Tips for Commuting by Bus

1. Don´t sit in seats with standing room in front of them... unless you want to look at butts.

2. If your plan is to grade papers during the ride, don´t sit in any seats above or behind the back tire as this produces very shaky handwriting and students will be asking you to interpret your chicken-scratch.

3. Always ask the driver if he's passing by your routine stop. You never know when he might change his route.

4. In the event of pouring rain, take a deep breath before entering the bus... and don't exhale until you get off. Unless, of course, you like wet-dog smell.

5. Wash your hands immediately after exiting.

6. Rainboots are suggested for the 1.5 kilometer walk between bus stops on rainy days.

7. Don´t ever take a car ride for granted again.


Reading to 1st Grade

We read with our First Grade Buddies on Friday. Here's a peek at busy readers...

Giving Kids a Camera Can Be Dangerous...

...for your self esteem, for your idea of ''classroom management'', for your timetable of what needs to get done in the 2 minutes before the bell rings... etc. :) Here's what last week´s CameraLady captured of me in action...
 the thinking, slightly confused Miss Siscoe...
 the I'm-just-smiling-to-humor-you Miss Siscoe...
 the caught-in-the-headlights Miss Siscoe...
and the hair-flipping-out-again Miss Siscoe.


Hard Life Lessons

I think that when people living in the U.S. think of what it´s like to live in another country, they think of the exotic beaches, the beautiful handmade goods, beautiful weather and landscapes, the cheaper cost of living... but what they don´t think about is that you´re only real-life access to your family is via Internet, that you have to speak another language to navigate yourself (well, at least here you do), that there´s rainy days here for months at a time, that people try to cheat you out of money because foreigners (North Americans) are assumed to be richer, etc.

Something that´s been on my mind lately is thinking, ''Well, when I move back to the States, this _______________ won´t happen anymore.'' (I put a blank there because I fill that blank with many different things, like ''culture differences,'' ''language barriers,'' ''people charging me more for my groceries because I'm a foreigner,'' ''confrontation in friendships.'') However, I have to keep reminding myself that just because I return to the U.S. will not make those problems go away. In fact, it might make language barriers harder because then I´ll be interacting with the U.S. melting pot version of Spanish where everyone has their own accents and vocabularies according to what countries they are from... It might also make culture differences more difficult as I am the one who has changed a lot culturally in the last couple years and I will have to learn to communicate my differences in my beliefs based on the last two years of living-abroad experiences.

And I have to remind myself big-time that confrontation in friendship will probably never go away, no matter where I live. Sure, there will be moments when I have to speak up about something that's bothering me and moments when everything is fine. And my current living situation doesn't guarantee healthy and committed relationships...

Thank goodness, God's got all the details. He knows where I'll be in a year and how He'll be providing in a year. He also knows that I'm right here on my couch right now and how He'll provide for my needs today and tomorrow and the next day and the next... I'm so thankful that no matter where I live, He's got my back.


¿Cómo se llama?

Yesterday, I asked at the customer service desk at PriceMart (think Sam's Club) if they could call a taxi for me. The lady said sure and asked for my name. I told her ''Kathryn'' because that's just easier to explain in Spanish than ''Kate'' is. She wrote my name and my taxi number on a ticket and handed it to me to go wait outside. She spelled my name C-A-T-E-R-I-N-G... um, that´s a new one!


School from a 5th Grader´s Perspective

We just went through ''job training'' in 5th grade this week, so students are busily and purposefully going about their jobs. One job is new this year -- CameraMan. I am allowing students to use my old camera that I bought in 2004 to document our class memories. (We agreed on the consequences for breaking the camera is Saturday School.) I told them I would use the photos for a slide show of memories. :) What they didn´t know is that I would also be using the photos for newsletters and the blog! :)

Hiding from the camera at the class meeting.

Studying hard.

I often forget that students look ´´up´´ at me, that they don´t see on my eye level.

Reader´s Theater with puppets.

The photographer taking pictures of himself.

They give each other smiles for the camera that they wouldn´t give me :)

We are in process of doing an experiment with calcium... What would happen if we didn´t have any calcium in our bones? (Put an egg in vinegar for 2 or 3 days and the vinegar takes the calcium out of the egg shell... then the egg bounces :))

And the egg fizzing away.


Costa Rica Video

Perhaps this video is propaganda to get you to visit Costa Rica... I have experienced many things in the video, and yet I am amazed at how much I still want to do (like see hammerhead sharks and whales!!). While I do wonder about the statistics when it claims that CR is one of the cleanest countries in the world (um, what about the garbage in the street outside my apartment? or the polluted air that gives my lungs so many problems??), it is a beautiful country once you get out of the city, as this video shows. Enjoy! :)