Sunday, December 20, 2009

End of a chapter... or book, really

As I write this I am officially a graduate of Texas Tech University. This past weekend I went to Lubbock to wear the silly outfit, walk across the stage, and then drive to a completely different building to get my diploma :-). I suppose you want to know a little more about my weekend...

Thursday morning we took off. My mom rode with me and my dad took the boys. We made it to Lubbock in the usual amount of time and checked into the hotel. (It had those Sleep Number beds and I was severely disappointed... but that's not the point) My dad and I ran a couple of errands right when we got there and got a couple of things taken care of, like picking up my cap and gown, for example. We all went to dinner at Olive Garden, one of my favorites, and had a great evening. After dinner we went swimming at the indoor pool, played Marco-Polo and spent some quality family time together. We were just missing my sister and her kiddos. That night I slept terribly because the bed was set way too soft, but I guess I got enough rest.

I woke up early because Friday morning I went to visit my Lubbock students where I student taught. It was really nice to see them and I got a lot of hugs. I wasn't able to spend much time there, though, which was unfortunate. I'm glad I even got to go see them, though. At 9am I had to go practice carrying the banner for the commencement ceremony. I was the top-ranked graduate in the college of education, and apparently that means you get to carry the banner. I was incredibly honored and couldn't believe I was ranked that high. Practice took about 45 minutes, so not too long. At 10am I had to be at an induction ceremony for some Professional Educators something-or-other. I had to sit on the stage, so that was a pretty big deal. We were told to ask a faculty member to present us with a cord, so I asked my Spanish teacher. She has made a huge impact on me and my education and I couldn't think of anyone better to do that for me. I was honored several times throughout that ceremony and even got a nice present from the college (an insulated mug, a necessity for every teacher!). It was super nice to see my friends, too. Only my mom came to that ceremony because we didn't think my brothers would be up for sitting through it and I didn't really care if they came. After that we went to eat lunch then I had to go back for another ceremony at 1pm that was just like the one I already did, but they wanted to mention me as the banner bearer again and I had to be a model for the "graduation regalia (clothes)" presentation. Immediately after that I had to go get my fingerprints taken for a background check for my certification. It took a whole 2 minutes to get that done, which was awesome, so we were done in time to go to a movie with my family. My grandparents made it in to town about then, so they also met us over at the movies. All the boys went to see Avatar and all the girls went to see The Blindside. I didn't even cry! Which, if you know me, is pretty much a miracle. I had an panic attack, however, because I realize I forgot to pick something up that I needed for graduation the next day, from the Honors College, but thankfully I have a great friend who went and picked it up for me (thanks Katy!). Jason and his grandparents made it in to town after the movie was over, so I went and picked him up. We then went back to the hotel, ordered pizza, and hung out for the rest of the evening. It was an incredibly busy day and I was super exhausted. We slept horribly that night because we couldn't get the temperature right in our hotel room, but at least I slept a little.

Saturday morning was uneventful. Jason and I went and ate breakfast at a cute little diner that served delicious, cheap food. We hung out for a while with my grandparents and aunt, then it was time to get ready for the big show! We all ate lunch together, and my aunt brought my cousin's little girls to eat with us. I had to be at the Arena an hour early, so Jason went with me so he could save seats for everyone. I got in there and just hung out, in the seat they told me, and tried to calm myself down. Then, it was time. I went and grabbed the banner and then it was time to go out there. I was the very first person in the College of Education to walk out onto the floor, they introduced the college, and I heard my family hooting and hollering. I was too focused on not tripping to notice where they were sitting right away, but I found them eventually. The ceremony took almost 2 hours and I got recognized over and over again. If you know me, you know that I don't especially like being the center of attention. I'm glad my family could be there, though, because I know it meant a lot to them to see me go through this. And I know they were proud of my recognitions and honors. After the ceremony, Jason, his grandparents, and my friend Rachel met me at the car. I wish my parents would have met me there, too, but they went straight back to the hotel. They felt bad about it later, but it is done now, so no use dwelling on it. We went back to the hotel, also, and relaxed for a couple of hours. Then we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Lubbock, Buns Over Texas. Not only was it me, Jason, my parents and brothers, but my aunt, cousin, cousin's kids, cousin's girlfriend, and cousin's girlfriend's son, and even our friends Anthony and Rachel were able to join us! It was a busy, crazy dinner, but it was so much fun and I'm so glad I got to see everyone! It was a super special day and I'm glad I went back to Lubbock for graduation, even if it cost a lot of money and I didn't get to see as many friends as I wanted to.

I went to bed at like 9pm last night because I was so exhausted. This morning we got up pretty early, packed up, checked out of the hotel, and went to eat breakfast at the same little place as yesterday. We made it back to Albuquerque before 2pm, which was fantastic, and didn't do much once we got home. I loved this weekend, other than the craziness of it all, and am so glad I went and did it. I'm glad so much of my family was able to make it out there to celebrate with me. And I'm so glad I got to see my friends.

