Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Day

When I was little, I wanted to be a scientist. I wanted to discover different cures and I wanted to help people.
When I was 16, I got my very first job was at the Rec Center teaching classes. What started off as a summer job led to me realizing how much I loved helping the kids.
When I was 18, I went off to KU to be either a pharmacist or an engineer. I still wanted to help people, but I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to do that.
When I was 19, I took an accounting class at Barton and it just clicked. This was what I wanted to do, or so I thought.
When I was 21, I realized being an accountant didn't fulfill that desire in me to help people how I felt I'd been called to do. I realized my true calling was to be a teacher. And since I already knew so much about accounting and business, I found Business Education.
When I was 23, I accepted my first teaching position at Highland Park High School and graduated from Emporia State with a degree I knew was right for me.

It may have been quite the road leading up to me realizing what I wanted to do, but I am sure as heck glad I found Education. As some of you probably know, this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week and today specifically is National Teacher Appreciate Day.

I have enjoyed teaching so much this first year and I absolutely love being able to help out these students. I now see it from the other side of things. Thinking about this made me think about all of those teachers who were there for me throughout my educational career.

Looking back at my educational career, I can immediately think of teachers and professors that made school what it was. Those teachers that made class interesting, and you didn't want to ever miss their class. Those teachers who you did everything you possibly could do to not disappoint. Those are the teachers that inspired me to become a teacher. That made me want to be like them. And change some young students' lives, like they changed mine.

I have had a lot of these teachers in my life, but I want to give a personal Thank You to a few specific teachers.

To Mrs. Boeger. You were the one who introduced me to accounting. Made me love it, and made such an early class a whole lot less miserable. You inspired me to become a teacher. And take an interest in my kids the way you took an interest in each and every one of your students. I can say without a doubt that I wouldn't be where I am at today if it wasn't for you.

To Dr. Railsback and Kim Dhority. Without you two, my college career wouldn't have been the same. I fell in love with Business Education because of you two. And made it through the program and student teaching because of your help.

To my college professors: Dr. Rich, Dr. DeVito, Mr. Barnes, Dr. Durler, Dr. Sterrett, Dr. Miller, Dr. Riedy, Mr. Vickers, Dr. Neill, and so many more. The biggest thank you I could ever give you. You pushed me to become a better person, student, and teacher. There might have been times I wanted to just give up, but you all helped me when I needed it the most.

To my high school teachers: Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Steinert, Coach Tat, Coach Black, Mrs. Heeke, Mrs. Pruter, Mr. and Mrs. Eyestone, Mrs. Hiss, Mrs. Seeman, and so many more. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when other teachers did. I am inspired to be the teacher that never gives up on her students.

To my elementary school teachers: Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Maneth, Mrs. Higgins, Mrs. Essmiller. And middle school teachers: Mr. Wetig, Mr. Pinkall, Mr. Burt, Mrs. Hartig. You all were there in those awkward years of growing up. You made classes fun, enjoyable, and most of all memorable.

I know there are so many other teachers that have inspired me in one way or another. Even if it was just one tiny moment. All of those things added up and have amounted to the teacher I have become today.

I am also inspired by all of my teaching friends. Going to ESU was absolutely the best decision I could have ever made and I was blessed to end up at such a great Teaching College. I have so many education friends that I can turn to and who can relate. I enjoy reading about your stories from the classroom and can't wait to see where we all end up!

I want to give one final thank you and appreciation to all of the teachers in my family. I have many aunts, uncles, and cousins who all have a job within education. It's in our blood and I am so proud to say I am related to each and every one of you.

So THANK YOU to all of the educators in my life. I appreciate you all so much and I wouldn't be here today without each and every one of you.

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Kids

Wednesday night I was sitting at the wrestling meet with two of my coworkers. The meet had gotten over earlier than expected and they both made comments about getting home to see their kids before they have to go to bed. I know I've made comments about this before, but in that moment I realized that my students are my kids and HP has become my Topeka Family.

Living in Topeka in an apartment by myself can sometimes get lonely. This is the first time that I've lived in a city and didn't have some sort of family in the same city with me. Whether it be my parents, grandparents, brothers, or cousins. I've always been blessed to be able to see family members when I need a reminder of home. Since I don't have anyone here, it's been such a blessing to have such a great work family.

Being here at HP, not all of the students have parent support at their sporting events. So if their parents can't come support, I figure I better be that extra support system for them. After all, they feel like my kids. And if they were my kids, you know I would be at every extra curricular activity they have.

Last weekend, I surprised some of my kids at their wrestling meet when I was in the Kansas City area. It was so exciting to be able to support my students outside of the classroom; to be able to see them in their environments. I also was able to stop into one of my student's work place on the way home and it surprised him as well. This week has been the same in getting to go to a different sporting event every night. I went and watched our bowlers Tuesday and got to see the whole wrestling team wrestle Wednesday.  I even was able to work the Topeka Inventational Tournament  as a team host these last few days.

