Friday, December 21, 2012

My descent into alcoholism

I am sitting at the airport, which is a clusterfuck because all flights yesterday were canceled because of the snow. It’s 7:39 a.m. and my breakfast is a plastic cup of yogurt-covered preztels and I am drinking wine out of a coffee cup. My phone is broken so hopefully Misty will actually be able to find me in the clusterfuck that LAX is going to be. Now I gotta chug this wine because boarding is starting. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Damn snow day

Today is the last day of the semester, a half-day! The day when all the little munchkins probably would've brought me presents and we were going to play dreidel (even though Hanukah is over, I know)! The day that was going to be crazy and fun and crazy!

But last night it snowed and now there is a snow day which sucks because we still have to make it up at the end of the year as a FULL DAY and today was going to be AWESOME and FUN. So BOOOOOOOOOOO!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cry baby

I tell myself I am not going to cry, I am not going to cry, I am not crying, I am not crying as though if I say it enough, it will be true.

I am not crying because my roommates, if they don’t actively dislike me, just ignore me.

I am not crying because someone (I don’t know who) texted one of my roomates “Arielle ruined Christmas” and he thought it was funny or memorable enough to save to his camera roll yet got flustered and acted like it didn’t exist when I accidentally saw it and I have no idea what this means but it can’t be anything I want to hear.

I am not crying because my roommates never invite me to spontaneously-planned dinners or drinks at a bar.

I am not crying because I feel all alone in Kansas City. I am not crying because I feel more depressed than I have ever felt.

I am crying because the season finale of The Hour was TOO EMOTIONAL. I am crying for those poor babies in Connecticut. I am crying for the injustices my own babies have to face. I am crying for all the injustices in the world, and all the things that are worse than feeling lonely or rejected or just plain sad.

As though if I say it enough, it will be true.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why did I leave San Francisco

"Sometimes you need to step outside and get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be."

Apparently this quote is from Gossip Girl?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Go to sleep

It was all unseasonably warm last week, like in the 50s˚F, but now it's in the 10-20˚F and I'm like Stop fucking with me, Midwest. I am a Californian not used to this bullshit. Fuck cold weather. I can't wait to get back to California and lay on the beach in 60˚ sunshine (but not go in the water because that shit is freezing).

I never thought I would be up past 10 p.m. telling myself I needed to go to bed because it's already late. Never. Go to bed, go to bed. You have to get up at 6 a.m. Go to bed. Go to bed.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I had plans but they just disappeared

I was supposed to go to someone’s (I say someone because saying ‘friend’ doesn’t seem quite right anymore since she hasn’t said a word to me in two months) birthday party tonight, but I couldn’t find a parking spot within a block of her house and it was raining and I didn’t want to walk in the rain and I just decided Maybe I’ll drive to Kansas and so I started driving west and I just kept thinking that if I kept driving west, eventually I would get to California, right?

Monday, November 26, 2012


Para dar un alivio a estas penas,
que me parten la frente y el alma,
me he quedado mirando a la luna,
a través de las finas acacias.
En la luna hay algo que sufre,
entre un nimbo divino de plata:
hay algo que besa los ojos
y que seca, llorando, las lágrimas.
Yo no se lo que tiene la luna,
que acaricia, que duerme y que calma,
y que mira en silencio al rendido,
con inmensas piedades de santa.
Y esta noche, que sufro y que pienso
libertar de esta carne a mi alma,
me he quedado mirando a la luna,
a través de las finas acacias.
Juan Ramón Jiménez

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saddest thing

Jill and I went to Waffle House yesterday. Jesus christ if that isn't the most god-forsaken restaurant on the planet.

I am sad that I left Cincinnati. I hate going back to real life. My real life sucks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Two more states crossed off! That brings my total to... 11. Only 39 more to go.

I am here in Cincinnati to do Thanksgiving with my friend Jill, who I studied in Mexico with. Her neighborhood is so fucking cute. Very San Francisco-y. Point in case: I'm at this cafe, and these people next to me are clearly having a business meeting (yep, at a cafe, at 1 pm, on a Wednesday) and they are talking about how it's important to show that their product/service/made-up religion is "structually committed to authenticity" and offers "cultural insights" and is "new but experienced (fresh w/ firepower)". CRAZY, NEW-AGE, SOCIAL MEDIA SYNERGY DOUBLE SPEAK DOESN'T GET ANY MORE SF/SILICON VALLEY-ISH THAN THAT.

Oh shit, some girl just called something "an online experience" but then said it was "too soon in the relationship to do that". Jesus fucking Christ.

