Friday, August 25, 2017

Many Firsts

Some aren't especially significant -- my first day of teaching was two days ago on Wednesday, my husband's is coming up on Monday. Other firsts are true milestones, though...

... last week, before his first day of school, my firstborn shaved for the first time (mostly his "mustache" area). I feel so wistful about that!

... on my youngest son's first day of school (last week on Wednesday) he rode his bike to school (with my husband riding alongside) and rode back on his own. Our eldest also rode a bike to & from school (borrowed from his dad, see next item) a few times in the past week.

... yesterday my husband rode his new electric bike all the way from work (18 miles!). He's not planning to do that everyday and probably not both ways, but he's excited about the possibility of saving gas and exercising, even if will take in over an hour.

... yesterday my youngest son had braces put in. He is not very happy about it, but I'm hoping he'll get used to them soon.

Life is always changing, some times more noticeably than others.

Oh, yeah, and only four days ago we saw our very first total eclipse of the sun. An AMAZING, indescribable experience. If you're my friend on facebook (and you're welcome to be!) I posted 64 photos yesterday, check them out!

I hope to post a few here too... we'll see.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Path of Totality

We are headed to TN in a few minutes to see the eclipse. We had plans to stay at a friend's house, but it turns out this friend moved to Florida! But we have more friends! Brazilians, particularly those who have a worldwide church network like we do, have friends EVERYWHERE. So I contacted my other friend last night. It turns out she has a farm, in the middle of nowhere, but it's pretty much in the center of the path of totality!!!

My husband the scientist is beyond thrilled! The pre- and post-eclipctic traffic will probably be truly apolcalyptic, but we're doing this anyway. Wish us luck! I'll try to keep you posted. Kids are missing school for this. OK, gotta go!

Monday, August 14, 2017

The best thing about the first day of Sophomore year...

... is that we're all much less nervous about the whole thing.

K has been at the school all year and has done wonderfully well. He gained so much confidence (being the best kid in his grade in some Match test competition) that he did the whole book of Geometry over the summer so he can test out of it and take Pre-Calculus. The test is tomorrow and I'm a bit nervous, but I think he'll pass it. Better to do this than to be stuck all year in a too-easy class.

He will continue to work in the IT department with some of his best friends, be very involved with music (in the band, orchestra, and choir), and we are getting him a new bike so he can go to school and come back by himself. It will only take him a few minutes more than us driving him and he'll be independent.

I was going to say a few more things in this post that was meant to be cheerful and celebrate my son's first day of school, but after reading several news articles, writing this post, and missing a dentist appointment because I completely forgot about it (which made me even more upset), I'll leave it at this... I hope this Monday gets better soon! Sigh...

This weekend

I cannot say much about this weekend because of the semi-anonymous nature of this blog, which is already saying too much.

All I will say is that when I picked up my phone after lunch with our family and visiting family on Saturday and began to be really upset and worked up about what a lot of my friends were posting, I had to stop and try put it out of my mind. After venting a little to my brother- and sister-in-law (subject for another blog post!) I had to just be quiet and not think about it because were preparing for a surprise birthday party that was going to happen in my backyard in just a few hours and I knew I just couldn't even begin to talk to most people at this party about what was happening. :-( One of our close church friends has an NRA sticker in the back of the family van. Nice people who are just so clueless about their privilege and the consequences of their political stance.

This disconnect between our church and school community and our values, our commitment to social justice,* and our political leaning sometimes make us feel lonely and frustrated. It's a "neutral" enough community -- most people aren't really politically engaged and controversial topics aren't brought up, but the school... (I mean the boarding high school who just started school) is composed of a near majority of kids of color and I feel for those kids. We need to do more for those kids, not to keep them in a "bubble" which is kind of what the school already is, but to also prepare them to face their world (which most of their teachers and school administrators don't really understand. Sigh...). 

OK, let me now go try and finish this "fluffy" post about my kid's newly started first-day of school. 

* I just found out reading news this weekend that "they" label us "Marxist" or  SJW - Social Justice Warriors - UGH!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

5 Excellent Exercises to Prevent Back Pain -- "bookmark" :-)

I'm embedding this video here as a bookmark because I want to be able to easily go back to these exercises! I should totally do this more often, or save links by writing blog posts. In any case, I'm pretty new to exercising regularly, so I guess I will learn more effective ways to do it as I go along! I found this video in a Time magazine "newsletter" article about Leg Cramps! They also have a good video about the benefits of jumping rope which I'm not embedding here.

Sunday, August 06, 2017


I'm feeling way better, and I'm happy to report that I have 26 students now instead of only 18. I still have quite a way to go to reach 54 and maybe I won't reach full capacity in all three sections, but I'm hoping! In the past six years I've had two full sections, bursting at the seams (sometimes I squeezed 19-21 even though the official limit is 18), with many students unable to get in.

Well, I want to try to write some "update" posts about the past four weeks, I hope to be able to do it soon. I'm also working on a post about all the movies I watched this summer (all but one at home), so I'll be back!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Freaking out

I was trying my best not to be negative, to be patient, and not to freak out, but now I'm in full blown freak out mode. :-(


Every semester for the past six years my two language classes have been PACKED in the Fall and there have been waiting lists of students trying to register. They enroll by permission only (except for one summer two years ago) so I can screen prospective students and give priority to freshmen to sophomore since seniors won't be able to take more classes after their last year and we need students to take several classes or our tiny program will die. Because of this, I spend all summer checking the student registration website periodically, granting permission and keeping track of  enrollment requests.

In order to document the interest in the class I have been copying and pasting every single permission request -- a tedious task -- and then marking the students who enroll, as well as those who enroll and later drop and those who never enroll. I also email the seniors and ask them to wait for late July when I can begin to let them register.

In past years, by late July the classes were nearly full already and I generally could only let a handful of seniors enroll, if any. Because there was a consistent number of students who could not enroll every Fall, my colleague decided to open a THIRD section this Fall.

Well... guess what?

I have never had so few permission requests come in since I started keeping track!! :-( I should probably have granted permission for the seniors earlier (there were quite a few of them), and by the time I finally did two weeks ago, very few enrolled. Their requests have since expired (and disappeared) and I will have to look for each of their emails and contact them because I am DESPERATE.

And the worst of the worst is that in the three sections of the class, right now, the number of students enrolled is enough to fill ONE SINGLE SECTION! [insert despair and dismay face here]

Please pray for me if you're the praying kind. I have been praying about this not only every time I login to the website and open the word document where I keep track, but also every time I think about the Fall classes (which is quite often).

All through July I have been telling myself to "calm down because everything will work out in the end," but now I'm not so sure. I am dreading the moment my colleague decides to check on enrollment and emails me. Please please please let more people enroll before s/he checks!!!!