Teaching and Acute Tonsillitis

Over the weekend, I wasn’t feeling very well.  Sunday was my day off from both jobs, which should have been Date Night with the BF, but instead it ended up being switch between sleeping on the couch and in the bed.  I felt terrible for being under the weather and not having a good date night with my BF, but he understood.

Monday I wasn’t feeling much better.  I debated on going to the dr.’s, but it is always a big decision because I don’t have insurance and I am self-pay.  I spent most of the day in bed trying to rest up and recuperate before I had to go to work that evening.  I even tried to get someone to cover my shift, but we are short on Bartenders and most everyone has a second job or school that restricts their schedule.

I thought about calling off, but that is not in my nature.  So, I put on my big girl pants and went to work.  Luckily, my co-worker was able to switch with me.  I still had to work a 6 hour shift, but it was much better than working the 8.5 hour

Tuesday, when I woke up I was still suffering from a major sore throat.  Since my mom is a medical assistant, I went to the clinic where she works to get checked out by the nurse practitioner.  Because I didn’t have any other cold or flu-like symptoms, she diagnosed it as acute tonsillitis.  She gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and sent me on my way.  She offered to write me a work excuse, but I declined.  There was no way that I could cancel class last night knowing that I was missing Thursday night because of the flair competition.  I did, however, e-mail the peer mentor that was scheduled to observe my class and ask him to consider coming another night.  Thankfully, he obliged.

Purple button up: Wal-Mart. Fall print scarf: gift. Grey trousers: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Brown oxford shoes: unknown.

That took away a lot of my stress.  I also opted to have my students debrief after their first round of speeches.  I asked them all to reflect on how they did and assess what things they did that were successful and what things that they learned not to do for next time.  I think that it was a good activity.  I also finished lecturing on the presentation aid chapter before giving them the quiz over the material.  We had about ten minutes of class left afterward, so rather than starting a new chapter I allowed them to ask questions about their midterm.

One savvy student asked what type of answer that I expected for the essay questions.  We were able to go over two of the five potential essay questions.  I think that it was very smart that she asked that because I don’t have anything against reviewing the answer with them, or pointing out the exact spot in the book where they can find the information.  I just wish that we had more time to cover more material.

Some of the students were discussing coming to class on Thursday and having a study session with each other.  It makes me extremely proud to know that my students care enough to want to do that.  I know that several of them have class beforehand and are on campus, anyway.  I know that some of them will just take the night off, but I think that is o.k., too.  We all need a sanity break sometimes.

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Also, if you are experiencing any difficulties with the website, it is because I am in the process of migrating to another host and there are some bugs in the system.






Friday morning I had planned to lecture on 3 chapters: delivery, evaluating, and language.  I don’t really know what I was thinking when I planned that, though.  After seeing the difficulty that my T/TR class  had with the evaluation forms I thought that I should make some adjustments so that my FRI class doesn’t have the same issues.

I used our college communication website to let my students know that we weren’t going to cover the chapter on language.  Instead, after we covered the delivery chapter and evaluation chapter I showed my students some more video examples of informative speeches and then I had them fill out the evaluation forms just like they will be doing next week.  I hope that I will see a world of difference with their evaluation forms over my T/TR class.

Magenta button up: J.C. Penney. Silver earrings: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Black belt: Wal Mart. Denim colored trousers: Target. Black oxford style shoes: unknown.

I also handed out their assignment sheet for their demonstrative speech and the outline grading rubric.  I cleared up some of the confusion that my T/TR class had with their demonstrative speech topics by going over the 3 types of general purposes, and reminding them that most demonstrative speeches use the chronological pattern of organization, and that a central idea should include your main points.

My outfit isn’t going to win any awards for creativity, but I went to school with clothes on.  This is a simple outfit of a button up shirt and trouser pants.  Even the accessories are minimal– just a watch and some earrings.  I think some days need simplicity.  I don’t think that I’ve ever worn this exact outfit before, either.  I know that I have paired this shirt with black dress pants and black pointy toed heels, but that’s as close as I’ve come.  (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

I passed back their outlines and we talked about the next step in the process. My FRI class only has to deliver 3 speeches while my T/TR class does 4. I made this decision based on my experience with my Spring 2012 once a week class. But, I’ve got a great group of students and I think that they could have handled doing another speech.

