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Thursday, February 24

Day 10 - Worst day of your life

Oh goodness.  Just about any day from the middle of January to the middle of February--although I can think of one Sunday in particular when I left church in the 3rd hour right after the first talk finished.  I was pretty frustrated with quite a few people and tired of being told that I just needed to have a better attitude and everything would be ok.

My job this year has been stressful for NUMEROUS reasons, difficult students, difficult parents, working 7 periods and no prep time, and total lack of consistency on the administration's part.  I really hate it when every month or so they come out with the "next best thing" and totally change our schedule or the way I've been doing things.  Sometimes change is good, but if I like the results I'm getting...why fix something that isn't broken is what I'm trying to say.  And then there's my 18 credit ESL endorsement.  I really do enjoy all that I am learning, but having that additional stress on top of all of my normal responsibilities has really gotten me frustrated and I haven't been acting like myself.
I recently dropped 2 additional credits that I was taking on top of the ESL endorsement and I'm trying to make sure I spend time having fun with my friends and doing things that I really enjoy because all work and no play makes Amanda a dull & drained girl.  

Tuesday, February 22

Day 09 - Best day of your life

I don't remember ever thinking, "Wow, this has been the best day of my life."  I have lot's of good memories and such.  If I were to label the most perfect day of my life I might say one of my days 
as a missionary in AMPPyA or one of my last weeks in Lujan de Cuyo.

If I had a more perfect memory I would probably be able to recall some really awesome day of my life in Rexburg.  It would involve a spring or summer-like day playing some awesome pranks, hanging out with really awesome friends maybe camping or exploring some place we've never been before, dancing or blasting music in the car, having a jam session with guitars, dressing up all crazy and perhaps something involving potato fields.

Monday, February 21

My Thoughts on How to Assess a Foreign Language

I was just reading a book called How To Assess Student Work which solidified in my mind that I actually am doing some things right.  You know how some times we choose to plan and teach a certain way but can't really explain why other than it just feels right?  Well, I've always felt that I should give my students written tests on the grammar and then some sort of performance based test like an oral presentation of some sort.  Well, this ties into  the same theory as when you are trying to get your driver's license.  You must pass a written test that shows you understand the LAWS, PROCEDURES and VOCABULARY of driving but you must also pass a performance based test by actually taking a drive with someone who has a rubric and can assess your actual driving skills.  I feel that you need both types of assessment in a foreign language situation as well.

Saturday, February 19

Day 08 - Worst job you ever had

Easy.  I worked at Western Wats in Rexburg, Idaho for a total of 4 days.  Two days of training and two days of actually working.  It was a "data collection" company.  I called up hospitals to try and get surgeons to take 20 minutes surveys on hospital gowns.  To say I hated it would be an understatement.  As I walked the 4 block to work I would make myself physically ill.  The call center was on the second story and right below was a Subway (which is now a New York Burrito).  The smell of baking Subway bread still makes me feel a little queasy sometimes just because of the association.

Friday, February 18

Day 07 - Best job you ever had

Well, obviously I really enjoy being a teacher.  I think, though, that I first came to know that I really enjoyed teaching teenagers was when I worked as an EFY counselor.  I worked 6 sessions during the summer of 2005.  It worked out well because I needed to save up money for the first 6 months of my mission and each session that I worked help pay for one month of the mission.  

The sessions that I worked were Portland, Tacoma 1, Tacoma 2, Rexburg 8, Rexburg 9 and Dillon, Montana.  Each session was great but I really enjoyed the group of counselors that I worked with in Portland and Tacoma.  I would say that I had 2 really special sessions:  Portland and Tacoma 2 were very memorable groups for a lot of reasons.  The Portland group was my first week and I was stressed and didn't know what I was doing but as the week went on, I really felt a lot of support from my co-counselors and our company (called Hid From The Eyes) won the "spunity" award (if I remember correctly it was kind of a big deal because it's the best EFY award and only one company from each week wins it).  I really connected with those kids!

(some of the staff from the Portland session @ Pacific University)

Then, in Tacoma 2 it was just me and my co-counselor (Ryan, I think was his name) which is abnormal because usually there are 2 groups of girls and one group of guys in a the odds for my girls were really good.  That week we were 16 stones and even though we didn't win the "spunity" award our group was really tight and I got my mission call that week 
which was a really cool experience for everyone involved. 
(most of the staff at Tacoma 2) 
 (hanging out with the counselors on some pier in Seattle after Tacoma 2)
(the beautiful University of Puget Sound campus--these are some of the dorms)

I loved working at EFY!  I hope to do it again this summer. 

