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About kcaleece

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  • Birthday 09/11/1986


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  1. kcaleece

    KCAleece's Charge to Spring Break

    Whew! 10 days into the official part of this challenge and I'm finally starting to feel just a tiny bit like Legolas! I'm just going to stand here and shoot everything I can... Quest One: Fitness/working out My quads are still pretty sore from the baby-enhanced workout, so I tried to do my lunges yesterday under the theory that "moving again will be the best medicine". I only made it to 6 (goal was 10) but I'm going to try again today! Quest Three: Class and Spanish proficiency I'm not actually up to speed here, but I'm getting there! Grad school: Module 4:5 readings (1 done, 1 printing as we speak, 1 downloaded)3 videos (all 3 DONE)1 short essay response10 timeline entries (definitions, citations, examples, extra media)(optional midterm evaluation of the course) Spanish 480: Currently on page 330-something, very nearly done with the book! Then I have 480 words of reflections/review to write and a 3 page essay. This is both a TON of work left and also the closest I've been to "caught up" since the challenge started. Quest Four: Job problems I didn't post yesterday because I was busy preparing for a last minute screening interview! A middle school science position opened up at a highly rated school about an hour away from me and they called me in for a screener. Yes, it's further away, and no, it's not even close to a language. But they blow my next-best-rated school experience out of the water in terms of things like test scores, attendance/graduation rates, etc. And really, all I'm looking for at this point is a "I don't hate this and can hang out for several years" experience to buy myself time to finish my grad degree and build my resume. I hate screening interviews but whatever, I'll chat with you as many times as you want if you get me the heck out of my current job hell! Quest Six: The Odds and Ends Okay, let's see... 1. finish sorting second bedroom clothing and donate what I don't want anymore = I finished sorting my clothing the other day and brought in my "teenagers might reasonably not hate this" options to school today for their clothing closet. I'll bring the rest to a donation center sometime before the end of the week! 2. buy and start seeds for garden = order placed last night! I also realized I'm already technically late getting seeds started indoors, whoops. Turns out our official date of last frost is a little earlier than I guessed, and also I just didn't count weeks backwards correctly, lol. I might be a bit behind, but it's not awful! I should be starting my seeds around 7 weeks before the last frost, I'm thinking (it will depend slightly on when they arrive in the mail, of course). 5. sell at least 2 bags of books at Half Price Books = I got the first bag put together and in my car. Depending on what my Spanish professor says, I'll be meeting with her either today or tomorrow after school. The day I don't meet with her, I'll sell those books and use part of the proceeds (or maybe all, Lord knows they don't pay you very much) to buy a board book for my best friend's baby girl who turned 1 year old yesterday! They're not doing a first birthday party, but they bought a large gift for my son at his first birthday and I know all 3 of them adore books, so I figure that's the safest way to respect their wishes and still repay them/celebrate their daughter.
  2. kcaleece

