Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Boy: Manny you are a Douche-Waffle.

You may remember from last week's post that we didn't make it to the game that Manny Ramirez was playing in near La Pasa because he is on suspension from the MLB for steroids. This was because we were actually holding tickets for the next night. Even though we asked for tickets for last night's game.

We get there the next night and it rains. After covering and uncovering the field a few times we were soaking wet but ready to heckle. Over the loudspeaker came: The L.A. Dodgers have decided that Manny Ramirez will not play due to weather." Oh we were mad. We didn't even stay for the game because we were so wet. The Boy is convinced and he's probably right, that it was Manny that decided not to play as he has done that in the past. I was speaking to one of my father's very best friends about this and he said that he's just done with major league baseball because of all the hype and the steroids. He said that he would rather watch Little League any day. I don't know that I would go that far as the Red Sox are totally awesome (and even better without Manny) but I think he has a point.

Hence the title: Douche - Waffle.

Espanol Uno has been going very well. I've gotten all A's with the exception of one of the compositions because I didn't type it. I received an 88. Not bad. I just had my oral exam today and received a 96. I'm pleased with that. The final is tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I'll pull out a high A. Then Espanol Dos will begin on Monday.

I think I said that I wasn't going to be getting paid as much as I wanted for that creative project that I did for Moonlight Consulting and I didn't. I actually was paid far less than what I thought my work was worth. The project was worthwhile and any extra money is good. I've been working for her for awhile and tax season last year with the addition of the independent work was a bit of a shock, which I explained when coming up with what I thought I should be paid. I received my check in the mail today with a surprise addition an increase for taxes and a note that said on following invoices I was to add in taxes! I was so excited. I started a whole new savings account to keep track of it!

The Boy's parents arrive tomorrow! I really hope that they love what we have done with their future home! It will be so good to see them! It's going to be a busy week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Boyfriend is Awesome!

The Boy just bought me a fantastic sushi dinner. This after being turned away from the Manny Ramirez game here near La Pasa (we were going to heckle) because we had tickets for the wrong day...tomorrow. Dinner was complete with large sake and complimentary dessert (because we go there all the time and the waitresses love us!) and since it was raining, he gave me the keys the house and walked to the co-op to buy me my favorite orange dark fairly traded and organic chocolate bar! That my love.

I got my first B in Espanol. We had to write a short composition about our families and I wrote a great one, except that I didn't type it. So far everything we have turned in can be handwritten, so it never dawned on me that I had to type it. (And so I lost ten points...TEN POINTS...that seems a little excessive to me.) I guess it was written somewhere in the syllabus that it needed to be typed. I ended up with an 88. *sad face* I felt completely tonto!

Today was the first day that it was hard to get up for the gym. After two weeks, I say that's not bad at all. The bed was so warm and comfy...the news was on...I was the perfect temperature. It was REALLY hard to get up. But I did. Worked out. 30 minutes in the zone, gained a half a pound. I'm only one pound away from being where I started. LAME.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

La Prueba Segundo

Second Spanish Test: 96

In the zone: 28 minutes
Pounds gained: 1/2

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Successful Knitting Projects!

I've had an eventful weekend knitting wise. I want to share the fruits of my labor.

This first one has been done for a few weeks. I found the pattern when The Boy's parents were down here for Thanksgiving last year. I saw this awesome pattern in a book in a magazine and after searching my LYS (Local Yarn Store) and various big box retailers...finally found it. Find out more about the book, Knock Down Knits, it's full of knitting projects for Roller Derby Girls (we knitters are an eclectic bunch.) Check out the book here. It's not as small as it should be because the yellow yarn was chemically treated to keep it bright and so did not felt as much as it should of. I'm going to try again with some darker colors and will post a picture of that one when it's done.

Since The Boy and I got our Wii we have a pleathra of controllers and remotes. I found a great pattern in this book for felted boxes and set to work (after making sure that the yarn chosen would felt.) I found the pattern in this book. I love the authors of this one. I emailed Kay with some questions about the boxes and she got right back to me with very helpful advice. They have a great blog; Mason Dixon Knitting. I made them up and felted them by boiling them in our lobster pot. I was a little worried about getting them to keep their square shape but The Boy came to the rescue. Here is how un square they were before felting:

Here is how The Boy solved the problem. He's such a smart one! They will probably take a few days to dry, but I can't wait to put things in them.

I've also been working on another pattern from the authors of Mason Dixon Knitting, from their second book. I'm also working on some wipers to match but haven't perfected that pattern yet. Here are the dishcloths that I made for our kitchen. I've made some other pairs for friends and family. This pattern is really easy and it makes dishcloths more exciting and pretty to look at in the kitchen. The one on the left is longer because it is wet. Dry, they are the same length. I promise.

