Saturday, November 17, 2012

Write your heart out!


November 12th- 18th:
I want to begin this post with a challenge for anyone who reads this. I want you to get a piece of paper and a pen. Yes, only one piece of paper. Then, write and send a letter to someone. An old friend, a teacher, a neighbor, a relative, someone who comes to mind that may need a surprise, someone who you miss, someone who you want to reconnect with, anyone… just do it! I am writing about this challenge because my Aunt Marlyn frequently writes me letters. I get one every few months. Every day that I get a letter is amazing in more than one way. Her letters spark a smile that lasts longer than an ordinary smile. Her letters bring tears to my eyes every single time. Her letters make me realize the magic in taking the time to write a special note. I should mention that my Aunt’s letters are typed, but on a type writer. Her mistakes cannot be erased, her words cannot be spell checked so it is pretty much the same as using pen on paper. And seeing the font of a type writer reminds me of my childhood so that’s pretty amazing too. However, the most delightful thing about reading her letters is I find out what really matters to her. On a single page, space is clearly limited, one has to choose words carefully, choose ideas carefully, and choose moments to share carefully. This makes each sentence even more exceptional. So, get your piece of paper and pen and write something. Send something special through the air and feel your heart beat faster as you wait for the reply. We all know this world could use a little more magic. Some may say writing is not magical, but I think it is. Make some magic people.

@School: This week my school community was introduced to 18 student teachers! The student teachers are all assigned a cooperating teacher and they will observe and practice teaching until March. This is their final step on the path towards being a teacher. Last year we did not have any in English; however, this year there are FOUR. I recently did a training with all four of them so it is neat to be reconnected and have the opportunity to spend more time with them. My counterpart and I have been assigned two who will work side by side with us the rest of the school year. Joanne, one of the student teachers is my age and I am really looking forward to getting to know her more and hopefully doing a lot of projects with her help. We just created a new display in our classroom: “Every Child is an Artist” – Pablo Picasso. We tacked up tons of student artwork. It was really cool to work with someone who shares equal excitement as I do in regards to making students feel powerful and proud. Sometimes when I look into my crowd of students it frustrates me to see their eyes wandering. But, when I see them gazing at their piece of work or the work of another student, it just lifts up my energy and touches my soul. Frustration does not even cross my mind.
            Also, the other day I walked into my Principal’s office and she was putting a mess of dentist supplies in the cabinet. Of course I was curious so I had to ask why. She told me that there will be a dentist coming to the school soon. Any student that wants to have a tooth pulled can on that day. It was one of those moments where I wished I had been more aware of my reaction because I probably looked scared. Then I thought about it and I do not even know where the dentist office is on this island. I think there is one but I could be wrong. The do not have the tools or medicines to properly fill cavities so when the tooth rots, they just pull it. When they have no teeth, they get dentures.

@my house: We have three new puppies. When I moved in there were 5 dogs. Two died. Now we have SIX. They are all really cute. Whenever I walk I feel like I am going to step on them. I love that they follow me around. When I am washing my clothes they try and hop into the basin. This is both annoying and totally comical. I do have a favorite one. His name is Coco Martin. Joe told me that I have to give me lots of attention to he can become the leader of the pack. I hope he grows faster and stronger than the others. Right now he is the smallest and cutest little ball of fur. Sometimes I want to sneak him into my room and cuddle but then I remember that I am allergic. I just give him extra attention during my free time outside.

Last week I also started doing P90X. I am addicted already. I never thought I would be so excited about working out in shorts and a tank top. There is a big open space in the extra room at my house which gives me plenty of space for activities. I also came down with a cold last week. I convinced myself to stop exercising for one day but then the next I convinced myself that I was ready to rumble again. Well, as you may have guessed it actually made my sickness reach a more severe level as I diagnosed myself with bronchitis. I got antibiotics and decided to take more than ones days rest. Being sick is really hard without a big comfy bed, a bath tub and chicken noodle soup. I try so hard to pretend that I am not sick when I start to feel the phlegm but realize now that maybe I should not do this.

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my site mate, the marvelous Shea Johnson. We went on this 5 hour hike to the center of the Philippines with three jeeps full of students and teachers from her community. The sky was bright blue all day. Every step of the way created a new and exciting view. From the top we scoped out some white beaches and small islands that I did not know existed so near to me but will soon explore them to a greater degree and from a closer perspective. We danced down the mountain and picked up plastic along the way. We shared stories, life goals, ideas, and lots more for the whole adventure. I am truly going to miss you but I am thankful that you have been here with me for the past 16 or something months. You are an inspiration, a risk taker, a brave soul, a marvel, a great dancer, and I can’t wait to see you in the states! Rock on girl. Never forget the dolphins… Miracles are real. 

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