Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Keepin' It Short

Sorry - between it being Halloween and trying to get a project done, I don't have a lot of time to write. Next entry will be all about our field trip to the gravel pit today (with a side trip to the cemetery - for observing erosion with a scary twist!), and maybe some complaining about the people who make up those variety bags of candy.

Happy Halloween Everyone! Stein and I will be dressed as homeowners. Clever, I know.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Can't Wait to Read

Stein and I were just discussing our Thanksgiving plans. While we don't have definite plans yet, we are probably staying here. Last year we were in Chicago for Thanksgiving, so it makes sense that we would be here this year.

As we were talking about it, I said that it would be great to be home because I will have 5 days off in a row. School is closed Wed. - Fri. that week. I will also be done with my solo teaching the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. (After that I phase out of teaching and observe other teachers in the building.)

What I am most looking forward to during that time is reading. For pleasure. I have spent the past two years reading textbooks, with the occasional break that has let me read the 5th Harry Potter book. (Yes, I still have to read the 6th and 7th.) Actually, my mind really hasn't had the attention span for more than a magazine lately. I feel like there's always something to prepare, something to research, lessons to write. I am giddy with the thought of having the free time and nothing else to do with it but read.

Books have been stacking up, that's for sure. I have all kinds of children's novels that I want to read (including Harry Potter). And then there are books that friends have recommended. Books like the Kite Runner (and the one following that), a new one by Anita Shreve, another one by Alice Lebold, and more by John Grisham. I still haven't read Angels and Demons, even though it is somewhat of the prequel to The DaVinci Code, which I already read.

I am dreaming of reading. What a luxury it will be. I can't wait.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Night Feeling

I'm sitting here with a slight Sunday night feeling. You know, that dreadful feeling that you get on Sunday nights when you have to go to work or school? For me, it usually starts around 6 or 7. Growing up, the minute I would hear the "tick, tick, tick" before 60 Minutes began, I would instantly get that feeling.

But like I said, tonight's feeling is just a slight Sunday night feeling. I feel prepared for tomorrow and most of the week (this is my "solo" week with Linda in the room), and I was really productive today. I got a lot of work done on my big project. It's a science unit of lessons on eating healthy. I'll probably start teaching it next week, during my official solo week (without Linda in the room).

The only regret I have about today is that I didn't get out to enjoy the weather. In fact, I didn't really get outside at all. The weather was a typical fall day - cool, with a crispness to the air and the leaves, with the warmth of the sun to cut the edge. The leaves on the trees are about at their peak colors, and many of them are on the ground from the windy days we had last week. Now they're just waiting for feet to kick them up or crunch them beneath, or for kids to gather them in a pile and jump in them.

My advisor told us to do the projects we have to do on Saturday and then enjoy the weather on Sunday. Good advice, in theory. Yesterday's weather was the other kind of typical fall day, but to the other extreme - cold, cloudy and rainy. The kind of weather that makes the leaves on the ground clump together and makes them slick.

But what my advisor didn't know was that I had the U-M football game to go to Saturday afternoon, and had to get things done around the house before that. So that only left today to get my work done, which I did. But I'm feeling a little "jipped" that I lost out on enjoying the day outside. Stein and I originally had plans to go to brunch at Zukey Lake Tavern for brunch (the place we had lunch for our end of summer Sunday) but I didn't want to cut it close with the amount of work I had to do. Stein did get out, though. He went to the cider mill to visit my brother and sister-n-law and pick up pies for me to bring to school tomorrow. He also went to see another one of Ben's hockey games.

My only consolation right now is a belly full of chili that Stein made for dinner tonight, and I can smell the apple pie that's baking in the oven. (At the cider mill you can buy pies either already baked or frozen to bake at home. We obviously bought the latter.)

All is well that ends well. I think chili and an apple pie is a good end to a good fall weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thank You, Boredom

Even though Stein has been really sick this past week, he still managed to make it to the store yesterday and then make dinner for us. He was bored, he said. My stomach and I thank him for his boredom. He made this really yummy casserole:,,FOOD_9936_30585,00.html

While it's obviously labor intensive, it can be made ahead of time and put in the freezer. We had it right when he made it, and it was great. Another comforting dinner for a fall day. And it makes a lot - enough for a couple days of leftovers for two people.

