Life Lately 11-14-15

My brother has been chiding me for my lack of posts in the past few months and also mentioned that it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Life Lately” post, so I figured I’d better get on that (Thanks Chris!).

Me and a couple of my roommates - Photos by M.Johnson
Me (on the left) and a couple of my roommates – Photo by M.Johnson

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Spending most of my time… student teaching and preparing for student teaching.  I’m teaching English and Social Studies to 6th graders in an elementary school setting.  I teach two groups of kids, which means a total of 40 students.  Of my 40 students, about half of them have IEPs and many more read below grade level.  It’s been challenging, but I’m also really loving it.  I never thought I’d enjoy teaching 6th graders as much as I!  They’re mostly really great kids.

Occasionally having some fun… such as my sister coming to visit last weekend, trying out new drinks, and a couple of trips home.

Presented at… the New York State Reading Association Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY this past Wednesday.  It was quite the adventure actually getting to the conference, but I think our presentation went well.  We presented on The Arts in Curriculum.  After months of preparing, I’m a little sad it’s over.  On our way to the conference (which should have been about a 3 1/2 hour drive), we broke down.  We were only about 40 minutes out from college and ended up waiting 2 hours on the side of the road in the middle of a rainstorm for a tow truck.  We should have made it to Saratoga Springs by 7:30 on Tuesday night, but didn’t end up getting there until 11:30, which meant I was driving in the pitch dark with the rain coming down really hard for about 3 hours.  We definitely had plenty of time to bond!

Slowly but surely… working on decorating and cleaning our apartment on campus.  We have a huge living room (with a working fireplace!), a decent-sized kitchen, a large (but odd) bathroom, and entry hall, and two bedrooms.  I share the double room with the same roommate I had last year, and there’s also a triple.  Living with four other girls can have its challenges (so much hair everywhere!), but I’ve really enjoyed it so far!  The apartment has been inhabited by college guys for the past few years, so we spent our first couple of days here deep cleaning some of the kitchen cabinets and such, but we still have a lot to do.  We’ve all been so busy that having time to really tackle some of the bigger cleaning projects has been challenging.  We’ve also had a few issues with mold, but I think those are all taken care of now (hopefully!).  When we finally put some stuff up on our walls, I’ll give you a little tour of our space!

On the subject of roommates… As I mentioned, I live with four other girls.  I only really knew two of them well before we all decided to room together.  We’ve now gotten to know each other really well, and they’re all really awesome!  We spend a lot of time laughing in the apartment, which really can’t be beat.  I spent about 95% of my time outside of student teaching with these four amazing young women.

Peace Corps stuff… I’ve spent a lot of time reading the blogs of former Peace Corps volunteers in Moldova, completing all of the pre-departure tasks, and preparing to leave the country for two years.  I need to apply for my no-fee passport, and then I should be set for awhile in terms of things that need to be done right away.  It’s been a bit stressful dealing with student teaching and all of this stuff at the same time, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel now.

Can you believe it’s already the holiday season?!  I’ll be going home for Thanksgiving to celebrate with my immediate family, aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents, and then I come back to campus for just 1 1/2 more weeks of student teaching.  I have a full month off for Christmas this year, which I’m very excited for!  If you didn’t already know, Christmas is by far my favorite holiday, so I’m ready!  I’ve already tackled a few presents, but I’ve got some planning to do for the rest of them.  I like to start a bit in advance so that I can really think it out and not stress so much.

I think that’s it!  What have you been up to?