My name is Jacqueline - I'm a socially moderate, religiously conservative, and politically liberal girl just loving life right now! I'm a 24 year old Master's of Media Studies student at the University of Texas, but an Oklahoma alumni and die-hard Sooner fan! I'm currently writing my thesis - in a nutshell my research is about girls' online lives, particularly informal learning environments. I'm also an English & Language Arts teacher for a local Home School Co-op. When I'm not researching for my thesis or writing lesson plans - I'm usually watching college football! Oh yea, and I'm training to run a half marathon with Teams in Training this winter, I'm pumped!
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Friday, August 17, 2007
Suppose I had a creative title...it would go here
My mom was here for 4 days and we had so much fun! I haven't really spent time with her (more than just a day) since about Christmas and we had a blast! I had registration on Saturday so she came down late that afternoon. We went to a wine bar on 2nd called Cru and shared some fondu and a flight of wine. For dinner we went to Fino. Fino is a wonderful Spanish restaurant and one of my favorite restaurants in Austin. We stayed for about three hours drinking wine, eating, we even had dessert and espresso. It was wonderful!
Sunday we went to breakfast and then down to Town Lake. We walked around the lake for bout an hour, then got a kayak. We had never done that before, it took us awhile, but we finally got the hang of it. We walked around the lake for another hour or so. It was getting pretty hot by the time we decided to leave, but it was a beautiful day and great conversation. That night, after three failed attempts, we finally ended up at a sushi restaurant down on 6th Street. Turns out it was GREAT! The chef made some off-menu specialties for us, oh boy were they good! I took her to the Ginger Man afterwards and we had a few beers. My mom is one of the few women who has the same beer taste I do - dark, creamy, rich, mmmm Stouts!
On Monday we went to Einstein's again for breakfast and then headed to New Braunfels to float the river. We took a cooler with some fruit and beer and snacks. It was perfect weather, sunny and not too hot, just a nice 94 degrees. It was a weekday so the river wasn't crowded at all. It was so relaxing...especially after our exhausting 3 hour excursion the day before. That night we ended up going back for sushi! This time one of my friends joined us - my mom had been wanting to meet him. It was very good the second time, and I always like introducing my friends to my mom. Afterwards we got some gelato and walked around downtown a bit.
And finally on Tuesday we went to the dog park, took Scout of course. My mom fell in love with a Standard Poodle out there, ha! And poor Scout got hurt - he was being chased by some big dogs, and he ran into a tree stump. He let out a few yelps and went down. The other dogs were really good and just stood over him. I think it just knocked the wind out of him, he seemed ok after awhile. Poor guy though, kinda put a damper on his play time. My mom and I ended our fun by going to Trudy's, I just love their veggie flaquitas, mmmmm!
It was a perfect way to start my vacation time! My mom and I always have so much fun together. We are really different in a lot of regards, but we are also so alike in other ways. Great just talking and catching up with her. And we got to do a lot of fun Austin activities. I think she wants to move down here, ha! I don't think my dad or his business will go for that...but maybe someday...
Posted at 11:03 am by Jac
Friday, August 10, 2007
Really long story short - A accepted Christ last night on my living room couch! After almost a year of praying for him, and many Spirit-led conversations, he found God! He came over last night completely broken, at the end of his rope, after a week of drug-induced depression basically. I'll spare personal details beyond that, but I talked to him, shared my beliefs with him for probably the third or fourth time, and this time, it just made sense! He said that he never imagined that anyone could have so much insight into his situation, especially me, seeing how I've never done drugs. And he said he never believed in miracles until last night. It was wonderful! We were both really giddy all night and stayed up talking about stuff really late.
