My Secret-Pleasure Rain Boots

30 September 2010

 

It's been rainy in this town all week long. After ruining some leather shoes that Noah's mother gave me I decided to cave in and buy some rain boots.  The words "cave in" are selected because since my freshman year every single female on this college campus seems to have cutesy little rain boots. Now, I've always thought they were adorable but I'm not one to do something simply because it's a trend.  However, I have reached my limit in this area today and I say no more wet shoes, feet, and pants

To tell you the truth, I'm guiltily loving them.  I can't wait to get back outside and hop around in puddles and tell them nanny nanny poo poo! Yeah, that's my inner dork shining forth. I bet you're all proud!  The bright bag in the picture behind them cost me 90 cents and I am hoping to use it as my scrapbook carrier bag.  I'll be working on my Circle K scrapbook this weekend so it needs some protection from the rain. Yikes! I thought the bright colors would help liven up these rainy days too.

Yesterday evening I was a decent bit down but my guy stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.  He came back from dinner with popcorn balls (a Halloween food tradition in my family), ice cream sandwiches, and a book in the Hunger Games Trilogy! I am so lucky to have a guy like him. 


Are you experiencing some rainy day blues? What are your favorite activities when you're trapped indoors?

Rain and Bed

29 September 2010

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It's been raining here since the midafternoon.  The day was exciting, relaxing, frustrating, and disappointing at different hours. An interesting mix don't you think?

My sixth graders had a field day today and I'm so glad I was able to go and see them compete.  Of course I couldn't stay for the afternoon activities but the 400m, sack race, and volleyball were all played while I was there. Recently it seems that I'm at my happiest when I'm with the kids. At least that's good news; I really enjoy what I'm training for.

Well, with the rain in the background I think I'm ready to turn my lights low, find a good book, and lie in bed (ignoring my workload for now) and just relax.  That's what rainy days are for.  Hope you're having a good Wednesday - just two more days until the weekend!

Rocky Votolato - "White Daisy Passing"

I think we can all relate to this. We look back in our lives and see some better times.  It's "a secret magic past world that you only notice when you're looking back at it".  True words.  Life's good but there are some things we can never get back. At least there are good things too look forward to as well.



Please slow it down
There’s a secret magic past world
That you only notice when you’re looking back at it
And all I wanna do is turn around

I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
Cause I couldn’t let go when the water hit the setting sun

Passing white daisies, taking turns
Close the door walk to the street
Catching raindrops on your tongue
And for a minute it all stops
But it won’t last man, just a passing moment gone

Please slow it down
There’s a secret place that I know
If I could a dig a grave I’d then climb underground for good
And all I wanna do is turn around

I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
Cause I couldn’t let go when the water hit the setting sun

Passing white daisies, taking turns
All those evenings on the back deck of our first apartment
They meant everything but the wind just carried them off
And you can’t go back now, just a passing moment gone

Please slow it down
There’s a secret magic past world
That you only notice when you’re looking back at it
And all I wanna do is turn around

I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
Cause I couldn’t let go when the water hit the setting sun
Cause I couldn’t let go of the passing moment gone

The Hunger Games

28 September 2010


My friendly neighborhood president of Circle K was telling me about a book she had fallen in love with and said it would be a Must Read for me. She kindly brought it to our meeting last night with her to pass on to me.

After the meeting I headed home to do some homework, hang out for a little bit. Then at around 9pm I decided to give the book a go.  Big mistake! Not that it was bad, in fact it was excellent! That was the problem. I ended up reading until 1am on a school night. Oops. I woke up this morning just to finish it. If you're looking for a read then I'm definitely passing on this glimmering piece of work!

The plot happens in the future (though it's not futuristic) in the remains of North America.  There is a Capitol and Twelve Districts. There used to be thirteen but when the districts rebelled the Capitol demolished the thirteenth nation.  Now there are no uprisings even though the districts are in poverty while people in the Capitol are living rich lives.

