I was teaching a lesson in an adult ESL class today, as part of a research project for grad school, and I was super nervous, but by the end of it I was energized and excited and the students were happy and learned something. Then I wound up inviting myself to come the next week and give them a post-post-test and also sing one of the songs I wrote to teach the simple past tense to them or something, and the students were even happier and I was pretty happy too.

And driving home I was super energetic and pumped up, and then I was excited for the prospect of teaching English at some point, and then I was thinking about how I needed to get a summer job, and then I started working on my resume, and then all my energy and plans kinda bubbled away as I looked at my computer screen and rediscovered my lack of actual work experience.

I’ve had some great internship and volunteer experience recently, but not a lot of actual jobs where I am completely in charge of my own class or my own student, and I plan the complete syllabus. I’ve designed lessons and taught classes, and students, but all on the small scale, a couple classes, a couple hours of tutoring, nothing long term.

Which is fine, because I’m still learning, but it’s harder to get into the long term when all you do is short term.

So, all my energy dwindled away as I looked at where I want to go and the steps that lie in the way and I realized once more that I’m going to have to be patient and take what I can get….and slowly build up to that point where I actually have my own class.

Or I can just give a bunch of places my resume and then get hired and be thrown into a situation that I don’t feel entirely prepared for, but somehow I’ll thrive instead of drowning in the weight of it all. That’d be fun.

Maybe I’ll try that.




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Beautiful Days

I’m procrastinating and I should either be asleep right now or working on my take home writing exam. I think the last time I had a take home exam was in 2013…Wooh, yay for Gradschool.

Anyway, I’m here writing because I was having a conversation with a friend and it got me distracted enough to come back to my blog and read some of my old posts and basically, I’m incredibly grateful for where I am right now in my life.

Life isn’t easy, and I’m still struggling on many points, but I think, in general, I am happy and I am hopeful. Like, the good things will work out and happen in God’s time, and in the mean time, I’m going to be pretty content with what I have, and I think I am.

My friendships and family have been a major contributing factor to this happiness, so praise God for them.

Also, I’ve been keeping up with the music and I’ll be doing my ninth show ever on April 28th. I can’t dedicate as much time to it as I did back when I didn’t have things like take home exams to work on, but that also means that I don’t dwell on existent and non-existent relationships as much for songwriting material…not that I ever did that or that over half of my songs are love songs or anything…Psh…

Then school is just going, not super easily, but tolerably, and my internship is incredibly encouraging and keeps giving me opportunities to attempt to design amusing lessons and actually help people learn important skills. I like having a useful, helpful occupation.

So, life is good.

And my physical therapy has gotten to the point that my legs being in pain is more of a rare thing – and a reminder that I need to exercise again – instead of a constant delayer of my sleep.

It’s nice.

I’m healing.

I’m hopeful.

Praise God.



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I’m an intern in an ESL Class

It’s writing 30, and the students are wonderful…
Today in my internship class:
“Teacher, teacher, I have one more question.”
“What color are your eyes?”
“My eyes? My eyes are blue.”
“Yes, but also they’re different, sometimes green, it changes how you dress.”
“Yes, depending on what colors I wear they can look different, blue or green.”
“Yes. They’re very pretty.”
Oh students. Ever building up my self-confidence, firstly by calling me “Teacher”, secondly by having unfailing faith in my ability to answer their English questions, and thirdly by randomly complimenting me.
ALSO – I just figured out and planned this crazy wonderful postcard based activity to teach the students the present tense next class, and I’m pretty excited about that because I thought of the lesson ALL ON MY OWN, and my mentor teacher is completely open to me practicing it with the students.
It’s been four months since I last wrote, but the words needed to be here and not on facebook.
Later wordpress peeps!
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A good day.

I woke up.

I saw a free parking space as soon as I pulled into the parking lot.

The teacher I needed to communicate with happened to be exiting the building just as I entered it, and I was able to talk to her.

A stranger told me I had a beautiful smile.

My student showed up for tutoring.

I made it to class on time.

I passed all my assignments.

My dad came home from surgery, and he is doing very well.

There was food in the refrigerator.

God loves me.

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Chopstick drums.

Today I discovered Nico and Vinz, and then I spent five minutes playing pots and pans as makeshift drums with a pair of chopsticks.

Life is so much better with music.

I was hesitant to share these little details of my life here because I’m an unemployed, part-time grad-student, and people might say things like, “hey Catherine, shouldn’t you be doing homework….or getting a job?”

And YEAH, someone could view the fact that I have spare time to drum on pans with chopsticks as a sign of sloth, but I made time for drumming those pots and pans.

Actually, you know what, I don’t have to defend myself to you, imaginary audience!

My, I’m awfully defensive.

