Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Summer Break????

So I've been out of school (and essentially off work) for two weeks. However, I have yet to feel like I'm actually on vacation. "Why?", you ask. Well, this is what my summer looks like this year:

Week of June 15: Tuesday - Thursday: 8th grade Pre-AP History training
Week of June 21 - Saturday: TAH2 Grant Summer Institute
Week of June 28 - Thursday: Last week of summer school at McLane - AP Geography Bridge class

[I'll have Friday- Monday off to do laundry and pack]

July 6 - 13: Colonial Williamsburg with TAH2 :) (super stoked for this trip!!!!)

July 14 - August 1: RELAXING this is when my actual vacation starts. Going to try to squeeze in a trip down south to visit the cousins, do a little shopping and hit Disneyland.

August 2: Back to work. Training of some kind (I'll find out tomorrow) and getting my classroom moved into and set up.

Now, I'm not complaining about any of this (well, maybe about the laundry!) and I signed up voluntarily for most of it [not to mention the fact that I am getting paid for all of it :)]. And lord knows if I wasn't busy doing all of this, I'd simply be sleeping the summer away and getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I just wanted to give you a little insight into my summer. And for those of you who haven't been able to pin me down during my tie off, well now you know why :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Addition

I grew up in a house that has always had a cat. About a year ago, our cat Miss Nietzche had a stroke and we had to have her put down. She was a fabulous cat, and it took us a while to get over our loss. It was very odd to not have a cat in the house. Recently my mom had brought up the idea of adopting an adult cat from one of the local shelters, but this idea hadn't made it passed the discussion phase, due to the fact that my dad isn't to keen on the idea of adding another pet to the family.

I received a call from my mother last Thursday. She asked me what I thought Vivy's reaction to a kitten would be. I told her that Vivy would probably be fine (she thought that she and Nietzche were great friends, despite the fact that Nietzche actually despised Vivy), but that she might be more concerned with how Dad would react. Her response was "your father will be fine... so you think Vivy will be okay with a kitten, because I have the cutest little girl sitting in my lap right now. She needs a home."

Meet Cali, the newest addition to the family. She and Vivy are not quite friends yet (Cali's a little intimidated by Vivy's enthusiasm), but I'm sure they will be soon.

They're Here!!!!

I promised myself that once I landed my first teaching job (as a credentialed teacher, that is!) I would reward myself for my patience and perseverance with a pair of shoes. Not just any pair of shoes, but the Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes. Yes, I know what you are thinking... those are the expensive shoes that Carey Bradshaw coveted on Sex and the City. I have always loved these classic pumps. Well, guess what came in the mail on Monday? That's right!!!!!!!!

My very own pair :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tim McGraw 2010

So on May 25 I attended my 6th (yes, I did hit the correct key) Tim McGraw concert. My cousin Terri and her boyfriend were in town to be my dates to the show. Neither of them had ever seen Tim in concert before and I have to tell you how lucky they were! This show was the best show I have seen him do, hands down!!! It was amazing! He played 90 minutes straight of his biggest, rockin'est hits. It was awesome!!!! But let me back up and tell you about his opening acts.

Love & Theft opened the show. They were decent, although they looked more like extras from the "Karate Kid" rather than a country music band.

Next was the chart-topping trio, Lady Antebellum. I saw them two years ago when they first came onto the music scene and they immediately became my favorite new group. I was very excited to see them again and they did not disappoint! They sang for about an hour and rocked the house. I truly believe that they are following in the footsteps of Sugarland and will win many awards in the future.

Before Tim took the stage, the lights went out and the Phil Collins' hit "In the Air Tonight" began to play. What an awesome way to rev up the crowd!!! Tim took the stage in leather pants (and man did they look sexy!!!) and a white tee. He explained to those who had never been to one of his shows that he and his band don't bullshit. They understand how hard their fans work to be able to attend their shows and they don't want to let us down. They just play and sing. And boy did they!

Tim brought out the Warren Brothers (who I love!!!) and sang "Blank Piece of Paper" and "If You're Reading This". He did his cover of "Tiny Dancer" (one of my absolute favorites) and brought out a guitar. He explained that he hawked his high school ring for his first guitar, not so he could become famous but so he could get laid! He sand the first song he ever learned to play, Alabama's "Feels So Right". He rocked his hits from his cd named after his band, The Dance Hall Doctors. Man, he just rocked!!!!!

