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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So the last few days have been insane because it has been non-stop amusement parks. Monday morning we drove to Orlando from Sarasota for the last leg of our vacation and the last family introduction of the trip. Orlando is the home of my boyfriend’s brother. Tuesday morning we got up and headed to Islands of Adventure at Universal. We got a park hopper pass and we ended up spending part of the day at Universal Studios.
We started our day by riding the Hulk which is an insane roller coaster. We had some previous warning about the speed and structure of the ride but it was awesome. Next we wandered through many cool gift shops and then we headed towards the other side of the park. We of course headed to Hogsmead me because we both enjoy Harry Potter. Hogsmead was insanely crowded but we enjoyed the ambience of the setup.
The crowds were a bit much for us so we wandered back around towards the front of the park and spent an hour or so chilling in a bar with some decent Sangria. After a nice rest we headed to the Universal side of the park so we could visit Daigon Alley. Before you actually reach Daigon Alley you are in a section of the park that looks like London. As we walking around we came across the Knight Bus from Harry Potter. I got to talk to the bus driver and the shrunken head.
We arrived in the late afternoon so the sky was beautiful over the buildings.
The stores inside Daigon Alley were so cool. They had robes for all the houses as well as interactive wands that would enable you to do magic in the park. We had a lot of fun just wandering around looking at everything. That evening my boyfriend’s brother joined us and we had dinner in The Leaky Cauldron. It was interesting because of course the food was more British inspired but it was really good. This was also our first encounter with Butterbeer. I have to say it is really sweet but we opted for the carbonated from rather than the frozen option. We honestly didn’t ride as many rides on Tuesday but it was still a very cool day. The lines were so long earlier in the day that we walked to the other park rather than riding the Hogwarts Express. So tonight we rode the Hogwarts Express back to the other park.
We finished off the day watching an amazing light show on the side of Hogwarts Castle back in Hogsmead.
So today we visited the Ringling Museum Gardens. I would have loved to tour the museum and the mansion but sometimes when you are visiting with family you do what is cheaper instead of what you really want. The gardens are very beautiful and we had a really nice walk around the grounds. We were able to take a lot of nice pictures.
I am not sure what is on the agenda for the rest of the day but I do know that Sarasota is very beautiful. It is interesting to me that summer is not the peak season in Florida the way you would normally think of it. Apparently all the snowbirds like to visit Florida in the winter during the snowy season. It has been wonderful traveling with my boyfriend because he is so great to me. I didn’t have any doubts about our relationship at home but I have even less doubts now. I love him and I love exploring the world with him.