In a crowded room, I’m alone.

These words speak a certain truth in a way I couldn’t express better if I tried. They come from one of my favorite songs and tug at my heart each time I hear them. They are words that describe a feeling I have felt my whole life but could never quite articulate in just the right way; words which, ironically, in the same way that running does, bring calm to the immutable chaos in my mind, a comfort to my discomfort. I hear them and know that at least one other person feels the same way.  Continue reading →

Another Year Over

I think there comes a time in the school year for every teacher when he or she announces the end of his or her teaching career. I’ve certainly reached that point each year that I’ve taught, and this year was no exception. In fact, I had more than one “I’m-never-teaching-again” moment this year. There were times when I felt frustrated and disconnected from my students; times when I questioned whether my students were learning; and times when I doubted my decision to pursue education as a career at all. I’d gone through this cycle in previous years, which naturally leads me to ask myself, Why do I keep putting myself through this? Continue reading →


Remember when you were in high school and every year the soon-to-be graduating classes of students older than you seemed to check out a few weeks before the end of the year? And how after three years of witnessing the same pattern of apathy among those students to whom you had always looked up, it was only inevitable that you, too, came down with a major case of senioritis, counting the days until graduation? In all of that time, it never occurred to me that teachers might share in that feeling, anxiously awaiting the end of the school year and silently (or not) willing it to come faster. After all, teachers lived in the supply closet in the classroom, right? And if you ever did see them …Continue reading →

My Year of Volunteering

It was my mom who first planted the idea in my mind that we should always help our friends, neighbors, family… anyone, really, and anytime there is a need and we are in a position to help fill it. She didn’t call it volunteering, but I guess in a way, it was. Mom was always helping people out, even when she was a single mom in the Army, working full time and raising two girls on her own. Not that she, too, didn’t receive help from time to time, because that’s how volunteering works, right? The idea of good karma and that what goes around comes back around? Continue reading →

Día de los Muertos


Photo by Randal Sheppard. Source:

Celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, el Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is one of Mexico’s most important holidays. Contrary to how it may sound, el Día de los Muertos is a happy occasion and a time when Mexicans remember their loved ones and in a way, make fun of death. Decorations for the holiday often feature skeletons dressed in costume, playing sports and musical instruments, and enjoying everyday life activities.

Born in the modern-day Mexican state of Michoacan, the rituals associated with el Día de los Muertos date back to Aztec times. Mexican families create an altar in their homes, covered with colorful tablecloths and adorned with candles. It is customary …Continue reading →