Maybe I'll go for a run soon. It's really nice out. I never thought I'd be like, wow, 55 degrees is beautiful weather! But it is. My life has been taking the strangest turns lately.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It's hard for me to update now. I only ever work and then come home and work some more. I rarely go out with friends. I think this is the third (fourth?) week in a row that I've stayed in both Friday and Saturday nights, but I'd rather not count because it makes me depressed. I feel like my roommates and TFA friends all ignore me. No one texts me to ask what I'm up to or if I want to join them for a drink. I don't talk to anyone except people from back home. I would actually rather be in a room of unruly 6th graders because my apartment reminds me of how I have nothing to do but plan lessons when I'm not at school.

People forget to tell you that moving somewhere new isn't all glitz and glamour and adventure; it's loneliness and trying to find new furniture and melancholy and aching for home. But it's also weird, because home isn't home anymore; supposedly I live here now. I feel like my mind is definitely not in the same place as my body. I feel like I don't live anywhere.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


One of the parents bought cupcakes to the soccer game yesterday. He gave me a pumpkin cupcake with brown sugar buttercream. Between that and a student bringing me a chocolate cupcake on Wednesday, BEING A TEACHER IS AWESOME, YO. FREE CUPCAKES ARE THE SHIT.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


So the school district mandates this generic online diversity training. YES, I WENT TO COLLEGE AND I KNOW WHAT RACISM IS AND THIS TRAINING IS ASININE. The "situations" they propose are so overly simplistic and also one is about a man who walks into a teachers' lounge full of women AND FEELS SO UNCOMFORTABLE BECAUSE OF ALL THE VAGINAS I GUESS. Right, that's the real cultural diversity problem. That's where the real sexism comes in.

But it wasn't done yet. Nope, shit had not yet gone downhill. The video then started talking about "equality language" versus "superiority language". According to the video, an example of equality language is, "I don't want my parents to arrange my marriage. But I'd really like to hear about how your parents arranged yours." OOOOOHHHH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT EVEN. Nope. Just nope. SHUT IT DOWN.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teacher Confession #38

I love conspiring with parents to make sure a student can't weasel his/her way out of homework.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Something profound about love

"The idea is that the real home that you build in your world is a home of love. That is a home that is all about exposing yourself to vulnerability, it’s all about giving yourself fully to another person, it means that you feel comfortable and safe enough to drop all of your masks…also that you forgive in another person their flaws, because you’ve already encountered, embraced, forgiven your own flaws. And really I think as a human person—in my mind, I’ve always thought the final home of any human is in love."
Junot Díaz on the imperfect perfection of the novel and why genre fiction gets so little respect

Junot Díaz why can't you marry me is it 'cause you're already married in real life*

*Don't know if he's actually married in real life. He's pretty awesome so I'm assuming he is because that's how the universe likes to fuck with me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Historical Memory

Yesterday (September 10) we were going through the homework planners my students received for class. One of them asked, "It says tomorrow that it's Patriot Day. What's that?"

"I don't know," I responded. "Some holiday."

"Do we get it off school?!"

I looked at the date just now. OH RIGHT, THAT'S WHAT PATRIOT DAY IS. These kids were born in 2000 and 2001. They don't remember that shit. That's weird.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apparently September is Hispanic History Month but every month will be Hispanic History Month in my classroom

So I've decided that fuck it, I don't care, we are going to skip science one day next week and learn about Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

That's a lesson about México, Spanish poetry, AND feminism. BOOM BITCHES.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

College stress is just child's play

This job is anxiety and stress up the wazoo. And I don't even work at a badly-behaved nor poorly-managed school. I actually have tons of support from co-workers and administration staff. Yet I am constantly on edge, except like on Saturdays which is my one day to relax. THIS SHIT IS FOR REAL, SON.

In other news, my sixth grade girls were telling me which boys they like and were always shocked that I could guess who liked whom or who used to date whom like I was never eleven years old, bitch please.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


School starts tomorrow ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh if you need me, I'll be over here in the fetal position.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Panic attack

Wow, it's been almost a month. School starts on Monday. How did this happen?! I am so not prepared. I feel like I'm going to have my students in front of me, try to say something in Spanish, and gibberish will come out.

Also, my regional director went around adding all everyone on Facebook. Who the fuck does she think she is! She doesn't get to see pictures of me being a dumbfuck in college! That is confidential material only for people I trust, like randos from high school or friends of friends I met one time at a party.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Honey badger don't quit

Actual line of my (hopefully) last lesson plan for Institute: “Winning team will get gold medals. 2nd place team will get silver medals. Everyone wins because we learned math! Everyone is a honey badger because they didn’t quit!”