By the way, he's on the mend. He got some medicine from the doctor on Monday, and it seems to be helping.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mid-Semester Review

I got my mid-semester reviews from Linda and my advisor today. They were really good, I have to say. You know I don't like to boast, but I have to say that I was pleased. And a little relieved if you want the truth! I mean, I've been getting positive feedback all along, but you never know when something may pop up at an evaluation.

In my past career(s), inevitably I would get through most of a review with flying colors, only to be stopped short at one or two points. "Oh, and this is what you need to work on," my boss would say in a quick, quiet voice. I don't mind criticism, so I always laughed to myself when this would happen. She or he would be sitting on the other side of the table feeling worse than I was, thinking he or she was offending me.

Today we talked about some areas I need to work on, but these are things that will be learned as I go. There are some things that will just get better with practice and other things that I just haven't had the opportunity to learn. And learn I will. In just a week and 1/2, I'm going to be solo teaching, meaning that I will be the only teacher in the room for 10 days. Gulp. When that happens, my evaluation will be done by the students. I will be able to read how I'm doing by watching their expressions, monitoring their behavior, and checking to see if I'm still standing at the end of the 10 days. Double Gulp.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Craving Fall

The weather around here has been really crazy and inconsistent lately. One day I'll be wearing a sweater and a jacket to school, the next day I'm shedding layers until I'm in a short-sleeved shirt. Today, for instance, is going to be near 80 degrees. But the nights have been relatively consistent with cool temperatures, great for getting cozy under the covers.

You all know that I don't mind fall, but I hate winter. So while I've been craving fall, I hesitate to truly enjoy it knowing that old man winter is right around the corner. I think mostly I'm craving change. A change of pace.

When it's summer, I feel the need to be outside at every moment I can. Since summer seems to go the fastest, I feel like I need to squeeze every possible moment I can out of it. Eating outside on the patio, eating outside at restaurants, going for walks, reading outside, etc.

But with fall, we suddenly don't feel the need to be outside as much. We start wanting to be inside, hunkering down, slowing down. Eating inside, reading inside. I feel like the crazy weather lately hasn't let me completely give in to the season yet.

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day. One that had a bright blue sky, a shining sun, and cool breezes. It was a great day to open the windows and air the house out, while snuggling under a blanket on the couch. Even though the sun was out and the day seemed somewhat like summer, I gave into it like a fall day. I needed to. I needed to slow down.

Stein has been sick most of the week, so I decided to make some of his favorite comfort foods. For lunch I made the sandwiches that his mom used to make for his brothers and him to bring to Michigan football games (when food was allowed to be brought into the stadium). On an onion roll, you pile on turkey, ham, salami, cheese, and mustard, and bake it in tin foil for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The cheese melts, and the sandwich becomes a bit crispy on the edges. We had to have ours with chips and a pickle. It hit the spot, and was just what I needed before a long nap that afternoon.

After we ate our sandwiches, I made the bean soup/stew that Stein's mom makes. It has Italian sausage, smoked sausage, two kinds of beans, onions, and stewed tomatoes. It is really easy to make and it tastes really good on a cool day. (If you want the recipe, email me.) We had the soup for dinner while we watched college football on TV (U-M was away yesterday). It felt so good to just slow down, at least for a day.

Today, with the warmer temperatures, I think I'm going to be in a faster mode and try to get some things done around the house/yard. I also need to do some work for school too. But that's okay. I know that change is right around the corner. The change I need to remind me to slow down.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Last night I met Matt (the other 4th grade teacher) and his bowling team at the local bowling alley. There's an Ann Arbor School District League that they play in. Linda normally plays with them too, but she was out of town. (By the way, yesterday at school went pretty well, considering the MEAP tests ended Thursday, Linda was out, and the weather was crazy.) It's a really casual league, so it's not cut-throat competitive. It was fun to meet people who are in the district, but not at our school. Matt's team won their game, so that was fun too.