Monday, February 14

Day 06 - Five favorite songs

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Wow, this was tough.  I don't know if I could even pick my 5 favorite Guster songs, let alone my 5 favorite songs EVER.  I just picked my 5 favorites that I've been listening to recently.

Saturday, February 12

Day 05 - Favorite memory from childhood

Here are a couple:

-I remember I woke up in the middle of the night or early in the morning after a family birthday party to find out that my mom was having our brother Riley
-6th grade adventures like the wax museum and outdoor school
-Staying up late reading
-PPI's with my dad and our daddy daughter date when I got a hole-in-one
-My dad's funny voices when he read to us
-Recording "radio 123" with Nate
-Getting notes in my lunch from my mom
-Going to the public library
-Bike rides w/ my bro, dad and the baers

Thursday, February 10

Day 04 - Ten Places you want to visit

1.  Vina Del Mar, Chile
2.  San Sebastian, Spain
3.  New York City
4.  Mexico City
5.  Washington D.C. (again)
6.  Buenos Aires, Argentina (again)
7.  Cuyo, Argentina (again)
8.  Costa Rica
9.  Somewhere that I can swim in completely clear water (maybe Hawaii or the Carribean)
10.  The place in Russia where my German ancestors emigrated from (was called Bessarabia, no idea where it is located present-day)

A map of where Bessarabia was located (the dark Orange)

Vina Del Mar, Chile

Mexico City, D.F.---I may want to go here most of all (3rd largest city in the world)

Buenos Aires is HUGE.  I could go 1 million times and still not see everything.  (17th largest in the world)

NYC (4th largest city in the world)

Wednesday, February 9

Day 03 - Hometown location and facts

Well, I will share 5 about the area where I technically grew up and 5 about the place that I claim I'm from (because Oak Grove is not an actual town and Milwaukie is).


1.  Oak Grove is an unincorporated community in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States.  So it's not my hometown but my home community.  
2.  Oak Grove was named at the suggestion of Edward W. Cornell, a member of the surveying party that platted the townsite in the 1890s. The company that was developing the property had not been able to come up with a good name for the place and Cornell suggested Oak Grove after a crew ate lunch in a stand of oak trees in the northwestern part of the tract.
3.  This community began to grow in the early 1900's.  A trolley was built through the area and took people to downtown Portland.  We used to play on the trolley tracks where they were still visible.  I think they've been paved over or taken out in many places.  There are some amazing victorian/farmhouses in the area.
4.  The community grew again in the 1950's and 1960's and many more houses were built in this era.  My home is one of them.
5.  I moved one time that I can remember.  We moved less than a mile away from our old home, we were still in Oak Grove but I had to go to Riverside Elementary instead of Oak Grove Elementary; Rowe Jr. High instead of Milwaukie Jr. High.


1.  Founded in 1848 on the banks of the Willamette River, the city was incorporated in 1903.  The city is now a suburb of Portland and also adjoins the unincorporated areas of Clackamas and Oak Grove.

2.  The Bing cherry, among other varieties, was developed in Milwaukie by another pioneer orchardist, Seth Lewelling, who settled in the area with his brother Henderson Luelling.  Milwaukie is noted as the birthplace of the Bing cherry.

3.  Milwaukie was founded in 1848 as a rival to the upriver Oregon City by Lot Whitcomb, who named it for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the time, the Wisconsin city was also frequently spelled "Milwaukie" before the current spelling was adopted.  Some accounts also state that the Oregon town elected to use an alternate spelling to prevent confusion at the post office.

4.  Bob's Red Mill is a modern-day gristmill and natural foods company based in Milwaukie.

5.  Milwaukie is the home of Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse is known for publishing works including Sin City and the original graphic novel 300, adapted into a motion picture by the same title released March 9, 2007. The total office space of Dark Horse Comics occupies three of the city blocks in downtown Milwaukie, sporting numerous display windows visible to transit riders.

BONUS FACT:  Tonya Harding (the ice skater who hurt Nancy Carrigan) grew up about 1-2 miles from me.  She went to my Elementary, Jr. High and High School.    I used to think it was funny when my middle school teachers would tell us what she was like.

Thanks Wikipedia for the facts!

Tuesday, February 8

Day 02 - How you got your Blogger name

I'm not really sure I get today's topic.  My name on this blog is Amanda.  I got my blogger name from my given name.  I guess my mom and dad liked it...THE END.

Sunday, February 6

I finished Harry Potter!

I finished Harry Potter last Saturday.  I read the whole series in a few months.  I get what all the hype was about now.  Maybe I wouldn't have appreciated them back in High School or College.  Anyone have any other series that I would enjoy?  I started off the school reading Hunger Games and then moved on to Harry Potter and now I'm in a lull.