Category Archives: Life In General

Hello 2013!

Well, here it is! The mandatory New Year’s resolutions post. Short and simple this year.

  1. Finish my student teaching and (finally) graduate
    I know this will happen, it’s just a matter of 16 weeks of work and two tests!
  2. Get a good job
    Once I get that degree, it’ll be time to put it to work (no pun intended, but it… works..)
  3. Complete the Goruck Challenge
    I’m all signed up for the Challenge in Cedar Rapids on May 25th. I have five long months of training to get ready for some “Good Livin”, and I’m pumped!
  4. Live simply and be happy
    I think this one speaks for itself.

I feel like I did pretty well with my 2012 resolutions. Hopefully I can keep that up for 2013!


Goodbye 2012!

2012 is coming to a close, so that means it’s time to look back on how I reached my resolutions from earlier in the year.

  • Learn to cook

    Well, I made some pretty good dinners and breakfasts this year at school, and definitely ate healthier. I’d say I met this resolution, and plan to continue it next year!

  • Be more frugal

    My bank account tells me that this has happened. Wow, has life been easier when I’m not always buying junk!

  • Spend more time outdoors

    I began this year sticking to this, however, as the year went on, I got busier and wasn’t able to be outside as much as I would have liked. I still want to change that!

  • Read more

    I read quite a bit over the year. I’m happy with that, and will be keeping it up. I have a hefty “to read” list and and currently 52 pages into reading
    The Hobbit.

  • Start a workout habit

    This was hit and miss as I began teaching more. I’d say that eating healthier has helped me feel more “in shape”, and I’ve tried to pick this back up recently, as I just signed up for the GORUCK Challenge in May!

  • Clean at least once a week

    Yeah, I’ve done ok at this. I was much better with this in the dorms and apartment at school than at home. I need to pick this up (haha) back home now that I’ll be living here while I student teach.

  • Cut out clutter!

    This has happened, for sure. I think I’m gaining a keen sense for what is just stuff and what is necessary. Again, it just makes life so much easier.

So that’s how 2012 went for me, resolution wise! It was a good year, and here’s hoping that the next is even better! 2013 will have fewer resolutions, but there are some big events awaiting me in 2013 that I can’t wait to share! Stay tuned for those on Tuesday!

A Week with an iPad


This past week, I got an iPad (Thanks again, Dad!). Not the fancy-screened “new” iPad, but a 2nd generation after the price drop.

Let me say, I am impressed. I purchased the iPad right before spring break, with the idea that I would have a free week to “play around” and figure out if this device will fit into my workflow. The answer is “Holy cow. This can do so much more than I ever thought a touchscreen device could!”. Over the course of the past week, I’ve used my laptop a total of 4 times (all in a way to stream my music/videos over home sharing. Awesome). The iPad will easily replace my laptop in the future, I am sure of it.
I’m so astounded by the battery life of this thing too. With my usual usage of playing a few games, watching a few shows on Netflix, browsing the Internet, and using Facebook and Twitter, I can go for 3 days (currently at that right now, with 24% remaining!). This is about 69 more hours per charge than my laptop, doing the same things I would use my laptop for. For me, this is more than ideal for a portable computing device.
As for apps, the App Store always has great selections. I’m itching to find some solid, free apps to use for teaching math this semester, but am kind of coming up with the same-ol’ same-ol’. I’ll still be on the hunt as I use my iPad more, and am excited to see the uses for this in education as I continue to use it.
Word processing is extremely simple, too. This entire post has been typed with the onscreen keyboard, and I don’t ever envision myself using a bluetooth keyboard. The whole experience is just so smooth, it blows my mind!

Well, there’s my review in a nutshell. I really, really enjoy my iPad. I feel like every day I discover something new. Until then, feel free to comment if you know any tips or tricks for it, or any “must-have” apps that I may have yet to discover!

For those interested; My current home screens and apps are here and here.

Quote To Live By

I just got back from watching the movie Act of Valor. It was a solid movie, and definitely shows the brotherhood that occurs between active duty soldiers. I have huge respect for those men and women in the armed forces, and supporting movies like this is the least I can do to show that.

This poem by the Native American Chief Tecumseh was mentioned throughout the movie. No matter your profession, I think this is a great motto for one’s life:

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to foolsand robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weepand pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

Credit to mnmal for posting the whole poem!

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

2011 is coming to a close, and 2012 is just about to begin. Before I set some goals for 2012, I want to look back to see how my resolutions for 2011 shaped up:

1) Blog at least once a week

  • Once a week was kind of pushing it, but I’m still here, right?

2) Work out (in some shape or form) once a week

  • This didn’t really happen, unfortunately. I went to the Rec Center once, and tried to run a mile outside (and ended up hurting for a week). Hiking has replaced running for me, and I’m going to keep that up.

3) Eat healthy

  • I haven’t had “doubles” for pizza for quite awhile, and am making sure my meals contain something from each food groups. I’d say I’m working pretty well at this one.

4) Be more organized

  • Still working at this one, but that’s a good thing! I’ve definitely become more organized with getting work done (post-it notes are a godsend!), and am working harder at keeping the room neat and tidy. I call this one a success too!

So that’s how 2011 shaped up. I think it was a pretty darn good year, and can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

Stay tuned for my goals for 2012 tomorrow!

My Chicago Trip

Earlier this month, I finally got a vacation! As well as finally seeing my Cubs at Wrigley Field, and see the big W flag fly! Here’s a slew of photos I took on my 2 day vacation!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Chicago Trip, posted with vodpod

Let me know what you think! It was a blast, and I can’t wait to go back and see it all again!



My buddy Nic came along with me. Yes. he pestered me just now, so I added this 🙂

Learning to be Productive and Organized

I have a problem with coming up with lots of great ideas or plans… then not following through in the slightest. This due to lack of organization I’m sure.

