Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It was SO MUCH FUN!! we had the annual scavenger hunt, and Julie, Heidi, Matt, Nora, and Tammy's team won (by one point over the second place team). Cousins found out new things about each other, and we had them going all around town, stomping through three feet of snow, checking dates, etc. Instead of going on and on, I'm going to share some pictures.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Here are some (in no particular order) of my favorites from the night.
Everybody, including Mutty. This was a self-timer sitting on a stool behind a couch. Not the best, but at least no one's heads are chopped off, right?
Can't remember what Judy's doing here...
Janet made it!!
Wesley was the only boy there... he got lots of attention :)
Mutty liked to snuggle. He's behind Susie in this picture, making friends with me. (13 days until she gets married to Roger P!)
After being convinced for about 2 minutes, Heather LOVED her sleeping bag!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
1. The Holocaust in US History.
2. States projects in Civics.
3. Justice System Simulation in Government
4. World Religions in World History (we're going to learn about the different festivals and celebrations each religion has -- groups of two students have different religions and they're in charge! Friday we're going to celebrate Christmas all together.)
5. Field trip in Local History on Wednesday. I'm still not sure what I got myself into, if this is a good idea or not....
Then SIXTEEN days off!!!
I have a list for those days, too... I'm planning on working on about five days and hopefully getting a LOT done on each day, so I can actually have eleven days off. That would be simply amazing!
What's your favorite Christmas song? Mine's Hark the Herald. It's been in and out of my head for the past month or so -- on a daily basis. Still haven't sung it in church yet, but hopefully soon!
Friday, December 12, 2008
1. When it comes to my work, I'm a perfectionist. Sort of. I want to be the best possible, even if it means sacrificing my personal life. :S I was never a perfectionist in school, life, anything before I had a certain job in college. Since then, I want to be the best. Ack, I know that's not good, but it drives me.
2. I take showers, get dressed, clean, rearrange, find things, and lose things -- all while I'm sleeping. I'm not one of those "go to bed at night and wake up in the morning" kind of people.
3. I don't eat things with (added) sugar in them. Natural sugar is fine. It's the added stuff that gets me. I had headaches all last winter -- migranes and regular headaches 4 or 5 times a week. Some other problems, too. So I cut out sugar and --dwell-ah! -- no more headaches!!!
4. I'm proper (apparently). I just asked my little sis Julie what not very many people know about me and she said that.
5. I'm a morning person. This one still surprises me, but I do my best work in the morning. and if I have something that requires a lot of concentration or lots of energy, I have to do it in the morning. Mind you, I don't like waking up early. It's just that when I do -- that's when I do my best work.
6. I don't have a lot of confidence in myself, nor do I have a good self-image. This gets worse as I get older. :S
There you go! That was tough; not things I usually talk about or tell people, but there they are... Whew -- deep breath before I click "Publish"
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
So I'm not at school doing work (although I'm attempting to write a lesson plan about Peter the Great and Russia).
I'm watching "Battlefield Detectives" and today's subject is the Battle for Stalingrad during World War II. Yep, it's my freetime. and I'm learning all about Stalingrad.
Today I had (in my opinion) a really good lesson in government about foreign policy and national defense. **Warning: if you aren't interested in history, do not read further.**
Yesterday we were talking about isolationism and how the US adopted this view for the first 150+ years of our country's existence. About half of the class started asking why we don't still have this philosophy. Why did we have to take the lead and become a country that goes on the offensive? Why can't we stay out of other countrys' businesses? etc. I answered their questions the best I could and thought about it yesterday evening.
I have a really good animated presentation about Hitler's rise to power during the 1930s and 40s, and it shows how much of Europe he and the Nazis came to control -- when the rest of the world didn't want to get involved. It scares me everytime I see it and really think about how powerful the Nazis were.
By the time we were done looking at it and discussing it, all of the students had changed their minds. They all wondered why we didn't get involved sooner and said that it's good we are more cognizant of what's going on around the world, and that we care.
It's not my goal to change their minds and agree with things the government does; it is my job, however, to help them to think critically about issues and understand them better.
