Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Analogy for the Internship.

I feel like I am on Dancing with the Stars.

I prepare my lessons and execute them day in and day out with as much grace and finesse I can muster. One day, they say, "You have to perform a lesson...I mean teach a lesson, we will observe you". Don't worry, your entire University graduation is contingent upon you passing your observations. You don't need to be perfect, but you probably should be. No big deal.
Oh wait. It IS a big deal!

When I finally get my scores, they are sometimes good and sometimes bad. I only wish that Bruno guy would tell me the scores. I think it would make debriefing after the observation easier.

That's just what I am thinking.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Well, you might know I am doing an internship. By that I mean, I am a teacher. A legitimate teacher that does A LOT of work at half the price. It's like a great sale (for someone else).
In case you are wondering what this entails I will tell you.
Planning, teaching/entertaining, grading, entering grades, self asses/reflect...repeat.

Or you could say this will be like a pregnancy (not that I know, but I have friends and family that know). The first 3 months are crazy and you often feel sick about what is going on. The next 3 months are not as bad. From what I've heard, the last 3 months are uncomfortable and you just want to be done. Then I'll graduate with a Bachelors degree and possibly do this again.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Almost the weekend...update.

Well, I returned from many splendid adventures at the end of April.
Then, I had eye muscle surgery on my left eye (in case you didn't know, I had eye muscle surgery November 2009 on both eyes (what was I thinking...mid-semester?). Well, the eye muscle surgery (not LASIK, so don't wonder why I
still wear glasses) didn't work. It was supposed to align my eyes, but I am still seeing double WITH my glasses. Weird...I don't need to ever do drugs to see crazy things, I just have to wear my glasses and relax my eyes. :)
A week after the surgery, I went to visit Portland, Oregon where my dahling sister and her cute family lives. Since I was still seeing double, it was double the fun! Or, people thought I was winking at was pretty amusing!
In June, I moved back on up to Utah to finish up my final 12 undergraduate credit hours in the form of a 4th grade teaching internship (instead of doing student teaching). My school is about a 30 minute drive from Provo, so I decided to save myself from driving an extra 11,000 or so miles to get from Provo to the school I am teaching at!
My Mom and I went on a road-trip to California! It was fantastic. We helped my grandparents organize their house, took a drive into San Francisco (and Napa and Oakland). Then we drove back through Ruby Valley, and my Mom painted a sweet mural for my cousin and his wife in their new house. It is seriously amazing. Then we drove back to reality, I mean Utah, and I continued to prepare for the upcoming school-year.
My roommate is pretty cool. My new ward is pretty nice, so far. Life is good. I just need to be a teacher, graduate, welcome my brother home from his mission (see picture below) and have another eye muscle surgery!

Summary: All of the above...I mean below.

Well, I have been home from New Zealand for some time, and I don't want to skip over the rest of the Study Abroad, so here's a summary.

After touring Queenstown, we went up to Christchurch. It was pretty European looking (believe me, I've been). The MOST European looking city I saw was Dunedin (sounds like done eatin'), it seriously looked like Scotland! This makes historical sense, according to Wikipedia "The Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland founded Dunedin at the head of Otago Harbour in 1848 as the principal town of its special settle
ment. The name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland". So, there you go!

