junipersky: (Default)
So, I had two WEIRD comments today.

We were discussing security vs. liberty and the Japanese Internment Camps in WWII. When we were done I posed to them this question, "Should some of our rights be given up in times of war?"

The kids then split into three groups. 1) Yes, 2) I don't know, 3) No.

They had to defend their argument verbally. While doing so 9-11 came up and how we treat Arab and Muslim people day. During this discussion came the first weird comment.

This young man (he's 10 mind you) said that we should be afraid and take away the rights of Muslims and Arabs because they've attacked us. I clarified saying, "Do you mean those who've never lived in the middle east, and are American Citizens also?" He said Yes.

EEK! What kind of poison is he being fed at home that he would just lump an entire group of individuals together like that? I mean, it's one thing to be afraid of active militant groups, though I still wouldn't go as far as he would to take away their rights, and quite another to completely profile a group of people as bad!!

The second comment happened after we'd broken up. Some of the kids were really thinking and came up to make comments or ask questions. This little guy is my quietest kid in the class and had the most concerned, most genuine face on when he asked me, "Do you believe that Bin Laden blew up the towers? Because I think it was the government."

I blinked, twice, and then answered, "Well, make sure you look at all of the evidence and then make your decision."

... What has HE been hearing at home?

Those two were the weirdest, though I heard quite a bit of confusion, which is where I wanted them to be. I wanted them to think about all the faces of liberty and then decide for themselves, and if they just didn't know, that was okay too!

A few of them came in over lunch and we talked. The discussion ranged everywhere from 9-11, to segregation, to how rules help us to be free, and different levels of security.

Wow. Just... wow.
junipersky: (Default)
The year before I joined Simis the 4th grade teachers did a huge project where everyone taught the book The Phantom Tollbooth. They bought the books and all the supplies. All of them thought it was a lot of fun.

Last year no one did anything with it except for Chris. (he's the teacher next door.) I saw him teaching it and really wanted to join in. I LOVE that book. Only problem with me joining in is that I don't have any of the materials because I am the 7th classroom, and they only have the things for 6 classrooms.

I've gone to all of my colleagues and asked if I could have their class set of the books. The answer I've gotten from Every Single One of them is "Oh... well... I might do it."

Might. They MIGHT do it. No matter that the next quarter is only a month away, they "might" do it. And that "might" is enough for them to not let me use their set. I'm "defiantly" going to do it. AND the sets don't belong to them. They belong to the school and should be placed where they are going to be used.

Right now I'm looking into alternate funding sources- DonersChoose and also looking to see if our Parent Teacher organization might be willing to spring the $200 to help me get everything for it.

All in all I'm just really frustrated. I'll be even more frustrated if they end up not teaching it and I can't get my hands on the books in time. Because then they will have stopped me from using the resources of the school, while also having not used the gosh darned things too!! AROEIUAROEIURA:!
junipersky: (Default)
So, I got all the way to school today, sat in my car listening to the end of the news, stood up, and then realized I didn't have the keys to my classroom. I hit myself on the head, got BACK in the car and prepared to drive ALL THE WAY HOME. That's when I remembered that I really only had enough gas in my car to get me home... but not back to school again. Oh, and did I mention my purse is MIA so I have no money for gas?

So, since the car was started I drove to a gas station and asked if they took a check. They didn't. Then, from behind the counter someone I know appears! It is the mother of my super-duper-problem child from last year!! She was super sweet, told me how her son is doing (she said he was doing well which made me REALLY HAPPY) and then said that she'd take a check from me.

It totally turned my day around. It made me realize that no- I didn't have to drive all the way home. I COULD just ask Bill (the plant foreman) to unlock my door and leave it unlocked the whole day (usually not a good idea with thousands of dollars worth of technology in my classroom but... eh, no one is allowed on campus that doesn't sign in, and the kids aren't big enough to haul it out. So, I got a little bit of gas in my car and the day turned around.