Once I'm on the topic of school, this week in US History we're studying FDR and all of the New Deal programs he (and his administration) came up with... the students are making newspapers from the 30s, and they're looking great!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Hope those of you who are up here are enjoying the cold and snow and wind and drifts! 'Tis the season :)
And on that note, ten days of school until break!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Really, one good meeting or one good comment can go a long ways! I have some Christmas lights up around the front of my classroom and it makes it cozier in there, and I can see a change in my students (especially when the lights are off and it's just the Christmas lights). I never imagined myself as the type to put lights or decorations up, but I like it!
It's snowing -- yea for winter!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Today was my first formal observation. It's done -- I can say that for sure! Besides that, I won't find out what he thought until tomorrow. We have a "post-observation" meeting scheduled during my prep hour, so we'll see...
On a positive note, 13 school days until Christmas break! I mentioned to the students that we have two weeks off and they corrected me. It's 16 days. That'll be nice!! Time to catch up on some things at school, figure out how to write an exam (and then do six of them), find a master's degree program to apply to ASAP and start in the summer. and then the fun stuff: hang out with my family (everyone's going to be home!!!!), maybe do some scrapbooking, go out for lunch with Sarah :), try to get together with the girls I graduated with, enjoy some Christmas parties, etc.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
If I knew then what I know now, would I make this choice? Would I still become a teacher?
Of course as you're taking all of the classes (in college), preparing lessons (to turn in for a grade), getting ready for student teaching -- you hear the stories: if you can make it through your first year, you'll be fine! or That first year is really rough, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into! Then (while you're student teaching, or just finishing up classes before you student teach) you hear about the classmate that was a year or so ahead of you in classes, who only made it one year and switched professions.
All along, I was thinking Of course this is what I want to do. That first year can't be that bad. Plus, it's only a year! It can't be too much harder than college. I'll be super organized, and spend the whole summer before that first year getting ready. I'll be prepared to not have a life outside of school, and just really appreciate my breaks. It can't be that bad!
Ha! What did I know then?
So, going back to my first question: If I knew then what I know now, would I do it again? Would I go to college to be a teacher? I'm not sure what the answer is. You can't imagine or prepare yourself to know what it's going to be like. And then I didn't have the whole summer to get organized and prepared and ready for the first few weeks. I had less than one week.
I like my job, I know that much. So I guess maybe I'll know the answer at the end of this first year...
Friday, November 28, 2008
We made quite a long trip last weekend and missed hitting 2 deer (one that I came within a couple of inches) and survived some snowy, slushy, wet roads at midnight for a few hours.
And the remote starter is nice (even though it hasn't gotten toooo cold yet)!
I'm loving this little break -- the real one comes in a few weeks -- 15 days of school and then 16 days off!! :) But in that time (this Tuesday, to be exact), I have my first formal observation. :S
Thursday, November 20, 2008
My little sister is having TWINS! :)
School's going well -- my senior government class has a million questions for me every day about the economy and government and what's going to happen, and it's hard to answer when I (obviously) don't know what's going to happen. I try my best. It's kind of a daunting task.
Aside from that, one of my classes is getting more and more curious about me and where I live, and what I do, and what I used to do, etc.
Friday, November 7, 2008
I just read Sarah's post, and yes, life continues. We'll make it through, even though at this point it's looking really rough. :S Our ancestors made it through a lot of difficult times, and we can too. (I'm not saying these times will be as bad as what they went through, just that we can make it.)
I never go too long on this blog without mentioning Connecticut, and it's been on my mind lately (when I have time to think!)... Two years ago on October 26th was the day I moved to the east coast. Fall in New England is wonderful, and definitely different than Michigan. that time in my life also wasn't stressful -- I didn't have many worries -- and I look back on it as really relaxing. I think that's why now I like to think about it; life's pretty stressful now.
It was difficult being away from family, but for the first three months I was out there, I didn't go longer than two weeks without seeing someone from my family. and I was home for a week for Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas.....
Anyway, Happy Holidays! 'Tis the season ~ I know it's early but I'm celebrating any chance I get between now and New Years. :)
A couple of things:
Mr. Dad sits down and says "Social studies. Isn't that the class that everyone gets As in? It's the easy, slack class that everyone takes that they already know everything about..."
