because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

Those Who Can't Teach: Guest Post by Tamara Lunardo

Posted on
Tamara-Out-Loud

I am beyond thrilled to have Tamara Lunardo as my guest blogger today. Where I sometimes get mired in the details, Tarama is a big picture kind of girl. Tamara’s writing is as fresh, edgy and vibrant as she is. Gentle and compassionate, Tamara (pronounced Ta-MAH-ra) is a wonderful read. Note: Just don’t mispronounce her name or call her Tammy or she’ll punch you in the throat.

Tamara has an essay featured in Alise Wright’s book Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression, a compilation of a wide range of experiences, voices, and opinions of individuals who have lived with and continue to live with depression. And whether she’s writing about depression or tattoos, Tamara makes you think. She makes this little Jewish girl think about Jesus a lot. And that’s something.

You can find Tamara at HERE or Twitterstalk her at @tamaraoutloud.

• • •

Those Who Can’t Teach

It was my senior year of high school, and I was a frequent skipper of my coast-able classes, as bored, brainy teens are wont to be. One class in particular was on my skip list, partly because it was the last period of the day and partly because I felt I could gain nothing from it whatsoever: Yes, I hated English.

To be accurate, I loved English; I hated that English class. I hated hearing the assistant principal use the pseudo-word “irregardless” when he visited our classroom, and I hated seeing the teacher blink blankly as I railed against it in intellectual-teen angst. I hated her insecure explanations and her flimsy lessons. I hated being so ill instructed in a subject I so well loved. And so I opted out of attendance when I could, and I snapped out right answers when I couldn’t. I was not high in the running for teacher’s pet.

And then I had a change of heart.

I took my SATs and got a near-perfect score on the verbal portion, which resulted in letters of courting from various collegiate English departments. So I decided that this was the time and way to make amends, to offer this teacher evidence that perhaps I’d listened to and learned something from her after all, even though we both knew the truth. I approached her after class with uncharacteristic zeal and shared my exciting news.

“Yes,” she vocally shrugged, “that happens sometimes.”

• • •

I walked into a restaurant in my old hometown last year, and I saw that teacher eating alone at a table. She was thinner, fainter, and still as blank. My heart went out to her, and I had to say, “Hello.”

I reintroduced myself and let her know of my modest successes with the English language since my 12-year departure from her class. I offered my degree and freelance writing and editing career as evidence that perhaps I’d listened to and learned something from her after all, even though we both knew the truth. She blinked worn eyelids toward my contrite face and said without a shred of remembrance or interest, “Oh, that’s nice.”

And I walked away with uncharacteristic zeal because I thought, It really is.

And we both knew the truth.

Did you have a teacher you could’ve done without? Were you a class-skipper or a teacher’s pet? And on a scale of 1-10, how much does “irregardless” piss you off?

• • •

If you have writing chops and are interested in submitting a memory about a teacher you had and can explain how that person helped you (or really screwed things up for you), as well as the life lesson you took away from the interaction, I’d love to hear from you! Contact Me. Essays should be around 700-800 words.

If you write for me, I’ll put your name on my page of favorite bloggers!

Yummy-Yummies: Nom nom nom

Posted on
Apples are an all-American success story-each ...
Image via Wikipedia

Some things are just good. Plain and simple.

This was a good week for me.

The Jewish New Year began.

And that is good.

I ate a lot of apples dipped in honey.

And that was sweet.

And there was a lot of sweet writing out there in el Blogospherio.

(Did you see how I brought that around?)

On the Light Side:

Julie from Go Guilty Pleasures is running a fun contest where people have 30 seconds to Vlog about a guilty pleasure.

As you know, I am very introverted so I am uncomfortable sharing mine. I’m pretty sure that 97.4% of my regular readers can guess what my guilty pleasure is before you even click.

The contest runs until October 22nd, and Julie says there is a prize. I plan to win, but you can enter if you want to. 😉


Tamara Lunardo‘s little piece of snark Please Stop Just Sayin’ is worth reading because it is fabulous — but to fully enjoy the piece, you actually have to keep going and read all the comments because they are positively divine. Like totes. El oh el. Just Sayin’. 😉

Chase McFadden wrote a piece for Aiming Low called “Elementary School Pictures: Yes, You’re Supposed To Look Like a Dope.” It’s beyond funny. SPOILER ALERT: There is no picture. I will keep hoping for a follow-up. And this reminds me. My boy’s school picture day is probably coming up. I’d better have a looksie at ye olde school calendar.

Going Deeper:

The ever-scintillating Piper Bayard wrote a hilarious but simultaneously poignant piece called “Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll run for President.” I am totally ready to vote for her. I believe in her platform. As long as she eventually tells me if she is for or against platform shoes. This could be a deal-breaker.

Chrissy wrote a piece called “Grateful” that should be anthologized. If you have traveled a long distance only to land in a really bad motel — especially when you expected something entirely different , this is the piece for you. It will split your heart open. This essay was a guest post hosted by Deb Bryan — who has a fabulous Friday Series called For This I am Grateful. You can usually find Chrissy at silverfinofhope.

Amanda Williams piece “Everyone You Meet” explores the story of how Amanda was the recipient of some hateful glares when her children started behaving badly at a restaurant. The piece made me think about how many times I have watched that same scene that Amanda described and how different people react. Amanda reminds us gently that we could all do with being a little more patient with each other. You can find Amanda at Life. Edited.

On the Writing Front:

Kristen Lamb wrote a boatload of great stuff this week, thus proving once again that she is part cyborg. (Seriously, when does this woman sleep?) In The Doctor is in the House–Novel Diagnostics KL helps writers make sure they don’t make newbie mistakes. Also, she wrote “Meet The Maven: We’re Here Whether You Want Us Or Not” which is a great take on the folks on Twitter who can really help you out when you are feeling like a twit.

A Ridiculous Video That Brings Me Joy:

If you are unfamiliar with The Annoying Orange series, all I can say is where have you been? Seriously, they are extremely addictive. And with all the apple activity that I had this week… well, just enjoy it. If you can make it through the advertisement, it’s worth a good giggle.

Monkey is fencing this weekend. So we will be en garde.

What have you read that was delicious?

Posts That Shimmy & Shake: Tamara Lunardo & Ricky Anderson

Posted on

It’s time for my favorite blogs of the week! As usual, I try to get one from the ladies and from the dudes.

Pick #1: I’m starting off my favorite reads-of-the-week with Tamara Lunardo from Tamara Out Loud. This week, Tamara wrote a piece called  Tamara, Literally Out Loud in which she explains how much she dislikes it when people mispronounce her name. And she explains how everyone has mispronounced it for her entire life.

I could totally feel Tamara’s pain.

Pick #2: I’m new to Ricky Anderson‘s blog. Because I just started stalking following him, I can tell you that he is a self-proclaimed computer geek who is married and has at least one young’um. Also, he likes to eat cereal. I came to Ricky’s hilarious post Who Is The Frank Sinatra of Our Generation? via Knox McCoy‘s blog and it got me thinking “Huh. Who is the sweet rebel crooner that is doing this his way?” Do you agree with Ricky’s analysis? Gotta read to find out.

But first, what do you think that guy up there so mad about?

Tweet This Twit @ RASJacobson