Showing posts with label Currently. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Currently. Show all posts

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Currently February 2014!

The first day of a new month - that means Currently with Farley!

Listening - How well I know the "Skyrim" soundtrack : ).

Loving - Wow, January went FAST! That means we're inching toward spring, which means a reprieve from this epic winter; come on, Punxsutawney Phil!

Thinking - My content test for the Reading Specialist certification (and degree) is this coming Saturday, and is the last thing I need to do to officially complete that master's. Woot woot!

Wanting - One of my best friends just had her first baby on January 16th, and he is of course absolutely adorable! So far I've only seen the pictures though, because she's a little over an hour away and the weather will just not let up for travel!

Needing - We have yet to reclaim any sense of normalcy since returning from Christmas Break. The first week back was a three-day due to weather; the second was Homecoming; the third was a four-day due to MLK, Jr Day; last week we had two "polar day" cancellations; this week doesn't look promising; AAARRRRGHHH! The kids have been nuts, and who can blame them?

Truths/Lie - I did give up Pepsi for about 13 1/2 months. I do love Pepsi! I have no interest in any other soft drink, though in a pinch I may occasionally have a root beer. I'm happy to report that since returning to my Pepsi ways I've not been overindulging.

As for the FACS classes, I only took one FACS class in high school, it was only one semester, and it was "eh." Weird for a FACS teacher, huh? It wasn't until college that I discovered that passion!

And yes, there are TWO John Philip Sousa awards on our home piano - one is mine, one is my husband's. Back when we taught at the same high school we would go to the graduation party of that school's JPS winner from that year so that we could have a photo taken of all three of us holding our JPS awards.

Here's to a new month! Let's make it a great one!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Currently January 2014!

Here we go with this month's Currently from Farley!

Listening - Nothing like an outdoor hockey game in snowy weather - puck's moving a bit slow...

Loving - My Master's is almost finished! HOORAY!

Thinking - I love the beginning of a new year, a fresh start, the chance for "the best yet"! Also, REALLY looking forward to the winter Olympics!

Wanting - This break has been pretty fantastic, no doubt. While I do have things to work on I'm trying to limit myself so that I get my full dose of rest and relaxation.

Needing - That being said, tomorrow is going to be my copy-and-set-up day. I want to go in when the building is quiet; also, want to have all the set-up ready so that I can fully enjoy the weekend. I do NOT want to end break with the Sunday Evening Blues!

Tradition - Yes, I am a Resolution Girl! But I do have my limits. I don't make long, crazy lists of things I'll never do or that would take insane amounts of effort/willpower/time/motivation to do. My real resolutions are always one or two regular habits that I would like to establish that I work on throughout the year, with the hope that they will become automatic routines by the end of the 12 months.

Examples from the past:
2009 - Make my bed every day. Seriously, I was really bad about this before. In 2009 I made my bed every. single. day. And now it's second nature.
2010 - Pray every morning. Another success, prompted mainly by a list of 31 daily scripture prayer prompts taped to the inside of my medicine cabinet.
2011 - Set out work clothes every night. This was my first year of marriage, and since my hubs gets up later than I do I didn't want to wake him up searching for a blouse or shoes or whatever. Fabulous habit, saves me SO much hassle in the morning.
2012 - Take a multivitamin every day. Always struggled with this before; making it the 2012 resolution locked it in.

2013 - I'll admit was a fail. I wanted to give blood six times; due to being underweight most of the year, this didn't work out. I also wanted to write in my 10 year journal every day, but slacked on that due to my discouraging job situation.

So for 2014, I'm re-trying the 2013 resolutions. I've got a blood donation appointment set up for this Friday afternoon, and I've been faithful to the journal since the beginning of December, so I am on my way.

Plus, since those are both repeats and the blood thing is not every day or even every month, I'm also adding one - reading the Bible through. I've chosen a one-year Bible plan through an app on my phone, and am planning on reading the daily section over breakfast each morning. Below are pictures of the app and the plan I'm using.


Anyone else out there a fan of small but powerful New Year's Resolutions?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently December!

The last month of the year is officially here! Which of course means it's time for another Currently with Farley!

Listening - I LOVE the music from this show! And naturally, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is THE best Christmas special of all time!

