Reclaiming Experience

This blog is a tool for recording my experiences as well as evaluating my day-to-day life. With my camera in hand, I will make meaning out of my life.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 152: Goodbyes Part 2

It was an uneasy night.  I kept waking up to thoughts about what I still needed to finish and how the day would go saying goodbye to the students.  We had a pretty good turnout considering none of the students had to stop by.  We had one student that came and his lingering nature indicated he did not want to go.  I really enjoyed being his teacher this year and I am sad to see him go.  Another student would barely talk to me because she was so upset.  She stayed for a couple of hours to help me pack up my room.  I worry that she has become too attached.  She sent me such a nice e-mail that talked about me saving her.  I can only imagine the bonds I can build in 5th grade since I will be able to spend all day with them.  There are days where I don't know if I can handle teaching long term, but then there are days where it feels perfect.  I have been counting down the days to summer and I am so excited for what is to come, but I do admit that I will miss the hooligans.  Life is good and I'm feeling alive.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 151: Goodbyes Part 1

 The last full day of school was full of excitement.  Our team dressed up for the decades and we rocked the 50s through the 90s.  It is so fun to see the kids dressed up for the day.  It was kind of a crazy day with an odd schedule, but overall it was not too bad.

The pictures today show the board that I came back to later in the afternoon.  This group has been so appreciative and I am so thankful to have had such a good group, probably the best I've had minus a few individuals.  

I always look forward to the promotion ceremony at the end of the school year.  It seems like it will be a long day, but once we actually get to the ceremony, all is well.  I felt myself getting a little teary eyed as I said my goodbyes to students.  Usually a lot of students will come back the next day to say goodbye, but many decided they would not, so this was the final ending.  People sometimes talk about unfinished business, especially when they talk about ghosts.  I feel as though some things have gone unsaid with students and I wish I could tell them how much I have enjoyed teaching them.  But then again, I think they know.  

I also got to see several students from past years.  They are driving, living on their own, going to college, and dreaming of becoming an oncologist.  I love the moments that occur on these nights.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 150: Retro

Tomorrow is decade day.  A day for poodle skirts, flower power, and afros.  Tonight I am working on my hair.  I have the 50s, so I'd like to do a pin curl style.  I currently look like Lucy with a scarf wrapped around my curls.  I don't usually have much luck with fancy hairstyles, but I'm trying.  Stay tuned to see the look tomorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 149: Decor

Today's pictures show some recent finds.  The first are my petunias.  They are such friendly flowers.  The second is the plant I bought in Indy at the IMA greenhouse.  I think it goes so perfectly with my planter from New Orleans.  The third is Kendra watching the chipmunks.  The fourth is my tomato plant.  I love tomato plants.  It is so fun to pick the tomatoes that are ready (and eat them).  The fifth is a basket that I got at the antique store in Zionsville (my favorite!).  The final is a picture of my mirror that I got for $10 at a garage sale.  It sounds like I need to take a break with shopping. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 148: Wine Tour and Early Summer Fun

 For Crystal's birthday I bought her a living social deal for a wine tour at Valentino Vineyards.  You see, it is kind of a selfish gift because I get to enjoy it too.  

We had never been to Long Grove, IL before, so we decided to check out the downtown area before going to the winery.  It is a quaint, historic downtown area with fun little shops.  The stores are definitely higher end, but it was still enjoyable to browse the selections.  

After killing a little time, we went to the winery.  We had a presentation on the grapes and wine making process.  It was great to learn more about wine making, but it was sooooo hot out.  Honestly, we were ready to taste some wines.  We got to taste five different bottles.  His wines are fairly high priced and in my opinion, nothing I would buy.  I enjoyed the tasting, but his wines were not breath-taking.

After this we decided that our apetite for wine was not completely fulfilled, so we went to Fox Valley Winery for some more tastings, a couple glasses of wine, and some cheese and crackers.  At the end, we were not ready to return, so we ventured to downtown Naperville.

Although it was hot, it was still a nice night to sit outside while enjoying a rita and music. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 147: Early Morning Thoughts

I woke up this morning around 3:30 so excited about ideas for elementary.  The birds were singing early this morning and my natural alarm seems to be set a couple hours earlier than I intended.  I have not been this excited about teaching in a long time.  So, I decided to get up and do a little grading and some more brainstorming.  I think I'm going to be a much better 5th grade teacher than an 8th grade science teacher (not that I think I am a bad one).

