Simple Joy Saturday #41

Simple Joy Saturday #41

On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

1. Learning more about the Piedmont Renewal Network (and being their official photographer for a few hours).

Although I knew a little about this startup nonprofit that prepares students for college and provides tuition assistance, I did not realize the awesome impact they have in Winston-Salem.



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Blind Spot Nutbutters Monthly Recipe: It’s a Zoo in My Lunchbox

Blind Spot Nutbutters Monthly Recipe: It’s a Zoo in My Lunchbox


From January to April, I was a student teacher at a local elementary school.

In my last month of student teaching, I made a list of the many reasons that I was eager to finish:

  • I will have time to blog again.
  • I will have time for photography again.
  • I will have time to run again.
  • I will have time to bake again.
  • I will have more time.  Period.

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I Wish I Had Time

I Wish I Had Time

I wish I had time to tell you all of my student teaching stories.  I still have 23 class days to go, but I am already armed with an arsenal of student stories, enough stories to fill a separate blog.

I wish I had time to tell you about the first time that I taught math.  I later compared the experience to a fish teaching chickens how to climb a tree.  Thankfully, the second day was more like a squirrel teaching chickens how to climb a tree.

I wish I had time to tell you about when we tried to melt butter on metal spoons.  It was my first science lesson, and the science teacher said that the kids were “ready to start a mutiny.”  Then the butter melted, and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.

I wish I had time to tell you about how a girl threw up on her way into English/Language Arts, and five kids left “sick” within 1/2 hour.

I wish I had time to tell you about when I poured alka-seltzer into Diet Coke to start science class.

I wish I had time to tell you about playing grudge ball.

I wish I had time to tell you about the students that thought they were reading about a “cham-e-lon” instead of a chameleon.

I wish I had time to tell you about the girl that wrote a letter to Sunbutter.  Here is an excerpt:

Another reason that I am so fond of Sunbutter, is that it is processed in a facility that doesn’t handle any peanuts or tree nuts.  It states this fact on the label, meaning that it’s true.  If this wasn’t true, then it would be false advertising, which is illegal.

I wish I had time to tell you about the girl who does back tucks across the soccer field during recess.

I wish I had time to tell you about the Chromebooks that didn’t work when my school advisor was there to observe me.

Since I don’t have time to do all of these things (in fact, I have to read 60 more pages of Because of Winn-Dixie tonight), I hope this post will suffice.

Top Ten Tuesday: Student Teaching Bag

Top Ten Tuesday: Student Teaching Bag

This is the bag of a student teacher.


It is capacious, sturdy, colorful, and (like every good school bag) eats school supplies.

You can tell a lot about a person based off of what is in their bag.  For example, if you were to look into my bag, you would learn…

  1. That I have lots of plans–so many that I have two planners.20170205_182529
  2. That I will be guiding the class through several science experiments this week..and that certain people in my family eat lots of peanut butter (me) and drink lots of coffee (Mom).
  3. That I lead a lot of guided reading groups.  A lot.
  4. That I am always prepared for the rain.
  5. That I am about to teach a unit on the Civil war…
  6. and that I need to make a lot of copies before we can start that unit.
  7. That I only have one textbook (although I teach 5 subjects), and it is older than my students.
  8. That I explained number 7 on the math worksheet very poorly, and I have not determined yet how I will grade it.
  9. That I color code my lesson plans with different colored pens.
  10. That I still like to decorate my notebooks as if I was in middle school and that I see student teaching as a grand adventure.
Top Ten Tuesday: How to Fail a Class

Top Ten Tuesday: How to Fail a Class

how to fail a class.png

Today I start my senior year of college.  How bizarre, crazy, and unfathomable is that?!  Since starting school seventeen years ago, I have learned a few things about education, and I would like to impart some wisdom to any new college freshman.

Most people enter college with the goal of graduation.  But who wants to be like everyone else?  Make your own goals!  Blaze your own path!  Aim to drop out!  Here are my ten recommendations for successfully failing  a class.