Part of me feels like I am short-changing them by only having them do 3. I think the way to combat this is to find a lot of different speaking activities to help them gain more confidence in public speaking throughout the course.

Does anyone have any really good speaking assignments or idea’s that I might be able to adapt for my course? I’d love to hear your comments.


I’m just going to throw this out there and say that I shop too much.  I know that I will regret saying that at some point, but it is true.  Now, I am not as bad as some people out there in the world, but I can admit that I own more things than I really need.  But, it’s hard to resist that siren song of new clothes and trends.

So, I try very, very hard to be mindful of the items that I purchase.  And, I certainly make sure that I am not breaking the bank with my spending habits.  But, truth be told, I often buy new things and I am so excited to wear them as soon as I bring them home.  And then I look in my closet and I see all these other wonderful items of clothing that I haven’t even worn yet!  I’m not one of those people who looks in my closet and thinks, I have nothing to wear!  I look into my closet and I think, Ahhh, I have so many things to wear and so little time to wear them all!  Which, could explain why I often change so many times throughout the day.

I also really like the challenge of coming up with different ways to style a piece of clothing.  Sure, some items are easier than others, but that just makes it fun.  And not all of my styling idea’s come from my own mind– many of them are idea’s that I get from fashion magazines, television, Pinterest, other bloggers, etc.  Here are the recent additions from my closet on my last shopping trip.  (I can justify each and every one of these purchases, y’all!)

(Clockwise from Top) Printed Cowl Neck Top: Target on-sale $9, Denim Colored Pencil Skirt: Target clearance $12, Printed Ruffled Tank (magenta/black): Target on-sale $12, Purple and Black Dress: (thrifted) $4

As you can see, I went on a min-shopping trip to Target and the thrift store. The printed cowl neck top has been in stores for a few weeks now, but they just went on-sale for $9.  There were two color options and I chose the magenta, mustard yellow, and cream because I knew it would fit into my closet well.  I could think of a few different ways to wear this top for Fall and for Spring.  I could pair this with my mustard cardigan or a cream-colored cardigan and jeans or khaki pants for Fall.  For a more Spring time outfit, I could play off of the white/cream and wear it with white pants or a khaki skirt.  I could even see layering it under a sweater or a button-down for a Winter-y version.

The second item, a denim colored pencil skirt, has been on my wish list for some time now.  I love the pencil skirts from Target.  I have one in black and khaki and they fit very well and are staples of my closet.  I have a denim colored pair of trouser pants from Target that I get a lot of use out of, and I knew that a skirt in the same color/fabrication would work well in my closet.  Basically, any outfit that I’ve worn with those pants can be worn with this skirt.  Plus, this girl fueled my desire for a denim-colored pencil skirt.  And, it was on clearance. And my size.  That’s like a fashion rule that you have to buy it.

This third item won its way into my cart because it is the same cut and style as this tank top, albeit a different print.  Again, my brain immediately started counting the outfits that I could create with this top.  I could wear it with black dress pants/black skinny pants/black pencil skirt, jeans/denim shorts/denim skirt, or blue pants/gray pants/white pants.  And those are just the bottom choices.  There are a number of toppers that I could wear over the tank top: black cardigan, royal blue cardigan, mustard cardigan, white cardigan, black blazer, blue blazer, magenta button up, white button up, or a black button up.  And, not to mention that I could layer a black tissue turtleneck under it for a Fall option, and a cardigan or blazer over it with the turtleneck for a Winter option.  I mean, that’s worth $12, right?  I knew you’d agree.  This is why we’re friends.

The last new item may have the least amount of remix possibilities, but I have been on the search for dresses.  I mean, with a dress there is barely any thinking involved.  You just pull it over your head and you’re good to go.  I mean, you may want to put on some shoes, too.  I could see this dress as is, with a black cardigan or black blazer, and maybe a black or purple sweater over it, so just the print shows on the skirt.  I could also layer under it with a black v-neck t-shirt or turtleneck.  I can see this with black tights and booties for Fall, or black tights, over the knee socks, and knee-high boots for Winter, or with an open-toed sandal or black wedges for Spring.  I could even wear my purple peep toed pumps with this dress!  The only downfall of this dress is that I don’t currently have a cardigan or sweater that is the same shade of purple, but I don’t think that would necessarily stop me from wearing this purple cardigan with the dress.

