Sunday, August 31, 2008
Yesterday I received a great pedicure that lasted over an hour. I was pampered. Those feet were massaged and re massaged. Heaven! Being closer to the south, I was affectionately referred to as "sug", "heart", "sweetie", "honey", and "dear" all day. It made all of the difference.
I feel like my softer, more patient, and more considerate side is charged up and ready to meet those negative forces in my life with a little more "honey" and "dear".
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Don't buy food that comes in plastic or paper packaging.
Read the heartbreaking article "Plastic Ocean".
Buy fewer things. Don´t buy on impulse. Ask yourself if the thing you're buying is something that you really need.
Understand the impact of the products that you buy on the environment, from resource extraction through to disposal (watching The Story of Stuff will help).
Eat less meat (read here to understand why).
Start buying food and household products that are only made of things they can pronounce.
Make your own non-toxic household cleaning products.
Collect all of your trash each day and so you can see how much you produce.
THINK about how running the tap wastes water. THINK about how lights on in rooms not occupied wastes energy.
Avoid bottled water (read why here and here).
Join Freecycle, where you can give away what you don't need and get second-hand stuff for free.
Go to a good carbon footprint calculator so you can learn in what areas of your life you are using energy and carbon needlessly.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
- Lance Bass (Yeah, I love *Nsync, loved when Joey was on the show)
- Toni Braxton (who sang "Un-breaaaaaak my heart!
- Brooke Burke (who? and what is up with her website, http://www.babooshbaby.com/?)
- Chef Rocco
- An Olympian sprinter (who is paired up with Cheryl Burke, lucky guy!!)
- Some lady named Kim (who gets to be with Mark Ballas who looks like our friend Ben Niesen)
- Cloris Leachman (a really old woman who is paired with Mark Ballas's dad... odd)
- Cody Liney (dude from Hannah Montana who gets to be with Julian Hough!)
- Susan Lucci (old lady soap star)
- Misty the gold medal vball champ
- Some old actor named Ted
- Some old comic (who gets to be with Edyta, my favorite dresser)
- Retired football player
I'm more excited about the dancing, the sparkles, the fun judges, the live music...
At first I felt hestitant about this. An MU buddy, Jen, raved about it. She found an instant friend. My neighbor David, Abbie's husband, commutes two hours each way each day and loves to have alone time to listen to books and think. So far, the time has been helpful to discuss school news, vent about public schools, and generally solve the problems of the world.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
2008-2009 Biology Behavioral Expectations
I Will Show Respect...
For myself by always doing my best work.
For myself and others when I don't use profanity, name calling, or hurtful language.
For my teacher by raising my hand to talk and waiting patiently to be called upon.
For the classroom furniture by keeping my feet on the floor and by keeping all four chair legs on the floor.
For other classes by entering and exiting the room quietly.
For others by leaving their property alone.
For the classroom materials by using only materials I've asked permission to use.
For the live organisms in the classroom by handling them in a safe way and performing only teacher approved tests.
For the custodians by cleaning up after myself and putting my chair on my desk at the end of sixth period.
I Will Take Responsibility...
For bringing necessary materials to class, including my science notebook, a writing utensil, and class assignments.
For knowing what homework is assigned each day by listening for verbal directions, looking on the board for written directions, or asking others for assistance.
For completing my homework before class begins.
For my actions and reactions when they are inappropriate.
For taking care of my personal needs, such as taking restroom breaks, getting messages to a coach, etc. during the first or last five minutes of class only.
For the paper and plastic bottles I use by placing them in the recycle container.
For putting away all materials I used.
I Am In Charge of My Own Active Learning...
By being seated in my own chair when the tardy bell rings with my science notebook open, ready to begin the day with the warm-up or purpose.
By quietly listening to the teacher when she is talking.
By asking questions to clarify when I do not understand.
By participating in all class discussions and activities.
Working on the assigned task during the time given in class to work on it.
By refraining from using all personal technology such as cell phones and music devices during class time.