Every year, to remind the districts not to rebel, the Capitol hosts the "Hunger Games". Each district picks one boy and one girl through a lottery system to travel to the Capitol to fight in a gladiator-like battle. Only one champion will come out alive and his or her district will receive more goods and food. The girl you follow in the story has her name entered twenty times while her dearest sister only has one entry yet somehow the little sister is called forth to fight at just twelve years old.  Our protagonist volunteers to go and fight to the death in her stead.  That's as far as I'll tell you. (Although there is some romance along the way).

Really, if you have a chance, give the book a go - you won't regret it!

My New Things

27 September 2010

Since I always do better when things are in list form (why I bullet the Reasons I Smile) I'm going to list some of my current goals for myself. These will be steps for me in breaking away from 'comfortable' habits and working towards a new lifestyle and energy.

  1. Join Big Brothers Big Sisters. This has been a vague idea in the back of my head since I first joined Circle K. We had a guest speaker my junior year but I didn't feel up to the challenge. What if I wasn't accepted into the program? Will I be able to get along with a kid? Do I have the time to commit to this? Tonight our president brought in a guest speaker again.  I'm motivated. I'm going to turn in my application at next weeks meeting.
  2. Do a yoga class at the gym.  I've always done yoga at home either by myself or with Noah. I think a class would enhance the experience but I can't always summon up the courage to join. I'm going to sign up and go.
  3. Organize an event for a club. This is a toughie in some senses and easy in others. I'm an officer for two clubs at my university right now but it's a ton of work to suggest and head an event.  I'm looking right now though. National Science Teachers Association could use some more events so I'll be looking into it.
That's off the top of my head just now so we'll see how everything goes. Do you ever have to push yourself to step out of your comfort zone?

Gaining Confidence

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This school year has already provided bountiful opportunities for me to try new things.  Things I am uncomfortable with or nervous about are popping up all the time but I've stepped up to the plate to make myself more comfortable with each situation.

Of course, at the same time as all the new experiences I'm getting slammed with a really heavy workload. Phew! Getting the right balance is hard (I actually missed an assignment in one of my education courses which I'm bummed about) but I'm slowly getting the rhythm for this semester right.

The best part of it all is that I'm gaining confidence. They always say you grow as you do but sometimes it's hard for me to take that first step. Nerves can cause me to back down but I'm taking steps forward every day it feels like and I'm building myself up as I go along.

Talk of moving along, today I attended a seminar about applying for student teaching and soon I'll also be applying to graduate.  Tonight is also my volunteer organization's meeting (hello Circle K!). On top of this is my first mini-lesson in my sixth grade class this Wednesday!

I love being busy and it's a good thing! I have to be on top of everything when I have this much to do.  Do you find that you do better when you're busy or when you're taking life slow?

Chocolate Martinis

26 September 2010

The best part of my Saturday was celebrating my friends' 21st birthdays! There were actually three people with birthdays within four days of each other.

Most of the people I was able to see last night I met during my freshman year of college. It's a little strange to think that we're all seniors now.  Time has absolutely flown since college began. It makes me wonder how quickly life will fly by me.

Anyways, we played board games, danced (Cha Cha Slide and other such ridiculous things), sang along to different tunes, and enjoyed some snacks and drinks.  We had Chocolate Martinis, fruity drinks, and a concoction with butterscotch and ice cream.  You know what I just have to admit to myself? I don't like alcohol.  Still, it's a really fun time to be with everyone and to catch up.



This morning Noah and I went on a walk around our local park. It's at least 20 degrees cooler today than it was yesterday and I'm so thankful for that! It was a crisp morning although not very sunny. It actually started sprinkling on us on the walk home!

Reasons to Smile:

  • autumn is here
  • wonderful friends who make me laugh
  • a guy who is warm when my feet are cold
  • papa johns pizza
  • meal planning (thanks to Pughs' News for inspiring me)
  • seeing a concert at Shenandoah University
  • eating dinner out with Noah's family on Friday night
  • volunteering on Saturday morning at the International Festival

Delightful Potential: Teaching

22 September 2010

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I've started a new side-blog just to keep track of my teaching experiences.  Hopefully I'll be able to look back one day and see where I started and how far I will have come. It's called 'Delightful Potential' to represent my thrill at being in the classroom for the first time and the possibilities that lay before me (concerning my own professional potential and my students' potential). 

