Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smell that? It's a change of season!

Tuesday night is choir night in Transcona, and it sure would be nice to be hanging out with old friends right about now.

Fall has finally arrived in the area. It was fantastic to walk out of the house this AM and be greeted by a rush of cool, crisp air. The temperatures are supposed to be in the 70's this week -- still warmer than a fall back home, but a refreshing change from the temperatures we were getting just a little while ago!

I enjoy staying after school to get work done. Especially if I've had a decent day. I just feel productive and in control. Sometimes it's hard to tear myself away at 5 or 5:30. I know that makes me sound like a hardcore nerd, but these days, it's my favorite time of the day.

I finally have a North Carolina driver's license and a NC license plate. It's remarkable at how something so simple as registering your car with the state can turn into a three-week "not today" escapade! And when I finally had the plate in my hands ready to put on my car, do you think that the rusty bolts would come off? So even when all was said and done, there was still one more wrench (quite literally) that I had to thwart! (And for those who read this and think of Eve... She's still the same girl even with the new nameplate.)

My new sofa -- er... chesterfield -- is comfy. And it looks nice in here. I think I'll go spend some quality time on it!

This week's DIVE list:

1. lugubrious -- extremely mournful.
2. arduous -- difficult.
3. lucid -- with clarity.
4. diffident -- shy.
5. gregarious -- social.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Congratulations... It's a Chesterfield!

Hi everyone! A few of you have noticed that it's been a week since my last update. There are a few reasons. I was a tiring, hard, emotional week for me, and I didn't have a lot of time and energy to write home. I won't go into the frustrating details because I've cried it out already and I'm moving on. The good news is that the week ended better than it started, and I was very grateful for that. I was looking forward to a little R&R this weekend -- a slower pace would be nice. But I guess I had some leftover momentum, which is why I didn't post yesterday.

We're supposed to be getting some better weather this coming week -- more fall-like temperatures in the 60's and 70's. Of course, I say that now, but things will undoubtedly change as they usually do. I'm looking forward to the change of season. I imagine that parts of this region can be gorgeous in the fall. I know that my friends and family back in Winnipeg have been enjoying their past-due summer. Hopefully the fall doesn't lead into winter too soon for you!

Yesterday I attended that last of three seminar workshops. We worked through our lunch break and so we left earlier. I spent the rest of the afternoon with Ibeth, because she needed some help with a few things. We drove a few miles out of town to a furniture liquidation warehouse. I found it a few weeks ago when I was on my way back from Raleigh, and thought it might be a place to find some good deals. I must have been in a spending mood, because I purchased a chest of drawers and a new sofa -- or chesterfield -- for the living room. A little more comfortable than the futon I've been hanging out on, and now the place will look more like a home and less like a dormitory, I suppose. I'm planning on moving the futon upstairs for extra sleeping space. Looks like that will come in handy over the next several months, something that thrills me!

Last week I had my land-line phone connection set up. Since then I've discovered that there is a great long-distance service called TEL3Advantage that allows you to set up an account and purchase credit for LD minutes all over the world at terrific rates. I can call home to Canada (or anywhere in the US) for as little as 1.9 cents a minute. And the plan works from any phone I call from. Kind of like a calling card, I suppose. The plan works from Canada too, so if any of you make extended LD calls or do a fair amount of traveling, you might want to check it out. www.tel3advantage.com (and no, I'm not getting any sort of kick back for this plug!)

I had a great conversation last night with two of my best ladies from home -- almost a 4 hour call! I have no idea how the time went so fast! I feel bad that though they were the ones calling me, I ended up doing most of the talking. I hope they don't feel cheated -- they totally made my day with the call! I'll make it up to them in the new year when they make the epic trek down here for the inaugural visit. :o)

It's hard to believe it's almost October -- and that Christmas is only three months away! I should find a way to start a countdown on this blog... a timer or something like that. I'm looking forward to Christmas this year more than ever -- for obvious reasons.

Okay, I know that this post isn't nearly long enough to make up for my extended absence, but I do have to end it now or I'll probably just keep typing and typing and forget everything else that I was planning on doing today. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts. Sometimes it can be hard to fit in an update when I'm really busy, but even when I don't, I'm still thinking about you and am feeling your spirits with me!

Enjoy the rest of Sunday! :o)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

With faith, you're never very far away from home.

