Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One more night

Today was spent relaxing. I seriously did not do anything. I spent the morning at Starbucks, had lunch and then came back to the apartment to nap.

We had a good nap.

Then we headed out and met my sister for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

And we had this:

Dinner was great, but then we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood and walked Prudence too. My sister took me to this awesome ice cream shop and we had this:

Yep, two chocolate chip cookies and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So the calories I burned, I gained all back. Haha it's ok, tonight is the last night to hand with my sister (for this long amount of time) next time I see her will be in about three weeks when we go down to Austin to see family.

I can't believe I was here for 13 days! Overall a great time with my sister.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Away from it all

Today was the last day of training. It was a good experience the second time around. I took as many notes as possible and was able to get some good group activities and drills for when I get back in the classroom. I like that these were activities we did, so we were able to model them. I wrote down as much information as possible from each, using our activity as an example and seeing how I can use it. I need to go back to look at my notes and rewrite the important stuff.

Today was mostly about how to engage students in the class, what to do and what not to do. How to encourage them and keep good classroom management. She also spoke about the STAAR and how teachers are evaluated. Stuff I knew, but good for review.

I was set to leave tomorrow for Midland, but my sister asked me to stay one more day so we can hang and have dinner tomorrow. I am glad she suggested that because I didn't really want to leave tomorrow. By the time I leave, I would have been gone 13 days. How crazy is that?

Tomorrow I shall be a bum and maybe head out to Starbucks.

In other news, I paid for my extension on my probationary certificate (yay, good for another year!) and have everything setup for my alternative certification program to suck my money away from me again. Haha

Ok, taking a nap. After training I felt a wave of tiredness. I need to take a nap.

But first, this view...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Walk away the day!

After work my sister and I took Prudence for a walk around the neighborhood. I used my walking app, but it seems to be broken because it didn't correctly mark where we walked. And we walked for a long time.

Well, not as much as I would have loved, but I walked.

We saw this funny sign with a weird cartoon face.

But I seriously had reason to walk - a lot. See photo below. Yes, I couldn't decide which one to eat, so I picked both! And no, I didn't eat them entirely! I had a few bites from each one.

Training went well today. We covered special populations, which is something I am familiar with as I had SPED kids and a coteacher last year. I have to say, it was a challenge, but I enjoyed having them. I also really liked my coteacher, she was crazy. Not in a bad way, she was upbeat and always assisting those students that needed it.

This morning I tried really hard not to read over this study guide. I asked my sister to print out the question portion of this manual, but ended up printing the entire thing (and in color!) which was awesome. 

I should sleep. Prudence and I are hanging out, relaxing. Tomorrow is my last training day in Grand Prarie, no more driving!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

So like seriously, this happened

I finally went over my daily walking goal. Since the summer started, it has been sad and pathetic. Like this entry:

Seriously? What happened there? Or this one:

But the one I am most proud of is this one. It happened yesterday and I am so excited and happy! I surpassed my daily walking goal!

Weekend fun

We went to Target to buy some breakfast food this morning and I saw this:

I told my sister that as excited I am about going back to school, I am both nervous and terrified. Why? Well, we are getting 100 plus new kids. Kids names I will have to remember, lesson plans I need to make sure I review for, handouts that need to be printed and well, everything else. So when I saw this sign, I couldn't help but get a little sad. School is almost here! It's about to get super busy again. That roller coster I rode in last year, is about to come around one more time. This time however, it won't be as bumpy and frightening as it was last year because I have experienced the ups and downs, the good and bad, the stress and happiness of teaching.

I also saw this, which I almost bought.

We also ate at our favorite breakfast place, Esperanza's.

This is us goofing off downstairs in the business center of the apartment, which really is just a small area with a bunch of tables and internet access. We FaceTimed with our parents and wished them happy anniversary. They are celebrating 43 years of marriage today. That's awesome!

After an afternoon nap, we went to Kincaid's for dinner. Seriously delicious hamburger joint.

Tomorrow is teacher training day 6. Let's see how it goes and hope I can get some more classroom ideas.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Come around

Today was a very laid back day. We woke up late, hung out at the apartment and had lunch.

Very delicious place indeed.

