Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'M BACK!

Wow. What a crazy ride this past week and a half has been.

I got back to South Dakota late late at night on the 4th. Kate came to get me because she is the greatest thing since sliced bread! We did not want to take the long drawn out trip home so we went out of our way to get taco bell and gas and drove back to OLL where I spent the night on Kate's floor. It was just magical! :)

The morning of the 5th we got up nice and early (no sleeping in aloud!)...by early I mean 8. We took Kate's boys to the DMV in Pine Ridge to get their bus drivers licenses! OOT! It was ridiculous as always. After that I FINALLY made it to my knew home at the Grey house. I set to work making my room into a nest and I am quite happy with the result.

Saturday I went on a grand field trip to the Pow Wow with a good chunk of volunteers. And...drum roll...FINALLY GOT TO SEE MISS JESSIE! I missed her sooooo much!

This is the part where I lose track of days and everything is just a great tornado-blur. Oy! We went camping in the black hills and it was SO beautiful...as usual. We had a fantastic time and it was so so great...we went swimming in a great cool lake...and by cool i mean temperature...we went on a morning hike to the dam...cooked out lots and lots of hot dogs and black bean burgers (yum).

The next morning we went for our yearly trip to Sylvan Lake and there was SO MUCH bikers. Hello sturgis season. The best part was that the minute we pulled in...it began to poor...and hail...and poor...and hail. It was hot...and cold...and hot..and cold. But we still had fun, some people went swimming, more power to them...but i did not. The majority of us went to Hill City for lunch and a break from hiding in the car. We ate at some crazy dinner and it was just wonderful and delicious. Om nom nom. We then traversed to Crazy Horse Memorial...which I have never been to...and is a very impressive, and large.

The next big adventure was to depart...at 5:30 in the morning...for St. Paul Minnesota! OOT!  Our volunteer retreat this year was a trip to go see Joshua (who was with us last year) and other Jesuit Novices take their first vows. We also rode a school bus...all together...one yellow school bus...and all the volunteers. Oh man. It was something. It took us about 13 hours to get to St. Paul and I have never been so excited to walk around in my life. :P

A group of us went out to dinner at the first wonderful restaurant we found. It was a delicious meal...I had yet another veggie burger. I can't wait for the year to start and I can eat food that is not a veggie burger...as delectable as they are. We tried to go to the hot tub after but it was already closed. sad day :( so we watched That 70s Show and  hung out and went to beddy-by.

We spent the next morning getting emotionally naked which we all know is just my faves. Despite that I think it went really well and was a really great start to having an open and honest community this year. Then we traversed to the novitiate to talk to the baby jezies who were going to take vows AND got to see Joshua perform Pine Ridge State of Mind again. Fabulous! Then there was a huge food eating party, they sure know how to live it up.

Kate and I went on a love walk and have officially decided that after we complete our schooling in Boston we will be moving to St. Paul and if we can not find an apartment we will take up residence in the Governors Mansion. Its gonna be juuuust great. That night we went to the vigil and then when we got back to the hotel we found out it was KARAOKE NIGHT AT THE HOTEL! Needless to say it was a blast and a half.

The next morning was the vow ceremony and the reception and then it was back on the bus with us.  We drove to Sioux Falls where we stayed in a hotel complete with WATER PARK! I forgot how much I LOVE water slides...they are just great. I wish I could be a kid forever but alas I will just have to settle for a child like wonder of life. Claire, Joe, and I went to play on the Pirate Ship that was in the kiddy pool...it had a great slide too, even though it was much smaller. We also had some slide races before returning to the hot tub to relax before bed.

Then it was time for another early morning. We loaded up the bus and started on our way to Rosebud to attend 11:30 mass and listen to a talk from Br. Pat...hes kinda B.A. I was most excited when we stepped off the bus and i realized that the church was PURPLE! Later we found out that the church was panted purple because the adults could not come to a decision so the priest decided to ask the children what color they wanted it to be and that is what they chose. There was some upset about this obviously, and one little girl said to her grandma "I thought children where sacred" and her grandma said they were and her retort was "Then why are they making fun of our choice?" And this is why I love children.

