Call Me Crazy

Okay, don’t really call me crazy.  However, I did something that I have never done before.  I ran up Torrey Pines hill two days in a row!  I know.  CRAZY!  Here is a picture of one part of the hill.

TP hill

It’s hard to get the full effect unless you are actually standing there.  And, my iPhone camera does not do it justice.  The hill continues on and curves around until you get to the Visitor’s Center at the top.  Then it eventually levels off.

I already ran Torrey Pines yesterday.  I usually go for my runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  However, I decided to sleep in on Thursday and then my car needed an oil change.  There was just no time Thursday morning to get my run in.  I wanted to go run at Torrey Pines on Friday, but my friend, Heather, was working that day.  She said she could go on Saturday.  I realized that I might need to be available on Saturday to pick my mother up from Los Angeles, so I went for my Torrey Pines run on Friday, without Heather.  When I arrived home, my friend Nicole texted me (and Heather) and asked if anyone was up for a Torrey Pines run on Saturday or Sunday.  I voted Sunday, because I just ran the hill.  Then, we all remembered there was a 1/2 marathon being run on Sunday, and it ends in Torrey Pines.  A Sunday run was out of the question.  I texted them and said I was going to opt out.  I didn’t think I could run the hill two days in a row.  But, you know how it is with peer pressure.  Besides, it would be a fun time spent with friends.  Here is a picture of Heather and Nicole on the Guy Fleming Trail today.


On a good day, I could not keep up with my friends.  Heather (on the left) is a runner.  Nicole is also very athletic.  I knew this, so I brought my earphones with me so I could listen to Kanye West’s Stronger as I ran up the hill.  I just kept repeating that song until I got to the top.  I went further up the hill today than I did yesterday, so I was pretty happy with myself!  I walked the few yards up to the Visitor’s Center because my calves were cramping up.  Not even Kanye West could push me all the way up to the top!  Of course, Nicole and Heather made it up with no problem.  They doubled back to meet me as I was slogging up the hill.  We kept running to the edge of the Torrey Pines golf course before we turned around to run the Guy Fleming Trail and back down the hill to Nicole’s car.  Here is the picture of them running down the hill.  I was feeling nothing but joy to be running down the hill and not up.  🙂


After our run, we were hungry.  We wanted to stop and grab a bite, but no one brought any money, except for me.  I had 20 bucks.  Nicole dug around in her car and found a dollar bill and some spare change.  I remembered I had the Starbuck’s app on my iPhone and I had saved my gift cards on it.  We were able to get tea and coffee at Starbucks, and we had enough money to buy bagels at Einstein Bros.  Here is a picture of Nicole’s money.


I bet the cashier was thinking, “Oh brother!”

It was a fun morning.  I can’t believe I pushed myself to run up this hill again.  I was glad I got to share that with my buddies.  I am pretty sure I am going to be sore this evening.  Luckily, I have already made an appointment to get a massage.  I am looking forward to my next adventure with these fun gals.



SDAWP Fall Conference 2013

This morning I spent a wonderful morning at University of California San Diego (UCSD) attending the San Diego Area Writing Project’s (SDAWP) Fall Conference.  I was able to attend 2 amazing workshops, but the best part about the morning was going through it with my friends.  Four of my colleagues from work were able to attend this morning’s conference as well.  I am so fortunate to have people at work that I can share ideas with.  We can talk about how we are using the new information we learned with each other.  It’s nice to have others around you who “get” it.

The other thing that I enjoyed from this morning (besides the workshops) was seeing my SDAWP friends from the Summer Institute.  I was able to reconnect with friends I made and ask them how their school year was going so far.  It was like a reunion and there were many hugs given during the continental breakfast before the workshop began.  In a few months we will be getting together again to plan the SDAWP Spring Conference.  I am sure it will be a lot of hard work, but I know we will also have fun because we get to work with each other once again.

As far as the workshops went, I attended a workshop lead by Aja Booker, teacher from San Diego Global Vision Academies Middle School.  Her workshop was called Writing Strategies to Support Complex Text.  Wow.  I thoroughly enjoyed her presentation.  Aja gave us strategies we could use in our classrooms tomorrow.  The strategies she shared will help students gain a deeper understanding of challenging and difficult text.  Even though the presentation was geared towards 3rd-8th grade, I believe I can adapt what she shared to meet my needs in 2nd grade.

I also attended a workshop given by fellow blogger, Barb Montfort (Wear the Cape).  Yes, I finally got to meet her in person!  I have been following her blog, so it was nice to talk to her in the flesh.  Her workshop was entitled Embracing Uncertainty:  Exploring Digital Tools for Digital Writing Purposes.  As educators we would not wait to teach literacy.  Therefore, we should not wait to teach digital literacy either.  I learned something about mindset from Barb.  There are two kinds of mindsets-fixed and growth.  When you are of a fixed mindset, you avoid challenges and give up easily when faced with a problem.  You find reasons why something cannot be accomplished and you ignore useful negative feedback.  On the other hand, people with a growth mindset embrace challenges, persevere, look for people who can support them, and listen harder.  I realize I want to be of a growth mindset.  Barb encouraged everyone to embrace technology, especially when it comes to digital writing.  I, myself, would have never considered getting a Twitter account or even starting a blog.  But, here I am.  Thanks to SDAWP Summer Institute.  Here is a picture of my friend embracing Twitter.


If you are still wondering if you should get a Twitter account, here is an informative article written by Kim Douillard, director of SDAWP, entitled Why Not Try Twitter?

It was an eventful morning.  It reminds me of what I need to do next in my classroom with writing.  Once again, I am energized.  I cannot wait for the Spring Conference!

How Lucky Can I Be?

I am very fortunate to have people around me that I can call girlfriends. Two events this week reminded me how lucky I am to have these women in my life. There are two groups of gals I get together with on a consistent basis. When life gets hectic, these women are there to help me slow down my pace. They help me realize how important our connection really is.

Last night I spent a wonderful evening with girlfriends who belong to my book club. We decide on a book to read and then we gather at someone’s home for dinner, wine,  and conversation.  We lovingly refer to ourselves as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Party.  One evening, when the book club met at my house, my husband made a comment to us.  He said it didn’t sound like we were talking about the book.  It’s true.  Some of our conversation is based on the book, but the majority of our discussion is based on what is happening in our lives with work (we’re all educators) or with family.  Most of the women in this group I have known for 24 years.  That’s a long time.

On Thursday night, I had the opportunity to enjoy a Girls’ Night Out with my neighborhood girlfriends.  Again, we try to get together once a month to enjoy a movie or celebrate birthdays.  We have even gone on vacations togther.  On several occasions we have traveled to New York City for a fun girls’ weekend.  While there we run through Central Park, see a Broadway show, and shop at Tiffany’s for a bauble or two.  On Thursday night, we decided to see Lee Daniel’s The Butler.  The movie was great, but I just appreciated the company of my friends.  We all have children who are the same age and fortunately, our kids are also good friends.  Even our husbands enjoy the occasional Poker Night together.

I am so glad to be a part of both of these groups.  It’s always nice to know that these women will be there to support me through anything.  The friendships I have with these wonderful ladies is so valuable.  I love and appreciate them everyday.  I hope everyone gets a chance to experience friendship like I do.  It is priceless.  I am one lucky lady.  🙂