Top 5 Reasons I Love My Job

I work at an after school program for middle-schoolers, and though I may complain about it I do really love my job. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

#5. Free food

We have this tradition, that whenever one of the clubs makes food, they make enough for the rest of the teachers. This results in anything from cookies, to pies, to pizza, which is great, even if they are sometimes questionably made. 🙂 We also occasionally do dinners for the kids, including a Thanksgiving Dinner which included turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings for us and the kids.

#4. Good discussions

Last week I had a half hour discussion on the literary criticisms and qualifications of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight. I was talking to three 12-year-old girls. I never prouder of them than I was when they were able to give concise, well thought out reasons that Harry Potter is a much better book series than Twilight.

#3. It’s an excuse to be creative 

I usually run a craft club, and it has given me the opportunity to try out all of the projects I have pinned on my pinterest boards. 🙂 The coolest thing though, is how creative the kids are. I can give them the basic structure of a project, and they will take it in a totally different direction than I was thinking, and the finished product is way better than I could ever have imagined.

#2. I paid to act silly

One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to act like a middle-schooler. I get to play card games and foursquare, watch spongebob and Disney movies, and sing silly songs for absolutely no reason. AND I’m getting paid!

#1. Kids are honest 

The thing about working with kids is that they tend not to have a filter. At all. Though this can, and does, get them in trouble, I find it very refreshing. Whether it’s good (“You sing really good.”) or bad (“You were prettier before you dyed your hair. I don’t like it.”) you know what they are telling you the truth.

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Top 5 Songs on My iPod

They say what kind of music a person listens to says a lot about them. I listen to just about everything, so what does that say about me? To give you a taste of what I mean when I say everything, here are my top 5 most listened to songs on my iPod.

5. Populism Yea Yea!

(sorry for the swearing)

Favorite Line: “We’ll take the land back from the Indians. We’ll take the land back from the French and Spanish, and other people in other European countries, and other countries too, and also other places! … I’m pretty sure its our land anyway….”

This is the opening song from the rock musical, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Doane did this show my freshman year, and I fell in love with everything about it. The musical successfully melds punk rock and history, manages to offend every subgroup of people in the process (Blacks, Whites, Asians, Native Americans, handicapped people, you name it) while simultaneously providing a commentary on the current American government. I definitely recommend see the show at least once in your life.

4. Losing My Religion

Favorite Line: “Oh no I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough.”

Yes, this is the Glee version. Yes, I was a closet Gleek in high school. Don’t judge me! I absolutely loved the show, and watched religiously up until they made it to New York. After that they took the plot in so many new places and added too many new people and I started losing interest. Every time I listen to this song I feel a twinge of sadness, remembering that the guy singing is now deceased.

3. Falls Apart

Favorite Line: “She cries, she falls apart, ’til the one that she loves is back again.”

Sorry this song isn’t on YouTube, or it seems, anywhere else on the internet. So here is a link to a clip you can listen to instead.

This is from a Christian rock group called After the Order that popped up around my home town while I was in junior high/high school. They were my first ever concert. And my second. And my third. They played at my school’s “School’s Out Bash”, my town’s annual festival, and a small concert in a local church. I thought it was so awesome, because afterwards, they would just hang out with the audience, chatting, and signing things for hours. They were fairly small time, but they did have a song or two on the radio.

2. Wizard Love

Favorite Line: “I’ll slither up to you, you can be my lion cub.”

Meekakitty and HeyHiHello created this song, and it is one of many wizard rock songs I love. (For those of you who don’t know, wizard rock is a genre that has popped up around the Harry Potter series.) This song tells the unlikely love story between a Slytherin and a Gryffindor, two people who should dislike each other on pure principle.

1. Rock Star

(More swearing, a lot more swearing)

Favorite Line: “There’s no place in democracy for your brand of aristocracy. Take that sh*t back to Virginia!”

Another song from Bloody Bloody! This song takes place during Jackson’s campaign for president. Once again, great musical and I think everyone should watch it if they get the chance.

Other Songs I Love That Didn’t Make the List!

  • Carry on my Wayward Son- Kansas
  • Come Sail Away- Styx
  • Piano Man- Billy Joel
  • The Good Die Young- Billy Joel
  • I Write Sins not Tragedies- Panic! at the Disco
  • BFFF- Bowling for Soup
  • One Week- Bare Naked Ladies
  • Cell Block Tango- Chicago, the Musical
  • Endless Night- Lion King on Broadway
  • A Song About an Anglerfish- Hank Green

Harry Potter, Politics, and High School Speech Meets

Yay! It’s my first My Life Monday! The day where I get to tell you more about me!!

Every day I spend the lunch hour sitting in the campus coffee shop in a circle of couches, surrounded by music and theatre majors.

Theatre (and music) kids, in my opinion, are the best friends you can have. I have found that they are about the most accepting, eclectic, and crazy people (on our campus, at least). Our conversations can range from normal, to philosophical, to ranting, to humorous, to alarmingly inappropriate and back again all in a span of five minutes or less.

Most of us have competed in high school speech, and many are judges now, so today we had a 20 minute discussion on what poems, programs, and scripts work in competitive speech, and which ones should just never see the light of day again. Meanwhile, I was crocheting on one couch while someone else was knitting. Several people were on tumblr and would occasionally interrupt someone to share a particularly funny gif with everyone. People left and people joined, but the flow of conversation never ceased.

And then suddenly we were on the topic of Harry Potter.

I  love that I have the type of friends that not only know exactly which Hogwarts House they are in, but can seriously discuss the pros and cons of each, then seamlessly shift into a friendly debate over the current American political system.

I never know what I’m going to hear in conversations. We are equally likely to discuss the thematic and symbolistic meaning behind a specific character in a play or novel as we would be to have a dead baby joke competition.

I love my lunch hours with my friends, because I know whatever I say or do I will be accepted.

Quote of the Day: Mirror of Erised

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

This quote is from JK Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry has found the Mirror of Erised, which shows the observer what they most desire, in Harry’s case, his family. He spends many nights staring into the mirror before Professor Dumbledore steps in. He warns Harry that many people have died sitting in front of that mirror, longing for their dreams.

This is a very powerful statement. We are taught from a young age that we can and should pursue our dreams, and if we work hard enough and long enough, eventually they will come true.

But at what cost? What do we sacrifice for our dreams?

In the movie Click, Michael Newman wants the perfect life. He thinks the first step is his dream job. With the help of a magical universal remote he starts to skip parts of his life to reach his goals. He is convinced that after he gets over this cold, or as soon as he gets that next promotion, he will be happy. He then realizes he has skipped through his entire life, neglecting his family and friends, and he still doesn’t have the ‘perfect life’.

Rowling’s quotation reminds us that, though goals and dreams are important, we should find happiness in our lives here in the present instead of constantly looking to the future for happiness.