I love parents who are so kind.
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junipersky: (Default)
my brain hurts. x.x Taylor got a call to expect a call back about the job interview he had last week....

That just doesn't make sense! If you're going to bother to call why don't you just say if we got it or not.x.x

Also... My science books are weird. They all look bound perfectly, but half of them have two pages for some stories while others only have one for the two stories! It's not a page missing, so I'm just confused!
junipersky: (Default)
For how rough today started out (between the tires, and then out of no where I had a panic attack --> Which, thankfully, I caught early enough that it didn't spiral too far out.) it turned out not too bad.

For the most part the kids reminded me that they ARE the best class I've ever had. (Mr. Arrogance being the exception as always.) They're intelligent, they think hard, and they really do want me to be happy with what they're doing. They take pride in their work and they just... try. They try so hard.

I love my class. (even if I do have no voice right now!)
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junipersky: (Default)
I'm reading a book by C.S. Lewis that I LOVE. It's called Mere Christianity and reaffirms my already strong position that I think he's a genius when it comes to religious speaking.

One of my favorite parts is when he talks about all the different Christian Sects. He said that with all the bickering we do about who is different form whom, we're more likely to chase someone away from Christianity all together rather than help them to understand it.

<3 <3 <3 <3

I mean, I think there's only been one thing in the book so far I couldn't agree with, and nothing that hasn't at least been logically thought out.

On a secondary note... Today went really well. REALLY well. I decided that I'm going to give the kids less freedom in Language Arts then I did last week. Maybe in a few weeks... or months, I'll let them choose for themselves again when it comes to what they're going to do during the day.

Then again. Maybe not. In general they got SO MUCH DONE today. Some even finished ALL of the Vocabulary Work. (I really only expected spelling and a start on the vocabulary work.)

Tomorrow we're going to Finish Vocabulary, work on our SS connection, and prewrite our blog posts. The lesson is going to be on "Words in Context".
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junipersky: (Default)
Not only has the first week of school flown by, but the first weekend has also! I was able to do some awesome shopping last night. Managed to score 81% savings at Safeway (I usually NEVER go there because the deals aren't usually there), and then 51% at Frys. I have to go back to buy more Gatorade this week because Taylor's doctor said NO MORE high fructose corn syrup. Not sure how I'm going to do much cooking without using it at least SOME, but I can do what I can!

The WORST part of the new foods is that Taylor had to throw out all of his Diet Mountain Dew. He LIVES off of caffeine, and this couldn't have come at a worse time. He starts his last semester of grad school on Tuesday. The capstone semester is crazy hard, and I'm worried about him. Hopefully the doctor is right and he'll use some of the weight. I love how my husband looks but I know it isn't healthy. As I'd like him to live longer than well... any Summers in living history I'm really going to support him in this.

Still, cooking is going to be harder! Esp as the doctor told him to cut back on carbs. x.x I LOVE CARBS.

I'm also going to try to take some of the more fatty/carby/HFCS to school with me so that I can still get it used up and Taylor doesn't have to be tempted.

Okay. I'm rambling. School is tomorrow. I... THINK I've got everything planned out. I'm trying to figure out how to fit everything in!
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junipersky: (Default)
Ouch. Slept wrong so the neck hurts right now. Somehow pulled something in my hip. Back won't let me sit up straight w/o sending pain shooting up my spine and down into aforementioned hip. However, it isn't bad enough to keep me from getting my room ready!!! So super duper excited for the year to start!!!!
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junipersky: (Ever Curious Kitty)
I just had a good day.

It started out with some bad news- we didn't get the scholarship we had hoped for. So we're going to be draining the trust fund this next year. I'd kinda planned on that (because I'm a wet towel) but it's still upsetting that we didn't get it.

