Monday, December 7, 2009

I Want a Hippopotamus

for Christmas! Its true, I do! Or, at least I want to sing along with/listen to the fabulous Christmas song of that name. I was introduced to this song while teaching in Taiwan and have been in love with it ever since.
Today I sang the song to my students (yes, I sang, even though normal I avoid singing alone in public). They were quietly writing about Christmas trees and I just broke out in song. In testament to my fabulous classroom management skills they did not interrupt my strange out burst, and they even applauded at the end.
After my impromptu concert I asked if they had heard the tune before. They hadn't and I promised to bring the song in so they could hear the real thing. This got me thinking that maybe my 8 year old "friends" weren't the only ones who were missing out on this classic. So, check it out!

Ratys Named

I should have posted this a long time ago, but I am nothing if not a good procrastinator.
After a week of getting to know them, and after being fairly certain that they were both girls, my class chose names for our rats. In an effort to avoid names like Poopy and Bob I gave my class two rules 1)the vote would be secret (so I could discard any names I hated) and the majority would win, and 2) they must be named after a president of the United States. At first rule 2 threw them for a loop because there aren't any girl presidents, but after a few suggestions from me they were able to think of some cute names.
So, with out further ado we now have:
named after President John Quincy Adams
and Rosynamed after President Theodore Rosevelt

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hanson + Hellogoodbye + San Diego = AWESOME!

Zac and Taylor Hanson singing Minute Without You

Last night I drove 90 miles to San Diego (thankfully there was very little traffic) just to see Hanson and Hellogoodbye. I took my little sister, Ami, who is a closet Hanson fan and also likes Hellogoodbye. We had a good time talking and singing along to Cd's of the music we were about to hear live in the car. We had a bit of difficulty trying to park, because I am a little crazy driving on crowded streets and one way roads scare me.

On one of countless loops back to the House of Blues area, we saw a shirtless muscly fifty something man walking across the street. He had long gray hair and he was twisting and banging his fists at the air in front of his chest. Our windows were rolled down so we had to resist laughing until we could pull away from the intersection, but once we did we let loose. He was so strange and out of place, he wasn't homeless looking (like 50% of the people we saw on the streets) or urban cool (like 47% of the people we saw on the streets, the other three percent was geeky Hanson fans, just like us), so he was very out of place.

Not 30 minutes later, while we are waiting in line, we see the same guy, doing the same twisty, bangy hand thing and still shirtless, only this time he is wearing a mask like a Mexican wrestler would wear, again we had to wait till he passed to laugh.

After parking we got in line and had to keep listening to the security guys telling us that there was no smoking inside and no readmitting (seriously they came back to our part of the line like 20 times in less then an hour). The anticipation was building and it was fun to talk to the other people in line. Some had been to several shows on the tour (the Use Your Sole Tour). Some had gone on The Walk earlier that day with the band. One group was made up of a forty something mom, her son and daughter (probably both around 19 or 20) and some of the kids friends. Later we found out that the son was the fan of Hanson not the mom or daughter ( he kept singing along to their songs during the show and he knew more of the words then I did).

Once the line was let inside (around 6) we were actually pretty close to the stage, only about 5 people deep in front of us. We discovered that our height had the advantage of making people steer clear of standing behind us, so that at least for the first three bands we had lots of space to move and dance around.

The first band out was Sherwood. They had some really great songs, and I can't wait to buy a few of their albums online. They let us know that this was the last show of the tour for all four bands and that they were expecting lots of "shenanigans." Turns out lots was an understatement. I loved every moment of the funny business! :) My two favorite pranks are sure to make you laugh to.

Hellogoodbye singing Baby Its Fact

The first involves a little green apple. During one of the last Hellogoodbye songs a guy from steel train brought out an apple and force fed a bite to one of the guys trying to sing. A few sends late another guy took the same apple and forced it down the back of one of the guitarists pants. After the song he pulled it out and threw it at the pranksters. It got lobed around stage for a few minutes and even shoved into some ones face, while the lucky ones out of range made jokes about ass apples. I'm laughing even now (in case you forgot I have a seven an 8 year old boy inside of me who loves a good ass joke, throwing rocks, and pocking dead things).

The second great prank was more traditional but on a scale I've never seen before. As Hellogoodbye sang one of their songs all of the other band guys and several stage hands stationed themselves around the stage forming a giant circle, and then on some signal they all pulled out a can or two of silly string and literally coated the band with the stuff. Each of the musicians was covered, and so were their instruments and mics. It was great!

I think the reason I liked the "shenanigans" so much was that it added a fun, silly, and more personal side to the show. I felt involved more, and I've never laughed so much at a concert.
During Hanson's set there wasn't really any funny business, I assume because they knew the crowed would probably have turned on them for ruining the headliners act (plus at least half of the crowed were "crazy" fans, which i am not, because I don't follow the band around or assume that I can make meaningful eye contact with one of the Hanson's at a packed concert or even want to make meaningful eye contact with one, and the crazy fans would probably would have been out for blood if the other bands had played around). So we were able to enjoy an unmolested 80 minutes of great music.

