12-12-12: Feeling Blessed this Birthday

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I feel so blessed this birthday. Honestly one of the best.

Recently I watched a television show (Save Emily Owens MD!) that poked a little bit of fun at “birthday people.” They mentioned that having a birthday was not an accomplishment, so why celebrate?

To which I respond, because I like to! I like birthdays. I like your birthday and my birthday. Do I feel a little embarrassed that I not so tactfully hinted to my students that my birthday was coming up? Probably less embarrassed than I should, because my students were unbelievably kind to me on my birthday… and I won’t lie, that felt wonderful.

When Elly Strikes

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When I got married, I got a new cellphone plan, and with it a new number. I did the customary thing: transferred my contacts, sent out a mass text with my new number, and I think I even posted some sort of Facebook announcement about it as well. As with all cellular changes, there were a few stragglers that didn’t get the memo.

Your Whining Makes Me Whiney

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A couple of years ago, my New Years resolution was to quit whining altogether. I knew my mom was proud of me because she told all her co-workers about it, which is what she always does when she is proud.

Unfortunately, I made the resolution in January and January is cold, so my resolve not to whine lasted as long as it took me to defrost my first frosty windshield.

My Juniors Think I Am a Nazi.

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… And I don’t just mean they think I am mean or unfair.

It started with a student who thought it was cool to draw Swastikas on my desks. High schoolers are weird.

The first time it cropped up, it was a tiny little Swastika. I was faced with the dilemma: Make a big deal out of it and risk goading the Nazi in my class to continue, or just let it slide and hope the perpetrator will get bored after their graffiti failed to incite. Apparently, “letting it slide” only ensured that the Swastikas got bigger and more noticeable. Teacher Fail.

The Power of Nice

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I used to think that “niceness” was a soft attribute. I was heartily convinced that the way to be in life was like Christina Yang–calloused, driven, exceptional and seldom nice. Nice was a boring quality. Nice felt like Comic Sans and an exclamation point. Nice was a pastel butterfly on top of a crib. Nice meant weak. 

That’s not to say I was always mean. I liked to call myself “driven” instead. I was capable of being nice, but usually and especially in high school, nice was not inherent; nice served a purpose.