Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Project Update

Hello my friends! Just wanted to show an update of what I've knitted so far...

It's pretty simple, actually, a lot easier than I thought it would be. Although, sometimes I'm dropping stitches (which I don't know how to fix!) and somehow, I've added stitches!! I started with 50 stitches, and now I have did that happen?? It took me a couple of tries before I got the hang of it, and my mom told me to just knit for practice. She said not to try to make anything, just knit. So I did. And now I've decided that it's decent enough to become a scarf! Or a very colorful potholder...I'll post an update in a few days..

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

There's an APB out for a missing blogger...

I've decided that I need a summer project. Something cheap to keep me busy when I'm not applying for jobs, or working at summer camps (my new job!). I would love to have made baking and cooking my summer project, but unfortunately, I not only have the money to do that frequently, I don't have enough people to feed!!

So then I thought that I would make a quilt. How perfect, right!? I finally convinced Luke (after two years of begging) to give me some of his old high school t-shirts that are falling apart so I could make a quilt out of them. I couldn't imagine anything better than being able to smell him all the time and curl up in his shirts anytime I I gathered up his shirts and started brainstorming what I would need...

Fabric to sew the shirts to
Fabric to block between the shirt
Fabric for the back of the quilt
Batting to go in between the front and back of the quilt
Quilting thread (who knew there was such a thing!)
Fabric to go around the edges of the quilt
And something to hold the front, batting, and back together

Needless to say, that's definitely not going to fit under my plan of being frugal. So instead, I've decided to knit!! I've only tried knitting a few times when I was really little, probably ten or eleven. But I don't really remember a whole lot. So I've youtubed a video on how to knit, I have my $3.00 yarn and my $2.97 needles. I'm all set to knit a...something.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Updates & Reflections

Wow! It's been a long time since I've told you anything about my life! Well, here we go...

1. I finished student teaching a week and a half ago. It's amazing to think that it's over. I keep expecting a Monday morning to come and have to go back to school. Good thing my mom's keeping me busy with house and yard work or I would be going CRAZY with boredom!

One of the things that I've realized, is that I touched a lot of students that I wish I had spent more one on one time with. One of them said that I gave her the courage to write...I had no idea that I had done that, and I sure wish I knew HOW I did it! I wish that the students I tried so hard to influence and help would show that it worked, but I guess that's how it is. The ones you want to fix so badly won't always show that difference, and the ones that you never spend enough time with, will. There are students that I wish I had talked to more, even if it was just to say hello and have a great day. I think that when I have my own classroom I will ensure that I stand at the door when students walk in and when they walk out. High fives for everyone! Maybe I'll just try to spend a few minutes each day talking to a different student in each class. Hmmm...I'll figure it out, and it's good that I was given the opportunity to student teach, because now I know what I need to do in the future.

2. I am SO BEHIND on my apply for out-of-state jobs to do list! I started my North Carolina application, but I haven't finished it. I need to just sit down and do it! By Tuesday, it'll be completed!

3. Luke and I really want to get married! But we need some money first. And jobs. Then we can do it. So if you know of any areas that are hiring both Construction Managers and secondary English/Language Arts teachers, LET US KNOW!

4. I've been dreaming about my students lately. Once I dreamt I was the football coach, once I dreamt I took one of my favorite female students to a concert and we got drunk and high (which is crazy because I would NEVER go anywhere with a student alone, let alone allow any alcohol or marijuana into the picture!). But last night, I dreamt some guy jumped off a roof and landed on my car, killing himself, and all I was upset about was my was I so heartless? Anyways, lots of weird dreams lately, but none that have me totally freaked out, so that's a good thing!

5. I've been obsessed with young adult literature! I started and finished Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordin in a week...they were amazing! I also really loved Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras by Scott Westerfeld. And thanks to my fab Texas-preggers friend, I read Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella yesterday and LOVED IT! Not young adult literature, but she is my favorite author! I always connect with her characters!