I haven't been to a bowling alley in quite some time. We used to go a lot when we were in high school. It wasn't until college that I had my 5 minutes of bowling fame. I was on Bowling for Dollars! It was part of a promotion where student groups from Marquette were invited to compete and be on TV. Before we went on air, we had to fill out questionnaires about ourselves so the host would have some material to use for our "pre-bowling" interview. Under hobbies, I listed "beer, brats, and bowling," which I thought was very appropriate for the local Milwaukee-area TV viewing audience. When the host said to me, "So it says here that your hobbies are beer, brats and bowling," I said, "You betcha!" with my best Milwaukee accent. Our team didn't do very well, but we sure had fun.

I told Dean and Beth this story when we were up north. Dean asked about the host, but I couldn't remember him. I just googled Bowling for Dollars, and it said that the show was a franchise-type show, so all the shows were taped at a local bowling alley and then showed on the local station. So the host that was in Milwaukee wasn't the same one from Detroit that Dean remembered.

The funniest part of the night last night was watching the bowlers from the "serious league" come in as the school league was ending. Each bowler had at least three bowling balls, and some had as many as six in a rolling bag! Matt told me that last year this league asked to bowl in a different place than the school league because they claimed the school league "messed up the oil" on the lanes. I guess I don't watch enough PBA on TV, because this was the first time I had heard about the oil used on the lanes. Apparently the reason that the serious bowlers have so many bowling balls is because changes in humidity cause the oil to change too. Each ball responds differently depending on the need. It all seems complicated to me. To me, bowling shouldn't be that serious. Especially when drinking is a big part of it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Two Different Hockey Games

Stein and I were invited by our friend Chris to go to the Wings game on Friday night. He had extra tickets for his company's suite, so we were treated really well while we watched the Blackhawks beat the Wings. I have to admit, although I never said anything to Stein, that I was a little happy that the Blackhawks won. (My loyalties still lie with Chicago sports teams. I have a hard time rooting for any sports team here except the Tigers, since they're in the AL and my Cubs are in the NL.)

Hockey was never a really popular sport growing up. I didn't know of any hockey players, just football, basketball, and baseball players. And since I went to an all-girls school, we didn't have a hockey team either. It wasn't until college that I knew any people who played hockey.

I never got into it until I was out of college and was invited to some Blackhawk games. At that time, I loved watching the fights that happened. When the gloves came off, I would cheer for more. Everyone knows I'm not a violent person, but for some reason, watching hockey players fight got my adrenaline going. Now they've changed the rules, so there aren't as many fights that happen now. Darn.

I still don't quite understand the game. Stein explained some of it to me on Friday when we went to the Wings game. Ask me the ins and outs of basketball, football, or baseball and I'll keep up with the best of them. But hockey? Not so much. The one thing that always intrigues me is the on and off the ice action. Players keep leaving and coming onto the ice. And the coaches (at least in the pros) are so calm. They stand behind their players with their arms crossed watching the game like a spectator.

Last night we went to watch our friends Doug and Susan's son Ben play hockey. He's in 4th grade. His team played at Yost Arena where U-M's hockey team plays their games. I'm sure it was exciting for those kids (and coaches) to be playing in a place steeped in tradition. U-M's hockey team regularly goes to the playoffs and they always pack the place each game.

As Stein and I watched the kids play hockey, we joked with one another about how different it was than the Wings game last Friday. "What?" Stein said, "You don't remember when those Wings players just fell down randomly on the ice?" That's what the kids did. Sometimes they would just be standing on the ice and fall. Other times they would be trying to skate onto the bench and fall. And the separate sides of defense and offense were not there. Most players were just magnets on the puck, regardless of where the puck was. You have to start somewhere, I guess.

One last question, which I'm sure I could answer if I just googled it: Why do hockey players wear shorts as part of their uniforms? Does it allow for movement, or is it cooler (temperature-wise) than pants? Or something else?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Three Wrongs Make a Right?

So today was my 2nd observation. The day started out with me getting to school and having two men in our room crawling around the floor near the sink. Our water has been screwed up where no cold water comes out when you turn that faucet on. So there they were, doing whatever they were doing, and then started to leave at one point. Linda said, "Oh, are you guys done?" "No", the one replied, "We have to get a part to replace this one and we'll be back." We both looked at the clock. It was 8:15. School starts at 8:45.

The kids arrived and were told that there was going to be a fire drill. Linda and I didn't think it would happen since it was drizzling outside. Nope. At 9:05 the alarm sounded. Out of the building we went into the wet and chilly weather.