In case you weren’t convinced, here are some outfits that I created with the printed cowl neck top.  These first two are casual outfits.  And, the one on the left I have actually already worn.

(L to R) Mustard cardigan: Target. Printed cowl neck top: Target. Skinny Khaki’s: J.C. Penney. Brown boots: Old Navy.
Printed cowl neck top: Target. White jeans: (thrifted.) Brown penny-loafers: Old Navy.

I originally purchased this top with my everyday wardrobe in mind, but after getting it home I felt that the cowl neck top took this t-shirt up a notch and I was curious to see if I could make this piece work for my professional wardrobe as well.  Here are the results: 3 professional outfits with this printed cowl neck top.

(L to R) Printed cowl neck top: Target. Light khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Magenta belt: Target. Brown pointy toed shoes: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Printed cowl neck top: Target. Cream colored cardigan: Old Navy. Brown dress pants: Bitten (Steve n’ Barry’s). Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Magenta button up: J.C. Penney. Printed cowl neck top: target. Denim colored skirt: Target. Brown heeled boots: unknown. Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.)

So there you have it!  Self-imposed challenge, complete.  Oh, and elements from these three dressy items made up my outfit that I wore to class on Tuesday night.  So, stay tuned for that– it’s coming up shortly.

What do you think?  Do you ever play this game when you are buying clothes?  Or do you just go all willy-nilly and buy whatever happens to strike your fancy at that particular moment whether it fits in your closet or not?  Do you make purchases based on how you actually dress, or how you wish you dressed?  Sound off below– I love reading your comments.  And, I wouldn’t mind if you pinned my outfits, either!



Outfit 1,2,3,4? VOTE!

It’s almost that time!  T minus 2 days.  I can’t believe that it got here so quickly, but the first day of school is officially tomorrow!  I teach Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday so I have one extra day of “summer.”  I have been thinking about what to wear the first day of class.  I think that the first day of class isn’t necessarily as important as the second or third day, once you’ve made initial contact with the students, but there is no denying the importance of making a good first impression.

There are so many things that I want my first day outfit to convey I don’t even know if its possible to ask that much of an outfit.  I want it to say I am professional and proficient in my job.  But, I am friendly, warm, and approachable.  I am strict, but fair.  I am fun and want every student to succeed.  Oh yeah, I also want to be seasonally appropriate, comfortable, and age-appropriate.  So, I am going to turn it over to you, dear readers.

Below, are 4 different potential outfits for my first day of school.  But, I don’t just have one first day, I essentially have two.  I will see different students on Tuesday and on Friday.

Thanks for voting,


Back on Track

Last week I mentioned that I had been having a few trying days in the classroom, but I feel like we are back on track!  Last Wednesday the students delivered their Demonstrative Speeches and afterwards I continued our foray into Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.

On Monday, I finished up talking about the other half of the chapter– motive needs, motivational appeals, motive clusters, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  It was nice to be able to enjoy a much slower pace and to have the information build on each other–rather than just feel like I am force feeding a toddler.

Over the weekend, I had some time to play in my closet.  One of the things that I did was to create different Summer outfits.  Most of them were comprised of skirts or dresses and could be dressed up for class or dressed down for a Summertime date.  I don’t always have the time to create outfits, but when I do I feel a lot better about what I am wearing.  There are sometimes where I have an idea for an outfit but when I get out all the pieces and put them on, it doesn’t actually work the way that I thought it would.

Sometimes it might be because a top is too casual for a skirt, or the fabric is too heavy or light for the season, the color palette could be off, or it just may not work out.  I’ve had to veto outfits because a skirt was too sheer, a top wasn’t long enough to tuck in, or I discovered that an item of clothing needed: ironed, mended, washed, etc.  Plus, when I  plan outfits, I can try them on with different accessories– this wide belt or that skinny belt, this sandal or that pointy-toed pump, this necklace or that bracelet, etc. to create just the look that I am after.

If I wait until the morning to get dressed before class, I am leaving this all to chance!  And, while some really cool style choices have been borne from the threat of being late for class, I more often find that I get more duds than firecrackers that way.

July 16, 2012
White t-shirt: Target. Necklace: gift from mother-in-law. Blue silk skirt: Old Navy. Nude wedges: Target. Silver watch: Fossil.

