Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Today is a short little post since it is a double holiday for me....Easter happens to fall on my birthday and yesterday Brian surprised me with tickets to a Vocal Point concert.  As is typical for Vocal Point--they sing a few spiritual numbers and they did a rendition of "I Need Thee Every Hour" that I hadn't heard before.  I found this recording of it on YouTube.


This song just seemed to really fit the Easter season.  I have been learning a lot about how much I need my Savior more and more, especially for the simple things in life.  By calling on His strength, we can learn so much about life and ourselves.

On a more fun note...this was def one of my favorite songs too...

Anyway....it has been a great weekend--Happy Easter everyone!!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Flirting...Really Still Necessary?!

Okay so this blog post has been written like three times..I keep starting and stopping. I would like to share some wisdom with the male population today-but I have had trouble wording it.  So here comes this new try.  Men seem to feel the need to flirt with women to get their way.  Can someone explain this to me?  So why do I have this question you ask...

I went to a financial institution yesterday to sign some paperwork that Brian had signed previously.  So this male employee assisted me with this task by basically handing me papers to sign and then pushing buttons on the computer to continue to sign the application.  In the meantime he was like grilling me about my life and wanting to know everything about me.  When I wanted to know what exactly I was signing or asked questions about it...I had to interrupt him. So...what should be a more informational moment and the actual part of his job--became a chore. His voice tone would completely change and he would almost sound frustrated that he had to explain.  And then today when Brian gets on to see if everything processed, he realized that there might be something wrong with the whole thing.  My response--he was too busy flirting with me to pay attention!  If he hadn't hurried through the job stuff and been so focused on talking to me, maybe he would have done it right for sure. The other kicker...he knows I'm married--he and Brian are friends..and he is married too--I even asked about his wife, two kids, and her current pregnancy.  I mean seriously!?

I guess women cry to manipulate...men can flirt to get their way--but really why can't we all just act normal?!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features #13

5. I would be silly to not at least mention the fact that one of the biggest stories in this week's news cycle was the Supreme Court hearing California Proposition 8 and the Defense Against Marriage Act.  This is such hot button issue....it will be interesting to see what June brings us...one side or the other is probably going to be pretty frustrated no matter what is decided.   What I'm curious to see the historical impact that this will have. It could be huge like Roe v. Wade or small like....um nobody really knows about because ha ha they're not famous :)

4. Ok this is just gross.  An Oklahoma dentist has been using rusty instruments and bad practices which could be affected 7,000 people with crazy bad diseases! My question...how did this go on for so long?! http://abcnews.go.com/Health/rogue-dentist-exposed-7000-patients-hiv-hepatitis/story?id=18834611

3. Amanda Knox's trial is going to be heard again. It would really be interesting to learn more about the Italian court system...because in the American perspective, and really mine too, this whole thing is a HUGE mess. http://abcnews.go.com/US/amanda-knox-shocked-court-ruling-murder/story?id=18809434

2. Syria has really seemed to have increased the attacks....either that or the media is paying more attention.  See this article from the New York Times that had this quote from a university student after the campus was bombed: "I know Syria needs us right now. But - enough. I give up."  I think it really speaks to the civilian exhaustion with this situation.

1. North Korea....is it just a propaganda ploy or are we staring in the face of World War III?  Oi...we're just going to have to wait and see.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57577052/white-house-warns-north-korea-on-isolationist-actions/

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Character Thursday: Wanderer from The Host


Okay I mentioned in my book review of The Host about the movie that was coming out on this book.  And with that movie coming out tomorrow, I have had The Host on the brain.  So I thought I would do a Character Thursday about my favorite character from the book--Wanderer.  I actually had originally thought about doing Wanderer/Mel because I love their relationship--that is what really made the book for me.  But if you really read the book-they are two different characters, so maybe a different day.

Okay first of all a little bit of background for people who haven't read the book in a while/seen the movie preview/etc.  Wanderer is also known by her nickname Wanda, but she is the alien species that takes over Mel's human body--the host.  As a result, Wanda doesn't view the humans as we do, she views them as a species that has their own problems as the other species she has been with.

My favorite thing about Wanderer is her ability to think out of the box.  A lot of times in our current society, people stick with their original opinion.  They are not willing to put themselves in the other person's shoes.  Wanderer literally does put herself in the human shoes by being a parasite, but with Mel still there and around Wanda learns from Mel andWanda really starts to change her mind about what to do.  This gets even better with how much we learn that Wanderer is a very smart "person".  She serves as the equivalent to a college professor and tells lots of stories of her previous "lives".  We often see the more educated as less likely to change their minds...but I think it speaks volumes to her character.

What will be interesting is how she will be portrayed in the movie....and how they will show this change?

P.S. A sequel is for sure in our future...I wonder when http://www.hypable.com/2013/02/21/stephenie-meyer-reveals-what-she-is-writing-next/

File:The Host Poster.jpg
If you see this...let me know I want to know what you think!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teachers Have the Best or Worst Job?

So...I am sure I have talked about this on here before but being a teacher can be really hard work but also very rewarding. In the last couple of days I have seen two articles from other people's perspectives/work about this very thing.

This first one was an op-ed piece from the Salt Lake Tribune written by an actual teacher in Salt Lake asking, "Why teach?"   Her big thing is all against testing...which I am BEYOND thankful that I really don't have to do.  Yet another reason to stay where I am.  But the point that she brings out is that we feel a lot of pressure as teachers...I get that at my own job.  She focuses on administrators and legislators but it's parents too.  We expect our kids to be geniuses--set the bar high but don't expect teachers to do all the work.  So how about we all give each other a break--it will be waaay good for our stress levels!!

