Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Find

Back in May, I reported on my sweating problem. I mentioned sticking pantiliners in my shirt as a solution to this pesky problem. Apparently, someone else had the same idea. I know where my first paycheck is going!

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Best Readers

Thank you to my dear readers for all of your nice words regarding my post yesterday. I have the best readers around and I consider myself very lucky to have your kind thoughts in my inbox at the end of the day.

I hate when I feel negative because there is so much for me to be happy about. I have a great life and even at it's worst, it's not that bad. I've been in a little bit of a slump since school started but I know I will come out of it. In fact, I never thought I could have an awesome day like I did today considering how I felt last night. Things will get better and I need to remember to stay positive about all the good things about my job. So, I thought I would share a few of those good things today to make up for my "negative Nancy" post yesterday.

1. The school I now work at is more organized and structured than my last school and it's absolutely wonderful! When you're told something will get done, it gets done. When you're told you'll get something, you'll get it. The students and staff all know the school policies and these are all enforced - no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

2. The high school teachers I work with are great! I felt welcomed by them right away and help has always been offered any time I've needed it. In fact, several of the teachers go above and beyond the help I need which is so ridiculously nice.

3. The students I have this year are awesome. I'm impressed on a daily basis with these kids. They are friendly, respectful, polite, and fun. They work hard and ask questions! I've never had such hard workers or so many questions asked in my classes before. It may sound weird, but it's a wonderful feeling to have them ask you something. You know that they actually care and feel comfortable enough to come to you for help. I think I've had more questions this first week than I did for a whole semester last year! Like the teachers, the students made me feel welcome from the first day and I'm extremely comfortable around them, something that wasn't always the case before.

So there you have it - a few of the really positive things about my job. These are the things that get me through the days when I don't think I can handle it all.

I'll be back after dinner with my Friday Find!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I cannot swim. I took swimming lessons for many years during my childhood but I never made a real effort and, thus, can only keep myself afloat through doggie-paddling.

I have been putting in a lot of time and energy into school and I'm barely managing to keep my head above water. I cannot, for the life of me, get caught up or even ahead with my work. I'm beyond exhausted and feeling completely overwhelmed. I do not know how I'm going to survive the rest of the school year. All my hard work is not paying off - I'm still unable to swim. I'm still just flapping my arms and legs around, hoping I don't sink.

Doggie-paddling sucks. I cannot wait for the long weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Third Grade

After posting this year's back to school photo, I had a request to show my second grade back to school photo. Unfortunately, I couldn't find that picture but I did find third grade's and hope that works! I'm on the right with one of my favorite backpacks of all time. If you want a good laugh, go check out more of my grade school photos.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend Snapshots

It was a little strange logging in this evening - I feel as if I've been away from blogland for ages! I know I haven't, but things have been so crazy around here that the four days since my last post seem like fourteen. I've missed posting and I've definitely missed reading all of your blogs - hopefully things settle down soon so I can remain a "regular."

I don't have a lot of time to write and my brain is tired from working through Pre-Calc, so I thought I'd just share a few snapshots from Saturday evening.

While eating dinner on the deck, a hot air balloon passed overhead. It was so exciting - I felt like a kid again. When my sister and I were younger, we used to see at least one hot air balloon a week, but now we rarely see them so Saturday evening was quite a delight for us!

A pesky wasp trapped himself in my husband's Powerade bottle.

My husband and I were the team to beat at bocce ball. We are definitely a better bocce ball team than croquet team. (Is it me, or do I look like the only one having fun?)

My father was the ref during the bocce ball match against the in-laws. (My dear mother was nice enough to take photos for me.)

While taking pictures of some flowers on the deck, the mothers felt they needed to get in on a few.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Days 2 and 3

Yesterday was another professional development day and it was a very good day. We had an informational meeting with the insurance guy, a demonstration on how to use the new copier machine, and training on the new online grading system our school will be using. The little bit of down time we had was spent preparing our rooms for today. My desk and shelves are still completely unorganized (the last math teacher left a lot of crap behind!) and my walls are absolutely bare (I completely forgot about decorating a room because I was never able to at my old school!), but things will slowly come together. I got to talk more with the other teachers yesterday and they are going to be fabulous people to work with. I'm loving them all already.

