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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!


On this BEAUTIFUL, yet incredibly warm even for the Southern states, I am loving the fact that I leave in THREE DAYS!!!!!

I am loving the Braves for almost pulling off a W last night, making a game of it for the 9th inning thanks to Dan Uggla! Its games like those that you cant help but love, despite the loss.


Sophie loves the Braves too!

I am also loving that I am going to the game tomorrow night! We are planning a fun little shin dig with all the people in my freshman year dorm whom we spent every waking moment (pretty much) with, wether it was trips to the dining hall, late night trips to walmart, walks from downtown, or getting in trouble for who knows what.


SBXI - so happy the three of us got to spend it together.

Where it all began :)

I tried to find some more pictures with the boys in it...but unfortunately they are not very appropriate. Typical.

I am loving the group that is going to Belize!! I only knew a few people, but we have all gotten to know each other this week during class and it is going to be a fabulous rest of the month!

I am loving that I get to see my family for a day (ish), especially my sweet Sophie bear.

Finally, I am loving that I start to nanny for a family close to my house in ATL the week after I get back. I am flat broke. Like, less than $5 broke. If anyone were to steal my card, they wouldnt get very far. The joys of college life.

Hope everyone's Wednesday is filled with lots of things to love!

Peace & Love,
Chels

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Leavin on a Jet Plane...

Oh the title of this post brings back so many memories of Camp Glisson. So many nights spent singin' on the stone porch of the ooooolllllddd dining hall worshiping and laughing. If they ever tear that dining hall down, I will cry.

So in case you forgot, I am studying abroad in BELIZE this month. SO. FREAKIN. EXCITED. We have class this week until Thursday, after which I will travel (and pray that I dont hit traffic) up to ATL. For anyone who hasn't had the INCREDIBLE privilege of driving in Atlanta traffic...well, let me just tell you that you are missing out on what might be the greatest new driver learning experience in the US. Breaking would be the key lesson in this experience.

Okay, beside the point, IM GOING TO BELIZE!!! I am just so excited. I find myself in little spurts of excitement throughout the day. I'm sure these will increase as Saturday (departure day) approaches.

We will be staying in the town of San Ignacio for the first ten days, then heading to San Pedro, located on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye (pronounced Amber-gree Key.) San Ignacio is much more inland and basically in the Belize forest. I dont want to say rainforest, which is a very likely possibility, but I'm not sure if it is in the ACTUAL rainforest. Cant wait to see on Saturday :)



We will be student teaching/learning about how the teachers and students there get by with a much smaller amount of resources than teachers here do. The goal of the trip is to learn to "make-do" with what you have to teach with, and being resourceful in lesson plans. We ARE taking art supplies with us to incorporate the arts (actual "art", writing, drama, etc) into lessons, since the class that is associated with the study abroad will satisfy the arts portion of my transcript. I am SO SO excited to get to know the kids and my host teacher(s). I am in a 5th grade classroom which will be such a nice change from my 3 year olds I just had. Kids that can go stand in front of the toilet without wetting themselves before pulling down their pants to put it in the toilet? Yes please.

Aside from all of the AWESOME excursions we will be doing (Mayan Ruin's, Caving, Snorkeling), I am so excited to implement the lessons that my cohort-student-partner and I came up with today in class. If ANYONE (since so many people read my blog) has any ideas for 5th graders (games, lessons, etc) let me know! Belize has their own set of standards, but they are pretty much the same thing as ours in in Georgia and the US.

Also, does anyone else see the grey background of my posts? I have tried to fix it with no such luck. Any suggestions? Or maybe its just me and/or my computer...

Is it bad that it is 7:45pm and I want to go to go to bed? Don't answer that.

The next time you hear from me I will likely be in Belize!!!

Peace & Love, friends!
Chels


Friday, May 6, 2011

What I'm Loving Right Now (previously WILW)

This post was originally titled What I'm Loving Wednesday...but clearly lack of time left me unable to finish it hence why it is now What I'm Loving Right Now.


