I can't believe that Christmas will be here in a week. This month has gone by so fast. It started out with our Stake's Nativity. They had over 500 nativity scenes set up so beautifully around the church with different choirs singing. Mike was in the Stake choir and which sounded beautiful.
We also have enjoyed the advent day calendar my mom sent us, the mint truffle Hershey kisses from Dusty and Janecce's candy dishes, searching out for the best egg nog, decorated the house, seeing the lights at Ransom Canyon, and putting together our ward's Christmas party. It has been such a great month, but now it is even better with Mike being done with his finals (we didn't really see each other all week).
Here is a picture of our apartment. I love having a fireplace, especially this time of the year. Mike's parents wooden rocking chair fits right in with the Christmas atmosphere.
I would first like to say that I dedicate this blog to my friend Nicole Barber, who has felt these same exact feelings during her student teaching as I did today.
My life as a substitute has taken me to all sides of the education spectrum. Here is a few of the assignments that I have had: kindergarten, fourth grade, second grade, music teacher, art teacher, boys PE coach, jr high social studies and math, high school special ed, auto shop, AP history, senior English, alternative school, social behavior adjustment classroom, reading specialist, and cafeteria supervisor. Today was the cherry on top.
I knew that I might not get a lot of jobs this week, being the last week before Christmas. What teacher can afford to miss their final or class Christmas party? So when I saw a job open last night, I took it. I didn't recognize the school: Project Intercept. I looked it up on the website and it talked about a place where they discipline with dignity. I figured it was an alternative school on the wrong side...I mean east side of town. I had a great experience with the alternative school in Frenship district, mainly because they have drill sergeants roaming the halls. I told myself that if nothing popped up in the morning, I would go.
The first red flag that this might not be the best experience should have been the metal detector that I walked through as I entered the school. It turned out that Project Intercept was the school for the Juvenile Delinquents. I'm not talking about the place they go before they get thrown in jail or a last-chance sort of place. These kids were real law-breaking criminals, many having been in and out of jail for a while for drugs, guns, or thief. The class size may have been small in numbers, but oh, I have never had such a disrespectful group of students. It felt like a movie with nonstop talking, projectile of objects, middle fingers and curse words, and jiggling of inappropriate body parts. I stayed level-headed for most of the day, being patient but firm with the students. . .well I did snap once. I was sick and tired of the up and down and blaming of others that after I told a student for the fifth time to sit on his bum and his reply that he wasn't comfortable in his desk, I gave it to him. "Uncomfortable, you want to know about uncomfortable. I have a human being growing in my uterus, which dislodges all my intestines into improper places. My stomach is up in my chest and my hips are expanding, all the while I am on my feet all day to teach you math. Don't talk to me about being uncomfortable." I might have exaggerated my situation a bit (I've had a easy pregnancy), but the point is still the same. Sadly, that was not the worst of the day and at one point, I almost cried in front of a bunch of 8th grade boys. Instead, I pulled up my big-girl panties and asked the muscular man outside to give a pep talk on respect to the whole class. Needless to say, I didn't leave my phone number on the sub notes.
So the lesson that I learn today was that I have a new priority as a parent: teaching my children to always respect adults, especially substitutes.
This Thanksgiving, we stayed in Lubbock and had dinner with a few couples from the ward. Mike was able to go golfing in the morning while I got our part of the dinner together. One couple was from Korea and this was their first Thanksgiving with an American family. I don't think that they quite understood the concept of Thanksgiving. We asked her to bring a pie, and she was confused to see that we had also made pies. There was a several times throughout the evening that the husband asked us if we just keep eating for the rest of the day. Yes, yes we do.
Allison and I showing off our wondering Martha Stewart dinner.
I took a picture of all the goodness that I made. Here is the cranberry, sausage and apples stuffing.
Deviled Eggs: a must for left overs.
Cheese Celery: I am pretty sure that I am the only one that truly enjoyed these.
Turkey, and oh was there plenty.
Mashed Potatoes: made with a 1/2 cup of butter and a pint of cream-not the most figure friendly, but man were they delicious.
Apple Pie: not too bad for being a baked good (I wish I had my friend Elizabeth's baking instinct, but instead I struggle).