Okay, this little girl needs to go to sleep! Becky is in town for Nate's graduation, so I've gotta be up and at 'em early tomorrow morning! Good night!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Take me back...

Lately, I've been thinking of the days when I was in middle school. I don't what's brought it on...maybe finishing up my student teaching, maybe making facebook friends with friends from that time...all I know, is that one of the best times of my life, took place from 6-10th grade. I loved those days!!

I miss the simplicity of life. When I was in middle school, all we did was ride our bikes up and down Adams Boulevard, all day long. We went to Fuzzy's for ice cream in fresh, homemade waffle cones. We played in the mazes of alley's behind our houses. We spent lazy days on the swings at our neighborhood park. We had slumber parties and ate my mom's homemade fudge sauce with ice cream...and then snuck into the kitchen late at night to eat the rest with spoons. We called the radio stations late at night and chatted up the DJ's, trying to get on air. We made a secret clubhouse in the attic of my garage and created secret handshakes and passwords. We told secrets. We had first boyfriends. We had first kisses. We had our first taste of cigarettes and beers. We cried and laughed and laughed and laughed. And then we laughed some more.

Now, we worry about car payments and phone bills. We have credit card bills and college loans to pay back. We worry about graduating and then getting a job. What if we can't find a career and we end up living in our parents house forever? We worry about getting married and having kids. Will we be good wives (or husbands!)? Will we be good parents? Will we raise our children to be good people, or will we fail? Will we raise our credit so we can get the things we need and want? Will the stress ever leave?!?!?!?!

I wish I could go back to the days when life was innocent and the only worry I had was if a certain boy in my neighborhood liked me or my best friend. Ahhh...the days of my youth...I hope that before too long I'm able to regain that feeling of...of what? Naivety? Innocence? No, I'm glad that I'm free of those...I guess what I'm looking for, is that stability I had. No questions about the future, no worries, nothing. Just freedom.

One day, I will have that freedom again. And it will be good.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's been far too long, my friends!

Well, here it is March already! I haven't updated you on my life in so long, you've probably thought that I'd all but forgotten about you! I promise, I haven't.

Student teaching is more than I could've hoped for. The kids are amazing, my teacher is amazing, my school is amazing, it's pretty much...AMAZING! :)

I wanted to give you some examples of things that I deal with on an everyday basis, so you could see what it's like to lead the class...

1. Vocab Day
We go over the vocabulary words on Monday, and then the students have the rest of the hour to fill in their worksheet, finding synonyms and antonyms, and fill in the blank. The next day, Tuesday, we correct the worksheet as a class, and then on Friday, we have a quiz. So last Friday, I gave the quiz, and at the end of the hour, we corrected it as a class.
Me: "Dominate. D-o-m-i-n-a-t-e. Okay, any questions on the quiz? Yes, E?"
E: "Um, Mrs. Walker [yes, they ALL call me MRS. Walker, funny!], if dominate means to have control over someone, then......what's a dominatrix?"
Me: "Tohavecontrolofsomeone. NEXT!?"

You can believe, I'll never think of that word the same!

2. Bathroom
Before class one day, little M comes up to my cooperating teachers desk, where we are conferencing about a student. He says to us, "Um, is it okay if I'm a little late to class? I need to go to the bathroom, and I have to go number two!"

TMI, M....TMI!

3. Memoirs
I had no idea that this unit would be so...emotional. As we prepared for writing our own memoirs, I had students fill out a worksheet where they labeled the different "tribes" they belonged to (i.e. the tribe of females, of chips-and-salsa lovers, etc), and then write down a specific memory they had for each tribe.

