Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Merry Christmas!

What a holiday season it has been! It's been full of parties and get togethers, time with friends, Christmas lights, and yummy food. Since it is only December 21, there is still more celebrating to be done. Since the hustle and bustle of my everyday work day is gone, I can finally relax and maybe really think about what Christmas is. Cause the parties and lights and food are fun and exciting--that isn't why we celebrate. It's easy to forget why we are celebrating this time of year. But in fact without Christ's birth, there wouldn't be a Christmas season to celebrate.

I often wonder what Christmas means to those who are not Christians. How do they justify taking time off work, eating lots of food, and buying lots of presents? Christmas just doesn't make sense to me without Jesus' birth in the center. So, if you are working hard to justify eating lots of food, taking time off work, or buying lots of presents--take a few minutes to remember that in the middle of all those things we need to thank God for giving his son to us, as a baby boy so long ago.

Merry Christmas everyone!!
Merry Christmas to me! Today it was announced that book 6 of the Harry Potter series will be released on July 16, 2005. Hurray!!! I cannot wait! It's exciting to at least have a date to look forwards too. So, there will be months of speculation before the book comes out...and I better start rereading the series! It is a tradition after all to reread the entire series before the new book comes out. :) Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Some Things Never Change

The band plays the same songs. The cheerleaders do the same dances. The student section never sits down. The parents sit in the same spots. The junior highers never watch the game. The announcer still doesn't know what's going on. And everyone is still cheering for the home team.
This is Clinton Mississippi on a Friday night during football season. Tonight I enjoyed my first CHS game as an alumnus---5 years after I graduated. I had the chance to come home this fall and I took it (forgetting how long the drive actually is). Luckily is was a weekend when Clinton played at home. I am not sure what it is about football, or what it is about being a part of the home team, but the excitement doesn't seem to fade. I still wanted to cheer until the end and make sure we one. It was a close game 13-7, but ended excitingly when the Arrows kept the Gators from scoring by intercepting the last play of the game. Got to love those last minute turnovers.
I don't know what it is that makes me sensitive to things like the "alma mater." Though I only spent 3 full years in Clinton, it will always be a part of life. It has to be...it's where my first diploma comes from.
Despite living in Kentucky today I am glad that I was given the ability to feel that many places are home. It's great to be home now; and it will be great to go home on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

It's been a long time since I have published, but I do have an excuse. Summer has ended and the work year has begun! It didn't catch me off guard, but it did become a whole lot of work extremely fast. I don't often use this site to complain, but the subject I am going to approach warrents being discussed.
I work in a school district that is so large and sometimes unpredictable that you never know what's going to happen. Instead there is this magic thing called "Day Four." These words are spoken with reverence, fear, and anger most of the time. These words mean that things could change in what feels like a moment.
Day Four in Fayette County refers to the fourth day of each new school year. This is the day when schools turn in their numbers--how many students they have attending their school. Depending on the numbers you can gain or lose staff to your school. Because of the new middle school in Fayette County this year, it was somewhat of a turbulent start to the new year. And now day four has come and changes have been called. At my school we are gaining a teacher and a half; but we are losing a special education teacher. It doesn't seem to make sense, I know. As it turns out one grade's special education will have to totally be redone, and one team's schedules (likely my 8th grade team) will have to be redone. It's all about the kids, I know...but it doesn't stop the frustration.
I am thankful that I still have my job...once again I escaped the horrors of Day Four. Others, were not so lucky and I can only hope that it works out for them.
Even as I sit here waiting for students to enter my room, I know that it is all about them. But I just keep wondering...what is wrong with a system that keeps hurting/frustrating its workers. The horrible cycle never seems to end in a job where security should be at its highest, you often don't feel secure.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

My Favorite Parts of Summer

As my personal summer is nearing to an end (I'm down to the last 48 hours), I thought I would take a trip down memory lane with a list of all my favorite parts of the summer. These are in no particular order, just what I remember!

