Well Color Me…..

My ramblings on the world in general and my life in particular

February 25, 2018
by Tracie
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…Unarmed and OK With It

I made the huge mistake of posting on facebook this morning regarding the comments President Trump made about arming teachers.  He said (and this is not a direct quote, just paraphrasing here) that teachers love their students and we should be armed we love our students, and that we’d kill to protect them.  The problem with that thought process is that most school shooters are students or former students.  If a student is expelled, in my mind, he or she is still my student.  Could I potentially kill one of my students?  No, I don’t think I could.  Trained police didn’t go in to the school in Florida and start shooting.  Why do people think that I could or would?

unarmed and okay with it

Image copyright Joe Heller

Okay, suppose there are trained, armed teachers in a school and there is a school shooting.  What happens to the teacher who accidentally shoots and kills another student while trying to stop the shooter?  Are they going to be prepared to deal with the emotional fallout from killing an innocent student or co-worker?  Somehow I doubt it. What about the police who do rush into the school in the case of a school shooting and accidentally kill a teacher with a gun who was “protecting his/her students?”  How are they supposed to differentiate from school shooter or trained staff member.  I don’t think school shooters come with signs.  Oh wait, I know.  First, I’ll lock and barricade my door.  Then I’ll get the kids into the safest part of the room.  Then I’ll get out my gun which would be locked up in a secure place, then I’ll put on my day-glow orange vest that says I’m a staff member with a gun, don’t kill me.  You know, the vest that will probably be available on the internet that the school shooter will also be wearing.

Now I realize that they probably wouldn’t arm me, and it would be teacher choice.  I’ve already made my choice abundantly clear.  But suppose the teacher down the hall, who is a horrible, horrific teacher chooses to go through the proposed training and now has access to a weapon in school.  They’re proposing paying this teacher more money because of that gun.  It doesn’t matter that they are  a terrible teacher, they agreed to carry a gun so they get more money.  Yeah that makes sense to me.

I have friends on facebook who are pro gun.  I have friends on facebook who love to hunt and kill.  Now these friends frequently post pictures of their hobbies. That’s fine, it’s a free country, what they’re doing is legal.  All is well.  Now, I am not pro gun (for me) and I am not a hunter.  So I choose to just bypass their posts that show them participating in those activities.  They love it, that’s fine.  I don’t, that’s fine, but I RESPECT their right to do what they love and share on social media.  Why then, can’t they extend me the same courtesy.  I’m not saying we should take away their guns.  I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to hunt.  They however feel the need to come on my post and tell me how wrong I am because arming teachers would make everything all better.  Not me.  I’m unarmed and I’m okay with it.

One more little side diatribe.  I love how kids are stepping up and saying this has got to stop.  They are speaking out and letting them know that their lives matter.  All our lives do.  Many students are planning a peaceful protest/school walk out to take a stand. And many school districts are apparently talking about suspending kids that do so.  Kudos to the colleges and universities that are stepping up and saying the admission of students will not be impacted by any suspensions issued to them for protesting gun violence.

 

 

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February 17, 2018
by Tracie
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…Afraid to go to Work

I never ever thought I’d say those words.  I’ve said I don’t want to go to work, and I’ve said I hate going to work, but never ever have I said I’m afraid to go to work, until now.  There have been a lot too many school shootings in recent years, but none of them have effected me emotionally as much as the recent shooting in Florida.  Why?  It’s rather ironic, actually.  We had a faculty meeting Wednesday, and while my principal was discussing a new training our district was offering in case there was a school shooter event, there actually was a school shooter event happening.

It’s caused me to look closely at my classroom, and that’s making me even more afraid.  I am in a small room that used to be an office.  It’s approximately 12×22 and has only one way in or out.  It has three small windows, none of which are large enough to climb out through.  The only door opens out to the hallway so we can’t even blockade ourselves in, and to add insult to injury, the only way to lock the door is to go out INTO the hallway.  My closet has a bump out in it and has approximately 144 square inches of floor space.  I suppose I could cram a very skinny kid in there and afraid to go to workhide them, but what about the rest of us?

I am afraid to go to work. Both of my children work at the school where I work, and I’m afraid for them to go to work as well.  What kind of life is that?  It’s no life at all.  We shouldn’t be afraid to earn a living.  I know these shootings don’t only happen in schools, and I know there are other people that work in other industries where tragedies like this have happened.  I’m not trying to minimize the danger they may be in, but when it happens in a school it’s even more heinous.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I really don’t.  As a teacher, I don’t want to be armed.  I’m not a gun person.  Don’t get me wrong, if the average Joe wants to own a gun to go hunting, or target shooting, I don’t care.  The average Joe is also going to go about getting their gun the right way.  However, the average Joe isn’t the one stockpiling assault rifles and planning on being the next school shooter.  Stricter gun regulations aren’t going to stop criminals from getting guns.  I understand that.  Stricter background checks might.  Changing hippa regulations so that people who are mentally ill might help.  Maybe consistent licensing and background checks with a national database will help.  I don’t know.  I don’t pretend to know.

