All posts by: michaelajoy Casper Bed with Mugs and Coffee

I Found the Perfect Bed

For quite some time I knew of the elusive “Casper” but had no idea they were a mattress company. In fact, I followed them on Twitter and believed them to be a brilliantly witty cynic or two sitting around in a dimly lit room lamenting the daylight and sharing scholarly articles about the detriments of sleep deprivation and the superiority of those of us that are quasi-nocturnal. However, after sending a friend of mine a barrage of their more hilarious tweets (do yourself a favor and follow them), he asked me if I had “ever looked into buying a Casper.” Considering the fact that I believed Casper to be a small, cynical hipster collective, I was confused about how I would go about owning one and really whether the question was even PC. Then I finally looked past the brilliant quips and discovered that this “Casper” was in fact a […]

Continue Reading

One Week In

For those of you that have been concerned, I am still alive. I had forgotten how busy starting a brand new job can make a person! As far as how that new job is going – so far so good! Last week I got settled into my office (so strange to not have a classroom!) and then began right away to learn more about all my responsibilities. The first couple of days were filled with showing me the how and why of many things I’ll be doing, and there is a LOT. However, instead of being overwhelmed, I am excited to get to organize and strategize many of our efforts in order to streamline and make the process more efficient. I also got the opportunity to visit a couple of campuses, take tours, and talk with campus directors, faculty, and other staff. Although I already had gleaned pieces of Ross’ […]

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living." Gail Sheehy
Orange Flower Lensbaby mobile

Here Goes Nothing

Well, it’s official. As of today, I am no longer a teacher. I loved my school, my coworkers, my principal, and my kids, so don’t get the idea that I left because of any of them. But, I began to realize that I really needed to do something else. I had so many passions and desires that were constantly going unrealized. I was able to tap into some of my creativity within my classroom and the many other events and organizations that I was a part of in the school, but teaching is most definitely a full-time job, and it really didn’t allow for much else. Then, the perfect opportunity presented itself. I will still be able to help people to realize their potential and pursue their goals. It will also allow me to express myself creatively through photography, design, and writing. I will get to engage people through social […]

Crimes Against Humanity

Okay, so maybe the title isn’t exactly appropriate for this post… I suppose that “Crimes Against the English Language” or “Crimes Against My Ears” would perhaps be more so. However, there are moments when the breakdown of my native tongue is so intense that it creates a bit of an understanding barrier or at least irks me to the point of wanting to complain, apparently via the interwebs, about my angst. As a high school language teacher, the misuse and misunderstanding of English vocabulary and grammar creates a significant hurdle. Throughout most of my day, I am attempting to teach teenagers a second language only to find that they have not achieved fluency in their first. Spanish study and proficiency begins to seem irrelevant when faced with a lack in English understanding. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that my students cannot speak or write proficiently enough to communicate their […]

Make a Stand

Over the last couple of years, I have been awakened to the overwhelming issue of modern slavery. After hearing about it through organizations like End It Movement and Exodus Cry, I became more and more disturbed. Then, I saw the documentary produced by Exodus Cry’s Benjamin Nolot, Nefarious, and I started doing my own research. What I have found has been both heart-breaking and infuriating. The idea that this is affecting so many children around the world AND here in the US is even more devastating. However, I haven’t known what I can do about it other than pray and continue to support the existing organizations that are making a difference. Recently, I heard about a little girl named Viviene Harr, an 8 year old who saw the work of photographer Lisa Kristine and committed to set herself against child slavery. Many young American children, even passionate ones, would have […]

Waste, Waste Everywhere and Not a Thing to Eat

Recently I was buying produce at the grocery store. As I stood there, checking dozens of each type of fruit and vegetable before selecting the best, I realized something: I wasn’t the only one doing that. I glanced up and saw at least 20 other women (sorry, guys, I’m sure you do it too!) standing around bins overflowing with fresh produce, digging through for the most flawless cucumber, apple, or onion. I immediately eliminate the bruised, discolored, or otherwise tainted options and occasionally abandon the challenge altogether if none of it seems good enough. I understand that this sounds normal and fine. I thought so too until the last 24 hours. But wait… If all of us do this – reject the imperfect – then what happens to it all? Also, what about the overabundance on the shelf? It goes bad on my counter, why not at the store? What […]

Continue Reading instagram @michaelajoyk


If you have followed my blog or stumbled upon my account, I’m sure that you have fairly quickly discovered that I love Instagram. In fact, I love it so much that, when I need a technology break, it’s the app I have to take a break from. When I do take a break, I have people pulling me aside saying, “I just wanted to check on you… You haven’t posted to Instagram in a few days; are you okay?” This may be the sign of a problem. However, although I have my share of addictions (caffeine, knowing what time it is, good hygiene), this one just makes good sense. Instagram is actually that good. The most appealing thing about this social media app is that it isn’t just a photo version of Twitter or Facebook… it’s better and it just makes more sense. Here’s why: Instagram is better than Twitter. […]

Continue Reading kids code academy

Summer Work?

You know that incredible feeling of knowing that you’re doing something you were made to do? It’s wonderful. Obviously, we’d never grow or improve without challenges or the overcoming of obstacles, but sometimes it’s nice to get the chance to do something easy and comfortable. This summer, my church started a summer school program for some of the kids. It targets two different groups: those that struggle in various core subjects and those who are bored in school and need to be pushed. For those that need some extra one-on-one support and practice, we’re offering math, reading, and writing. The advanced class is learning something a little less conventional – coding. The entire program consists of 16 students and 8 teachers that meet three mornings a week. When this was first being introduced to me, I assumed I’d be teaching one of the classes. I have plenty of experience in […]

Continue Reading New Save on Facebook July 21, 2014

Facebook Now, Facebook Later

Social networking consumes over three hours of the average American’s day. That means that the around 200 million Facebook users in the US are skimming through their newsfeed on their computers, phones, and tablets every day for more than an hour most likely. That’s a lot of wasted time right? I know for me, pulling out my phone and checking Instagram or Facebook is a reflex to boredom. Many times, when I have been going all day, as soon as I sit down, my phone or iPad comes out and I immerse myself in social media. Why? I honestly have no idea. I’m not even that interested, but there’s always the chance that, if I don’t open Facebook, I’ll miss something. Not only will I potentially miss the hot gossip or photos of my friends’ weddings, babies, cookouts, and parties, but also those interesting articles! Really though, sometimes a friend […]

Continue Reading Foursquare - Swarm = Yelp but better (more mobile friendly)

Foursquare and Five Years Ago…

I became a registered user of Foursquare shortly after its debut in March of 2009. It was exciting at first, checking in at various locations, seeing which of my friends had recently been there, becoming the mayor. I felt somewhat like a pioneer too as I created many of the locations where I wanted to check in. However, the fun quickly began to fade. Very few of my friends used the app and even fewer businesses in my town did. I was always looking for Foursquare deals or rewards and becoming discouraged when they didn’t exist. So, I bailed. Upon reading that Foursquare was splitting into two separate apps, my first reaction was, “Foursquare still exists??” The more I read, the more I was surprised to find out how many people were still registered users of the app. Now, who knows if they are active users – Foursquare doesn’t release […]