Achievement gap: CLOSED. You’re welcome.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

One week left

One week left of institute. This is my jam. I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to go back to Missouri.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We need to go deeper

On our Institute schedule for today, we had a session immediately after student dismissal called "Reflecting on Reflecting". Seeing that on the schedule last week, everyone was already incredulous. "Are you fucking kidding me? How much reflecting to they expect us to do?" Everyone was pretty much prepared for a bullshit session in the warm, stuffy library where we stared blankly at a SmartBoard, not listening to a thing because once the munchkins are gone, you lose pretty much all motivation to stay awake. Anticipating an already bullshit session, we were told we actually had to go to auditorium, which is even warmer and stuffier and harder to keep your eyes open in. We get to the auditorium, which is completely dark except for the light from the powerpoint projected on the screen. Enya's "Only Time" is playing. "This has to be a fucking joke," I say to my friend Nicky. "There is absolutely no fucking way this is real."

Turns out it was not real. Turns out it was an elaborate ruse to tell us we had the afternoon off to play with dogs from the local animal shelter or jump in moon bounces or run through the campus fountain (I don't think that last one was a TfA-sponsored activity, but we did it anyway).

And now I have like 92748275834 lessons to plan.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A little bit of positivity

Tonight my new BFF Isabel was saying how even though this whole training experience is insanely stressful and frustrating and confusing, she is grateful she has a group of people with whom she can at least have dinner and relax and laugh with for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. And you know what? I am grateful I have those people too <3

Monday, June 18, 2012


TFA's Institute is pure insanity. There is so much to do and yet still only 24 hours in the day, when we really need at least 30 to do everything we're supposed to be doing. As a result, I am listening to insane amounts of bad pop music. One Direction and Carly Rae Jepsen are the only things banal enough to keep me from going crazy.*  Also, I bought a Justin Bieber poster at Wal-Mart.

*Even alcohol is too exhausting at this point.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On being inducted

Induction for TFA has been a lot more fun than I expected. Sure, there are a lot of serious discussions about the achievement gap and identity and community involvement and whatnot, but I actually fucking love my other corps members and I've been meeting so many cool people. And I decided who I'm going to room with tonight! She asked me while we were already a bit tipsy at a pub, of course. She said it felt like she was asking me out.

Then we went to this great piano bar that had $1 drinks. I am way drunker than I should be considering I have to get up at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kansas City is more like Oakland/SF than I imagined

I went to the Crossroads Arts District to check out the First Friday art walk they have here. There was a punk rock band playing a cover of "Niggas in Paris". So, like, a million hipsters everywhere. And I just read online that this past week is Pride Week here and tomorrow is Pride Festival! It's like, what even is this place? Am I really even in the Midwest or did I just imagine driving 2000 miles?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Things I've noticed

Only one of the bathrooms I've been to throughout Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado had toilet seat covers.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Too many emotions

At the end of every semester, I always felt relieved and unbelievably ecstatic that the semester was over and my work was done for the time being, always amplified tenfold at the end of spring semester which always promised a longer and more fulfilling break. Last year, all my senior friends told me I wouldn't feel that way in a year's time. And they were right. I don't know how to deal with being home yet feeling like I'm not home at all. I miss Berkeley. I don't want to leave California.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life

Graduation is this week. Get ready for a week of overly sentimental posts of songs that are currently making me cry.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Turn around, bright eyes

My roommate Hana always buys meal points every semester (even though we have a huge kitchen and 4 fridges and 2 freezers) yet never ends up using even close to all of them by the end of the semester. So during finals week, the whole house ends up going on expeditions to the dining commons, those far-off lands we only ever enter when she decides to buy us all a nice fattening, salty, yet-somehow-also-bland meal.

So tonight we went to have dinner at Crossroads, the dining hall closest to our freshman dorm, to re-live that crazy time four years ago when we would get five plates of food for every meal and like no wonder I gained fifteen pounds freshman year.

Hana said it felt like The Freshmen* were giving us funny looks, like they could tell we are seniors and don't belong.

Or maybe it was because we were talking about The Freshmen really loudly and singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart".

*Yes, with Capital Letters.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Any old time you keep me waiting

Saw the Black Keys/Arctic Monkeys show at the Oracle Arena last night. It was amazing! I didn't think the Black Keys could sell out an arena! The last concert I saw in an arena was The Who!