Go read it here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/56010884-82/students-teachers-tests-teacher.html.csp

The second one was an article from the New York Times that reports the findings of a Gallup poll that looked at well-being.  They said, "teachers ranked above all other professions in answers to questions about whether they “smiled or laughed yesterday,” as well as whether they experienced happiness and enjoyment the day before the survey."  So this is how the article decides that maybe all of this disgruntled stuff is just hype. Well...this is what I have to say about that.  As teachers in order to keep going and keep moving forward we have to find the good in the day.  I try to actually consciously do that.  So yes we are going to try to find a way to smile or laugh--it is the nature of who we are.  So bottom line: you have to ask the right questions to get the hype that we will give you.  

Go read this article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/education/in-poll-on-well-being-teachers-rank-high.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0 

Cedar_Ridge_Academy_Therapeutic_Boarding_School
See even I found a reason to smile....and give out a trivia question.
Check it out on our Cedar Ridge Academy Facebook page

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seed Stitch Baby Blanket

So..I have mentioned before that I want to share some of my knitting projects on here. Today I finally finished a blanket that I have been working on for a while!  I got this pattern from Lion Brand..which has a WHOLE bunch of free patterns for knitting and crocheting.  They call it Seed Stitch Baby Blanket which is very appropriate.  It is a very simple pattern and for that I give it 4 stars.  It doesn't get 5 stars is that it is REALLY easy to mess up.

I am the type that knits while doing something else...listening to a book on tape but more often than not watching a TV show or a movie. This was a pattern that seemed really easy to screw up and not know it for like three or four rows because that's when you can really see it.  So if you end up trying this pattern, be careful to make sure that you get your knits and purls in the right row.

But it turns out pretty well when you're done...at least I think so.

The whole blanket!

A close up on the corner so you can see the seed stitch and stockinette stitch alternated

Monday, March 25, 2013

Have Fun!

So the other day this was the Goodreads quote.  "I have never been convinced there's anything inherently wrong in having fun."--George Plimpton.  

So there were two things that attracted me to this quote.  First was the little bit that they told me about George. He was, "A contender for the title of Most Interesting Man in the World, writer George Plimpton wrestled Sirhan Sirhan to the ground when Robert Kennedy was assassinated and once got into the ring with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson."  Pretty cool guy!

The other thing is that it is a really true quote!  I fully believe in having fun....I just don't know how much I really do it because my brain is on other things. So go out and have some fun!!

Thank you to Pinterest...it was really the only picture that made sense with "having fun"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why I Love March Madness

So....for the last three years I have been at Cedar Ridge Academy (though it feels like a lifetime) I have done a March Madness competition.  The students can fill out a bracket if they want...they get points for predicting each correct win and the points possible increases as the rounds increase.  The last two years I have done decently well...top three.  This year my bracket is REALLY screwed up....like I picked Gonzaga to win it all and they are gone kind of screwed up.  Am I little bit frustrated that I might not have decent points and the kids might beat me pretty good? Yes! But I am reminded this year of why I love March Madness to begin with.

Florida Gulf Coast
Goodness....NO one predicted that they would go this far.  But these guys are amazing basketball players! (see the videos for some sweet highlights)  They play it to just have fun and they beat Georgetown (a #2 seed) and San Diego St. (#7 seed).  They are the first #15 seed to go to the Sweet 16--how awesome is that!!!




LaSalle
Okay so in my mind the teams that played into the tournament must not be that great or they would have been in the tournament on their own.  Maybe its cuz I don't completely understand the bracket formulas with strength of schedule, record etc.  And they are a #13....so not a great shot. But this team had to play in....so naturally they won that then they had to play Kansas State...a #4 seed.  They beat them to face #12 Ole Miss. In the last seconds they win the whole thing!!! Their first time winning back to back tournament games since 1955.  That's pretty sweet history in the making.

http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2013/3/24/4143426/la-salle-ole-miss-2013-ncaa-tournament-scores-third-round

These two teams are what makes the tournament the coolest thing ever to me. Best weekend for sports!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How Are You?

We, as a society, seem to ask this question of people a lot.   A lot of us use the phrase..."I'm fine." But do we mean.....

You can trade nervous for neurotic too
I have also heard, "I'm good" or "I'm alright"....but the person isn't actually any of these things....we don't want to start the big conversation or get into the nitty-gritty of our personal lives with people.

I happened to have Pandora on in the background today ...and before you say it....yes I have hear of Spotify but personally if it ain't broke don't fix it...and this song came up

These Days by Rascal Flatts on Grooveshark

The end of the first verse and the chorus stuck out to me today:

Yeah, life throws you curves
But you've learned to swerve
Me, I swung and I missed
And the next thing ya know, I'm reminiscing
Dreaming old dreams, wishing old wishes
Like you would be back again

I wake up and teardrops that fall down like rain
I put on that old song we danced to and then
I head off into my job, guess not much has changed

Punch the clock, head for home
Check the phone, just in case
Go to bed, dream of you
That's what I'm doin' these days
Yeah, that's what I'm doin'

So have you learned to swerve?  Or are you constantly swinging and missing? Or are you living in the past and wishing life would go back to the way it was?  Does life seem like it is on a constant loop like not much has changed? Hmm...then maybe we aren't so "good" and more like "fine".

