Saturday, March 31, 2012

Growth and Gratitude

written a couple weeks ago:
Growth can be painful. It is so good, but it can be painful. Especially when you are trying to overcome challenges of your own making. Student teaching is causing me to grow in rather painful ways. I am being smelted. I believe that somewhere inside me is a pure noble teacher, but I've got all this carbon and sulfur that needs to be roasted out. Trouble is, I thought that I'd get roasted once, and then all the impurities would be gone. No, not everything was burned out the first time.  I require multiple treatments. Perhaps one day I'll be all de-impurified.

written today:
I'm almost done with student teaching. I have one week left. I'm so glad I've had this experience. It has been really hard, but I think I'm better for it. I don't understand all the reasons why it's been so difficult. I think I'll need more distance and then I'll be able to look back and see more purpose in the challenges. But I am very grateful for it all.

The thing I'll miss the most is being with the kids. I never realized just how much I would grow to love these kids. So often I hear teachers and others only talking about how challenging middle schoolers are. Why didn't anyone tell me how loving they are? Or how eager they are to please? Or how excited they get when your husband comes to visit and hand after hand shoots up in the air asking him about his favorite teams and colors, and how we met, and is he on Team Peeta or Team Gale, and on and on and on. No one told me that on days when I thought I was just the most boring teacher alive, that one of the kids would say, while running out the door, "Thanks for being the best teacher ever!" Or on the days when the kids were rowdy and nothing I did seemed to calm them down, they would come up to me after class and say, "Mrs. Machado, I'm sorry we were so rough on you today."

I certainly will miss Cathy Jolley. She has been the best cooperating teacher a girl could ever ask for. Sometime I'll have to devote a post to her and all she's done for me. But for today, I'm just so grateful for the kids. The kids who love to see you and hear your stories and come to you when they have questions; them I will miss the most. Those kids will likely have lots of student teachers in the coming years who are better at teaching than I am, but they'll be hard pressed to find one who loves them more than I do.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In case of emergency...

When Chris and I got married, we received a lot of wedding presents (And let me just say "Thank you" again for those wonderful gifts). One gift in particular caught our attention. On the card it said something like "We like to keep one of these in our car in case of emergency. We thought you could use one too."
First Aid kit was the first thing that came to my mind, but when we opened the gift we found, not medical supplies, but a kite. A brightly colored, completely collapsible kite.

Well yesterday, I guess an "emergency" finally happened. The day was very windy. Chris decided that it called for kite flying. He and I went on a half hour date to an open field, just us and the kite. It was the perfect remedy for our "emergency".

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Birfday! Birfday!

Today Sarah turns 23, and in honor of her birthday, here are 23 reasons why she is the best wife ever:

1. She is a wonderful teacher.
2. She is constantly seeking to be a better person.
3. She eats foods that she doesn't like, sometimes until she does like them. Crab, for instance. (Or rather, krab. We aren't rich, you know).
4. She's retaught me how much I love reading. We are reading The Lord of the Rings together right now.
5. She supports all of my crazy plans to start choirs or organize the house.
6. She loves good music, and has great taste and natural musicianship.
7. Sometimes I'm weird. Or annoying. Or both. Nut she'll put up with me day after day.
8. She loves and lives by the words of the prophets.
9. She loves her family dearly. And who can blame her? They're awesome.
10. All children, even shy cling-to-mom children, are attracted to her like magnets. She can make friends with any child in under two minutes.
11. Sometimes she buys me peanut butter eggs and hides them places.
12. She knows all of the things about computer software, which comes in handy often.
13. People can light up and be real around her.
14. She's already a good parent. Already.
15. I get a greater sense of joy and hope about life when I remember that I get to do it with her.
16. She cares very much about everything that she undertakes to do.
17. She's got a super cute face.
18. She speaks and loves Hebrew.
19. She's a fantastic listener, and is ever empathetic.
20. She has very soft cheeks. If you've never noticed, give 'em a feel sometime. But you might want to ask first.
21. She laughs at the ridiculous things that I say.
22. She can do anything. When she starts at something, her attitude says, humbly but truthfully, I can do this.
23. She makes the whole world more wonderful and magical.

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A day at school... together

On Friday, Chris came with me to school. We got there at 7:45, checked in at the front office (because Chris is technically a visitor) and then went to class. Mrs. Jolley got there a couple of minutes after us because of a ridiculous snow storm that had not been plowed off the roads. She gave us a stack of posters to hang up around the school, so that was a great excuse for me to show Chris the coolest parts of the school. We ran into a bunch of students that I know, and most of them excitedly asked me "Is that Mr. Machado?" (They've been asking to meet him for weeks).

By the time we finished hanging up posters, it was just about time for school to start, so we went back to the choir room and started class. Chris was a real trooper when all of the kids started asking him questions ("What's your favorite football team?" "Will you sing for us?" "Have you read the Hunger Games?" "Would you be on team Peeta or team Gale?" etc.), and I even recounted our engagement story which got many sighs and "Aaaawww!'s" from the girls. Later in the class Chris even jumped in and helped the kids by passing them off on their note-naming flash cards (the kids loved him). The following period was SSR (sustained silent reading, where students go to their 4th period class to read or work on homework) and so Boy's chorus got to meet him too. They sang for him (they just love doing that), and asked him a bunch of questions as well. Chris also stayed for 2nd period, and got to hear the chamber group preparing for the concert they had that night.

Pretty much, the kids thought he was great. He was a big hit.

Then he had to go back to BYU so as not to miss choir, but then he came back that afternoon to pick me up. We went out to dinner (Pizza Pie Cafe) and then went back to school for the concert.

My favorite part of the whole thing, was just getting to be with him so much in one day. What with school and work, most mornings, I drop him off at 7:00 and then we don't meet back up until 8:30 at night. To have a day where we spent so much time together was just a joy. The whole day I would realize that I was just bubbly with happiness, then wonder, "why am I so happy?" and then think "Oh yeah! It's because I got to spend the whole morning with Chris!" or "Oh, yeah! It's because I get to see Chris again in an hour, and then spend the whole evening with him!"

It was a wonderful day.