-This week, I am loving all of the HILARIOUS and profound quotes/facebook statuses that appeared on my news feed follwing the breaking news that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been eliminated...AND please, let me say, that while I agree with not taking joy in another's death, I also very much believe in justice being served for the death of 3,000+ people in NYC on that beautiful-turned-horrific-day of 9/11.


*If one of these quotes is yours and you just cannot imagine not being credited for the geniusness behind it, let me know.


"Osama bin GOTT’EM"
"America, winning. Again."
"Bag em & tag em."
"The ban on Sunday alcohol sales should be lifted for this historical occasion. Osama bin Laden is dead, God Bless America"
"I heard George W Bush started the man hunt for Osama bin Laden. Just sayin…
"It may have taken ten years but as our last president said, we will get him dead or alive. USA USA USA!!!!"
"Ding dong the witch is dead"
"So do we get fireworks and stuff for May 1 now?"
"Annnddd BOOM goes the dynamite!"
“It’s a party in the USA!!”
“Welp, that just got him reelected” (referring to Barack Obama)
"Osama BEEN Laden"
"One nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and JUSTICE for all."
“Im filled with red white and blue. I want to gun a beer, listen to Bruce Springstein and eat apple pie”
“I want to go to a Braves game tomorrow and eat a hot dog and wash it down with a cold beer. The American Dream”
"Really wish we would have found Osama alive. He would have played Jafar so well in an Aladdin Broadway show. Saddened" <--This one was my absolute favorite. Freakin hilarious, Phil Lutz.
"This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight, America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done." George W. Bush
Last December, December '09 to be exact, Mom took my sister and I to NYC in celebration of our birthdays (mine 21, Catherine's 18) We went to Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum that they had just up the street from it.
 
Excuse the blurry quality...this is One World Trade Center going up!
This is sister's picture. I love it despite the story behind it. This was taken in a deli down the street from Ground Zero that was miraculously not damaged. I think it explains it all.
For anyone interested, the NY Times has an incredible article on how everything played out. I am thinking it is movie material. Great things are happening, my friends. Great things.

-I am loving that I leave for Belize in 10  SEVEN days :)
-I am LOVING that this semester is almost over. As of 9:30ish tomorrow, I will officially have completed my first year of the Special Education Cohort, as well as what could quite possibly be described as the worst semester of my life.  I AM DONE!!!!!!!!
-I am loving my fabulous Mother, even if from a hundred miles away, on this Mother's Day Weekend. To say she has put up with a lot from me would be the biggest understatement of my life. No exaggerations.
Sadly this is probably one of the most recent pictures of just me and Mom...my senior prom. Crazy what four years in college will do to someone...or me. Luckily Jules loves me no matter what, as do I :)

-I am not loving that fact that my roomate of all 4 years of college is graduating tomorrow morning. The lack of words I have for this pretty much sums it up. I am having some serious issues with this fact.
Our personal photographer, Tyrez Armstead, so kindly took the above photo of us freshman year. Oh, memories.


Last month at Karebear's Second Annual 21st Birthday. I am embarrassed to even have pictures from 4 years ago and now on the same post. Note to self (for the 739847th time): Get on a treadmill.
CONGRATS Karebear on getting through four years of Math!!!
Peace & Love,
Chels

Friday, April 29, 2011

Its Friday (technically Saturday)...and its random

My how the tides have changed...staying in on a Friday night? I guess that might have to do with the fact that I braved some classic college socializing last night which always means not going to bed til after 3am. I remember when it was SO uncool to stay in on a Friday in high school...HA!

Because my last post was so depressing-turned-happy-yet-serious, I figured I owed it to myself to write a more light hearted one so I dont feel like such an emo.

Rooms and I are in watching How Do You Know...I'm not sure how I feel about it. Im kind of confused. I guess it doesnt help that i've been checking email and surfing the web mindlessly.


Easter weekend was SOOO great. Friday we all went to the Good Friday service, where Mom did part of the message..so weird still yet so great. Saturday Mom took me and Catherine shopping. Catherine is my little sister, who's first name is Stephanie but I started calling her Catherine a few years ago. Weird, I know.

