Thursday, May 28, 2015

There's a Woman

There's a woman who came into my life when I was six. I met her at a restaurant with my family, when she showed up with other people who I didn't know. It was a pizzeria. I was told that she was my Grandmother, and these people were my new Aunt, Uncle and cousins. She was to be called Nana. That was that. No questions asked. I was okay with it. They all seemed fun enough, plus I was eating pizza.

There's a woman who gave me a stuffed dog. Mom told her that Dalmatians were my favorite so that's the one she chose. I named it Dottie because I was seven. My creative side hadn't quite developed yet. The first of many saved gifts, each a treasure.

There's a woman who often threatened to feed me prunes. Indecisiveness would only get me those shrived fruits. It was always "Yes, Nana dear." No was never an option, unless it was the correct answer. Rarely was it the correct answer.

There's a woman who always kept us kids busy. We always made Shake n' Bake chicken and fed ducks at her house. Crafts were my favorite, digging through the chest of supplies to find my next project. She taught us nursery rhymes and old songs that I can recite to this day. My dollhouses and hand me downs still there for the younger cousins today.

There's a woman who taught me to be proud of my heritage. She talked about the crazy family ties that I some how fit into, stories upon stories of the craziness. She'll pinch you if you're not wearing green come March, but happily kiss you just for the luck.

There's a woman who helped me acquire my first real job. Yellow Brick roads and dressing up as a princess, making children stare in awe. Walking goats and having a parrot on my shoulder for a week straight. She told me I'd love it there, and she was right. The inner child in both us still hold our magic memories working there close to our heart. Who knew a place called Fairytale Town could be just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids?

There's a woman who says I look just like a man she once loved. He was smart, handsome and strong. I am just like him, she says. I admire him, but look to her example.

There's a woman who I aspire to be. She taught me how to be creative, independent, passionate about the things I care about, stubborn when it matters, and to always see the best in people. I strive to make her proud every day. I'm honored to be her grandchild. A woman so kind, intelligent and amazing. I love her. She's my Nana.

Not everyone has a reason to cry when they have to complete a family tree assignment because there isn't enough space for every person that deserves a branch. Not everyone has huge family parties where they are the same age as their uncles, and have cousins twice their age. Not everyone is lucky enough to grow up having multiple grandparents, not just the two from each side.  Not everyone has a Nana. Not everyone gets to have this Nana. How lucky am I to a woman so strong and wonderful in my life as one of my biggest role models.

You went and lost your phone so I had to write you somehow! Thank you for being one of my biggest cheerleaders. I miss you, but I'll see you in a week. Hoping you get some sunshine. I love you, Nana.

Edit June 5, 2015.
Words cannot adequately describe the feelings of my broken heart after losing this amazing woman on June 3, 2015. I will never be able to explain how much she means to me, how hard I've tried to make her proud, and the amount of admiration I have for her. A 9 year battle, fighting for her life so she could continuously bless the lives of others with her wisdom and grace. I've never met someone so strong and selfless, loved by everyone she met. Those who knew her know how truly incredible she was, and how much she will be missed.

How lucky I am to have you, Nana dear. I will always strive to give you something to be proud of. I have a hard time using the past tense even though you've passed, because as we both know, we'll see each other again. How grateful I am for that. I love you more. xoxo

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Students of Room 39

For those that didn't know, I've been student teaching for over a month! This first 60-75, ended up being about 80+, hours of experience is for my minor, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL K-12). I've been working at an Elementary school in a sixth grade class, Room 39, with only about 20 students. Sure, I primarily enjoy teaching younger students but this has been especially enjoyable!

The first day I fell in love with the class and the school. I felt at home, stepping right in sync with the routines and helping the students as if I'd been there for months. My fourth day in the classroom, they had already invited me to their class play. Through out my time there, I went to assemblies, danced with them, and even attended Space Camp; it's been a blast.

Now on my last day, to say they were disappointed that I had forgotten to tell them it was my last day earlier in the week, would be a major understatement! They were so upset with me. I'm going to miss these kids, don't get me wrong. However, this student teacher is exhausted. She's happy to hang up her badge and take a few weeks off. Teaching, on top of classes, studying for her teaching license test, work, moving and various other life concerns, has me worn out. It's time for a few weeks of rest.

Between getting to know the students and actually being able to work on their progress, the hours have been extremely beneficial as I've finally have gotten to put the things I'm learning into practice. I feel better about my teaching skills, like I'm actually decent at it. Not only has it all been beneficial to my confidence level, but also have given me plenty to talk about because, in case you didn't know, kids say the funniest things. For instance:

How do you spell your last name?
Are you sure? Spell check says it's wrong.

