12 September 2007


Last week was the first week of teaching classes for both of us. I will let Cyrus fill you in on his own stories, but here is one of my own.

Along with feelings of excitement and anxiety that go along with the first week of school, I felt sad. I thought it was because the we didn't close on the house on time, but on Thursday I realized I was mourning the loss of my classes and students from the past year. You see, I have had the unique opportunity of teaching almost the same group of students for two years. And the classes that were not repeats were the Cambridge classes and we had a special bond of forging the first year of the program successfully. I missed the students I knew and that knew me. It was tough to have 120 new students in my room and not know any of them. And they don't know me. I am sure I felt this way my first year but I was feeling too many other things to know the difference. Apparently this is not an atypical feeling for teachers so it has been nice to talk with my colleagues. I look forward to knowing this years students as well as that first group. And I think I made my first breakthrough with them.

Last Friday I taught a safety lesson that was a bit unusual. I started class by telling students that due to all the accidents we had last year (a harmless fib) our principal is cracking down on lab safety and has hired someone to give a presentation to every science class. The presenter's name is Ms. Cary Less and they need to take notes as they watch her demonstration about safety. Then I went in the hall, dressed up in a long black wig, fancy jewelry and all and came back in with a new voice. I acted as Ms. Cary Less and demonstrated a simple lab. I monologued the whole thing, exagerated whenever I could, made large sweeping motions and made a ton of mistakes. Some kids stared at me and admitted later they weren't sure if it was me at first. Some kids tried to get me to break character. Many of them laughed at me and with me. So after the skit I go outside, get out of my costume and come back in. They had to list all the things I did wrong and from there we made a science safety contract that we should use for lab protocol. It was a fun day. I think it broke the ice and hopefully they understand that I want class to be fun and relaxed as we learn. I'll let you know what happens.

02 September 2007

Big News

Roma grape tomatoes and basil from my new garden.

I have three tomato plants of different variety.
From left to right: cherry tomatoes, better boy hybrid tomatoes and roma grape tomatoes. Plus the basil plant down in front.

My confession is that I did nothing to harvest such beautiful food. I owe everything to Liz, the planter and caretaker of the garden. Liz left me this beautiful garden since Cyrus and I bought the home Chad and Liz owned!

Welcome to our new home. What we love so far is that with the home also came a garden, a beautiful front yard and a great big tree.

The tree shades the front yard so it is the perfect place to sit morning, afternoon or evening. We love it. I am sure we will use it often. Having a bit of outdoor space of our own was a big reason we wanted to own a home and so far this one is working out well. The front yard is also conducive to meeting neighbors. So far we have met our neighbors on either side of us and two families across the street. As soon as we open the door there is someone on the sidewalk waiting to introduce themselves, tell us about their family and all the other people on the block. I am feeling well informed and between the two of us are trying to remember everyone's name. It's a nice change from our apartment where we've lived for a year and had a hard time catching neighbors on the way in or out of the building.

The house is old (1912) and it has fir floors, tall ceilings and it's just the right size (small). We do have room for guests, so when you're in the area stop by! Pictures of the inside will come soon.