OMG what is she wearing? She’s just asking for it.

When I was 17, I was privately and publicly shamed by an administrator in my school. A woman I respected and admired told me that I couldn’t dress like the other girls. Because I had a more voluptuous body, a body I was already ashamed of because it was bigger than most teen girls, a body that I’d kill to have back, but one that I didn’t understand apparently held power against horny teenage boys. (I’ll tell you a secret, though: it didn’t. My body was not what teenage boys were looking for. It was something adult men found attractive, though. And I suppose THAT’S why I was told that my outfit was unacceptable.)

Rape culture and dress codes

What was I wearing you ask?

In the peak of the new Millennium, I could have been wearing a tiny crop top and tight flared jeans. Short shorts and a skimpy tank. A two-piece prom dress that left nothing to the imagination.

But I was stylish in my short overalls with thick straps and a fully covered abdomen. The problem was in the strapless tube top that covered my breasts and stomach. It gasp showed my shoulders. But not any more than one of the very popular camisoles of the time. Not any more revealing than anything any of my cheerleading peers, who were much thinner than me, were wearing on that warm May afternoon.

And I was called out. By a female administrator whose name I still remember with crystal clarity. Who tried to mark me as her equal in womanhood.

“Women like us have to be conscientious of how we dress. We can’t wear the same clothes as the other girls.”

She was nothing like me. Tall, thin, in her mid to late 40’s. She didn’t understand me. She didn’t know me. And she certainly wasn’t like me.

But she did have the power to make me wear an old hoodie from the bottom of my locker over my overalls the rest of the day. The rest of that hot, spring day in an un-air-conditioned high school.

And I did. Because I was terrified of getting in trouble (save all those tardy detentions). Because I believed in authority. Because, at 17, I was already ashamed enough of my body.

This is what rape culture looks like. Rape culture shames a woman or a young girl into thinking she can’t dress a certain way, because boys and men can’t control themselves.

Rape culture lets men like Brock Turner out of jail after 3 short months, even though he ruined a woman’s life. He violated her body, and because of his “bright” future, he got off easy.

Brock Turner is out of jail. Do you remember him? You should. And you should probably stay away from him. Because he can’t control himself around women. And instead of the government keeping him away from and protecting us, we must do our best to stay away from him. We’re told to dress less provocatively and not to drink alcohol, instead of men like Brock being told not to fucking rape.

Well, I’m sick of this bullshit. For 16 years, I’ve held that memory of the school administrator telling me that “women like us need to be careful what we wear” for far too long. And school dress codes that favor boys, limit girls and promote rape culture need to disappear.

Let’s teach the right way to behave and stop worrying how people dress.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Musical Chairs Featuring Chris Infusino

Today, I’ve rustled up something REALLY special for you guys. I am surrounded by beautiful musical people. I grew up around them and with them. Music has always been something important to me, even if I can’t tell you the name of the song or the band who played it. You bet your ass I’m still singing along to it.

In high school, I met an incredibly talented drummer. The drum line was way more fun than the football players…and usually more interesting.  Really, though…I met several incredibly talented musicians. So, hopefully (if you enjoy this), I’ll be able to continue this spot once a month for several months.

Chris Infusino The Vim Dicta

My Music Theory AP class senior year of HS. So much raw talent. So many amazing musicians. And then there was me.

Somewhere in the crowd of teenagers, you’ll find my friend, Chris. Who I invited to Turnabout my senior year. With my mom’s rules about me needing a date for any school dance paired with the previous Homecoming date FLOP, I knew I needed to go with someone who would be ridiculous amounts of fun. A friend that would rock out on the dance floor and not need babysitting. That friend was Chris. I was nervous about asking him (I remember internally panicking and then just…doing it) but he was all like, yep! Which, looking back makes me wonder if someone had already pre-asked him on my behalf in typical high school fashion…

By far the best date I ever had to a school dance, Chris was (still is) awesome. We were both social butterflies, so tearing up the dance floor with all of our different people wasn’t a problem. I recall (and this could be a foggy-it-was-more-than-10-years-ago memory/nostalgia) that we had a pretty fabulous time.

