Showing posts with label raising melissa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raising melissa. Show all posts

Origin Stories

 The beginning of the Spring semester was just in January but feels like a million years ago.

 I feel like each day is a decade long in this new next chapter that is unfolding in my life, and I sometimes get lost in my  search for peace, happiness and meaning.

 This is my second semester 100% "back in the classroom" for all of my courses after the disruptions of zooming etc, and I'm still trying to figure out how to make a bridge from the things that used to work "before" to the things that will work for the students I have now. 

 I have to assume all of my students have been through at least a few bumps in the past 2 years, and if they are taking face-to-face classes they must be hoping to take part in some new normal  that they are willing to get out of bed, get dressed and  risk their lives for. 

With that in mind I dig deep to make every class meeting special.  They play Reacting to the Past games (which have brought backflips, splits, assassinations,  bribes and much karaoke singing in the past weeks), snack on a buffet of treats and take pretests based on the "wrong answers only" principle.  

I'm doing my best. 

The one thing I haven't done is share what they wrote the first day of class when I handed out a sheet of paper asking for their name, pronoun (omg that is an entirely different column stay tuned), contact info and "What is your superpower If you have multiple superpowers please list as many as you can" (followed by a promise that I will keep them secret).

Here are their answers, in no particular order:

*I'm a Leo!

* I can communicate with inanimate objects, especially electronic devices

*I can wake up at any hour and be wide awake!

*I can forget anyone's name

*I can do anything I put my mind to. I can also fly.

*I can laugh like Seth Rogen

*top secret

*Sense of direction. I never get lost.

*Reading minds. 

*I'm pretty good at multi-tasking and I am (sometimes) a human lie detector

*1) Drinking. 2) Being on time for class.

*Drawing this mouse perfectly every time (NOTE: student drew perfect mouse)

*I've never seen a ferret in person

*I'm a mother of 4, ages 13, 11, 7 and 3

*I love children, especially newborns

*Willpower and chasing my dreams

*Photo editing. Cat whisperer (they all love me)

*I can play 4 instruments

*supersonic flight, super strength, and the ability to manipulate anything at the atomic level

*shape shifting (I'm trans) and being able to write

*The power to control matter

*I can see around corners. I just can...


*I'm actually an alien wearing human skin

*I am a curious person and I like to ask questions. I'm good at taking minor details and finding a pattern. I like to debate/discuss. History is one of my favorite subjects.

*Caring, imagination

* I have ADHD and can get hyperfixated on topics I'm interested in and I hope it helps me here!

*I'm always on time, I hate being late. I'm also a super fast runner.

*I can do hair and dye hair.


*I try my best at everything. Big creativity and sense of humor

*electrokinesis, telepathy, time travel, omni-telepathy, teleportation, that's it!!!!

*Can hold a grudge forever

*Invisibility, teleportation, flight, super-strength, psychological manipulation.  All of these powers are very real. 

*I'm left handed

*I control black holes and gravity

*Invisibility. Persuasion. Shapeshifting. Really smart, really stupid.

*My superpower is my strength and my will to never give up and push myself to keep going no matter what

*I'm able to have multiple hobbies and be very detailed but then I can lose interest within minutes and be super spaced out

*I know how to find out information without being caught

*My awkwardness is mostly amusing! My bosses think so at least!

*Seeing the future

*Invisibility and animal communication (dogs/cats)

*Affect others' emotions

*Photography pro

*My superpowers are staying on task, being prepared for any situation, and having a good attitude

*Super jump

*I've done multiple internships at animal hospitals and I've never had a dog not like me


*spending too much money

*competitive knowledge

*I prefer to keep my powers private lol

*I could fly

*I am not really sure

* I can draw a photorealistic portrait of your face or pet

*Talking with others ;-)

*I am colorblind and good with sports fact

*I am an empath

* I can speak three languages

*I'd say my superpower is to read people

*Having the ability to stay on tiktok all day

*Extreme self-awareness

*Not really sure

*Lol I don't trust you

*I'm good with people

*I am a cyborg. I have two metal rods in my spine.

*I have ADD

*I find ways to solve problems concerning my financial needs since I was in elementary. I'm a hustler. Yes, legally.

*Stubborness and hyperfocus

*I'm tall AF, I play basketball. Main superpower is gambling


*Chronic anxiety and procrastination, ignorance, camoflauge .... psychosis?