Note: Lyrics from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net">eLyrics.net</a>

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features #12

This week some international, national, and local news makes this list

5. Saw this today..Chinua Achebe died at the age of 82...he was a great author that really pushed the envelope and didn't let the fact that someone might not see his work get in the way http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/world/africa/chinua-achebe-nigerian-writer-dies-at-82.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

4. Seeing sequestration in action.....Provo and Ogden will lose air traffic controllers---sounds a bit scary to me since they will have to coordinate with like 10 other small airports.  And Provo has large jets...this isn't just little puddle jumpers http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24504709&nid=148&title=faa-to-close-air-control-towers-in-ogden-provo&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-7

3. Utah Governor Herbert vetoes a bill that allowed all weapons in Utah to be concealed...even if they didn't have a permit.  I am really glad this was vetoed because I firmly believe in the concealed carry permits requiring safety classes--I worry what would happen without it. http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24500945&nid=757&title=gov-herbert-vetoes-constitutional-carry-bill&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-8

2. President Obama was in Israel this week...talking to the young generation about peace--very gutsy! http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/president-obama-talks-peace-holy-land-18785879?tab=9482930&section=1206853&playlist=18786409

1.Foiled college shooting by the roommate...that's standing up for what you believe no matter what http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/roommates-911-call-foiled-university-central-florida-massacre-18767337?tab=9482930&section=1206853&playlist=18714558

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dear Boys

K...so I know its not Wednesday....but it was one of those days that I need to anonymously vent and I read Elise's post tonight so its on the brain!

To The Man,
Ok so my gag reflex is not that great...in fact it sucks--so can you please leave my classroom while you throw up?  The smell was still lingering when I left...I really hope its not their tomorrow.
Sincerely,
The "mom" of the school

Dear Slow-Poke,
You like to hear yourself talk, so you can't be quiet enough to listen--so then I have to spend time going over it with you one-on-one.  I wonder if you would be so much more successful if you would just shut your mouth sometimes!
Sincerely,
Losing patience

Dear Anger Management,
A and B are having a conversation so C your way out....but apparently you have to get offended.  Really?! Wow, you need to get more control.
Sincerely,
The authority figure whether you like it or not


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quote to Ramble about Today

So I have been actually home for like two hours today and I have to go to bed soon.  But I need to write something quick!  I saw this quote on Twitter the other day and it struck a chord with me: You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.--Mae West

Sometimes I wonder if I live life "right". How would you define that? I feel like I complain a lot--and am really busy a lot.  Yesterday for a Church activity we did this like "speed dating" get-to-know you game and one of the questions that they asked was "If you have six months to live, what would you do first?"  The first thing that popped into my head was to quit my job!  Ever since then it has gotten me thinking--if I would quit my job if I knew I just had a little time left--why am I still there?! Rationally I know that I'm suppose to be...and if I really had 6 months to live then I would be filling my time with worthwhile time with family and friends which you can't do 24/7 if you're not going to be dying soon--you need money to live.  But I wonder what job would anyone want to keep doing so that they "live life right"?

Because there really isn't a better picture for this post than family....
Happy Birthday to my little sister!!! 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Women+Media=Disney?!

So I was talking to a student at school today.  In our conversation, I really determined that she was not pleased with her body and how she looks.  She is a very cute girl--and if you ask the boys at our school, I would bet money that she would be voted "hottest" in school.  After our conversation, I started thinking about the Dove campaign...they have really been fighting (at least on TV commericals) against how the media portrays women. This girl seems to have been influenced a lot by all of that.

Then when I came home...I watched this video I found off of Facebook....which reminded me that Disney has had something to do with messing with us.  We girls are sure very well influenced!!! But this video is HILARIOUS!!! And has a lot of great influences.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Why Knit?

So as I have mentioned previously I enjoy Grey's Anatomy.  I have watched every episode--and many of them more than twice.  These more than twice episodes often become the soundtrack while I grade.  Yesterday, I watched "The Name of the Game" from Season 2 (Episode 22).  In this episode, we meet the celibate Meredith who is knitting to avoid men.  Almost toward the end of the episode, Meredith reflects on her hard day to Derek.  He asks her,  "Are you ok?" She responds, "I have my knitting."

Skip to 5:50...and you can stop it at 6:25

 I really responded to this quote because this is how I feel sometimes about my knitting. The world seems to make a little bit more sense when I do my knitting.  I have really found that I go better the coming week if I have spent a few hours on the weekend knitting.  So what do I knit?  I mostly do blankets, baby blankets, specifically.  I have recently finished the knitting part of a new purse...but I need to sew it together--which makes me a bit nervous.  I have also done scarves--but I have been so focused on blankets recently I haven't done a scarf in awhile.

So why knit? Because it is sometimes all you have left.  What do you do when the world doesn't make sense?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Response to CNN: We are ALL a Team


Click through the gallery to see some of the best responses to the following <a href='http://www.facebook.com/cnn/posts/10151522264786509' target='_blank'>prompt posted on Facebook</a>:<!-- -->
</br>"The one thing parents/teachers <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html'>really need to know</a> is _____." Some comments have been edited for length and clarity.So this weekend, I saw this article from CNN about the 10 things parents and teachers should know about each other.  I have talked on here before how parents and teachers should be a team, and that parents shouldn't demand things of teachers--just as teachers shouldn't demand things of parents. And again...these opinions are mine alone, but I wanted to respond to this article.
Briefly, this article is a response to an article that they did probably about a year ago about what teachers want to tell parents.  I saw that article then and liked it enough to share it on Facebook.  To me, this new article discusses that parents and teachers are on the same page--some of the time.  They give a couple of quotes--some I agree with and some that I don't. As the article asks at the end: "What do you think about this list and what would you add?" I will do a list of three quotes from the article with my own commentary.


