happy sad wtf.

My summer has begun. I wish I could say I was super stoked--I was, actually, for about a day. It's always a good feeling, packing up a classroom for the summer, turning in keys, and getting in the car and driving off: See ya wouldn't want to be ya!

But I have to go back there in 8 weeks, and my heart's just not in it anymore. Somebody's going to come here and read that and get all judge-y and go, "Ew. Well, I wouldn't want MY kid in your class, Amy. You sound like a waste of taxpayer money." And that's fair--maybe they'd be right. Or maybe. Maybe! That person's kid could be put in Ms. X's class, the one who swallows all Their data shit talk and that's all those kids do all day--data data data: close reading, vocabulary drills, proof of evidence, word problems that make NO sense, worrying about where they are on their growth data graphs. No storytelling. No human connections. No age-appropriate real world problem solving. No free play recess. No Art! Just grades, data, prove your statements, and other developmentally inappropriate things for people still at the concrete thinker stage. Oh, they pass the tests all right, and LOOK smart...on paper. But then their shoelaces get untied and they stand around waiting for someone to tell them what to do, because they've never encountered this problem before: how do I fix this? What's the formula? And how many paragraphs in my proof essay will you be looking for, so I can get an A? And what will the key vocabulary be, so I can get an A+?

THAT'S the kind of world we're building, America. And I could whine further about this, but I don't want to. Because no data talk for 8 more weeks.

So for now, let's talk about one happy thing, one sad, and a WTF. Since it's my blog, I'm going to pick to start with the WTF thing.

1. WTF?! -- Seriously, America. Are you taking note of what's going on around you, what everybody else is doing these days? Ireland--IRELAND--you know the country that has the Catholics vs. the Protestants and the place they blow each other up over whose dogma is the best and stuff? Yeah, that place: Ireland just freaking legalized gay marriage. In fact, all of Europe is just one big rainbow party now, practically, and the USA-ers aren't invited. I'm not kidding--they're playing BeeGees music and dancing wildly in the streets, and we're stuck here in America with Big Data bitching about how much better the Chinese score on tests than us (conveniently leaving out the fact we test EVERYONE in America; the Chinese test, like, 23% of their student population). And we're stuck with all the far right wing Christians. Which is only slightly less terrifying than the extremist Buddhists (did you know? There are extremist Buddhists in the world, and they will kill you dead if they don't like your religion...I'm pretty sure that is NOT what Buddha told you to do, extremist Buddhists). 

Jesus God. Seriously?! Practically everybody else on the planet is embracing one another and accepting all their differences...you right wing American Christian guys are spending the first part of your summer defending child molesters and bitching about gay people sex. THIS is why we can't have nice things, America. This is exactly why. We have too many bitchers, not enough problem solvers. See what I said above about why public education has broken my heart.

2. Sad --tomorrow, I start my apartment hunt. I kind of know where I want to live. I have 3-4 in mind, but I've decided on one or two--depending on whether or not the actual apartments match the pictures they posted online. I'm a tad overwhelmed by this. Not the apartment search part, just the process of...overall extraction. It's scary and very sad. I spent most of yesterday afternoon in tears about it. I'm deeply worried about Miss M, the most. And I feel as if I've been drifting for such a long while, just drifting through my life so I don't have to think too hard about the painful things. And now I'm about to get woken up by a really loud bullhorn. All I really want to do is sit by the pool all day and pretend it's not happening, but if I do that then the pattern continues. And I am very, very serious about breaking painful, bad patterns these days.

Because I think once I break one pattern, I'm hoping there'll be a domino effect and it'll all come crashing down. And then I shall rebuild. Like a Phoenix.

3. Happy -- Movies and Music. I have been watching a lot (no, seriously, A LOT) of movies lately. I have a list of magnificent tales I think you should see (if you've already seen them, then...just pretend you haven't and that I'm breathtakingly splendid for recommending these):

*The Notebook (I've avoided this movie for years and years, thinking: too sappy, too...too. And then I saw it, and OMG. There were not enough kleenex in the world--I mean, he tells her the story, every day, so she'll always remember. Because she can't. Please watch it. You'll understand.) 

*The Book Thief (if you like writing and reading, this is for you. And also: Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Enough said.) (You'll need a lot of kleenex too, by the way.)

*Fiddler on the Roof (when I was little, I used to re-enact musicals in my bedroom: The Wizard of Oz, Funny Girl, West Side Story, Annie...but I never knew about Fiddler on the Roof until just recently. Oh my god, had I known, as a 9 year old...my entire childhood was robbed, mom and dad. ROBBED.)

*2010: The Year We Make Contact (Roy Scheider--what a dish. Where are the Roy Scheiders today in acting? Also, this movie is a Sci-Fi movie, but it's also got humanity to it. And supernatural elements. I think, ultimately, it's about peace and love. And that is putting it in the top 10 on my Good Movies list.)

I have others, but those are the four I think you should start with.

Last year at this time I made a big ol' list of songs that were going to get me through my summer. This year, I'm just going to share my Spotify list with you. Here it is:

And I have a ton of books to read this summer, too many to list here. I'm going to be re-reading EAT PRAY LOVE, I know that. (Want to come discuss it with me here?)

Free spirit, George Eliot. Or you could have just said: Summer is a great time to be
the free spirit you always might have been.


  1. Hi Amy - I've been reading along and so wish we could go out for a coffee or glass of wine. We would have so much to talk about. I'm in major transition too and even though it was scary and sad and all of those things, it was really good too.

    I love your summer play list. And reading list. I will try to be better about coming back here to read and comment.

    xoxo happy summer my teacher/blog friend.

    1. Hi Erin! Me too, on living closer, glasses of wine + coffee, sharing anecdotal evidence for Life's ups and downs, and crazy twists/turns. One day, fingers crossed! :)

      I know your summer starts much later than mine--but happy (almost) summer to you, sweet friend! xx


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