Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Tagging Game

Did you think I had forgot I had a blog? Cause I kinda did. With the end of the craziest semester of my college career going straight into Thanksgiving, Christmas and Winter Break in general, I just havent found the time to document my oh-so-glamorous life. I know you are all so relieved I am back.


What better way to get back into the swing of things (although I am by no means promising a post on a regular basis...duh) than to play The Tagging Game! My fabulous cousin-in-law Amanda tagged me in her post here and I am excited to play!


I'm kind of not following the rules, because everyone I would have tagged has already been tagged once, maybe even more than that. What fun is life though if you dont break the rules every once in awhile?


Amanda's questions...

1. Favorite childhood toy or game?
I think my favorite toy was probably my Barbies, since I treated them like real human beings and gave them baths & haircuts. The latter of which got me grounded after a week my parents were in London...I should have known Mom would catch on. My most prominent memories growing up though are playing outside in the creek and all the books my parents would read to us. Being a teacher now, I appreciate those books so much more!
My all-time favorite book when I was little.

I dont think this one was very popular, but I loved it.

2. Sweet or salty? Definately salty.

3.If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be? Hands down I would be a dolphin/whale trainer. Sea World & the Georgia Aquarium are two of my most favorite places ever.
We went to Sea World TWICE last time we were in Orlando.

4. Beach house or mountain hideaway? Beach!!! I seriously live for the beach and summer in general although I do love our annual ski trips out west. Those few days of skiing are usually plenty for this girl, though :)
Panama City 2011
Dad took us to Deer Valley out in Park City at the beginning of January! Mom "doesnt do cold weather"

5. Were you named after anyone? If not, do you know why your parents chose your name? Yes, as a matter of fact I was! My middle name, Robinette, is my paternal grandmother's maiden name. I absolutely love it. I used to wish I had a middle name like "Marie" or "Elizabeth" like every other girl I knew, but over the years I have grown to love the fact that I will carry her name with me forever. Chelsea, however, Mom said she had always liked the name and didnt know anyone named Chelsea when I was born. Little did she know that roughly 10 other mothers would be naming their baby girls Chelsea too, all of whom were in my graduating class and there are THREE of us out of 20 in my cohort.
Me & my sweet and WONDERFUL Gramma :)

6. Favorite Smells? Call me a druggie, or something, but I love the smell of paint & sharpies. Sharpies kind of make me feel sick after awhile, though. And lets be real, almost all men's cologne :)

7. If you had to be the same age for the rest of your life, what age would that be and why? The best year of my life was 18. Graduated from high school & moved off to school where I met my best friend and some of my favorite people on earth. Freshman year was the best year of my life to date...so carefree and fun.

8. What books are you reading right now? Currently nothing. It is usually best I dont read for pleasure during the school year because I will choose to do that over a school-related book or homework and stay up waaaayyyy too late reading until my eyelids are screaming to be closed.

9. Where is the farthest you've been from home? Not sure which one is farthest, but i'm gonna go with Belize and Whistler, British Columbia.

10. When was the last time you cried? (happy tears or sad ones) Sunday I think. Lots of frustration built up...typical girl nonsense.

11. Do you have a special talent? (whether others think it is "special" or not) Nothing that I think is particularly special, but I have been told I have really good handwriting and love writing out random quotes and making them all pretty. This probably stems from my great attention span while at school all those years doodling on my notebooks & binders.

Thanks Amanda for thinking of me even though I am a slack blogger :) And if you havent already, head to her husband/my cousin's website here and check out his AMAZING talent! You will not be disappointed.

Peace & Love friends,
Chels

Monday, November 7, 2011

TBBT (to be better titled)

Sweet Jesus it has been a minute and a half since I last had the energy and brain power to formulate enough words into sentences to result in a blog post. And what do ya know, as soon as I open a new post, I start yawning and really just want to call it an early night.

I digress. What a school year it has been so far. And to think I am DONE for the semester in 13 days. I can honestly say, back in August, I thought these last few weeks would never come. Daunting thoughts of "How on EARTH am I going to plan, write, and implement TEN WHOLE DAYS worth of lesson plans?" and "But really...how?" were/sometimes still are regular occurences. But I did, and tomorrow marks day 6 of said TEN WHOLE DAYS. And although not a single lesson has gone incredibly well or perfectly, I have loved every single day of it. There were times/days that I quite honestly thought I would not make it out as a graduate of the College of Education, that I didnt think I was cut out for this career of "training little humans for life", but those days of doubt only confirm my desires to "train little humans for life" as I am now more sure than ever. No teacher is perfect, no classroom is perfect, no students is perfect, and there sure as H, E, Double hockey sticks is no such thing as a perfect lesson. A very wise professor told me this summer, thousands of miles away from home, that "those who feel that they have nothing else to learn as a teacher or in life, have no business in the classroom anymore." I take so much comfort in this thought, as pressure to perform perfectly weighs heavily throughout these important days of my student teaching practicum. I have learned more about my future career AND about myself over the past three months than I ever imagined I would and I am quite confident that I will never stop.

