SOL #30 The Masterpiece

“Joe, put your drawings,” I instructed my student from across the room.

“You mean masterpieces,” he shot back confidently.

I rolled my eyes. 

“Okay, put your -air quotes- masterpieces away,” I replied with a half smile, half smirk.

What would later ensue would be a “deal” of some sorts, bartering for Tiger Tickets, a hot currency at our school, hoping for money or a chance to peek at my Pokemon Go account.

The deal was settled. Not just telling, but observing with his own eyes, my  Pokemon Go team and collection for a “masterpiece”. We even shook on it. 

A day later, we were both disappointed when realization that my Pokemon Go account, shared with my Fiance, had been deleted. 

I let him know the bad news. His eyes went up and to the side, like they do even he really thinks. 

Finally he said, “This one’s on the house.”

Hahaha!!! This IS a masterpiece. And it WILL BE FRAMED.

It’s times like these that I wouldn’t trade my job for the world. 🌎 🍎😂


I am problem solver
I am march through the halls problem solver

I am problem solver
I am tough as nails problem solver

I am problem solver
I am knees deep in issues problem solver

I am problem solver
I am up to my eyes in defiance problem solver

I am problem solver
I am Don’t let them get you down! problem solver

I am problem solver
I am speak up, use your voice problem solver

I am problem solver
I am passion-ignited problem solver

I am problem solver
I am do not settle for less problem solver

I am problem solver
I am stand strong, sturdy soul problem solver

I am problem solver
I am queen of NO problem solver

I am problem solver
I am bend the rules, make it work, flexible problem solver

I am problem solver
I am grind your teeth, get ready for the fight problem solver

I am problem solver
I am tears don’t hold me back problem solver

I am problem solver
I am beyond the box, mind-stretching problem solver

I am problem solver
I am heart-to-heart, care about you problem solver

I am problem solver




SOL #26 Surprise Envelope…or Two



In the midst of packing… surrounded by boxes, picture frames, medicine bottles, shelves, dog toys, I discovered a few treasures. Some old notes from students, a couple of tickets from a Regina Spektor concert, and a bag of envelopes.

I looked down, and smiled, all giddy-like and read aloud, “Open when you’re stressed.”

That certainly describes me now…report cards and grades due, Parent/Teacher Conferences, and moving to a new place all in one week! I eagerly ripped open the envelope and removed the contents.

Moments later, spilled on the floor were an inscribed note from a friend reminding me that it’ll be okay, some bubble wrap, and a button that reads, “I got 99 problems but they can wait until tomorrow.”

Within seconds the button was reflecting light off my chest.


FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (3).jpg

And then I reached for the “Open when you’re happy! :)” envelope.

With even more speed than the first envelope, I tore open the letter case and peeked inside. I slipped the prizes on my feet and obeyed the command to “Happy Dance”.

My feet read “HAPPY”, my mind read “HAPPY”.

And, although this is a most stressful time, it’s such a happy one! I’m so excited and am charging full speed into the face of change.FullSizeRender (2).jpg

I’m just so lucky to have friends like this to be there for me when they’re not even here. Thank you, Jill!
Even though I was almost too patient in waiting to open these little prize envelopes and in by doing so, forgot of their existence, these little surprises made this moment so special to me. I love you!

SOL #25 Home

It’s funny how a house becomes a home.
How spaces are filled with things 
and moments
and love.

And, as I pack away my belongings, looking to a brighter future for my fiance and I, I can’t help but feel a sadness for what I’m leaving behind.

Like how Pudge, my French Bulldog, can’t walk down the stairs because they’re too steep, so we have to carry him.
Or how my cats tight-rope walk across the balcony, even though it’s a little shaky.
How about when we used to bump our heads because of the slanted ceilings, but now, somehow, our bodies have adapted and bending my head ever so slightly becomes a natural movement without a thought.
I know I’ll miss the way my future mother-in-law goes out of her way to fill the house with bacon smells on the weekend mornings and laundry fumes by before the next week begins.
I can’t imagine not stealing a hug from my niece any time I please.
It pains me to think about my fiance not being in the same room as me when I’m sleeping…because he’s videogaming all night.
Sitting on the couch with the reminder -and smell- of coffee nearby.

There are so many things, moments, memories we have created in this place. I’m so grateful for this fraction of our lives; I will certainly miss it.

But even more than that, I know that we’re ready for the next fraction, a stepping stone, into a new place that will become our home 
filled with things,
and moments,
and love.

SOL #23 Voice

Today I faced many challenges, both personal and professional.

This year I face many challenges, both personal and professional.

I swallowed in the hard air

held it

and huffed out the rest.

“Voiiiicccceeeeee,” said the air.

“Yes,” said my heart.

“I see it,” said my eyes.

“All right,” said my fists.

“On our way,” said my feet.

