Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crazy Couple of Weeks

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. Jason got called to the Bull Fire in Kernville, CA on August 4th so I was a fire widow for 12 days. Some of the fire workers bring their significant others with them to the fire, so we decided that I would drive up to Kernville and see him for the weekend August 6-8. It would be nice to get out of the city and into the mountains and then we wouldn't be separated for so long.

In the meantime I was busy working both jobs-leaving the house at 7:30 am and getting home at 10:30 pm. On Tuesday August 3, I got a phone call from the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District asking me to come in for an interview on the 4th for a 60% Spanish position. I went to the interview the next day and honestly didn't think that it went so well. The principal and vice-principal seemed nice but not very enthusiastic. On Thursday I got a phone call as I was leaving my morning job offering me the position which would start the following Monday August 9th. So I quit my morning job, telling them that Friday morning would be my last day and later that afternoon quit my evening job, telling them that Thursday would be my last day. I felt bad about giving them NO notice, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity for a real job.

On Friday after my morning job, I met with my new vice-principal so that I could get keys, get a tour, see my classroom, get my text books, etc. The school is in Spring Valley, which is about 45 minutes Southeast from where I live. Then I left to go see Jason in Kernville. Because I went to my new school first, I didn't leave San Diego until 4:45, this is a BAD time to drive north through Los Angeles. I didn't get to Kernville until 10:30pm. But I got to meet Jason at the local Brewery where I had delicious pear cider and got to meet the rest of the "fire guys."

On Saturday instead of hiking around the river and mountains, I sat at the Blue Bear Coffee Shop and read my new text book. I got lots of ideas and took a lot of notes. I decided to go for a walk and check out the river when I saw a sign for a garage sale. You know how I LOVE garage sales, so I started following the signs. About 2 miles later I came upon a whole street filled with garage sales. It was a bit more of a hike than I had planned on, but one house had boxes of vintage patters. I limited myself to 5 because she had cut out the smallest size so I will need to figure out how to alter them, but it was a great find all the same. As I was walking back towards the hotel, Jason called to ask if I wanted to go to lunch, so he picked me up and we went back to the brewery.

On Sunday I left Kernville early so that I could get back home and get ready to start work on Monday. It was a much quicker drive and I got home with plenty of time. I had oodles of tomatoes from the week so I made a tomato sauce for pasta and froze it. I didn't have time to can it. I did some laundry and started exploring Spanish language podcasts, websites, and books.

This week was all about getting ready for school. On Monday I spent the morning with Human Resources filling out all the paper work. Then I went to my school to work on my classroom and getting things ready. I had to get a pre-work physical so I left school at 2. The clinic was really busy, I didn't even get into the exam room until 4pm. I had planned on going back to school so I left all of my things there. When I got there at 6pm there were only 2 cars in the parking lot and all of the gates and doors were locked. I yelled until Johnny (one of the custodians) came out and let me into my room. I got my things and went home. It was tough having Jason gone because I still needed to water the home garden and take care of the community garden while freaking out about the new job.

Tuesday we had meetings in the morning. I got to meet many of the other teachers in the school. Everyone seems really nice so far. My administrators have been really nice and supportive, always asking if I have any questions or need anything. On Wednesday we had kids!! Since I am just 60%, I only teach 2 periods and an advisory (kind of like homeroom) every day. They school is on a block schedule, so there are just 4 periods of 80 minutes every day but there are alternating A days and B days so the students see me every other day. On each day my 3rd period consists of 7th and 8th graders and my 4th period has only 6th graders. My third periods are big (42 and 39 students). I am not used to having such big classes! They are also a weird mix. About half of my students speak Spanish at home but don't know how to read or write it. The other half are native English speakers who only know the Spanish they learned from Dora. I am hoping to work with the counselors this week to see if I can have 2 different classes, a Spanish-literacy class for the native speakers and a Spanish 1 class for my native English speakers. Hopefully it will work out in the schedule.

Finally this weekend came. Jason got back into town on Thursday. It was nice to see him, but the poor guy didn't get his usual welcome home because I was stressing about the first week of school. On Saturday I needed to do something with the cucumbers and tomatoes that I had picked all week so I made 2-day dill pickles and spicy tomato salsa which I canned. I did some laundry and relaxed around the house. Jason unpacked and worked in the garage and in our home garden. We then compromised lazy internet TV watching. He likes Whale Wars while I am getting through season 1 of Vampire Diaries. It was a fun, relaxing evening.

I will be back to being more crafty and posting more regularly.