Then we headed out for some tea and free wifi:

Later I went out to the patio to walk Prudence.

I can live here forever. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy coffee lover

Hello my name is Adriana and I am a caffeine addict. Actually, a Starbucks addict to be exact. I have been a lover of caffeine for about 20 years. It started off at local coffee shops at home, enjoying delicious ice and coffee mixtures (later known as fraps), and I also enjoyed the occasional latte or mochas. 

Then one cold November night in 1999, walking down Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, there it was. A bright green sign with a mermaid on it. The aroma, the delicious aroma of coffee filled my senses. It was hypnotizing, it was inviting. I walked in through those doors and my life would never be the same.

I discovered this delicious island of wonderfulness. The had thousands of coffee combinations and I tried them all. But I was a purist, sticking to the brew of the day. And when some were just popping up in the area and every time I would see one, I would rejoice. 

Lord of the Starbucks...

Soon, wherever I would live, I would make the drive, wherever it would be locate I would enjoy a cup of steamy goodness. While at the airport in Chicago, or a strip mall in Houston, I was there. This forbidden drink during the week, was all mine on the weekends. I loved it, and I knew it loved me.

From warm espresso with whipped cream covering this liquid gold with caramel or syrupy chocolate, the next drink that would have control over me would become the next love affair, the iced coffee.

I can't say enough about this drink. It awakens my senses and with unlimited free refills to fill my soul, I was all game.

----ok, I should confess I am drinking a Mexican mocha at Nordstrom as I write this blog entry. I may be having a coffee affair, but this is so good!

I should end this coffee blog before I end up sounding like a crazy coffee lady. Or am I too late? ☕️

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wow, really? You don't say

Throughout the week I have heard people talk about job fairs and how they want to get a job in the area because they don't want to move. They have gone to several job fairs, but there are limited job openings. When I mentioned they should go where the opportunity is, they laughed at me. Really? Ok, be that way.

A lady asked me during break time why we can't just leave a class when we really need to go to the bathroom. "Wait, we have to hold it? I don't know if I want to teach." Really? Ok, wow. Good luck.

Another woman came over to ask if it was true teachers get paid once a month or biweekly. "Once a month, well that's not right." Oh, wow, ok.

Today was a great day of training. We talked about TEKS and lesson planning. I am glad that I had to come back and repeat this training. Last year, I was lost, confused and all I wanted to know was how the TEKs and lesson planning worked. These training days have allowed me to reflect on how my first year went and how I can improve on it. I feel like last year I was learning how to walk and this week, I am seeing everyone else try to take those steps that I walked last year. I just wish that some people would take this seriously. But all I have heard today was people worried and concerned about other things. But I ask, what about the actual classroom? Don't they care or want to even know? I was disappointed today about that because basically all I heard today. Don't they care to know what they will expect? How it's going to be when they first walk in and the children are sitting at their desks and it's the first day of school? 

I am enjoying my time off so much and I am glad that I've had the summer off, but I am itching to go back Into the classroom. I am sure, I will be nervous and stressed and wished for more time off as time for school gets closer, but I look forward to the new kids and lesson plans and lecturing.

Oh well, in other news...

This morning the Starbucks lady butchered my name.

Close enough, right?

Prudence and I have been hanging out tonight.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What time is it? Party time

Well, not really. Today was day 3 of training and I got a good refresher course on classroom management. We also took a few quizzes.

This first quiz showed what I already knew, that I am very right brain dominant. I have a few left brain in me, but I am 100 percent right brain.

Then there was this test. Which by the test results show that I should be an English teacher and not a math one, because I obviously can't count. Haha

I am glad that I both use instructional and socioemorional strategies. Examples he used were good refreshers for me. He went over how to react when students want to push your buttons, what to do when they don't want to work and any other things like parent conferences and open house. Since he was an elementary teacher for 30 years, some of his examples didn't really pertain to me because, well, what he suggested is impossible in a high school atmosphere. But as he spoke about situations, I thought about my first year and situations that I went through. Next time they happen, I will have a broder understanding of what to do. I am greatful for the opportunity I have to come back and review, even if I get bored sometimes.

I also found the wireless access, I spent my lunch hour watching One Direction videos. What? Don't judge...

Overall, good session today.

