Monday, April 20, 2009

Never Say Never

In high school, I said that after graduation, I would never stay in Virginia.  But then I went to UVA and moved back up to NoVA.

Growing up, I said that I would never become a teacher.  Or a lawyer.  And now I have already taught for a year and I'm in law school.

In college, I said that I would never go back to school after I finished my degree.  But now I am in law school for another advanced degree.

I used to say that all I wanted to do was be in a band and move out to California.  Neither of those things ever happened.

I will never get a great job as a lawyer and get to move to New York next year with Al.  *crosses fingers* =P

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I think I can

When I first started taking education classes for my teaching degree, I had a lot of exposure to the problems of the education system and ever-increasing achievement gap between kids of different races and socieo-economic backgrounds.  There is something about helping people in need, people who can't help themsevles, that has always tugged at my heart.  When I read a story about kids of immigrant parents who feel that they can't make it in this world, I can almost sense the possibility that if I did...something...I could make a real difference and help them.  The only problem is actually knowing what that something is--and after a year of teaching in a school full of at-risk children, I am definitely far from finding out the answer.

But I do believe that a lot of helping these kinds of kids has to do with helping them find their confidence and their motivation.  If they can just believe in themselves and realize that they can achieve their goals if they put their minds to it, then they can reach their dreams.  I know it's idealistic--but all it takes is to have one person believe in you and really encourage you, because soon that encouragement turns into self-confidence and the ability to motivate yourself.

What's funny, and maybe even ironic, is that I believe that I can do these things for peope who are "in need," but I don't even think that I have mastered it for myself yet.  Yes, I have graduated from college and I was accepted to a good law school, but I feel like I failed so much this year that I really feel like giving up.  Even dropping out.

But right now I feel myself oddly inspired.  I just read a New York Times article about kids of immigrants from Central America, and the struggles that they face here in America, and the world that they are almost stuck in given their family and social status.  While I was reading it, it made me think of my students from last year.  When I think of kids like these--who get stuck in a cycle of dropping out of school, getting involved in gangs, and can't stick with anything long enough to move up in the world--I honestly and passionately feel that I could do something to help them.  I remember the words that I said to my kids last year, and I honestly believe that each and every one of those kids has the ability to really succeed in their education and in whatever it is they decide to do with their lives.

But I don't believe the same things about myself.  And I think that's what needs to change in order to feel happy about this law school decision.  I shouldn't let my grades or class rank affect my confidence or how I feel about myself--because if I do that, I lose almost all motivation and this whole law school process becomes an unbearable chore that I just want to get through to check off my list of things to do.  But I didn't go to law school to check something off my list.  I really want to gain the skills to be able to do more in this world and to have more opportunities.  This IS something that I want to do, and I need to keep that in mind!

So with this motivating blogpost, I go back to writing my final paper for legal writing and to studying for the last three weeks of my first year!  YAYZ!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Work out madness

Ugh, so my attempt to lose weight and get back into shape has now begun!  I like getting to work out again--my left leg definitely needs to build its muscle back up and I like working up a sweat at the gym.  The part that I DON'T like is cutting back calories!!!  but i think i've been pretty good about it--Al and I have been trying to keep track of our calorie intake everyday.  He, of course, is a lot better at sticking to it than I am.  I think I consumed too many calories today--I just feel like I am always in a constant state of hunger.  However, just yesterday I re-discovered popcorn and it has been much more satisfying to munch on that than on carrot sticks!!

So this has been going on for about a week and a half--my goal is to lose at least 5 pounds, but the weight isn't so much an issue as is the flab.  Good-bye donut/muffin top/love handles!!!  It will be motivating, I hope, to see some significant progress soon.

Hmmm if I starve myself all day long, can I just eat one meal at five guys?? =P

On another note, tomorrow will be the first time that al and I have to spend our nights apart!!!! =(  Al is going to go visit Chicago's law school from thursday to saturday.  I can't go because I have classes, so for once I will have our big bed all to myself!  It will be weird to think that he won't be there, but I won't think about it too much or else I'm already going to start crying!  With Al gone, it will be a lot harder to resist the urge to eat some feel-good foods.

ok well...i'm just stalling so that i can just go straight to bed instead of studying for an extra 15 minutes.  i need to stay motivated for just one more month!

hugs and kisses and cookies