It seems like yesterday that I sat down to write my obligatory start of summer post and now, here I sit with my vacation days numbered and a new school year looming large. I thought the feeling of terror that I felt at the start of my first year of teaching would fade by the time I reached my second, or even my third year and yet entering my sixth year the butterflies have started in earnest. As I sat down to fill out my lesson planner for the first week of school I was still overwhelmed by the thought of having to teach little humans for 180 days this year. We always make it through, we always learn something, but there’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into each year and it’s hard to imagine conjuring all of that up at the beginning of the year.

I love summer vacation, but it’s this time of year that I have to remember that there’s a lot to love about fall too. In that spirit, my list of fun things I’m looking forward to for the fall:

  • Being awake for almost all of the sun-light hours of the day
  • Coffee and quiet time on the patio before school
  • Meeting my new third graders, and seeing my fourth graders become the leaders in the classroom
  • Soccer games with my dad and my uncle over at Tufts
  • The Topsfield Fair
  • Using my fall decorations again, and adding a few more
  • The brisk fall air and the need to wear a fleece again (but really, no more than a fleece… I’m not welcoming in freezing cold winter days just yet.)
  • Apple Picking
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Pretty fall foliage
  • Finding opportunities for weekend trips and making the most of them
What are your favorite things about fall?

Confessions of a Running Hater

I’ll admit it, for all of my life I have hated running. It’s not that I wasn’t an athlete, or didn’t play sports. It’s just that I saw running as a means to an end. I loved sprinting for a ball in a soccer game, or running out an infield hit in my softball games. Running as an end unto itself was something completely and entirely foreign to me. I quit soccer in high school in part because of the running we had to do in the off-season, I hated it that much. I am however, a practical person, and in my busy schedule I knew that walking wasn’t going to cut it if I wanted to lose weight and really get healthy. I wanted something with more bang for my buck and so, somewhat reluctantly, I started running.

After getting recommendations from friends I started the Couch to 5K program on the first day of my summer vacation. I’ve missed only one day of the program since and that was only to rest an injury I could feel starting. I’m not going to lie and tell you that as soon as I started running I loved it. In fact, the first 5 minutes of the runs even today are painful and I want nothing more than to go home. The endorphins however, are downright addicting and without fail after the workout is over I find myself bragging on facebook or calling my parents to celebrate. I went from not being able to sustain a run much longer than 60 seconds to being able to run 20 full minutes in just 5 weeks. And, the secret’s out, I kind of like it.

Are you looking for an efficient way to burn calories? Have you always wanted to run but have been convinced that you couldn’t? Try the Couch to 5K program, you’ll be surprised how strong you really are! Good luck!



Side Note:

If you’re going to try the program, I strongly recommend that you invest in some proper athletic wear. Having a supportive sports bra and moisture wicking clothing has made it infinitely easier to keep up with the program.

And, a disclaimer, if you haven’t exercised in awhile or if there’s any reason why you shouldn’t be running, you might want to clear the program with your doctor first!

What’s Been Going On

I’ll admit it, it’s been nice to take a break from blogging for awhile. I haven’t had much to say, and being able to take a break from putting everything into words has been a bit of a relief. I’ve also been wondering about what it might look like to refocus my blog, and so summer has provided an opportunity to begin that thought process. In the meantime though, I figured I should pop on by to document what I actually have been doing this summer. It’s been flying so fast that sometimes it’s easy to let myself think that I haven’t done anything when in fact, that’s far from the truth. My oh-so-optimistic to-do list is not close to being done, but I have packed many memories into these weeks. So, a recap, so far this summer I have:

  • Visited upstate New York twice
  • Begun reading “Notebook Know-How” to prepare for a new way of doing Writer’s Workshop this year
  • Completed 50% of my school shopping
  • Visited NYC on the second hottest day ever and saw Central Park, the New York Public Library, The Strand, The World Trade Center site, and my fabulous cousin in Phantom of the Opera
  • Visited the Outer Banks with my relatives, spent lots of time on the beach, ate way too much ice cream,  and saw the Wright Brothers park
  • Visited Castle Island for a day on the beach
  • Went to the Children’s Museum with my friend and her adorable 2 year old who was just adopted from Russia, so fun to meet him
  • Read books: Faith, The Forgotten Garden, One Thousand Gifts (in progress), Brooklyn (also in progress)
  • Toured the West Wing of the White House – amazing to see where so much history has happened! I stood right outside of The Situation Room… I mean come on, so cool!
  • Completed more than half of the Couch to 5K program, and ran my first 20 minute run since freshman year of high school.
  • Set up all the furniture in my classroom, and finished sorting, organizing, and labeling the library – a MAJOR success!
I’m going to go ahead and call this summer a success. There’s never enough time to do everything I want to. And maybe, admitting that is a sign of maturity. There’s never enough time, and so instead, I do the things I can, I enjoy the time I had, and at the end of the summer, hopefully I enter the classroom rested, rejuvenated, and ready to give my all to the kids for another 10 months.