Monthly Archives: December 2008

F.T.C.E. and L.M.N.

Today I was slightly bored so I looked to my bookshelves for some entertainment. When I glanced over my eyes fell on the bottom shelf where all of my education books are, and one in particular caught my attention. My 538 page F.T.C.E Test Prep book. This was supposed to come in handy this past semester (before I decided to do the whole study abroad thing) because I am an Education major, and when you are an education major your life is full of tests in order to gain your license.The F.T.C.E (Florida Techer Certification Examination) is the mother load of tests made up of three smaller tests: the G.K.T. (General Knowledge Test), a Professional Education exam, and finally a Subject Area exam (in my case, English). Being the awesome Education major I am, I haven’t taken a single one yet.

So like I said, Im sitting in my room and I see my F.T.C.E. practice book. So I took random questions from the first exam and I have to say, having only taken 1/8 of my required education classes, I found a lot of the questions to be ridiculously easy. Like, for example, this question: “Which of the following is a useful way of bringing a daydreaming student back on-task? A. Call on the student B. Walk over and stand near the student C. Question the class D. Stop and stare at the student.” I mean, I learned about that stuff in Intro to Education (the correct question is obviously B). Then comes a question that completely throws me off, such as this little gem: “According to Jean Piaget’s theory of human development, between which ages should students develop the ability to solve abstract problems logically? A. Birth to two B. Two to seven C. Seven to eleven D. Eleven to adult.” Okay, I took two semesters of psychology (one reg and one psych of education class) and I aced both of them. I learned more about Piaget than I ever cared to know, but looking at this question I have absolutely no idea. At all. (cheating the correct answer is D, which makes perfect sense now that I know the answer and look at the question again. But whatever.) Fortunately for me, the easy questions outweigh the bad, which lets me know I am on the right track. And that made me feel good.

What also makes me feel good is my old pal, lifetime movie network, or L.M.N. I am helping my mother decorate the house for Christmas and as a sort of noise in the background we have lmn running. During the holiday season… well pretty much all year round actually, but particularly during the holiday season… they show extremely horrible Christmas themed romance movies full of bad acting, unbearable dialogue, and bad acting. Right now we are viewing The Road to Christmas with Jennifer Grey. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Next up is A Song for the Season about a school administrator that falls in love with a music teacher. I can hardly wait.

**Update: Internet, we have a problem. A terrible terrible problem. I mean a total tragedy of extreme epic proportions. I just found out that my mother, a woman I thought loved me, apparently does not. While helping her decorate I found that she bought a whole slew of new decorations for this year (and further years on) and I loved them! They were great, and our house was just oh so cute. But then I found out who made these so called cute decorations and now, I just can’t look at them the same anymore. A woman named… Martha Stewart. *shudder* CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? My own mother supporting Martha Stewart, a woman I absolutely detest. My aunt knows whats up. Once on my birthday around 7am my aunt came into my room and woke me up saying the news has a special birthday present for me. We turned on the TV and there she was.  live footage of Martha Stewart being arrested and going to jail. I bet my aunt would never buy Martha decorations.

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Smiling is my favorite.

Earlier today Elf was on the television so of course I watched it much to my father’s dismay. It’s a well known fact in my house that my father loathes this movie. How that is even possible, I have no idea. We went and saw it in the theaters when it came out and my dad wanted to leave halfway through calling it “ignorant.” My mother, being the decent woman she is, forced him to get over it and stay. Coincidentally, the same thing happened with Talladega Nights. I think he just has something against Will Ferrell, but that is besides the point. Conversations like these are typical while choosing the movie for the night. My father says what he would like to watch, but I usually veto his vote because I’m a wonderful daughter like that.

Father: “Hey tonight are we watching-”

Mother: “No.”

Father: “So are we watching-”

Me: “Eloise.”

Father: “Scrooooge?”

Me: “No. Eloise at Christmastime.”

Father: “What?”

Me: “ELOISE AT CHRISTMASTIME.”

Father: “What the heck is that?”

Me: “Umm only my favorite Christmas movie ever, father.”