What I do know is that I am afraid to go to work, and God help me, I’m afraid that if a tragedy like that does happen, that I won’t react the right way.  I’d like to think I’d do whatever I can to save students, but I wonder if in the end, the only people I would care about are me and my own children.  That sucks.  Not that I care about my children, but that I don’t know how I would react in the event of a school shooter. I hope to God I never have to find out.

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February 13, 2018
by Tracie
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…Living the Ketogenic Lifestyle

Yep it’s time for another diet….this time, I’m trying the ketogenic diet.  I know that right now you’re either scratching your head and saying “what the heck is that?” or wondering if it’s that thing you hear about in diabetes commercials called ketoacidosis.  Let me start with a brief – VERY brief science lesson.  When a person is in ketosis, they are burning fats for brain power and body power.  It’s a good thing – especially if you’re like me and have a lot of extra body fat to burn 😉

So how does this happen?  Well it’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen over night.  You do have to change the way you’re eating.  You limit carbs in a huge way, eat moderate protein, and load up on healthy fats.  Please notice that I said HEALTHY fats.  Things like bacon and butter are okay, but you also want to consider things like nuts, avocados, salmon and olives.

To get into ketosis, you need to limit your carbs to under 50 grams a day, and these need to come from things like the leafy greens.  Failure to do so could result in some backed up plumbing, and you don’t want that, either.  To help your body switch into fat-burning mode and enter ketosis, you’ll need to eliminate all the “good stuff”.  This includes  grains, including breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, rice and granola bars; sugar in desserts, baked goods, jams, syrups and drinks; starchy vegetables, such as mashed potatoes, french fries, baked potatoes and corn; fruits; and milk and yogurt.  It’s a pretty huge list, and I’m going to be honest, some of my favorite things are on that list.  I’m not going to lie, french fries, potato chips and popcorn are 3 of my major food groups.  So I’m saying goodbye to them, but hey, I get to have bacon.  Show me a diet where you get to have bacon, or cook your eggs in butter.  They are pretty much non-existent, right? I’m also missing milk in a big way, but the addition of heavy whipping cream to my morning tea helps – a little!

So where do you get the carbs?  Your carbs come from non-starchy vegetables, including broccoli, artichokes, kale, tomatoes and mushrooms. Most non-starchy vegetables contain less than 5 g of carbs per cup, but the carb content varies among vegetables. But it’s super important to keep track of those carbs.  Log them religiously!  Actually log all your food religiously – it’s another great tool in your weight loss arsenal.

You need to include a moderate amount of protein in your diet.  This is where it’s hard for me.  I could happily eat steak all day long, but that’s not

living the ketogenic lifestyle

really moderation.  You generally want to shoot for a serving size of between 4 – 6 oz of protein per serving.  Don’t forget to take your weight and activity level into account.  If you’re an exercising demon (which I am not) you’re going to need to increase the protein a bit.  So where does the protein come from?  It’s mainly found in eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, fish and seafood. And the best part of all?  When you put your veggies on your plate, you get to top them off with a dollop of butter, or olive oil.  Stay away from the low fat stuff – it’s full of sugar.  Sugar is carbs and those kinds of carbs are NOT our friends.

Also drink lots and lots of water.  Again, you want to keep that plumbing running smoothly, don’t you?  Water is your friend.  Now there are some drawbacks to this way of eating (WOE).  As your body starts to change where it gets it’s fuel from, you can be subject to what is called keto flu.  The potential is there to feel like crap.  Some even liken it to withdrawal from an addiction.  So if you’re feeling tired, irritable, achy, nauseous, and just generally blah, your body is making the switch from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat.  Power through because the feeling will go away.  Remember to stay hydrated, you can take an electrolyte supplement or cook up some bone broth – it replaces potassium and sodium and helps to keep you hydrated.

I’m on a lot of keto groups on facebook and they are super supportive.  It’s always good to have a strong support system when you’re trying to make a change in your life.  A virtual one works well.  They are full of suggestions, recipes and support.  They’re also there to help you navigate the keto language which is a minefield of acronyms.  Just ask any one of them what BCP is and you’ll get a hundred answers.  In case you’re interested, BCP is bullet proof coffee, and it’s made with coffee (or in my case tea), heavy whipping cream, with a tablespoon of organic butter and a tablespoon of MCT oil.  Oh look another acronym.  Medium-chain triglycerides are triglycerides whose fatty acids have an aliphatic tail of 6–12 carbon atoms. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium-chain fatty acids.  Sorry – I just gave you another science lesson.  Anyhow, it sounds pretty disgusting, doesn’t it.  It’s not, but you have to blend it all together in a blender.  It gets all frothy and yummy.  Seriously.  When I read about it, it sounded disgusting, but it’s actually really good.  Most people start their day off with it, but I don’t.  I use it at night if I haven’t reached my fat goal for the day.

