- Art Classes. At the beginning of the month I started a watercolor art classes held through UNLV's community outreach program. My friend Teresa and I signed up and I had a blast learning how to work within the medium. I only managed to get two pictures painted--a water scene and a vase full of flowers. I can tell that I have hundreds of hours worth of practice in store, but I am enjoying the process. Unfortunately my friend only managed to get to one week of the class (work and sickness kept her from the subsequent classes), but I still felt it was worth it.
- Slave Trade in Ghana or Western Civilization in Europe. My summer travel options are between two programs. One would take me to Ghana for a week to study the slave trade and the other would have me teaching western civilization to high school students as they traveled through Europe. I applied to both programs and now all I can do is patiently wait to find out if I get accepted for either program. They both sound amazing. If I don't get either job I am seriously considering staying in Vegas for the summer and teaching summer school. There is a ton of money to be made and it would make for a nice deposit for a house.
- Singles Conference. Valentine's weekend was spent with 1200 other lonely hearts. Most of those being widows and widowers in the 50+ category. The conference was sponsored by one of the stakes in town and they had tons of great workshop classes (travel, desserts, photography, cooking) and inspirational speakers. There was about 15 girls for every guy and I could count on my two hands the number of men that were in my target age range. I did meet one guy from Hawaii who was really cool, however I didn't feel like there was any interest towards me so I can't say that I found love that weekend.
- Old Friends. On the 16th I was able to go to dinner with one of my dearest friends T.J. and her husband Steve. They were in town for a photography conference and it was great seeing them. I haven't seen T.J. in nine years, but it didn't feel as if any time had passed. That is always a sign of a true friendship. She took a picture of us at dinner and I will have to twist her arm to get a copy of it to add to my blog.
- Job Hunt #1. I posted last year that I wanted to move and have a new teaching experience. My first job hunt was with a new local school that seemed awesome. My friend Julie will be teaching their next year and she just raved about the philosophy and structure and so I decided to submit my application. The job interview went extraordinarily well and the principal went off about how much she liked me, but I knew that I wouldn't get the job. (I found out on Friday that they didn't want me). They were only hiring for one world history teacher and I had the feeling that they had already decided who the position would go to before they interviewed me. She let me know that she definitely wants me next year if I am still around. The one really great thing I got from the experience was the fact that for the first time in my life I wasn't nervous for an interview because I was totally confident in my abilities and my knowledge. It was an amazing feeling to realize that I am a professional and I know what I am doing.
- Surprise Gift. On February 20 one of my old students (he was only in my class first semester this year) traveled to China for 10 days and told me he was going to bring me back a postcard. He walked into my classroom and presented me with a gorgeous picture of the Great Wall. I will post the picture later, but it is entirely made of feathers and it is fabulous. The picture does not do it justice. This student hated my class and I was sure by extension he hated me, so I was really surprised by the lovely gift.
- Workshop Training. The weekend of February 20-21 I spent co-teaching a 9 hour training for AVID. This was my first professional development workshop that I have run for such an extended period of time. I was really concerned the first day when we only had 5 people enrolled and within the first 1/2 we had gone through more than half of our material. My co-presenter Nicole and I managed to calm our nerves and slow down and ultimately the training went well, although I felt bad for the 5 women who we put through their paces all weekend. I have never presented with Nicole before but we played off each other well. We had a woman from the Western Division of AVID observing us all weekend and she gave us some great feedback about the training. I am not sure with all the budget cuts if we will still get to do this training, but it ended up working really well.
- Biggest Loser CCSD style. The same weekend as the big workshop training was also the weigh-in for our school districts weight loss program. My friend Julie and I decided that we would partner up and take our chances to win the $1000 grand prize. The competition lasts 10 weeks and the goal is to lose the greatest percentage of body weight. We had to leave the training during the lunch break to drive across town. Both of us were guzzling water to add some extra water weight before the big weigh-in. I will keep you posted as we attempt to reach our goal of 20% body weight eliminated.
- Job Hunt #2. I spent nearly two weeks polishing an application for a private school in Seattle that I would love to work for. I have no idea what the odds are that I will get an interview, but this is the job I would really like. It will probably will take until April before I hear anything with this job. If I don't get it I will stay in Las Vegas until I have my five years and then I will consider looking elsewhere again.
- Gym, Gym and more Gym. With two days into our weight-loss plan, Julie and I decided to join a local gym. We meet three times last week to go swimming before school and I will meet her again tomorrow morning for our early morning swim. In addition to joining the gym I also now have a personal trainer. My legs regretted that decision on Friday morning when I could hardly walk up the stairs to get to my classroom. They are feeling normal today and I am sure my punishment will return for Tuesday and Wednesday's sessions. But so far so good, Julie and I both managed a combined weight loss of 18 pounds for one week so we are feeling good and making great progress.
- More Art Classes. Saturday I had the pleasure of staring my second art class - Acrylics. I prefer this medium over watercolors because I love that I can layer on all the color. My picture this week was another water scene. It is my favorite and actually looks like a real picture. I am looking forward to learning all the brush strokes so that I can continue my foray into abstract art.
- On the Horizon. Thursday of this week has me chaperoning a group of students on a field trip to San Diego to visit various colleges. We will be gone for three days and it will be nice to get away, but it is always a pain to think of interesting activities to leave with a sub. I will post more updates after my return and I will then add pictures of what I talked about today.
Monday, March 2, 2009
I know that I have been negligent in my blogging duties during the month of February. Blogging was number 8 on my resolution chart and I have definitely relegated it to the bottom of my to-do list. Since I am short on time I will give a very brief and furious update on all my happenings in the month of February.