Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Rant

Yesterday, I had a meeting across town that I was not excited about attending. I planned ahead and managed to arrive early and noticed a colleague of mine who pulled in the same time. I was under the impression that he was not attending the same meeting as mine and casually said hi as we entered the school district training offices.

The meeting started on time and proceeded on schedule when twenty minutes into the meeting my colleague enters and apologizes for being late. Now I know for a fact that he arrived and walked into the building 10 minutes before the meeting began and I was silently furious at his rude and unrepentant behavior.

It still urks me because this individual is notorious for being late to every meeting. I get really tired and fed up with people who don't take their professional responsibilities seriously. I am not surprised that teacher's get picked on in the media--with behavior like this sometimes we deserve it.

Virginia and Washington D.C.

Now for the news of my summer travel.

My second destination this summer was to Lynchburg, Virginia to visit my friend Sarah and her husband. Sarah and I became friends teaching at Durango during the 07-08 school year and when she moved east I promised I would come and visit.

Virginia is utterly beautiful and I felt like I had walked back in time as we walked through Appomattax, Monticello and Mount Vernon.

Washington D.C. was a must since I was going to be teaching Government this fall. I was astonished by the bustle and wealth of the city. Although it was hot and humid we managed to drag our poor, sweating bodies to visit the National Mall, Washington and Lincoln Memorials as well as all the War Memorials. We toured the Holocaust Museum, American History Museum, Natural History Museum and the Gallery of Art. Time ran out before we managed to visit the National Archives - so I will have to save that for another trip.



Mt. Vernon - The backyard is incredible. I can see why George Washington loved this home.



Appomattax Courthouse where they Civil War came to an end.



Monticello - home of President Thomas Jefferson



Old mill not too far from Sarah's house.



Sarah was very patient trying to get a half decent photo of me. This was one of my favorites.



Sarah and I at the WWII memorial. Looks like the George Washington Monument is growing out of my head.



Hands down my favorite picture. Sarah borrowed my camera and was willing to sacrifice her body to capture this shot. Beautiful!

AP World History

Last year I was thrilled with the success of my AP students and this year I too had some great results that came in. Two of my students managed to receive a 5 on their AP exams which is the highest score that can be achieved. I was not surprised by their results. These two girls had worked their butts off all year and deserved the just rewards.

I was however overall disappointed by the performance of my students. Out of the 47 students that took the exam I only ended up with 13 students passing. Last year I had 26 take it and 10 pass. The majority of my students that took the exam ended up with a 2 which demonstrates to me that they simple didn't put in enough time to get that passing 3.

My new group of AP students seems to be working hard and I am hoping that I can encourage them to be more successful.

I absolutely adore my AP students from last year, but I desired their success than they did. I good lesson to learn...I can't do the work for them.

Summer School

This was my first summer teaching summer school and I have to tell you that I LOVED it. I enjoyed the fast paced schedule and seeing the kids everyday. The students seemed to get the information easier and could recall it better. My first session of summer school the kids and I had a blast together. When the semester changed an interesting thing happened and the dynamics of the class radically shifted. I kept approximately half of my students from the first session, but the new group of students never really got into the class like my first bunch. We still had a good time and the kids demonstrated that they were learning which is always a plus.

I was informed prior to starting summer school that I would hate it and never want to do it again. I believe the reason why I enjoyed it so much was because I taught it like I teach during the regular year--lots of group activities and student centered learning.

I won't be teaching summer school next summer because of a planned trip to Egypt, but I definitely wouldn't mind doing it again.

French Bistro

The night before I left town to start my summer vacation I took another one of my cooking classes. This time we traveled to France to learn some of the most common and familiar of bistro food.

First course we prepared the delicious French Onion Soup


Second Course was Peppered Steak and Garlic Mashed Potatoes



Final course was dessert with Crepes. I have pictures of two different kinds of crepes.





I am still working on my plating skills, but I really enjoyed all the dishes. I look forward to taking a few more classes this fall. Here is to good eating Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Update

It has been a while since I caught up with my blog and to my five dedicated followers I do apologize. I have a firm goal to post once a day for the next week to get caught up with my summer activities and the start of a new school year.

Today's post is to officially announce that Tiffany and I are moving closer to our respective high schools and the big move will take place next weekend the 26th of September. Our apartment looks like a bomb has gone off...my room is the worst so I know what will be keeping me busy for the next 10 days. I am excited for the new space. I have enjoyed living in my apartment for the last five years, but my new place is sunny and bright and I think I need to good energy of something new as I continue to make changes in my life.

I have been weeding out my junk and trying to be very diligent in getting rid of the stuff I do not need or use. I am a keeper of crap and I don't want to fill my new space with useless items. The charity centers will be getting some very big donations from me. Once Tiffany and I are moved in I will take pictures so you can see our great place.