Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Three Loves and a Hate

Its small and unassuming.  It sits at the bottom of the bulk bins, hiding between the brightly colored split peas and my most favorite carob raisins.  Its become super popular amongst many of my fellow bloggers over the past few weeks.  Yes, I'm talking about oat bran.  I was extremely wary.  To me, it looked like Cream of Wheat, which I tried once, in high school, and spit it out because the texture freaked me out so much.  Now, I don't know if oat bran is really different, or if I have just evolved, but I finally bought some last week, and I had a little love affair with it this weekend.  

No special recipe, its pretty easy to figure out.  This is 1/2 cup oat bran, cooked in 1 cup soymlk (stovetop), then thrown into the food processor with 1/2 cup of strawberries and 1/4 cup water.  Threw on a container of plain Wholesoy & Co yogurt, topped it with some strawberries and a spoon of my soynut butter, and breakfast was deliciously served.  I wish I had time to eat this every day.  I can't believe how filling just 1/2 cup of this stuff is.  If you are wondering about the little grain, you should check out Heather's posts (info and calories) on it; they're completely informative and it'd be overkill for me to repost it here when she already has done such a good job.    

If you are wondering what my bran is sitting on top of, my first student teaching placement ended on Friday.  My 8th period class went all out, baked a cake, brought another cake, and made a giant card that they all signed.  It was *so* sweet.  They had a little party for me at lunch too, my mentor teacher is good friends with all the secretaries and I go "eat" with them every day (I don't eat then, they do, but I sit there).  They brought me a whole bag full of stuff from the school, as well as some lottery tickets...one of which was fake and I TOTALLY fell for it, haha. One of the women also brought a disposable camera (they still make those?), and she is going to send me the pictures of me with the kids and whatnot, but this is what I have in the meantime.   

I really loved this placement so much.  They are such a great bunch of kids, especially this class.  It is over 50% special ed, so they are so much more attentive than my other classes.  If that sounds weird, I should mention that my other classes are all Non-Regents Chemistry classes.  If you aren't from New York, that means, these are the kids who are taking the Chemistry class that doesn't require a state exam.  Stereotypically, these are some of the least motivated kids in the school.  Obviously that isn't true of all of them, but...stereotypes exist for a reason.  Almost all the kids are just good kids though.    

Anyway, I've mentioned quite a few times over the past few weeks that I haven't been posting because life has handed me a few balloons of stress.  First, the job interview, which went well, but they still haven't called.  They said they would call this week, and if they don't, I'll call them, but I have a feeling I know why they didn't.  I'm not technically certified yet; I would have to get a job first in order to get an internship certification.  Secondly, this placement that "ended"?  Yeah, I'm still there.  I'm supposed to be at a Middle School now, but my school (college, not where I'm student teaching) seriously f*ed up.  The really obnoxious part is that they won't admit it, and are blaming it on the district where I am student teaching.  I talked to the secretary to the head of the School of Ed yesterday, and she fed me SO many excuses.  I am apparently an idiot because I don't realize how much "paperwork" there is, and they don't usually work with this district because I live *so* far away, and they just can't put me with anyone who agrees, because there is so much that has to be done, and poor little me just doesn't know enough about how schools work to comprehend this.  After talking to her, I texted my mentor teacher, and he said:  "Wow, you got a lot more high maintenance since January....all the "paperwork" I had to do was answer "yes" in an email".  Not that I didn't already know they were feeding me bullshit, but I'm still kind of furious with them.  I mean...I'm paying for this.  I'm supposed to be with another teacher now.  I'm still with this guy.  Don't get me wrong, I love love love him, I adore the students, I would absolutely love to stay with him...but because I'm supposed to be moving, I haven't been doing anything all week, just waiting.   So, after I bitched out my grad school yesterday, and talked to the assistant principal today, all the science teachers in the district got an email (my mentor teacher showed it to me), asking if any Chemistry or 8th grade teachers would take a student teacher.  Seriously, this crap should have been figured out weeks ago.  So my mentor teacher (who again, is really fabulous) decided that it was time he just took control of things, and told them that if they were okay with it, I could just stay with him, and do some work with the Regents teacher next door.  

That is the word as of right now, they haven't gotten back to him yet.  I felt like such a tease coming back yesterday after these kids threw me a party.  Not that they haven't all been really happy to see me, but I just felt like an idiot.  On the bright side, I may get to stay with them for another 7-ish weeks, and they're finally going to have a test on the stuff I taught them, and I do want to see how they'll do.  

I guess that might not really sound like a lot to be stressed about, but I was really upset about leaving, felt an idiot coming back, and that coupled with getting called back about that job, with the added stress of having to find a job in general...its just been a little overwhelming, and my diet has seriously suffered.  Let's just say that my "fat" pants officially fit me today.  The sad thing is, I've still been going to the gym every day, I've just been eating way too much peanut butter.  I know, I said I was going to stop buying it, and I have, but now I just reach for the crap my mom buys (Skippy, I know, it barely even tastes good).  I tried the Better n' PB, and that stuff is nasty.  Sorry, I know some of you like it, but I can't even force it down with melted carob chips.  Anyway, maybe by confessing that I'll be able to back off.  We'll see.  I haven't weighed this much since I was in college, its kind of depressing.  I know "its not about the number on the scale", but again...the fat pants fit.  On the bright side of THAT, it gives me another wardrobe option.   