I had a very good time out on Friday night. The house we were invited to was so nice -- exactly the kind of character house that I would love to live in, with modern updates and personal style. The couple that invited us over, Jeff and Britt, were such great hosts. We shared good conversation and laughs. It was a nice way to end a very long week.

I took my new friend Ibeth along with me. Ibeth is the new VIF teacher. She arrived in town only a week ago, and so is experiencing all the overwhelming chaos that I felt just seven weeks ago, except that she hasn't had as much time to transition and breathe at the same time, since school is already in session. She admits her frustration, but she's handling it all remarkably well. We went to Fayetteville yesterday and did some shopping, and she was over this afternoon to do some laundry. Ibeth is so appreciative of my help. It feels good to give it back to another person, because I know that I am thankful for all the support that others have shown me since my own arrival.

Today I did something I've been wanting to do since I arrived... I went to church. I'd been invited by some from work to accompany them at their respective churches, but there are just so many to choose from here, I had to give myself enough time and build some extra courage before I took anyone up on their offer. After leaving my own faith community back home (hard to do!), I suppose a part of me was and still is afraid that maybe I won't find a place that is just as wonderful! And another part of me (the selfish part) was enjoying my own little "sabbatical" after many years and many Sundays (though not as many as others reading!). The break was needed, especially in these last several weeks when everything else Monday - Friday was so busy! Still, as good as it is not to have to dress up and head out on Sunday mornings, it was just as nice to get to do those things on a bright day like today!

I made my way over to the United First Methodist in downtown Clinton. I was told by some of my faith family back home that the United Methodist denomination was supposed to similar to my UCC affiliations in Canada. Not very far off! I was greeted at the door right away by two very nice senior ladies who could quite literally have been plucked from the TMUC membership this morning. One of them insisted that I sit with her an her husband, which was a very nice gesture. I spotted a couple of familiar faces in sanctuary as those that I've met and work with through the school district. The service was light, friendly -- very much like what I'm used to. Even the hymns were familiar! The lady that I sat with said I sang very well and that if I was interested in the choir, she'd introduce me to the director. I don't know if I'm ready to join another choir right now and make those weekly rehearsals and have perfect Sunday attendance. (And also, I don't think I'd ever be able to find any choir quite as exceptional as the Carillons!) But it is nice to know that I'd be welcomed if I wanted to!

At one point during the service, I thought about my church family and friends back in Transcona, and it dawned on me that at that very moment (11 AM Eastern, 10 AM Central), we were doing the same thing! That was a comforting revelation. I left the church later with the promise that I would come back for another visit, and I plan to keep my word on that. It was great to spend that hour in a new, yet familiar environment. Definitely worth dressing up for. :o)

Friday, September 18, 2009


Why is it that I feel guilty leaving work at 3:15 pm on a Friday, after staying until 5 pm every other day of the week?

Hallelujah! It's the end of what seemed like a very LONG week. A busy, chaotic and tiring week. I think it's time for a break from all that, don't you?

Oh, before I forget. This week's DIVE words were (let's see if I can remember them!):

1. Abject -- unfortunate, without resources, stricken

2. Ostentatious -- Showy, gawdy, impressive

3. Erratic -- In an unpredictable manner

3. Impromptu -- without preparation or notes.

5. Laconic -- Short, to the point, brief

I hope you study those. There will be a quiz tomorrow. ;o)

On Tuesday I finally met the other new VIF teacher working at one of the elementary schools in town. She just arrived last Friday, and even though we'd exchanged a couple of emails before she got here, I had had the opportunity to officially introduce myself until then. She threw the door open right away, as if she knew exactly who I was (well, who else would be knocking on a strange door at 5 in the evening?), and we chatted for a bit. She's from Colombia, and was a late hire to the district. Gosh, I totally feel for her! I can't imagine arriving after school has already started. But she seems to be taking things in stride so far, thank goodness. It'll be nice having someone else new (to the program and to town) that I can relate with. I invited her out to a co-worker's place tonight, and we're planning to take a little road trip tomorrow to Fayetteville or Wilmington so she can get a few more things for her apartment.

Last night I got my new land-line phone service. I feel safer having a line on each floor of the townhouse, just in case anything happens and I can't locate my cell phone. Plus, it will come in handy for making those long-distance calls home, or for when folks at home want to call me! I've got to make it worth the money some how, right? So, if you're interested in getting my number, I'll gladly send it to you!

