January 28, 2015

Quail Woman Attemps Dog Rescue

Welcome to Counselor with a Cape 2.0. This is my new home! I hope you like it. All of my previous posts from WordPress are located in the archives here, so don’t worry- if there’s something you liked you can still access it. Take a look around. I think you’ll like what you see. I will add new content frequently, so don’t miss out.


To kick things off here at my new location I’d like to provide a giveaway to all my loyal readers. Wanna know how to win? The first 50 people who submit their e-mail address at the very bottom of this page to subscribe to Counselor with a Cape will be entered in a drawing for a box of my ultimate favorite workout/energy drink. ADVOCARE SPARK! YASSSS! Ready, set, GO! The winner will be announced at the beginning of next week!

As for counselor world and life in general, it’s getting exciting. For those of you who don’t know, I’m getting married in A MONTH. That being said, things could start getting crazy hectic anytime now. I keep telling myself- “DON’T. START. PANICKING.” So far, I have been relatively calm throughout the process so I hope things remain that way.

Today though, I wish I legitimately had a cape. I’d wear it. You don’t believe me? Picture Quail Man. Remember him? From that old cartoon Doug. (If you are near my age and you didn’t watch Doug we can’t be friends anymore). Anyways, one of my precious students left a dog tied up to a post at his bus stop this morning. I’m sure his heart was in the right place, but clearly we were concerned. Fast forward a little….and dun, dun, DUN… Counselor with a Cape to the rescue. I drove out to the boonies to save the pup. Of course when I got there the student’s mother, who we could not reach on the 100 phone numbers we had for her, had gone to get the pup and taken it home. I know because I went to his house to make sure it was there. Some might say that’s a little crazy, I call it a love for my students mixed with a bleeding heart for animals. Works for me.

Happy Wednesday from the Marsh!

Adios! -K



January 24, 2015

Changed Womans

After all the crazy events that went down last week at the Marsh, I decided the weekend called for a breather. I even took a glorious two-hour nap on Sunday; which is basically unheard of in my world. If you know me at all, you know I can’t stop moving. Picture Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights “I don’t know what to do with my hands.” Lol.
But for real. I needed a break and when I was taking said break I thought of this quote. I’m going to butcher it a little, but Google doesn’t even know if FDR or Thomas Jefferson actually said it so I feel like it’s okay. “What do you do when you’re at the end of your rope? You hold on tighter and brace yourself for the wild ride ahead.” That’s not the exact quote, but that’s what it translates to in my mind. And that’s what I decided before I came back into work on Tuesday. Going back to last week, I am where I am for a reason. If I’m going to be here I may as well make it awesome right? So, Tuesday morning I went back in ready to kick ass.
Here’s how I felt by Thursday morning:

Just kidding. I was still ready to dance to the Rocky theme song pulling into the Marsh’s parking lot. And for good reason. Yesterday my girls counseling group met. The group is called GLOW which stands for “Girls Leading Our World”. However, for the last 6 months all GLOW has been leading in is discipline referrals. I decided that this was the wild ride I was in for, so I was ready to give them a fresh start. It was almost like impostors came to group. They were all smiling, happy, excited, and positive. We did discipline card checks and they hit their goal for the first time this year; they were legit screaming in the front office conference room. Oopsie. So, for getting only 3 points they get to wear their snazzy GLOW t-shirts tomorrow as well as get a snack (Publix Cupcakes, duh). Anyway my point is that I didn’t give up on them when I really wanted to. Instead, I gave them another chance. And I am super pumped that I did, because they made me really proud yesterday. Especially when one of them said “Misssss, we are changed womans.” J
Today I want to leave you with this, I’ll call it: Tips for working with groups that could eat you alive.
  1. Gain their trust.
  2. Be confident. If you don’t know the answer act like you do. (I don’t necessarily condone lying, however desperate times call for desperate measures…..JK… kind of.)
  3. And lastly, NEVER give up. Just when you want to… the unspeakable can happen. Like them hitting their goal. For the first time. This. Year.
Yay for GLOW t-shirts tomorrow! (And FRIDAY BREAKFAST!!- That’s a whole post of it’s own though.). Adios Thursday. I’m ready for the weekend!