Loving - I have always been big on Christmas cards - there's something so festive and cheery about them! Even with Facebook, email, etc, I've found Christmas cards one of the best ways to keep that "connected" feeling with people you've been separated from for a long time. I've moved around quite a bit my entire life (between being an Air Force brat, changing careers, changing schools, etc), so the annual exchange is really important to me. So anyway I make sure to keep up-to-date with my Christmas card list and addresses, and always strive to get those cards in the mail the day before Thanksgiving. Mission accomplished! Though I'll admit a few people at church today gave me a hard time about it : ).

Thinking - I'm trying my units in my "Orientation to Family & Consumer Science" class in a different order this year, and I've wound up in an awkward spot. We have two weeks of class left and then final exam week; I really can't stretch out our current unit (Child Care) any farther, but two weeks is too short for others I've done before. Perhaps a two week refresher on basic manners... ?

Wanting - Kitten + Christmas tree = uh oh. Not that I'm surprised by this, but it's a challenge nonetheless. The tree is braced, so he can't topple it - that's the biggest concern. Now I'm just worried about him chewing on the lights. At the suggestion of a great many people we sprayed the bottom branches with apple cider vinegar. The little brat walked right up to them and started licking the vinegar off. But, once it dries he doesn't seem to care for the scent. A good 'ol fashioned squirt with the water bottle helps too. I just hope there's not utter carnage when I arrive home from work tomorrow.

Needing - To finish writing semester exams; they are due to the main office by the end of the week! Yikes! I've never been required to submit them so early! About half of them were really easy, but since I have one new prep and am reorganizing another it's taking more time to complete those exams.

Favorite Tradition - Nothing beats a marathon of Christmas movies with a lit tree in the background and hot cocoa in hand!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Currently November!

November! I am not kidding, October FLEW! Awesome! Now it's already time for a new Currently with Farley!

Listening - I think that one's pretty self-explanatory. Never buy kitten toys; ordinary household objects are the way to go.

Loving - How I love the holidays! I was in Starbucks on November 1st and saw that they had the holidays cups and the holiday lattes out, hooray! While I am usually a "Christmas doesn't begin until the day after Thanksgiving!" kind of gal, I'm feeling a bit lax about it this year. One, Turkey Day is the absolute latest it possibly can be, so that shortens up the strict definition of the season. Two, I am so ready to embrace the holiday spirit! And three, I feel that Thanksgiving, an AWESOME holiday in its own right, often gets short shrift, so I'm ready to revel in festive thankfulness.

By the way, for those of you who Facebook, check out 30 Days of Thankful - participating definitely puts you in the right frame of mind!

Thinking - I am sooooo close to finishing up this second master's, and I am sooooo ready to be done! 

Wanting - I'd love a day (and the energy, of course) to dedicate exclusively to my home. Just a chance to take care of all of those things you need a good chunk of time to take care of. I'm also the kind that was trained by my mother that the house needs to be sparkling clean before Christmas decorations go up, and I want that tree up Thanksgiving weekend! (as much as I'm embracing an earlier "holiday" season, for every day you have a tree up before Thanksgiving, Santa drowns a baby reindeer)

Needing - While I'd like time for extra household matters, I need time to get some serious planning done! I need to set the rest of the semester in stone, so that I can write those exams that are due to the office the first week of December!

A Yummy Pin - Haven't made this yet, but O.M.G.! Ice cream sandwich cake? Brilliant!

Your turn! Link up and share!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Currently October!

A new month! A new Currently with Farley!

Listening - Yep, it's HOCKEY TIME people! Seems like it just ended (Stanley Cup Champs have looooooong seasons), but so happy it's back! Especially since Chicago baseball was so ridiculously disappointing this year...

Loving - The end is near for my Reading Specialist master's! Two classes left: one to design a research project, one to implement and write up the research. Then it is finished!

Thinking - I feel like I'm forgetting something. Tomorrow's a late start day prefaced by a meeting, so I need to make sure I've got everything together. I'm hoping it's just a feeling and that I'm not missing anything!

Wanting - Unfortunately I am prone to neck-wrenching. Ugh.

Needing - A good night's sleep. Hard to sleep well with a painful neck. : ( On the bright side I have discovered BenGay patches and they are awesome!

Trick - "But I don't understand how my grade dropped all of a sudden!" says the kid who has been failing for four weeks. No longer! This year I've put a label in front of each student's folders that tracks their percentages week to week:

It's been ENORMOUSLY helpful in so many ways! Promise I'll write an update on this year's folder ideas soon, they've been working fabulously!

