Friday, April 27, 2007

First Graders

Tattle-taling, whining, bickering, name-calling, bloody noses, runny noses, crying, "accidents", hitting, pouting, complaining, yelling, scratching, pinching, biting...
These are just some of the things I deal with every day as a student teacher in the first grade. It's not really anything more than what any parent deals with every day, but still, one might wonder why anyone would willingly commit themselves to such a line of work.
But really, I'm making it sound worse than it is. I've come to enjoy working with first graders for several reasons.
One is that pretty much anything makes them laugh. Every day when I use the overhead and squirt it with water to rinse it off, they crack up. I mean, they absolutely double over with laughter. Sometimes I just squirt it randomly now because I find it highly entertaining. They also laugh at pretty much any joke. The other day the kids were lining up for recess and the boys were laughing over some pretty sad jokes. We had just been reading about butterfly's and so I stooped pretty low and asked, "Have you ever seen a butter fly?" The response was "Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha!" It was great.
They can be pretty funny themselves. One day I was asking my lower reading group what are some things that are not good for the environment, because we just read an article on protecting the environment. One serious little boy with glasses gave me the answer, "It would be bad to shoot plants." I kind of stared back at him for a second and asked "shoot plants?" making sure that I heard him correctly. And he answered back, "Ya, it would be bad to shoot plants with a gun and put holes in them." And I kind of just said something like, "um...well, I don't think too many people would do that, what are some other ideas?" I was willing myself as hard as I could to keep a straight face.
Another thing is that first graders think that any piece of information that they have never heard before is utterly amazing. A few weeks ago I was teaching them what a line of symmetry is. I drew a number of lines of symmetry on various shapes and it wasn't too big of a deal. But then I asked them, "Do you know that on some shapes there can actually be more than one line of symmetry?" I heard nineteen voices yell back at me, "Whoah!!!!"
It's also funny whenever I put a pretty easy question on the board. I hear lots of little voices yelling, "EASY! That's so EASY!" Over and over again.
And little first grade hugs are always a good thing. :0)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What a Friend

I have really been struggling with setting my mind on God throughout the day at school. It seems like everything moves so fast there and my mind is focusing on teaching and what I have to do next and I start trying to do everything completely on my own.
Rick Holland's message on Sunday night was so good about knowing God. I really do want to be thinking about Him throughout the day. For some reason this hymn has been super helpful.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus Knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge; Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.
It helps to know that I can pray to God about anything throughout the day. Listening to this hymn in the morning on the way to school helps me to think about how God is present with me throughout the day and He knows everything that I am doing or thinking about. Nothing is hidden from Him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Caspian and Tumnus

Ever since I started college I really wanted to get some turtles. At school I really missed having a pet around, and I kind of liked the idea of having my own little pet. When someone told me that we could have small turtles in the dorms I was overjoyed. I started planning for pet turtles immediately. First I had to convince my roommate that the smell probably wouldn't be that bad, then I had to ask my R.D. for permission, finally I had to get a tank, and of course, the turtle. But alas! It seemed the world was against me! No pet stores in the greater Santa Clarita Valley sold the turtles that I was looking for. Besides that fact, my roommate didn't like the idea anyway. My hopes were dashed and I assumed that my chances of owning a turtle were over.
Well, last summer I was over at my friend's apartment and two of her roommates had some turtles. I was admiring them one night and one of her roommates asked if I would like to have her two turtles because she had been trying to give them away! She happened upon just the right person! I called my parents and they graciously agreed to let me bring home the turtles! My dream had come true!
Well, after some serious thinking, I decided to name them Caspian and Tumnus. I love the Chronicles of Narnia series, and even though Prince Caspian and Mr. Tumnus weren't technically friends with each other in the books, they were good friends in general with pretty much anyone they met.
The turtles did well for awhile, but soon they started becoming very lethargic. I had read that turtles need a UV light attached to their tank, but I didn't really believe it was necessary. Caspian and Tumnus always used to get excited when I even took out their food, but when they went a week or so without eating anything, I knew something was wrong. I bought a light and within a couple of days they were new turtles.
I seriously never imagined that two little turtles could be so entertaining! They are so hilarious. One of their favorite things to do is bask in the light and I commonly find them in the position that you see below.

I'll often find them with one of their back legs and one of their front legs stuck out like they are surfing. Once I found Caspian (the smaller one) facing the other direction on top of Tumnus with all of his legs sticking out in the air. It looked like he was trying a balancing act.