It was awesome! I can't wait until the next time he comes back to town!!!!!!!!!

TAH2 - Fresno Historical Society

Back on May 22, I participated in my first field study for my Teaching American History 2 (TAH2) Grant. It was very fun and quite enlightening.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to tour places throughout the Eastern portion of Fresno County. My group and I got to explore Akers Cemetery (just outside Centerville), where several Native Americans are buried. We had lunch along the Kings River and wandered around the sedge beds (Indian women still use sedge roots from this area to make baskets for cooking). We were then taken out to Hacker Ranch (outside of Minkler) and got to see Native American hieroglyphics that dated back more than 6,000 years.

The entire trip was so neat. I always knew that much of the Central Valley was once Native American land, but it blew my mind to actually hear stories about the land I was standing on and see evidence that had lasted several millennia. It almost made me wish I taught elementary school so that I could share this with my students and have it fit into the standards... almost!

I love being a history nerd :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Top 10 Predictions for the "Lost" Finale

I came to the realization a while back that the title "Lost" has absolutely nothing to do with the condition of the show's characters, but is actually the status of the audience. As the series draws to a close I find myself more and more confused. I routinely claim to hate this show and curse J.J. Abrams for sucking me in and torturing me for the last six years, yet I watch every episode several times just to figure out what the heck is going on!

In honor of the upcoming series finale, I thought I'd share my Top 10 predictions of how the show and torture may end:

10. The screen simply fades to black.

9. Jack and Kate run into each other in the hallway of a college dorm 18 years after leaving the island and discover that their kids will be living across the hall from each other.

8. As the remaining survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 fly off the island, the camera pans around the island one last time.

7. The survivors are sentenced to life in the polar bear cages.

6. We find out that Desmond is simply writing a short story.

5. It turns out that the island, and everyone on it, are simply part of a snow globe that belongs to Aaron.

4. As Jack flies off in a helicopter, the pilot circles back around to the beach where Locke has spelled out 'goodbye' in rocks on the sand.

3. The survivors gather for a group hug and then walk off into the jungle singing "It's A Long Way To Tipperary"

2. Clare wakes up to find Charlie, long sense believed to be dead, in the shower.

1. Locke wakes up in the middle of the night and roles over to tell his wife (played by Suzanne Pleshette) about this strange dream he just had.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

TAH2 - Liberty For All

I am so stoked to get to participate in the second Teaching American History (TAH2) grant through the Fresno County Office of Education. This is an awesome grant in which 30 lucky teachers (elementary included) get to focus on the beginnings of our great country and learn new ways in which to implement this knowledge in our classrooms. Included in this grant are resources from the fabulous Teachers Curriculum Institute (lovingly referred to simply as TCI by those of us who use it), collaboration with elementary and secondary (middle and high school) history-social science teachers from all over the Valley, a workshop with advisors from Fresno Pacific University, a one day field study with the Fresno County Historical Society, a six day summer institute/training, and (drum roll please....) a six day field study in Colonial Williamsburg, VA! Maybe stoked doesn't really describe my enthusiasm!!!!

Today was the very first TAH2 workshop. We got the opportunity to work with the awesome TCI material with the help and advisement of some wonderful FPU people (for those of you who know my history with FPU, no one from that drama is involved!). We also got the opportunity to share some of our own experiences with the TCI lessons. In addition to this supplemental material, we were introduced to a wonderful website called Cicero. It is chalk full of lessons, handouts, guided reading questions, etc. that cover the California history standards. i can't wait to use a few of the power points this next week!

This grant is guaranteed for three years, with possibility of being extended to a fourth and fifth year. Year two's field study will be in Washington DC and year three's will be at various Civil War sites! If we are extended to years four and/or five, the field studies will take place in New York and Civil Rights areas in the South, respectively. This is a dream come true for this history nerd!!!!! I can't wait to take in all these great experiences and opportunities!

Stay tuned, as I will be reporting all along the way :)