Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’


January 27, 2014 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

Everyone I’ve ever been with has taught me things about my world and also about the world in which we live. Some of those things have been less than spectacular. A was pretty psychotic. I was young, and she was younger. Things were awkward and she had more experience being in relationships, but in some ways was more immature than me. Jo was my first serious girlfriend. It was senior year. We did what you do when you’re a senior. I’ve talked to her a few times on Facebook over the years, but I can’t find her there now. R was my dream girl in lots of ways. She was the girl I pined for when I was in elementary school -my first crush. The PTB flung us together again as teens and we dated for over a year. I seem to regret not knowing her anymore. I loved her parents. They loved me. When her father died, I called the house. She was there. She made the conversation awkward. I hung up. When her mother died a few days ago, I cried. D was so much to me and taught me more than anything about so many things. Not all good, not all bad. C and I crashed into each other. We were tumultuous. It was love, it was hate. It was everything in the world carnate. E was my secret joy until I realized she was never meant to be. Now I’ve moved the alphabet to S. It was our anniversary the other day. It’s crazy how you meet people who you’re meant to meet at certain times of your life. While I regret very little about those things bad and good I have learned, there are those people who if you’ve met at other times, you’d not react the same way. It’s also wild how different things about relationships bother you at different times. S has taught me about myself and my relationship to the world at this moment in time. As I continue in this next chapter of my own life, I see through a new lens. A new light, and things I’ve pushed away, I now embrace. Things I’ve let go, I don’t know. We are meant to have people enter and exit our lives when it’s time. That I cherish.

Paul Walker Dead, so is his glistening chest

December 01, 2013 By: nooccar Category: Leisure, Movies, Uncategorized

Recently there was an internet celebrity hoax that Paul Walker is dead, which was dispelled here. This morning Walker’s agency squashed all rumors that he was deceased and then an hour ago TMZ posted that he in fact was dead. Well, people don’t tend to go to TMZ for their “real” news. Then US Magazine picked it up; guess what? Still not real news. By the time HuffPo, NBC, and FOX confirmed and published the stories, I’d posted on Facebook that “Paul Walker died in fiery car crash. Millions of chicks are crying tears of never seeing his naked chest in a film again.” Believe you me, I had mixed comments posted on my Facebook.

In part, people said “too soon” and “he was a father”. Yes, he was a father. A child with a lost parent is a travesty, as I assume he was a good father. But my issue is more about how media create a world where sex sells and Paul Walker was damn fine (had I said made a crispy comment here, that would’ve been too far), than about the accidental death of a father. In part, the human body has been so sexualized and glamorized in Hollywood that talent’s a second thought. Walker is not necessarily talented as an actor, but go ahead and comment below if you think he seriously is. He is known for his glistening abs. We normal people are who we are. I will never look like Paul Walker, nor will you. If you do, you have some really expensive job that make you do very little for lots of money or someone pays you to train to look like that. Why do Media inform us that we either need to look like him or want to get with him?


Earlier today an online media outlet published photos of Scarlet Johansson with the headline “Scarlett Johansson is in a bikini, looks like hell“. Seriously? She looks hot. While I’d argue that she’s more talented than Walker (evidence one: Matchpoint by Woody Allen), media always focuses on the sexualization of the body. If we wrap our lives around death drama of hot people, we don’t focus on education, health care, and peace. So people on Facebook will explode about Paul Walker’s glistening chest being a lot less glistening, swearing they love his movies when they can’t name any outside of those racing films; they’ll also discuss how damn fine Johannson’s ass still is but will probably skip discussing her talent. Everyone knows the debacle that has become Miley, but who discusses how Arizona’s governor doesn’t even have a college degree, how we’re almost last in education funding in the United States, and how public workers are being defunded across the country?

While it’s a travesty that a child has a lost a parent today, it’s not a travesty that one less sex symbol exists in our world. The problem is the media will just replace him.

Paul Walker


September 06, 2009 By: turtlegirl Category: Uncategorized

“Claire, you are so smart; you’re smarter than adults who should know better.”

“Mom, there’s stuff that you don’t know.”

