February has flown by because "time-flies when having fun" AND when staying ridiculously busy. Here we are March'n forward!
Diary of a '6th grade teacher':
Me: Good morning! I'm happy to see you! Every. Morning.
Me: Hi, guys! You, awake?
Response: Groggy mumbling. Why would you even ask us that? We're always tired...AND hungry.
Me: You're right about that, I should know by now... [Insert, one of my cheesiest puns here...] Kid's blank stares/moaning and long sighs.
Me: Just want to start the day off right and for you guys to know that I love you! Now, let's get to work!
Student: That's too emotional.
Me: You don't even know... :-)
My days are filled with hilarious moments of, what was I thinking? I knew this would be crazy dealing with hormonal preteens [majority female class], but how do I still enjoy teaching this age so much?
1. Students have made a bulletin board for class 'announcements' and posting things like...Have you seen a missing pen? 25 Kittens for sale [for realz...] and tons of VERY creative and detailed comic strips...each day there are sure to be laughs.
2. There is also a competition of who has the strangest, most unique pencil case. So far stuffed animal pencil cases (puppy, bunny, tiger), mini-backpack, a shoe, and a mini-trashcan are in the lead. I DID NOT come up with this!
3. My kids trying to get me off topic asking me questions about my 'exciting' personal life and wisdom from past experiences. Then me scolding them to get back to work. They (secretly) love it when I share my educational raps with them and they pay extra close attention if I use an example with food in it.
Every day holds something new and unexpected. Their creativity and depth always surprises me. It is truly a labor of love this task I've been called to but as I tidy up my classroom at the end of the day and find sweet notes like, "You're awesome, Ms. G" and "Thanks for being YOU!" reminds me that this is all worth it.
Thai Glamour Shots
My Thai language teacher had been bugging me for months about going to get professional Thai photos taken. I had no idea it would be such an ordeal. I was wrapped like a burrito on top and my skirt folded in the traditional way which is like an accordion. I was plastered with makeup and my hair pined up with many pins. Then came the ornate jewelry: heavy earrings, necklace, 'gold' arm bands, bangles, a crown thing with 'wings' and rings that kept falling off my fingers. Humorous, I know. At least I got a few good photos out of it! So natural! HA!
Addendum: I am so thankful for my Thai teacher, Khruu Nate. She is amazing not only as a teacher, but also as a friend. I confess I am a horrible student who doesn't always do her homework, mixes up the 44 consonants, can't seem to get the 32 vowels right...not to mention very forgetful of which of the 5 tones I'm using. I am continually blessed by our conversations, the way she is so understanding towards cultural and linguistic frustrations I may have and my numerous faux pas.
February camping and fun days
This year we were granted 3 school days off for Thai holiday purposes. Last year we had a 3 day weekend (like Pres day in the US) in which I went to Cambodia. This year I choose to stay close to home. Stayed in the hills/mountains one night in a bungalow that was next to an elephant santuary and strawberry field, then 2 nights camping.
Camping was an obvious favorite. Especially the day hike around the top of Doi Inthanon (tallest mountain in Thailand at 8,415 feet-1.5 miles above sea level). I'm happiest in those moments when I am high above the clouds-or in this case, in them. I nerded out, taking photos and so attentive to every detail of creation...seriously...can't. get. enough. I'm in awe.
When we weren't hiking through the jungle (once roaming with tigers and wild elephants....really!) we went to some of the tallest and largest waterfalls I've ever seen, I was in my hammock (writing poetry, reading, sleeping) and then enjoying time with some of the other families and friends on the trip. Such a great time of rest, eating, playing board games and fellowship around a fire, even though there were huge stadium lights drowning out the stars and a Thai boy scout, girl scout trip going on across the way.
It's been a really busy month serving. We have now taught two lessons at each of our three locations. Thai school goes on break from March-May so we just said goodbye to our kids there this week. We will be doing more on-campus serving in the coming weeks, but we are sure proud of our students stepping up and leading English activities and teaching to all the students at our locations. There's nothing like everyone of our GIS kids running around playing a game of soccer with the kids from the childrens home/school.
Looking ahead to March:
-end of quarter and reports (beginning the final quarter already)
-teaching all those systems of the Human Body
-5K Run for Relief for Burmese Refugees
-ending March at an educator's conference in Malaysia before April break
1. I've had no panic attacks and nightmares this week, first time all month!
2. I found my phone (in a trash bag in a dumpster...how it got there is beyond me and really quite a miracle).
3. Thankful for a 5 day weekend.
1. Continued sleep without anxiety, tension and fear.
2. For my students to have integrity and they would make good choices leading by example.
3. I just committed to attend a women's retreat next weekend...something I've avoided doing the past two years. Pray for my heart to be listening and attentive. Also, that it would be a time of encouragement.
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! ~sara