By keeping my head up, staying awake, and making eye contact with those who are speaking.
By notifying the teacher when I will be absent and requesting make-up work from the teacher.
I Will Demonstrate Safety...
By only performing authorized experiments.
By keeping my book bags, purses, and other items off of my desk space during class.
By listening to all instructions.
By knowing the emergency exits and emergency situation plans for this classroom.
By not eating anything or drinking any beverages in room 21, unless Mrs. Haid has given you permission to do so.
By being aware of my environment and notifying the instructor of any potential hazards.
I have read this statement and discussed any questions and concerns I have with Mrs. Haid.
I understand that these class expectations are put in place to allow our classroom to have a positive learning environment that helps all students learn.
I also understand that failure to comply with these expectations results in disciplinary action.
Marjoram: An herb of the mint family with oval, inch-long green leaves with a mild, sweet, oregano-like favor. Wild marjoram is actually just another name for oregano.
Season: available year-round
How to prepare: Add near the end of cooking or the heat will destroy its delicate flavor.
Matches well with: carrots, chicken, corn, duck, eggs, fish, halibut, lamb chops, meats, mushrooms, peas, pork chops, potatoes, rabbit, ravioli, salads, soups, spinach, squash, stuffings, tomatoes, tuna, zucchini
Substitutions: basil, thyme, oregano or savory
I hope to update this post with recipes I've used this marinara as an ingredient in... the obvious is, of course, spaghetti, but hopefully I find something much more adventurous and out of the ordinary!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
In total, I made over $150 and our friends made over $300.
Friday, August 22, 2008
- Tired, achy feet. So much so that all my shoes are uncomfortable and my ideal look of chic heels paired with pants seems ridiculous. Dr. Scholls, please.
- Teachers set the bar for performance and students respond accordingly. I've got some real goofball students in some hours and I got so discouraged that I began to expect less of them and grow weary. They responded by with increased off task behavior and decreased achievement. The next day I asked an administrator to monitor and critique my teaching, which made me perform better, and they excelled.
- Some co-workers love their jobs. Some co-workers hate their jobs. Find the ones who are positive and draw on their energy, avoiding the downers at all costs!
- Photocopy machines break in a regularly, but it seems like its ALWAYS when you need to copy something!
- Weekends are again something to look forward to, starting on Monday afternoon!
At this point, I feel disappointed in myself for some of the things I have not accomplished. I am disappointed that I don't know every student's name and that I haven't begun to make parent contact. I have prided myself on learning each child's name the first week and making home contact within the first two weeks of school for each child. My classroom is an organizational disaster. I am just now figuring out systems for turning in homework and for putting things like scissors, petri dishes, etc. I'm disappointed that I've gotten angry at classes for task behaviors when I haven't provided them with rigorous, interesting material 100 percent of the time.
I'm aware that I am critical of myself, and since I use this blog as a sort of type-therapy... I'll now reframe the lats paragraph. Reframing is a technique somewhat like "looking on the bright side" but its more of a method than a colloquialism. So here it is, reframed.
Its true that I've not accomplished all my goals during the last two weeks; however, I've got more than 30 weeks to finish these goals as well as set new ones. I know the first and/or last names of over 75 students in the school, as well as 50 more faculty members. I've got the opportunity to meet 325 more students this year and learn so much more than their names. I also get the pleasure to work with parents to develop ways to help their children succeed and become excited to learn. I get to practice my teaching skills and lesson planning abilities this year and become a great Bio teacher. I've never actually taught first semester biology, only a four week summer school period and a 8 week student teaching experience, so I'll get to design many new lessons and think about the best and most engaging ways to draw students in. I've already got students working in collaborative teams collecting data, reflecting on their tests, and identifying parts of good experimental design. They are using science notebooks each class period and reflecting on the day's lesson in writing at the end of each class period. I've never had 100 percent of the kids doing science notebooks so well and so faithfully! I'm teaching this much better than in the past.