A raised her hand so I went over to her.
Me: "What's up? You stuck on something?"
A: "Well, I want to write about this memory, but I'm not sure how to begin," She trails off while pointing to the memory. It says, "On January 12 I found out my mom has breast cancer."
Me: "Wow...A...I think that would be a fabulous start, just exactly how you wrote it." At this point, I notice that there are big tears welling up in her eyes, so I ask her if she wants to go out in the hall, which she does. It turns out that just a week before her mom told her that she had breast cancer, and except for a few friends, none of her teachers had a clue. I hugged her and began crossing my fingers that my cooperating teacher and supervisor from EMU (I was getting observed that day) would stick their head out the door to see what was going on. But they never did. I talked to A for a little bit about it, she told me it was stage one, and that her mom would start treatment the next week. I suggested that she talk to the school social worker or counselor, because they would have all sorts of information for her, possibly even other students who have gone through this that she could talk to. We went back inside, and I went over to my CT to see if I handled it appropriately. They were so engrossed in conversation that they never even realized we had left the class!

I just finished reading two memoirs today that made my tear up...E wrote about how her father died at the beginning of the year, and J wrote about how his mother died of cancer when he was just nine. I also have another student, A, whose mother died of cancer, and J, whose mother battled (and won!) breast cancer.

4. Meeeeooooowww!
One of my most difficult students is J. He is slightly autistic, definitely ADHD, and a HUGE handful! Lately, he's been acting out more, annoying the students he sits by. He shreds paper, doesn't work, refuses to sit in his assigned seat, swears at the other kids...and has recently began to call out, "Meeeooow! Meeooow!" a cat. It's odd to say the least...well, for a regular ed teacher, it's odd. In his special ed classes, it's probably very normal!

I've written him up twice, and my CT has written him at least twice. The thing is, he absolutely knows exactly what is right and what is wrong! He's so defiant, it's almost impossible to gain control in the class when he decides to act up.

One day, we spoke to one of the special ed teachers, and she told us that she's getting her masters, and had her professor come in one day to talk to J. J told her professor that the story that he's writing his memoir on (although I'm sure he gave the professor more details than he's giving us): J and his parents moved in with his grandmother, and then the house burned down. The grandma died shortly after, and a few later, the dog fell down the stairs and had to be put down. Since then, his father tells J every single day, that it's HIS fault the dog died. How awful. It just breaks my heart.

Like I said, lately he's been acting out more, but with a home life like that, can you really blame him?

It's terribly sad to consider all of the baggage that students bring with them everyday in their little invisible suitcases...and the worst part is, we only know as much as they're willing to share. So who knows what else is going on in their lives?

5. Activity Night
Let's end this on a high note, shall we? Activity Night was a BLAST! But before I knew it would be a blast, I was terrified! I was so afraid that there would be lots of dirty dancing and I had no idea how to handle it! Luckily, another student teacher, B, was assigned to the same duties that I was assigned to, so we stuck together! The dance was fun...the kids all jumped up and down in beat to the music (thank goodness for a DJ that only played clean songs!). We saw one couple dancing, and midway through the song she hugged him and ran away!

There was an open gym for basketball, video games (Wii, Guitar Hero, etc), and the second gym was full of inflatables! There were contests and drawings and amazing prizes, like a $25 iTunes gift card!

The next Activity Night is my last day of student teaching, but you can bet I'll be there!

Whew! Those are the big moments so far, well, some of them! There are plenty more, but you would just have to give up on my blog and buy the book if I included them all! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Super Bowl Blog

Well, I'm getting in trouble for not writing as often as I used to, so here's a little blog to spice things up!

I'm putting off doing some actual work to write this, but I'm hoping that it will help get me in the groove for working on my computer again and doing some work! Student teaching is exhausting and I have been vegging out when I get home from school, but my goal this week is to go to the gym and then go get some soup at Panera or something and work on my unit! I have to have these two steps of it done by Thursday, and although I've got the ideas brewing around in my head, I need to focus and get them on paper!

For those who were unaware, I chaperoned the school's Valentine's Day Dance on Friday and had so much fun! I was really scared about dirty dancing, but there wasn't any, just gaggles of girls jumping up and down in beat to the music shouting out the lyrics as loud as they could. Reminded me of my own middle school dances...running to the bathroom to learn the Tootsie Roll and Butterfly, and yet, never once being able to master it. I think that years later (when I was in my early twenties) I finally figured out how to do them and then hoped that DJ's at clubs would play a nineties throwback so I could show off the moves I had finally learned! Anyways, the dance (or, "Activity Night" as it is known around school) was a lot of fun. Poor Erin got turned down by Adam to dance, Nate's ride left without him, someone stole Andy's shoes, and someone threw up in the gym...but on the plus side, I saw most of my students and knew them by name!!

