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Friday, January 27

The Gym

I have been to the principals office more times in the last two months than in my entire life (actually being hired and apologized to are the only other times I've been called in). It is so humbling to be chastised for little issues even when you feel like you're doing a damn good job at a nearly impossible task. It's to the point now where I just feel like I'm being picked on. So instead of putting my face into a pillow and screaming, here I am at the gym destressing.

Tuesday, January 24


My drive home from work.

Sunday, January 22

For Mamita

For a valentine my mama's gonna make.

Thursday, January 19

19 Jan 2012

Nothing like a little manicure before bed!

Tuesday, January 17

Tillamook Pepper Jack

Today I found out I'm not alone in my feelings about work.  That has nothing to do with pepper jack cheese but ya know.

Monday, January 16


Sometimes, on your day off, it's better just to stay inside and cozy up in your bed and watch TV.

Sunday, January 15

My Dinner Tonight

Bowtie pasta with broccoli and pesto.

Thursday, January 12

The View From My Classroom

Two of my 3 windows. I can see the Draper, Oquirhh Mountain, and Jordan River temples...And on a good day, all the way downtown.

Wednesday, January 11

The End Of A Long Day

Work till four. Errands till 6:30. Unloading till 7. Attaching dryer vent till 7:30. Soap making till 8. Constructing bookshelf and organizing bathroom till 9:40. This is me after a long, crazy day.

Ps. I need a haircut.

Tuesday, January 10

Weird Findings

I found this really, really, really small screw while cleaning out my purse tonight. In case I didn't stress it enough, it's abnormally small.

Monday, January 9

Sitting here at my dining room table...

...procrastinating. Wishing I didn't have to make myself go to the gym tonight or clean my room for that matter.

Sunday, January 8

January 8th

Last night @ the annual mocktail party.

Saturday, January 7

A Photo Per Day

My new blogging goal is to post a new photo of my life each day. I realize that I'm starting late but that's okay. Now that I have a phone with a legitimate camera I know I'll always have a camera on my person. I'm glad I have the ability to now photograph the funny things in my everyday life.

Today's photos are from a trip I made with my friends up to Green Canyon. We drove up last night and spent the night at Becca's parents condo and then this morning we woke up and went hot tubbing in the snow.

PS I love blogging from my iPhone!!!

Wednesday, January 4

Warning: This Is A Rant Post

When I applied to work at a new school, one of the biggest pulls for me was that I loved the IB philosophy.  Which is, "to foster tolerance and inter-cultural understanding among young people through a specific method of teaching. This method of teaching...incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, and exposure to a variety of viewpoints. The IB philosophy emphasizes:
  • Awareness of the similarities and differences among many cultures, understanding issues on an international scale, and responsible citizenship
  • The inter-relatedness of various disciplines and issues
  • A "Socratic" (question-and-answer) form of achieving knowledge in the classroom
  • Student-centered inquiry and communication"
But the second that I try to get creative and incorporate the use of Spanish around the school there is immediate backlash.  All of the open-mindedness crap goes out the door.

Here's what happened.  We had discussed the possibility of having the kids do the pledge in Spanish once a week.  I liked this plan for several reasons.  First, it united our school in it's goal of trying to learn Spanish.  Second, I believe that allowing the kids to hear the words of the pledge in another language could enrich it's meaning.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I have gained insight into a common English phrase or saying through hearing it's Spanish translation.  I decided that it would be a nice thing to incorporate into our school's schedule as we transitioned into second semester.  I created a plan and spent several hours researching just the right materials and methods to allow the homeroom teachers to go over the pledge with their students...I loved the idea of the teachers learning Spanish right along with their students.  I even consulted some of our para-educators at lunch because they have students who go to PHJH to make sure it wouldn't be controversial to the conservative parents.  I sent out an email to the staff with several links and some documents to help them accomplish the task (this was around 12:30).  By the end of school I had a staff member approach me and talk to me about how they wouldn't participate in it and that the idea probably wouldn't fly in this community.  