Frustrations from this school year have led me to feel so thankful today...for things I know I should be thankful for EVERY DAY, not just today or on Thanksgiving Day. Because lists are fun to make and as a reminder to myself for future references, and to give credit to those who deserve it and dont get it often enough, here is my cheesy "Thankful for" list.

1. My Parents. Holy Patience do these two deserve some kind of vacation, reimbursment, or Xanax prescription for dealing with me. I always tell them that life would be boring without my constant shenanigans and straight up weirdness. They know its true, even if they wont admit it as they tell me to stop spending money and stop driving home to hang out on their porch, in the hot tub and watch their nice tv's.

2. The opportunity to learn and grow. From my host teachers, from my students, from my professors, and from myself.

3. My bed. Seriously, every time I am P.O.ed about something that is seriously not a big deal but I make it into one, I somehow manage to think about my bed(s). I have three beds to sleep in, and some people dont have one. For those of you that know me well, you know how much I love my sleep and just how important it is that I get it.

4. The AMAZING opportunity to see an incredible man whom I (we?) thought I would likely not cross paths with again on earth. I recieved an email this afternoon from one of my Maymester professors letting us know that the principal of the school we worked at while in Belize will be in GEORGIA NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!! I cannot cannot CANNOT express to the blogosphere world how insanely excited I am to see Mr. Najarro again. Not to mention everyone who went to Belize, since I missed out on the reunion back in August and havent seen most of those fabulous people since we landed back in Atlanta. It will be so incredibly amazing to relive our times together in his beautiful country, share with him aspects of our life here, and have intelligent conversations on education. I am full of twelve kinds of cheesy-ness tonight. But i'm okay with it.

5. MUSIC. Particularly my newest technological love...Spotify. If you dont have it, get it. But music in general...I just love it all right now.

6. Friends. So so thankful for friends.



Moving on...

Besides school, it has been a busy couple of months full of trips home (too many if you ask my parents) and it is about to be an even busier couple of months! As much as I dislike Winter, I LOVE getting to spend time with family and friends over the holidays. All five of us (my immediate family) under one roof doesnt happen often these days with my sister and I both being in school in far away lands (okay maybe just a few hours away.) Add that to the fact that we are all older now and dont want to kill each other quite as often, and family time is turning into a rip-roaring good time in the Wright Household. I cannot wait for Thanksgiving at the Lake, lazy nights at home, fun nights out (and in) with old friends, Christmas traditions, being in the general Metro Atlanta vicinity as almost all my friends, and I am sure multiple other fun and exciting outings!

The past month(ish) has brought my cousin's engagement party (eeeeeeeee so excited!!!!), trips to the pumpkin patch with my sweet little girl & brosef, and a fabulous weekend with friends celebrating an annual festival here in town


 Friends reunited!

 Perfect baby girl posing just like we did at her age at the patch :) Yes, my dog is more like my child.


 "Chels, pwease put me down so I can sniff and get even dirtier"


Casey Marie & Michael's engagement party :) SO excited for their wedding next year!


Two more weeks with my kiddos, and FOUR DAYS til Georgia/Auburn in Athens. I am always so torn for this game but I will for sure be rocking the navy & orange...maybe with red and black socks under my cowboy boots? I am definitely a "person divided" rather than a "house divided." Lord help me if I marry a fan of neither. But in the meantime...war damn eagle.

peace&love friends.
chels

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall, Braves, School, Atlanta...Life

When our mentor leader's told us this would be the busiest and most stressful semester of our entire college career, they werent kidding. The good news is that there are only 52 days until this semester is over (a month early for us College of Ed scholars...hollaaa!) and 221 days until graduation.You wouldnt think i'm ready to graduate and move back to Atlanta by the amount of times I have gone up for the weeekend, but I am. Oh, I kid. I am ATL bound by 3:30pm every Friday.