*Super strength (not really I have tiny arms) and super speed (I have to run across campus to get to class)

*Animal whisperer

* Never having to sleep

*I have no known superpowers

*Superstrength, genius, drinking a lot

*I can read people's personalities based on body language and speech (extreme psychoanalysis)

*If I have a superpower I haven't figured it out yet

*I can make clothes

*Perpetual calmness

*overthinking. Sometimes I feel like professor X

*Cleaning my room in under 5 minutes

*I'm really good at tiktok

*I have to come back to this question lol

*My superpower is procrastinating until the last possible second

*My superpowers include overthinking and eating way too much


*super procrastination

*Cooking and eating way too much

*I can read people's emotions SUPER well ;-)

*Wearing crocs everywhere

* I could read people's minds

*I'm kind! I'm an overachiever, I want the best for myself,  I'm competitive

*Mind reader

*I want to have the ability to manipulate atoms but I won't lie and say I have it already

*I like to laugh a lot and smile

*sleeping for a long period of time

* The power to overthink things

*I can stay calm under stressful situations

First Sunday of January

 Today is a day for adventure. Turn off screens, move things around, shine new lights.

Plant rows of motion, harvest bouquets of strength, plow through negativity.

Last night’s nightmare: continuing the streak of vivid dreaming with again losing my shoes — I lose my shoes in every fucking dream. Stranded outside target with no car and no mask (masks were in car I gave away) and all the numbers on my phone called the wrong people.

Todays food: fajitas tapatias 

Today’s exercise: raising eyebrows multiple times

First day of the Year

 Today is a gift, like the first steps after crossing the finish line of a marathon. Enjoy the view, embrace the present, be kind. 

Plant rows of plans, harvest bouquets of vision, plow through rocky terrain

Today’s food: seriously some adult in this house (me?) needs to go to the grocery soon. Ask me after that 

Last nights nightmare: a new one…. I dreamed was that I never finished my PhD. and was trying to figure how to re-enroll but also I was like so if I never finished my PhD why do people call me doctor…. have I been lying? It was really confusing. Also, I kept losing my shoes.

Final Friday of December

 Today is a day to finish the year strong.  

Do good deeds, let bygones by bygones, look forward,  expect better.

Plant rows of perspicacity, harvest bouquets of plenitude, plow through scarcity

Todays food: charcuterie 

Today’s TV binge: 1883

Final Tuesday of December

Today is a day to exhale.  Seek release, give relief, rest.  

Plant rows of safety, harvest bouquets of intimacy, plow through inertia.

Todays food: I have to have another birthday lunch and nope nope nope it will not involve my favorite food tostones because its sushi again. Please remind me in 2022 to never say lets do sushi soon because bitches take me seriously. 

Today’s exercise: yoga ball handstands

4th Sunday of December

 Today is a day of beginnings and endings. 

Accept blessings, let go of things that no longer serve you, make room for a bigger better life.

Plant rows of patience, harvest bouquets of remote controls, plow through moods.

Todays food: I’m still hoping that my kids bring home the charcuterie board I ordered that they picked up on Xmas eve but oops they “left at Kylie and Kaden’s house” three times over the last two days. Meanwhile I have 12 new kinds of coffee because people give me coffee for Xmas. And my birthday. So much coffee I could start a  coffee stand.

Today’s exercise: mopping

4th Saturday of December

 Today is a day to have fun. 

Make up games, blow leaves, do whatever whenever however you want because freedom is the greatest gift in the world and it can’t be wrapped.

Plant rows of “oh that’s nice” - harvest bouquets of “thank you you shouldn’t have” - plow through problematic presents.

Todays food: I found tostones in the freezer, but I think I will let them languish there.

Today’s exercise: smushing wrapping paper into garbage bags

4th Thursday of December


Today is a day for creativity, resourcefulness and fun. 

Build better spaces, toss things that no longer give blessings, hug freedom.

Plant rows of glee, harvest bouquets of lets-try-this, plow through crispy brown leaves. 

Todays food: Tostones dammit. Hot and crispy.  It’s been too long.

Today’s exercise: I have no patio furniture, so let’s go shopping for outdoor furniture. That counts as exercise, even if I do it online. From my sofa. With the heater on my feet. 

First Day of Winter

Today is day to seek warmth and spread joy.

Visit babies, surprise neighbors, put off setting up Christmas tree because it’s not due yet. 

Plant rows of motivation, harvest bouquets of let-it-go, plow through isolation.

Today’s food: I’m bringing a former student/ family panera dinner and the exact carrot cake they ordered for their wedding they never even got to taste.

Today’s exercise: Gesticulating wildly

Carrot Cake

Twenty one years ago I spent the evening and the night staring into my newborn daughter’s eyes.  She wasn’t tired, so I wasn’t tired either and we stayed up hour after hour the entire night just the two of us in a cold hospital room lit only by the blue light that comes from putting the hospital tv on the tv listings channel.

Although she was due on 12/20, she arrived 12/17, skidding into the world right before my birthday. 

 The universe’s timing is perfect and all but seriously she took over my birthday cake game like the USSR took over Eastern Europe during the Cold War.  

