Friday, February 29, 2008

Morphing the Dream

David pointed out that I'd been silent and he was concerned. :) My good friend, JS, has been letting me pop in to visit as her schedule allows. My sister is calling me every two weeks now. So what's up with me? Well, as the title implies, I'm morphing the dream.

Several years ago, a good and beloved friend suggested I become a teacher. His wife had been using my semi-expertise in computers. "Why not," I thought? "I'm good at it!" So, with the help and encouragement of friends I stepped onto a path.

This was about 2 years after my marriage broke up. I'd never changed careers before. If I had I might have tackled it differently. The path I took was designed to be short. It turned out not to be short. It was designed to get me in a job quickly. There were none to be had. So things went on for a while with me knocking on doors and taking training workshops. They called this the alternative route. I eventually took a job doing something much lower in the teaching field. I became an aid in special education.

My job taught me much. It opened my eyes about the education system. While working in it I found that I really love children. I like teachers. That I love the learning environment, I already knew. One-on-one teaching is something I excel at. Something I'm not good at is arguing. And kids today really seem to know how. I'm also not good with large groups of people be they kids or adults. If I'd thought about the type of person I am, because I already knew some of that, I might have rethought public school teaching as a career.

Because I was challenged and happy, eventually I went back to college and got even more classroom experience. That was so much fun and I loved being creative with lesson planning. There were signs that I was on the right path, good grades, success in lessons planned and given, people who believed as I did put in my path to guide me. Then came the moment every education major dreads, student teaching. That was a different sort of learning experience. In student teaching I felt like I had hit a wall.

Someone once told me, "intelligence is not level across the board." Well it seems that I've met a ceiling. And it is a very hard ceiling. Down I crashed. Determined I could learn from this experience I mustered my resources and bravely, albeit with some trepidation, tried again. Again I hit the ceiling! This time I didn't even see it coming.

The thing that surprised me the most was, I felt relieved to be out of the public school classroom. That doesn't mean that I'm not good at teaching, or that education in some form isn't the right path for me. It just means that I should train small groups, preferably adults who value education, and find a job that will use some of my other strengths. So, with the help of a responsible university, caring friends and family, and my own desire to grow into something I will love, I've decided to look for a new type of job.

What's my new dream job? Well, that is still to be determined, but I can tell you the skills I have that it will include. It will include writing! People keep telling me that I'm good at it and I really enjoy it after I get over the fretting about what I'm going to say part. :) It will include me training others or developing something that helps with that! I am a good teacher and one of my strengths is clear step by step explanations of things, even those that are rather abstract. It will involve the use of computers! After 21 years in the Information Processing field I have gained skills and shown aptitudes that shouldn't go to waste. I'm even good at teaching you how to use them. Put those three tings together and you have a lot of possibilities in many different career fields. And that's where I'm doing my work for the moment.

Right now, Career Services(CS) and I are working on giving me job search skills. One thing they did was have me take a neat personality test. LOL! You know me and tests, right? This one was based on the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. I'm an INTJ! That "I" surprised me because I love being the center of attention. The results also said I'd be bored doing repetitive things. Well, heck, I've done them. I always found that the repetitiveness gave me time for mental wandering. Maybe I was bored. I definitely found ways to entertain myself. Another thing CS has me doing is job searches to see if the job descriptions fit my interests. We are going to rewrite my resume and set it up to be customizable for different types of jobs. I also plan on going through one of those simulated interview sessions to make sure I don't have any major impediments in my presentation.

In the meantime, I'm once again scoring education tests for the same place I worked at late last year. Yes, I'm going to look at that company. I'm looking to see if there are publishing firms in the Texas area. I'm also looking at the IP/IT field to see if there are jobs there that I can fit well. So, please keep me in your prayers? I'm morphing my dream in hopes of a better fit.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An Arrow to some Great Stories

I feel like I've been given a prize today! Terry Fletcher, of Terry's Playpen (a how to for bloggers), has accepted my tagging him for the "archive meme" that Sandi, of Holding Patterns, tagged me for. I'm honored! Not only does Fletch not do memes often, he does his story writing on a private blog, which he is graciously sharing with us. His stories bring back memories for me, both personal and those of older family members. Here's his response to the archive posts meme? Happy reading!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Are There Enough Quizzes on the Web or What?

Ok, Paschal is obviously having a quiz fest. He stayed up all night taking quizzes and this morning he's inventing them. (G) This will be his 3rd quiz today. It's about randomness. Do I know what randomness is? Not really. Am I random? I took the test to find out. Here are my results.

The Randometer Test -- Create and Take a Fun Test @'s User Tests!

Am I a Nerd? Am I Weird?

