Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LOVE and LIFE (and no I'm not talking about my love life)

This post I actually started to write when I was in Arizona, but I moved home before I actually posted it. And I just found it so it kinda explains a little bit. There's a lot more to tell, but I'm working on some other posts with that.

So I've learned a lot about love and life the past week or so.
Honestly, I loved it down here in Mesa. But the reason I came down here I really didn't love.

I love working with kids, but I really don't enjoy teaching.
I've know it for a few semesters, originally I just thought that it was the class, the assignment, the teacher, whatever. I was running out of excuses, as to why I just wasn't excited to go to class or write a lesson plan, but I thought, well I'm close enough to graduating I'll muscle through the classes (which indeed were driving me me batty) and then I'd finish student teaching and then figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Just cause I do it in school doesn't mean I have to do it for the rest of my life. I have a scholarship covering my tuition, it's better to get something and be done for now than to start completely over. And I was doing a pretty good job faking it. Typically I got As and the lowest grade I got in any class was a B- and that one was unavoidable. Honestly on paper and even in performance I was a pretty good teacher. I love working with kids and there was nothing better than talking with them at lunch and after school.
But actually preparing for the lessons I procrastinated like it was doomsday.

And then I got down to Arizona and started student teaching. And I was with an amazing cooperating teacher. She's really organized and had files at the ready. But she seriously lived and breathed for her classroom. We had to be to the school by 7:15 am everyday and then we usually ended up leaving around 5pm.

And that was before I had to start teaching a ton of lessons.

And I knew going in that student teaching was going to be hard, but really it wasn't so much that it was hard so much as it just wasn't bringing me joy.

Like I can teach, and once I get a lesson figured out I'm set, it's just that I'm really not in Love with teaching and what goes with it.

There's a quote out there that says something like "Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life." And I've experienced this. But it wasn't in the classroom. In fact, it was at my summer job. I felt like I was getting paid to play. And I know that eventually I'm going to be doing more than just working one on one with the kids, but I found joy there.

And public education was just bringing me stress and not a whole lot of peace and I was spending more time motivating myself to plan the lessons than I was motivating the students to actually do the thing I was teaching. - Not a good sign when this is supposed to be your chosen occupation.

And after one very long weekend trying to motivate myself to actually prepare for the next day I started researching my options. Was I really going to have to continue to motivate myself and bribe myself everyday to do lesson planning or did I have another option.

I got in touch with some people up on campus and found out that it was possible that I could get a University Studies degree with an education minor and after a lot of phone calls and now a final visit that I'm in Idaho, I found out that I definately have enough credits to graduate and I think that it's more of what I want anyway. I wasn't planning on using the teaching degree so at least now I'm getting a degree that I can use NOW. It might not be as "fancy," but it's going to serve its purpose.

Happenings in Mesa

So I loved being down in Mesa. I think I had more of a social life in the 3 weeks I was down there than I did combining my semesters in Rexburg. It's amazing what happens when you don't have homework.
While I was down there I went and helped take down the Christmas lights around the temple one early Saturday morning. And while I was there I was invited by a guy helping out there to go to a cha cha class he was teaching at the stake center that night
... sorry no pictures from either event. - No one wants to see a picture of me stepping on someones toes. However I did get a few compliments on my appearance, but alas still no picture.
And come to find out the really cute guy who taught the class was the Elders Quorum Pres. in my ward. . .One of the attractive reasons I wished I could have stayed ;) and these details are for you Heather- he was wearing a stripped black button up with his sleeves rolled up, no wonder my footwork was off!

I also explored a little bit of downtown Mesa and here are a couple of scuptures that I found while I was roaming. I think that there was probably at least one sculpture on every corner if not more!

The next day I went to my singles ward and met some of my neighbors and was invited to come over and enjoy a fire with them across the driveway at a marshmellow roast.

