Monday, August 31, 2009

There's no in between

I just spent all summer relaxing and enjoying myself and truly being off. Last week one day, the switch in my mind was flipped to school-mode and I haven't been able to shut it off since then. It was crazy - I was completely relaxed, still in summer mode one day and the next day when I woke up I was back to Karen the teacher. Not just going to school for 4 or 5 hours to get stuff done, but more like 8 or 9 or 10 hours. So my summer vacation ended two weeks before the start of school. That's okay though because I feel so prepared for this year (I'm comparing it to last year....) and I'm really excited to see my students again. I got the class lists today and I can already tell there's going to be a couple of more challenging classes and one especially that's going to be awesome. The jury's still out on the other ones.

First day of school tomorrow!*

I'm ready!

*For teachers. Kids don't have to go back until September 8th. Are they lucky or what? :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A year ago yesterday

Yesterday was the "anniversary" of getting my job. A phone call that morning completely changed my life and it's hard to believe it's already been a year.

All day yesterday as I was working at school I was thinking about how (exactly) my life has changed because of my job. More security, some great benefits, I became a workaholic, I feel better about myself because I'm (positively?!) influencing young lives, I discovered a lot about myself and the world around me, the perfectionist in me came out, made some friends, faced some challenging situations and survived :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I just thought I'd spruce up this page with a couple of pictures from last summer. Guess where? :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scratch that...

I said earlier that although my class officially begins today, I'm not doing anything. I was wrong. I reread the syllabus and saw a couple of assignments that are due soon that I don't need the books for, so I started them. It's been about four years since I had "homework" and I have to say, I'm not a fan of this. Hopefully I'm beginning this with better habits than I've had in the past. I remember doing a lot of procrastinating and therefore, lots of stressful last-minute work on projects and assignments when I was in college.

I have an extra incentive to get some of these things done now. Dave will be in town when the first three assignments are due, and I'll be teaching then so I really will not want to be doing homework too.

I think summer's over for me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Beginning

I officially begin working on my Master's Degree tomorrow. Sort of. I'm signed up for one grad class for fall semester and tomorrow is the first day of fall semester at the school I'm "going to." Except my class is online so nothing really happens. I'm waiting for my books to come in so I can get started hopefully before this vacation is over. I've been dragging my feet on starting but I have a (state-mandated) deadline so I knew I had to just do it.

Two more weeks of summer vacation. September 8th is the big day and right now I feel like in some ways, I'll be ready to start up again. I don't think I'll ever truly be ready to give up vacation, but I love being a teacher so it's okay that it's going to start up again soon.

Does anyone have any good headache remedies? I've had one since Saturday evening and nothing I've tried is working. The only relief I've gotten is being able to sleep...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Visit

My plans for today: a little trip to visit this girl.

Soon she'll be far away again so we're taking advantage of one of her last days around here.

Have I Really Forgotten??

I can't believe I haven't put some of these up already. They're some of my favorite pictures from the day we spent in NYC at the end of our east coast trip. Last spring I really wanted to go on a trip to a cool place just to take pictures. I didn't go in the spring, but when we got to New York, Liz and I wandered around, taking pictures of whatever caught our eye.

Here are some things that caught my eye.
You would think rain in Central Park would be a bad thing. On the contrary; it made the lighting awesome and there were very few people to contend with.

The Mall looks a little different with hardly any people in it.

I love a nice blue sky with a few clouds. I also really like flags.

Something about the colors in this one caught my attention.

Men on a mission. Or something.

You don't see a whole lot of bikes in the city. I don't think it's especially bicycle-friendly. At the very beginning of this blog I have a post about a bike event I took part in in the city and seeing this bike kind of reminded me of that really cool day.

For all of the times I've been in NY, I've never seen this before. So I made Karen and Liz jump into it so I could snap a photo.

Here's a guy making an honest living. :) This was on Wall Street. What a sharp contrast to all of the workers in suits.

