I'm sorry I've not been such a faithful blog updater in the New Year. I am working on starting the new school year (students started today), getting back to healthy eating and fitness, and plugging away at my own creative writing and at reading submissions for Driftwood Press, so there's a lot to juggle right now. However, I definitely have so many things to update you guys on, and I'm excited to tell you what has been going on in our world.
I believe I mentioned a few months ago that I was nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award at school. The college awards two recipients for TEA each year, one faculty member each from instruction and from technical. After being nominated, I submitted paperwork and had an interview with the committee towards the end of last semester. I truly never thought that I would win and was just happy to be nominated. On Thursday, many people worked hard to put together a beautiful luncheon in honor of the TEA nominees. I was so surprised to be announced as the recipient of this award that I had to remind myself to breathe. Our Dean gave a beautiful speech about my time at MC, and it felt like a surreal and out of body experience. I was given a beautiful plaque, an honorarium, and a trip to San Francisco where I will represent MC at the League for Innovation in the Community College Conference over spring break. To say that I am honored is an understatement. I have always felt grateful to find MC: the opportunities and environment and people make it an amazing place to work. Teaching is what I (well, we) really truly love to do. I am honored not just to do what I love but to do it alongside so many caring and outstanding professionals and friends. I've learned so much, and there is still so much to learn and so much to do. Cosmetology chair Micheal Fields won as technical instructor, and Brendan and I look forward to getting to know him (you didn't think I'd leave Brendan alone in Midland for spring break, did you?!). It was really an outstanding day. Here are some photos that my department chair (who nominated me!) took:
Me with my wonderful and supportive Dean:
The greatest hug for the greatest partner: he never fails to help me promote a workshop, stay late to help tutor at a late night event, or provide me with much needed encouragement and emotional strength (plus dinner) everyday. I can say with 100% certainty, I wouldn't be where I am (literally) without him.
So last week was an emotional and happy one to say the least.
Also last week, I returned to the barre. I'm not going to lie: I had lost fitness and strength not working out for three works (and not taking barre for six weeks). The holidays and travel were not as easy to work around this year, but I'm slowly getting back into my grove and have attended six classes in the past nine days.
I've also continued to eat healthy and drink lots of water. Here was tonight's dinner lovingly prepared by Brendan. I clipped the recipe from this month's Shape Magazine. We didn't have Delicata squash, but Acorn squash worked great. The fennel, pomegranate, pistachios, and orange dressing provide so much flavor. Highly recommended!
Lastly, Brendan got me a weighted blanket for Christmas, and it arrived today! This is made by Penny Layne Fashions on Etsy, and I couldn't recommend it more. The blanket is soft flannel but not hot. Mine is fifteen pounds (you can customize the weight you want), which is the maximum that they make. If you have feelings of anxiety or just have trouble relaxing, this could be a great thing to own; it's very soothing and calming. I loved the pretty bow they wrapped it in, and the shipping was quite fast!
Blanket, meet Stacy:
I like how it coincidently matched my LulaRoe outfit! PS-my hair looks a bit crazy because it has been raining in Midland. I'm happy because our yard is getting some much needed water, and we aren't having to pay for it. I look a bit crazy because I woke up earlier than 9:20AM for the first time in three days. I know, I know, tiny violin time.
Happy Tuesday night everyone. We celebrated a great leader yesterday, and I will leave you all with his profound words:
I am looking forward to meeting my students tomorrow and embarking on a semester of learning.