Oh Come On Gilmore

Couldn’t wait to watch the Gilmore Girls revival. Could. Not. Wait.

And

What the ever living he**?!

Okay, Lorelai and Luke: Yay!

Stars Hollow: Yay!

Emily: Yay! That DAR moment might have been the best ever. The giant painting was hilarious…and sad…but mostly hilarious.

Emily and Lorelai: Yay! 

Paris: Yay!!!

Doyle? Huh?!

32-year-old Rory: Uhhhhh, what?! I mean come on. When Rory was 16 and 17 and 18 and even when she was 22 some hard life decisions with real consequences led to or should have led to some real lessons, right? 

Okay. So, yes, Gilmore Girls is fiction.

And yes, Lorelai is not REALLY Rory’s mom.

But Lorelai Gilmore did not raise that milktoast, whiny, mess of a gal hanging on to, or sort of hanging on to, a guy with a fiancé. 

Sure destructive behavior was part of Rory’s growing up. But she grew up and she grew up good. We saw it at the end of season 7. And even when she told Logan no and rode off into the sunset to become the next Christiane Amanpour, we knew, we knew she’d be okay because Lorelai raised her and Stars Hollow raised her and Chilton raised her and even Emily and Richard and Luke and Sookie and Jackson…they all raised her, and they didn’t raise that empty, shallow creature who couldn’t to find a way to stand up for herself.

No way Paris is putting up with this Rory.

And what in the heck? Paul Anka, the missing dog, got more air time than Lane.

I know, I know. Gilmore Girls is NOT real. But geez, what in the heck? 10 years and that’s what you give Rory?

Boo. Just boo.

Thank goodness for Luke and Lorelai. That’s all I’m saying.

An Open Letter

We have to move on.The election is over. Trump won. Everyone who voted for him isn’t a racist misogynist. A lot of people who voted for him are just Republicans. The normal kind who want small government (except where uteruses are concerned and Rock Star Jesus–not to be confused with real Jesus). Some are Republicans, the fiscal kind–the often don’t care about uteruses and RSJ. They just want to see big dividends. Some of them are the ones who always vote the anti-abortion ticket…no matter what. Some are the ones who always vote R, no matter what because they believe it’s the right thing to do.

You can be mad, sad, angry. 

But it’s over.

Be mad. But go do something: volunteer at your local political office, a ministry, a community organization that supports your causes. Fundraise for them. Post articles with facts about the things important to you. Engage in dialogue, real dialogue, not diatribe.

You know people who voted R. You love people who voted R. They are not your enemy.

Did this election bring out White Nationalism? You bet it did. And you know what? That’s a good thing. It was already there, seething, waiting for a chance to spring out and say ha! Take that country who voted for Obama twice.

Now we know it’s there in all its ugliness. When you see the ugly, you can address it for real. But you can’t lump every Republican in one big pile and call them equal. That is wrong.

We have a democratic process. Trump won. We’ve got four years to work on that.

But we also have months to work on local elections and state elections. It’s not just about DC.

One more thing: over the last couple years I’ve seen a constant bombardment of misinformation out there with the sole purpose of scaring the crap out of our baby boomers. Don’t be part of the problem. Fact check with real sources. This is not just an R problem.

One more thing. We are the United States. What happens next depends on us. All of us.

Yes, Trump/Pence get to nominate a Supreme Court Justice (hopefully just one). That sucks. But that’s the system (unless the R’s control the system and lock out all nominees). Yes, they get to jack with the programs we think make our lives better. That’s the system. Want to change things? Change the next election. We don’t do that by calling our loved ones racists.

Love Wins…?

While a lot of people had all day to process the results of the election, I had to put my emotions away and work with kids who have the right to go to class without the journalism teacher telling them how to think politically. On the way home I was overcome with sadness. The grief was real and it wasn’t because the Republicans won.

It was because Trump won. 

It was because you can say all day that it’s about politics, but to listen to the man speak throughout this election proved it was about so much more. 

The election is over, and I hurt.

I hurt for my friends of the Muslim faith who have been equated to terrorists, for the people who have been victims of sexual assault at the hands of men who felt it was their right to take what they wanted, for people from Mexico, Central and South America who have heard “Build the wall” shouted out randomly by people who think they’re being funny. I hurt for my friends and loved ones in the LGBTQ+ community who have to fight for acceptance every day and have had to fight harder this last year. I hurt for every woman who has ever been openly rated and scored for no other reason than her physical beauty by the men in her life. 

