Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not that I'm counting

but I have the seniors for 7 more days (technically 5 days of econ - random activities on the other two days) and 19 until I'm on SUMMER break!

I think I'm counting more than the students. Tuesday I told the seniors it was their last day of vocab... they were pumped... Wednesday I told them it was the last map day... even more pumped! Today... last day of notes, tomorrow, last test! (I might be more excited than them.)

They've been reflective lately, so I'm hearing about this year from their perspective. Kinda fun :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Found... in the last place I saw it

September 1st, 2008: I bought my sister's birthday gift and put it on a shelf in my room, all set to give to her the next day for her 19th birthday.

September 2nd, early morning: it's gone. I know it was there when I went to sleep.
September 2nd - September 9th: where the heck is it? I searched EVERYWHERE! No, I'm not forgetful. I just have this little problem with sleeping at night. I don't sleep when I go to sleep. Part of my mind does, but part of it doesn't so I'm really busy for bits and pieces of the night. Part of that is moving things around, losing them, getting lost myself, etc.


April 27th, 2009, 2:55am: (pretty sleepy because it's the middle of the night) Will you look at that? It's right where I left it, on my shelf. Where my phone is supposed to be. Shoot!! Where's my phone?

I found my phone (whew! It didn't take 8 months) and gave my sister her birthday gift. Late's better than never, right?

Turns out, I like this whole finding things in my sleep a lot better than losing them. What's it going to be tonight?! :)

Still learning!

Today was an unbelievable day*!

*For the part of me that's a teacher... for more info, read on.

I went to a World History and Geography workshop and out of my 8 (yeah, 8 -- I think I'm overloaded!) professional development days this year, this was definitely the best.
  • I got tons of free stuff for my classroom. Mostly lesson plans, something that is really valuable to me :)
  • I'm very excited to try some new things!
  • I got help with something I've been trying to figure out in my head since about January...
  • I have a new method to try with my students that I think is going to make me a better teacher
  • It was a hands-on workshop and it felt really good to have to think that hard - to do all of the activities that I'm going to make my students do. I think that's why I'm so excited about it. I tried it and loved it and it's not about memorizing or having lots of prior knowledge. It's just about working really hard and making connections. So it's for all students, not just the ones who love history or are really good at it. I'M PUMPED to try it!! I'm always trying to find new ways to relate the material and have the students do hands-on learning (rather than having them sit there just listening to me and taking notes. Too much of that is boring for me and them.)...
  • I also got some information about workshops this summer that include graduate credits - something I'm actively pursuing and have to get figured out ASAP!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Sitting around on this lazy Saturday thinking...

I've had a voice on and off this week. Last night was definitely off, and today's back to on and off. My students got a real kick out of it, especially on Wednesday. They said it sounded like I was either about to start laughing or crying...

I coached a team in a local school competition the other evening and it was a blast! It was the first year our school did it, and my team is already excited to go again next year.

The math side of my mind likes to build things and I haven't done that in a long time, so last night I bought a Lego set to make a plane and helicopter. I think I'm going to break it out this weekend.

I'm getting excited for the second round of the playoffs - go WINGS!

11 days left with my seniors; 23 for the rest of us!

This picture is from our NY trip. Julie thinking about not sure what. Heather in the background trying to capture the city.

Enjoy this last April weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21st. wow.

It's 11:44am and I'm on blogger. It's a SNOW DAY. On April 21st. Wow.

I hope this doesn't mean we have to make up a day at the end of the year. I heard a rumor this morning that we're going to have to. :S I'd way rather be going today than at the end of May.

Oh well, I'm using this day to get better. I still don't really have a voice and I think if I was teaching all day it'd be completely gone. So I am thankful for that!

Here's a look at my car this morning.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday nights

One thing I loved about summers when I was in college was Sunday nights. You could enjoy them without having homework hanging over your head, no stress; it was such a free feeling.