And then? Oh yeah, the MEAP test (the state tests). The kids had to take the MEAP test when they got back inside.

They got a little break after that when they went to library, but that was it. Then I had to teach my lesson.

The lesson that was going to observed.

The kids were up for grabs, so to speak. And I don't blame them. Fire drills, quiet for tests and library, and the barometric pressure all was a recipe for disaster. I managed my way through it, the kids actually understood most of the material, and my advisor had nothing but good things to say. I survived.

I have to say, it is getting a little easier. I'm getting used to the kids and I think they're getting used to me.

I just hope the conditions are right on Friday - Linda will be out that day...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Declining the Flu Shot

I have my 2nd observation with my advisor tomorrow, so I'll keep this entry short so I can get prepared...

I went to the doctor for a check-up today and part of the usual "anything the doctor should know since last year" type questions, was the question, "do you want a flu shot?"

I thought briefly about getting the flu shot when I first started student teaching, but have heard a lot of horror stories since then (thanks Dean and Beth!) and changed my mind. I also sometimes wonder about the whole "choosing a strain that's going to be 'popular' this season". I mean, how do they really know which strain is going to rear its ugly head?

So when the nurse asked the question, I instantly said no. And then she said, "Well, I'll give you the form to sign that says that you declined the shot." I said okay, and then when she left the room, I thought, wait, what? Sure enough, she came back shortly after with a green colored form that had the words "decline" and "accept", both with lines next to them for a signature. I signed where she put an x next to decline and returned it to the receptionist when I left.

Okay, maybe someone out there knows the reason why they do this. Is it because in our "sue everybody" society someone is going to sue U of M Medical Center because he/she got the flu and "was never offered the shot"? I don't know. Strange.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Talking Shop

Today I attended a workshop with all of the other elementary student teachers at EMU. I don't know the quantity of people, but enough to fill a ballroom. It was good to have the day off from school (even though I had to get up even earlier!), and it was good to see familiar faces that I haven't seen in a long time.

In the opening session, the woman who is charge of the student teacher program started her talk by saying that there's a change in all of us from where we were in March. March was when we had our first meeting together as a group. We were students then, she said, and now we are professionals. While this was true for about 75% of the people there, it was not altogether true for about 25% of us, including myself. I was still a student attending classes in March, yes, but this also isn't my first professional experience, or first rodeo, so to speak.

She went on to say that now we even talk differently. We're now talking about teaching things, using teacher lingo. How true that is. As I talked to my friends Jen and John before the session began, I found myself talking and asking questions about teaching stuff, using all the appropriate words. "Are you using a balanced literacy approach? What kind of math curriculum are you using? Do you do guided reading? Are you using a basal?" All of this talk would've been like Greek to me only two years ago. Yet now, it's the talk I use all day, every day. In fact, sometimes when I'm talking to Stein, I slip in some jargon and he gives me a quizzical look. Oh yeah, I think, that's not the vernacular of the people. It's the vernacular of teachers.

It got me thinking, then, about the "shop talk" that I've known at different times in my working life. When I worked at the SCUBA diving manufacturer, I knew all about BC's (buoyancy compensators), regs (regulators), fins (NEVER flippers), masks (NEVER goggles), tanks, SKUs, and DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturer's Association). Working for the dental product manufacturer, I was introduced to all kinds of products that I saw in the dentist's office but never knew their names: alginate (that paste to make impressions), resin acrylic (for temp crowns), and trays (for the impression goop). One of my favorite jobs was working for Best's Kosher hot dogs and learning the difference between pastrami and corned beef and all their different "cuts", Kosher dogs, salami and bologna vs. regular dogs, salami and bologna, and a whole host of interesting Yiddish words and phrases. At Einstein's I learned about people who were DMs, GMs, SMs, and RVPs, I performed QSCs on all the restaurants in my territory, and was called an OC (no, not the TV show, but an Operations Consultant).

As I started at each place, I was intimidated by all the lingo when attending a meeting where the lingo was flying. But eventually I was the one rattling off the lingo like an expert. Two years ago, when a teacher talked about balanced literacy, guided reading, and other teacher terms, I was also intimidated. And now, I wouldn't say that I'm an expert rattling off the lingo, but I'm an apprentice rattling off the lingo. I know I'm on my way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Linda has been writing a couple grant proposals this week to try to get money for a 4th grade class field trip. You would think by the mention of the word "grant" that the field trip is something extravagant. A trip to Europe? A trip to Washington, D.C.? Going to follow the Lewis and Clark trail? Nope. Nope. And nope.

