Sincerely, Stasia

Living and learning on a teacher's salary.

New Jersey Herald – Hijacking public education March 23, 2013

This article by Mike Harris (link below) shares insight on some very important and very real issues impacting students, parents, and educators in the U.S. I specifically enjoy Diane Ravitch‘s site being noted – She’s an incredibly knowledgeable, very well-respected, and credible member of the education community, especially having served as assistant secretary of education for President G.W. Bush.

New Jersey Herald – Hijacking public education.

For more from Dr. Ravitch check out the video below from an address to the United Teachers of Los Angeles in 2010.

Sincerely, Stasia


UFC, Gin, Buffalo Chicken, and Taco Salad. And Tums. February 25, 2012

Filed under: Lifestyle,Recipes — sincerelystasia @ 9:16 am
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I’m about to blow your mind, I know, but did you know that teachers have lives outside of the classroom? It’s true! I could hardly believe it, either. Okay, it’s not always true. Today is Saturday and my plan consists of grading 45 assessments and 45 center packets before I start reading for my own classes, but after that it’s time for cooking and mixology.

Tonight, friends, is UFC144. I’ll admit it: I love any sport that involves grown men beating on each other. This typically involves my two faves, ice hockey and UFC. Combining the facts that I love to entertain and that I hail from Toms River, NJ, I clearly need to host my friends tonight and watch my hometown boy, Frankie Edgar, defend his title against Benson Henderson.

Now theme parties are fun and all, but I’m more interested in serving things that are likely to disappear as soon as I set them out rather than making sure the color of the drinks matches the color of the tablecloth and napkins and hors d’oeuvres and so on. Featured on tonight’s menu, among other things, will be buffalo chicken dip (courtesy of The Bitten Word via Pinterest), taco salad (courtesy of my amazing mom, Lady), beer (courtesy of Miller Lite, Sam Adams, and Yuengling), and Bee’s Knees (courtesy of the fabulous bartenders at Catherine Lombardi’s). Note: Absolutely none of those things go together, but they’re individually so awesome that they definitely won’t live to see the title fight. If you make them all together, perhaps leave out a bowl of Tums for dessert.

Straight to the Point: There’s really no point today – Just sharing some of my favorite recipes.

  • Amazing Buffalo Chicken Dip:Click here to get the recipe from The Bitten Word. Not exactly for calorie counters, but you could skinny it up, although I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s perfect as is. Just do a couple extra sit-ups tomorrow.
  • Taco Salad: I’ve been making this for my friends since I lived in my sorority house in college and was shocked to find out it wasn’t a staple in homes all over America. Note: While best on day one with its crunchy/hot/cold-ness, it’s awesome heated up the 2nd day too, in all its soggy glory. Just mix together the following and you’re ready to roll: 1 lb cooked ground beef, 1 pkg taco seasoning, 1 bottle ranch dressing, 1 bag crushed nacho cheese Doritos, shredded lettuce (the amount varies depending on how salad-y [technical term] you like your salad), 2 diced tomatoes. Add two extra miles to your extra sit-ups tomorrow.
  • The Bee’s Knees: This is a gin drink that I fell in love with recently at Catherine Lombardi’s in New Brunswick. You’ll find an interesting history of this prohibition era drink here. Perhaps fitting for a UFC party if you can make the connection between muay thai and 1920’s bare-knuckle fisticuffs. You can vary the measurements to make it more tart or sweet depending on your taste, but this is how I like it. Pour the following into a shaker of ice and strain into a martini glass: 2 oz. gin (I prefer Hendrick’s), 1 oz. honey syrup (made by boiling water and adding an equal part of honey until it dissolves – only takes a hot minute and is completely worth it). 1 oz. lemon juice (don’t be lazy – squeeze a couple lemons and put that awful plastic bottle away). This can also be made in large quantities – If you’re making a pitcher, try topping it with prosecco because sparkling wine obviously makes everything better. Leave Advil, water, and a cough drop on your nightstand. Just trust me on the cough drop. 

So there you have it – A mish-mosh of deliciousness… Enjoy the rest of your weekend and let’s go Frankie! We are TR!

Sincerely, Stasia


Ready? February 21, 2012

Filed under: Random Thoughts — sincerelystasia @ 10:40 am
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This blog has been up and down several times over the past few years. As always, I continue my promise to undoubtedly be the laziest, most unpredictable, and unreliable blog poster person ever. Just throwing it out there in advance. In this blog you’ll find all sorts of random things that I enjoy – Music, recipes, ideas for teachers, etc. Promise #2: I am brutally honest, especially when it comes to sharing bits and pieces of my own life.

To get things squared away before we begin, here are some explanations for you. I am many things – including but not limited to a teacher, doctoral student, and lover of all things random. But the one thing, or person, I am not is Stasia. Stasia is my grandmother who, like my grandpa Hunny before her, was taken by cancer a few years ago. She was the most honest person I’ve ever met and by far the most headstrong. She was a very strong influence on me and this blog is my way of keeping her around just a bit longer.

So, as I take this journey into the blog world, here are some things you may or may not want to know about me.

  • I’m a teacher – Fourth grade English at a 4-8 middle school. I know the power of the smelly sticker and the creativity of a 10 year old mind. I love, love, LOVE what I do. I consider myself a lifelong learner and am always looking to learn new ways to inspire my kids. They make me laugh every single day and I love being able to do the same for them!
  • My absolute favorite thing to do is pour a glass of wine, turn on some music, and get busy in the kitchen. I love cooking and baking and I try to do it whenever I can. I’m always searching for new recipes and have an addiction to buying cookbooks.
  • I’m currently finishing my first year as an education doctoral student. While I was unsure about whether I fit in at the start, I’m proud of my current work and am really looking forward to starting my dissertation research within the next year and a half.
  • I am proudly from New Jersey. Not “MTV Jersey Shore” New Jersey, but the real Jersey shore. I grew up with my toes in the sand and that’s where I head whenever I need to center myself – There are fewer cures that work more swiftly than salty air and crashing waves.

Over the course of the next few weeks I’m hoping to get back into the blog world and share some info that I, as a working teacher and full time grad student, find interesting, helpful, and delicious. Now, if I could just find my original five readers, circa 1999.

Sincerely, Stasia


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