After getting back to Auckland, I spent 6 wonderful weeks in a year 3/4 (2nd and 3rd grade) bilingual Samoan/Palangi (English) classroom. The kids were pretty freaking awesome, yeah, I'm biased. What can I say, they gave me presents at the end of the 6 weeks. There were some funny stories, because, let's face it, kids are hilarious. One time I was teaching a lesson about the anatomy of a tooth, and why it is important to brush your teeth. Then, this boy looks up at me like he was scared, or nervous (more so than usual) and I say, "Are you alright?" He doesn't day anything, but then shows me his TOOTH! Can you say teaching opportunity?!? The teacher had stepped out of the room momentarily. I am a little nervousified (nervously terrified), because I am not that great around blood (as a general rule). But, I pulled myself and the stu
dents together. I have the students sitting on the floor practice counting on the hundred's board by 2's, 3'2, and 5's. Then I had the boy go back to the sink and rinse out his mouth, and clean his teeth. Then the students took turns in groups of 2-3 students looking at the tooth and comparing it to the big drawing! Yeah, that really happened. That was the MOST exciting teaching thing that happened. When I was done, the kids made me a pretty huge card, and then even gave me some presents. I started crying (not sobbing or ugly crying, just tearing up) because I was touched by their generosity! Later, the students were drawing me pictures, and one kid drew a picture of me with tears. :) It was funny. I loved the students, the teacher (Mrs. Auva'a), Morning Tea, EVERYTHING! Best thing EVER! Do you know what else is the best thing ever? A field trip to Piha beach to learn about water safety! Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap! Slip on a t-shirt, Slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap your eyes and head with a hat!

Oh yeah, the Study Abroad groups went on some field trips to the following places: The Auckland Museum, Auckland Sky Tower, Goat Island (no goats), and an Auckland Blues Rugby Game!

After the Practicum experience was over we went to the Hamilton New Zealand LDS temple! It is gorgeous!
We also visited the Hamilton Gardens.

Then, the group went to Rotorua (geothermic mud, geysers, natural Boiling hot pools, LUGING!) **For pictures, see the facebook album at this link.**

After that, we went to the Northlan
ds and Bay of Islands! We walked around the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, celebrated Easter by having a picnic on a golf course! We also got Easter Flaxits (Flax Kits baskets) from Joy, our Program Director). To see these pictures, click on this link. We also went up Cape Reinga, the northernmost part of New Zealand!

After the adventures in New Zealand were over, I went to AUSTRALIA! There were 7 other people from my group that also went. Megan (My NZ roomie) and I landed in Sydney and we went to the Opera House. We took
a tour of THE Opera House and even got to see the Silver Rose, on the opening Night of the Australian Ballet Companies ballet season. We had cheap seats, and then eventually moved after the 2nd act. Then, Meagan and I found a Hostel to stay in for the night. The next morning, we went to the Government House for a free tour and walked around the Domain in Sydney ( it is pretty much a HUGE Garden and public grassy knoll area). Then, we hustled to the train station and went to the airport and hopped on a jet plane bound for CAIRNS. The next couple of days included a trip to the Cairns Tropical Zoo (I held a KOALA and fed some KANGAROOS) where they had plenty of cool shows (snakes, birds, endangered animal walk through, and a crocodile feeding (RIP Steve Irwin). Then we went on a boat tour, and (no big deal) I got to SCUBA and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. Oh yeah, I also went for a "joy-ride" in a semi-submersible submarine (because, when else could I say that I was in a semi-submersible submarine whilst visiting the Great Barrier Reef. **For pictures of this adventure, click on this link.**
After Cairns, we went back to Sydney. We did not find P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, but we did take a walking tour of Sydney, A Harbor Cruise (of Sydney Harbor), Walked across the Harbor Bridge to Luna Park (Kinda creepy at night, with a tinge of Coney Island (I've haven't been there...yet). Another great thing about Sydney? China Town and Paddy's market. What's so great about this place? Oh yeah, that would have to be my newly acquired Frauda bag (fraudulent Prada). It really is fantastic. In Australia, Megan and I also ventured out of the city of Sydney to beach it up. We went to Bondi beach, home of the T.V. show "Bondi Rescue". Since we went around the time the sun was going down, it wasn't super busy, which was nice! We also, ventured out to Manly beach. Why is it called manly beach? Well, let me tell you. When the first settlers came to Sydney, they saw the abordigoni (just kidding aboriginal) people on the beach and pretty much said, "Wow, they look manly!". And thus the beach was named. Both beaches were beautiful! Have a look see, here.