Well, after that I spent some time talking to Mom on the phone. Taylor and I had planned on going to the Temple today, and after the bad news I /really/ wanted to go. Because I think the Temple is the BEST way to get some perspective and heal a sadness. So Taylor and I still went. BEST idea ever. Eternal perspective. A place where the devil has NO power, so everything can really fall into place. I hope, somehow, I can make my home like that because the Temple won't be as accessible. It's a half hour away from where we're thinking of looking rather than just five minutes away. (We'll go to the Mesa Arizona Temple.) Anyway. GOOD idea.

Then I changed, Taylor changed and he came to pick me up. We went shopping because he needed food and we found a good deal on some good hamburger meat ($1.99 a lb pre patty, vs. $2.99 out of patty). So we ended up buying everything. It was fun to figure out what he wanted to do! So we're going to grill hamburgers, chips and watermelon. (YUM!)

Then dinner. Came back to my place and hung out a bit. Watched some SUV, then decided to go back to Taylor's place because he had to move his car anyway. (Riv tows at 11). Taylor got the game Cribbage on his Droid and I've been playing it so got him hooked. His roommate owns the actual game (mine is in Phoenix.) And he did really well. I ABSOLUTELY enjoyed it. I love playing card games.

To sum up- Taylor is the best fiance ever. Arizona is possible. Life is good.

Pray that we get the apartment we've got our eyes on! It's perfect for us, and we both feel good about it. I'm really, really, really hoping.


Also- Just had the best moment. One of Aiesha's friends served his mission in Houston South and knows Mimi's father. So we got to talk for a moment. AWESOME.
junipersky: (sad kitten)
For the first time I have felt grateful that my engagement is as long as it was. Taylor's roommate just proposed to his girlfriend and they -outwardly at least- are having some struggles. Taylor and I basically had a date in mind, but setting it in stone WAS NOT the big idea on our mind right after he put that ring on my finger. We had a month of a very joyous, "Oh wow, I'm engaged" before we had to start doing things. I think it might have strengthened our relationship quite a bit.

I love Taylor. )

To do:
Put Ms. Howard's name in the temple. She needs all the extra prayer she can get. Can you, dear readers, also pray for her? The biggest thing she needs right now is your prayers for health. The kids need her a lot right now. I only wish I could be there to help her and them.
junipersky: (Default)
Dear Dreamwidth readers,

I would like to introduce you to the newest college graduate (along with the other 6,000+ from BYU). Yes, this is me. I walked across a stage yesterday to accept my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education yesterday. Best part was that I got to walk with my amazing fiance, Taylor. My parents came out and as I had a cousin (Becca) graduating also from the school of communications (like Taylor, but in advertising, not journalism) my Aunt Karen and Uncle Randy were there.

Afterward mom, dad, Jade, Taylor and I went out to go buy wedding stuff and got almost /all/ of the decorations and plates/cups. Forks we're going to be cheap about and go to Costco. (Seriously, they're forks!) Spent almost $550, which as far as I'm concerned is VERY good. Those decorations were for both receptions (Provo and Gypsum.) Mom's still pretty upset about being outside, but as I'm bending on just about everything else she's dealing with it. I mean, if it rains that's my fault. As the average rainfall in Utah in June is .8 of an inch I'm not too worried.

Anyway, our budget for the two receptions is $2000, with the other $3000 going for everything else (from gas expenses, to hotel rooms, etc etc etc.) I'm hoping to come in below budget, but I can only hope. Maybe that'll be nicer for Mom if I can keep the price down.

Anyway, after we bought stuff Taylor and I picked up my Cousin Kim and her friend Ash and we went up to Uncle Bills. (There were too many 'ands' in that sentence.) We got there before my parents and just chilled till they and Aunt Jessica + crowd arrived. Karen, Becca, Randy + Brent (Becca's fiance) all arrived JUST before dinner. (In a public form I will not speculate as to why this is, but I have a few theories.) Nothing too crazy happened. Little cousins jumped me, Taylor helped them to tickle, movies, losing horrible at Mari Wii... (seriously, I suck.)