Quote #1 from the article states:
"Parents need to know we're in it for the kids; obviously not for the money," said Facebook user and Florida teacher Cindy Hoffman. "We're in a partnership, trying to do the best for the children as possible. Please don't treat us as adversaries."

I agree because as I have mentioned before, no teacher is in it for the money.  If parents know that we are a team--things go so much better.  Students drive the train (especially in high school) while the parents and teachers work as the staff on the train to help support the engineer.

Quote #2 states:
"As a teacher (oh yes, I am both) I want parents to stop blaming teachers and start working with us," Williams-Solod said. "We can't fix everything, but remember we are humans and we aren't perfect. Also, teach your kids to respect us."

I like this quote because it comes from a teacher-parent.  Sometimes teacher-parents are the worst--because we know what we would do as a teacher for our own kids.  But I think this mom hits the nail on the head--teachers are only human.  And one thing that I have to remind myself of everyday is that parents are only human too. I deal with a lot of kids who might not be in the situation that they were if there were different choices made in their upbringing.  So...again we are a team.

Quote #3 states:
"ADHD is not an excuse; it is an explanation."--Melynda Hartley Johnson, parent

I disagree with this quote to a certain extent. I agree that in some cases ADHD is a real thing--and something that the student needs to learn how to overcome.  However, I think that it can be used as an excuse even when it is a real thing.  No kid that is in a wheelchair or has glasses or any other visible difference says that they can't do something just like everyone else.  They figure out how they can do it their way.  That's what I as a teacher wish the parents that come to me with, "My kid has ADHD." would understand.  I wish I could hear, "My child has ADHD; can we help him learn despite of that?  I want him/her to be able to reach their potential and not be a kid defined by this."  That's really is the biggest thing--we can't define our kids by an explanation--they have to define themselves by what they CAN do, not what they CAN'T do.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Pinterest Cleaning Tip


How to clean stove burners

This weekend I decided that I was done with the greasiness of my stove burners and the drip pans underneath needed new foil.  Last time I decided this I spent a lot of time soaking and scrubbing.  This was must have been around the time I got started on Pinterest...not sure but like later that day I saw a pin that told me about how to not have to scrub burners.  So I went back to those pins...and found out that they use ammonia.  A lot of other pins say the same thing.  I don't have ammonia--and I have always felt that it was a dangerous chemical.  So I went looking for other pins.  The baking soda ideas that I found actually worked decently well.

I went to: http://www.ehow.com/how_7016474_clean-stove-burner-drip-pans.html  This website talks specifically about cleaning the drip pans.  Now, I didn't have the patience to wait overnight today--I wish I had known it yesterday but I let them soak for a while and it actually seemed to work well enough.  In terms of the boil the water--this seemed a little bit strange since I had the whole stove taken apart.  I do however have an electric kettle that I used to boil the water instead.

I also went to http://www.repair.com/c/range-stove/cleaning/how-to-clean-stove-burners.html This website talks about the actual burners.  This uses a paste with baking soda. I really didn't know how to make paste...so for the rest of you out there not sure either--the more soda to less water the better.  And I mean like a very small amount of water!! A pastry brush worked really well to "paint" the paste onto the burners and the caked on really well to come out pretty clean.

So there's my cleaning advice for your stove--$1 baking soda box at the store.  Not only is it easy and cheap--but it doesn't smell funny like chemicals do the next time you turn the stove no matter how much you rinsed!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features #11

5. A judge finds the sugary drink ban in NYC unconstitutional. Very interesting that someone felt that it was a little bit too crazy...the judge cited "arbitrary and capricious" basically that the law was not fair--and I agree certain 32 oz. drinks were left out.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/nyregion/judge-invalidates-bloombergs-soda-ban.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130312&_r=0

4. This was a bittersweet story from today...a sister jumps into a river after her younger brother--saves him, but dies in the process and the guy that went in after her.  http://abcnews.go.com/US/teenage-girls-body-recovered-foam-filled-big-sioux/story?id=18735275

3. Carnival cruise line...oh my...they are going to need some serious reputation repair! http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/15/travel/carnival-cruises-perception/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

2. So North Korea has gone crazy enough that we have increased our missile defense stuff...I am glad that we are prepared...but it does make you a little bit concerned that these threats might actually come to something http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/15/17327806-us-to-deploy-more-ground-based-missile-interceptors-as-north-korea-steps-up-threats?lite

1. Pope Francis I selected this week.  It is waay cool that they selected a South American pope.  I had fun sharing this moment of history with my students.

From http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2013/mar/13/pope-francis-life-in-pictures 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Singing + TV Shows= Relaxing for Me

So....I really have liked musicals my whole life---then this big thing called Glee came along....and the NBC had to answer with Smash.  Smash is honestly AWESOME...but today's post is really all about Glee.  I am not feeling 100% so I am taking it easy tonight trying to relax and rest so that I don't get sick sick.  So I watched last week's episode....ironically while it taped this week's. Now...as my sisters would say--Don't Judge!!!  But I really like the music--the storyline usually leaves something to be desired...but they really do know how to sing!

This episode--though full of plenty of high school drama--had two great group numbers--and they haven't had some good group numbers in a while.  So I wanted to share :)

Also I want to proclaim from the rooftops--SING-OFF IS COMING BACK!!!! So excited!!!