Where's The Good?

This has been one of those weeks. And when I say those weeks I mean THOSE weeks. You know what I’m talking about. Anything and everything crazy that could happen has. More than once. I almost thought the zombie apocalypse was happening. And in that case I would be prepared with the bow and arrow I got for Christmas. I LOVE my bow and arrow. (We will save that for another day though). Anyway, sometimes in counselor world I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m sure some of you out there can relate to that.
Being at a Title I School in a tough neighborhood can be exhausting at times. My thought over and over again this week was where is the good? Where is it? Did it get lost somewhere? There were kids fighting, arguing, yelling, sending nudie pics, talking about “lesbies” (don’t ask), yelling out profanity, losing weave, and the list goes on and on. Middle school, especially mine, should be on it’s own planet. It’s like distorted reality. I remember when I first started working in middle school I was like what in the world is going on?!?! Why are the kids acting like this?! Now 3 years later NOTHING surprises me. Not a thing. It does however exhaust me at times and there are definitely days my heart hurts for these kids and their future.
So, that being said there are a few things I was reminded of this week that I wanted to share with those of you out there who also work with a tough crowd:
  1. Build relationships. To stop or at least decrease the cycle of crazy, kids have to trust that you have their best interest at heart. I had this exact convo with my group girls yesterday. They may not like what I’m doing, but they know I’m doing it because it will make them better in the long run.
  2. Less preaching, more praying. By that I mean quit talking AT them, quit yelling AT them, and pray for them. Be in the moment with them.
  3. Believe in yourself. You are where you are for a reason, because you belong there. You have a unique opportunity to share your talents and gifts with those around you. In my case, I am going to spread love to kids who desperately need it and may not get it anywhere else.
  4. Keep pushing forward. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalms 34:18) Lean on God and He will refresh your mind, body, and most importantly your spirit for whatever it is you’re doing.
The world needs you. Yes you. Get out there and do something awesome, even when it’s hard to. As for me, I have one more day this week with students and I have been praying that I, as well as my co-workers, can keep ahold of our sanity. I also wanted to share a quick side note that not all my students are aliens. I did get this card yesterday from a very precious kiddo.
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Up In The Gym

For those of you who know me you know I like to eat healthy and exercise. I’ve had some people ask me about what I do so I thought this was the perfect time to do a cliffs notes version,  I mean with health and fitness New Year’s Resolutions burning up my newsfeed and whatnot now’s the perfect time!
So let me start with what I’ve done WRONG.      WHAT?!!!?      Yes, I’m admitting that I have done things wrong before (Mr. L don’t get too used to this).
I’ll call these….Fitness BLUNDERS:
-Not knowing my own body i.e. what fuel it likes, how much it takes to make it through a day, etc. Knowing your body is SO important and it doesn’t just magically happen. It’s trial and error. I finally hit the right combination of health and fitness together and BOOM I’m in the best shape I’ve been in in years.
-Not eating enough vs. eating too much. I didn’t want to be stuck in a lifestyle where I was measuring my food constantly or counting my macros (what does that EVEN MEAN?!). I wanted to live a realistic lifestyle for someone who is busy and on the go constantly. So, this was a trial and error deal for me too. But with a few switcharoos here and there I figured it out.
-Not drinking enough H20. I have to have my water measured out so I know how much I’m consuming. Otherwise, I might feel like I’ve had a ton and really it isn’t enough. They say to take your total body weight divided by 2 and that is the number of ounces of water you should drink a day. I drink roughly a gallon. Yes, at first it was tough and yes, I pee a lot. (sorry TMI).
-Taking bad advice. Don’t compare yourself to other people and don’t listen to fitness advice from any and every Joe Schmoe who says they know health and fitness. It’s important to trust the person who is giving you advice and know that they have your best interest at heart.
So, that being said- here are a few particulars about my routine:
My fav eating style: Paleo-ish. Yes I added an ish. I do that a lot. For the most part my diet is Paleo, but I do eat some stuff that is not Paleo and that works for me. If you’re curious as to what a weekly meal plan looks like for me let me know. I’d be happy to share.
Fav go-to lunch: Black Bean Quinoa Burgers. (not really burgers at all) but SO SO delicious. I’ll share it in the recipes tab.
Fav workout: CardioMMA at New World Krav Maga and Crossfit. NOTHING feels better after a stressful day than punching and kicking the crap out of a bag. Nothing.
Fav song to workout to: David Guetta- Play Hard (I’m a big David Guetta fan for just about any workout, but especially running it just really gets me going and keeps me moving fast.) I also like the pop and hip-hop power hour station on Pandora.
Fav shoes: Depending on the workout. Crossfit/CMMA- Nano 3.0’s; Running- Brooks Ravenna.
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Fav App: Nike+Running & MyWOD. Both cheap. Both awesome at keeping track of stuff.
Fav Supplements:
Energy: Advocare Spark
Hydration: Advocare Rehydrate
Meal Replacement: Visalus Body by Vi Shakes
Yes, I use supplements from two different companies, no I don’t care. Like I said- you have to know your body and do what’s best for it.
So that’s my health and fitness regimen in a quick little nutshell. There’s a lot more to it, but I don’t want you snoozin’ before the end of the post!! If you want to know more reach out! I’d love to chat with you.
Adios friends!
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Soar.

