Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Fair is a Veritable Smorgasbord

Yesterday for our staff development activity we went to the opening day of the Central Washington State Fair and did a scavenger hunt. My team was way too competitive considering the fact that we all knew our principal had no intention of actually checking. The winners were the ones who made the farthest flying paper airplane with their sheet. But it was really cool to be at a real state fair. We saw animals and plants and all sorts of things. Students from our school had an art exhibit there, which was really cool. I wanted to go on more of the carnival rides, but my roommates weren't really feeling it. I need to get back there and go on the tilt-a-whirl before the fair is gone. That used to be my favorite ride when Mrs. Nell would take us to the Our Lady of Peace fair.

So I'm in week two of a five week retreat with my parish out here. I'm doing the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which is a very true to life and contemplative form of prayer. So far the first week has been good, but at the end of the five weeks I have to decide if I'm doing the whole year retreat. It's a huge commitment, but I have a feeling that it would be pretty life-changing. But for the next five Saturdays I go to the church and meet with my small group. I think it will be really rewarding.

I've had a rough week at school. One kid called me Emily during class, and we had some quality time together after school. Another got detention for behavior in class, and one of my students gave another one a panic attack. Neither were in school the next day, the one because he was still so traumatized and the other because he was suspended. This class is about 12 times harder to teach than my class last year, and that one wasn't easy either. Oh well. We shall overcome.

Autumn is beginning here, which is a fun time with all the harvesting and such.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bumbling Along

So the start of school has kept me exceedingly busy and slightly remiss on updating. So many things to tell you all about! But to keep this from taking me the rest of my life, I'll stick with the most West Coast adventure that I've had to date: the Ellensburg Rodeo.

Let me tell you, rodeos are wicked cool. Shane and I went with his friend Cody (yes the two friends I was there with had appropriately cowboy-esque names) and Cody's family bought us the tickets. It was quite an event and I learned many things. The first was that rodeos are really exciting and I like them a lot. I wasn't sure that I would like it, because the whole idea was vaguely reminiscent of a bull fight, and those I find somewhat appalling. But we got to watch all sorts of events, including bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrell-racing, and even bull riding! The bullriding was the coolest part. I had no idea that the rodeo clown is there for a purpose. Maybe you already knew all this, but the rodeo clown has all sorts of mad skills, and the main purpose of him being there is to buy a bull rider precious seconds after he has been bucked off the bull. Bulls get real mad at the people riding them, so while they are running to safety on the sidelines, the rodeo clown deflects the attention.

So I'm slowly becoming a native out here, and if I stay out here, I'm probably going to have to name my sons things like "Ty" and "Wes" just in case they want to become cowboys. All the men in the rodeo had very appropriate names for their profession.
Well I'm off to dinner then church!