She wants the kids to go to camp for 2 nights.

There's a camp about 2 hours from Ann Arbor where they want to go. The kids would get the chance to explore nature, participate in team-building activities, and just get out of Ann Arbor. (Some kids have never been outside of the Ann Arbor area in their eight or nine years of life). The experience would be priceless in all aspects, with academics being a small part of it.

Linda has been using the fact that life experiences play a major role in learning success as her "selling point". This is so true. Think about it - growing up, when you read a story about an animal you saw at the zoo, you were more likely to have a picture of that animal in your head and know some of its characteristics. But if you've never been to the zoo, you obviously didn't have those pictures in your head. If you've been to Washington, D.C., you have a picture of the massive statue of Abraham Lincoln and probably realized the great impact he had on our nation's history. If you've never been there, you can't comprehend the size of the statue in a picture in a history book. Well, like I said, some of these kids have never been outside Ann Arbor. So, no zoo. No D.C. Limited life experiences.

It's kind of hard to fathom all of this, because Ann Arbor is certainly not a town with a large population living in poverty. In fact, less than 10 minutes from the school I'm at is the school in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Ann Arbor. When over 50% of our school's population qualifies for free or reduced lunches, you really have to wonder.

Processing all this information initially made me sad. Yet, at the same time it has made me really thankful. A large part of the reason why I have been so successful in school and in my career(s) has been the life experiences I've had.

I grew up in Chicago, so I witnessed city life and all of its wonderful and not-so-wonderful qualities on a daily basis. A short el trip from our house would land my mom and me downtown to listen to a band, watch a ballet troupe, or eat our lunch next to a fountain. I went to Broadway plays (more about this obsession in a later post), off-Broadway plays, and off-off-off Broadway plays. We took trips. Short trips in the car, LONG trips in the car, trips on planes, stays in hotels. And the zoo? Well, my dad worked at the zoo for some time. So I got to see penguins close up, polar bears paws close up, and seals trying to get a glimpse of my dad close up. Again, I am so thankful. I am so lucky.

I am going to suggest that Linda send in a proposal to (Thanks to my friend Amy who let me know about this site.) Donors Choose lets teachers submit proposals for supplies or experiences that they want, and then donors can choose to give to their cause. If it does get accepted, I'll let you know. I would love it if these kids could have a little of what I know most of us have had.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fall and Food Up North

So while the colors weren't what we hoped for, and the weather was unseasonably warm, we still had a great time up north. And the food? Well, it was yummy. I mean, can I ever talk about a weekend away without mentioning the food?!

Saturday we started the day with a drive to Charlevoix to go to Juilleret's for breakfast. They bake their own bread there, so the french toast is a thick slice of cinnamon (or cinnamon raisin) bread. It tastes just like a cinnamon roll melting in your mouth. This weekend they had pumpkin bread, so you could have pumpkin french toast. Incredible! The waitress told us we didn't need syrup on it and she was right. We split the pumpkin french toast and each had our own breakfast. We all felt like we needed a nap after all that food!

After we walked a bit of our breakfasts off by exploring Charlevoix, we headed back toward Petoskey and up to Harbor Springs. We had a drink at a restaurant there, and then made our way up to Center Village. The route up to Center Village, M-119, is a Scenic Heritage Route. It's called the "Tunnel of Trees" and is a beautiful ride. The road winds back and forth, through trees that make a canopy. The water can be seen through the trees and down the hill on the left. Unfortunately, the colors weren't at peak yet, actually not even halfway there. But the drive was still really pretty.

The destination for most people, including a large contingency of bikers (motorcycles and bicycles) is Legs Inn. It's hard to imagine, but in the middle of some farmland overlooking the water is a huge Polish restaurant. The name "Legs Inn" is derived from the stove legs that can be seen around the perimeter of the roof (click on the link 2 sentences ago to see a picture). The only thing with the place being good, is that it's extremely popular. There was an hour wait when we got there, so we had a few drinks while we waited. By the time our name was called, we really didn't want to eat! We decided to head back to Petoskey and go to dinner there.

