Thursday, December 31, 2009

christmas cards and unproductivity

It is so funny how I think that when I have time I will be productive and play catch up on blogging or reading or whatever else might be on my "to do list when I have a break from school."

Today is January 2nd, and I have had the past two weeks off (which cannot be explained any way but absolutely wonderful). Needless to say, all the things that I had envisioned doing over the break have not happened. (If you follow this blog then you clearly have noticed).

I think the picture below sums it up beautifully. No follow through. My sisters and I took this picture during the few days that we were actually all in the same city just prior to Christmas. Rachel (24 yrs, blue coat) is currently in D.C. visiting her boyfriend Greg's family and spent New Year's in New York. Meredith (22 yrs, blonde) was in Dallas for New Year's and is currently at the Cotton Bowl cheering on Ole Miss. Evelyn (17 yrs, yellow sweater) left this morning for Atlanta for Passion 2010. Though over the years the four of us have been spread out among states (and countries), our Christmas card and picture have been consistent. This year brings the exception. Though we did get the picture taken, we never followed through with getting cards and mailing them out to friends and family. A tradition that I am confident is as old as me has now been broken. Like I said, no follow through.

So many things left unfinished: blogs, books, lesson plans, DR scrapbook, online classes and exams for teacher certification, and Christmas card, just to name a few. 2010 is sure to bring more productivity and efficiency. Here's to a new year and a new opportunity for follow through. Bring it, 2010. I'm ready.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Everyday when I get to work and sit at the computer, I wait eagerly as the google search engine page loads hoping that the word "google" is displayed in a fun, new way.

Yesterday the Google search engine was in a design of Popeye and his spinach.

It made me happy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

take a turkey

There was a generous donor at Yellowstone this week. On Monday, someone donated 300 turkeys to our school! We were able to send a full turkey home with every family for Thanksgiving. It was a frozen turkey but already fully cooked. There were enough left over for each staff member to take one home as well. So Monday afternoon, in addition to all the teacher's books and papers, I took home a turkey!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


My step dad opened a tart yogurt shop in Houston that is absolutely wonderful! If you are in the city go and check it out! It is one block west of the Whole Foods at West Alabama and Kirby.

Blueberryhill is actual dairy yogurt, not a powdered formula like others.

It is flavored with real fresh fruit purees.

It is topped with fresh fruit, prepared in the store.

It contains probiotic cultures which strengthen the immune system and aid in digestion.

It is a great source of protein, which curbs appetite and promotes weight loss.

It is an excellent source of calcium, vital for strong bones and teeth.

It is high in potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin.

It is fat free with only 90 calories per 4 ounce serving, gluten-free and kosher dairy certified.

It aids in metabolism and protects against ulcers.

It lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and colon cancer.

Go and try it out today! Not only is it good for your health, it is tasty too! What can top that?!

2700 west alabama
houston, tx 77098

Saturday, November 14, 2009

eleven on the eleventh

Well, no, not really, but let me explain.

My friend Kara challenged me on the 11th of November to write out 11 fun facts about me in hopes to establish some community among blog friends if many partook.

Clearly today is not the 11th, but better late than never, right?

Maybe I'll do a combination of fun facts and updates of life the past few weeks. Enjoy!

1. On November 11th we switched to AT&T cable so the internet was not working. (This is true, though I cannot put total blame on an internet provider for my lack of punctuality).

2. Last weekend I bought an antique furniture set from my aunt for an amazing price before she sold it in her garage sale. It is all jam packed in my room waiting for the day when it will spread its wings to its own apartment. The bed is pictured below.

3. Thursday night I went to hear a friend of a friend's band play in downtown Houston. The venue was called Super Happy Fun Land. Yes. Super Happy Fun Land. It was as if I traveled back in time 40 years. What a trip!

4. My step dad opened a yogurt shop in Houston this past September called blueberryhill. It is SO good!!! (Expect a blog entry on this very soon!)

5. This past Tuesday my 4th grade class went on a field trip to Miller Outdoor Theater to see a performance on the origins of certain dances. I saw my sister (also Ms. Crockett) and her class there eating lunch before going on their field trip to the Children's Museum. Crazy, huh?!

