The Daily Become Extraordinary

A couple thoughts on life right now:

1. I got a super short haircut when I was back in the States for Christmas. The front of my hair was chin-length, but the back of my hair was about 1/2 inch long! I had tons of layers to transition between the two extremes... So anyway, this week was the first time I could get it all in a ponytail again :). The back is probably 2 inches long now! Daily ponytails become extraordinary with super short hairstyles :)

2. Yesterday was a teacher inservice day, and Trish and I presented a ''Scope and Sequence'' for the school to have more solidified standards and goals. The teachers were really receptive and supportive. Some even thanked us for all our work and commented on how organized we were. Then the EFL teacher Carolina and I were going to present about the conference we went to about a month ago, but she had to go to an emergency meeting. So I did both presentations -- the English presentation and then the Spanish presentation! Even though each presentation was about 15-20 minutes, I felt so accomplished to have spoken that long in Spanish!!! (Did I say everything perfectly? No. I was still thinking of mistakes I had made 6 hours later!! I'm too much of a perfectionist!) Again, the teachers were really receptive and thanked me for my work. Daily teaching presentations in your second language are quite extraordinary, if I do say so myself :).



Life has calmed down a bit after four crazy weeks of being absent at least one day every week (an English conference for three days, bronchitis for one day, flying to the U.S. ... you know, the usual :)). I finally feel caught up.

This Friday is a teacher institute day, and I am presenting two times. Once with Tricia as she has been working on a Scope and Sequence for our school (in human-speak, standards for our school to teach by), and I have helped along the way, so we are presenting the standards to the teaching staff. Also, I will be presenting with my friend Carolina about the importance of reflecting on the classroom environment. I am excited for these opportunities! and of course a little nervous :)

I have to wait 3 more weeks to know my test results. Until then, I am enjoying life in the right here and right now.

I have been teaching about so many different topics... Newton's laws, atoms, multiplication, fractions, reading. I think I am a teacher nerd... I love it. I love relating to the students and continuing to invest in their lives.

I gave my students Internet homework last week to type their spelling words and email the words to me, and they loved it. One girl even emailed me again later thanking me for giving her that assignment. LOL. I am thinking about starting a class blog so they gain a little experience with other Internet technology.

Trish and I have had lots of opportunities to talk to others about our Christian faith... in Spanish... including a Jehovah's Witness Saturday. It turned into an interesting debate for sure. Spanish has opened more doors than we thought possible. I have read that the highest level of speaking a language is arguing, so we are moving right along I guess.

Our latest cooking successes: zucchini and parmesan bake, lentil salsa salad, pumpkin soup, Skyline chili (thanks to Trish's homeland Cincinnati!), and breakfast for dinner. Yum! We are trying to be more creative with our basic ingredients.

So that's a good summary of life right now. Life is good.


laughing moments

today's funny moment: trish is making pumpkin soup and has poured it in the blender to, well, blend it. i hear the blender roaring and trish yelling so i run into the kitchen to see her jumping up and down, orange pumpkin all over her arms, yelling ''the lid's not on!'' over the noise of the blender. we manage to turn it off and then she says , ''okay, now you hold the lid on!'' so i hold and she pushes the button. but somehow the lid still wasn't on, so then i got the pumpkin all over my arms too and then i understood why she was jumping up and down... the soup was scalding hot!

yesterday's funny moment: trish and i am standing on a street corner waiting to cross the street when this tiny old man runs his cart into the back of my legs. i turn around to say ''ay perdon!'' and he says ''que monstruos!'' as he stares up at me and trish and then huffs off, pushing his cart into other people. ...in case you don't know, ''que monstruos!'' = "What monsters!"


Family Time!

awwwww the brothers and sisters all together. and me the midget. i had two wonderful hours with this bunch saturday night while in elgin and it was great to be together again! love you guys!


