“My group wasn’t saying anything until a few days before it was due.”

Another funny little story, that isn't really not being prepared, but it was me almost actually doing too much, was one of the first presentations I had to do in American Literature this year, was regarding Born a Crime and we had to give a presentation about a couple specific chapters. And my group just wasn't saying anything until a few days before it was due. So then I just decided I'd do the whole thing because I was free and had the time to do that. So, I just went up and did the whole entire presentation, and then it wasn't too bad. We ended up getting a pretty good grade on it and I was happy, and they were happy, but the lesson learned in that was I don't have to do the whole entire presentation and I should just try to get my group members more involved.

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“I’m really grateful for the ability to vote.”

"Is there anything that I'm feeling especially grateful for?" I am really grateful for the ability to vote. So November 7th is our upcoming election and although I have not been very grateful for all of the just numerous flyers I've gotten to my house, also texts to my phone. So that's been tedious this season, but generally just having the opportunity and right to vote is really exciting. I did a training last week around voting and was working with some people or talking with some people that work with the refugee community, and they talked a lot about how they spend their time trying to educate people on, you know, are they allowed to vote? What is the purpose of voting? Who does it benefit? And so many of them are not used to safe elections or the option to go without there being folks with automatic weapons or, you know, it's just not a safe space always, and so that was a really nice reminder that we're very fortunate in this country that we're allowed to vote and that we can safely do so most of the time.

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“There was a fire in the building.”

But in addition to that happening, there was a fire in the building. In my building, basically. So I'm in an apartment complex that has four units that are connected to each other in a separate building, and then another four in another building. So, two of the buildings or two of the apartments, mine included, face the street. So we're kind of right next to each other, and then in two apartments behind us. They face the parking lot that's in the back. Well, the fire was at the apartments in the back. So luckily, you know, the fire was not at my apartment. There's no fire damage. They didn't have to, you know, spray anything, you know, no water damage in my apartment or chemicals, anything like that, and luckily everybody in the other two apartments was okay. You know, no injuries or anything like that, but definitely a lot of damage to their two apartments and the smoke, you know, came over into mine. They had to turn the electricity, the heat off, in the entire building so I had to move out. Which has kind of - luckily, I have a place to go and I am safe and all of that, but it's really sort of been disruptive. And having been in my apartment so little in the past month, I just I sort of really feel displaced. You know, really feel like I haven't, like I kind of don't have a home in a way which is kind of a weird thing. I felt like I - earlier this week even before this happened I kind of felt a little like I was homesick, I guess, which is kind of strange. But I didn't really feel - like I hadn't really gotten settled in in my place yet. And then this happened and now I really am not settled there. So I'm not sure what's gonna happen. There's still a bunch of investigators, you know, going through to figure out what the cause was and to figure out if there's any real structural damage, if it's safe to turn the electricity back on, if there needs to be some obvious repair to the other apartments, but to mine, I'm not sure what they're gonna do. So it's sort of a waiting game basically right now and like I said, I'm lucky that I have…

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“A student that I had… gave me a note.”

Note: Some language has been edited out of the transcript that is not edited out in the audio When I'm approaching those deep, deep lows of "Is this where I want to - is this where I see myself for an extended period of time?" So soon after I have those thoughts of "Am I a good teacher? Do I belong in teaching? is teaching something that can sustain - do I want to sustain it? Is this where I belong?" Something happens and it's like holy s****. Ok. This isn't a coincidence that this thing just happened right now. One example is there was one morning last year, I think it was maybe December or January. It was in winter. It was a cold winter month in Michigan. I'm driving across M-69. And I did start crying because I just, I just wasn't excited about going to work that day and I hadn't been for a little bit, and I continually had these thoughts of like I was saying, like again, just - "Is this really what I want for myself? Is this, is this me?" Whatever. That morning after crying on the drive in to work that day, a student that I had during my subbing position, so from January of 21 to June of 21, gave me a note that she had typed, but she'd typed it out. And it was just one of the sweetest things and I don't remember some of the specifics. I remember some of the specifics, but I don't remember all of them, but I remember I read that. I read that before class then, before school started that day and again started crying, but for, you know, a totally opposite reason.

