Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2009

Show Me You Are Alive

It is amazing how much of a difference the mix of different students in a class can make. And this year I have an odd one. I have two sections of each grade and in one grade the first class I have is great. They talk, share, discuss, laugh, ask questions...we have a great. The second class is the exact opposite.

Do you have any questions?


Can you give me an example of this?


I have hand somewhat quiet classes before, but one day this week proved to me this class was like no other.

We just finished reading a novel together and I had found some interesting videos clips to show that related to the novel and would hopefully enhance their reading. The first class of course thought these were fantastic and had all kinds of questions so I barely got both videos in. The second class had no questions, no thoughts, nothing. They were awake, I think, but I am not sure if their minds were all there. So, there were about five minutes left in the class period and being the well-organized…


I don't know if it was the unusually hot weather last week or what, but we were a bit over run by crickets.

It seemed like every time I turned around there was another cricket hopping along on the floor. I am pretty sure we killed at least one every day.

I should really say Wilbert killed them. I am pretty brave when it comes to things like insects and snakes and spiders. But I don't like trying to kill crickets. When Wilbert asks me why, my only response is, "They jump."

Sounds so threatening, I know. But they could jump on me and crawl on my face or get in my clothes. When they jump they move fast and their path is unpredictable. And they can jump inside the tissue once you have caught them and I also don't like squishing their hard exoskeleton.

I will kill a spider any day. But please don't ask me to kill a cricket.

The Closest to Famous We Will Ever Get

Two semi touches with sort of fame this past week.

First, our school hosted a CTI team that led a chapel this week. We had them over for supper and, since we have just a few musical instruments kicking around, it led to a spontaneous praise and worship session. They put a little video of it on their blog. It is kind of neat to know that our living room now lives on YouTube.

Second, the most recent issue of Reader's Digest has a list of six internet sites that are interesting when you are in need of a little vacation at work. Number 3 is "The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks" which was started by a girl that I went to high school with. We were in book club together. I have mentioned this blog before, and now Reader's Digest has caught on to the trend as well.

Such is the life of the famous. But, I am not holding my breath for the paprazzi to show up at my door step.

Excuses to Make Dessert

By now you should know that I enjoy baking. If I have to bring some food to a gathering, I will always volunteer to bring dessert. I always figure that if there are left overs, I would rather bring a yummy dessert home than anything else. I also like the excuse to make a dessert. It seems little silly to make a whole dessert for just my husband and myself (not to mention that it is probably not the best for our health either).

So this past week, a group came into lead chapel and we had them over for a meal. So I tried a new dessert recipe "Chocolate Caramel Pecan Torte."

Let's just say it tasted just as good as it looked.


During my sister's wedding and while we were in California, we got to meet my new brother-in-law's niece and nephew. They are super cute kids and full of energy.

At the second reception in California, I spent a lot of time with the little nephew, who is three. Since I didn't really know anyone there other then my family, I thought I could be helpful and entertain him so his family could enjoy time with extended family and friends. So after a little bashfulness and a little game, he became my best bud for the evening.

At the second reception, the party favors were Van Houten Chocolate Covered Almonds. This is fitting because my sister married into the Van Houten family (not related to the people that create this product) and they live in an area where a lot of almonds are grown.

Once these favors where passed out, my conversation with the little nephew went like this:

N(ephew): What are those?

M(e): Chocolate covered almonds. Do you want to have some?

N: Are they all nasty insid…

Why It Is A Good Idea to Think Before You Speak

Teenagers are funny people sometimes. And each class of course has its own class clown. One class inparticular has a class clown that always likes to ask questions about Wilbert, or me, or Canada or really anything. He likes to talk, a lot, and often comes up with some really funny things. Friday was no exception.

As an English teacher, I often have to come up with example sentences and things to explain grammar concepts and other things. I often use my sisters' names since they are both fairly common names, but no one in school has them. So I told my class, as I was writing the sentence that included my sisters full name, that this was my sister that just got married that I visited in California.

Then the above mentioned class clown asks, "Did she marry Mr. Talen's brother?" I should point out he asked this after saying my sister's name (including her new last name) out loud.

I looked at him with a puzzled look, I think, and said, "No, her last name isn't …

A Quick Trip to California

My sister now lives in California. And what is the point of having some one you know live in a warm, beautiful and sunny state like California if you don't visit them. And since my sister had been there for about a week, we thought it was time.

Actually, it was time for the second reception for my sister and her new husband, so the whole family headed out to California for Labor Day weekend. It was a very quick trip, but we did get to see some sights like:
In-N-Out - very tasty.

The Calaveras Big Trees
They were very big trees.
Wilbert and I on the big stump.

We also did some fun family activites like:
folding napkins for the reception.
Playing some killer games of boccie ball. When ever we play team games with my family, it always the women verses the men. I won't tell you the final scores of the two games we played, but lets just say I don't the guys will want to have rematch in the near future ( or maybe they do. Bring it on!)

So, yes it was a very quick trip but very worth it a…