Sunday, May 31, 2009

The End of an Era

This week marks the end of an era. Thursday is the last day of school for Altamont students, and the last day we will be together as an Altamont family. Frankly, I'm having a hard time coming to grips with this transition. Me, who gets stressed about changes like getting a new entertainment center (seriously, I actually lost sleep over this one. It's because the new entertainment center couldn't hold as many of our framed pictures, so I was feeling sad. Totally not joking!). And here we are, what a year full of changes. Altamont closing. Teachers moving to city schools and new schools. Me without a job. Chris starting his externship. Moving to Medford. I'm not exagerrating when I say that I could quite happily teach at Altamont with these wonderful people for the rest of my life. It's no coincidence that people at Altamont have been there for a LONG time - it's because it's, hands down, the best staff in the district.

I have been trying really hard to not think about the whole situation. When we first realized that Altamont would be closing, we knew that we would all be split up. My coworkers are my best friends. My coworkers have been my family, my support system. They have been my teachers, my inspiration to become a better teacher. I have learned and grown, become a better person through my interactions with Altamont staff. As was quite aptly noted during happy hour a few hours ago, we at Altamont have had to be strong for each other, united against the poverty that plagues most of the kids at Altamont, and as a result have become closer than most staffs. And boy, have we had fun!

My worst fear is not being able to see these wonderful people every day. When something as wonderful and fabulous as Altamont happens, it makes for a difficult show to follow and live up to my heightened expectations. Regardless of what happens to our staff and our Altamont "family", lucky are those who come into contact with these kick-ass teachers!!! Thank you, Altamont, for being such a huge positive part of my life for these three years!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oh no!!

So, the other day I went to routinely check my email, and found a strange email from Paypal saying that my recent purchase has been approved and money taken out of my bank account for the purchase. The purchase? Moniker Online Services. Hmm, that's strange, I think. Let's check this out. The amount of the purchase? $829.20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes!!!!!!!! Talk about PANIC!!!!!!! I was like, whoa, I know I shop a lot, but I think I would have noticed spending $830.00 on Paypal!!! Especially since Moniker Online Services is website for registering domain names! umm... don't think I would be registering a domain name, since I barely have enough computer smarts to turn on a computer!!

So, I call Paypal, who are suprisingly helpful and I even get to talk to several REAL LIVE people (one could even speak English fluently!), so things are being taken care of. Thank goodness we actually had the funds in our account so no overdraft fees. The only snag is that our mortgage is being taken out on the 25th, so Chris had to transfer money from his credit card to our account to pay for that, but no biggie. I'm not sure how all this happened, but you can rest assured I will be watching my email and online accounts a lot more carefully in the future!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Plans

My four day weekend plans involve some of this:

Enjoying lots of this:

And maybe a little bit of this:

Life is good!

Bridal Shower

Last weekend was the commencement of various wedding festivities in honor of my sister's wedding - we kicked off with a super fun bridal shower for her, with all our Klamath theater friends. It's strange to think about how long we have been friends with all of these fun people.

Mom and I made these cute favors for people for the shower. Obviously, Meg's colors are red and black. Inside we put Lindt truffles - probably one of the best things ever. And yes, I did share.

Now, I know you're thinking "what a cute pic of Meg and Chris, they look so sweet." But, this picture really describes their relationship on a much more realistic level:

Ahh, sibling love. Mom and Meg and I also got together to put the ribbons on the vases that are going to be the centerpieces for some of her tables at the reception. Here's a sneaky peek:

Aren't they gorgeous? It's going to be a super classy wedding, we can't wait. Also found my matron of honor dress last weekend, but it's being ordered, so no pictures yet. Whew! I think we're in for a busy summer (huh, what a suprise - us, busy? no way!), but definatly fun-filled!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I survived the trip to Portland!

I survived our Honor Choir Portland trip! Yes, it's a miracle! And no, we weren't even allowed to drink.
We began bright and early on Thursday, leaving at the ungodly hour of eight am. Stopped at this adorable little park outside of Oakridge for food + games, get some energy out, + make sure the kids were nice and sweaty and stinky for the rest of the ride up.

Got up to Salem only an hour late for our tour of the Capital building (due to an accident on the highway) and with only minor motion sickness. None of the kids threw up (thank goodness - that would have made the trip officially the tenth circle of hell!). Got out for our scheduled ninety minute tour of the Capitol building, which was really very cool. We even walked up the 500,984,094,209,285,984 steps up to the top of the rotunda (or maybe it was actually only 122 - same difference!) The kids were relatively well behaved, especially for having been cooped up in the bus for several hours. Of course, the highlight of the trip was the ten foot square overpriced gift shop, crammed with all 36 choir kids spending money like there's no tommorow.

Lastly, headed to Portland to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner, which was high on kid friendly ambience, if the food was not fabulous. Anyone who has not been there should really just drive by and pop in to see the cool restaraunt (and amazing stained glass, made by the brother of a friend of mine). Again, the kids were amazingly well behaved.

Finally checked into our hotel (Embassy Suites), amid several snide comments. Leann said later that it was probably because I looked like I was a senior in high school, but I was offended nonetheless. The guy helping the manager get us checked in obviously thought I looked like a complete idiot who did not know basics of how to handle children and thought I needed to be informed that (insert snotty tone here) "Embassy Suites has a quiet after ten pm policy, so we would appreciate it if you would follow that and inform your chaperones of that." In an equally sweet tone of voice, I informed him that the Klamath County Honor Choir has a policy of in bed by 9:30 and lights out at 10 pm, so that wouldn't be an issue. Do I LOOK like an idiot??? Don't answer that.

So, got everyone checked in into their respective hotel rooms and went down to the pool - picture 36 screaming, splashing kids in a pool, with seven advil-popping, earplug wearing, chaperones around the perimeter. Bedtime could not come too soon!

Got up bright and early to head to our first performance of the day, at Pleasant Valley Elementary School. While the kids were practically asleep on their feet, they did very well. Went to lunch, stopped at the convention center to do a sound check and ask for the millionth time if everyone had their black and white clothes for the evening's performance. We headed to OMSI to have a great time before going off to the convention center again to get changed and warmed up for our big performance! Have to admit, I was even a little intimidated when we walked into that huge ballroom filled with 2,000 people!!!!!! The kids did perfect, I didn't see a single mistake and we were all so proud of them!

All in all, a great trip - great kids, fun stuff to do, and of course Steve and Leann and I make a great team! Hooray for Honor Choir - and hooray for sleep, which I now have a newfound love of, having been rather deprived of it for some time!!
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