  1. Ignore the syllabus.  In the syllabus, the professor will list any test, quizzes, papers, and other assignments.  Do not print out the syllabus.  Do not read it.  Do not even access the file on your computer.  Even glancing at a page of the syllabus may lead to passing the class.
  2. Procrastinate.  If you happen to know that an assignment will be due, try to avoid completing the assignment at all costs.  Only students who desire to pass a class actually complete any of the coursework.
  3. Oversleep.  Professors are pleased when students arrive to class on time and fully prepared.  In order to make failing easier, do not set an alarm or prepare anything for class the night before.
  4. Goof off.  Once you do get to class, let your mind wander away from the professor’s lecture.  Instead, scroll through Instagram or watch YouTube videos.  Whatever you do, refrain from listening to what the teacher is saying.
  5. Refuse help.  It is possible that a classmate will offer to give you notes, help you organize your calendar, or tutor you.  Do not accept any of these offers as they may lead to success.
  6. “Wing” the tests. Studying is a sure-fire way to pass an exam.  This could be detrimental to your goal of failure.
  7. Neglect the textbook.  Do not read it, open it, or sleep with it under your pillow.  In fact, it will probably be best if you do not buy it.  Ideally, you won’t even know what the text book is called.
  8. Forget about homework.  If this is not possible, feed homework to your dog.
  9. Skip breakfast.  Eating may provide energy which would increase your likelihood of paying attention and being productive.
  10. Be aimless.  Set no goals other than the goal of failure.

Disclaimer:  Following these ten steps may lead to becoming becoming a college dropout.  In such cases, one might have a sense of inadequacy, failure, and depression.  Consult your parents and mentors before engaging in any failure-driven activities.

Senior Year Dorm Room Tour

Senior Year Dorm Room Tour

I finally finished cleaning, rearranging, and decorating my dorm room just in time for residential students to move in later today.


I thought I would give y’all a quick tour of my abode for the next nine months…my last nine months of undergrad!


Every room is furnished to house two students.  Even though I am in a single-occupancy room, I have two dressers, two closets, two desks, and two beds (and therefore, twice the space to hide all of my junk).


As expected, I have a lot of pictures hanging in my room.  Anyone want to guess how many?

It’s only appropriate that the library was trying to discard this Chris Rice CD.  I have used YouTube (because I am old school) to listen to various songs from it on repeat for the last three years of college.  Now I can quit typing song names in the YouTube search box.

I spent a long time decorating my door, and I am so proud of it!  I would much rather stare at my door than get started on the school work that my syllabi say I have to do, but if I want to graduate in May, I better wrap up this post and get to work!

An Egg-celent Egg-speriment

An Egg-celent Egg-speriment

Welcome back the elementary-education-major side of Kat’s 9 Lives.

Today we are going to do an experiment to show young minds the importance of taking care of our bones…because bones keep us upright, and no one wants to look like this:

Just pretend that you are back in fifth grade for a minute as I walk you through the steps of the scientific method.

1. Question – How do different drinks affect our bones?

2. Hypothesis – We are often told that milk is good for our bones, and we are discouraged from drinking soda.  Therefore, we hypothesize that milk will strengthen bones and soda will weaken bones.

3. Experiment – For our experiment, we will soak eggs in three different liquids: 2% milk, Coca-cola, and distilled white vinegar.  Bones and eggs are both strengthened by calcium carbonate, so any affects to the eggs’ shells are similar to what would happen to a bone.


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 seal-able plastic containers large enough to hold an egg
  • 2 % milk
  • distilled white vinegar (although most people do not drink white vinegar, I included this liquid out of curiosity)
  • Coca-cola
  • Refrigerator
  • Permanent marker
  • Patience



  • Place all three eggs in separate containers.
  • Fill each container with a different liquid so that the egg is covered.
  • Seal each container, and refrigerate for several weeks.


4. Analysis – Observe the eggs at different stages over the next few weeks.  I placed the eggs in their various liquids on March 1.  Here is how they looked on later dates:

  • March 6
Within five days, the Coca-cola had stained the egg brown.  The milk had not visibly affected the egg.  The vinegar had completely eaten away the shell from the egg, leaving a rubbery lining around the egg white.
  • April 3
After a month, the egg soaked in Coca-cola had deeper stains. The egg soaked in milk still appeared unaffected, but the milk itself was spoiled. The egg soaked in vinegar was slightly swollen.
  • April 21
The Coca-cola continued to stain the egg, and the shell gained a rough brown crust.  The milk still caused no external changes to the egg. The vinegar continued to deteriorate the lining of the egg, and it had swollen a little bit more.


5. Conclusion –  This experiment proved that Coca-cola can effect the composition of bones (as seen by the bumpy substance that formed on the egg shell after a month of soaking).  This experiment did not prove that milk will strengthen bones.  There was no observable change to the egg soaked in milk.