Around the web and back again #1

There is a very important event happening this week–Avengers: Age of Ultron!  I’ve been waiting for this week/May 1st to arrive since The Avengers came out back in 2012.  I ordered my tickets already and can’t wait to see it with a friend in the near future!  I even have my Avengers friendly outfit picked out for the occassion 😉  On a more serious note, we’ll be jumping into the month of May later this week.  Hopefully that means we’ll be seeing regular weather above 50 (we had snow, SNOW in my hometown in Virginia yesterday).  Winter needs to let it go already.

The official Avengers: Age of Ultron poster is here, and I have some questions. 

Around the web and back again #1

This article about teaching in a Title 1 school broke many hearts (mine included).  I teach in a private school (worked in a public school beforehand) and everything she says is spot on.

This dad is amazing!  He photoshopped photos of his son to show him flying.

This will be my reward for becoming accustomed to drinking tea... which will probably never happen.(cafepress.com)

Since I use ASL (American Sign Language) with several students, I’ve fallen in love with this website.

I just discovered this website on debt repayment.  What a handy tool!

These Legend of Zelda socks are amazing!  It is time for a new thinkgeek order!

This Broccoli & cheese quinoa casserole turned out amazing.  Just because you’re vegetarian doesn’t mean there aren’t tasty meals out there.

 

YepOh BBC, how you’ve ruined me.

 

What cool things did you discover this week?

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This weekend I traveled back to my previous city for a 5K. While I was there I met up with several friends for board games and dinner, stayed with two friends, then caught up with several more yesterday morning. It’s been a month and a half since I last saw them. I knew that I missed them a lot, but I didn’t realize just how much until I was there. I wasn’t a fan of the city itself, but I loved the people who were in my life there-friends, colleagues and of course my previous students.   Going back can be a tricky thing and it was hard to leave my friends there…again.

pandemic

I did get to see one of my best friends and we exchanged birthday gifts. She got me the board game Pandemic and I can’t wait to play it! I’ve played it 2-3 times before and really enjoyed it. Last year I found the expansion, unused, at goodwill, but never got around to buying the game itself. Now I have a new board game to play—or at least one that’s not currently packed away until I move again.

toomanygames(Toomanygames)

Speaking of geekery, I bought my ticket to Toomanygames!  Another friend will be going with me and we’ll be getting a hotel for Saturday night (staying just for Saturday and Sunday).  There will be some amazing guests there and it’ll be an amazing time (based on what others have told me).  Extra bonus, my summer vacation starts the following week!  I do still need to order my advance ticket for Avengers: Age of Ultron this week.  I’ll be going to an Alamo theater and their tickets tend to sell out the week before (if its a major movie).

 

Oh yes! :)

Following up on a previous post about graduate school…I’ve decided not to go for it just yet. Instead, I’m working on adding my Special Education endorsement in Special Education Prek-12, which I should have by the end of next summer or by December. It varies by state, but in Virginia you have to complete special courses (some of my Elementary classes transfer), get proof of teaching for at least a year in a accredited school and pass the VCLA. I only need to take 8 classes, which I’ll be doing through an online program through a university here in Virginia.

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Do you ever travel back to places you used to live?

Spring and Summer on the road

Countless times I’ve applauded myself for making the decision to buy a new car.  This time last year my old car was in its last legs.  Once the transmission went out I knew it was time to say goodbye and on June 5th I bought a 2014 Honda Civic, paid for in full.  Having a new car has paid for itself.  Its not just the comfort of knowing my car is reliable and won’t be in the shop every week and gets amazing gas mileage (37.2 mpg!). Its the comfort of knowing I can go anywhere in it, that it won’t be expensive. Thanks to a new car, I started taking more long trips starting last summer.  This spring and summer I anticipate even more.  Since I work in a really big city, it’s fairly easy to hop on the metro to go into DC now and explore.  I went to the Matsuri festival yesterday, but it was a disaster! Way too many people and rude ones at that. Just because its crowded doesn’t make it acceptable to not use your manners or push people in ‘your way’.  We were all happy to leave and explore less crowded areas after the Matsuri festival.  Next weekend I’ll be makingmy first return to my old city since I left a month and a half ago.  It’ll be wonderful to see friends again and participate in the 5K.   Outside of those, I’ll be going to Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York by the end of the summer. I’m especially excited to go to New York for the first time!  I’m going for a bridal shower for one of my best friends and we’re driving down together.  It’ll be a fun trip–I just wish we had more than three days there!  There’s also a convention in June I’m excited to go to and potentially another one in Maryland in August. I’ll be making a couple trips to see friends who live 1-2 hours away throughout the summer, so my car will, sadly, be racking up more miles.  Currently I’m staying with my grandmother who lives a little less than an hour away from where I work.  The commute isn’t ideal (saving money is) and I plan on doing it until July/August when I’ll have a few student loans gone and able to afford something with plenty of emergency savings at my disposal.  It’s crazy how expensive things are in Northern Virginia, even with a decent income.  I’m anxious to live on my own again, but at the same time,I look forward to a summer around friends and family I’ve missed a lot in the last 3ish years!   Are you planning any road trips this spring or summer?