Its really tough for me this year, since I'd hoped to be teaching primary or middle grades and LOVING it. I'm only sort of liking this teaching position. Yes, its much better than vegging out on the couch watching The Tyra Show and nibbling my Chocolate Chex. Its true that my personality is easily disappointed by disrespectful high school students, but I can also appreciate their sophisticated thought processes and lives.
I'll leave you with some photos I took of my students working on a lab... notice, they are collecting data, working together, and DOING science. For most of these kids, its the first lab they've EVER DONE.
They are recording the behavioral responses and the response durations of isopods when they are touched by a plastic dropper. I'm pretty proud of this lab because finally the kids were interested in the classwork, asking questions, making inferences, and laughing with each other!
And here they are testing the effect of different types of liquids on environment preference. This was a cool lab!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Ingredients - apples(Lots of cored, unpeeleed, sliced) Brown Sugar (I love sweet things, so I sweeten to taste, but approximately 1 cup) Apple Juice (this is for the apples not to stick to the pot and to enhance the apple flavor, about one eigth of pot), Cinnamon Stick (I don't like cinnamon, so I take it out sooner), Lemon rinds
- Cook - in a large heavy duty pot for over 30 minutes, until apples are super soft
- Mash - using a potato masher. You can choose to remove some apple peel here or to cool the sauce in an ice bath in the sink if you are freezing.
- Preserve - I prefer to use a freezer method, but you can use the canning method. Canning lasts almost twice as long, but its too tricky for me.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I found the very best part of the movie to be the soundtrack (which I got from iTunes). It's got James Blunt, Palo Nutini, and my favorite new maudlin (see title for definition) tune by The Pogues.
In true "The Girl who Wached Titanic Twenty times the first year it came out form", here are the lyrics. I think they are nice!
When you're all alone
I just want to see you laugh not cry
I just want to feel you
I love you till the end
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
“You will never win if you never begin.”
“Beginnings are always messy”
“Who begins too much accomplishes little.”
So here's a nice little DIY project I did tonight. I like to send little encouraging messages to my friends, and usually just buy premade cards from Target or Papyrus. However, I am trying to stay in the spirit of the "August Buy Nothing Challenge", so I made these cards with items I'd bought when they were on clearance.
This card will be for a friend who is remarkable. Remarkable, to me, means that she is an excellent role model, possesses several fruits of the spirit, and inspires others.
This card is for a friend who I want to send a happy wish to. She'll get it in the mail this week!
Here's one I made for a particularly adventurous friend. She scales mountains, tackles new sports, and is always willing to try new things.
Monday, August 11, 2008
On the second day, I made progress cleaning and arranging the desks into pods of three and four. My desk is in the lower corner, buried under stuff!
I decided to make a real effort to spot clean all desks and counters before I leave each day, so here is what I got accomplished so far on day three:
The greenery on my desk are floral stemmed pens. I think its nice! And, yes, I totally stole the idea from the doctors office!
Here is the back wall, all painted and fresh with my two favorite relaxing posters. I will add a tree to the wall (out of paper and other media) and have that space as our Biology Word Wall. This on day four. I've cleaned up a large portion of the desks and I think the room looks great!
Here's how I keep track of my progress... a checklist!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Its official name is Southern Boone County R II. Here's a photograph of the front of my high school.
I went to work for the first time on Tuesday and returned each day. The drive is about 15 minutes from my home to my classroom door. That's roughly the same time as my drive to West Jr, but about ten more miles. I just zip down Hwy 63!
The Professional Development Committee, a district wide group, welcomed us appropriately. There were under twenty new hires, though only one new employee is a new teacher! I was surprised how many teachers were leaving CPS to come to work for Ashland. I was set up with a mentor teacher, who is there to answer questions and serve as my liaison with the faculty. She has been there for over fifteen years and is the "cooky" art teacher! I immediately felt a connection. She's smart, quick on her feet, and sincere. The PDC scheduled a full DAY of meetings followed by two unstructured days to work in our classrooms. That was nice! Very unlike my last meeting-frenzied school.