This next pattern I got from one of my oldest (and best) knitting books called Stitch and Bitch Nation. I loved it because it looks like something out of the 1950's. I wear it as both a headband and a necklace.

Friday, June 19, 2009

La Prueba segundo!

Second Spanish test: I did not do as well as I did on the first. I didn't to badly. But I doubt I'll receive an A.

This morning at the gym:
In the "zone": 28 minutes
Pounds gained: 2

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Proposal went over alright. I'm not going to get paid as much as I want, but this is ok. I'm still beginning and this economy is not good. I have a great job that I love (even though I don't always write about it in the best light) and this is just something that will give me a little extra. I'm thankful and all that aside I'm really excited about the actual work. I think it will really help students and teachers stay on track with a standards based curriculum.

Professor today putting his head down, shaking it and snorting after I asked two questions: "Ms. Knitter, Ms. Knitter, you always ask the best questions." What is this guy's deal!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iphone and Proposal.

Tonight was eventful. Not only did we have two awesome friends over for dinner and Top Chef Masters, but I also updated my iphone (which for an anxious moment there looked like it was going to brick) and I sent that proposal for Moonlight Consulting I was stressing about. Thank goodness for the sound boards in my friends and family!

Really. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced my professor doesn't like me anymore.

Have lost four pounds.

Bah! So much to say!

I feel like I haven't written in forever.

Catch up:

I had mi prueba primero de espanol on Friday. On Thursday the professor passed out a "test," had us take it and than admitted that the real test was the next day and that what he passed out was just practice. I was anxious not because I didn't think I would do well but because it had so long since I had taken a "test." At Bennington, we didn't have any of those. So essentially the last time I had taken one was my high school geometry final (which well...let's just say, did not go well.) I was really nervous. So when he passed out the fake test, I paniked big time. The other kids were mad when it was all over, I was thankful because now the "first test" was over and done with and I was much calmer and made fewer mistakes the next day. Over the weekend, I had a nightmare that I had gotten a 58. On Monday, thankfully I learned I had received a 96. I have another test on let's see if I can keep it up.

Johanna from Moonlight Consulting called at the end of last week and asked if I wanted to run some parental involvement workshops this fall. Of course I said yes. She usually gives these out of state, but now our state department says that it's something the schools are really going to need and so she is going to fly in the woman that usually gives them out of state in order to train me. So exciting. There are at least four school already set up that want them. Yeeeeahhh!

Then she gave me an even better opportunity. She wants me to do some serious creative work for her. She gave me the assignment and then asked me to write up a proposal. EEEEK. Have never done anything like that before, have no idea what to charge or how long the project is going to take me and I don't want to ask for too much and make her want to give the job to someone else and I don't want to ask for too little and feel like I'm being taken for a ride. I have to send her something by tonight though so I had better "cowboy up" as my Wyoming man likes to say from time to time.

Have been keeping up with the gym in the early morning hours on alternate days. Except for last night, The Boy and I were out late catching up with a friend who was home for a few days after being out of the country for a while. I hope I get to see him again before he goes back next week. So we will gym it up later this afternoon.

Have been knitting like a fiend. Two of my cousins are having babies within the next few weeks, months and so many things need to be knitted. Have a kitchen set to knit for another cousin, a dishcloth and washcloth to finish for my kitchen and felted boxes. Pictures to follow!

I think my professor doesn't like me.

Over the next few days look for posts about my dislike of the setup of the cardio equipment at the gym as it relates to my fear of yoga in high school, my thoughts on Gay Rights, Gay Pride and Gay Marriage, letter grades and why I think my profesor doesn't like me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Little "Smell" of Home!

Trees have a smell. A fantastic smell. This was not something I realized until my first spring in New Mexico. I was substituting at the former sister charter to our ALDR in a third/fourth class.

I was walking them to the bathroom and the walkway took us through a tunnel of trees that I marveled at because you rarely see that many in one place here. I inhaled and stopped. Stopped dead. Children ran into to me I stopped so suddenly. I inhaled again. It hit me. The walkway smelled like the road in front of my house back home which was uncanny because my house is surrounded by beautiful tall majestic trees, tall weeks, ferns...everything that New Mexico doesn't have...yet there was that smell. I turned around and instructed all the students to "smell in" (love English language learners, inhale was a little advanced for them.) They did. "What Ms. Knitter, what are we smelling?" "This is what my street in Massachusetts smells like." I informed them. Blank looks. None of them was anywhere near as impressed as I was. We walked on.

Three weeks later, The Boy and I rode our bikes to campus. Which also has beautifully lined pathways with trees and it happened again. The Boy and I discussed it and we discovered that the trees hanging over us were Beechnut trees, the same trees that lined the eastern side of my road!