After Pat's talk we loaded up the bus one last time and started to voyage home...and here I am...sitting in my classroom. Hurray. Inservice starts tomorrow so I must be sure to get lots and lots of rest. As soon as I have a moment I will add pictures to this very very long blog post.

Love and crackers! Miss you all!





Sunday, March 20, 2011

Let the Spring Thaw Begin!

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, the wind chill is dropping and the snow is melting!

The second grade on the other hand...has been on roll about disasters of all magnitudes. First they were upset about Pluto not being a planet anymore. I let them write a letter to Pluto about why it should or should not be a planet. there were some pretty great lines. "Just because its small doesn't mean it shouldn't get to be a planet!" or "and Pluto sounds funny!" you get the idea.

After we were at peace with Pluto we moved on to the world ending in 2012. "Is the sun going to burn out? What if it explodes? What if a huge meteor hits Earth? What if there are aliens?" So I gave them a pep talk and told them we should not waste our lives worrying...so then they picked a new thing to worry about.

BLACK HOLES! WHAT IF WE GET SUCKED IN?! WHAT IF WE GET TO CLOSE?! WHATS INSIDE A BLACK HOLE?! HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?!

It might be time to stop reading them The Series of Unfortunate Events.

We also had a wonderful St. Patrick's day which was disaster free and consisted of making leprechaun traps just in case any of these wee men are running loose on the rez. We went on a walk to hunt a leprechaun too but concluded that the 22 of us were to loud and scared it away.

Outside of school I got the see not one but TWO Rapid Rush hockey games this month...one was a field trip with the fourth grade and middle school, the other was for fun night with our house. Both nights were fantabulous.

There was also mountain lion sighting a few weeks ago...on campus.Ann-Marie came in to let me know the police called to tell us about the mountain lion they saw strolling through the red cloud campus at 7 in the morning. small screaming children...hungry giant cat...no biggie.

I am happy to report no children were eaten in the making of this story. But honestly where else will i ever teach and have to worry about the children being malled by a mountain lion at recess. OY!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Been to Cold to Type

I'M SORRY!

I got a message today asking if my blog had frozen do to the extreme cold temp. It has not...my fingers on the other hand may have.

The weeks before Christmas break were insanely busy. I had to paint a back drop for the Christmas Pageant and then after hours and hours of work the laminator ate part of it. heart wrenching.

When it was all said and done thought the stage looked great and the kids were flippin' adorable. We sang Santa Clause is coming to town (Bruce Springsteen style) and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. A first grader did the worm during silent night, the kindergarten threw snow, the third grade rewrote the 12 days of Christmas (and a pirate with a bad sneeze AACHOOO) and the fourth grade look fabulous!

My vacation was CRAZY but wonderful all in one. I drove from Pine Ridge to Omaha...flew from Omaha to Cleveland, drove from Cleveland to Boston...and back, Drove from Cleveland to Yellow Springs...and back, flew back to Omaha and drove back to Pine Ridge. For anyone who didn't know that means I drove roughly 2524 miles. OY.

But on the bright side we were able to spend Christmas in Boston with my mom's whole side of the family which is really the only place I want to be at Christmas. We had a great big family pot luck with 34 of the 36 Callahan's and stayed up late into the night playing games after Christmas dinner and listening to Auntie's crazy family stories.

New years was also a WONDERFUL time as I had a visit from the BEAUTIFUL SPLENDIFEROUS Margaret Metzler. IT.WAS.WONDERFUL. It is nice to know that no matter how much time we spend apart, we are able to reconnect and pick up where we left off. We went to the FMC benefit concert in Yellow Springs which was full of beautiful music and beautiful people and general beauty and splendor.  We spend New Years Eve at Katie Braun's house and I made ravioli from scratch for the first time in my life. WOOHOO! It was delicious!

And after all my travels and adventures I found myself back in my bed at the mission. I wish I could say I was warm and cozy in my bed...but the low this week was -13...without the wind chill. It was near -50 with the wind chill...IT'S COLD! Yesterday we had the day off due to EXTREME COLD WEATHER! But today we only had a two hour late start.