It is close...I don't know which one I like better!


And now...I will post this and go watch an episode of Smash before bed.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken Tomato Pasta Recipe

So I made dinner today....this gets a blog post because I do not regularly make dinner.  It is not actually my recipe...I got it from a freebie cookbook from Sam's Club.  I have done my own little twist on it though....so here it comes:

Its in that container because I was taking it to someone so its not on the pasta either...
It might not be the greatest picture but its better than nothing
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts (usually large!)
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (I don't really measure this...just do it until you feel like you have enough)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground pepper
Mozzarella Cheese (to sprinkle on top)
Pasta (I do spaghetti so its easy)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Brown chicken breasts in a skillet for 3-4 minutes per side.  Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Make sure the meat is done (if you have a thermometer apparently 165 degrees)

Put the chicken on top of the cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese as desired.

Its yummy can't you tell :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Inspired by a Quote Today

Today's quote is:

You're alive only once, as far as we know, and what could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn't lived it?  --Edward Albee

Edward Albee apparently was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright whose birthday is today (therefore Goodreads' quote of the day). So it seems appropriate that this quote has inspired me today.  I had the opportunity to travel to Salt Lake City yesterday and return today.  For work, I went to a Social Media Marketing seminar with a fellow co-worker (more about that a different day).  One of the things about driving to Salt Lake City from Roosevelt--is it is a 3 hour car ride.  We had an audio book all keyed up to play if we needed it--but surprisingly we spent the whole car ride up there and back just talking back and forth.  We traded stories from our lives and it was SO much fun.  While I won't call this co-worker old....its not hard to have more life experience than me with how young I am.  I love hearing about her experiences.  I hope that I continue to have great experiences in life that I can share with other people--and not get to the end of my life wishing I had more.

I think that's one of the biggest reasons that I need to keep going with this blog. As hard as it is some days to  come up with what to write--I need to share my experiences with others and mostly myself too.  I forget sometimes the little things that have happened.  My job lends itself for everything to blur together.  Writing about it will help everything not to blur together so easily. I tried to do a write down one positive thing from each day in a journal--and I got out of the habit with that.  I think that's why I am so determined to not give up on this blog writing. I have a habit now! So I hope you keep sticking with me through it all :)

P.S. Shout out to my two newest followers Christine and Lyndsey--it was so cool to see the follower number go up for the first time in a while :)

Hmm no picture yet...I should get one with Kathy and I and post it later :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Does Teaching=Results?



I saw this quote the other day about teachers.  I really liked the quote and the background is pretty too.  One of the things that I think education suffers from is a lack of understanding that our jobs are hard too.  Politicians try to put it in a box, or make it so that we have to meet certain standards.  What they don't get is that lawyers, doctors, and dentists can fit into that results box because they tailor their results getting to the individual case.  They have a main objective--save the life, win the case, etc...yes there are a variety of ways to get there.  And doctors and lawyers will agree on some of the best practices to get there and others will disagree with those practices saying that another kind works better.  But the patient/client/world doesn't really care as long as the cancer is cured or the bad guy goes to jail.  In the teaching world, our results are not that simple to see.  We all agree on best practices and we all disagree on best practices.  But the trick is knowing that the student learned and that the teacher did their job.  We don't know that as instantly and we don't know that for sure---mostly because like the quote points out--everyone learns differently.  That's why people try to put testing on our students and there is so much pressure to standardized everything everyone learns.  I wonder what it would have been like to teach in the days of the one-room school house, where everyone was grateful for the education that they did get.  Only people questioned the teacher's behavior methods and treatment of their students then--not whether their kid was learning or not. I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy...but what made our society think that teachers should be so results oriented.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Is Here!

Okay I am one of those people that doesn't really mind daylight savings time in terms of waking up.  Yes it takes me time to adjust like everyone else...but what really bugs me is that it takes me a really really long time to get use to when the sun goes down.  Right now, I am writing this blog at 6:00 and the sun is up and bright.  Yesterday at 6:00 dusk has set in.  So today my brain is just freaking out!!! And I know from past experience, that my brain will be freaking out for a couple of weeks now.  So here is some thoughts from the funny people....I am not the only one that freaks out
Thank you to http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive/phd110106s.gif
Oh yes...you can just hear his creepy voice can't you?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The World + College Today= Not Sure

So you probably saw my Facebook picture here you would have figured out that Cedar Ridge Academy had their parent workshop this week. At this workshop, students and parents spend time together on their relationship and learning together about how to improve their lives.  The school usually does at least one class about academics.  We talked about how parents can support their student academically.  I talked specifically about the roles that students and parents play...maybe I will talk about that more specifically later on.  Today I wanted to talk about what our guidance counselor's section was on--how parents support the next step whether that be college or career.

Afterwords, a parent pointed out what the world is really becoming...a college degree doesn't get you anywhere anymore.  I just barely saw this commercial on the television...

video

Unfortunately college does not give you the security and money that this commercial implies.  Brian just got promoted--YAY!! I am excited for him and he really enjoys his new job.  And he is very excited about the pay raise and bonuses that come with this pay raise.  However, the weird thing to me is that Brian works part-time at a credit union while getting his college degree, but if he worked full time he would make more than me.  It makes it really tempting to not finish that degree for him--but he does want to get into his field.  For me, I wonder sometimes why I worked hard at my degree.  

