Thursday, September 29, 2011

sleeping is giving in.

If you know me very well, you know that I need sleep (actually you probably know this even if you don't know me very well because I talk about it a lot). I love sleep. I get scary when I don't sleep. Nobody wants to be my friend when I'm lacking sleep. Sometimes I yell. But I have something to tell you all. That was Old Julie.  Old Julie had to have a full 8 hours or she would just start crying for no reason. Old Julie would drop everything she was doing when bedtime rolled around and Old Julie would go to bed at 9pm every night, no matter what.

Yes. This is the picture that comes up when you Google "old Julie."

Now I'm New Julie. 

New Julie works 12-14 hours a day so she can get all of her work done. New Julie goes to bed late and wakes up early. New Julie hangs out until all hours of the night, especially when her brother and his girlfriend come to visit and then New Julie wakes up at 6am to go to work on the weekends (Andy was so proud of me, and for good reasons. If my family is reading this, just remember how scary Ecuador Julie was. Yikes.) New Julie might get sick a little more often, but she can still function and usually she functions normally. Sometimes New Julie can't form complete sentences, but that is when she drinks more coffee.

New York doesn't appreciate sleep like Missouri did. New York laughs in sleep's face and  closes certain subways on the weekend so that you end up getting home 2 hours after you thought you would (this could also be because the subways hate Queens on the weekends). New York sells coffee on every corner because it knows that it is depriving people of sleep. And New York has bagels. They wake you up, too. And I like it. Sleeping is giving in. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

sappy times.

Before you keep reading this post, I have a warning for you. This post is sappy. Like the these-are-the-reasons-I-do-what-I-do kind of sappy. Like my-coworker-and-I-have-cried-at-work-every-day kind of sappy. Consider yourself warned.

My students are amazing. I keep thinking that I've met the most amazing student in the world and that no one could match their story, and then I talk to another student. This week has been intense, to say the least. My coworker, Miriam, and I get to work around 8am and work until 9pm every day, and just when we think our sleep must be more valuable than making a poster with directions about how to make a paper fan on them, one of our students come in and remind us why we come to work every day. They remind us why we sacrifice sleep and meals to make sure we are ready to serve them and the preschoolers we work with.

It all started when one of our kiddos (which they may be referred to as for the rest of this post, in an endearing way) came in and told us why he wanted to get involved in Jumpstart. When he was younger, he was homeless for about 5 years. He told us that while his siblings took it extremely hard, he pushed himself to learn as much as he could because he realized that his education was all that was going to help him get out of that situation and succeed in life.  From there, he has risen above all obstacles and though he is pre-med and plans on becoming a pediatrician, he has become a leader in Jumpstart and an advocate for education and for the preschoolers that we encounter.

Another one of our students just lost her dad to cancer this summer.  In his honor, she wanted to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for cancer research, but after looking at all the different charities available on the marathon site, she decided to run for Jumpstart instead, because her dad knew that it was so important to her and would be a perfect way to honor him.

We also have a freshman this year who I immediately loved for his eagerness and willingness to work in the classrooms and with Jumpstart and for his awkward freshman-ness (you know what I'm talking about). He came in to fill out some paperwork, and in the process he embarrassingly told us that both of his parents had died this summer and he has no other family, so his permanent address actually is St. John's now. Heartbreaking. And while I worried about whether the other students would accept him for who he is, I went to training the next day and watched as his unknowing team embraced him with compliments about how excited they are that he chose to do Jumpstart and how happy they are that he is a part of their team, calling him "their newbie."

When I took this job, I didn't know how I was going to live without being in a preschool classroom every day. Now, however, I am so continually humbled and in awe of all that my students are doing and the passion and dedication with which they do it that I am thrilled and honored to get to work alongside them this year and onward. My students have dreams of changing the world, and I have no doubt that they will do so.

Monday, September 12, 2011

some little updates.

I ate popcorn for every meal this weekend.

I also ate an amazing ice cream sundae with banana and honey.

I also made the greatest ever grilled cheese today. Mozzarella, tomato, green olives, grilled and served with marinara sauce for dipping. Pizza grilled cheese = genius.

I do have things that happen to me that aren't food related.

I promise.

Today, my old neighbor stopped me on my run and asked me why I would want to run since I'm already skinny. Love him.

A creepy guy came up to me in the subway and told me I was beautiful. Don't so much love him. I did the subway-car-jump, where you pretend like you're getting off at a stop and actually sprint to another car.

Our sink is clogged. It smells.

Today is trash day. It also smells. And by "it" I mean all of New York City.

I think I'm going to start doing yoga, because that is what real New Yorkers do. I think. Or else they just carry yoga mats around because they think it looks cool. And it does.

I just realized I don't know how to deposit a check. My dad used to always do it because he worked at the same place as our credit union. I'm an adult.

I watched Battlestar Galactica for 8 hours yesterday. Productive.