Life in April

April is going to be a really good month, I can sense it!  Between the Matsuri festival next weekend, a 5K the following weekend and it being the month where spring kicks into high gear, it’s set to be fantastic!

Picture 103

This will be my first full month back in my hometown and with all my moving expenses taken care of, I can focus on relaxing for a while before worrying about finding a place to rent.  After being on a really tight budget for the last two years, it’s nice to have a reprieve and not pay rent.  Plus it’s just nice to enjoy being close to family and friends for one and seeing them more than a few times a year. At the moment, my plan is to move into a place closer to work in August or September.  I mostly want to give myself time in the area around my hometown and time to save up money/pay off debt.

One of my favorite events of the year is the Matsuri festival in Washington D.C. (April 11th).  I’ve been going with a group of friends every year for the last two years and it’s always a blast.  We’ve been lucky to have peak bloom the week we’re there too (see above picture).  I’m not sure if we can count on it this year since our temperatures are only now hitting spring-time temperatures.  Even so, there will be plenty to see and do at the Matsuri festival (maybe it won’t be so crowded this year?)

April is also Autism awareness month. As my profile says, I’m a Special Education teacher and specifically an Autism teacher.  I’ll be participating in a 5K this month to help raise money and I’ll be doing things throughout the month to raise money and awareness.

 

With all the changes in the last month, I haven’t had a chance to really work on my goals for 2015.  I’m behind on most of my goals and since I’ll be doing a quarterly report at the end of the April, I need to get things going.  I’m hoping to get in more reading time this month and get back into crafting at the very least.

 

 What do you have going on in April?

 

 

 

Spring Break commencing!

Picture 199

There’s something nostalgic and endearing about moving back to the area you grew up in. I may have also stated it before, but if you’d told me I’d move back here in four years after graduating college, I would have argued with you. Yet, here I am and I’m enjoying the reprieve for the most part. Relocating takes some adjustment and I’m happy to see myself getting accustomed to the commute (an hour both ways) and having extra money (no utilities or rent!) I changed over my last account yesterday to my new address and I’m excited to be getting renters insurance refund AND money back from my car insurance. Since this town has more cows than people, it means costs in general are lower.

ffv (official artwork)

I’m also starting to pick up my hobbies again, after a bit of a hiatus due to the move and beginning a new life routine of sorts. I’m still playing Doctor Who Legacy (finally making more progress thanks to daily bonus’ on specific items) and last weekend I bought Final Fantasy V for my Ipad. I haven’t made a lot of progress on Final Fantasy V, but Doctor Who has been more of a go to since it’s a puzzler I can play while watching Torchwood or a movie. I haven’t picked up FTL: Faster Than Light in a while, but I think continuously playing it on break while packing burned me out on it a bit.

 

The nice thing about the coming week is that I’m off most of the week! This week is our spring break (though we have school tomorrow and Tuesday). I’m looking forward to relaxing, catching up with friends and getting a couple things knocked off my to do list. Maybe it’ll even warm up so I can wash and vacuum my car.

 

::Fun finds this week::

A friend mentioned the below video to me last night. A Whovian asked Christopher Eccleston to assist in his proposal to his girlfriend and he agreed. The video quality is low, but what an amazing way to ask!

 

Emerging into Spring

It was two weeks ago yesterday that I officially moved back to my hometown. I’m still getting into the grove of being back home and in ways, I’ve forgotten about my life in my old city (not the friends of course, whom I talk to almost daily). My hometown has a very different atmosphere being that there are more cows & chickens that people (compared to never seeing them unless you drove miles out of town), not having many stores and the highlight of social engagement requiring a drive into a nearby city 30 minutes or more away. I work in the city, but I often find myself meeting up with friends there or making solo trips to stores and venues. If someone told me 4 years ago when I graduated college I’d be happy to be back in the boonies, I wouldn’t believe them. Yet, here I am and I’m happy to be here for a while.

