Thursday, March 26, 2009

Soon and Very Soon

Soon and very soon, I am going to New Jersey! Today is the last day of the third quarter, and also the last full teaching day before spring break. On Sunday, at the crack of dawn, I will be on a plane flying directly from Seattle to NJ! Tomorrow is a half day of school because we are having the 33 annual Jog-A-Thon. All the kids and teachers wear sweats and their JAT t-shirts and we walked the whole school a few blocks downtown and they run laps for an hour. They've all been pledged, and it seems crazy to me, but the school raises over 30,000 dollars with this event each year.

My marathon training had to be put on hold due to the unfortunate fact that over a week ago I fell down some stairs at school and my ankle is still swollen and painful. I'm on the verge of going to see a doctor about it, because it doesn't seem like it should still be a problem. I still haven't heard from the powers that be whether or not I'll be able to run the half, but I've decided that I'm going to press forward with training and fundraising nevertheless. So if you are a friend who is employed currently, you will most likely be receiving an email from me in the next few days. If you know any businesses that would pledge me, please let me know so that I can send them a begging letter.

Yesterday was the longest day of school ever. I left the house at 7:15 am and didn't get home until 9:30 pm. Our supervisors are up from Portland, so it's kind of a crazy week of meetings and observations. This afternoon I am going to look at the house we might move to next year.

Ruthann's visit was awesome. She got to see all the sights, sit in on a Religion class or two, and met all the most important people in Yakima. We went to sandwich Sunday and helped to make over 1000 sandwiches for the homeless of Yakima. All in all, it was a very successful weekend, planned entirely on the spur of the moment, as all the best weekends are.

I can't wait to be back in NJ!

Friday, March 20, 2009

An odd week at the casa de PACE

So getting back into the daily grind of teaching was a lot of fun after a weekend of nearly no sleep. On Tuesday my sevenths graders and I spent all of Language Arts learning how to Irish dance, which was really amusing. If you ever have the opportunity, although I don't know why you would, to see 33 seventh graders learning how to dance, you should take it. It could be a life-changing event for you. In Literature we read and analyzed St. Patrick's Breastplate, and in Religion we did a little more of that. It was a very St. Patrick's Day kind of celebration around here. I did find it odd though, that on the West Coast, there's very little actual Irish about St. Paddy's Day. It's all leprechauns and luck, and nothing about the culture, music, food, dance or history. Even in the Catholic community it's like that. I was the only teacher who didn't make "leprechaun traps" with my students. I'm not sure how I felt about it.

Yesterday was St. Joseph's Day, and as I teach in a school named for him, I thought it was odd that we didn't have some big sort of celebration for him. This was always a big deal holiday at home. So yesterday I brought zeppoli, traditional Italian doughnuts, into school to celebrate with my classes. It was a big hit so today I have to bring in the recipe for everyone.

Ruthann's coming to visit this weekend, which is the most exciting news I've had in a long time!

Please, if you are able, don't forget to check out my fundraising page for the half-marathon. This is really important to me and my family!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Seven Drunken Nights

It has been a doozy of a week, and this weekend is really really busy, which is exciting, but at the same time slightly overwhelming. Last night we went to a friends house for a pre-St. Paddy's Day celebration with a lot of former PACErs, and a good time was had by all. Everyone had to have a talent to perform, and the PACE house represented in style with some traditional Irish step dancing. I knew those 8 years of competitive dancing would come in handy someday. We finished off the talent section with a rousing rendition of the timeless classic "Seven Drunken Nights" which immediately made me think of Crystal E. Moran, my favorite Irish ex-roommate. Then we ended the evening with "Danny Boy" which I had to lead because I was the only one who knew the tune well enough.

Today we had a 6k fun run at Steve's school, and I ran 3.5 of the 4 miles, which made me immensely proud of myself. I've just been notified of a possible conflict with the half-marathon, so I'm trying to work that out and not be annoyed with PACE right now, especially because my 100 dollar registration is non-refundable. So all my praying friends out there, please keep this in your prayers, as I am really upset about the possibility of not doing this race.

Tonight is a gala at LaSalle, and I have cute black dress to wear and lots of friends who will be there. I'm really excited about the whole thing. I really like all the former PACErs who are in town right now. They are a lot of fun to hang out with, and they are all incredible story tellers. Last night most of them told a story as their talent and I laughed so hard that I cried.

Will update as I know more about the race situation. If you want to donate, here's the link:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back from the weekend away

I am officially signed up for a half marathon in Seattle on June 27th. I may or may not have lost my mind a little. But, shameless plug, if you want to support me and the race for a cure for NF, here's my fundraising page:

I am running in honor of Genna and Rosie, my lovely talented nieces, who are superheroes in the battle against NF.

Aside from the obvious insanity of signing up for a race...people who know me know that I am not nor have I ever been, even remotely an athlete. I had a lovely time this weekend escaping from Yakima. Kristin and I stayed at a friend's apartment in the city and had a good time wandering around, doing a little shopping and braving the snowy and freezing elements. Steve's team won third in the state championships, which was amazing, especially because half the team had the flu and could barely stand without throwing up. It was fun to go to the game and then to take a tour of Steve's college days with him.

The next couple of weeks will be crazy, what with visits from the Dean of the School of Education at UP, our program director and instructional coach. I will be observed many times in the next 2 to 3 weeks, and I can't say that I'm really looking forward to it. It's a little intimidating. Also, this weekend is all the St. Patrick's Day festivities, including a 6K run, a party and a gala for Steve's school. I'm excited, but I also have to have enough "green" to wear for all these things. I have also promised my students that I will teach them to dance on St. Patrick's day, so I have to figure that out.

Only three more weeks!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Good Day for a Parade

So every March 4th, my dad makes the same jokes about having a parade to "march forth" and nobody gets what he is saying. I made some comment about it to my students the other day and they looked at me like I had grown two heads. Then, after much explaining, they "got" it, and I think it only convinced them even more of what a major dork I am.

But things are sailing along in the wonderful world of St. Joe's. We've started fundraising again, this time via a Jog-a-thon. I'm trying desperately to get my homeroom to step up their pledge getting game because I really want us to win something, especially this week's pizza party. Somehow I think the odds of this are slim, because we're currently in second-to-last place. I'm contemplating offering free homework passes to top fundraisers.

Things are looking up on the feeling like I belong in Yakima front. I've joined a bible study at church, found a spiritual director, been going to a lot of sporting events, and meeting new people. I am actually enjoying my time here these days. On Friday we are heading up to Spokane because Steve's basketball team made it to state! I'm excited to see a new city and the legendary Gonzaga University.

I can't wait to see you all at the end of the month!