Father: “Oh. Will I like it?”

Mother: “You will like it. It’s a Christmas movie!!”

Father: **in a disgusted voice** “So was Elf.”

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Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Okay I know I said I probably wasn’t going to be posting anytime soon, but whatever. I just said bye to Macie and Internet, I am crying and depressed. That’s all there is to it.

Macie when you read this (because I know you will), I meant what I said. I wouldn’t do a single thing differently… except for shouting more at Richard. There should always be more shouting at Richard. And keep your eyes out for that list. It’s on its way.

This.

Is.

The.

Most.

Depressing.

Night.

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Last night in London Town…lets make it one for the books.

Internet, I am leaving London tomorrow. In less than 24 hours I will be flying back to America. I am harboring a range of emotions; I am sad to leave my cozy little life here in Kensington, but I’m excited to see my family soon. I will miss the tube, tesco, passing Royal Albert Hall on my way to Harrods. Oh how I will miss you Harrods. I’m probably going to end up doing a whole post in a few weeks just listing all of the things I miss about life in London. But for now, I am just going to have a wonderful last night. So it may be a few days before I post again.

Peace easy London. Its been grand.

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Just another reason why I don’t want to leave.

I will miss conversations like this.

Roommate: “I MISS MY PHONE! I am going to be so stoked to text on a real phone when I get home. Except my mom totally got on to me and I’m not allowed to text and drive.”

Me: “That sucks.”

Roommate: “They need to invent a device that allows me to speak my texts.”

Me: “Um I think they already have. It’s called a phone call.”

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Ladies and Gents, I now present to you…

A list, in no certain order, of ten characters (read: not actors) from the telly I would fall in love with.

1. The Ultimate Family Man

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Michael Bluth from Arrested Development (Played by Jason Bateman)

If there is one thing in the world I really truly look for in a guy, as material girl as this sounds, it is how he is dressed. And Michael Bluth does not disappoint. I mean, the khakis and the button down shirts with the rolled up sleeves- yummm. But I digress. I could fall in love with him because he is always there for his family even though they continue to treat him like crap no matter how many times he bails them out of whatever situation they find themselves in. Because he is all nice like that. Also, he has a weird sense of humor that I love, love, love.

2. The Other Best Friend

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Pacey Witter from Dawson’s Creek (Played by Joshua Jackson)

Oh my. Pacey Witter- how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways… Since the first episode I was all about the Pacey and not about the Dawson. Pacey is the fun one, doesn’t take things too seriously (which I sometimes tend to do) and he once had a rather intimate relationship with his high school English teacher, so the guy has taste. During the time he is dating Joey he manages to make the perfect relationship look ridiculously easy and the exact opposite of cheesy. Dare I say it, for I might immediately regret it, I believe Pacey is my favorite of this list. Just the way he cares about Joey and treats her like a princess… okay, I’ll stop. Insert extremely girlish sigh here.

3. The Lovable Lawyer

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Marshall Eriksen from How I Met Your Mother (Played by Jason Segal)

Marshall Eriksen is one of the cutest guys on tv that I have ever seen. He has that sense of humor that I love so much and always makes me smile. He puts up with Ted and all of his constant whining about finding true love. He puts up with Barney and his constant whoring about. He puts up with Robin and her… well nothing really wrong with Robin. But he loves his wife Lilly more than anything and would do anything for her, no matter the cost. He even took a job at a big corporate law firm, though it went against everything he stands for, all to bring home money for his family. Okay, so Lilly may have gotten into extreme credit card debt, but that would so never happen to me. (Really mom, you can stop laughing now.)

4. The Adorable Coworker

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Jim Halpart from The Office (Played by John Krasinski)

QUESTION: Who is the most adorable office worker out there right now? FACT: Jim Halpart. If you did not know that this guy would be on my list, then you do not know me at all. Jim is the ideal boyfriend. He is a great dresser. He notices the details (Pam’s favorite yogurt- mixed berry), isn’t afraid to risk getting in trouble torturing Dwight to make you laugh, and has the best Halloween costumes (3 hole punch anyone?)  You just have to give him about two-three years to confess his love for you, but after that your all good.