All in all... a good graduation day. Best part of it was when I got back to Uncle David (and Aunt Jessica's) and CRASHED. I haven't slept that well in a long time. Since coming back from TX I haven't gotten more than 5 hours a sleep a night.

Now I get to move on to bigger and better things. I found someone today to get my invitations done. 450 for $275 which includes the invitations, envelops, design cost and 50 insert cards for those we're inviting to the sealing. They're not going to be the most elaborate because the woman ( only does this for a hobby, but the price is pretty fantastic. She said she'd probably get back to me Monday/Tuesday with a design. I'm VERY stoked because I've been stressing getting these things out!! I might even pay a little more to have the envelopes printed with the return address.

Next week I'm going down to Phoenix for three days. The registration on my car is up this month and as we're moving I don't want to renew the registration in Utah. Better to do it in AZ.

All in all... life is good to me. I'm going to go back to where Taylor's working now though, hang with him a bit longer. I was abortively attempting to make my own invitations because of my frustration.

Here is love. <3 <3 <3 God bless.
junipersky: (Default)
Tired. Just bone weary tired.

17 days till I see him.

Benchmark Tests:
1. Math 3/4 passed.
2. Science
3. Social Studies
4. Writing
5. Reading

For further reading on how I feel about the tests see: Adventures in Learning: Benchmark Test
junipersky: (Default)
I'm so tired of being in Houston without Texas. Chey, I have no idea how you dated dive so long without being with him. There isn't a day I wake up when my first thought isn't about him, or my last thought about him. I manage to devote my days to my children, and refuse to go home till my work is done because I know very well that the moment I come home I'm not going to work, I'm going to want to talk to him.

School is going well. one of my students is driving my CRAZY. He starts off the morning usually in a bad mood, then any time between specials and lunch his mood takes an abrupt 180 and he's back to alright. He's a smart kid and deep down I think he actually wants to do well. He loves it when he gets the answer right, and when he can help others (which, strangely enough, he's pretty good at doing. I've thought of moving the girl in the desk next to him away, but sometimes they do so well that I feel it would be detrimental to her to move her.) This boy has had problems in the past, but I don't hold them against him. I try to restart the day back on a good foot so every day when he walks in he gets as many chances (sometimes more) to behave and work as the other children do.

I just wish there was something I could DO to help him.

Another little girl did just fine in math today. She struggles with her confidence. She is a solidly average student and gets pressured from home to do better. I've told Taylor that I will not pressure my kids to do better then they are able to do. If I can see that they are working and doing their best (not dinking around) then I'm more then likely to leave them alone with their B's and C's. I want them to have an inner motivation to get the grades and between Taylor's genes and mine, I think they'll have it if they're allowed to grow into it. Learning is something that really needs to have inner motivation. Anyway, back to my girl. She's been working hard on her subtraction and today had a break through with it. She solved all of the problems correctly on the first try and I made sure to comment on it. The smile on her face when I told her she was among the first in the class to finish was worth more than it's weight in gold.

Also, my new girl and my spacy boy are going to be best friends. They're both off in their own little worlds so it didn't even occur to me that when I moved her they would join each OTHER in that different world. I moved her because I wanted her to feel more like a part of the classroom (she had been way far off in a corner and I could tell she was getting lost.) When I put my attention back on them they were talking and playing. I've never seen them play with anyone but Angelina (who plays with EVeryone). So yeah, gotta watch those two. They're both JUST low enough that I worry about them.
junipersky: (sad kitten)
Hey ya'll.

Taylor informed me last night that I haven't updated this blog since New Years. That's probably because I've done two very extensive posts over at my education blog- If you want to know about how I've been in the school since coming to Texas, you'll find it there.

As for me personally? I'm getting by. I am really glad I have my student teaching to do, or I would never get out. I'm not the type of person to really likes to put herself out there if it isn't necessary. People say hi to me a lot, but I'm always just a step behind in remembering their names. Actually, it drives me crazy. It's not that I don't try, I do, but my short-term memory is very bad. If you distract me with something else (like a conversation) right after I learn a new piece of information then I'll forget that information (like a name) instantly. When I'm learning kids names I DO have time to put their names into my long-term memory because I can reherse them. Adult names? Not so much. People think you're crazy if you walk around muttering their names under your breath as you point at them.