God is so good! He told me to break up with A and I didn't know why. In fact, at one point I even had the thought, "But God, I'm the only Christian influence in his life, are you sure I should be breaking up?" (so foolish of me to question God's plan and timing!). But A said had I not broken up with him, he wouldn't have gone back to his old lifestyle of drugs and lonliness and depression. He said he didn't know how to handle the break up and that's why he started that again. Had he not done that, he wouldn't have hit rock bottom, wouldn't have ended up on my couch needing a friend, I wouldn't have been there to ask him what it was he was searching for in life, and then tell him that what he was searching for was a relationship with his Creator - the only purpose we all have in life! We were all created to worship God, and we all feel a void and emptiness in our lives until we fill it with Him! And when we do, everything else in our life takes on such a greater purpose. Something so much greater than ourselves, and something that can never be fulfilled by earthly things.
Taking this even further back into God's plan - if Brandon had never broken up with me, I would have never dated A in the first place...yea, 16 months later even more of God's plans are revealed. How good He is, and how reassuring it is to know that He blesses obedience - there's a reason He demands it!
In other news - my mom is coming to Austin tomorrow! I'm so excited. I haven't seen her much at all this year. I was home for 1 day at Easter and 1 day in May, that's it. My friends who all live twice as far from their parents seem to see them more often than I see mine. She and I have big plans! We've got dinner researvations tomorrow at one of my favorite Austin restaurants -Fino's. We are going to go hiking and kayaking on Sunday, have a picnic, do a little shopping and get sushi that night, followed by a hookah bar! Monday we'll probably hit up a happy hour and Mexican food. Not sure exactly, but I'm so happy to spend some time with her now that I'm on vacation! That's right, today was my last day of my summer teaching job, woohoo! I've got registration tomorrow for my new teaching job, or rather, the kids have registration, I just have to be there to enroll them. But then I get 2 weeks off before classes or school starts again, yay! I need a break, haven't had one since Spring Break...that's a long time! In addition to seeing my mom this weekend, I think I'm going to go to Dallas sometime soon and see my sister and dad. And my 84 year old grandma is going to ride back to Austin with me for a few days and then fly home. I don't get much alone time with her anymore, it'll be special. I love my family, I am so blessed!
God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!
Posted at 11:59 pm by Jac
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I have a new job for the next year, and it's such an answer to prayer. While Starbucks was a good grad school job, it didn't pay all that well and the schedule could be pretty unpredictable. I have loved working with kids and teaching this summer (although I'm starting to hate the driving), anyway, I started looking for some part-time teaching or child care jobs. I applied for a few randomly online, and surprisingly got a phone call and interview from one. And they hired me!
I will be teaching for an Austin Area Home School Co-op. My schedule was originally only going to allow me to teach 2 of the 6 classes, but after talking to them, they added two more classes just for me to teach. This other lady and I convinced the administrator there was a need for preschool/kindergarten and 1st/2nd grade classes, she agreed and added them to the list of classes. So, I am now the English Literature and Composition teacher for this co-op. I'll be teaching preschool/Kindergarten, 1st/2nd grade, a 3rd-6th grade, and a 10th grade class. It's the first year the co-op has offered English and Language Arts, so I'm their guienea pig. I basically get to make my own cirriculam. My only restrictions are that a) the skills are comparable to what they would learn in public school and b) my lessons are taught from a Christian worldview. Growing up in a private Christian school, the latter is no problem for me. The other requirement is going to require some work on my part, looking up TEKS information.
I'm really excited though. It's a perfect opportunity. I'm only teaching 4 classes, all on the same day. So technically I only have work one day a week, although obviously planning lessons and grading papers etc. will require more work, but still, only one day a week when someone is demanding my time at a specific time of the day. This is such a God thing. I applied to my summer job with the Institute of Reading Development on a whim, never really expecting to get it. And then I did. Had I not taught reading all summer I never would've felt qualified to apply for the English position at the co-op. It's a perfect schedule, good pay, great opportunity to learn and teach, and work with some really amazing people. I'm very excited and thankful for the job.
I feel pretty confident about it, but it's weird having no guidance or direction. Every decision is up to me, choosing materials and setting up a curriculam. The reading part will be the easist, it's the grammar and writing part I'm a little hesitant about, but I'll figure it out. It's kinda weird how my research interests in school have turned towards media and digital literacy, which work hand-in-hand with the education system and how I have landed two teaching jobs this year. I don't have an education degree, I'm not even certified. But my job and my research interests are meshing in a very complimentary way. It's very cool and exciting to think where I can go with this. I think my life story is becoming one of those, "I don't really know how I wound up here, things just worked out that way." I'm taking rathrer unconventional paths and it seems to be working. I love it and I couldn't be more excited about the next year - I've got my thesis topic selected, I get to actually start researching this semester, and I have a perfect job secured for the next year of my life. God is good!