I have a feeling that's going to be one of my favorite things about this summer. It's Sunday night right now and I'm not relaxed at all. I have all of these things going through my head: the Watergate Scandal (US History), the US's trade relations with the rest of the world (Economics), the Cold War (World History), online safety and social networking (Current Events), and comparing a free market economy with a command economy (Civics).

My countdowns:
16 (school) days with the seniors!
33 (school) days until SUMMER!!!
Then I can really enjoy Sunday nights. Yea :)

Happy 25th!!

Wishing Liz a very Happy 25th Birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, 80s girl!!! Hope it's a great one! :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

There's a first time for everything

Today was my first sick day as a teacher. I've been feeling really under the weather all week, but when I woke up this morning, everything hurt. Head, stomach, throat, legs, shoulders, arms, neck, etc. :S I went in anyway, thinking "mind over matter! you can do this, Karen!"

I was driving to work at about 45 mph with sunglasses on at 7 in the morning because the light hurt my head too much and turned the radio on, then promptly turned it off because that hurt too much, too. and I realized if I couldn't stand the 7am sunlight or a song (softly) on the radio, there was no way I'd be able to make it through 7 hours of school.

Once I got to school I started writing up sub plans and our librarian (she's in charge of scheduling substitutes) got on the phone. My first hour students came in and I think they could tell something was wrong because they didn't make a sound. They're usually a noisy bunch, especially on Friday.

Halfway through the hour a substitute showed up and I left... came home and went to sleep... for pretty much the whole day. Very weird being at home when my students are in school....

In other news:
GO RED WINGS!!! They beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 last night in game 1 of round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Osgood looked like the same goalie from last year's playoffs and the scoring was really balanced. Things are looking good; however it's just one game... Game 2 is Saturday at 6:00.

It's spring here! For a few days anyway. Who knows how long its going to last, so enjoy it while you can!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

He is my sunshine

Nephew Wesley John at 10.5 months, son of Kristin and Jason.

Tigers 4, Rangers 3

Friday, April 10, 2009

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

You know the book?
My sister Julie and I experienced it yesterday and it was quite the travel day. Whew!
Here's a rundown:
6:00 am wake up in NH, leave by 6:40
Drive through Mass.
Into Connecticut.
Return the rental car.
10:24am take the train into the city
11:00am arrive at Grand Central.
An hour or so in the city for lunch and one last taste before heading back.
12:30 take the bus out to LaGuardia.
Plane was delayed... take off at 3:00
Arrive in Detroit at 5:00
Five states in one day

I was completely exhausted!!

The New York/CT/NH part of the vacation was awesome and just what I needed! I'll upload some photos sometime.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Packed - check
Directions - check
All of the last minute running around - check

This girl's ready for vacation!
Just have to get through five hours of school tomorrow, then we're on the road.......
Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Already April!

I'm still alive over here. Just trying to make it through this last week before spring break... I think my head has been on break for a few days now, and that makes it really hard to keep up on everything!
Trying to connect World War II to tenth graders with a mind that's on vacation is pretty difficult. Luckily I've taught it before so I don't have to do a lot of reading or researching for all of the extra details. We finished up the Vietnam War in US History, so the next two days should be okay.

I packed for my trip last Saturday so I don't have to stress out or get anxiety about that tonight or tomorrow. Just have to load my suitcase in the car and hop in. :)
Here's my itinerary:
Friday - take off, arrive to NYC late
Saturday, Sunday - NYC
Monday - NYC in the morning, Connecticut in the afternoon, NH in the evening
Tuesday, Wednesday - NH and Boston
Thursday - drive back down to NYC, fly to the other end of the (this) state
Friday through Sunday (Good Friday and Easter!) - visiting Michelle and Ed
Sunday night - back home!
Monday - recover :)
Tuesday - back to work for ~6 weeks

Whew ~ it's going to be busy, but no students for 10 days sounds awesome right about now!
School is good but just so exhausting.
What a boring post, but if I don't put something up now, it'll be way too long...