Friday, July 21, 2006

Ding Dong My Camp is Done

Yes, yesterday was the final showdown for my class. The parents came to see some of the final projects their children had created and I spent my time wildly trying to burn CD's and finish the year book. That was a total fiasco. The students had made all the finishing touches on their book, but the sheer number of pages made organization a nightmare. Trying to apply a coherent order to the final project was fun... I was afraid of forgetting pages and having students return home to realize their work had not made it in.
I had a great visit from my favorite parent, where she complained that my class was not enough about bugs... Which was interesting, since at the beginning of the class she had stated that her child had previously taken a bug class and would be much more engaged with the computer side of the class. Well regardless of expectations, the course description clearly stated that this class would be focusing on the world seen through a bug's eye view, referring to the microscopes that would be bringing our surroundings into a new level.
All in all I feel that the class was a success, the students learned many new skills, created power points, keynotes, pages, inspiration, kidspiration, and garage band projects, as well as using digital cameras and proscope microscopes. They gained fine motor skills related to navigating with a mouse, understanding of many new programs and so much more...
Had lots of fun, nice to have a break.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Quite The Eventful Day

So today, I wake up early... Watch what disgracefully passes for animated entertainment these days, pop in a movie, and begin my day. Starving for human contact and company I head over to Autumn's house at 10 AM, it is completely silent as everyone was still sleeping in compensation for the previous evening's activities. I begin cleaning and wandering about, waiting for signs of life from the basement to become apparent... Finally they stir and wander up stairs. After a spectacular breakfast I acquire Autumn and head toward Deetering farm.
We drive out Coburg and make our way... Suddenly we come to a halt as the town slows to a crawl. Apparently we had come in the middle of the small towns only festivities... As a natural leader, I don't accept defeat or traffic willingly. So I chose to blaze my own trail and find an alternative route. Soon I am leading the way down winding streets and alleys with 4 cars trailing behind. I navigate my way back to the main road and join the procession. It doesn't take long to realize I am now part of the parade. With children on a flat bed truck hurling tootsie rolls at the onlookers from in front of me, and a tractor covered in American Flags following behind. So Autumn and I take this opportunity to practice our Miss America Waving skills and blend in as best we can. So at each turn when the parade slowed down, Autumn would jump out of our moving car and pick up the candy that was thrown from the float in front of us... We would then spit the loot and redistribute it to our own waiting onlookers... This went on for some time before we were finally free of our ordeal.
So we arrive at the farm, spend hours picking blueberries at a mere $1.10 per pound. Quite the steal these days... After loading up on raspberries and blue berries we made our way home, stopping by the McKenzie River to skip stones in the water.
After depositing our berries at the house and enjoying a smoothie so chalked with seeds that I resorted to sputtering them across the floor...
Next we made our way to our local pawn shop to make our latest additions to my already obscenely large movie collection.
Back to the house to kill some time and then off to Pink Martini, in what was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Sitting in the arena, eating my Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I was able to whiteness dancers on stilts and in flamingo dresses accompanying one of the most out ragious marching bands I have ever seen. After that came the real show... Pink Martini got up and sang every song I had ever heard them play, plus three from their new album. The event went on for hours. At the end, I did my usual maneuvering and took off like a bat out of hell to be the first one out of the parking lot, narrowly avoiding 600 mini vans all trying to get out of the parking lot and head home...
But wait there's more... After finally arriving at home I lay down to relax only to hear a woman screaming for her life in the parking lot behind my home. My friend ran outside with a 4 Ft. sword and called the cops. Apparently the woman had ran down a cyclist and tried to flee the scene of the accident. So after being detained she was still screaming that it was her boyfriend that she had mowed down and that it was ok. So the cops and ambulance showed up and took care of it all. Lots of screaming and running made for an interesting end to an overwhelming day...

Good night Folks, I'm out.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday and Extended Weekend

Alright, sadly I don't have too many pictures for you this time, but I will post the ones I have soon...
Thursday: Madly put away class, return library books, make credit card payment, go grocery shopping, collect camping gear and get on the freeway in an amazingly short amount of time... Drive to Salem and meet up with Sara.
Caravan in with Sara and embark on 2 hour journey to Tilamook for camping extravaganza. Arrive watch 2 movies and pass out.

