Life Updated

You can tell I'm on summer mode.  I haven't blogged about anything education related in a while.  It will day.  For now, let's catch up.

My little family and I are in Colorado.  Shocking, no?  I think I talk about Colorado in my college classes as much as I talk about Montessori Education and as lovingly.  Seriously, Colorado is like a giant playground.  Case in point, Lil O hula hooping it up at a town party.

Or Puppy Jedi enjoying an outhouse race (yes, I'm serious...outhouses!).  By the way, I counted.  In ten square feet, there were seven dogs.  Seven!  Colorado is dog heaven and Jedi is enjoying every minute of it and the hundred dogs he has met. Not to mention he has met some donkeys, ponies, sheep, goats and even a miniature pot belly pig.  Have you seen miniature pot belly pigs?  A-dorable.  I think I want one. 

The altitude here is almost 10,000 feet.  It generally takes me (and the rest of the family) 2-5 days to acclimate.  Until that point, I have a slight headache.  I am incredibly thirsty and semi-lethargic.  Oh, how I adore the plethora of oxygen you find at sea level!  Since we are now in Day 3 of our Colorado stay, I took Jedi on a hike up to our neighborhood lake.  He was such a good hiker (and then he took a big ole' nap).  I love that he can be off-leash so much in Colorado.  Even dogs walk down Main Street off-leash (not Jedi as he is soooo puppy still).

Our hike summit.  Pretty, no?

I promise not to blog about Life Updated things all summer long.  But, you can tell I'm definitely not in the mood to talk about much else right now.  As for an update on Mr. UpCyclist.  Let's just say he over-did his mountain biking the last two days and is now taking the day off.  Somehow he has forgotten he was hit by a car exactly one month ago and I'm silly and forgot to "ground" him.

Note to self:  Keep husband in check.  Drink lots of water.  Love on Lil O, Mr. U, and Jedi.  Enjoy life.

What's your summer like?


Being a Judge is Hard Work

And I thought grading papers is challenging sometimes.  Being a judge for Crafterhours Skirt Week is no easy feat.  I mean, look at all this eye candy of gloriousness?  I can see myself wearing some of these skirts to school and some of these to play.  Which one is your favorite out of the A-line finalists pictured below?

(from Crafterhours)

Did I mention this is just one category of skirts?  There are three other categories and over 300+ entries for Skirt Week. For the next few days, you get to vote for your favorites.  Plus, you can see me and my fellow judges here.  Don't I look smiley?  Mr. UpCyclist thinks I over-smile for photos.  I disagree.

Thanks, Crafterhours, for inviting me to judge.  Now, back to grading papers and skirts.  Oh, wait, it is summer!  Now back to play time!



PS - For those of you right now who are thinking "Wow, the life of a teacher - summer off."  This is the season to refuel and prep for next school year.  After all, I have new teacher tricks up my sleeve for fall. I also like to take part of the summer to catch up on all the good teacher-related literature I haven't had time to read.  First book in my queue is Imagine by Jonah Lehrer.  If it is worthwhile, I'm sure it will be bloggable.  Huh, funny word, bloggable.

Life Updated: Summer Begins

With school/college just ending, let summer begin!  The first adventure of the summer... a road trip to Memphis, TN to see my mom and step-dad.  The photos above go like this:

  • (top left) Lil O keeps very busy in the car.  Our uber-cool neighbors gave her an activity bag and thank goodness, as 95% of the time she's been busy with the activities they gave her (not the ones I packed).  
  • (top right) Puppy Jedi is embracing a good road trip.  Here, he is sleeping with his bunny.  He even got to spend the night in a hotel for the first time and meet other dog-hotel guests.
  • (bottom left) Me and my parents' bird, Sebastian.  Would you believe Sebastian loves to cuddle and ride around on your shoulder and chest?  Cutie pie bird and thankfully, Jedi seems to like him.  PS on that one:  I caught Jedi licking Sebastian's feathers lovingly (or hopefully not with hopes of eating him!).  
  • (bottom right) With me at the wheel, Lil O, Mr. UpCyclist and Jedi watch a movie.  Yes, it is very hard to see Jedi. Can you spot him all nestled in?  I should mention that the entire front seat is completely empty.  Our family really likes to be close :)

Yay, summer!  I hope yours is off to a good start.

