Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cambria





As always, a drive down the 1 is a sight to behold. Ed and I were going down to cambria to visit with his mom, stepdad, and his mom's cousins from Germany. Since he's never been a passenger before on this stretch of road, I drove and allowed him to enjoy the views :) This had two repercussions- one, he realized how scary it is to be a passenger on this windy road and two, I didn't take that many pictures since I was otherwise engaged. Probably a good thing though!





Of course, we couldn't help but stop by the oh so ugly/cute elephant seals who hang out by San Simeon. The weaners (baby elephant seals that have weaned from their mothers - their name is one that 4th graders love!) were out in full force :) Since we were in a time crunch, we only got about 15 minutes with them (which was plenty for Ed, but too short for me!)

Ed's 'cousins' were amazing, so nice and wonderful! Their english was fantastic (they're German) and even though they're in their late 70s/early 80s they're amazing travelers (they had previously gone to 8 or 9 other countries, up the amazon, to rio, and were going to hawaii next!) I'm hoping Ed and I can go 'housesit' for them sometime, since they have 5 houses all over europe, including in Munich and Switzerland! One of their funniest observations about the English language was in regards to the word 'Actually'. Ingrid said, "What does this word 'actually' mean? Americans use it all the time, it doesn't make sense"

Actually, what does actually actually mean?





The weather was perfect, in the 70s, which we enjoyed by lounging on the quiet and uncrowded beaches and walking in the warm spring sunshine.





We stayed at the Cambria Pines Lodge, which had beautiful grounds and a summery wilderness resort feel (think tahoe or yosemite) but, we decided, was no mountain home inn :) The grounds had gorgeous gardens though!

My older sister and her fiance joined us for easter brunch, which was really lovely!







as per the norm, we drove back inland to save on time and our sanity (the one is very curvy and, as it gets dark, downright dangerous!) The hills were gorgeous, painted with flowers like poppies and mustard.

All in all, a lovely beginning of spring break :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hmmm.....

I've just learned that there will be a Skyline to the Sea 50k through PCTR on my 23rd birthday.


I think I will have to run this!

I'm taking this as a sign that I'll be better enough to run this, since it just seems like a perfect race/day/way to celebrate turning 23. And it's a long time in the future, so hopefully all will be well by then!

Here's hoping :D

(In non related news, cambria was heavenly and beautiful. Pictures and a post will be up soon!)

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Liberation of Passing Time

So much time has passed since my leg first started bothering me (September 16th!). Since then, so many race plans have come and gone.

Finally, I'm at the point (well, I guess I reached this point a month or so ago) where I wholly gave up on even attempting part of American River, the last race I wishfully signed up for, hoping for the best. I've wanted to do that race since I learned about ultras and had been looking forward to it so much. But, it just isn't meant to be this year.

The great thing about races is that the calendar for them is cyclical. Didn't get to run Pirates Cove this year? It'll be here next year too. No AR50? Just wait twelve months.

AR50 was the last race on my calendar, my last hope that I'd be all good to go by this point. But, now its gone. This actually ends up to be a sort of serendipitous thing, as my career's (happy Bob?) district job fair, where I pick the school I want to work at, is the same day, so it's actually a really good thing I can't run AR50.

And now I'm free. No more pressure to run far, to rack up miles. You know, I don't think I had ever just run a mile, since I started running in college. I always had the policy, if you can't do 3, it's not worth it. But guess what, yesterday I ran just over a mile around the track at sunset, looking over the windy ocean waters with an almost full moon above my head, and it was really nice.

If I can just run a mile or two every day, I still get to be a runner. I won't be building up to any ultras at that pace, but I'm young. Eventually my leg will stop sucking. Eventually the doctors will figure out why its sucking and how to make it better. But for right now I just need to place it nice and easy. No more pressure to be that girl who runs the crazy distances. I'll get to be that again some day, but for now I'm happy to be a girl who runs (even if its just around the block). Today Ed and I just explored a trail I had seen off the side of a road, and came out of a forest onto a wide open expanse of green grass, framed by a surprising and beautiful panoramic view of the ocean in the distance. Things like that are really why I run, and I don't plan to let those go.

Ed and I take off tomorrow to visit his mom and a small bit of his extended family down in Cambria, which should be a lovely way to spend Easter weekend (especially since my older sister and her fiance are going to meet us for lunch Sunday!). Spring Break is finally here, and I get a breather from my program to recharge.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

(By the way, I've just passed my first blog-anniversary. I made my first post on March 16th 2007, after I had gotten into the UCSC Graduate program and learned I was really going to become a teacher :) It's been a great year! Thanks so much everyone for carrying about my silly little posts and offering your amazing support, ideas, and comments. I've really enjoyed this blog and hope to be able to post many great adventures on it sometime soon!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I have a job!!

I'll give more details soon, as I don't have a ton myself, but I've just accepted employment for the San Jose Unified School District :D. I'm going to be employed next year! I don't know what school yet, but I will hopefully be able to teach fourth grade :)

Definitely takes the stress off of the rest of this year. Just gotta make sure I don't get senioritis at my program now :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moving Along

I was back at the doctor's today for try two at fixing my leg since physical therapy wasn't all that helpful. I'm now going to try steroids, as well as get an x-ray and see a physiologist (I think that's what they're called, it's like a doctor of physical therapy) and perhaps a chiropractor as well. If all that doesn't help, than an MRI is next. Apparently, and MRI is a big deal and I need to jump through lots of hoops first. Another possible treatment is getting an epidural, which sounds very strange. I was under the impression that those were just for pregnant people? In any event, hopefully the steroids will do good things.

