It has been a while

13 11 2011

Hello, oh you myriads of Jill Nelson blog followers.  I hope you are all doing well.  I sure am.  It’s been far too long since I’ve blogged and my only excuse is that I’m lazy.  Super lazy.

This week is the last week of official class.  For the two weeks after that the teachers will do their wrap-up stuff and work specifically with any students that may need it.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, whether or not I’ll need to be there for any of that.  I guess I’ll just go with whatever happens.

I’m really going to miss my students.  I adore them.  Even the ones that don’t want to pay attention and interrupt me every three seconds by saying “I don’t understand.”  They are, by far, the best Spanish teachers.  They make me laugh all the time. Here are some of my favorites:

In transitions (like pre-first), there is a boy named Samuel who cannot sing a song without serenading me.  It’s funniest when he sings the ABCs on his knees with one hand on his heart, the other outstretched before him, and his eyes tightly closed to express his passion.  I laugh every time.  He’s the one in my facebook video that slaps his butt during Silent Night.

In pre-k, there is a girl Lina who cracks up every time we get to the part in Rudolph about Santa.  They put their hands in front of them like they have a big belly and sing like men, “Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say.” She thinks it is so funny.  And I think she is so funny.

In 6th grade, seldom a day goes by without one of the boys doing a ridiculous freestyle dance in the middle of the lesson.

In 8th grade, there is an ongoing debate on the number of continents. Apparently Colombia teaches that there are 6, not 7.  They think I’m wrong.  I think they’re wrong.  Fortunately, even scientists can’t really agree.

In 9th grade, they are the most committed to teaching me Spanish, but I think it’s because they are the most committed to NOT learning English.  They are always up to some crazy antic.  I don’t even know where to begin.  Just know that these kids will be missed extra.

In 10th grade, I can’t walk into the room without them all yelling “Jill!”  I’m like Norm from Cheers.  Everybody knows my name, they just can’t pronounce it 🙂

In 11th grade, they have senioritis.  Bad.  The other day they asked me if I ever had to take Spanish classes.  I told them I took two years in high school but I didn’t pay much attention.  They laughed and said, “like us.” I said, “Yup.  But now I’m living in South America. I’m wishing I would have paid attention now.”

I know I didn’t hit all the grades, but that gives you an idea of what my school day is like.

some of 11th grade

a few of my pre-k babies. yes, there is one blonde kid - Carlos Andrés


After school lets out, it’s two and a half weeks full of social events: birthdays, celebrations, and graduations.  I’ll be dressed up a lot.  I’m really wishing I would have brought my black heels with me now.  I just didn’t think I’d be getting all gussied up for anything.

THEN, after all that social mingling, I’m going home.  Home.  Somewhere around the 14th of December I’ll be heading back to Stilwell.  After Christmas, I start life over in Oklahoma City.  It’s crazy to think that I’ve only got a month to go.  I’m certain it’s going to fly by.  I’m really going to miss Barranquilla.


On Goals, Goals, Goals, and the Thesis Chronicles

5 04 2011

Goals, Goals, Goals!!

I’m kind of becoming a Chalene Johnson junkie.  She’s very motivational.  I hope she’s forgiving because I call her some not-nice things when I’m doing her work out video (she created TurboFire).  She also has a 30 day push-goal challenge.  It’s a free program, so you should all check it out!  Right now, I’m on day 5. 