All the best,


Teaching on the Navajo Nation

(Kayenta and the surrounding area is really this pretty)

A friend recently emailed as my old school district is in need of many teachers for next year.  Let me just say this:  I. Loved. This. District.  Since I love a good list, here's why {cool} teachers should consider teaching for Kayenta Unified School District in very northern Arizona:

1.  The school district is on the Navajo Nation about two hours north of Flagstaff, AZ.  Flagstaff, by the way, is an adorable college town.
2.  My Navajo students and their families were loving, kind, and welcoming to me.  Since I am non-Navajo, my students took me under their wings and inviting me to rodeos, ceremonies, and special events.
3.  The Navajo Nation is an amazing place.  It is the size of West Virginia, spans into four states, is gambling- and alcohol-free, and is rich in culture and tradition.
4.  Have you wanted to live abroad, but haven't made the jump?  Living on the Navajo Nation, immersed in Navajo culture and language is a super way to feel like you are outside the regular USA, but still on US soil.
5.  As a teacher, you are paid well and provided housing at a very reduced rate.  I lived in a spacious one-bedroom apartment and paid $120/month for it.  
6.  I saved soooo much money when I lived in Kayenta as there aren't many places to spend money. When I lived there, we had six restaurants.  The Holiday Inn's restaurant was considered the nicest.
7.  If you like the outdoors, you are close to everything spectacular:  Two hours to the Grand Canyon, two hours to Moab, two hours to Telluride/Durango.  Mountain biking and hiking out your bike door, literally.
8.  The students.....oh, I loved my students.  Still do.  I keep in touch with a few of them.  Since most of my students were Navajo (about 98%), they were bilingual.  I remember trying to learn just a few "easy" words in Navajo, like Hello, and my students (after two years) would say, "You're not saying it correctly!"  Learning Navajo is challenging.  If you don't believe me watch the Wind Talkers movie.
9.  In Kayenta, I taught more students who earned a 3 or higher on their AP exams and earned college scholarships than I have ever taught anywhere else.  Smart kids, I tell ya.
10.  If you like snow, I also experienced more snow days off from school in Kayenta than when I lived in Colorado!  Yay, for high desert climates!

Consider teaching in Kayenta (if you are a great educator; lame-os don't apply).  Teaching there is true delight and pure amazingness.

Click here to see KUSD's latest job postings.  You could also start applying for your Arizona teaching license.  And by the way, obtaining a teaching license in another state isn't as crazy as everyone makes it out to be.  Believe me, I have three licenses in three different states.  Time and patience is all you need.

Ya at eeh,


My Favorite Internet Browser {for Tech Tuesday}

Let's start with what I am tired of....Internet Explorer.  When Picnik was alive, it didn't interface well with Internet Explorer, in my opinion.  I had the hardest time saving my photos to my computer.  Now, that I have resorted to PicMonkey, Internet Explorer definitely doesn't work well with that site either.  AND, Blogger and Internet Explorer do not play nicely together.  Thus, bye bye to Internet Explorer.

What's my favorite Internet browser then?  Chrome!  Yep, my college students turned me onto Chrome and now, I am a Chrome lov-er.  I like how fast it searches.  I like that in the URL window, I can either type in a web address OR I can type in a search word and Chrome naturally knows I'm searching for that word/site/topic/etc.  I like that Chrome has built-in security measures to protect me and my new laptop (thanks, Lil O and Mr. UpCyclist).  I adore how easy it is in Chrome to add favorites and organize them.  I also like that with Chrome you can add lots of other add-ons (they are almost like mini-apps), though I haven't explored that area as much I will in the future.

My two close seconds to Chrome are Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari.  Though, Chrome wins it for me, hands-down.  Plus, for those of you who like hard data, see what Life Hacker prefers.  Great minds think alike.

Though, I must admit, I had never heard of Opera before writing this blog post.  It looks....ok.....

Raising my glass to Chrome!