I just recieved an email from the AR5o race. It's in three weeks, and needless to say, I won't be running it :(. I am missing running, but making peace with it. Maybe when I've done the steroids for a bit I'll start up again. I just worry that if I go back to running, I'll just prolong the injury further. I'd rather start all over again with my running fitness than never be fully recovered.

For now, I have plenty of other things to think about as the end of the quarter looms ahead an my first job fair is this weekend. The suit is purchased (a gray suit with maroon pinstripes) with an accompanying pink blouse and some new silver hoop earrings. The last thing on the list are shoes :). And, of course, getting the resume and cover letter polished and printed! As my new student teaching placement has been somewhat frustrating in the lack of teaching (they are doing a play, so it's all play all the time- a great endeavor, to be sure, but not condusive, necessarily to learning to be a teacher) and so I am looking forward to, even more, having my own classroom. I got to guest teach a lesson today in my friend's class, to show a power point that I made on the missions for a class project. It turned out really well, and it was so much fun to teach again. Part of me wishes i could just be a guest teacher for the rest of the year, floating into classes and teaching lessons :)

I am planning to teach a unit on The Giver, by Lois Lowry, in the spring. I loved this book as a child, and still think it is amazing, though it definitely leaves you with lots of questions and concerns. If anyone has any good overarching questions that are good for this book, let me know! If you haven't read it, do. It is amazing and really makes you think hard about what makes a "perfect society"

signing off, to dream of running and teaching

Friday, March 07, 2008

Beautiful Life

Today is friday and a beautiful one at that. I've been thinking a lot about how great Sarah's positive was the other day and, after having such a great day, it seemed an opportune time to write one :)

The best part of today was that my placement actually went well. When I went into the classroom wednesday, the kids practically ate me alive for that first hour. My teacher wasn't there, so it was just me and a sub, and it was just horrible. 6th graders can be brutal! I had a great talk with my mom, though (who is a 6th grade teacher herself) and she reminded me that at this age it's really important to give them choice. So, taking a breath, I decided to focus on that today. I gave them choices about whether I could trust them to take a break outside, whether I could trust them to pay attention in seats they chose for themselves, and what activity they wanted to do for the last 20 minutes of class (with 3 educational choices). I also really focused on the positives, reaffirming how smart they are, and that they are good kids. I think it helped. I just felt so much more in control. It'll take a while longer to really get into the swing of middle school, but I feel like things are on the way up.

Things have also been stressful as we have been gearing up for attending job fairs. Of course, this comes at a time when a record number of teachers are being laid off. Not the best time to look for a job! This is the problem with the way we fund schools in california. It's not like we can lay off students, but schools across the board are cutting 10% from the budget. Still, there are some jobs out there. I'll just have to be less picky :) I spent all day crafting my cover letter and am pretty proud of it. Hopefully it'll sell employers on my great teaching skills. I'm also happy that I'm getting two credentials, so that I'll have more job options. So, while I've been stressed about this, I'm feeling more confident today that one way or another, I'll find a job for myself. I'm going with my best friend this weekend to buy my first suit!

The last great thing is that its the weekend and Ed and I are once again house sitting (we took a 2 day break, but will have otherwise been housesitting for over 2 weeks!) This house is such a breath of fresh air. Its a great place to work (and since I have lots of work, that's a good feature for a place to have).

The leg is feeling a little better (I haven't run regularly for about three weeks now) and I have a doctor's appointment where I'll hopefully get an MRI to finally definitively identify the problem. I did get some helpful responses when I posted my problem to the ultra list, with some people who have had the exact same symptoms and are now great and doing 100s. One man gave me his sweared by exercise that 'cured' his problem. No cure for me yet, but I'm still working on it.

So, life really is great. It's going to be a lovely weekend, and there is only 2 more weeks until spring break! Life is certaintly moving quickly.

Hope you all are having a lovely friday afternoon (and weekend)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pretty Pictures

"Oh what shall I do?" the sea otter seems to say

Sorry (feels like I'm apologizing a lot lately on here :P) for once again sucking with the posts. Truth be told I haven't been running since my PT told me I should 'use my best judgement'. After a month of PT nothing's changed, so I'm going to try to go back to the doc and maybe get an MRI. Leg is constantly sorish. Nothing too bad, but enough to be annoying and frustrating, since it's been pretty constant for months now. I'm pretty much writing off any racing plans I've had and just going to be accepting of whatever happens. I might take another week of rest and see if three weeks of no running with my exercises every day does something, but so far no success. I am getting a stronger core at least, though :)

My professional life is also crazy right now as well. Because of some big differences, I decided to leave my last student teaching placement (4th grade) and am now tackling an entirely different beast, middle school! Yep, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are now my students, which is somewhat frightening and intimidating and incredibly challenging. I'm starting all over with new kids and a new school and have been totally overwhelmed the last week. Hopefully this one will go well and I can call it home!

So, with all the craziness, here's some prettiness from a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.









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