We also had house inspections today which means I had to shove a mountain of dirty close from my floor into the closet...guess its time for laundry.

In other news, I am channeling my crazy and knitting a blanket, which will work much better once I get my knitting back from the rear seat of the OLL Volunteer Car...oops.

So there you have it, life in a nutshell, and now my fingers are cold so I will leave the rest of my stories for another day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

TURKEY!

So I don't actually eat turkey...but if I did, the Jesuits would have had more then enough for me. There was the traditional roasted, the deep fried, and the Cajun fried! A little something for everyone. There was lots of other delicious food I could eat though, including the mashed potatoes made by yours truly, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green been casserole (made by Jackie) pumpkin rizoto, bread, salad, and more dessert than I can begin to remember.

I.am.stuffed.

Other than eating have spent the break sitting on the couch watching the OC, which happens to be Tim's favorite show, I am so surprised by this...but it has been beyond fantastic. I might be hooked. Tonight Luke and Kevin will be coming over armed with Love Actually so that we can kick off the Christmas season in style. CANT WAIT!

Not sure what the rest of the break will hold...but I am sure it will be epic!

Much love and joy to everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Todays New Weather Term: Freezing Fog

FIELD TRIP DAY!

Today we had our first field trip with the kids who are in after school. Despite it being disorganized and chaotic at times (there were A LOT of kids) it was really awesome!
We went to Peppy's Pizza in Rapid and then the kids had the choice to go ice skating or swimming. I went ice skating because I have been waiting 4 years to get back on the ice. The best part of the day for me is that so many of the kids had never been skating before and we were able to help them get this whole new life experience.

Poor Walter spent almost 20 minutes standing at the edge of the ice afraid to go on. I finally got him to go with me and when we were almost around he fell on his knee and didn't want to go back on the ice. After a lot of talking I finally convinced him that we can't give up on something just because it is hard and scary and he came back out. AND HAD FUN! It was amazing.

The other most amazing part of the field trip was the bus ride home. I cranked the radio and when I looked back in the mirror all the kids were dancing, from the first grade all the way up to the middle school. It was beautiful!

video


Not much had been going on. It is almost time for thanksgiving break! I'm not sure if the kids or the teachers are more excited. WE are getting ready for the Christmas program. I am happy to report that the second grade will be singing Santa Clause is coming to town (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Style) and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. They are so into it when we practice. I cant wait! 

I am still waiting for the first real snow. We had a dusting the other day and the kids were so happy to play in it, the only problem was they really just ended up wet and muddy and didn't really get to play in the snow much. I am still worried about driving the bus in the snow and ice...particularly through all the construction in Oglala. I hope they get it cleaned up before the weather gets to bad, its a mess right now. 

I also had a weather first today. There is a freezing fog advisory. I have never heard such nonsense...but apparently it is possible for the water droplets to be supercooled, so they are unfrozen, until they contact a surface which will then cause them to freeze. Its bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s! 

We had literacy day, DEW day, and mass this week, which means I didn't really get a lot of time to teach. I did get to help Kelly out by singing the music at mass. I was worried about it at first but once my kids realized what was going on it was pretty priceless. 

This past week I have really been missing the fam and home. I am so happy out here, but it is hard to know that I am over 1,000 miles away and missing things like my sister in the fall play and conducting the marching band. I'm so proud of her! I will be home in time to hear one of her 20 concerts in the month of December though so that is fantastic! 

I am also really excited to get a brides maids dress when I am home!!!!!! I just hope I can scrape enough money together to pay for it now! 

I hope you are all doing well and that life is great! Much love! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm really no good at this...

I feel like I have not had anything exciting to report, but when I think about it I guess a lot has happened.

Long long ago...at the begging of October...we had fall break. Kate, Carla, Kevin, and I went up to Rapid for a night of fun. We ate lots and lots and lots of food, all good, and spent the night at Margie's (the 4th grade teacher at OLL). She was gone for a wedding and her house sitter, Dennis, used to work at Red Cloud. We spent the night getting a solid education on spirits which was both interesting and helpful. We also went bowling with Jessie and Jacob and Jeremy and some other folks and it was lots and lots of fun. For anyone who doesn't know...I still suck at bowling.