I love the shapes and textures in this fence. When I recently looked back at some photos, I realized I must like cool fences in general because I have lots of photos of them. I never consciously realized that before.

They definitely looked like nice bananas!

Lunchtime in downtown NYC.

Lunchtime again. The lines at the street vendors a block or so away had different clientele. I have some pictures of those ones, too, but this one looks more interesting.
We did a lot that day, so this is just a little taste of it. No matter how many times I've been there, I still love to pull out my camera and capture these little things that make it NYC.
I hope if you ever get the chance to visit New York that you take it and when you're there, sit down and relax for a few minutes to just experience it. I can't wait to go back!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The last two weeks

Wow, I did not realize I haven't updated since August 3rd. Must be summer. or something.

First of all, Happy 64th Anniversary of V-J Day! Think of the celebrations across the US when Japan finally surrendered to officially end World War II. :)

My week away was awesome!! Especially the weekend when Dave was in town. We definitely took advantage of the time we had and did some cool things. Unfortunately the weekend went by way too quickly and he's gone again. How do people do these long distance relationships? We get to talk almost every day so I guess that's how people do it.

M and the babies came home with me on Monday and we've all been enjoying them all week. We've had good weather so lots of quality time at the camp. Lots of our relatives got to meet the babies for the first time this week and that was fun.

I'm thinking tomorrow's going to be a beach day. I have to enjoy these last few Sundays of summer vacation because they aren't so relaxing during the school year.

Monday, August 3, 2009

South Again

Surprise, surprise, this girl's about to be on the road. I'm heading out early tomorrow morning until next Monday. I finished all of my unpacking from the East Coast trip on Thursday or Friday, finished my laundry and now it's all ready to be packed yet again. I get to go and see Michelle, Ed and the babies and then on Thursday Dave comes to town for the weekend :)
It's going to be another busy one, but I'm really really excited about it!!

So now I have to go and do the packing that I mentioned. and hopefully squeeze a few hours in to spend at the camp. I waterskiied yesterday for the first time this summer and I'm noticing some muscles I forgot about. It's a good reminder though, because waterskiing is always fun!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some more from vacation

Here are some from the rest of the Maine part of our vacation. As I was looking through, I realized I don't have a whole lot of them because sometimes we'd take turns taking pictures. Eventually we're going to get each other's pictures, but for now here are some of mine.

The Portland Head Light, commissioned in 1791 by George Washington himself. This was the one place Liz had to go on our trip and she had a couple of freak out moments when we got there. She had this idea in her mind what it looked like and it looked nothing like that. She kept saying I really don't think this is it. Shoot Karen, if this isn't it, where is it?
Well, we walked around a little and got a different view (the ones above) and she realized that it was, in fact, the one she wanted to see. Whew! It almost looks like just another lighthouse from some other views , but there's just something about it when you see it out on the rocks with the waves crashing in.

We met a local storyteller and historian at the Portland Head Light and ended up talking to him for about half an hour. He was pretty excited to hear I'm a history teacher and gave me some interesting things to add to some of my lessons - especially World War II. We ended up buying a cd with stories of haunted Maine lighthouses and a book with some stories about the Portland/Kennebunkport/York area.

There was a canon and this bell at the fort near the lighthouse, both used there during the Revolution.

Part of the fort was a pretty cool mansion from the 1700s that is in disarray. It only has the original stone walls left (no windows, floors, roof) but this sweet wall was part of the driveway leading up to the mansion.

Another fort in Portland. I think we saw three different ones.

World War II Victory Ship Monument. When I teach World War II, we talk about victory ships and the impact they had on the war so it was really cool to visit one of the places where they made these ships. I took lots of pictures to add to my slides for when I teach World War II :)

Checking out the harbor in Portland one last time before we got back on the road.

We stayed with Bob and Maria on our way to Maine, then on our way back down we met them in Boston for dinner. They took us to a neat restaurant, Fire + Ice. If you're ever in Cambridge, I highly recommend it! Thanks Bob and Maria for bringing us there!