Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Day

When did thanksgiving turn into just a day to have turkey and pig out? What happened to the holiday itself? I pondered this yesterday after making a 20lb turkey, a huge patch of mashed potatoes, and a large pan of stuffing. The food was good, the company was good, and I even laughed so hard I sprayed water. I don't recommend laughing and drinking at the same time, some one will get wet. Well that was amusing. All in all it was a good time.
It's been a good week and it hasn't gone by too quickly. I'm enjoying my time here. Wednesday was pretty low key. I went and conducted a bit over at JDHS. Then in the afternoon I went back to Thunder Mountain to bug Brian. I played a little bit of euphonium and tuba during band. I even helped with a little bit of teaching. Not trying to toot my own horn (that's a bad pun) I'm surprisingly good at off beats. This may not be surprising to many people because I majored in music, but being a tuba player I don't play a lot of off beats, so I have had to practice them to be good at them. Anyways. After the students left Brian let me play the new bassoon (that came in during class) and a very nice new trombone, that makes 4 brand new instruments in one day. He asked my opinion about some of his instruments. He has some really nice instruments. I even had to explain the difference of compensating and non-compensating instruments. If you don't know what that is, it mostly lies in the world of tubas and euphoniums. If you really want to know, I'll explain it to you sometime. Yes I know I'm a band geek. After going through that we sat around and shot the breeze. It was fun. It's fun giving him grief. He needs it.
I had a pretty quiet evening after that. I went out to the mall and bought a pair of xtratuffs, yaktraks, and some smartwool socks. I still need a new pair of shoes, but I should be able to find them today.
In other big news, I officially finished my little brother's afghan. It's huge, maybe massive would be a better word. I rather like it. My plan is to mail it to my parents' house so that it's one less thing I have to lug around with me. Now I'll have to come up with something new to do in the evenings. Maybe I'll finish the afghan I started for me, it won't be as big as the one for Bill. Who knows.
I think it's best though if I eat some breakfast and maybe make some brownies.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snow, driving, and playing tuba

I'm currently in Juneau (in case you've missed that bit of information). I arrived late Sunday because my plane was delayed. When I arrived it was snowing and apparently had been for a while. I like snow. Not too much else exciting happened after arriving in Juneau. However on the flight I sat next to a kinda creepy guy who fell asleep on my shoulder.
Yesterday Laurie and I went and visited Juneau-Douglas high school to see Rich and drop off a tuba. We made lunch plans with Rich for today. We then went to go bug Brian but we couldn't find him so we went grocery shopping instead. It's best to do shopping early when a holiday is coming up. After lunch Laurie and I went to her work where I dropped her off and got to drive her car around. I went to the health food store to find a few things and drove around a little bit. After she got off of work we came back to the house and I made brownies and started on potato soup. The soup was a big hit and so were the brownies.
This morning I played a some tuba for a while and then Laurie and I went to get Rich for lunch. We went to a nice little restaurant. It was pretty good and had a good time hanging out. Then we went to go say hi to Ken, who is the band director at JDHS. I'm going in tomorrow morning and guest conducting a little. After leaving there and before going to Costco, we went and bugged Brian. We found him this time. We sang a long with his choir and after choir he asked if I wanted to play in band. I rarely turn down the opportunity to play tuba so I agreed and played a brand new tuba. We had to take it out of the plastic. It was fun and the kids enjoyed having a tuba, so did Brian. He invited me back for tomorrow, so I'll be there in the afternoon. Then we went to Costco to finish the rest of our shopping. It's been a pretty low key day. After shopping and the other adventures, Laurie and I jammed out (she played the piano and I sang) it was so fun.
We had dinner at a little diner. Pretty good burgers. It's been a pretty quiet evening. It'll be a fun day tomorrow and I need to get planning done on Thanksgiving dinner. I'm incharge of cooking that. It'll be fun.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The beginning of a vacation

I'm sitting in the airport and waiting to board my flight to Juneau. I will be there for a week. I have been in Ketchikan since yesterday morning. It's been nice to be out of town even though I haven't gotten very far yet. I stayed the night at some people from church's home. It was very nice of them. I continued working on the afghan last night. I'm on the last block of color. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Woohoo. I came in yesterday because I sang at church today. It went very well.
School continues to go well. We're getting closer to the concert and the kids are definitely stepping it up. It'll be a good concert. My 7th graders are about half driving me crazy but that's to be expected.
My dad emailed me an awesome brownie recipe this week. I've made it twice and shared with some of the teachers. They were a big hit. I'll have to make them while I'm in Juneau.
I'm looking forward to my trip and cooking for a group of people. It'll be fun and I'll try to keep everyone posted.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yay for Playing Tests

I'm sure that my high school students would not share my sentiment about being happy about playing tests. Oh well. They had their first one today. For the most part, they went rather well. I found decent rubric which made grading easier, sort of. I now just need to update grades in the system because mid-quarter is this week. How exciting, not.
Preparations for the Christmas concert are going well. My kindergarten class is the farthest along. That's very awesome for them. Here's hoping that I can light a fire under the rest of them.
Today we recorded the piano tracks for the song so that they can practice them. It is so nice to have an awesome piano player. She volunteered to play. It's very awesome. I'm so lucky to have an accompanist. I need to think of something nice to get her to say thank you.
Not much else is going on so I think I'll go back to knitting.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's what day?