Knowing a students name may not seem like such a big deal, but it actually is. For the past six weeks, I've been struggling to learn who is who, and most often, I have to resort to my seating chart. But the past few weeks I've really been making a conscious effort to call on students by name and not look at the seating chart. So then I was able to get to a point where I could picture where they sat and then I would know who they were. But when you are standing in a dark cafeteria with kids running back and forth yelling out, "Hi Mrs. Walker!" (I know, I know, but they seriously all think I'm a Mrs, even though I don't have a's too cute for me to try and correct) you don't have time to picture the seating chart. So I'm proud to say, that I was able to shout back "Hey _____!" to any of my 150 students who ran past me.

Okay, I think that's all for now. I've seriously got to do some work! Tomorrow I'm attempting to make soup from scratch, but I would love to get together with any and all of you! I'm a bit broke, so we may have to settle for a cup of coffee (on you! HA! Just kidding :) ) or, if you want a work out buddy and go to Fitness 19, then call me up!!

Have a fab day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Okay, I'm getting in trouble for being so far behind on this blog! So here is a smorgasbord of things...

1. Student Teaching
So far, so good! I'm really loving the school that I'm at and my teacher and my students. We're reading great books (Tangerine, Freak the Mighty, and coming soon...Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, and Notes from the Midnight Driver) and the kids are so incredibly smart! I love it!! They're really funny too, I mean, I don't have any particular stories right now to explain how funny they are, but they are just really funny. lol...well...they call me Mrs. Walker, which is funny to me because clearly, I'm not a Mrs, and if I were, the last name wouldn'tbe Walker! HA!

2.Book Review
I read a book called Please...Stop Laughing At Me by Jodee Blanco. The book confronts Jodee's childhood where she was bullied by her classmates from fifth grade through twelfth grade. It was pretty good from an educator's standpoint to see how none of the adults in her life really helped her to overcome her bullies and tormentors. Her parents told her to "turn the other cheek" and sent her to a shrink while her teachers just sat by and either didn't notice or just didn't help stop it. It reminded me that as a teacher, it is my duty to help protect those who are unable to protect themselves. However, Blanco does a really good job of tooting her own horn, making herself sound like this pure, victim who did nothing wrong. And years later at a high school reunion all of her former bullies tell her how great she looks, how proud they are of her, how they're so excited that she's written books, and she simply accepts. She comes off as a pretentious snob who's incredibly annoying...however, with that said, it was a pretty good book (and a quick read!) that can serve as a great reminder to all who become involved in a childs life, be it through teaching or parenting, that we need to protect and help all children who can and do become victims of bullying.

3. Schakolad, The Chocolate Factory
Guess who loves her new job? I DO! Each Sunday I go to Ann Arbor to Schakolad and help make chocolates...truffles, nut clusters, dipped fruit, pretzels, Oreo's, marshmallows, we make it all! Want a chocolate piano? Done! Want a hot chocolate with REAL LIQUIDY chocolate on the bottom? EASY! Want to make a chocolate lollipop? Not a problem! Want to eat a milk, butterscotch, mint, cheesecake, ganache, milk chocolate, caramel truffle? Then come on by! :) I am not joking when I tell you that I am not a chocolate girl. I've never been a sweets kind of person, and never will be. But when I bite into that little square of chocolate, and the smooth truffle ganache center begins to melt like silk in my mouth, I close my eyes, and just...exist in the moment of heaven in my mouth. Nothing compares. Nothing.

You have to try this chocolate. So come by on Sunday's and visit me! Take a stroll through Ann Arbor with a hot chocolate and a truffle...or two...or three...or four!