    KCAleece's Charge to Spring Break

    Thank you so much! The stamping really makes them look much more difficult and fancy than they are They're so pretty though! The PHS application makes me nervous but no harm, no foul right? It's probably me just throwing things into a digital void for right now, but hey, they can't hire you if you don't apply, right? Late update because it has been an absolutely CRAZY morning - my gods my job is staffed by complete morons who probably can't even spell "school", much less run one - but I'm finally starting to breath for the day now. Quest One: Fitness/working out So I got in 2 exercises yesterday! I got my 50 calf raises and 20 squats done during the evening while entertaining the toddler, which added an extra challenge since most of it was done while holding him as a way to keep him entertained. I did more than 50 calf raises - I just stopped counting at 50 - but I figure that can balance out the fact I'm pretty sure my form on a handful of those squats was getting pretty funky while the baby was wiggling and throwing a small fit because I wouldn't let him fall down the stairs by himself (yes, really. Toddlers are weird.) Quest Two: In the Kitchen I ended up going without dessert all day yesterday! Day 2 for this challenge in the books, yeah! Quest Three: Class and Spanish proficiency Okay, I'm still behind here but I'm starting to see a little bit of light at the end of this tunnel. It's faint and very distant, but I think I see it... Grad school: Module 4: 5 readings (1 started, 3 downloaded)3 videos (all 3 DONE)1 short essay response10 timeline entries (definitions, citations, examples, extra media)(optional midterm evaluation of course) Spanish 480: I'm on page...I'm pretty sure it's like 302 or 303, without getting up to look right now. Topics for writings chosen, but not completed. General proficiency: I did a little more speaking practice yesterday with the husband, but it was spotty and not nearly as good of a conversation so I'm only giving myself 10 minutes of "credit", bringing my current speaking total to 40 minutes. Quest Four: Job problems I haven't heard from any more jobs yet and haven't even looked for new postings since Thursday. I will be checking on that today, completing and sending in my PHS application, and hopefully getting in 2 more, depending on what is posted. Quest Six: The Odds and Ends I finally finished sorting my clothing that was in the second bedroom! Ugh, I'm kinda embarrassed because there was so little left from the last challenge and I just had never realized it before. Now all I have to do is actually get the bag to the donation center and then I can check this one off my list!
  3. kcaleece

    KCAleece's Charge to Spring Break

    I think that's exactly what's going to end up happening re:workout. I was discussing it with my husband and he thinks as long as I push myself, it might be slightly more effective spread out...and there was another (much smaller) ice storm Saturday night, resulting in a second week with no church and no private working out time... Also Arabic is awesome! I do absolutely adore the calligraphy; it's some of the most beautiful art! I actually made a calligraphy out of my name in Arabic script once that looked like a super simple flower. I'll have to see if I can remember how I drew it and maybe get it posted here? I know the Arabic letters and how they go together - but they don't write a huge majority of their vowels, so it's rare that I can read unknown words regardless - and I have a scattering of random beginner vocabulary (words like book, door, etc.) plus a teeny tiny handful of very simple phrases (like "my name is"). I usually die somewhere around turn two or three of a simple introductory conversation, hahaha, and I've been told my accent sounds "very American with a touch of French". Which makes a lot of sense! Someday I'll get there.... Okay, let's see. I didn't post over the weekend, but let's get caught up! Quest One: Fitness/working out As previously commented, freezing rain Saturday night = no church for the husband and baby = no private working out time yesterday. I'm going to work on trying to spread it out over the week instead though! My goal today is to get two sets done - I'm thinking planks and lunges, assuming my nose cooperates (planks have been a real headache lately due to sinus issues, ugh). Quest Two: In the Kitchen I've managed well here except I still only have 1 dessert-free day. I should have pushed myself to do it yesterday; I probably could have but didn't think about it until it was too late. Quest Three: Class and Spanish proficiency This has been my major push! Let's see.... Grad school: Module 3 was completed on Saturday, the day before it was due! Yay! Now we're on module 4, which consists of: 5 readings 3 videos 1 short essay response 10 timeline entries (definitions, citations, examples, extra media) "optional midterm evaluation" - of the course, I think? Spanish 480: Still plowing through La Noche de la Usina to the best of my ability. It's slow, but it's going. Currently on page 279 - should be to 324 by the end of today, whew. Also need to post...I think I'm up to 360 words of review? Haven't started that yet, but I know what I want to write about. General proficiency: So far I've gotten: 8 new vocabulary words (goal: 25), 1 podcast episode (goal: 10), 0 writing practices (goal: 10), and...going with 30 minutes of speaking practice (goal: 2 hours). I got in one parent-teacher conference that was in Spanish with no outside help (yay!) and then last night I pushed my husband to make our dinner conversation be entirely in Spanish as well. Timing for both is questionable but I figure I'll guess towards the shorter end of things to push myself Quest Four: Job problems No news over the weekend. Need to starting thinking about this again though. Quest Five: Manicures Got my...technically second manicure of this challenge done yesterday. I decided to try stamping! It took me a few tries (and two stampers...I can't get the first one to work properly, but the second one I tried works much better! This might have something to do with the kind of image I was stamping, I'm not sure.) but I got it and now I'm super excited! Man, I wish I could stamp everything ever because it's just so freaking cool hahaha. I did accidentally file my nails down too far, so they're a good bit shorter than I would have liked. I'm not very good at shaping them properly yet... and one zoomed in picture so you can see the kind of design I was stamping a little better: Quest Six: The Odds and Ends None of these are done yet, blast it all. I really need to get going...
  4. kcaleece

