Friday, October 16, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Things (a.k.a. High Heeled Shoes and Barnsey)

I mean, does it get any better? Although, before we continue here, I would like to briefly address those naysayers who have knocked me for talking about my shoes. Evidently some find it difficult to believe that an elementary school teacher would consistently wear high heels to work. Believe it, people. However, although I made it my own priority to wear fabulous shoes that made me feel good about myself at work, I never discussed, mocked or really even looked at the shoes of my colleagues. So, dear naysayers, may I suggest you continue to wear your shoes and I will continue to wear mine.

Now, speaking of shoes....here are the shoes I wore to the Leonard Lopate show on Wednesday. Apparently, my reputation proceeds me because the first thing Mr. Lopate did upon meeting me was comment upon my shoes. He thought they would be red. Sorry to disappoint Mr. Lopate, but I went with purple. (Which ended up being a fabulous choice because they matched my microphone. Hey, I was looking for anything to calm my nerves, people. It was my first time on the radio.)



And here, my friends, here are the shoes that I will be wearing this evening, when I read aloud from my very own book at (clutching chest here) Barnsey.



Yes, yes, I know they are open toed. And I also know that it is approximately 42 degrees outside. But Barnsey is not outside and I just couldn't resist. They are some of my most special-est shoes. (Again, I take advantage of the perks that come with being an author, namely making up my own words.)

Although honestly, I'm more excited to read out loud to a group of people than I am to wear my fabulous shoes. Shoes may be my guilty little pleasures, but read alouds are my crack. Oh read alouds I HAVE MISSED YOU. The dramatic pauses, the voices, the laughter! You see, I was doing well with this whole not teaching thing, but lately, I miss my friends. I don't really miss the data collection, the filing, the pee holding or inhaling my lunch in four minutes or less, but I do miss reading out loud to my friends.

Picture it. I had this fabulous red chair in my classroom. It was a classic old wing chair that belonged to my grandmother. It was super comfy and had so many memories wrapped up in it. My friends would sit on the carpet in front of my chair, surrounded by books and all the fabulous kid stuff that fills classrooms. (See, I really do miss it in the classroom. Last year, I would have bitched about all the crap on my floor. The erasers, the scraps of paper, the stray hair accessories...but now *sigh* I miss it.) Reading books together was like our therapy. Whenever I felt overwhelmed or that the vibe was off in the room, we would stop whatever we were doing, gather on the rug and read a story. I must have read three or four books/chapters out loud every day. We were read-a-holics.

So while tonight won't quite be the same (in case you were wondering, I will not be bringing out my full range of voices or entire repertoire of comedic gestures....those are for the children), it will at least let me read out loud again without Mr. Mimi giving me strange looks across the living room.

A few deets (and then we will be done with the shameless and never ending self promotion...at least for a bit):
Barnes and Noble
150 East 86th Street (btw Lex and 3rd)
7:00 p.m.

My shoes and I will both be there. Hope you are too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Someone's Gonna Be On the Radio Tomorrow...

...And that someone is ME!

Yes, I will be on the radio (wearing fabulous heels even though you won't be able to see them) with none other than Mr. Leonard Lopate of the aptly named Leonard Lopate show on WNYC (93.9 fm or am 820).

Here's a blurb about Mr. Lopate and his show directly from his website:

"Host Leonard Lopate lets you in on the best conversations with writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts. Live interaction is critical to Lopate's conversational and personal style. "I think it's crucial to maintain eye contact when you're discussing complex matters with the likes of John Updike, Doris Lessing, Bill Bradley, Mark Morris, and Francis Ford Coppola, all of whom are return guests to Leonard Lopate on WNYC, " says Lopate."

Um, Francis Ford Coppola? John Updike? And now...Mrs. Mimi?? Oh, and if you look at the roster of his most recent shows (also available via free podcasts if you aren't in the NYC area or can't tune in from approximately 1:00-1:20 p.m. tomorrow) it includes people such as Joyce Carol Oates, and Jeannette Walls, just to name a few.

Those are real authors people!

I guess this makes me a real author. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I have a book available at my local Barnsey and it is also for sale over at Amazon but still....I AM A TEACHER! Evidently, now I get to say, "Hi, my name is Mrs. Mimi. I'm a teacher and an author."

