Last night I caught up on the last episode of The Real World. Short synopsis: skinny girl with history of eating disorder’s mother tells her she needs to go on a diet.

Now, I neither have an eating disorder nor a super-controlling mother, but it got me thinking. Every girl has those friends — the really skinny ones with the "high metabolism" who eat butterscotch krumpets and french fries for lunch, but still look like twigs — and I had two of them. We’ll call them J and E for simplicity. They could both shop in the girls’ section if they wanted, easily fitting into size 14 or 16. I had, and still have, some serious hips. Plus, I was more than head and shoulders taller than them (still am). There’s this one photo I have of the three of us, J on my left and E on my right, and my waist is at J’s shoulders and E’s armpits.

As thin as I was, I still despised shopping with the both of them. Inevitably, I’d end up in the dressing room between the two of them, and they’d be talking back and forth about needing a size 0 because the 3s were too big. And there I was, struggling to zip up the 11s. One time I remember vividly even now, was probably my junior year, and we were all shopping for homecoming or prom dresses or something, and E says, "Damn! All that’s left are fat girl sizes." I responded by picking one of them up and taking it to the dressing room. It still hurts my feelings, and it’s been about 10 years!

After high school, I didn’t really see either of them much, if at all. E more than J. I realized after a while that E just really isn’t a nice person. Anyway, the three of us actually all went to the same college. Still, since I’m a year older than E and two years older than J, and we were all interested in different things, there was very little contact. In fact, the first time I saw J on campus, and the last time I saw or talked to her was my very last day. I was driving out of the parking garage and she was driving in. We stopped said hello, I showed her my brand new engagement ring, and then we said goodbye.

The last time I saw E was at a wedding. Now I realize that this is totally snarky and bitchy of me, but I can’t help it: she’s put on a little weight. She’s not fat by any means; she’s certainly not the beanpole that she once was. It gives me a little bit of satisfaction to know that she’s probably in a double-digit size now. Like I said, I know it’s awful of me, but I can’t help it.

total craziness

Another Saturday, another day at the office. Ugh. That’s the way it’s been — incredibly, insanely busy. Plus, as I’ve mentioned, teaching has started.

This term, we aren’t having any inservices. Instead, we have to go observe another teacher, learn something about teaching and write up a report. I went on Wednesday. It was good. I did learn a little bit about my teaching style, and how I might change a little. Most notably that time limits can be useful. I tend to just let people take as long as they need. Honestly, I’m quite glad that we don’t have any inservices this time around. Teacher-speak is so full of jargon and acronyms. If you think the government is bad, try talking to a teacher about teaching. The whole experience is so "meta". That is, when a teacher tries to teach other teachers, they use whatever method it is they are trying to teach, as they are explaining it to you. It makes my head hurt. I just do. I do whatever it is that helps the learner get the subject. Some people like diagrams, some people just need a hard and fast rule, some people need a ton of examples, and some people just need me to sit there and let them talk through whatever it is they are learning. I don’t need to sit in a room and learn about metacognition and the inquiry process and modeling. Whatever. Just let me do what I have to do.

Things at the office are also a little insane. Like I said, I’m here in my office at the moment; I’ve got a Monday deadline. Plus my other project is in the midst of some serious development work. Good times. Fortunately, I’m going to be getting some help soon. I had to interview a guy not that long ago — talk about stressful, I’ve never done that before. He was super-impressive and seemed just about as perfect for the job as a person can be. Things sometimes move a little slow around here when it comes to hiring, but not this time. Oh no. My boss’ boss knows how much I need help, so he starts on Monday. Thank God.

a case of the mondays

Someone didn’t think the kitchen upgrade at work through. We have nice new, wood cabinets and a made to look like granite laminate counter; but the coffee machine doesn’t fit. The cabinets are either mounted too low, or are longer than the old ones, so the big coffee machine doesn’t fit underneath. Oops. Coffee is perhaps the most important part of the kitchen. Of the office. A busted ‘fridge people could deal with, but no coffee (on a Monday!) is just cruel. I go out for my coffee. If I drank the office coffee, I’d be wired and shaking all day long because I would keep going back. Making myself spend money and leave the building is good.

depressing news

I want to believe this isn’t true…

One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today.

The survey of 112,003 students finds that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 51% say they should be able to publish freely; 13% have no opinion.

Asked whether the press enjoys "too much freedom," not enough or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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