I want to change that this summer. Here’s how:

  1. Utilize Google Calendar and Springpad to sync tasks between my computer and phone, so I always know what is going on
  2. Keep my desktop organized on my computer, and try to be as minimal as possible to avoid distractions and, well, crap that I don’t need
  3. Keep my desk as organized as possible (This goes more for school than at home, but I still need to tidy my area up)
  4. Keep saving my money, get a Macbook Air at the end of the summer before school starts. (Reasons? see #2 and #3). If so many Mac bloggers can use it as their primary computer, then I’m sure I can get by just fine!
  5. Keep my room clean, which is something I have always had… problems.. with, and I plan on changing that this summer also
  6. Rate my iTunes music so all of my absolute favorite tunes can be easily accessible, especially for playing in my car
And there ya have it! If I follow those 6 tasks this summer, my life can be a hell of a lot easier. That I am completely sure of.

So I’m Impressed…

As anyone following my blog knows… I’m a tech geek, and I’m thinking about getting a Macbook Air. One thing that has worried me is lack of a CD drive (as I constantly burn CDs to listen to in my car). I used to use my 30gb iPod Video (yes, that old) to do this though an FM transmitter, but it has long since been inactive.

It’s back from the dead, after just over 3 years of non-use. Holy crap.

This thing had been through it all too. Included in the 5 years of use: Miles upon miles of being strapped to my arm while running, countless hours of being used in lieu of a CD player in my first car, and my dog deciding it was his turn to carry the thing around the house for me (the teeth marks are there to prove it). And it’s still ticking and syncing as I type this.

So this tells me a few things…

  1. Apple makes their products to last.
  2. I can easily put my music on this and use it in place of CDs in a potential Macbook Air
  3. I can’t wait to see what the new refresh in the Air comes to show… It can’t come soon enough to satisfy my curiosity!
  4. I can trust Apple products to be great to me if I show the same care to them
So all in all, I will be keeping a close eye on all the Mac blogs and the twitterverse for more information on the refresh as it rolls out, hopefully soon. Consider this a practice in saving and fighting impulse spending!

Work, Work Work…

I guess it’s that part of the summer! My (few) weeks of no worries are behind me, and it’s time to get going with the summer job.

And this summer is going to rock!

I’m working my 3rd year at daycamp, and I can tell you, this year is going to be awesome! The kids are great, and the staff is even better. 4 days down and I can tell this is going to go much smoother than last year, in about every way possible. Everything I’ve learned in my Ed. classes are actually coming into play this year too! Which is making me feel a lot more confident about being a teacher.

On the flipside of the great summer… Having a job when I return to school is not looking so well. Thank you financial aid office for telling me one thing, then doing another. At least my boss from last year seems to have my back, that makes me feel a lot better about this situation. For the past 3 semester’s I have had nothing but trouble when dealing with the Financial Aid office unless I manage to call or come in completely pissed off, which is not something I like to do. Hopefully this all sorted out by the time I’m done with daycamp so it doesn’t hang over my head during the last 2 weeks of break in August.

Anyway, I managed to teach my class the Interlude, and I’m damn proud of it. We’ve danced it twice this week, and I’m vowing to dance it at least 3 times a week. The kiddos love it as much as everyone at UNI does!

Time to go back to a relaxing Saturday! As always, until next time folks…

Computers, Computers, Computers

Ok, everyone that knows me knows that I’m kinda a tech geek, and that I have a tendency to “break” computers trying to get them to work the best for me.

This is but one reason I’m contemplating getting a Mac this summer with some of my earning from my various summer jobs. After talking to my “Mac buddy” Nic (Check out his site/blog/collection of randomness about this very topic (for about a half a year now), and more research than I ever put into any of my schoolwork, I think I’ve finally (partially) made up my mind: Macbook Air.

Nic getting his Air was a big push for this. He loves the thing to death, and finally was able to fit into my thick skull one of the most important things to me… When getting a computer, one needs to look at what one needs in a computer, not what one might need. This is something that I have never thought of, and most likely what has kept me from getting the most out of my computer.

So why the Air?

  1. It’s small, and portable to the max. I use my laptop at work at school DAILY. And portability (with battery life) is a must. The Air has this.
  2. The solid-state drive, although small compared to all the laptops I’ve had, is enough for what I use (Office, Internet, music…). The only drawback (depending on which model I get) is the size of my iTunes Library. Of course, this is what an external drive is for, and is something I should have anyway ($60 for a 320 gb external is more than affordable).
  3. It’s Apple, meaning it has outstanding tech support, and quality. The Air should last me at least twice as long as the other laptops I’ve had. Example: My iPod Touch, although no longer supported with updates, Is going on 3 years old, and still running perfectly.
  4. Teachers are using and loving it! You don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles as a teacher. And I sure as hell don’t need them as a student, unless I plan on getting myself more distracted from writing papers and lesson plans than I already get… (Which is something I definitely need to avoid)
Now the tough decision, which screen size? the 11.6″ ($949 with the Education Discount) model would be an awesome, small sized computer to run everything I need… but it could also be too small, in both screen and storage(64gb). But the 13″ model is $300 more (eek!). This is something that I will have to play around with at Best Buy or an Apple store to decide if $300 for more screen and storage (128gb). Keeping in mind that an external drive for all the “extra” stuff that I still need (Music, my pictures, and file backup) would only be about $60-something, the real debate is in screen size.
Well, that’s it folks! Any feedback (facebook, twitter, comments on here… etc) would be greatly appreciated! Time to finish my day at home before I head out to 4 hours of first-aid and CPR training for daycamp… but that just means that summer is a step closer!