Murat11 has a quiz that answers the question, "How nerdy are you?" Well, I like computers and am learning to like math a bunch. So I took the test because I do know some true nerds and wondered how I'd stack up. Here's my score. I wonder how JS will do?

I am nerdier than 55% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Then I went back and looked at Murat11's page and realized he had 2 quizzes. So I dutifully went and took the other one. It tells me my weird quotient. Now, I'm more interested in fitting in than being weird, but sometimes being weird is kind of fun. It gives you a sense of being unique. So, here's my weird score.

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!

Happy President's Day!

Click to Mix and Solve
This painting of George Washington is part of every American child's public school education. I can remember being in elementary school when I first saw it. It's image of this famous man is the one most familiar to me after the painting of him crossing the Delaware River. For some reason an odd fact sticks in my head about his face. You'll notice he isn't smiling. Some thoughtful teacher supplied a story about that. What we were told was that he had new dentures, they were wooden in those days. The dentures didn't fit very well, so he was hurting. I can't testify to the validity of that, but I've no idea why a teacher would tell us a fib unless she wanted us to have an interesting story. Anyway, I like the picture for that reason and those memories. The puzzle was fun to work. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And Now, Sandi's Tag...

Sandi tagged me last night but I was home from a hard day and wrote to tell her I'd do hers this weekend. Then along came JS who tagged me for another meme and that one was so quick that I could just jump in and do it with almost no effort. Sandi's admitted that it took her almost an hour to do the links and such for hers. Hopefully it won't take me that long.

Here are the instructions: Go back through your archieves and post links (worked for an hour on figuring that one out...) your five favorite blogs posts that you've written. But here's the catch (and Lord knows I was expecting that)
Link 1 must be about family
Link 2 must be about friends
Link 3 must be about you yourself
Link 4 must be about something you love
Link 5 can be about anyone or anything you choose.
This is good fun and gives us all a chance to read the archieve posts and leave more comments. So, here goes:

Link 1:
A Family Reunion for Christmas
about rejoining with family for one of the best reasons, the desire to be together

Link 2:
Aural Memories - 100 words
This is a short writing exercise on one way I hold onto moments friends have given me

Link 3:
Comics and Ritual
How I start my morning and why.

Link 4:
How to ressurect an old skill
putting richness into your life

Link 5:
The Path of Life
reflections on a walk, which I seem to do a lot of

Okay, there are my links and now I must choose five of my friends to do the same. Two of them must be new blogging friends. Well, since blogging seems to be the way I'm making friends these days that shouldn't be too hard to do. I tag Susan of Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good, JS of Influx Transposer, San Meredith of A Life With A View, Paschal of Murat11, and Terry of Terry's Playpen. That's going to have to be it because Sandi already tagged me, she also tagged David McMahon. I definitely need to get out of my smallish blog group and start reading others more.

Response to JS's Page 123 Meme Tag

Fifth sentence of the closest book with 123 pages, huh? Well, I hope Sandi of Holding Patterns will forgive me for not doing her tag first. This one took a lot less time. Sandi, I promise you're next! Oh, and btw...Tag! for this one.

So the meme says grab the closest book with at least 123 pages in it. Turn to page 123 and pick the 5th sentence. Post that sentence and the next 3.

The book I grabbed was "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie, which my sister gave me at Christmas time. The 5th sentence on page 123 went, "We're learning, through trial and error, to separate out will from God's will. We're learning that God's will is not offensive. We've learned that sometimes there's a difference between what others want us to do and God's will. We're also learning that God did not intend for us to be codependent, to be martyrs, to control or caretake. We're learning to trust ourselves."

OK, that was really the next 4 sentences but I wanted to close out the passage. This book is a book of daily meditations on codependency by a leading writer on that subject. It covers things that fit well within almost any therapy or situation. I'm finding it good to remind myself to set positive limits. I hope to be a consistent reader of this book for my Lenten study.

Puzzle Share

Click to Mix and Solve
Mom and I both like jigsaw puzzles. Since I subscribe to Jigzone, I often send her puzzle postcards of the day's puzzle. It's a nice way to share with Mom and also send a brief message.

This wasn't the puzzle of the day. That one was rather confusing to me and I didn't really like the picture even though I did solve it. I sent it to Mom but wanted something nicer to send so I went looking for a different one and this one is what I found. There's something about it that is peaceful and yet mysterious so that it pulls you in. Hope you like it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Froggie Came Out to Play!

Way back in December when I received the lovely shawl Susan knit for me, she included kitty toys and politely hoped for pictures of them in use. In an earlier post I showed the sheep toy. I've finally managed to get a picture of the other toy in use. Hooboo is the most playful of my boys. He plays with anything that looks remotely interesting, so, being easiest to capture photographically, he's in all the pictures of Susan's gifts. Here's a picture of Hooboo playing with the frog toy. If you look at his paws he is hugging it to his chest.

