Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Freakin' Rock Star

A rock star.

Ever feel like you were given innate passions and desires but not the talents to go with them? This is exactly how I feel. My immediate and usual response to this question, every time (hands down) is a rock star. No doubt.
My childhood was filled with my own personal rock concerts, with my stuffed animals as my groupies and most supportive fans, and my bed as the perfect stage to my rock concerts. And where would I have been without my hairbrush microphone? I was a hard-working rock star in training. I memorized all my songs. And I had variety! From Mariah Carey, to Whitney Houstin (who in their right mind could resist The Bodyguard soundtrack!), to Green Day (Basketcase...need I say more?) and Offspring ("gotta keep 'em separated").

And you know how rock stars have to be crazy, right? Well, I possess that kind of crazy. But the thing I lacked, which is apparently very important, is, well, talent. I mean I can sing, but in that country,-bumpkin-sweet-lullabye, kind of way (according to myself of course).

I love the idea of being able to rock your way through life, as an outlet for anything and everything. The passion in being a rock star moves me. Jamming across the piano, strumming the guitar to a broken-hearted song, or just being able to jump up and down, yell, and sing. That would be my dream. My ultimate dream.

In reality, I am a teacher. Now, you may think I've settled for something less, traded my "dream" for a practical life job, or just live my life passion-less. I disagree.

I teach kids every day, and I love it. They are my every day audience, watching me not for entertainment, but for inspiration for their future, for the courage to believe they are smart and capable, and the encouragement to keep going when they feel like they've failed. I get to dream for them, for what they can become. I get to see little victories every day. I get to see them accomplish things they never thought they could. I get to see the change I make in this world, every day. And this makes me feel like a rock star, and not just any rock star, but a FREAKIN' (jumping up and down, sliding across the classroom floor, and yelling) rock star.

Any other freakin' rock stars out there?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Hated, Then I Loved

Road Trip Wednesday #176: Sister I'm a Poet

I never liked poetry. Ever. I thought it boring and aloof. Poetry was something that just took too much work to understand. I hated writing poetry too. I thought I had to become some stuffy-analogy-hungry writer (I’m sure I’m offending so many people right now). This was until I took a 20th century literature class my third year of college. I felt inspired, and even moved by how these 20th century poets, defied the “norms” in poetry, and forever changed the way we write and read poetry. Even more exciting, was discovering twentieth century poets and authors from South America. I know that I’m going on and on, when all I REALLY want to do is share my favorite poem. But I just have to tell the story and the boring details leading up to it (so be patient, I’ll get there!). We had to pick a poem, by any author and write a paper about a poem. I had never written a paper with a source containing so little content! And this was when, I discovered (or my professor revealed to me) Pablo Neruda. Saying his name (even if it’s in my head) stills my heart and causes me to take a deep breath. And this was the poem I chose, my first favorite poem:

Sonnet XVII: I do not love you as if you were brine-rose, topaz
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

I love the darkness of his love, the inmost feeling that cannot be seen with bright colors or flowers or even described but only felt. I have nothing more to say so I will leave you with my favorite stanza, the one I keep reading over and over

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Best Book I Am Always Reading

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday: 
What's the best book you read in February? 

When I was a child, I was stubborn, rebellious and very willful. Out of all my brothers and myself, I was the most difficult child my parents had to deal with (they have said this to me many times). Even though I am grown and mostly mature, my rebellious, stubborn, willful self still rises to the surface and explodes out of me. Harry Potter was so loved and praised by everyone that my stubborn, willful, rebellious alter-ego self (or whatever that's called) took control. I refused to read any Harry Potter for about ten years. Many people pleaded with me, for the sake of my literary soul, to read Harry Potter. But I stood my ground and refused. I stood strong, that is, until my job required it of me (that darn pay check!). I had to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to my first 5th grade class, as requested (but really forced!) by my mentor teacher. That was the first time I truly met Harry Potter and I just can't seem to put him down. I can't say it's been the perfect love story (I really can't stand the 3rd book) but even the parts I hate, I still want to curl up in bed every night before I go to sleep, slip into the world of Hogwarts, magic, friendship, bravery, family, and of course Harry. So to answer the actual question, the best book I read this month would have to be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And as I have moved on to the dreaded third book, I'm quite sure that when I actually finish, it too will be the "best book" I read that month. As it is, Harry Potter is the best book I am always reading.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love is a Ridiculous, Wonderful, Powerful Thing

Road Trip #169 at YA Highway
What's the craziest thing you've done for love, or what's your favorite book/movie moment of someone doing crazy things for love?

I'm always too serious when it comes to love. I am crazy but my "crazy" doesn't come out in love. I feel that loving someone is almost crazy and scary enough, that small acts of my love which are "crazy" for me are not crazy in reality.
I am serious with love when it comes to literature as well. I am always captivated by Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's romance as well as Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre. So when I thought about "crazy love" the only example I could summon was between an extraordinarily small and courageous mouse and a princess.