Funny story. They have different kinds of candy down in the South Pacific. The funniest (in my opinion) would have to be Starburst Babies. Yes, Babies: A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift...anyone? Megan and I then proceeded to eat some babies (they are pretty gummy). Daren, from our group, gave me the strangest look when I said, "Would you like one of my babies?". On the other hand, when I offered Jayna one of my babies on the plane (on the way to Tonga) she gladly obliged. It was funny, in a sort of sick and twisted way. They also had chocolate flavored babies that were called Chicos. To keep on with the tradition of people shaped candy, they had Eskimos made of marshmallows. Hilarious? Yes? You had to be there. :)

After the adventures in Australia ended we went TONGA via NEW ZEALAND. For you see, the round-trip tickets were purchased through Air New Zealand, and Tonga was a stopover on the way back to the good ole' U S of A. **Side note! I stored my luggage in the Auckland Airport, because I knew I would be coming back, and didn't want to lug it around Australia. After getting off the plane from Australia,It was time to go through customs again (Yippee!). Jayna was right behind me one second, and then she wasn't. I went and got mine and Jayna's luggage (the man running the seal and secure place was luckily still there at 9:05 pm kind of waiting for us to fetch our luggage). Over the intercom, I hear, final check-in for Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Nuku'alofa. I panic, because I don't see Jayna! All of the sudden I see her, slightly teary because they charged her $200 for having an apple in her backpack (that she had completely forgotten about) from Australia, but I guess rules is rules. We made our flight to Tonga, with only minutes to spare!

Tonga is gorgeous and so are the people that live there! After arriving at the Airport at 4 am, we were ambushed by a plethora of taxi drivers. We had a reservation at the Friendly Islander Hotel/Resort. But Mana (the cab driver) informed us that it was far from town, and that we would want to stay in Nuku'alofa. So, he said that he knew of this really great place in town, that was cheap (which is what we wanted). Think $23 Tongan Pa'anga dollars a night, which is about $11.50 US dollars. Let's just say you get what you pay for. In addition to being a taxi driver, Mana is also a tour guide. He drove us (Jayna, Megan and I) to the beach, around the island (Abel Tasman's landing spot, James Cook's landing spot, the Tongan Blow holes, showed us where King George Toupo V lives, where his father lived, and the Nuku'alofa LDS Temple). We also walked to Church, but got the meeting times mixed up. The end result, we went to 3 different wards to be able to attend all 3 meetings. Sacrement meeting was basically in Tongan, except for one speaker that gave most of her talk in Palangi (English). Sunday School was in Tongan and English, and for Relief Society the person gave the lesson in Tongan, but there was a Sister that translated the lesson into English for us! It was pretty freaking awesome.
On Sunday night/Monday Morning (April 18/19) at 12:45 I was writing in my journal, then I looked up, and saw a HUGE brown spider. It was about the size of a tea-cup saucer. I immediately went to Jayna and Megan's room (they were still up) and said, "There is a HUGE spider in my room, will you come down and see if I am I am just imagining things?? They did, and Jayna went to bed. Megan stayed up, and captured my spider slaying adventure on video. my adrenaline was pumping, I used bug spray, but it wasn't working, and the spider was just working the room. So, I used bug spray (think mossie (mosquito) repellant) and the spider started to slow down. But this isn't all, it was still moving, and it was on my bed. I grabbed my shoe and went in for the attack! As I lifted the spider from my bed sheets with my coconut leaf fan, it was somehow stuck to the sheets...ICK! After that I let the spider commune with nature, and let it die after tossing it over the balcony outside of my room (video). I bet that spider regrets the day it came out of the rain and holed up in my room. Poor spider. The next day, we asked Mana if he knew what kind of spider it was, he said, and I quote, "All creatures [insects included] on the Friendly Islands are Friendly!" I didn't really believe him. **To see pictures from Tonga click here.** Oh yeah, we also went to a Kava Ceremony. For the record, I think Kava is kind of gross. It was a unique and fun cultural experience!
In fact: Here is a video!
Tonga is beautiful. I loved it! Every humid minute of it! Oh yeah, when we were at the Nuku'alofa airport, I got rid of my jandals (flip-flops because they kept breaking, and I didn't think I would need them. I would later be proven wrong.