For those of you not fortunate enough to be familiar with Shoe Gallery...it is FABULOUS. Not only do they have an insanely fabulous selection of shoes, such as these Steve Madden cuties

 
They also have adorable clothes...some of which we actually saw at boutiques later that day. I am obsessed with this designer they had...Ya Los Angeles. Rooms also became obsessed with some of their stuff but at a different store in her hometown an hour and a half away...SUCH cute stuff.

Sunday was busy! I worked in the preschool room at my Mom's church (the one she works at) and then went to the 11:00 service at the church I grew up with with sister & brudder! Dad went to the earlier service like a weirdo...we can never agree on going to the same service anymore. The joys of growing up.

We had the entiiiiiiire family at our house for Easter lunch/dinner and it was DELICIOUS per usual. We have been having both sides of the family over for Easter every year for I dont know how long. I dont know what I will do when we all REALLY grow up and start to go our seperate ways. Altogether it was such a great weekend...no one fought, or even got frustrated with each other which is sadly a huge feat for the five of us, haha.

Not very spring-y...but this is the most recent picture of all of us from Thanksgiving. Sophie Bear is so cuuuute. She matches perfectly :)

I wanted to participate in What I'm Loving Wednesday, but there was no possible way I could have produced anything other than research papers and quite possibly the 784,983,797th reflection of the school year. Not because I wanted to of course...rather out of the fact that I didnt have a choice. So, here is my What I'm Loving Friday

As the rest of the world is loving...I am loving everything Royal Wedding. I cant get enough of the specials, interviews, and replays of this morning's historical wedding. I am also obsessed with Kate Middleton. Like, if-I-go-to-London-I-may-or-may-not-stalk-her-obsessed.  She is just so PERFECT. And her dress...OH MY GOSSSHHHH. It could not have been any more perfect and beautiful. I can honestly say that I gasped when I saw her for the first time. Weird? Oh well. And their kiss(es)! So cute and so appropriate. I love that they are so willing to please their fans, but not in an over the top kind of way. They keep it classy. And the fact that there was a flyover...I am at a loss for words. I have an odd love for flyovers. Like I said, ob. sessed.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Kiss

Besides the recent goings-on in London, I am ABSOLUTELY L.O.V.I.N.G. that I will be done with this semester on WEDNESDAY!!! Every semester has seemed to get tougher and tougher, and this one definitely takes the cake. We have all threatened to drop out at least once this year, but we have all made it and will be Cohort, reflections, and not-so-Mini-Unit free for THREE MONTHS. It will quite possibly be the best three months of my life. At least for now.

The end of the semester means the beginning of Maymester, and this year Maymester for me means BELIZE!!! I am so. excited. We leave Hartsfield at 11am for Belize City in TWO WEEKS. I am hoping that internet will be easy to access so I can blog as much as possible while in the Belizean mountains, and then on the beaches of the Caribbean, and not to mention after I snorkle part of the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. :) 

Something I am not loving, at all, is the horrifying state of disaster that Tuscaloosa, Bham, and parts of North Georgia are in. It is heart breaking. And so crazy to think about, quite honestly. Things like this always give me a good dose of reality and remind me to never take anything for granted. The University of Alabama cancelled final exams and moved graduation to August (the fact that a few of the people I went to high school with are affected by this is even weirder.) It is just so hard to fathom and grasp when it isnt happening to you. One of the girls in my cohort used to go to Bama and said her old apartment is gone. Two of my sisters best friends from high school go to Bama, and some of their sorority sisters were still missing as of yesterday. Heartbreaking and absolutely crazy to think about. I think this link speaks for itself: http://stormvictims.tuscaloosanews.com/before-and-after/

I hope everyone had a FABULOUS Easter! Please continue to pray for victims of the recent southeastern tornados, their families, friends, and anyone affected.

Peace&Love,
Chels

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just one of those days...or weeks.

This is going to be a pretty lame, honest and maybe depressing post. You have been forewarned.