“No Claire. Sometimes I just pretend not to know stuff so that you feel better about yourself.”



Social Media & teaching public school

September 04, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

Social media more and more pervades our spaces including our schools. As a school teacher, I know I walk a fine line as a role model. As a role model there are certain rules I have for myself.

I am on Twitter. I make no qualms about this and I was there more than a year before Oprah made it “cool.” I tweet about whatever I want, and I realize my audience is mostly not my high school students. Of course, I am not an idiot either, so I don’t write noxiously about students. If I mention them it’s vague and never comes near a FERPA issue. If I have a strong rapport with a student and they request to follow me on Twitter, if they actually use their account (post, follow, etc…) then I may follow them back. If not, I may actually block them; nothing personal. I protected my updates before, but seriously, this is a place to connect with new people and network so how does that work when things are blocked. Sure people see things they take the wrong way, things they don’t agree with, and things that just annoy them. Well, stay away. You don’t need follow me.

I am on Facebook. I made my Facebook account to connect with a group of students years ago. I use it all of the time, but I use it mostly to see who’s doing what, keep up with old friends, classmates, families, and also networking events. I am friends with hundreds of former students and many current ones. I teach Facebook workshops to Boomers and other groups. There are problems I have with Facebook and things I don’t like, but the positives out weigh the negatives. I don’t lambast people, I don’t post anything inappropriate, and I don’t post controversial stuff. Anything that is mildly questionable, I warn my viewers. You know what, if you don’t like my Facebook, don’t follow me. Don’t friend me. Don’t watch my page. Why don’t I just change my preferences? Make it “Friends Only”? Because, in part, I am on Facebook for the same reason you are. For people I once knew to find me. How will they if I block access because people complain?

When I first followed Heather Armstrong, she was interesting because she’s one of the first people who publicly came out to say that she was fired for blogging. I think her being fired was the best thing that ever happened to her. Her and her husband both now live off the money they make from their blogs.

Social media is going to seep further into our schools. More and more kids will request to follow me on Twitter. Some I will add, some I will block. Others will follow me on Facebook. It’s not creepy. It’s a way to connect with people. I won’t ever lie in either of these venues, but I will not post inaccurate information either. I also am not ever responsible for anyone else’s actions or comments. They’re not mine. If you don’t like a comment, contact that person. If you don’t like what someone writes, ignore them. Don’t try to hurt them for your own personal gain.

The fear is schools will need policy social media. Sure they already block these things, but there is so much good coming out of it. If I wasn’t online, kids couldn’t contact me all of the time for help. I couldn’t podcast to communicate with kids and parents. Kids couldn’t “chat” me on my phone from anywhere in the world. Kids couldn’t call my personal Google voice phone number. My god, I give the kids a phone number now. Tell me one other public school teacher who has their phone number on their syllabus. Go ahead. Without teachers moving online and working with kids where they already are, how do we continue to move forward with making learning meaningful.

I am a teacher. I am a role model. I care.

Our Story Part III

August 17, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

So the junior prom was coming up. I was pretty much on the out with my current “girlfriend”, and I just wasn’t into her anymore. We already had our tickets to the prom and it’s always nice to not burn too many bridges when breaking up. The auburn hair girl was in the outs with her current man, too, but they too were planning on going to the prom. Her brother drove her and her date, while I drove my date in my car. I don’t remember if I also drove my best friend or not.

Around this same time I had decided to get a scarab beetle tattooed on my chest. A major part of that decision was that as my life was changing I got this tattoo. It reminds me of some of what began around this time in our history, and for that I am grateful.

So now we come to the prom. We joined our group of friends for the dance, put our coats on our chairs, cameras on the table, and took to the floor. As the night progressed, I danced less and less with my date and more and more with this auburned hair beauty. I remember at one point we had what would be considered a train or sandwich going on, and she was in the middle. I realized the irony of the teacher coming over to ask us to move apart as I now do the same.

She and I continued to dance through out the evening, and I even remember the slow dances when we acquiesced to our own dates. I looked across at her with her looking at me over the shoulder of her date; I’d close my eyes, smile and imagine I was slow dancing with her.