    KCAleece's Charge to Spring Break

    Whew, okay, that's actually a pretty difficult question! I mean, at what point do you get to say you "know" a language...? Let's see: Languages I can use at an academic level (aka could complete a college degree if taught in that language): English, French Languages I can use pretty well but not academically, might struggle with some topics/structures/vocabulary: Spanish Languages I've acquired teeny tiny parts of but not enough to do anything useful: Arabic, Amharic, Japanese, German Languages I have studied at least a tiny bit but have forgotten literally everything: Farsi, Chinese, Korean Languages I haven't studied at all but have a current interest in for either personal or professional reasons: Hebrew, Swahili, Nepali/Hindi, Berber languages (there are several, just in general) My love affair with words started pretty classically - I was a voracious reader as a child/teenager, especially once my home life started getting really shitty. I began writing my own stories as well and was frustrated with my inability to make stories shine the way they do in my head. My school at the time was a private, very prestigious school that started foreign languages early, so I was enrolled in French as soon as I transferred in (8 years old). I became fascinated by the way that different words sounded and felt and could encode different concepts. In 7th grade, my French teacher made an off-hand comment in class about how maybe we could study in France someday when we were older, and I was flabbergasted. Despite going to a very expensive school, my parents didn't have money and I didn't know anyone who had ever been out of the country before. It had never struck me as something that was a real possibility. I became more and more fascinated by the idea of culture and the ability to integrate myself into a true variety of peoples. I didn't know what to do with myself in college, so after 5 years I just gave up and became a language teacher. And here I am! French is just kinda something I stayed in because *shrug* why not? I grew to love it specifically over time. Spanish I toyed with slightly in the past but it became critical when I had a mixed race child to support (my husband is Mexican); it will also open up like 5x more job options, and honestly I fell head over heels in love with Spain on my honeymoon anyway. Arabic will 95% likely be my next focus after that due to the large increase in local Arabic-speaking population, my own interest in the culture, potential job security (there are only 2 Arabic language programs I know of in this city, but there's also only something like 3 possible teachers), and for academic purposes - I'm deeply interested in North Africa, which requires me to at least function in both Arabic and French (and a bit of Spanish doesn't hurt). Updates from yesterday...didn't get that much done due to conferences, but there's a little to report! Quest Three: Class and Spanish proficiency Grad school: New work:4 videos (4 DONE) 4 readings (4 DONE) short essay response (done) 10 definitions/examples/citations (9 done, citation found for last one and just need to do write-up) 5 comments (0 done) Quest Four: Job problems One position closed without doing interviews (almost certainly filled internally and posted for legal reasons). Otherwise I completed 3 other applications yesterday and wrote my cover letter for PHS. Now I just need to do one of those paragraph answer things for them. I'm nervous! PHS is actually the school I was talking about attending up at the top of this post And they're well known for being picky - gotta justify that $14,000/year tuition somehow, right? (Nope, not a typo. It's more expensive now too I'm sure - that's how much it was when I left in 2000. Put it this way, one of my friends there was Teddy Bloch, one of the grandsons of the guys who started H&R Block, and his family was "middle range" in both importance and money compared to the rest of the school.) I've heard though the grapevine you need a graduate degree from a well-reputed school as the absolute bare minimum for them to even look at your application and I don't have that yet. But...hey, what's the harm in applying, right? What's the worst that can happen? They ignore me completely? That's what most districts do anyway...
  5. kcaleece

