Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Laughs

I hope you had as wonderful a Christmas as I did. I got to spend a lot of time with my crazy and funny family. One of the best parts of the day was when Larry tried on the gift I gave him. I hope you enjoy watching as much as I did.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Merry Christmas

I love this time of year! The music, the stories, the food, the parties, the three weeks off of work! I love it! I hope you love it to, and if you don't then you should go jump in a lake and/or find a job that lets you off for the holidays.
Today, some of the older kids at my school preformed their own adaptation of Dickens A Christmas Carol. They stayed after school last night to set up this pretty detailed set (for a 20 minute show for 3rd graders) and then first thing this morning they did their stuff. It was really fun to see all of them (even the exchange students) preform their parts with such feeling. I especially liked that in the end Scrooge gave Tiny Tim a puppy, after which they both wished us all a Merry Christmas, and passed out fancy chocolates. I hate to admit that I haven't read the Dickens version but it seemed pretty off. I liked it all the same, and my kids loved it!
This is a blurry shot of Scrooge handing "Tiny" Tim his new puppy
(who was surprisingly ferocious).

A close friend of mine recently admitted that she hates A Christmas Carol, in all its many forms. I was so shocked by this. I have always loved it. My dad played the Ghost of Christmas Present several times when I was a kid and I loved to go see him. The story and its characters seemed real to me each time I saw it. I also played Scrooge's sister, Fanny, (coming to bring him home from school) when I was in junior high and fell even more in love with it (I'm willing to admit that this may have been more due to the cuteness of young Scrooge then anything else). Any way, to the point: As I said earlier I haven't actually read it, and so, along with a little book club I'm in, I am going to read it this year. I expect to love it even more, but if I don't, I probably won't admit it. And now you know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Walk

As you may know, I am a big Hanson fan (yes, the ones of MMMBop fame). I've loved them and their music for a long time now, and although I did have a door covered with their pictures in junior high, I would not classify myself as a crazy fan. Their latest two albums (The Walk and Underneath ) are full of songs I find myself singing at random times (like when I wake up).

Recently the band has created a charity called The Walk, which raises money for and awareness of social issues in Africa. It does things like pay for medicine for mothers with HIV, build schools, make irrigation systems, and give shoes to children. Before each of their shows on their recent tour they have been doing a one mile walk without shoes, and for each person who joins them they donate a $1 to the charity. So, this weekend I got to take The Walk with them (and about 100 other people).

Somehow I managed to talk my perfectly reasonable sister and sister-in-law into coming with me (disclaimer: they are not big fans of Hanson, and thus not a dork like me). We took my cousin Sam (who is 3) and drove to Chapman University (in Orange, where I live). When we got there a bunch of people where milling around, and after we registered Sam was bored, so Marissa taught him how to throw rocks at things (okay, it was only a fountain, but it sounds more fun the other way).

I think their faces say it all (I hope he didn't just hit something or someone important).

After a while Hanson showed up and we strolled over and took off our shoes (even Sam). They gave a rousing speech about how our generation can change the world and that the first step is to get out there (which I did by going to The Walk). They also encouraged people to take off their shoes, to help us realize all of the things we take for granted (like shoes to protect our feet from poky things). Then the giant heard (which felt a bit like cattle) moved at a relatively slow pace around the campus. After one mile the band stopped to talk again, about the true needs in Africa and how much we have to give and then they asked us to walk an other mile (basically black-mailing us, but I didn't mind, I want to save Africa!).

On the huge fan front, we got to see the band up close and personal, and although I didn't talk to any of them I got to take some fun pictures.

This one is of Zac Hanson. Megaphones are so cool!

This is one of Taylor Hanson (he's the pretty one). Issac Hanson was right behind us (at the end of the long line of people).

After all of the walking our feet were pretty gross, but I felt special. I have decided to sponsor The Walk at my hippie school, and I hope that it goes well (it won't be until after the holiday break, though).

Thanks for caring! I love you all!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

That Post (and isn't it sad)

I have some things I need to share, and blogs were invented for that, right? So here goes!

First, I saw Eagle Eye a while back, and I have some things I need to say about it. I really enjoyed the drama and action of this movie, it moved along really well, and I really liked the characters. I did not, however, like who the bad guy ended up being. I thought that having a super computer trying to change the world was a major cop out. It should have been something that feels more real, and is more interesting. Oh,well.