Can we talk about how it is already Fall? Not just according to the calendar, but also the weather? I cannot remember the last time it has cooled off for more than a day at a time before October. It has been fabulous. Although the earlier, cooler weather better not mean some crazy long & cold winter round these parts...we all know Atlanta doesnt bode well with any kind of icy precipitation. Nor do I.

The saddest part about Fall is the ending of baseball season. It amazes me how fast it goes by every summer. I am watching the Bravos as I type (and maybe suffering heart palpitations whilst doing so..) and preparing myself for the long, baseball-less winter ahead. Reason #78,472 I LOVE. summer.

 Bobby's last regular season game as Manager - I cannot believe it has almost been a year since this was taken!

 Braves vs. Marlins - FTW!

Wish I could say I took this/actually saw it.."Photo of the Week" on the Braves website :)

Luckily the end of baseball means the beginning of football. I guess its a fair trade. I do love a crisp Fall Saturday of SEC football :)

Speaking of Fall...Pinterest KILLS me with all the Fall decorations/crafts/recipes/etc. I have said multiple times this semester that I wish I could just be a professional Pinterester. I have a couple of fall projects I have been meaning to do...with all my spare time I dont know how I havent gotten to them yet. Ha.

Another pro to the weather getting cooler...





I. LOVE. THE PUMPKIN PATCH. The church I have grown up in will be having its 26th annual Pumpkin Patch this fall, 22 of those years I have been around for. My mom has pictures of us since we were itty bitty at the "Patch" and it just makes me so happy. Maybe its that a really love pumpkins. Or the tradition. Either way, I am excited. I will be trying out some Pinterest finds on pumpkins this fall!

I suppose a teaching update would be a good idea, since thats the real reason I started this here blog. I am quite confident that God knew what he was doing when placing me for my student teaching. I could not ask for a better host teachers or sweeter, funnier kids. I was so anxious and quite honestly scared of this semester before it began, which my mother & sister can vouch for since they witnessed my nervous breakdown a week before coming back to school. I absolutely LOVE going to school despite the 5:30am alarms and wish I could go to school every day rather than just Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As much of a PITA some of my kids can be, (come on, all teachers think that sometimes) they come back with some hilarious comment or random hug to make up for it.

Pinterest find - could not be more true.


There was a lot more I wanted to say..but I cant remember it all now that the Braves lost. And maybe because this post has taken me a couple hours to fabricate. Oh well.

Peace & Love!
Chels

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kids (and Parents) say the Darndest Things

During the past month of school, I have acquired a short list of things that I want to remember that the precious little angel babies that are my students, and their parental units (although in some cases I dont think parental unit would be the correct terminology) have said or written at school or as it pertains to the child's education. These statements, questions, etc., have provided many much needed laughs on days that seem never ending. Let me elaborate.

Exibit A: A note addressed to my host teachers regarding a parents medical situation after a car accident informing said host teachers of the following: "I am currently disadled so I apologize if I am unavailable at times and uninvolved in my child's education"...the parent meant "disabled." Obviously. Perhaps not funny to some...sorry 'bout it.

Exhibit B: The same child mentioned above chose to use the restroom in his pants one day...yes, chose. This child knows better, trust me. This child's "disadled" parent forgot to put a change of clothes in his backpack (Pre-K & K kids are all asked to have a change of clothes at school), so a family member was asked to come pick him up. My host teacher waited in the front office with this child until the family member arrived. While they were waiting, this student informed EVERY. single adult that walked into the office that "I'M FREE & I POOPED IN MY PANTS!!!" Translation: "I'M THREE & I POOPED IN MY PANTS!!!" As frustrated as we were at the end of this day, we could NOT stop laughing. Actually, I still cant stop laughing.

Exhibit C: A note is recieved from a student's parent that reads the following (pretty much word for word) "Will glue be required for homework assignments, or is tape okay? I try not to keep glue in the house unless it is required because...dont laugh, (insert name here) has a nasty habit of gluing things to the dog. Let me know!" I die.

Exhibit D: One of our "little" Kindergarten girls (she's not exactly little) has a hard time with saying her K's for some reason and instead uses T for her K's. For example, she might call a classmate named Kathryn, Tathryn. This student was telling my host teacher that she has "tarate today"..translation "karate." So my host teacher tells the regular ed teacher this saying "Mrs. D*, did you hear that (insert name here) has "tarate" today?" Mrs. D replied "yeah, she also has titties at home"...I will leave the translating up to you, my fine, few and far between readers.

