Sunday, July 31, 2011

embrace your inner NeRd!

I'm sitting on the couch recouping from the flu, and I can't help but wonder how another summer flew by so fast!  I officially head back to work this Thursday, and although I didn't jet across the country to a fabulous destination, I enjoyed plenty of pool time, evenings on the deck with great friends, a couple trips to visit the fam in KC, lots of books, and feeding my latest addiction, Twitter.

Why do I love Twitter?  It can't be the 140 character limit--I'm WAY to wordy!  What has me hooked is the limitless information at my fingertips.  Yes folks, Twitter is my nerdy playground for professional development.  Most of the people I follow tweet great information about education.  This is how I learn--I've read countless articles this summer about libraries, technology in the classroom, and much more. 

I admit that I'm behind.  I should have caught the Twitter buzz a long time ago.  However, I'm making up for lost time by reading as many tweets as possible.  I can't stop.  I'm addicted.

If you don't believe me, check out what these other smarty pants have to say about Twitter for Educators!  This article shows you how to get started on Twitter.  Cris Betcher's post about Twitter leaves you with lots to think about.  Finally, Steven Anderson's Livebinder is chalk full of Twitter ideas for educators.

Hope you become addicted to Twitter like me.  Feel free to follow me @jenn_stuck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make History

My dear friend Jenny texted this photo to me:

Along with the photo, her message read, "Not that you misbehave...but this made me think of you and the way you are going to change the world."

Well Jenny, I accept your challenge of changing the world.  I won't always be loud about it (now that I've learned that it's not all about me)...and people might not know I'm doing it.  But, I'll challenge the status quo as I relentlessly find ways to engage students as readers.  I will embrace new technology tools as I strive to create 21st century learners.  Most importantly, I'll challenge my colleagues to find their voice as a leader and help them serve as a catalyst for change.

Sounds easy, right?!?  My hope is that everyone (not just educators) sets out tomorrow with the goal of making the world a little bit better than it was today.  May the force be with you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yes Folks, I Have ADD

I wonder how many people let out an audible gasp when reading the title for this blog.  Surely I wouldn't be crazy enough to write about such a personal topic.  If that's what you're thinking, then think again, because I'm taking a taboo topic that most people are uncomfortable talking about and actually writing about it.  Fasten your seatbelts, because this is going to be a wild ride!

I was diagnosed with ADD when I was in college.  I actually had coping mechanisms for dealing with it before then, which is why it probably went unnoticed for the most part.  I memorize really well and always had A's & B's in school--and most people with ADD have poor grades.  When I was diagnosed, I told very few people because I didn't want them to think I was crazy.  A couple years later, news broke about how people were selling Adderall (the medicine I take) on the black market.  You better believe I wasn't going to speak up and tell people I took meds!

12 years have passed since my diagnosis, and I thought it might help to educate people about ADD based on my experience.  Let's face it, even though there are some people who have worked with adults or kids with ADD, they still truly don't understand this condition.  So, here's my Top 5 "must-know" list about ADD.  These might vary for other people--I'm only speaking for myself.
  1. Medicine is not a CURE for ADD.  It just makes living with ADD a lot more tolerable.  I take the strongest dose of Adderall XR (extended release), but when I'm stressed out or tired, my ADD seems to be worse.  If I don't take my medicine for some reason, I might tell you.  But, it's not kosher to ask me if I've taken my meds.
  2. Until you truly know me, it isn't cool to joke about my ADD.  And, it's never ok to make ADD the butt of your jokes.  Some people might think all those t-shirts with random ADD messages on them are funny, but I honestly find them offensive.
  3. I'm a person with ADD.  Sometimes I'll say, "I'm so ADD."  Remember that I'm a person first and the condition comes second.
  4. Just because I have ADD doesn't mean that I'm defiant or unruly.  It just means that I have the attention span of a gnat.
  5. While medicine isn't a cure, it is a necessity (at least for me).  I've heard parents say that they don't want their child on meds because it makes them like a zombie or alters their personality.  You know what?  People with high blood pressure take medicine, but it might take trying a couple different meds before finding the right one.  The same is true of medicine for ADD.
I've probably just opened up a whole can of worms because a lot of different people will read this blog--from people who know me well to people who really don't know me at all.  But, no matter who you are, it's important to understand people with ADD.  After all, don't we all have issues?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Not Ashamed to Admit, Part 2

Just a few more of my random idiosyncrasies...

I'm not ashamed to admit:
  • It took nearly 30 years (and 2 wise professors) to help me realize life is not all about me and my drama.  Thanks, Dr. D and Dr. M!
  • I'm addicted to carbs.  I tried the Atkin's diet twice, but failed miserably.  Life just isn't the same for me without my carbs!
  • I find the greatest comfort when I throw up the hood on my hoodie.  It's like my security blanket or something.  It lets me shut out the world for 30 seconds so I can get a grip.  I also like to sleep with my hood up.  In line right behind hoodies on the comfort list are chocolate and Christmas music (even in July).
  • I don't cook very well.  In fact, I consider having to boil water "cooking."
  • Swimming in lakes kinda freaks me out (but I'll do it).  I'm afraid some parasite is going to swim up my nose and burrow its way into my brain.
  • I've thanked God many times for unanswered prayers.
  • Change, while exciting, is scary for me.  I have a fear of the unknown.  Changing schools AND jobs next year is the biggest leap of faith I've ever taken...
  • I catch myself acting like my mom more and more each day--especially when I sing to my flowers!
  • One of my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses is that I'm a highly reflective person.  I can't shut off that part of my brain, no matter how hard I try.
There you have it.  Unscripted and raw.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm not ashamed to admit...

Sitting in the 100+ degree heat at the fireworks stand, I busted out singing "If I could turn back time..." Emily looked at me like I was crazy, and I told her, "I'm not afraid to admit that I like Cher.  Or that I'm a Fanilow.  Or that I like Simon & Garfunkel."

You know what?  I think we're all a little strange in our own ways.  Some people have things about them that they would never admit in public.  But, my life is pretty much an open book.  So, I thought I'd share some of those things that help define me.

I'm not ashamed to admit:
  • I used to say that I'd grow up when I hit 30, but now I've decided I don't want to grow up until I turn at least 50.
  • I name things to give them their own personality.  My car is Jimmy Wayne, my suitcase is Bertha, and my orange tree is Tropicana Lite. 
  • I am a natural blonde, but do everything in my power to escape that "dumb blonde" stereotype.  My only problem is that I have book smarts, but not so much common sense--which sometimes comes across as me being a bimbo.
  • Being a Wal-Mart greeter is my part-time DREAM JOB!!  I would love talking to all those people as they walked into the store!  Other random jobs I would love to have for a day are Broadway star, Supreme Court Justice, commercial jingle writer, and flight attendant.
  • I'll probably never outgrow these things: glitter, calling my mom "Mommy" or "Mama", sleeping with a teddy bear, screaming when I open Christmas presents, truly feeling like a princess when I sleep on my 6 year-old niece's princess sheets, or my fear of squirrels, balloons, and storms.
  • When I'm driving, I talk to people in other vehicles, even though I know they'll never hear me.  It's natural instinct for me to say "your turn" to another driver at a 4 way stop.
  • I like to buy dresses based on their "twirl factor."  If it's one I can twirl in, you better believe I'll buy it!
  • I still have the same sense of wonder I had as a little kid--and I hope that never goes away!
There are a few random things you might not know about me.  Stay tuned for Part 2 within the next few days!