've been as sure if I hadn't tried so many other majors.

If I'd never been a marketing major, I never would've discovered that I hate economics. that discovery led me to discover the professional writing program. If I'd never been a professional writing major, I never (probably) would've gotten my job at TIC. If I hadn't been an English major, I never would've discovered how much I truly enjoy German. It all works out in the end. When I graduate I will be nearly 24, and I think by that time, I'll be a little more mature and more ready to enter "the real world," and I think in the end, that maturity will help me relate to my students and manage my classroom better.

I'll come to terms with this in time, but for now, I'm just going to be a little disappointed. Besides, I get to go to Mayen in this summer anyway. :D

For the road

I'm Going [26 Oct 2007|07:19pm]
[ mood | excited ]

Today I finally got my acceptance letter to my study abroad program: German Language and Culture in Mayen, Germany. So that means I am really going. Maybe now would be a good time to discuss my feelings about this happening. Up until this point, I could really ignore the fact that I would be going to Germany in May, just over six months away. I just have to complete and return some paperwork. Then I'll pay my deposit, and it will really be official.

I am excited and nervous all at the very same time. I am excited to be in Germany, learning more about the language I have committed myself to studying and teaching for the next 35+ years. I am nervous for the flight. I will miss my family. I will miss six weeks of life in Michigan, and I will not be the same when I come back. I know this trip will completely change my life. I know that I will board the plane in Detroit sad that I will not see my family for six weeks, and I know that I will board a plane in Germany sad that I am leaving Germany. That's how it is.

And when I come back, it will be six weeks until I start my last year of undergrad and four months until Alyssa's wedding.

May will be here before I know it, and July will come in a blink.

2| For the road

Breaking the habit [19 Oct 2007|01:29pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

So I haven't bitten my nails in about a week, I think... maybe two. I'm not quite sure. It's been kind of difficult, especially since my nails are getting long now, and they're kind of annoying me. I up until the last two weeks, I had bitten my nails for as long as I could remember. I don't even know why I started, but I guess I just got in the habit of it.

I don't even know what made me want to stop, either. I always wanted to stop, and I did sometimes, but this time I am going to make it for good. Plus, it looks more professional to have nice nails than nasty chewed up ones.

So this is a big step for me. I'm breaking a habit that is at least 15 years old.

2| For the road

In Ten Years [11 Oct 2007|04:33pm]
[ mood | sick ]

I was thinking about how I am not friends with people anymore simply because space and time have come between us, but there are friendships that I have right now that I want to last forever.

Barring death or nuclear holocaust, I know for certain I will be friends with the following people in ten years:

1) Brett - he is like my brother, and he knows everything about me. I know everything about him.
2) Alyssa - my cousin and good friend. We've become really close over the past few years.
3) Ryan - Alyssa's brother. Cousin.
4) Ryan - Alyssa's fiancee. If I still know Alyssa in ten years, I will still know Ryan in ten years.


People I hope to still be friends with in ten years:

1) Brianna
2) Jaymee
3) Andrew
4) Liz
5) Trista

I know that a lot is going to change in these friendships in the next year, and I hope that the friendships are strong enough to withstand that change.

2| For the road

Home [05 Oct 2007|05:56pm]
[ mood | bored ]

My mom came to pick me up from school around 1:30 today. We drove out to Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns. We did wine tasting and ate yummy cider and donuts. My mom also bought a pie - a raspberry pie. It was a glorious afternoon.

We just got home about 30 minutes ago. My sister's boyfriend, Kevin, was outside with Rachel's dog, and the dog had just had a bath. Kevin told us that Duke, the dog, had exploded all over our small bathroom, where he was when they left to go do whatever.

So my mom and my sister are cleaning the mess up, Kevin is watching the dog, and I am sitting out in our yard using my laptop and our wireless network. Glory. My dad has yet to return from the office to find this terrible disaster. As you can guess, our house does not smell to great right now.

I was freaking out over my German midterm grade because it was a terrible test; however, I got an 85% on it, so that's pretty amazing. Our group project also went very well. We will probably get an A.

2| For the road

What Do You Have To Say? - Travel: Top Three Places [02 Oct 2007|09:39pm]
[ mood | sick ]

What are your top three destinations and why go there?

In no particular order:

1. Germany
2. Ludington
3. New York City

1. I am a German major, so I really want to go to Germany. I want to improve my speaking skills and my cultural knowledge of Deutschland. Deutschland ist geil. I haven't been there yet, but I am going in May 2008 for a study abroad. I am so excited to go that I can hardly handle it. I know it's going to be simply amazing.

2. I go to Ludington at least once a year with my family. It's on the west coast of the northern lower peninsula (the lower peninsula is the mitten-looking part). My grandparents started going there about forty years ago, and then my dad continued the tradition with our family. I went this year with my roommate, and I had a blast. The sunset on Lake Michigan is so beautiful. I love it. Going to Ludington refreshes me for the year.