Camera Withdrawal

I mentally kicked myself all day yesterday for not bringing my camera with me. Seriously, what was I thinking? My initial thought was that it was only one weekend, so I wouldn't have many opportunities to take photos. WRONG. Yesterday I saw at least 20 volcanoes (some peeking through the clouds!), at least 10 craters, islands in the Pacific Ocean and in various lakes throughout Central America, Aztec ruins in Mexico, the beautiful skyscrapers in downtown Mexico City, snow-peaked mountains in Mexico, and of course the beautiful Chicago cityscape all lit up at night. Everytime I looked out the window and saw another beautiful sight, I regretted not having my camera.

And I apologize to you, the reader, that I can't share the visual with you. Bummer, bummer, bummer.

The good news is I get to see my family tonight! It will be the first time I have seen Wes since he left for England in August! Maybe someone else will bring their camera! :)


February 12th through February 14th

So today is February 9th. And on Friday, February 12th, I will be on a plane at 7:30am from San José to Mexico City. After 5 hours in Mexico, I fly for Chicago and will arrive around 8pm.

Saturday, February 13th, I will be in a testing center before 1:30pm for the Illinois Spanish Proficiency Exam 0056, hoping to earn my Type 29 certificate for teaching in a bilingual classroom. When I am done with the test, I will be meeting my parents and siblings for dinner at GIORDANOS :) I'm not excited about that part of my weekend or anything :)

And then Sunday. Back at O'Hare by 12pm. Fly to Mexico City. 5 more hours. Fly to San José. Arrive around 12am, go through customs, arrive home 1amish.

That's right. 1am. Then back to work Monday morning, 7:15am. Eeeeeh.

I have mixed feelings about this upcoming weekend. Please pray that God gives me peace as I take the exam on Saturday.

The New Costa Rican President!

Left to right: Oscar Arias (current president) and Laura Chinchilla (president elect)

History was made Sunday as Laura was voted the first female president of Costa Rica. She takes office the 8th of May.


Playa Esterillos

Fuimos a la playa este fin de semana, y nos divertimos muchisímo!

We went to the beach this weekend, and we had lots of fun! :)


Student Writing

I thought I would treat you again to a few student thoughts... Here's straight from their writing notebooks.

life without trees

Hi my name is James and my topick is life without trees. With out trees would be bad becuse if we did not have trees ther would be no climing, no homes for anaminals, no tree houses, no fun, and most of all there would not be life on our planet. We would all die becuse we would not have oxygen. did you know that trees give off oxgyen. If you did isent that cool. yes or no? pleas anser the qestion. I am dune with that topick.

I really like fieldtrips. I also like the olipicks. they come on when I'm twelve and then when I'm sixteen. they come on every four year I've been waiting for them to come on last year Micheal Phelps was Americas heroe hes a great swimme he beat France by a fimger! it was great! I'm proud of him. he was awsome. I couldn't believe my eyes it was the greatest thing ever!

Imedeatly he drew his sword so did Link. They both received a few cuts, before the man knocked Link down with one solid punch. Link got up and asked, ''Who are you?'' ''My name is Ike,'' he replied ''How did you get here,'' Link asked, ''I don't really know, '' Ike said. ''I was in the middle of battling a dark knight, when that portle appeared right in front of me . . . . . the next thing I knew I was right here'' Ike finished. ''So you came here without knowing'' Link said.

(Teacher Note-- This is about the student's mentally handicapped brother)

If sam wasn't here I woudn't be here because sam has saved me 2 times and sometimes I just get mad at myself because I treat him bad or ignore him. When he is trying to tell me something or make me happy. and I feel the same for my other brother henry only I chose to talke about sam because I never talk about him and I think he deserves to be talked about also.

(Teacher Note-- The purpose of this entry was to confuse the reader with homophones... Good luck!)

Who knew that my new book was going to be green. The other kind of flour was the color of the flower. was fair when i went to the fair the fareman wasn't fair i confused myself. miss siscoe said she will get a new nose but she didn't knew that she will get a new nose and her sister knoew she would get a new nose but that they cut her other one so they said they couldn't put the other one on because it was bleeding so she became the girl with no nose. One week she was very weak and so she said to the tail to stare at the stairs. but then she changed her mind and said go up the stairs, see the sea, and stare at the sea. Dear deer, you are very healing heel heal heel. Hares heals will heal very fast. i don't know just write.