“Love is ridiculous. But love is also wonderful. And powerful. And Despereaux's love for the Princess Pea would prove, in time, to be all of these things: powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous.” 
 Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

If you have not already read this book (which I highly recommend) you may be asking, "A mouse? How romantic can it be between a mouse and a human being?" I completely understand. I hate mice. Actually I just don't feel comfortable with any animal smaller than a cat. Back to the point, love sometimes can be so "powerful, wonderful and ridiculous" and a love story between a mouse and a princess can win your heart and also make you fall in love with a gross rodent. 
And really, who can't relate to this poor mouse? Don't we all love somebody, at some point in our lives, that we know they could and would never love us back? Not only was Despereaux small, poor,not royalty, barely literate, and a little (well mostly) unattracitve--he was also a completely different species. You would think with all that going against him, he would keep his love secret, as have most of us when we have an impossible love. But no, Despereaux was in love, and that love gave him courage, ridiculous courage to profess his love.

“Desperaux," she said. He saw his name on her lips.
"I honor you," whispered Desperaux. "I honor you.” 

That ridiculous courage did not give Despereaux the love of his life. The fact was, the princess did not have romantic feelings for the mouse. But it did give him a friend for life and that is something well worth the courage it took to love ridiculously and profess it unapologetically. 

“Despereaux thought that he might faint with the pleasure of someone referring to his ears as small and lovely. He laid his tail against the Pea's wrist to steady himself and he felt the princess's pulse, the pounding of her heart, and his own heart immediately took up the rhythm of hers.”
Kate DiCamilloThe Tale of Despereaux

Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Allergy to Romance?

Am I allergic to romance? I get so uncomfortable and always have when it comes to these "romantic" designated days (this actually might be the only designated day). Even when I'm "in love" (which I currently am just for the record!) I still get all funky and weird and freeze up and just draw a blank. I was like this even when I was younger. My first, and only, secret admirer was in 6th grade and I still remember to this day my stomach dropping to the floor and almost puking when my brothers (of all people) found this enormous heart box full of chocolate covered cherries on the top of our car. And please, imagine with me, what that was like. Four brothers!! All having a very good time with the fact that I had a secret admirer and proceeding with all the appropriate jokes you would expect from four boys. Well, let me tell you more, because I know you are just dying to know! The card was typed! Yes, this one was a smart one. However, I was a little--actually VERY--terrified, mortified that some boy came to my house and put something on our car! I was mortified until my wonderful, completely unrealistic, imagination of mine convinced me that it was the most popular boy in school who was secretly in love with me. In the end, however, it was a friend's, older brother (who was definitely in 8th grade!) and whom I had never spoken to or even seen! And, of course, my brothers ate all the chocolate covered cherries.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Simple Love

RTW: What do you love most about reading and writing? 

When I was younger I loved to write and I thought, usually those who love to write, write in journals or diaries. Well, I tried many times to keep a diary, and although having my four brothers snooping around my stuff was definitely a deterant, I also, just, couldn't get into it. I would "peeter" out after a few days. I then discovered that my kind of writing, was just writing my thoughts. I would write sayings or poems or quotes, or mini-essays (yes, I know I'm really qualifying myself as an official nerd). I remember writing this one mini essay about how what I wanted most in life was to be able to write my story one day and have it change one person's life. Believe it or not, that was my sixth grade self. But that was something that has stayed with me ever since. I believe the "written word" has such power to change lives, to touch even one person's soul, and as cliche as it sounds, to change the world. Here is a quote from someone much better at saying what I'm trying to say,

People read in order to feel and people write in order to express and I absolutely love the entire process.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My "Stupid" Humor


Road Trip Wednesday #165: Laugh Factory

This Week's Topic is: Good for a laugh: who is your favorite comedian or funny book and/or movie?

During my journey of discovering this "wonderful" world of blogging, I fell upon (and so grateful I did!) the YA Highway for young adult writers and readers. Every week I follow, and read, and have my own thoughts about wednesday field trips. I've finally mustered up enough nerve to submit my own response. And what a perfect topic to get started with: comedy!

After thinking about all my favorite books, I had a very difficult time remembering any that are remarkably funny. Being a drama queen in my own life, I tend to navigate toward serious, dramatic novels. Good thing this topic includes movies!  

However, my taste in funny movies is also very interesting. I like the weird dumb humor that only I really laugh to. I do this often as a teacher, I tell a joke to my students, and they all end up me, of course. My friends and I call this "stupid humor". It's so stupid, it's hilarious!

Ok, so finally, let me get on with this. My favorite funny movie, which most people have either never heard or or have never cared to watch it because it looks so stupid, IS...
Rainn Wilson (as my students would say) is EPIC in this movie. He's a thirty-year-old "has been" rocker, living with his sister and her family. His teenage nephew's band needs a drummer and ask him to join. It follows their journey to fame. Three teenage kids and a 30 year old drummer? How could they NOT rock?? 

If you are looking for stupid humor, watch this movie! You will love it! Just make sure to have no expectations, then you will love it!