Monday, June 30, 2008

I love you ECO CAMP!

When good friends are leaving, daily power outages are beyond control and monthly gas inflations are drilling a hole in your pocket, it really helps to find the positive in our lives. This summer, I was fortunate enough to join Marianas Trekking’s Eco Camp as a counselor. Everyday, I find something I am grateful for...
The $5 Brunch Buffet: Complete with salad, soup, any choice of meat and an array of scrumptious desserts, especially the famous fondue (aka: the chocolate fountain)

The Water: A child will do anything for you if your bargaining phrase is "do you want to go swimming?"

A crazy game: No seats for musical chairs? No problem. We've got counselors and older campers to sit on.

New Friends. You can't beat that!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Gratitude Game

I finally found the time to read Dr. David Khorram's book, World Peace, A Blind Wife, and Gecko Tails, last weekend. It has been proven by a study conducted over a number of years that "you just have to start thinking grateful thoughts to feel happier."

In just one day I found at least 5 things that I am grateful for...

The goofy war paint on our faces during last Saturday's Championship match.

These beautiful little people with their big slobbery dogs (Max-C , LuLu and Honey).

My pouty sister Lovelle
Winning the championship game! But most importantly the camaraderie of our team.
(What is Meaghan looking at!?)

My number 1 fan!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The HighLights of SY 07-08

ME NO WANT! My little Korean girl came to class with just a Hi and Goodbye in her English Vocabulary. She is naturally hard working and patient but she came in one day with such a heavy heart. I asked her a hundred different ways if there was anything I could do to help. Using our only means of communication, the dictionary and hand gestures, We were both struggling to comprehend what the other was trying to say. Finally, she took the book and threw it towards the trash bin and put her head down. I came home, helpless, feeling like the worst teacher in the world. Today, she could tell you what happened in the movie she watched in both English and Korean. She has also been our interpreter every time her mom dropped by for a visit.

BROKE POCKETS, BIG HEARTS. For teacher’s appreciation week, I did not receive a basketful of candles or store bought chocolate cake. I received home made cookies, freshly picked flowers and specially made for my teacher cards.

CAKE FACE. On his birthday, Brad came to class with cake for everyone to share. When he called for seconds, my naturally sugared students all yelled “ME me ME!” He engaged them in a Rock Paper Scissor tournament and finally declared a champ. But then, Brad said “you can’t use your hands.” Without thinking twice she stuffed her face on the tray and ate some. Every single kid followed. It was priceless. To top it off, I didn’t even get a call from a parent the next day.

HEALTHY COMPETITION. Diana aka: Ms. Felix and I had always competed for the fun of it, okay maybe for GLORY as well. We didn’t intentionally drag our kids along but somehow it happened. Whether it was the number of books read, the highest reading level or the kickball challenge, our kids were going for the WIN. It got ridiculously out of hand that our students assigned spy’s and gave us, the teachers, a daily report. It was too late to stop until a kid got suspended for cheating (he took a quiz for his classmate who couldn’t pass the test). His reason: I just wanted to beat their class!

CONFLICT-RESOLUTION. The same boy kicked at least 3 balls to the building roof. They didn’t have any other ball to play with for days so he asked me if he could use what he learned in our class meetings: Problem-Solving. I was so stoked to hear that, and I assumed he would either borrow a ball from a different class or ask the maintenance men for help. He came back a couple minutes later with two balls in his hand while kicking the other. I asked “Good Work, did Mr. S help you out?” He replied calmly “No, I climbed from the back of the building and took all the balls down.” I stood frozen for a couple of seconds and yelled “WHAT?!” He looked at me and said, “You told us to try to fix our problems without asking an adult.”

And just like that... another school year ends.
I know I am going to miss those little monsters who drove me insane some days but gave me a reason to smile in most.