Now don't get me wrong, I love my job and I especially love teaching.  And I knew that teaching doesn't pay that much from the beginning (so even if I switch schools it won't make a difference)...but am I a little bit strange to think that a teacher with a college degree should make more than a loan officer without one? 

So what's my bottom line---something should probably change--but how?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features #10

Thank you http://www.teachenglishtoday.org/index.php
/2011/11/putting-the-daily-newspaper-to-work/ 

for the picture
So....on Monday and Wednesday next week I will be talking about current events in my Social Studies classes at Cedar Ridge Academy. I will be covering all of these topics in class with videos and articles.  Fellow teachers can feel free to steal!!

5. Real-Life Fillibuster--Rand Paul made history by talking for 13 hours.  See CNN Student News--which is a great source for anything current event.  http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/07/studentnews/sn-transcript-fri/index.html 

4. White House Tours Cancelled--I will be talking to my students about the sequestration and using this as an example.  For me this was just a little bit much....we could cut something else seriously. Like that dinner the President and Republicans went to? For info about sequestration go to article here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/06/politics/cnn-explains-sequestration and the CNN clip here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/28/studentnews/sn-transcript-fri/index.html

3. Hugo Chavez dies--This might change a lot about our relationship with Venezuela..or it might not..or it might change oil prices....or it might change the region.  Either way students need to know what is going on.  Watch http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/05/studentnews/sn-transcript-wed/index.html for the original annoucement and this one http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/06/studentnews/sn-transcript-thu/index.html which goes into the oil idea in Venezuela

2. TSA changes knife requirements--This one CNN Student News isn't actually messing with so I am going to show an ABC video http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/tsa-pocket-knives-airlines-rules-18661602?tab=9482930&section=1206853&playlist=18603342

1. North Korea sanctions--Great time to talk about the U.N. and how it works...we'll see if these sanctions work.  http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/07/studentnews/sn-transcript-fri/index.html 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jane Austen

This month's Classics Club question is about Jane Austen.  They ask why you hate or love Jane Austen and what your favorite or least favorite novel.  Another fellow Classics Clubber Roofbeam Reader talked about how Mark Twain really didn't like Austen.  He shared a quote in which Twain said, "Whenever I take up Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin bone."  My question with this quote, is that if he knew that he didn't like the book the first time, why did he keep reading it over and over again?

Personally, I do read Jane Austen over and over again--and I LOVE it.  Sometimes when I have had a long day,  I turn my MP3 player on set it to turn off in about 20 minutes and then I listen to a book that I know really well on tape.  I can just focus on the words and ignore what is going on in my brain from the day.  Sometimes the book of choice is Pride and Prejudice.  So I don't want to beat her with her shin bone over that book.

The cool thing about this question is that I am have set a goal to read all of the main Austen novels because I bought this complete set a while ago and I haven't ever really read them all.  I have read Sense and Sensibility this year, and technically finished listening to Pride and Prejudice this year--but I'm not counting that.  My favorite of hers is actually Emma--I think because she reminds me the most of myself.  Persuasion might be my least favorite...but it has been awhile, and I had to read it in college so I read it REALLY fast.  So maybe by the end of this year I will have a clear "ranking".     

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Christine Haggerty.  Thanks for the nomination and your sweet comment!! I miss teaching with you!! Hopefully I can answer all the questions...but mostly come up with ones for people to answer...

The Liebster Award is intended to recognize up-and-coming blogs, particularly those with fewer than 200 followers. Here are the Liebster Blog Award Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger has set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

So here comes 11 things about me...

1. I am the oldest of five...three sisters and a brother.
2. I married my husband Brian four and a half years ago.
3. I have so far split my life in thirds.  I was born in the Washington D.C. and moved when I was nine to St. Louis where I lived until I was 18 and then I moved to Utah for school and then stayed.  So if I stay here for another two years I will be exactly thirds. Hmm...does that mean I should move in two years?
4. The funny thing about all of that moving is that I have gone from a big city, a bit smaller city, to a smaller city, to a rural town....so maybe if I move it will be to even smaller?
5. I have always dreamed about being an author...though I haven't ever gotten very far.  I wrote "books" when I was younger but since I got older I got out of the game. Maybe one day I'll get back to it.
6.  I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was like five.
7. I am a bit of a home-body, but I like being social--so I'm weird like that. I will usually go hang out if asked and someone else sets up but I am bad about just "going out" on my own.
8. I love to knit...it helps me to unwind....ha ha pun not intended realized it after I wrote it :)
9. The thing that makes my Wal-mart trips super expensive is the $5 movies that I buy.  I own A LOT of movies because of it.
10. I love chocolate...but if there are treats around the house I might not eat them because I forget they are there---don't ask me why I can't explain it.
11. I love organization and cleanliness but sometimes I really just can't get motivated to do it...so my house is usually a disaster!

So here's the questions Christine asked....

1. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

I did not actually watch traditional cartoons as a kid.  My mom was a firm believer in PBS so I didn't watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle/Power Ranger type things.  I really liked Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego as a little kid even though I think it went way over my head.

2. If you could choose a genetic mutation, what would it be?

I would love to be able to teleport.  It would be nice to just go to and from places without having to travel for a long time.

3. When you were a kid, what name was it you wished your parents had given you instead of the name they actually gave you?

Hmm...I didn't really want a different name so much as to not do the Kimberly/Kim thing because my mom hated it when people shortened it and she would bug me about it--as I got older I started to really care and I'm grateful for it.