They did two of my favorites, Something Going Round and Minute Without You. They also played some unreleased stuff that will be on an album coming out next summer. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Hanson and the other bands singing Don't Stop Believin'

The last song of the night was Don't Stop Believin' with all of the guys from all four bands singing and dancing and being weird. It was so much fun to watch and sing along. I love Hanson and Hellogoodbye and live music! This was the best night I've had in ages!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baby Rats For My Class

Cute Baby Rats
Today one of the parents brought my class a special surprise: two adorable baby rats and all the stuff to take care of them.

The Student Who Brought us The Rats

Last year I reluctantly took a rat from my sister, because she found out she was allergic after purchasing one. It was a big, mean, anti-social male. My kids really liked him, but I was always nervous that he would bite one of them (which he did at least twice). Thankfully this summer he got sick and died.
I wanted a new rat, because I had a cage, but I wasn't sure where to get one. I was thrilled when one of the dads told me his rats had just had a litter. These new rats are so cute and tiny. It is impossible to tell their gender yet and so we may have to send one back if they are not the same.
We are waiting to name them until we know their gender, but for now the kids are calling them Crossy (because it has a cross on its back) and Straighty (because it has a straight line on its back).

Crossy in my Hand (So Tiny)

Friday, October 16, 2009


At work today, I got a tattoo, of course its a henna tattoo,but its still pretty cool. Our International Club was having a fund raiser. Several of my students were getting one, and I knew I would need to supervise them, so I decided to get one to.
Two of my girls got Pegasus.
These two have Chinese symbols for love and peace.

I knew I wanted a Chinese symbol but I wasn't sure that any of the students there would be able to do what I wanted. So when I asked if anyone could do the symbol for Taiwan I was pleasantly surprised that several students volunteered. In the end a nice young man named Howard did it. He is actually from just outside of Taichung. It was a lot of fun.

I'm pretty sure that this says Taiwan, but it could say almost anything and I wouldn't know.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Boring Life

In case any of you were wondering: I lead a pretty boring life. As a consequence of my boring life I rarely have anything to blog about. However, my sister in law Roxy and my brother Larry called me last week to let me know that I needed to update this thing. So, here I am updating my blog, it will be boring but it just might manage to be funny. I have recently started my second year of teaching at Eldorado/Emerson. I love the strange assortment of people I work with. At lunch a week or so ago, one of my co-workers, who knows that I am LDS, asked what Mormons think about heaven and hell, and specifically he wanted to know if he was going to hell. Yeah, that’s the kind of conversations we have in the staff room. At first I laughed and teased him about doing evil deeds, but then I got serious and told him about spirit prison, and the degrees of glory. It was a pretty neat discussion. :)

My students this year are super cute (yes, I know there was no segue here, deal with it). I only have 7 of them (just two boys) and they had my mom as a teacher last year so they are relatively well behaved and good at doing school work. This class is very different from my class last year, and the biggest difference is that they are very affectionate. They are regularly giving me hugs and trying to hold my hand and telling me that the think I'm a great teacher. Everyday of school is a real boost to my self confidence.

(Izzy and Mikayla hugging me, and Emily and Makayla mugging for the camera.)

There really isn't much to tell about my social life. The most exciting thing that has happened to me outside of work in a while is that I renewed my annual pass at Disneyland. I still haven't seen the new Halloween stuff, and I can't wait to see the fireworks and ghost themed Space Mountain. Maybe I'll blog about it when I finally go. Maybe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Independence Day School Celebration

Today was our schools official Independence Day celebration. We have been getting ready for it all week. We started the event with a big parade. I tried to teach my students some color guard skills, but mostly they just waved their flags. They were wearing really cute hats/tiaras and they had their faces painted. They looked super patriotic.

(I know the sign is cheesy, but I thought it was cute when my students made it)

(This is of my girls, in the blinding sun, and cute head wear.)

(My boys and their super cute hats)

We also fed the whole school a very American lunch of hot dogs and jello. I made my first striped jello (I know, I'm a Mormon, so you'd think I would have made every kind of jello possible, but alas, I haven't, but I have eaten every imaginable kind). After lunch we had a water melon eating contest. First the kids went, and they were very fast. Despite some fears, there was no vomiting afterward. After the kids turn the teachers went. I didn't get any pictures, but it was hilarious. Both of my parents competed, and my dad tied for first place. I got third, but only because I sneakily picked a very thin piece. :)

(Some of my kids chowing down on their melon. Yum!!)

I also taught my students the pledge of allegiance in American Sign Language. We preformed it for some of the other grades at the end of the day.

(They are supposed to be making the sign for liberty. Its not gang signs, I promise.)