I hurt for the representation that Trump was somehow the Jesus candidate. I hurt because people said time and again “they’re just words” and stop being so “politically correct.” 

I hurt.

I hurt for a nation suffering so much that they were willing to risk it all on the chance that maybe Trump and his “I can save you” mentality actually can do better than what we’ve had my entire lifetime.

All that said, through the tears I’m shedding while writing this post, through the pain in my throat and the cannonball of dread in my stomach, all that said, I still believe in my country and the system we have that allows the democratic election of the person to lead the United States. 
I believe love trumps hate. And I believe when it comes down to it, the people of this country WANT to work together. 

I pray this hurt will ease. I hope my fears for a Trump presidency will prove to be as ridiculous as my friends who voted for Trump have told me they are. I haven’t heard Trump’s speech today, but I read the highlights, and that’s a start.
Is it time for reconciliation? Yes.
Is it time for healing? Yes.

Is it okay that I hurt? Yes.

Hit the Wall

There’s this meme making the rounds every Friday. It’s a cat sprawled on a couch with the words teachers be like on a Friday after school.

Yesterday I hit that wall.

I came home, we talked about the game, I took Emmie for a walk, sat in the chair…and woke up at 7:30. Long enough to say good night and head to bed.

I don’t remember the last time I did that. Maybe it was a combination of staying up late for the World Series and NaNo, but for whatever reason I was out last night.

Brian’s had the tough part the last month. He’s been driving back and forth regularly, going to Wichita Falls, Lawton with his dad for chemo then back here for a few days.

I’ve been working, writing, reading JD Robb (just finished 35 but that’s done until after NaNo) and watching TV. My life has been almost normal.

But sleeping like that means I’m not taking care of myself so I’m going to make that a focus. 

I used to exist on four hours of sleep a night. It never bothered me. My how things have changed. 

I added cardio back to my life last week, now I’m adding sleep. It’s a must. Plus I read a study that said it’s helpful to weight loss. 😊

We need fun too

I have this problem.

As an adviser, I forget to have fun. 

I’m so focused on deadline, deadline, deadline I forgot to play games and be silly with the kids sometimes. 

We need fun too.

The class is too hard without it. I know that, but still, I forget.

This week was senior week and organizations decorated game walls to transform the school hallways as a tribute to the seniors. Super cool idea, but yearbook didn’t have a game wall because we’re on deadline and with seven kids, missing a deadline is disasterous.

Flash forward to yesterday when one of the kids came in before school and said, hey, I know, there are four of us and Trouble has four colors. We should be “Nothing but Trouble.”

I said sure, do it! 

So she started.

But she wasn’t done. When class began second period she asked if she could keep working, and I was faced with a decision.

Do the work because we’re on deadline, or do the fun because this is high school and fun is important to building a team.

I almost said no, deadline first.

But I didn’t.

Most of the kids kept working on deadline, but the few who built the game wall worked hard  today, and I think they’ll still finish. The ones who worked had fun watching their friends build the Trouble game.

Lesson learned.

Fun is important. Super important. I need to remember that.

Senior yearbook staff


 

Cardio Matters

How fast does cardio make a difference?

I’m paying attention this time.

Day 2 I felt it in my breathing. It was just easier to be. I don’t know if that makes sense or not. Deep breaths were just normal two days in. Yesterday I had to settle for walking around the complex since the gym was closed for the little kids Halloween party. Today I can definitely tell I never reached cardio level with the walk.

2 days.

That’s a big deal.

I’ll be back on the elliptical tonight. 

NaNoWriMo 2016

In less than four hours NaNoWriMo starts. I’ll be asleep, I hope, but I’m ready for the pre-dawn morning. The coffee pot is set, clothes are ready to change in to, eye makeup is washed off tonight, electronics charged and Scrivener set up for the new document.

NaNo is special. I’ve tried and failed multiple times. I’ve won twice. The book I’m doing this year is one I’ve attempted to write three times…I changed my mind a week ago about what I was going to do. This is the time for Faith’s book though. It’s the time because when so many people are on the same page, pushing for the same objective, releasing the creativity of the universe, something special happens.