Today was road trip day to Indianapolis.  It was a jam packed schedule full of Goose the Market, West Coast Tacos, IMA Greenhouse, Lilly House, Garage Sale, Shadeland Antique Market, Brown's on Main, and Fair Oaks Farm for some cheese.  It was a very successful day and all goals were met minus finding a vanity/dressing table. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 146: Between Buildings

Today was kind of exciting because I got to go to my new school for some training.  Before I left, we had a whole staff lunch at the middle school that included a roast/recognition ceremony.  We have a couple of characters in our school that were perfect from the role of calling people out on their goofy qualities.  Fortunately I was on the recognition side instead of the roasting side.  One of the teachers on my team got up to thank me today and talk about how she would miss me.  As she was saying one compliment after another, I felt my eyes tearing up a little.  I'm so happy to be going to the elementary school, but I have definitely met some amazing people along the way.  I will have to be sure to keep in contact with these people that have left an impact.  

I also got a gift from the assistant principal.  It was a funny gift, but it still meant a lot to me and made me feel that I will be missed.  You hope that you are doing a good job and that people feel the same way, but to be acknowledged for it is truly rewarding.

Today's picture shows some of the books I got a the Scholastic warehouse sale.  I think I will have a summer full of reading children's literature.  Good thing a lot of these are fast reads.

Day 145: Getting Away

These school days keep feeling longer and longer.  It felt so good to come home to drink my wine and eat my pizza.  I kind of like being further away from my work because when I get home I feel more disconnected from the stress.  It is as though I am not just physically distancing myself from work, but also mentally.  It is nice.  

I keep adding little decorations here and there.  Here is a poster I got in Provence along with my jewelry.  My decorations are definitely girly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 144: At Least Midas Didn't Break Anything

 Eight more days.  I cannot begin to say how ready for summer I am.  In my efforts to begin cleaning out my classroom today, I have initiated a string of breaking items.  I was bringing one of my plants home today and the pot broke in my car when I had to slam on my breaks.  My car now has a nice layer of dirt covering it in the back.  As I went to grab my plant from my car when I got home, my phone fell out of my pocket and cracked.  Mine now matches what all of my students' phones look like.  I am nervous to touch anything else for fear of breaking it.

On a happier note, I found some books at a scholastic warehouse sale today.  I thought I was going to be paying $150, but instead I paid less than $50.  

I signed up for some travel brochures tonight and one of them came with an e-mail with the following quote:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau

I love romantic ideas like this.  I haven't been thinking "lofty" thoughts lately; maybe that is why I feel a little funky.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 143: Scarf Art

I decided to use my scarves as part of my wall art.  I've had them hanging for a couple of years now, but not in plain sight. I'm happy that I get to see them out everyday now.

I'm getting the feeling.  The feeling that school is almost over.  The end is approaching.  Freedom is standing in front of me.  All of the teachers are beginning to pack up their rooms or already have their rooms packed.  I guess I should begin.  At this time of year, two things pop into my mind: School's Out for Summer and Mel Gibson yelling freeeeeeeeeeeeeeedoooooooomm. 

Day 142: Home

How wonderful to come home from work, pour a glass of wine, and fix some barbeque pork with polenta.  

It was a typical crazy Monday at work.  Several of my students cheated on the quiz with the sub I had on Friday, so they found out today that they'd be taking it again.  I thought I'd get a lot of arguments, but they knew they did wrong.  What can you do?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 141: Let's Play Ball

 The W flags were not hanging in Wrigleyville today.  Game three of the Crosstown Classic resulted in a sweep by the Sox.  My friend Ashley invited me to attend the game with her sisters, sister's boyfriend, his brother, parents, aunt, and another friend.  The ten of us trekked our way to DeVry where we picked up a shuttle to the game.  

In this picture you can see the gang in action.  Ashley was wearing a Waubonsee shirt to support a pitcher that she graduated with.  Unfortunately we did not get to see him play.  To be honest, I'm a Chicago fan, so I don't really care who wins, but there is something in me that always leans towards the Cubs.  After watching the game today, I have to say that I think the Sox have a stronger team.

During the game I had the all-American peanuts, hot dog, and raspberry vodka lemonade(maybe the last was not so American).  It was warm today, but luckily we were in the shade so no one came home crispy. 

