Following Footsteps…Finding the Balance

Throughout my schooling, my teachers – particularly math & sciences – have always assigned “extra problems”. They were never required or graded, but were there for good practice. I never understood why they always gave us extra work. Didn’t they know that if it wasn’t going to be graded we weren’t going to do it? Until college, I didn’t realize that these extra problems were good for studying. And when later college years hit, and I actually really needed to study, I found that these extra problems were good for trying to understand what was going on in class……good practice.

These teachers also had more tests or quizzes than other subjects. I never liked to be tested; always gave me way too much anxiety even with extra time. At times, I had quizzes every week. While it became routine – and I didn’t like it at first – I realized that the more quizzes I had, the less each quiz would count toward my average quiz grade. It was also, good practice.

As obvious as it seems, this needs to be said: With applied sciences, the more opportunities you have to work out different problems, the better you get at problem solving, thinking critically, and understanding the fundamentals. Done. Intuitively, I knew this, but it wasn’t until after college that I understood it.


I am now a teacher, and a student.

In my planning, I find myself following the footsteps of my previous teachers without even thinking about it. Until I realized why they assigned extra problems. Until I realized why they gave weekly quizzes. It is extremely scary when you come to this level.

I want to quiz them, but I know I despised being tested. I want to assign extra problems, but I know I never did them. I want them to like me, but I don’t want to let my guard down.

I have to find the balance between what I want and what it was like as a teenager. I certainly don’t think the same way as I did in high school. I have to back up, and look at the problem from the outside. What do I want them to take away? How do I motivate them? What do they want or need from my class? How far can I push without them breaking? I have to find the balance between what I want and what it was like as a teenager.

It’s just another problem to solve.

xo, LZE

Live. Love. Run.

Why do you run?

This – or anything to do with running – seems to be a common question/topic in my life. Why? Probably because I throw it in people’s faces through talking about it, posting on Facebook, and pinning on Pinterest. Some probably find it annoying, but I don’t mind though.

I haven’t always been runner. Actually I stayed away from it until about two years ago. It’s not that I hated running, I just didn’t understand why people wanted to run all over the place for fun. Who wants to do that for fun? I was a walker; I loved to walk long distances. I had this thing with running. I was under the impression that I had to run the whole time, be fast and not out of breath. I was always afraid of what the people behind me thought: Did you see that girl? She totally just started running then stopped! It has only been 3 minutes! What a loser. Now if they actually thought that I have no idea, but I can tell you that for a time I couldn’t run longer than like 10 minutes at a time (thank you asthma). But I stuck with it. I said ‘Screw you people I don’t know! I don’t care what you think of me!‘ and began running. Slowly, but surely. 

⌈That whole thing about worrying what others think is a load of bullshit. You do you, and whatever the hell you want to do. This is much easier said than done, but it’s so worth it. I’m not fully there yet, however, I can feel a weight lifted off my shoulders already. ⌋

I’m not madly in love with running – okay actually that’s a lie. I’m training for a marathon…There are times when I don’t want to run, but then I do and I feel AHHHH-MAZING. Running is me time. While running with a buddy is always fun, I’ve tackled this journey all by myself so far because none of my friends are crazy enough to run with me. And by crazy enough I mean that they think a 5k is far. But that’s okay, I don’t mind running by myself. I enjoy being surrounded by nature (or a gym if I really, really, like seriously have to) and music. Yes, I run with music. Yes it’s dangerous, but I take precautions. Music is my passion so why not mix it with running? Anyway, some people think or solve problems or let their imagination fly when they run. I literally run with an empty mind being alert of my surroundings. I don’t think or solve any problems. I do motivate myself occasionally with “you only have one more mile to go!” or “you’re halfway there!” I think that’s why I enjoy it so much. When I’m not running I’m either solving math/physics/life problems, thinking too much or worrying far more than I ever should. Running gives me a break. I have too many other things going on to think about anything else other than not getting hit by a car or abducted.. 

At one time I didn’t think I would make a mile, or two – nevermind say “It’s only 3.1 miles. You’ll be fine.” Now, I’d consider myself a long distance runner. While the farthest I’ve run to date is about 6.5 miles, my attitude says “You will run much farther than the 26.2 mile race.” I don’t know how I do it, but I prefer the longer distances. They make me feel better. Also, It isn’t about how long it takes you. What matters is that you finishedIn some cases, like qualifying times, yeah that doesn’t really apply, but a mile is a mile no matter how long it takes you to get there. 

I don’t necessarily run for exercise or to stay in shape. Of course it helps. And yes, sometimes I do use the excuse of ‘It’s okay. I ran today’ to indulge in some decadent dessert. But that’s not the reason why I run. I do choose running as part of my exercise but you can thank carpal tunnel in both wrists for that one. I’m not allowed to play sports anymore or lift super heavy weights. So, I just have really strong legs. 

I run: to be happy, to feel good, to clear my mind, to push my limits, to say ‘look what I can do’, because I can

This Find Yourself Go Run poster ($30-$45) isn't just inspiring — it's pretty to look at too.

xo, LZE