I couldnt help but feel compelled to document these moments so that they are readily available for days when a good laugh is much needed.

Peace&Love,
Chels


*Names have been changed to protect privacy!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm baaaack!

So...life. About that. I cannot believe that another summer has come and gone. It seems like yesterday that I was in Belize thinking to myself "it's only day one...I hope it goes by this slowly the whole time!" Apparently I jinxed it, because it FLEW by.

I said goodbye to the sweet kiddo's I was nannying for over the summer a week ago tomorrow and brought my hind parts back on down to school to begin pre-planning and, tomorrow, the first day of school! I am so excited for this year. I love my host teacher(s) and am so excited to work with them this year. I am even more excited to be DONE (with college) as I may have mentioned in my last post once or five times. I am in a Pre-K inclusion room and could NOT be happier with the setting/school and just the whole experience that I have to look forward to. Although I have to admit...as of today, I have begun to feel a little homesick. I miss my family and my sweet baby Sophie Bear.

Luckily I was able to squeeze in a little bit of fun (literally, just a little bit) at the lake and at Braves games, for which I am going to TRY to do a post on with pictures. Try being the key word, obviously. Im pretty sure this summer might mark an all-time low in the amount of Braves games I have attended in one summer/season. Luckily plans are in the works for a game in a couple weeks :)

I figured a first-day-of-school-eve post would be the perfect start to the school year and hopefully back to regularly scheduled blogging since I know so many people follow and read religiously. Haha I crack myself up.

Peace&Love,
Chels

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Just In: I'm an Awful Blogger (BELIZE!)

Okay, so maybe I have known that for awhile, but oh well. Life has not slowed down since our plane landed in ATL from Belize City but for maybe ONE day a couple weekends ago I was able to enjoy the sunshine out on the lake & sleep in.

I am nannying this summer for two precious kids and loving every minute of it. Except for maybe when I tell the two year old that no, I will not paint her finger nails because I know she is going to just stick them right in her mouth afterwards and finger nail polish is not good for you (like any young child, she has a tendency to have her fingers in her mouth, but she also already CHEWS/BITES on her finger nails...what?) You'd think the world was coming to an end.

Anyway, I am a firm believer that summer is the REAL most wonderful time of the year (I may have mentioned that once or five times on here) and I have been enjoying not being at school a little too much. I admitted to my Dad the other night that I was ready to be done, which I swore to him freshman year would never happy. Going-on-five-years-later, I'm ready. If I had to continue going to school for the rest of my life, I would choose to do so in Belize. Best experience of my life, hands down. For anyone who cares viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of the amazing country to which I hope to return sooner rather than later. Words cannot describe my experiences there so pictures will just have to do (I know, disappointing)

Many of the picture credits goes to Chancey Pants A. Because his camera was waterproof (snorkeling) and B. Because my camera had died before caving.


Big Rock Falls at Pine Ridge
Before going into the cave!

Beautiful child.
Bishop Martin RC Primary School
View out of our classroom
Standard 4 (5th grade!)


Xunantunich
Out on the snorkeling boat
View from my room in San Pedro. Incredible.
Belize River while flying back into Belize City from San Pedro
Xunantunich

The group at the school for our "party"


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Belize!!!!!!

As anyone who actually reads this here blog knows, I, Chelsea Wright, am in the beautiful and amazing country of Belize. I am obsessed with this country. Absolutely obsessed. We arrived here on Saturday afternoon after a departure out of ATL at 10:00am, putting us in customs around 11 or 11:30 am. Customs was not bad at all, except for the fact that the airport had no AC. I repeat, no AC. Lack of AC has been the case in most of the buildings we are in but thankfully not our sleeping quarters!!! This girl loves a fan, but if it’s circulating warm air I find them to be rather pointless. Luckily we have both a fan and cool air during the times that we actually are at the cabin. It is HOT y’all. The humidity doesn’t make it any easier either. Humidity in ATL was around 30% before we left and here it is 75%ish percent. My only other complaint would be the early alarms, but at the end of the day I am well aware that they are worth it.

Sorry in advance for the lack of pictures post. It is bugging my OCD self that i'm not posting with any so hopefully I will add some later.

We are currently in a town called San Ignacio which is in the Cayo district. Belize is made up of districts and Cayo is on the western side of the country in the hills and forests/jungles. It is sooo beautiful. Unfortunately there are many fires throughout the area in the fields/hills/trees/etc. The smoke from the fires makes it incredibly smoky and hazy but luckily it is nothing unbearable. Today we drove out to the Progressive Mennonite community to explore and absorb some of their culture and on the way back we passed a palm tree that was up in flames. So sad.

