Monday, September 29, 2008

Wake me up when September ends

Currently reading: Seeds of Hope, Educating for Life, The Twilight series

So the end of September is finally here. It's hard to believe that I've already been here for more than a month. I've been having pretty vivid dreams about going home for a few nights now, but alas and alak, that will have to wait until Christmas time. It's not that I don't like it here, but more just that I miss home. On Saturday K and I went to the Sunfair Parade downtown by the school. It was a pretty hysterical little piece of small town America. There were all sorts of Marching Bands and lots of trucks because we live in a farming community. Some of the floats were pretty classy. It was nice to get out for a little on a Saturday, even if our options here are really limited.

I have my kids writing a short story right now, and it's interesting to read so many different kinds of stories by so many different kinds of writers. It's also WAY too much writing to correct in a reasonable amount of time. I also had a kid out last week for the whole week, so we have a lot of work for him to catch up on. I only hope that he was able to get some of it done while he was gone.

The headaches are getting better thanks to Megan's idea about the Clariten. I'll try to post again soon, I know this is short. I have to leave for school soon.

I miss you and love you all so much.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I don't have a creative title for this post

Currently Reading: Educating for Life, Seeds of Hope, Seventh grade literature

I had a roughish week at school this week. I may or may not be allergic to Yakima, but whatever the allergy, I have had a migraine for almost four complete days now. This used to happen every now and then at Rutgers, but it's a little bit more of a problem when you have to be pleasant to students for 8 or 9 hours a day. One of my kids said to me this morning, "You look really tired, Miss Appert. Is your headache still bad?" Thank goodness it was only a half day.

My kids are doing well. I had to give my first detentions this week, and it was not fun, but I think it also convinced them that I wasn't a complete pushover. There are some disadvantages to being the only middle-school teacher under 60. We did a scripture scavenger hunt in my Religion classes today, which was a huge success, and also served the purpose of helping them learn how to look up things in the Bible. Getting them to read the Bible is one of my biggest challenges this year. It was pretty gratifying today that one of the girls I've been having the hardest time reaching stayed in at her break to chat with me. She had one of those really obnoxious brainteaser puzzles that she wanted me to solve, which I eventually did, but it was even better to just talk to her outside of class.

I miss my family a lot. My nephew and brother-in-law are running a half-marathon this weekend in Philly, and more than anything I would love to be there and cheer them on. I miss taylor ham (no one here has ever even heard of it). I miss rain. I miss my nieces and nephews. I talked to Meg on the phone today, and I could hear Phoebe in the background and I really just wanted to go home and see all of them.

I really do like it here...I just have to figure out what is giving me this headache...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Three weeks down...

Currently reading: Seeds of Hope, "The Ransom of Red Chief" and other highlights of seventh grade literature.

I am exhausted. I just thought I would throw that out there in acknowledgment that I crawled my way through Friday and into the weekend. It's been a long week of school, perhaps because it was our first full week since we started. I had my first official observation this week and the feedback I got was generally pretty positive, which was encouraging. Obviously there's still so much to learn and to work on, but it was still good to realize that I'm not completely hopeless. I also wasn't as incredibly nervous as I thought I should be, which was good. I feel like I'm finally settling in and this is what I'm supposed to do. It's definitely a good feeling.

My roommates and I stumbled across a House marathon on television last weekend and now we are hooked. We just rented half of season two and it's a pretty good show. We're a little like old people because we are all so tired at the end of the day. S, one of the roommates, and I have developed the habit of watching Fraser each night before we go to bed. It's definitely an old person thing to do. I never used to be a tv kind of gal, but I'm just tired at the end of the day and it's nice not to have to think.

I still wake up every now and then and wonder what I was thinking when I decided to move all the way out to Yakima to teach in a Catholic School. There are so many at home that I don't even know why I'm not there. But then I remember that this is where I'm pretty sure God wants me to be right now. It's just hard not to get really really homesick sometimes. I miss everyone, especially the Rutgers crowd. I think about you and pray for you all the time.

Please keep a friend of mine in your prayers...he's about to start something really important and service oriented. I miss you and pray for you always.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Week Two has come and gone

Currently Reading: Seeds of Hope, Seventh grade literature

So I've now officially survived two weeks of teaching. Survived is the operative word here. Actually, it hasn't been as bad as everyone made it sound to me, but it definitely has been incredibly challenging. Some of the kids are really great. There are two in my homeroom in particular who really have helped me figure out some of the really strange things about the school. On the first day, when I forgot that the last homeroom of the day we were supposed to pray together, my one student said to me, "Miss Appert, we need to pray now." The same student brought me hops to put on my window sill because it's Yakima, so of course the students bring hops instead of an apple or flowers.

Times are incredibly financially tight right now, especially with the price of gas. I guess that's part of the volunteer deal...trying to make ends meet and live incredibly simply. It's a good thing that I already kind of did the living simply part of things. But I'll be glad when hopefully money isn't quite such a big stresser. It makes me tired to think about.

Today we are supposed to be going for a hike, if my roommates wake up in time. The original estimated time of departure was 8 am, but I have a strong suspicion that isn't exactly going to happen, as it's currently 7:45 and I'm the only one up. the one problem with not drinking a whole lot is that you kind of get the designated driver status. As a result, I was up much later last night than I meant to be, and I'm the only one who naturally wakes up early.

My kids are a lot of fun, even if the one group is much more difficult than the other. Seventh grade is such an interesting age, because they are all way too cool for their own good, but at the same time surprisingly sweet sometimes. My homeroom had a locker decorating contest, which was a blast, both for the kids and for me. They all, for the most part, took it really seriously, and we had some amazing lockers. They got bonus points if they used something from or about NJ, and one kid actually turned his entire locker into the New Jersey Devil, and used caution tape and cones to "contain" it. It was hysterical and really imaginative.

Please keep one of my friends out here and his family in your prayers. They are going through a rough time and his dad is really sick. I miss you all lots and lots.