“Let’s do this,” said my mind.

And we did.

SOL #21 Living by Example

Recently I traveled to Philadelphia for a teaching conference. I had a bit of jet lag-or time lapse issues, which is a real thing, ladies and gentlemen. …Even with just an hour difference, the travel, the back and forth in a few short days was a lot for my mind and body to handle.

I’m exhausted. So that’s probably why I decided to start my blog post there, like I have to justify what I’m about to say, although I’m sure many of you avid bloggers noticed…

I missed the past few days. 😦

The first one, getting back into the groove of teaching, of being on Illinois time, of preparing for Report Cards…I just forgot. There wasn’t even a moment I remembered that day, Day 19.

Maybe I was living in the moment. Yeah, that’s totally it. Maybe I was just busy; Who knows, but I was definitely bummed as I told myself that THIS year I would blog EVERY day since I had only blogged 30 days last year.

And then, without realization, it was Day 21 and I hadn’t blogged again!!!
WHAT! I had timers that didn’t ring. I had ideas that weren’t written.
What happened?! I couldn’t even tell you.

I’m not so forgiving, my students are not so forgiving, but, I am forced to remind myself that this experience teaches an important lesson.

It will serve as a reminder that teachers are human too, that everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes we don’t always “win”.
It also requires us to recognize that having WRITTEN verses not written at all is more important. It tells me to celebrate the days that writing did occur (18, now 19) compared to the 2 days of missing…18/19 is a pretty high number if you ask me!
This moment also gives me the opportunity to highlight my co-teacher and instead of focusing on myself and what I didn’t do, celebrate what my first year co-teacher HAS done, which is blog EVERY SINGLE day so far (crossing fingers so I don’t jinx it 😛 )!!!! Let’s not make this moment about me, let’s celebrate what I didn’t do, but a friend, a colleague, a partner did. Shout out: Go, you, Brittany! 🙂

So, today I live by example in the most difficult ways and with bruised pride, but here I am standing, ready to write, and ready for round 3. I NEVER give up.

Slice of Life 2018, I’M READY FOR YOU.

SOL #18 Fits of Laughter

My tongue peels off the roof of my mouth.

 Have we taken off yet? I asked myself while starring out the window of the American Airlines plane.

My eyes begged the same question as they scanned the isle, the windows, the nearby seats.

Parched, cried my throat.

I was desperate. And, as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. I figured I waited long enough, so I stretched to get my water bottle and yanked it up from below my legs.

My hand frantically searched for the  mouth-piece release button and eagerly pushed it in.

Without warning, water spewed like a fountain from my water bottle directly into the plane ceiling above me! 

But not just above me…

“What was that?!” Said the man diagonally in front of me, looking around.

“I don’t know…” Trailed the woman positioned in the seat before me, still searching for the source.


“Look!” Pointed the man at the cluster of water droplets dangling above his companion’s head. 

He was answered with a puzzled look and could only respond with a face of confusion.

Where had the water come from on a plane over 30,000 feet high???!

I did everything I could to suppress my fits of laughter. Hold your breath, Amanda! 

I think it’s safe to say, we are well in the air.

Thanks, air pressure.

SOL #17

Dancing with my best friend. 

Feeling alive with each sway, each movement of body to the beat. 

Moment alive, in the music we live. 

Tomorrow is the something that hasn’t happened yet. 

Yesterday is the nothing that occurred. 

I am here. 

I am now. 


Today was a haze. Waking up, or rather, not going to bed the night before worrying about flying for the first time by myself. Hang only flown as a lost puppy a mere four years ago.

Or maybe it was the fact that the Uber ride ditched us  in the morning and threatened my arrival time by leaving without a word.  Perhaps it was the fact that my looming health issue blossomed into a burning rose.

“You can come to the front now, you’re prescription has been filled,” said the doctor at what had to be faster than lightning speed.

“Okay!” I relied, speed walking to catch up to her.

“Weeeeee ohhhhh!” blared the blindingly shiny silver light on the wall.

“There has been, ” spoke the speaker on the wall, “an emergency reported in the building, please go to fire stairwells and do not use elevators.”

I smelled smoke, but didn’t see. Luckily as fire trucks sped to us, the doctor allowed me to leave.
When I finally made it back to my hotel, I was pooped. Five o’clock PA time meant I lost and hour and still needed to be functioning at six for our dinner and work time.

My mind went to it… “Just fifteen minutes??” I begged myself, like I was a child.

I allowed it, springing up into action when the time was up only to be startled by, “There has been an emergency reported in the building, please go to fire stairwells and do not use elevators.”

“WHAT?! AGAIN??!!” I thought. This is a different building!!

There was never a reason given for why both alarms were triggered.. All I know is that no matter where I go, ALL OF PHILADELPHIA IS I ON FIRE!!! 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