At the bowling meet I was able to surprise some other students as well. It's just such an overwhelmingly great feeling when the students see me and excitedly come over and give me a hug. One girl even did and her parents saw her react before they saw me and it caught them off guard. At first they weren't sure why she reacted. It definitely  warms my heart.

Not only am I lucky enough to see these kids at their sporting events, but I also get to see some of them at other extracurriculars. I've gotten to watch some of them in the school play and even helped out at the debate tournament. I also have some band and orchestra kids.

I think one of my other favorite feelings is making those connections with students who I don't even have in class. Just from saying "Hi" to them as they pass by my door or offering up my room for after school study hall during football season. Those kids who eagerly ask what classes I teach and if they can be in one next year. That's what makes me love my job.

These kids don't even realize it, but they are the ones who are changing my life. They make me love my job even more. Especially on those days I just am too exhausted to want to do anything; it's my kids that push me to be a better teacher and role model for them.

Oh, and of course that one student who comes to school and we realize we're both wearing Polo sweaters. So of course we had to take a picture.

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Romantics

'Cause, baby, I could build a castle
Out of all the bricks they threw at me

One night we were sitting there like normal, and I looked over at you and said, "One of these days I'm going to write a blog about you. You just wait!" At the time I thought it would be about something exciting and fun. I thought it might be about our adventures together in Topeka or maybe something cute that you did for me. To quote one of my favorite musicians: “I used to think one day we’d tell the story of us, how we met and the sparks flew instantly.” But little did I know, I would be writing this without you in my life. With you becoming a complete stranger. As if nothing had ever even happened between us.

Taylor Swift recently released her 1989 album and on the deluxe Target edition there are three extra bonus songs. The last song is calledNew Romantics” and like all of her songs, it just speaks to me.

When it comes to guys, life has thrown quite a few curve balls my way. I've laughed, I've cried, I've been pissed off, I've been filled with excitement, as well as extreme disappointment. I've experienced just about every emotion imaginable due to these guys.

I've been thrown brick after brick and I could, without a doubt, build a pretty immaculate castle. At the time when those bricks were hitting, it was some of the worst days and I didn't understand. I went through months of depression. I felt defeated and like nothing could possibly go right for me. There were times I wasn't even hungry. I would go days without hardly even eating. All I could think about was "Why me?" "Why does this have to happen again?" "When will I catch a break?"

These last couple of months have been no different. I'm in a new city, at a new job, and meeting new guys. It isn't the same as it was in college. I've had new experiences I never imagined would ever happen. But then those bricks still seem to hit me.

Taylor writes in the chorus:
"Baby, we're the new romantics
Come on, come along with me
Heart break is the national anthem
We sing it proudly
We are too busy dancing
To get knocked off our feet
Baby, we're the new romantics
The best people in life are free"

This just confirms to me, that life isn't going to be the fairy tale I've always dreamed of. Times are going to be rough and it'll take a while before I find my future husband. I need to experience all of these bricks. Because through these experiences, I'm going to come out of it better. I might as well just live my life freely and take the bricks as they come. Just keep building. Just keep dancing.

And although it's never worked out with any of them, every single one of these guys has changed me in one way or another. From gaining confidence in myself to giving myself a voice. Knowing I don’t have to make him a sandwich or fall into female stereotypes to make him happy. Knowing I don’t need a guy to rescue me. To make me happy. So instead of being hurt or bitter or upset with these guys for giving me the bricks to build my castle, I instead need to be thanking them. So thank you, to each and every one of you. Whether you added one brick or a hundred bricks, you made me a castle I can love and dance in and be Free.

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apple.. I'm a little disappointed.

So, I feel it's pretty obvious that I'm Team Android for Life and most of you know this. With that being said, I'm just going to give my two cents on Apple's release yesterday and you can take it for what it's worth.

Every time Apple has their huge release on a product, there's always a lot of hype. This time is no different. Driving to school this morning they were talking about it on the radio and how great it is. Snapchat even created a Live Story where users attending the release could submit video clips and photos from the event.

So one of the new things that Apple is releasing is their Apple Watch. Funny thing, Samsung has 5 different "smart watches" and the first one has been out for almost a year now. There's a new one coming out that doesn't even require the user have a phone. Pretty sweet!

Okay, so the next "new" thing is that you can make a purchase with your iPhone. Guess what, I've been able to do that with my phone since I got it back in March and there are other Android devices that could do it long before mine. Hmmm... seems like we have a trend going here...

Another new feature of the new phone is its size and shape. They are releasing two new sizes, both bigger than anything they've had before. What's ironic is that the new shape is a more round shape that is "easier to hold". Yet another thing that most Android phones have been for as long as I've had one.

I don't know about you, but I thought that Apple was all about innovation. Seems to me they are just continuing the trend of fitting in with other phones and not standing out like they used to do. They've done this in the past with changing features to be more "Android-esk".

I know this blog post might seem negative, but I'm more just disappointed in the lack of innovation on Apple's part. Come on Tim, you can do better than that!