We had a great day. My coworker, Jo, who set all this up is amazing! She has already got me and the students looking forward to next years party.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Last week my students preformed the opera they wrote. It was called "Goblin Attack." I am going to put the summary that was in our program here. It sounds a little high-falutin' and silly because we wanted it to seem like a real grown-up opera.

We open on a small village some time in 1619. The town’s royalty and villagers are preparing for a goblin attack. The Goblins arrive and kidnap a princess; then they start casting spells on the people of the town. The villagers try to cast their own spells with no success. As a back up plan the villagers have been making a time machine and they now use it to escape from the Goblins.
This is a photo of three of the goblins and the Princess they kidnapped.

The townspeople step out of their time machine in the year 1201. There are several warriors who are drawn by the strange machine. The royals ask if the warriors will help them fight the goblins. The warriors agree to this, but only if they are paid with pie. The warriors and townspeople get in the time machine and head back to the village.

Meanwhile, the goblins have turned the castle into their lair. They begin attacking the warriors with spells as soon as they arrive. The villagers pay the warriors with pie. A warrior throws a pie at one goblin, who is staggered by the creamy pie. Seeing this, other warriors attack the remaining goblins with more pie and then chase them into the time machine.

The warriors and villagers work together to free the captured princess. When she is free they turn on the time machine and send the goblins to the present day. We close with the townspeople and warriors rejoicing over their victory

The opera was a great success. I had so much fun working with my mom on it, and all of the students learned so much.

This is a photo taken after our family performance. There were about 80 cameras so we are all looking different ways.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wishing for a Divorce

Today I had lunch duty, which means I had to watch a playground full of little, and not so little, kids in case of any bloodletting or attempts at a coup. Today was a stellar day, no major threats where detected, and I made at least one kid cry uncontrollably.
The best part of the duty, though, was when I was herding the students into their classes. One little girl was trudging to her line, when I asked if she had had fun playing with her friends. She mumbled and said it was ok, but what came next was truly special. She said, "But [they] are going to a summer camp just for divorced kids, and I can't go. I wish my parents could be divorced." I managed not to laugh and I asked if it would be sad if her parents didn't love each other and had to live in seperate houses. She shrugged and said, "Yeah, I guess, but then I could go to the camp!" I guess its hard to be a kid, either your being left out or coming from a broken home, and neither one feels good, though I would have thought a broken home would hurt more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


For those who don't know I teach at a private school that goes from pre-school through high school. I get to know, or at least see, most of the older students during breaks, before and after school, and at lunch. In the last few weeks I've noticed a strange new student. He is tall and thin with nice, wavy, longish, brown hair. He is remarkably pale and rarely speaks to the other students. His clothes are nicer then most of the students; he wears button down shirts with fancy shoes.
I know what you are thinking (at least, I do if you are a girl who reads silly books). This kid is freakishly like Edward Cullen. I'm actually surprised that none of the girls at our school seem to be thronging him, especially since many of them have t-shirts with Robert Pattinson, and turn pink and/or scream when anything Twilight-esque is mentioned.
The cherry on top of this story, though, is that today on the way to school my mom (who teaches next door to me) asked if I had noticed the strange new high schooler. She described him briefly, and I said, "The one who is like Edward Cullen?" She burst out laughing and said that was just what she had thought about him too! *Chuckles*
So, to sum up, I may have a real life vampire at my school, or he could just be a really strange 16 year old. I'll let you know if I ever discover the truth.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Long Lost Blogger

I am the worst blogger in the world! Its been more then 5 months! Wow! I finally decided to revisit the good old blog after I googled myself and saw Christmas pictures pop up from this blog. Sad!
There are two exciting things I want to talk about here. First is a new band I just discovered. Tinted Windows is a "power pop" band with members from bands as diverse as Fountains of Wayne, Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins, and Hanson. I've only heard a few of their songs so far, but I like what I've heard pretty well. I'm going to download their whole album this weekend. I think checking them out will be well worth your time.
The second exciting thing I want to blog about is the bridal shower I threw for my little brothers fiance, Roxy. Last night I had 15 or so relatives and one of Roxy's friends over for the shower. We had super yummy hummus (thanks Laura), great guacamole (thanks Jen) and cheesy, fun games (all me). I also have to dish about the fabulous cake balls Ami made. My sister doesn't bake often, but when she does, look out. These seemingly innocent balls are addictive and insanely good. Most of the gifts were tame but fun, like a crock-pot and lovely dishes. Laura gave her a sexy leopard print teddy (ohh lala), and Roxy blushed like crazy. She was bold enough to pose for pictures with it, but her face got even redder then. My mom, sister, and I gave her a homemade rag quilt. We did it in their wedding colors (mango and cranberry, not orange and red) and we even put their hand prints on it. I had so much fun planning and having this shower. I hope I get to plan many more. (so, if any of you reading this are in need of a bridal shower in California, let me know *wink*)