Mo' Regents, Mo' Problems

As another session of state testing goes by, it’s important to commemorate the real winners: Albany, for creating the most boring listening passage ever; the students who finally passed (shout-out to my student who will get to graduate tomorrow!); and of course, the memorable quotes found while grading the English Comprehension Regents.

While this year is nothing compared to “A theme these two have in common is the struggle,” I hope you find the following equally entertaining:

“Many people disagree with the quote but they are misled!”

You tell ’em, kiddo.

“I read this other book back in the 8th grade and I forget the title and the author. But I remember the entire book.”

This book the student “read” in the “8th grade” ended up sounding a lot like his own life.

“For example, the Spiderman movie, Peter Parker’s uncle got murdered, his aunt got put into a hospital, Mary J. died eventually. So what else is there to live for? Oh and let’s not forget, his best friend went against him. Just people he cared for are going away real slowly.”

NOPE, NOTHING TO LIVE FOR AT ALL

NOPE, NOTHING TO LIVE FOR AT ALL

“You have to go through so many obstacles to reach your destination, such as a summer body.”

PREACH.

“Great poem!!!!!!”

Well done, Albany! Your poem was thoroughly appreciated!

“Especially when a country is successful, they independization.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

“It makes for an interesting read. Also an all around great novel.”

I hope these kids end up becoming literary critics because this is gold.

“Life is just like a nose with smelling food.”

My absolute favorite.

Things to Continue Doing in Life Regardless of Time of Year

I do not like resolutions. I have not made any ever since I realized that it was not a requirement. Let’s be real: there is no way I can only eat pizza once a week, and working out is very difficult during hibernation months. Plus, what am I trying to “resolve”? Do I have problems that people are too uncomfortable telling me? Is it my amazing sense of humor?! Also, why bother waiting until the beginning of a year to change when you can just do what you want when you want, AMIRITE?

In order to celebrate my aforementioned freedom to do what I want when I want, here are my Things to Continue Doing in Life Regardless of Time of Year.

(Side note: this is the not the future we were promised. There are spots in my room where I do not get proper WiFi. At this point, I should be able to breathe WiFi onto my phone. I AM TALKING TO YOU, SCIENTISTS.)

1. Stop Worrying (So Much). What am I wearing tomorrow? Should I do my hair now if it I will just rain later? Is that student going to show up to that lesson in two weeks that I haven’t even written yet? Who will be crankier today: me or the kids? What am I having for dinner in two days? Am I saying all of this out loud?

I’m a worrier. I think there’s something dignified in taking the worries of others along with panicking about the future. (STILL TALKING TO YOU, SCIENTISTS.) And while I can’t wait to name my gray hairs after students and as exciting as it has become to examine the beginnings of my crow’s-feet in the mirror (a very reserved yet jovial wrinkle, in my opinion), it’s time to chill. The things that will worry me in two days will still be there in two days…or they might be made up in my brain (What if clothing could be used as WiFi hot spots? No, I’m not letting this go.)

2. “Always Be A Little Kinder Than Necessary.” I keep forgetting this. It’s just so easy to be the worst! The Worst seems inevitable when you’re in a crowded subway car and all you smell is BO and all you hear is the off-tune singing of a tone-deaf human being and all you feel is your stomach growling and your heart sinking farther than the pits of this specific subway line. So naturally, it’s easy to throw shade at anything that mildly reeks of optimism. Or to snap at your mother on the phone when she’s only asking about your day. Or to sarcastically respond to a student who asked about today’s date (I mean, COME ON, it’s on the board EVERY DAY). “CALM DOWN, GIRL,” is what I will loudly tell myself in these situations.

3. Read More. And by doing so, write more. I unknowingly read a lot this year. Granted, a lot of this reading occurred as I fell asleep in the middle of a page and my finger landed on the Kindle screen, so it took me longer to find the right page than to actually read the chapter, but reading was accomplished!

Finishing a book is a lot like finishing a piece of chocolate cake: so satisfying that you begin to ponder its creation, its inspiration, and of course, its effect on you, both emotionally and physically. I want to finish more books this year…and more slices of cake. Reading (and chocolate in all forms) is the best method of inspiration. While laziness is often my go-to excuse for avoiding most things, I hope that reading inspires me to write more–whether it’s here, through literary submissions (that somehow prove successful–tooting my own horn here), or in my trusty journal with the fake plastic heart lock. I’m kidding about that last bit. The lock is real.

Here’s to a healthy, beautiful, and chocolate-filled 2015.

See you soon.