Saturday, June 4, 2011

What do you love?

1. If you are my former student and you are reading this post, I love you, but stop reading now. That's creepy, quit stalking me! Anyone else: stalk at your own risk. The internet is a (seemingly) anonymous place. Shout out to: Husband, Mom, BFF! (My only faithful readers! Much love.)

So. I have not blogged since October, but for some reason, I have decided to write a new post. I decided that I don't need to know details of everyone's lives, nor does everyone need to know the details in mine. In fact, I feel that an online community is a pretty strange concept. For example, some people who are currently reading my blog do not talk to me- ever. Don't feel bad... I do the same thing! It's weird, isn't it? I made a recent realization about myself, and I am sure I am not the only one in this category. When I spend to much time outside of my own private thoughts I lose a connection with my own passion. My desires and goals are no longer shaped by my heart, but by what I see and hear from others. More on this concept in later blog posts.

I am not much for making New Year's resoultions. I have found that people do not really resolve to do that which they are impassioned, but instead, resolve to do that which they feel they must to keep up with their peers. The age-old "keeping up with the Joneses" dilemma. I mean, do you really want to read the entire Bible in one year, or is that a band wagon you have jumped on? Do you really want to taking cooking classes? Do you really want to participate in a triathlon? You get the idea... silly goals based on silly reasons. NOTE: I am not against any of these if they are coming from an out pour of your own desires for fulfillment in life. My advice: Stick to setting goals that belong only to you. The only way to discover this is to spend time in solitude getting to know you. STOP reading everyone's blog, STOP spending hours reading your facebook newsfeed, and STOP watching so much damn (Hee-Hee) TV! That is all just noise. Loud, annoying, superficial noise.

Ok, back on track: New Year's resolutions. My goals this year focused putting my ever precious time into something I love: books. Hot, sexy, beautiful, books. Oh yeah... One book every month for life (Thought: Why do we only make goals one year at a time?). The only requirement is the book must not be a book I am teaching: that's work not leisure- I am, after all, an English teacher. Here is my progress thus far.

January: Light in August by William Faulkner. Loved it. I love to read anything that when I reach the end I only have a fraction of an understanding about what the darn thing was about. Nuff said.

February: Omnivore's Dilemma. Life changing. Food is a powerful force. Eat wisely.

March: Great Expectations. This was more a test of endurance. I am not a big British Literature fan, but I did learn the importance of finishing what you start. This one is slightly cheating since I taught it in the Fall.

April: Brownsville, a collection of short stories about the border town of Texas. Entertaining. I am sure there is more to it than I got out of it.
Also in April, The Catcher in the Rye. I thought it was entirely overrated, that is until I reached the end. A brilliant novel. A true reflection of humanity and of growing up.

May: The Hound of the Baskerville. A Sherlock Holmes book. SO FUN! You are totally lame if you don't read this one before you die.

June: I am working on Wuthering Heights. Not looking too good...

What would you recommend for me to read? I plan to read at least a couple books a month this summer.

More of what I love in future blog posts.


Monday, October 25, 2010

New background, new adventures

How do you like the new background?

I am currently in the process of applying to graduate school at Baylor. I'm not sure what will come of it, but I'm sending my application in nevertheless. I have a mountain of papers to grade and a GRE prep book waiting to be cracked open, but I have a terrible headache and can't seem to get anything done that requires much brain power. I usually reserve blog posts for when I have something important to say, but for write now I just want to do something simple that does not involve school in anyway. I take the GRE on Thursday so keep me in your prayers!

In other news, Will and I are running a 5k on Saturday, November 6th. I have been very good about getting outside and running, and now I am in the final stretch before the race. This 5k is a family tradition to honor my grandmother would passed away from a brain tumor. It's called the Angel Walk, and it helps to raise money for brain cancer research. Check it out and support the cause!

The last adventure for me is my current non-school book, Unchristian It is a book that was developed out of research conducted by the Barna group to explore the major negative perceptions of Christians by those outside of the church. The book is a challenging and insightful read, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking to deepen their faith. I have found several opportunities to begin conversations with people (Christian and not) based on my reading.

This is not a very exciting post. I promise to include a funny husband, dog, or student story next time.

Enjoy your Monday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

English Class-- Room 223 with the Stutz

I intended to post about the new school year much sooner than October, but I am just now wrapping up my August/September to do list! Those of you in education probably are feeling about the same way.

This year has been a good one thus far. I am teaching four sections of English III and one section of Pre-AP English I. My students are WONDERFUL this year (all 126 of them!! That's a jump from my total of 108 from last year). In fact, they are so good that I am just now realizing how naughty my group was last year...

We have experienced many changes this year at MHS, and I have left school on several occasions feeling discouraged and exhausted. There are several mornings that I just don't want to get up and lock myself up in room 223- white walls, funny smells, trash on the floor, stolen pencils, wondering what the weather is like outside, eating an entire "meal" in 20 minutes- but then something magical happens as 126 faces flow in and out of 223. Somehow in the middle of discussing the format of an essay, Great Expecations, or the difference between participle and gerund phrases I am reminded of why I am there locked away in 223- all 126 reasons. As long as I enjoy being with my students I will continue to be a teacher. I truly believe there is no greater ministry, no greater calling, no more challenging profession than that of being a GREAT teacher. Being certified to teach is not difficult. Being in a classroom everyday is not very difficult. But making a difference in the lives of students is difficult. I love what I do some part of everyday, maybe not all day every day, but every day nonetheless.

