Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Dallas, Texas USA



My Dad always says that he will never forget when I was born- he was mowing the lawn in our house in St. Paul, MN on a very autumn Saturday afternoon when my mother came out to the lawn and said it was time for her to go to the hospital. On October 2, 1976, around 6:15 PM I was born. Three years later in 1979 my sister Heather was born in March. All I really remember about those days is that I was jealous that she had all the attention and I didn t. I would wake her up early in the mornings to watch cartoons and she was always following me around.
I do remember playing in the snow quite a bit with our neighbors, making castles and fortresses. Mom used to make us hot chocolate when we came back in from the snow. We would watch the Muppet Show.
My best friend in the first grade was Becky and we liked to play until we moved to Texas. Dad got a job in Ft. Worth, TX and my grandparents came to take care of us as our parents went to find a house for us. All I remember about moving is that we got to eat pizza while someone looked at our house. Soon we sold it and moved drove down to Texas where I would start the second grade in the Fall of 1984. Our house had just been built and our furniture had not made it yet so we had to sleep on the floors for a while. There were other kids to play with in our new neighborhood though. We had a pool, too.
I began school at Donna Park Elementary in 1984 and finished in 88(9)? I had made a few friends at the school but was basically very shy. By this time I was playing softball for fun. At the time I had developed a crush on a boy named Paul, who liked to draw Garfield, but unfortunately for me, he was going to another junior high than me.
Junior High is junior high. It was an awkard time for everyone. As a middle school teacher now, I see and feel the pain of the awarkness of the middle school students. Again, I was too shy to approach the many boys I had crushes on through the years. I did meet my best friend Misty in the seventh grade and we have been good friends since. To be honest, I always wanted to be popular, beautiful and a cheerleader but my shy disposition prevented me from it. Instead I was on the sidelines as a member of the pep club with my friend Misty.
My parents never had a good relationship as far as I can remember. My dad drank too much and my mother just kind of ignored him. Often times they would fight but no divorce. Mom, Heather and I were close though and did things together. Although emotionally my dad wasn t there for us, he did provide us with enough food, water, clothing, etc. He did spoil us and had high grade expectations for us.
High school was kind of an extention of junior high for me. One boy, Tommy, asked me out my sophomore year and I went but he wouldn t leave me alone afterwards. He was nice but I don t know, not what I pictured my first boyfriend to be like ( I know I am a snob). I met another girl, Starla, who would be my other best friend, my sophomore year. She liked the Beatles and had a similarly sarcastic sense of humor as I did. That summer I spent so much time at her house just gossiping about boys or whatever. I did start dating this guy, S, who was a wrestler and in choir. S was nice but I still maintained crushes on other guys, one such crush was on Zach, a guy who I had known for a couple of years. He was into the whole grunge thing- Nirvana t-shirt, baggy pants and chain connected to his wallet. We had flirted back and forth for a couple of years but nothing every happened.
For the next two years Starla worked at a grocery store together and had major crushes on a couple of guys in their twenties who we thought were to die for . Looking back, I see maybe I put a little too much emphasis on them and not boys at my school that I could have dated. The guy I liked at work was named Walt and I thought he was the one . Walt did give me my first kiss at his apartment while we watched MTV in the summer of 1994 but nothing else really happened worth mentioning.
My senior year Starla, Misty and I were so pumped that we were finally out of high school almost. We were able to go off campus for lunch and thought we were too cool. Every Friday night we went to football games to cheer on our team and always dressed in school spirit. Starla and Misty stopped talking to me in December for some unknown reason and I became very depressed. All I had was my work, school and S, my boyfriend.
In April 1995, my mother was diagnosed with leukemia on the day after the Oklaholma bombings. When I drove her to one of the doctors, Lightening Crashes by Live came on and I looked over to my mother who had just had some spinal tap done and looked out of her mind in pain. For that day, that song has always reminded me of her that day. That next day she was admitted to the hospital for chemo. Let s just put it this way you never know how much you depend on some one until they are sick or hurt or gone. Mom got out of the hospital before prom and graduation, luckily. We did not really realize how much she was in a poor condition though and he had to go into the hospital again for a bone marrow transplant in July
By the time I left for college Mom was still in bad shape and mid semester she passed away. My sister, dad and I were devasted. It was about the time that the new Beatles song Free as a bird came out on their anthology album around Thanksgiving. After my dad told me, I cried myself to sleep and then drove home that next morning. Hearing the song Name by the Goo Goo Dolls, even today, reminds me of driving home that next day. It was a horrible time. Dad coped by drinking, my sister wouldn t talk about it and I tried to hold everyone together.