Anyway, I was here to just share the joy of that moment with all you readers of my life, and so I’ve just done that…

Sometimes facebook doesn’t allow you to say enough, and sometimes you’re enjoying being at home too much to leave it and discuss your life with people. Sometimes people find your stories of playing pans with chopsticks less entertaining in reality than you think they will…Blogs have the benefit of you elaborating on whatever that mundane detail about your life was, and allowing you to do it in such a way that you can attempt to make a commentary on life and living in the world in general, and people have to listen to your tirade about pan-drumming because they expect a point.

In reality, when I speak, I sometimes forget the point or anticipate that the meaning will be discovered from the way I look into someone’s eyes intently, or nod my head, or pause dramatically…Which leads me to conclude that I am sometimes better with the written word than with my interpersonal communication.

That may not be true, but I think I develop a lot of inside jokes with myself, that I don’t express in person, but I totally express when writing.

Like the pan-drumming thing. In reality I’d just go up to a friend and be like, “I used chopsticks to hit pots and pans in my kitchen and make music. It was nice.” and my friend would stare at me and be like, “that’s greaaat Catherine…why are we friends again?”. But here, in the beautiful world of the blog, I can say that I had a glorious five minutes of creating lovely music that let me express myself in a stupidly simple way that probably just sounded like noise to the rest of the world but was actually an opportunity for me to breathe in the form of artistic creativity, and sometimes we are so obsessed and overburdened by life and our struggles and our stresses that we feel trapped and isolated, and sometimes we just need to bang on pots with chopsticks and create something.

And sometimes you gotta be responsible and read four chapters of SLA research.

I’ll do that now.

Thank you for reading, have a lovely Saturday, God loves you.


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What’s been happenin lately.

Hello blog people, it’s me, writingcatherine.

I haven’t left the country recently, or had any major surgeries, so I guess I’ve kinda let my writing here slow down to reflect that.

I have, on the other hand, been going to grad school and playing music. I write songs about ridiculous things and then play them for people who stare at me in surprise and sometimes applaud and smile. It brings me joy.

I don’t try to write about ridiculous things, I just start singing to myself while strumming various chords, and it happens.

I also tend to not think the things are really ridiculous, but people tend to respond to my blatant statement of things with laughter, so I guess I catch them off guard and bring them joy. I probably shouldn’t try to understand them.

On the other hand, if I understand what people like, then I can just write endless songs on those topics and be loved by them all. However then I’d just be writing for the people instead of me, and it’s not that my ultimate goal is to be strumming on the ukulele all by myself and sharing my music with no one, but the strumming is also not about being loved by people.

More just a need to compose and a need to be heard.

I think art might be that way, people do it because they can’t not.

They can’t not write.

They can’t not sing.

They can’t not paint masterpieces that people stare at for decades and are drawn to by feelings they still don’t even understand completely.

Anyway, I am not saying my songs are masterpieces, merely that they demand to be composed sometimes.

And besides songs and grad school, that’s all I have to say.

My blog is now updated.

See you in two months.


Maybe a week.

We’ll see.



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Mint Green Tea

I’m seriously considering having new titles for all of my future posts that are all about whatever I happen to be eating or drinking and have absolutely no relation to the topic I’m writing about…Also, mint green tea sounds really good and like it would be delicious over ice.

OKAY, so, on a different note, I have 8 days until my two final papers of my first year of grad school are due, and 5 days until my third to last paper is due, and I figure that now is a good time to compose a blog post and take stock of my life over the past couple months.

Firstly, grad school has been intermittently driving me crazy and solving my problems. The craziness is a result of the fact that I’ve never actually taught a class on my own before, and I don’t have the level of experience that everybody else in my class either has or is getting, and so when I get an assignment like “Design a Lesson Plan”, I’m paralyzed by fear for a moment before I run to my English Professor Dad and former teacher brother, and ask them how I am supposed to be doing what I am supposed to be doing. This problem is actually continuing to persist, because I originally got on the computer with the intention of finding sample paragraphs to utilize in my lesson plan, and when my search became fruitless I wound up on here searching for a personal narrative. On the opposite side, this terrifyingly new experience of grad school has solved the problem of me having no idea of what to do with the amounts of free time I would presumably have between twenty-four and death. Studying for something that could actually be a career or something that I’ll do for the rest of my life is probably good.

Which brings me back to the terror of the fact that I have never had my own class to teach. Except Grad school should alleviate that fear by preparing me to teach my own class. Except all the assignments seem to be rather dependent upon you already knowing how to teach.
I don’t entirely understand this system.

So that’s gradschool.

Secondly, I’ve been playing music awkwardly in the corner of people’s birthday parties, after convincing their family members to acquire a ukulele for me, because I’m pretty much addicted to playing that instrument, and hopefully I’ll work more on my cd this summer.

Thirdly, I have a license to legally operate motorized vehicles.

That’s my life from the last however long it’s been…I think I’m going to go drink some more tea now.

Peace friends.

Feel free to pray for me to successfully figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life! Or just for those three papers…Which I am totally going to go work on now.

– Catherine

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