This will continue to be my main blog, I just want to have a separate place to record my questions and revelations about the world of teaching.  

For now though, I want to say my reasons to smile (so far) this week:
  • I was accepted into Graduate School for my Masters in Education!
  • Being in a classroom makes me feel so much more professional.
  • I love sixth grade.
  • The classroom is comfortable for me - I don't feel nervous.
  • Autumn is here (today is the fall equinox). Love the colors and the crisp air.
  • Planning my first ever real lesson.
  • Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul is fantastic and inspiring.
  • Circle K has many interested members. I love that people want to volunteer in their community!
All in all, there's a lot going on and it's all going my way! There's a reason fall is my favorite season. Oh yes, that rhymed - be jealous. What's your favorite season and what are your reasons to smile this week?



Loving You

21 September 2010


I don't know if it comes off enough how much I appreciate my guy. Noah's been there for me through the best times of my life and the hardest time of my life.  Over the years he's supported me through thick and thin. It's really impossible for me to say just how big of a reason I have to smile when it comes to him.

Lately I've been appreciating his presence even more after a summer apart. I look forward to spending many more seasons together (hopefully we won't need to separate again). What a wonder it has been for me to come home to him at night and wake up and say 'hello' in the morning.

Do you have someone in your life (significant other, sister, best friend) that you can talk to about everything?  Is there a person that stands out to you who has supported you consistently since the moment you met? I'd love to hear about your stories and relationships!

Grad School

This will be quick, but I just checked my mail (on this fine crisp morning) and I received my letter of acceptance to Graduate School! I still have one big test to take (Praxis II) but I'm in. I'm staying for a fifth year at my current university to get a Masters in Education.  I'm getting pretty excited!

Officer Retreat

19 September 2010


The officers for Circle K (a volunteer organization at my university) went to a camp in Richmond, Virginia this weekend. We spent time playing group games, volunteering, swimming, and sleeping. We had a great time and had a chance to get to know each other a lot better! 






Also wanted to let you know that my work in the middle school is going well! On Friday morning before my trip I was in a sixth grade science classroom for three hours and I loved it. I am so happy! I've been planning on teaching high school but they may convert me. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

In the School

15 September 2010

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I'm pretty nervous.  In about an hour I'll be in a middle school classroom for my Practicum experience.  No longer will I be the student but rather I'll be training to be the teacher!  The first couple of days I'll probably be observing our helping in group activities or something but before the end of the semester I'll be teaching lessons! I'm excited because I feel like I'll finally be getting the experience I need but I'm still a little scared since I've never done it before.  Wish me luck today!

PS - I'll probably be in high school when this is all said and done but they start all of the secondary ed. people in middle school (my guess is because of the bigger age gap).

Adoring Autumn

11 September 2010

Football season, pumpkin patches, and candy corn - it's all happening right now. (Literally, I'm eating candy corn as I type this).  Fall is the absolute perfect season. We've received the most gorgeous days recently and I fully appreciate it.


Even the ears of corn were in the spirit of fall. Isn't it softly beautiful? This afternoon Noah & I took off with a couple we're friends with to a local farm (the same farm we visited to see the Butterfly Exhibit).


We traveled throughout a corn maze.  The trails added up to 3 miles total in about 5 acres of corn.  It's always lovely to get outside on a warm autumn day, but when you're surrounded by pumpkins, corn, and farm animals it gets even better


Can you find them in the picture?


We took a wagon ride around the farm and through a pumpkin patch.  Do you pick pumpkins in the fall? They also had really cute, teency gourds that I just want to take home and keep all year! 