For your enjoyment I will leave you with some of my favorite lines from my juniors' in class, timed persuasive essays. Oh high school!

Topic 1: Is boxing a viable sport or just a brutal enterprise?
-- "There is nothing better than watching two guys beat the piss out of one another."

Topic 2: Does society place too high a price on beauty?
-- "It really depends. Some brands are more expensive like Redken. Other, might I say cheap, brands like equate don't cost much. In some ways beauty is expensive in other ways, like equate, beauty doesn't cost much."

Topic 3: Is technology worth the risk to our health?
--"Advancements such as text messaging has taken away our face to face communication. Face to face communicate is important because you get to experience all of the five senses- hearing, touching, talking, tasting, and seeing."

Topic 4: Is the cost of space exploration worth the knowledge gained?
--"Haven't you seen Armageddon??"

I love my job.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dog pack?

It's no surprise that Will and I are HUGE dog lovers, so when the opportunity came to add one more that's exactly what we did.

Meet Molly our 9 week old Shih Tzu.

Molly was a gift from my step mom who is a breeder. She is a wonderful puppy, and we are very happy with our choice to add her to the pack! If you are wondering how Rubin and Ava are handling it... a picture says a thousand words.

Rubin can't get enough of the new puppy and wants to play all the time. Ava on the other hand does not appreciate Molly's sharp puppy teeth and in her defense, they do hurt pretty bad.

Hope you and your "pack" are enjoying summer! More from the Stutz family soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 4th, thank goodness!

Today marks the official end of my first year of teaching. I have turned in my grade reports, attendance reports, key checks, etc., etc. I am relieved that I made it through this CRAZY year! I have been so blessed to have shared this past year with 110 16 year olds who have made a tremendous impact on my life. While I do care deeply about this group of kids I'm definitely ready for a new start, (with new rules!) with new kids, and a new classroom (with a window). So far I am still teaching 11th American Lit. but there is a possibility that I will teach Pre-AP too! Wouldn't that be the bomb???

Today was a very busy last day of school as we honored our seniors with a commencement ceremony. I am so proud of our students at MHS! Way to go Panthers 2010! Even though teaching is ALWAYS an emotional (and sometimes physical) strain, days like these remind me of why I teach. The students are why I am there- their hugs, their smiles, their brilliance, their gratitude, their commitment, and their futures. NO negativity, NO poor administrative choices (ha!), NO broken classroom doors (another story for another blog...) can stop me from continuing my important work with students. As I take this much needed break from all things related to high school, I certainly cannot wait to be new another group of 16 year olds ready to start their junior year in Miss Adams (wait, Mrs. Stutz this year!) in junior English!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random Saturday Thoughts

Random Thoughts that make me smile:

Smile #1: Today after Will gets off work we are headed to Fort Worth to spend time with the family and meet our new niece Hadley. Hadley was born April 2nd and from her pictures she is absolutely beautiful!

Smile #2:Last night Will and I went to see "Date Night." It was funny and we had a good time hanging out together. I enjoy the time that Will and I can share laughing and talking. It is nice to always have your best friend around. Yay, marriage.

Smile #3: This past week was crazy at school as my kids are finishing up their research papers!!! Now that we are past the HUGE research paper assignment, we can have fun and read more literature!! My sixth period was pretty entertaining yesterday as we read "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner. If you have read the story you know the "n-word"is used several times throughout the story. While race is not a major theme in this particular story it was still important for me establish a safe environment and create an open dialogue about the word to my racially diverse class. I begin my whole spill about the time period, and attempt to explain to my students in a mature setting the magnitude of words. Yeah, right... my kids' solution was to substitute the "n-word" to the word "nacho."Just imagine how ridiculous that sounds... I have a feeling that we might need to go back to a few passages on Monday to make sure they remember ANYTHING from the story except the "nacho servant in Miss Emily's house." Ah, 16 year olds! My job is certainly not easy, but I LOVE those kids. They can humble me with their brilliance, sincerity, passion, understanding, and smiles. They can also shock me with their apathy, immaturity, and poor choices... But no matter what, at the end of the day those are my kids and I would do anything to help them find success. Teaching definitely plays with your emotions!

I hope your Saturday is full of sunshine, good books, laughs, smiles, and SLEEPY PUPPIES! That is certainly mine today. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Adams to Stutz in 14 days!

Will and I will be married two weeks from today! After an 11 month engagement, it seems hard to believe that this day is actually almost here. Oh, and today I take bridal portraits! I'm so excited to put on my dress and break in my wedding shoes. ;) I am happy that the wedding planning is coming to an end and a new beginning is on the horizon. My photographer is AMAZING and we have some really great ideas for today. I am most excited to mimic a photo of my mother-in-law to be on her wedding day. Let's just hope it turns out... I'll be sure to post both photos after the wedding... stay tuned!

Yesterday marked the beginning of spring break. Let's just say between completing the TAKS test and guiding my kids through writing a research paper, I really, really needed a break from my kids for their personal safety. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my 11th graders but that's the problem... I love them enough to drag them through the two most important tasks they undertake in the 11th grade. Yesterday I also was fortunate to speak some of my favorite people on the phone-Brady, Kelley, Leslie, and of course, my mom and Will. It was so good to talk to my friends and get filled in on their lives. I am so fortunate to have such faithful friends and family. It certainly makes me miss home! I can't wait to see Leslie this week and my entire wedding party on the weekend of March 20th!!!!

Two more weeks! Two more weeks!!!!!!