One of my amazing old roommates, Marlene had been down there for student teaching too and we played together a bit.
We went hiking at Usury Pass *Sorry, not the most attractive pictures of me, but hey they're proof that I did go hiking in January without a coat or boots. :o)
Where we saw a lot of catci
This type has a bunch of those little nubs (I guess they're seeds) and they stick to animals or whatever passes by like velcro and then eventually they drop off and hopefully grow in the new location.
Interesting tidbit about the squarro catcus (below) it doens't grow any of the "arms" until it between 50 and 60 yrs old.
And this next one is called a prickly pear catcus and evidently it makes a really good sauce for ribs and porkchops... I guess the inside is kinda jellyish- who knew. I probably won't attempt to try to make it however.

We also got to go The Phoenix Art Museum and saw paintings by:


And I took a close up just to make sure I really read "Claude Monet"

Marc Chagall,
The reason I'm to the side of this one is because the camera "slipped" and took a picture of this picture too when I was posing by a piece that we were allowed to take pictures of. This one isn't owned by the Phoenix Art Museum so they don't own the rights. Opps! Don't tell.
Georgia O'Keefe

And a Mary Cassatt sketch with color (I think it was pastels?)
As well as a number of other fine pieces including an exhibit with Asian artifacts. Some of which were from civilizations there well become Christ. At least 5000 B.C. That was pretty cool too, but I didn't remember I had my camera until after we left that exhibit.


When my folks helped me moved down we went to see the Christmas Lights at the Mesa temple and gosh they were pretty.

So these are some of the highlights there.

And my first offical Saturday down there not spent moving I got to go and help take down the Christmas lights at the temple, which was cool.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'm in Mesa!!

So the weather here in Mesa is fabulous. It's 8pm and the temperature is still in the 60s. And it's sunny and comfortable weather all day.

I moved into my house down here and I like it. Parking is kind of a pain right now because I can park in the garage, basically have to.. the road outside is a private drive with a fire lane on both sides of the street, so you aren't supposed to park there.... but I don't have a door opener right now. So everytime I want to come and go I have to run through the house and use the door opener on the wall. So I'm still waiting on my own door opener.

My roommate, Heather, is still trying to get the rest of the house clean, painted etc. so basically it's just the bedrooms that are organized. Unfortunately the people who had the house before let their kids run wild with crayons and I think paint sets sometimes so there's scribbles all over the place.

Unfortunately we don't have internet access either yet, so luckily tonight I ran to my parents hotel to post a quick update and check my email because I don't know when I'll be back on. Supposedly we're going to be hooked up on Tuesday, but we'll see.

I really like my room though and I got all my furniture off of Craigslist. I found a free oak queen size sleigh bed and and queen size Serta mattress set for $100. I also found a clothing armoire (basically three shelves with doors in front and 2 drawers). And it's cherry in color and about 4 1/2 feet tall and extremely sturdy. And it looks really nice. Anyway I called and said I wanted it before I left Idaho and I agreed to pay $17 for it because it's a real solid piece of furniture and it had a nice picture online. Well when I got there to pick it up, they wouldn't let me pay for it. I guess I had mentioned that I was student teaching down here when they asked why I was moving down here, and they said that I was going to have enough expenses (I'm pretty sure the wife was a teacher) and that I should just take it.

So I furnished my room for $100 and it's all quality furniture too!! It's going to be a lot harder to move now though, can't fit these into my car!!

Today I went to the Singles Ward here (that unfortunately starts at 8am) and the people seem extremely nice. I had several people come up and introduce themselves and a few people over FHE and activities and the RS pres. all came up and told me about upcoming events. Someone has also already given me a copy of the ward directory. So I already feel very welcome. So now all I have to worry about is the actual reason for me to be down here, student teaching.... And it starts tomorrow.... gulp. Facing a class room of 29 - 4th graders is actually a lot more intimidating that the singles branch.... So I'm going to take a deep breath, smile, and hope they won't notice my hypotheical knee shaking.

Oh and the hardest part at least that I know of as of right now, I have to be to the school by 7:15am. Which means that my bedtime has been moved up a lot. And I have to wake up a lot earlier too.

But that's an update of life here in Mesa and I'll hopefully get internet soon so I can add some photos etc.