Dutch Blitz
Mamma Mia! Cleveland
Mamma Mia! Charlotte
Sebring Camp
July 4th fireworks/cookout
Kings Island
Washington DC--The American History museum
Colonial Williamsburg teacher resource center
Melanie's Wedding
Spending time with Kathy and Heather
Renting a new townhome!
Seeing teens come to Christ/grow closer in their relationship with God
Jen's graduation
Taking pictures
Gulf Shores
Time with family

And that covers it briefly of course. At least I have plenty to remember while I am sitting in a workshop every day next week!! :)

Monday, July 12, 2004

My Sister, the Star

Last night I had the priviledge of going to see my sister star in the number one Broadway musical, Mamma Mia! Bekah played Sophie, a soon-to-be-married twenty-year-old who longs to discover the identity of her father only to find that she has "three possible Dads." All this is to the toon of many ABBA songs. It's one of the funnest shows out there and it was exciting to see her! It was especially cool to be able to say "that's my sister" and hear people say how amazing she is.

Whenever I am not sure exactly if life will take me the way I want to go, I know that I can always think about my sister who is truly living her dream.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Last Few Weeks of Life

Well, it has been a busy last couple of weeks. I drove to Ohio, Mississippi, and back again to Kentucky. It was a really fun couple weeks in Kentucky enjoying all the best things of summer including cookouts, races, parties, trampolines, swimming, fireworks, and roller coasters. It was definately one of the most event filled and fun July 4th holidays I have ever experienced.
Another big event of the past couple weeks is the finding of a new place to live! Those of you who have ever been to my place know exactly why moving out of my apartment will be a highlight of this summer. And of course it will be too much to have roommates...I sure hope the job doesn't suffer!

Speaking of the job, I think I enjoyed July 4th all the more this year because being a history teacher now, I was reminded of all the things this country has gone through to be able to celebrate on the fourth of July. So often we seem to forget what independence really is. If we could only understand what it was like before democracy--before we had the rights that so many people fought and died for. It's easy to forget...which makes me grateful for holidays such as the fourth of July and friends who will put up with my "history lessons." =)

Another summer is half way over and the school year looms ahead but there are so many things to do before that time including more time in the car, weddings, camping, visiting, musicals, DC, Williamsburg, and North Carolina. And these are the reasons I really do love my job. =)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

You Know You are In Mississippi When...

We often joke about things that remind us of home. We associate certain things or certain songs or certain people with certain places or times. Well, since I moved to Mississsippi in 1996 there is one thing that I always associate with home...and today I was reminded of them once again.

In Ohio we have bugs. There are bugs everywhere. But Ohio bugs are nothing compared to Mississippi bugs. MS has three bugs that you don't find in the North including the red wasp (ouch), the red ant (double ouch), and finally--the one I saw today-- the GIGANTIC Flying Roach. I'm not kidding. They fly and they are huge.

So here is the story of how I was reminded during this visit home of the roach...
The day started off normal. Got up, went for a walk with my mom and our dog. Came in, had some water, decided to take a shower. So, I'm washing my hair wondering what I will do today and I look over. Sitting in the corner of the shower is none other than a 2 1/2 inch roach. I screamed--not because I was scared--but because they are so disgusting. Uck. Gross. So, of course I got out of there as soon as possible and then killed the roach and sent him to his (or her) grave down the toilet. If you have never experienced a giant roach, especially one who flies, you are truly missing out. If you ever visit MS beware, because they always turn up in the strangest places.

So now that I have had my official Mississippi welcome, I feel right at home. And definately encouraged to return to Kentucky soon--the roach-free land of the North.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A Quote

"He (General Longstreet of the Confederacy) did not think much of the Cause. He was a professional: the Cause was Victory....The war had come as a nightmare in which you chose your nightmare side. Once chosen, you put your head down and went on to win."

From The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

I thought it was interesting.