After Tonga, we were scheduled to have an hour and a half layover in Samoa. We had to de-plane and go through customs and then
we re-planed and we were pretty dang excited to be going home! Finally! After sitting on the plane for about 15 minutes, we were asked to disembark the aircraft. There was apparently a problem with the right engine, something about sparks. Not cool. At this time, it was midnight. We were told they were going to try to fix the engine, and that we should sit tight. Around 2 am, they said that they were going to put us up in a hotel for the night. By the time the shuttle got around to Jayna, Megan and I it
was 4 am. The Aggie Grey resort in Apia was full, so we HAD to go to the other Aggie Grey's. It just so happened that this was a super sweet resort. On the BE
ACH!! After getting
a bit of sleep, we: had a super fancy breakfast, went on
a paddle boat, ate fish and chips by the pool and I go
t a sunburn on my knees. To see how cool this place is, click here.

Oh yeah, did I mention...I LOVE SAMOA! Best Layover EVER!

Monday, June 7, 2010

More of the South Island, New Zealand!

Ok, how can I say this, I think it is easier for me to just summarize what I want to saw with pictures, than to just write my head off (that would hurt by the way).

Cool art in the place where I got fish and chips before Christchurch Cathedral.

Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch at Night
Christchurch at night

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More of the South Island, New Zealand!

In addition to defying death at the Nevis Arc I got to see some pretty amazing things.

I went to the Kawarau Bridge, site of the World's First Bungy...You are lucky this isn't a picture of the guy that bungy'd in the nude...
View from Kawarau Bridge
I went to Arrowtown, a mining town.
The Chinese Miners survived the summer on yellow and red plums growing on the trees.
I found out my camera takes some cool night shots. This is in Queenstown.

I saw the remarkables...AKA Mount Doom.
Queenstown at night.
I ate at Ferguburger. Delightful.

As whoever reads this.

Sunday 7 February 2010
Today we went to the Queenstown Branch for church at 10 am. The branch meets at the Lakes District Funeral Services building. Today there were 12 adults (from their branch, plus the 16 People from the BYU Crew) 3 kids and 2 Missionaries. It was fast and testimony meeting. I bore my testimony of the beauty of New Zealand, the beauty of the Atonement, The Gospel being good, how thankful I am for my family, and Thomas S. Monson, to Prophet of our church (and how he leads and guides us), and the Church!After Sacrement Meeting, Mark (a meeting of the branch presidency and judge of the Straw tower/structure building activity) taught the Sunday School Lesson. He talked about Noah, and how important it is to be spiritually prepared fro life’s challenges. Then Johnny (our tour guide of Queenstown extraordinaire) taught the combined Relief Society and Priesthood about the creation and how the Lord created the earth in such an orderly and wonderful way. Then we went to the Hostel, and changed out of our church clothes. Then we took a Sunday drive to Glenorchy. We stopped at lake/dock area and took some pictures of the beautiful area around us. Then we got back in the vans and started driving the in 7 rivers area. We saw Saurman’s HQ from Lord of the Rings..the site of the 2 towers. We drove through the land where the Chronicles happened, as in the Chronicles of Narnia. It made me think of the SNL video Lazy Sunday…why? It was Sunday and we were in the land of the “Chronic-what-cles of Narnia”! We also were in the land of Lothlorien…or something like that...also, the forest that we were in seemed reminiscent of the Forest used in Lord of the Rings where all the trees were walking around with the hobbits…I think it was in the 2nd movie. Yeah, we went to the place where the Chronicles happened. Overall, it was beautiful, magnificent, gorgeous…should I go on? On the way back from Glenorchy, we stopped at Closeburn and had a picnic. We had chicken sandwiches, fruit (glorious fruit), biscuits (cookies), it was quite delicious, considering I ad only eaten Minties and fruit before this. After we got back to the Hostel, Megan and I went to Patagonia Chocolates to use the internet and checked our e-mail. Then I went to Hostel and found my Queenstown flatemates taking a rest. I used Mekelle’s computer to check my facebook. Then the rest of the evening (once everyone woke up), we just chatted…girl talk…of course. It was pretty fun. Hooray for Sunday in Queenstown, Glenorchy (AKA Narnia and LOTR), Closeburn and back to Queenstown!!

