Monday, August 27, 2007

Hairstyles of Room 20

You asked, Deb.

"Student A" has a different color mohawk almost every day! I think it was red the first day of school, blue the next, and then red with blue tips. Variety is nice! Today it was brown.

"Student B" just showed up with this new design today.

There are also plenty of pigtails, straight hair, curly hair, buzz cuts, and even a couple redheads, but no photos!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

back to work...(now with pictures)

"Working is hard, that's why they call it work, and that's why they pay me to be here." That's what one of my coworkers always says, instead of complaining. She's right.

Tuesday was my first day back...a half day of school, and back to school night. Then, I had to keep on going back every single day! What a shock.

It's been pretty good, and totally exhausting. The beginning of the year always is, as you try to get to know the kids and build a good relationship, but not let them walk all over you, and get to know the parents, and which kids they go with, and whatever is going on with them.

Oh yeah, and then there's the fact that my classroom has had standing water in it the last two mornings I have come in to work. Apparently, the drainage from the roof comes down right outside my room (it is supposed to) but then it just sits there...seeps under the building...and up through my floor. Gross, huh? And then there's the mold factor. Our custodian has put in a work order to get the water to drain differently, but if that doesn't work, there's nothing they can do because it's a foundation problem. I really hope it works.

This time of year we can get very heavy thunderstorms, and that is where the water has been coming from...nothing like being woken up at 1 a.m. to a wild thunderstorm and thinking, "ugh, my classroom...."

Other than working in The Swamp (which is quite humid), the year is off to a pretty good start. I don't have cute pictures of my classroom to post (or even of the lake in my room), and can't post pics of kids, of course....which is too bad, because I have a cutie with a mohawk, and the rest of his head shaved in a spider-web pattern. Maybe I could take a pic of the back of his head?

Monday, August 20, 2007


I know it is unusual for me to make two depressing posts in a row, but Deb, you were right-this has touched me to the core.

The cathedral (formation above) is gone. Since my last post I've learned that not 70%, but now 85%, of the buildings in Pisco are leveled.

The silver lining is that I've now heard from almost everyone I met in Peru, and they are fine. But I can't help but wonder, what about the young man who helped arrange my tour to the islands? The woman who served me dinner, the man who played his guitar to diners for tips, the guy who carried my heavy suitcase up 3 flights of stairs, and the others with whom I had casual encounters? Honestly, it is probably better not to know.

I am going to go down to the Peruvian embassy later this week with some donations, and hope to get some from coworkers as well.

Thanks to mom and a couple friends for making donations to this cause, as well.

Now, I guess it is time to look forward...tomorrow is our first day of school, which is always full of promise, hope, and energy...I can use a little of that!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In my thoughts...

Last night a friend sent me a text message that Peru had been hit by an earthquake, but it wasn't until today that I was able to get much information.

It turns out that Pisco, south of Lima, was the hardest hit.

I spent my last 2 nights in Peru, in Pisco.

Now, it's 70% gone, with over 200 dead, and an impassable highway between it and Lima, or aid.This marina was only a few minutes from Pisco. I didn't take any pictures of the town, because it was, then, just an ordinary Peruvian town. Now, I can't recognize it.

This 8.0 earthquake would be devastating anywhere, but especially in a 3rd world country, in a very poverty-stricken area. I don't know if any modern buildings could withstand this strength of earthquake, but most of the houses I saw in Pisco are straw and mud. 60 percent of Peruvians live on a dollar a day or less...this kind of poverty is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine if you got a lucky roll of the dice and were born in the US. Adding an immense natural disaster to the equation paints a bleak picture.

Every year, this time of year, my school does the Combined Charities campaign, which I run-we can make one-time donations or monthly withdrawals from our paychecks for all types of charities. I know what I will be donating heart goes out to Peru.
My birthday is tomorrow....if you were planning on getting something and haven't gotten around to it yet, I'd be touched if you donated to a worthy cause, because I sure don't need any stuff. I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, electricity and running water. It's easy to forget that the rest of the world doesn't live this way.