Monday, June 14, 2004

New Blog

Okay everyone...I've branched out! I now have two blogs that you can visit. You can find my other blog at rachelsreviews.blogspot.com
It's a totally different blog, so there will be updates on both. I hope you enjoy! I'm excited about this new blog and I look forward to filling it up! And as soon as I learn how to do links I will add them!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


Well, I am home again. Mississippi home. Home is just where I happen to be at the time lately. =)

So, I am back in Clinton and tonight I went to see my "little" brother (who's 8 inches taller than me) in his summer musical, Footloose. Do you know what that is about? Here is a short summary. It is set in a small town in Texas where a local preacher has had dancing outlawed. A city-kid moves down there and disrupts the whole town. In the end there is a town council where the main character quotes scripture in an effort to convince the adults to allow dancing in the town. And all I could think about was...they need to do this musical at Asbury. I mean, could you imagine? I know that perhaps I am a little behind and some of you already knew this storyline, but I was wishing tonight that I had known it while attending Asbury...just because I think I could have had some fun with it.

Well, it's good to be home and highly amusing to be so distinctly reminded of Asbury tonight. I wish everyone could see my little brother though, he is fantastic!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Second Time

It's just as good the second time. =)
And the Critic Says...

It was fantastic. It was darker, it was deeper, it was funner. That's my summary of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Tonight I saw the third installment of the Harry Potter series. I must say Alfonso Curan does a completely different Harry Potter than Chris Columbus. However, it was an extremely intriguing Harry Potter.

As movies go, specifically movies geared towards kids, this is an excellent movie. It seems more to fit in the "teenager" category than the kids...but that makes sense since the main characters are now in their teenage years. As a story it was fantastic. The writing...blows me away. I laughed out loud; I was frightened; and I was relieved. And I already knew the story line!

A lot of liberties are taken with this movie in regards to the novel itself. But it is pleasing none the less. I have to say that my initial reaction is a bit subdued because this movie was so different than the previous two. It will take at least one or two more viewings for me to fully process the different Harry Potter world that Prisoner takes you into. So, my bet is this is not the last Harry Potter moment on the Blog. =)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

1 More Day
For all the Harry Potter fans reading...and those who will become one...

I am anticipating greatly the upcoming Harry Potter movie. In only one more day I will have the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!! I know that the book will always be the best, but reviews say that the movie is spectacular! Even Rowling has announced that she is pleased. And if Rowling is okay with it, than I am not going to complain.
I watched a special last night on Harry Potter...it is amazing how these books have become a dominant part of children's literature. The special included an excellent scene involving the time turner in Azkaban. If that is just a highlight of the movie...the movie will be fantastic.
I have gotton over the fact that they always stem away from the books, because i know that many many things will remain the same because why take an awesome idea and completely change it? Rowling's books are already so exciting that no movie producer needs to change the story to make an exciting movie.
I'm sure I will have an update after the movie, but those are my pre-movie thoughts! I Can't Wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Update on Life

Well, not too much exciting going on. Although, I'm not at work which is pretty exciting! =) Had a fun memorial day weekend hanging out with friends and now I am off traveling the country! Well, not exactly but I will be doing lots of traveling over the next few weeks and will be in and out of town. But I will always be checking my email so be sure to keep in touch!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Okay, so it is totally not hitting me. I mean, it has hit my brain that school is out, but nothing else seems to realize it. When I was a kid I loved school. The last day was always a little sad for me because not only did it mean the end of school but it meant that that year will never again be. You think at the moment that something is so important and all of a sudden it's not there anymore. That's how school is. Really important for a long time and then it's not there.
So, now as a teacher it's kind of the same. It's all you think about for ever (it seems) and then suddenly it's as if someone says "Go, think about something else for 2 months and then come back and do it again." There is very little guidance for what I am supposed to do during the weeks ahead. Of course, I have plans--lots of them. But, I mean, I don't have to go to work anymore. That is a strange feeling.
Plus, I can't believe that I have been graduated a year and finished my first year as a teacher. I won't be the "first year teacher" next year. (That will be GREAT). I won't be "the new person." Both are titles I am not sorry to see go (although when you make a mistake it's great to be able to say, "sorry about that, I didn't know. I'm new") However, next year will be a whole new adventure in a new grade with new curriculum. I'm excited. Which is good...because the excitement needs to be there...and there were times this year that I thought it was gone; it's such a great feeling to have it back again.