Well ha cha cha for me.

(And for those of you who are thinking, "Well if she's an author now, then where the heck are her blog posts?" ...you are completely justified. I have a list friends, oh yes. I have a list of potential blog posts and they are a'comin'. However, I also had a list of Crap I Need To Get Done For My Dissertation, which is stapled to a print out of my student loans and thusly, I had to prioritize. Sorry....)

Long story short, listen to me on the radio tomorrow and keep your fingers crossed that I sound witty and intelligent. Send me all the Fabulous Vibes you can.

Monday, October 5, 2009

If You Gave Us More Time...Teachers Could Rule the World

Seriously. Teachers deserve some serious props for what they are able to get done during the day. (Chorus of "Amens", "You go on, girl!" "Tell it to them sister!" in the background here.)

The other day, I went to visit my girlfriend in the hospital after she had her baby. (Who is fabulously gorgeous.) (Note: Not being in the classroom provides one with something called "flexibility." This term applies mainly to one's time and how one goes about structuring one's day. If you are teaching right now, you may only understand this term as it is hissed at you to "be more flexible"...usually after some out-of-the-classroom someone has just made a ridiculous demand on your time. It is important to note that YOU are the only one being flexible and must therefore bend your needs and schedule to match someone else's agenda. I get it. After all, I spent eight years "being flexible" and it basically left me contorted beyond recognition. So this new found ability to be flexible with my time is, well, it's fabulous.) Back to my girlfriend. She already had her Blackberry out and was texting away, making calls and getting everything in order at home. Jokingly, I said to her, "Dude, you could rule the world with that thing," because, you know, she just had a BABY but was still on top of her game. And she was all, "You are insane. You've got a million things on your plate too."

And she's right. I do have a million things. I've got a (gulp) dissertation that needs finishing. (Anyone interested?) I've got a website to get together. I've got a "writing career" that needs tending to. I've got two classes to finish this semester. I've got some consulting on the side...you know, so I'm not out of the game all together. (I need a classroom fix from time to time and so far, this seems to be doing the trick.) I have reading to do, writing to do...SO MANY TO DOs! While I am in listing heaven, I also feel a bit all over the place. Too many balls in the air, so to speak, which can make it hard to be productive.

Yet when I was in the classroom, oh when I was IN THE CLASSROOM...there was no stopping me! None! I had all my balls in the air and was juggling like a fool! (Somewhere Mr. Mimi's head is exploding after I typed that line. Just keeping it real.) My Super Colleagues and I could have ran the freaking world if we wanted to, we were so productive. Seriously, we would run into one another getting off the subway and walk the remaining few blocks together, sipping coffee, talking about Grey's and you know, sauntering. We'd get to the building, sashay to the office, get our mail and then BAM! It was like a bell went off - we were MOVING. I mean, WORKING IT. That cup of coffee got put down and we were making copies, checking the calendar, getting last minute supplies together, frantically finishing said cup of coffee, dealing with emails, tidying up the dreaded piles that seemed to appear all over the classroom and oh yeah, don't forget watering the plants, vacuuming the carpet, sharpening pencils and getting the homework ready to go home. (insert heavy breathing here...I'm exhausted just typing this...HOW DID I DO THIS EVERY DAY?!) And people, I'm just talking about the morning. Before the kids. Before. The. Kids. Because then the kids actually arrive and it's go time. Go. Time. I mean, yeah, I always had a yogurt out on the back table that was totally intended to be my breakfast but did I ever get to it? Uh, no.

Do you have any idea how much crap I used to get done before noon? Or even, before lunch? (Which of course was really more like a late breakfast considering we ate at 11:00 because for some reason elementary schools tend to have a very odd sense of appropriate meal times.) If we could harness the productivity of a teacher, even on a bad day, we could have something. A new philosophy for the workplace! A better plan for getting things accomplished as a country! An alternative energy source even! Who knows what we could do with the as yet untapped potential of today's teacher? (insert me stepping down from soap box)

Okay. I'm off to channel my teacher self. I have a lot to get done today. I don't know why, but somehow doing so many things for so many little friends was a bit easier than doing all these things just for myself.

Who's Peeking?