So, I moved to D.C.

Well, I moved to Virginia…in order to afford to go to school in D.C. (You can’t have everything, people!)

GW cherry blossums

April 2018 – visiting the GW campus

My mom and I visited 7 apartment complexes in about 8 hours back in June, and I brought the first carload of stuff to my new place on July 15th. Mom and Aunt Tina arrived with the completely full U-Haul two days later. We had a whirlwind of a week unloading, unpacking, and decorating, but we squeezed in some sightseeing fun as well.


They flew back to MS on Sunday, July 22nd, and I followed in my car later that afternoon. I spent a few days there and then drove to Texas where I lived for two more weeks. I did my best to visit with people all hours of the day and night before loading up my dog and starting the 20-hour drive to Virginia.

Lola Car

This is what Lola does on every car trip.

We’ve been here for a week, and things are going well. I thought I’d start the blog back up so I could write about life in my new city. My previous posts are teaching related, but I’m going to leave them as they are for posterity. 🙂 Feel free to comment or lurk as you feel led!

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Teaching: A Day in My Life

Today was a bit of a rollercoaster. The day started with a staff breakfast and celebrating a coworker’s birthday. First period was filled with lots of banter and 80’s music thanks to the two yahoos below:

There were fifteen other desks in the room, but where did they want to work on their 20 Time project? Mine, of course. They crack me up.

During this class, I received an email saying one of my students was out with a doctor’s note until May 7th. She’s one I’ve taught before, so I happened to have her number and sent her a quick text asking if she was okay. By the time 2nd period rolled around, I received a follow-up email telling me the student had been in a car accident where the car had rolled and then caught fire. Her mother and two siblings were okay, but she was still being treated at the hospital. I’m telling myself she’ll be fine, but I haven’t gotten any updates to prove it.

Fast forward to third period. My sweet friend and coworker covered the beginning of my class so I could go sit with my “school daughter” in algebra. Apparently, this week she’s had trouble staying awake long enough to complete her work. Let’s just say she didn’t have any trouble today! 🙂 At the end of the day, she stopped by my room to tell me she’d done all of her work and to show me a picture of a guy with boyfriend potential. “He’s going to meet my mom, and he knows he has to meet you, too.” Wednesday evening he noticed the background photo on her phone – the two of us from an interview at school earlier that day – to which he responded, “Your mom is white? I didn’t know you were adopted!” K took the time to explain AFTER laughing at him for about five minutes. This was one of my finest moments as an educator. 🙂

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My conference period is at the end of the day, so I was semi-relaxing and catching up on emails when I received this text:

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I taught J eleven years ago – my 2nd year of teaching. She struggled with depression and cutting and family issues during high school and later dealt with substance abuse. Today she is a 27-year-old, real-life GROWN UP, and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I am so honored that she asked me to be there when she tells her story.

Teaching is hard. The days are often long and difficult, and we teachers sometimes feel like what we’re doing isn’t making a bit of difference. Today was a good reminder of how it does.

20 Time – Post #2

So, it’s time for a little update on how the 20 Time projects are going. Most of my students have done really well, but a few of them seem to still be determined to do the least amount of work possible – even though they chose a topic they were supposedly passionate about. This has been disappointing, but the kids who are into it are REALLY into it, so that makes up for the others.

The update for each of my own projects follows.

1st Period: My running attempt started off fairly strong as my free app bossed me around, telling me when to walk and when to run. However, at the beginning of the second week, the “free” part of the app ended and I needed to purchase the full version to keep going. At that point, I switched to the original C25K (Couch to 5K) app and paid for the full version. Unfortunately, what little momentum I had was sapped due to shin splints, and I haven’t attempted running in two weeks. 😦 My goal is to start again this weekend.

2nd Period: A local friend of mine (Angela) put me in touch with a friend of hers (Paige) that currently lives in New York City, so I was able to speak with Paige about what it was like to move to NYC from Texas. She was able to live with friends for four months and then found a great job to help pay for her living expenses. I don’t have any connections like that, so I need to look into where I could actually afford to live. I’m also interested in beginning graduate school, so I’m researching the programs at Columbia University and NYU.

3rd Period: I’ve created a Facebook business page called Liberty Lane Goods, but I still need to add pictures. Finding time and good lighting to take pictures of my crafts has been difficult. Hopefully, I can do that tonight or tomorrow and make the site live by Sunday.

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Student Blog Links by Class

1st Period:                                2nd Period:                                   3rd Period:

Laura -car building                Aroldo – Acapulco                         Estefany – cooking

Idashia – fashion                     Miguel – clothing line                   Daniel – model car

Fernando – script                    Noah – city planning                     Olivia – student voice

Aidan – UT                                Emily                                                Jasmin – photography

Maria – painting                      Carrington – Paris                         Jose – soccer complex

Jairo – Korean cooking           Shirley                                            Isaac – model car

Elijah – editing                         Derian – scythe building              Willie – planner debate

Omar – NFL player                  Marlen – France                            Jazmin – photography

Bawi – travel                             Israel – independence                   Kevin

Caleb – drawing                       Leticia – soccer skills                     Cordelia

Liset – cosmetology                 Luis – world travel                        Flourish

Jacop – pro soccer player       Prabjot – NBA news                      Favor

Van – soccer vs. football         Kayla – vlogging                            TJ



20 Time – Post #1

With lots of help from all over the web (like here, here, and especially here), my classes and I are delving into the 20 Time experience this week!

Since I teach three classes, I am attempting a different 20 Time project for each class. My goal for 1st Period is to run a mile without stopping; I will use the Couch to 5K app on my phone each week and post my stats on this blog. For 2nd Period’s project, I am researching how to move to New York City. In 3rd Period, my 20 Time goal is to create a Facebook Business page for my crafts.

Successfully completing all three projects may be unlikely, but I love to remind my students that I don’t ask them to do things I am unwilling to do. So, it seems worthwhile to at least try to complete all three. Wish me luck!

History Has Its Eyes On You


I saw Hamilton: An American Musical four times this summer, and I still haven’t recovered. If you have somehow missed hearing about this show, stop right here and go listen to the whole thing for free on Spotify. You’re welcome.

One of the (many) things I love about Hamilton is its reminder that history has a place for all of us. As I teach my students this fall, I can point to this musical and say, “Look! If you love the subject of history, there’s a place for you. If you love rap, there’s a place for you. If you love theater, dance, singing, there’s a place for you. If you love to read and write, there’s a place for you, too.” The writing, staging, reception, etc. of Hamilton encompasses all of these things. All of these things together have created a cultural phenomenon that is quite possibly the best musical of our time. And it would not have happened if even one of those components were missing.

This reminder that we are living tomorrow’s history now isn’t just true for my students. It’s true for all of us. We need to find what we are passionate about and pursue it. We were created with unique personalities and talents for a reason.

We each have a role to play, and each role adds something to the fabric of the history of the human race. So go do your thing.