This outfit was one of those that I had preplanned.  But, it didn’t go off without a hitch.  I was originally going to wear this white t-shirt with my coral colored knife-pleated skirt.  I even had the outfit on with my mint J.Crew knock-off bubble necklace.  But, somehow while drying my hair, I screwed up the permanent press of the pleats on the skirt and managed to smudge something or other on the skirt.  So, I had to re-think my outfit for the day.  This outfit was one that I had been toying with a few weeks back when I was trying to incorporate my new sparkly gold heels into an outfit.

Funny story.  I had on a white t-shirt and this blue skirt with a long 3-strand gold necklace, dangly gold earrings, a gold watch, and my new sparkly gold shoes.  I was feeling pretty hot-to-trot.  And then, I was doing my makeup and I accidentally smeared makeup on my white t-shirt.  I immediately took it off and started trying to get the stain out.  I sprayed it liberally with SHOUT! and put it into the laundry.  A few days later, I laundered it with my other whites, but much to my dismay the makeup stain did not come out.  I was disappointed, but that’s the way with white t-shirts.

The next time I was at Target I picked up this new white t-shirt.  I paired it with this skirt and wore it to school.  I did not have time to take outfit photo’s, so I opted to do them after class.  When I got home, my couch was singing a siren song and so I took a short (2 hour) nap.  When I awoke, I decided to take my outfit pictures.  I spruced up my hair and was freshening up my makeup when all of a sudden, my foundation bottle sputtered out it’s last contents.  And drops of foundation landed on my new white shirt.  I immediately took it off and started trying to get the stain out.  I sprayed it liberally with SHOUT! and rinsed it with cold water.  Then, I used a Tide stain remover pen.  These two products were not working.  I busted out the big guns: the bleach bottle and tried to dab off the spot and bleach it with a bleached soaked cotton swab.  I laid it flat and prayed that the makeup would come out.

Guess what?  It didn’t.  Stay put makeup is great for my face, not so much for my white t-shirts.  White t-shirts: 2, Carla: 0.  Nevertheless, on Tuesday I put this outfit on and took my outfit photo’s.  As I was putting the finishing touches on my hair and makeup, you’ll never guess what happened.  Yep.  I dribbled lip gloss down the front of my shirt.  If you look closely you may be able to see the lip gloss and the foundation, but I’m pretty savvy with Photoshop so my hope is that you cannot see the stains.  Now, if I only had Photoshop for real life!

P.S. I did pick up another new white t-shirt at Old Navy yesterday.  This one is a boat neck style with two adorable buttons at the neck/shoulder of each side.  We’ll see if I can manage to wear this one on the blog without ruining it.  And, I thought I was doing so well with white clothing–I managed to wear these pants and this shirt without incident.

Weekend Edition: Reunion

Sunday, my BF and I traveled about an hour south of our apartment for his annual family reunion.  In the several years that he and I have been together, I have been to this event twice.  Having been there before, I was able to confidently select an outfit that would be appropriate for this event.

First, it is held in the basement of a brick school building.  The room where everyone gathers to eat a pot-luck lunch is not air-conditioned, what-so-ever.  Some people bring an oscillating fan which they plug into the various outlets to help circulate the air.  If it is a sweltering hot day (like in year’s past) it can be almost unbearable in the basement of the building.

Secondly, there are games for the kids outside on the playground and baseball for the young adults and grown-ups.  These two events take place outside in the summer heat (or rain, if that’s the case) with very little shade available.  For those who don’t partake in the kids games or baseball, there is a shade tree in front of the school where they set up camp and sit and catch-up.

Given that this is such a varied event, dressing appropriately can be a challenge.  Sometimes, due to the heat, I have felt like wearing nothing but a swimsuit.  However, that would not be appropriate.  Also, sitting down and having dinner and socializing is one type of event, while being active and playing games is another.

Two weeks ago when I was at Target they had some summer staples on sale.  One of the items that I picked up was a sleeveless ruffled top for $5.  It is one of those basic items that I knew would come in handy, either to wear now in the summer months, or to layer with in the coming months.  Plus, it is casual and comfortable to wear alone, but it can also be a base element in a dressier, work-appropriate, outfit.  And, it was cheap!

Last week, when I was at Old Navy they were having a shorts sale.  In years past, I haven’t worn shorts very much and consequently I have very few pairs.  I wasn’t in the mood to try things on, so I just bought one pair of printed shorts for $10. Even though I didn’t purchase these two items to be specifically worn together, or for this event, it just so happened that they were a match made in heaven!

