I had a really special week subbing for fifth graders who did not go to outdoor ed. It was so nice being able to spend time with kids without the pressure of having to make them work. I liked letting them play and have fun.

I learned about body percussion and other fun activities they do in music. I’m going to use that and the relaxocean playlist when I sub at Sycamore next week.

The things you love will come back to you, and they never disappear.

I love menstruating!

It’s true — menstruating is a pain, but I also like it.

I got my period when I was 12 or 13. It’s a pain. There was a time in high school when it was so bad I had to go to the health office then go home. (I never ask to go home, so it was that bad.) There have been several times when I bled through my pants. Having to be discrete and hide that I’m menstruating and have a pad is annoying.

But I also love having blood and tissue literally flow out of me, and no one aorund me knows about it! It feels like a super power in a way. It’s like holding on to a secret, a very wet and crampy one!

I also appreciate periods because it’s my body’s way of calling attention to itself — only, attention from me, not anyone else. The cramps are nagging me to hold my stomach, the migraines are reminding me to step off the computer, and the swelling is reminding me that my body changes. It doesn’t mean I look good or bad. In short, PMS forces me to be present instead of being in my head so much.

When I’m not menstruating, my belly is still full of blood. It’s really amazing to think that my body has so much blood in it, and it manages to refill itself all the time. My body works really hard to keep me going, and I appreciate it! I’m really glad I have a high-functioning body, and I know it won’t always be this way. I will get more and more disabled over time — we all do.

The other thing about menstruating is that it makes me think about sex. Every period is a sign that I am not pregnant. Also, I haven’t been having sex, nor have I been pregnant, so sometimes it feels like my body is working really hard to prepare for a baby when it doesn’t need to be. I’m still really thankful that I have a uterus and amazed at what my body can do. But menstruating can be taxing because I’m capable of doing less during my period.

That’s why I’m taking a few days off.


Today was a very special and cool day.

-I subbed for a 6th grade PE class at Pioneer Middle School. First of all, I love subbing for PE because I get to play basketball and just practice shooting. Plus, it’s nice to be outside. There’s always a few kids that like to shoot too, and it’s fun chatting with them.

-The really cool thing is, halfway through the day, at the beginning of 4th period, I saw Joshua, a kid that looked familiar. He was from Mrs. Lemos’ kindergarten class from 2015-16!!!!!! It dawned on me that class would be sixth graders now, and Peters Canyon (where I did my student teaching) feeds into Pioneer. OMG!!!!!!

-I checked the roster, and in fact, there were at least one or two students in every period that was from that kindergarten class. I saw Quintus, Ian, Charlotte, Bradyn, Jasmine, Ava, Brandon, Abigail, Joshua, Owen, Caleb, Shan and Mattin on the roster. It was such a flashback. And really surreal seeing some of them as bigger kids now. (I wish I realized this earlier so I could look for them starting period 1! )

-It gave me such a warm and fuzzy feeling to see the kids I knew as kindergarteners being tweens. WOW. Nothing shows the passage of time that way. They look different yet the same. It’s indescribable not seeing a person for years, then seeing how they’ve changed.

-When I came home, I was debating whether I should go to the school board meeting or not. I have been wanting to go because I’ve heard so much about it, and having extremists be the only ones who show up is a terrible idea. I am so glad I went! It went from 6-8pm. It was really cool to hear the discussion that led up to voting on the map. I definitely want to speak next time!

-I texted Laurene Moses because somehow, Marguerita was on my mind. It was really cool talking to her! I also went down the memory lane of reading the notes from the 6th graders from second-semester student teaching, realizing that they’re now seniors. It really moved me and made me feel old, but also proud in a way. It’s just amazing to get older.

I’m feeling very moved on this Valentine’s day, and glad that I have the gift of meeting and knowing so many people.

Overcome Your Reading Slump with Graphic Novels!

I’ve been in a reading slump for a long time, and reading graphic novels got me out of it! Here are five that I read. I’m going to make another post on Flamer by Mike Curato because that was simply amazing.

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley is based on her experience moving to a farm when her mom moved to be with her boyfriend. She has a hard time with her stepsisters and stepdad. Lucy Knisley’s graphic memoirs are so heartfelt, and she doesn’t shy away from talking about uncomfortable feelings. It was a miserable experience for her, being put down by her stepdad and bossed around by her stepsister. He erased the chalkboard sign she designed! Her mom also did not have her back. I just feel so glad that Lucy survived this experience.

Bad Sister by Charice Mericle Harper is a memoir about being a bad sister — a really terrible one. She used the power of the boss, lies, blame, dare and trick, and eventually, her brother got hurt and broke his tooth. She learned that the most important powers are the power to lead and the power to forgive. The pranks she describes are so specific, you know they happened: eating half of a pie, daring the neighborhood kids to go in the inner tube, and not sharing her treasures from the dumper. I really enjoyed this, and what a meaningful apology and reflection.

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado is a memoir about growing up as an injured Mexican-Jewish kid in Texas. Hudi tried to get into sports to lose weight, but sports were not his thing. Chunky is his imaginary mascot/friend who cheered him on after each game and every season. Eventually, Hudi found that comedy was his sport. I loved how Hudi dealt with his weight and being bad at sports with humor, and his relationship with Chunky was super cute.

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani is all about the music of the 60s and 70s! The main character and her cousin took a spin through time, going back to the women’s march on Washington, James Brown’s concert in Boston after Dr. King’s assassination, and more. I loved how colorful, clean and bold Nidhi Chanani’s art is. This was a very creative way of combining history, music and time travel.

City of Secrets by Victoria Ying is a steampunk fantasy with swtichboards, orphans and a secret society of four families! Victoria Ying is a storyboard artist, and that really came through in this graphic novel. I love Ever and Hannah, but I did not like the depictions of some of the men hitting the women workers.

Review of Nyuki and Flamer to come!

Shadowscapes Day 24: The Magician

Today’s card is The Magician.

“Upon a rock, he sees the gifts that have been left for him. The relics of the elements glint in the sunlight, and as his hands close upon the offerings, a smile touches his lips at the power that surges through them.”

This card is about drawing on the unseen resources around you and harnessing them into something useful and great. I haven’t felt very creative lately. I feel drained from subbing and trying to clean, cook, and do everything to keep myself going. On my days off, I easily nap for hours.

I over-exerted myself from 2016-2019, and it really broke me. I’m functioning now, but I will never be the same as I was before then.

Even now when I’m subbing, memories of the classroom and students come back to me. Some good memories, and a lot of triggering, hard moments where I felt at the end of my rope.

Nonetheless, there are many creative things I want to do. I want to get back into crafting and incorporating writing into other activities. Keeping a log and making a habit of checking in with myself will help.

One comforting thing is that the creative flame inside you will never go away. I picked up my viola, tuned it (even though the G-string peg keeps slipping!), and found my Mogill and Suzuki books from back then. When I played the pieces again, I somehow remembered it.

I also have had a few precious moments subbing a 5th grade class at Heideman. Victor told me that he watched OddSquad and Wilk Kratts. That was super sweet and awesome.