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.