3. I love New York. I have been there twice, and I plan to go back many, many times. I went once my senior year in high school and once summer 2007. In 2007 I got to go to Tiffany's and walked up Fifth Avenue. We also sat in Central Park for hours. I saw the New York Public Library, too. It was a pretty Breakfast at Tiffany's New York visit. I could go back ten more times and still not see all the things that I want to see. It's a fabulous place, but I don't know if I could ever live there. Maybe I could live on Long Island. Eastern Long Island is a lot like Michigan, foliage-wise. Hahaha.
4| For the road

What Do You Have To Say? - Travel: Summer's Best [01 Oct 2007|08:56pm]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

What were your best memories of this summer?


In chronological order:

- My sister graduated from high school
- My sister's open house, and Chase and Trista came
- I went to New York to visit Tammy! and Heather
- Alyssa got engaged!!!!
- Watching Holden for Bethanie x2
- Visiting Trista
- Riding a motorcycle
- Alyssa picked out her wedding dress
- My spontaneous trip to Ludington with Trista
- Playing cards with my cousins ALL SUMMER

When I went to New York, I got to go to Tiffany. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will never forget it. The day after I got home, I went to play cards at my cousins' house. I will remember the day for the rest of my life. Alyssa came down the hall when I came in the door, shoved her left hand in my face, and said "Will you be my maid of honor?" There was a lot of girl-y screaming and crying on my part and on her part. Then later, I went to see the dress she picked out, and it just kind of hit me all at once that she was really getting married. I was speechless. I am so excited for the wedding.

And my favorite part of every summer is playing Nertz with my cousins. I was there at least once a week. It is such a simple memory, but it is something I'll remember - something we'll all remember even when we're old and crazy. It's strange because we've grown up together, and now we're pretty much grown up. We're adults, and that's such a scary thought. This Christmas will be the last one that we're all just kids. Even though my cousin Ryan lives and works in Saginaw, he comes home a lot to visit. But after Alyssa and fiancee Ryan get married, things will change. They will become a new family that's part of our family and separate all at the same time. I can't explain what I'm feeling in words very well. I just know that something is going to change. And that's OK.

Next summer I will be in Mayen, Germany, for six weeks. That will be a new memory all in itself. Summer always reminds me of change, and times, they are a changin'
For the road

Profound Satisfaction [19 Sep 2007|10:49pm]
I often get asked why I chose to be a German major. I couldn't really answer that question until this week. I love learning German. I love speaking German. I love writing German (sometimes). I love reading German. There is a satisfaction that comes from waking up every morning and being able to go to a class that I really enjoy. I have a German class five days a week. I get to hang out with people with whom I have something in common. It's wonderful. Then I think about teaching German to other people, and then I get really excited. I can only hope that one of my students will become as excited about German as I am.
2| For the road

My Travels [02 Jul 2007|09:18pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

A lot has happened since I updated last. For instance, I got back from New York last Monday. It was fantastic. I got to go to Tiffany's, and I bought a necklace. I am now the proud owner of my very own Blue Box and a matching blue bag.

"[Charles Lewis] Tiffany has one thing in stock that you cannot buy of him for as much money as you may offer; he will only give it to you. And that is one of his boxes. The rule of the establishment is ironclad, never allow a box bearing the name of the firm, to be taken out of the building except with an article which has been sold by them and for which they are responsible. The tradition of the Tiffany Blue Box has endured for one essential reason: its contents are unsurpassed in quality and design."

This is strange, but the Blue Box means almost more to me than the necklace. Obviously the necklace is very important, but unless I tell you, you will not know that it came from Tiffany's. If I show you the Blue Box, you will know where it came from - it came from Tiffany's.

Going to Tiffany's was incredible.Collapse )

I got a translating job working with the Spanish teacher from my high school. I'm translating beginning language books based on themes like At Home and Travel. It's not a lot of money, but it's money, and I'll take whatever I can get to put towards my Germany trip nachste Sommer.

My cousin, Alyssa, got engaged last week on Tuesday. The wedding is slated for November 1st, 2008, and I will be Alyssa's maid of honor. And honored I am. She and her brother, Ryan, are the people I have known the longest, and I love them both so much. Alyssa's finacee's name is also Ryan. He is her match. I am so excited for them. *sigh* I told her that I only have one request for her wedding, and it is that is is exactly the way she wants it and that she's happy.

I think you're all pretty much caught up. I've just been working other than that.

AND Brianna ist hier! ;)

6| For the road

Todays Letter is The Letter J [24 May 2007|12:09pm]
SCATTERGORIES...Not quite as easy as it looks.
Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following...They must be real places, names, things... (You can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.)
Here it is folksCollapse )
1| For the road

I am a silly frau. [15 May 2007|11:05am]
[ mood | annoyed ]

I am taking an English class this summer, and I thought it was Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:20-2:10. NOPE! It's Mondays and Wednesdays 10:20-2:10. So today, I sat in a classroom for 25 minutes waiting for someone to show up. So right now, I kind of want to punch myself in the face... I e-mailed the professor and asked her to excuse my mistake. Hopefully she's understanding. If not, I'm screwed. And so now, I have to change my work schedule, which shouldn't be a big deal - it's just what days I'm working what hours. This has never happened to me before. I'll blame it on being sick and being on antibiotics...