6. On Thursday I wore panty hose to school and a student informed me that my legs looked darker that day. (oh goodness...)

7. The Blockbuster location by my house is closing (what is the world coming to?) and everything is on clearance. I bought a handful of movies including Away We Go (so good!), Camille (haven't seen it yet, but with a title like that I've got to, right?), and Edward Scissorhands (haven't seen this since it scared me when I was younger).

8. This Thanksgiving I am going to be the only daughter out of four who will be home. It is going to be bazaar being an only child for a holiday weekend... My mom jokingly said we should go to Vegas, but I'm totally keen on the idea!

9. This week my old college roommate got engaged on national television.

10. I've never made a scrapbook before, but have all these pictures and other things from the DR waiting for me to put it all together. Any takers to help me out?

11. I am not the best blogger in the world, but am going to try and post more regularly!

booby trap

This past Halloween I didn't have a costume to wear so I searched quick and cheap costume ideas online. There were actually a lot of really great ideas for those that always put things off to the last minute (ie, me). The idea I ended up using made me laugh when I read it on the computer, and figured that made it a winner!

The description said hang a mouse trap around your neck so it rests on your chest. Go as a "booby trap."

So that's what I did!

Unfortunately I didn't have a real mouse trap so I improvised and made a drawing, but it still worked.

It got a lot of laughs, and my last minute, no cost costume was a hit!

lauren and austin get married!

So, I cannot believe that nearly a month has gone by since this wedding, and also since the last time that I posted!

Their wedding was absolutely beautiful, so special, and intimate.

Here are a few borrowed pictures from the big day!

Friday, October 16, 2009


1. We have 6th graders the age of their mothers when they became pregnant with their first child.

2. Houston was just named #1 city for pregnancy under the age of 15 years.

These are scary figures, but very much a reality. May our students be educated.

Monday, October 05, 2009

bacholerette party!

Nora, Lauren, Sarah, Barbara, and I (pictured) drove to Austin this past weekend and met Catherine and Molly at a lake house for Lauren's bacholerette party. It was a really great weekend, spending time with Lauren and having fun prior to her big day that is finally almost here (October 17)! She took a lot of pictures, sorry mine are so limited.


Teaching in the states may still be having the kinks worked out, but one thing that I can do is show my students that I care for them.

I went to a football game and saw a few of them show their stuff. I think they were pretty excited.

Sidenote- watching 4th graders play football is very interesting, as is watching their families on the sidelines

"hip europeans"

Nora and I went to a Hipster Euro-themed party. What does that mean, you ask? Who really knows.

This is our attempt to dress and look in line with the theme.

You can be the judge to whether we were successful or not.

open house

I was able to meet many families of my students at our Open House. It is kind of interesting because my prior teaching experience in the DR was one where I knew all of the families so well, but this Open House has been the only time that I have seen some of them (and by that I mean the ones that were there). Interesante, no?

Regardless, it was great to meet everyone and begin to put faces with names. Here are some of the people that stopped by.

celebrate good times

Things have been quite eventful these past few weeks. Above are some pictures from a wedding shower for Lauren and Austin. Such dear friends are getting married so so soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

an apple a day...

Today one of my students gave me an apple when he arrived at school.

Yes, that's right, an apple.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the honeymoon is over

Teaching turned out to be a more difficult task than I thought. Sure, I taught in the DR for two years, and believe me, that was no walk in the park. It is a whole other thing when there are actual criteria that have to be met. I am responsible for the entire education of my fourth grade class.

The lesson plans, the planning, the grading, the kiddos- it's exhausting!

-especially when the students are similar to my little Haitian and Dominican friends.

I have had a couple students that have already served In School Suspension and one that was suspended for hitting last Friday.

Last Wednesday was the first day that I really left work feeling defeated. Everyone has those kind of days. The days where as soon as you drive away from the school or office building or whatever, tears start streaming down your face and you hope the cars around you don't notice.

This particular day I was frustrated. Frustrated with my students' back talk and attitude. The first week and a half were absolutely perfect, and I pridefully thought that I was a natural. My class was controlled, they were learning, listening, it was fun.

After eight days, the honeymoon was over and the kids began to test.

Since then, it has been rough. 8 days of bliss then 12 of struggle.

