December 31, 2009

2009 in photos

In years past, I've done my pictures by month. Some months have been picture-light and some picture-heavy, so these are just a random sampling. They are arranged (mostly, to my best knowledge) chronologically.

24th birthday

Ran my first 5k.

Ate a big 3lb chocolate bar with friends. And pretended to be Jesus.

Nat got married!

Lived with goofballs.

Got my master's.

Ran my first 10k in my hometown. I showed you, high school gym teachers.

Slow-danced with Jake.

Went to Irish Fest (again).

Baked a lot. Actually, the fall pictures are pretty light and mostly of food.

Went to New Haven for Halloween and dressed up like Lisa.

Had Christmas.

I'd have included pictures of my students, but that's against so many policies I don't even want to test it. They are super fun and make it easy it get up in the morning, however.

2009, good riddance. 2010, bring it on.

December 17, 2009

4 year old land

Me: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best movie ever and 1 being the worst, where would you put The Princess and The Frog?
Annabelle: In my pocket!

Me: What's your favorite type of meat?
Dana: Marshmallows!

December 15, 2009

beer and sex dishes

It is December and that means finals. There are endless facebook updates on the status of one's semester, including pages written, pages to go, tests down, etc. Kari had her last day of classes today and has been writing papers upstairs. And for the first time in six years, I haven't a thing to do with it. I guess you could even say 18 years.

It's a little weird. Somewhat relieving, but at the same time, I miss it.

Well, let me clarify. I don't miss the stress of schoolwork. I do miss having something to do on Sunday afternoons. Do you know how much time I wasted on the internet this weekend? A LOT. At least before I knew I had something else I should be doing.

I miss academic rigor. I miss having a thoughtful debate with someone on a regular basis, even if that someone is speaking through the pages of a book. I miss coming up with original arguments and thinking about it enough to argue persuasively one way or the other. And as nice as it has been, I even miss reading with a pencil in my hand.

My brain needed the break. I needed time to extract myself from academia and now, I realize that I just want to spend my days in a classroom. I suppose that's why I'm aiming to teach middle and high school as opposed to the PreK kids I have now (which I love). They're really great and fun, but maybe I need to be challenged right along with my students. Sorry, but I'm not challenged over the difference between a peach and an apple. Critically analyzing material with a group of people is something I really enjoy, oddly enough.

I also miss writing about film. I suppose I have to figure how to include that stimuli in my future careers. I just need to find time and motivation besides my longing, I suppose.

Today in PreK world: We read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs yesterday. Today I wrote a mad libs about my kids which included food raining from the sky. They liked it, especially when it ends up snowing turkey ears. Tomorrow we're drawing pictures of our stories.

When I asked a girl to name a type of liquid or drink, she said, "Beer."
I rephrased, "What's your favorite thing to drink?"
She thought a second, then said, "Beer."
"Something else," I asked.


I also started assisting in a ESL class at the learning center down the street from the Y. Tuesdays I assist in an intermediate class and Wednesdays I'll be leading a conversation class. More on that later, but today in the intermediate class we talked about food. To the question "How many vegetarian dishes are there on the menu?," one student answered, "sex dishes" (six dishes). Not the usual answer I'd get from my PreK kids, but after the beer this morning .... maybe not.

December 9, 2009

my children

A bit from my 4 year old co-workers:

David*: I watched a movie and a boy got a BB gun for Christmas!
Me: Did he shoot his eye out?
David stares at me for 10 seconds, then: How did you KNOW that?!?

Eliza*: Did you know that George Washington was a friendly ghost?
Me: Oh, really?
Eliza: A friendly ghost who teaches kids how to color!

Jason*: How do I look today? (strikes a pose)
Me: Good.
Jason: Cool?
Sara*: Handsome.
(Jason wiggles about)

*Instead of calling them random child, I'm starting to use psuedonyms. I only work with so many kids and sometimes the same kid says funny stuff repeatedly.

December 6, 2009

bulletpoints on my life

Brief notes:
  • It is December. How did that happen?
  • Someone called me their fearless leader in an email recently. I suppose it's true.
  • Although my day-to-day activities and demeanor was good to fun, 2009 as a whole was stupid. I officially declare it to be 2010 and to leave this decade, and in particular this year, behind.
  • Sometimes I worry I get in over my head in commitments. Not that I'm feeling particularly stressed at the moment, but I list my activities and wonder if I'm doing too much. Or if I'm not giving my all to what I'm doing. But I feel like I am giving my best and that it's not too much, so who knows.
  • Natalie might visit next weekend!
  • My interview with Prestigious Teaching Program went very well. Suprisingly well. Shockingly well. Unexpectedly well. An unprecedented little to no awkwardness. A good sign or is it throwing me off my game?
  • Most of my kids made minimal to large gains in their targeted literacy skills this month. Whoo hoo! Some tested lower than what they did at the beginning of the year. Not sure what's up there. Was the first test particularly good? Is this one particularly bad? I think one of them has come to associate doing anything with me as not fun and always complains about playing games with me. Fine, kid. Don't learn how to read then.
  • Just kidding. I've got to figure out how to reach him.