A Summer of Firsts

As summer comes to a close with the official start of fall upon us, it is only appropriate to pause and take a moment to reflect back on what transpired over the course of my heat filled nanny days.  There were firsts, in fact quite memorable firsts.  Some were developmental, some were experiences, some were health based and some were misunderstandings.  Whatever the category they all made my life more enjoyable.

Going to the beach is an extremely typical summer activity unless you live in Antarctica, duh.  Going to the beach with 8 month triplets and a 3 yr. old pushes the ticker towards atypical.  When I signed up for this gig I knew I would most likely be going on adventures of this nature and I truly don’t have a problem participating in the complexity of it all.  However, I can’t help but think of other nannies/au pairs I’ve heard (meaning I’ve read about online) of working (vacationing) in the Hamptons, being flown to Hawaii, and generally living extravagant lives.  You know what though, it doesn’t get any more extravagant than sitting in the third row of a Honda Odyssey minivan squeezed between an infant car seat and a booster seat occupied by an elbow throwing 3 yr. old.  My new standard of travel provides me with just enough space to reconsider eating anything ever again, but not enough coverage to avoid the prying eyes of the two other infants who robbed me of a captain chair.  So take that you snobby nannies.

(Side note:  Speaking of extravagant nannies I would quit this job tomorrow to be the nanny for in no particular order 1) Amy Poehler and Will Arnett (oh tear that will never happen due to the current state of their relationship) 2) Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard 3) Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck 4) Anna Faris and Chris Pratt 6) Louis C.K. 7) Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes – they don’t have any kids but you get it.) Continue reading A Summer of Firsts

Top Ten Differences between Grad Students and Undergrads

I recently ventured back into the academia world, and after being in it for two weeks I quickly picked up on a few things.   I guess my goal of obtaining my Master’s is to further pursue facets of my eventual career in teaching.  But really the true goal going into this all along was so I could garner the opportunity to create a list such as this one comparing the very unique populations of the Grad Student vs. the Undergrad student.  At first glance they may look alike, but by taking a closer look you will discover they don’t.  (And in my case in particular I have more of the high schooler look going for me so it’s obvious where I fall on campus, and yes that would be precisely onto the cafeteria floor with a cheeseburger careening down on me.)

  1. Grad Students are equipped with umbrellas when there are downpours and undergrads are not.  Furthermore, they also usually have the proper foot attire on to traverse the terrain when it rains, where undergrads just get heckled and made fun of by some creepy older gentleman strolling campus.
  2. Grad students wear shorts that can be seen by the naked eye and undergrads wear shorts that stand a slight chance of being seen only when a microscope is in use.  I wouldn’t really classify my undergrad experience as a success so to speak.  I graduated, but I’m telling you right now if I had to wear shorts with a two centimeter inseam, I would NOT have graduated………..or worn them.  It’s like they are away from their parents for three days and anything goes.  While you are pulling those shorts down, how about you adjust the length of your shirt too please.  Oh, I’m sorry you say that you can’t.  You know why that is?  It is because that so called “shirt” of yours was made for an 8 year old girl not a developed teenager/twenty year old. Geez, kids these days.
  3. In general grad students don’t wear backpacks, where in contrast a significant portion of undergrads do.  This by no means is a bad thing.  I love backpacks.  I had a muted pink corduroy one that I brought to college with me and I still have my eggplant LLBean book bag from 1993 that I use solely to carry my gummy bears, NERDS, word search books from ’97, Irish pence, tissues, and strangely enough my college ID whenever I travel.  So if you are walking behind a two-strapper Jansport chances are they are a person not stupid enough yet to make the decision to go back to school after already graduating from college.
  4. Undergrads enjoy wearing apparel of the school they are attending but grad students do not.  It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy it, because I certainly would if I was given something for free to wear.  Alls I’m saying is, is that purple over-sized hooded sweatshirt with stitching screened on of the school name is a dead giveaway for an undergrad.
  5. Grad students get told by their professor on the first day that she will be bringing in pitbulls to class because she trains them and if you have an issue with it, well then just don’t make eye contact dummy.  And they sit there unfazed.  Undergrads may scurry out thinking they have a wack-a-doodle for a teacher, but grad students know this will only enhance the entertainment value of the class.
  6. Grad students buy their supplies at the dollar store, where undergrad students buy their supplies at I really don’t know where.  However, I do know at one point in my life I bought multiple notebooks from my college bookstore so clearly I’m the real idiot.  I would be so much richer if I only shopped at dollar stores, and with the quality of the dollar stores I’ve been hitting up as of late, I very well could do just that. 
  7. Grads students hold the door open for many coeds to walk through it without a single one of them even coughing out a thank you.  Let me know when you find an undergrad that would do this.  Undergrad girls are too awkward to allow for a situation like this to happen, and when I say undergrad girls I’m referring to this grad girl.
  8. Grad students stress out about parking probably significantly more than undergrads do.  Their stress is exacerbated even more when they have to jog to the student union building and find the help desk immediately to ensure that their car won’t be towed or ticketed.  Undergrads don’t even know what towed means.
  9. Grad students hope class ends early so they can go home and put their pjs on and watch episodes of Breaking Bad on their DVR/Netflix.  Undergrads hope their classes dismiss prematurely so they can get a head start on shot gunning and power houring their way through the all the dorm rooms on their floor.  (Did that make any sense?  I wasn’t a “typical” undergrad.)  And with regards to rushing home, my current employment allows me to wear pjs all day and watch the DVR until it freezes so I’m in no rush to do anything when I exit.
  10. Grad students are older, and undergrads make them feel exactly that way.  We may be older than a majority of undergrads, but that doesn’t mean we are any wiser.   How did we get here?  I mean wasn’t I just sleeping four inches away from the ceiling in my forced triple freshmen dorm room.  Now I’m sleeping 14 feet away from baby triplets on a nightly basis.    