Gratitude and leaving a legacy are a couple of things that have been running through my mind the past few days. With the passing of my grandma I have spent time reflecting on my life as well as hers. When we were at the funeral service yesterday the pastor was describing her and I couldn’t help but think wow. The fact that someone who had known my grandmother for roughly 60 years and had such amazing things to say about her was awesome. Two things that stuck out to me were service and kindness. She had spent her life serving God and others through nursing. She had spread kindness and love to everyone around her. What a simple yet amazing legacy to leave behind.
The gratitude that I’ve felt over the past few days that this was one of the most influential women in my life is huge. The memories I have of her are filled with love and for that I am so grateful. I believe that there is a special kind of healing found when you have faith in God that He is doing what’s right for you and those around you.
Anyways, this morning I spent some time thinking ahead to 2015 and what my year could look like. What kind of legacy could I leave? See that’s the beauty of a new year. You can set new goals and accomplish anything. It’s like a brand new chapter in your life story that you get to write. Everyday you live you move closer to where you are intended to be, your miracle. Every obstacle you overcome makes you stronger and prepares you for that miracle.
This verse stood out to me a lot in my goal setting this morning:
Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”
That being said, I hope everyone takes some time to renew your strength, refocus on where you want to go, and soar. I know I am ready for 2015, because I have BIG things to accomplish, BIG things happening, and will take so many steps towards my miracle.
Here are some of my dreams for 2015:
Live a life more like Jesus.
Have a family.
Be a licensed mental health counselor.
Be a better runner.
Read and write, a lot.
Spread love to those who may not experience it anywhere else.
Do you have inspiring 2015 goals? Shout them out. I would LOVE to hear them.
Have a safe and joyful new year everyone and I will catch up with you in 2015!

How To: Choose Joy.