During the game some gulls joined the Sox team on the field.  There were over 20 birds out there.  

The later picture shows Aunt Betty (white hair) and a guy in a tank who had a little too much to drink.  Fortunately he was a friendly drunk compared to the aggressive drunks that got in a fight outside of the stadium.  He was very chatty with Aunt Betty and even offered for her to grab his butt.  Aunt Betty declined.  The last picture shows Ashley fulfilling his wish of a hug.  Ahh, the people we meet in this world...


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 140: New Home

Here I am, in my new home.  My pup is sound asleep next to me as I catch up on Mad Men.  The move was very efficient today and it took us barely any time at all.  I've started to put up some art and organize some things, but I definitely feel like I have a long way to go.  It feels a little strange to be on my own again, but I am looking forward to making this place my home.  I remember my very first night on my own in my first apartment about 4 years ago.  I think I slept on the couch after watching Pride and Prejudice.  It was a little unnerving to venture out on my own, but since them I have begun to delve deeper and deeper into who I am.  I look forward to continuing this development as I encounter future changes.  

I haven't mentioned it on here yet because it hasn't been official, but now that it is, I can confess: I got the 5th grade teaching position!  Change is coming, and although it may not look how I first envisioned, it is a step in the right direction (or possibly even the right change).  Today's pictures are not so hot.  I was going to take a picture of the moving truck, but then I didn't.  As I was moving my desk out I saw that my granddad had written his name on the back.  I was going to take a picture, but then I didn't.  Instead we see last minute pictures.  Tomorrow's pictures could be interesting though...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 139: Uneasy

I have a big weekend ahead of me.  Tomorrow I finish the move and start putting everything back together.  On Sunday I am going to the Cubs vs. Sox game.  I am really excited about this game because I'm going with a fun friend and I haven't been to a game in forever, but I'm worried about what might happen with NATO there.  There have been protests, terrorist threats, and who knows what else.  As I began to think about it, I wondered what it would be like to be one of the dignitaries that always carries these worries with them.  I wonder if it is something that confronts them each day or if it is something they can repress.  I suppose all you can really do is live.

After moving some stuff over tonight, we went out to a nice dinner to celebrate a new home.  We went to Hugo's Frog Bar and ordered a variety of sides and appetizers, the best of all being the escargot.  It is covered with a pastry and our server recommends placing blue cheese underneath to add a new level of flavor.  It is wonderful. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 138: Battle Wounds

The fight was against my dresser and I.  I made it out, only with a scratch.  Saturday will be the test as to what new wounds I create.  Besides most of my nails breaking and a couple scratches here and there, it hasn't been too bad.

Do you ever check your e-mail and wish that you didn't because now you are going to worry about something all night?  I guess that is the biggest downfall to having work e-mail on my phone.  I may have made a mistake with something today and now I am worried about what I will be walking into tomorrow.  It was basically a lack of communication that I didn't even consider.  Most likely it will be a "don't worry about it" deal, but I've never been good at visualizing the best case scenario.  Sometimes I wish I was one of those people that just crosses that bridge when they get to it.  Instead I am planning for another route, bringing an inflatable boat with paddles, and carrying a rope to swing across.  Oh well, I do feel sometimes like my excessive worrying has caused me to over plan and in turn, the situation goes better than planned.  Look at that, I did some solid reflecting tonight...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 137: Same Old, Same Old

Oh, I guess I don't have much to say tonight.  I'm still teaching, I'm still moving, I'm still taking pictures of my dog, etc.  I'm looking forward to a little excitement in my life in the near future.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 136: Crazy Dog

I own a crazy dog.  She keeps looking at me like this while barking and panting.  She kind of looks like she is smiling.  She may be crazy, but I think she is happy.

I feel fairly accomplished after all of the preparations I did tonight.  My closet is completely cleaned out, so I can technically say one room is done.  I have way too much stuff, but the only time I want to change that is when I have to move it... 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 135: Clutter

Clutter surrounds me as I try to transition between homes.  It is going to feel so great to be fully moved in.  I look forward to taking more interesting pictures as I do more interesting things in the near future.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 134: Mother's Day

 What a wonderful day.  The weather was perfect for a walk along the lake.  I may not exactly be a mother, but I do feel pretty lucky to have such a perfect little pug.