Some of these may be generalizations.  Some of them you may not agree with.  Some may not make any sort of sense.  And I’m sure some undergrads may beg to differ with me.  Yet, despite these differences I know we share characteristics that make us more similar than not.  For instance, any first day of class whether you are a grad or undergrad, brings with it the nervousness where students actually apologize for opening their soda bottle because they dared to break the silence with their deafening cap release while trying to quench their thirst.  And I know that as a grad student or an undergrad student I would still turn down the marble composition books that my sister tried to pawn off on me.  I don’t care if they are free.  I don’t want notebooks that can’t fold back easily and notebooks that have lines 4 year olds can write in between.  I struggle enough already in the desk world being a lefty, I certainly don’t need free notebooks that I have an aversion for writing in to add to it.  Finally, I know that as an undergrad and now a grad student I still do peculiar things like open and move my mouth to say hi to a new student walking into the class and think I have succeeded at accomplishing this jovial, simple greeting, but then I spend the entire 3 hour class analyzing in my head if an actual word was projected out for this girl to hear or was I just assuming this new student was a lip reader as well.  Bottom line I may be able to describe the ways in which grad students and undergrads differ, but I can’t even say hello to someone without being a weirdo so take my word for what it is worth.  And honestly what do I know about anything, I stare at babies all day.

An Ordinary Tale of a Water Slide Encounter with a Professional Athlete

A man enters the pool.  This isn’t just an ordinary man though, it is someone I recognize and know.  I followed his bifocaled arrival to the pool area, subsequent plopping on prime lounge chairs which I believe were already in use, and then his eventual plunge into the water with curious eyes.  Approximately 30 seconds into his swim, I knew it…..it was Kyle Farnsworth.  Kyle Farnsworth you might ask, who is that?  Well, let me tell you if there is anyone able to identify forgettable half-clothed setup Yankee pitchers, I’m your gal.

The thing about professional athletes, I think, is a majority of them can go unrecognized to even the casual sports fan.  Helmets for football and hockey, who knows what is happening under the head wear.  Baseball you get a clearer picture of the face, but with rosters being large and players being moved around, you familiarize yourself with the stars faces but might forget what a guy in the bullpen looks like.  I don’t forget, and now that I knew it was Farnsworth it was obviously my duty to share this info with my swimming buddies (my sisters, my cousin, and mi madre).

I of course nonchalantly said, “That guy kind of looks like Kyle Farnsworth.”   By nonchalantly I used a hushed tone and avoided eye contact like I was a spy revealing vital information to the USSR.  With athletes such as Kyle, those are the steps you take when in their presence.  My crew (being related to me and all) knew exactly who I was talking about, but they were a little hesitant to commit.  I mean on one hand, why is a major league player swimming in a pool at a Marriott in Orlando when he is in season?  Yet on the other, how could an above average in height man, with those specific tattoos, with that complexion and physique not be Kyle Farnsworth?  My sister pulled the old, yell out his name to see if he turns game, but that provided us with inconclusive results.   The more I side eye stared at him, the more I knew it was him.  However, before we approached we decided it was best to do some further investigating.

(Side note: I once was in an elevator with all my sisters and Carlton Banks and we didn’t say anything.  It was a short ride, but we certainly had the opportunity to break into “It’s not unusual.”  We didn’t and we blew it.  So I was definitely not going to let another “celebrity” encounter slip from my grasp.)

Nowadays, investigating someone is so easy even your grandma can do it.  You type their name into google and bam you have everything you need at your fingertips.  I had already presumed that either Kyle was released by the Rays or injured so all I needed to do was confirm it.  My cousin Molly was thoroughly searching his marital status and kid situation, as he was seen playing in the pool with a 12 yr. old or so boy.  My sister Susan was zooming in on shirtless photos of him and just smiling.  I confiscated her phone to get visual confirmation that all his tats matched up.  We had done it.  We were all cleared to take our stalking to the next level by actually trying to talk to him. Continue reading An Ordinary Tale of a Water Slide Encounter with a Professional Athlete