It was the perfect autumn afternoon.  You know what makes it even BETTER? My (underdog) team came out on top of one of Virginia's top football schools. It's a MADHOUSE here (if you couldn't tell from my twitter feed on the right side of the page). Hope your Saturday has been just as great and that your weekend finishes out well!

Grateful

09 September 2010

{Picture of the Valley from a nearby mountain}

My reasons to smile right now are:

  • I saw one of my girlfriends today and we chatted it up for two hours in our library coffee shop. She commutes to school this year so I don't get to see her very often.  I love her so much and we didn't have enough time!
  • I have a kickin' bracelet that consists of a pipe cleaner with color changing beads. We used these in my middle school science methods class to demonstrate basic experiments.
  • Right smack in the middle of the day I got to cuddle with my guy. It is the best. When we can both come home for lunch break to where we live, together. 
  • My books-to-read list has been ever growing since this semester started. I really want to read 13 Reasons Why, Dinosaur Odyssey, and A Demon Haunted World. Currently, I also have a list of 400 books that were recommended by my literature professor. I would like to read a decent number of these as well. Better go pay off my late fee at the local library....
  • I had dinner with all of my apartment-mates tonight.  I don't get to see them enough since I'm never on campus with them, have club meetings averaging three nights a week now, and they work and have classes too. 
  • My post-it pen (with highlighter and sticky tabs) is made of pure awesome. It was gifted to me from one of my friends and I love it!
  • Tomorrow is Friday. This means I will, indeed, make it to the gym. Saturday and Sunday as well!
  • The weather has been perfect all week long.  Fall is here and I couldn't be happier about it.
  • I feel so grown up.  I'm a senior - about to graduate from undergrad in 8 months, I'll be in the school system teaching this semester, I'm living with my favorite person in the whole world. It feels like all of these wonderful parts of life are happening simultaneously and will continue over the next two years. I'm so happy about it! 
  • Soon, my favorite pumpkin farm will be opening with it's 3 miles worth of corn mazes, hay wagon rides, apple cider, pies, and homemade gifts. Love, love, love fall.
  • I may be getting some friends involved in my favorite volunteer-devoted club: Circle K. 
All in all, I'm incredibly happy.  Busy too, but that just makes me happier. I'm loving life and I'm working on the best path for me and that is everything I could ask for right now!

Student Org Night

08 September 2010



Last night was our organization night which means all the clubs at the university come out onto the lawn and tell the freshmen and transfers about what we do.  I was advocating Circle K of course (we were walking around with signs saying "Were you in Key Club in High School?").  We had just under 300 people sign up! That's incredible. I'm glad people are willing to volunteer and to do community service while in college.  Of course we'll probably lose half that number after the first meeting (that's just how things go) but we should still have a great turn out this year.


There were demonstrations by different groups such as the gymnastics group, a capella performances, and the fencing club (which my best friend is in - see the above photo for their demonstration). 



Our motto is "live to serve, love to serve" and I hope we can carry that out throughout the coming school year. We're ready for it!

First Day of Autumn

05 September 2010

Today is what I will remember as the first day of autumn.  The weather is marvelous in my town today.  Actually Noah and I headed up North yesterday evening to see his parents.  We checked out his brother's new places, watched Sweeney Todd, ate lunch out today, and got free coffee from starbucks (they were training a new employee and hence we handing out free lattes, mochas, and americanos. The drive back home today was perfect.  Great weather in the valley.   I've been a number of places across the United States and I'm not sure if there's anywhere better to be in the fall than the Shenandoah Valley. The mountains loom over you as you drive through and once the leaves start changing it is a sight to see!


Yesterday (after the market) we stopped by the SPCA and worked with their cats for an hour and a half.  I have three new favorites: Patches, Smudge, and Annabelle.  Patches and Smudge are sisters - Patches is pictured above. They like to be held but Annabelle loves to be petted.  I'm sure they'll find some great homes.  There were two families adopting cats while we were there and a third looking around (probably deciding if they can keep up with a kitty).  

Then we got in our gym time - thank goodness.  The biggest disappointment with all the students back is how much more crowded the gym has been. I may try going in the mornings from here on out to see if it's less crowded. 