So we got here Saturday and checked into our cabins and got settled in before dinner. Dinner was absolutely delicious. The place we are staying is called Log Cab Inns (clever, right?) and there are a bunch of small cabins scattered throughout the property. Everyone staying here eats on the patio next to the pool, kind of like a dining hall but prettier and outside. We had chicken fajitas, rice & beans. We have learned to love beans and rice (if we didn’t already) as they are a very common dish in Belize. All of our other meals have been incredibly good too.

Sunday we explored “downtown” San Ignacio which included stopping in a few touristy type shops (although they are very different from such a store in the US), watching a local get arrested, seeing a parrot and its owner on the street, eating lunch at a small restaurant and buying fresh produce at the open air market!! I bought a starfruit, limes, and a mango. I have only cut open one of the limes because two of the people with us had some uh, stomach issues after eating the mangoes they bought (without washing it. Duh.) I already have enough issues as it is so I am going to wait ‘til I have a decent knife to slice and wash the sucker up. We also went to see a local Mayan ruin, Xanatunich, but ended up deciding against it once it started monsooning. That is rescheduled for this weekend sometime, when we will also go so Cahal Pech, another Mayan ruin. When that didn’t work out and after the rain had stopped, we took a little detour to Clarissa Falls which is a “waterfall”, if that, and we hiked on the rocks and ended up jumping off the rocks into the river. It was such an awesome day despite not being able to see the Mayan ruins. When else do you have the chance to jump off a rock into a Belizean river? That night, after coming back and changing into some dry clothes, we went to dinner at Rolson, a Mexican restaurant down the road from our cabins. It was quite delicious and a fun experience to eat “real” Mexican food. The view was also amazing as it was situated at the top of a hill that looked out over San Ignacio and we also ate outside on the covered balcony. What trip would be complete without its unfortunate events though? Ours occurred before dinner when one of the vans got stuck in the mud. I have video of it, but wish that I had been in the van while my professor was repeatedly cussing as she slid sideways down a small hill. Quite a story to tell.
Monday was our first day at Bishop Martin. The students and teachers of Bishop Martin seemed a bit hesitant towards us at first as this is the first time they have had a group from the US here. Our host teacher immediately told us that she was at a loss for ideas for teaching material, which we quickly learned was definitely the case. The kids start in “Infant 1” (Kindergarten in the US) and immediately most of the teachers lecture for their lessons. One of the girls who is placed in an Infant 1 class here pulled out a book to read to her class for one of her lessons, and the kids were in shock. The teachers here are great teachers, they are just at such a loss for ideas and resources.

Tuesday was a bit of a shock for us. By us I mean myself & my "co-teacher" I am paired with a girl  who is in the Early Childhood program who is also on the trip. We are in the same classroom together, plan lessons & implement them together. I LOVE it!! It has been such a great experience for teacher collaboration which makes me excited to actually have a job and hopefully be in an inclusion classroom. The REASON it was such a shock was because we literally taught all day long. And since then, we have taught all. day. long. Dont get me wrong, we are loving it but at the end of the day it is absolutely exhausting. But also so satisfying. It makes me so excited and it is so encouraging after the rough semester I had this past spring. So far Meg and I have taught division and multiplication of decimals (mostly Megan because I embarrassed the heck out of myself by completely forgetting how to do all that. Awful) Luckily Megan has headed the Math lessons and we have team taught Language Arts and I have pretty much done Science lessons. Today we made instruments out of recyclable materials that the kids brought it and they LOVED it. It is so encouraging to see the kids loving what we and what they are doing. The principal of the school told us today that attendance has been up since we have been here this week. They have already done all of their Belize mandated testing, after which attendance for the last month-ish goes way down, so it was awesome to hear that attendance is up a noticeable amount since we have been here.

As much as I want to keep writing, I am plum tuckered out. I am trying sooo hard to remember as many details as I can, but it is hard because there is so much to absorb!! I now realize why any friends that have gone abroad and blogged havent been able to keep up with them because no one wants to waste time online. SO. With that said, I will try and post again soon, hopefully this weekend since we will finally have some down time after visiting the Mayan Ruins and going Caving and maybe to the Belize Zoo!

Mom & Dad, can you believe that I am functioning with about 7 hours of sleep a night with no naps? Me either.

Adios from San Ignacio, Belize!
Peace & Love,
Chels