Sunday, June 22, 2008

NYC, Cleveland, and Chicago

I'll try and make this quick since there's been a lot of updating on this blog lately.  Here's the summary:
After I got back from Africa, I spent the next week traveling to NYC and Cleveland before my internship started the week after that in Chicago.  I've never been to NYC before, so of course I did all of the tourist stuff.  One of my favorite parts was renting a row boat in Central Park and paddling around while looking at the city.  We stopped in Cleveland and did some fun things like eat at Hot Dog Heaven... twice (which, by the way, those hot dogs and fries really are heaven), go to the imax theater on the lakefront, go visit the beach, and of course, go to a Cleveland Indian's baseball game... tis the season!  And now I am here in Chicago for the rest of the summer.  For those who don't know, I am an HR consultant intern with Hewitt Associates and I'm basically obsessed with the company and my job.  And I love Chicago (minus the idiot drivers and the construction everywhere! Whoever said Utah drivers are bad has never driven around Chicago).  Well, I've talked enough so here are a few pics:

Ryan and I at the Cleveland Indian's game:

My home for the summer:

The view from the beach at the end of my street:

The row-boat in Central park.  (Good thing Ryan rowed the entire time)

Me just chillin in the boat being lazy (p.s. this is right before I dropped my sunglasses in the toilet.  Don't worry, I didn't fish them out and use them again).


Africa is an AMAZING place!  Wow... so beautiful!  I hope you all get the chance to go someday!  I could write a novel about it.  So, to spare you all the boring details, here are some highlights:
  • Canopy Walk: walking on a wood and rope bridge 150 feet above the rain forest floor.
  • Wli Waterfall: swimming underneath the tallest waterfall in west Africa.
  • Cape Coast: a weekend at a beach resort.  Enough said.
  • Monkey's and Crocodiles: fed them both.
  • Visiting the rural villages that people have never left their entire lives and don't know what else happens in the world.
  • Giving our final presentations for our projects that were very successful!
  • Visiting the orphanages.
  • The way sketchy taxis we had to take a few times.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Glad that it's done and over with

On May 29th, I completed my first year of teaching. Wow! What an adventure and experience it was! I learned A LOT: how to manage (and somewhat teach) 29 8 year-olds, communicate with parents, snap my fingers/clap my hands loudly and quickly, give a "teacher" look, and do a couple other things. I am so thrilled that I have the first year of teaching under my belt.
Even though the job was really time consuming and I had to do a lot of busy work for BYU (since I was an intern), I really did have some rewarding experiences: when a student would say, "Oh, I get it!", I would see the students helping each other, a student would move up a reading level, I would find a cute note on my desk, the students would come back from specialists with straight 5s, I would receive a huge hug from a student, and the class would want to continue doing regrouping subtraction problems because they thought it was fun. I love teaching! (Becca wrote an awesome post about teaching, and I can completely agree/sympathize with. Check out slc girls.)

Some of my favorite quotes:
"Miss Johnson, we have the same hair!" -Ally
"I will go back to my seat as soon as you talk nicely to me." -Shelden
"Smooth as butta" -Avery's shirt
"Miss Johnson, you're spoiling us!" -Karri's comment after I gave the class new sharp pencils
"Miss Johnson, I may smell because I went to a concert with my brothers last night." -Bryant
"Miss Johnson, do you know what elephantitis is?" -Jaxon
"I think it has something to do with the bedroom." -McKaylee

Some of my favorite poems from Valentine's Day:
(Notice the difference between the boys' ideas and the girls' ideas. This is their original writing--punctuation, capitalization, and all. I promise we've gone over putting a period at the end of the sentence and then capitalizing the first letter of the sentence at least 258 times. I don't know if anything stuck.)
Love is...
"When you have a crush. Or when you like him or her. Or when you want to kiss him or her. Or give him or her a candy and whisper in her ear and say I love you." -Avery
"Happiness. The warmth of being together. Hugs and kisses. Laughing and smiling. Being nice to each other. Love is joy." -Jessie
"Somthing that peopel do for you to show love they do really nice things and thats love like when your parrents buy you food" -Payton
"A family is what you have always wanted. You're family loves you and no one cant take it away." -Ally
"A gift from Heaven for everyone. thats why everyone 16 or older Falls in love with someone. like my sister Jessica she fell in love with her old friend clay." -Tiffany
"Careing for some one. Showing how to do things. Treating people nicely. Giving gifts. Sharing with other people." -Marianne
"When you kiss some one Or if you have a boyfriend then you come over and kiss You can have fun to kiss" -Jaxon
"Family and friends that care. When your mom kisses "Good Night" she wispers. Now that is love. When you hug your parents then wisper I love you." -Cheyenne

A few of my favorite moments:
The first day of school

Living/nonliving hunt
(Asa's expression proves that learning can be fun. Or, maybe, he's excited because Colin set an ant on fire with the magnifying glass.)

Asian Cultures day

Field trip up Provo Canyon
(Classic Jaxon. His favorite thing to do was to copy me.)

(I could not take them seriously that day. I mean look at the boy dressed up as a clown.)

Class on Halloween
(I now have a lot of costume ideas to use for my future children.)

Gingerbread houses

The spelling bee reps from my class

Valentine's Day party

Long bus rides and boys that wear pink

Kickball games
(We were undefeated!)

Fun math activities

Hershey track meet
(One of my students couldn't understand why a candy company would support an exercise event.)

Individual students' businesses
(I had my hair and nails done.)

Spanish Fork Community walking field trip
(Yes, walking. I carried my bag and a kid's bag with a huge dictionary in it because his bag broke.)

Singing time in the theatre
(I loved Tuesday afternoons!)

Practicing for the 3rd grade program
(This was so up Ally's alley: singing and dancing.)

Last day of school

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stay tuned

We know it's been a long time since the last post.  We're working on that and sorting out all the details.  So, please forgive us.  A new post is coming as soon as Britt gets her new computer and SB gets pictures.