Building a Better Art Classroom

Hi Friends, Many of you know I work at a small charter high school in San Jose. I am so pleased to tell you that I am offering AP Art as a brand new class this fall. Unfortunately, our district … Continue reading

Fresh Start, Apple-Picking and Classes

I feel like each day feels really long, but the weeks and months go by quickly. Fall and Christmas are two of my favorite seasons, so I am trying to soak up every small moment. I officially had my first … Continue reading

Year Two, To-Do Lists, Blue Beast and SCU

So I fell off the blog writing planet. My apologies, but life turned into one hot mess. But I’m back now!

I started back with professional development at my school basically the first week of August. It was a surprising return to work after a lazy, delicious week and a half in France, and a week in Holland with my dear old mum.

This year I am teaching 4 sections of Intro to Art, and one new honours class called Visual Communications. It has been a big change jumping from teaching 3 sections last year to having 2 preps and teaching 5 classes this year. I’m also in my second year of BTSA, which is this huge project that feels like insane amounts of busy work.

In September I started at Santa Clara University for my Master’s program. It has been the worst experience of schooling in my life, but I have already invested so much there, that leaving now seems like such a waste. I can go more in to detail at a later point, but for now I am just putting my head down and finishing my masters and getting the hell outta there. I thank god, that my good friend Annie is in the program with me, or else I would have given up on SCU a long time ago.

About 3 weeks ago, I was in a car accident on the freeway. I was shaken up and pretty sore, but overall I am fine. My beloved blue beast of a Prius, was not fine, it was totaled. It was my first accident where I had been the driver.

Losing my car was such an emotional blow to me, it was my first brand new thing, that I got to pick out and own all by myself. Afterwards I struggled with feeling guilty, even though it was not my fault at all, I still felt a sense of loss over losing my first car. I have been unbelievably blessed by kind and giving parents (and a super awesome and helpful brother) who are helping me with all of this headache and drama of being in a serious car accident.

We got money from the insurance company pretty quickly, but I wanted to do some research on cars. I looked at a few others, but am pleased to say that I am going with another Prius. For now, I am lucky enough to borrow my mom’s car while my parents are out of town. My brother has been amazing over the last few weeks, he was a giant help with the whole car mess, and overall we have been hanging out a ton and getting along famously (which is rare for us), so that’s nice.

So, in short, life has been busy, some days better than others, but still pretty good I would say. I am trying to remain positive. I have a job I love, a great itty bitty apartment that is all mine, and in the future, a bigger paycheck. I voted (yahoo!) and have been trying to stay on top of all my different areas of life. But to be fair, my to-do list is out of control! Even my to do lists has a to-do list! I am so behind on my Christmas shopping, usually by now I’m done.

But, life is still pretty good. Hows yours? How are things? How has your week been?

-S

Why, Hello February

January was such a busy month!

This cute little thing just came in the mail! I always love getting new Kiel James Patrick boxes, because they come with the cutest packaging!

I was able to knock 7 things off my 101 in 1001 list. Wahoo!

1. Inspire someone to write their own list (Yay)
2. Go wine tasting with friends or family (Napa Valley was so beautiful)
35. Organize my Itunes
39. Find my signature cocktail (Lemondrop, oh so yummy)
63. Buy a plane ticket with frequent flier miles only (the Santa Fe trip in March)
98. Get a hammock (Given to me by the lovely Maureen!!)

Done and done!

I have a few more items I plan to cross off in the works for February, so it should be a great month!

It felt like every weekend in January was jam-packed, from going to Napa, having friends over for fun cocktails, to babysitting basically every day of the weekend. February looks to be as busy as January was, complete with a trip with friends to Tahoe and a family trip to the Cayman Islands (eeek!!). This may or may not have contributed to the radio silence here on the blog.

Work is going well, and teaching full-time makes for a busy day, but I have been slowly carving out gym time, which has been good to get back in my life. I have a dinner date set up with Annie and my favorite old proff to discuss the masters program at SCU for this fall. I’m both alternatively stoked and dreading going back to night classes.

I finally set up a savings plan so I now can look forward to one day having a fancy-pants camera and a KS watch sometime in the next year or so.

Oh, and February is my no-spending month, so wish me luck!

