Sunday, December 12, 2010

Me as a Doctor: FAIL

First, this is me, Mike, for all of you out there. I was told by a friend I need to specify this because people are getting confused about when I post vs. when Katie posts. I think that's a bad sign for me; no guy wants his writing to be confused with his wife's. I will try to be more manly in my writing style.

Anyways, so, its safe to say that I am not the most immunocompetent person in the world. In fact, I feel like I'm always on the verge of getting sick. However, Katie is quite the opposite. In the 2 1/2 years we've been married, she has only been sick once, and that was on our honeymoon. No sore throat, no cough, not even a little runny nose...until about 3 weeks ago. I guess even Katie's robust immune system isn't enough for spending every day with a classroom full of ten-year old piles of bacteria. Right before Thanksgiving, she came down with a sore throat and cough.

Now, again, I haven't really seen a sick Katie my whole life, so this was new to me. I think it was new to her also, because she complained a lot. I tried to be sweet to her, but after 2 weeks my patience was running thin for complaining. Last Sunday we were sitting on the couch, and Katie turned to me, her future doctor, seeking medical advice. Here is a brief synopsis of our conversation:

Katie: Mike, I've been sick for a long time.
Mike: I'm so sorry, you should be getting better soon. Can I do anything for you?
Katie: I think I have pneumonia. What do you think?
Mike: You don't have pneumonia. You'll be okay in a few days.
Katie: What about bronchitis? What does bronchitis feel like?
Mike: I'm pretty sure you just have a cold.
Katie: No, I'm pretty sure I have bronchitis.
Mike: You just said you don't even know what bronchitis feels like.
Katie: I have bronchitis Mike. I need some medicine. I'm calling your dad.
Mike: Its 10:30 at night! My dad is in bed. Just relax. You probably just have a cold anyways.
Katie: No, I have bronchitis, I'm calling.

Call to Dr. Matthews

Katie: Ha! Your dad says I have bronchitis.
My thoughts: I stink at this.

Anyways, I expect nobody to be coming to me for medical advice any time soon.

Monday, November 22, 2010


So, today we had a professor from BYU come to our class to talk about molecular biology. She asked my class was does "evolve" means. One boy shot his hand up into the air shouting, "Oh I know, I know!" So she called on him and confidently he said, "puberty". The professor didn't know how to respond. I wanted to laugh out loud really bad.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

And the Winner is. . .

This is suppose to be a joke. We don't think of ourselves as that important. But we have had our choice after a lot of prayer and thinking, and we feel like the Lord wants us to be in there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little White Lie

Is it bad to lie to your students. The class just earned goldfish as a class pet on Monday. Today, one of them died. The students were pretty good about the fact that it died (many of them had pet death stories of their own). So I decided that during lunch I would throw the fish away. I didn't want the kids to know that I am insensitive, so I wrapped the sucker up in lots of paper towels and throw it in the trash can. Of course the first student to notice the fish gone, asked what happened. I simply told him I buried it (buried in paper towels right). He looks outside and asked if I buried it in that rock garden, since the rest of the area outside is cement. Sure why not, so I told them that was the place. The kid raced outside and started upturning the rocks to find the dead fish. They are so gullible, even when they didn't find him, they still believed me. Hopefully that isn't a too big of a sin.

No joking, ten minutes after I threw away the first fish, the second fish died. I tried to explain to the class that it died of a broken heart. The student feel fed them this week felt like he killed them and started crying for the next 15 minutes. I am just grateful that I am not in first grade. We would have a lot more tears.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mark's Birthday

Last week was Mike's younger brother's birthday. His parents were going to be out-of-town, so we were in charge of throwing him a party. I wanted to make Mark a cake, but Mike said I should have Nicole Barber's supervision if I wanted to attempt any thing in the oven. I was pretty impress with the outcome. It is a devil's food cake with peanut butter cups inside. Instead of frosting, we made Gnosh (I have no idea how to spell that), but it is more of a chocolate fudge. Very, very good and rich.

I didn't want to ruin the top with all the peanut butter cups, so Mike and I thought it would be fun to put the candles around the candle like spokes on a tire. We didn't think about putting wax paper underneath it, so we had a colorful master piece of wax on the table after wards. Oops!

Friday, October 1, 2010


I know that this won't be as funny as it is when you know the student, but today is Friday, meaning that I get to read one journal entry that the students mark for me to read. There is a girl in my class is constantly doodles on all her papers. I wouldn't mind, but it is distracting her and she is falling behind. Well, I told her on Thursday that if she went the whole day without drawing, I would give her five class dollars (I big deal). Well this is what she wrote in her journal that day. . .

