A Word A Week Challenge: Sleep

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That’s Kitty. She’s precious and terrifyingly mean at times but she’s just misunderstood. Cuddles are on her terms and if you wake her up from a nap you can bet she’ll start to lick you, grab you with her adorable little paws, and then bite the hell out of your hand. She gives you a false sense of security in your petting at first, but really she just wants to be left alone.

Especially when she’s asleep.

When this cat sleeps she is ten times more squeezable looking than when she’s awake (and even when she’s awake she’s really fricken cute). 

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I mean, COME ON. Her cuteness level is out of this world.

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Just look at her little belly.

I love when I come into the room and see this sleepy kitty sprawled out on the couch or on my bed or curled up in a chair. I can’t help but smile at the amount her fuzzy little cheeks make me wanna cuddle the hell out of her. Too bad she’s only somewhat receptive to my arms being wrapped around her neck during her nap…I can’t imagine why.

Daily Prompt: Stranger

One afternoon, 

A stranger had a garage sale.

He was selling four books for a dollar and hollered out lower prices if we even gave any object a look.

“Five dollars!”

He screamed as my friend, B, took a sit.

 

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I couldn’t resist the temptation.

Five dollars for this beautiful creation?

And the excitement nearly tripled when he told us the kicker:

“It pulls out into a bed…”

Sold.

Carried home to the pavement outside the apartment by the bar.

It was a rather far walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People talked like we were crazy when we lazily set up camp on the corner.

We looked like a terrible replica of the “Friends” intro…

But it didn’t matter,

Rather,

We were too happy to even notice and it was all because a stranger gave us a couch for five dollars.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

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I can remember looking up at planes as a kid and wondering,
“What is up there?
Who is up there?
And where are they going?
Are they going home or just now leaving?”
I remembered them leaving trails of clouds instead of dust.
I must have made up plenty of stories,
Of families attending family reunions,
And the unions of husbands and wives of honeymoons,
And the gloomy sadness of the madness in the minds of funeral attendees.
It’s deceiving how little planes look when they fly 8,000 feet above me.
When I’m up in the air I wonder,
“Who’s down there?
Are they looking up at me and wondering who I could be?
Where do they think I’m going?
Do they catch themselves knowing that I’m coming home?
Or do they know I haven’t yet found it?”

Random Poems

I’ve been slacking on the posts lately, so I figured I’d share some of the “off the blog” writing I’ve been doing. And it’s poetry month so I might as well poem things!

 

Walking up the same steps
Taking the same breaths
Day in and breathe out
I mean
Day out
Breathe in
Soak it in
Day in and day out
Get out of this world into a corner of your mind
Find the deafening silence soothing

 

I sailed to Saturn so I could feel big again
The infinite weightlessness filled me up to empty
I was high off galaxies and that shit doesn’t come cheap
Nuclear gasoline
It beats sipping on all that earth-leen
I’m and earthling
I wanted to quit that earth thing
Brain flew into space dreams and all of a sudden I ended up at Neptene
Or Neptune–looks like I missed a left at that third moon
It’s times like these I wish I wasn’t a lunar
I set sail with no wind at my back
This is when I learned gravity has it’s perks–or a set of them
I can’t escape my space dream
It holds me in captivity
This is my reality
I need to feel gravity pulling my mind towards sanity
I have to fly back into orbit
(This poem was written with my beautiful friend, Sam. I cannot take full credit)

 

They named the Earth
Illegal
But they pave concrete band aids onto her back 
Trying to stitch the wounds they inflicted
How unfair is that?

 

They bruise easier the older they get
It seems like every hit comes with an overwhelming blow
I know I fell a lot as a kid
I’ve got scars on my knees to prove it
But little kids sit crossed legged without ever losing sensation in their never sleepy feet
They don’t bruise as easy when they’re young
They’re malluable like the play dough at free time
They rhyme words for a challenge
The most challenging obstacle they face is who they’re going to call their best friend
I envy their creativity
They bruise easier as they get older
With all the colder hearts they meet they melt into their seat instead of standing up because it’s easier on their now tired feet
They can only run from the confusion for so long before it dawns on them
Their heart is eggplant purple with hints of blueberry hues
They cue a smile in front of their friends
Who
Don’t even know the dreams of an end

Reassurance

For a good portion of this school year I have been volunteering in a preschool by giving one boy in particular more one on one guidance. He had some really defiant behaviors at the beginning of the year with sudden outbursts of rage but, honestly, I have more faith in his positive behaviors than some of the other kids in the class now. He seldom engages in conversation but those moments where he does lock eye contact and addresses me personally are extremely heart lifting.

Last week I missed a day in the preschool due to my work schedule and the amount of homework assignments I had to complete. I sometimes wonder if the kids even really notice whether or not I’m there because this preschool is connected to the Education Program at CMU and they have volunteers and students coming in and out all the time. My doubt was stifled when I went into the preschool yesterday and the teachers told me my little friend was asking about me. He was saying, “Where’s Emily?” and “She coming?” Hearing that he was inquiring about my whereabouts really tickled me. It just reassures me that I am making an impact on these kid’s lives and his lack of tantrums and growth in group participation has showed me that sometimes all kids need is a little bit of extra attention- someone to be right there to interject when a situation seems to be too much for a child to handle.

I’m usually only in the preschool for the afternoon, but yesterday they were short a staff member and invited me to be a (paid) sub. Score! I was there from 8:30-3:00 and started the day off with a group of 4-5 year olds. It was the first day that was nice enough to go outside in a while, so we spent the majority of the time on the playground because…it’s preschool and we can…

One boy (we’ll call him Tommy) who I’ve heard the teachers mention before has challenging behaviors similar to my friend from the afternoon class. He’s known for breaking down into tears in the split second he decides something did not go his way. To me, he’s intriguing. To the regular education teachers, he’s hard to handle and frustrating. I tend to gravitate towards children with peculiar or “out of the norm” behaviors which justifies why I decided to major in Special Education. It’s hard for me to explain why other than I find challenging kids more interesting and they are a better example of incredible progress when they do master desired skills and behaviors.