At the stop in Glenorchy!

Oh, you know, just in New big deal...right?

I apologize for the reference to bad language in the following video clip:

Monday 8 February 2010
Today I woke up at 8:30, the day started out like any other. Lauren, Amanda, Ashley and I were going to go shopping in the morning, and we decided to stop by the Mad (company) Travel Desk on our way out. We found out that the Nevis Arc (World’s highest swing) was pretty amazing (according to the guy at the travel desk). So, we deliberated a little bit. It was cheaper to do a tandem swing, than to do a single jump. So, the guy booked two tandem swings. After the deed was done, Lauren decided that she didn’t want to go. The guy who booked the swing said that she couldn’t back out, and that she had to go. So, she did. We hustled over to the AJ Hackett office. We got to the office, checked in (they got our weight, and gave us a number), and waited nervously. The bus ride up to the Swing site was probably the longest ride I have ever been on. My stomach was tossing and turning like a person sleeping on a bad mattress. When we arrived, we checked into the front desk, and then we walked across this bridge. I figured it was safe, but it was kind of scary even walking across the bridge, just to get to the swing site. I was wondering how I would even be able to do the Nevis Arc. But since Queenstown is the Adrenaline Capital of New Zealand, I figured I HAD to do it. Plus, I had already paid, and it was a done deal. When it was my turn, I got suited up my gear, and Lauren and I got ready. They had her sitting in front, and she got to hold onto the rope things attached to her harness. I was sitting behind her and had to hold onto the little plastic handles next to her hips on Lauren’s harness. It was ridiculous. So, they hook us up to the swing contraption; lift us up high about the ground and away from the platform. Then the lady counts down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and we are released. Since I wasn’t holding onto the straps, during the freefall my body went forward (I guess my head and torso are heavier than my legs), and I was flying…kind of. It was a really crazy experience. Once we reached the bottom of the fall, we curved into the arc. Since, I didn’t wear my glasses for this thing, I could kind of see the scenery, but it was pretty fuzzy. After we stopped the majority of our swinging, they started to pull us up. It was almost scarier to be pulled up backwards, slowly, than it was to fall really fast. Why? It made me realize just how far I fell into the canyon below. The whole experience was terrifyingly amazing. I would have done it again, I would have missed out on Wanaka (pronounced like Hanukkah). So, Lauren and I left, I bought my photos, and we were off on the next bus back into Queenstown. On the ride home, Lauren and I talked about the craziness that we just put ourselves through. We also talked about how awesome we are. When we got back to Queenstown, we met up with Joy (the program director) who drove us to Wanaka, and puzzling world. That place was amazing! At first, (I’m not gonna lie) I was thinking it would be lame, boy was I wrong. That place was awesome! We took a tour throughout the Puzzling world museum, saw some awesome optical illusions, and were amazed. Even the toilets were awesome. Yeah. See the pictures on facebook for more proof of the awesomeness. After Puzzling world, and many pictures with the leaning tower of Wanaka, we drove to Lake Wanaka. It was beautiful! After taking in the view, we drove back through Wanaka to Queenstown. As we were driving through the mountains, it was a BEAUTIFUL view! The sun was setting on the mountains over the yellow/green hills and vales. **See video below**

Puzzling World in Wanaka:

Seriously breathtaking...good thing I don't have asthma.

Ok, so I realize that I should probably be typing up the rest of the cool things I have been doing. But I haven't got time for that now. Sorry. Just kidding, I do. Just kidding, I don't. Just kidding, I will. Just kidding I won't. Just kidding, I don't have time. Just kidding, I'll make time.

Here is a video of the NEVIS ARC!!