This week Becker and I organized a few classroom lessons to spread love and joy to our students. We borrowed a lesson from a series they are doing at our Church right now and tweaked it so it could be taught at school. As I was writing down some thoughts about it I decided I would share them here as well. Because… let’s face it. As adults we struggle to find joy during the holiday season too sometimes. So here are my notes for “3 ways to be joyful in the present.”
Growing up Christmas was always a big holiday for my family. We did the same thing every year. I would wake up way super early and get my parents up, then I always got a thrill out of waking my brother up early too because he would be grouchy and tired. We would open gifts first thing that morning; sometimes it was even dark out still. I would get so pumped because I usually got what I had asked for. Then we would eat breakfast (my favorite meal of the day), I would play with my new stuff, and we would watch movies all day. My mom would usually cook something really great for dinner too. This is how it was for as long as I could remember.
Then something happened. My dad got diagnosed with cancer on my 21st birthday, which was in September. So Christmas that year was a little different. My dad was really tired and sick. We didn’t get up super early and instead of worrying about gifts or watching movies, we mostly just worried about my dad resting and making sure he ate a good meal. Have you ever seen a family member or someone you care about sick? It’s really hard to watch because there’s not much you can do to relieve their pain.
Anyways, fast-forward about 7 months to July. I’ll never forget that July because that month my dad passed away. I was really upset. Mostly angry, but sad too. I experienced a lot of pain that year. So when Christmas came around let’s just say I wasn’t in the holiday spirit. We didn’t celebrate like we used to. We just opened some gifts and ate dinner. It wasn’t happy and it definitely wasn’t joyful. I wasn’t nice to my family and we didn’t have a great holiday at all.
So what could I do to change it?
That’s where I want to focus today. I know I’m not the only person who has had something painful happen in the past. Whether it’s a family member passing or maybe someone has treated you bad. Or maybe you know you won’t get much for Christmas this year. How can we all get past those things that bother us so that we can still experience joy this holiday season?
The first way to be joyful in the present: talk to your Christmas past.
That sounds weird right, like how do you talk to your past? Well I’m going to tell you. Right now close your eyes and think of something painful that has happened to you. Picture it very clearly. Who was there? What happened? What was said? In your head think about what it would be like to tell that person how it felt to be hurt. Or in some cases you can’t tell the person, so how would it feel for you to be able to move on and forgive? In my situation it was a little different because nobody intentionally hurt me. However, I did turn around and hurt others because I was sad and angry.
That takes us to our second way to be joyful in the present. And that’s to remember: hurt people, hurt people. To explain this I will use my own situation. I lashed out at people and I was angry a lot. Was it just because I was an angry person? No, I was hurt. I was hurt because I lost my dad, so I hurt others. That doesn’t make it right, but I bet you can relate because come to think about it anytime I’ve been hurt by someone I can now look back and see that they were hurting too. Maybe they hurt to ease their own pain. Maybe they hurt because they had so much pain they didn’t know where to put it. Whatever the reason, it makes it easier to stay joyful when you think “hurt people, hurt people”.
The last thing I want to share with you on how to stay joyful in the present is: it’s not the presents you get, it’s the gifts you give in the present. Sounds corny, but for real. We all get wrapped up in what we’re getting: a new phone, new shoes, new this, new that. Or even the opposite side that is maybe you don’t get what you want or anything at all; or wow so and so got a lot for Christmas. What we need to remember is that the gifts are not what the holidays are about. The holidays are about spreading love and to do that you have to get some things off your heart.
When Becker and I were planning this lesson out he said something that I wrote down and really struck a chord with me. That is “bad things live in the dark.” When you keep things that are painful in your heart they will burn you up from the inside out. Your heart will hurt…and what do hurt people do?
So to wrap this up I just hope and pray that everyone finds some joy this holiday season. I know in roughly 6 days I will find a lot of joy when I get to hold my brand new niece for the first time. Here’s a picture of that sweet snuggly little angel burrito. I have so much love for her already. Happy holidays!
Hadley Jean

Escuchame Por Favor.