The Arctic Monkeys played for almost an hour, even though they were technically just the "opening act".  Alex Turner, my future husband, was cute and charming as ever. Although they didn't play "Fake Tales of San Francisco" which I think was a major MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

And the Black Keys were awesome! They played mostly their more upbeat songs, which kept up the temo and energy. My friend had told me she had seen the Black Keys at Cochella last year and they weren't very good which had ruined her taste for them. I don't know what they did then, but this show was amazing and has only served to further solidify my love. I also went with my friend Jeren, would had never been to a concert before. Maybe I've set his standards too high now.

Monday, April 30, 2012


Thesis was turned in. Awesome weekend was had, with my friends from high school visiting and going to the last frat party I will ever go to and going for a swim at 3 a.m. You know, landmark shit. Going out with a bang. Etc., etc.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The home stretch

My thesis is due on Friday. I am, predictably, behind and feel like there's no way I'll ever finish it on time. But obviously I will. Because I have to. And then on Friday I will start drinking at noon and not stop drinking for about two days. I think that is a fair and reasonable way to handle this situation.

Also, I had a phone interview on Thursday with a bilingual school in Kansas City to teach fourth grade. I scheduled it for 9 a.m., not thinking about how that meant 9 a.m. Central Time instead of Pacific Time and how it was really going to be 7 a.m. Oh well. I have a Skype interview with them tomorrow at 7 a.m. again. I hope I get this job. I want to teach children science in Spanish! I'll have to teach myself science in Spanish first, but hey, todo será posible después de esta pinche tesis.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Things that made today good

  • It's not even 11:30 p.m. and I've pretty much finished the next part of my thesis that is due tomorrow! I just have to find some citations and proofread that shit. I'll probably go to bed before 1 a.m.!
  • I studied with my friends Sarah and Luciano and ate a delicious torta and this cream cheese puff pastry.
  • I had a good workout at the gym (yes, I am one of those people)
  • I cut my bangs myself, and I think they look pretty cute

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Música cachonda

ca-chon-da: adjective
1. Ruled by sexual appetite; in heat (hembra).

No se necesita plata pa' moverse, necesita onda y música cachonda
No tengo mucha plata pero tengo cobre
Aquí se baila como bailan los pobres

Live fast die young, bad girls do it well
My chain hits my chest when I'm banging on the dashboard

You pulled out my heart but I don't mind bleeding
any old time you keep me waiting

These songs are probably not the most productive for trying to write a Spanish essay, but I'll be damned if they aren't sexy as fuck.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Girl lemme see ya drip sweat

The StairMaster™ is so difficult. Seriously. I tapped out after five minutes. I believe if I can work my way up to 30 minutes on the StairMaster™ by the end of the semester, I will know that I can survive Teach for America, because the stair climbing is just that fucking hard.*

So basically, my point is that I have gotten back into exercising more consistently which is good. But my legs have been sore pretty much consistently for the past week and a half, which is not as good, because my house has a lot of very steep stairs. IT ALL COMES BACK TO THOSE PINCHE STAIRS.

*This is totally a valid and appropriate comparison, that between mastering the art of teaching underprivileged children in two years and continually climbing up an infinite stair machine. I should win a Simile Award® for that.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I just keep telling myself, I can do it; this is my last semester.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Como se dice 'get your nails did' en español

A conversation with my six-year-old niece on the subject of Spanish grammar:

"Mi mama pinta mis uñas."

"Mi mama me pinta las uñas."

"...I don't even know what you're saying right now."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

California dreamin' on such a winter's day

This whole winter break, the weather here in Los Angeles has been beautiful. Like, 75 degrees or warmer every day, sun is out, sky is blue, etc, etc. I've gone to the beach, like, five times. Well, I haven't gone swimming, because the water is still fucking freezing. But just hanging out in the sand, lying in the sun! Wonderful.

Just to think that last year, it was cold and raining in LA all winter break, and I was in southern Mexico, at a beach much hotter with water much warmer. Even though it's not that kind of beach weather, I'm glad it still feels like summer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Home of the free

My friends have planned a trip to Vegas this weekend, which I was going to attend but last week decided not to because of my chronic* illness over winter break. I thought it best to take it easy.

So even though I told my grandmother, like, a week ago, that I wasn't going to Vegas anymore, she asked me if I was going again when she called today. Um, nope, still not going. Was it because I didn't like the people I'd be going with?, she asked. Um, what the fuck? I don't know where she gets ideas like these.

