Saturday, August 23, 2008

The First Week

Well, the first week of school is over, which is always a bit of a relief.  It went pretty well.  For the most part, I think it will be a good year.  We have a few students who have been testing out their limits, but we'll get them in shape.  It's nice to have a student teacher.  This fall she will be with me two days a week, which is a great help.  We get along well and she's very motivated.  It's also a great opportunity for me to practice delegating and being okay with things not necessarily being done exactly how I would do them.

Next week brings Back to School Night when all the parents come to visit the classroom.  I have quite a bit of work to do in order to get ready for that and to help the new teachers I am mentoring to get prepared.  At least I still have one more day left of the weekend, so I don't have to worry about all that just yet.  I'm spending the weekend enjoying the last days of Olympic coverage and getting some things done around the house.  It's funny how quickly housework can pile up when you're working well over 40 hours a week.  I'm trying to do a little each day in order to avoid spending my whole weekend cleaning.  It will be be good to get back into a regular routine, although the lazy days of summer sure were nice.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back to Work, Part 2

It's been a long week and unfortunately its end brings the beginning of "the real work" once students arrive on Monday. Spending three days in meetings is exhausting, particularly for teachers who are used to being in action.

Our principal decided to cancel the items on the agenda for Wednesday afternoon, which was really nice until I got back to my classroom and saw that Kirk had been trying to call me for quite some time. When I called him back, I found out that he was laying on the bathroom floor writhing in pain, worried that he had no idea what was happening to him, and experiencing more pain that he ever had in his life. Of course, I dropped everything and raced home. A great friend of ours was already there to help. We rushed to the ER and found out that Kirk was passing a kidney stone! Needless to say, he never wants to experience that again.

After all that drama, I had some catching up to do in my classroom yesterday and will have lots to do today. Yesterday evening we had the opportunity to attend a wonderful concert by an amazing guitarist, Trace Bundy. If you have never heard of him or seen him play, watch this video.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to Work

Although I worked a few days last week, yesterday was my first official day back.  Our first three days are filled with meetings, and then we have two days to get our classrooms, schedules, plans, etc. ready for students to arrive next week.  Yesterday morning, we had a great presentation from our district superintendent.  He shared this video, which I and many others found incredible and shows some big challenges we face in education and in the world in general.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Afternoon at the Botanical Gardens

We visited our local botanical gardens for the first time today.  Kirk had been asked to officiate a wedding there, so we needed to arrive early.  Since I didn't know anyone and they didn't need any help, I decided to look around the grounds until it was time for the ceremony to start.  I was first struck by these cool metal columbines that lined the outside wall.

Next, I found these sunflowers.

Down the path, I discovered some gardens that are open to the public and are full of beautiful plants.

Now I'm wondering why I had never been there before and look forward to another visit sometime.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Wedding and an Anniversary

Last Thursday we headed to Conifer (just outside of Denver) where our friends, Jaime and Kelly were getting married the next day.  Kirk did a wonderful job performing the ceremony in this beautiful spot,

surrounded by these mountains,

this creek,

and lots of cool wildflowers.

Kirk's new tradition is to pause during the ceremony and take a picture that no one else can take.

After the wedding on Friday, we headed down the mountain to downtown Denver where we had a hotel room reserved for three nights.  Our fifth anniversary is next weekend, so we figured we would celebrate a few days early.  It was nice to relax and enjoy the city.  We were just a block away from Sixteenth Street, which is a walking street filled with shops and restaurants, and particularly nice at night with all the city lights.

We found some great places to eat and just had fun spending time together.  Both of us were also able to visit some friends on Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately, now it's back to our real lives and back to work.