Do you like chocolate?
No, not really.
How? Chocolate is beautiful.

I'm going to call you Ms. Teacher.
You could call me Ms. K or Ms. Krause. That is my name.
Nope. You look like more of a Ms. Teacher.

*Learning about Heat Transfer*
Why is it that when we touch a hot pepper that it doesn't feel warm, but when we put it in our mouths to eat that it's really hot?

How old are you?
20, why?
And you're not MARRIED? Get on that sister. 

*Working with my Native Spanish Speaker*
You don't speak Spanish, do you?
Hablo un poquito.
Ha. Un poquito. Very very little.
****A while later*****
You lie. You no speak Spanish.

Why do you make me do work?
Because I'm your teacher.
Okay, but really. What's the real reason??

**Taught our Native Spanish Speaker how to say "Try Again"**
Angilu, can you sit at your desk? La mesa. That's the right word, isn't it?
Try again.

Michael, did you come sit by me because I was sitting alone on the bus?
Is yes or no the correct answer here?

*Walking through the halls near the younger grade classes*
TEACCCHHEERRR. Someone was kissing someone in the back of the liiinnnneeeee.

So yeah, this is my life. I love it. I love the kids, even though they say some interesting things. It's fun. But I think teachers should have nap time. And for what it's worth, 20 is not old.

First 80+ hours down, 100s more to go. I can't wait though. Does that make me crazy? Oh well. Just call me Ms. Teacher.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dumb Luck

Did you know that I'm extremely lucky?

No, I'm not kidding. My life sometimes can be a series of unfortunate events and you can't help but laugh at how ridiculous things can get sometimes for me because seriously, it's hilarious at times the stories about the horrible, no good days that I have. However, I'm actually ridiculously lucky when it comes to winning contests, awards or prizes.

It all began probably on my first day of Kindergarten. Showed up wearing the cutest floral dress that twirled (all my dressed had to twirl), I was awarded "Star of the Day." Moving forward, I'm not an artist, but I always entered my stuff into the fair, and without failure, I'd come back with a ribbon and a prize. I won a separate city contest once, was given a whole bunch of art supplies.

Older I got, the larger the prizes became. I won a whole set of bedroom accessories (alarm clock,  radio set, wall clings, door frame decor) courtesy of Sparktop.Org because I simply pushed "enter."

Bigger and better, I won a premiere screening for Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties, from the same website, with 500 of my closest friends, plus a bunch of gear for the movie. I didn't have 500 of closest friends but I filled that dang theater as much as possible.

Once on my birthday, the tickets we had for a (don't judge) Dixie Chick concert (I was like 8) had our seats blocked off for light equipment. We told the usher and he gave us floor seats instead. I was tiny so we had to move up a few rows, but it was pretty sweet. And that's not the only time I've gone to a concert or show and been given better seats.

And those are just the bigger random things I won (that I can remember.) I'd often just win random small things on top of that. Like my name was almost always drawn when there was a raffle, or I'd be standing on the number they picked out of the hat for the cakewalk. I'm always finding money in my pockets or on the ground (usually then though, I turn it in.) I often am getting emails about random surveys I've been chosen for that give me some sort of incentive at the end. I am ridiculously lucky.

Now, I randomly entered a Digital Storytelling Contest for a class and I received an honorable mention award for a video I created in an hour using an IPad application. I'm $35 bucks richer and I've got another weird prize to add to my lucky streak.

So yeah, there's your fun fact about me for the week. I'm sure my mom could tell you more things that I won growing up, but these are just the few that came to my mind. If you want me to pick your lottery ticket numbers, don't ask. My dad has tried that and it doesn't work. I'm only a lucky charm for myself, I guess?

If only the luck could apply to the rest of my life events, and not just winning things...but that would be asking too much I suppose.

Anyways, I'm now settled into my new apartment. Spring classes are a go as I prep for my teaching this summer. I'm still student teaching for my minor, which has been a blast! No breaks for me when it comes to school, but I'm excited for the adventures that the warm weather will bring.

In other news, less than 8 months til I graduate. I'm signed up for yet another race. I'm planning a birthday trip for my 21st! I've got a bucket list of places to go this summer and things to do. My list of books to read this summer is expanding. Annnd I'm training to do another super cool thing that I'm not quite ready to announce because it's in the works.

So yeah, life is good here living in Sunset Suite in the Bubble. Yes, my new apartment is called the Sunset Suite. Plus, it's number 12! Did I mention that's my lucky number? (: