Wednesday, May 09, 2007

At Least Aussie Boy Appreciates Me

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I have not, however, noticed it very much. After two crazy days with the kids doing their best Linda Blair impressions in the "only two weeks of finals, STAR tests, and AP exams until we're done for the year" insanity, I'm ready to institute the daily floggings I've been threatening since September. This morning, as I walked into class, I really wanted to write on the board:


Instead, I wrote:

Only 8 days left! You can do it! :)

I don't indulge myself nearly as often as I would like to.


In happier news, yesterday marked six months of no cutting for me. Six months. There was a time I thought I wouldn't make it a single day, and here I am six months later, cut-free. There are still scars - as there always will be - but they are fading, day by day, and I am learning to handle my emotions in healthier ways. Thanks to everyone who supported me through the tough times, including the support I got from over in the Basement when I cross-posted. You all help me feel much stronger than I could ever feel alone.


For those of you who have been asking for updates on Aussie Boy, things are going very well. He's developing quite the ego from all of your comments - he refers to them as his "fan mail." But I can't say he's entirely undeserving. He is very cool.

He's won over the hearts of my coworkers, too. They asked what we did over the weekend, and I said he willingly sat with me in amiable companionship for multiple hours on both Saturday and Sunday while I graded student essays and portfolios. Yep, that's a supportive boy right there.

This is the first relationship I've really ever had that didn't start first with an extended period of friendship, and I'm discovering there are pros and cons to that. On the positive side, there are no pre-set expectations. It's not like he's known me for a year in some other capacity, seen other sides of me, seen me in other relationships. He's still just getting to know me, and I like how much less pressured I feel because of that.

But along with that comes the fact that he doesn't know me as well, so he doesn't always know what I need or want out of a given interaction. He's not as good at recognizing when I'm hurting and need support, or when I'm happy to joke and mock. He's learning to recognize when I have defenses up - when I throw up the outer wall - but he often has no idea why it's there or what to do about it. He doesn't know how to predict my reactions to his comments, and doesn't know how to "fix" things when he misjudges.

Of course, these are all things that can be overcome with time. Which is, sadly, one thing we don't really have. We'll be quite happy spending time together until September, but then he'll be leaving for another continent, and we'll be going about separate lives again. I'm learning a lot about myself and my hopes for the future, but I'm not deluding myself about the fact that he's not a part of that future. So some of what he doesn't know yet are things he'll never know, and that's just a fact of life and timing. It would be nice if he were around for longer, but I'm pretty happy spending the time we have together.

And in the meantime, I'll try to keep y'all better updated on his spectacular awesomeness, so you can bask in his glory and stroke his ego via the comments. :-P



Anonymous said...

**Lara appreciation vibes!!**

...both for being a great teacher (and friend!) and for the 6-month milestone.

Still Jill B said...

Tremendous kudos on your anniversary. If I could, I'd send you flowers to school, which might appear to be Teacher Appreciation Flowers (and thus, potentially garner some kind of reaction from students) but in actuality are congratulations flowers, and would naturally also serve as a conversation starter, as folks would assume they're from Aussie Boy.

Anonymous said...

The kids might not show it, but you are greatly appreciated!

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Anonymous said...

6 months, that is bloody fantastic.

You should be ever so proud of yourself, like me :)

Now, where is Aussie boy going? Home?

Does this not mean you can come here and we can drink wine under the frangipani trees?

Major Bedhead said...

Six months is great, Lara. Congratulations!

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

I think you need to delete the long, rambling rant from Anonymous that begins, "Manifest Destiny..."

Anonymous said...

Um... long scary rants in the comments section suck.

Sorry Lara, no flowers for you; but if you're really lucky I might make you a paper one. (It has cool maths behind it, so nerds like me appreciate it.)

I second the "delete whatever the hell that stuff was" idea. (And don't even think it was me cause atleast my ramblings fit on one screen.)

jittacatgirl said...

can i leave hate mail for the aussie? because he's just so darn helpful? that'd be great. thanks.


Lara said...


Anonymous said...

That kind of attitude will get you nowhere Jittas. Remember I feed on evil and hatemail. It's only through love that you can truly vanquish my threat from the face of the blogplanet. Well, love or a swift blow to the head with something swingable such as a baseball bat or a large, blunt cat.

Anonymous said...

Six months -- way to go! Hope you get some appreciation these next two days. Our school asked our kids to dictate what made their teachers special and my son said "she gives me fruit!" OK then!

Anonymous said...

I think a teacher has succeeded if a student one day recognizes what a positive impact on his life a teacher had years before. Too bad flowers can't travel backwards through time.

Anonymous said...

Drat! I could've totally used that Teacher Appreciation Week thing at school today.... wish I'd known about it! :P They'll appreciate us ONE day, dear.

aMom2E said...

I would so much rather send you fan mail! Congrats on six months! And I think it is awesome that you can enjoy the here and now with aussie boy!

And I got the weird long end of days kind of comment... WTF?? How strange!

Anonymous said...

6 months! amazing!

Kilgore Trout said...

Congrats on the six months. I'm new to your world so I had no idea that was ever the case. I'm glad it's no longer.

I did that once, I was mad at a friend, she hurt me emotionally so I retaliated by hurting myself physically, or something, I couldn't have explained my actions then, I can't now. I did it right across the back of my right hand. Made quite a mess, maybe it was just a cry for attention. There is still a very light scar, its a great reminder that things really aren't too bad. As a former mechanic people just assume its a work injury if they ever notice it at all. I don't think anyone but those who were there that day know about that. Your story of strength made me want to tell it though.

And dammit Aussie, I was hoping that I could be the one person here to put you in your place but then I got to "or a large blunt cat."

Your alright in my book.

Aussie Boy said...

