27 August 2011

Life Lately...

Life has been a whirlwind the past 2 weeks or so. Seriously, we have not stopped moving until the late hours of the night and then we're up at the crack of dawn again for round 2!

A recent recap of life: We signed for our house on post last Monday. Last week we ran loads of boxes to our new house from the apartment every night, as well as trying to get the apartment clean so we could officially move out. Oh yeah, and I started my job...I got my students on Tuesday, and the day went great! I was literally sweating bullets when I got my first class...I was so nervous! And the air conditioning is pretty much nonexistent in my classroom, which I think added to the beads of sweat on my bead and running down my back...felt like I was burning alive. Hopefully my savvy teenagers didn't catch on...My highschoolers were gone from Wed-Fri. on a spiritual emphasis retreat which allowed me to get used to my other daily tasks at school as well as do some "revising" to what I already had planned. Here's how my day looks: 8-12:30: First grade assistant/Special Ed assistant...I spend a lot of time with an autistic boy, even doing pull out class with him every day for an hour. The 1st grade teacher just happens to be a friend of mine though so it's a blast being in class with her all morning! And I'm learning a lot about 6 year olds, such as: they do not know how to control their bladders and/or can't remember to go to the bathroom; they usually need help opening at least one item in their lunch box; they are MAJOR tattlers; one second they think you're the devil, the next they're telling you "I love you, Mrs. Page!".
I have also learned a lot about first grade; I'm trying to remember all of the phonics I so hated at that age as well as explain things like place value and making up goofy movements so that they can remember Bible verses...Katie (the 1st grade teacher) and I often share lots of laughs as well as looks of frustration...they are so cute but can be so whiny at times! :)

Next, I take the autistic boy (who's also in the 1st grade...) out for an hour so we can do specific practice on things like counting, the alphabet, and much more. I'm learning a lot about teaching and working with all types of students but I can't say it's always easy...I've already had to chase him down (literally, I'm sprinting) a few times this past week...we had some hard days, but I'm hoping for better next week! He's a really sweet boy when he wants to be ;)

After my morning of 1st grade,  I head off to teach my Spanish class. I was supposed to have both a Spanish 1 as well as a Spanish 2 class, and in fact, I still do...I just expected them to be at different times. Instead I teach them both during 7th period. I'm calling this a "creative challenge"...ha! And truth be told, I made a command decision to move some of the original Spanish 2 kids down to Spanish 1 because after I gave them a diagnostic test I realized they knew nothing...seriously, nothing. Thankfully my principal was cool with that :) They had a variety of Spanish teachers last year so it's an understandable situation.

After that, my afternoons vary. On Mondays and Wednesdays I help with the high school choir. Yes, please start laughing because if you know me, you know I cannot sing. I wish I could, but I'm at best an alto with some very good singers standing next to me who I can try to blend my voice with and match their note...So with choir I sing with them and do crowd control...it's hilarious to me. The rest of the afternoons I'm either with 1st grade or being the yearbook sponsor, which is another title I carry for this school year...haha! Also no experience with this, so we'll see how it goes. I truly love the school I'm working for as well as all the teachers, and the day keeps the time rolling along, even if I am doing laps around the school!

So, school has provided me with quite a workload of lesson planning and grading, and once we got done with last week, it was time to rent a U-haul.  We picked it up Friday afternoon and starting loading up our cars.  Saturday we have some dear and generous friends come over and help us move all of our stuff to the new house...no rest for the weary, right? We started at 7 and got done around 1...had to do it while it was at least a little cool out! This past week we have spent unpacking and trying to get things set up, but progress is slow...I think we're burned out! We helped our friends Stuart and Dana move today into their new house which was very exciting! Most of the friend group is now established in a house...so much better than cramped apartments!

This last week was busy with unpacking and unit-related activities. We had a battalion pre-deployment ball last night which was a blast! It was a really fun night and I got to know some of the guys Brian works with and see a lot of friends which made for a great evening. Disregard the fact that it took me a solid hour to get my hair to cooperate...grrrr. It is at times the bane of my existence.

Brian is doing well; work has slowed down some and they now have all of their official gear for deployment. The deployment uniform looks a little different than what they wear in garrison, so they get issued all this stuff in the new camo...uniforms, ruck sacks, body armor...the list goes on. You should see our storage closet-it is a mountain of green and tan! He's set to leave soon; in keeping with OPSEC (Operational Security...another Army acronym for ya!) I'm not going to publish exactly where he's going/when he's leaving, but if you want to know his mailing address or something like that let me know and I can get it to you once he gets overseas :) He loves Vienna sausage. Disgusting, right? Just the sight of those slimy things makes me queasy...  Perhaps that's why he makes a good infantryman...he will literally eat almost anything. As long as it's not a tomato.

Well I'm sure I'm forgetting things but I think that's plenty for now...Pictures of the house to come once it's all set up!

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