Friday, June 30, 2006


Thirty-five: until August, birthdays I've celebrated
Eighteen: my age when I lived in Belgium
Eighteen: years since I graduated from high school
Seventeen: possibly the years until I retire
Thirteen: the years I've been a teacher
Eleven: the months I lived in Belgium
Ten and a half: as of yesterday, the years Bob and I have been married
Ten: the years I taught all or part of the day in a high school setting
Six: Father's Days that have passed since my dad died
Three: days until I fly to Sea-Tac to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Olympia
Three: the school years I've taught seventh graders
Two years and some months: the amount of time we've been had an approved home study, but no baby
Two: the school years I survived at Meadowdale in Dayton Public
Two: names Bob and I have picked out for a future child (children?)
Two: languages I can speak (French and English)
One: F that I got on a grade card
Zero: the amount of sleep I've gotten thus far tonight

Monday, June 26, 2006

The above is a cross-stitch piece I started working on a few years back for our someday baby.

I love most surprises, especially the kinds I have received the past few days. Out of the blue on Friday, one of my dear friends from the past (an owner of a cross-stitch store I used to frequent who is just a super, super, sweet person, but who moved out of state) called me to say she was thinking of me and she missed me. I'm getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it! How sweet! I haven't seen her in probably 4 or 5 years, and there was her name on the caller ID. Sweet! :-)

Another surprise that made me smile happened just now. I was awakened with a start in the middle of the night, so I decided to come into the computer room to clean and go through some old paperwork. I came across a sheet I'd printed out on how to make foreign language accents on the computer. With some regret, I thought to myself that I should throw it out because I so rarely type in French anymore... and... lo, and behold, an e-mail pops up unexpectedly from my Belgian host sister! (I was an exchange student 1988-1989 and lived with her family part of the time.) AWESOME! So, I happily dug out that sheet and quickly typed a response. I hadn't heard from her in over a year... what a terrific surprise!

I'm just toooooo happy right now... wonder if I'll be able to get back to sleep?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Why do I stay up late during vacations? It's because of the quiet. The dog, usually, is asleep. Bob is asleep. The dogs next door, down the street, and across the alley are asleep. It's like the world stops and the quiet starts. The only thing that makes it better is when the snow falls at night (not during the summer, obviously) and blankets the quiet.

But now I'm home, and it's night, and it's peaceful. I think I will enjoy it some more. :-)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

Someday I will look forward to this day again... not this year. It's been six years since I celebrated this day by talking to my daddy. Cancer has deprived us of that joy for these past six years. In fact, it was seven years ago this weekend that we knew the probability of a brain tumor existed.

My husband and I have gone through the infertility process for a few years (to no avail), and now through the adoption process for over two years (to no avail thus far). This day is just frustrating. I want to CELEBRATE, but I have fear that I never will be able to. I know this is an unfounded fear, but it's still very real for me.

Bob will be a great dad someday. I watched him yesterday with our nieces and nephew and he was having so much fun. Even when they were being a little difficult, he was finding ways to ease them out of those moments.

Someday I will look forward to this day again.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Da Vinci Code

I have read about 125 pages of this book so far. I avoided it because I thought it would be overly hyped and, therefore, poorly written. The varying chapter lengths, the fast-paced plot, the intriguing characters... so far, so good! It doesn't hurt that I love art, symbolism, European history, museums, and religion... this book is combining them all.

My only problem while reading this separating the fact from the fiction. They are woven together and I have to separate them out in my brain first. I started watching information on the History Channel first so I had some background information and could approach the book armed with some knowledge. What can I say? It's the reading teacher in me! ;-)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Changing times...

I watched a show on PBS tonight about teaching foreign languages in today's world. I started thinking, "Do I miss it?" Most days, the answer is "no" because it's the teaching that I love and not just the subject. Other days, I miss the "skimming off the top" that teaching a foreign language often allows. I sometimes miss being surrounded by bright kids and knowing that I could push them and push them until they started to fly on their own. To continue on with that analogy, some days now I just feel like I am force-feeding them their worms for survival.

Then I started thinking, as I usually do, "How does this apply to what I AM doing?" The focus in a foreign language truly is the culture. Perhaps I need to focus a little more on that when I am teaching. Without a context, even literature means very little. I do a one to two minute focus each time I start something new, but is that enough? (And the voices in my head, and in the board office, ask, "Is THAT in the standards?") I then ask myself if I give my students no perspective, no relation to their lives, no reason to learn... does that give them any motivation to live as life-long learners? I would argue no. I simply can't justify that in my head as a teacher.

In short, motivation is key. So, what is the catch going to be for my students in this upcoming year?

I'll find out in a few short months! :-)

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