"I've been thinking about why I want to be a mega artist. It's good to be a strong writer, but the arts are important too. To get to be a stronger artist, I practice a lot on all my papers, but I'm getting paid to not draw. I want the money, but I really want to make my dreams come true. Well. . . I'm going to read now."

Isn't a teacher suppose to be a dream builder and not a dream crusher? Oh well, she didn't draw once that day so she got her five dollars and I got her attention. Maybe she will become a writer someday and look back how grateful she was for her fifth grade teacher to crush her artist dreams and secretly paying her to be a writer. Time can only tell.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Mike doesn't like it when I do a post without pictures, and I would agree. However, if I waited until I had pictures to post to blog, then I would never blog. I love it when friends post even the simplest thing because it gives me something to do during my lunch break.
Well, one reason why I was so excited about teaching the fifth grade is because if it maturation year. Now, don't think I am some creepo. I just get a kick out of how nervous and grossed out the students are about this. So, it is that time a year again when we get to talk about the birds and the bees (I was thoroughly disappointed to find out a nurse teaches it, but I think that is for the better. I would be giggling during the whole thing). Yesterday, I passed out the permission slips to each of the students. I just told them that they needed their parents signature for a special event that we are having next week. "Special event" opens a can of worms of "what is it?", "are you going to tell us", "when next week?" and so on. Well, in my most mature voice. . .okay I was so excited that I sang my response to the students. . . I told them that maturation was next week. Most of the students didn't know what that was. I told them it was the time of year that when we talk about how they are maturing into beautiful young men and women and the changes that occur during this time of life. Oh, their responses were a choir of "gross", "sick", "yuck", "I don't want to go."
All I can say is that I can't wait for next week and see all their faces as they walk out of the gym.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Can it be football season yet? Pretty Please?!?

I found these gems on the internet and have been watching them 2-3 times a day. I love football. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Medical Schools and more Medical Schools. Where should I go?

Okay, so after spending about a bajillion hours and dollars getting in my medical school applications this summer, I finished up this week and am ready to start thinking about where I should go. Here's a list of my view of each school with some pluses and negatives to each one. Let me know what you think.

UTMB. Galveston, TX.

This school, located on a small island off the gulf coast, is very hot and very humid. I interviewed there last week and the school is great. It has a very laid back student body and curriculum (no classes past noon the first two years!) and tuition is remarkably inexpensive.

But, being an island off the gulf coast, you always run some risks during hurricane season.

Texas Tech. Lubbock, TX.

I have an interview scheduled with these guys in September. Good things: football team. And that might be it. All I hear about is how terrible of a place Lubbock is, and I haven't heard great things about the medical school either.

The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH.

I thought I was special when the dean of admissions at OSU personally called me up, but then I learned that he does that with everybody who gets interviews. I have an interview set up in October with OSU. Pluses: I hear great things about the school there, and there is a large young LDS population in Columbus. They love Mormon kids. Also, I'm sure that cheering in a stadium with 100,000 + people for football wouldn't be that bad. Negatives: Its cold, and far away. From what I hear its not too close to any outdoors anything.

University of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT.

What can I say? Its close to home, in state tuition, I get to keep living in awesome Utah.

However, I would also be forced to be a Ute.
Oregon Health and Sciences. Portland, OR.

I put this picture of Katie up so that if we end up here, you all would know why.

University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC.

UNC actually is really appealing to me. I have had a few friends from NC, and they all say amazing things about how awesome it is. Chapel Hill is the perfect sized city for me, Its quick to get away into the beautiful Appalacians, the beach is close, and their basketball team is great. I haven't heard much about the medical school, but I'm really hoping to get an interview there to see what its like. Negatives: out of state tuition and distance from family.

Loma Linda University. Loma Linda, CA.

This is a Seventh Day Adventist School, and being such, the library is closed Saturdays, but open Sundays. They are a lot like BYU in that they promote spirituality in their curriculum. Katie's extended family lives in the area, which is always good (Sunday dinners!!). However, I really grew to dislike southern California on our trip there last year.

Washington University. St. Louis, Missouri.

Washington University was my long shot, my Harvard if you will. Their average GPA entering is at least a 3.9, and their average MCAT is a 38, which is above the 99th percentile (I got a 34). About 2 years ago, I listened to a presentation given by somebody in the admissions office at Washington University, and I was sold. It just seems like a place I want to be.

Medical College of Wisconsin. Milwaukee, WI.

If Katie thinks that Utah is unbearably cold, she has another thing coming to her with the winter average high of 28 degrees. Medical College of Wisconsin I can honestly say is one of my "safety" schools. They seem to like BYU students a lot, which is why I applied. Good things: Green Bay Packers games are close, and um....well, I'll have to get back to you one more.

UT Houston. Houston, TX.

