Emily Morrison

Emily Morrison

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 18:31

Hercules has nothing on YOU!

Have you ever felt crunched for time? Of course you have. Who among us hasn't known the mania that comes along with having too much to do and too little time to do it? Maybe the super-rich or the super lazy, but I'm betting neither of those apply to you, oh faithful readers, so read on.

When Hercules and his 12 labors has nothing on you, there are a few ways to go about mucking the stalls, and none of them involve turning the course of two rivers. Here are a few tried and true multi-tasking tips from me to you:

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 18:21

Running: survival of the sanest

I took up running after the births of my first two children. Initially, it was a way to drop the baby weight. My torso felt longer than ever before, and none of the shirts I owned covered my midriff. Clearly, this was unintentional. After two kids and 20 extra pounds, every top in my wardrobe looked like a Britney Spears belly-baring tee.

While bathing our 6 month old one fine day, I asked my husband, 'Honey, do I still look hot to you?' I just felt frumpy. Head to toe, who is this woman who has let herself go? Moi.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:28

Youth sports: parent education

I'm lucky to live in a community that fosters kids' athletics. When it comes to fall sports, kids in Bucksport area schools are spoiled for choice. Last Saturday, when I brought my daughter to youth soccer, I arrived to a smorgasbord of activities: a high school cross country track meet, an elementary boys' football game and elementary boys' and girls' soccer scrimmages. Every track, field and nature trail that was available saw play.

This Saturday was no different. Kids climbed out of minivans with shin guards or shoulder pads, water bottles and cleats. They swarmed the fields like little Olympians. Parents lined the perimeter, some in lawn chairs, others leaning over the fence with purpose, but all were rallied around their kids. As a teacher whose interaction with parents is limited to yearly open house visits, to see this outpouring of parental support just knocks me back.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:34

Barbie's plastic people

Do you know what scares me? Barbie. Barbie scares me. You know why? She's plastic. I know this is not necessarily groundbreaking news, but hear me out. As a teacher who works with young women between the ages of 16-18, I see girls who truly believe their self-worth depends on their ability to morph into whatever someone else thinks is beautiful. Do you know why they think this? Barbie.

I know, I know. Why am I blaming rich ol' Barbie? What did she ever do besides become a vet and marry Ken? It's not that simple. From the time girls were handed their first Barbie doll to the moment they hop in the driver's seat, much of what girls have been given tells them that they aren't made of sugar and spice and everything nice they're made of plastic. Think of all those pretty dolls, the princess costumes, the Disney movies: Where is 'Bad Haircut Barbie?' Any pleasantly plump Disney princesses out there? Why didn't Cinderella bust out of her 24-hour girdle instead of that glass slipper?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 15:27

How to combat suburban sprawl

Have you ever heard your mother's voice come out of your mouth? Have you ever told your child something you were told as a child? I don't know what is more shocking: The fact that I have or the fact that her words have actually come true.

Let me explain. In our adult lives, there are several moments where we realize we've entered the big leagues: our first job, first house, first child. But realizing you're an adult isn't necessarily confined to first times. Discovering you've finally grown up can happen during last times as well. 'This is the last time I drink that much, the last time I lie to someone, the last time I wear pleather in public.'

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 15:23

Schooling the minnows

When I began teaching, my father, my first teacher in all things, said, 'Remember, kids can smell a fake like sharks smell blood in the water.' At the time, I wasn't really sure why he told me this. Why wouldn't I be real with my students, and why did he compare them to sharks?

Ten years of teaching later, I understand him perfectly. This business demands the real teacher to show up every day. The reality of our daily grind is quite startling: Teachers barely have time to avail themselves of the facilities, much less be human while frantically running the halls searching for a working photocopier. But I know now that students aren't vicious. They are not sharks circling for the kill. They're more like fish in a school. They will swim upstream faster than you can blink an eye if they don't feel like you are swimming with them, watching out for their best interests.

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:14

My son is a rapper

My four-year-old rhymes incessantly. At first, we were thrilled. Jack had an unidentified speech impediment when he was younger, so speaking in rhyme sounded like rocket science, literally. Our little speech scientist came up with ingenious creations like, 'Cow pow man van cat shat.' We hung on his every paired word.

Whether we made a conscious attempt to turn Jack's rhymes into something more meaningful than 'cat shat,' or just by happenstance, we started listening to country music. Jack's big sisters, caught in the throes of a full-fledged Taylor Swift obsession, played one 'you done me wrong T-Swift song' after another. Jack was able to hear the beat behind all the heartbreak and even spit out a few non-rhyming words. Success!

Thursday, 30 August 2012 08:49

A relaxing, candlelit dinner for two

Every now and again my children surprise me. After spending a relaxing afternoon by the lake, we settled our sand- and sun-rumpled kids into our minivan for the two-minute drive home. I should have known something was up by the whispering.

'We have a surprise for you, Mumma, and we think you're really going to like it,' Meg said. As the middle child, Meg enjoys her role as the 'spoiler of all secrets' her two siblings are foolish enough to share with her.

'Meg, I told you not to tell her! Why do you always ruin everything?' Addie, the oldest, blurted from beside her in the backseat. Eye rolling, foot stomping and pouty staring out the window ensued.

I fancy myself a long-distance runner. I have this fancy based on two facts: I do not run fast, and I do not run short distances. If one was to visualize the speed of a three-toed sloth moving along a tree branch in the jungle, slap my face on it, add some bright neon sneakers, there I am: a natural phenomenon.

Chris, a teacher friend of mine, refuses to acknowledge the possibility that I will never be a fast runner. Chris is the kind of colleague (everyone has one) who loves to run. He often mentions races around the photocopier, coffee maker or hallway just in passing. I guess since I've done a couple of marathons, Chris sees me as a fellow road runner. I wonder if he remembers it took me five hours and some change to finish my first marathon.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 13:32

The Twilight of Twilight'

You know, I'm a sensible woman. I like to think that we're all sensible people. We may read books, watch movies, and play Sudoku to escape the humdrum of everyday life, but we've still got our wits about us. We don't need fairy-tales, so why, oh why, when Kristen and Rob broke up, did it hurt so much?

You may think I'm kidding. What kind of grown woman - English teacher extraordinaire, mother of three - could seriously feel heartbreak over the breakup of two 20-somethings in Hollywood? It's not like I'm going to film myself crying copiously into my Kleenex on YouTube. I'm not about to put on a public display of my private mourning, though I am writing about it in a newspaper (the warning signs were there all along).

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