For those of you (like me) who are not fluent in Spanish, my title means “listen to me please”. I am NOT fluent in Spanish at all, but there are some little blurbs I pick up here and there from being around a lot of Spanish-speaking amigas and estudiantes. I don’t even know if that was correct grammar. My Spanish is awful, it couldn’t even be considered Spanglish it’s so bad. But I felt like it goes along with my ideas for today which have to do with listening.
Listening seems like it should be such an easy task for people. I mean you don’t have to really DO anything besides focus and open your ears; which might I add isn’t even physically something you have to do because your ears are already open, unless of course they are filled with ear wax then that’s a whole different problem. And a personal one at that….Ew. Sorry, but do you get what I’m saying? When you think about listening you’d think it should be something that just comes naturally to us.
But it doesn’t.
Example one: We ALL know kids that HATE to listen. If you haven’t ever come across one you’re in the minority, but those are particularly the kids I get to spend the most time with. Lucky me right? Anyways, it’s like you can’t say anything to them because every time you do it sounds like that old Charlie Brown cartoon when the lady is going “wahh wahh wahh” each time she opens her mouth. I swear that is what happens with some of the kids I talk to. They’re immediately interrupting me, already putting their two cents in before I even have a sentence out of my mouth. Real frustrating right?
Example two: People who are constantly on the defensive. Ever come across one of those? Especially adults. They are never wrong, and don’t take the time to let you say anything because in their head they already know what you’re going to say or what you mean and instead of listening they are formulating their response in their head. Because there’s no way you have anything worthwhile to say to them. And you’re like am I talking to a brick wall?!
I could list so many examples of people who don’t listen, but rather than do that I want to focus on the opposite side of this. Why should we all take a minute to listen?
I have found that listening is the BEST and sometimes most underused tool I have in my toolbox. When I sit and genuinely listen to my students’ problems and frustrations or even their successes, I don’t have to have all the answers. But I am spreading love by listening. And like I’ve referenced before, my mission in counseling is to spread love to those who might not experience it anywhere else. If I don’t take the time to listen to my kiddos, who will? I would say their parents, but not all of them have that luxury.
This goes for adults too. Maybe if we all take the time to sit and listen to what’s going on with our significant other, family, co-workers, friends, etc. we wouldn’t run into half the issues we have all experienced up to this point. Myself included. But if we pay attention to the little things, keep our ears truly open (and wax free), and take the time to listen to others it would not only help them, it would help us in return.
Learn to listen. Your life will be better for it. I promise. And if it’s not let me know and I will throw my whole theory in the garbage for you.
Oh and I would like to end with the fact that I am always drawn to the book of James in the bible. For some reason James always comes through when I need him to. Today is no exception.
James 1:19 “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
Adios my amigos.

What Does Heaven Look Like?

The title of this post popped into my head before I actually wrote the post. I don’t do that often. I’ve loved writing my whole life and I have ALWAYS finished whatever it is I’m writing and came up with my title last. But for some reason this title popped into my head last week and I’ve been kicking it around like a soccer ball in there ever since. Some of you probably groaned when you saw the topic thinking “Oh goodie another bible thumper.” And then there were some of you who probably thought “Hmm…what does this chick know about heaven?” I really don’t have a clearly set angle that I am heading with this, but a few things do come to mind.
So what is Heaven? Now, for those of you who are well versed in the Bible and God’s word I am sure you have your own ideas of what Heaven looks like. Here are a few things that I imagine:
  1. Powering through a really hard week without complaining or giving up. That’s right, one of those weeks that you aren’t really sure where the strength came from to finish. You’re literally running on fumes and hoping you make it out without killing yourself (or someone else). I just had one of those weeks and through God’s will, extra prayer, and a boat load of caffeine I made it. I think that’s pretty Heavenly if you ask me.
  1. Paleo chicken and waffles. When you eat clean, finding a healthy option for an awesome comfort food is like Heaven. Point Blank. (To find this recipe check out the recipe tab).
  1. Divine Intervention. I promise you. It’s real. My faith has grown exponentially in the last 2 years. I have gone from not knowing what or who to believe in, to starting to read the bible, to getting a new bible for Christmas (Shout out to Teri Lock on that awesome gift), to going to church, to doing a bible study, to getting baptized, to literally busting at the seams as far as faith goes. Things that happen that are inexplicable unless you believe that God has his hands in your life. My conclusion is that God knows more about what I need than I do. And if it’s His will, it happens. Seems pretty legit and Heavenly to me.
  1. Kids experiencing success; especially the first time experiencing it. For those of you who are not well versed in the alternate universe of middle school, I run counseling groups based off behavior from last school year; to explain it the easiest way-I put the worst behaved children all in one room. When these kids come to me and have reached their discipline goal for the week (which means low number of signatures on their discipline cards, no discipline referrals, and no suspensions) it is like Christmas morning. When they see my reaction and I see them light up because someone cares that they didn’t get in trouble for a week it literally could be a middle school version of Heaven. Seeing hope in a child’s eyes is something you can never forget.
  1. Lastly for today- being able to spread love to those who don’t experience love anywhere else. I’m in the perfect position to do this being a middle school counselor. I have a chance to spread love to kids who don’t really know what love is. It is amazing to see a child change overtime when they know people care about them. Right now, I am looking forward to providing some mentoring for a girl, just some extra support and homework help. It might not seem like much, but for a kid who has the Great Wall of China constructed around her to keep people out; it’s huge.
So, I know this is another long post and I said I wanted to keep things short, but I had to at least include those 5 things that were on my mind. I actually had a few more things, but these were the most important. Your idea of Heaven might be different. But being able to have a vision for life and for my career (“Spreading love to those who don’t experience love anywhere else”) and actually seeing it happen is my Heaven. I have several other things that also play a huge role in what my Heaven looks like, but for now I will spare you. (Clearly I added in the Paleo chicken and waffles just because they are delicious.)
Adios!