Well, those are my reflections on my first year. Of course I could talk about my students and those that I work with and there would be lots to say...but those would just be much better told in person.

Enjoy work everyone! I'm on vacation! =)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Four Days

All I have to say is... Four Days. It's great being a teacher. I love summer. =)

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Okay, how can no one have commented on my Harry Potter post (see below)????? I was trying so hard to spark some hot topic of debate. Do we have opinions here? Can we discuss?

What do you think about all the adolescent books that are being made into movies? Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Ella Enchanted, Princess Diaries, Lord of the Rings (kind of adolecenty), Holes, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, etc????

I find it very interesting myself because first of all it is targeting a major movie goer audience. Plus it is turning into multiple sequels, (see above mentioned listed; all but two have at least one sequel out or coming out).
I guess I find this interesting because of the age group that I teach. I don't know. I just wanted to post...strike up some conversation. =)

Monday, May 03, 2004

Harry Potter

So, I couldn't think of anything to blog...but wanted a May posting. So I decided to share one of my favorite topics. Harry Potter.

See, in one month from tomorrow Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be out in theaters. I am counting the days. So far one and two have lived up to all expectations and I am anticipating a great third movie. (You know Peter, you should see one and two so that you can come and see three with me!)

I guess you could say that I am a little into Harry Potter. Okay, really into it. I've read all the books...mulitiple times; I enjoy scholarly discussions on the books (yes, those are possible); I have read two whole books on commentary about Harry Potter (one pro and one con); and I own both movies which I watch on a regular basis. The real question is though, Why? What is it about these books that make them so...addictive?
Well, first of all, it's about the characters. Throughout each book you get to know Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They are real because Rowling created characters that everyone can relate to. So they might be in battles of good and evil that none of us will ever face, but they face all the other problems of our world including family, bullies, friendship, relationships, and other conflicts such as jealousy, misunderstandings, and confusion.

Why else do we read the books? Because within these books is a constant battle of good against evil and our inner nature desires to know that good is going to overcome. Rowling writes her books in such a way that you never know if just maybe she is going to surprise you and stray from the "normal" fairy tale ending. So far, good overcomes; but the battle is still on just as it is still on in our world today.

Finally, we read the books because they are interesting and well-written. Rowling has talent. Her books are filled with imagination and suspense. Throughout five books she has kept her readers interested and surprised. No matter anyone's opinion of Harry Potter, I hope that they will at least recognize the talent that she displays in her books.

And in closing, Harry Potter books and movies are a great form of entertainment. One where the battle between good and evil rages, and good always wins.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Sometimes Stranded is a Good Place to Be

So, I am no longer stranded. I have to say it was definately a challenge to rely on others and live without a car. I have to say though the real challenge came on Monday when reality hit and I realized I had to buy a new car. I was sitting in the team room at work on the phone listening to this person I don't even know tell me how much it would cost to fix my beloved Honda. Now, as Julie commented about her shoes on Peter's blog, if only my Honda could talk. It would have some wild adventures to tell. Trips to Ohio and Mississippi. Trips to VA and the beach. Trips to Washington DC. Trips to NYC. Graudation trip to North Carolina. And not even the trips. All the things it saw and heard. But unfortunatly reality said even as attached as I am to my car. It was time to say good-bye. And so that is what I did. With my friend Melanie at my side, I set out to brave the world of buying a new car (or new to me anyway). And as always, God showed how awesome he is. Because I found a car, within my payment range, on Monday afternoon. And now I am driving that car around. It's a great car...somewhat newer than my dear old Honda. It's amazing how God's timing works actually.
Now, even though I am still terribly sad to say good-bye to that Honda that saw me through so much, I am very excited to prepare for the many wonderful adventures my new Sonata is going to take me on. And as the say goes "It all worked out in the end."

Sunday, April 25, 2004


And so it happened again this weekend. I found myself stranded on the side of the road with a car that just stopped working. So fun. It's amazing how you can be driving along fine and then all of a sudden it's not so good anymore. Hopefully it is not too serious. I have been lucky throughout my many car problems. Very few of them have been serious and I have managed to get by. I am hoping that this is another one of those times as I wait for the verdict as to what happened.

