The Awesome Within the Awkward

Well hello there! Guess who finished her student teaching….

This girl!!!


(This was the resulting aftermath from 80’s day.)

It just so happens I was the only one who dressed up for the occasion…


It was okay though, I had enough awesome to go around.

This dress up day was for a unit I was doing on Dialogue Through the Ages in which students took quotes from Shakespeare and rewrote them using slang from other time periods.

It was rad.

I didn’t want to be the only ridiculously awkward awesome teacher in the hall so I took it upon myself to include a few of the other teachers in the fun by casting them as members of some of Shakespeare’s best works.


 Yeah… so I’ve been busy. I’ve been lost in the land of middle school and let me just say that it is as awkward as an adult as it was when you were a kid.

I thought the last two weeks would be a marvelous time to wind down. I thought there would come a point where it would all be downhill. But that time never came, it turns out there was nothing but peaks to climb… never. ending. peaks.  There was a point within the last week that I had only slept about three hours a night and the only thing I had managed to consume was coffee.

There were times where I wasn’t so sure I would be able to make it through with my sanity in tact.  But during those times the kids always did something special right when I needed it. One day when I was walking out of my classroom I shut my door behind me and found a bunch of little sticky notes stuck to the back of it.


All of these notes had nice things to say on them.

Who knew middle schoolers could be so sweet?! I teared up a little, grabbed my basket of grading and headed home feeling rejuvenated, knowing that all of the hard work I was putting in was worth it.


I spent the last two weeks grading memoirs. I have 125 students and each student made a book that had about 7 chapters in it. I was told to just focus on a few chapters in the book to leave comments on otherwise I might die trying to read everything. This was the plan I had in mind but ultimately I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right, I had to acknowledge everything that they had written to me.

I was the one who taught them how to write, how to hook their reader and how to be reflective and honest… and I must say, I did a damn good job. They all had so much to say that I didn’t feel like it would be right not to acknowledge it. After all, what they really want is to be heard. Isn’t that was everyone wants?

So, that was the reason for my disappearance on the blog. I was busy grading a never-ending stack of memoirs… and it just so happened to be the most rewarding experience. I learned so much about the kids I had become close to and it was my chance to leave them notes of encouragement in all facets of their lives.

By the time the last day had rolled around I was more sad than excited that it was coming to an end. Before I walked out of the door I received hugs, well wishes and even more notes that made my heart swell…


and some that made me laugh…


I didn’t know what to do with myself when I got home. This was the end of a ten year journey. I’ve persevered through so many obstacles to get to this point and all I could think was…

“What now?”

It was very anticlimactic, so I did what anyone would do after a long journey…. I took off my pants.

I peeled the contacts off of my eyeballs and put my old man glasses and baggy PJ’s on. Brent wasn’t feeling well and had ordered pizza to celebrate. When I heard a knock on the door I answered it and I was surprised to find 5 friends standing outside with flowers and champagne.


It was the best surprise!


The celebration was short lived because I still had to turn in my final project for my class. My brain was completely fried and I was not prepared for it to take me 5 hours to compile all of the work I had done into a portfolio. After I turned it in I felt nervous. I can’t leave anything out or I fail the whole process and I’ll have to start all over again.

So, I haven’t truly let my hair down to celebrate just yet. I’m waiting to get the results of my final before I do my happy dance.

Until then, I’m going to try to get back into the groove of my former healthy life.

That means we are back to our regular schedule. You’ll see three posts a week, weigh-ins (ugh), monthly pictures (super UGH),  healthy recipes, workouts and my reflections on life in general.

I’ve missed you guys and I can’t wait to get connected again! So tell me… what have you been up to?!?!


3 thoughts on “The Awesome Within the Awkward

  1. Congratulations Nina! What a huge accomplishment!!!

    I’m glad you will be back. I have missed your posts that always make me smile. And laugh. And maybe, on occasion, snort laugh. 🙂

  2. Wow! Reading this is the closest I have come to feeling accomplished since…? Well done Nina-Noo. Bloody hard work.

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