Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good school day

After my vent about misbehaving students last time, I thought I would talk about something good for a change. Today in school the superintendent came to talk about bonuses. The faculty gathered in the library (which has a secret door to my classroom). Last year my class decided to be as loud as possible by yelling, wrestling and wreaking havoc. I had to leave the meeting to quiet them and was mortified that the superintendent, and the rest of the faculty, heard them like that. My students were very repentant for the rest of the week. I got really mad. 
So this year I was worried. I could hear my class trying to listen through the door at the beginning. They weren't loud, I just chose to sit close to the door just in case. I could hear the murmur of voices throughout the meeting, but nothing much. The meeting gets over and we clapped because we got a little bit of money, and I heard my class start clapping. I smiled to myself. I walk in ready to settle any misbehavior, but instead I see one of my students had found our regular vocabulary worksheets and passed them out. Someone turned on some music (which I usually do anyway). They were talking, but generally getting things done. I was so proud. They mentioned they tried to read the book we are reading as a class, but they wanted to wait for me. They are such good kids when they think about it. I was just beaming with pride and joy. Anyway, thanks kids for making my day. (oh, the surprise money helped my mood I guess ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is my serious face!

So I literally yelled at my students today. I have been stern in the past, but I got all sorts of red-faced and angry today. It was great. I collected the writing assignment I had due today and in my first hour class only five on my students turned it in. Every class the rest of the day was about the same. Frustrated is a kind way of putting how I felt. I started raving about taking responsibility, growing up and my h@!# do your homework. I was extra mad because the rough drafts for these were due Monday, but no one did it. I extended the deadline for the next day with little retribution on their part, and to think, this is how they repay my kindness. I let them know my disappointment. One of my fellow teachers says it is good to freak out at your students every once in a while. I've never had to do it, but played the part really well. Usually when I get mad I start laughing. But not today! Anyway, I am just proud that I found the courage to get mad at my classes (yes all four of my classes got the same lecture) and keep a serious face at the same time. Mr. Johnson will be proud :) 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fun Fish Lake weekend

This weekend, the young single adults went to our branch president's cabin on Fish Lake. We left in the evening and had to drive in the dark. Even though I have lived in rural Utah most of my life, I haven't dealt with almost hitting a deer before. On the way up, however, I got my first taste of it. Thanks goodness for my car though. My brakes are awesome!! I've always had a special bond with my vehicle, but now my Versa and I have a whole new relationship-- built on trust (and great brakes). I'm sure the deer appreciated it too. 

My love grew stronger still when I saw the steep, snowy road that lead to the cabin. The truck in front of me slipped all around and had to turn on his four wheel drive. I got really nervous because my Versa doesn't have a long resume with snow either. I got a little head start for momentum, but made it all the way up without any problems. I love my car!

So anyway, enough Odes to my Versa. I drove up with Kassie Brown and another girl from the ward. Kassie and I do and say funny things, so I hope we didn't scare Tana too badly. We got there safe and sound, with only a little extra adrenaline from the deer. Bishop Tom Anderson (my bishop from when I was in high school) gave a great little Fireside on making easy things hard-- a lesson I seem to remember him sharing in Bishop meetings as a young woman. He also brought his famous dutchoven sourdough bread. It was good to see him again, and my respect and love for him grows each time I get the chance to hear him speak. 

We finished the night off with some spotlighting and a chance to show my ignorance around guns. The guy driving asked me to unload his pistol just in case we got pulled over. Ya, right. I got nervous and people laughed, but what do I know? The next morning we ate a hardy breakfast, walked around a little, and headed for home. It was kind of a crazy weekend. I had friends in town from all over. Lacey, my high school friend and original connection to the Browns, came to town, and so did a camp friend, Alex. It was so good to see them. They gave me a chance to laugh all weekend. Alex and I went to High School Musical 3 just for something to do. We sat in the back and laughed the whole show. It was . . . interesting this time around. And on Sunday, I got to teach my first lesson as relief society president. It went fine. I'm learning a lot already, like delegation. :)

Anyway, I'm boring. Happy birthday to my dad tomorrow. I wish I could come celebrate. 


PS Kassie's blog about this weekend is cute if you can get invited. Just know that she is funny and had a picture. Thanks Kass!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Belated UEA Photos

A couple of weeks ago my family got together, nearly on accident, for UEA weekend. We all happened to be going to Salt Lake for different reasons. Mine was boredom, but Bret and Lori came up to watch Lori's brother coach during the Colorado Utah game. Holland passed through on his way to and from Logan to help a friend get engaged. He needed to offer moral support, I think. While we were together, I got to hang out with my niece and nephews a lot. I went on a picnic with Kim and Cody and went to "Little Haunts" at Heritage Park with Kim and the boys (the lobster and the shark). We had a lot of fun talking, riding on hay wagons and trains, and collecting candy. We took a treat bag, but I think Parker ate his candy before it could even go in the bag and put his trash in the bag. Cute kid! Anyway, I promised pictures to brothers. Here are a few. I have a lot more. Maybe I can get them to you on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I hope everyone enjoys my beautiful niece and handsome nephews. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An update: Relief society and Mexico

Well, my grand plans to go back to Mexico for Christmas have failed. The candle of hope started flickering a while ago, but somebody blew it out today. A few weeks ago, Holland (my younger brother) told me he could no longer go. I was mad for a minute, but decided I could probably get someone else to go with me. I just talked my friend and roommate-ish, Kassie, into going. She had her passport paperwork ready to go and traded her days of work off. As luck would have it, there is apparently a lot of violence in Mexico right now. One of the members in Ascencion told us not to come because it is too dangerous. Alton Thacker (the man in charge of the trip) had been trying to get supplies for Christmas over the border, but hasn't had any luck getting across. I got an email today saying the trip has officially been cancelled. Combined, the hardships have been too much. So if you were planning on donating materials or making a quilt, you are awesome, but we won't be going. I think the Thacker family will be taking a little food over, but just their immediate family is going. To say the least, I am bummed. I guess it is better to be safe though. Anyway, it looks like I'll have to cancel my substitute and stay in town for the holidays. Maybe I'll look for something else fun to do. 

On a different note, I have been called to be the Relief Society President in my branch. I got sustained and set apart on Sunday to make it official. I am a little nervous about it. Relief Society is a program in the church I have never served in. I guess I'll learn a lot(ha ha ha understatement, right?). I've already started thinking about getting more people to attend the branch instead of their parent's wards, and activities are piling up with the holidays right around the corner. Oh, and I'll probably have to find someone to teach on Sunday. Dang. It will have to be me. I called our only teacher to be one of my counselors. Oh well. It should be fun. 

That's all I have for now. Nothing else is really going on. School is fine most of the time, and days are speeding by far too quickly. Hope this beautiful fall weather finds you chilly but happy.