The Life of Bon: A sad tale of woe. But seriously.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A sad tale of woe. But seriously.

Feeling a bit "off" right now.

There's a lot of things in my life that don't seem to be jiving quite like they should and I try to shake them off, but, well, you know.  I'm a girl and girls like to hold onto stuff so that's what I'm doing over here.  Just holding on.

What do you do when something is bothering you?

Do you:

a) Write a blog post
b) Take a bath
c) Make cookies
d) Go to bed early
e) Call your mom

I'm doing them all!  How about that for one upped?

Sometimes I wonder if I like the person that I am.  Or the person that I am becoming.  98% of the time I really like me.  But then something makes me doubt or makes me insecure or all of a sudden I realize I have been a terrible friend/sister/wife/teacher/ human being.

For example:  On Tuesday and Wednesday I had these horrible trainings for the new English core. I had to get a sub and miss two days of teaching and sit in eight hour meetings all day.  Basically Utah decided to throw away all the standards we used to teach and revamp them.  New standards!  Instead of teaching students to write persuasive papers we shall teach them to write argumentative papers! Yes, this shall be so much better! And so forth.  Mostly it's just nuances, and I was dealing with it fine at my old school.

But now I'm at my new school!  In a new school district!  And I'll tell you something, the people at this new district are straight up batty.  I feel like I've entered the Nazi regime.  They've mapped out exactly what themes they think I should be teaching and for how long and what standards to teach when and then they want me to do tests that they've invented to make sure that I am doing what they want.  I'm living 1984 as we speak- I can literally see Big Brother watching over me.  Well, not literally, but... you know.

They told me a lot of stuff that I need to be doing at this meeting. A LOT.  Por ejemplo:  Change the order of my entire junior core so that it is chronological and matches up with the U.S. History department.  Do a four month capstone project with my Seniors. (Say what?!)  Put all assignments, syllabi and deadlines online to make it more accessible to students.  Not to mention I'm struggling to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to be teaching my AP Literature class.  I'm flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to that class, I tell you that much.  It's all I can do to figure out the AP curriculum, let alone revamp my entire junior and senior core.

Quite frankly it just exhausts me.  I like what I teach.  I don't want to rearrange everything to go in the order that my new school district wants me to.  I don't want to adhere to some distant idea that some lady had that hasn't set foot in a classroom for ten years.  Who is she to tell me what to teach and for how long and when to test my students?  She doesn't know my students.  I don't want to align my standards to her standards.  I will still teach all the Utah standards, just not in the exact order and timing that she decided was appropriate. I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs, "Stop micromanaging and just let me teach!  I promise I know how!"

And so forth and so forth with the rebelliousness....  You get the point by now, don't you?  By the end of day two of training I was so mentally worn out by it all that I just skipped out early and went home and took a nap.  Bailed two hours before I was supposed to and didn't even bat an eye.  I'm sure I will be reprimanded, but sheesh, how much can you inhale before you pass out?

That's how I justified it to myself, anyway.  The truth is, I hate that I left the training early and I hate that I can't just adjust easily to my new school district.  Who do I think I am that I can't just stay at the whole training like I'm supposed to?   Why do I have to be stubborn and prideful and why don't I just take what they tell me to do and do it?  Why do I let it overwhelm me and frustrate me to the point where I eventually shut down completely?

So that's school.  Then there's the blog and the thing is that sometimes this blog bothers me, too.  A friend told me recently that she thought my blog had "changed me."  I didn't know how to reply or what that was supposed to mean.  I'm still the same weird/sassy/prideful/burns-everything-she-makes girl that I've always been.  I like to write on this blog (most days!) and I like the people that respond.  But lately there seems to be so many negative comments.  Today I found on someone else's blog an entire post that had been written in response to one of my posts.  She didn't link to my blog and instead of calling me Bonnie she called me "Jane."  She wasn't necessarily negative in her take on my post, I just didn't understand why she and her readers would discuss at length the post without saying who had actually written it.  It was just weird.  There were 100+ comments discussing my blog and not even a pithy link back.

And then I am bothered that I am even bothered by this.  Shouldn't I be above weird blog drama?  I mean, these are people I have never met in my life and will never meet in my life talking about something I wrote online.   Some of them didn't like it.  Who freaking cares, right?  So why does it bother meeeeeeee?

Boo.  This post got too heavy.

Greg wants a baby or a dog or both.  I'm leaning on the side of dog.  The truth is I miss my mom's dog, Buddy, quite a bit.  I want my own toy poodle, dang it!  What say ye?  I would name him Gatsby, obviously.