For decades it seemed silly to order a cake for myself when there was always cake left over from her birthday.

No big deal. 

I resigned with the veil of saint motherhood to a life of  stale cake mixed with ice cream, a treat any day, but never what I wanted since the only cake I ever want/wanted/will ever want for my birthday is carrot cake. 

Over the past few years it has become a tradition for Zack to pick out something funny to surprise Zoe with on her cake. Last night Zack tried to make something she’d like  but Publix rejected “Happy Birthday Now You Can Buy Us Alcohol” and I had to improv.  

After creating her vanilla/lemon cake I ordered her a posh charcuterie board and almost completed my order but then a voice inside me said “order yourself a carrot cake.”  

It’s the same voice that sings along loudly to Ariana Grande’s “Seven Rings” - I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.

It’s the voice inside me that begged to try the “Reacting to the Past” historical role playing games which have lead to the most fun and also highest success rates I’ve ever had in the classroom. 

So I listened.

I ordered myself a carrot cake with hummingbird filling and cream cheese icing and my name written across the top.  

I only want a piece, I don’t even know who else will share it with me, but having it in my fridge makes me the richest woman in the world (after Ariana Grande)

No one knows what the future holds, but I am damn sure mine will not include stale cake flavored with the hope someone else will bring me what I want despite the fact I can just get for myself. 

Third Wednesday of December

 Today is a day to put things together.  

Assemble shelves, wrap rugs, get cash to tip the service that is coming to haul boxes and the sofa and the backyard swing, sweep and vacuum and flatten boxes.

Plant rows of organization, harvest bouquets of determination, plow through resistance

Todays food: Predawn chocolate protein shake. With a straw. Unenthusiastically.

Today’s exercise: Reading

Today’s TV binge: Dexter/New Blood

Second Sunday of December

 Today is a day for pleasure. 

Linger in the shower, smell fresh roses, sigh during lengthy spa pedicure.

Plant rows of stained glass, harvest bouquets of dulce de leche, plow through procrastination.

Todays food: the pizza Zoe brought home from babysitting last night

Todays exercise: avoiding grading and reading begging emails from students who took November and December off and now want to redeem themselves somehow.

Today’s TV binge: The Sex Life of College Girls

Second Saturday of December

Today we celebrate relief.  

Exhale effortlessly, sleep deeply, practice perpetual pacification.

Clean the kitchen (its already clean lol), mop the floors (nope already did that), water plants  (oooh that’s fun). 

Plant rows of leaf blowers, harvest bouquets of extension cords, plow with determination

Today’s food: fried eggs on crispy toast

Todays exercise: Saying “Yes”

First Monday of December

 Today is a day of big meetings about tying up loose ends and making path forward.   

Take care big and small details, find balance, embrace freedom. 

Plant rows of Bob Doles, harvest bouquets of pens, plow through invisible obstacles 

Today’s food: self confidence, served warm with a side of juicy story 

Today’s exercise: Self restraint

First Sunday of December

 Today is a day of freedom; freedom from some things and freedom to do other things.  

Walk reverently, act intentionally, sink into joy.

Plant rows of balance, harvest bouquets of relief, plow through inertia

Today’s food: grocery day, ask me later. Maybe triscuits. We will see. 

Today’s exercise: Radical acceptance

First Friday of December

Today is a day to celebrate ending of beginnings. 

Bring treats, shine warmth, laugh and let go. 

Plant rows of games, harvest bouquets of fun, plow through rocky terrain

Today’s food: chips and salsa with a side of gossip between mandatory end of semester meetings 

Today’s exercise: Supporting friends

Happy First Day of December

 I have three days of work left, if talking about the Cold War and playing “Reacting to the Past” games counts as work.

Time to reflect on what worked (playing games in class!) and what didn’t (allowing students to earn points so quickly that some of my strongest students finished the class weeks before Halloween). 

4th Monday of November

 Today is a day of uncertainty. 

Just tried to wake my son up for school and there’s no school this week.

 I have classes to teach, even though my students scattered out of town last week. 

Somehow work will get done, creativity will triumph and I’m not sure how yet. 

Today’s food: cheese and cracker’s

Today’s exercise: patience

4th Saturday of November

Today is a day for questions, answers and bonus points. 

Have fun, be direct, win and move on to the semi-finals.

Plant rows of boldness, harvest bouquets of befuddlement, plow through errands

Today’s exercise: washing the car

Today’s food: corn casserole

Third Friday of November

 Today is a day of great potential. Make good choices, get test results, lean into the future. 

Plant rows of coziness, harvest bouquets of goodness, plow through perceived impediments. 

Today’s exercise: soaking in the jacuzzi tub

Today’s exercise: opening the mail