  • Day 1: basic instructions on how the program works and what to expect. 
  • Day 2: I identified my “guiding principles” and top 3 priorities for my life right now.  My top 3, right now, are 1) school and all that entails, 2) getting my budget/finances under some sort of control, and 3) my health.  From there, she has you think about why your #1 priority is what it is, identify what needs to be done to keep it priority, identify behaviours and patterns that are inconsistent with it, identify what changes have to be made to live according to this priority, and then write a mission statement of sorts.  Mine reads: “my number one priority is to complete my PhD by being obedient to the call God has placed on my life, focused and attentive to the work at hand, mindful of the wisdom of my mentors, and unrelenting in my pursuit of excellence.”
  • Day 3: I created a list of ten goals I’d like to see accomplished in the next year.  This will be done once a week and by the end of the 30 days, I can look back over my goals and see which ones made every list.  At that point I will be able to identify what is really important to me.  Her are my 10 for this week: 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) apply for a PhD program, 3) go on a date :), 4) save up $300 for Christmas, 5) go on a missions trip, 6) Pull off a successful VBS for Divine Life, 7) Start work on a Not-for-profit organization, 8) Lose some more of this weight!!!, 9) write a paper that gets accepted for the 2012 National SBL meeting, and 10) make some improvements on my Russian.
  • Day 4: I identified my “push goal.”  This is the one or two goal(s) on the list that make  most or all the others possible.  For me, paying off my credit card and applying for my PhD are my push goals.
  • Day 5: Today I make a promise to someone that I will achieve my push goals.  You, my faithful readers, are that someone.  This is my official promise to you that by the time 12 months have passed (hopefully much, MUCH sooner) I will have paid off my credit card and applied for my doctorate. 

Dear friends, I am asking you to believe in me.  Heck, join me!!  Check out the challenge and start lining your goals up with your priorities.  I think it’s going to make a world of difference!

Thesis Chronicles:

You may have noticed that my thesis isn’t on my goals list.  That’s because your goals should be a challenge, not something you know you will complete.  I am a month away from a type of freedom I haven’t had in a long time.  I’m pretty stressed out right now.  I am suddenly riveted by everything on facebook.  I am suddenly exhausted from anything and everything.  I feel a little bit like this:

But, it really is almost over.  And come May 11th, I will have my final grade imput and a degree on its way to my door.  After that you can call me Master Jill.  And I will live in complete state of peace – until Abelard decides to go nuts.  I’m 25 pages in….only about 50 to go.  I can do this.  I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!

Today In History:

1994: Kurt Cobain kills himself; found three days later.

I don’t remember this happening, but I was only 11 and didn’t listen to much besides country and 70s.  Besides, I’m not much of a Nirvana fan.  Yet, his suicide somehow touched music lovers in a way that I don’t think anyone expected.  It was almost like his suicide spoke for an entire generation, defying the universe.  Gotta love that 90’s angst.  I still don’t get it. And I think it’s a shame his life came to such an abrupt end.

Today’s blog is sponsored by the letter “P” for pillow pets:

on yummy breakfasts, the Thesis Chronicles, and the joys of puppy parenting

24 03 2011
Yummy breakfasts:
This morning I went to my very first “professional breakfast.”  It was for the Edmond Chamber of commerce and it was delicious!  I’m pretty sure I can’t eat anything else today if I’m going to stay within my calories.  Eh, who am I kidding?  I’m still going to eat!

The guest speaker was one miss Jennifer James.  She spoke on social networking and blogging.  She is a public relations consultant and she talked about some of the ways that social networking has driven her business and made her name known.  She talked about how she is unafraid of posting her opinions on her blog  and the risk she runs of losing business because of it.  I appreciate that honesty.  I’d much rather read the blog of an honest, heart-felt person than a dried-up, tired old business agenda written by an overworked, underpaid, burned-out administrative assistant.   So, I suggest you follow miss James’ blog.  It’s and her twitter is @_jenniferjames.  She’s saavy, engaged, and honest….sounds a lot like me, actually 🙂

Thesis Chronicles:

T minus 38 days until it’s due.  I spent last night game-planning how I can realistically acheive this goal even when I can’t put in more than 30 minutes on some nights without losing too much sleep.  It’s going to require extra work on the weekends and some get-the-heck-off-facebook-no-one-thinks-you’re-that-interesting-anyway discipline.  Ah, discipline.  I’m learning a lot of it lately. 

So, keep me in your prayers.  I know how stress can tear up my body, so I’m trying hard to stay calm and focused and rested.  It will be worth all of it when my degree is complete and I have something to show for all my loans and suffering!