  1. I rarely comment anymore, but I have to say: 1. I'm honestly a little relieved to see you struggle with your new district. I'm a teacher...but my environment has always been as difficult in that realm as your new one. Sometimes I'd feel bad because of your enthusiasm...which I find myself lacking most days. It helped me to see that it's not the profession that I struggle with. Its being treated like a professional. 2. I no longer blog, but someone once said it changed me, too...back in the day. I wouldn't take it to heart. Sometimes people respond or say things due to their own insecurities. 3. I'll just say this about the blog on your blog. I think I know which one you're talking about and blogs that spend time responding to other blogs in a negative way (i.e. not naming or linking back) are the first ones to lose me as a reader. Don't feed into it. It's happened over there one too many times.

  2. I think we all have these crazy moments where everything just weighs on us and it seems like the world is crashing down. Being a girl has its rough spots. It's nice to hear someone else's issues! I'm sure it will all melt away soon. Good luck girl!

  3. I just love your blog! You are so real. I never comment. I push my bedtime, waiting for your evening post. Most days I am in bed. So first thing in the morning I am looking to be entertained by your sassy attitude . I work in a school as an EA. You crack me up. You brighten my day! So I am sharing the love, you deserve it. Everybody else can SUCK IT ..... this girl enjoys your ramblings, very much ;)

  4. I'm still struggling in my school and I've been there for 3 years!! I'm just not comfortable at the middle school. PLus with the new standards and the expectations and the implementation of technology which my school doesn't have I'm going nuts!! I don't give a sh*t about what I'm suppose to be teaching and at what time!! You could plan every single day, but if your students are getting then what? go at your own pace or teach how your used to, but add new things...otherwise teaching is going to go crazy...i've always tried new things and some thing work and others don't.
    maybe because i'm still new to blogging i don't think it's changed me and i admit I'm not as into it as i was last year which is weird because i had 1,001 things on my plate last year...keep your head up in all aspects!! and yes to the dog named Gatsby!!

  5. I know that you feel bad about leaving early but some times if you don't leave a situation you will explode. It is better to have left then to have stayed and say some thing that you would regret later. I am new to your blog and I love it all. Please keep doing what you are doing and what makes you happy. I know that what you are doing makes me happy and brings a smile to my face when I read your posts.

  6. I feel like I should say something uplifting and encouraging at this point but honestly I'm at a low spot right now and if I had any advice I'd have to take it myself! Good luck to the both of us, ha.

    Oh and Bon...just skip the dog altogether and go for the baby already!

  7. Anonymous12:29 AM

    Screw the system and teach what you want! :) xxx

  8. Blah to the system. That sucks, about the micromanaging. And if people want to write a whole blog post about yours, well that's cool! You're obviously making an impact and being controversial, and that's awesome.

    If you go for the baby, that's a fast track way out of your current school. Just saying.

  9. Wow that all sounds pretty tough!! The whole teaching thing sound stressful, it takes a strong person to be a teacher and that's just to deal with students. I have been reading your blog for a while now Bon and I absolutely love it! You are one of my favourite bloggers and if someone feels the need to blog about your blog and in turn receive over 100 comments about it you should feel happy in the knowledge that 100 people have a opinion about you. (just ignore the fact that they are negative)
    You are awesome Bon!
    Don't let anything get you down.

  10. You act like a rebel and skip out early because in your heart you know it's not right! At some point we need to stop acting like sheep and stand up to make a change. Granted, I haven't figured out how to do that yet, but I'm right there with you. I teach 4th grade in PA and I feel your pain all too much. I enjoy reading your blog. It's authentic and resonates strongly for me. I hope that you get out of your rut soon.
    Jessica :)

  11. PPPFFFTTTT to the negaive nancys. They have no life that they need to knock urs! We still luvs u!!

  12. You should think about the baby thing. If you did, then you'd get a guaranteed break from that craziness. :)

    Also, two comments up someone offered you the best online selection of diabetic footwear with free home delivery within India. That sounds pretty dang cheerful and happy to me!

    1. lol, I love that someone noticed that besides me!!!

  13. I've learned that nothing cures the blues quite like going to the animal shelter and petting some puppies. That's my go-to cure for a bad day. Just try not to bring them all home with you. :)

    Or bring them all home. Whatever. :)

  14. Although I'm not a teacher, I totally understand your frustration. It's rough to be micromanaged, and I imagine more so when you don't even know the person who is making all of these demands, and who hasn't a clue about YOUR students and YOUR goals. Sheesh.
    As far as blogs changing people, I don't know how that works. My suspicion is that being a paid blogger might make the difference. I'm a strictly amateur blogger, had my blog for five years, and post at least 3 times a week. So, not as much as you, but more than once in awhile. No one has ever said my blog has changed me. I think it's because the pressures and schedule of being a pro blogger must change the dynamics of the blog itself, and perhaps the blogger. Since I don't know you IRL, I couldn't say. But you seem pretty genuine to me! Keep up the great work.

  15. I agree with Ashten. Go pet some puppies and it'll make you feel better. :) And just... ignore those other people. I know we all shouldn't be bothered by other people's criticism, but we are. But whatever. You were honest and I agreed with what you had to say. If it offends some people... maybe they just aren't the readers for you and vise versa. LOVE YOU!

  16. Excuse my language, but it is just total horseshit what you have to put up with as a teacher. It really boils my blood when these so called "experts" think they can tell teachers how to teach...when in fact, they were never teachers themselves. ANYWAY, I can't say that I knew you before your blog, but if you have changed it doesn't seem that you've changed for the worse, only for the better. Lastly, I think that negativity and people who try to attack others, instead of attempting to engage in reasonable discussion, need to get off the internet (is that what the GOMI thing is? I don't get it).

  17. It's hard to face a new change. With being in a new district, you're used to doing things the way you've always done it. That's okay, just look at it not as obstacle, but at a learning opportunity (I mean, you're a teacher, you can totally do that). You might be surprised that you actually like some of the changes.

    As for the blog drama, don't let it get you too down. You've really made something out of this, which is a huge accomplishment! Not a whole lot of people can find success in writing, which is why you probably get a lot of flack because they're, um, totally jealous, duh. Take notes from the wondrous Florence Welch, "it's hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake it off", that and, "the horses are coming so you better run". :)

    When all else fails, get the poodle. Nothing beats a good snuggle with a furball when you're feeling down. And when that doesn't work, remember that there are people out there that enjoy your blog, like you for who you are (not who you were) and are inspired by what you write every day.

    Keep smiling.

  18. Anonymous8:53 AM

    I understand your frustrations with the Common Core Standards. My friends in Maryland complain about the tediousness too.

    As for that rebuttal post? I know who you're referring to. I love it when other bloggers make something all about themselves. All I could do was roll my eyes. I for one like your post. So there.

  19. Oh my gosh get a poodle and name it Gatsby!!!!! That's so cute! As for the crazy who wrote a blog post against you and your blog...don't worry about them. People love you and the most loved and adored people are always going to have "haters".

  20. Hang in there, Bonnie! You're going through a lot of change right now, which can be frustrating and scary. No one can be perfect. You just have to be who you are and try your best, which you are definitely doing. I love your blog. You keep it real. I can't stand people who post negative comments. If they don't agree with what you're saying, then just don't read anymore. We can't expect everyone to like us, but usually we don't go and tell them that to their face or post it over a public forum. It's just mean and ruins this wonderful place that bloggers have carved out for themselves. Do something that makes you really happy to recharge. It will get easier, and I think you're awesome! I hope your day is going well and that you have a great weekend:)

  21. Hey bonnie.
    you're still awesome.
    and how are they to know if its your blog or your life thats changed you?
    if your blog is a reflection of your life and your thoughts then reflecting is changing you?
    everyone seems to think changing is bad - but changing is good, and important, and kind of the whole point.

    wish we could head to spark and chat.
    or the chocolate and get frosted glasses of milk.

  22. Hey, this post is exactly my life right now! I'm not a teacher but I recently started a new job and having to adjust to new standards and being annoyed that I'm being micromanaged and then being annoyed at myself that I can't just adjust to the new standards is SO HARD. I feel your pain! I don't really have any advice because I'm barely managing myself, but it's not just you, if that helps at all :).

  23. You're awesome. That is all.

  24. Is that actually a real dog...or a stuffed animal. It looks to perfect and fluffy! I think I know what post you are talking about. Anyone that read your post knew who she was talking about so I think it odd not to mention it. Change can be hard and scary and frustrating. I think you are just feeling your way through it right now.

  25. Bonnie,

    All that criticism sucks. Could someone really have an entire post's worth to bash you? I find that hard to believe-- congratulations to whoever it was for being super inventive.