As I was riding my bike through campus today, I smelled it again. How I love it. It really was 'a little smell of home." I never really realized what my own street smelled like until I was 2000 miles away.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Day of School! First Day of School!

*Said just like Nemo!*

I had so much fun today. I love being a student, it's so much more fun than being the teacher.

The Boy had a symposium starting today at the same time my class started (which means we get to ride to campus together every day this week!)

Actually, I have to start over. I need to preface this post be stating that I, Ms. Knitter, do not do directions well. Sometimes, even after going a place a few times I still have a hard time. (For instance, my mother still has to draw me a map so that I can get to the dentist's office back home.) This has been well documented by both The Boy and my family. In fact, the first conversation The Boy and my dad had (for which I was 2000 miles away, another great story) involved my dad saying that one of the reasons he was "reluctant" for Mum and I to drive to New Mexico was "Well, I don't know if you've noticed, but that girl doesn't have much sense of direction." The Boy said, "Yeah, I might have noticed that." The understatement of the year.

The UNM campus doesn't make this particular trait of mine any easier to deal with. All the buildings look the same. Same pueblo style outside, same height for the most part, same brown wooden accents, etc. On top of all that, for the most part, you can't see outside of campus from the inside of campus, which doesn't make much sense. What I mean is that I can't tell which way is North, South, East and West. (Which took me about eight months to get a handle on anyway.) All of this is really to say that I was really glad that The Boy could ride to campus with me because that meant that I had a dinaymite (is that really the correct spelling for that word...spell check seems to think so) escort to the first class and I wouldn't be late because I ended up getting lost.

According to my schedule my class started at nine. Being a true northeasterner, I was there promptly at 8:45. The Boy got me to my class and we peeked in. There was only one other person, a girl, sitting inside. The Boy looked at me and smirked, "Only you and another Non-Trad (non-traditional) would get here early." Then he smiled, walked away and I was on my own. I walked in, eyes searching for what I thought would be the only left hand little chair-desk in the world (my college had one...for the whole the science building) However, I found a plethera of them in this classroom. (To which The Boy replied later; "That's because UNM is ADA compliant." Stinker!) I picked one second row back right in front of the teacher's desk. (Yes, I'm a nerd, I asked a lot of questions too.)

I made friends with the girl inside and then with the boy that walked in after me, who informed the two of us that class didn't in fact start until 9:20. We had a good time laughing and joking with each other until more kids walked in and to continue talking and laugh just seemed odd. So everything got quiet until the teacher walked in and began. I was relieved the moment I heard him hablando espanol porque a veces it's hard for me to understand people I don't know very well. I enjoyed class and by the end had homework, a lab to go at 1:00 and a placement test to take. So I ran home for lunch because after gym early in the morning, the bike ride, the brain work and the forgotten apple, I was hombre!

Ran home for a quick lunch and reading of the blogs I follow (eeeeala...def. a nerd) and then back to school. To a building that could have been located in Munich for all I knew. I had gotten spotty directions from fellow classmates and was just hoping to wing it. HA. There was no winging. Actually, there was parking the bike way farther away then need be, walking around campus in circles trying to get my bearings and then going to the two places that I knew for a point of reference and starting over. Finally found the place.

Only my friend from class and one other person showed up for the lab session. I took the placement test afterwards. I scored at a 301, which for my other Bennington friends means that technically I should really be taking Espanol Tres. That is so totally not true. (Which is exactly what I said to the proctor btw.) My reading skills are really high, because I spend a lot of time reading it at school. However, this does not mean that I can speak and write it as well as I can read it.

Came home, sat down with my homework right away. I'm so into this. I can't wait to be fluent.

Still love going to the gym in the mornings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Outfits, Knitting, Classes, Oh My!

I have been spending time a lot of my online time here at Polyvore. Not really sure how these designers get all these pictures in there just so, but it's fun to look and sometimes they have really pretty vintage stuff that makes me salivate a little. I thought it would be fun to post what I wore for that presentation that I gave all by myself on Wednesday. Here it is!

The Boy bought me the skirt at Savers, the shoes are from my first college graduation, the two tops are from Target...I layer more and more these works. The purse is from the fantastic trip to Japan that I went on last year. I felt very professional looking while still feeling young and sheek (my favorite spelling of chic!)

Have been knitting with my free time. I've decided that the house needs more useful handknits and so have been working on wipers, (washcloths for the kitchen) dishcloths and nesting boxes for all the remotes and keys and other stuff that seems to acculumate between the kitchen and living room (really all one room as urban living dictates.) Here is my color scheme and what I have so far:

Not sure if you can tell, but the dishcloth has a wooden heart shaped button at the top there, so that you fold around the handle to the oven so that the cloth hangs. The wiper didn't come out perfectly...but we'll let that go for now. The Boy didn't think the colors would compliment the kitchen/living room but I think it works. My goal with the colors was really to get a little bit of the northeast color scheme into our southwestern home. I think he'll come around.

