The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Teaching, Directing, And Other New Adventures July 22, 2017

Hello all!  What a hot, hot day here in my world.  So much has been going on lately, it’s quite crazy.


First of all, I think I have probably posted before about going back to college, getting my degree after 30, my one year of teaching, the tornado, the house fire, how difficult it all was, and how I survived and grew stronger, but I didn’t really think I’d ever be able to teach again?  Well… I wouldn’t have believed it, but the Universe had other plans.  An opportunity arose, I seized it, and now I am the new 10th grade English teacher at my hometown high school!!  It’s almost miraculous, honestly.  I would probably never have gotten the chance without the help of a couple of amazing women and outstanding teachers, my friends D.B and D.J.  Between the two of them, they made me aware of the opportunity, encouraged me to go for it, prepared me for it, put in good words for me, and are helping make my first year back in about nine years easier by leaving a road map of lesson plans and complete units for me to use.  I am excited and nervous, and scared and thrilled and determined and ready.  I just pray so hard that I do a good job and make a difference in my students’ lives!!


Theatre things are also cooking along like crazy.  I am now not only on the Board of Directors for the theatre, I’m the VP.  That in itself would be amazing for me, but on top of that, in their wisdom or insanity, I’m never sure which, my fellow board members voted to allow me to direct a show in the next season!  I’ll be directing a small cast play in March and April, called Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire. I am so, so looking forward to it, and I am so amazed and thrilled they gave me a chance.  In other news, the theatre is doing Oklahoma! this summer.  It has already opened and has five performances left.  I am planning to see it tonight and I’m sure it will be wonderful.


Theatre is bittersweet for me now, in a lot of ways. It is one of those places where the faces stay the same but the relationships ebb and flow, and someone you felt close to in one show may feel like a stranger in the next.  Or you may feel you fit in, and then feel like a stranger peeping in the window of your own living room.  I miss certain people who used to be part of it all, and I miss feeling like I am close to the heart of it.  Oddly, I became VP and immediate began to struggle with my enthusiasm for it, in the face of changing friendships and allegiances.  But I suspect that’s normal.


I’m really looking forward to tonight, though.  As I said, the theatre is doing Oklahoma! this summer and my mom and I are taking my 90 year old grandfather.  I think he will very much enjoy the show.  I was supposed to be shadowing the director on this one, learning and preparing for my directorial debut, but after I got the school job, everything else in my mind just kind of jumped into the backseat and I gradually faded out of the show.


Also, my son has had a rough summer.  He did some summer school, which he hated, but he has also been struggling with his moods and emotions, and it has been difficult.  We struggle on a daily basis to be able to see his path and his future, and it is… well, difficult.  He is just not your average bear, and we have a hard time knowing what to do with him.


Clearly I have a million things occupying my mind, so much so that sometimes, like now, when I want to be able to SAY something, my brain is nothing but drowsiness and white noise.  OH!  I have also been doing my best to plan another trip back to Alaska, AKA The Mother Ship.  If all goes well in school this year and I am rehired for next year, I am taking The Boy and myself, and we are going to the Great Northern Frontier, and we are going to have many, many adventures.  No matter what!


I think maybe that’s all for now.  I’m going to do my best to write more often here.  Maybe I’ll find something worth saying.


Until Next Time,



A Table In the Back v. Center Stage: Another Step in the Journey April 27, 2010

Hello all.  Way back a few weeks or months ago, I promised a post explaining why I thought A Table In the Back would, at one time, have been a good title for my autobiograpy.  Well, this is it. 

When I started back to school in Fall of ’05, I had been following the Atkins diet for a year and lost almost 100 lbs. in one calendar year.  I was lookin’ good, and it felt wonderful.  Ok, so you’ve heard of the Freshman 15, right?  The tendency of new college freshmen to gain at least 15 lbs their first year?  Well, I wasn’t a new freshman, but I definitely fell into the trap.  I had slacked off watching carbs and was gradually getting back to regular (former) eating habits.  And here came the weight:   creeep, creeeeep, creeeeeeeeep.  So by the time I graduated from college two years later, I had gained back everything I lost plus some.  Yeah, I was peeved about that. 

So anyway.  If you know Southeastern, you know that we poor schmuck English majors get to spend all our time on the 3rd floor of the Morrison building.  Morrison is a wonderful old dinosaur of a building that is primarily furnished with wonderful old dinosaur-like desks.  You know the ones.  They were new and exciting in the 70s.  They have scratched-in graffiti from 20 years ago.  And they have a hard plastic seat and an attached desktop roughly the size of a piece of paper, and these two items are separated from each other by Very. Little. Space!!!!   In other words, they’re not exactly what you’d call comfortable for a Fat-Headed Klingon Woman to have to sit in for two hours at a time!  When I first started back to school, I didn’t realize they were that uncomfortable.  By the time I graduated, these desks were the bane of my existence.  I hated them with a passion roughly equivalent to the animosity between Rebels and Yankees! 

They hurt.  They pinched.  They squeezed. They actually endangered my GPA because I couldn’t concentrate on what Spencer, Prus, Mischo and Allen were saying when my stomach was being sawed in half by the darn desk!  I wanted to pick one of them up and throw it out a window every time I walked into one of the classrooms!  Fortunately for me, and my fellow fluffy** students, and Southeastern’s Savage Storm Linebackers, there’s a beautiful little thing called ADA Compliance, also known as Accessibility.  You know what Accessibility means?  It means they have to make sure that the classrooms are functional to all students.  And what it results in, is the presence, in every classroom, of at least one– table in the back!  A regular folding table with regular chairs which are not attached to anything, and which can be pushed in, pulled out, leaned back in, or turned around backwards as the sitter desires!

These beautiful, wonderful tables were my salvation the last semester or two of my college education.  After trudging from the farthest parking lot, dragging myself up the steep stairs to the building, and either tromping up the two flights of stairs or giving up and taking the Weiner-vator to the 3rd floor, I’d stumble panting and heaving into the classroom and (((TA-DA!)))there it was- the table in the back that existed in that particular spot precisely so that I would not have to subject myself to further pain by squeezing myself into one of those stupid desks!  I was often the only person sitting at the table, but sometimes other people would sit there too, whether they were overweight like myself, or not.

What was that?  Oh, right, the point.  The point, friends, is that at that time I was mired in a hopeless thought that the table in the back was designated to be my spot forever.  That I’d literally and figuratively be stuck on the fringes of things, marginalized, ignored, left out, forever.  Remember my first Weight Watchers meeting, back in January?  And how I sat at the sign-up table (in the back, of course) so I wouldn’t have to walk forward and blend in with the group, and God forbid, call attention to myself? 

Well, things are changing.  I’m still a pretty good-sized girl, but guess what?  I’m not sitting at a table in the back anymore.  I walk up to the second row and sit down like I own the place, and I’ve actually been known to do that while commenting on the discussion!  That’s right, I have walked in talking!  Spotlight, attention, and all- I took my place and just said what I had to say.  No marginalizing this girl, no sir, not anymore!  Now whether that’s only due to the weight loss I’ve achieved in the last 4 months (30.2 lbs, can I get a woot-woot!?) or whether I’m just really making a lot of progress with my therapist (new nickname:  The Golden Goddess) I’m not sure, but I like it.  I am proud of me.  I’m ready to take center stage.  Fluffy** or not, here I come!

Until next time,


** In my first explanation of the Klingon Woman thing, I made it a point to say it like it is and refer to myself as ‘fat’ and not ‘fluffy’ but the expression just lost steam without using that particular word.  So there you go.  That’s why I said it.


The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

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