Karen: "uh... ummm..." (after I recovered from my jaw dropping) "well, your son is taking World History. There's a lot of stuff in the history of the world... and I don't think a lot of people already know most of it."
Mr. Dad "Oh, wait, you're his world history teacher? But your sign says social studies."
I had quite a few more parents who didn't realize what social studies is.
One parent felt bad for me because her (senior) son came home from school the first week and said "Our new teacher's crazy! She expects us to learn all 50 states and capitals!!"
Other parents shared that their son/daughter didn't exactly like me the first few weeks, but they do now...
Anyway, p-t conferences, part one are history. and I enjoyed it!
13 school days until Thanksgiving -- Yea!!!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
- "I wrote a lot on that test. It means I did bad. If I write a little, then I know what I'm talking about."
- "Just warning you ahead of time, this is going to be bad!" (Today was test day)
- "Mrs. H-------,...." (I keep correcting them, they keep saying it...)
- "The Japanese were different from the Chinese because they are located in different places."
- "They made meat out of dead rats and ropes" (in reference to The Jungle by Upton Sinclair)
- "Are we watching a film or a real movie?"
- I have a closet in the back of my room. It's a really old school, and I believe it used to be a cloak room (back in those days...). I keep the door closed, and the other day (for the first time ever), it started creaking open, a little bit at a time about halfway through a class. The students started freaking out (it was making creaking noises everytime it moved). I was sure someone was hiding in there or something (although I couldn't figure out how they could've gotten in without me knowing). It was nothing, but now the students are convinced I have a ghost...
I have a few more that I know I wanted to put on here... but it's 10:30, 2 hours past my bedtime and I still have to pack for a weekend away... my brain is fried -- I've already worked over 48 hours this week... blah.
But the good news is after tomorrow, the school year is 1/4 of the way done! and I'm still surviving. For the most part. :S
I get to see my sister and brother-in-law for the first time in three months! The last time I saw them was on their wedding day...
And another brother (Bob) is flying in to watch my brother (Peter)'s game on Saturday afternoon!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
School's been a lot more of the same -- busy busy busy! I feel like we're all into a routine and everything's going more smoothly than the first few weeks. I'm still looking forward to some real days off, though, at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know it's not good to wish your life away, and I'm not, but I'm just really looking forward to the Holidays this year. More so than ever.
I had a workshop on Wednesday = substitute for my students and a meeting on Friday morning = another substitute for my students. So I only saw some of my students three times last week. Kind of a different schedule...
I went car shopping this afternoon. I'm looking at a couple of different ones. I have to find out about the fun things like insurance and monthly payments before I decide. But I'm hoping to have a new one within a week. We'll see how that one goes.
Went to my brother's last regular season football game last night. It was in M*T and his team won! :) My brother Jim and sister-in-law Lynne were up for a few days to go to his game and have some family time. It was a nice little break in the everyday life that October usually is. So nice to sit around and visit!
What a blah-post... but I wanted to get back on, even if it was going to be boring. So maybe next time I show up it'll be something worth reading.
Until then, enjoy the rest of this fall, cause I hear the snow's coming!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The four of us on the way back to the mainland.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
It was awesome to spend a couple of days with Sarah, Jill, Gwen, Tessa (although she was with her dad a lot), and Hannah! (We missed you, Kel!) Jill was a great hostess, opening up her home and disrupting her (and Tessa's) schedule for the weekend.
There's just something about visiting with girls you've been friends with for most of your life. I thought school was going to be in the back of my mind the whole weekend, but I only thought about it once or twice. It felt so good to really relax and just enjoy each other's company!
We went on a tour and saw some cool (ginormous) rocks... I don't want to get into detail about that one except to say that if you've never done it, you should! I highly recommend it! Even though it was freezing cold and really long (3 hours), it was a great way to spend a fall afternoon.
Talks: just being able to pick up a conversation from last year or last month, or ten years ago, or even longer ago is a great feeling. :) Or to bring up a new one that we've never gotten into. There's just some sort of connection there that's going strong. Thanks girls!
And Sarah, thanks again for the ride! (More than just the ride...)
