Jury Duty

So ironically enough my boyfriend and I have both been summoned to jury duty in the last two weeks. His summons was for the 6th of January and mine was for today. He was assigned to a specific court for a specific time but even though he sat through a couple of hours of voire dire he was picked. Today I made my trek to downtown to serve my civic duty. It took me forever to get to the courthouse because of the weather and early morning traffic. I arrived just as a bus was pulling up so I thought I was safe. However the bus filled up four people before I was able to get on it. I ended up standing outside wet and cold for several minutes waiting for the next bus. By the time we made it to the courthouse and through security we were told that we were too late to serve today. I had to reschedule my service for another date. Now I am at home instead of at work. I considered going in to work but I already have a sub and honestly it’s just not worth it with the weather outside. I am going to help one of my colleagues with the lesson plan during her conference period though because she is the only one of our group that is at work today. I am a bit concerned and feel guilty for not going in to work but I am hoping it will be okay.

Reflecting on 2019

I have had some very significant things happen to me in 2019. I met an amazing man at the end of 2018 that has spent all of 2019 with me. My oldest child graduated high school and moved in with my mom to attend college. My youngest child has started his junior year and then scored really high on his ACT and now he is much more focused on his future and college. It always amazes me at the end of every year how different my life seems to be. I knew at the beginning of this year there would be lots of changes with my daughter going graduating and starting college. I didn’t expect to end the year with an amazing man that surprised me on Christmas Day with a trip to Paris, France for our spring break in March. I have had so many ups and downs over the last five or six years since my second divorce so it is nice to finally feel like I am on solid ground and moving forward in the right direction. I have a healthy relationship with a man that I can truly share my life with and I honestly never really expected to find that. I know that 2020 will bring its own challenges but I also know that I have someone by my side to share them with. Now is the time to focus on finding my son the perfect place to start his college experience in a year and a half. I can’t believe that I am on the cusp of having an empty nest and while a year ago that thought scared me a little bit, now I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my relationship and for my two beautiful children. Life is great!!!

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My Family Christmas 2019

New Teacher Training Day 2

So today was supposed to be spent discussing and working through the PLC (Professional Learning Communities) format by subject. We did a two hour overview this morning but then we were supposed to be separated by subject and grade level. The overview session was really interesting and went pretty quickly but then we separated into our groups. To begin with they had all the high school teachers in one room instead of separating us by grade level. Our deans of instruction weren’t really prepared because they didn’t even realize that we had all been intentionally locked out of our grade book software. I was unimpressed that they were so unknowledgeable and unprepared to help us. I wasn’t looking forward to spending the whole day discussing PLC but at the same time I also didn’t intend on having my time wasted. After the grade book issue they let us go ahead and go to the high school to get our room keys and check out our rooms. Of course I got my key yesterday and my room is almost done because of the work I put in last week. So basically from 11am until 1 am I had nothing to do. I hadn’t brought the rest of the stuff for my room because we were supposed to be on the other campus all day. Then we met with our principal at 1pm and he only talked with us for about 30 minutes and then we were given more time in our rooms. I honestly felt like everything after the first session this morning was a complete waste of time. I completely understand why we do teacher in-service but I would prefer them to respect my time and communicate effectively enough that I can make plans. Today was a waste for me and now tomorrow is convocation. I know that tomorrow will be really crazy because all the regular teachers start back tomorrow.

New Teacher Training Day 1

So today I started EDIT which is my new district’s version of new teacher training. It may come as a surprise to those in other professions but when you go from one job to another in the education field you are required to attend new teacher training. As far as training goes it went pretty smoothly. I got my picture taken for my ID, got my room keys today, and I even got my teacher chrome book. Needless to say I am off to a pretty good start since I took the initiative and spent one day last week working on my room. My room is almost complete and I am feeling pretty good about my abilities after watching all the brand new teachers today. I had forgotten what it was like to be completely new to the profession. Being around a bunch of new teachers made me feel extremely lucky to be in my position because although I am teaching two new subjects this year, I know how to teach. Tomorrow we are slated to spend the majority of the day working in our PLC’s which should be interesting and on Wednesday the whole staff joins the mix. So far I feel like my twelfth year is off to a pretty good start.