Friday, August 10, 2007

James Peak

On Wednesday, I climbed James Peak, elev. 13,294, with my mom. The last time I hiked it was when I was about 8 years old, with both of my parents and my brothers. (Consider, then, that my brothers were 6 and 4....what slave drivers those parents were! Just kidding, mom...)
Check out these mushrooms we saw....straight out of the Smurfs!

Although we had a detour of a 3 mile hike that didn't end up going up the mountain, and a VERY rough 4wd road getting to the actual trailhead, we had a great time and perfect weather. And Lucy, of course, was in dog heaven. Although the rock face looks quite intimidating, we hiked up around the back. The view from the top was amazing-it is the highest thing around for quite a ways! And of course, it's always nice to get to hang out with my mom, now that I'm back in town and the wedding craziness is over.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


At the last minute, Toni decided to surprise his aunt for her 50th birthday, in Oregon. He and his sister left when he got done with work, about 3am on Friday. Since I had leadership training for school, I flew out that night and they picked me up in Portland....after about 3 hours of flight delays! I was supposed to arrive at 1010pm but by the time I got there it was about 1am. From the airport, we drove north to Long Beach in Washington state. Since it was about 430 am by that time, and there were no hotels open or with vacancies, we all caught a few hours of sleep in the car. That morning, we went to the beach (we Coloradans are always pretty excited about that). From there, we had a leisurely drive south. We stopped to see a lighthouse, and at another beach. We drove down the 101, which I've never been on before-stunning!

At about 6 that night we arrived at their aunt Karen's house. The party was going full swing when we walked into the back yard. When Karen was in view, Toni said, "hey, you call this a party?!" Her jaw dropped at the sight of her neice and nephew and she burst into tears! Talk about a bad time to leave my camera in the car. She was thrilled that they drove all the way from Colorado to come to her birthday, as she hadn't seen either of them in years. For the rest of the evening, we enjoyed BBQ, listened to music, Toni & Tonya caught up with their family, and I met a lot of new people! Later on, they built a big bonfire in the back yard-good thing-it was COLD! That night the three of us pitched the tent in the backyard and slept there.

The next day we all spent most of the day relaxing since the party had gone on so late! Toni's cousin's husband fixed everyone eggs and bacon and we ate outside, it was so nice! Later, we went into town so Toni could get some pizza he has been craving. Oh, "town" was tiny Mills City, Oregon, south of Salem. We also went to a state park and walked by the river. By the time we got back to the house we were ready for afternoon naps! We rested and spent some more time with Karen before heading out that evening. was time for the long drive home! Toni drove through Oregon and Idaho through the night, I drove for a bit, and then in Utah, we got a flat tire. It set us back an hour or so but luckily we weren't too far from civilization when it blew, so it didn't take too long to get replaced. About 20 hours after we left, we were oh so happy to be back in Colorado!

Most of the pictures are self explanatory....but here are my explanations for others. Why am I wearing a "Colorado" sweatshirt when I am from Colorado? I forgot one and bought it in the airport! the door is the entrance to Karen's garden, of course!

wedding weekend

I am way behind on this blogging thing!

On July 27, my mom got married! I had not gotten my digital camera at that point so I still have to get the pictures from Toni. The wedding was in Golden Gate Canyon at a picnic area, outdoors. It was beautiful and the rain managed to hold off too! Afterwards we went out for lunch in Nederland at the Black Forest Inn. YUM!

The next day was the party! This was held at the community hall in the canyon. While the wedding was small, the party was big. My aunt Laurie provided much of the food and the cake-Swedes out there will understand the excitement of lingonberry jam in the cake. There was excellent food, dancing, and just a good time in general.

Pictures: my mom and Mark (her new hubby), the cake, my aunt Laurie and brother Carl, and an overview shot of the hall.