Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Egg-ducating an Entrepreneur

I have a student in my class who has improved a lot since the beginning of the year. She is a smart kid who had low standards for herself in September. But now, she is realizing her potential and trying very hard to make good choices. I like her because she naturally and respectfully can speak her mind, but she is reluctant to do so in the classroom. She is making steps towards that goal though and she is one of the only kids I see putting in a solid effort to raise her grades. Recently, she told me she was starting her own business, raising chickens and selling eggs. She is very excited about it. She even has her own labels for the cartons! I bought a dozen eggs from her today. She came in and said her mother was going to drop them off at school. I handed her the two dollars the eggs cost, but she wouldn't take it. She said, "Wait until my mom drops them off. I want to make sure you get them." I was totally impressed by this. Later, the eggs came and she handed them to me and told me to let her know if there were any strange yokes or any eggs I didn't like and she would replace them for me. She finally let me pay her and I promised her I'd try some for dinner. Seriously, it was probably the high point of my day. You'd have to know this group of kids, but rarely do I see a student in this class take pride in something or strive for excellence. This student was so very proud of her eggs and so desperate to make a good impression. I hope someday she becomes a successful business woman and I hope her peers take a good look at her because she is slowly turning into a strong, determined young woman of purpose.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another meeting week

When you are busy, it's always good to have house plants. I liked the shadowy look of this ivy. I've been trying to get it to come along for a while and it's still a struggle, but at least it is mostly green right now. Once it gets a bit warmer, I'll take it outside and then it will be a very happy little plant.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Family

In true chivalric fashion, my brother Jonathan made a life decision before leaving for the Marines. That life decision was to ask his girlfriend, Breanna, to be his wife. It's very sweet and romantic in my opinion. My mom asked me today to come over after church and take some pictures of the ring. It was Jonathan's grandmother's ring. Jonathan did not get to see it on Bre's finger before he left because it had to be resized. So I took some pictures that we are going to send to him. The first one, I love! I've got my mom holding up an old camo blanket in the background as a backdrop for the photo:

Then, some normal pictures with just her hand and the ring:

To top it off, I decided to add some filters for fun!

This one reminds me of an album cover for The Who!

Finally, we took a girls shot which I was actually in, but I decided to crop myself out because I look horrid today...and I think it's perfect with just mom and Bre. Ironically, if you enlarge you'll see a sign behind them and check out the only word visible in the sign!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

STEP Conference 2009

Instead of my usual teaching today, I went to the STEP Conference at the Marriott in Albany. Last year, I helped coach two teams of kids to 1st and 3rd place finishes in the statewide poster research contest. This year, I didn't teach research but I still went to support the kids I taught before and I got to hear an awesome motivational speaker and do some professional development. This group shot includes my kids and one RPI college student who helps with the program:

Thomas, Trevon, Anthony, Chris, and Wudu:

Trevon and Anthony strike a pose:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Signs of the past

Well, I had a plan, but my plan didn't work out so well. So...signs of the past! This is a box I have of many of the things from my past that I treasure. All playbills, mixed CD's, newspaper clippings, even receipts from my trip to Africa. Feel free to enlarge if you wish.

Also, nearby I noticed my sneakers from last year. I wore them whenever I could, as they were so comfortable. They're pretty beat up now, but they are still a sign of the past, of many miles I have tread in one year. I think it's good to look back every now and then and see how you have changed and grown in a span of time. These are not great, but this is all I have time for today:) Great assignment Trish!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let there be light

I've joined the overhead projector club. These are some of the ones that I liked the best:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where my mind's at

Hard to tell where my mind's at these days. It struck me last night that I will not be able to talk to my brother for 3 whole months and I got a little sad. So my mind is there obviously. I'm also thinking about how he is holding up. They don't let you sleep for thirtysix hours when you first get there. I've already written my first encouraging letter, just awaiting his address. Also, glancing at the nice shadows from the sunset, I was reminded of my evening vitamins and medication. It's nice not to be on a bunch of pills anymore. Of course, with allergy season coming, that might change rather quickly:)

Mostly I'm just tired and thoughtful and you never can tell what will come of that combination. Maybe poetry or a song...we'll have to wait and see!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Old fixtures round the house

These are in my current apartment. I noticed the paint chipping on the way in today so I thought I'd do a short series of old fixtures in the apartment. Not fantastic, but still fun hunting them down anyway:)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Good Luck Jonathan

Today, at a few minutes before 3pm, Jonathan was picked up from home by a Marine Corp Sargeant. Tomorrow night he will begin a chapter in his life as a Marine Corp Recruit at Parris Island in S.C. We shared a last meal together as a family, chinese food! Then we waited for the Sargeant to come to the house. All he could bring was the clothes on his back, a Marine Bible, and a few official documents. Luckily, Mom and I were able to hold in our emotions. We didn't cry at all. Here are the pictures mom and I took. Jonny's face as he hugs mom is priceless to me. I can tell from his expression that he will miss her the most.
Jonny and all his worldly possessions:

Mom making us laugh as we get a final hug in:

A son's love is indescribable:

Pulling away from us to a new life:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Chicken Farmer Revealed!