It's so hard to believe that I've been here for almost seven weeks. The end of the first month of school is only a week away! It's becoming more and more routine each day, and that only makes time seem to go by quicker. Sure, I still feel overwhelmed at time by all the different responsibilities that I'm supposed to manage, but with all your advice and encouragement, I've lightened up on myself and am taking it one day at a time.

I know that some of you are patiently looking forward to the next-time I will be posting pictures. Thanks for waiting. I won't make promises on when exactly it will come, but I can assure you that I haven't forgotten about your requests!

Tonight I'm looking forward to just kicking back and relaxing with a few people from work. I think there are steaks for grilling, and everyone's bringing something to share with others. Should be a good time. The football team has a bye this week, which means that the coaches can have that rare Friday evening off while the weather is still nice enough to enjoy!

So before I go party, I'm going to try to have a nap and/or watch some cheesy sitcoms. Nothing better than a well-deserved rest to start to the weekend!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pimp this

Ahh... For those of you who are anxiously waiting for the next list of DIVE words your patience should be rewarded eventually! It's funny how I can tell myself that it will only take five minutes to update my blog, and when in the end, I know it's a lie. However, once I get writing, sometimes it's hard to stop...

Anyway! This is not a true update. That will be another day or so. Instead, I decided to pimp out my brother Blair's burgeoning photography business. One, because he's family, and two, because he's just so talented and I think you should all be witness...


Go ahead... Have a gander. :o) There's a blog that goes with it, that might just rival mine.

Shout out to my cousin Tyson, who had surgery today. Keep it tough kiddo... I'm rooting for ya!

Everyone enjoy the downside of the workweek!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog (v): To read, write or edit a shared online journal.

I'm struggling a little with the performance levels of many of my students. Some of them seem excessively needy, and don't have the confidence to complete their work unless they are copying off of someone else or asking me every 2 seconds if "this is right". I know were still in the early weeks of school, but some kids were really disappointed with the progress reports they got today (we report once every three weeks). I'm trying to remain positive, because my attitude affects theirs. I'm looking for ways to effectively reach all the kids in the class. It's really been a learning experience for all of us.

Homecoming is October 23rd. It's apparently a football game, and a dance... or more than one dance... and some other events during the week leading up to it. Yup, Another GAHST (Great American High School Tradition) that I've only seen of in TV and movies. Some get totally into it, and some don't. There is a Homecoming Court, with a Queen and all. The school hosts a formal dance, and apparently in the past some parents have organized an "invitation only" dance at a local civic center. Sounds a little controversial, and I'm not sure why it's allowed. But, since it's not a school sponsored event, we really don't have much say.

The first round of SATs are also written in October. Mostly, it's for juniors, who need their scores before they can start applying to colleges and universities. Seniors write it, too... if they haven't yet, or if they did and they want to try to improve their score. I guess sophomores can write it as well... Practice maybe. It costs money each time you take the test. When I told my students that kids in Canada don't write SATs, they were jealous.

In preparation for these tests, the school has DIVE words every week. Usually about five of them... these are words that have appeared on tests in the past. The goal is that by exposing these kids to new words every day, they can expand their vocabulary. Teachers are asked to write the words on the board every Monday, and leave them up all week. How I'm supposed to use my board to teach after that is my problem to figure out. (Although, now that I have been using my Smartboard more and more, and my whiteboard less and less, so...)

At the end of the week, there is a paragraph that uses all the words in out of sequence blanks. Students can put the words in correctly and turn in their submission. One entry is drawn, and that student gets rewarded. The cycle is repeated again the following week, with new words.

Last week's DIVE words were:
  1. profuse—lavish, extravagant; plentiful

      Ex: As I toured the empty field, I noticed the profuse undergrowth that hampered my walk.

  1. ossify—to turn to bone

      Ex: The log that had been left in the swamp was almost ossified as I tried to pull it free.

  1. salubrious—promoting health

      Ex: Doctors used to say that exercise was salubrious; some now refute that statement.

  1. discursive—skipping from one idea to another

      Ex: The preacher delivered a discursive sermon that was hard to follow.

  1. obdurate—stubborn, hard-headed
Ex: The policeman was obdurate in his command to the young folks that they could not park their cars in the turn around.

