"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Friday, May 25, 2012

The View From My Window

The view from my living room window at midnight.  Words arent really necessary.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Class of 2012

I will admit...the Class of 2012 was a little bit special to me.  There were 50 graduates this year.  Out of the 50, I counted only 4 that I had not had as students.  This was my first group of 8th graders from my first year here.  Many of them I had taught in multiple classes throughout their time at BRHS.  One of them caught my carpet on fire in my classroom (who puts carpet in a science room anyway?), one of them was the only student I've ever known about to write very nasty things about me online,one of them motivated me to push for and finally persuade my principal to let me teach a few new science electives, one of them moved here from Vegas the same year as me, one of them just may have known more about science then me, one of them stayed up late with me on a band trip talking about our mothers, one of them I busted coming to school smelling like pot, a couple of them rebuilt my snow machine engine for me in shop class, several of them took every class that I've taught, several of them were part of the Boy Scout troop that I taught an Environmental Science badge to, serval of them almost didnt make it, but pulled through. Over the years, I had good times and struggles with this group, but through the good and the bad, they made it!

It was a very nice ceremony with lots of smiling faces and ping pong balls.  Yes...ping pong balls.  As each student went up to receive their diploma, they each carried a ping pong ball in their hand which the handed off to the principal as she shook their hands.  I dont think BRHS will be the same without this group of kids, but I wish them all the best as they head out to their next new adventure.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Number 4: Attend a city council meeting

 This birthday goal has been on my list for 3 years running and I finally did it!!!  I dont know why I waited so long.  The city hall building is literally right across the street from my house.  Tonight I actually went to support a cause though, not just to watch.  I was there supporting the Bethel Friends of Canines organization that I've been involved with lately.
 While we were there, the city recognized a couple of Boy Scouts that had earned their Eagle Scout designation, they discussed alcohol restrictions at council sponsored events, and a new ordinance for the regulation of mines for mercury. There were a few interesting topics on the agenda and there were alot of people who spoke during the 'people to be heard' section.
Although I've listened to the city council meetings on the radio many times, I really enjoyed attending in person.  Maybe I'll do it again sometime!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Getting Neutered

I had originally thought that I would wait until summer to get Ryder neutered.  My plan was to take him with me to the Lower 48 for the summer.  I didnt really want to wait that long because by June he would be 8 months old, but the cost for vet services here is prohibitive.  Getting neutered in North Carolina would be about $40. Here in Bethel, it was $292!!!!  The decision was finally made to go ahead and leave Ryder in Bethel with a dog sitter for the summer. This meant that he had to get neutered here after all.  So I sucked it up, paid the obnoxious fee, and took Ryder in to the vet last week right around his 7 month old birthday.
Since we were studying the reproductive system in my Medical Terminology class and had just dissected the testis of our cats the week before, I thought I would try to ask the vet if he would let me keep Ryders testicles to show to my MedTerm students.  When I went to pick Ryder up, the vet had put his testicles in a little jar with some preservative fluid for me to take home.  How cool is that???

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Number 32: Renew my passport

Out with the old, in with the new.  It's kind of hard to believe that I've had to renew my passport.  It makes me feel old.  Been 10 years since I travelled to Spain for my summer classes.  I was 22 then.  My last passport was used to go to Spain in 2002 and France and Belgium in 2010/2011.  Visas were not required for any of those destinations.  Hopefully my new passport will see a bit more action!!!

*It's a terrible photo booth picture, I know*

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Hey Girl! Inservice day.

Back in January when we were supposed to be going back to school after Christmas break, the school had a major sewer pipe that was frozen and we couldnt return to school on time.  We have had a very rough winter with more that 6 weeks of -30 degree ambient temps.  The school tried and tried to fix the frozen pipe but just couldnt do it while the temps continued to dip so low.  Day after day, school was cancelled and we ended up with nearly a month off for Christmas break.

All of these days off, however, mean that we have had to add make up days to the school calendar.  Today is one of them.  Today's site inservice day was originally scheduled for a weekday, but in an effort to avoid adding days to the end of the year, we made the original day a student day and moved our site inservice to a Saturday.  Saturday, May 5th to be exact.  Today.

This morning I woke up begrudgingly from the sound of the alarm clock on a Saturday morning.  Adding insult to injury, I looked out of the window to see big huge fluffy flakes of snow falling down. We had a light dusting of snow on the ground by the time I left for work.  I had to get out the snow brush and brush off the windows of the truck.  Did I mention that it is May 5th?  Yes.  Today.  May 5th, we had MORE snow.

Some days (like today), you just need a little light humor to make fun of your own situation.  A few months ago, I found this website called Hey Girl! This site uses pictures of hot guys and teaching lingo in a funny way that takes the edge off some days.  Anyone can submit picture/quotes to the site and it is managed by a girl who is a future teacher.  Sometimes when I'm having a bad day or I'm just a little bogged down by the demands of teaching, I go to this site and it eases the pain just a little.  If you're a teacher, check it out and you might get a little giggle just when you needed it :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

First fast

On Sunday, the pastor at church announced that May 1st would be a day of prayer and fasting for suicide prevention.  The idea is that we would fast together as a congregation and that our grumbling stomachs would serve as a reminder to pray for people who have been affected by suicide.  Suicide is a major issue in our region, there are multiple suicides each year.  Some villages have lost 15-20 young people in the last few years alone.  Pretty much everyone here has been affected by suicide.  A few friends and I decided to go ahead with this day of fasting.  Coincidently we are all also involved with the biggest loser challenge where we are trying to lose weight.  We thought the day of fasting would also help us with our weight loss goals.  So, today, the 4 of us together and the congregation of the church as a whole fasted together.

I've never fasted before so I didn't really know what to expect.  I expected to be hungry and tired.  I was excited about the possibility of completing a fast.  I was unsure if I would be able to finish it.  I told myself that if I couldnt take it any more that I would allow myself to have juice only.  That last time I ate was at around 8pm last night.  My stomach was a little grumbly around breakfast this morning.  It reminded me to pray.  At work today I was a little hungry, but nothing major.  I kept myself busy at work and got alot done.  I was pretty focused on getting work done.  I really didnt get an hunger pains. I took Ryder for a 4.5 mile walk after work before going to weigh in.  I lost 4 pounds and won this week's weigh in...yay!  During my walk, I felt a little tired and irritable and my stomach had a dull roar to it, but still no hunger pains.  Tonight, I've been drinking alot of water and I'm still very surprised that I havent had any hunger pains.  Still just a dull roar in my stomach, but it reminds me to pray every now and then.  I haven't even drank any juice and it's almost time for bed.

The funny thing is that Ryder is not allowed to eat anything either because he's getting clipped tomorrow morning.