Sunday, April 14, 2013

3rd Quarter Recap

So, what has this 3rd quarter looked like for me? Here's a quick review:

I love my ducks! I've been trying to name them, but I don't want to use something cheesy like Hewey, Dewey and Lewey just because there are three of them. Plus they're not actually mine. They already have names their owner gave them... But just about every day this year, I have enjoyed my walks to and from school because of these darling ducks that live about a half block away from me. Their owner has a fenced in area and pen for them at night, but during the day they hang out in the creek by my apartment. Aren't they precious? (I also had a wonderful time watching and talking to a multitude of ducks while on the following weekend trip to France.

Bible Study Group Retreat

My group decided to take a weekend retreat to a Bed & Breakfast that caters to missionaries in central France, a short road trip away. What a wonderful weekend of comfortable, cozy housing, amazing cooking, historical touring, quiet time with God and bonding with girlfriends. This weekend was honestly a gift from God (and a friend) at a time I needed it most. God has used this group of ladies to encourage me and draw me closer to Him. They are a constant source of joy, friendship and support. I thank God for them.

Pep Band!

I watched Pep Band a couple years ago, watched some friends who were not percussionist handling a triangle and I thought: "I could probably do that!" So this year, when my friend who directs Pep Band started talking about it coming up, I asked if maybe she could coach me through playing the triangle in Pep Band. Next thing I knew I had sheet music for four songs. I arrived at the first rehearsal absolutely clueless and proceeded to play Triangle, Crashing Cymbals, and the Guiro. I asked Katie for private lessons after that and she patiently helped me work out how to read the music (kind of), taught me how to play the Cymbals (the most nerve-racking of all my instruments)and best of all encouraged and trusted me. YIKES! But I had so much fun! By the end of the basketball season, we had added two more songs, and therefore I added even more instruments to my repetoire (the tamborine, maracas and the Cabasa) just for fun. Now I feel like I can really call myself a Salvationist since I can say I played in a band! And I have an awesome t-shirt to prove it!

Spanish 3 Field Trip to Madrid:

I must admit that all year I worried about this trip. The two times I planned and took this trip before, I had a grand total of four students. This year I had 20 students! Big, huge difference! Finding appropriate, affordable housing was the greatest challenge. I also had to decide on a variety of churches to go to, since our full group would have overwhelmed any one church. Finding seating in restaurants was also a challenge. The final strain was the fact that one of the adult sponsors and I were both sick the week we left. A lot of people were sick, actually, and we had to leave one student behind due to illness. But Rob and I powered through our fevers. My cough had been bad enough leading up to the trip that the first two days I barely had a voice at all. There were even more challenges I won't include, but suffice to say, this trip was a bit of a heavy weight. But as always, God is faithful! The students had an excellent time! They saw and experienced a lot of Spanish culture. They practiced their language skills and gained confidence in their abilities. When we debriefed post-trip, I was amazed at how positive they were about the trip. Glowing reports! God is good.

As just mentioned, I went through about three weeks of sickness. If I could self-diagnose, according to symptoms on google :-) I'd guess I had bronchitis. But there were flus, pneumonias and mono going around, so who really knows. I only missed one day of school, but I definitely got behind in grading since I was dealing with Madrid and needing to rest all at the same time. I also got to experience some of the nastiest prescription strength cough syrup in Spain. My second night in Madrid, I knew I wouldn't make it without something. A pharmacist agreed to give me the prescription stuff (I would've been better off with plain old Robatussin). I'm still amazed I made it through 5-6 helpings of the stuff. Thinking about it now a month later triggers my gag reflex. Never again! Anyway, I was grateful when spring break came along and allowed for much needed rest (and time to catch up on my grading!)

I continue loving my students and my time in the classroom! The other day I was reviewing some grammar points with my Sp. 3 class and by the end of the period the whiteboard was covered in notes and I just had to smile! I love sharing with my students that little bit of expertise that I know. When my Spanish 1 students put together sentences that haven't been formed for them, when they see that they can combine what they learned two chapters ago with what they learned today, it makes my heart leap. When I get to watch my students act out the Don Quijote comic book we've been reading, I realize how blessed I am to be able to do a job that I love to do.

This is long, I know! I wish I wrote on here more often so I wouldn't be stuck trying to fill everything into one post. Thanks for caring enough to read this far!


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