Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miss Appert

Currently reading: Seeds of Hope, Seventh grade literature

So I’m slowly but surely getting used to being called Miss Appert. I’m also getting used to being called MRS. Appert, Miss Ay-pert, Mrs. Ay-pert and just plain Appert. Today was my first actual full day of teaching and it was relatively exhausting. I teach six 45 minute periods a day, two language arts, two literature and two religion. Classroom management is most likely going to be the hardest thing for me, especially because I have some really bright but really difficult students. The school is a pretty strange place, but I really like it.

Community is one of the strong suits of the school, but this also results in some pretty odd situations. We haven’t actually had a normal schedule yet due to performing acrobats on 12 foot poles. Apparently it was more important to have a school wide assembly in the parking lot to watch some rather bizarre performance art group from Australia. What on earth they were doing in Yakima, Washington, I may never know.

Life in the house is going well, but it’s a little tricky getting used to living with three new people and it can be stressful. It’s also difficult sometimes that all three of us are teachers and so this is the first week of school for all of us.

I know this is short, but I’m tired and we don’t really have internet or phone reception at the house, so I have limited amounts of time for updating. Thank you so much for all your support and all the birthday cards and wishes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Currently reading: Seeds of Hope, The Pearl, Lots of teaching stuff

Please excuse any mild cursing of technology that may occur in this post. I've moved up to Yakima at this point, and the internet here is sporadic to say the best. So I typed up a lovely long post for this and then went to publish it and the internet conked out and my post was lost forever to cyberspace. The real kicker is that I knew it was going to happen and thought to myself "Self, maybe I should save this in Microsoft word or something". I should listen to my own good advice sometimes.

So yesterday morning I packed up my lovely Dodge Intrepid, which FYI, has an incredible amount of trunk space, and drove three and a half hours up to Yakima. It was a pretty pleasant drive, and I left well before the heat, which was also a good call. I've discovered the hard way that my car REALLY does not like the heat.

The last week in Portland was a lot of fun, but as a result of said fun, I kind of look like I've been beaten. MJ, one of the girls in the program's house down there, and I did all sorts of Portland-y things. We hiked a waterfall, adding an assortment of bruises to my legs, took a fast food tour of the city, went to a cowboy swing concert, took some tourist pictures at a mansion overlooking Portland, and did a slip'n'slide in the back yard...hence a ton of bruises. My one arm is in pretty bad shape in terms of cuts, bruises and general pain, but it was definitely worth it.

I also had a chance to see the Ruffner brothers in Portland. We wandered around the town together, and I got to see some parts of the city I hadn't seen before. It was a lot of fun just to hang out for a few hours with people I already know. :) We walked a lot and ate some West Coast pizza, and just had a generally sunny afternoon. I was hot and tired afterwards, and my car overheated on the way home, which was not a whole lot of fun.

So the plan for today is to finish settling in here in my room and trying not to make it look like a hurricane struck. Tomorrow and Tuesday will most likely be spent at the school, putting my classroom in order and adding some personal touches. If anyone has a map of New Jersey they'd like to add to the endeavor, I would appreciate it very much. I want to make sure that the Garden State is appropriately represented.

I miss you all tons. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back in the PDX

Currently reading: Life with Jeeves

So I'm back in Portland and I am pleased to inform the general public that I am currently registered to vote in the Yakima County August primaries. This is not only fantastic in the way that small town middle of nowhere politics are, but also because it means that I have officially become a resident of Washington State. I have the world's fakest temporary license and a registered car and car insurance too. It was quite a trip up to Yakima, which consisted of much driving around and many failed attempts at legally changing residency, but it eventually all worked out for the good. I have my car and I made it safely back to Portland, where I am currently staying with a friend for a week.

Nicholas just left for New Jersey again, and it was good to see him. We did some good Portland stuff, including hiking to a waterfall, Powells, and also went to Mass and dinner. It was really nice to see someone from home, but it was also hard not to get really homesick afterwards. I haven't talked to Dave yet, but I'm really hoping to be able to get together with him sometime while he's out here. I'll probably call him a little later today.

I think I'm going to just relax for a little today...it's been a stressful week. I'm a complete Olympics junkie, so I'm going to try to organize my life and teaching stuff a little bit today and hopefully plan out the first few weeks of Religion for the next year. I'm hoping to really get some things together for the beginning of school and just get the materials I'm going to need and write a welcome letter for the families. That's my goal for tomorrow...get the letter in the mail.

My first contract day is in a week and I am SO nervous!!!! I'll try to write some more soon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

First summer's end

Currently attempting to read: The Summer of the Swans, The Four Loves

So I've officially finished my first summer of classes and I now have a full 9 graduate credits under my belt. As of Thursday, I am also officially an AmeriCorps member. It's been a busy time, but a thoroughly rewarding one as well. Yesterday we had the graduation and commissioning mass, which was nice, especially for the third years. It was exciting to get commissioned too, and I'm really looking forward to getting up to Yakima and getting ready to teach. I'm probably about as prepared as I'm going to get.

The current headache is trying to establish residency in the state of Washington. They have a very specific set of verifications and the nature of a service program renders it rather impossible to obtain these proofs. This wouldn't really be a problem except that I have to have a Washington license to register the car. And I really need to register the car. sigh. So keep that in your prayers on Monday and Tuesday as I scrounge around for circuitous methods of proving my address.

I had a really fun day today. One of the girls from the new Draper community and I spent the day together having Portland adventures. We went to Saturday market and Powells, and then down to the waterfront to watch the
Red Bull Flugtag. It was amazing fun to watch people try to fly out over the Willamette River, and Team Yakima took the honors for the day, which I found slightly symbolic. Some of the dance routines that the teams did before rolling their machines off the runway were really silly. But there were 80,000 people in a not very large space, which was not that much fun. Then it was off to the party that one of the third years was throwing for the graduates. It was nice to see everyone and hang out, but I am really tired from all the walking and socializing. I'm also pretty well burnt. But Erin leaves for Draper on Monday, so it was nice to spend the day with her before she left.

I'm off to Yakima for a few days and then taking the ORELA this weekend. I'm hoping this is my last standardized test. sigh. Nicholas and Dave will be out here this weekend, so that should be wonderful.

I'll let you all know how the residency thing goes.