The College of Education is known for being tough. And I am not even in the notoriously toughest program. Early Childhood is notoriously hard to get into and notoriously hard to stay in. Special Ed is not quite as hard to get into..but I am now convinced that it is just as hard to stay in. The amount of assignments that have been due this week and are due next week are crazy. I am amazed I have been able to pull them off..and with such a lack of sleep too. I am a champion sleeper, and known for it too. My parents were worried about me starting such a vigorous program, my friends were wondering if I could survive on a smaller amount of sleep than I usually do, and I was freaking. out. last summer about what was to become of me. Could I wake up at (what I thought would be but I have now learned to be 5:15am) 6:00 am and be pleasant throughout the day? WOULD I wake up at 6:00 am and be on time for school? I guess this post is turning out to be more of a positive post than a negative one. Because I HAVE done these things. I HAVE turned in every single assignment, on time and made awesome/good/decent grades. Grades that I am proud of. And let me tell you, my college career has been full of grades that I am not proud of. Hence why I am going for the 5th year victory lap. There have also been mornings when I havent been able to drag myself out of bed on time for class or placement, times that I have not used my best judgement. My (patient and understanding) professors can vouch for this.

Anyway, I guess what this post was originally going to be about, until I started typing, was how mentally, physically and sometimes emotionally exhausted I am. I just wanted to vent. Because honestly, I am plum tuckered out. I am tired of using my brain, and I am tired of always, constantly having something to do. I went from having almost ALL DAY to myself and hardly any homework last spring to a full 18 hours plus placement in the schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I have had a hard time the past few weeks after watching Karebear (my roomate) have fun, be able to go to friends intramural games, go to Wing Night, go out on a week night (which we probably havent done since sophomore year) and just straight up HAVE FUN. Granted, she is graduating in less than a month, so she deserves every bit of that fun. It just SUCKS for me. And I have a really hard time not being jealous or selfish about my feelings towards other people having fun. I'll just come right out and say it. Clearly, since I just did.

The College of Education is something I have wanted to be a part of since the summer before I started college, when I registered for classes. I may have changed my major to Art, then back to Education, but its the fact that I ended up back where I started that matters, right? Although the timing sucks right now because I cant go out and have fun with my friends, I am so glad I am not graduating yet and I still have another year to continue getting my act together, being on time for class and school, and GROWING UP. So right now, as frustrated, tired, and sad that I cant hang out with my friends I am...I do feel blessed and thankful for everything that is around me, including my ever-patient roomate who I'm sure ive been a grump to when I cant go have fun with, my parents who are paying a butt-load of money (and are about to pay more...stupid tuition increase) for my higher education (not to mention the victory lap year) and just life in general. I am especially thankful that summer is upon us (ummm really, I dont think I can express my happiness and excitement over this) and on this wee-hours-of-the-morning Good Friday, I am just straight up THANKFUL.

I cannot wait to go home tomorrow afternoon for some R&R and celebrate the fact that He is Risen with my whole family!...then get back to staring at my computer to write a research paper on The Effects of Early Intervention on Behavior and Learning in Children with Down Syndrome.

What I thought was going to be a lame and depressing post didnt turn out so bad. Funny how that happens.

This verse is perfect for my life right now... "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" -1 Peter: 6-7

Happy Easter, friends!!
Chels

Thursday, April 14, 2011

About High Time

This post was originally titled "Its Sunday, and its random" because I started it on Sunday and then either A) became too tired to finish or B) actually talked myself into doing homework, because its more important than this. I'm gonna be honest and go with A, because lets face it, I most likely did not talk myself into doing homework and I cant remember that far back.

Because I have two weeks left in my fourth and final placement of junior year (or really senior..going for the victory lap next year baby) I figured it was about high time I post about said placement so that I do in fact remember that I was there for 7 weeks. Perhaps this placement is the reason I havent written about it on this here blog, because these kids WEAR. ME. OUT. And miraculously, I have not been taking naps afterwards as I had the habit of doing up until recently. Perhaps I am finally growing up. Lack of sleep = little brain power.

