Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Volume Two

As promised, I am going to review volume two of "The Life of Em" today.  But first you have to suffer through the usual:

Breakfast: oats in a jar

Lunch (this is a kind of oops): half of a 10-inch, thin-crust pizza from a "gourmet" place here in town.  I had the "Soprano" pizza (basil pesto, balsamic roasted chicken, roasted red peppers, marinated tomatoes, red onion, Asiago, and mozzarella).  I've also tried Il Figaro and Aphrodite, both of which are spectacular.

Dinner (again, oops): the other half of the "Soprano"

Snack: handful of caramel popcorn from the shop I worked at in high school (I was there over the weekend and just had to)

Workout: ran two miles + various sit-ups and crunches.  I didn't do as well on the running as I did yesterday (same time as Monday), but I attribute it to not eating as healthfully as normal as well as being über-sore today.

After working out, though, I went to the store to grab another pound of carrots, some gum (gotta have it for working out), and coffee.  Those are the essentials these days.

Also, I attended my first meeting for See Us Run Des Moines, the program with which I'm running the marathon in October.  I cannot even begin to tell you how EXCITED I am!  I wish it started tomorrow.  But as a little preview of sorts, I'll be running a 5K on Saturday.  Eek!  :)

And now the moment you've all been waiting for: the release of Volume Two:

1. Poems, Prayers, and Promises, John Denver
  • When I was on my way to college, my mom gave me John Denver's Wildlife Collection because while she was on her way to college, my nana gave her a John Denver album.  Poems, Prayers, and Promises is my favorite of his songs because it is such a beautiful reflection of life.  I love John Denver, and I love my mama.
2. All Summer Long, Kid Rock
  • First, don't laugh: I believe that Kid Rock is the most talented musician of my generation.  I'm not a fan of his "rapping," but he has a beautiful voice, a kick-butt live show, and he can play every instrument on stage and play it well.  I love this song because I LOVE summer and the straight fun that this song exudes.
3. Into the Fire, Bruce Springsteen
  • I was a freshman in college on September 11, 2001.  Obviously it was a traumatic time for the entire nation; it hit me especially hard, likely because it was the first time I was away from home, I'm super close with my family, and I just wanted to be with them.  I'm pretty sure my mom called my boyfriend (who was at Iowa State) and begged him to bring me home for the weekend.  The Boss is one of my favorite artists, and this is a beautiful song commemorating the sacrifices of so many people that day.
4. Dear Mr. President (feat. Indigo Girls), Pink
  • College was the first time in my life that I was exposed to the idea that maybe the world was not as perfect as it was in my dream world.  I had some wonderful professors, specifically those in the English department, who opened my eyes to the injustices and the hypocrisies that surround us.  Being in Iowa during the presidential election is an unforgettable experience, and it is almost impossible to not get involved.  And Pink expresses my opinions of this time period so well.
5. Blowin' in the Wind, Bob Dylan
  • I believe I was born in the wrong decade; I'm certain I was a total hippie in a past life.  As with #4, this song demonstrates the frustration I developed with how the world is and the inequities that people have to face.  Furthermore, one of my most memorable projects at Drake was regarding the antiwar movement in my Literature of War class: we staged a sit-in, brought in a Vietnam War veteran, and led a great discussion.
6. Imagine, John Lennon
  • This is representative of my dream world.  "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one; I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one."  I know my head is often in the clouds, but if we don't dream of a better world and try to do everything in our power to make it happen, then what's the point?
7. Redemption Song, Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • Bob Marley is so chill, so peace-loving, and I selected this song in particular because it is my favorite and includes such meaningful lyrics.  One that I have displayed in my classroom with hopes of teaching my kids is, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds."
8. Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
  • My boyfriend toward the end of college and the first few years afterward introduced me to some great music, including Led Zeppelin.  This song is representative of that time period in my life, the many nights sitting on the disgusting couch of the fraternity house listening to this song on repeat.
9. The Star Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix
  • Again, this is commemorative of my college/early adult years, but it is also more than that: while I am disenchanted by many things our country and government do, I am also so indelibly thankful that I live in this country and that I am granted the freedoms and the rights that I am.  I always get the chills when I hear the National Anthem and get a little teary when it's played at the Olympics.
10. This Is How We Do It, Montell Jordan
  • In August 2008, I was granted the opportunity to become involved in the Freedom Writers Foundation, an experience that changed my life beyond belief.  First, it was the best thing that could have happened for me professionally: it bettered my teaching and so greatly improved my students' learning.  Second, I got to meet my hero, Erin Gruwell.  Third, my involvement in the Foundation introduced me to my bestest friend in the entire universe.  (Oh, this is a song from the movie.)
Erin Gruwell and me - look how short my hair was!
Me and BFF, Katie
I love her one million.
11. Changes, Tupac
  • There's a lot in this world that needs changin', much of which drastically affects my kids.  My degree in Urban Education and my work with White Privilege really made that clear.
12. Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson
  • Again, our world needs a lot of improvement, and this song really speaks to me as to how that change can happen: it is inside each of us.  We can't look elsewhere for others to change the world: we need to look in the mirror.
13. For Good, Idina Menzel & Kristen Chenoweth
  • I love Wicked, and this song touched me: everyone we encounter in our lives affects us somehow, helps mold us into the person we become.  The majority of the people in my life have been wonderful human beings who I am so incredibly thankful to know.  However, I have also come across a few select people who have not been stellar individuals; while I am thankful they are no longer in my life, I believe I am still changed for good for having known them.  Lessons were learned, knowledge was gained, I was changed.
14. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
  • The only musician to make it twice on "The Life of Em" - Bruce!  I absolutely love traveling, and I believe this was mine and BFF's anthem on our road trip to Daytona Beach for Spring Break 2010.  
I believe this was hour 21.  I'm also certain we were at a stoplight...
15. One Day, Matisyahu
  • Most of the songs on this half of the album are centered on social justice and betterment of the world: interestingly, that is my passion and why I do what I do.  As soon as I played this song for my students, they asked for it to be repeated every. single. day.  I was happy to oblige.  It's a beautiful song about what is possible for this world one day.
16. Girl America, Mat Kearney
  • I love, love, love Mat Kearney, and this song illustrates so perfectly the issues that teenage girls (and likely women of all ages) have to deal with on a daily basis.  It is heartbreaking, and I try to be mindful of everything when I work with my girls everyday: we spend a great deal of time discussing expectations, double standards, and inequities - and how to combat them.  Empowerment of our young girls is so important...and so difficult.
17. Don't Stop Believin', Journey
  • This is the quintessential rock ballad, the only song that makes me go 90 miles an hour regardless of where I am.  It is my karaoke song, my number one request for piano bars and cover bands.  It made the album because it is pure fun - which is exactly how I like to think of myself.  :)
I hope you enjoyed a little look into my life.  Back to our regularly-scheduled programming tomorrow.  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment