Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Germany

I replaced one bad week, with a much better week. On Wednesday the 24th I got excellent news that I was accepted to be one of the participants in the TOP-Goethe Institute study tour to Germany. I will be flying to Washington D.C. on June 11 and will be there a couple of days for some training and then off to Germany until June 26th. It is an all expenses paid trip to learn about modern Germany so that I can come back and teach my students.

I am really looking forward to my summer break now. For $50 the company will change my return flight back to the states if I want to stay in Europe. I would love to travel to Eastern Europe, but I am a little skeptical of doing it alone. If there is anyone out there that wants to meet me in Germany and travel around Europe for a little while this summer let me know. I am looking for a travel buddy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Loooong Week

This last week has been one of the longest in recorded history. It all began with the time change on Sunday that seemed to throw off my body clock. I know it is only an hour time difference but something happened.

Monday didn't improve, with all of my students looking at me with horror declaring "I didn't know that my semester project was due today..." even though I had given them an assignment sheet with the due date, written it on the board for the last three weeks and even added it to my website.

Than things got worse...Monday night I was watching a video on editing in Photoshop when I started to feel like I had indigestion. Nothing too unusual, I figured a trip to the bathroom would fix it. Much to my surprise the pain intensified. Within thirty minutes the pain had changed to mild discomfort to sweeping pain through my abdominal that was so intense I thought I would black out.

My brothers would be the first to tell you that I am a baby to pain and that it is never as bad as I make it out to be, but there is scientific proof that red-heads feel pain on a much deeper level than other people. Click here for the article.

I have experienced pain on various levels, many times in my life...but I must admit that I have never felt anything like this. It wasn't a sharp stabbing pain, but a sweeping pain that radiated throughout my entire abdomen and would wash over my back. It was so painful I had a hard time breathing. In my head, I was trying to calm myself down, knowing that stress and anxiety often heighten the sensation. I was also kicking myself that I hadn't updated my lessons plan that day--just in case I needed to call for a sub.

My roommate Tiffany was a god-send and as I knocked on her door and whispered "Take me to the emergency room," she quickly responded. The car ride over was hellish and she asked me at least once "are you still conscious?" As I walked into the emergency room, I wasn't sure if I could keep my composure maintained.

I must have looked awful, because the attendance clerk when she saw my face had instant compassion and told me to fill out the paperwork. As I stat down to fill out the required forms I finally started to cry--and by the third line of text the pain magically vanished.

I felt a little foolish for staying at the hospital and getting checked out by the Doctor, because I felt fine by then. The doctor had no clue as to what had happened. I was home within an hour and a half--but with fear on my brain. I certainly never want to feel that again and with no clue as to the cause, I can only be cautious that it might come back.

Tuesday - I was anxious all day because of what happened the previous night and I definitely wasn't the nicest teacher to my students. My frustrations with the lack of effort on behalf of my AP Students led me into rapid fire intense questioning which really unnerved them.

Wednesday - I was still pain free, but now the realization that there was only 5 school days till the end of the quarter and I wasn't finished grading research papers and stacks of projects. I knew I was in trouble. I went to the school play Wednesday afternoon because I had promised my students who were in it I would attend, but I really didn't want to give up the time to grade. It was a miserable play--just really terrible and I was even madder because it really had been a waste of time.

Thursday and Friday were more of the same. I had lots of student complaints that there wasn't enough time for them to lift their pitiful grades and I felt zero sympathy.

Saturday was an eight-hour training on economics education which was interesting, but once again took away my entire day to get my grading complete.

That leads us up to Sunday. I still have 30 research papers left to grade, a bag full of projects, notes, extra credit assignments and tests waiting for me to grade and only two days to finish it.

I can't wait for Spring break to start in a week and I am definitely looking forward to NEVER assigning this much homework again. The students were right, I did give them too much to do this third quarter. I was being a little prideful with them and I told them the class would get harder--but my arrogance just means I have more work to do.

I hope this next week will be a little better--but it doesn't bode well that I haven't been able to get all the work done. The only bright side--I informed by government students two weeks ago that I would no longer be teaching their class. I was tired of their disrespect and constant complaints and for the last two weekt they have been working in groups to plan lesson, develop activities, write tests and assignments because they are now responsibile for teaching the last of the government objectives. Surprisingly there has been zero complaints. The presentations begin tomorrow and I hope they work out. Although I have contingency plans just in case they don't.

I certainly hope your week was better than mine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Updates

Life has been busy but very good recently. I just returned from a super fast trip to Seattle for my best-friend's husband's birthday. It was a blast and I will be posting a link to the pictures from the trip on my photography blog in the next few days. It was an 80's inspired party and I threw myself into the event and managed to find the most heinous outfit. When Chandra saw the final look she could hardly stop herself from crying in laughter.

After the quick trip I returned to Vegas and took Monday (the 8th) off school to attend WPPI. WPPI is the professional wedding and portrait photographer's annual convention. I only attended the trade show part to get inspired and help me narrow down my pricing scheme with my new business. I am now ready to officially begin my photography business. The website is up and running, the blog had a few posts and I have my business cards. Now I need to start trying to find clients.

WPPI was very daunting, but one of my dear friends from college was in town and it was a blast hanging out with her. Within three days I managed to spend time with three of my oldest and best friends. It was wonderful. I wish it would happen more often.

School is plugging along and I am trying to help the students settle down for the last quarter of the year. My seniors are stir crazy and ready to graduate so I decided to have them teach the class for the next six weeks. They actually were excited for the challenge and I am anxious to see how they pull it off.

I am looking forward to Spring Break at the end of the month and a trip to visit my parents in Idaho. I didn't visit at Christmas and I have been missing my mom & dad. My niece will also be home from South Carolina and it will be great to visit with her as well.

Here is looking towards St. Patrick's Day!