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Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward. – Robert Collier


My husband showed me this clip the other day. (yeah apple tv!) I know the metal is a little heavy, but this is how I feel sometimes. Bopping around in the world to my own beat. Sometimes barely even noticed.  Sometimes entertaining.  Or maybe it’s an expected behavior that people are used to.

Some people think of me as quirky and others as very serious and professional. Right now, I’m somewhere in between and trying to figure out where I land. What paths to pursue and which to avoid.  Either way, I’m just going to try to approach everything this year with a sense of curiosity, an open mind and maybe a little dancy dance from time to time.

2010 was a great year.

Super busy.  Super fun.  A little bit spastic……frantic……non-stop……on-the-go…..All. The. Time.  Whew!

I turned 30.  Went to Disneyland.  Took part in 7 weddings.  Baked hundreds of cupcakes.  Gleeked out a lot.  Repeatedly exclaimed that I liked my hair and my haricuts and my whole house was great.  And discovered that I really like double arcs of colored light in the sky caused by reflections of the sun’s rays in rain. (rainbows for you non-scientific folk)

When I stopped to breathe once a week, I tried to focus on the small moments and subsequently captured 1000’s of them on film.   Here’s a snapshot of my favorites.

2010 Photo Collage

While taking a look back, it also turns out my online persona is composed of a varied group of categories.  I put them in the shape of a pie because it’s yummy and oddly appropriate in this instance.

50% Foodie

20% Gleek

11% Workaholic

8% Drummer’s Wife

5% Proud Puppy Mama

3% Car Dancer

2% Princess

1% Double Rainbow Enthusiast

Read the rest of this entry »

I attended an event on Wednesday that reminded me of the youthful feeling that the world is just out there waiting for you to arrive.

Students from the sophomore class of my old high school were attending their kick off assembly.  They had started freshman year with an integrated learning plan and were challenged to take ownership of their education.  As they entered, the pep band was playing our fight song, and all of those feelings of newness and excitement for the future came flooding back to me.  On a large projection screen was a picture of a starfish.  As they entered, every third student would look up and say, “Oh the starfish!”

In summary, the starfish story goes a little like this…

starfishOne day, a man was walking along the shore and noticed a young child running back and forth to the ocean. She was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

“What are you doing?” he asked.  The child replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

  “Why?” asked the man.

The child replied, “The tide is going out and if I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” He said, “But don’t you realize there are hundreds? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the child bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, she said, “It made a difference to that one.”

The assembly ended with a video made by my very good friend, and one time teacher, who is heading up the integration of their program again this year.  It was a moving video and call to action, which by the end had the students on their feet cheering.  I was moved by their excitement and willingness to take on a challenge to get involved with something outside themselves, something they are passionate about.  These kids were engaged, they were fired up, and they were ready to make a change.  I’m not going to lie, I totally cried in the back of that auditorium.

I’ve been blessed to have some amazing mentors in my life.  People who showed me that I mattered, not just with their words but also with actions.  My parents are both educators and although expectations were high in our household, it was also an atmosphere of support and encouragement.  I might be biased, but I think they had a pretty big impact on their students as well.  This is evidenced by the fact that I can’t take either of them anywhere without some random person walking up and saying,  “Are you Mr. Gadus?” and “Oh, my gosh, it’s Sra. Gadus!”  Followed up by “you were so cool!”

Mr. Gadus

My dad was a teacher and then one of those administrators who was beloved on campus.  The students adored him; even the one’s who experienced him as “the Dean”.  (Trust me, you do not want to hear Dad when he puts on the administrator voice!)  He interacted with them in a way that let them know he respected them, he cared about their success, and expected them to make a good life for themselves, however they defined that.  He took pies in the face at assemblies; he attended every game of any sport, and even dressed up like Elroy Blues for the faculty follies.  Every Friday night growing up, I was on a football field with Dad watching the Colts, the Rams, and eventually he was taking me to games at my high school.

Sra. Gadus

My mom taught Spanish for 22 years and still has students send her letters saying how her classes inspired them to pursue language studies in college and abroad. She took the Spanish club to Spain in the summer and the Dia De Los Muertos festival at The Heard each year.  She’d take me to school with her to see plays and cultural events and I’d get to interact with students who had such respect for her.  She even took me as her date to the prom.  Oh what a night for an 8 year old.  I was in heaven!


And then there’s Susan.  She was my theatre teacher, but has since become a good friend.  Susan always held her students to a higher standard.  She expected us to be good people, not just good students.  And she still continues to inspire young minds today.  In the same way that my parents believed in their students, Susan takes the time to see each one as a person with the potential to change the world someday.  And she pushes them to discover that within themselves.

So here’s my love letter to educators, dreamers, and people who inspire us to be our best.  Have you told them how much they mean to you?

When I was little, I used to save odd little knick-knacks with the intent of repurposing them in creative ways.   I was a crafty child and my mind was always in creation mode.

  • The little white plastic lift that holds up the middle of a pizza box = a perfectly sized table for a miniature doll diorama.
  • An old golf ball from Dad = painted with glitter and supported by straws  to look like Epcot Center.
  • The holiday plastic top of a Ferrero Rocher pyramid = photo scrapbooked sides of our trip to the Luxor

I think if I had a video camera as a child, I could have attempted something as cute as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. This just makes my day!

Check out this brilliant director at http://www.deanfleischercamp.com

I’m afraid to drink soda because I’m afraid the bubbles will make me float up onto the ceiling.

Music make you lose controlI love it when it rains.  It’s monsooning here tonight and although my ride home from work was, well, interesting, I have to say there’s nothing like the sound of raindrops on the window.

Even better is when those little droplets are accompanied by good music.  My husband used to make fun of me, but now he knows that turning the music up as loud as possible in my car and just rocking out for a bit, is one sanctuary not to be messed with.  It’s where I go for inspiration, encouragement, solace, and revitalization. Sometimes, it’s comforting to just be enveloped in sound and let go of the symphony of detailed mental to-do lists buzzing around my mind. Lately, think Flight Of The Bumblebee in double time.

Skim though my iPod and you’ll find an eclectic mix of pop, classical, French rap, chick rock, metal, dance tracks and a healthy serving of Glee recordings.  Playlists with names like “Cupcake”, “Personal Underscore”, “Vitamin Water”, and “I’m a Gleek”.  Each one perfectly suited to the mood of the minute.

So here are some songs that are on heavy rotation right now.   Enjoy!

And thanks to the wonderful man in my life for the sub-woofer and new aux-in cable!  It’s pink and pitch perfect 🙂

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

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