Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Super exciting update post

I haven't really blogged much lately so I figured I'd give you all the rundown on what's been happening the past month...I seriously can't believe December is almost over. Only a matter of weeks before another year has come and gone...

1)Finished my second semester...woot! Official grades don't get posted until tomorrow but I'm fairly positive I did pretty well in each of my classes. As I was thinking back over the past two semesters I was somewhat surprised, not how easy it all was because it's definitely been a challenge, but how it all just seemed to click and make sense for me. It's been stressful and at times, emotional but I love what I'm learning and I love that it seems to come somewhat naturally for me.

2) Got two new Church Callings...bringing my grand total to THREE church callings. I am the Fellow shipping CoChair with the lovely Lisa, I teach Relief Society once a month and I am now one of two Stake YSA Reps. Add in my school/work schedule for next semester...I'll be a busy girl. My old ward was so massive that you (or at least I) felt more like just another nameless face in the crowd. My current ward is so tiny that it's impossible to be invisible. It's nice to feel needed and appreciated...like what I have to offer is worthwhile.

3) Had a fabulous Christmas party. It was sort of a celebration for me finishing up my semester too. Well, for me it was, I don't think anyone else had any idea. But it was nice to see some friends I hadn't seen in quite a while and get caught up on the goings on of their lives. It was also a chance for me to get my inner Martha on. I had fun decorating the house (with the help of the roommies) and setting a festive table. I am truly my mother's daughter. I love to set a pretty table and have everything look just so. I know most people don't really notice or care but I like doing it and I think it adds a little something extra to whatever the occasion.

4) To piggyback off of #3, I am hosting Christmas Eve at my apartment this week. I LOVE the Christmas Season and I love when all the family gathers around to celebrate. We sing carols and eat yummy food and just spend time together. It doesn't happen to often these days so it's nice when we can all get together.

5) I'm heading to Denver for New Year's! I'm super excited to get to see my adorable niece and nephew...their parent's aren't too bad either. :) I don't' know what we'll do but I am definitely excited to see them and spend some time with them.

6) Coolest.Roommate.Ever. For Christmas she bought me a beautiful copy of Wordsworth's poetry printed in the late 1800's. It's bound in beautiful blue leather, has gold leaf edges and a great frontispiece of Wordsworth's portrait. Best.Gift.Ever!

6.5) Actually, the legwarmers I'm wearing under my jeans today, are coming in a close second. It's cold and wet outside and just plain cold inside, they're keeping my legs nice and warm!

I guess that's all for now. I know, not the most riveting post ever but I felt the need to 'put it out there', as it were. Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Be safe!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Tell me, is it morally wrong of me to suddenly want a Nook? Not just want but really want? I know. I'm a literary purist snob. I love the smell of dusty book covers and old leather. I love the feel of a worn and loved book cover. There's something comforting about the weight of book. It's reassuring and exciting. They're old friends that can remind you of moments in the past. Whenever I look at my bookshelves that are crammed full, overflowing with delightful stories and old friends, I can't help but sigh in contentment.

And yet...I really want a Nook. I hang my head in shame....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Focus, Kelly...Focus!

This has been a fairly busy week. A final on Monday, classes, haircut (love Frank), lesson plan portfolio, interview on Friday, date on Saturday, Patrick's Senior Recital on Sunday...

I'm sitting here trying to finish my lesson plan portfolio and I can only finish a small section before my brain says "Break time!" I'm trying to differentiate six different lesson plans for the process, product and content for an imaginary ELL and SPED student. Blah! It's easy enough but it's tedious and I find myself wanting to differentiate the entire lesson plan instead of just one section. I know, you all find this so fascinating. After next Friday, I will be done for the semester. Did you hear the choir of Angels singing? I know I sure did. It's been a rough semester and I can't even tell you why. The assignments and readings were more intense last semester but I think I just enjoyed it more. It just seemed more difficult to balance everything this semester...work, school, church, social life. Next semester isn't going to be any easier. I have class three days a week 3:30 - 7:20 and then I'll work 8 - 11pm most days with a long day on Tuesdays. I'll have some field work during the day and in between all that i'll have to finish homework and do all the other mundane tasks of life. Only two more years of this...woohoo!!

Enough of my complaining...life is good. I'm happy, if not a little stressed. I'm doing what I love and life is good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This and that...

Today was a slightly frustrating day. In class this morning we were treated to a lecture on professional behavior because apparently this cohort is suffering from a lack of professionalism. Now, Westminster's Education department is fairly liberal as far as their educational philosophy is concerned, especially relative to the rest of the state. This fact tends to attract a certain type of student. We are outspoken, passionate, potential reforms, movers and shakers. There are also quite of few of the "Utah Haters". These are people that are not part of the cultural majority and are vocal in their frustrations/animosity towards the dominant Utah culture. Usually I don't let it get to me but today I was beyond irritated. The comment was made (in reference to professionalism in schools) that we are joining a conservative profession in a conservative state. A student added that could it possibly that conservatism that is causing the rising drop out rate of high school students?

Huh....? There are so many other factors that lead to high school drop out.

I struggle with this. The idea that 'liberal' people are more open minded and welcoming than conservative people. It's one of the great ironies of the label 'liberal'. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to educational philosophy and legislation, I think there needs to be some serious conversations and change but I don't think it's a problem unique to our conservative state.

It's like the class last year where everyone started railing against NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Is it flawed? yes. Is it punitive? yes. Do I think it needs to be tweaked, adjusted, changed? Absolutely. However...ranting and raving about it in a graduate class in a small liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, isn't going to change the federal legislation. It is the reality we are faced with as educators and it is better to figure out how to work within the confines of the regulations while trying to effect change.

It's a waste of time and energy to rail against the mountain. We need to be involved and vote responsibly but it's not going to change overnight and we need to know what the reality will be and how we can be effective teachers within that reality. The conservative nature of Utah is not going to change...Do I wish it wasn't quite so conservative, sure, but it is and I need to know what my reality is going to be as an educator.

I get frustrated when people act like they know better or are more enlightened than the masses that are simply blindly following dogma. It's disrespectful and it certainly is not professional.

Whew....that has been eating at me all day.