Now I really respect this particular staff member.  He happens to be a veteran and was injured in the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon.  I started to cry a little bit when he told me that he believed it was disrespectful to say the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.  Part of those tears were because I don't want anyone thinking that I'm not a patriot, that I don't love my country/respect the flag or that I would want to teach my students to disrespect the flag.  But some of those tears were also out of frustration because I know that so many schools in our nation don't even bother saying the pledge at isn't that worse than saying the pledge in a different language?

Being that I actually do try to follow the IB motto: "Other people, with their differences, can also be right" I thought long and hard about the things that he said and tried to consider all of the different perspectives.  I thought about it all afternoon and evening.  I thought about what I know about the US flag.  I know that for many it is a sacred symbol.  I believe we ought to take great care with the flag.  There is a specific way to salute the flag, there is a specific way to retire a flag and there are all sorts of other interesting regulations about the proper use and display of a US flag.  I completely relate to the concept of respecting sacred symbols because of the religion that I adhere to.  What I concluded about the Pledge of Allegiance is that there is no official way to make that oath/pledge other than English.  There are actually about 5 different Spanish translations, all of which I believe could be said with completely pure intentions and heartfelt commitment to the flag BUT are not a valid official pledge.  Part of IB is teaching our students to be good citizens wherever they may live and that means teaching our students proper respect for the flag.  

As I arrived at work the next day I had concluded that our school should not have the students MAKE the pledge in Spanish.  But I still thought I would be a great learning opportunity for the students to, after making the pledge, remove their hands from their hearts and stop standing at attention and simply SAY THE WORDS of the pledge in Spanish to enrich the meaning of the pledge, get some Spanish practice and help the students see that we learn Spanish school-wide.  

Well by mid-day, my principal, who was totally on board with me about doing the Friday pledge in Spanish was having it out with the superintendent and elementary school principal.  Apparently a few years before there was a huge commotion at the Elementary school when they considered doing it, parents storming the lunchroom, hour long heated discussion at board meetings etc.  I guess my principal was also approached by several other staff members who didn't like the idea either.  On my side of things, I received several emails from teachers who expressed how totally on board and pumped they were for the idea.  

I was even ok with totally being shut down by the administration without hearing what I had to say about the matter.  But I got frustrated at the meeting we had about it after school.  Some people's reasons for opposing it were so thoughtless to me.  Here I had spent hours trying to consider all sides of the argument and they throw out these ridiculous weak reasons for thinking it's disrespectful.  "The kids won't know what they're saying if they do it in Spanish"  "It's un-American to say something like that in any language but English".  

Newsflash #1:  Kids don't know what the word allegiance means anymore than they know what the word fidelidad means.  Whether it's in English or Spanish, they have NO IDEA what they're saying until someone explains it to them.

Newflash #2:  How is speaking another language un-American?  There is NO official national language and there never will be.  Call it invalid to say it in another language other than English, call it unknowingly disrespectful or inappropriate but don't call it un-American.  It's not the language that you speak that makes you American, it's what you do with the freedoms you've been given.

I think that a large part of my frustration stems from the fact most people were so quick to shoot this thing down without considering a variety of viewpoints.  Like consider for a moment that most schools in this nation who deal with issues surrounding the Pledge of Allegiance have to do with the fact that people refuse to say it, and in fact, have the right NOT to say it if they don't want to.  

It's very disheartening to try and encourage and promote the use of another language (which is a significant part of qualifying to be an IB school) when you live in such a close-minded community that won't support you when it really counts.  English isn't going anywhere.  Bi-lingualism and tri-lingualism will not take anything away from our country it will give our Nation more depth and make us more capable of interacting with and understanding the rest of the world.  It will give us more friends and less enemies.  

So many things about my job and how this school would work are the opposite of what I was led to believe.  I can't help but feel a little deceived.