(photo taken last year)

Spring (despite us getting snow Friday) is starting and the weather couldn’t feel more invigorating. There are Crocus’ coming up in yards and I’ve seen a few marigolds on my daily walk on my grandmother’s road. This is my favorite time of year and for once, I feel that having a slower paced life is offering me the opportunity to appreciate it a bit more! What I’m really looking forward to is the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. in 3 weekends. I go there with a group of four other friends every year to the Matsuri festival and to view the trees. It’s one of the things I look forward to the most every year!

Goong

Yesterday was gorgeous and I pulled out a book to read. Way back when, I used to read Manga and Manwha, a hobby that I recently wanted to get back into. I picked up Goong using store credit from a bookstore Friday and plan on trading in and out manga for the time being. When I applied for my library card in the city I work in, I discovered I need to live in the area to use it. Alas, all those books are just out of my reach!

 

I terms of gaming, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy V and Doctor Who Legacy. Final Fantasy V is a game I picked up in high school, but didn’t get through, but since it’s on my Ipad (meaning I can play it while watching Netflix), I’ll get through it pretty quick. I got my aunt into Sherlock and recently started watching Torchwood. I really like Russell T. Davies writing/creative direction, science fiction and Captain Jack Harkness is one of my favorite Doctor Who companions, so Torchwood is right up my alley.

068 (more Cherry Trees from last year)

My temporary relocation stuff is almost complete and I have a graduate school meeting tomorrow. I’ll be starting my Masters in Special Education in Spring 2016, so all I need to finish up is the paperwork and save up the money. I still have my undergraduate debt to deal with, but my Masters will only run my around $14,000. By living with family, I’m able to pay off huge chunks of my student loans and save up for my masters degree. I am still waiting on getting my rent deposit and first paycheck from my new job, but those will come at the end of the month. Moving and getting a new job was a big decision, but as time goes on, I know I made the right move and couldn’t be happier!

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Have you had any big changes in your life lately?

Relocating: A week later

It’s hard to believe how much has transpired in the last week and a half. I moved away from the city I was living in for almost three years and left my job to move back home after getting a job offer. My new job is amazing and I’m excited for my future there.  A lot has happened and it’s amazing how less stressed I feel, how much more I can do and simply the fact I feel I can dream again.

 

Travel

This past weekend I took a trip to North Carolina to Wizard World Raleigh and met the wonderful David Tennant. He’s an amazing man and it was an honor to meet him!  I love to travel and having the money, energy and time to do so is amazing!

Displaying photo.JPG (not posting my actual photo, but it happened!)

My stress level

Before moving, my stress level (even before relocation stresses) was insanely high. I felt miserable and cranky pretty often, wanting nothing more than to usher everyone away. Now, my life’s pace has changed and I have hardly any stress. My anxiety is even low for once (I overthink and worry about everything).

 

Happiness

Winnie the Pooh

I can’t think of a time (other than vacations and outings with friends) where I’ve felt so on top of the world. I feel that I’m able to realize my dreams, be my true self and enjoy everyday to the fullest. It’s overwhelming actually! Oh and I have a TON of energy everyday. I never feel drained or feel I need to be alone all evening.

 

Money

For the first time in my life, I actually have money. Really, I feel ok with spending $3 on an iced coffee after work once or twice a week and it’s amazing. Since I’m not paying rent or utilities, I can concentrate on paying off student loans and by the end of next month another one will be gone. I do want to move by August, but until then I’ll be saving money and I’ll be getting closer to being debt free!

 

People

Zelda tissue box I made for a friend

While I miss my friends in my old city a lot, many of my friends are in this area. In fact, one of my closest friends lives down the road from me now! It’s beyond wonderful to stop by to visit friends and family during the week and weekend. Previously I would see some friends only 3 times a year and family every month or two. That’s not easy when you’re someone who needs to see people they care about.

 

Graduate School

Searching for my sole mate sign

For a while now I’ve been thinking about graduate school, but the local university wasn’t one I wanted to attend.  Now, I’m working near a university with a Masters program I really want.  With my Masters in Special Education, the world would really open up for me (for a reasonable cost of $14,000).  I still have my undergraduate loans, but with my new job I can save up and pay for classes out of pocket (with some grant help).  I have a meeting next week to enroll next spring and I can’t wait!