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So I have had several different people read our one-act play called The Switch. One person is the individual playing opposite me who is playing the reporter. He wanted to read the script before he agreed to take the part. He took the part. I guess that means he liked it? Three others read it as well.

One individual has a Master’s Degree in English, is a former journalist, and is a college professor in Connecticut. She is a college buddy of mine. We used to work at the local paper together as well. I trust her. She is very creative. She named her daughter Arcadia Cosette – Cosette being from Les Mis.     I think that is great. I always said if I had a daughter I would name her Cecily Teresa. Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest  and Teresa being my maternal grandmother’s name and my Confirmation name. Now we kick around Brielle or Zoe (our lead character in our play) for a daughter’s name. Not that kids will come real soon if at all but who knows. I don’t have a crystal ball. In any case, my friend loved it. She thought the dialogue flowed.

A second individual who I went to high school with also thought it was good work. He graduated a year before me and is a screenplay writer. He actually has a meeting in Los Angeles next week with executives for his screenplay. I can’t even imagine to begin to know what he is feeling. That’s awesome! He is a horror guru. When he read the play, he said playfully that we should have one character kill the other  and typed in a “LOL.”   He said the hubby and I did good work.

The last person I sent it to you is a long time friend as well. He is a member of SAG and does a lot of work in the NJ/NYC area. He actually said it was very wordy, said there was a lack of contractions, and said the dialogue sounds like they took a conversation course. Can characters actually be too intellectual when they speak? Does an intellectual conversation mean it’s not realistic? I mean when I told my friend from Connecticut she said that psychopaths usually speak very intellectually and asked if I ever heard Bundy talk. While I appreciate my SAG friend’s feedback, I kinda disagree. But hey who am I? Who is my husband? I am just a girl from Prospect Park, NJ and he is just a guy from Pawnee, IL. Is everyone going to like it? No, probably not. I hope whoever comes and sees it at least has the backbone to dissect it after seeing it, ya know? This is only our first work. If it is an immediate crowd pleaser, great. If it’s not, will it bother me a little bit? Yes. Will I get over it and move on? Yes. Nothing is going to break my stride. How many times did Eminem choke on stage? How many times was he booed off stage?

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Today is a GREAT football day! My husband’s team, the Bears, are on at 1 p.m., then the Jets at 4:15 p.m. and then my boys are on at 8:20 p.m. I just love when they play at night. *CAN YOU HEAR THE SARCASM COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?* I get to go to bed aggravated some times. Just lovely. It’s the Manning Bowl II! Lets go Big Blue!

We are just about caught up on the journey or at least we will be fairly caught up after this post. In any case, when I finished the summer semester I think my nerves got the best of me. I wasn’t sure I was ready to do my pre-professional field (one day a week internship) come September. It was bothering me that I was still on unemployment and didn’t have a job. I have this thing about having to contribute to the bill paying. While I am on unemployment, I don’t really consider that “contributing.” With  everything going on with this HORRIBLE governor, I didn’t think there was any way I would get a teaching job come September 2011. At the same time, I was  doing public relations (still am) for a murder mystery group we are a part of. I like doing that. Anything writing related, I love. My first love will ALWAYS be writing, not teaching. My husband said that if I see a job in the paper that I can see myself doing for a long time to submit but not to just submit to anything. I submitted two resumes and never heard anything. I told my husband that was a sign. If I were to get called and hired somewhere, it was meant to be. If not, then it wasn’t and I was meant to stay in school.  At first I was so conflicted as to whether to mail out the first resume. It was for a PR job at a college. I needed an objective opinion so I emailed a friend of mine from Connecticut that I went to college with who has the same passion for writing that I do. We used to work at the local paper together.

