Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Break

Whew! What a month. I knew it would be mad, but I underestimated. I mean come on, Butler! None of my final four picks made it to the final four. Most of them didn't make Sweet 16, and that isn't even the half of it.

In my bullet style post of last month, I mentioned a few things that hadn't happened yet, but that I was looking forward to. It is now time to report on said events. Yay!

Being and American Contest:
As some of you know from Facebook, I went to Washington D.C. for an award program because one of my students won an essay contest. It ended up being a great few days. I flew in to DC early to hang out with my Uncle Doug and Aunt Sara and Cousin Cameron. They let me veg with them and stay in their basement. We went on a picnic lunch to Roosevelt Island and walked the perimeter of the island. I really enjoyed it. This sounds snobby, and I'm sorry for it but I can't think of how to phrase it otherwise: I've been to DC so many times it's hard to find something I've never done, but Doug and Sara always find something :) Cameron is growing up like crazy. We spent Sunday morning beading and making pretty bracelets and necklaces with her other cousin Olive. I loved spending time with them.
On Sunday Doug dropped me off at the JW Marriott for registration of my fun-filled awards week. I met up with my student and her mother for the dinner that evening and ran into a few familiar faces. Several of the teachers here this time were return teachers like myself. I think it was four total teachers with repeat winners. Anyway, we did a lot of the same things: Mount Vernon on Monday (one of my favorite spots in the Capitol); National Archives, Library of Congress, Capitol Building. They fed us well and I remembered to pack my exercise clothes this year. The hotel had awesome facilities. Ironically, the one morning I didn't work out Mit Romney did (we'd walked miles the day before). I was so close. Man.
The Gala on Tuesday and the final event of the trip was an awesome party. Wine and open bar to start with lots of shmoozing with donors. It was cool and I chatted up a few cool people with my cranberry-ginger-ale go-to cocktail. The Gala is the big event where everyone finds out what place the students took in the contest. Going in we only knew my student was top three in our region. The contest has 9 regions total. SO . . . my student took 1st place! I could barely contain my excitement. I'd been hoping but not too much just in case we got disappointed (not that 3rd is disappointing). My student won $5,000 and the best part is the Bill of Rights Institute gives equal awards to the teachers as well. I've never had $5000 at one time before; in fact, I got grilled at the bank when cashing the check to make sure it wasn't fraudulent. I feel blessed and proud. It felt so good that my student won. It put Gunnison on the map for just a minute.
We spent our last day hitting last minute must-sees for my student before hopping on a plane and jet-setting it home. I taught Thursday and Friday before getting on another plane and heading for San Francisco to start my Spring Break.

Last summer I arranged to visit a Bread Loaf friend (that's my master's program) in San Francisco in the spring. She teaches at a private school and I've always been curious about private schools. So my friend Margaret appeased my curiosity. We saw and walked a lot, which was cool because we ate really well too. SF has incredible restaurants and bakeries. We went to a farmer's market, Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Goldern Gate Park, the Full House houses, the bakery that invented sourdough, and lots of the bay. We also drove around a bit to see all the neighborhoods. We spent a day in Sausalito and Muir Woods which is home to the Redwoods. That was quite an adventure. California really is a beautiful state. I went to school with Margaret on Monday and toured her school and watched her teach. Her kids were bright! I was fascinated and it piqued my interest. Margaret helped me make some decisions. I know what it looks like to be young and single in a city and I think that is what I want. I'm ready for change!
Anyway, I'll keep you posted on that. I had a great start to an awesome spring break. I finished it by reading a book, watching some TV, working in the yard, watching Conference, and visiting Holland while he was in Provo. I bought new luggage for my England trip. After all the traveling I've been doing I realized my beat up old suitcase won't quite hack it anymore. But now March is over and hopefully so is the madness. As far as I can see I have free weekends and no special trips in mind (except Easter in St. George?) I'm a designated home body :) It'll be good for me and for my wallet.
So here's to another adventure!