Posted at 11:12 am by Jac
Saturday, July 28, 2007
This has been the wettest summer ever! It rains every single day, and not just light afternoon showers, but torrential downpours, we've had flash flood advisories almost everyday. I'm so sick of it, it's depressing me and seriously hindering my exercise routine...since the only running I enjoy is outdoors.
Today is sunny though and I took advantage of it. Scout and I went down to Town Lake and jogged/walked for over two hours. It was a perfect day, warm but not too hot. There were lots of people and dogs and families out, great for people watching as we walked. It's been so long since I ran, but I did ok I suppose.
Speaking of running - I've decided I'm going to start training for a half marathon (13.1 miles). It's called Team in Training, and it's to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Basically, you meet other teammates in your city, get professional training - both fitness and nutrition - and train for about 4-5 months to run a half or full marathon. Meanwhile you are raising money (finding sponsors) to support you. And then they send you to one of 60 race destinations and you get to run with people from all over. My mom is going to do it with me, except she'll be training in Dallas. We are currently training for the Winter races, we can choose Austin, Phoenix, or Orlando. I think Phoenix would be the most fun, but we haven't decided. I'm really excited to get back in shape, raise money for cancer research - obviously something very important to me with my family history, and I get to travel somewhere for free to run a race, AND I get to do something fun and exciting with my mom. How perfect is that! For more information go HERE
Well, time to go take advantage of the sun for as long as I can...yay!
Posted at 2:39 pm by Jac
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Due to really early Tuesday morning classes in San Antonio, my work "lets" me stay in San Antonio on Monday nights. I know it's a good thing, not having to leave Austin at 6:00 a.m., but still, it really sucks driving to San Antonio on a Monday night (my day off!). I love teaching, but I'm getting really tired of the schedule. I'm actually starting to dread it a bit. Driving over 800 miles a week gets old after awhile. But once I'm actually here, and teaching, I'm fine. I like that part of it. Staying in hotels by yourself in unknown cities is pretty boring and lonely too. Last session I stayed the night after a full day of teaching, so I was usually so tired that I was able to sleep well. But this session, I come down on my day off, I'm not tired, I've usually just left friends, and I'm wired. I don't want to go to sleep, and I never sleep well in a big king size bed in a strange room in a strange loud city by myself. I stick out like a sore thumb too. I forget what a tourist city San Antonio is in the summer. I'm the only person at the free breakfast without kids, one of the few who isn't speaking Spanish, and usually the only one not dressed to go to Sea World or Fiesta Texas. I feel like I should come down in my pajamas, or at least throw a fanny pack and camera on, just to fit in. People stare at me, it's weird. Yes, I'm younger than all of you, no I don't have kids, yes I'm dressed professionally, no I'm not goin to the Alamo later, I'm going to WORK!
I've stayed in a lot of hotels this summer, three while I was in Chicago, and one a week every week this summer. And every single time, except once, I have had the room at the end of the hall. It doesn't matter where I am, what hotel, what city, my room is always the one at the very end. It's kinda weird, I've just come to expect it. They get out a little map and show me where to go, I should just start pre-empting them and say, oh, I know where the end is, ha. It's kinda weird.
Well, I'm just killing time between classes. I'm teaching at a University today and they happen to have a computer lab. The administrator has actually blocked MySpace, how odd is that? I mean this is a college campus for goodness sake. They didn't block Facebook though, which seems odd, why one and not the other? Who knows.
I've got a new job in the fall, but it's not 100% decided yet, so I'll wait til it is to talk about it. But, following with tradition, it is yet another job that requires explanation. Seems to be the way things work out for me, and I'm not complaining.
Posted at 11:17 am by Jac