    Perhaps you could do an introspective post about how blogging has changed you, for good and for bad. For newer bloggers like myself, this would be really interesting.

  26. i love your blog. i love your honesty. girls are just rude no matter what. if she didn't write a blog post about you, then maybe she would do something else. girls can just suck at times. but i think yu are awesome andyour blog is awesome. keep doing what you are doing.

  27. Arg! You reminded me what I disliked about teaching so much! It's one reason I was happy to teach in a classroom across from the auto shop instead of in the FACS department. The ladies in my dept were sweet, but they were very much into following the most arbitrary of rules. It drove me crazy! Tell me what to do OR how to do it, but you can't do both.

  28. This post makes me sad, for a few reasons.
    Number one, it SUCKS to feel like you're feeling with school. I hope that you will be able to feel more settled and adjusted soon.
    Number two, I LOVE your blog. I think you're insightful, witty, funny, and thought-provoking.
    Number three, people are awful. It was really rude of someone to have a post discussing your blog without giving you a chance to a.) know about it, and b.) defend yourself against anything negative that was said. But I commend you for rising above, and doing your best to not let the ignorance and rudeness of others ruin your day.

    Bottom line - I think you're great. And also, I think you should get a dog. I want a dog so badly right now, and I can't have one, so I have to live vicariously through everybody else. :)


  29. I don't get the school micro-managing thing. Is this is a holdout from NCLB? I hope they relax on you soon.

    Definitely a cute lil' dog! That'll help with stress relief, too.

    At first, I was thinking "someone posting about your post and linking back and discussing it...that's like gossip!" but then I realized how many times I've seen people do that NOT meant as a dig, but as a "this discussion is interesting, here's my take". So while it sounds like a negative move, on your blog, it may have been a neutral move, to her. Hrmm....

  30. My English teacher heart loves your 1984 reference! My blogger heart is sad that there are such chumps out there. I love your blog and I get the impression that you love your blog too, which is what is important. I think that the comment about you changing is really ok. We all change. In fact change in a person is usually a positive thing. We grow, we learn, we become better. If we were always the same I actually would say that is a bigger issue. Keep on being you and keep pushing yourself to be better.

  31. Oh and I also want a dog named Gatsby. They could be brothers.

  32. Your blog brings me such joy when I see that you post something new! I love it. I did read a blog post a few days ago on another blog that just made me so I instead tried to create an adult discussion. Perhaps it wasnt the right thing to do, I mean I was complete respectful but I dont think she thought so lol. honestly just wanted to have a conversation about it. I get that people can get fed up with bloggers sometimes but I would never think to publically bash someone like that, so high school right?

  33. I love you Bonnie and don't care what stupid people say! You're real and you don't sugar coat life and you should feel free to just do you (and get a dog hehe)!

  34. I have SO much respect for teachers (hey, that's you!) and all you have to put up with. Each class has a different dynamic, and you shouldn't just be allowed, but rather, you should be ENCOURAGED to teach however you need or want to teach. I'm not really aware of another sector that has to put up with all that you have to put up with.

    Second. How wonderful it is that you've allowed yourself to be changed by your blog. How many years have you had it? How many people have you talked to? Would it have been a good thing for you to come into contact with that many people over that long of a time frame and actually NOT change? Change is a good thing; remaining stagnant—isn't.

    You do you.

  35. I'm sorry you're getting blog drama. Seriously, you get a bunch of women together, even on the internet, and someone's going to have a cow about something. It's ridiculous.

    And honestly, the public school standards are one of the reasons we want to homeschool. I would like my child to have some freedom as well!

  36. This was good. For some reason that is all I can think of to say.

  37. Micromanagement is the worst. Killing teacher initiative will make the students worse off. That is a simple point that you would think every principal would recognize. Have you talked to the principal? Good teachers like you should voice your concerns to the principal. Coordinating curriculums is an example of what the Army calls a GFI (Good Fing Idea). GFIs sound great on paper, but when implemented everyone realizes they are dumb..

  38. Micromanagement is the worst. Killing teacher initiative will make the students worse off. That is a simple point that you would think every principal would recognize. Have you talked to the principal? Good teachers like you should voice your concerns to the principal. Coordinating curriculums is an example of what the Army calls a GFI (Good Fing Idea). GFIs sound great on paper, but when implemented everyone realizes they are dumb..

  39. I saw the post you are referring to about you being Jane. I don't comment when people write about other blogs like that because honestly the blog is yours, the blog is theirs...and that's how it should be. If you don't like what's being written, then don't visit or comment. Plain and simple.

