Friday, August 27, 2004

One week down...14 more to go! This week has gone fairly well. This semester is going to be challenging but I think it will be fun and rewarding as well. It's kind of weird to think that this is my last semester of real classes. Next semester I will enter the world of Student Teaching...dum, dum, dum!

Tomorrow, Saturday, I have to be in Chamber 107 at 9:00 in the morning to take a test. One week down and already I'm taking a test. Actually it is a practice test for teacher certification. In order to receive my teacher certification I have to take two tests: one in pedagogy which is mainly all-round knowledge about teaching and then a content test which, for me, will be in history. During the semester we will have labs in which we practice taking both of these tests. Once we make 75% or above we can receive our barcodes to register for the actual test held in October and December. At the testing site we will be fingerprinted and have a criminal background done--they take this thing seriously.

I took part of a content test in my History for Teachers class on Wednesday and it was a bit on the difficult side. So I hope I do fairly well tomorrow so I don't have to take it again til the real thing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Well, school has started off with a bang. I love the start of school--mainly because it is so dull here in the summer. The campus is rejuvinated by the thousands of students who return. I guess I sort of thought this year would be like my senior year of high school--a few challenging classes but mostly some time to rest and relax. That thought soon died as I came to the revelance of the end of my college career. The first day of school was good. I had two classes that were pretty normal: American West and History for Teachers (a class where pretty much all we do is take practice tests to get us ready for the content exit test for certification). One thing that was kind of a big load was the fact that in the History for Teachers class we have to read four history high school textbooks during the semester (whoa!). The next day was very overwhelming with lots of information. I had my education block class which is on Tues./Thurs. from 12-3. I thought on the first day we would get out early so I decided not to eat lunch before hand and wait till class got out. Well, I didn't get to eat til 3:30 in my office and it was a lovely bag of Cheetos. I found out I have to do 45 hours of observation at AHS, develop a unit with 5 lesson plans, actually teach in the class I am observing, and many other things. It's really scary--I'm actually beginning my teaching career. I think this sememster is going to be harder and more time consuming than any other I've had so far. Eh, that's life. There may be many nights this sememster that I rely on my friends Hershey and Godiva to get my through ;)

Friday, August 13, 2004

In the Darkness

For quite some time now I have been walking down a lighted path toward the future. I had everything planned out: apply to graduate schools (mainly UT), finish senior year, graduate, then start my life as a grad student. I was so proud of myself for knowing what I was going to do months before graduation came. But yesterday crushed my aspirations, leaving me confused and bewildered in the darkness.

On Wednesday I made my way to the grand city of Austin. I was so excited--it was my first trip all by myself. I made tons of maps so I wouldn't get lost. I even had hotel reservations at the Holiday Inn. My reason for this trip was to talk to the history graduate school at UT. I spent Wednesday night finding my hotel, finding the building at UT I was suppose to go to tomorrow, and just touring downtown Austin. I went down 6th street and saw the capitol (so cool!).

My meeting was at 2:00 that afternoon. I made sure I looked casually formal, classy but not overdone. The meeting was very interesting and I gained a lot of information, some I didn't want to hear. The subject I wanted to do my masters in, Modern Europe, requires language experience in either German or French. The problem with that is I took Spanish back in high school. Shot number 1. Then I told her about my degree and how I was following a teaching plan. She said based on that degree it would be more beneficial to take a year or two off from school and enter the teaching field to get a taste of the work force. Shot number 2.

I was so confused and let down. I was basing everything on going to grad school before teaching. I walked around the campus for a little bit on my way to my car. I then started the drive back to Abilene. I'm very thankful that I was on the right highway because for the first 30 minutes I zoned out, deeply thinking about what my future plans would be. As of now I think I will enter the teaching field after graduation. But even that holds many uncertainties. What if I don't pass the certification test? What if no one hires me? Where will I be teaching? My world has been thrown for a loop and it's hard for me to accept it. I'm a person who enjoys plans and structure--at least with this sort of thing.

Well, I have a year to get use to this new plan so I will try to put all this behind me and live up my senior year as best as possible!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Faith is the Victory

This Sunday at church the communion was led by Jeff Childers. He directed the comments toward the children of the church but indirectly it was also pointed at the adults. He asked the kids to ask their parents or adults around them what the bread and wine meant to them. I found this question to be very intriguing. Yet when the plate was passed to me and I was asked "what does this meant to you?" I stated that truthfully I didn't know. At first I thought that I had copped out of the question, diverging a situation that caused me to open up and share feelings and beliefs. But as I thought about it I realized my statement was the truth.

In my heart I know that the communion is a symbol of our Savior's great love, devotion and sacrifice. That's what we have been told by preachers and through the Bible. But the problem I realized on Sunday was that I don't know what it means to me on a personal level. How do I view Jesus? Do I accept and respect the gift he gave me with the amount of reverence that I should? This realization really shook me up the rest of the service. And the feelings continued in the middle school class as we talked about sitting and listening to God speak to activity I truthfully never exercise.

I realized that my spiritual life has been on a roller coaster. Not the kind that goes up high peaks and down valleys, symbolizing struggles and times of joy, but rather like a roller coaster that spins and loops in every direction causing confusion and disorientation. I don't know where I am with my spiritual life. I don't spend time with God as I should and it bothers me immensly. To those of you reading this blog, whether you know me or not, I would ask that you pray for me and my relationship with God. Thank you.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Quote to Ponder

"Vanity working on a weak mind produces every kind of mischief. "

(A quote from one of the best movies: Emma)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Small Vacation

This weekend I was able to take my small vacation of the summer. It was going to be a family vacation but my dad was unable to get away from work (this is his busiest time of the year). So on Friday my sisters and I drove to my grandmother's house in Dallas. My mom joined us later that night. The main thing we were looking forward to was Six Flags on Saturday. I haven't been in at least 4 years and this time it was just going to be us kids--no parents to hold us back!

We got to the park pretty much at the time it opened and we stayed til it closed. We didn't take time for sitting breaks or restroom breaks--we were on a mission. We did stop for lunch just to regain our strenght for those long lines. We even decided to forego supper so we could ride more rides! We rode practically all of the large roller coasters. I was amazed at how much my sisters have grown up. I remember the times at Six Flags when you couldn't pay them to get on a roller coaster. This time they went on everything--even the Titan (which is one amazing rush!) The only problem we had was on that parachute ride--the one that isn't fast at all, it just goes up then down very slowly. I hate that ride with an unmarketable passion. But I thought maybe this time was different. I sat in the middle of my sisters and the whole time I was screaming in a raspy voice "I hate this ride! I hate this ride! Get me on the ground!" I can take everything else but not those parachutes.

It was such a wonderful day mainly because I got to spend it all with my sisters--I don't get to do that often. They are the best and I could never ask for better sisters!