One thing I learned by going to Texas last weekend is that the Houston area has to be the food capital of the word. You can't drive a block without seeing some unique restaurant, which for me is great. Other great things: the school is located in the middle of one the biggest and most advanced medical centers of the world, and its known for being a great school; also, some family such as Katie's brother Josh and my aunt live within driving distance. Negatives: have to live in Houston, which is way too big of a city for me.

Texas A&M. College Station, TX.

Here you get the Texas experience without the Houston experience. College Station is a smaller, very conservative city where I think I'd fit right in. Also, it has the famous low tuition prices of all Texas schools.

Alright, this post has gone way too long. It won't let me put more pictures. My thought is that if I'm only going to post once a year, I might as well make it a good one.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Talk about eing ESL

I was really nervous over the summer that I was not going to have a couple of ESL students in my class to complete my practicum for my ESL endorsement. I saw the name Luis on my roll, but her was new this year, so there was no information on him. I met him and his mom during back-to-school night. They brought a neighbor kid to translate, which I didn't think much of because they is pretty common for events that the information is crucial. I learned that they had moved from Mexico this summer and has been picking up vocabulary really fast. That first day, I was shocked to see how little his English really was. When the class walked down to the cafeteria, I had this feeling to walk in with him to make sure that he could go through fine. When the lunch lady asked him what his name was, he looked up to me with his eyes begging for help. At the end of the day, I sent him home with a paper that read "What is your name? My name is Luis. What is your first name? Luis. What is your last name?" The next morning, when I greeted him at the door, I asked him what his name was. He had practiced that night and was able to answer. I more I work with him, the more he surprises me. He has excellent decoding skills, meaning he can read words but he can't comprehend them. On Friday, I met with him mom for a conference. Mike was so kind enough to come and translate. I learned so much from that. His mom was an optometrist in Mexico and is working on getting her license to transfer. Luis has an older sister who speaks English and the family's goal is to learn English by the end of the year. Wow, that is not the typically ESL family that you meet. The funniest thing that his mom shared with me was that he actually understands a lot of what I am saying, except my jokes. One moment, everyone is laughing and he doesn't know why. He told his mom that he is afraid that once he learns English, I will stop telling jokes. What a cute, innocent fear. Anyways, I am trying my best to help him through. If anyone has any suggestions, send this this way.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Kelli told me that I needed to record my wonderful encounters as a first year teacher. You can already infer that since I am writing this post, that I at least survived my first day. The day did go well for the most part. Last night was back to school night and there were a few parents that approached me with information that I would need to know right away (peanut allergy, language ability, etc.) Well today, I started with an activity that would introduce the rules. I had the students pop balloons with situations in there that they had to determine if it was a good situation or bad and what rule would encourage that behavior. As soon I as I pulled out the balloons, a girl came up to me and told me she was allergic to them. By them, the students had already touched them. I just sent her out to the hall while we did the activity. Afterward, I had every student wash their hands while I wiped down all the desk. When she came back in, I just told her to tell me if she feels the reaction at all. She seemed to be good until a half hour later. "Mrs. Matthews, my lip is swelling". Oh my word, I had to send her to the office, where her mom brought benadryl. Her lip was better, but she was dozing off for the rest of the day. Since no one died, I guess I can call it a success.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wasatch Elementary

This week has been bitter sweet. I finished my last day ever at the Wilk. I was there for three years and I figured it out one time that I spent more time with the girls there than I do with Mike in a weekday. I really didn't like the actually work that I did but I love the people there, especially my boss.
On a lighter note, I started working full time at Wasatch Elementary. I still can't believe that they trust me with 27 students (I know Josh is shaking his head disagreeing). I almost have my classroom set up and I have my lessons planned for the first week. Here are a few picture of what it looks like. I am given money by both the State and the PTA to help me start. However, since this is my first year, I rather spend my money on field trips and science experiments than on decoration. I have been so blessed to receive a lot of decoration and supplies from friends (even though they are not matching) that I feel bad to spend money on things that I already have just because it would look better. Hopefully the parents see that instead of a boring classroom.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life Update

I am really bad at blogging because I feel like I need to have pictures to post each time, however, my brother assured me that one or two times without pictures is acceptable, as long as we wrote something. Anyways, I thought I would update everyone on our lives (as interesting as it may be). I am getting ready for fifth grade to start. My classroom is almost set up (pictures of it will come soon) and I meet with my mentor teacher today about scheduling and planning. It is so strange to think that I will be holding a back to school night with parents that are old enough to be my parents. Mike is busy with med school applications. He is constantly asking me questions like "If you had to introduce to someone, what would you tell them about me" or "What are some of my good qualities" only to find out that he is sick of writing the essays and needs fresh ideas. His sister Katherine has been such a help with giving him suggestions. She is more tactful at giving him suggestions. Mike has heard back from two schools already and has an interview with TUMB in Galvenston, TX and Ohio State. I am really excited for him, but jealous at the same time because he will be traveling to all these new places.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Camping Trips

With two camping trips already under our belt, this summer is looking like it is going in the right direction. This year, we went on our "Second Anual Memorial Camping Trip" with our friends Sam and Heather Shannon. We went up to Diamond Fork Canyon and camped near the trailhead to the hot pots. Last year, we shared the place with a group of hippies on their way to the Rainbow convention (completely serious). Luckily this year we shared with a nice, normal family.