This teacher's "batteries" are recharged and ready to go!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I (finally!) uploaded some pictures from September. The first: D, K, and P's 19th birthday party (a month ago tomorrow!). Yes, that's a pie next to the cake. Pumpkin pie to be exact. It's D's fave, so he always gets it on his birthday. P likes angel food, and it was promised for another day for him. Katz likes the big one -- sweet with fruit between the layers.
My favorite place in the world! Friday after work my mom texted us to head to the camp because it was beautiful out there.
This old sauna still can get nice and toasty! It was super hot on Friday night!
I wanted to get a nice photo of my mom and dad on the beach. Here are a couple of real smiles. :) Forget about the posed, looking at the camera, trying to smile photo. I like this one better!
ahhh. (that's a sigh) Sauna and swimming in the big lake on the last Friday in September. Nothing like it! and the water was warmer than in July! :) What an evening!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Today was lots of fun, and reminds me why I want to be a teacher. It's crazy - it goes from one extreme to another within a day, and I try to start them all out the same. I guess I do have over a hundred other people influencing my days, but it's a good thing those bad ones (days) come and go. If they just came and came and came... that'd be rough!!
Thanks Amy for the encouragement, and the insight about kids! Just have to remember to keep the boundaries, right? Not let them change too much...
Liz and Heather brought dinner to me this evening and that was like a dream come true! Honestly, I'm usually sitting at my desk trying not to eat too many mints or chips, or drink too much PowerAde ZERO by 6:00 (because I'm so hungry). I got to sit down and eat dinner with them without taking an evening off and leaving school early. They even helped me with a few things when we were done :) Beware -- if you come and visit me at school, I might put you to work...
I'll end on that note...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I was informed that: "200 other students hate you, so something's gotta change" by a student who I was punishing.
I know it's not true (I don't even have 200 students all together!), but that's just a taste of what happened today. (Plus it's not my job to have all of the students like me.) It was another "day." I think I have to beware of Tuesdays from now on!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I'm getting sick. :( All week at school my students were back and forth to the Kleenex box, so I did whatever I could to stay away from the germs. But I guess it's not possible when there are so many germs floating around.
PowerAde ZERO. Have I ever mentioned how awesome it is? My friend Heather introduced me to it, and I'm pretty much addicted. I don't do sugar (except for the occasional mocha -- like once or twice a month), so the only things I can really drink are water and diet pop. and I don't really do caffeine, either. Water's great, but sometimes I would just crave something else to drink. PowerAde ZERO is delish, and it has no sugar! My students have actually been asking me about it lately because there's always some on my desk.
We're trying to plan our next family vacation. We have a few ideas about where it's going to be. (and when!) So hopefully within the next 8 or 9 months we'll have a week away with just the 17 of us :) [17 = two parents, ten kids, four spouses and one nephew]
Next week is the Wild West, Federalism, the Constitution, Natural Resources of Michigan, and Ancient Rome. Any ideas?! :)
I tried to plan a last minute night away with some of my sisters, to no avail.
I haven't watched any football today... and it seems strange.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Anyways, had a raspberry mocha frappucino this evening, and it's giving me SO MUCH energy!! I feel like a different person this evening -- not a zombie, totally out of it. It's awesome!
Awesome job tonight to my "little" brother Pete! :) His football team won, and they're now 3-1. Lots of his buddies are on the team, and I can tell they just have a blast out there! It's so much fun watching when they're all having such a fun time.
It's a great day to be alive!
Happy weekend to you all~~
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Take a minute today and think about what the Constitution means to you! 221 years ago today (September 17), the United States Constitution was signed by all of the delegates (55 to be exact) in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. It's the government that was set up the best way those men knew (it took them almost 5 months to complete), and it has lasted for us through thick and thin. It really is an amazing document if you think about how life was back then, and realize it still works for us today, in this world so different from the one 221 years ago.
Anyway. Just wanted to throw that out there, maybe make you think for a few seconds about it.
Today was much better than yesterday! I won't say it was the "best day" ever, but I'm figuring out some new things, and defining who I am as a teacher. I figured out a few new things today that work for me, and none of yesterday's craziness carried over. (THANKFULLY!!!!) I have a workshop tomorrow, so I spent most of today figuring out how to be on this end of having a substitute teacher. I was a sub for almost two years, so I definitely know what it's like to be on that end. I've never been the person writing the plans and preparing the students, though. That was a new one.
