Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Picture for Brandon

Now you can remember what my hair looks like!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Alex's Birthday Celebration

Alex turned two on Friday and we got together to celebrate today. Alex enjoyed his birthday treats and he really enjoyed opening his presents. He made me wish I could be around on Christmas morning because he was so excited about opening the presents. We had a wonderful dinner with lots of fun talking and being together.

Christmas Decorations

We had fun napkin rings that greeted us on the table. The fun napkin rings became fun ear rings.

I am still getting to know my camera and the best settings for each situation. I can't wait to try it out in Argentina!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm Still Alive

For those of you who have been wondering why my blog has been so neglected lately, I thought I would take a few moments to give you a glimpse into the reality of my life.
  • I am a teacher. Although some might say, great you get your summers off and your work day is over by 3:00, this is not the whole situation. I frequently find myself getting up long before the sun to get to school when the doors open at 6:00 am because there wasn't enough time to complete everything I needed the day before. Some days I also find myself working until I have to leave or I am forced to leave by the custodian who is locking the doors and setting the alarm.
  • Not only am I a teacher, but I am a teacher of a class full of ESOL students. That means I have the task of teaching the regular curriculum to a group of students who are still struggling to learn the English language. This is a hard enough task in and of itself, but not only do my students need to be learning, they have to learn enough to be able to pass the state mandated testing. Some might say no big deal. The big deal comes in the fact that if the students in my class do not pass, the sub group has not passed, and my school is placed on the failing schools list. When I think about the pressure placed on these students and me my heart begins to hurt.
  • Not only am I a teacher of ESOL students I also ride the bus home with them everyday to make sure they make it home in safety. I frequently refer to this endeavor as my second job. While some might scoff at this, I would love for each of you to have the opportunity. I regularly hear of the horrible situations these children go home to. Drugs, drinking, murder and the like. The least I can do is provide a few moments of safety and security for them.
  • After teaching and bus riding I also spend two evenings a week tutoring children who have been removed from their homes because they are neglected or delinquent. I have to be let in through two sets of locked doors and I am restricted to even tell anyone where the facility is. Residents are searched with metal detectors and all belonging are checked as they enter the facility. Frequently the whole group is put on lock down except those who are working with the tutors because of an altercation. Some nights I just want to run for cover.
  • Oh wait, I am also a full time student working to complete my masters. This coming May I will graduate. Until then I am working to finish my research project and will complete my research paper and present my findings at a conference in early May. Plan on attending my graduation. I will keep you posted on the exact date.
  • And probably the number one reason why my blog had been camera gave up the ghost. I didn't think you wanted to just read my babbling. I figured people usually enjoy the pictures more. My Cannon has been with me through so much; Africa three times, Europe, New York, DC and not to mention countless family events. Oh wait there's the doorbell.....what do you know! As I am writing this message my new camera has arrived. I got a Panasonic Lumix just in time for Christmas and my trip to Argentina. I would love to send you a picture of my joy, but the battery has to charge for @ two hours. More to come!

Please don't get me wrong, I love my life, just sometimes the blog doesn't come first. I visit your blogs on a daily basis and wish there was more, so I will do better about keeping up in the future. Please don't take this a pitty party for me, it was just FYI.

The Ever Busy,