I think I'm actually going to be among the first 20 for this Linky this month! Woot! Woot!

Link up and share yours!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Currently September

A new month, a new Currently with Farley!

Listening - If you have cats, you know they love plastic. This guy goes nuts for duvet clips - especially now that he's lost another tooth and is teething again. The shape is perfect for him, he carries it around like a little binky. It also glides well across floor & carpet, so he loves to bat it around and chase it.

Loving - Ahhh, a break from the 90s! I was roasting on the third floor of my non-air conditioned school this week. I have to say the kids did very well given the circumstances. It'll be great to be in a cooler room tomorrow, though the forecast says it won't last!

Thinking - I've probably written about this before, but I would definitely work longer days four days a week in order to get a three day weekend every week. Three days gives you one day for recovery, one day for work, and one day for play. On a regular weekend, by the time you've recovered, completed your work from the past week, prepped for the coming week, cleaned house/finished laundry/grocery shopped/gone to church, Sunday night bedtime is already here!

Wanting - These first two weeks have been wonderful! I hope the year continues to be this great!

Needing - I am pretty behind on my grad school work - the business of the beginning of the school year has absolutely pushed it to the back burner. Must get butt in gear! Luckily the end is near - we're finished in January!!!

For Me - #1: I need to find a running schedule that works with school being in session. Even though I ran at 5am most of the summer (to beat the heat), that time has become more challenging now. I think it's because it's now pretty dark out at 5. Because of that, I have to pay extra attention to everything, which slows me down, which means running the same distance takes longer, and I begin to lose steam farther from the finish line. Much as I love working out first thing in the morning, I think I'm going to have to try moving it to the afternoon when it's light out. We'll see!

#2: I'm working hard at not staying late, but I also don't want to leave until everything's ready to go for the next day. Now that my commute is longer I'm striving for more efficiency in that regard. This means staying ahead of the game and utilizing every minute of time during the day effectively, especially since I'm trying to minimize my "working at home" time as well. Last year I was a slave to the job which really ran me down; must avoid this year!

#3: Girlfriend time! One of the best decisions I made for myself last year was committing to seeing my best gal in Chicago at least once a month. My husband is my best friend and my favorite person to spend time with, but he can't replace female companionship (nor would I want him to). There's nothing like hanging out with the girls!

So what's "currently" going on with you? Link up!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Currently August

Hi everyone! I have been on vacation the past week, and it was wonderful! For those of you who have recently contacted me or commented with questions, I promise I will get back with you over the next couple of days - I'm excited to see a lot more people have been reading recently! Summer break certainly helps with time to scout out new blogs, doesn't it?

August is here, which of course means it is officially Back-to-School season but also means a new Currently from Farley! Time to link up!

Listening - Why is it that pets always believe that they are starving? My cute little guy eats like a little piggie, that's for sure!

Loving - My classroom WILL be 100% ready to launch this year before the kids arrive! Woo hoo! Always important, especially after last year's fiasco. I've already had the opportunity to go in and purge a few cabinets, so real progress is already being made. 

Thinking - Over the summer I conquered the "Couch to 5K" program! I've always been active, but running has never been something I've been successful at (really bad side stitches, really bad!). C25K has changed all that, and I am now running 5K straight through without stopping! I signed up for my first race, which will be at a local town's annual festival a week from today. Can't wait to be able to wear my first official 5K race tshirt! I highly, highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to start running but has never been able to and/or doesn't know where to start, I cannot say enough good things about it. It's amazing what it trains you to do in only 8 weeks!

Wanting - At minimum, I want to have at the VERY LEAST three full weeks of planning fully completed before school begins. I only have four preps this semester (six classes total, two repeat during the day - yippee!), and all but one I have taught before, so this is completely realistic. Hopefully I'll get much more done, but it's hard to go too far in advance without knowing your kids and their particular talents and quirks.

Needing - As I mentioned earlier, we just returned from vacation. I find it helps a LOT to go through the photos right away and add notes so that I remember everything. I usually wait several months to a year after a vacation to create a photo book on Shutterfly, that way I don't try to cram every little thing into it - the distance offers some perspective on what was really important or special. Of course, it can also lead to forgetfulness...