    KCAleece's Charge to Spring Break

    My Spring Break from work, that is. Being associated in one way, shape, or form with three schools (grad school, my undergrad Spanish class, and the high school I teach at) I actually have three different Spring Breaks. That's right, not a single one of them line up to be the same week as another one. I'm feeling like I'm massively behind the 8-ball. I'm barely holding on to a vague semblance of "getting everything done on time". But I know I can do it if I just keep my head down and keep on fighting. I know, it's not my Legolas. But it's still pretty darn badass! So, I'm adapting my last challenge structure. It wasn't bad, but I think this will make it better. Quest One: Fitness/working out This has been, for whatever reason, a massive sticking point. So I'm going back - like, way back - and shooting for just 1 workout a week. Come on, even I can manage 1 workout, right??? In an attempt to help myself by erasing all questions and concerns, I'm going to try to use the following structure, assuming nothing like illness gets in the way: When: Sunday mornings while the husband and baby are at church, vaguely 8-9:30 Where: the living room, mostly How: I'm going with a countdown system because I like it, hahaha. So my goal will be: 60 seconds of plank 50 calf raises 40 seconds of leg raises 30 standing bicycle crunches 20 squats 10 lunges (all will be done in smaller sets, as necessary, as long as it adds up to the final goal. I also reserve the right to modify, of course, if this is harder to put together than I think)! Then I get to use my fancy face mask stuff while I wait for the shower to heat up Why: general health concerns, preparing for second pregnancy, feeling like a badass, maybe bust some stress? Quest Two: In the Kitchen Sugar is still my enemy! Lord is it ever telling that I typed "energy" at first. I'm going to stick with the good progress I started during the last challenge, but make it just a tiny bit harder by extending the time frames a touch. Rules: no dessert before 12:30pm or after 9:30 pm, 5 days during this challenge with no desert at all Quest Three: Class and Spanish proficiency Ugh. This is a good 90% of my stress right here. I need to stay on top of grad school, my Spanish class, and general proficiency studying. Grad school: We start module 3 today (due Feb. 17) and module 4 starts Feb. 18 (due March 3). The last week of this challenge is my spring break for grad school. Spanish 480: We are reading La Noche de la Usina right now. I'm currently on page 169 and have to get to 214 by Wednesday. I will update this post with the assignments after that when I get home tonight (I didn't bring my syllabus with me to work today - posting this on my lunch break!) General proficiency: I need work in vocabulary, listening, writing, and speaking. I will aim for 25 new vocabulary words (5 per week), 10 podcast episodes (2 per week), 10 writing practices (2 per week, counting the writing I'm doing for class), and 2 hours of speaking practice (30 minutes per week). Quest Four: Job problems Y'all. My job is awful. And hiring season is HERE! (Okay, okay, so it's only technically here. February is usually still too early for interviews to start, but job postings are going up at least.) My goal is going to be to check posting at least every other day and apply to at least 20 during this challenge. That should be pretty easy, honestly, because I'm certified in so many subjects that as soon as a district puts up more than one position I'm eligible for, I likely can just copy my application over to all of them with a couple clicks. But hiring season usually picks up steam after spring break, so I'm trying to make sure I set a goal that can actually be achieved. Quest Five: Manicures Silly? Sure. But it's fun as self-care and why the heck not? Going to stick with my goal of 4 manicures this challenge and say I also want to try stamping a manicure (which may or may not work - apparently there can be quite a learning curve to stamping - but why not at least try, right?) Quest Six: The Odds and Ends Everything else I want to get done! In no particular order: 1. finish sorting second bedroom clothing and donate what I don't want anymore 2. buy and start seeds for garden 3. buy storage container and begin going through baby's outgrown clothing (there is a LOT, holy cow I haven't done this since he was in 3-6 month sizes - he wears 12-18 month now...) 4. try out at least one tailor and bring in my interview outfit if they're not terrible 5. sell at least 2 bags of books at Half Price Books