They have completely different personalitites too. Caspian is feisty, Tumnus is a little slow moving unless there is food; than he goes crazy! I have to hold a piece of food on either side of the tank and wait until they are separated, than I drop Caspian's food in first while I have to tease Tumnus with his food for awhile distracting him from Caspian's food. Caspian takes forever to eat his piece and if I dropped them both in at once, Tumnus would eat his and then go steal Caspian's. He eats his food in one gulp. If he misses the piece he bumps his nose on the glass. And if you keep moving your finger along the water line on the outside of the tank, they'll follow it and try to bite your finger. It's so cute to see their little pink tongues.

One day (before I started separating them during feeding time) I dropped one long pellet in and Caspian bit one end, then Tumnus came over and grabbed the other end with his mouth and they had a little game of tug of war pulling back and forth. It was so funny.

The last thing I'll say is about Tumnus. Late at night, after feeding time, Tumnus does his nightly ritual. He blows bubbles onto the surface of the water and then eats them. It is really strange, but, what can I say? They are weird turtles, but I love them. :0)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Banana Clips

So, the other day, Haley and I were talking about American Idol and how we hate the fact that Senjaya has remained on the show, beating out people that were much better singers than him: Chris Sligh, Gina Glockson, well, basically all the people that have been kicked off have been better than him. But what was most surprising to me was the fact that he was still on the show even after his mohawk incident. (Which people have been calling a fauxhawk? Fake mohawk I guess?) I've never seen anything more grotesque than Senjaya shaking his whatever-you-want-to-call-it-hawk back and forth to the beat of the song.

Well, Haley informed me that Senjaya was wearing a banana clip. Now, I had heard of this particualr kind of hair accessory before but I was never quite sure what it was. I had some vague idea in my head and I knew that it was supposed to be some hideous thing from the eighties, but I didn't realize how hideous.

I found the following picture on this website:
Apparently, those bountiful curls on Irish step dancers are not natural.

I just want to ask this girl if it is really worth it. I mean, look at that thing. How is it even possible to walk, let alone dance with that thing attached to your head?
Apparently, banana clips come in various styles. You could get one of the stylish hairpieces shown above, or you could choose from one of these ornamental varieties.

Nowadays, if you want to blend in with the crowd, it is probably best to buy one of these:

Available at Walgreens for only $2.49.

Wow Haley, now I see why you were laughing so hard.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spring Break #2

No, this is not my second post about spring break. It is my first post about my second spring break! That's right, I got two! The first one was inbetween my first and second student teaching assignments, and this one is because the school I am now student teaching at is on their spring break! God is so gracious in allowing me to have extra time off of school to do work and relax.
Monday was nice because I got to sleep in really late and I was able to spend a couple of hours reading outside. Something I LOVE but never get to do. Then on Tuesday I was able to go running. Not that I love to run, but I have not exercised in months! Seriously, I am the most out of shape person. A few weeks ago I went to the movies with my friend Melissa and I thought I was late. I ran down all the stairs of the parking structure from the third floor and all the way across the street and then I remembered that I had left my money in the car! So I ran all the way up and down again and I was coughing halfway through the movie! Really sad! On wednesday (the day after my run) I got out of bed and could barely move. All of my muscles ached, and my legs are still killing me. Pathetic.
Anyway, really interesting stuff huh?
Well, yesterday was the most fun. I went to the beach with Haley! I know she's going to post about it on her own blog and since I don't want to steal her thunder (especially since she's a better writer than I am) I will just post a few pictures and note a few things.)
The funniest thing I saw was this...

I can't really tell you what that is, but there you go. Haley and I got to ride on a ferris wheel! I love ferris wheels because I used to be deathly afraid of heights and it was one of the first "scary" rides I conquered. :0)

We actually got to take a little ferry over to Balboa Island. It was so cute, it could only fit three cars on it. And it was only .60 cents!

The coolest thing we saw all day was the dolphins. If only the water wasn't so cold we could have swam with them they were so close! And there were tons of them! They kept popping out of the water, every time we could see their back fin. Before we left, one jumped completely out of the water! It was so cool. And a bunch of them were spouting water out of their blowholes! It was something I had never seen before at the beach, and they were there almost the whole time that we were there. God was so gracious in allowing us to see that part of His creation! He is so amazing in all the different things He had made. We have such a creative God! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get pictures. But that's okay, it wouldn't have been as cool as seeing them in person anyway.

We ended up the day by going with Mariejtie to coffee near the church. So fun! I love talking with both of these girls. Well, I may or may not write more about spring break later, but I'm done for now. For some reason I am having major issues posting anymore pictures. At least I got some of them on there.


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