Sunday, April 8, 2007

My Crazy Summer!

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I do want to let everyone know that I found out which school I'll be teaching at! It's called Jordan Ridge Elementary, in South Jordan Utah. There are about 950 students enrolled there every year, and it is a year-round school, which means I will begin teaching in July, teach for about 9 weeks and then have 3 weeks off. Should be amazing for planning purposes and for much needed breaks, especially as a first-year teacher. You can check out pictures and school stats at these links:

The first one is the districts description of the school, and the second is the schools home page. I hope you have as much fun checking it out as I did!

Also, I got my assignments for being a sports and dance camps counselor this summer. I will be a counselor for all 4 weeks in July. Let me give you a little background on my summer schedule so this actually means something to you. First, I will finish up with my current classes on April 25th, and move to Campus Plaza on the 26th. Then I will have Friday of that week off, and the weekend. Then, because I am a "fast track" student for ELED (meaning I'm cramming all the rest of my classes into spring and summer terms so I can teach this fall), I get to start class the day before everyone else's spring term starts. Then on Tuesday we will begin practicum again, hopefully at the school and in the grade that I am assigned to teach, so I can get to know everyone and the system at the school. I will spend the rest of May in practicum, then I will finish my spring classes at the end of June. I get a couple days break, and then I will start my summer term classes which they have squished from a two-month period of time into just one month (probably for crazy people like me who are doing year round school :)). So, during the month of July I will be going to class, setting up my classroom, going to district training meetings, and working summer camp in the evenings. Then the final stretch will be the crowning glory. Along with all of this, and during my last week of being a camp counselor, I begin actually teaching school about two days before finals. Talk about stretching. Luckily, I sort of enjoy the thrill of packing so many things in at once, but it's a different story when I'm actually in the middle of it, sleep-deprived, and with no end in sight :) But it's all part of the college deal, in my opinion. I swear this place is just swarming with a bunch of twenty-somethings who are working way harder than they should, lacking sleep and living off of sugar rushes and adrenaline. But you just get through it, and that's all you can ask for :). And then you look back when you're old and think about how great it all was, and how you miss those days. Funny how we humans work, eh?

One more thing. After I finish my summer term finals, and I'm done doing summer camp, I will have the entire month of August with nowhere to live while I am working up in Jordan. I figured paying for housing when I'm not even living in it wasn't exactly my cup of tea (I'll be living in the dorms with my girls during camps), so I decided I'd stay at friends houses in the area on the weekends when I'm not doing camps. Which again leaves the problem of August. Here is the latest solution. One of my current roommates, Rachel, is going to live with her parents in Salt Lake for the summer, and they have an extra room and kitchen in the downstairs of their gorgeous house in the mountains east of Salt Lake (we're talking view that overlooks the lights of southern Salt Lake City here). She offered that I come to stay with her for the month of August, which would be perfect especially because it would only take me about 20 min. to get to my school from her house, as opposed to 40 from Provo. I told her I'd think about it, and went up to her house for Easter dinner today and met her family, etc. They were all super nice, and absolutely hilarious, so it's looking pretty good that that is where I will end up. I love that I am going to be moving all over the place this summer! First here, then to random peoples houses for weekends, the dorms, then Salt Lake, then back here again. I love that feeling of being versatile, and transient. Plus I can get to really know lots of people. That is such a thrill for me. It's going to be a good time. I can feel it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Some days, life is great.

So a ton has happened and I just haven't had the time to get on here and write it all down. But the first and most exciting thing is that I got an internship! Jordan School District (just south of Salt Lake) hired me on as in intern for this upcoming school year. The internship will take the place of my student teaching, because having an internship means having your own class for the school year! They haven't yet told me which grade, or in which school I will be teaching, but I was told they would be getting back to me sometime this week. Anyway, very exciting. As soon as I find out more details, I will let y'all know. And just fyi, I'm in the process of putting a photo album up, as well as streaming some home videos that I have from the last couple of years. Should be fun... keep checkin' back!

Second, I finished up with my practicum today, and it was kind of bittersweet. I really like the kids, and have enjoyed getting to know them, but at the same time I will be happy to not be teaching first grade. Way too much cheese for me. Not to mention it's hard to do any sort of even remotely complex games/lessons/activities because they are just too young to catch on. Most of them anyway. I like to plan fun games or interactive lessons but the majority of my ideas have been too complicated for them. Luckily the chances of me ending up in first grade for my internship are pretty slim. But anyway, I have had a lot of fun with the kids during the four weeks that I was at Westridge. Today I brought them all treats, they wrote me notes and I took plenty of pictures. The picture above is me and my class. And for all of those who are curious, Ilana (the one from my stories in the previous post) is the one just to the left of me when looking at the picture (she has a brown shirt on).

Third, I don't know if I mentioned before that I had the opportunity of dancing in the big BYU Luau this year. I thought I'd give it a try especially since it seems to run in my family (my grandma taught hawaiian dance, and my mom was a member of a polynesian troupe for awhile). I had so much fun! It was great to be dancing in front of a crowd again, and to have that dancing outlet. It felt really good. I think I'm going to try and do it again next year, even though I'll be teaching. I danced in the Tahitian number, and the Hawaiian. The picture above is a few of the girls, and the one below is of the whole group, including our instructors.

Also, I got to go to the conference center in Salt Lake for the Sunday morning session of General Conference! I have never been, so I was really excited and it was great actually being there. My roommate Caitlin and I were going to drive up Sunday morning and just wait in the stand-by line to see if we could get in, but my friend Michelle (just to my left in the picture), who is in my cohort for ELED and with whom I am actually living with for spring term (along with Katie, the one just to the left of Michelle) had an extra ticket and invited me! We drove up Saturday night and stayed at the Harmer's (Michelle's grandparents). They fed us banana splits while we waited for Michelle's brother Nathan and his friends to get back, and then the battle ensued over the car bed. We (Michelle, Katie and I) being female and of course more mature and willing to sacrifice, charitably gave in and offered the car bed to the boys (all the while knowing we could have gotten it if we really wanted it :)) We went to the next room and slept in the double bed. And yes, there were three of us in it. But it was still fun, and we slept well! The next morning after deciding to not take showers because, one, the boys were in the bathroom, two, we figured we could get away with it, and three we didn't want to get out of bed, we finally got dressed, ate delicious whole wheat waffles for breakfast with whipped cream and strawberries on top and left for the conference center. Just as a sidenote, did any of y'all know that the author of the "Pickles" cartoon is LDS? Check the comics from Sunday morning... there is a picture of the Salt Lake temple on the wall. Anyway, conference was great, and I always forget how amazing the Tabernacle choir is in person. Wow.

Overall, things are going well. I have been feeling at peace about most things in my life, which is a nice assurance that I'm headed in the right direction. I will be going back to class tomorrow morning bright and early at 7:30 am and will have lots and lots of Practicum assignments due in the next couple of weeks followed closely by finals, and then moving out, but despite the stress, it shouldn't be too bad. I'm discovering that as long as you have your friends around you, nothing can really be that bad :)