After I met my sister for dinner. It was delicious. Let's hope day 4 brings on more interesting things.

Walking Prudence outside.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Running back

Today's training got me a bit upset, rattled, just uncomfortable. I am glad that they are teaching theory and what they think will happen in the classroom and it's good that they are telling the new people the classroom management expectations. What they are not saying, is the "reality" of it all. I think this program needs a session where a first year teacher talks to them about the struggles and stress and well, everything a first year teacher goes through. Not to scare them away, but if they are serious about becoming a teacher, they need to hear what can happen. Although these people bring so much experience to the table, they have been away from the classroom too damn long. 

I heard this speaker talk and all I wanted to do was to get up and tell everyone, "Yes, what he is saying is right, BUT...." The speakers that we've had so far taught elementary for 20 plus years, we've had no high school educators. 

So all 100 people that are there getting training are only getting limited information. I hope tomorrow will be different.

This morning I spent some time at Starbucks:

My view from the training session...

We watched a movie about education.

And this is me by the end of the tired.

I couldn't keep my eyes open. They talked about ways to keep the students engaged in a lesson, how to "hook" them, but all this man did was talk to us for five minutes at the beginning of the day, and then show us a 1.5 hour movie. He never once paused the movie to discuss what was going on! I have been sitting in the back and get to see the entire room. Some people were on their phones, others were talking and some were getting up. Seriously this was not a well planned out morning session.

I made a few comments about some things he was talking about and It felt like my comments fell on deaf ears. He provided no feedback. I did have some people come to me during the break and ask me questions about my comment.

I know I sound upset, angry and bitter, but if you want to keep peoples interest, do what you are preaching. Anyway, tomorrow is day 3 of training. Wish me luck! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dear brain, wah

I found it so difficult to wake up this morning. I got up at 4:30 am because I wanted to be ready before my sister woke up. She had to be at work early today and didn't want to be running late. And also because I had no idea where this training would be. The maps app said it would take about 30 min to get there, but with morning traffic, I wasn't sure.

Once I was ready I made my lunch. I also wanted some coffee, so I grabbed the only cup I could find...

Then I took off. I arrived super early, about 7:40 am...the training didn't start until 9 am but was glad I left early because traffic was getting bad as I was driving. So overall, it took me an hour to arrive.

I of course found the Starbucks, just one mile from the training location, which is great news for me. There were about 100 people in the training. Today was rather boring because they spoke about the actual job and what to expect when you go out looking for jobs and interview. It was boring because, well, I don't need a job and I already know what to expect. Some of the people that spoke, mentioned their job interviews and they frightened me. Some said they had panel interviews, others said they had six different interviews and others said they would tell them they wanted them to come up with a lesson plan and or classroom management plan at the moment of interview. Cray cray!

I am glad (and lucky) none of that happen with me. I made a comment and told then that I considered myself lucky because I didn't go through the tough interview like they did. I am not saying my interview was a walk in the park, I think my interview was tough and I think it was somewhat more stressful because even though mine was a skype interview, I had a tiny computer screen to impress the boss.

Tomorrow training will pick up and we are going to have another speaker.

Here is a photo of Prudence outside the apartments, that's her green patch is grass to potty.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tired, for sure

I left Midland very early in the morning and headed out to Fort Worth. I am so tired, been up since 5 am. We have been out and about all day long, my body has been super tired and my brain too, it's a miracle I can make sense of what my brain is telling my fingers to type. Hehe

I arrived to my sisters apartment about 11 am and she met me outside her apartment. She quickly got in to my car and we drove off to eat some lunch at our new favorite place, Pollo Regio.

I was too hungry for food photos, but managed to take a photo of this:

The green salsa is so spicy and goes amazing with the chicken. We spent the rest of the day walking at the "Mexican" mall. It felt like walking down memory lane. It felt as if we walked straight into my childhood.

Candy and Piñatas!

More Piñatas!

For now, I am in bed relaxing. Big day tomorrow with training and since I am not sure how far this place is, I am going to have to leave way early and check morning traffic.

We had Five Guys for dinner, but again, too tired for photos. Here is the leftovers.

For now, Prudence keeps me company.

Somehow it feels like I walked more than that.