So there I was, crying throughout the entire drive home. Not being able to keep up to speed with everything it takes to do this job well. Not able to find my phone that is normally on my desk or in my pocket, concerned that it had been taken by one of my students. The next day was Open House. Lots of different emotions during that drive.

I am doing better now. Open House went well, I found my phone, Thursday and Friday were better days. I just completely underestimated the degree of intensity that first year teachers face.

I'll let you know how this coming week unfolds.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

five years

Leticia told me that we have been friends for exactly five years today. We met during her Phi Lamb introduction when she was pledging. What a start to a beautiful friendship! Was that really 5 years ago?! Crazy!

I'm glad we're friends, Leti!

these few weeks

Who knew that teaching was so much work?! I guess my lack of posts this month explains it some, but man.

The school year has gone off to a great start. I have a fabulous class with 8 boys and 8 girls. They have a lot of character, and make the class interesting!

The planning and preparing is coming along, maybe not quite as quickly as I would like, but chugging along nonetheless.

I was able to take a break from all the lesson planning and room prepping and spend a night in Austin for Labor Day weekend. I was so excited to catch up with Katie and Val and see Katie's new house and then Leticia, Val, and I went to the football game and watched the Longhorns bring home the W.

Sunday I went to church (its been a while, Austin Stone) and then met the rest of my family at my cousin's house in Lakeway to celebrate her getting married. That night we drove back to Houston to have the next day to rest up.

It was such a great weekend, but so quick. There were a lot of people that I wasn't able to see, but I guess another trip should be planned soon! For now, it's back to grading papers!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Dear Camille E Crockett

Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that your student loans have been paid in full! Please keep this notification that your loans have been payed in full!

Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, the benefits of saving money by living at home!

10-15 years has been condensed to 2 years!! Yes!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

petty thieves or excelling students?

Teacher in-service has been chugging along, kids and parents have also been coming up to the school to pick up their uniforms.

On the first day scheduled for uniform pick up, there were a lot of people that came up to the school.

There were also a lot of teacher cell phones stolen, 3 to be exact.

Yes, you heard me right. Teachers' belongings were stolen by families that attend our school.

My mind went through so many different emotions.


Did that really just happen?


How could anyone do something like that?

Especially to people that are committed to bettering the lives of those that attend.

One thing that I have come to learn though is that the circumstances of a person's life dictate so much of what their future will entail. Can this behavior really be blamed if it is all they know?

One way to correct it? EMPOWER the children. Show them that their life has value. Give them an education. Encourage them to dream and to set goals above the realities that they know. And press them. Set that bar so high. Let them know that it will take a lot of hard work. But let them know that they have the abilities to accomplish it.

I read that if a teacher is told that a child is gifted, she will instruct in a manner that forces the student to improve that much more, (even if the information given to them is false) and the student will succeed. Meaning, all students, regardless of background, have great potential if someone is willing to say, "yes! you can do it and I will make sure that you do!"

Therefore, I cannot wait to introduce you to my class of 16 gifted and talented students who will flourish this school year and accomplish more than they ever thought they would- because they will not be treated as the people they are and the unfortunate circumstances they are in but as those that I know they have the potential to become.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

in service

So, my roll at Yellowstone has officially changed.

I am no longer working as the student behavior specialist, nor am I the Operations Manager. As of Monday morning, you can call me teacher!

That's right, in service started this week for all teacher staff. I am now preparing for the 4th grade and all that it entails, and man is it a lot of stuff!

It is so great though to have such organization from the part of the administration. It makes the anxiety of it all diminish somewhat.

Hopefully some exciting things to come very soon...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

bust it out, belguim!

My sister Rachel sent this to me. What in the heck is this and why is it so great?! For whatever reason it made me cry. (HA! God's sense of humor with my emotions is astounding). I guess its been a long day; either that or I wish things like this would happen all the time. Wouldn't that just brighten your day up?

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Since living back in Houston, for the past 11 months I have been borrowing a friend's mattress that was oh so comfortable. However, that mattress is no longer here and a hard, springy 20 year old mattress is in its place- soar, achy body guaranteed.

This morning I just couldn't take it any longer and ordered a mattress off craigslist, which includes a free delivery. Man, that company is genius.

