Monday, November 3, 2008

Still Learning

I started a garden recently. I think it's part of a nesting urge...but I've totally been jonesing to grow my oen fruits, vegetables, and herbs. So, I bought a couple of seed packets and some Jiffy peat pots and decided to test the color of my thumbs. For the longest time they've been the blackest thumbs around. I could buy a perfectly healthy, full grown strawberry plant and kill it within a week.

It's not like I was doing it wrong either. I was following the watering directions. At least I think I was.

Anywhozle...this go around I have been adding compostable materials to the soil as I use them. It's not an actual composting process, but any little bit helps I'm thinking.

So far I've at least gotten them to sprout and my cilantro looks like it's almost useable!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chemistry Contest

When I was a junior in high school, I was in a chemistry class. I can't remember the teacher's name, but I remember that she was young and blond. She wasn't skinny and overly hot though, so I was able to really like her. She was one of my more favorite teachers that year. If I recall correctly, we even hung out in there at lunch sometimes.

The room had somewhere between 6 and ten large black tables. We sat around them in groups of four to six. I think it was a mixed class. By mixed class, I mean that there were both honors and non-honors students in the class. I spent most of my days in classes with only honors students, so the classes that were mixed were always a strange mixture of emotions and feelings for me.

In this class she had a particular difficulty getting all the students to complete the weekly homework packets and turn them in Fridays. Now, the thing is, I had trouble with this myself. Not because I wasn't doing the homework, but because I had trouble holding onto it all for a week and staying organized enough to keep it together so I could turn it in on Friday.

So, at the end of the first semester she offered us a contest. For every week that we turned in a complete packet on Friday, we would get a raffle ticket. On the last Friday of the semester she would hold a drawing and give the winner fifty bucks.

Well, for the poor girl that I was, that was enough of an incentive to really keep me going. I had never had that much money of my own before. It seemed like a fortune.

So, I turned in my packets every Friday and earned a ticket for every week. I think it was 11, but I could be completely off base on that one...

And, guess what...for the only time in my life to date, I won a contest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


When I was in, let's say, fourth grade, my teacher noticed that my brain was a little bit different from the brains of the other children. I soaked in information and could spit it back out with ease. I thought about things in different ways; outside the box you might say. So, I was given a GATE test. That stands for Gifted and Talented Education. The first time I took it I failed. It was a test. I had no interest in taking a test for a class that I wasn't even in.

Then, once my mother found out about the test and what GATE was, she forced them to let me take the test again and actually explained to me what it was. I passed with flying colors.

The next year I was placed in a GATE class and I got to go to GATE seminars over the summers. I don't even know if they went on my permanent record, but it was all like a game to me anyway. We played with oobleck, stamps, and sock puppets. I learned to sew, research, and figure out clues. Learning became a game for me. The person that could pick up the most knowledge and answer the questions fastest won!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nerdy GIrl is not a morning person!

No matter how long I have this schedule(up by 6am), I will never adjust to it. It might make it easier for me to get up before noon on weekends, but I will always feel half dead in the mornings. Strangely, it has gotten worse over the last two weeks.  It's not like I stay up til all hours of the night either! At the latest I am in bed by 11 - though last week I was in bed by ten many a night.

How can I get 7 or hours of sleep and still feel like a worthless lump in the morning? And, since I am not a morning person, it is truly difficult to get up with enough time to make myself some coffee and then clean it up also!

So far the only thing I have managed to find that gets me up in the morning is a bit of computer time. Before I started getting up a half hour early to spend time on the computer, it would have taken me five or six snoozes to finally be awake enough to know how important it is that I actually get up. Unfortunately, the computer time thing has a tendency to distract me just enough that I spend 45 minutes on it when I only planned 30.

Well, at least I am awake I guess....mostly.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A nerdy girl poem

My veins, slowing; the blood thick and dense
My head, full and aching
A dulling swallow waiting on the sidelines

Long and empty hallways, a blessing by surprise
Obnoxious, tiny dictator blasting all and sundry
With fake and mocking praise

Requiring more than needed
From people tired and full of caring
A strident tantrum waits upon the horizon.

A tantrum day...

Today...I feel like this:
Minus the smelly green indicator fumes of course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm trying

I'm stuck in a place right now. There's not really a rock or a hard place, but figuratively I am stuck. I earned a master's degree in Child Development. This degree gives me the credentials to be either the director of a child center (daycare or preschool) or a professor of junior college child development courses. Unfortunately, both of these fields require a certain amount of experience. I do not have any experience in either field. Now I am unhirable. That is not a word. I do not care. I am being lazy and slothful.

I cannot get hired at my educational level for lack of experience. I cannot get hired for the lower positions because the HR personnel will look at my education and wonder what is so wrong with me that I couldn't get hired for a better position and dismiss me entirely.

