Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birthday week!

For the past week or so, I've been intending to write a post. Whenever I had a topic in mind, I had no time to write it. Once I got the time, I had already lost interest in the topic.

So here I am, recapping my birthday week.

I had school off on Monday, so I visited my parents on Sunday afternoon. We had a birthday dinner for me, and per my request, we had a grill-out with wine! :) I chose a grill-out because I thought it would be an easy way to accommodate my meatless diet; all I would need is a veggie burger, and I would fit in! Of course, my mom messed this up by serving grilled chicken instead--thanks, mom! :) That drew lots of attention to me, and for the first time, my dad noticed that I wasn't eating meat. Considering this has been going on for half a year, I guess you could say he's not very observant!

On the day of my birthday (Thursday), I expected to hear a "Happy birthday!!" or two from a few students who remembered since I had been announcing it for weeks. I received much, much more.

Within the first minute of walking into the school, one of my students got up from her table, ran up to me, and wished me happy birthday. Immediately after, a group of girls did the same thing. After I passed, I heard them arguing behind me about who was "first" to wish me happy birthday. :)

When I entered my classroom, I had a vase of yellow daisies on my desk from my cooperating teacher (she knows yellow is my favorite color flower), along with a bag of lentils (she always hears me rave about them!), dark chocolate (she knows it's my favorite), and several colored pens for grading (I complained once about how I didn't have any). I was stunned! Not only did she go above and beyond what was necessary, but her gifts were perfect! They were so "me." Other people who walked in and saw them were like, "........lentils?" But I was over-the-moon thrilled.

My first period class sang happy birthday to me. My second period class gave me a signed card, an Easter basket full of candy, and a book of poems (I just finished teaching them a poetry unit!). By fifth period, I had three cards/drawings from individual students, a large poster signed by almost all of my 100+ students (and some others whom I've never even met!), and multiple other renditions of the happy birthday song. To top it off, my parents sent red roses to the school, so I got called into the office to get them. I couldn't stop blushing!

My bounty by the end of the day

Needless to say, it was the best birthday ever. It simply reminded me why being a teacher is so satisfying. Despite the fact that I give them homework and make them think and do things they don't always want to do, they still admire/appreciate/adore me...almost as much as I adore them! They may complain one day when I ask them to write 20 examples of imagery to use in their poems, but they turn around the next day and compete to be the first to wish me a happy birthday.

I rounded out my birthday with dinner with my friends at one of my favorite restaurants in town. :) They have cider on tap, which is a rare find in South Dakota!

To complete my birthday week, I chaperoned the middle school dance on Friday night. I took away two things from that experience:

1. The cool thing to do in middle school is huddle in groups around the entrance to the bathrooms. (...I'm just as baffled as you!)

2. "Ice Ice Baby" is still a "cool" song to the current generation of adolescents.

Oh, and to call it a "dance" is a bit of a stretch. It should really be called the "Stand in a Circle with your Friends and Sing the Lyrics to Every Song" event. Or perhaps the "Get Sugar-Drunk on Mountain Dew and Chase Each Other around the School" event. Anything other than a "dance," since very little of that was actually taking place.

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