B2S Must Haves - I'm assuming the necessary planning and preparation are givens, right? First for me is an organized room, so that I know where everything is and it makes sense to me before the room is "active." Saves sooooo much time and frustration! Next is the "master binder" - syllabi, unit & lesson plans, sub folder, rosters, etc, etc - you know the drill. And finally for this year I'm adding "commute helpers." My drive this year is going to about twice as long last year, so I want to make sure that not only do I keep myself from going crazy but that I actually put the time to good use. Checking out some podcasts, good music, and the like to use the time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Currently!

Time for this month's Currently with Farley!

Listening - ahhh, the pitter patter of little, um, wheels...

Loving - TIME TO READ!!! I just finished my first big fiction read of the summer, "Sophie's Choice." Hoo, brutal. Not the book, the choice. Despite it's affirmed place in popular culture I didn't know going in what the "choice" was, and it could not have been more heart-wrenching. Amazing book - now I want to see the movie, especially since I'm a BIG Meryl Streep fan! My current teaching read is "Whole Brain Teaching," to be followed by "Teach Like a Pirate." I've also just finished a shorter, lighter read that I saved for reading during workouts at the gym (kind of hard to concentrate on something like "Sophie's Choice" on the treadmill) - "236 Pounds of Vice President," hilarious memoir.

Thinking - I've been doing some work here and there, sketching a few things out, but now it's time to get going before the time gets going!

Wanting - I've just become hooked on "Boardwalk Empire," and am about to watch the fifth episode.

Needing - I've got the material, just gotta sew 'em up. Pretty easy project.

Tips, Tricks, Hints - Know what you want to say and who you want to say it to. For this blog, my goal was to primarily to share classroom organization ideas with other teachers, particularly for FACS. My secondary goal was to share the occasional story, anecdote, or opinion related to my career. The more I stick to this the more feedback I receive and interest I seem to generate. Also, the better quality conversations I have with other teachers. 

Happy July, everyone!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Currently June

You couldn't tell it from today's weather (50 degrees? Are ya kiddin' me???), but it is JUNE! And with a new month comes a new Currently from Farley!

Listening - at first intermission we are up by 2! Yeah buddy!

Loving - 3 hours, 10 minutes of students tomorrow, then SUMMER!!! The adults still have a full day, but we all know that's gravy once the last bus pulls out.

Thinking - How long can I put off my summer to-do list? I have A LOT of school work to do this summer, but I need to make sure that I truly take some time off as well so that I can return refreshed in August. Gah, I shudder to already be thinking of August...

Wanting - I've already accomplished most of the packing up, but I want to make sure I get everything wrapped up and locked up. I've spent an unfathomable amount of time getting these rooms the way I want them, I do not want to have to start over!

Needing - RECOVERY TIME! I've always had a good-sized to-do list for summer, and I've always started my timeline the first week school is out. Foolish, foolish girl, as most of the first week is spent in various forms of sleep. This year I'm just admitting that the first week will be more or less dedicated to napping and recovery.

Vacay Essentials - First and foremost, my Kindle! SO MUCH TO READ!!! Sunblock, as I burn easily. And of course my phone for all the photos I'll take (which I'll look back at during the tough times next school year).

3 hours, 10 minutes... Bring it on!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Currently May

Forgot to do last month's Currently - I'm back on the wagon!

Listening - my hubs is on break (community college professor), and is indulging in a little well-deserved R&R. He's been looking forward to Skyrim for weeks!

Loving - 15 more school days - I can make it! I know it!

Thinking - Just completed the last wave of "egg babies" - no more hollowing eggs this year! And since I'll be rotating a two year curriculum, no egg hollowing next year, either!

Wanting - I've been working so hard all year to get these rooms organized! I do not want to go into year two without finishing the job!

Needing - These last few weeks of school really push us to the edge, just have to hold on a little longer.

Summer Bucket List - Once school kicked in back in August, it was adios to making changes to the new house. I am determined to replace the curtains this summer! I also have materials for plenty of sewing projects ready to go. And, of course, I'm hoping to get that second year curriculum (first edition) pounded out before school begins, along with the first edition supplementary materials I'll need. We've also got a lot of fun things planned for the summer that I am excited about!

C'mon summer!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Currently March

Another month, another "Currently" from Farley!