In order to do what I originally set out to do(which was to be a therapist for children) I have to get another masters(or move onto doctorate) in counseling. This would require the completion of a Thesis. The thesis is what nearly killed my love of learning.

So...I have spent the last six months or so looking at changing my course and becoming a teacher in the public school system. In order to do that I have to complete a one year credential program. In order to get into a credentialing program I have to pass the CSET. In order to pass any form of the CSET, I need to go back to school to take some classes. I can't get into a school program without the CSET....unless I go backwards and sign up for some undergraduate courses.

I'm stuck. So for now...I am making my life about pulling myself out of debt, enjoying the romance I never thought I'd have, and slowly working out what I want to do with myself.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How to anger a Nerdy Girl

Treat her like she's incapable of doing the job that you hired her for.

My hind-end is feeling rather chapped this week. I know what my job is. I know how to do my job. I always do my job to the absolute best of my ability. I don't need constant reminders from someone who has no idea how things really work from moment to moment.

If you don't think I can do the job without constant supervision, then don't hire me.

Ok, vent over I think.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nerdy Girl gets swirly

Everyone has an Achilles' heel; a special weakness if you will. I am definitely not exempt from that. If we consider my klutziness and bad luck just a cross to bear, then we can consider a sense of "not knowing" my Achilles' heel. It drives me absolutely bonkers when there is something that I do not know.

If I don't know what my schedule will be for the coming day, week, or month, for example, then I spend the entirety of the time until I find out, agonizing over the missing information. Sometimes there is a series of related things that I do not know, and therefore I am unable to plan. This sends me into a brain swirl.

By brain swirl, I mean that all the different questions start to rotate in and out of complete focus in my mind at an ever quickening pace until I begin to feel dizzy. Once this starts I can no more stop it, than I can slow down a tornado. The loss of control over my brain only adds to my feeling of a lack of control in the first place.

Sometimes the over-active brain of a nerdy girl can be quite a drawback!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nerdy Girl is also a klutz

It's true. This past weekend, alone, I melted a very expensive bath product into a car cup holder, knocked over a soda in the same car, hit a bathroom drawer with my knee and knocked it off kilter, and something else that I am forgetting.

Perhaps my biggest klutz moment came at the end of my sophomore year. I was on the volleyball team for my high school. As part of our practice time the coach had us jumping up onto the bench portion of one of those high school lunch tables and then stepping back down(backwards). We'd done it hundreds and hundreds of times by this point.

About the only thing that saves me even a little is that some of the tables were a little misshapen by now and rocked a little bit.

For some reason, I lost my balance when I was stepping down after one of the jumps. I fell backward, landing first on one hand and then on the other.

My right wrist hurt so bad that the blood rushed through my ears blocking all sound issuing from my coach's lips. All I could think about was getting to the pool so that the cool water might ease some of the pain.

My mother had to come pick me up and take me to the county hospital(we were poor at the time) where I got some x-rays after a very long wait. They said nothing was broken and sent me home with an ace bandage wrap and some Tylenol 2(or something). Up to this point I had never been able to choke down a pill. Try to make me and you wouldn't like the reaction. The next morning I downed one without question.

Course, later that morning the hospital called my mother to say they'd missed something and that I had actually compacted all the bones in my wrist so that the cartilage was squished.

We had to go back. Then...the cast that they made me was loose. They said that was normal....until I pulled the thing right off over my hand...Needless to say they made this nerdy girl a new cast!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nerdy Girl and the rules

I've said this before(on my other blog) and I'll probably say it again: I am a rule follower. Probably more so than most folks. Oh sure I drive above the speed limit and sometimes(ok most of the time) I've been known to do a California roll, but I always wear my seatbelt and I always signal. In most other areas of my life I have a possibly(in other people's opinions) less than healthy passion for rule following. Rules exist for a reason and, usually, I agree with the reasoning. Yes, sometimes it is irritating to follow the rules but, if I know and respect the reasoning, then I am more than happy to follow said rule.

The nurse that administers my allergy shots was very profuse in her thanks today when I simply complied with the rule that says I have to read and answer several questions before each shot to ensure that I don't die from anaphylactic shock or something instead of huffing and throwing a fit.

Seems like a good rule to me...keep me from dying? Sure, I'll play along.

On a side note....the spell check is telling me I spelled anaphylactic incorrectly, but I looked it up on and that is how it is spelled. Is it weird that that is driving me batty?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nerdy Girl is starting to miss school

When I graduated from grad school, I had been to the edge of crazy land and decided I needed a break. For the first time in my life I was tired of school. I felt like I had had my fill. I was afraid I would never get back the love I once felt. That master's degree was very tough on me.