I needed some sound objective advice from someone removed from the situation. I explained I had two semesters and two classes left plus the one day a week internship for September. I would be doing my full internship 5 days a week during the Spring semester Jan 2011-May 2011. Heres what was going on in my head in more detail. I had been on unemployment since November 2008. I was tired of not working. Besides working out during the day, I was bored out of my mind and basically found myself doing house wife things – so not me. I don’t know how some women stay home all day. The education program at Kean doesn’t want you working when doing your internship. In the middle of September, the claim I had for unemployment was going to expire. I would start another tier of benefits. The problem was I did not know how much money I would be getting at that point every two weeks but it was believed to be less than what I was currently getting. Our expenses have gone up because we had to get our second new car since the lease expired on our other car. My husband and I both have new Santa Fes. As I stated, my hubby told me if I could find a job that I really wanted to do and could see myself doing for a long time where the salary was good, to go for it. I was conflicted. I didn’t know what to do. Teaching was going to be a fall back position so that I had given myself options career wise with the current state of the economy. However, my love had always been for writing and PR. I love kids, don’t get me wrong, but the excitement I get when I write wasn’t there while I was thinking about it. I had the envelope with my resume, cover letter, and writing samples ready to go for the college PR job. I kept going back and forth whether to mail it or not. The reason I was conflicted was because I didn’t want people thinking I was a quitter in terms of school or that I couldn’t finish anything I start. That seemed to have been my pattern. Since the whole business fiasco, who knew what people would say. Everyone always has an opinion about other people’s business. Whether they tell you to your face is another story. Since losing my job in Nov 2008, I havent really been able to make up my mind about what the hell I wanted to do and I am 35 years old! I didn’t really get a chance to really assess what I wanted to do and really think about it because two months after I lost my job I lost my dad, my pet died, we had a bankruptcy and so on. Who would immediately have a clear head to make a good decision after all that? I was afraid to take a job in the writing/editing field because I have lost my job so many times because of the economy. BUT, if I stayed in school, I am accumulating loans with no guarantee of a teaching job come September which would cause me to look in the writing field anyway. Plus if I stayed in school, I was another year away from working. If I took a job and I lost it again, I was afraid I would be kicking myself for not finishing the program at Kean. I wanted to make the best decision for my family because of this horrible economy. Like I said earlier, I don’t know how much less money from unemployment I was going to get. I was not having any problems in school. I was just trying to figure out what the hell the best decision was for us. God gave me the answer because I did not get any phone calls from either resume I submitted.

I think all the above may have stemmed from fear about actually having to be in a real classroom now and being monitored by a cooperating teacher and supervisor. It wasn’t a mock classroom anymore. I didn’t know if I was ready for a real setting.


Has anyone seen this? – http://wonderwall.msn.com/tv/snooki-charges-200000-to-walk-an-events-red-carpet-1572458.story?gt1=28135 – Good Lord, REALLY? Not to sound like a hater but . . .

On another note, my husband and I are writing a one-act that is being performed on October 30 at Pianos Bar & Grill in Bloomfield, NJ. I think we are going to call it The Switch or Identity Crisis. It’s part of a show called Midnite Stories: Behind the Bar Edition (A “Twilight Zone” Type anthology). I am quite excited! To see something come alive for the first time that my husband and I created makes my adrenaline flow.  It’s for a group called Mysterical Players that we are a part of. I’ve been doing their PR. Check the group out on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mysterical-Players/274445179919?ref=ts

Back to the journey. Our relationship with Melissa and Frank was touch and go there for a while. Thank God that was rectified.

I didn’t think life and grief could bother someone as much as it botherd me. It’s hard everytime you are down to keep getting kicked. We had to do what we had to do to get our heads straight – more me though. I felt like the killjoy. I had to get the fog cleared from my head because the next semester at school was starting not long after the 1 year anniversary of my father’s death. Also at that time, I was playing one of the lead roles (The Queen) in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at a local theater in the area. I have to admit, with help from some friends that were actors/actresses, I came into my own. I worked with my singing teacher every week to get me prepared for my solos I had to sing. That boosted my self-esteem IMMENSELY. It was such a great experience. I had little kids coming up to me, some afraid, some not, after the show to take pictures. I had parents coming up to me telling me how great I did. I even had a parent recognize me in church. It was an incredible moment every time. 