Hope you've had a wonderful weekend! Get ready for pumpkins, hay rides, and games of catching leaves!

Morning at the Market

04 September 2010



This morning Noah and I got to jot out to the Saturday morning farm market. It was much more crowded than normal which was fine by me in the crisp morning air.  We had a cold front come through last night with some rain. This morning the weather has been absolutely beautiful.


The colors of fall could be seen throughout the giant pavilion.  Winter & Butternut squash were abounding along with pumpkins and even a few gourds.  While making our second loop through the market Noah got a phone call while I simultaneously heard someone calling my name. I looked over my shoulder and didn't see anyone I recognized then did a double take. It was my professor from Planetary & Genesis of Solid Earth Material. I hadn't recognized him because he looks so drastically different from himself in the classroom.  We chatted for a bit and he introduced me to his wife and son. It was a good time.


To catch you up a little, last night my sister and I were fortunate enough to see our favorite aunt.  It's a bittersweet thing to me - we never really spent much time together until my mom passed away.  Since, I would say she's become one of our surrogate mothers along with a woman at our home church.  Our aunt bought us dinner at Panera last night and had little gift baskets for the fall semester.  No one else ever buys me clothes so it's always a treat to see her because she some how (magically) picks out a great shirt or outfit for us.  She's had our back for over two years now and I'm glad she's fighting in my corner!

Afterwards we watched a comedian on campus who was quite funny. I love that our university brings in different acts and events for free - it's a great alternative for us who don't go out drinking every weekend.  This show did not disappoint.

It's been a great week all-in-all and I'm ready to be really busy all of the time. It keeps me pushing forward and I love that.  Today I'm hoping to get to the gym and the spca since I didn't get tickets to the football game. Ah well.  I need that time for homework anyways.  Hope you have a marvelous weekend!

Friday!!! .... but lets catch up on Thursday.

03 September 2010

I have classes today yes, but I know in a matter of hours I'll have two whole days to complete my homework in instead of just hours.  Of course, that means I need to check myself to make sure I don't fall into the area labelled "Procrastination". I'm doing pretty good so far.

Yesterday I had three classes.  My religion one is shaping up to be tougher than I thought it would be.  In the beginning of college I took a couple religion classes because I wasn't sure what my major was and I had always found it interesting to see what people believe. Now, I'm working to finish two more religion classes so I can claim a minor in it as well at the end of my undergrad career (this may!). On another note, my education class is fun but so far a little pointless.  I think once I get to the 'in-the-classroom' aspect it will be more helpful.  Of course I have geology courses which are probably my toughest.  I had kind of hoped I was done with Chemistry....

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My Planetary Geology class started off with 3D glasses and images of Mars.  That was cool.  I don't think the other students in the class appreciated the professors effort to make class interesting quite as much as I did. I've noticed that (in the majority of my classes for all of college) people are much more interested in leaving class early that understanding the subject.  This is true for lab classes in particular. I ended up staying after and asking him how he created the images. He put the tutorial on my flash drive and told me where to download the program. Sounds like a great project for the weekend.

I also talked to my research professor and he has approved my 20th credit (you need permission from the department head for more than 19).  The last credit is research which doesn't have homework and I can do on my own time so I don't think it will be the straw that breaks my back.  I'm glad to get it done because it means that next semester, if my schedule doesn't work out, I don't have to worry about finishing my research credits.

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Last night, Noah, a roommate, and I went to watch Date Night on campus at our theater.  It was so good! I found myself relating to the couple in the beginning of the movie then it just escalated into hilarity.  If you get a chance I would definitely recommend seeing it.  There is a hilarious taxi scene, dancing, a shirtless man, and a book about menstruating.  I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5 or so.  The movie worked even better for us because Noah loves Steve Carell and I love Tina Fey.

When we walked in the theater, there was a survey going on about who you'd rather date, Steve Carell or Ashton Kutcher. Which would you choose?
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