Friday, November 28, 2008


I have learned a lot in my first 3 months on the job. One of those I would like to mention right now is on lightening my grading load. The best example I have is when Allison and I got way in over our head by giving an essay test. Bad move. 9th graders + poor writing skill + 4 essays + incoherent babble = total of 10 hours to grade 200 tests. Again, bad move. Allison and I thought for sure we could give them an essay test and they would know how to write. Oh, how wrong we were. They couldn't even answer the questions. Most of them were complete nonsense. Here is a sampling:

"Communism is a classroom based on common overall good ships"
-supposed to be: Communism is a classless society based on common
ownership of goods

"Its like in Utah where they like only sell alcohol with like a .03 percent likker (liquor) and the other states sell .05."
- in an essay comparing Judaism and Islam

Basically, grading them was rough but so funny. I definitely learned my lesson that I can't throw them into an essay test and expect a). that they would be able to produce good writing, b). that I could easily grade them on time (its been 6 weeks and I still have 50 essays left to grade before midterms are due on Tuesday). Oops. I am just figuring this teaching thing out. Can ya tell?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


There are a few things I haven't mentioned on my blog for many reasons but one of them is that it was previously, "too soon." This is a phrase we use in my apartment to describe a situation that we are not ready to expand on, talk about, repeat, or participate in. It works really well. For instance, magic muffins. Leslie makes these delicious magic muffins that I actually worship (and I don't normally like anything that is not chocolate chips or Dasani). Leslie made two batches for our wonderful Disneyland 08 trip. Unfortunately, this ended up being our only source of nourishment for about a day and a half because D-Land rapes you of your money if you want to purchase anything inside the park. Leslie hasn't made magic muffins since our trip because it has just been too soon. So now you understand the essence of "too soon." Let me now move onto a couple topics that have been "too soon" and some of them might still be but we will give it a try.

1. Corey. Yes folks, I am talking about it now. Its fine. I had vowed to not talk about it really, especially to our mutual friends because I didn't want them to feel awkward, mad, or sad. But I was talking to my friend Justin today and he suggested that the only way to move on is to put everything on the table, get over my feelings, and so here I am blogging about it. We were best friends, we dated, we broke up. Thats the reality. Did it brake my heart? Yes. Do I miss him? Yes. Have I been on dates since? Yes and boy are those some interesting stories! Am I over him? No but trying and getting close.

2. Zumba. This one is still too soon in the sense that I still suck at it. Zumba is my new passion thanks to Miss Jensen (my partner in crime - we teach Geography together). She is an amazing teacher and I am so, so grateful I get to work with her (and of course you too Cameo but you need to come to Thursday Zumba). She was in the education program with me at BYU and I followed her to Orem Junior where her aerobic influence enticed me to try out her favorite class: Zumba. Zumba is just a lot of latin dancing to loud latin music. And its really fun and really hard. Cameo and I went a couple months ago and I fell in love. I now kind of stalk Allison and go to all of her Zumba classes I can get my hands on. She even has me listening to Zumba music in my car. Trying to Zumba in the car is quite a challenge but so worth it. Try one of her classes out if you can because I have a testimony of it. I am trying to peer pressure Allison into making a DVD for me because 3 times a week isn't enough. I will keep working on her until I get the result I want. I just need to say that Zumba has changed my life. I have since turned Leslie and Alisha into Zumba junkies as well. Holla Zumba!

3. Grandma. This one is definitely too soon because I can't even talk about. Grammy has cancer for the third time and it is so hard for me to watch. She is the most amazing example of faithful perseverance. Even on her worst days full of vomiting, tears, and a very tired body, she is so happy, kind, and chatty. Nothing can slow her down. I just pray everyday that Heavenly Father can keep her here for a long time because I am selfish. I am not ready to say goodbye. I couldn't go through that with my parents gone. She has surgery in a week to hopefully release her of some of the pain she is in daily. I hope it works and that she can go on with life the way she deserves. I love my grammy and watching her continually fight makes me so grateful. I will never give up on my love of breast cancer because one day, no one will not have to go through what my grammy has.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


GYM. Thats right folks I am a certified gym teacher. Actually not at all certified and trust me, I never will be. I hate sports. But I actually loved teaching gym. It was so easy. Here is how it all went down: The girls gym teacher was out on Friday and a sub never took the job so frantically they needed some of our own OJH staff to cover the classes. I had a prep period on Friday so I got to teach 9th grade girls gym. Wow, what a different world. The girls came in and went straight to the dressing room. As soon as they came out they knew exactly what they should be doing and THEY DID IT. They did their warm ups without being reminded over and over. I never knew students could do things without continually be reminded. Then I took roll, shouted out the teams and they knew what to do, where to go, and how long to play. It was so easy. They just did it. No "loud" hints as to what their behavior should be because. I was so pleased with the situtation that Miss Belnap even got "dizzown in the gizzym" (as one of the girls said) by playing volleyball with them in my 5 inch heels. It was great. Well, except for the whole having to play a sport thing. That I will never do again. But man, gym is seriously an easy gig. No long essay tests to write or grade. The sub plan was a short line telling me thanks for subbing, not a two page summary on the lesson and warnings on their horrible behavior. No. Those are just things a history teacher has to deal with. Well crap. I chose the wrong. I guess I am going to start fake liking sports and change up my teaching certificate. Easy is going to be my middle name.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I am the luckiest woman in all the land because of what I got to witness last week. Thursday after school was the Halloween Dance at Orem Junior. The social studies department has been in kind of a funk lately but I think this really pulled us out of it (Well that was until we had to face our rowdy and rambunctious kids on Halloween. That was just awful trying to teach them). I got to see what I have been waiting all year for: "the junior high slow dance." Best thing to ever happen to me, hands down. All of you who chose professions outside of the public school system are now regretting your decisions because I get to see tweenagers try to make feelings and emotions not awkward in such an awkward environment. Cameo and I went to "supervise" together and just stood against the wall laughing, laughing, laughing. Honestly it was the best time ever. Kids kept coming up to us in what I would classify as an attempt to remove themselves from the ongoings of the dance. Another great part of this day was the group of male students who came into my classroom early that day to practice and show me the dance sequence they had choreographed. It was like Ross and Monica's Rockin Eve dance meets Blades of Glory. Watching those kids perform it at the dance was just too precious to put into words. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the glimmer of happiness did not last long because dealing with these kids on Halloween was so hard. I showed Hocus Pocus for the last 10-15 minutes in my geography classes and the one time the principal decides to come into my room, we have Hocus Pocus playing. I wanted to die. Way to make a good impression Miss Belnap. I promise I don't suck as a teacher. I was just desperate and needed a way to contain them without causing bodily trauma to myself and my students. We (Allison, Cameo, Ashley) did go out for Red Mango after school on Halloween. It has kind of become the winding down technique of the social studies clan.

I heart junior high dances, Allison, & Cameo (not necessarily in that order)