The second semester was interesting. I had to travel to two schools for observations. Of course the commute was not close but I didn’t mind. I like driving. I can blast my tunes and sing at the top of my lungs. I know what you are thinking – This woman is a goof ball! – Yeah, pretty much! You either love me or hate me I guess. I am fine with either. In addition to the observations I had a Saturday class that was so boring. I think I had this same professor when I was at William Paterson. He basically sat in a chair at the front of the room and just talked. He would make us do rinky dink group work during class but otherwise I was taking so many notes. UGH! How can you teach like that in general but on Saturday to boot! An extra-large french vanilla couldn’t stop me from wanting to stick pins in my eyes! It was terrible. The professor made us meet with him at the end of the semester and asked what could be changed about the course. Being the person I am, of course I told him. I told him I was all about progressive education and there had to be more than lecturing. This was also the professor that kept looking at my chest while I was talking in that final meeting. I wanted to snap my fingers and whistle and be like “Yo man, my eyes are up here!” I hope I saved the next bunch of poor souls that took him.

My Monday night class was great. The teacher was cool of course with me. We discussed Giants tickets because she was a season ticket holder too. Don’t ask me why teachers take such a liking to me. Maybe because I go into the classroom and just do what I have to do and be myself. She is a first grade teacher during the day so by the time she got to us, she was exhausted which worked to our benefit. She taught the lesson and basically had us out at a reasonable time. Never did we leave at 10:15 p.m. I loved that considering I had like a 50 minute commute home.

I put myself in several predicaments in my Wednesday class. My first set of papers I bombed. The second lesson we had to do, I bombed. Being singled out by all my colleagues in the math field really annoyed me. I was already cranky because it was 100 degrees in the room. The math folk did their “mock” lesson and chose to incessantly annoy me by calling on me because I’m not a math person. COME ON MAN!!!! Lisa “Jersey” was slowly surfacing. I was going to explode. Thank God we were in the classroom. I bit my tongue as much as it would let me. I’m lucky I didn’t bleed out all over from how hard I was biting. By the time I presented my lesson, I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to do it. I hated that we were in an old school classroom and I didn’t have a laptop. I had to use the blackboard. I am not a blackboard teacher. I like using Powerpoint. The set up they had in there, one would have asked, “Did you get a free toaster with this too?” It was like reaching into the cracker jack box and pulling out the prize – Woo hoo an old school set up! UGH! I irked my professor. I irked myself. I got thrown under the bus in front of my classmates. It was terrible. I was told that it didn’t seem like I liked writing at all. That is the WORST thing you can say to me. It was like she stuck a steel knife in my gut. That bothered me A LOT. It bothered me that I let her down. In fact, it was all I could think about for days. I even journaled about it. I can’t tell you the last time I had picked up a journal before that. Thank God I got a do over on my papers at least. I was able to pick the grades up. I hate Cs. No Cs yet on my transcript *KNOCK ON WOOD*

I had another class that was half of a semester. It was a one credit course. The professor was cool. I did well in that class too.

I couldn’t wait for the semester to be over. I was looking forward to the summer even though I had to take Summer I and Summer II classes. When you are on unemployment, they want to rush you through everything and make you jump through hoops.


Since the phone wasn’t ringing when I was applying for teaching jobs through alternate route or any other job I applied for, I registered for classes at Kean University for the Fall September 2009 semester.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdpkFPKo1o4

