In my classroom: Counting down and toning up (and I’m almost 40?)

This week was low-key because the majority of the freshmen were gone for most of the week. It was also weird because Tom was also gone for the majority of the week. And what’s funny is that both the freshmen and Tom were in Europe – students were in Berlin and Paris, Tom was in Brussels.

I also realized that we are down to 26 school days left until finals start. Twenty. Six Days. Sure, with finals and stuff, there are 33 or so school days, but still. That’s crazy! My first year teaching is coming to a close!

Spongebob Squarepants marching band celebrating

You know what else is crazy? I had an interesting and hilarious conversation with one of my students about my age. Now, if you know me, you’ll know that for years I’ve had people think I was still in high school based on my looks. Since September, one of my junior boys has commented on how young I seem, how it feels like I’m his age, and how it’s weird that I’m married already. But this week, another student (a sophomore boy) actually thought I was a lot older.

It all started when he was playing a hip-hop song from the 90s that everyone has heard before, but I have never actually heard the song in its entirety – I only know the chorus. So he started playing another song – ‘Jump’ by Kris Kross – and said that if I didn’t know this song, I was definitely not a 90’s kid. I told him I knew it, but I was still pretty young in the 90s.

“Come on, what were you doing in 1993?” he asked, thinking I’d say I was in high school.
“I was four years old; I was born in 1989.” I responded.
“What?! I thought you were born in the 70s! I thought you went to Woodstock and stuff,” he said while laughing. Obviously this kid was joking about Woodstock (I hope…I told him that it was in 1969) but even if I was born in the 70s, I would be pushing 40 by now.
So I said, “Oh? I’m sure you also think I fought in World War II, then?” He just laughed and could not believe I was only 25.

It was so ridiculous. Then he showed me this video of a guy who actually thinks he can sing and dance and things got even more hilarious. Fair warning: it’s painful. Yikes.

So my Algebra I class finished up their ethnic statistics projects on Wednesday – the four of them each presented their projects and the information that they found during research. When the freshmen came back on Thursday, we began our linear functions unit by taking the unit pre-test. We then began the unit by talking about coordinate points, how to write them, plotting given coordinate points, and identifying what a given point was.

My Algebra II class finished up our absolute value unit and will begin reviewing for a test this coming up week. I’m thinking our last unit is going to be trig – we’ll go back to the Pythagorean Theorem, then talk about finding missing angles using trig functions, etc.

Finally, my Math In Everyday Life class worked on giving directions given a map. I screenshotted an image of Google Maps that showed directions from school to a local supermarket and also to a subway station. We then tested their directions and how well they did by following their instructions and seeing if we made it to the store correctly. They’ve realized that they need to be more specific, use left/right instructions, and also use street names. We also continued working on number bonds and they’ve gotten SOOOO much better and faster at identifying the number bond of a given number.

One of the highlights of my week (aside from Tom returning Friday from Europe!) has been that I worked out four times after school. This is actually the second week in a row that Mary and I have done it successfully! And it feels great! I’m so happy that I have a co-worker that I can work out with and trust to push me while also pushing her. We have our set routine, but this week we switched it up by trying a Tone It Up High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) video.

And it kicked our butts. And thighs. And shoulders. And while we complain a whole lot afterward (and sometimes during) workouts, we still keep it up. We’ve both noticed a huge difference in the way we feel and look since we’ve switched from the elliptical to the treadmill, doing speed intervals for 20-30 minutes (level 11, baby!!), so it makes all the pain worth it. Here’s to another four days this coming week!

But first, a relaxing weekend with my husband…cheers!

Gym Etiquette

I am well aware that there are plenty of gym etiquette blog posts, YouTube videos, and Facebook statuses to last a lifetime. With the fixation on losing weight and getting in shape, a plethora of people visit (or at least try to visit) the gym a few times a week. Most come alone, with the exception of their mP3 player. Others come with buddies to give them motivation and spot them as they use free weights.

As with any public place, there are rules everyone should abide. Along with the written rules (for example, signs, posters, laws, etc.) there are plenty of unwritten “rules” that are broken every day at the gym. So here are my top 3 rules that are broken ALL the time.

1. Wipe off the machine. Now, each machine usually has a sign on it asking you to do this. In my opinion, the sign is meant to be read in a pretty friendly manner. It’s as if someone is saying, “Hey there, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would clean the machine after you use it. Not only is it sanitary for the next person, but it also maintains the quality of the machines. Thanks again, and have a great day.” Then I picture him or her smiling, maybe even winking.Why wouldn’t you want to make this person happy? I mean, they asked quite politely, with no hint of rudeness or sarcasm; they’re just looking out for the other gym members, and keeping quality of the machines only benefits you as a user.

However, we all know the reality is that not everyone follows these rules. I have seen way too many sweaty people use a machine extensively and then just walk away without ever giving the paper towels and spray bottle a second glance. So to these people, I think the sign is actually yelling, “Hey you! Clean off the machine after you plunked down your smelly, sweaty rear on the seat! No one wants your disgusting sweat everywhere. Don’t forget the handles too. Jerk.” Now this guy/gal is pissed. He/she is pointing fingers, turning red, and maybe even spitting when they’re yelling. I imagine super angry people are always spitting when they talk.

Ugh, people. And these people are usually the sweatiest of all. So not only do I clean after myself, but I also end up cleaning before I even use it because I saw them leave the machine without sanitizing it. And, okay, I realize that these sprays are not an end-all-be-all for killing germs, but it definitely helps. All I’m asking (very nicely, mind you) is to clean off the machine after you use it so that I don’t have to do double duty.

2.  Wait your turn. The other day, I was on the chest fly/rear fly machine, just finishing my first set of each, when this guy came and just kind of stood near me. I just figured he was taking a breather, or thinking, or something. But then, he stayed there. And then he came closer. He asked me a question, but I had my headphones in, seeing as no one really converses while working out. He repeated himself. “How many more sets do you have to do?” Ugh. “2 on each side,” I replied. He looked kind of lost before walking away.

It doesn’t stop there! He then came back and asked the girl at the machine beside me the same thing. She said she still had more to go as well. Really? You honestly couldn’t find another machine to use for the next 3 minutes? There are so many other machines you could use! Or just go get a drink of water and chill out for a couple more minutes! I’m just happy he didn’t come and stand by us, waiting for us to finish. I probably would have done 6 sets on each side instead of 3.

3.  Personal space. Another time that I’ve noticed people being impatient is on the track. Our track at Columbia is indoors and one lap is only 1 km long, so space is kind of limited. However, there are 3 lanes (dedicated for walking, jogging, and running), so passing slower people is not difficult.

So then why is it that some people feel the need to pass you with just enough space between you so that your arm hairs almost touch? I’m walking…in the walking lane. You are jogging or running. Go around me, use your five senses (seeing as you lack the sixth one: common sense), and give both of us our personal space.

There is plenty more that I could say about this topic, but for now we’ll stick with these three. Also, I would disregard all rules if this guy was the perpetrator…

Until then, what is a pet peeve (ha, pet peeve. ^  Get it?) of yours at the gym or any other public place?