So it's goodbye back pain, hello restful nights!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

comic relief

Wow, it has been way too long since my last post, but with good reason. I have been taking teacher certification classes for the past week to get my certification in 4th-8th to teach this fall at Yellowstone Academy!

I will have a fourth grade class and most likely move up with them to 5th grade the following year.

There is a long check list of things that must occur before handed a certificate. At the moment it consists of taking these classes, taking additional classes online, and studying to take a content exam that needs to happen soon, but realistically will not.

Needless to say, this past week and the ones to follow have not left me much room to do anything but be a student again!

Though, a fun fact of this whole process has been that a guy that sits at my table has such a familiar voice. I couldn't place it until early this week. And then it hit me, he sounds EXACTLY like Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor, very deep and matter of fact like. YES!

Oh, the little things in life...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Yes, that is right. Kickball is in and I am a part of it! Who knew that Houston would hold such a thing as cool as a kickball league? Well, they figured something out because our team is massive! I mean really, during these summer days, who in Houston wouldn't want to be a part of it?!

Our team name is Kick in a Box and we have a BLAST! If you're in Houston and want to see the magic happen come to Memorial Park Monday nights.

house sitting

Starting yesterday and going through August 1, I will be house sitting a rather sizable house along with 3 dogs, a cat, and a fish.

If any interesting stories come of it, I will be sure to pass it on.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


So, the inevitable has come.

I have inherited the bad genes from both parents.

Which gene is that you ask?

Gray hair.

The occasional strand has popped out, terrifying me to no end, but a quick pull and it disappears. However, I have noticed several more. Ahh!

I guess the old saying is true that if you pull a gray hair, two grow back in its place.

Not fun.

I have come to the conclusion though that a few strands of gray is better than a lot. Gray hair is also better than no hair at all. So now I guess the only thing to do is embrace it.

What else is a 25 year old to do?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

child's play

Last week a couple of co-workers asked if I wanted to go to the children's museum with them as I was leaving work. They had free passes, and Houston has one of the best museum districts in the country, so I went.

Upon arriving, the front desk if there were any children with us. You might wonder why they would ask that, curiosity I guess, I mean it is a CHILDREN'S museum. No. We had to leave a picture ID at the counter to pick up as we exit because we were 3 adults with no children. What?!

Yes, that is correct. The pedophiles have entered the building. Parents beware!

I starting laughing. It is a funny thought to go to a children's museum without children (Though I must say the two teachers I went with were very excited!)

In the grand scheme of things I am glad they have that system in place.

Way to go Children's Museum, even if it was at our expense!


Tuesday night I went with a few friends to hear Pete Yorn play. He was fabulous live! My friend Jessica and I got a sweet parking spot next to the tour bus and as we were walking in, we passed Pete talking on his cell. Pretty cool.

The venue wasn't sold out, which was surprising, until I realized that I was in Houston, not Austin. I guess that is a good thing, not having to worry about getting tickets to see different artists.

If you are not familiar with Pete Yorn, listen to him on Pandora and you will also hear the likes of Coldplay, Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Ryan Adams, and The Killers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

42nd street

Last night Meredith and I went to see the musical 42nd Street at Miller Outdoor Theater. The theater is also known as Theater Under the Stars, it is an outdoor theater in Herman Park that puts on free shows to the Houston public.

I hadn't been there since I was a kid, but it hasn't changed at all in the 42 years that it has been open. (Only fitting that 42nd Street is the musical playing during the theater's 42nd year).

Like I said, all seats are free. There are covered seats at the front, where a ticket is required (and can be picked up the morning of the performance), behind the seating area is a large hill where everyone else sits to enjoy the show.

I am continually amazed at all the things that are in Houston to do; it's really fun discovering it all. This was a great weekend to say the least, but today is Monday and it's now time for work.


My friend Alex is in town from Turkey for the summer and had people over to her house so that she could tell us about her time there and show pictures. It was really great to see her and hear more about what all she did. It made me want to go back and visit the DR even more so than I already do.

That night I met up with a few friends at this place called the Gallant Knight. I had never heard of the place before, but come to find out that it used to be THE place to go in Houston, but shut down several years ago. It (re)opened about 3 weeks ago at a new location, which is conveniently located 5 minutes from my house.