Wednesday, I wore the shawl to school and one of the teachers noticed and asked about it. She thought it was lovely, and commented on how soft it looked.

Here's another picture of Hooboo after he has caught the creature and subdued it. One of his favorite perches seems to be the chair seats at my dining table.

Hyram on the other hand has found the one toy that Hooboo isn't interested in. It's a koozie that I was given at a school district. When he plays with it the string and bead pulls attached to it rattle nicely. He's a very split second player which means he gets tired of playing pretty quickly. When I'm finally able to get a picture of him playing with it I promise to post it.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

My Next Pet?

Upon reading about my newly acquired title, my friend JS suggested that my next pet perhaps should be a "Jesus Lizard". I didn't know what this was so I looked it up. Here's what Wikipedia has on this creature.

Common basilisk, Basiliscus basiliscus, (or simply the basilisk) is a lizard found in Central and South American rain forests near rivers and streams. It has a diet consisting of insects, flowers and small vertebrates like snakes, birds and fish. The basilisk has numerous predators including large birds of prey, snakes, fish, other larger reptiles, and mammals. The basilisk is not endangered.

The basilisk's maximum lifespan in captivity is around 7-8 years, but in the wild most die much sooner. Females lay about 2-18 eggs, five to eight times a year. Eggs hatch after about three months and the young weigh about 2 grams. Their outstanding camouflage allows them to remain undetected when they remain motionless in the undergrowth. They have long toes and sharp claws, and their head is adorned with both a crest and a coloured dewlap. Most are under 25 centimetres (1 foot) in length, but some may grow up 75 centimetres and usually weigh between 200-600 grams. Like most reptiles, basilisks are active during the day.

Ability to walk on water

The basilisk is part of the iguana family. It, along with the Brown basilisk, has the nickname the "Jesus Christ Lizard" or "Jesus Lizard" because when fleeing from a predator, it gathers sufficient momentum to run on top of water for a brief distance. Basilisks have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe, much like the webbing on a frog. These are rolled up when the lizard walks on land; but if the basilisk senses danger, it can open up this webbing to increase the surface area on the water relative to its weight, thus allowing it to run on water for short distances. Smaller basilisks can run about 10-20 metres on the water surface without sinking, and can usually run farther than older basilisks.

So, now you know all that I know about this creature. Being a lover of dragons, I'm attracted to it's dragonish crest. Very attractive! If it can walk on water perhaps JS is right. It just might be the perfect pet. Good call, JS! (G)

How I Became a Countess

When the Entirely Miss Reverend Lady San the Nefarious of New Invention graciously posted her invitation to gain a title of my own, of course I ran right out and got one. Actually I get several. No, I'm not greedy for titles. I just kept seeing things in the assigned titles that either didn't fit or were kind of embarrassing. So being the picky person I am, I just kept on trying. That is until I got one that made me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my chair.

Remember the Gandhi twins scenario that JS and I ended up in with the world leader quiz? Well suddenly I've been elevated to near sainthood. I kid you not! See? There's my title down below!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Countess Lee the Kind of Walk upon Water
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Well! Of course I now need to share this with Lady San! My heart doth wonder what my twin will gain? Tag, JS! You too Paschal!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Response to Sandi's "Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette"

That was one great post Sandi did. I loved that she is supporting good health and decrying a seriously addictive and unhealthy habit. Even more, I loved the trek down memory lane that her use of the song lyrics took me on. When I was attending San Marcos Academy and in my senior year, all the seniors would go over to the headmaster's house and have social gatherings. One of us was really good at the piano and would play popular songs for us to sing. I'm sure Headmaster Doncaster and his wife liked it as much as we did. One of our more popular numbers was the song, Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette" which was made popular by Tex Williams. Since Sandi brought the lyrics up I thought it might be nice to let you all hear the whole song. So I culled it from YouTube. Enjoy! And if you smoke, please stop!

It Was Just So Pretty!

Click to Mix and Solve

This is a puzzle that I sent to my Mom. It was so pretty I had to share it with her. And you too. My Mom, sister, and I used to do puzzles on card tables set up in the living room. Of course we trained the cat not to get on the table and play with the pieces. The cat's name was Sammy. Sadly, I don't have any digital images of old Sam. He was a wonderful Siamese and lived to the ripe old age of 17. If my dad scans his print of Sammy sleeping with the "bye low baby" doll that Granny gave my sister, I'll see if I can't get a copy and publish it. In the meantime, Enjoy!