I have survived my first week back at school, and I am being pretty honest when I use the word "survived". It was not an easy week for me, and I already feel exhasted and stressed.
First, the day before students returned, I checked my computer, projector, audio, everything. I wanted to ensure that I would have no technical difficulties when presenting my first lesson. Well, the next day rolls around, and in the middle of my 1st period class I realize that the audio is not working. It was so frustrating since I had planned to show some fun videos to counterbalance the boring rules and procedures we needed to learn. Luckily, I got it fixed later that day, but still I felt flustered for the rest of the day.
Also, there are a few students who already caught my eye and are on my radar. I guess this is true every year; I always will find students trying to press the boundaries to see how far they can go before they get reprimanded. Still, it makes classes not as enjoyable.
Finally, I just feel kinda "off". I don't really know how to explain it other than to say: I think I am getting burnt out of this teaching thing :( I might need to take a break from this profession after this year.... (more on this later).
But, all that being said, I do already love my students.
They are funny!
They are smart!
So I am sure that this year at Sunset Ridge Middle School will be just fine. I just need to breathe and make sure I spend a little time for me each day.
It's that time of year again, when all my thoughts start gravitating towards a new school year and the hundreds of students that not-so-patiently need my attention, my creativity, and my energy. But amidst the chaos of back-to-school meetings and lesson planning, I get to take a 1 week in August to celebrate the person who means the most to me: my husband, Andrew.
Happy Birthday, Andrew!!!
I fully believe it celebrating not just a birthDAY but a birthday WEEK! A day is just too short for one to feel the full extent of how grateful I am that Andrew was born.
So here is birthday week outlined for you. It started last Tuesday and ends today, Andrew's actual birthday.
Tuesday- It all started out with breakfast in bed. Andrew works late on Tuesdays, so that means he gets to sleep in a bit. I especially love this in the summer, when I can cuddle with him for a few more hours.
Wednesday- I brought him a Cafe Rio salad (his favorite), and we ate lunch outside his office. We relished the half hour that commemorated our last weekday lunch-date.
Thursday- This day was just a small "gift". I bought him a giant soda from Sodalicious.
Friday- We drove to the outlets in Park City. This is seriously one of Andrew's favorite places to go. I didn't even tease him when we drove right up to the Nike store just so we could walk around it and end up not buying anything (which is what always seems to happen). Then we went to Sammy's Bistro in Park City for dinner.
Saturday- Big dinner celebration with friends and family. We had a ginormous group of 16 people come celebrate Andrew's birthday at the Cheesecake Factory.
Sunday- We went over to Andrew's grandma's house for family dinner. Just another night to spend surrounded by people we love.
Monday- And then we ended birthday week by going to a Brazilian steakhouse.
So there you have it, birthday week all mapped out. I was totally panning on taking a picture of each event so that I could include it in this post, but.....well, you can see how many photo ops I actually succeeded in capturing.
Instead, here is one little photo of us in California way back when.
Well, summer is quickly coming to an end. So, too, is my binge reading. I have enjoyed it whole-heartedly, and I will miss it dearly. My schedule will get crazy once school starts, so I don't sadly anticipate having much time for enjoyment reading.
I loved all the examples taken directly from successful TED talks. This is definitely a book I will be incorporating into my honors class and into my own presentation opportunities.
I am going to confess something to you: I went to Sparknotes to get a summary of the rest of the book. I'M SORRY! Actually, I went with the intent of reading the basic summary and then going back to the book to finish it, but I was horrified to hear how the book ended. It turned me off to reading the rest of it, so I determined that I was already satisfied with what I had read and I had no desire to continue. You may think that makes me a lazy reader (maybe it does), but I believe it's just part of my reading process. Anyway, those are my feelings about George Orwell's 1984.
FYI: Jeff Anderson is also a fabulous speaker. If you have the chance to see him present, don't miss out! I've seen him present twice.
At 16 years of age, the book's main character, Hiram, returns to Greenwood, Mississippi to visit his aging grandfather. Hiram tries to reconcile his beloved (albeit naive) memories of his childhood in Mississippi with the senseless hatred and violence towards Negros that he now notices on his return. He battles with the choices between defending what he knows is right or going along with what is popular and supported by his grandfather and the white community.
This book was an easy read, but it gave you a little glimpse into an important event of the civil rights movement. I would recommend this book to teens who want to learn about the battle for civil rights in the South. It gave some simple yet important insights into varying beliefs and arguments people had about segregation.
And thus ends my summer vacation. School starts again this week and I know I will have a limited time for enjoyment reading. Still, I want to try and finish at least 1 book a month and report on it (to my blog and to my students).
From Elder L. Tom Perry's talk "Why Marriage and Family Matter -- Everywhere in the World", I was stunned by the similarities many religions share when it comes to marriage and family. He states, "It was remarkable for me to see how marriage and family-centered priorities cut across and superseded any political, economic, or religious differences. When it comes to love of spouse and hopes, worries, and dreams for children, we are all the same." Although the media portrays a very different and opposing opinion of morality and values, it is comforting and strengthening to me to know that there are many people, inside and outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that believe and sustain the same family values that I do. Then Elder Perry poses a question: How does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints distinguish and differentiate itself from the rest of the world? This question is follows by some powerful "We believe" statements:
Then I read "Guardians of Virtue", a talk given by Sister Elaine S. Dalton. The first 3 paragraphs of her talk sent me right back to imagining the day Andrew and I were married. Once again, I was able to remember sitting in the Celestial room with Andrew before we went into the sealing room to be married. I remembered walking hand in hand with him into that room and being hit (almost literally) with the spirit and with an astounding amount of love from the family and friends who waited for us there. I still tear up thinking about those indescribable feelings and knowing that both Andrew and I were worthy to be in the temple that day and prepared to be sealed to each other forever. It is a sacred moment I treasure in my heart.
Sister Dalton challenges the young women to be guardians of virtue so that they can one day worthily enter the temple. A guardian of virtue is someone who protects, shields, and defends moral purity. "Your course is marked," she states, "and you can be assured that the Savior has not only walked the course but will again walk with you--every step of the way." She then suggests specific things the young women can do to ensure they stay guardians of virtue:
Finally, the last talk that really touched me was given by Elder Richard G. Scott. It was called "The Eternal Blessings of Marriage". I always loved to hear Elder Scott talk about his marriage because he so evidently adored his wife. You could always tell that she meant the world to him and that he was so blessed to have the reassurance that his marriage to her was eternal.
This is a beautiful talk that always brings tears to my eyes. Honestly, I can't do it justice with just a summary here, so you must read or listen to it! He teaches through his example what a strong family relationship looks like.
Here are just a few of the gem statements Elder Scott provides in this talk:
Ok, so now that I am all teary-eyed again, I hope that these talks help you feel the same spirit that I did. I am grateful for the reminder of how important marriage and family are in God's plan and how I can strive to be a more loving wife. I hope that the young women in my ward will be able to feel the spirit I felt and be inspired to live worthily of the eternal temple blessings God has prepared for them.
Andrew and Maichael
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