5. The Amusing Fiance

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Captain Awesome from Chuck (Played by Ryan McPartlin)

Captain Awesome is just plain…. awesome. He is so sweet and always offers a word of advice, no matter how dumb it may sound. He lives with his fiancee and her brother, which he is always glad to help out no matter what task is before him. The fact that this guy passed his medical exams is amazing, but that is what makes this character even better. I sometimes, more often than not, find myself attracted to the “dumb blonds” as they are just generally more fun to talk to because the things that they say humor me. The fact that Captain Awesome is not just a pretty face and mean jock is great because just when you think he is going to harass the geeky Chuck he says the sweetest things. I loves it.

6. The Emotionally Crippled Doctor

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Dr. Gregory House from House M.D. (Played by Hugh Laurie)

Okay, I know what you are thinking. And yes, I am serious. I mean, he will probably find some way to self destruct the relationship within a year (tops) but it would have been a fun year of being sarcastic and being glib and me trying to help him overcome whatever deep rooted issues he has with life . We both have an attachment to white boards so we could always put a huge one up in the house and he could write doctor things and I could write teacher things on it. Oh and since I am constantly taking meds for my back there would be no tension with his drug addiction because we would just take our pills at the same time. Simple as that.

7. The Comic Obsessed Narcissistic Nerd

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Seth Cohen from The O.C. (Played by Adam Brody)

I finally made my choice between Ryan and Seth. It was a tough decision internet, I can’t lie to you. While I am attracted to Ryan physically and the fact that he is always there to save whatever damsel in distress he finds, I am going to have to say that Seth’s personality plays a large part and it is just something I couldn’t live without. He is happy about 97% of the time, always cracking jokes and stuff. And remember all that stuff about how a guy dresses? Seth is such a snazzy dresser. The only drawback is his narcissistic side, but I live with a narcissistic sister (hey hey Rubi) so I think I could handle things a lot easier that most girls.

8. The Backwards Baseball Cap Flannel T-Shirt Wearing Diner Owner

luke danes

Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls (Played by Scott Patterson)

Lets just start out by saying if I was Lorelai Gilmore there would not even be a Luke vs. Christopher story line because Luke would win every single time. He is dependable, and would be there in a second if I needed him just like he has been all seven years of the show (minus the whole Christopher thing, but like I said, that wouldn’t be an issue). He has an odd sense of humor and when he was ordering his fishing gear he would totally order me a pair of rain boots just because I wanted them. Because he knows what true love is.

9. The Irish Mobster

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Tommy Donnelly from The Black Donnellys (Played by Johnathan Tucker)

I have always had a fascination with people from the mob. I love it; their lives are just so fantastic. Tommy Donnelly sort of fell into the position of the Irish mob leader when he had to defend his family against those other mobster guys. Sure he killed some people, but the job had to be done, and a small part of him does always feels a tiny bit guilty. I think it’s safe to say he would go to great lengths to protect his family, which I find rather important.

10. The Stereotypical Idiotic Football Playing Jock

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Van Montgomery from Reba (Played by Steve Howey)

Van Montgomery is my guilty pleasure. Sure his parents kicked him out of the house when they discovered he impregnated his girlfriend while they were still in highschool. And okay, he had to live with his mother in law and his pregnant teenage wife while they finished school. But he was fun, so very fun. And he was the typical dumb jock, but like I said, I am oddly attracted to the dumb ones because the things they say are just so freaking amusing. I would marry Van in a heartbeat.

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Just another reason why I love literature.