4. What's your favorite word in conversation?

Behoove!! I love using it with my students too because they go "OOH what's that mean!"

5. Mountains or ocean?

Mountains

6. What is the one decoration in your house that you absolutely hate but can't get rid of because of some sentimental obligation?

Um...my house is not completely decorated so what I have decorated with probably isn't sentimental.  But there are a few things of Brian's that I really don't like...but they are sentimental to him.  Like this really weird green face ceramic piggy bank he made...I can't even describe it--its just weird.

7. Would you rather have a job naming paint colors, or naming cars?

Honestly I would probably hate both because I don't think I'm that creative and I probably wouldn't care enough....but I think it might be better with paint.  I would do a lot of alliterations.

8. Big screen or live theater?

I love both!! Don't make me pick!

9. What is it you'd love to do for a date that you don't think anybody you ever took out would want to do?

Go to a bookstore (specifically Barnes and Noble), wander around, pick a random book to read, get a Strawberries and Cream frappuccino, and sit in the cafe and read.  I've done the drink and wander with Brian but I don't think he could really pick a book to just read randomly in a store.

10. What is the worst thing you've ever done as part of your job?

Hmm...I've done a lot of not so fun stuff for my job.  I don't like having to tell my boss that he is doing something wrong...I also don't like my schedule (like when I arrive and leave) change a lot.

11. Who was your most influential teacher? What would you say to them now if you could?

Mr. Chambers--my 9th grade U.S. History teacher.  He didn't do anything showy and actually he probably wouldn't still be a teacher today because all he did was lecture and do book work.  But he was SO smart--he would lecture straight from his head--he would just simply ask someone where we left off last time and then he would just go.  He was older...I think he retired about 3 years after I graduated...so I loved it when we got to the time periods he remembered because he would tell us stories from his life.  Now I would tell him that I know so much about history because of him and he is part of the reason why I teach it now.

Okay so now I have to pick some people to nominate.  11 people is hard because I don't even have 11 followers...how sad is that!  So I'm just going to do people I know who blog and that I follow and see where we get.

1. Stephanie My sister!! She is a great blogger and has such amazing voice when she blogs...she is part of the reason why I do this.

2. Diannah  A great teacher just trying to survive her first full year as a real teacher...and I think she's doing an awesome job!

3. Jessie Has an adorable little boy and another baby on the way...she blogs about the life of being a mom and the joys and trials that come with it--she is just a great example.  And she's my cousin so I can claim that adorable kid as a psedo-nephew :)

4. Jess Love this girl...she is a great mom to two awesome boys and she is going to have another one really soon here!

5. Melissa My other cousin and Jessie's sister....brand new mom!! I bet she is super busy but we'd love an update if you get a chance :)

6. McPherson Family A shining example of a family to me..when I was choir director the whole family would come--such great support! They are on such an adventure now in Thailand and they usually just do pics so don't feel obligated just know that you're awesome!!

7. Danny and Holly  Danny was one of Brian's best friends in high school and they have stayed friends since. Naturally I became really good friends with Danny and then when he met Holly I was so excited.  Like seriously I wish we lived closer together because Holly and I would probably know each other better despite my homebody self--she and I have that instant connection!  They haven't posted in a while...so lets see if you'll take this and run with it!

8. James and Heidi Two awesomely great people...they met our freshman years in college and you could say the rest is history.  This is their adoption blog so this might not be appropriate (so no pressure) but I really wanted to nominate them to continue to get the word out for them. They are looking for a child to join their happy home so if you know anyone that is looking send them their way.

9. The Blacks Jess' best friend in high school was Laura so that's how we met.  She is going to have her second baby about the same time as Jess'...so exciting! But she hasn't updated in a while so maybe this will motivate her :)

10. Means Family  Erica and I go back to middle school...and then she got married and we lost contact a bit.  We happened to have a class together at BYU and graduate the same day both in history so it was great to have a friend go through those last few months together.  Her family is such an inspiration with everything that they've gone through...but we could use an update :)

Dang!! I'm out of people with one left...I'm really tempted to do Cedar Ridge Academy's blog but I just don't know how we'd do it since I'm often the writer...maybe I'll talk to co-workers...or get the kids to each take a question.  Hmm...I'll have to think on that.  But there's a kind of 11.

Wow this is like the longest post I've ever done!! So here comes the 11 questions that these guys will need to answer if they play.

1. What is the most exciting/happiest/positive thing that happened to you today?
2. What is the first thing you think about doing when you get done with a long day?
3. What do you wish could change in your life that you have no control over?
4. What food do you crave the most but either can't have at all/often?...like it is something you can't get where you live...or it is just too complicated to make...etc.
5. What are you "addicted" to?
6. Where do you see yourself in a year?
7. How about five years?
8. What are you looking forward to?
9. What do you look back on with fondness?
10. If you could ask a genie for three wishes, what would they be?
11. As a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Well that's it! P.S. If you actually read this whole thing and not scanned it....you're awesome!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Movie Review: Street Angel

The original movie poster from Wikipedia 
I am taking class through Coursera right now about film history. We watch movies that reflect a change in Hollywood.  This one was called Street Angel.  It was made in 1928--so it is a silent movie. However, it was made at the beginning of the world of talkies so it actually had the music come with it because it was synced to it.  The professor warned us that it was an emotional movie...and he wasn't kidding.

