May 2014 archive

road trip essentials

By Kristina

Today’s post is inspired by the Turo (formerly Relay Rides) Road Trip Essentials Campaign. My road trips are usually short and sweet (just like me)–for navigation, hydration, feeding sugar cravings, entertainment, and comfort!


1. Rand McNally road atlas (for when you don’t get cell service)
2. bkr water bottle
3. Trader Joe’s Gummy Penguins with Soft Tummies
4. Haribo Gummi Bears
5. Spotify playlists
6. Scunci hair ties
7. Sunski sunglasses

blog chain letter

By Kristina


Today is a throwback to the ’80’s and ’90s…with a blog chain letter! Don’t worry, this isn’t something like an underwear exchange…just a view into the writing process.

My friend Jess at Little Miss Runshine invited me to be part of the “My Writing Process” blog tour, where you share about your other writing process and other bloggers. I’m coining the term “Jess-of-all-trades” to describe her, because she excels at so many things (running, yoga, barre, spinning, Tough Mudders, cooking, and blogging). We met in Cambridge Running Club, and she has inspired me to get into blogging and to try all sort of new fitness pursuits!

1) What am I working on?
Right now, I’m on a bit of a hiatus because of being in the middle of IB exams, prom, and graduation at the high school where I teach (and IB coordinate). I’m also getting married in about a month, so I’ll be writing about more of my favorite things this summer: creative lesson ideas, forays into cooking, and reflections on education.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
When I started blogging, I thought I would follow in the footsteps of other food or healthy living bloggers, but that wasn’t really me. I started sharing more about my lesson ideas or thoughts on education after being inspired by other teacher-bloggers and realizing that I didn’t need to be SuperTeacher in order to feel justified in sharing my thoughts and ideas.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I write to reflect and to share my thoughts, and so I can become a better teacher and cook. I like getting feedback on my lesson ideas and would love to be able to start interesting discussions about curriculum or pedagogy.

4) How does your writing process work?
My writing process is usually “write when the mood strikes me.” Sometimes I like writing a few posts on weekend days and scheduling them throughout the week. Ideally, I’d like to write one or two detailed posts per week. I’ve tried a couple of 30-day blog challenges (NaBloPoMo and MtBos30), but didn’t feel completely successful with either of those. With the NaBloPoMo, I was grateful that I had to tackle questions and topics I wouldn’t have normally chose. With the MtBos30, I was grateful for developing a little consistency (made it through 21 of the 30 days before finally succumbing to the “just go to sleep when getting home” urge).

Um…because my writing style is often procrastinatory, I’m tagging three lovely bloggers and hoping that they will respond!

1) Sophia at Skimming Deep, whom I met through the Massachusetts Asian American Educators Association in 2008. She’s amazing at working with youth, a foodie, and a world traveler.

2) Joslynn at Adventuring the Unventured, whom I also met through Cambridge Running Club. She’s a newly minted PhD, ultrarunner, and now a Minnesotan.

3) Victoria at Take Time Away, whose blog I found through Blog and Tweet Boston. She’s an awesome cook, photographer, and arbiter of the Boston food scene.

costco seafood experimentation

By Kristina


Found langostino tails at Costco today. Bought chives and garlic to go with Kerrygold butter for the sauce, and added corn from the freezer. Put it all over Seeds of Change quinoa & brown rice and leftover potatoes from yesterday. That’s my kind of relaxed Sunday cooking.


Btone Trigonometry

By Kristina

Today I took Emily’s class at Btone. When we did torso twist, she excitedly referenced an old standby from Algebra 2: All Students Take Calculus to explain the boundaries for range of motion on the exercise (90 degrees from one’s nose to the mirror). Imagine that your nose is the origin. For facing the alley, that’s quadrant 1 (where all trig functions are positive) and for facing Newbury St, that’s quadrant 2, where sine is positive.

I love that she incorporates fun explanations for clients. 🙂


bright spot in my heart

By Kristina

My frustrations with teaching and leadership often come from the amount of mental energy and worry I expend when concerned that folks won’t follow through. With Running Club, that happens when I worry that a) students won’t show up or b) the majority of the workout will be spent trying to coax those who are phoning it in or giving up.

Today I have been so swamped with already taking a 6:00 a.m. Btone class, doing IB exam administration, proctoring MCAS, and dealing with various IB items that I did not have the energy to do the Running Club workout. I thought of canceling because my co-coach was out today, but when I saw the group of six who showed up, I realized that they would do the run + strength training if given clear directions.

I told them “do the Mass Ave run in 13:30 [30 seconds faster than last week]” and come back for strength training. The portion on the river (which I asked them to do) is 1.9 miles. The warmup and cooldown from school to the river makes the total run about 3.2 miles. When they came back, out of breath and sweating, they reported that they did it in 13:21 (7:02/mile). They willingly did a modified Pumps & Iron workout (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of burpees + crunches + squats). I didn’t have to reprimand anyone for slacking once.

There was no worrying that the boys would start walking and come back 30 minutes late, get lost, or bail on the strength training. All I had to say was motivational stuff and countdowns for how many sets or reps they had left.

I think this is what it feels like to teach in a good school.


Personal Project

By Kristina

Our Personal Project Showcase today went great. I love that we celebrate the pursuit of learning in this way, and am so proud of our students. One of our alumni was there and commented that she wished they’d gotten a chance to do Personal Projects as 10th graders.



things to remember

By Kristina

Dear Self,

Put “look at this post” in your calendar for May 1, 2015.

1) May is *always* crazy when you are IB coordinating and organizing prom and organizing graduation. Seriously, plan some unscheduled time this month.

2) Summer’s coming!



just do it

By Kristina

It’s been so long since I was in half-marathon shape that I always assume that I’m not in it. Today I decided to check if I could do 9 miles. After I finished the first mile through Teele Square and along Rt. 16, that old running groove came back. It felt so nice to be back out there and to have broken through that mental block of “you can’t do it.”


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