Brain Babies

Brain babies are what my co-counselor and I call the crazy ideas that pop into our heads at like 6 am when we are working out, drinking our coffee, or eating breakfast. They are inspiring. It’s like this vivid picture pops into your mind and you’re like wait this is the best thing I’ve ever come up with (whether it really is or not you don’t know yet), but it’s like burning you up inside to tell someone. Sometimes these ideas seem great but fizzle out because they weren’t so great. Sometimes you start preparation for one and don’t finish. Then sometimes you start seeing one of your ideas through and it works awesome; like better than awesome. Then there is a time like I’m in now where my brain baby took form, I have implemented it, and have been running it for a couple of months and yesterday I felt the world stop. I wanted to throw in the towel on my precious brain baby. I know I’m being really vague. So I’ll give you some background info.
This year I decided to follow suite with my co-counselor and do an all-girls group (he’s doing an all-boys group) on growing up. Basically I’m teaching them life skills, but also trying to instill leadership characteristics into these girls. How did I compile my group you may be wondering? Well, we went to our school’s discipline data and took kids who had missed 10 or more periods of class time last year due to a discipline issue (time out, in school suspension, or out of school suspension) and randomly put them together to form our groups. I knew in the beginning of the year I was setting myself up for either A) something awesome or B) wanting to punch myself in the face all year. I’ve experienced both of these feelings several times already and we aren’t even half way through the year.
Yesterday I had a moment where I wanted to quit. I have a new motto this year that is “don’t put in more work than the people you’re trying to help.” I have to set limits for myself because by nature I am someone who feels compelled to always help others and sometimes this is to a fault. I end up working harder than they do! Anyways long story short I want my girls group to go volunteer somewhere to experience something meaningful and develop their empathy for other people (as you can probably guess they aren’t the nicest group of girls). As we were chatting about it, they started laughing at a soup kitchen saying it was ratchet and hilarious. This really disappointed me because they were missing the whole point of volunteering. I let them go right then because I could honestly feel tears welling up in my eyes. I didn’t yell at them, I just simply said “you guys can go back to class, and please don’t come back to group until you can identify why I’m having you leave.” They all looked at me surprised, but left.
I took a time out at that moment, went to my office, shut my door and read a couple bible verses.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Mark 10:27 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God.”
Then I looked up from my momentary time out and there were 4 of them standing at my door. I let them in and they apologized. They said they should have never laughed at the soup kitchen and they felt bad for doing so. Then a little bit later another one of them came in to apologize as well. She wasn’t sure what she was apologizing for so I explained. “This group of girls is so consumed with their own lives and feeling that the world revolves around them that they have absolutely no compassion for other people. They can’t understand why other people feel the way they do and do not respect anyone, or even themselves.” She nodded her head and agreed. They really are essentially a group of mean girls. However, they did recognize that I was not happy and did come to apologize which is a baby step in the right direction.
So the moral of my long post is even when you’re sure you want to quit, take a time out and talk to God about it. He will provide insight into whatever situation you’re facing and He will guide you on what to do next.
Through the 2 bible verses I read and my girls coming back to apologize I know God was telling me not to give up on them just yet. Something amazing is going to come from my work with these girls. I can feel it.