Chris Infusino

We were both smiley and adorbs for 17-year-olds. right?

I recently re-connected with Chris to discover that yet another of my amazing classmates was living their musical dream. And I needed to share that will you.

I do hope that you’ll welcome him into our little tribe here. Without further ado, I give you Chris Infusino (as answering questions that I asked of him).

I’m Chris Infusino, and I live life exactly how I wish to live it. I’m a professional drummer, currently in the band The Vim Dicta, living in Los Angeles, CA. Also worked as a session drummer in Chicago, Nashville, and most recently, New York City. I’m also a classic car nut, machinist, carpenter, engine builder, and professional ice cream tester.

Chris InfusinoI play pretty much anything one can hit…so versatile percussionist? I mostly play big ass rock & roll drums though, and is how I make my living. I do sing…and not just in the shower. I’ve been playing for 18 years. I’ve literally played all over the states, and also did a USO tour in the Middle East back in ’09.

So many stories to tell… I’d say playing Carnegie Hall was pretty sweet, doing a record with my current band, The Vim Dicta at Capitol Records Studios was off the hook!! Recording on Dr. John’s record in New York City. Playing festivals in front of 50,000 people….it’s all pretty amazing. I love my job! I JUST started writing with my band, The Vim Dicta.

The Vim Dicta 3Top 5 Musical Moments: Hmmmm……….

  1. Recording at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, CA w/ The Vim Dicta
  2. Carnegie Hall in New York City, w/ World Civic Orch. playing drums with a 175 piece orchestra.
  3. Recording w/ Dr. John on his latest record, with a good chunk of Bob Dylan’s and Saturday Night Live’s bands also on the record.
  4. Playing with Buddy Guy in Chicago back when I first went “full time”.
  5. Playing in my parents basement for years and to about 1000 records. Very thankful for this one…

Routines or rituals: I don’t “practice” drums too much anymore…I’m always playing with my band, The Vim Dicta or with friends!

Chris InfusinoI practice chocolate consumption, beer testing, drummer faces that don’t make me look like a dumb ass (if that’s possible) and letting life carry me where it will without any expectation of the future….OH, and I practice never EVER, EVER, EVER having to wear a suit…unless it’s a funky sexy one for the Grammy’s or something…

The Vim Dicta 2Musical Influences: My parents (Mom is a singer, Dad a drummer) Fave musicians, anyone, man or woman, that can move me and make me smile and dance.

Other influences: The world around me.

Success in the musical world or in general: Finding true friends, and getting to spend time or make music with them. I happy dance EVERYWHERE!! It spreads good juju to the masses!!

The moment: I was 16. Started getting asked to play in bands, also I was practicing like 8 hours a day, and saying “F*ck You” to homework…pretty much knew then I had to do this.

On a side note, thank you to my parents, guidance counselor, and the few teachers who believed in me enough to get my ass in gear so I could move on, and live my life.

What do I hope to communicate through music? Good juju and the want for women to do sexy interpretive dances…

Ultimate Plan: To never have a plan. I’m exactly where I need to be.

Want to connect with Chris and hear more music from The Vim Dicta?

The Vim DictaPretty cool cat, am I right?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Monday Memories: Dress Code Discrimination?

I read about this controversial dress code from Delightfully Ludicrous and I just knew that a rant had to happen.

So I thought I could make it more fun by offering you my very own dress code story and incorporating it into Monday Memories.

Monday Memories

So today, friends, Monday Memories is all about dress codes.

First and foremost, I want to state for the record that it’s a sad sad state of things when the dress code of a child in kindergarten is considered compromised. The fact that it needs to exist at all? Baffling.

I got in trouble in grade school for wearing a tee-shirt featuring Spuds McKenzie, because it represented beer.