The joys of puppy parenting:

Oh, Abelard.  You are insane.  I haven’t talked much about him lately, so I shall get you up to speed.  Abelard is my insane rat terrier/shih tzu mix.  He’s black with a white soul patch and a white man patch on his chest.  He recently got a hair cut and his ears look HUGE right now.  I mean, yoda-style.  It doesn’t help that he keeps them sticking straight up most of the time.

I recently learned that he has pancreatitis (spelling????).  Basically, he’s on a special dog food diet (special = expensive) and can not have any people food.  It’s linked to high fat foods, so he’s on a low fat diet.  I never gave him people food to begin with, but at least now I don’t feel guilty when he begs.

We have a stand-off in my living room almost daily. It usually starts with him trying to get in the trash or nose through my purse or chew on something he’s not supposed to.  When I tell him to stop, he’ll growl (aka: talk back).  Then I really get onto him for sassing me.  At which point, the lines are drawn and who is top dog in the house is, again, up for debate.  It usually ends with me, spray bottle drawn and ready to shoot, threatening his life and him, butt in the air, staring me down like I’m the cat he hates at my mom’s.  One squirt with the spray bottle, and he’s finished!!  I’m top dog.  Usually.

Lately, he has been going through my purse to find new things to chew up.  He likes pens and pencils, thermometers, etc.  If it is shaped like a stick, he thinks he can drag it under my couch and demolish it.  Fortunately, he hasn’t busted open the actual ink portion of the pen. Trust me, if I end up with an ink stain on my carpet, Abelard is getting dropkicked.  PETA can just deal with it.

In all seriousness, I love my dog.  I would be terribly lonely in that medium-sized apartment all by myself.  He’s extra sweet in the mornings when he’s sleepy.

sweet puppy, sleepy Jill

The mornings definitely make the rest of his insanity bearable.  Maybe someday he’ll get trained.  And maybe someday I’ll wake up with my eyebrows on fire.  Neither one is very likely.

I haven’t blogged in a few months…

15 01 2010

so a brief update:

1. I have a new job and I totally dig it. I’m a receptionist in an insurance office.  Turns out you could play “six degrees to Jill Nelson” with  my new bosses.  We know a lot of the same people.  weird.

2. I discovered the show criminal minds and LOVE IT.  I have to be careful to remind myself that Spencer Ried is a fictional character and he’s not going to fall in love with me.

3. I had a beagle who shed a lot. I gave him to a girl I work with and I think hehas a better home.

4. I’ve decided to be vegetarian.  I’m shooting for 89% accuracy in 2010.

5.  I’ve also decided to learn piano. I’m in the market for a reasonable keyboard to learn.

6. I live alone now and enjoy it most of the time.

7. I think I can add about three more people to my “close friends” list.

8. I bought a new skirt and I can’t wait til it’s warm enough to wear it.

9. I now own The Hangover (thank you, sister) and I love love love love love love it.

10. I’m presenting a paper for the regional meet in Dallas of the Society of Biblical Literature.


oy vey.

17 05 2009

This was my first week of 40 hours at starbucks plus 9 hours of babysitting…. I am exhausted! I thought you should know.

I’m back!

15 05 2009

so…just to catch you up:

1. I “graduated” but i still have to write my thesis
2. my thesis is only 75 pages…no biggie.
3. I’m having to work full time at Starbucks plus babysitting.
4. this means i have no life.
5. I might kill my dog if he keeps chewing up my books.
6. i really like lists.
7. i’m in the market for a reasonable carpet cleaning service…suggestions?
8. I have made new friends.
9. Zoe called me on Chris’ phone by accident and recognized my voice
10. did i mention my thesis is 75 pages?
11. Oklahoma has dumb weather.
12. Moore OK is dumb. this is the street exit order: 12th, 5th, 4th, 19th????? what the…?
13. I am swapping crockpots with Mandy for a while.
14. I graduated with honors!
15. Peter Abelard was not an actual heretic…