The movie starts with a girl whose mother is dying. She needs money for her mom's prescriptions, and she just can't get it.  So she decides to try to be a prostitute.  However, she is not having any luck getting a guy to pick her up.  So she tries to steal money from someone instead, but she gets caught and sentenced to a year in prison.  She runs away and goes back to her mom, who has actually now died.  She joins a circus troupe and lives for at least a little while away from the police.  She meets a boy and they fall in love--despite her fighting it.  They move back to her original city, and she lives in fear of the police for a long time. I won't spoil the end...but you should really watch it to find out if they get to stay together.

Street Angel (1928) Poster
A great still from imdb.com
The best parts of this movie: the acting is incredible--the expressions that they can portray really is a lost art in Hollywood today. And it is really well written.  I don't think I have anything to really say that they could have done differently...I am really use to the faster paced of today's Hollywood movies.  It is only about an hour and 45 minute movie but it felt a lot longer than that.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March UCSS Conference

Teaching at Cedar Ridge Academy in Roosevelt, Utah, I sometimes feel out of the loop a lot from the Wasatch front--I teach in my departments alone and then there is the rural aspect.  It takes a lot more planning to get us involved.  I think we do a good job of taking advantage of things though as our Facebook page and blog page show. (P.S. Go like our Facebook page please---it helps us be more searchable).  So I plan on attending this conference every six months.  UCSS stands for Utah Council for Social Studies teachers, which I am a proud member of.  (P.S. Follow them here on Facebook and on their blog).

Biggest reasons to go to a conference (at least for me) are #1. the interaction with fellow teachers and #2. ideas for my classroom. So I went to three different session--one that focused on U.S. History, another that focused on World Geography/World History/Government/U.S. History, and another that focused on World History/Government.  That was the great thing about the sessions that I went to this time--I teach everything...so being able to deal with everything was great.

My favorite all-time session was with the teachers from Diamond Fork Junior High.  They have worked with their department and made huge strides in cohesive teaching across the grades.  I loved what they do with story-telling and teaching concepts like the 5 Themes of Geography, three branches of government, and types of government.  This idea of story-telling brings me to the close second: Dr. Crowe and Dr. Nokes--they talked about teaching history in context and with novels.  This really sparked my ideas to write historical fiction more that teachers can teach in their classroom as Dr. Crowe has done.  The close third with my favorite sessions was with Dr. Brown--she is a smart smart women.  I saw her last time so she didn't get the favorite spot because she was really favorite last time.  I love her Russia stories and her clear way of explaining the difference between communism, socialism, and Stalin's version of socialism (fondly known as Stalinism).

If you ever get a chance to go to a UCSS conference...totally do it!!!

The official logo of UCSS

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Great YouTube Videos to Check Out

Today I thought that I would share some of my favorite YouTube videos of late.


This one is just soooo cute....


And so is this one....



I love how this kid took the PianoGuys and made it ALL his own...def worth watching.

Happy Watching!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Top 3 Posts of the Month...February Edition

This was fun to do after January ended, so after February is complete I thought maybe it should become tradition.  Reading the "January Edition" again I commented at the beginning about how my 365 project was coming along...this month was harder than the first month--and I didn't think that was possible!! My life has been really really really boring I think the last couple of days---I don't exaggerate when I say that Saturday-Wednesday was pretty much grading when I came home from work---in which I had done more grading.  I hope that March will calm down and I can get back to reading articles and books so you can get more opinions and reviews.  I also want March to have my first few posts about knitting...which I haven't gotten to on here yet and I want to. So without further adieu...here is the top three posts of February

3. Book Review of Sense and Sensibility...posted on February 6, 2013.

The sad or funny thing about this post was that I first started talking about having read Sense and Sensibility back at the beginning of January...yes it took me that long to finish.  With the long car rides that week that helped wrap the whole thing up.

2. My Classics Club Reading List...posted on February 16, 2013.

I finally completed that idea and posted it--I hope that as the month goes on I will get more involved in the Classics Club and I can write more about it and visit other people's blogs.

1. Book Review of Feels Like the First Time...posted on February 2, 2013.

The coolest thing about this...the author saw my post!! I was very flattered to have his comments on my blog. I was actually a bit nervous to do a post on this one because I figured it is not one people are going to find worthwhile when it is just a simple little freebie from Kindle and it is just a simple romance...but the response has been good.

I won't try to read too much into the fact that most of the views were for book posts...and at the beginning of the month. Well I hope that you guys will still stick with me even if my last week or so has been pretty lame.  As my husband said to me just yesterday....I am glad you have stuck with it because most people would have given up by now.  So here's to not giving up!

Keeping with tradition of a photo of me for this blog post...Me with my sisters!!!
This is still my favorite pic of us even if it is like a year and a half old

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features #9

So...it is late and I'm tired so this is going to be fast!

5. I just can't believe someone is going to do this....would you get on a Titanic II?  I mean seriously?! I would be worried about it sinking.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2013/02/26/titanic-ii-will-be-built/1948935/ 

4. U.S. changes policy on Syrian aid....this was interesting....http://world.time.com/2013/03/01/u-s-steps-up-aid-but-syrias-rebels-want-arms/

3. The Pope's retirement this week was a big topic.  Next week it will be his replacement...we will have to wait and see.

2. This ridiculous sequester of the budget needs to make it on here I guess...it has pretty much dominated the news cycle this week.  If you haven't heard about this at all you are probably not watching the news....

1.  Seriously...this gets number one for shock factor-Dennis Rodman becomes first American to meet Kim Jong-un.  Why him of all people?!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/sports/basketball/dennis-rodman-meets-north-korean-leader.html?_r=0