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues

Monday, June 23, 2014


My 23rd year was quite the year. I've had so many things happen this last year and it's been a very memorable one. What started off in Anaheim will shortly be ending in what has become my home.

One thing I will say is that I definitely went out with a bang these last few weeks of being twenty-three. I've graduated from college, said good bye to two great roommates, signed paperwork for my new career, put down money for my new apartment in a new city, chopped my hair off and donated 13 inches of it, found a great guy, and bought a new car. To say things have changed would be an understatement.

I am so thankful and so blessed for all the memories this last year has brought and I cannot wait to see what all twenty-four has in store for me. Here's to everything that is to come.

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Emporia Bucket List

With two weeks until graduation, I've realized I have a limited time left to finish off the things on my Emporia Bucket List. It's crazy all the things I've accomplished and experienced here in Emporia these last four years and I can't believe my time here is coming to an end shortly.

So here is what is remaining on my list. If anyone has a way to/wants to help me check some of these things off that would be fabulous.

•Have a meal in Skyline
•Pet and/or feed a campus squirrel
•Go to every Fraternity (I've been to Sig Tau, Sig Ep, and Sig Pi)
•Go to Chi Omega
•Eat at Radius
•Eat at J's Carryout
•Eat at Las Brisas

Hopefully I can knock these last few items off and maybe have a few more accomplishments here in Emporia. I will definitely miss everything about Emporia and have been so blessed with my time here.

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Life of a Walmart Employee

Since yesterday was my 90 days of working at Walmart, I've decided it's finally time to write my blog post I've been planning to write for a while now.

I've shopped at Walmart my whole life it seems like. Growing up in Great Bend, I remember what the old Walmart looked like as well as the excitement that came with the new Walmart Supercenter. Walmart was always the place to go when we got bored in high school. It's created many memories and once again added a new adventure to my life this last November.

Since becoming a Walmart employee, my view of Walmart has definitely changed. Being a cashier has made it change even more. I don't think I will be able to go into a Walmart again without having a different mindset.

I've come up with a couple of different lists from these three months. From what to do and not to do as a customer to some of my favorite parts about working at Walmart.

First: Some things that you should do as a customer coming through the checkout line:
  • Say Hi! We're nice people, I promise. It makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable even if it is just small talk.
  • If you're buying alcohol or cigarettes, have your ID out and ready. 
  • Please be patient. It's Walmart.. It's going to take some time. Plus it just makes it seem worse if you're being impatient.
  • Put your items on the belt how you would like them to be bagged. This helps us out a lot and speeds up the process if like items are next to each other. (i.e. cans, cold items, chemicals, etc.)
  • If you're in an express line, it also helps us out a lot if you slide your items closer to us. We don't have the belt to help us out with that.
  • If you're paying with a card, slide it after we scan your first item. This is another way to speed up the process. If you're paying with a check, having that out and ready to hand to us also speeds up the process. (Side note about checks, you don't have to fill them out anymore.)
  • Take your bags off the carousal if you notice it's getting full. If it gets too full, this is another thing that will slow down the process. Also, if you want to be extra helpful and nice, opening the bags for us after you take yours off is a wonderful thing!
  • If you are going to price match, please be ready and tell us before we scan your items. Also, if you want to put the price on the item somehow (either a sticker or with sharpie) this helps out a lot.
Second: Some things that you should Not do as a customer coming through the checkout line.
  • Don't go through the express line unless you have less items than the number required! I cannot stress this enough. This is my biggest pet peeve as a cashier. Not only does it slow us down, but it is also builds up a line of people who only have a couple items. 
  • Don't get in the back of the line if the light is off. That means we're closed. A lot of times we are finishing up the customers who were in line so we can go to break or get off work. 
  • Don't leave your basket or cart in the line. You brought it to the line, take it with you. 
  • Don't be rude. We are trying to hurry and trying to make the process the best it can be for you.
  • Don't lie about price matching items. Also, don't get offended if we question where your price matching is from. We are just trying to do our job the best we can, while still giving you low prices.
  • Don't get offended if we check your bills. You wouldn't like it if we gave you a fake $100 bill because we didn't check it when it was given to us. 
Lastly: Some of my favorite things about working at Walmart.
  • When specific customers always come find me and come through me line. 
  • When customers remember small things about me from previous conversations and ask how things are going. Such as my student teaching.
  • Inside jokes with my CSM. Such as telling him that I need him.
  • When couples (or anyone for that matter) awkwardly come through my line buying condoms, pregnancy tests, or anything like that.
  • When Wrecking Ball comes on, I always know One Direction will be next.
  • All my Walmart friends and coworkers. I've made some great bonds these months and some lasting memories.
So next time you go to Walmart, I hope you think about some of these things. It doesn't have to be a place you dread going to. I know I'm pretty thankful for this opportunity and new adventure in my life.

Until next time,
The Chronicles of Kirsten Continues