I cannot tell how cool this place was! I walk along the patio outside and go in, only to hear a live band playing Proud Mary by Tina Turner and see everyone out on the dance floor. Yes, this place has live jazz music and everyone was really into it. Saturday was like a tribute to Motown, every song they played kept getting better and better! Oh I had so much fun!

chicago and earth wind and fire

Friday night I went with a group of friends to see Chicago and Earth, Wind, and Fire play at the Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands (which by the way is a really cool venue, I had no idea!)

We sat out on the lawn with our blankets and had such a blast. The weather believe it or not was perfect! So exciting!

My sister Meredith came too which made it that much better!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

food inc.

I saw the movie Food, Inc. with my step dad and step brother, Andrew, Monday night. It had such an impact and was so moving. I wish I had the time (or perhaps even the intellect) to convey to you from a political, ethical, nutritional, moral, and financial standpoint how important the principals of this movie are. Please go and see it.

Attached is the link to the website where you can watch the trailer and find out more info, but I really do recommend everyone to go and see it.

Food Inc.


This summer at Yellowstone I have been working as the interim Operations Manager, attempting to keep this organization running and learning more about how a school operates. Man, it is an enormous production!

I have been so grateful for the opportunity, not only for the experience, but the exposure. Just today I worked with this guy from a gate company to fix our automated gate and get it set on a timer. There is such power in knowledge! I now fully know everything about our gates. I also got off the phone with a fire company a few minutes ago who agreed to lower their prices in order to get our business. That was a good feeling.

I fully know now that this is not a career that I see myself doing long term, it is not my skill set whatsoever which is okay, I have enough friends in the business world! I certainly do feel much more like a businesswoman though!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


These are a couple pictures from Yellowstone's first 5th grade graduation. They were all so excited, and looked so adorable in their graduation outfits! As each name was called and they walked across the stage, their teachers read off encouragements and accomplishments and goals they believed could be attained.

The rest of the school was there to watch, in addition to the parents and families that came. They all loved it!

walk like a flamingo

I took a total of one good picture on the 5th grade field trip. You can see the kiddos imitating the flamingos that are behind them, pretty cute! The trip was four days and I had three girls under my wings (two of them pictured). I must say, staying in a hotel room with two 11 year olds and one 13 year old had its challenges and I was quite ready to go home by the 4th day. Overall though it was a wonderful trip and the kids really enjoyed themselves.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

daughters of esther

While working at Yellowstone, I had the duty of spending time with the 4th and 5th grade girls once a week, a mentoring of sorts if you will. The group was called Daughters of Esther, a program which had started the year before.

So, the Spring semester (when I came in) included times of team building exercises dealing with trust and team unity. We also had a unit on honoring God with our bodies. They made booklets that contained verses from Psalm 139, and learned about how they are beautifully made, the P.E. coach even came in and did a class on sex education! Scary, but it went so well!! Other classes we just spent time hanging out and playing games.

Here are some group shots towards the end of the semester.

preschool rodeo

So, I finally transferred all of my pictures from my camera to my computer. It's fun waiting a while because when I see all of the pictures it makes me smile thinking back to when these events actually happened.

The next few blog posts will be catch up blogs from events that have happened this Spring.

This particular post is from when I was able to chaperon a preschool trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The kids absolutely loved it!

Their teacher gave them little cowboy hats and bandanas to wear, so precious!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I realized today that I was supposed to have jury duty yesterday, opps! Hopefully I won't be arrested.


This is Charlotte, the surprise my sister Meredith brought home from college last week. She is the cutest thing, though looks can be deceiving. Our golden retriever, Dallas, hasn't quite warmed up to her yet. Over 10 years being the only dog in the house, I might think that way too. For an entertaining interaction between the two, check out this video that Meredith posted.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

time flies, eat a salad

I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago, and bought a pre-made salad to take to work. There was a sticker on the container that said, "May is National Salad Month, Eat a Salad!" I laughed, thinking, who has ever heard of a national salad month?! But, in efforts to be healthy, and though we are now in June, go eat a salad for the month of May.

national run day

I found out that today is National Run Day, so get out and go for a run and celebrate these fun, random holidays!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Welcome to the new and improved blog! I have been trying to update this thing to make it look a little more inviting. This is in hopes of spending more time updating people on life and staying up to date with others. How is it that this form of communication has become so prevalent? I don't know. But expect more posts more often, and please comment so that I know you care to hear about it all. Or better yet, pick up the phone. I hope that has not yet become archaic.