Sun hat: Target. Gold swirl earrings: Target. White sleeveless ruffle shirt: Target. Gold necklace: J.C. Penney. Brown belt: Wal-Mart. Printed shorts: Old Navy. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Sandals: Target.

I added gold and brown accessories to complete the look.  These included gold earrings, a long gold necklace, a brown belt, a straw sun hat, and sandals with brown, gold, and bronze straps.  I was cool and comfortable all day long– from lunch in the basement of the school, to the playground for kids games, to the bleachers for baseball, and under the shade tree socializing.  And, not to mention that I received plenty of compliments on my hat and my outfit.

I liked this outfit very much! Since I bought the straw hat I have only worn it a few times. Remembering to wear it can be a bit of a challenge. I have also worn it while shopping/running errands and to the pool, once. I was very proud of myself and my outfit! I am also smitten with this red-orange color that I used to paint my toenails. This will certainly be an outfit that I pack for our Florida vacation this coming Fall.


Here are two casual (re:non-teaching) outfits that I wore the last week.  The first outfit I wore on Thursday Night Date Night: Errands.  Sometimes our date nights are not very exciting.  This happened to be one of those times.  My BF and I had to take care of a lot of business.  First, we went to J.C. Penney for a massive shopping spree.  Sadly, it was not for me.  It was for my BF.  He hates shopping and literally only shops for himself probably 3 times a year.  But, it just so happened that there were tons of Father’s Day sales and he needed some new summer clothes so I drug him to the store.

He got quite a bit of new clothes– several pairs of shorts, t-shirts to go with them, two pairs of sunglasses, a new pair of swimming trunks, two pair of dress pants for work, and a nice long-sleeve dress shirt.  For most of the trip he walked around acting like I was torturing him!  When we checked out the total was over $200– but this boy hoards gift cards like nobody’s business.  (I felt bad for the poor cashier who kept trying to get him to open a credit card).  After his hoard of gift cards was cashed in, he had to pay a measly $24.00 out of pocket!

But, I am super proud of myself.  I didn’t even go into the women’s section to browse.  I think I should be rewarded with a guilt-free shopping trip just for abstaining!

After clothes shopping we went to dinner at Chili’s.  We are both trying to get back into swimsuit shape, so we have been working out and watching what we eat.  However, we have the hardest time when we go out to eat at restaurants.  Besides plain grilled chicken or fish and vegetables, it seems like there is never anything truly healthy on the menu.

Our errand running continued after dinner with a stop at Target.  We have been on the look out for a small table for our balcony.  I had been at Target earlier that day and saw a few that I thought would be good, but was reticent to make a purchasing decision without the BF’s input.  So, we went to Target, I showed him the tables, he concurred that two of them would work, and then we left empty-handed.  Our last stop of the night was the grocery store.  We needed some staples–milk, bread, eggs, etc. and we had to get the ingredients for the dish we planned to take to a Father’s Day get-together.

My BF made what he likes to call Cherries and Cheese.  No, its not what it sounds like.  It is cherry tomatoes, mozarella cheese, shallots, salt & pepper, olive oil and thyme.  It’s a great summertime side dish– it’s seasonal, healthy, and delicious!

The second outfit is from the Father’s Day get-together at my BF’s parents.  Sunday was partly cloudy and a little drizzly so my original idea of a long maxi dress was scratched.  Because of the weather, I knew that I wanted to wear pants.  I’ve been to gatherings at their house before and I know from experience that the air conditioning is always cranked up.  I am what you call a freeze-baby– I am very susceptible to getting cold.  I would much rather be hot than cold.  That’s why you’ll always see me grabbing a cardigan or light jacket to throw over any outfit in case I get cold.  That’s another reason why I hardly wear shorts in the summertime.  I’m fine outside in the warmth, but once I go inside a restaurant or store and they’ve got the air cranked up I am cold and uncomfortable.

I paired my jeans with a short-sleeved burgundy silk top and a cream colored cami underneath.  This outfit was a little dressed up, but still casual enough for the occasion.  I paired it with gold and brown accessories.

Don’t worry, I saw my dad on Saturday and gave him his Father’s Day present.
What do you think? Are there certain places that you go where you know it will be hot or cold and you have to take that in to consideration when getting dressed? What factors do you take in to consideration when dressing up for certain events?