When the dance ended I offered to drive her and her date home. Somewhere along the line, my best friend ended up in the backseat of my small hatchback along with the girl and her soon to be exboyfriend. The girl told her brother I’d drive them home; his reaction was “take care of my sister”. (In hindsight a) he wanted the privacy with his own date and b) I have.).

We drove through the twilight and went where we go after danced: Eat ‘N Park. My best friends snored in the back of my car, while the four of us went inside. I slide into the booth next to the girl and my soon to be ex was forced to sit across from me, next to where the new girl’s almost ex.

We had a nice meal, albeit I then dropped her off to say goodbye and good riddance to her exboyfriend, while my soon to be ex, best friend and I drove on down the street.


Our Story Part II

August 11, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

See this one time was sort of interesting. I’m still not sure who was there or why, but this was a place near where we’d get together with these groups. It was called Stone Shelter because it was just that. A large stone shelter in South Park. A place my parents suggested in the past to have gone “parking” even. A place now just a memory and razed long ago. I can’t tell you much about that specific day at that place other than there were three of us there. She was there and my brother, too. It was during one of his larger part of life. I wore my hair long, my cut off jeans low, and the Les Mis shirt I owned hung off my frame, mostly from the rain of that afternoon showers. We had a Frisbee that we flung about the grassed hillside

That evening I drove her home. Went inside to meet this supposed 4’ iguana that really was. Spike. What a name for a female iguana. I visited the lizard in her bedroom. The door closed. Her father wasn’t happy, so I was obliged to meet him. I went down into this 70s shag basement to do so. Me, the man boy, the college boy with the tattoos, baggy cut off jeans, moist, not quite dry or wet tshirt, longish hair in my face, and pager on my belt that kept vibrating. Him in his Dockers, his button down, and neutral colors socks. Hair combed back, moustache and engineering glasses. Not quite a meeting I’d imagined. I cared then what she thought. What he thought. I remember his eyes burning as I walked up the stairs later unable to hide my tattoos creeping out between my combat boots and the torn shorts. A permanent iguana, like hers, upstairs.


Our Story Part I

August 10, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

About 15 years ago a group of friends existed. They weren’t true friends, but they were a group who gathered around others. Someone knew someone else and the group kind of existed. In part, it grew, for me, as an extended friendship of siblings, geeks, and freaks. Some lived in a basements dabbling with DOS, BBSes, and Windows 3.1. Others dabbled upstairs in painting, photography and the arts. Some dabbled with themselves, and I still don’t know what brought the group together, per say, but I do know when I see it in the other generations.

There was one Tuesday in particular when a large part of the group ended up in downtown Pittsburgh. In Market Square we sat with the waves of spring washing upon us as late April was lambing its way towards the end of May and summer break for many. For me, I was almost done with Freshman year at Penn State.

I don’t remember everyone who was there or if I drove a group or we took the PAT, but I remember the one girl. The one with the crooked tooth smile, permed out redish auburn hair, and glasses. The girl with the torn kneeed jeans and green sweatshirt. I flirted with her. She flirted back. At first it was a “group thing”. The thing to do, but I remember later that same the day, eventually, the rest of the group dispersed. It was just her and me, and we didn’t stop flirting. I won’t ever forget the feeling of suddenly realizing we were the only two left, and the protection and excuses of being in the group dissipated. I remember the sudden realization that this was something else. For me, Something more.


Get over it!

August 02, 2009 By: turtlegirl Category: Uncategorized

This morning, in the guest bath…
me: OW!!!
Claire: What?
me: I hit my elbow!!!
Claire: Are you OK?
me: No! It hurts!!
Claire: Oh, don’t worry, it will only hurt for a minute…


My impressive child

July 19, 2009 By: turtlegirl Category: Uncategorized

Not only has Claire picked up a wonderfully elaborate vocabulary from her parents, she has now begun to invent her own words to add to Webster’s Dictionary: Clairious. As in, that’s so funny it’s clairious!


My 10,000th Flickr post

July 18, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized


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