My ward seems to be nice. I've already requested that my records be moved here. (Mostly so I can pay tithing!) Everyone has been really welcoming and nice. I just wish there was someone else my age! Well, go to the singles ward you say. No thanks. I make that drive five times a week twice each day. I'd rather make it as little as humanly possible.

Rosemary is nice, but once again, not my age. I feel really awkward being in her house, but I try not to. It works about 1/4 of the time.

I guess I should take a nap right now. I'm missing Taylor a whole lot, and at least if I'm unconscious I have a chance of maybe dreaming about him?

I really hope the Lord has a plan for my time out here, because.... basically, this bites.
junipersky: (Default)
I am now in Houston, TX. To do:

A) Go to sleep and try to actually... sleep tonight.
B) Meet Mimi at 11:00.
C) Drive by the District Office typething.
D) Drive by Carroll Elementary
E) Meet Rosemary at 1:00.
F) Move into Rosemary's place.
G) Figure out what to do tomorrow till 11:00.
H) Yeah....

I miss Taylor. He's out with friends right now (yay! If I can't be there, at least he's having fun!), so I cannot call him. I wait!

Also, I love humidity. Especially right now when it isn't overpowering.

Also, All A's except for two A- in Literacy and Instruction and Assessment. This means that I've gotten A's or A-'s in all of my professional development classes. YAY!

I miss Taylor. I'm in Houston. I just realized my student teaching doesn't start till the 5th. okay, I KNEW this, but it hadn't quite clicked that it was TUESDAY, not Monday. Weird. I've emailed the Human Resource person to see if I can fill out the paperwork on Monday if they're in. Hopefully?

Man... I'm exhausted. But I want to talk to Taylor! MUST STAY AWAKE.
junipersky: (Default)
Last final... of my life.

...... what?!
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junipersky: (Default)
I have exactly two goals.
A) Complete all my assignments.
B) Remain less stressed than Taylor is.

If I can do A, then B will naturally follow. Yes? Yes.

It doesn't help that my family is coming out to meet him this weekend. I suddenly understand why Jessica was so freaked out after she and KJ got engaged. My mother called and talked about seriously common place things (like when they were going to get here) and I was almost in tears from the stress the conversation caused.
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junipersky: (Default)
So, today I was able to announce my engagement to all my friends and the diffrence between my Mormon friends and associates and my Non-Mormon friends and associates is CLEAR. My Mormon friends hear that we're going to be engaged for six months and ask, "Are you sure you want to wait that long?" and then I have to explain about Houston and my mother's sanity when it comes to the dress. My non-Mormon friends express concern that we're doing this way too fast. It makes me laugh more than a little bit.

I've told this story a million times, and it seems like I'll never forget it, but I am going to write down my engagement story just in case. This seemed like a good place.

Engagement Story )

So yeah. I'm the happiest person in the world right now (Even though it is snowing right now). Yesterday I got to tell everyone at church, and today I got to tell everyone in my Cohort. My mother and father called my respective extended family. (Which was nice, it would've been exhausting to call all of them myself!)
junipersky: (Default)
Eep. I walked through a bridal dress store today 'n it scared the crap out of me. Just... such a daunting task! How can I ever find a dress that fits what I want? All of them look so big... and.... floofy. I'm not a very big and floofy person.


Also, in unrelated news, my CPSE class needs to die a horrible terrible death. This final project was suppose to be nothing big, but it's turned into something HUGE. We never discussed the CRIME processes in class, so I'm fumbling with what to do with it.
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junipersky: (Flower)
Dear Journal,

I know it has been a long time since my last update, so I thought I would spend some time writing down what has happened recently.

In which I detail the last month of my personal life )