There. You can no longer say that this blog doesn't teach you anything. ;o)

Speaking of vocabulary, and ways we use words... I'm realizing more and more each day that, despite the fact that my students and I all speak the same language, there are times when neither one of us really knows what the other one is talking about! I was giving instructions to a class today about "writing a test", and one girl shook her head and exclaimed "What are you talking about?" There was a moment of vagueness when I couldn't understand what she was asking me, when another student said "We don't know what 'test writing' is." Hmm.

They also have their own colloquialisms that I just can't make out. They talk so darn fast and mumble SO MUCH that I usually have to ask them to repeat themselves slower and clearer before I catch on! Those of you who know me in the flesh know that I have pretty good hearing, but when I'm stuck in the middle of a room with 24 jibbering students, it can be a lot to take!

Please please... If I return home with these bad verbal habits... Please slap me and make me change my ways!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"We're all in this together..."

Okay, I should change my last comment about fall-like weather because it's looking summery outside right now. Was a little overcast earlier, but it's pretty warm out! Would have been a great weekend to go to the beach, but I had a seminar today so I had to kibosh that idea. It's supposed to stay in the 80s all next week, which is just fine while it lasts!

I thought I'd take some time to go back through some of the comments that have been left over the last little while. Some of you have left questions that I never really did answer. I so apologize for that! :o)

Kimber asked
"Your school dress code sounds interesting! And good, I think. Is there a dress code for teachers too? I mean, I'm assuming you'll have to leave all of your "bar clothes" at home ;) but it's good the students also can't get away with low cut tops, and sloppy outfits. Do you find the kids are pretty law-abiding so far? Do they just get used to it, or do you think you'll have one (or two) that will try and test the boundaries still?"

Oh, they will still try to test the boundaries! I think it's ingrained in their nature to see a rule and instantly want to break it. According to other teachers, they have seen improvement. Untucked shirts are the most repeated offenses, as are lowcut tops on girls.

Teachers don't have to follow all the same rules as the students. According to our handbook, we are expected to dress professionally, though that interpretation is not specifically defined. Usually, that means no jeans or sloppy t-shirts. We aren't supposed to wear sneakers, or flip flops. The kids can wear jeans, flip flops and sneakers. Staff can wear jeans on Fridays, but only if they are wearing school colors or CHS shirts. I haven't worn jeans to school yet. I do have my denim dress that I've worn once and no one has said it's inappropriate. Maybe they will one day, but I happen to think I look quite teacher-ish in it!

Brenda said...
OK, I know I'm sounding like a mom, but hey! I AM a mom! You, my dear, are the kind of person I would WANT to have teaching my kids...
You're keeping it together better than most people I'll bet, so get out there, be strong, and share that sparkle that those of us who know you,have come to love and enjoy!

This very nearly made me cry when I read it first! I do gain more confidence with each passing day (as well as more relieved that I've gone another day without disaster!), and it's because of comments like this that I keep looking for new ways to improve instead of throw in the towel.

Blair said...

You'll also be surprised at how well you do, by taking a deep breath every now and then. Be relaxed!

That's why you totally should have been born first! You've got loads more experience with new places, people and expectations. Encouragement like that from you means the world to me. Thanks. :o)

Doug and Joan said ...

A couple of ideas for dealing with your neighbour. Doug says to put the dog droppings at his door. My idea is to get a baby gate and put it across the opening so the dog can't come on your deck or you could have the man over for supper to talk things over (joking)!!

Well, I haven't encountered any more droppings, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's because he picks it all up. The gate is a good idea. You think a lot like my Mother. I am going to see how I can make something like that work. I haven't noticed the dogs out much on my back porch. I don't know if this means I'm just getting used to it, or if he's really making more of an effort to keep them on his side. My landlord knows that he doesn't always tether them, and she said she would take care of it. She also offered me a viewing of another suite. It won't be ready until October though, and she has others who are interested in it. Since I was still on the fence about whether or not I wanted to move, I thanked her for thinking of me and told her to make arrangements with the other prospective tenant. I just don't know if I can stress another move as I get more settled into this place. We'll see if I regret that or not. If I do, you all are welcome to say I told you so.

Steph said...
ya know, it's funny. i grew up in a house on the back side of a very small town where the main street was the only place with a sidewalk. it wasn't ever an issue though bceause i would ride my bike, i walk with gandalf, all along the side of hte road because there is little to no traffic......

