Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Cool Revolution

Okay, this sounds geeky, but it's spring break and I don't have a lot to do. I've been watching episodes of The Office and Community on hulu because I don't have time to watch TV during the week. So I got all caught up on my shows and found a new one. Jamie Oliver was on David Letterman talking about his Food Revolution show that just started. I was intrigued and happy to find the episodes on hulu. Anyway, I am such a fan. Basically he is taking school lunch by storm in a town in West Virginia. I know it's hard to make the healthy choice sometimes, but I really think Jamie Oliver is onto something. I remember as a kid thinking it wasn't right to be eating chicken nuggets, french fries, rolls, and corn all in the same lunch, but what was I supposed to do about it. Even as a teacher now, I rarely eat school lunch because I recognize how bad it can be for me as an adult (although very tempting). School cooks have a hard job and have to follow an insane amount of guidelines, but I really think this revolution thing is a cool idea. I got on his website and signed a petition for change. Who knows what will happen. It's just nice that this is one thing we can change in our country after feeling so helpless about others. Changing how kids (and adults) view food could be the best thing we can do to take a healthy stand as a nation. So kudos to you Jamie Oliver. He's got an impossible job, but I don't think he should have to do it alone. Check out the show and his website. Plus he's got some ridiculously awesome recipes on his website.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March Madness

I know maybe some of you are hoping I'm going to dedicate this post to basketball, but alas, such is not the case. Although, I do have two brackets filled out, and I think one of my students will owe me some ice cream (Go Kentucky:), I am actually referring to how crazy March has been for me.

I haven't blogged for a really long time and I apologize. Sitting her typing this is the first Saturday in two months I haven't had something scheduled or been out of town. The first week of March was the Prom. I am a junior class advisor so I played an integral role in planning, decorating and supervising things that week. The chairperson for the advisers had a baby the previous week and left the rest of us in charge. She's uber-organized so it wasn't too much to pick up the pieces in her absence. The hard part of the week was taking over the speech team for this same teacher. I love the speech kids, so I agreed to take the team down to Moab for the Region Speech event. It wasn't the fairest meet I've ever been too, but it was two days away from school that I really didn't plan on. But both the prom and speech went on without a hitch. I have pictures of the prom, but they are on my computer at school so maybe I'll post them another time.

The next week I went to State Speech with the team to St. George. I was really looking forward to the weekend, but it ended up being one of the worst trips I've taken with students. From the inception, it was a bad trip. My students broke a glass trophy case at school before we even got on the bus. I should have taken that for the bad omen it was, but whatever. Later my students broke onto the bus, incurring the wrath of the bus driver, and even later some of my students wanted to free climb the Gardner Student Center at Dixie. I warned and yelled and got pretty upset, each time. I swear I wasn't that stupid when I was a teenager. Kids just don't always have an awareness of consequences. So I got to be Angry Ms. Olsen all weekend. The weekend also lasted longer than it should have. Because of the bad storm that came through, we stayed an extra night in Cedar City. I won't tell you about the drama from that night because, well, it's still under investigation. Yes. That bad.

I guess it wasn't all bad though. My public forum team (the debaters I actually do coach, not just substitute coach) took third. This is the first time people have placed at state for several years. I am incredibly proud of them.

Enough whining. Last weekend, I got the pleasure of joining one of my students in Washington D.C. for an award ceremony. The Bill of Rights Institute hosts an essay contest and my student was chosen as a finalist. We spent three days in D.C. seeing things and learning a lot. I am incredibly impressed with the BRI. No expenses were spared on us, and that feels good as a middle class American. A few sponsors paid for all 27 students, their teachers, and a parent to fly to D.C. plus hotel stay for three nights at the JW Marriot right off the mall and two blocks from the White House. Anyway. The contest chose three finalists from nine regions of the U.S. My student took third in our region. We both received checks for $1,250 and a sweet plaque. I'm honored that my student had me help her with the essay. I met some pretty great people (including a cute English teacher from Kentucky) and learned lots. Teachers are such nerds. We just talked about teaching the whole time.

I'm back now and looking forward to April. Baseball season is underway, and I can't wait to get a little sun and watch my favorite sport. Things should slow down a little for me now. Spring Break is here and I can't wait to get some things done that I have been putting off.

Blossoming D.C.

My student and me at the Awards Gala