Kate and I spent the rest of our weekend having a sleepover on our couch and watching movies on the projector. It was awesome and very relaxing.

As far as teaching goes we have spent almost the whole time either teaching or getting ready for the NCA visit (this is to not only keep accreditation as a school, but to become accredited as a district with OLL). I am happy to report that we are now fully accredited as a district :)

Thursday was a ridiculous day. We had an impromptu feild trip that I drove for. It was a blessing ceremony for the children as part of an effort to help combat the rising rates of suicide on the rez. I am glad we did it...but the organization was just terrible. We arrived at 9:30 when the ceremony was supposed to start, only to find that the people running it had not arrived yet at which point we had to try to contain a bunch of kindergarten, first, and second graders for an hour. This also meant that we did not eat lunch until we got back...at 12:30. They normally it at 10:50. At that point the day was pretty much a lost cause...so we had recess and watched wall-e.

Thursday night was our Halloween carnival. I did face painting for all the tiny tots, they were very cute. Jessie, Amanda, and Jacob were doing pie throwing next to us...Lets just say I ended up coming home covered in whip cream and it was not because I was hit by a stray pie. Thanks for that Jacob. : P

Friday night was Kate's 23rd birthday and so we went to OLL for birthday prom! It was lots of fun. Amazing food and goofy dancing all night long! Happy Birthday to Kate!

My new mission is to try and be better about updating. Sorry to everyone who keeps checking only to find that I have not done anything!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And Then I Got the Plague...

So, it turns out little kids have lots and lots of germs. Just lovely. My students are all so caring they just all wanted to share with me. I'm so lucky.

This week was International Peace Day and we celebrated by making pinwheels for peace and calling Dr. Mrs. Mama Fishman's class on Skype! It was great fun and the students really enjoyed it...and LOVED their pinwheels.

While we were talking about peace we were looking at all the countries on our carpet...and someone asked if we lived in mexico...and that is when we started our unit on geography. Hopefully we have it all straightened out now.

This Friday was the back to school pow wow! I had a bunch of students participating and it was so fun to get to see them outside of school. I had to spend some of my time prefecting in the little gym...which means for an hour and a half I sat in the gym listening to the drumming during hand games and telling kids they could not sit on the stage. It was less than awesome.

Zaniya
Walter


 Angelina and Maria
Aaliyah
 Tyler



Friday night is when everything went down hill. When 5 hit I felt so awful I had to leave the pow wow dinner to come line down...and I was only feeling worse. Kate made me call the Dr. on call at the clinic and they felt that "I should seek medical attention within the next four hours" which basically made it sounds like I was going to die and was probably a major over reaction. Anyway, Kelly and Michael were feeling particularly awesome and drove me all the way to Rapid and back. I am very grateful that they came and was told after 10 minutes there that I probably just had a virus and was sent home with a long list of prescriptions. I am starting to feel on the mend but I am still really tired out. My only hope now is that I can be all better for school tomorrow.


Saturday was house spirituality/house fun day. We started the day of with yoga which I did despite my illness and late night. It was the first time I had ever actually done yoga and I must say it was very relaxing. After that we all drove up to rapid and had lunch at the Mongolian grill (DELICIOUS!) and then went to Pirates Cove to play put-put. It was AMAZING! But I was so whipped out I slept almost the whole way home and went to bed at 8.

While we were in Rapid we also made a quick run to wal-mart where I became WAY to excited in the Halloween section. Lets just say my kids will be very spoiled with plastic pumpkins full of stretchy skeletons and bouncy balls with spiders and candy and pencils! It was worth it.

Today I slept...and then had a Skype date with Shereen and Jennie! IT WAS AWESOME! I have not heard those giggles in far to long. We had some serious technical issues, but at least we could all hear each other and feel like we had been reunited once again. After that I slept some more, and then I lesson planned for the week, and then I slept some more...and on that note I am all ready for bed!

Here's to hopes of a healthy week!