Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hello October

I blinked and it's October.  Granted, Las Vegas lacks the gorgeous changing leaves that most other places enjoy, but it's starting to feel like fall.

September was a whirlwind.

At work, everything still seems to be in an adjustment phase.  I'm still getting used to not having prep every day. I'm frustrated that our paperwork wasn't processed in time and the earliest I'll see my overtime is October (8 weeks after I started earning it).  It's a lot of extra work with no financial incentive and that's rough.

Mrs. H and I are still very committed to our curriculum units.  We're integrating reading, writing, social studies, and language arts.  Ms. C will be joining us soon because it's an intense workload and we appreciate the extra help.  I love what we're teaching and our students are having some amazing conversations centered around their analytical thinking and research.

It's also something new and there are kinks.  Some have offered constructive, precise, helpful feedback and that's always welcomed.  Some prefer the snide comments to everyone but us and well, that's not helpful.  But, at the end of the day, I'm immensely proud of how we've combined multiple subjects to provide a well balanced education.

For example, they've learned about human migration theories from reading multiple sources (and taking Cornell notes as a strategy to zoom in on main ideas, supporting details, evidence, vocabulary, and summarizing).  From there, they are researching different Native American regions (Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Plains, and Eastern Woodlands) to analyze human environment interactions.  This coincides with the STEM challenge they've been working on with building different homes.  Next week they'll make a flipbook on their region, share with others, and read (literature) folk tales from their region.  The lesson will transition into finding facts in the fiction, then creating a narrative as if they were in that region (using facts for historical accuracy).  They've already learned how to write an informational paragraph (lead, topic sentence, main ideas) and citing (reference materials).  We've read picture books from each region and looked at the different land forms.  In art, they're making dream catchers and music is starting them on Navajo flutes (after their October performance).  They're excited about what we're doing.  Most of the teachers are excited about what we're doing.  Admin is excited.  But there's always the grouchy ones who find fault in everything but their own work...

The long hours are hard, but the payoff is rewarding. I'm hoping things will lighten up in mid October when we have a third person on the planning team. 

Wedding planning is about done.  We've picked our cake (and cupcakes).  Our ring bearer gift is here.  His groomsmen gifts are ordered and by the magical coincidences of the universe, the Etsy seller is near my mom and we're saving a bundle on shipping costs.  Our  bachelor & bachelorette parties are coming up this month and I'm being surprised by the events of the evening.  My bestie is flying in to celebrate and we're going to get her dress fitted that am (because that's not something I want to rush in November).  We've clarified details with the venue, have over half of our reply cards back (they're due mid October), purchased Blue Man Group tickets for my family (for the day after the wedding), and are almost done with the favors.  We're off to the court house in a few hours to pick up our marriage license and then to the bank for the wedding loan.  I've got a few more logistical things to figure out and another hair trial to do, but we're pretty set. 

Seriously, the long engagement was the way to go! I haven't felt pressured or rushed on any aspect of the wedding.  I've enjoyed the planning and that's how it should be.

September also brought a baby shower, time with friends, date night, our Reading Ranger Rodeo, and some routine house work and maintenance (hello new AC motor!).

Looking ahead to October, we've got three bridal showers at work (one of them being mine!), a friend's engagement shower, friends' birthdays, and some relaxing time.