I spent another week at training in Angelo on Formative Assessment. If you have not, you need to check out the work of Page Keely! I had the privilege of getting 2 of her books through our regional Science collaborative, and I am in love with her Science probes. I want to build my collection of her probes to use in my Science classroom. This is my new must have for this year :)
After my lovely week in training, I got out in time to drive home and head up my husband's family reunion in our hometown that weekend. It went off pretty well, but we had several families missing this year due to work issues and some of the grandkids playing ball of some form, but we enjoyed everyone there. The best part for me was getting to spend time cuddling with 2 of our 4 nieces. Loved those moments with those 2 sweet girls (4 years old (working on 30) and 5 months old). My husband and I are happy to announce that we are expecting another niece or nephew sometime in the early spring. My husband votes another nephew as we only have 1 lone nephew right now, but I just vote healthy and happy! We wish the 3 others and their parents could have made the journey, but from Fort Carson, it is just flat too far especially since my brother-in-law had required training that weekend. We are trying to save some money to go see them at Christmas or something.
After the family reunion was over, I took 1 day to get myself together and take care of some things before I headed out for a girls trip with my mom and my sister. On this 1 day, I made a bank run, a school run, and a grocery store run. Grocery store for easy food for my husband, bank run to make a deposit and pay bills, and the school run, well it was to check on the status of my classroom, and let's just say I didn't have to feel guilty about going to Florida. My room was a disaster area - no tile, no ceiling tiles, no insulation, wrecked out counter tops, and then some. I about flipped, but I kept my cool although the workers were just sitting around in my classroom - apparently smoking from the cigarette butts all over my counters in my classroom... One hot teacher is an understatement. Did I mention I am highly, highly allergic to cigarette smoke? Yep - fun times - not to mention all school campuses in Texas are supposed to be tobacco free - just saying... So I happily left for Florida because I refuse to deal with it. Before leaving the school though, I found out I am one of the chosen 4 to be the 6th-8th grade sponsor - that means field trips, concession stands, and more for 3 grade levels - oh boy oh boy! Does me being 29 (almost 30) have something to do with this? - probably so!!!
So Florida was fantastic. Getting to Florida was, well, rough. My sister lives in the Dallas area, and that is one of our closest airports to where I live. We went and spent the night with her and then went to the airport together on Wednesday. I drove the airport and got the fun of navigating The Parking Spot for a place to park. We then made our way through the ticket counters and security to make it to our terminal about 30 minutes ahead of boarding. We boarded and flew to Houston (stupid Wright amendment) where we have literally 5 mins to get from our first plane to our second plane. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the first ride was a little more than bumpy and a little rough on the landing - yucky! We then flew to Orlando where we had to rent a car and drive the rest of the way to Daytona Beach. My sister and I immediately changed clothes and headed for the ocean (right outside our hotel) even though it was starting to get dark. As we were walking along the ocean's edge, we noticed several people out with binoculars and cameras. One noticed we had cell phones and asked us to check launch status. I immediately went into Science teacher mode and ran for my camera up in our room. It was the Delta IV launch, and it was awesome! I wish I would have known about it earlier and I would have driven a little more to get closer. Here is a couple of (so-so) pics from that night. Top is when we first noticed the launch happening. Bottom is after I couldn't see the glow of the rocket anymore, we were noticing the trails it left behind, and I snapped this pic... It was almost 9PM when they launched, so the pics are dark.
Friday afternoon, we drove out to Ponce Inlet, and went to view a very neat lighthouse. They had a whole section dedicated to the optics of lighthouses with several large light examples and diagrams that showed how they worked. I was in Science Teacher HEAVEN once again and spent a long time looking at all of that and taking as many pictures as I could. Here is one example.
Before we left Ponce Inlet, we went over to the Marine Sciences Center, where I got to pet, yes pet, a sting ray! It was slimy, and it was AWESOME, but it was not at all like I imagined. This place was really cool - not much to see, but their main work is on rehabilitation of birds and sea turtles. The sea turtle hospital is shown below. They had xrays up of the injuries to the turtles, but I did not get a good clear picture of those. It was sad to see what our trash and other things we do can do to these wonderful little creatures. It was an education for me. There were several varieties of birds in their care, and several you could tell were recovering from broken wings or other major injuries. Very cool the work these people did, and yes of course my Science Teacher HEAVEN appeared again!
Saturday was full of wedding festivities - my sister was the maid of honor, which meant I was the video girl for this sweet couple! We wish them many years of happiness, and I am happy to report the groom just got his very first teaching job - JH History and Coach. He was so excited, and poor boy almost had to miss his bachelor golf time because of two-a-days. I told him welcome to teaching, where you give up your personal life for that of your students sometimes. He, like me, and probably many of you, did not seem to mind so much! Sunday was another full day of flying, and ROUGH flights both times! There were storms all around Houston, and it was CRAZY rough! I was just about green when I got off the plane the last time.
So in all of this rambling, you got to see some pictures I plan on using with my students, and some of you learned some quirky facts about me, but let's be hones the title of my post was Time Is Ticking Away, so what's the point. The point is that I officially go back to work on Monday the 19th, and I am not anywhere near ready. I found out today that I will not be able to get in my room until this Friday. That leaves me this weekend (Friday and Saturday - not Sunday as I have a Bowling Board Meeting) to get my room done - otherwise it will be working every spare minute I can find between in-service meetings. Not to mention probably going back each night after getting my husband fed and sitting through bowling league meetings. I am dreading the chaos of trying to get my room done. I am calling in reinforcements this weekend to help me. I am trying to get organized enough from a distance so that I won't have to stop doing the things I need to to direct someone on a new project. I worked tonight making lists and organizing materials for all of the help I can get. I am going to go tomorrow before they wax my floors and finish making my lists while standing in my classroom regardless of the construction crews. Hopefully we can get it knocked out. We will have to just see though. It will be interesting at best. So there it is, time is ticking away from me, and I have SOOOOOO many things to do, but for now, I figure I had better sleep. I will leave you with this YouTube video of my song for those of you that need some musical education.