Today was our first day of school with the students. Overall, I'd have to say the day went pretty well. I was a nervous wreck on my drive out to the school (why as a shy person did I choose teaching?!), but after the first several minutes of my first class I calmed down and things went pretty smoothly the rest of the day. Unlike my dream where I didn't interact with my students, I had an activity or two for every class. The favorite of the day seemed to be the 25-question "test" I gave the students about me. Needless to say everyone failed, but that was the point. It's hard to answer 25 questions about someone just by looking at them. The kids seemed to have a lot of fun guessing and it was a lot of fun for me to hear some of the answers they came up with. I think I'm going to have a great bunch of kids this year.

Every year while growing up, my parents took a picture of my sister and me on our first day of school. We would strap on our backpacks and pretend to be walk out the door. As you can see, I'm still participating in this tradition. My mom makes me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day

I'd love to tell you how my first day of school went, but I skipped out and stayed home instead. Okay, I'm lying, but the thought did cross my mind.

Today was a workshop day so nothing exciting or helpful to report on that front. (I hope that some day during my teaching experience I get to be part of a productive and beneficial back-to-school workshop.) There was, however, a lot of excitement in my head and heart. A great way to sum it all up would be "a roller coaster ride." My thoughts and emotions ranged from "This is going to be a fun year!" to "How am I going to make it nine months?" Overall, I'd give it a rating of an okay day. I have a feeling I'll be able to call tomorrow a good day. I'm even going to be brave and say that I think I'll have some great days in the near future. It seems like a good school to be at.

To celebrate the first day of my new job, my parents, sister, husband, and I went out for dinner. It was a good meal and nice conversation. Not only did I get to go out for dinner, but my parents bought me a new lunch bag and filled it with lots of snacks! It doesn't get any better than that!

I hope you all had a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rockie Balboa

I don't normally post twice in a day - in fact, I don't think I've ever done it - but I didn't want to be a "negative Nancy" as my husband would say, so here is my complaint-free post.

Meet Rockie Balboa, my in-laws' boxer. My husband and I had the pleasure of dog-sitting her for a few days this past week. I had a lot of fun watching her, trying to figure out a reason for her randomness and contemplating what she might be thinking.

These things I do know for a fact. Her favorite activities include eating, sleeping, eating, begging for food and treats, eating, chasing imaginary bunnies, and eating. Her least favorite activities are being touched when you have food (and are unwilling to share) and going down the stairs into the basement. She will, however, quickly get over her fears if you have food in the basement. Have I mentioned she likes to eat?

I love her face in this photo. It was probably the tenth picture I'd taken of her in a span of five minutes and you could tell she was completely done with the whole activity. I'm pretty sure she was thinking "put the camera away lady - you've made enough memories."

Last Day of Summer Break

Today is my last day of summer break. Needless to say, I'm not really a happy camper right now. I'm bummed that I have to go back because it means no more beautiful mornings to myself, no naps in the hot afternoons, and not being able to eat whenever I want (a big deal for someone who is hungry every three hours). This is the time of year that I'm envious of all you who work year-round because you're still in the "swing" of things, you're not starting over yet again.

The biggest downer of all this, though, is that another summer has come and gone and I didn't get nearly enough accomplished in regards to "non-school" things. (Not that I got a whole lot accomplished on the school front, either.) Did anyone else have a summer like that? I'm sitting here thinking it can't be over yet because I still want to do this and that and that and this!

So, I'm going to sit here and be crabby and negative for a few minutes and then I'm going to suck it up and enjoy my last day of break. I'll be back later with a nicer post. Thanks for listening to my complaints.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Finds

Go check out Wordle, a website that generates word clouds! I entered in my blog's address and the cloud below is what was created based on some of the words found in my posts. You can also enter your own text if there is a topic or theme you want to try. This is so much fun!