If you decided to read that, thank you for updating yourself on my life, it was really nice of you :)  I'm trying to plan out the rest of this week's diet very meticulously, I have an easier time sticking to things that way.  Hopefully it'll also make me cook more and I'll have some more to post about.   

If you missed it...
3 Loves:  mentor teacher, students, oat bran
1 Hate:  my college

Love to all of you too!


  1. Wow thanks for sharing....don't you feel better just venting? Anyway as for the job...it's the waiting that's the hard part...but u know with all things, we gotta think positive..and hope for the best...trust the universe and gut instinct since you said it went well. Good luck gina girl!I really do hope you get it.

    PB-Maranatha's natural no salt organic crunchy is the only way i go. Non of that mom's knows best jif or skippy....I don't do trans-fat.

    Lastly the kids...they are just the sweetest ppl aren't they?

  2. What a nice card ... sounds like a great group of kids!

    Ha, yeah, pb is hard not to eat when it's just there ... and it's so easy to eat WAY too much of it. But, hey, just imagine what it'd be like if you weren't working out, too! (I have to tell myself that sometimes). haha.

  3. Just for the record...Denny, I don't do trans fat either...at least normally. I even make a point to buy the trans fat free Tofutti. I haven't had Skippy in years. My most favorite peanut butter ever is my store brand (Shop-Rite) organic peanut butter. It even tastes better, but I try to do MY part to avoid the PB (by not buying it), but then when my mom buys gigantic Costco size containers of the crappy stuff, and I'm super stressed, its hard to keep away.

    Bah. I set myself up for the rest of the week, now let's just hope that I can stick with it...

  4. You can stick with! We've all fallen off track, and it's hard to get back in motion, but if you've done the prep work, you've done the hard part... if you take it meal by meal, day by day, you will find yourself on the right path again. And as far as teaching... the right job for you will happen, and you will meet at least one student whose life will be changed by you and then you'll understand why you landed where you did. Trust me. I teach high school English and am having that experience this year and it's awesome. Good luck to you in your search.

  5. your kids are adorable!
    I'm sorry that you have been so stressed and that has resulted in weight gain. I know you'll bounce back though! Its ok to let loose every once in a while. PB is my downfall as well. I tried PB2 and it just wasn't great and way too expensive to buy again. Best of luck-you'll make it through!!
    and oatbran=amazing!!!
    happy st. patty's day

  6. hugs and more hugs. you can do eet!
    peanut butter is too sexy for our own good, it's a well-known fact that even the most "will-powered" people out there have a tough time resisting it.

  7. Sorry about the job situation. I hope that gets resolved soon (and that you get a call back!).

    As for oat bran, I haven't had it in quite a while. But I may have to try it again. I remember it being okay. But not my favorite thing. Then again, I didn't used to like oats either.

  8. Awwww your students really love you, and I know why, thanks for writing such nice things in my blog:)
    Everything gets sorted out, just hang in there.
    I've never had oat bran....I'm going to look it up on the internet to see the name in spanish so I can try it.

  9. Gina,
    How sweet of your kids, and it sounds like it all worked out for the best that you get to stay with them. Sorry it's been so stressful!

    Oat bran lovin - yum. Your bowl looked creamy and delicious. I remember you commenting that it looked like the dreaded wheat bran of your youth. Glad you gave it a chance and thanks for the shout-out.

    Better'N PB - I read somewhere that it tastes like plastic with fake sugar. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. Nasty!

  10. such a lovely card!
    that oatmeal sounds sooo good!

  11. There was the same BS when I was getting placed for student teaching. I literally didn't have a placement 3 days before it was to start. The college prof. in charge said he only gave the names to the school district and the school district said it was up to him to place me. WTF, right? And then they wanted to send me 1.5 hours away. Um, no I've got kids, thanks. Then I had the same BS later when my placement was supposed to switch to a different level and there weren't any elem. teachers that could take me. Good luck with the job search. I've had three let-downs so far, the last rejectiong I really thought I had, too. It's a tough time for everyone in the job market. You're in a better subject than me, though. Schools in Balt. area are actually looking for science. I'm art.

  12. Aww, how sweet! The card is gorgeous, and the little party they had for you sounds like fun.

    Don't feel like an idiot because you had to go back even after the party! It wasn't your fault and the kids were probably very happy about it!

    I hope everything gets sorted out soon. Kitty Wing-it says HI! :)

  13. You do sound stressed. But you do have a lot of really good things going on for you now - try to keep sight of that.

    Have you baked with oat bran yet? It's so amazing in muffins!

  14. You have had a very stressful time. I can totally understand where you are coming from on this. I hope things get better. I know that you'll get back on track and that everything will get back to normal. Don't feel bad about going back to the same school. I'm sure that they were going to feel your absence and now they don't have to. Keep your chin up.