Jonathan is leaving for the Marines tomorrow, so we all had a nice family indoor picnic with hot dogs, mac and cheese, chips, salads, cake and ice cream. My grandfather a.k.a the Chicken Farmer continues to be the funny, clever, unpredictable life of the party. According to my mom, he really started to become this way after the grandchildren (that would be me and my brothers and cousins)were born. Tonight, he commented that I take a picture of everything, don't I? Well, Poppie, I do because I realize, in part from your teachings, that family is a sacred thing. That each moment is precious and each dinner or get together we have always yields a new wonderful memory. Here's my proof!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time with Mike

Time with Mike is like having time with the part of my soul that is full of life and happiness. He makes me laugh when I need to laugh and lets me cry without rushing it. And he makes me feel like there's nothing wrong with me, just the way I am. On my way to see him, I spied a beautiful red cardinal in one of the nearby trees.
Then I spent time with Mike at his workplace, which involved much laughter, hugs, and a skewed thumb wrestling match. He tried to let me win, but I wasn't having it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday assignment with NYC combo

I decided to make one post for my NYC pictures and Steve's assignment which was something about how things that are seemingly so different are in reality very much the same. I suppose one could take my family as the first example.

(Doesn't this look like it could be a photo shoot of a rock band?)
All of our personalities are special in different ways. My stepfather, John, is the conscientious, opinionated, strong on the outside, gentle on the inside type. Mom is the soft hearted, sweet, and joyful one and Jonathan is the laid back, easy going, dedicated type. We're all so different, but we've always been the same when it comes to what family is. John is my step father and Jonathan, my half brother, but we don't really see it that way. We are family and that's all that we care about.

Then my pic for today: used and new teaching books. Books are like symbols of lilfe. The pages contain the details of our lives, our trials, our successes, our dreams. Whether we fill our books of life up or not, we will still live and still ultimately die. The end is the same for us all, but it's what's written on the pages that matters. Like these books, I want my pages to be entirely "used" up. I want to do as much as I can, be as much as I can, and touch as many lives as I can. That's my take on Steve's assignment. More from NYC:

Reflection of the Plaza Hotel in a neighboring building

The Harry Potter Sorting Hat on Jonny and me at FAO Swartz

Reading the menu for lunch!

Scaling rocks in Central Park

Five Napkin Burger on 45th and 9th, decorative meat hooks on the ceiling!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

For Linda and Bridget

I am seriously lacking in motivation tonight. So as per Linda and Bridget, here is my haircut. Very dramatic change for me. Every other picture I took of normal stuff was terrible. Getting tired of self portraits. I'm too tired and icky feeling to come up with anything else though. I need a pet!!!

P/S the children below are holding clothing that was donated to them recently!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A great weekend!

(Most recent picture of some of the Kalomo orphans in Zambia)

This was really a fantastic weekend. First, yesterday the conference. We heard testimony from a mother whose son committed first degree murder. It was a complicated story, but the strength she has and her son, who is in jail for life without the possibility of parole, has now become a missionary in the prision, sharing his faith with other prisoners. It was very touching and strong testimony to the power of God in people's lives. Then, today, I got to preach at another church about my Africa trip and what a blessing it was! God really used me today and gave me the words He wanted me to say. They actually were going to pay me which I couldn't believe, but instead, we're giving it to Launch Out Ministires for Kalomo. I recently learned that the orphanage I visited last June lost all their funding so the building has been repossessed by the government and about 75 children have nowhere to go. My friend, Pastor Malala, is helping to place these children in other families, but they desperately need basic items like clothing and blankets as the cold season is about to start. Then, God blessed me again by allowing my church to donate $1000 to this cause! WOW! I'm still in shock. I can't wait to tell Pastor Malala!!!!!

To top off a great weekend, I decided it was time for a change and got a haircut by a cute little Puerto Rican girl who attacked my locks with the vigor of a soldier hacking through the jungle!!! I won't show you the whole thing, but the picture should give you an idea about how drastic a change this is!

Here is another picture from that cute little shoe store yesterday!

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