Tommy and I were racing with another little boy on the playground and I’m not kidding when I say every single time Tommy did not win, he cried. And not just whining like, “aw, maaaan” no. I’m talking crying so hard his face was red and shouting, “cheater!” while pointing at the other kid who managed to outrun both of us every time. At first, I sat back. I watched how Tommy handled his own tears and how his classmates reacted to them. His classmates just ignored them and he eventually got off of the ground (because he had laid down, kicking and screaming) and wanted to race again. I told him that just him and I would race. I ran as fast as I could and even though I was going to let him beat me either way, he tested my quickness. I could only help him win so many times before another kid came in and stole first place and Tommy’s crying and screaming act prevailed.

I found myself sitting on the ground next to this hysterically crying child who is just telling me that he wants so badly to always come in first place when the teacher came and took over. At that point I had been dealing with his behaviors for 20 minutes or so and was thankful to get a break. After she took over and I moved on to pushing some kids on the swings, I had already forgotten about Tommy’s trying behaviors. That is, until the end of the day when both the main teachers came up to me and explained how impressed they were with how I can handle behaviors. They both said that Tommy just frustrates them beyond belief so they get their panties in a bundle which, in turn, just makes Tommy’s mood heighten even more.

I’m usually pretty cool headed. I think things through and will do anything in my power to avoid stress at all costs. I’ve taking multiple classes that emphasize how the behaviors of teachers and educators affect students and their learning. I want to be a teacher that gives out a relaxed, understanding vibe rather than one that gets stressed out about a three year old spilling her cup of milk over during snack time. I contribute my calmness in the classroom to my laid back personality that I apply in all aspects of my life and I don’t really think about it as much more than my general demeanor. 

I’ve been told that I need to get more excited more often. You know, jump up and down and scream when I see someone I haven’t seen in a while…or…something. I’m not really sure how that peppy thing works but the truth is, I do get excited. There has been plenty of times where I am excited beyond reason but nothing inside of me tells my body to shriek and flail my arms around. Nothing. It felt awesome to have two teachers acknowledge the excitement I feel when working with children who have different abilities but also tell me they are positive I’m going into the right field and they admire my efforts to relate to the children that they can’t seem to form a strong bond with.

I’ve been playing with the idea of possibly choosing a career path that might not fit my laid back personality as much as another job could. It has deterred me from being 100% sure about getting my teaching certificate until yesterday when I realized that just because I have a different outlook on how a classroom should be run and how much fun versus “work” should be done doesn’t mean I’m in the wrong. It doesn’t make me more susceptible to not finding a job and it doesn’t mean I have to change my opinions on education. All it means is that I have learned newer, more effective ways of teaching these little people than the teachers that have come before me. For the first time I really understood why, at the teacher program meeting, they told me that I was the face of future education.

a word a week: color

I’ve never been big on drinking games.

I get bored with beer pong because it simply just takes too long sometimes. Waterfall is the most unpleasant because it forces you to chug your beverage and since I usually play with beer I’m forced to try and choke down all of this fizzy liquid longer than the person next to me…not cool.

Last year, however, my roommate, Chelsea, brought a drinking game into our house that I happen to absolutely love. I’m not sure what it’s called but for the sake of describing it I’ll call it the “Card Board Box Game” or CBBG for short. Basically, you write your name and draw a shape around it on the flattened card board box. The catch? Everyone ends up flipping a coin onto the board, and if it lands on your name/shape…you drink. So it’s up to the person on whether they want to draw a huge star around their name or a tiny, unoriginal circle. I usually stick to an abstract shape that’s mediocre in size.

As the coin makes it’s way around the table, everyone flips, landing either on someone’s name or an empty space. If it lands in an empty space they then draw another shape and create a “rule” that has to be followed if someone else lands on it. For example, talk in a British accent is a common go to. Or, a rule that I picked up from my mom and her college friends, you can’t point (which is rather hard for people who have been drinking). The rules can get pretty interesting and I’ll admit, I’ve ended up watching people with their pants down do a hula dance while talking in Pig Latin with a British accent.

Now, I love drawing. Doodling is one of my favorite activities to do along with being creative in anyway. The whole idea of drawing a shape (fun!) and then creating some ridiculous rule that I, myself, hope to avoid on my next flip but would cause total uncontrollable laughter while watching someone else do it really thrills me. I love it. It’s fun and upbeat.

A while ago we broke out the CBBG during a random night of drinking at my apartment. There wasn’t that many people (maybe five or six) but this game is better played with a smaller group. During this CBBG I created a rule that I thought was rather humorous…

Whoever landed on the shape I drew had to let the person to their left color on their face with a marker. Obviously, I really like drawing and sticking to the card board box wasn’t good enough…

And then…it happened. My friend, B, who happened to be sitting to my right, landed on the shape. I could feel my smirk growing bigger and the excitement in my fingers rising as I reached for a marker off the table. I thought it was only appropriate to draw a mustache and unibrow. Then I added the nose ring as a last minute spruce up.

ImageI have to say, I was a pretty good friend by grabbing the color pink. It came off pretty easily and was barely noticeable without the flash of my camera. My friend, Ashley, on the other hand, was not so lucky. She was sitting next to my dear friend Rhodes who showed no mercy when she landed on my shape. She ended up with purple facial hair…

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Her and her sideburns were looking pretty dapper if you ask me…