These are the Shannon's, as Josh like to say "Sammy Shannon".

It was so cold at night and our fire was not up to par. We did everything we could to keep warm.

The trail up to the pots was pretty, at least for Utah. Our ward also had a campout that next weekend up at Payson Lake. It was a lot of fun. There were several highlights about the trip. We discovered "Jumbo" marshmellows. They were so huge. You only needed one of them. We (I mean the boys)cooked one jumbo marshmellow and smashed it between two whole graham crackers and a whole chocolate bar. We called it "the sub" s'more. The second highlight was catching fish. Both Mike and I cuaght fish the traditional way with a pole and power bait. However, we also caught the fish with our hands. I felt like Mulan.

Mike casted the line at and asked me to hole the pole just for a second while he was reorganizing his tactile box. I had to promise to return the pole to him once he was done because I had the tendiency to steal the pole from him. But once I got it, I felt a fish bit. Needless to say, I did not give the pole back and I claim the catch as mine.

Mike was really excited to catch such a big fish. I was excited that the hook just got the fish on the side of the mouth so we could release him.

in the morning, the ranger came by and told us that the stream is going to dry up in a week and so all the fish in it will also dry up. So, our job was to catch all the fish and run them back to the lake. This video is Ryan Flake doing the job with mad skills.

This is me trying to do the same thing.

I am just not as talented. In this catch, the fish was running away. He finally swam until there was no water for him to swim in and he got stuck.

Overall, it was a really fun camping trip. Hail to the Hales for putting it together.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So I was trying to be up with the times and make my blog look all cool, but now it is out of control. I tried everything to get this picture to fit, but it just won't. I pushed the shrink to fit, but it wouldn't work. I tried not pushing shrink to fit (better) but still nothing. Any suggestions?

Teaching 6th Grade

For those who don't know, last week I started my second practicum at Sprucewood Elementary in a 6th grade class. The practicum is pre-student teaching. I wish I had some funny comments that the students made, but their pretty good this time. It does feel good knowing that I don't have to deal with students crawling underneath desks, tying 10 pairs of shoes a day, or hear tattling reports that so and so called Jennifer a girl (I know, how devastating). Today, may teacher was out for the day, which means that I got to play teacher for the whole day. I came early and sat down at the desk, worked on the computer, and wrote a morning message on the board. Several people came into my class to talk with me before hand and I even got the main office calling me on the overcome. It felt like the real deal. My lesson today was on WWI Trench warfare (which I have become an expert on). It was really rewarding to see the students make connections that these were real people and not just actors. Oh how I love teaching. To bad I have to go back to observing tomorrow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our texas Pride

I want to dedicate this post to my brother Josh. Good luck with your interview and I thought this song might replace Route 66 for McKay if you choose to go out there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

Mike took me to Gloria's Little Italy for Valentine's Day. It was so good. The food was really authentic. They had a violinist and an opera singer performing. When we walked in, they gave me a flower. It was such a great date.Mike got the hazelnut gelato for dessert. It was so delicious. It was so funny hearing all the compliments we were coming up with for it. I think our favorite was, "this is the hazelnut's measure of creation."
I got the chocolate cake with strawberry. It did not stand a chance to survive for a picture. I ate it so fast.


After a successful season of soccer as girls, we convinced our husbands that we needed to be on a co-ed team. It has been so fun for Mike and I. We started off with only Gary knowing how to play (which still didn't help because no one knew how to go along with the plays). We then recruited Craig and McKay because McKay has played before. We are still lacking in our offense, but I feel like our defense is getting better. Our first game was 2-8 (I scored the only goal, but it was sort of an accident). Our last game was 0-3. Definitely an improvement.

This is our team (all except Craig). Top row: Mike, Dave, Erinn, AriAnn, Chris, Nicole, and Garrett. Bottom row: Me, McKay, Gary, Carly

This is me. My goal this season is just to run fast. I can't sprint for the life of me so I am really trying to get the cross country out of me for just these few months.

I don't know what we are doing here, must be a berak or something. Mike has been playing offense more. It is pretty funny watching him try to bump the ball in for a goal with his head.