We had such a grey, rainy, perfect for snuggling with the pups weekend. I babysat for a lot of the weekend, but did manage to get in a few hours working on my quilt. It was a great way to finish out the week.

Happy February!

Love,

-S

Chaos, Engraved Pencils and Classroom Decorations

This week at work was insane!

Granted, I had been gone most of the previous week, but still! This week was all over the place between giving benchmark tests, CELDT testing/ PSAT testing, and grades due as the quarter ends Monday. I had put a lot of time in to get everything organised for Wednesday, which was the day the whole school was in testing.

Seniors worked on college apps and essays. Juniors took the PSAT test. Sophomores were with my CELDT team testing and Freshman were taking their annual PE test. It started off well, but then twenty minutes into testing everything exploded. Our CELDT booklets did not match our administration booklets,  which was a crucial step as much of the test is read aloud to the students. After running around like a chicken with my head cut-off our amazing district testing admin noticed that there were three testing versions in the book, and we were on the wrong one. With that simple fix we were back on track. I had spent so much time organising students, training my test proctors and sectioning out the answer sheets, test booklets and pencils that it never occurred to me to check that we had multiple versions. Oh well!

 For most of the week I have been working on getting my classroom settled. They will start on drawing a still life next week,  and I just finished backloading all the lessons we had done in the last four weeks into a while you were out binder. Additionally, BITSA and staff development has been taking up time as well. But on Friday I felt like I had finally found ground beneath my feet.

This whole week I have had a cold and this morning I finally gave in. I slept in till 10 (!!!) and it felt glorious. I swifferjet the apartment, tidied up my room, did laundry and ironed, baked banana raisin bread and cornbread. I watched Now You See Me and Iron Man 3 (i loved both of them!).

While watching tons of tv I looked over the internet for some fantastic wall art.

I have been loving these three!

 

One of my favorite thing used to be getting back to school supplies before school started. There is something about having engraved pencils, cute notepads, a fresh backpack and a rockin’ fall closet that makes the start of school that much better! These just keep popping again and again on my Pinterest and I love them all!

Have any suggestions as to where to get some great wall art? Any good band or art posters you just can’t get enough of?

Let me know where!

I hope you are taking a break and getting some you time this weekend!

Love,

-S

Work, Thirsty Thursdays and Loafers

Things at the new school are going well. I have a lot of catch-up but I think that once I get the hang of things it well be a good fit. All of the staff have been welcoming and helpful, which makes me feel more comfortable. The kids are settling into things, but we still have a long ways to go (my classroom is a mess!).

Today, there was a few of us that grabbed a bite to eat after work. We met up at San Pedro Square, the cute downtown section of San Jose. Roomie and I shared a pizza, salad, guacamole and crunchy tortilla chips. Unusual combination, but it was what my stomach wanted, and I was not going to argue with it. The food was yummy, and it was nice to see the other teachers relax and unwind together. Sometimes seeing people only at work makes it feel a bit impersonal, and this was great chance for me to get a better understanding of how interesting and cool some of my coworkers really are.

Last year, I was a bit idealistic and wore heels very often as a substitute teacher. It didn’t take very long to see that at some the campus’s (ahem, Los Gatos!) were too hilly/multilevel/had metal grates for my heels to be comfortable for the whole day. Soon I switched to flats, and found some loafers later in the year that became one of my go-to pairs along with my Sperry‘s.

Anne Klein

My Anne Klein go to loafers

Finishing a workday with happy feet make me approach the next day in a more upbeat manner.  This year, I have continued in the same comfy shoes vein. Flats and loafers are the way to go when you are standing or walking all day long. Fortunately enough, loafers have hit the fashion world and have been given a makeover. Some of the ones coming out for fall are pretty cute. Which ones do you like?

Sole Society Cambria Tassle Loafer

Sole Society Cambria Tassle Loafer

Tory Birch

Tory Birch

 

Steve Madden Zunni Leopard

Steve Madden Zunni Leopard

Tropez Cotton Anchor Flats

Tropez Cotton Anchor Flats

 

Sperry TopSider Westwood

Sperry TopSider Westwood

 

I think all of these would look great with a decent pair of skimmer jeans, and a crisp white collared shirt.

 

Each of them has a very different feel! Would you wear (or buy!) any of these? What would you wear with them? Any suggestions on how to pair them up with things already in your closet?

Love,

-S