So, that is a really long description of my weekend. I wanted to just get all my thoughts down so I can look back after I have had time to process it and remind myself about everything that went on.

In case you were wondering, my major was a bachelor's in Multidisciplinary Studies from the College of Education, specializing in elementary and bilingual education, and I graduated Summa Cum Laude in Honors Studies. Say that three times fast.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

done, DoNe, DONE

I am done with college!! I just finished my online class which means I am completely finished and all that is left to do is graduate! It is so surreal and I can't believe that I will never have to take an undergraduate class again.

I am excited to walk at graduation, although it is going to be kinda stressful having all my family there. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they will be there to support me and I didn't ask any of them to come, they just are, but having 11 of us there probably won't give Jason and I much time to see friends. I am going to try my hardest to see everyone, but I am not sure how successful I will be. There is one couple I will see for sure, but the rest may just have to meet us for dinner or something. Who knows.

To add to all the excitement I got a call from my supervisor yesterday. She has been trying to get in touch with a principal friend of hers that has a bilingual school. We are going to go visit on Monday. I will get to meet the principal, get a tour of the school, and see if that is somewhere I would like to work. The exciting part is that the principal thinks there is going to be an opening in January! Her exact words were "might be" but I don't think she would have mentioned it if there wasn't a big possibility of that happening. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I am having a hard time with that. I will write about my visit as soon as I get back! (If I remember, of course)

We did another step in our kitchen. Last weekend we removed the floor. It was tile and was put on very poorly, which was a huge benefit for us. There was one part that was a pain in the rear, but we got it all up and are now walking on cement floors (BURR!). We are going to put in wood floors eventually. We have to take out the cabinets and prep the floor a little bit more before we can put the new floors down, but hopefully it will happen within the next couple of weeks. I'll try to put pictures up when we make a little more progress.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I can not figure out what was wrong with today, but it was a pretty rough day. I'm not sure if I woke up in a bad mood, became in a bad mood once I got to school, or if the kids were truely irritating today, but it was a tough day. It was all I could do to keep my cool at the kids when they were bugging me or misbehaving. I think maybe part of it was because my cooperating teacher was back today after being gone all day yesterday. I could run the class how I wanted to yesterday whereas today she was completely in control again. It was just weird. And I don't think I did everything just right yesterday which made her a little tense because she had to fix some of the things I didn't do. That made me stress out because I had hoped to do everything perfectly yesterday so she could have a relatively easy day today. Oh well, I guess I can't expect to be perfect during a spur-of-the-moment subbing situation, but it's still a little frustrating because that is just how I am. If I am being completely honest, today was the first day I have not enjoyed being a teacher. I think that is pretty good since I have been in the class for almost a semester, and I'm pretty sure it is a fluke, but it is difficult feeling like that ever.

On a different note, I am starting to get excited about graduation and all the festivities that are going to take place. Some of them seem to be kinda silly, but I get to see all my friends at the same time, which will be nice. On Friday morning I have to practice carrying the banner for commencement then go straight to some induction ceremony for professional educators. Then I am going to go visit my first cooperating teacher and visit the class before they get out for the day. I hope it all works out right so I can go visit them because I would really like to see my students again. That weekend is going to be absolutely chaos, but it is going to be a really fun weekend.

Enough for now, I just had to get my thoughts down.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giving thanks!

Our Thanksgiving break was fantastic! Jason took off of work Wednesday and we headed out bright and early on our 500 mile adventure. Us, my mom, my sister, the two babies, and three dogs left at about 7:15 am NM time in the RV. We stopped in Lubbock for lunch, met up with some friend, and headed back out on the road. We made it to Ivie by about 5:30 pm TX time. All in all it wasn't too bad of a drive because the RV is pretty comfortable, even though it was cramped with all those bodies in there. Jordan did great and we even got him to take a nap after lunch. Shelby did fine although it was hard not being able to walk her around when she got fussy. She did well, though.

Thursday was a day for food, family, and fun. We were able to sleep in a little (we slept in my grandparents' fifth wheel) and then the cooking began. Since my Gran still doesn't have her energy level back up completely she did a lot of the cooking before hand, like the noodles and the desserts. She had a lot of help, too, because my mom, aunt, great-grandmother (Memaw), and sister were all helping. Jordan played outside most of the day, when he wasn't eating, and the boys rode around on their motorcycles a lot. It was a great day and we had tons of food. After eating we played games and just hung out watching football.

Friday and Saturday we played golf. One day Jason, David, Sam and I played together. The next day Jason and I played with my Gran and Grandad. We had a lot of fun, and even though I didn't do great I still did better than usual. It was a great couple of days. We headed back home on Sunday and made it back in time for dinner and getting laundry done, despite driving through snow and having to stop every hour to go to the bathroom, haha. It was such a wonderful vacation and I was sad to see it end.