But, I am glad to say that I am starting to get a yen to take a class just for fun again. I don't have any particular classes in mind, but I can feel the desire to learn! Part of it is a reaction to the extreme stupidity that I am surrounded with at school all day. Don't get all alarmed that I am being insensitive to the kids, I am talking about the teachers.

Remember the teacher I talked about yesterday? Well the school I work in now has more than a few of people like him. There are teachers that don't even follow the dress code that the students are supposed to follow. Do you know how hard it is to enforce the dress code when the students can say, "well ms. So-and-so is wearing flip flops"? There are teachers that will look at me blankly when I try to explain something so simple that the kids behind them all get it.

I just don't get it. It's so frustrating it makes me wonder if I really want to become a teacher. Do I really want to join the ranks of a group of people that has the administration tearing its hair out? Nerdy Girl is having a crisis of ... er... nerdiness I guess.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Even Nerdy Girls dislike their teachers sometimes

It's been about 11 years since I graduated from high school and at least 4 since I graduated from grad school. All in all I was in school for 20 years when you include kindergarten. In all that time there were bound to be a few teachers that I didn't mesh well with. My family and I were reminiscing over the trials and tribulations of one teacher in particular recently. He was a strange man from his hair, to his build, to his attitudes. He was very strict and stuck to his rules, which in hindsight I respect to a point. He had a weird mullet thing going on with a weird tuft of bangs in only a one inch section on his forehead. He also had a pot belly that made him lean forward in a strange way and waddle when he walked.

He spent the entire first semester telling us about the weird and annoying things that his soon to be ex-wife was doing. Being a nerdy girl, you know one who actually likes to learn, I was always weirded out by these sidebars. Then, in the beginning of the second semester, I had to miss a day of school to get x-rays to see if I could have my cast removed. During that day my teacher showed the first half of a film that he was going to give a test on. When I returned, he wouldn't let me arrange to see the first half and he wouldn't excuse me from the test.

That was the final straw for me and my parents. We pulled me from the class even though it meant that I would have to be moved down to a regular history class instead of an honors class. Sometimes even teachers lack a sense of fair play. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. Until that point I had always seen teachers as the upright holders of knowledge. All that is right in the world.

Sometimes Nerdy Girls lose a little innocence.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nerdy Girl lines up a gig!

Ok, so as you might recall if you've read any of my other blogs, or even my intro, I am a nerdy girl. I like spelling and grammar. I am not perfect, but I do have quite the penchant for catching errors, especially in signs, pamphlets, presentations and other professional materials. Well, during my conference/training, I made a few edits for the trainers' materials. I also let them know that I would definitely be amenable to providing future edits for any and all material on a freelance sort of basis. One of them seemed particularly interested and said he would definitely be interested in paying me for such a thing.

Yay! It would be so cool to get paid to fix things! I already do it anyway simply because I need to for my own sense of rightness with the world. What can I say? I am definitely a nerd.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nerdy Girl's favorite shows

Yeah. So, for the most part, I like my television to have a little bit of intellect. "How does a television show have intellect," you may ask. Well, it's in the dialogue. I'd like a show to tease me, maybe educate me, and definitely amuse me mostly by using strong dialogue. Oh sure I like a little visual humor also, but usually I get that from facial expressions.

Given this info, you shouldn't be surprised to discover that my current favorite show is The Big Bang Theory. What? You are surprised? OH, cause you've never heard of the show. I get it. Well it is on CBS, if it is coming back, that is. It stars four male nerds and a social chick. The best thing about her? She's definitely not dumb, even though the guys might think so at times. So, while she's schooling them on social etiquette from time to time, she's not doing it as a dumb blond playboy bunny. She's realistic and down to earth.

Anywhozle, the point was that the humor of this show is mostly in the interplay between the characters. They use big words, discuss physics theorems, and play high-tech video games in a way that keeps me rolling. It's a feast for the mind!

I also love the following: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly(all three of those were created by the genius: Joss Whedon), Friends, Psych, Gilmore Girls, and Freaks and Geeks.

There are other shows that I enjoy off and on...but they never have staying power, mostly because they end up dragging out the drama and ticking me off.

But the ones I love are definitely shows I'll watch again and again. I own some of them on DVD and fully intend to get the rest!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nerdy Girl goes to a Conference

So, two days in to the school year and I get to go off site for a conference. I was a little bit excited about it and also a little bit apprehensive. Turns out there was no need for either. It's all been pretty much basic info. The only helpful stuff was the info on gangs and gang paraphernalia and I had to miss half of it to go get my twice weekly allergy shot.

Anywhozle, the thing is, I get completely distracted by spelling and grammar errors in any sort of professional context. It is my opinion that anytime you are trying to present a professional image(whatever profession it is) you should take the time to have somebody proofread that image for you. I'm not saying that everyone has to have perfect spelling and grammar, hell I don't always myself, but there are proofreaders in the world.