Driver’s Test

My eighteen year-old daughter is supposed to move out in less than two weeks but she still doesn’t have a driver’s license. This wouldn’t be an issue if she was going to be living on campus but she is supposed to live with my mom and commute to school every day. We have been working on driving for several months but with our trip to Florida my daughter hadn’t driven in two weeks. We practiced a ton yesterday for her test this afternoon. The major issue is that she didn’t learn how to parallel park until yesterday. We got to the test today and she had to parallel park the first part of the test. Needless to say she screwed it up somehow and she failed her test. In fact the officer didn’t even let her continue the test. My daughter has no idea what she did wrong. I know from all her practice that her technique had been really good so I’m honestly not sure what happened. When we got home we got online to find out when we could register her for another test. The next available date is August 15th which is only a few days before she is supposed to start school and after she moves. The DPS near our house has an earlier date than any where else so we went ahead and took the appointment for now but I have no idea how we are going to get her there. Unfortunately for me that is also the first day of school. We made the appointment for the late afternoon but I still have no idea how we are going to make it happen. My stomach was in knots today by the time she took the test so who knows how I feel when she takes it again. I just really hope we can find a way to get her to her test on the 15th. My stress is at level 50 right now because I am so worried how we are going to get her to school and get her test done. I am also not looking forward to more parallel parking practice. I at least figured out today that the DPS has set poles next to it so maybe we can go and practice some time after hours or on the weekends.

Universal Florida Day 2

So Thursday we used our second pass for Universal. We woke up and it was raining unfortunately which is a common occurrence this time of year in Florida but instead of light rain for a few minutes we had it most of the day. We decided to start the day at Universal Studios since we had spent the majority of the previous day at Islands of Adventure. Ws started the day in Daigon Alley because we wanted to ride the Gringott’s Bank ride and it fills up rather quickly.

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The above picture is of Kreacher. If you knock on the doors below he will eventually look out the window. It’s actually pretty cool to watch the crowds just waiting  in anticipation for his appearance. After that we headed to the other part of the park so we could go through the Simpson’s section. We walked all through the Simpson’s area and we even had a giant apple fritter as a snack. The stores and attractions were really cool and we took some really silly pictures.

We even took our picture in front of a replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

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We even rode a ride that was fashioned after ET.

As the day progressed we started wandering through all these really cool side stores and I was so surprised to find a cool life-size statue of Harley Quinn so of course I had to have my picture made with her.

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I absolutely love Harley Quinn so I was super happy. It was quite the coincidence that I also happen to be wearing one of my Harley Quinn t-shirts.

Then we rode this really cool ride that was Jimmy Fallon’s race through New York. The ride was mostly 3D and kind of odd but it was also really cool.

After Jimmy Fallon we got on the Hogwarts Express so that we could go to Hogsmead and have lunch in the Three Broom Sticks.

Then it was about break time so we rode The Mummy’s Revenge which is a really cool ride and then we went to hangout in an Irish Pub called Finnigan’s. We ended up chilling there for a couple of hours and then eating dinner there too. My boyfriend’s brother decided to come out again so he met us and had dinner with is at Finnigan’s.

After dinner we didn’t take any pictures but we did ride three rides starting with the Simpson’s, then Men In Black and finally we finished the day the way we started riding Gringott’s again.

Epcot

So on Wednesday we took a break from Universal and headed to Epcot. I was completely surprised at the difference in Epcot from Universal. My boyfriend kept trying to tell me that Epcot is an experience not really an amusement park. It is really interesting how they have the park setup. You have one half the park that is set up like a learning environment about things like the land and the sea. The other half of the park is setup in countries. The country part was our favorite and is honestly where we spent the majority of our day. We spent the morning wandering from country to country looking at cool shops and all sorts of neat architecture that has been recreated from the originals. We started the day in Mexico and then proceeded to Norway, China, Africa, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and finally Canada. The first time through we spent a lot of time in most of the countries except Canada because we were trying to make it to the Soaring Ride in the land area by a certain time.

After Soaring then we rode several cool rides in the Land, Sea, and Spaceship Earth areas of the park.

Since the rides at Epcot are so much gentler than Universal we were actually able to take a lot of fun pictures on the rides. The one all the way to the right is in Spaceship Earth during the part where it is all stars around us.

After those rides we headed back to the countries where I was on a mission to find small flags from each country for my classroom this year. As a future geography teacher I thought it would be cool to have the flags to add to my classroom. We had some wonderful food and alcohol thought the day.  It was a relaxing day compared to the one before.