When Middle Schoolers are Entrusted With the Internet

Last week, my students found my Facebook, my “real” name, and a lovely new nickname for me.

Because I’m still a student teacher, I let my students call me Miss Ari, even though that’s my first name.

Last week I approached a group of 3 students who were supposed to be writing on their computers. As I walked up, one of them said, “Miss, look at me! Who am I?” as he stuck his tongue out, making a weird face.

I said, “Uhh. Jackson. You’re Jackson.”

He giggled and responded, “No, I’m MARIE!”

I felt myself going red as I tried to figure out why he just said my middle name (which only friends and family call me by), and why he was sticking his tongue out to imitate me. Then I remembered: facebook. My name on Facebook is Marie, not Ari. It took me a second to connect the dots, and the kids teased me relentlessly about a particularly dorky and stupid profile picture for the rest of the day.

I let the kids have their fun, especially since the most they could do was look at my profile pictures, and they had already seen the most embarrassing one. The damage was done, and over with.

Or so I thought.

The next day, we had a new student named Will. Anytime we have a new student, we have everyone go around and introduce themselves so the newbie can learn some names. So the class began to do just that, say their names.

Finally, I said, “And I’m Miss Ari!”

At which point the 3 students who had discovered my double identity chimed in with the following:

“No! That’s Miss Liar!”


“No! That’s Miss Lied to us For a Whole Semester About Her Name!”

And the icing on the cake:

“No! That’s Miss Ghetto Selfies!”

By that point, I had to accept my fate. So I turned to our new student, Will, and said, “That’s right, Will. You can call me Miss Ghetto Selfies.

Oh, how I cherish these moments that make teaching such an adventure 🙂


Exercise, We Meet Again

I went on a bike ride because I forgot that requires a decent amount of leg muscle, which I don’t have. I gave up after five minutes and sat down to have a snack, which was pretty cool.

Also, a couple of people that passed by gave me “What the heck are you doing?” looks. To those people I say, “go eat popcorn in an empty parking lot sometime. It’s peaceful.”


When, Oh When, Will I Stop Being Oblivious

Roommate: Aww, a light bulb just went out in the bathroom.

Me: That sucks, we can’t shower in the dark.

R: There’s three more light bulbs, it’s not a problem for now.

Me: Three more? We have four light bulbs in the bathroom!?

R: Yes.


(The look of disbelief I gave her.)

Me: Since when?

R: Since we moved in three years ago…

Me: Huh.


This conversation seriously made me wonder how in the world I get through life.

My Phone and My Food are Very Important to Me

Yesterday as I was going downstairs, I slipped and fell. In this embarrassing moment of complete clumsiness I learned something about myself: my priorities are not in order.

Rather than trying to catch myself or trying to assure my safety in any way, shape, or form, I raised my hands up so as to not drop things. Why would I do that? I had my phone in one hand, and a piece of ribs in the other.

Instead of trying to make sure I didn’t die, my brain’s immediate reaction was:



How I (Almost) Lost My Tacos

This is my place of zen, relaxation, care-freeness, mindfulness, all-around joy: San Tadeo, Calvillo, Aguascalientes, Mexico. A large portion of my mother’s side of the family resides there, and I’m lucky enough to be able to visit about once a year. Having zero responsibilities means I can sleep as much as the screaming of my young cousins will allow. The internet connections are subpar, which leaves me with plenty of time to read with no distractions. And as far as eating goes, San Tadeo has my favorite tacos.

This bright yellow monster of a truck is The Sheriff:


A man named Ramon, and his family, have been selling tacos from here since before I was born. I’m not exaggerating when I say my mouth is watering as I think about the tacos. The greasy, drenched-in-the-best-salsa-ever, beef tacos. I love these tacos so much it has become a running joke with my family when I visit: “Has Ari had her ten tacos today?” “We made food already, but Ari’s too good for our home-cooked meals, she only eats The Sheriff’s tacos.”

So what I’m saying is, I really LOVE these tacos.

Last summer, I was waiting for one of Ramon’s lively daughters to hand over my order so I could be on my way. As I’m patiently waiting, I notice a familiar face, headed in my direction: David.

David, who dated my cousin and mocked me relentlessly every time my aunt forced me to join them and act as the third wheel that tricycles desperately need but couples do not. David, who tried to set up 14-year-old me with someone who looked closer to 20 than 15. David, who insisted that I was too quiet, and I really shouldn’t be so shy because it made people uncomfortable. Ughh. David.


Just as he was stepping towards the truck, I pulled my phone out. (This has become my instinctive defense mechanism against small talk.) There. I was invincible against the throes of social conventions! Except David was now less than a foot away. I had to keep my attention where it was, really focus in on that screen; that home screen that had absolutely no use because everything required service or a wifi connection, neither of which I had.

What really bit at the core of my being was the fact that I had no reason to feel uncomfortable. I never dated the guy, what was I freaking out about? It was simply knowing him, an unspoken expectation that I participate in small talk, that shook me. I wanted no part of that.


Instead I was forced to stand quietly between him and Jessica (Ramon’s youngest daughter) and listen to their banter:

“Jessica, give me 5 tacos to go.”

“Could you be less polite?”

“I’m in a hurry, there’s no time to be polite.”

“5 tacos, go take a seat.”

“I need them to go, I gotta get back to work.”

“Work? Who in their right mind would give you a job?”

“Don’t be rude, I’m a hard worker.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll have your tacos ready soon.”

Eventually, he left. He went far away. Allllll the way… to the other side of the street, less than 100 feet away, where apparently he worked. Of course, his station was right at the door, with a nice open view of the taco truck. Great. Such was my luck.

I started sending my little cousins to pick up tacos for me after that day.

Horrendous Haircuts

In a society where we are constantly being judged on the way we look, appearance has become a very important thing. Part of our appearance relies heavily on our hair. The style, the color, the length, etc. Trends come and go, but no matter what’s in style I’ve learned something over the years: I hate getting my hair done. I have had one too many experiences where I walk out of a place wanting to cry/hide/shave-my-head/wear-hats-forever. But I can’t cut my own hair, so I always end up going back. Here’s the thing though: It’s not just that sometimes I get bad haircuts. The problem is my brain will not allow my mouth to say all the things I want to say. So, instead of politely asking the hairdresser to tweak a thing or two, I go home, and experiment for a couple of hours to see how I will rescue the horrendous haircut.

Let’s say, for example, I go in and ask for a trim, wanting to keep the general style I already have. But, I end up with this instead:


And I have no social skills (or self-respect for that matter) and I will reply in the following way:

Thank you

When on the inside, this is what I’m experiencing:

Haircut Collage

Hence my hatred of haircuts.

Have you had any bad experiences at a salon? Share them in a comment (I know I’m not alone)!

Talking is Hard

Word Cloud

Recently I went in to talk to a professor about a paper I was struggling with. Early on in the meeting, she mentioned that I repeated myself a lot in most of the essay. This must have really gotten in my head because after she said this, I couldn’t seem to come up with any responses to her comments that weren’t the words above. I’m pretty sure I said “okay” and similar words more times in the 30 minutes I met with her than I had in my whole college career. I could almost hear her thinking, “No wonder she keeps repeating things in her paper.” I don’t know what it is about talking to people one on one, but for some reason I freeze. My brain shuts down, leaving a puddle of a human being whose English skills are limited to that of a two year old who still can’t quite string words together to make decent sentences. That may be an exaggeration… but some days it really feels like an accurate description of my conversations with others. All I can do now is step it up on the paper, and hopefully redeem my failed attempt at communicating like a normal college student.