"How I Met Your Mother" - at the prompting of a co-worker back in May, I picked up this show on Netflix - I figured it was going into its last season, might as well. When they announced they would be running another season after this one, I was crushed. I want to know who the mother is and move on with my life already! But I've come this far... argghhh... (On a somewhat related note, hubby and I just finished the first season of "House of Cards" - AMAZING! Love this show, can't wait for the second season!)

Casimir Pulaski Day, a school holiday in my neck of the woods. Hooray for three day weekends! I promise you, I would work longer days four days a week to get a three-day weekend every week. Think about it: despite your best intentions, Saturday is usually a recovery day, Sunday is for grading/lesson planning/laundry/house cleaning/church/all sorts of miscellaneous chores, then boom! Back to work. With a third day you can actually get stuff done! Or, not get completely buried by a weekend getaway... : )

Another storm threat - these always disappear before hitting us. And not that I want to extend the school year, but I wouldn't snub my nose at a snow day. It's been two years since the last one, after all! Ideally, we would report for school tomorrow, run ISATs in the morning, then get sent home early... still get credit for the day, no nightmare ISAT make-ups, AND a little free time!

Grading. I don't mind the first-run stuff so much - it's all the darn make-up work!

Like/Love/Hate - I did break the rules a bit here. They were all supposed to be one word, but I couldn't (wouldn't?) do it. Dessert, mmmm. Had my first dessert this weekend since Thanksgiving weekend. I've been very good about cutting the excess sugar, but when you're at a lovely Italian restaurant, how do you turn down tiramisu? Disney World! Best vacation ever - I still think about it daily since we returned seven months ago. Daylight Savings Time in the spring means that it goes back to being pitch black when I leave the house in the morning. So much harder to get moving without natural light!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Currently

Month two of Farley's Currently!

Pinterest, the root of all things wonderful and "why didn't I think of that?" inspired the orange peel/cinnamon stick boil - the house smells heavenly! Another successful pin!

Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, which means an early spring! Woo hoo!

Always thinking about how to make lessons better; a teacher's work is never done.

It has been BITTER cold here the last few days, so I am SO ready for warmer weather.

I have a paper due on Wednesday that I need to at least complete the first draft for by tomorrow night, so that I'll have time to revise and pretty it up before handing it in. Not a difficult assignment, just have to sit down and do it.

Ah, pet peeves. Not listening has to top the list. I have (nearly, on most days...) infinite patience for re-explaining things to kids who don't quite "get it" or have difficulty understanding. But for the kids who blatantly ignore directions, talk while I'm talking, chat while I'm displaying examples, write notes while we do a sample exercise together, refuse to read the written directions that mirror all of the above, and then expect me to stand there and give them a private tutorial when they full out admit that they paid no heed to anything that has gone on in class up until that point... that makes my head want to explode. In fact, I think that my brain breaks a little each time it happens. Which explains my headaches and inability to locate my keys on occasion.

And whining. How I loathe the whining. If only we were allowed to use duct tape to eliminate that problem... : ).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Currently and a New Year

It's been a while since I've posted, but with the new year I'm getting back into the swing of things. Here's a "Currently" linky from Farley (check out the link if you don't know what it's all about - it's fun!):

Listening - I am a "West Wing" nut! I've watched the series through more than once but it's been a few years, so I'm starting it up again.

Loving - The way break fell this year is so great - I love not going back until the 7th!

Thinking - I get all new kids with the beginning of second semester (January 14th), so I'm thinking about what to do differently: rules, procedures, units... the whole she-bang! I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave binders behind and switch to folders. For some reason, despite the many many many many many teachings, modelings, etc, the whole concept of putting three-hole punched papers in the rings of the binders seems to elude junior high students. Also thinking about a new way to arrange the desks...

Wanting - Hot cocoa is soooooo gooooooooood!

Needing - Gotta get going on creating the "prezi" for a presentation due in a couple of weeks. There's still plenty of time, but that time will get sucked up fast when school is back in session.

OLW - POSSIBILITY! With the new year comes a fresh start, a blank slate, and all sorts of possibilities - especially since I'll be starting fresh with new kids after the first week back. Learning all the procedures and hidden rules of a new school along with transitioning to junior high has been incredibly challenging, but I'm beginning to really "get" it. And, I'm excited to get a second chance to start fresh within the same year.