I have to say that being stranded is an experience I find very difficult. The biggest challenge is that I had to depend a lot on people this weekend. Depending on others is a pastime that I try to avoid. I guess I just would rather depend upon myself. But life doesn't work that way.

I am sure that God was trying to teach me something...like branching out of my independence that I rely on more and more each day. As well as patience (the ongoing lesson of my life). I'm hoping that tonight and tomorrow are the last days of being stranded, but perhaps the other lesson God wants to teach me is that life doesn't always run on my schedule. All in all a broken down car can give many life lessons.

Finally I just want to say thanks to those of you who helped me out when I was in distress. It's good to know that before I was left "stranded" God placed in my life people who would be there for me. Thanks.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Mud, Traffic, and Music

It couldn't be anything else but Ichthus. However, last night was an Ichthus I think will go down in history. As I sit here in my nice, warm, DRY apartment I recall the very cool, muddy, WET Ichthus that I attended last night. You know it doesn't get much better than kids covered in mud praising God. In fact as I was driving out of town past the multiple mile long traffic jam (at 12:30 in the morning!), I had this thought of all these people storming the city for God. Now, I don't know if Wilmore is actually the city that needs to be stormed, but it's a good start.
See the thing is, if it was me in the car for 3 + hours, I would have turned around. I just don't think my love of Ichthus extends that deep. But after last night, I think that I would definatley give it a try because if those people can do it, I can do it.
I don't know if I will make it back to Ichthus this weekend, although I hope to see Jeremy Camp on Saturday, but it has already been an eventful Ichthus year with lots of memories.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Hey everyone
I am often not sure of what to write about in my blog as I find that the majority of my life is rather dull and not very exciting while the other minor part...not appropriate for publishing. So, I was thinking. If you have anything to ask, topics I could comment on. Please, add a comment so that I may expand the depths of my blog. Thanks!
I had a discussion about communication with someone today. As a teacher I have learned more and more about communication this year. The biggest lesson: I have a lot of work to do on communication. It seems that there is always that student who doesn't understand, or that co-worker who took it the wrong way. Or the friend whose feelings you can tell you hurt when you didn't mean to. Communication.
It's the key to everything. It can affect a mood in a second. It can be the difference between a right or wrong answer. It can keep you from getting lost, or help you get there. Communication.
It's tricky and frustrating and confusing. Once something is said, you can't ever take it back. It's there. It's in the open. You are communicating through words, through writing, through body language, through facial expressions. We even communicate with sounds. Amazing. So, how are we to keep it all straight? How am I to know what is right or what that person said. Do they really mean that?
We live in a society where exaggeration is the key to success...just check out commercials. We live in a society where the "little white lie" is what keeps everybody happy. It's no wonder the world is full of gray. It's no wonder that my students don't know how to treat one another. They can't communicate...and I struggle to communicate back.
I have spent most of this year communicating with my two best friends solely through email. Talk about challenging. It's difficult to really explain your day or what happened over an email. The stories just aren't as funny when I write them, and the situation is just not as tense in black and white. But it's been a challenge that has helped my friendships to remain stronge--even grow.
But that still hasn't solved all my communication issues. It's still hard to say I'm sorry or to stop myself from hurting someone's feelings. It's still hard to explain to 95 different learners why the comma goes here but not here or why we study mythology.
Maybe this is why I find my day so challenging on a regular basis. Communication. It challenges me. I have to work at it. But it really is the key. It's means the difference between right and left/forwards and backwards/moving or standing still.
I just read Julie's Easter blog and I have to say that Christ's example of communication was one with nothing hidden. He laid it out. In fact he put down his life in front of everyone for me. And you. He communicated that so that there is no question. Once again he is our example. It's amazing. If I just strive to be like him...maybe I'll find that communication that will help make the correct turn or go the right direction or start moving instead of standing still.