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“… Dogs eating chocolate is kind of a bad thing.”

I will take you through an actual scary story, only it's not gonna be super scary 'cause I don't wanna like go too far, but so yesterday I came home from work, after doing all sorts of errands and running around. And when I got there, my friend's dog, you know, walked up to me and started barking at me and he was excited to see me and then he left the couch at the entrance to go do something. Who knows what, just dog things. But then he came back with something red in his mouth and he wears a red collar and I was like, "What the heck is that?" It's a Kit Kat bar. And I would be surprised if anybody didn't know this, but dogs eating chocolate is kind of a bad thing. He had found a bag - somebody's canvas bag, that had three little pieces of candy bars in there, all chocolate, and strewn them across the room and had successfully opened and eaten Hershey's. The Kit Kat and Reese's were fine, but his owner, my friend, was downstairs asleep in his recliner as he does. And nobody else was home, and I actually didn't know anything about dogs and chocolate  other than you're not supposed to mix them. But apparently your dog can ingest about .45 milligrams or ounces - .45 ounces per pound of body weight and be okay, maybe just a little sick. So looked that up and then I didn't have a scale to weigh this dog, so my solution to that was to look up how much water weighs, take a lightweight bowl and then fill it with five pounds of water, because he's a small dog. And then hold them both and see which is heavier and sort of estimate, you know, their weight. And then use that info to see if they ate too much. They ate like one tenth of what would cause them to need the vet which is nice, but. Yeah, dogs and chocolate. 

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“And 30 minutes later, an hour later, it happened to me in basically the exact same spot.”

One of the - probably the best runner, he's running at Division One in college on our team. He was in first place and he collapsed right across the finish line and then he got up and he kept running and then he collapsed again, and they had to take him to the hospital and it was super scary and I told my friend, I said to him, "That would be terrible. I can't imagine if that happened to me!” And 30 minutes later, an hour later, it happened to me at basically the exact same spot. And I wasn't able to like move my arms the way I wanted them to. When I was trying to drink water, I like poured it over my head. I threw up, it was one of the - it was the scariest experience ever of my life. And I thought for sure I was never doing cross-country again. A year later, I found myself back in cross-country. I hated it for the first little bit, didn't want to do it. I don't even know why I ended up doing it. I just feel like I needed to stay athletic, and volleyball just can't do it.  Hand eye coordination sucks! Wanted something that I can kinda push myself mentally, and I don't think I could do that with volleyball. So I decided to do cross-country one more year. Midway through the season, I started realizing I was feeling so much stronger. I wasn't getting good times, like I haven't gotten really a single good time this year, but I've been feeling so much better. I've been sprinting the end. I haven't been feeling like I'm going to pass out, I’m going to die, I'm going to throw up. And that was a great feeling because that made me never wanna do it again, and so halfway through the season things started to change and I told myself, "You know what? Maybe high school cross-country is in the cards for you." And so I think I'm going to do high school cross country, and I'm actually pretty excited for it. Tomorrow is my last middle school cross-country practice ever. And I actually think that might make me cry. Holy crap, middle school went by so fast.

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“I once had a one in a million experience when I was nine years old.”

I once had a one in a million experience when I was nine years old. I was up north, in northern Michigan, and I entered this duck race. It was like $10, it was like on Fourth of July, and they would put all the ducks in this river and then the first duck to cross like the finish line that person would win a thousand dollars. I thought there was no way I would win. I thought it was just like a nice donation, but we were watching it, and then they announced the winner and it was me, and ever since then I love to just tell people that crazy story and just - I actually used some of the money to get my dog, so that's one-in-a-million experience and I can't imagine what it would be like if that didn't happen.

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“I actually do remember a poem that I will actually I’m gonna share it.”

