Friday, April 18, 2014

Remembering Good Friday

Last night I was thinking about what I could possibly post today for Good Friday, but nothing really came to mind. When I was scrolling my Instagram feed this morning, I came across this beautiful calligraphy with Jesus' words that really sums up what the day represents. I met Jenna through my job at Gateway. She's the granddaughter of the pastor who founded the church and the school, the older sister of one of my former students, and now the wife of my former colleague. Of course, I really only knew of her, but now I see her every once in a while when I go sub. I didn't know that she had such an artistic side, and I absolutely love the lettering she does. I guess I never thought about how Bible verses or phrases could take on a whole new meaning when done in calligraphy.

Written by Jenna Flynn
I feel that this particular piece really just expresses what I can't put into words right now. It's part of Jesus' last words spoken as He was being crucified on the cross, and seeing it written like this just brings it that much nearer and dearer to my heart. Though we are joyous when we think about Easter Sunday as we celebrate Christ's resurrection, today is the day we think about the sacrifice, the pain, and the suffering. I admit that each year, Good Friday makes me the slightest bit uncomfortable because I think about what Jesus gave up for me and then I think about my own life and try to tell myself that I should be feeling these things on more than just one day of the year. What a beautiful reminder of the love and the obedience that we should strive to have. Thanks, Jenna, for posting this and letting me use it on my blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: "Driving" to Florida in Florida

I don't think I've ever officially done a "Throwback Thursday" post on any social media outlet, but considering today is my cousin Christina's birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to post this picture! Happy birthday, Gina!

My older brother Jonathan, me, my cousin Brian, and my cousin Gina
This was obviously taken MANY years ago in the early 90's when my family and my Uncle Danny and his family went to Florida together. When in Orlando, there are definitely going to be trips to the Disney World parks, but when you're with cousins, there's even a lot of fun to be had at our home away from home for the week! I actually have very vivid memories of this moment at my parents' timeshare and not just because it was captured on camera. We were pretending to be in a vehicle, so that's why you see my brother with his hands up because he was driving. I had my arms up because I was supposedly relaxing during the ride. You can also see that behind Gina, we packed the trunk of our vehicle because those are our little pillows and Jon's blanket and my blue and yellow duffel bag. Looking at this photo really makes me long for the less complicated days of our childhood.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Springtime for Hitler and Germany

The title of this post has absolutely NOTHING to do with the content, but as I was trying to think of something catchy that had to do with spring, I started singing "Springtime for Hitler" from The Producers in my head (oh, memories of seeing Matthew Broderick on stage)! Now it's stuck in there. The bad thing about it is that I only know that one line ... haha.

Even if I did know the entire song, it wouldn't change the fact that today was clearly NOT a day for spring weather! When I woke up this morning, I saw on Facebook that people were talking about snow. Snow? What? It's April 16! I looked out the window and saw that the branches had a layer of white. I nudged Howard who was still in bed because he wasn't feeling well and took a sick day, and I think I really confused him. He must have thought I was delirious when I said there was snow outside.

I walked out of the apartment to go to work knowing I'd have to clean off the car, but I didn't at all anticipate how long it would take me. I think it took me longer today than it did the many times I've had to do it in the winter! What was left wasn't snow; it was just an icy layer. As you can see in the photo below, our parking spot is not in the sun at all, so there were actually other cars that weren't as bad.

While scraping the ice off, I had to stop a few times to take a break because it was tiring! It didn't help that I was wearing flats and getting a shower of freezing precipitation with every scrape. I knew I might have to drive a different car once I got to my parents' house, so I didn't want to wear boots. However, when I was starting to get extra cold, I was regretting that choice. Thankfully, I had put on my big winter jacket and my gloves were in the pockets.

I was happy to see the brightness of the sun throughout the rest of the day because I knew it would get rid of the residue I didn't completely remove from the car. But the sun we saw wasn't nearly as amazing as what could be seen in Florida! At one point during the day, there was apparently a halo around the sun! I've never seen a rainbow like that even in pictures until today. Though I'm sure the real life experience must have been jaw-dropping, I'm glad that a few of my friends posted their views on social media so I could share in the wonder.

Photography courtesy of Susie Katz (one of my DIS friends who now lives in Florida!)
I do remember that it has snowed in April before so it wasn't entirely uncommon, but let's hope that this really was the last of the snow until winter returns at the end of the year!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Post?!

What a sad day that I have finally gotten to a day where I don't have a blog post. A long day of being at work and then coming home to still not have water until after 7pm (they were working on the apartment building's plumbing from 8am-4pm, and it went over!) just made me feel ill. When the water finally returned, we had to let it run for a long time before it turned clear. Then I ate a bowl of oatmeal and promptly fell asleep. That was my Tuesday night. Thus, no blog post. Boo to that!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Organization Makes My Heart Sing!

I know my blog title is super corny, but I really have no other ideas considering it's currently 11:35pm and I'm writing this post much later than normal. I subbed for 5th grade today, and while I don't have the time or energy to write about the events of the day the way I did the last time I subbed for 2nd grade, I just had to post the following picture because it just really made me a happy camper this morning!

In the past, I've subbed for teachers who called out last minute because they were ill or their kid was suddenly sick or they had a family emergency. Sometimes that meant that there were minimal or no lesson plans at all, but as long as I have some time before the day starts or a prep in the morning, it's manageable. To some degree, I enjoy the freedom of teaching whichever subjects I prefer as long as someone points out what the class is up to in the textbook or workbook. That means I'd typically choose math and reading/language because those are the subjects I taught in middle school and just really love them the most. Depending on the grade, I also really enjoy science. 

However, that's not to say I don't absolutely LOVE it when a teacher is prepared for an absence ahead of time and leaves detailed plans! The 5th grade teacher left her regular lesson plan book that included the Aim, Do Now, and Lesson Steps; but she also included a Substitute Teacher binder that explained what to do for the lessons. In the binder, I also found classroom rules and procedures and which students could help if I needed it (ex. who could help set up the SmartBoard although I avoided that because I didn't want to deal with spending a lot of time figuring it out!). All the needed teacher's editions of the textbooks and worksheets were stacked in order of the day's schedule. The pages even had post-it notes on them so I didn't need to look for the correct page! While the kids were taking a test in the morning, I read through all the material, which was a lot faster than normal because of how organized everything was.

The sheet below was also part of the binder.

I think that that's such a great idea because I too absolutely hate not knowing what goes on in my classroom when I'm out (er, I mean what WENT on in my classroom as I no longer have my own classroom). I do my best to leave detailed notes even when it's not requested because I want the teacher to know as much about the day as possible because it was always reassuring for me. I actually had to get some sheets of looseleaf though because as I wrote to my former colleague, I'm rather neurotic and need a lot of space and lines to write about every period of the day. Since the kids had Spanish during 8th period, I was able to finish jotting down what happened with probably more detail than necessary, haha.

Other than a little bit of rowdiness immediately after returning from recess, the day went smoothly. I am, however, glad that after this week of subbing/proctoring/making up preps, I know I won't be called in next week during Easter break! It'll be nice being able to sleep in without setting an alarm.