It won’t be easy. There’s the day job that I love with all the deadlines November brings, there’s the World Series and SURVIVOR and Stars hockey, there’s basketball season and all the stuff to do on weekends, there’s Grey’s Anatomy, and man, last week’s was great. But there’s also a story. A story I’ve been thinking about for years. The last time I thought about a story this long it was my thesis, and Honor and Lies was born.

So here we go. It’s time to sleep because sleep deprived becomes the norm during NaNo. 😊

I’ll be sprinting in twitter so follow me if you want to sprint along @marybethleeybnp

One for the Ages

Nothing like a battle for the World Series between the two losingest team franchises in the MLB to remind you that anything is possible.

It’s fun to watch this series and read the coverage of this series because there’s a magical feeling of YES YOU CAN with every play.

If it were any other team the Cubs were playing I’d be all for them, but DD moved to Cleveland for the Indians. I have to cheer for her team. 

I haven’t watched the entire series, but I am watching tonight.

And I know whichever team wins, this is a Series for the ages.

Speaking of anything is possible: it’s NaNoWriMo season. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, now is the perfect time to do it because Tuesday starts National Novel Writing Month. Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org. I’m ymbl2000 if you want a virtual writing buddy. I’m working on a book I’ve tried to start three times. This is the year to make it happen!

“Stop letting your phone control you.”

How I feel today. This could change. Lol.

Today I told my students my new phone policy and explained why the policy will exist in my room.

I’m done fighting them. I’m not saying another word about the phones. I’m going to keep a notebook by my desk or with me while I’m walking around the room, and if they have a phone out while I’m talking or while they’re supposed to be working, I’m calling their parents AND I will not answer their questions until tutorial time before or after school. I will not reteach a student during classtime who needs that reteaching because they can’t turn off social media drama, Netflix, the latest game.

I use phones in my class for instruction. I start class with an overview of what we’re doing for the day, and if phones aren’t necessary, I say put them away. Inevitably I have to warn multiple kids to get off their phones anyway. Often constantly. 

This is NOT a new problem. It’s been an issue for years, and every time it’s an issue students explain they can do multiple things at once…and then they ask multiple questions about instructions I’ve already given. They also take up time from kids who were paying attention and need help.

Like I said, this is not a new problem, and it’s not a problem for kids alone. Everywhere I go I see people of all ages on their phone screens when they should be working, driving, visiting with friends and loved ones at dinner, watching a movie, the list goes on and on.

I love my phone, but in this digital age, we’ve become slaves to our technology.

And THAT is why I’m changing my policy.

Because

Our phones aren’t going anywhere. We have to learn to be smart consumers in control of our time. We have to learn how to have our phones near without giving in to the urge to text with our friends, respond to social media drama or post a snap chat story. 

We have to learn to police our own time. 

Tomorrow I might have twelve kids failing because they stay on their phones despite the fact that they have assignments due and despite my assurance that I will be calling their parents. And that might make me completely change my mind about this. But today, this is my answer.

Kill Them With Kindness

Everything I’ve learned about customer service has come back time and again to Del Taco. 

It started with the big nachos no tomatoes. And Walter.

At 16 working side by side with a big group of friends, Del Taco wasn’t just a job. It was fun and family of sorts.

Grumpy customers were part of the equation.

The grumpiest: Walter. 

Back then we had to go through several customer service tests to move forward with the job. The lesson our bosses hammered home more than any other was kill them with kindness. Like one boss said, “What are they gonna do? Yell at you for being too nice?”

Enter grumpy old Walter. And his no tomatoes. Every day. 

We’d look at each other and roll our eyes, silently groaning before pasting on the expected smile and taking his order.

Lord forbid some new kid worked the grill area and made those nachos wrong.

We made it a game. Who could be the nicest to Walter? Who could get him to break and smile? Who could get him to try something other than those dang nachos?

Over time Walter’s grumpiness quit bothering us. It was just a thing. Normal. No big deal.

One day while I tried to clean the floor after a toddler terror trashed the dining room, Walter sat down with his order. I said hi, glad to see him. 

Then in passing I said something silly about how he needed to takes risks and change up his order one day.

And he explained.

Walter and his wife used to come to Del Taco every once in a while. The nachos no tomatoes were her favorite.

When she died the nachos were a little something to make him feel close to her again. He appreciated us being so nice to him all the time.

Bam.

Lesson learned.

It’s a lesson I forget from time to time, but I try not to.

We never know the reasons people are hurting. But we can kill them with kindness, and who knows, we might just offer comfort without even knowing it.