Now I'm going to get Taco Bell for lunch and go to work, tell my silly tale, switch my schedule, and abstract my socks off.

So much for a first impression. What a head-to-desk moment.

EDIT: This also fucks up my New York trip. Ugh.
EDIT 2: Well, I just swapped the class. Problem solved...? I guess this post is no longer relevant.

3| For the road

Things I Should Have Done This Summer [10 May 2007|10:22pm]
[ mood | pissed off ]

1) Taken out a ridiculous loan so I could afford to go to Germany this summer instead of being stuck here with my idiot family. Now I have to wait until next summer, but I doubt that it would've been any better had I gone next summer. I don't even want to go to Rachel's graduation even though I bought a brand-new dress to wear and her graduation is the reason I couldn't go. For some reason, my mom thinks I would regret not going to her graduation. However, I wouldn't. I don't even like her. I do not like my sister at all.

2) Subleased OR gotten a job closer to home. Why? So I wouldn't have to deal with all this shit about sharing a car and hearing about how I should buy my own car. Sorry I have to pay for things that other people don't have to pay for. Like prescriptions and doctor's visits and books. The list goes on.

There are times when I feel bad because I don't like my sister, but right now is not one of them. I don't understand why people try to make me feel bad for not liking her.

Maybe I'll feel better in the morning.

1| For the road

[09 May 2007|12:43pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

I got a 4.0 in my German class... That's fantastic news. :)

I also got a 3.5 in my horrible, horrible education class. I'm glad it's over.

3.0 in English and Social Science.

Life is good - I get to stay at MSU for at least another semester. Hahaha.

Edit: I ran into my German professor today, and she told me that she didn't even have to round my grade up to make it a 4.0. It's outright.

2| For the road

I hate good-byes. [04 May 2007|07:55am]
[ mood | tired ]

This is it. My dad should be here shortly, and then I'll pack up and go home for the summer. This semester was incredible - I'd say the best one of my college life. Good luck with your summer plans or your future plans (if you're graduating).

The last post from 373 E. Shaw until August.

"Though endings are never ever happy, it's the happy moments along the way that, in the end, make it ok."

For the road

The End Is Near. [16 Apr 2007|03:41pm]
[ mood | dorky ]

Every time I type that, I think of Nathaniel's experience for his experience paper. Moving on.

The end of the school year is fast approaching, and I have decisions to make about the summer. I am taking summer classes, and I am not sure whether or not I should sublease. I'll be working down here, too, so it makes a lot of sense to sublease, but I am not sure I want the hassle. Driving sucks, but if I sublease, I'll miss a lot of stuff back home this summer like card nights at my cousins' house and ice cream from my favorite ice cream place, Uncle Ray's.

I've become much more attached to home since I came to college. For the most part, when I go home to visit, I really enjoy being at home. I like sleeping in my bed and swimming in my pool and hanging out with my family. I don't know what I want.

I will probably not sublease, which may sound silly to all of you, but to me, the drive is worth staying at home. Card nights with Chatty Matty the Meat Man and my cousins and visiting my grandma is really important to me. Plus, driving and subleasing cost about the same.

I will decide soon enough.

Also, I just bought a pair of really sweet rain boots to walk to class in this summer when it rains.

Don't worry, it's not quite time for my famed "End-Of-The-Year" entry. Those of you who are new readers will learn the glory that is my summation of the academic year.

6| For the road

2007-2008 Schedule [12 Apr 2007|08:25pm]
Fall 2007

Monday
GRM 301 11:30a-12:20p
TE 302 12:40p-3:30p
ENG 426E 4:10p-6:00p

Tuesday
ENG 302 12:40p-2:30p
GRM 342 2:40p-4:00p

Wednesday
GRM 301 11:30a-12:20p
ENG 426E 4:10p-6:00p

Thursday
ENG 302 12:40p-2:30p
GRM 342 2:40p-4:00p

Friday
GRM 301 11:30a-12:20p

Credits: 16

Spring 2008

Monday
GRM 460 10:20a-11:10a
GRM 302 11:30a-12:20p
GRM 342 1:50p-2:40p
GRM 461 3:00p-4:50p

Tuesday
GRM 455 12:40p-2:00p

Wednesday
GRM 460 10:20a-11:10a
GRM 302 11:30a-12:20p
GRM 342 1:50p-2:40p

Thursday
GRM 455 12:40p-2:00p

Friday
GRM 460 10:20a-11:10a
GRM 302 11:30a-12:20p
GRM 342 1:50p-2:40p

Credits: 14
For the road

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