But never in a million years would my mother have let me out of the house in a freaking push up bra at 7. Or a thong. A freakin’ thong. I see younger and younger girls at Victoria’s Secret every time I stop in. (Which is a lot, because I have an obsession. And it’s not with their underwear. Yoga pants. Yoga crops. Yoga leggings. Yoga shorts.) But these little girls are buying thongs.

I STILL don’t like thongs.

So back to dress codes. After watching the news clip of the little girl who got in trouble for wearing a hello kitty outfit with a skort and tights (for the skort being “too short”), I was appalled. And annoyed. Because school administrators are very picky about who has to turn their shirts inside out, who has to wear their gym clothes, who has to be sent home. I feel like they may have discriminated against this girl. Not necessarily because of her race, but for anything. Maybe the school didn’t like the way her mother dressed. Maybe the school admins didn’t like the mother. I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

It happened to me once in high school. Because I was the chubby girl. Now in high school, I wasn’t fat. But I was bigger than a lot of the other girls. One of my favorite go-to warm-weather clothing items (when I wasn’t wearing pajamas to school-which I did a lot) was a tube top and overall shorts. I know. Classy. But I liked it. I thought I looked nice. My mom thought I looked nice. The overalls had straps that fit the school’s dress code criteria and lots of girls dressed that way. It wasn’t revealing. At all.

But one day I got pulled to the side by an administrator who politely informed me that it was gym shirt or get sent home. I had a sweatshirt in my locker that I was able to throw over my outfit (though I was sweltering) and I made it through the day. She was discriminating against me, because I was the chubby girl with boobs. She basically told me it was because girls with chests shouldn’t wear clothing like I was wearing. There wasn’t even cleavage showing (well, not any more than the skinny girls showed, anyways).

dress code discrimination

This was not the set in question. This was actually MORE revealing than the one that got me in trouble. I wore this on the last week of school as a “Fuck You” to the administrator who called me out the first time. Guess what? No one said a word. So they pick and choose their battles.

I was pissed, but I survived. And fortunately so will the little girl in her Hello Kitty cuteness. Let’s just hope she doesn’t start shopping and A&F or Victoria’s Secret for bras and thongs next year when she’s 7.

Go visit Lily at It’s a Dome Life for more dress code memories!

So what about you guys? Ever felt like someone in charge was calling you out because you were different?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sneaking In is WAY Harder than Sneaking Out

I thought I’d talk to you guys about sneaking out. Or in. Or doing some type of “sneaking.” Me? I don’t think I’ve ever snuck out. I was a good kid. My mama raised me right.  (If you didn’t read that one, I highly recommend it.) I didn’t drink or do drugs. I didn’t do too many crazy things. I mean, I was a teenager at some point, so I did SOME stupid shit… (Like piling a lot of kids into my Explorer) but I was overall a pretty good girl.

One weekend, though. Columbus Day Weekend. My senior year of high school. My brother and I were left to our own devices. Sort of. Because there was Felix. Grandpa. G. However you sliced it, our 85 year old grandfather still lived with us. But my brother and I had big plans that weekend. My best friend (who was also my brother’s pal) was going to sleep over. And we were going to go dancing at Zero Gravity (the juice bar that we weren’t allowed to go to-because there were drugs there…even though I had already been there a few times over the previous year. Sleepovers were great.)

Sneaking In

Elizabeth’s mom had a pretty high regard for me among most of her friends, so it was easy to say she was coming to my house. Neither of our parents knew that there would be dancing at the club. (Or should I say in da club? What do the cool kids say these days?) Our other friend Rae came over to join us, though she wasn’t planning on sleeping over.

We got ready by dressing in tiny spandex skorts and skimpy sparkle shirts, said goodbye to G and the four of us hopped into Melba Toast (the Explorer). We made our way to Zero Gravity (which seemed SO FAR AWAY-and really I live like 10 minutes from it now).

We danced our little hearts out. Warded off dirty older (like 19-year-old old) guys by dancing with each other. My brother was falling asleep on the bench, so he took the keys and went to sleep in the car. When the club closed, we made our way out (around one I think), and headed home.