At this conference, the first packet they handed us was so rife with errors that I simply had to take my pen to it and make corrections. I couldn't help it. However, I do try to ask if I can offer the corrections instead of just telling the person what needs to be corrected. Luckily, this time they were happy to get them.

I'm not saying I am perfect or anything, but if I was creating a sign, an advertisement, or presentation materials, I would make darn sure to get them proofread before I published them. Why doesn't everyone do that?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nerdy Girl and the Crushes

I wouldn't exactly say that I am the boy crazy type...but I have had my fair share of crushes and amusing boy stories. I have a tendency to develop an intellectual crush on a guy and then sticking with it until it has become beyond pathetic. By "intellectual crush" I mean that I kind of decided I liked them based on certain criteria. It usually had no basis in a chemistry/passion sort of thing. I was a naive young thing and didn't know much about sex and attraction at all. Oh sure, I thought they were good looking, cute if you will, but it was more about the whole package.

Even the name was important. The name had to have a certain type of image to go along with the smarts, the good looks, whether they were nice or not, etc. I mean, when I had a crush on a cute, all-american type boy, his name was Brad. How perfect a name is that? And oh how well it fit with his last name too...and don't think I'm sharing that you stalker! Just kidding, I love you!

The main high school crush? That lasted all four years, even through the minor crushes on other boys through the years. I was dedicated. Of course I was the only one to see the real him and understand. Of course he never really saw me as anything but a classmate. Mostly because, as it turns out, he was gay. I guess I didn't really see the real him, huh?

I repeated the whole crazy thing in college too...Luckily that crush was only three years long. For a little while there I thought I was doomed to always fall for a closeted gay man. But, it seems my luck has changed. I'm pretty certain...I think...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some evidence for existence of bad luck

So, as a school district employee, I have a login and password to use the computer and check email and such. Last year, about halfway through the semester, the district realized that I had stopped working for them about three years prior and cut off my access without realizing that I had started working there again. So, I had to find the IT guy, get him to figure out what had happened, and get him to fix it. Then, a few days later I realized I wasn't getting as many emails as usual(try almost none actually) and I had to contact him again. Seems I had also been removed from the mass email lists for the school.

Well, sometime during the summer the district disabled me again. We don't know why this time, they just did. So, I had to find him again and get him to fix it again. I also have to get him to fix the email problem again. This was yesterday.

Today we discovered that, according to the district, I do not work on Fridays. Which is news to every one of us. I was ok with that of course, as long as my paycheck doesn't get screwed up...but of course the school wants to make sure that little glitch gets fixed.

Also, I woke up about 40 minutes later than I intended to today because I assumed my alarm was set since I had set it for the day before and I had forgotten how my phone alarm works. Luckily, I still managed to leave about five minutes early for work. Unluckily the traffic in front of the high school that I have to pass to get to my high school caused me to be ten minutes late. Why in the world should it take 15 minutes to drive a mile just because of student drop offs? Plain ridiculous.

Enough evidence? I happen to think so...Just another day in the life of a nerdy girl.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An introduction to Ms. Nerd

I am a self-titled "nerdy girl." I freely admit to all my strange quirks, idiosyncrasies, klutziness, and crazy behavior. In fact, I subscribe to three different grammar blogs for my own personal amusement. As if one wasn't enough, right?

I am currently twenty-nine years old, and though that may seem like a drop in the bucket to most people, it makes me cringe each time I say it, or think it even. I'll be thirty in precisely 6 months and I haven't accomplished any of the things I thought I would as a young idealistic high schooler. I had a veritable card catalog in my head of different fantasy lives that I would some day live out.

Of course I thought it would be uber exciting to be a secret agent with the FBI like Dana Scully, or vastly rewarding to be a kindergarten teacher with long flowing skirts and a delicate floral scent wafting around me as I reached each and every student, or super cool in a nerdish kind of way to be a famous architect with black rimmed glasses, or totally glamorous to be a best-selling romance novelist, or any number of other careers that seemed completely achievable at the time.

My mind was, and always has been, my biggest source of pride and self-esteem. Oh sure, I do love the fact that I am always there to lift people up and make them feel better about themselves, but that's a harder horn to toot for oneself. In every single class, I was that student with the perpetually raised hand. You know how, in movies, the nerd is always a little bit ashamed of their smartness and aware that he/she is always on the verge of a huge humiliation? I was actually proud of how smart I was and felt I could be even smarter, definitely work a lot harder, and maybe focus a bit more. I was actually confused by other students' dogged determination to avoid learning at all costs. I pitied them even. How could they not know how important all this information was?

I shake my head at myself now. So idealistic, so naive, so self-conscious about everything but learning. But, where was I? Oh yeah, twenty-nine with a master's degree and working as a high school narc. Welcome to my world. I hope you get some laughs!