Yeah, there isn't much traffic here, either. Well, not as much as I am used to. But I do love my walks, for the same reason you enjoy them... It's a chance to take in the view! (I used to walk around my uni campus all the time, too.) Luckily, I have since discovered that just down the road is a street with some cute houses on it and a narrow, sidewalk-like path. And I completely forgot about the roads around the cemetery... They aren't traveled much, and they would make do as well. Which leads me too...

Doug and Joan asked...
A couple of things...Do you walk to school? Can you have breakfast at the school?

The school is in the same direction as the cemetery, about a mile beyond. Unfortunately, while close in proximity, there isn't enough of a shoulder to walk on along the road. And it is pretty busy in the morning, with everyone going to school. So I don't think I would try to walk. Would be nice if I could, though!

I think that teachers are allowed to eat breakfast at the school. It's free for all students, but not for teachers. If we eat, we buy a la carte. It's probably cheaper to eat at home. Besides, I don't usually have much time after I get to school -- I'm usually rushing around trying to get myself ready before 7:45 am! I have bought lunch though. There are two lunch lines... The reduced lunch (for $1.75) is usually more nutritious because it follows the food guide. The more expensive lunch is your typical fries, burgers, etc. They have a couple of options on each side every day. It's nothing super fancy, but sometimes when you're too lazy to make/bring your lunch, it comes in handy! Of course, you can probably tell which line the kids would prefer to get lunch from, but some of them just don't have that option...

Stephen finally said...

I'm glad to see that you seem to be settling in and that things are going mostly well for you. You're a smart gal, and resourceful, so no big surprise there. The 'Peg is surviving without you, but just barely. No doubt you've heard, we finally got summer weather up here. Slightly late, but we'll take what we can get.

Yeah, Firefox can be picky sometimes. I understand. Glad to see that things are holding together. Though I heard that once I left, Gary Doer said he could no longer legislate a province that I didn't live in and announced his plans to change jobs. Heh.

Enjoy your summer. The snow will fly before you know it! And congrats on joining the Carillons! (Are you double teaming it like Tina?) We knew that the brainwashing would work. It got Amber back. That's a big plus. Maybe you won't miss me so much. I'll see you all at Christmas -- I miss the music!

And thanks for your Shatner idea for Halloween. Not sure the kids would get it, but the adults would likely find it amusing! D & J's RCMP idea is tempting... If I could find a way to get a decent uniform... Hmm... Maybe e-Bay will help me narrow it down...

Well my friends... There are your shout-outs! I've got just over an hour now before a few of us teachers go out to watch some students in a play here in town... hence the "High School Musical" reference in the title. Tomorrow I'm devoting a day to school planning! Hopefully it's all worth the effort. There's always work to be done!

Have an awesome Sunday! Go Bombers! (Someone send me the score later...)

*Edited to add... Steve and Leslie have helped me fix my problem with comments. All my Firefox friends have no excuse now.*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mug shots, monograms and mild weather!

Two posts in two days! Do I dare spoil you???

Today was picture day at the school, so we all dressed pretty and pointed our whitey-whites at the camera. Now, I've never really been known to take a good school photo. I look horribly gawky in all my grade school photos. Last year was the first time in years that I had a head shot done (look right), and I was so impressed with the way it turned out, I still kick myself for not getting a small package! Anyway, there's no point to this announcement... Just thought I'd share with you.

I also had my picture taken at the DMV today. Yup, I finally got my state driver's licence. It was a bit of a production... I had to produce all of my documents (SS card, passport, VISA, MB licence). I nearly failed the vision test (that's probably an exaggeration), and I came close to failing the Q/A test (NOT an exaggeration!) due to my second guesses. Luckily, I saved myself the embarrassment. And really, in my own defence... Some of the questions were hard!! Did you know that if you unlawfully aide an underage minor in obtaining alcohol in NC, your licence is suspended for a year? I didn't!

I've noticed recently a few things around me that seem to be quite popular in style among some of my coworkers, and just southerners in general. I don't think I've seen so many polka-dots and monograms decorate the landscape (and citizens). Mailboxes, handbags, licence plates, you name it! I don't know... It's amusing, in a joyful, comforting way. :o)

The weather has finally turned fall-like. I was told that the temperature drop was a little early in the month -- it's not uncommon for it to still be in the 90's through September. But it's great to be about 10-15 degrees cooler now than when I first got her. My AC doesn't need to run 24 - 7, the humidity isn't asphyxiating, and it's even a little brisk (okay... 65) in the morning, which is refreshing. I'm looking forward to watching the leaves change color in the weeks to come. Okay, I admit. Fall is my favorite season.