No need to put me in my place Kilgore. I'm happily hiding in the corner facing the wall. Of course the wall has maths on it and I have a pen, so it's really you guys that are missing out by me not letting you see my wall.

And no stalking up behind me with cats or bats because I have eyes in the back of my head and I'm not afraid to use them. Grrrr.

Anonymous said...

Hey, what kind of math(ematic)s does your Australian friend study?

Aussie Boy said...

A combination of Random Matrix Theory from physics, and L-functions (including the Riemann zeta-function and generally anything to do with primes) from mathematics. Number theory is the main interest, with physics just providing some tools to get the job done.

I'm giving my first seminar at Stanford tomorrow. Exciting stuff :-)

Patois42 said...

All hail teachers! My two school kids (4th grade and 3rd grade) made cards for their teacher. My daughter, in 3rd grade, also drew pictures. My son included four quarters in his card to his teacher. (My mom sends him four quarters for all the "holidays," so he wanted to do that for his teacher.) Teachers rule!

Anonymous said...

Cool. I take it you're speaking at the 12:15 Number Theory seminar tomorrow. Good luck!

Aussie Boy said...

12, 12:15 - it's sometime around then c.t.c.c.

Now, seeing as my suppressive influence has Lara sitting in the other corner rocking like a baby and mumbling "Make the bad Aussie stop, he's hurting my head"; here's my second thursday/friday morning thirteen:

Thirteen random things from Lara, Jitta and Aussie Boys trip to the Google (aka Nerd Disneyland(TM)).

1.) The whole place feels like I've got a golden ticket in my pocket and Gene Wilder's taking me round his chocolate factory. (Not Johnny Depp, it wasn't quite that trippy but close.)

2.) Unlike Disneyland, the employees of Nerd Disneyland(TM) are allowed to grow facial hair. Some, being fully-fledged, card-carrying nerds take this freedom very much to heart.

3.) Every door needs a swipe thingy. This would be normal enough, but when you go through one door, then another 2 metres later, and both need swipe cards, things start feeling a little like the opening credits of "Get Smart".

4.) Free food. Um, hello. Free food! (It may take me a little time to get over the thrill of this.)

5.) The whole gigantic wonder that is Nerd Disneyland(TM) is based on two math-nerds figuring out a way of finding stuff faster. That blows my little nerd mind. There's gonna be some dude/dudette who cures AIDs one day and they're still going to have mortgage payments to make and will still get the shits when the cost of their car insurance goes up again.

6.) There's a nursery of potted plants randomly sitting in the middle of stuff...

7.) On top of the free food, there's a free gym, free snacks, free creche, a great big sports field, pool tables, a jumping castle, massage chairs, and a hairdressers. (Ok so I made one of these things up. That's right, only one.)

8.) On our car trip to N.D.(TM), it felt like as we got to the end of a road we had reached the edge of reality and stepped into Googality(TM). I'd say kinda like The Twilight Zone, but it was more like Leaving Los Vegas.

9-13.) (How Lara consistently comes up with 13 interesting things is beyond me.) In conclusion, Lara and Jittas and me had lots of fun at Nerd Disneyland(TM). We rode the jumping castle, laughed at the clowns and ate lots of chocolate. After Lara was sucked into a big tube at the chocolate river and Jittas was shrunk by the tv ray thingy, I was the only one left and Mr Google said I should take over. Now grandpa doesn't just have to eat cabbage soup anymore.

The End.

Lara said...

tali - thanks, kid! those were some great vibes! :-P

jill b - thank you. i appreciate the sentiment behind the almost-flowers. :)

anonymous - thanks! and are you trying to say something about my teeth? i think maybe i'm offended...

lala - oh, i am definitely proud, which is why i wrote about it. and no, aussie boy is going to either france or the UK. if he were going to australia i would totally hitch a ride to visit you and aly!

major bedhead - thanks much, lady!

CTG - done!

aussie boy - no flowers?! boo, you stink!

jitta - yeah, he's getting a big head from all the comment love he's been getting. bring him down a bit...

aussie boy (again) - a "large, blunt cat"? you wouldn't be making fun of my fatty, would you?

mayberry - sadly, still no appreciation around here. but that's okay. i think they appreciate me already; they just don't show it well. :-P

hannah - i agree. i don't need to know they appreciate me. as long as they get good things from my teaching at some point. :)

aly - *I* appreciate you!

ffbgirl - well, thanks for the fanmail! you are WAY too good to me; i'm going to get a huge ego! and yeah, the weird long comment? i have no idea what was with that...

ali - i'm a bit amazed myself...

kilgore trout - i'm glad you told the story. it's something a lot of people deal with, even though no one talks about it. you're new to my world, but i'm so glad you've joined it. :) and isn't aussie boy annoying when he does that?

aussie boy - no one wants to see your ugly math-covered wall anyway, loser. :-P

cecil - why are you encouraging him?!

aussie boy - good luck in your talk!

patois - oh, that's so sweet. sixteen-year-olds are not as good about that stuff... :-P

aussie boy - thanks for doing my TT for me again this week! except you're not so good at coming up with the right number of items. not that i'm complaining or anything. just pointing out my superiority. :)

Dee said...

Congrats on the 6-month milestone. I am so proud of you for making it and will be even more proud as each additional month passes. You have come a long way, my friend.

Lara said...

dee - thanks so much, lady. i have, indeed, come a long way - further than i really thought i could at times. thanks for the support; i'm looking forward to our continued friendship through the blogosphere over the next six months, so you can celebrate my first anniversary, too. :)

Dani said...

Alright I'm way way behind on blogs, so happy belated teacher appreciation week. Congrats on the anniversary it's a very significant accomplishment and it's wonderful that you've had the courage to talk about it.Kudos