Now this blog post is not intended to replace a doctor’s advice.  ALWAYS consult your doctor before embarking on a weight loss and/or exercise program.  And if you want to learn more about a ketogenic diet, google is your friend.  But if you decide to give it a try, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

 

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February 7, 2018
by Tracie
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…a Bit Broken and Battered

When one becomes a teacher, they don’t necessarily think about the possibility of getting physically injured.  Carpel Tunnel? Sure.  Eye strain?  Oh yeah.  Cirrhosis of the liver from too much drinking?  Well that one’s a given lol.  But actually getting physically injured because of a student?  That a bit broken and batteredone never ever crossed my mind.  Yeah in the back of my mind, I thought teaching would involve Disney animals frolicking in to my classroom to help decorate and keep it tidy.  Naive? Absolutely. But somewhere, I knew there was some middle ground.  Oh how wrong I was.

My classroom is furnished in early American cast off.  My teacher desk is a relic from the 1950’s, or possibly earlier.  It’s a big assed old wooden desk that is virtually indestructible.  I say virtually because the last one I had got a whole kicked in the side by an angry student.  I won’t bring in a fan because they’re easy to be picked up and can be used as a weapon, and when I brought in floor lamps, I was able to tuck them into corners with other furniture in front of them so they are not easily accessible and can’t be picked up and thrown.  These are the things teachers have to consider.  Probably not all teachers, but I do.

I also never in my life thought that I would be breaking up fights, but I do, and in fact, I did last week, which is why I am indeed a bit broken and battered.  I’ll give both kids credit, neither one of them wanted to hurt me, only each other.  Unfortunately, they were both fine and I’m the one in in pain.  Between the chairs that got thrown, and the young man who was channeling his inner Hulk, there was me.  Again, not something I ever envisioned when I was in college.

So I’ve iced, and I’ve used heat.  I’ve rested and I’ve taken countless Aleve, Advil, and Tylenol trying to work through the stiffness and pain. But when both boys came back today after their suspensions, I greeted them with smiles.  Because even though I am a bit broken and battered, I am a teacher, and I don’t give up on them.

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February 4, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Victim of Ageism

Yep, it finally happened. I’m not talking about the bazillion of AARP things I get in the mail and in my email. I’m talking about out and out being judged on my age, and while it’s funny, it’s dead wrong as well.

a victim of ageismA week or so ago, my darling daughter and I were at the mall and we stopped into Ulta. We browsed and tried samples and we each finally found our purchases. We both got into line and went to different cashiers. As I was paying, the cashier threw a free sample of something in my bag, and my initial thought was “YIPPEE!”

When I got home, I found a 7 day supply of Serovital. Now for those of you who don’t know what it is, SeroVital is an affordable oral formula that encourages the pituitary gland to increase growth hormone production at a more youthful rate*, naturally, without dangerous drugs or synthetic hormone injections. It’s called SeroVital®-hgh. And it just might change your life.

Now here’s the thing, I’m fifty-one but according to my students, I don’t look my age (except for the freaking dark circles under my eyes that will never go away). I don’t think my students are trying to be nice – that’s not the way they roll. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t look like I’m twenty, but I don’t look like I’m in my fifties. That being said, I had heard about Serovital and was curious about it, so I figured a 7 day free sample was great. Then I thought a 14 day free sample would be better and I asked my darling daughter if I could have hers. “I didn’t get any mom,” was her response.

At first I was like -yeah, no big deal, she doesn’t need it, but then it hit me and I got pissed. They gave me that sample based upon my AGE. That’s just freaking wrong people. WRONG WRONG WRONG. So to the makers of SeroVital, if this was your idea, bad marking campaign, and Ulta if this was your idea, you just suck and I’m never shopping in your store again.

As far as discriminatory acts go, it’s not huge, in fact, compared to some age discrimination things, this is barely a blip on the radar. But it happened, and it’s wrong, and to turn your back on a wrong doing is condoning it, and I won’t do that.

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January 29, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Binge Watcher

I’ve never been a binge watcher before -unless you count my yearly Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch.  But other than Buffy, I don’t binge watch.  Even when I decided to watch Stranger Things, it took me a couple of weeks to get it done.  But then, it happened.  As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much of a life, so Friday nights will often find me home, tucked up in bed at an early hour, decompressing from  a week of teaching.  Well, let me be the first to tell you, there isn’t a ton of decent television to watch, on Friday nights when most intelligent people are out having a social life.