Did I mention... Halloween stuff is already out down here! Which means I have to starting of a costume... I think... I should find out if we "do that" at the school. What do you think I should go as? A polar bear? A snowman? A randomly obscure Canadian celebrity? ;o) Suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Subway, Sidewalks and Central Standard Time!

To celebrate 09/09/09 my gift to my readers is... A new post!

I feel much better this week than I did last week. Thing seem a little less intimidating and easier to manage. It's amazing what a) a long weekend, b) rest, and c) a new perspective will do for your psyche!

I've heard from a source that there are quite a few of you who are reading my blog faithfully. That's fabulous! Thanks so much for coming back over and over again. If you know me, you know that writing is an outlet for me... a way to relieve stress and just express -- not necessarily so that my problems get resolved, but so that I can cope with... well... everything!! In a word, this blog is just as much for me as it is for you. I don't really know from post to post who will read, comment or the like. I know you all adore me (of course you do!) and are rooting for me... And on behalf of myself and my muse... The feeling is likewise! :o)

I've been taking a little time this week to get a few "chores" done. Namely, I wanted to secure new insurance, get my new license plates and finally get state driver's licence. I decided to tackle the insurance first. Now, remember... I can be a bit of a dummy... a do-good dummy but a dummy none-the-less. Still, I knew that I couldn't cancel my old insurance until I secured new insurance. That was a task easy enough to accomplish, since VIF already has arrangements with a company that offers their teachers decent premiums. I had the literature and forms, I just needed to fill it all out and fax it in. So I did that. Then I contacted my Autopac agent in Wpg to let them know I was going to be cancelling my policy and find out the best way to do that. More forms and faxing, some phone calls. I found out that they couldn't cancel my insurance until my plates could be surrendered. I can't get new plates in NC without an NC driver's licence, and I couldn't go for my NC licence using a car that wasn't insured in NC. Sound confusing? It is. Basically, I can't do A until I do B, and I can't accomplish B unless A is in the bag. So what I have now is dual insurance policies out on my car. Sounds a little unnecessary, but it'll have to do for a little while longer. That's what happens when you've got three separate agents for your DL, your plates and your insurance! I tell ya... I miss the simplicity of my one stop shop back home!

When I stopped in to the NC Plate Agency this afternoon (and was told I'd need to get my DL and find the title to my car to prove that I own it), I gazed a little longingly at the closed Subway store next door and confessed to something else that I missed. Now, there are two Subway locations here in town (at least...), but according to others, they are both owned by the same man, who had to close them due to... I don't remember exactly... taxes I think. Anyway. There are no Subway locations closer than 35 miles away. There is an Arby's, a Taco Bell, a Hardee's, a Bojangles, TWO McDonald's, a Wendy's, a Burger King, and various other fastfood-esque establishments. But nary a Quizno's, and two Subways we can look at, but not venture into. *sigh* A turkey and ham on honey oat would taste really great right about now.

When you've been living somewhere for a while... like... your entire life... there are some things that you don't realize you take for granted until you no longer have them anymore. I have noticed the lack of sidewalks in this town... and beginning to unnerve me. It would be nice to be able to step outside for a walk in the evening... except I'd be forced to walk along the road for awhile before I found a paved sidewalk to take! There are sidewalks downtown, and perhaps in some of the older neighborhoods. I've been told that they do exist, as well as some walking trails near the Wellness Center. But if I want to take a leisurely stroll out my door? I'm left to fight off the cars.

Which is a bummer, because now that I'm living on the east coast and within the Eastern Standard Time region, I find I have this unknown "extra hour" that sometimes I need to kill before my favorite prime time shows start. It's that 7-8 PM time slot that I need to fill with... something. When I was a kid, and I'd see those adverts for shows on TV that came with the tag... "Thursdays at 9/8c"... I was secretly jealous of all those people on the east coast who got to stay up late to watch their shows. Turns out, it's not such a big perk. Because the rest of my time schedule hasn't changed much. I still wake at the same time (because work starts so freaking early!), I still eat dinner around the same time (most days), and I still try to go to bed at the same time. Which means that anything that happens after 10 PM, i.e. all those "grownup" shows that I used to beg to watch when I was a kid and had to be in bed by "... Mondays at 10/9c..." might get missed in favor of sleep. So I think I'll have to break out and get a recorder for those, especially for certain shows. Because some days... those shows are the highlight!