It gives you passages like this one:

“The terrible thing is, the people need to be educated, and this they cannot do before taking power, only after. They can only learn at the cost of their own mistakes, which will be very serious and will cost many innocent lives. Or perhaps not, maybe those lives will not have been innocent because they will have committed the huge sin against nature; meaning, a lack of ability to adapt. All of them, those unable to adapt- you and I for example- will die cursing the power they helped, through great sacrifice, to create. Revolution is impersonal; it will take their lives, even utilizing their memory as an example or as an instrument for domesticating the youth who follow them. My sin is greater because I, more astute and with greater experience, call it what you like, will die knowing that my sacrifice stems only from an inflexibility symbolizing our rotten civilization, which is crumbling. I also know- and this won’t alter the course of history or your personal view of me- that you will die with a clenched fist and a tense jaw, the epitome of hatred and struggle because you are not a symbol (some inanimate example) but a genuine member of the society to be destroyed; the spirit of the beehive speaks through your mouth and motivates your actions. You are as useful as I am, but you are not aware of how useful your contribution is to the society that sacrifices you.”

“I saw his teeth and the cheeky grin with which he foretold history, I felt his handshake and, like a distant murmur, his formal goodbye. The night, folding in at contact with his words, overtook me again, enveloping me within it. But despite his words, I now knew… I knew that when the great guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two agnostic halves, I would be with the people. I know this, I see it printed in the night sky that I, eclectic dissembler of doctrine and psychoanalyst of dogma, howling like one possessed, will assault the barricades or the trenches, will take my bloodstained weapon and, consumed with fury slaughter any enemy who falls into my hands. And I see, as if great exhaustion smothers this fresh exaltation, I see myself immolated in the genuine revolution, the greater equalizer of individual will, proclaiming the ultimate meacupla. I feel my nostrils dilate, savoring the acrid smell of gunpowder and blood, of the enemy’s death; I steel my body, ready to do battle, and prepare myself to be a sacred space within which the bestial howl of triumphant proletariat can resound with new energy and new hope.”

This fantastic excerpt is from the amazing book The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. I was rereading the book for my travel writing midterm tomorrow, and this just popped out. I love when that happens; when I am reading a book and all of the sudden this amazing quote, line, or paragraph sticks out and takes on a whole new meaning. Take for example a small passage that struck me as terribly haunting when I read Joseph Conrad’s short story An Outpost of Progress:

“The wicked people were gone, but fear remained. Fear always remains. A man may destroy everything within himself, love and hate and belief, and even doubt; but as long as he clings to life he cannot destroy fear: the fear, subtle, indestructible, and terrible, that pervades his being; that tinges his thoughts; that lurks in his heart; that watches on his lips the struggles of his last breath.”

That is probably one of my favorite excerpts from any piece of literature I have read. It is so beautiful, so eerie, and so true. People always ask me why I want to teach- of all things- literature. I never really know how to relpy to that question. It’s my passion; I can’t see myself doing anything else. But every time I reread my little excerpts it gives me a chance to go back and think of what I would say if someone asked me why.  There is so much you can take away from reading a book for the first time or for the millionth time that you never noticed was there. Conrad, Dickens, Shakespeare, Orwell, etc.- these guys knew how to write books. And I can not thank them enough.

Along with this I have been thinking about my book challenge. I’m adding a few books to my list for right now, though they may change. But if anyone has recommendations, I’m always listening.

My list so far, in no particular order:

1. Looking for Alaska- John Green

2. An Abundance of Katherines- John Green

3. Paper Towns- John Green

4. Lord of the Flies- William Golding

5. The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald

6. 1984- George Orwell

7. Animal Farm- George Orwell

8. The Gun Seller- Hugh Laurie

9. Paper Soldiers- Hugh Laurie

10. Twelfth Night- William Shakespeare

11-18. The Harry Potter series- JK Rowling

19. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou

20. The Chocolate War- Robert Cormier

21. A Bridge to Terabithia- Katherine Paterson ** I don’t know why I want to read this. The movie was horribly, horribly sad and made both me and my grandfather cry. Okay so he let out like, one single tear and I was blubbering. Whats your point?

22. Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger

23. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath

24. Lullabies for Little Criminals- Heather O’Neill

25. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas- John Boyne

26. In Cold Blood- Capote

27. Feed- M. T. Anderson

28. The Hunchback of Notre Dame- Victor Hugo

29. The Lady and the Little Foxfur- Violette Leduc

30. Catch 22- Joseph Heller

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