"Have you ever written a poem, either for yourself or for someone? Do you remember what it was about? One of our team members had to write a book of poems for an English class. It was nerve wracking because everyone had to read everyone else's poems."Okay, I have - I've written multiple poems and I've read some poems. Actually, I've read a lot of poems because obviously I mean who doesn't like Where the Sidewalk Ends? I don't what its about, I just know has something to do with the sidewalk ending. But I do not remember the poems because it was in school, and I do know that I suck at writing poems. Oh my gosh, I actually do remember a poem that I wrote. Actually, I'm gonna share it. It's very cheesy. So we had to do this recently this year, and I'm in sixth grade, but we had to write a poem, like we had to write a biography poem about someone. And I wrote it on Demi Lovato. She's one of my favorite singers. I don't really - I mean she's an actress too, but I haven't really watched like shows that she's on, but anywho here's the poem: Demi is an actress and singer.She's born on August 12th - August 20th 1992.She got a big win on Barney and Friends while making amends with Selena GomezAt age seven she learned how to play piano and guitarwhile driving around in a car on tourwhile she lured people into watch her own Disney comedy sitcom Sonny with the Chance.The show is so good - the show is so good it will leave you in a trancewhile she's got some romance with Jordan Lutz.I'm wondering if they'll ever land on some rootsLovato is my fav, with her awesome vocalsand when her and her crew are acting like Royals. So yeah, it's kind of cheesy, but you know, and she actually was really good friends with Selena Gomez on Barney and Friends. So yeah, they were on it together.

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“My friend was so angry that I got that PlayStation.”

At the end of the year is when we got the raffle, at the end of the year band performance, and there was an entire table of stuff. And to show you how old I am, the one thing everyone wanted was the PlayStation, and this is the PlayStation One. This is the OG. There was other stuff too, like, there was a boombox, there was - I think CD players were just coming out. I didn't even think they had the anti-skip technology, so you had to, you know, hold it. God forbid, you played it in the car because you had to hold it level so nothing would skip. I think there was a Game Boy, maybe, but every single person wanted that PlayStation. Because not only was it new, it was hard to find. And of course, because my mom sold so much and I got so many entries into that raffle, my name was the very first name called and of course, I got that PlayStation. And I'm smiling thinking about it because my best friend still of 32 years now, we were in school together that year. She went to a different elementary school, and then she went to a religious school after that. But we were in the same school for seventh grade and we were in band. And she - my stepfather is the one who brought us there. My mom had to work that night. And my friend was so angry that I got that PlayStation. She did not talk to me for probably a week. Not a word to me on the way home, 'cause I'm like clutching this PlayStation 'cause I'm 12, and I'm beyond geeked that I have a PlayStation. No games yet. I had to wait like a couple days for my mom to take me to, I wanna say Toys R Us but it might have been Meijer, 'cause Meijer sold games at that point. I don't even know if they still do but they sold like, you know, SNES games and I believe PlayStation One games, and of course Walmart wasn't up here yet. But yeah, she was furious with me because I got that PlayStation and she didn't, and I'm going to after this, after I, you know, finish this, I am totally going to text her and say "Hey, remember that time I got…

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“I didn’t know what sociolinguistics was before.”

"Have you ever been interested - have you ever become interested in something just because you had a really good experience with a particular person? One of our team members was not interested in math until they had a class with a teacher that made it exciting." Yeah, a great teacher is one of those great experiences in life for me. That's cool to hear you had that kind of experience. Yeah, branching outside math a little bit 'cause yeah, I've definitely, I remember like almost all my math teachers and what I learned for them - from them. There was always, there's almost always like some central thing that I remember about that class. Or something that they said to me. But yes, have I ever become interested in something just because you had a really good experience with a particular person and maybe something that I wouldn't have been interested in otherwise... I mean, hopefully not too on the nose, but I didn't know what sociolinguistics was before I started contributing to Michigan Diaries. I had a broad understanding of what sociology was and linguistics. And I guess you know, I'm still a lay person. But yeah, definitely have, I would say an interest in linguistics, more than I would have had I not participated in Michigan Diaries.

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