Okay, speaking of time... I think it's time to find some sustenance, a.k.a. Dinner. It won't be a turkey and ham on honey oat, but I suppose I'll make do!!

Happy almost Thursday! (Oh! That reminds me... Garbage day!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On the mend!

The dreaded cold that threatened to ruin my weekend has stayed mostly at bay, mainly due (I'm sure) to all the Vit C and fluids I've been consuming over the last couple of days. My throat, while scratchy, hasn't gotten sore, and my foggy head is lifting. I've been sleeping on and off all day today, and probably will tomorrow. The extra rest should help.

On Friday evening, I accompanied my new friends to the housewarming of another teacher. Eventhough I was afraid it would be horrible not knowing anyone besides those I came with, I actually had a good time. There weren't a lot of people there, which was nice. We played a little Foosball, hung out, chatted and just made it a really enjoyable night. A great way to end a hard week at work!

Yesterday I jumped in the car and headed to Fayetteville for some shopping. I wasn't really looking for anything specific, but I managed to spend money anyway! Got some clothes and some more stuff for the apt. I was pretty wiped by the time I got back home, but I felt relaxed anyway!

I've got work to do before Tuesday... some grading and lesson planning. I'm trudging through it bit by bit. Don't want to save it all till the last minute, but I don't want to pour over it all day at the same time.

I think I've decided not to move or change suites in this complex. On Friday I was actually introduced to the woman that lived in my place before I came, and she confirmed that even though he is not exactly a light-treader and keeps odd hours, she eventually got used to him and I'm sure I will too. She said he's actually quite nice, which I'd probably find out for myself if I wanted. I know that the things that bothered me a couple weeks ago don't seem so agitating now. If the dogs are a problem again, I'll let my landlord know. And I'm sure I'm not the perfect neighbour, either. A vacant suite won't open again until later this month, and by then this whole thing might not seem like such a big deal.

Okay, I'm going to try and get a little bit more work done. For those who've asked... and those who haven't... I'll take more pictures over the next few days and put together another gallery for you all when I have some spare time. So sit tight -- the wait will not last forever!

Hope everyone's having a great long weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday is Garbage Day in my Neighborhood

So... no posts for two days and are there people pounding at my door wondering where I am? Nope.

Okay, so I'm just nagging/kidding. Really. I haven't had much to say. Been very busy trying to be Super!Teacher, a manifesto I've come to realize is impossible to amount to after only two weeks in school. So I've decided to settle for It'sAllGood!Teacher -- the one who does her best -- which may not be stellar, but it works for the benefit of all.

I've been "snapshot" twice this week. A snapshot is when an admin comes into your room for a couple of minutes and just observes, then leaves quietly. I have to say... it's much more intimidating this year than it was last year, or the year before... Today, the snapshot came three minutes before the class bell rang. The kids had just turned in a test, and some were visibly frustrated. I was doing my best to keep them in their seats. I don't know if she knew exactly what was going on... the note she left behind was positive enough for me not to get super suspicious or defensive.

I'm going to try and establish some sort of social-life soon... Starting with taking some new friends up on their invitation to "hang out". Another teacher at school (around my age) lives with his wife (also a teacher) in the same complex here... Just across the parking lot. They are friendly, seem like fun, decent people... The kind I like to associate myself with. You should know. Anyways, since we all appear to have zero plans for tomorrow night -- the Friday of a long weekend -- we might just take advantage of the opportunity and get together.

That is, if I don't get sick, which is quite a possibility. I'm pumping the Vitamin C and thinking good thoughts, hoping that this scratchy throat and heavy head is just a sign that I've been working too hard. So I plan to take tonight off... Well, as soon as I finish this post. I'm expecting a call from my VIF Teacher Support Advisor this evening. Tomorrow's lesson is in my head, and not much anywhere else! Lunch will go unmade... I've been meaning to check out the cafeteria food anyway. I could be asleep before 8 pm, which would be a bummer since I really want to watch "Big Brother". Tomorrow is Friday, and there's all sorts of reasons to celebrate that!

Anyway. Night off. Starts. Right. Now.