I had not been in school for 10 years. I was never really good at school. I mean, grammar school my grades were very good but my academics sort of declined as I got older. When I graduated William Paterson University in 1999, my GPA was only a 2.52. I was too immature to be in college when I was there and I was also working almost 40 hours a week to help my mother pay bills. Now I get to do it all over again. I should mention that in July 2009, I taught Creative Writing to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from an urban district at William Paterson Summer Youth Camp.  I initially applied to William Paterson to get my certification. I read on the Board of Education site that a 2.75 GPA was required to get into any education program BUT if you graduated before 2004, you needed to have at least a 2.5 GPA. Apparently William Paterson was not aware of this, and did not accept me into their education program. I filed an appeal.  (I have to add that when I initially took the Praxis back in 2005 or so I looked into William Paterson’s Education Program and was told by the Assistant Dean at that time I would NEVER get accepted into any education program without going back to school and getting a different Bachelors degree to prove that I could have a better GPA. Really now?) This did not make any sense to me. I had the requirement because I graduated in 1999 and I just taught middle school kids there that summer. After I filed the appeal, I started looking into Kean. Kean accepted me immediately when I applied. The funny thing is way after I registered for 2 classes at Kean and got my books, William Paterson calls to tell me they reversed their decision and decided to take me. I laughed and said, “Sorry I am going to Kean.” Too bad so sad for William Paterson. They initially rejected me because of a GPA I had when I was 18, dealing with parents going through a divorce, and working 40 hours to help my mother? Not my loss. It’s theirs because I currently have a 3.784 GPA at Kean. Whose laughing now? After everything I have been through, it is so gratifying to prove people wrong. I know some of this sounds bitter but that is not my intent. It’s just, well, you get the idea.

Oh brother. Unbelievable. The Jersey Shore cast gets seats to the MTV VMAs. I’m not going to lie I do watch that show but all the perks they get annoys me. I mean I have a real life “situation” to discuss but people would rather see 20 somethings getting wasted and having sex. Sigh.


Sorry there was a lapse in time. I started classes. Today as a matter of fact was my first day interning at a local high school. I will elaborate on being back in college at a later time. Oh boy, I am definitely not used to getting out of bed at 5:10 a.m. The school’s first bell is at 7:20 a.m.

March 20, 2009 – Time for court! My husband and I arrived in a downtown urban area where the court was housed. We walked four blocks to the court building, took the elevator up, and entered the waiting room. The court was PACKED. It was like a sardine can in there. I couldn’t believe all the individuals there for the same reason. Since there wasn’t any room, we stood up against the wall near the entrance and waited for our attorney. When she arrived, she took us into the actual court area we were seated and waited for our case to be called. Supposedly the trustee we were assigned was a real hard ass. When our case number was called, the trustee asked if counsel was present. We approached the table and answered all his questions. He was actually very nice to us. My attorney was shocked at how well he treated us. We explained everything. He had a copy of our Quickbooks. It was very easy to see how much money we lost from this lemon. Listening to him read back our situation left a sour taste. We were sitting with him no more than 10 minutes. He concluded our meeting by saying, “I am assuming you wouldn’t be here if it had not been for this business, correct?” We answered, “correct” in unison. That was it. Our attorney bought us lunch and we left our future in the trustee’s hands. It was another waiting game.

In the next month and month and a half we received news on both fronts. My test scores had come in to ETS Testing Service and we received a letter in the mail from the district court. Nervously I logged into the test site. I clicked on test scores and up they came. WOO HOO! I passed! I got a 164. In order to get a Certificate of Eligibility, a score of 162 had to be obtained.  

When my husband got home from work we opened the letter from the Bankruptcy court – DISCHARGED! The feeling was unbelievable. It was like having an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders. Bye Bye Albatross! We craved a fresh start and now we were going to finally have the chance to get one. One can only watch The Secret so many times!

When I received my Certificate of Eligibility in English in the mail, I started to submit resumes for a Teacher of English position to various districts. I even submitted for Teacher Aide positions. I had two interviews for an Aide’s position out of the 30 something resumes I sent out. This is another situation one has to laugh at. I wonder if people even look at resumes before they call you in.

The Alternate Route path was not working out. A friend of my husband’s who is a principal told him for every position open, the district was receiving 200 resumes. He also said that when he received resumes he separated them into 3 piles – Experience, No experience, and Alternate Route. If someone was alternate route, he didn’t even bother with the resume. Apparently student teaching was a very important component to most districts. That prompted a discussion with my husband about applying to college and getting the certification the standard way. I hadn’t been in college since 1999. Now at 34 I was applying to go back.