Friday: Wake at the crack of Dawn... Cook breakfast... Eggs potatos, and onions... Wander around, and hit the river. Kyak up steam and chill out with a few beers and play some cribbage with Sara while waiting for new guests. Savagely burn a random spot on my back and whimp out to take a nap. Sammy arrives and I begin to prepare the next meal... More sleeping... Wake up and begin the next, next meal... shishkabobs and salad.... Sleep... Help Liz assemble her scrap book.

Saturday: Hitch a ride with Sara's Step mom to Corvallis, meet friends, drive back to Salem to retrieve car. Aquire car... Back on freeway to sit in gridlock for hours while work crews clean up huge accident in left lane. Drive past rolled car and ex-owner who is shrowded by a yellow sheet. Enter Eugene, sleep.

Sunday: meander to Autumn's house, meet crew, head out to the fair. Work at Autumn's mom's booth, sell pottery, and eat everything in site. Sleep.

Monday: Teach kids to use kidPix. Have students begin work on their movies. Yearbook, introduce Inspiration, and slideshows in Keynote.

And that was about it...

Less than thrilling, I will add the usual flare later, I am exausted.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Originally uploaded by Miss Clare.


Originally uploaded by Miss Clare.


Originally uploaded by Miss Clare.

These are the bacon-kabob's that I mentioned... A great idea for lazy people... and they make the most delicious bite sized morsels ever... You can put some sauce on them or enjoy them in their original splendor...


Originally uploaded by Miss Clare.

These are better than they look, and the bacon ones are insane.

My Lunch Break

My Class
Originally uploaded by Miss Clare.

So through out my day I am busy tending to my class and preping for the next one... So my breaks are a welcome moment of relaxation and reflection in preparation for my next shift of avid students.

So it comes as some surprise that at the same time, each day... I am suddenly inturrupted by random students staking my class out as a hideout or recreation area. It first began with the students who would follow me from wing to wing and not leave my side... That was fun, they were my little stalkers...

Now they have evolved... I just want to read a bug book... I won't bother you... I can be quiet... I have heard it all... and reguardless of my explaination of the facts, they seldom if ever leave my room... So my moment of peace is suddenly spun into watching my students redesigning my room with their toys and eventually cramming themselves into their lunch box as a means to gain some much needed attention...

I just thought this was cute.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Weekly Update

So this week, things are really going better in my largest class. I don't know if it's the weather, students getting used to me, or that they are all worn out from a big weekend, but they were borderline perfect by my newly lowered expectations. They really know what they are doing... Be completely off the walls for the first week, and set the bar for the rest of the Summer. So of course by comparison, now they couldn't be better...

So we actually made some progress Monday. I set them up in front of the projector, and showed a slide show using proscope images. I then explained that we would be making these today and that they could be used to wow their parents.

So we went over the concepts as many times as possible and like it or not, most of them got it.

And we assembled our class tree... I went on a mad hunt to find some brown paper, through my self on the ground with Sharpee in hand, and quickly traced out the ugliest tree known to man. I then promptly sprinkled a handful of scissors on the ground and announced I needed helpers. Those kids took to the task like a swarm of locus, and in moments flat my tree was on the wall...

Other developments... Apparently I am going to have some visitors for the next few weeks. It turns out that Korea mandated Talented and Gifted education be available for all eligible students in 2000. So the next logical step would be to observe countries that you surpass in every category... Sure. Yes, academically they are doing better than us from what I can tell, so I was surprised to hear there would be a group of 33 teachers coming all the way from Korea to observe our humble little camp. But why not?

Just Keep in Mind: the group of observers is twice the size of my largest class... I can't even imaging the effect it will have on my class of 4. They say, just do what you normally do and don't worry about the crowd. This all is beginning to make me feel like a exhibit in a museum. I just hope they can read the signs and won't try to feed us...

anyways, that's all folks.

Monday, July 03, 2006