Sabbatical Has Ended....With Interesting Socks.

Well hello there! I've had a sabbatical from my blog. I know the word sabbatical isn't really appropriate when referring to a blog, but the word makes me feel important. I wasn't really sure after my first post if I wanted to continue. But today I went back and re-read that post and thought to myself, "Someone out there is bound to benefit from the ridiculousness that happens in my life as a counselor". Even if it's just a laugh or makes someone feel comforted that there are others out there who can relate to what you go through or how you feel. That being said, I'm going to give this another shot. 

Right now it's November (you're like duh I can see the date). I'm roughly 3 months into my 3rd year as a school counselor. I actually started this year with a huge sense of confidence. Picture a little super hero with a big puffed up chest and huge Popeye looking muscles. I'd say my huge Popeye muscles have deflated just a little, but I would like to think I'm still going strong. I'm learning so much this year just like every other year. I now know what the game "Scoop" is (if you don't know, I am going to bless you by not telling you), a new term "thot", what it means to say "Bye Felicia", and that teenagers may never grow out of using Axe Body Spray as a replacement to taking an actual shower. Fun right? 

I have also been learning more about technology because with approximately 1200 students and growing it makes life a lot simpler to be able to create video classroom lessons and transmit them out to teachers to play instead of running marathons each week trying to get to the 20+ classrooms in each department to talk to kids about how to be proactive or one of the numerous other things I need to teach them before the end of the year. (More to come on this in the weeks/months to come). 

Since I don't want to write a novel each time (I actually want you to read my whole post)- I will leave you today with a picture of a pair of socks a student had on one day when I called him down just to get to know him and build rapport. When I asked what was on the socks (clearly I already knew) he told me they were a cartoon character, actually Stewie from the show Family Guy is who he said. Interesting how the mind of a teenager works. Did he SERIOUSLY convince himself this was Stewie or was he insulting my intelligence? The world will never know. :P Until next time.

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Middle School Can Be Traumatizing...For The Kids Too.

You remember when you were in middle school right? You were mostly worried about what teachers you got, who was in your classes, what was for lunch, and sports. At least that’s how I remember it. I mean yeah there were a few minor arguments (which back then felt like the end of the world). But middle school today, at least from my perspective is radically differently. Almost traumatizing and when I say traumatizing I mean for the adults as well as the kids.
Being in middle school in itself is hard. In the two years I’ve been a middle school counselor I have been in quite a few awkward moments with my students. The kids are leaving elementary school, hitting puberty, trying to figure out who they are, they’re essentially the middle children of the education system. They’re dramatic by nature and trying to stay afloat. Now let’s add in a thousand way too adult things to be worrying and thinking about and we’ve got middle school today. I’m pretty sure when I was in their shoes I was starting to hold hands probably (once I got past boys having cooties) but these kids are talking about drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, gangs, guns, bad home lives, etc. Let’s pair that with social media and technology and we are all in for a world of hurt.
It’s unfortunate. In an already delicate time of their lives they are forced to deal with things that they aren’t emotionally equipped to deal with. Why then have we made our children grow up faster than they’re biologically ready to? That’s what I’m not sure of. Maybe someone out there has some insight into this? I’m trying to wrap my own brain it so that I can be here to help them when some of them are already so far gone. Don’t get me wrong, we have some of your run of the mill middle schoolers who still believe in the tooth fairy and value their family more than the drama at school, but that’s becoming few and far between.
Sometimes I leave school towards the end of the week and feel like my head is spinning. This is one of those weeks and it’s only Thursday. Friday be good to me.