We grabbed a quick dinner at Mitchell's Pub. After that we went to Papa Lou's to watch football (and the Cubs lose - ugh). We ended up feeding about $30 into the jukebox there. Dean is a good DJ whether he's spinning tunes on his iTunes or working the jukebox. We heard everything from Journey to Counting Crows to Vanilla Ice. Yep, I can't tell you the last time I heard "Ice Ice Baby".

Sunday morning, Stein and I went for a walk along the bay. That's the great thing about staying at Phil and Kirstin's place (Stein's brother and sister-n-law). You can just get up and walk to town or walk to the water. As we made our way toward the lighthouse, we saw a lot of people fishing near the river. The salmon were swimming upstream and they were flying! We saw a handful of people running down the banks of the river in an effort to keep the salmon on the line and prevent the line from snapping. We also saw a handful of people with snapped lines. At one point near a waterfall on the river, the salmon kept jumping and jumping into the falls. When people caught them, the fish were at least 2 feet long. I've never seen anything like it. It was really exciting!

Later that morning, we set out toward home via Bay Harbor. Stein and Dean go golfing there every year on their annual golf trip, so they wanted to take us to lunch where the views are great. And the views didn't disappoint! (When I get the pictures downloaded, I'll post them). We sat looking onto the golf course from the second floor of the clubhouse. Views of the bay were right there. Just beautiful. And the food was really good. Stein and I both had the whitefish po' boy, which had a really tasty tartar sauce. When in Rome... When you're up north, you eat whitefish. So we did.

We took a different route home, which was a nice change. We went through Charlevoix, then took a ferry toward Boyne. The ferry, which held 4 cars total, took all of about 5 minutes to get from one side to the other. I just wonder why they don't just build a bridge, but it was a fun thing to do. As we drove through Boyne and on toward Gaylord, the colors were a lot more advanced. It was good to see that one of our goals - to see fall colors, was accomplished. We got home last night and were in bed relatively early. All that driving in a two-day span can be exhausting. And I wasn't even the one behind the wheel!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Up North

We're up north right now in Petoskey with our friends Dean and Beth. We just got up here late last night and we'll only be here until tomorrow. We're hoping to see some great fall colors today.

Stein is already out for a run, and I'm catching up on email and blogs before Dean and Beth wake up.

We have the camera, so I'll post pictures when we get back. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Three's a Charm?

Well, I had my third day of "solo" teaching today. There was a sub in the room, but really, I was teaching the whole day. It went okay. I went into the day with a little lower expectations than last week, just knowing that "while the cat's away the mice will play." And they did play, a little. I tried to keep them in check, and succeeded for the most part. I also had a little more confidence in myself, knowing that I had 2 "solo" days behind me.

I have realized thus far that if I had my druthers, I don't think I want to teach 4th grade. I don't know if it's just this class, or 4th grade in general, but the kids are really catty at this age. Girls, boys, it doesn't matter. Last week it was one kid talking about another person. Today it was 3 girls talking about another girl because "she was drinking strawberry milk and it has a lot of fat and she is fat." Huh? The only thing I told her was that they were going to see just what all this means when I teach my personal wellness unit. That's all I had for her. I think my lack of being "girly" and being a tomboy growing up is why I don't have any tolerance for this stuff. Seriously. The attitudes, the self-centered thinking, and the general lack of politeness is enough to make me want to teach K-3 exclusively.

The breakthroughs keep happening, though. These are the things that keep me going, keep me sane. There was one little cherub who said that I shouldn't be a teacher because, "it's going to keep getting harder and harder." Or the other cherub who asked me how long I was going to be in the class. When I told her December, she said, "Great! We still have a lot of time." And the girl who was standing next to her said, "Yeah, it's a long time, but not long enough for us." Or the kids that totally shock me with their responses to things taught in a lesson. Just when I'm at my wit's end and don't think I'm reaching them, I hear a small voice say EXACTLY what I wanted to hear. Just yesterday, I said, "It was just like I planted you in the class." I had to then explain what I meant by "planting someone in the class."

All in all, the experience has been great. School has been in session for one month so far. It's hard to believe that in another month, I will be saying that I only have one month to go. Where does the time go?