Anyway, all her talk of Vegas gets her started on the times she's been to Vegas. And she mentions she does like how when you come in to Vegas, you see a replica of the Statue of Liberty. And of course, she's explaining this to me like I don't know that it's there. Which I do. Because I have been to Vegas before.** And she doesn't like this fake Lady Liberty because she thinks it's insulting because the real statue is so important and symbolized such hope for people.

"Yes, Bubie," I rolled my eyes because, whatever, she can't see me anyway. "The hope to make a long, arduous ocean voyage only to be sent back if you had a cold. Or the hope to get in and be forced to live in a slum and endure hardship and racial oppression."

She didn't really seem to take notice of what I was saying. "Let me tell you, when I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time..."

My grandmother arrived in the US in 1956, two years after Ellis Island had closed. "You did not see the Statue of Liberty as you were coming into New York," I reply. "You were on a plane."

My mother, who is sitting next to me eating dinner, is trying hard but failing not to laugh as I inform her in a whisper to what her mother is saying that she can't hear. My grandmother continues to insist that a Vegas replica is an insult to the special embodiment of American values that the statue holds for immigrants.

I think this is the fundamental difference between me and my grandmother: even after over 60 years in this country, she still believes in that immigrant dream of the Land of Opportunity, and I suppose she should, because that dream has been true for her. After all the shit she went through in pre-war Poland and then the Holocaust, a country where (almost) no one has stigmatized her for being Jewish and where her family was economically successful with only one breadwinner (my grandfather) must seem like a bloody miracle. But for me, even though I am a middle-class white person, that dream is not what I study or see. I see a world where my LGBT client from Mexico can't get political asylum because he saw a lawyer about the process in 2009 and now it's been over his 1-year time limit. I see a country, both past and present, so mired with racism and xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric that it makes me want to cry. I grew up in a household with two working parents because my mother could not not work. I don't know if she simply refuses to see this, but I doubt it. This country, after all, gave her pretty much everything the Statue of Liberty promised. Why should she believe me? I'm just some pretentious, spoiled, 20-something, not-even-college-graduated kid who has never even been to New York City, much less battled her way through anti-Semitic Poland and Hitler's Germany to finally make it to the promised land*** and see that green woman holding the flame of liberty and the book of freedom**** and finally felt sure that everything was going to be okay.

"You know what Bubie? I think you're wrong. I think taking an overinflated and arguably false symbol of the supposed freedom and opportunity of America and making a sized-down, less impressive replica for a greedy commercial exploitation is the definition of the American Dream."

*not really chronic, just like, lightly persistent?
**I was 10, but believe me, the fake Statue of Liberty was one of the few things I could enjoy, so I fucking remember it.
***Actually, my grandmother moved to Israel first, which is technically the "Promised Land", but whatever, I'm going to stop mixing my metaphors here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friends without benefits

Taking my grandmother and her friend to lunch is like babysitting two petulant children.

They are both 90 years old, but for some reason they bicker like 12-year-olds. They have known each other their whole lives, which is no fucking joke. They are from the same town in Poland. They were both in Auschwitz then Berlin then Sweden together. They now live 5 blocks away from each other in West LA, where all little old Jewish ladies live. Essentially, they are more friends out of obligation and habit than anything else.

Whenever I take them to lunch, especially if my parents aren't around, all they do is passively aggressively snipe at each other, which eventually turns into yelling at each other in Polish. (I don't actually know Polish, but I'm assuming once it gets to that stage they have stopped being passive aggressive and are just letting it rip.) The minute I drop her friend off, my grandmother just goes off on her, how she pretends to be more sick than she is, how she thinks she's better than everyone else, etc. She rants off how she will purposely not invited her out to lunch, only comes to events at Cafe Europa if it's free tickets for the opera, whatever. I don't know. The same laundry list of things she is constantly complaining about this fried.

So I say, "Well then, why are you still friends with her? You don't actually owe her anything. She's not really family."

"You wouldn't understand," my bubie tells me.

Of course not.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's 2012, dawg

Last night Brandon told me that he had a dream that we were dating. I ONLY WISH. Brandon is super handsome and smart. My mother even has a crush on him. He said, "Yeah, it was really weird 'cause it was like, 'I'm gay, but I am super into Arielle!'" Don't play with mah heart, Brandon.

Also, Brandon found out that if you slap Elliot on the ass, he will give you a massage. And Elliot gives really good massages.

Maureen's latest boycrush sent her a text after midnight that said "Happy new ear", which I think is an appropriate way of thinking about 2012.

Goodbye, 2011! Your DJ Earworm Top Hits Mashup was pretty good!