I’ve drawn a little “art” to demonstrate how we got home.

Going out Dancing and coming home to a locked houseSneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...Sneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...Sneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...Sneaking into the house is hard when you're a teenager...

The stupid dog was going to ruin EVERYTHING.

Sneaky!

Yes, I would leave him to believe I was just in the laundry room…for God only knows why. Real bright, Chris.

Tricky Grandpas and Tricky Granddaughters

He mumbled a lot of shit under his breath about not believing a word I said, but he went back to bed anyways. After I was assured that he was back in his room, I “let the dog out” in order to let my brother and Elizabeth in. We went to bed and all was (sort of) well.

When your grandfather still doesn't believe you

G mentioned it again when my parents came home, but I just kept brushing it off. Hopefully, he knew I still loved him even though I lied through my teeth…and let’s be honest. I’m a TERRIBLE fucking liar.

How about you, Blog Friends? Ever snuck in or out? How’d that work out for you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Monday Memories: Snow Day

I live in the Midwest. We get snow. Sometimes, we get a lot of snow. Like a couple of years ago during the giant Chicago Blizzard of 2011, also known as SnO-M-G, Snomageddon, or The Snopocalypse, when the world as we (Chicagoans) know it was put on hold for a whole week(which actually felt like a lifetime.)

When I was a senior in high school, I had a car that I will one day write a whole post about (it was that awesome). And in our neighborhood, the bus was nasty, overcrowded, and smelled really really really really really bad. So even before I had a car, Mom drove our bus-hating asses to school every morning. And picked our bus-hating asses up every evening (My brother and I were also 2.5 season athletes, so we often needed the late night pick-up, anyways.)

So when my senior year came, and I was granted the coveted spot at one of the parents’ friends’ parents’ house across the street from our high school for the year, I was the happiest teenager ever. It was about 10 feet closer than the 50-spot lottery student lot. It was a mile closer than where non-lottery winners parked. It was awesome. And several of the kids in the neighborhood benefited from this spot. I drove my brother, myself, and at least 3 other kids to and from school on a daily basis. My Ford Explorer could fit several more (shhhh, don’t tell my mom), so sometimes we did.

One winter day in the early months of 2001, a blizzard was set to hit the Chi and surround ‘burbs. It was a normal weekday, and we had all made our way to school like it was no big thing. At about 9:30 in the morning, though, my brother and I were paged to the Dean’s office. Unexpected, but not unusual, I made my way to the office, where I sometimes spent a little free time, partially because I kind of liked the deans…and mostly because I was a total suck-up.

Mom had apparently called and told them to send her children home, because the blizzard was about to get bad she was not having and of this 17-year-old daughter driving home in a blizzard crap. Brian and I high-fived (does it confuse you that my brother and my boyfriend have the same name? My family hates it…There’s also a girl Bry in our fam too…and a boy Chris…it’s funny…err anyways…) So we looked at each other, plotting with the wonder twin powers (we’re Irish twins)…and I looked at the Dean and said, “What about the other kids we drive?”

The Dean looked a little confused and I went on…”There are 4 other kids who depend on us for a ride home every day. What about them? They need to leave with us, too.”

The Dean stared at me. Not surprised, he shook his head at me. “Write down their names.” A few minutes later, one by one, my friends from the neighborhood started piling into the office. The Dean greeted them as I grinned my Cheshire grin, “Call your parents. If they give you permission to leave school early, you can go home with Chrissy and Brian.”

30 minutes later, 6 of us were headed back to my house, where everyone was to stay until their parents got home. Mom made homemade chicken soup for everyone, while we played in the snow. We got the next day off of school with everyone else, but no one else got a day and a half, like we did. And it was a magical day.

High school Snow day snow day 3 Snow Day

Do you have any snow day memories, Blog Friends? Tell me yours!