Second, I am going to be moving to a new place with my parents soon. We are trying to get into a pretty swell mobile home, complete with a neato park and new carpet. I really hope we get it. I can't believe I just admitted that I hope I can one day soon be living in a trailer!

Third, Larry comes home in 11 days! I am so excited to see him. It has been 2 years and 4 months! Wow!

In other news my aunt JoAnn and I bought a miniature pineapple. Isn't it cute!?!

We'll just try to ignore the fact that it was the same price as a normal pineapple, tasted the same, and was about 4 times smaller.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not That Post

Eventually I'll have a post that has nothing to do with my class, but this is not that post.

Today was a very exciting Friday. I decided to have a mock presidential election for my class, and send the result to a kids magazine who was asking for them. I started out by inviting the 2nd grade, which my mom teaches, to join the election, and by this morning K-6 were all voting. Despite the bit of extra work I am glad that all the elementary kids got to vote today. I made a cute little voting booth, and they even got stickers that said "I voted!" It was really fun. Here is a picture of some of my kids waiting to vote.

So, the results, which I'm sure you're anxious to hear, where that in every class Obama won. The schools totals were, Obama with 45 votes, McCain with 22, and 3 votes for an undisclosed "other."'

After the exciting election in the morning we had our second Annual Pumpkin Rolling Relay. The Kinder through 3rd grades were divided into 4 teams, and then they had to race by rolling a pumpkin down the basketball court. It was so cute, and everyone went away with a smile. This is a picture of three of my Chameleons racing with their pumpkins.

The pumpkins were great fun, and to add to that the whole school got pizza for lunch, and we started our lunch ten minutes early. To top off our great Friday my class had an ice cream party for good behavior at the end of the day. We used an entire package of sprinkles. :)

I ran across some picture of my playing tether ball with my students, and thought I should share their hilarity with you. One day I took leave of my senses and let the kids take turn playing tether ball with me and taking pictures of it with my camera. Below are two of the funniest shots.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I made it through!

Back-to-school night is finally finished! I managed to survive meeting about half of the parent's in my class, and many others from the school! My room looked great! I was totally prepared, and two of the parents said that they are very glad I am teaching their kid. Yippee! Maybe this year will turn out to be pretty good after all.

I keep having this waking nightmare that I get to the end of the school year and realize that I haven't actually taught my kids anything. That in fact, I ruined them and their futures! It is a very intense and horrible feeling to get. I'm not usually much of a worrier, but the responsibility of teaching these kids is getting to me. I have to keep reminding myself that I can do this, and that I can even do it well. I just hope that in 10 years these kids look back at their time in the third grade and say, "That was a great year, and Miss Merket helped shape the great person I am today." I really hope that they are not saying, "If only I hadn't lost all my confidence and learning ability in the third grade, maybe I could be changing the world instead of sitting in jail. Curse Miss Merket!" Gahhhhh!

In other news, I am very excited to be attending my first real luau tonight. There is going to be a roasted pig, and even live Hawaiian dancers. It should be a blast!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finally a Blog

So, I think I just might be the last person I know to get a blog. I never had any thing particular against blogs, I just figured only people without a life had them. Now that I officially have no life, I thought I should get one.

About 10 days ago I started my first year of teaching. I am the third grade teacher at a private school, and all I seem to be able to think about these days are my ten very unique and funny students. I am pretty sure that being a prematurely middle-aged school teacher who is obsessed with her students and laminating is the very definition of a loser without a life. Despite all that, I love what I am doing. Today Yoori (one of my cute kids) gave me beautiful origami flower she'd made from memory. It was so sweet, and since she speaks very little English it was the first sign I'd had from her that she thinks I am a decent teacher. That folks, is why I love teaching.

This Friday we are having my schools version of back to school night. I am extremely nervous. Although to teach at a private school you do not need a teaching credential, I have heard that at least one of my students mothers is concerned about my lack of a credential. Because of this I am working really hard to make my room, curriculum over view, and self look perfectly teacher-ish. I hope it all pays off!

Just so you can see a little of what I am talking about here are some pictures of my new life.

This is Netra, showing me how excited she is to be making a newspaper about herself.

This is our job board. Doesn't responsibility look exciting!

This is the courtyard garden at my school. It has a pond with fish, frogs, and turtles.