Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joyful Joyful

Currently reading: Theology of the Body for Beginners, Theology of the Body for Teens, N or M?

Our advisor for Portland is in town this week for observations and to collect our work from this semester, so it's a bit of a busy week. I've had a lot of students absent this week for various reasons, which makes it harder for us to move forward as a class. The drama teacher asked me to be a character in the seventh grade drama production, so today during my prep period I'll be heading over to practice with them. They don't know that I'm coming and we both think it will be funny to see their reactions. For some reason, the drama teacher has decided that I can and should act, even though she has clearly never seen me do so. I think this could be very interesting.

The kids are still being difficult, and I have had to make some changes in discipline as a result. I don't like being the teacher who yells, so I've hated the last two weeks.

On two much brighter notes: I got a very quiet, very unofficial "ok" for the half marathon, so I am definitely going to be running it. Of course, this means that I have to get my butt in gear and step up the training, but it's still fantastic news. I'm not supposed to tell anyone about it right now, which I don't really understand, but since none of you are in my program, I don't think it can matter that much. So if you know anyone who can afford to sponsor me a few $, please point them in the direction of my donation page.

2nd bright note is that my brother John is getting married!

And on that note, I am off to school.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's been a while

Currently Reading: Theology of the Body for Teens, Theology of the Body for Beginners. Crossing the Threshold of Hope

The last two weeks have been more or less insane. We've finished our high stakes testing and the kids are done being good in school. I have never had such a problem with disrespectful speech in my classroom as I have this week. Someone made a "your mom" joke, someone else told me that they didn't like me and couldn't wait to be done with seventh grade. This made me feel pretty wonderful about teaching.

On a more cheerful note, I was asked to help at this afternoon's track meet, and it was loads of fun. I spent the first hour and a bit raking gravel at the long jump pit, until they got someone more qualified to replace me: a seventh grade boy. Unfortunately, he displayed significantly more skill at sand raking than I did. My students did marvelously. One of my girls ran a six minute mile, and both my boys ran an incredibly fast 100m dash. My girls won the 800m medley by a landslide. I have a bit of a sunburn, but it was totally worth it, and the kids were so excited to see me there. They explained all the events and came over to chat with me at the pit where I was raking, and the gym teacher was there, so once I was replaced I watched a few of the races with him.

Also, I got to go to Autumn's wedding in Minnesota last weekend. It was amazing to see her and Jeremy and be there with them for their special day. Aut was beautiful and the whole thing was a lot of fun. It was a lot of traveling for one weekend, and I'm still waking up ridiculously early because of time zone issues, but I am so glad I went. I was the only one of our friends from high school who got there. I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures.

I miss home a lot since spring break. I'm having a slightly difficult time here, but excited to be back in a few months/

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Holy Holy

Holy week is a crazy time in a Catholic school. Friday my students led the school in Good Friday stations and veneration of the cross, so it was a little stressful. Thursday the entire school of 326 students was involved in a bagged lunch service project where we made close to 700 bagged lunches for the homeless and working poor of Yakima. It was kind of cool, because this was an idea that my students had in the fall and did on a smaller scale back then, and now the whole school did it. We even made the local news! The next day my class brought some of the lunches over to the mission, where the other seventh grade had gone for a service project earlier. (You may recall that was the trip where we had no coats and it was raining and there was a student on crutches...this trip was much much smoother.)

I spent Easter with Kristin and her family in the Portland area, and it was a weekend full of crazy family happenings. While I definitely missed being in New Jersey for the week, spending it with Kristin's family was the next best thing. The Easter bunny didn't forget me either, although his handwriting looks a lot like Kristin's mom's. A funny moment at Easter was a Portland experience. The priest made the following three announcements at the end of the mass: 1. he had found an interesting article about Obama that he had printed out to share with the parish. Copies were on blue sheets in the back. 2. Parishioners training for the 40 mile hike led by the priest were doing a 7 mile training hike next week. 3. For the parish's celebration of Earth Day, everyone needed to find a way to get to church without driving. He wanted a full church with an empty parking lot. On green slips in the back he had information about biking and walking routes, as well as busing information.

I'm pretty sure those are announcements I would only hear in a church in the Northwest.

Last funny story here, then I'll sign off. So this afternoon, after Kristin and I roll back into Yakima, we decide to go for a run. I haven't been running because of the ankle, but this is about when Meg said it would be ok to start again, so I agreed to the running idea. About 2 1/2 miles in, I did need to walk for a bit, so at mile 3 we slowed to a walk. We had about a mile to go. As we we turn the corner into the last 3/4 mile, it starts to hail. And not wimpy, going away soon kind of hail. This was big and freezing and painful. We ran to a nearby bank to wait it out. After about ten minutes, we decide it's lightened up enough to try running again. By the time we got to the house, we were freezing, tired, miserable and in pain. But we made it, and the ankle isn't too bad. Time to get marathon ready!

If you have a minute today, make sure to wish Nicholas a happy birthday!