Sunday, April 11, 2004


Today is Easter Sunday. A day that has come and gone for many years, 22 of which I have been a part of, and today is the first time probably since I was little that I just felt like celebrating all day long. It wasn't about candy and bunnies and eggs. It was just about joy. I can't explain it. Have you ever just experienced a time in life when it was just good? Nothing extra special. No changes. You just felt good and peaceful? This weekend, as I was daily reminded of the sacrfice of Christ, I was also daily reminded of the joy that his life should bring to mine. Because today was about Christ being alive. And it was incredibly awesome! Even getting up at 7 am wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be because I had friends to share this incredible day with. We had a lot of fun; I am so thankful for their relationships with Christ because they have helped to renew mine. I hope that everyone else had an incredible Easter as well.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Vacation Ends

Despite the positive connotation that vacation holds...there comes a time when it holds that very horrible connotation of ending. In fact, my vacation has come to an end and I am very much disliking vacation. Oh, the irony of vacation.
It's amazing the difference between beginnings and endings. They hold such vastly different emotions. Which brings us to another word with vastly different connotations. Emotions. What exactly is an emotion anyway? Is it a feeling? Is it a response? Is it just part of who we are? I am very unsure of many of the words in our language. So many words can mean different things? I mean, we have words that are spelled the same and pronounced different! Whose idea was that anyway? Yet oddly enough it isn't even our words that say the most. So often it is our eyes or our body language that actually gives away the truth of what we are "saying."
If this is true, what are you saying at the moment? I am saying that the end of vacation is very near...and wondering what Monday morning will hold.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Washington DC

Well, here I am sitting in the nations capital at this very interesting internet access place. But hey...at least we found one! Coming to DC always makes me wonder what it would be like to live here. I have this problem you see...every time I go to the city, I want to move there. (And no. I do not consider Lexington a "city"). I see people and I think "they live here; they are making it--I can too." But then my courage seems to falter and I accept where I am and I leave the city wondering why I am drawn to it and yet without the nerve to actually move. Sometimes I think I will do something drastic and just move...but unfortunately I am just too darn practical.
DC is such a lovely place to come though. It's so exciting...and you feel as if you are in a place where stuff happens. And the history...it's everywhere!! It's a history teacher's dream anyway. Even in the rain, DC is so much fun.
So far on this short, few day trip we have been to Pentagon City (for a lovely dinner with Melanie); Starbucks (once--soon to be twice); Ford's theater (never been there--loved it!); the Peterson House (yep I saw the room President Lincoln died); H&M (twice and counting); Old Post Office; Holocaust Museum; American History Museum (discovered a new shop); Hard Rock Cafe (excellent of course); Air and Space museum; Smithsonian Castle; National Gallary of Art (the store); National Archives (extremely cool--once again a history teachers' dream); Old Ebitt Grill (yum yum blondie!); and presently I am at Dupont Circle. Still going to hit the monuments this evening and Union Station. As you can see I have walked and walked and walked--but it's been awesome!
So DC as always has peeked my interest in thinking about my future...and just possibly dreaming about a time when I will finally have the nerve to leave the comforts of wherever I am and brave the city--whether it be DC or some other exciting place.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Okay, so computers can really mess you up sometimes. I had typed in this whole deep interesting first post for my blog and I pressed some button and some screen popped up and suddenly my page was gone and I just knew I was going to be starting all over. Technology...highly overrated.
So, anyway, here I am entering the blogging world. I have heard many good things, but I am still a bit unsure of exactly what I have gotten myself into. However, I have lots of extra time this week due to that wonderful holiday known as spring break, so I thought I would experiment.
I fear that I will not be nearly as wise or witty as some of you, but I suppose it's all about being me anyway right? Which means if I am being me, there must be some hidden purpose for me to start a blog, and alas there is. You see, writing and I have this love/hate relationship. I cannot seem to get away from it (the whole teaching it thing might have to do with that), but I rarely ever enjoy it. However I WISH that I enjoyed it. So, I am hoping that perhaps creating my own blog will remind me that writing is not nearly as evil as I sometimes view it, but rather it's what I think it should be---enjoyable.
For my first post I believe that I have somewhat rambled on...a bad habit I have always had, and so I think I will actually see if this actually shows up. Does this count as being published? That would be great for my resume.... =)