My Espanol 1 classe starts tomorrow! So gym, home to shower, quick breckyfast, gather things and off to class I go! I'm very excited and will probably wear above outfit without the little black cardigan. I have a bright orange binder with looseleaf and my books all ready to go. So ready to be on the other side of the desk!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I did a good job!

Both days of workshops went really well. I think both sets of teachers were able to take something away that they would really use. Both groups of teachers were easy to talk to, lively, asked great questions and seemed genuinely appreciative of the changes we were offering. Johanna (the owner of the company really liked what I did, how I answered questions and how upbeat I was throughout. Both days I felt really successful.

On Monday when I got home I had a voicemail from her asking if I was free on Wednesday. I said that I was and she explained that she had hired a women to do a workshop outside of Gallup, about two and half hours away from here and that she had been in a car accident and had to cancel. She asked if I was willing to step in. I said that I most certainly was. This lady was planning on giving a presentation that I actually know nothing about, so she asked me if I wanted to create something based on what I have done for her in the last year or so. She explainded that because it was so last minute and it was going to take some time to put it all together that she would give me the whole budget for the presentation. Uh. I said yes.

So I spent Monday and Tuesday night putting things together, creating an outline, making notes and rehearsing in my head. I made some CDs for the ride out there. I got the atlas out and mapped out the best route, got up early went to the gym (still loving the gym in the mornings btw.) I found the place exactly on time. It was a BIA school out literally in the middle of no where, my cell phone didn't work once I left Gallup, so I really had to trust in the directions that Johanna had given to me. I made it though, exactly on time; much to my dismay.

Everything went really well. These teachers were really receptive as well. I found out later why. The school is in the lowest tier of restructuring according to NCLB. If they don't bring up their scores one way or another, the principal is just going to hire different teachers to see if they can do a better job. So he's giving them all these professional development opportunites (where Moonlight Consulting comes in) and if they don't use them to better their students...well...bascially they are gone.

During the workshop I asked them what sort of curriculum they were working with. They could answer me when it came to Language Arts and Math, but when I asked them what they were using for Science and Social Studies they drew a blank. So I asked how they teach it. One of them admitted that they just don't because they feel like they don't have enough time to teach that and bring up the students' scores in Language Arts and Math and because niether of the other subjects are on the state test, they just don't teach them. Everyone else nodded. And me? I stood there with an incredulous look on my face taking in all the nodding heads. I couldn't beleive it. They are just digging themselves a deeper hole because those subjects are eventually going to be on the tests.

So on the spot I revised our plan for the afternoon. Part of the presentation is getting online and using to create lessons that are directly tied to the state standards for a subject. Instead of just one subject, I made them create lesson plans that worked with the state standard for more than one subject. They were actually quite successful at this and I really hope that they use this method in the future because if they don't...that hole is just going to get deeper and deeper.

Best part of all this; I made enough money to fix my car all in one go! It's at the repair shop as we speak! It may even have air condtioning when I get it back!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Today and tomorrow, I'm giving presentations on Standards Based Checklists for a lady I love working with. I'll call it Moonlight Consulting because hey, that's what I'm doing, moonlighting!

I've done some longer presentations for her before, some in state, some out of state, but these two are only about the one topic and will last two hours each. I really look forward to these opportunities because it reminds me that teachers are versatile and I don't HAVE to be in the classroom for the rest of my life if I don't want to be.

Today I'm speaking at a BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) school. It's always interesting going there because the cultural education those students receive is more intense than the one that the students at ADLR receive. Which in turn is completely different from the what I received in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. I always feel a little nervous addressing these teachers because I'm so young and so anglo and so blonde and we're coming in and "helping" (though more often forcing because the principal has made a certain decision) them change the way they do things.

I remember the first long presentation I gave was in Arizona and it for a school that was completely changing their tracking (yes, tracking in an elementary school) and report card systems. I was on my own that day too. (Usually, the owner of the company is with me, which is the case for today and tomorrow.) The teachers didn't want the change, but the principal made the decision and now they were being forced to stay after school and learn this new way of doing things after using the same old (bad) system for years. I was so very nervous. I began by talking about the states that I personally knew of that were making these sorts of changes; Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. They looked at me skeptically, but when I said Vermont they perked right up and took me a little more seriously. That was such a nerve racking afternoon for me. But each one after has gotten a little easier.

Off to make some notes!

*Also, have discovered that I love going to the gym first thing in the morning.