This placement has been the most different from all my others in more ways than one. I am in a 3 year old inclusion room for two hours, and then a t3 year old self contained room for another two hours. What do we do in between? Well, I get there at 7am to sit there for an hour/eat breakfast/chit chat...then from 10-11am my host teacher has planning. So that is another hour of sitting around. Luckily she allows me to bring my laptop so if I dont have anything to do I can do other things. Then from 1-2 we eat lunch/chit chat/waste some more time, and from 2-2:30ish we help with car riders & day care buses and typically leave around 3:30 or 3, if i'm lucky.

I have SO loved working with the little babies, but a lot of my day feels like such a waste of time, honestly. I am, however, grateful for the four hours that I do get to experience preschool special education since it is harder to come by than elementary since kids typically are not diagnosed with an official disability until 2nd or 3rd grade. These babies, however, are most definitely SDD (Significantly Developmentally Delayed) which is what most pre schoolers are diagnosed as since it is too early to officialize something like Autism or EBD (emotional behavior disorder) as the child may grow out of symptoms or the symptoms may change or increase over time. On days that myself and another girl from my cohort are there, there are five teachers/adults for the 8 kids we have, 7 boys and 1 girl. And those five people are not enough. These boys are WILD. My host teacher looked at me one day as she was either reprimanding or pulling the pants up of one of the boys and said "It is HELL when you two are not here" and she is not someone to complain AT ALL. Our sweet little girl is blind and very mentally impaired, so she is much easier to control (when she is not hitting someone next to her or throwing things in front of her across the room.)

The two hours that I spend in the inclusion classroom are my favorite, and I am hoping to be in a primary inclusion setting next year for my senior placement. Inclusion is such a great thing for kids recieving special education services, except for a select few who may benefit much more from one-on-one time in a less crowded classroom. One of the little girls in my inclusion class has Cerebral Palsy, and she is one that would benefit so much more in a self contained setting with more attention on her. When we pull her out to go walk or just to let her have some play time without 5 other kids around her, she is SO HAPPY. She cannot tell us this, but the lack of fussing and whining and increase in smiling and goofing off tells us she enjoys it so much more. The progress she makes is minimal, but I have a very strong suspicion that it is because she is flat out stubborn and just doesnt want to do things that would make us believe she is progressing. She is happiest when she is doing what she wants to do :) Then again, who isnt?

I realize most of this is a bunch of gibberish to a lot of you, but these posts are mostly for myself, so I apologize if it bored you to tears and dont blame you if you didnt read any of it. Ha! There is so much more that I feel I could write about this placement, particularly the kids, but for now, I am going to be the responsible student that I am and start finishing the rest of this paper that is due tomorrow. Again...Ha!

Peace & Love,
Chels

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

In another effort (the billionth time perhaps) to avoid doing homework, I am linking up with Jamie (who is another fellow Georgia blogger, and lives in the same town my sister goes to school) for What I'm Loving Wednesday.

This Wednesday I am loving...

That my boys are back in town!!! Braves home opener is Friday at 7:35pm. Unfortunately I am not going to the game, but my roomate's birthday is that day and we will be celebrating that and a big W from the Bravos that evening :) Here is a BALLER video for your viewing pleasure. Said video brings tears (minimal, people...I am not that ridiculous) to my eyes and goosebumps to my skin.


I am loving that spring is officially here...as determined by the INSANE storms that the South experienced Monday night/Tuesday morning. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year...I dont care what anyone says about Christmas. Besides the fact that Jesus was born.


I am loving that my Mom footed the bill for some new spring/summer clothes from the always fabulous and cheap Forever 21 set to arrive Friday or Monday...I am hoping Friday so I can wear some of it that night for Karebear's birthday!

    

And last but not least, I am loving that I leave for the beautiful country of Belize in THIRTY EIGHT days. I plan to blog during the trip, assuming I will have time, and I cant wait to have those posts to look back on.

Photo compliments of Google Image after googling Ambergris Caye, which is where we will be snorkeling while there :) So excited!!!!!!!

Peace & Love,
Chels