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just a List

A cohesive, one topic post was not in the cards today - I could tell it wasn't happening the minute I sat down at the computer. That left me with the option of not writing and disappointing all of my wonderful readers (humor me) or composing a list of random thoughts with little or no importance whatsoever. Option two seemed like a good fit.

  • I completed one lesson plan for Pre-Calc yesterday. Not quite all I wanted to accomplish for the day (or week, or month, or summer!), but it's a start. It does gives me one day of not looking like a fool in front of the seniors and I suppose that's a good thing.
  • I have only run one Wednesday this summer and that was today. I have yet to run on a Monday and next week is my last chance if I want it to be considered a run during summer break. How does it happen that you miss the same two days of the week, every week, for ten weeks?
  • I started reading "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd earlier this week. I'm thoroughly enjoying it and was excited to find out this morning that they're making it into a film!
  • I also started reading "Photo Idea Index" by Jim Krause earlier this week. I greatly appreciate the approach this author has taken and thrilled with all I've been learning. The book is intended to "super-charge" creativity and I must say I had my doubts with that claim but I was wrong - I'm inspired!
  • I still miss the television show "Joan of Arcadia" even though it's been off the air for three years now. My family and I loved the show and were quite disappointed when it was cancelled after only two seasons (and after winning several awards!). It's hard to find good, quality shows on television anymore.
  • I get nervous watching the athletes compete during the Olympics. I unintentionally hold my breath until they've completed their performance or race and my hands are always a sweaty mess.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I'm glad I was able to help you waste a few minutes of your day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Easy and Pleasant

Could you find a better corner on which to live?

Monday, August 11, 2008


I need a scolding from all of you and I'm not kidding!

I've had my textbooks since the beginning of July and I have yet to do a "real" lesson plan for my Pre-Calculus class! I have lesson plans for the first chapter of both my Algebra I and Algebra II courses - an ideal situation because it gives me enough completed material until I really know my students and how we should run the class - but I haven't completed a single lesson for Pre-Calc. I've dabbled in the first two sections of the book but no official plan exists at this time. I've been avoiding Pre-Calc like I avoid eating carrots.

The first day of school with the students is August 21st which is 10 days away! To say that time is limited would be an understatement for everything I should get done. This morning I told myself no blogging, no Photoshop, no reading until I've completed my first three lesson plans. Obviously I've broken the first rule. I must confess that I've also broken the second rule; I spent the better part of my morning looking at and working on old photos. And to be completely honest, after I have some lunch, I'm planning on breaking the third rule. Yesterday, realizing I don't really have time to spare, I bought a book and checked out four others from the library anyway. They are now tempting me to open their pages to see what they have to offer.

Here's where you come in.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Finds

I have a love of buttons. I would venture to say it's a love bordering on obsession. Instead of getting into the crazy party scene in college, I got wild at thrift stores, buying each and every jar of buttons they had for sale. I've received buttons as gifts and even spent a "first date" on a hunt for buttons. I love buttons.

I originally bought all my buttons for a picture frame project (I will show you them someday when they are out of storage) and have a lot leftover. Not that this bothers me - I get a lot of enjoyment just looking at my buttons in their jars. I have, however, found a new project! Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas?

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits

Thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes and the compliments on our photos!

My husband and I had a very nice first anniversary. We went out for dinner, ate year-old cake (it was actually still good!), then went to a movie. Of course my favorite part of the evening was the company.

In other news, my blog was given the award below! Isn't it lovely? Thanks Amber! If you read my blog and have a blog of your own, consider yourself nominated! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

One Year

Thank you, sir, for an amazing first year of marriage. I thank God every day that we found each other - there is no one else with whom I'd rather be on this journey. I love you more than words could ever express. Happy Anniversary!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Find

Several years ago, one of my math education professors gave me and my classmates this "Mental Flexibility Test." While it was a challenge, it was also a lot of fun. I've given it to my own students and they've had a good time with it as well. I hope you'll give it a try! A real try, now - no looking at the answers without wracking your brain real hard first! You'd be surprised how many questions you'll figure out if you set the quiz aside for a while. Let me know how you do!

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce.