Friday, January 15, 2010


(two years ago at this time)

Caught in between an incredible student teaching experience and the ability to get my own position, I felt in my being that I wanted to give something back-to do something important once again.

So a friend and I decided to volunteer in a program called "Let's go to the Library", a chapter of Journey's End Refugee Services that brought together refugees from Burma, Somalia, and other nations with the intention of teaching the adults English and new survival skills (grocery shopping, doctor visits, you know).

The children who accompanied their parents went in a separate room to learn, play, and build community.

We were placed in the kids' room. And we LOVED it.

We spent two hours every Saturday showing love to our new neighbors-making a home where before there was none.

This was our small way to help.

This was our version of, say, going to Haiti.

This was the best thing I was ever involved in.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

lucky woman.

Ummmm...I am married TO THIS:

Just in case it wasn't obvious by the 72 other pictures and references to him on this blog. I just want to be clear.


By Jamie Vollmer:

“If I ran my business the way you people operate your schools, I wouldn’t be in business very long!”

I stood before an auditorium filled with outraged teachers who were becoming angrier by the minute. My speech had entirely consumed their precious 90 minutes of inservice. Their initial icy glares had turned to restless agitation. You could cut the hostility with a knife.

I represented a group of business people dedicated to improving public schools. I was an executive at an ice cream company that became famous in the middle1980s when People Magazine chose our blueberry as the “Best Ice Cream in America.”

I was convinced of two things. First, public schools needed to change; they were archaic selecting and sorting mechanisms designed for the industrial age and out of step with the needs of our emerging “knowledge society”. Second, educators were a major part of the problem: they resisted change, hunkered down in their feathered nests, protected by tenure and shielded by a bureaucratic monopoly. They needed to look to business. We knew how to produce quality. Zero defects! TQM! Continuous improvement!

In retrospect, the speech was perfectly balanced - equal parts ignorance and arrogance.

As soon as I finished, a woman’s hand shot up. She appeared polite, pleasant – she was, in fact, a razor-edged, veteran, high school English teacher who had been waiting to unload.

She began quietly, “We are told, sir, that you manage a company that makes good ice cream.”

I smugly replied, “Best ice cream in America, Ma’am.”

“How nice,” she said. “Is it rich and smooth?”

“Sixteen percent butterfat,” I crowed.

“Premium ingredients?” she inquired.

“Super-premium! Nothing but triple A.” I was on a roll. I never saw the next line coming.

“Mr. Vollmer,” she said, leaning forward with a wicked eyebrow raised to the sky, “when you are standing on your receiving dock and you see an inferior shipment of blueberries arrive, what do you do?”

In the silence of that room, I could hear the trap snap…. I was dead meat, but I wasn’t going to lie.

“I send them back.”

“That’s right!” she barked, “and we can never send back our blueberries. We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant. We take them with ADHD, junior rheumatoid arthritis, and English as their second language. We take them all! Every one! And that, Mr. Vollmer, is why it’s not a business. It’s school!”

In an explosion, all 290 teachers, principals, bus drivers, aides, custodians and secretaries jumped to their feet and yelled, “Yeah! Blueberries! Blueberries!”

pull here for ticket.

Since when do people have to pay for a hospital??

True story.

the cost of fitness.

Last year at this time, in my "I need feel fabulous at my wedding" mindset, I got suckered into a TWO-YEAR membership at the BAC. I was motivated. I was ready.

And then April came.
And I got sick of working out.
And I had a million other things I had to do for the wedding.
And I didn't really "need" to workout anyway, right? Right...

So now I have another year of $20 monthly payments getting automatically taken out of my account.

In my heart, I really, REALLY want to starting going.
I even made a "gym date" with a friend from work to go.
But, alas, I cancelled the gym date and still haven't been there.

Good thing my metabolism is killer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

tribute to my reader(s).

Here's a hearty "thank you" to my readers (actually-make that "reader")! It's awesome that she's a part of my life now-blog and otherwise. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

this blog vs. facebook.

[due to recent happenings, the topic of this post is a slight detour from the original intention of this blog. i apologize for any angry undertones within it aimed at the facebook community.]

this blog: i can write what i want without idiots defacing it with nonsensical comments.
facebook: i can write what i want, but idiots will deface my wall with nonsensical comments.

this blog: the only words i see are ones i have written.
facebook: the words i see include a smattering of brilliance and a whole lot of rubbish.

this blog: i use it to express thoughtful self-reflection.
facebook: users use it to pass judgments, provoke arguments (i mean, "conversations"), and, oh yeah, spread "awareness."

this blog: the posts are often whimsical in nature.
facebook: the posts can by whimsical, but people may take them the wrong way and have a hissy fit (which is why i found myself deleting entire sections from my wall today).

i could go on and on-but i have a facebook status to update.

works in progress.

it is my:

1st year being married.
2nd year teaching.
3rd grad class.
4th car.

Ah, the mid-twenties. we are all works in progress, aren't we?
I am enjoying the process.
I am in no rush.
I am content.

Bonus (it is also my):
5th tablespoon of flax seed oil.
6th hour on the internet today.
7th year with an active Buffalo State account.

like I wasn't already obsessed with my own blog.

Here's a cloud of my most used words for all of you visual learners.
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