What I am struck most by is the kindness of the staff I have met so far. They are willing to drop everything to answer a question or help me find something. This often takes much of their time. I've been able to get help for all my concerns, and I feel I am getting real, honest answers, not just political/standard responses. I've also met the superintendent, who suggested I get a Smart Board. My last Spt. never even made eye contact! I'm impressed that she'd shake my hand, let alone extend a technological gift.
In an upcoming post I'll share pictures from the week working to redesign my classroom from an ugly place to a peaceful environment conducive to learning.
Tonight we invited David and Abby, the other young couple on our street, over for dinner. They are our new(ish) neighbors. We haven't spent much time with them, but we do talk when we are out doing things in the yard or walking. David also helped me "break" into the house when I was locked out and Dan was gone a few weeks ago (that would have made a good post!).
I felt a little apprehensive because I didn't know how well we'd get along or how much in common we'd have! They live in a house with the same floor plan and a similar color scheme, so we had a lot in common on the surface. We also had some common acquaintances, such as a law school classmate is my friend from elementary school's husband and a father's college roommate is my husband's friend's dad.
It was fun to talk about movies, churches, school, marriage experiences, jobs, etc. It was nice to entertain.
I am regaining my pleasure in such hostess experiences! During the last six weeks, we've had four "dinner parties". Our friends the Dorrs have been there adding laughter and companionship for many of them, as well as a Korean family, my parents, and my parents-in-law.
Tonight as I served up dessert, I realized how much I like entertaining. I like it and it seems "normal". Over the past year, depression has robbed me of pleasure of hosting dinner parties. When we were first married, we had company more than four nights a week. Conversation, card games, and wine flowed easily. My eating disorder relapse had me focusing more on food preparation than on my company's conversation and anxiety had me scurry around instead of sit and enjoy the experience. Our dear friends John and Ann, (who spent as many dinners at our house as at theirs!) moved to Florida and that left a lonely spot in our home. After the miscarriage, I didn't want to have fun and couldn't experience any joy. We didn't have a Christmas party this year. We didn't have friends over for new recipes and card games or movies this year. It just didn't happen.
I am thankful that the Lord is putting these pieces of my life back together. I enjoy the variety and life that fills our home when we open it to others. I also enjoy how clean it gets too, as we speed clean away.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I heard about this novel on a daily radio talk show that I listen to.
This book is much like the show, in that the main characters have sinned and need to repent and reclaim their lives. There are a few plot lines that deal with deceit, sexual infidelity, communication break down, toxic faith, suicide, depression, divorce, unplanned pregnancy, lies, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, FORGIVENESS.
The title is a reference to the passage in the bible when Jesus "saves" an adulteress from a mob of angry stone throwers. One of the themes of the book is about how others are quick to judge and condemn, and we ourselves often heave huge stones at ourselves, but once we have confessed our sins, Jesus says, "Go and sin no more". So that woman who committed adultery is no longer an adulteress. Its her past. Jesus covered those sins on the cross, and she is responsible for living a high quality, just life in the future as a pardoned person.
I learned a lot about the field of Christian counseling from this book. I also learned about the emotions experienced when one lives in an affair. I've never experienced this, thankfully, nor child as a child. I think I'll be much slower to judge, gossip about, hold opinions of, be concerned with, meddle, etc. in the lives of those entangled in an affair or divorce. Its not my business!
Just this morning, the radio reported coverage of a prominent politician's affair as if it were open for full disclosure. Bring on the stones, he's out of the Vice Presidential race! Good grief. His poor family, wife, and mental health.
I've not read much Christian fiction because I've been turned off by the setting (prairie, 1800s), plots (Will God help her find true love?), and literary qualities (virtually, none!). This book has several well developed characters who show growth, an interesting setting, lots of rising action, a surprising denouement, and a not-too-heart-warming-cheese-o-rama ending. Its a fine book, and I am so glad that I read it. Its a book I'd buy, and I series I'll look forward to with anticipation!