My college years were ok. I was depressed pretty badly for a couple of semesters at different times. My grades were ok and I managed to make a few friends in a co-ed fraternity that I joined. In college I also picked up smoking and drinking. My best friend Sandra dropped out of college in 1999 and returned to Houston so I made monthly visits to her. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of living with one of my friends who ended up using me until I finally moved out.
I graduated in Spring 2000 with a degree in history and a teaching certificate. My student teaching experience was in a little town in East Texas and with a man that didn t really like me. Nevertheless I survived. At the end of it, I taught government to seniors which was a horrible experience. Can you imagine why? It was the end of the year and the last thing they wanted to do was learn government.
That summer I spent time in my parent s home and Houston trying to find a job. I also went to Corpus Christi with Sandra to a friend s wedding. Finally, I got a job with my present employer teaching Texas History to seventh graders. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
My first year teaching needless to say was a disaster. My neighbor next door to me, Lea, helped me through it somehow. I did not have any discipline skills and the kids ran over me. Unfortunately, I didn t know how to stop them. My weight ballooned fifteen pounds and I was so stressed out. I graduated from college that spring and that summer I started doing Billy Blanks Tae-bo to shed some weight.
My second (and up to now, my fifth) years of teaching have been smooth sailing discipline wise. However, the school has become more urban and closer to resembling an inner city district. I have been through a lock down when a kid hit a teacher and had scissors as a weapon then also dealt with a fights, knives at school, disrespect, cussing, overcrowding of students etc- I have seen it.
My third year of teaching was a blessing and nightmare at the same time. We had a new principal in our school who didn t like certain people other than his race. Morale was low, there was a lot of gossip and suspicion following the halls of our middle school. In fact, some people were actually singled out as troublemakers. I kept to myself and job. This is the only time I have had to deal with reverse racism.
I did meet and begin to date a fellow teacher that year too. M has been a positive influence on my life and I love him dearly. When we began dating in late February 2003, I was severely depressed and considering suicide again. All I had was my writing and a couple of good friends. My weight had dropped pretty dramatically during this time as I hardly ate and exercised fiercely. M read all my stories and listened to my problems with out judging me. Our first date was a marathon one in which we stayed up all weekend and hung out, watching movies, eating pizza, talking, listening to music, etc. During spring break, we went to Corpus Christi and played on the beach and made out, etc. It was a great time. M also taught me how to play tennis, something I had wanted to do for a very long time.. Last year I began playing tennis tournaments (local ones, no money) with one of my best friends, Tracy and improved quite a bit. We basically live together and own a very spoiled cat named Smoogles.
M and I have taken many vacations together and that summer we went to Jamaica. It was beautiful and relaxing. We stayed in Ocho Rios at an all inclusive hotel where everything was basically free. Also that summer we went to tennis camp in Texas. In 2004, we went to London and Paris, which has to be my favorite trip that we have taken so far. We went to the Wimbledon Championships in late June, saw Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumphe, the British Museum, Picasso Museum and took river trips down the rivers Seine and Thames. It was worth every penny spent to stay go to Europe.
This school year has been stressful because I deal with lazy and disrespectful students all the time. Also, I found out last month that I would be one of the ones moving to the new middle school. In fact I am the only one from the history department here and at the other middle school to do so. (M is also reassigned to this new school). At first, I felt slighted but it gives me an opportunity for leadership.
M left with his mother to see his father (who has been in Iraq as a contractor for a year) in Italy for two weeks but comes back this Sunday. At this time, I am sitting at work writing this to relax. I have 11 more school days until I am free for the summer. The time is going by painfully slow. (Yes, this took one hour to write. I love to write!)