Also, if you are interested in doing Monday Memories with me, I think that each week I’m going to have a topic, so let me know and I will give you the topic and link to you!

While you’re here, please click on this button to vote for me on Picket Fences. Just a click and that’s all! Thanks!

Oh and if you’re feeling EXTRA generous…you can go nominate me, Words for Worms, and any other bloggers that are AWESOME (I’m looking at you, B(itch)log, First Time Mom & Dad, It’s a Dome Life, Pocketful of Joules, Megcentric, That Ash Girl, Baking in a Tornado, and the list totally goes on, but I’d like to get this post published today and not next week…so if I read you regularly, odds are I nominated you, too–I think I nominated like 25-30 different freakin’ blogs!) for the 2013 Bloggies.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Like a Kid in a Candy Store…

Except I’m a grown up…
In Disney World…

With no children to speak of. (Except for some of the really adorable non-crying ones that we’ve encountered so far. But they are not ours…and they did not come with us. They’re just really damn cute.)

What’s really funny, though, is that Brian will comment on how cool it is to see a kid just standing in line with a wicked smile on his or her face…and then he’ll look at me and realize that I, too, have that wicked “We’re in freakin’ Disney World” smile on my face.

So yesterday was our first day at the parks. We met up with the lovely Penny and her hubs for much of the day. Can I just say, it’s WAY more fun to meet characters than I remember from over a decade ago. Maybe it’s because I’m older and truly appreciate the awesomeness that is interacting with a fantastic actor who looks, sounds, and gestures as their Disney animated counterpart…

As such, this post is all about the characters. I truly felt like a kid in a candy store the minute we hit EPCOT. Holy hell! Talk about princess central. Thank you, World Showcase for making yesterday truly magical.

I thought I’d start with a few pictures from a decade ago when I was visiting Disney just a few short weeks before I started college. Not terribly creative, nor did I even realize how much fun you could have with the characters, I wasn’t as brilliant as I would have liked to be. (PS: Check out that awesome “radar dome” known as my bangs.)

Whichever Tweedle decided to dance with me, I was excited. It was super fun, and I wish that all of my character pictures were more like this.

 

With Princess Aurora. Several things: 1. blue dress=disappointment for the pink princess that is ME. 2. How boring is my pose? I should have rocked out with the Sleeping Beauty pose, rather than stand there with a shit-eating grin on my face.

 

1. Pink Princess Aurora. 2. Better posing job on my part. 3. Aurora called Brian my “dream prince” and made sure that he was protecting Penny and I from the dragons. 4. Brian thought she was creepy. 5. Chrissy for the win!

Hmmm, It appears that Aurora has had some work done since my last visit. More pictures to come, but I’m late. I’m late for a very important date. A breakfast date with the Mad Hatter.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

It’s Not Easy Being a Flake

Sorry about last week kids, our internet was down (so basically it felt like losing an arm or something) so I couldn’t get online to ensure that my blog post went up. I know; I know it’s an excuse, but whatever–I got a job on Friday! So I’ll be joining the world of the truly employed with a full-time salaried gig. Go me!

Anyways, getting a job got me thinking about my first job…

Of course, I was 16 and had no idea what I was doing, yet on Sunday afternoons I would drive an hour up to Long Grove, IL. I would open a cute little boutique clothing shop (all by myself). I would sit there for 8 hours, while visited by maybe 1 or 2 customers all day, have a sack lunch, sit on the phone, and read a book. I don’t even remember the name of the store, but I remember working for several weeks during my junior year of high school.

One particularly rainy Sunday, I turned off all of the lights in the store, set the alarm, and locked the door. I was ready to get home and have some dinner. I ran quickly out to my car and unlocked the doors before jumping into Melba Toast, the Explorer. I put the key into the ignition and…nothing. My battery had died. Oh. Crap.

I think that I had my Nokia brick with a hot pink sparkly faceplate, which I used to call my mom. After she flipped out on me for my not-so-brilliance (assuming that I had left a light on or something–which I still claim to this day that I hadn’t), she made me call her pal Kay, who owned the shop.