    And because of posts like the above is why its easier, sometimes, to be friends with boys not girls!

  40. I only recently found your gem of a blog but I found it really refreshing and I love your candidness! No one likes being micromanaged or their posts dissected ... or maybe they do (weirdos) and it can leave you feeling 'ick' when it all piles on at once. I hope you have an amazing weekend that refreshes you and clears your perspective! ♥

  41. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming! It's really easy to get weighed down, but then you have to realize, "Wait a minute! I'm awesome!" (because you are)

  42. The new core is an interesting beast--on the one hand, I see a lot of the merit in it, but our district has done a similar thing as far as taking it to the extreme in some ways: I also am expected to stick to a tight department-wide schedule, which dictates not only what we should teach and when, but also says that we all need to test on the same day and with the same test. Of course, all of this is more due to the implementation of PLCs at the school, but it was VERY frustrating for me at first. Now that I'm in my second year, I've gotten a lot more used to the idea and I've realized that I still have quite a bit of freedom to teach how I want.

    Basically what i'm trying to say is that I more or less get where you're coming from, and that I'm sending positive vibes your way to just keep hanging in there :)

    And as you know, I've loved your blog from the beginning. It's one of the few that I actually read every post on.

  43. as far as the blog post. I am not a reader of whatever blog ya'll are talking about but I was taught at a young age," if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." It has taken me years to heed this advice.
    As for you changing, could it perhaps be that you are now a married, more mature woman who has been in the workforce for a few years and like all of us as we age and grow, we change. it may not be the blog so much as life.

  44. I teach sophomore and junior English, so I guess I naturally love your blog and what you have to say. I admire how outspoken (er, outwritten?) you are willing to be on your blog. Quite honestly, I'd love teaching across the hall from you! It IS getting crazy how much the "system" is micromanaging us. It's like they don't have the gumption to fire the people who aren't doing their jobs; instead, they punish all of us. Such a shame. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for you to deal with all of those changes at the same time you are dealing with this move to a new school. Why is it that professional development rarely makes us feel professional or developed, especially not developed professionally?

    Clearly, that other blogger is taking her cues from Mean Girls. Maybe you can randomly post a "YOU DON'T EVEN GO HERE!" comment on her blog. I hope you understand my allusion, or I will feel dumb. Haha.

    Oh, and I overheard my mom say the following (about me) at a party: "If her husband could carry the babies, they'd have five by now." Yeah, thanks, Mom.

  45. Sounds like you got the case of Mona Lisa Smile.

  46. Anonymous4:09 PM

    I understand and know how you feel about the whole micromanaging thing. It's hurtful to be treated like you don't know what you are doing, and to - in a way - not be trusted that you can do a great job! I'm going through a similar situation, but in a different profession. What I've come to realize is that even though I don't like all the hard things coming my way, if I take them head on and embrace them, I will grow as a person and develop great skills and character traits that I might not have otherwise. :)

  47. I hear you. I always take everything personally so if someone said something negative to me, I would probably cry. quietly. I think it was pretty cowardly to debate someone's post without inviting them in to rebut. JMO. I vote for the toy poodle. They make everything better. Even the storms of life :)

  48. your awesome. your beautiful. your funny. I love your blog. keep it up girl! don't let anyone tell you differently and everyone that is trying to say something about your blog is NUTS. <3 you girl!

  49. I found it weird that other blogger didn't reference you or link back to your blog at all. In fact, that is how I ended up following you. I had to search in Google to find your post so that I would even know what she was talking about. The whole thing was just... weird. Why not link back or name you? Your blog post had nothing to do with her personally.

  50. Gatsby is the best name for a dog, obviously. I may be biased, but I think it works.

    Feel better, Bon! It's just a momentary rough patch that will smooth itself out eventually. You've just gotta keep going!


  51. I also rolled my eyes when I saw that blog post you're talking about (at least I think I know...) and if it is the one you were talking about, it looks like she has changed your name from "Jane" to "Bonnie" and linked back! Still so strange though...

  52. I'm not a blogger...just a reader of maybe I don't get it, but I've never understood why people trash bloggers? If you don't like what they write, then don't read. If I find that I'm not jiving with what a blogger has been reading about, I just move on and stop reading. What's with the hate? They must be insecure and trashing you somehow makes them feel better. Love your blog (up here in Canada!) and you are a really great, funny, witty writer, regardless of the content, which is what brings me back. Have a kid, they're fun, hahaha.