Monday, May 11, 2009

business trip

For the next four days I will be with 27 5th graders in Waco and San Antonio on their class trip. This could be either really good, or really bad...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

houston is hot

Yes, the temperature continues to rise, but weather is not what I am talking about here. Today was a good day in Houston. Both the Astros and the Rockets played on Mother's Day.

It started off with the Houston Astros and their pink bats. They took Game 3 of a home series, sweeping the San Diego Padres. It was an afternoon of firsts: Oswalt's first win of the season, the most runs scored (12), most hits (16), and most double plays turned (4) in one game. And though we probably could have scored some inexpensive tickets assuming that the rest of Houston was watching the Rockets, I was content watching it on the couch with the family. Here are the highlights.

Likewise, the Rockets pulled off something incredible. Just as the Astros were without Lance Berkman, the Rockets faced LA without Yao Ming, who is out for the remainder of the playoffs with a broken foot. However, this kept neither team from coming up big.

The Rockets never trailed once during the game and at the half lead by nearing 30 points! With all the hype that the Lakers and Kobe Bryant receive, it was pretty invigorating to see them pounded by Houston. Go team! For more details, check this out.

So excited to be back in the states to see all of these things unfold!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009


From the slums of the Dominican Republic to the inner city of Houston, my job description is similar and on some days laughable. I went from bathing naked Haitian children with scabies to washing and braiding hair that has been neglected for far too long.

Guess if this is a girl or boy in the picture. (Here is a hint, I bet only my DR friends will get it right).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

bush is a HIT

Yesterday, former First Lady Barbara Bush came to our school to announce the winners of an essay contest she gave to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. The theme was "The Sky is the Limit," so each child wrote about what they wanted to be when they grow up and being able to accomplish their dreams.

Along with her was a child acting group called HITS. They performed a few scenes from their most recent theater production, Beauty and the Beast. I can't quite remember Barbara Bush's affiliation with HITS, but somehow there is a connection.

All the students loved the production, especially in seeing a life size candelabra and grandfather clock, and I found myself singing along in my head (of course...). At the end, the older students were able to ask a few questions to the cast, which was neat because a handful were around the same age.

Afterward, Barbara Bush announced the winners of the essay contest, one from each grade. (And of course, you know me, I was trying to hold back tears as the students names were called). Some of the parents were able to come and watch. I believe that all three students who won had some sort of family present. They all stood up and cheered when hearing their child's name called. A reporter from the Houston Chronicle interviewed Bush after the program, and the story ended up on the front page of the Chronicle this morning!!

It was so exciting!! All of these kids are so sweet, and so deserving. It was really incredible to watch.

in the news

A couple of months ago, Yellowstone built and completed its first gymnasium. It is so exciting to actually have a place apart from the playground where the students can learn about the importance of physical education and experience teamwork and athleticism in an active and physical way. The P.E. coaches are thrilled!!

We recently discovered that our new gym won a design award that can be seen in the Houston Business Journal. Click here to check it out!!

Monday, April 13, 2009


So, a main part of my job is meeting with the children once they have been sent out of their class. Yes, I am the dreaded Ms. Crockett, where students spend their In-School-Suspension. And when a teacher sends them to the office, that usually means mine.

I have two students with me now, one who's mom is coming to pick him up because of behavior issues. I talked to him about how he needs to get it together, and he started crying. Though it sounds weird, when I get them to cry it usually is a great thing. It means that they realize that they were misbehaving and know they need to improve.

I feel like Michael Scott from The Office when he said that if can make his employees depressed then he's doing his job. Granted, if I my job performance was like that of Michael Scott I would have some issues, but truthfully I really do feel victorious when I can get the students to cry.

Monday, April 06, 2009

a promenade

This semester each grade level presents a program to the school, family members and friends are also invited to come. The third graders' program was in mid February.

The Third Grade Students of Yellowstone Academy proudly present...

A Promenade of the Presidents of the United States of America

Third grade students dressed up as the Presidents and First Ladies of the United States of America and each gave a quick speech summarizing the person they embodied.

They all looked so great, from George Washington's white wig and colonial attire, to Jackie Kennedy's high fashion, FDR's glasses and walking crutches, to Barack Obama in a nice suit. They sang "You're A Grand Old Flag," as they waved flags highly in the air. It was so precious!

Friday, February 20, 2009

a helping hand

Since starting at Yellowstone, there have been some pretty exciting people to come visit the school. Last month, Toro (the Houston Texans mascot) came and spoke to the entire school about the team and the importance of exercising and eating right. While he was there, in addition to seeing some of Toro's amazing stunts, the students were also able to hear from the announcer for the Texans, players Kris Brown and Mario Williams, and a couple of the cheerleaders via video. They absolutely loved it!!

Shortly after that, Miss Houston USA and Miss Teen Houston USA came to the after school program to help out with some of the activities and to see the programs offered. I think the girls were more excited for these particular visitors!

A few weeks back, there was a luncheon off campus to fundraise for the school and Barbara Bush was the speaker. Some of our students went and performed a few songs for the attendees and were able to meet her.

Mostly recently, as in three days ago, we were told that Vince Young might come to the school to talk to the students in each classroom about the importance of working hard and staying in school. Being a University of Texas graduate and watching Vince Young from the stands at the Rose Bowl lead the Longhorns to a victory over USC for the national championship, I was pretty excited that I might get the opportunity to see him at work! I had my eye out all day for him, but come afternoon figured that he wasn't going to make it. He ended up coming though and was able to speak to the older classes, I wanted to hear him speak but didn't find him in time. I was in the hall (purposefully) when he came out with his entourage. He walked up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Vince." We shook hands and I introduced myself, wishing he wasn't leaving the school then so I could go on to say how big a fan I was and how I was at the Rose Bowl when Texas beat USC. He will be coming back though to speak with the younger classes on another day.

It is neat to see how many people, regardless of who they are, come and spend time with these kids, encouraging them in any way possible. The students think that it is so cool.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


So apparently "interim social worker" was not the best job title for me, partially because I do not have a degree in social work and so can't officially take that name. So, I am now referred to the "Student Behavior Specialist." Bam!

Monday, January 19, 2009

life now

So, there has been a bit of a hiatus on this blog, mainly because I have no new Dominican adventures to tell. I have decided though to continue the blog because life does not end once back in the states (and no where on this blog do I specify that these 'adventures' are 'Dominican.')

As many of you have seen (on this blog, but hopefully in person) that the dreadlocks are gone and I have a shorter, darker new do. Anne phrased it perfectly- a new haircut for a new chapter in my life.

Though I do miss the Dominican Republic terribly and all the people that are there, I am confident that Houston is where I am supposed to be. So, yes, here is the start of the new chapter, and below are the things which with I have been filling it up.

I moved back to Houston at the end of August and had some much needed R&R. In December I began substitute teaching at an inner city school until I could find something permanent. Though I had not planned to work at a school upon moving back to the states, I was offered a position at this school (Yellowstone Academy) replacing the social worker who is on maternity leave. I was very excited to be working with children who come from similar backgrounds as the children I taught in the Dominican Republic, and so far have seen so many similarities it is unreal.

This job is through the school year, so it gives me a few months to decide if being in a school is right for me without having to be super committed one way or the other. So far I am really enjoying it. I deal mainly with the discipline of students and talk to them whenever they are having a rough time. My family wishes they could see me in action because they can't see me as being the strict disciplinarian, but they didn't see me in action in the DR. Man, I had to pick up on that real quickly.

Another thing I am focusing on is the library. At the moment there is not a full time librarian on staff, simply dedicated volunteers that come weekly. So I spend my mornings three days a week in the library helping control the chaotic children who think it is free time. I am starting to see improvements, which has been really great.

My last focus is on the 4th and 5th grade girls, currently the oldest in the school. I spend half an hour with them once a week, as a mentoring program of sorts. We had an introduction meeting last week, so I am excited to see how everything goes this time around.

I am thoroughly enjoying working so far, and cannot wait to see what the future brings.