Kay told me that she would send a Long Grove shop owner friend of hers to help me out. A half hour later, a strange man (strange is relative in this scenario, as he was merely a man I didn’t know) pulled up into the parking lot with connector cables. He jumped my battery and followed me half way home to make sure my car was running alright. I finally made it home, and got a decent amount of slack from my family.

For Christmas that year, I got a nice shiny new set of jumper cables for Melba Toast. I only wished they were pink.

Wants

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

An Inspirational Teacher

While I was in the early stages of my M.A. in Education, I was assigned an interview project. Meet with a teacher in your future specialty, and find out about their take on teaching. Ms. Tanner was one of the two teachers that inspired me to teach high school English. Here is what I wrote:

I had the privilege to learn from one of my personal heroes her views and beliefs on teaching. Having been one of her students eight years ago, I am able to understand how she has become such an amazing teacher.
Prior to becoming a teacher at the age of 37, Ms. Tanner had many career changes; from factories, restaurants, and retail, to running her own advertising agency, she truly tried them all. At that time, she was provided with the opportunity to travel with a fifth grade class to France. She and the fifth grade teacher toured France with the children, while keeping them up to date with their schooling.  Ms. Tanner learned that she greatly enjoyed being with the students, as well as being in the classroom environment, so she decided that she would become a teacher.
After considering teaching fifth grade, and remembering that she wasn’t a fan of math or science, Ms. Tanner decided that she would prefer more specified subject matter. A journalism degree and her strength in English classes led her to teaching high school English, where she would be able to help run a student newspaper.
As a teacher, Ms. Tanner has many roles. First and foremost, Ms. Tanner is a role model and a listener. I can attest that she has inspired many students, including myself, who still think extremely fondly of her. She makes a point to know something about each and every one of her students. She takes their writing to heart and keeps the information confidential. She provides a shoulder to cry on for students who need someone to talk out their problems with. She shares in the excitement of students who have succeeded and want to tell her first. She still visits with students who have graduated, and takes joy in learning about everything in their lives. As I was sitting in her classroom after school, an old student of Ms. Tanner’s came to visit. As he spoke, she listened with her entire being, happy for his accomplishments, and sorry for his losses.
Ms. Tanner believes that “the classroom is a mirror.” The way you treat the students reflects back on you. If you treat them with kindness, respect, and trust, you will get that back to you. She also believes that it’s important to divulge a piece of herself to her class. One of the first things you learn about Ms. Tanner, is that she’s married to Keanue Reeves. Or at least that’s what she tells you.  A little humor and embarrassment can go a long way. Her classroom is full of possibilities.
Another role that Ms. Tanner takes on a daily basis is that of a disciplinarian. She describes herself as a “foot soldier in the trenches to convey the administration’s rules,” and a “prison matron for the warden.”  She also considers herself a facilitator and a guider of learning. Her job is to “expose students to opportunities for learning.” Over the years she learned that her job is to bring the horses to the water, but she can’t always force them to drink.  She is not in charge of the learning. She provides the tools and the knowledge to learn. Only the students can make themselves learn.
Ms. Tanner is a professional colleague. She is a resource for young teachers. She feels a sense of camaraderie with her fellow teachers. Ms. Tanner also considers herself a bookkeeper. She tracks everything from assignments and grades to tardies and truancies. She is one of the few remaining of her colleagues to still use a paper grade book. She feels it’s important to have everything in one place, accessible immediately.
The challenges of teaching are always present. Some days Ms. Tanner wants to be too mean. She wants to yell and scream about the small things. She recounted a recent experience about a student who didn’t do his work all semester, but when grades came out, he asked what he could do. She told me that she was probably too harsh in her response, and days later she softened, giving him an opportunity to improve his grade. She sometimes wishes she didn’t react quite so immediately.
With challenges, come rewards. Ms. Tanner divulges all the perks of being a teacher. She loves working with students. All of the rewards are student based. “Students are fun. Adults not so fun,” she tells me. She appreciates seeing all of the students who come to visit her and the people she’s helped. She had inspirational teachers in high school and hopes that she is doing the same. I know from experience that she is.
In the 17 years that she has been teaching, Ms. Tanner has learned one very important thing. She never stops learning. “There’s never a dull, boring moment in teaching,” she reveals. She learns about human nature, her contribution to her job, and there’s always something new to learn about the subject. She regularly learns new things about the pedagogy. She recalls visiting several schools that run on a block schedule, which her school was considering. She is always learning new ways to deliver instruction. She smiles when she tells me, “You never know what the day will bring.”
Since becoming a teacher, Ms. Tanner has never looked back. Her only regret is that she didn’t start sooner. She wishes that she had known at 22 that she would love being a teacher. Of all the careers and jobs that she has had, teaching is, by far, the most rewarding and best job she has ever had.  She fondly discusses how enriching the job has been for her. She shares with me that she has been to many graduation parties, weddings, baby showers, and even funerals. Because she never had any children of her own, she always feels as though her students are her children. Ms. Tanner puts her whole world into teaching, and from what it appears, she gets a world back.
 

Of course, inspiration from a truly great teacher does not a great teacher make, and teaching just wasn’t for me. As much as I loved working with the students, teaching was not what I hoped it would be. Ms. Tanner is still an encouragement, and I know that she’ll be proud, no matter which direction I take.  She has one of the rosiest, shiniest, happiest personalities in the whole world, and I’m proud to say that I know her.

To this day, when I chat with her, she’ll still call me Sunny or Sunshine, and I’m glad that she considers me a bright spot in her world of amazing students.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Student Teacher Super Fans

I’ve been cleaning out my bedroom at my parents’ house recently, and occasionally, I’ll take a few moments to look through my box. Every sentimental kid has a box. You know, the one full of your childhood, high school, and college memories? Mine’s huge. It’s one of those under-the-bed storage containers, and it’s full to the brim with pictures, invitations, cards, letters, scrapbooks, and other memory paraphernalia.

I make a point to toss out a few things every now and then for good measure (so there’s room to add more, of course), and I almost threw a high-quality piece away. I opted not to. What is it? You may be asking yourself…

A tee-shirt

But it’s not just any tee-shirt. It’s one of those handmade with markers and paint white tee-shirts that high schoolers make for school spirit. Except that no where on it does the shirt say, “Go Rams!”

The shirt, made with two other matching tees (worn by my two actually-musically-talented pals, Sophie Bee and Kathrine Anne), had big bright letters that said, “Dillinger’s Biggest Fans.”

Who is Dillinger?

Well, Dillinger was our Music Theory AP student teacher. (Yes, I took MT AP. And barely made it out by the skin of my teeth.) 1st period of second semester. Every day. We walked in to see this handsome college guy, who would soon be a real high school music teacher. Oh-how-we-adored-him. So, like any love-sick teenage girl, we decided that we would make tee-shirts.

Using our crafty knowledge (as cheerleaders and poms) we followed standard tee-shirt protocol, using markers and paint in school colors to showcase our spirit. We gave ourselves numbers, and added Dilly (as we lovingly referred to him) quotes, like “Easy Peasy” and “I’m not trying to ignore, I’m just trying to share the wealth.” That last one, I’m sure, is because we demanded his constant attention…and he wasn’t always around us.

We wore these tee-shirts to a Friday night football game, to share our adoration with the world. Walking in front of the marching band and Mr. Dillinger was a pretty scary feat, but we really thought that it was a great idea. We pranced around showing off our “cool” tee-shirts and walked right up to him and showed him our awesome shirts. I’m pretty sure that Dillinger was incredibly embarrassed, and having now been a student teacher, I can say with perfect confidence that he likely had no idea what to do other than smile and laugh and tell us that we were a little crazy.

Indeed we were. Indeed. We. Were.

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