...a binge watcherSo there I’d sit on Friday nights, tucked up under my covers, reading, eating popcorn (before I started the keto diet, but that’s a blog for another day) and aimlessly channel surfing.  And then….I found it.  It being Ancient Aliens.  Yes, I know it is quite possibly the lamest of lame shows in the history of lame shows.  It’s premise is that everything that happened in the past is because of ancient aliens.  The pyramids, Noah’s Ark, Bigfoot, you name it, and they say it’s because of ancient alien visitors to this planet.

I started watching as a lark, then I found myself counting down the seconds until Friday night so I could watch, when it was on.  On Demand!  That’s right, Ancient Aliens is on demand, and so my binge watching obsession has begun.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that isn’t any other form of intelligent life out there.  If we’re the best there is, then the universe is in a world of hurt.  I’m also not saying that these alien lives have never visited this planet.  Heck they may even be responsible for the pyramids.  I don’t know, and quite honestly, I don’t care.  My enjoyment comes from watching this lame show and giggling to myself every single time they say “ancient alien theorists.”  Seriously, if I this who was around when I was in college, it would have totally replaced “Hi Bob,” as my favorite t.v. watching/drinking game.

I literally come home from school, cook dinner, clean up, spend some time with the family and when I head up to bed, I’m practically doing a happy dance.  I take my shower, dry my hair, and crawl into bed and queue up Ancient Aliens on demand and let it go.  The only reason I’m not done yet is aI keep falling asleep, cause you know, it’s night time.  So I’ll continue my binge watching and learning about how the ancient Greek and Roman gods were actually ancient aliens, and how Noah’s Ark was actually a DNA repository.  Thank you History Channel for this complete awesomeness. My life is now complete 😉

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January 20, 2018
by Tracie
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…Lacking a Life, and That’s Okay

Lacking a Life, and That’s Okay

 

I realize that I’m kind of a boring person.  I’m a homebody.  I don’t particularly like going out.  In my younger days, I was quite the night owl, these days, I find myself going to bed fairly early. To put it simply, I’m lacking a life, and that’s okay.

lacking a life, and that's okay

not my bed

There are plenty of occasions when I have a life, and that is also okay.  But tonight, I’m lacking a life and I’m oh so glad.  Why, because I am sitting here in what is quite possibly Nirvana.  A freshly made bed, made with freshly washed sheets, into which I have slipped my freshly showered body wearing freshly washed jammies.

It sounds lame, but I assure you, it’s not. What I’m doing, is finding pleasure in something simple and basic.  Sometimes it’s not about how much you have, and what you have.  Sometimes you just need to find joy and happiness in the little things.  And right now, there is nothing more pleasurable than clean sheets and a freshly made bed.   It’s something I’m trying very hard to do, stop wanting what I don’t have, and finding pleasure in little things.

It’s a good lesson to learn, and a good way to live.  And right now, I’m enjoying my freshly made bed and my not having a life.

 

 

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January 19, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Very Private Kind of Person

A Very Private Kind of Person

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately for a variety of reasons, and I’m starting to learn a lot about myself.  I’m kind of a very private person.  If a very private kind of personyou met me, you wouldn’t think that, because I’ll talk to people (friends) just about anything.  I’ll share what’s going on in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly.  What I don’t talk about however, is how I actually feel.  I keep that stuff held deep inside of me.

Remember the scene in Shrek between Shrek and Donkey?

Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Shrek: No.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: NO. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.

That’s kind of what I mean.  I have no problem showing a lot of surface, but there isn’t anybody who really knows what goes on beneath the surface.  I do keep a lot to myself, because I really don’t believe that there are a lot of people who would understand, or care. It’s easier to be a very private kind of person and if not easier, it’s a heck of a lot safer.  If you keep it all to yourself, nobody has the power to hurt you.

 

143m

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January 17, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Huge Lover of Snow Days

A Huge Lover of Snow Days

 

I’m a bad teacher, I totally admit that.  Why?  Because I am a huge lover of snow days.  I don’t care about making days up later in the year.  I really don’t.  There is something simply wonderful when that phone call or text comes in or the message flashes across the bottom of the television.  I don’t a huge lover of snow daysknow why, but when there is a snow day, I love to sleep in.  I can’t manage to do it on the weekends, but on  a snow day, I can snuggle back under those covers and go back to sleep.

I think snow days are God’s way of realizing that teachers need extra time off during the winter.  We get to school before light, we go home after dark and we’re cooped up inside with cranky kids all day long.  The only real drawback to snow days in my school district is for our para-educators.  We have five built in snow days in the school calendar, and they only get paid for two. I always feel bad when I hear about the possibility of a snow storm because while I’m praying for the snow day, they’re praying it doesn’t happen so they can get paid.

So sure, maybe we’ll have to go a few extra days this spring, but I’m okay with that, because today, I got a snow day.

143m

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