I'm currently obsessed with the song Metamorphosis One by Philip Glass. It's beautiful. And it was in an episode of Battlestar Galactica.

I'm also obsessed with the band The Head and the Heart. I will listen to you forever and a half.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Since I'm a real resident of NYC now, a big part of my life is riding the subway. That's right, I'm a commuter now. Big moves. But, my commute takes about 50 minutes so I've had to find exciting things to do while I'm riding, and let me tell you something ("I'm Fire Marshall Bill!"), it's always a thrilling time in the subway dungeons.

Usually, I pass the time waiting for my train to come by searching the subway tracks for rats. Because they're mutants. And Queens rats are kind of cute. Sure, they're still rats, but at least they are rat-sized, not dog-sized like the rats in dirty Brooklyn. I'm not joking, in case you thought I was. Brooklyn is dirty and I saw a rat the size of a small dog. Or a large cat, take your pick. Anyway, Brooklyn rats are mutants because they're scary big, but don't let the Queens rats fool you...they're still mutants because they can walk on the subway tracks. The electric subway tracks. Today I saw an umbrella that someone dropped onto the crack in the tracks and I really wanted to jump down to get it so I could replace my half-umbrella, but then I remembered that I WOULD DIE because I'm not a mutant rat. Unfortunate. Thus, I got really wet on the walk home because I was stuck behind a lot of slow people with whole umbrellas. But if I ever try to drastically change my career path, I may choose Rat Whisperer so I could tell the subway rats to bring me treasures from the tracks. This could be my future.

Other times, I stand on the platform hoping the M train will come before the R train to take me to and from work. The R train, like Brooklyn, is dirty. And it might be because it goes all the way into Brooklyn, but I don't know (maybe I have something against Brooklyn because that is where I lost my iPhone and I'm still a little bitter; but I'm not sure.) It has gross orange seats that always have trash and stains on them and it doesn't have the electronic stop schedule above the seats to tell you where you are, so if for example, you are really into this book you're reading and don't look up and don't hear the muffled sounds of the conductor telling you where you are, you will end up on the fast track to Brooklyn. And then you'll, hypothetically, have to get off the train in Manhattan and get back on a Queens bound subway. Hypothetically, of course.

I don't like the color orange. Or trash. Or dirty looking walls. Hm.
But at least since I go out to Jamaica, Queens and not into Manhattan in the morning, it means I get my own entire bench to sit on and I love it. Maybe it's because no one wants to go to Jamaica, Queens. Or maybe it's because they like to stand with their faces in each others armpits as they cram into the popular trains to go to the hip destinations. I vote Queens. Because I want every subway car to feel important and included.

Also, since I'm an adult and wear dresses to work now, you have to remember to hold your dress down when the subways enter and leave the station because they bring with them a huge gust of air. Which is awesome when it is stuffy and hot on the platform, but not so awesome when it blows your dress up so you accidentally flash everyone around you. Hypothetically.

When I finally get on the train, I usually do one of four things.
1. Stare at people around me until they notice, then smile and look away awkwardly.
2. Read a book and hope that I don't miss my stop.
3. Eat bagels. Duh.
4. Read all the posters that are hanging on the subway walls. Like this gem:
People actually do cross through the subway cars. While it is moving. Don't they know the tracks will electrocute them and they COULD DIE? Don't they realize they could be sucked underneath the subway while it is running and they COULD DIE? Don't they realize the subway cars could smash them and they COULD DIE? Come on, people.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

right now.

Right now it is raining and 60 degrees and our windows are open and I'm sitting on my couch in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. I've been waiting for this day for oh so very long. I don't even care that my umbrella is broken and is actually a half-umbrella and I get half-wet every time I go outside. I love fall.
This is my umbrella. But that is not me. I don't think I've ever been this unhappy. Or Asian.
Right now I'm watching "Battlestar Galactica," or BSG for those of us who watch it, and I'm not embarrassed because it's addicting and amazing. I highly recommend it. Especially if you have a ton of free time, or if you have a hurricane weekend followed by a 3-day weekend. 

Right now I can barely lift my arms and I almost fell down the stairs because my legs are so sore from doing a cardio kickboxing video from Netflix. It hurts so good.

Right now I'm so tired I could collapse because I woke up at 3am last night and couldn't get back to sleep. But I'm going to make myself stay up until real bedtime so that I can actually sleep tonight. And I'm going to take some melatonin.

Right now I'm wearing my pants inside out. Oops.

Right now I'm finishing off some steak and potatoes. Sarah came to visit me this weekend and we decided that a dinner number three of midnight steaks and garlic mashers would be the greatest idea of all time. And it was. Dinners number one and two were also excellent. Dinner number one started out as a "sushi snack" and quickly progressed to sake bombs, double sushi rolls and dumplings. Because we're classy.

sake bomb-sushi-sake bomb-sushi

sake bomb-sushi-sake bomb-sushi
Right now I'm going to go eat some ice cream and watch another episode of BSG. Because that's what I do every night.