My laptop came in today! I'm excited about that so I can do some work from home on the weekends so I'll have maybe one day every week that I don't physically go to the school.
On another note, I was just realizing that out of the past 31 days, I've had one day that I didn't work. So one day off in an entire month. The reason I'm still functioning is that 8:30 bedtime I talked about before. I feel nice and refreshed and rested in the mornings, so I'm ready to go!
That's all for now. Once again, HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY!!! :)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I guess sometimes you just have to leave, and know it'll all still be there when you get back. And that even if you're not as planned as you want, you'll all make it through the day.
I have to thank my sister Julie for listening to me vent. At one point I was so frustrated and all I could think about was how I'm putting so much time, effort, and so much of ME into this, and none of my students even appreciate it.
She told me she does. (Appreciate it.) and it was my first smile since the last bell at the end of the day. so
THANKS Jules!! You're awesome!
Monday, September 15, 2008
United States History: Changes in transportation, communication, commerce, political boundaries, immigration, migration, population, foreign affairs, and goods produced between 1776 and 1870 in the United States.
Government: The Constitution
World History: The ancient dynasties and empires of China
Local History: Michigan achieves statehood
Civics: Roots of American government.
However... I'm also doing a presentation for Constitution Day on Wednesday (for the entire high school - grades seven through twelve), and I have a workshop to go to on Thursday. So I have to prepare for a sub. My first time -- I've always been on the other end of things!! This is weird! also, I feel like I'm not ready to "give my classes" to someone else. I feel like I want another month with them. Then I'll be ready to go to a workshop, or whatever. Oh well -- we'll see how they do with a substitute!
The teaching part is really fun!! I really do love teaching! :)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Week two was good! I really love teaching! it's the whole staying after school for lots of extra hours that is a little difficult. But I want to be the best teacher I can be, so its taking some time.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I'm teaching three different history classes (United States, Local, and World), and Civics and Government. It's a great time to be teaching Civics and government since there's such a big election coming up... U.S. History is a lot of fun for me -- it feels like it's already so ingrained in me. I don't have to study too much, and I get excited about it. World History is going to be pretty tough. There's just so much to talk about and go through. In just a year. Again, I find it really interesting, especially relating it to things going on today, or comparing it to today. Plus I have a smaller class so I can do a lot more.
Julie has been a huge help setting up my classroom! She feels the same way as I do about organization (HAVE to be organized!!), so she has some good ideas and has spent a couple of hours just helping me find places for things.
I have a few workshops in the next couple of months, so I'm already going to need substitutes. Ahhhh! I've always been on the other end of that. It's going to be weird making plans and having someone else come into my class and follow them.
This is an incredibly boring post. I wish I had a sweet story to tell...
The first day I got a lot of comments like "Are you here to stay?" and "Are you our real teacher?" and "Are you here for good?" (I didn't expect that.)
and "I heard you had a really tough interview!!"
small town - rumors fly!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Today's my last day at the university. It's hard to leave this job because it has been awesome, but I'm following my original dreams. Hey, they're coming true!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
But I love my job!
Can you tell I'm torn?
And on that note, it's after 8:00pm and I'm just leaving work ("signed out" a few minutes ago so I could check this before I leave). g'night y'all :)
Monday, August 25, 2008
I feel like I must be doing something right. Right?
So to my friends and family -- especially sisters... Sorry I've been MIA for so many days. I'm looking forward to seeing you all again soon!!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
We saw the Jonas Brothers' Bus at MSG. Covered in girls names and phone numbers and things like "I LOVE YOU JOE!" (is that one of their names?)
The Olympics were going on... I think it was Michael Phelps' first gold medal of these games. (In Times Square)
One of my favorite things of the day (besides seeing my "big" little brother). the NYPD doing a drill on the Brooklyn Bridge! (You can see their commander in the foreground watching them...) Weak knees anyone?
David riding the bull :) Everyone else was going up to it, standing by it, putting their arms around, etc. Not Dave! He jumped right up! (When we were walking away, I saw a couple of people try to jump up there, but it's higher than it looks. They didn't make it.)