I haven't figured out where this year has gone, but it's going by very fast. I remember Monday and Friday but the rest of this week is a bit of a blur. I'm not sure exactly where it went. I'm not complaining. I'm kinda hoping this week flies by because I'm going to Juneau next week, for the whole week. Yay vacation, sort of. I'm excited. I'm excited about cooking for people. I like cooking for groups.
Not too much happened this week besides playing for veteran's day. Also on Friday there was a community wide talent show. I got volunteered to play tuba in it. Not really asked, just volunteered. Thursday. Woohoo, one day's notice. I played the chicken dance. It was hilarious.
I'm slowly but surely finishing the afghan I'm knitting for my little brother. I think I have about two feet to go. It's pretty awesome. I hope he appreciates it.
I have about a month till the Christmas concerts. Elementary is on one day and secondary is on another. That'll be a fun time. I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day. It was a good day to reflect on the people who fought for this country. Today the high school band was privileged to play for one of the ceremonies. I included the 8th grade band because they are more than capable and they fill out some of the instrumentation. We played the National Anthem and America the Beautiful. This of course brought up a few problems like there was no flute part, so I had to write it, or we don't have America the Beautiful in our music library so I had to arrange it. I found a good choral arrangement and then adapted it to the band. I got that to them yesterday so that we could rehearse it and then play it today.
This morning during band rehearsal, my eighth graders showed up. It was great to hear the whole group together. They are quite a good sounding band. It was awesome to have that many students. It was only 7 more students but it all counts.
We got a lot of compliments and everyone really enjoyed having the band play today. I think they thanked us like 12 times. It definitely meant a lot to the community to have us there.
Of course the program was supposed to start at Noon but we didn't start till about 12:20. We were finally done at about 12:50. This meant that all of my students were late to lunch (by 20 minutes, 30 when you figure we had to get back to the band room and put everything away). So of course they were all late to their next classes and I had 10 minutes to eat lunch. Woohoo.
Otherwise it's been a good day and so far a good week. Hopefully I'm not speaking too soon.
I'm going to go back to my knitting now, I'm about three feet from being done with the afghan for my little brother. The fun never ends.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Where has the week gone?

I have no idea how it's Sunday again. This past week went by very quickly. I don't know how it did but I'm not totally complaining. It wasn't too out of the ordinary either. We buckled down on Christmas music with the elementary students. The concert is in 5 weeks, or there abouts. I think it's really about 5 1/2 weeks. There is still a lot to do. Oh well.
On the upside, my new bass drum came in. It's pretty. I like it. I had to give the percussion instrument talk again to my band. I also had to give the cell phone lecture again. Otherwise the kids are great. Wednesday and Thursday I didn't have afternoon classes because of drug prevention presentations. This meant no 7th or 8th grade. Friday there were a lot of them gone on a sports trip. I had 10 of the 7th graders and only one 8th grader. It wasn't too bad.
In two weeks I'll be on my way to Juneau for a week. I'm excited to see the people I know up there. I also get to cook for more people than just myself. Not that cooking for myself isn't a good thing but I sometimes have leftovers for a while. I love to cook. I made potato soup this week and I ate it for two days for dinner and one day for lunch. I don't have many recipes that don't produce leftovers.
Friday night I went over to another teacher's home. She had 5 fellow teachers over, including myself, and it was fun. She made taco's and we all had a good time. For dessert we had dump cake. It was quite tasty. Now that I'm talking about food, it makes me hungry. I'll fix something after I get done writing here.
I'm still adjusting to the time thing here. I'm just convinced that I have no idea what time it is anywhere else in the world and that it's ok. I'll figure it out when I need to, of course by then the time will have switched back everywhere else and then I'll be back to where I started. Such is life.
Tuesday the band will be playing for Veteran's Day. I have to see if I can find an arrangement of either America the Beautiful or some other patriotic song so that we can play that along with the National Anthem. I should probably take care of that while I'm thinking about it.
I'm off to make dinner and find music.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What's going on?

Daylight's savings time has arrived and unlike the rest of the state we don't observe it. So don't ask me what time it is. My watch says one thing and my cell phone says something else and I can't figure out how to change my cell phone. Of course when I go to Ketchikan it'll be an hour different than it is here. It will be fun to figure out the ferry schedule. Also now church is at 11 AM here instead of 10AM because we have it piped in from Ketchikan. I'm sure I get used to it but it'll take a while.
So I got back into town on Thursday. The ferry was about 15 minutes late getting in. Stephanie, my AD, felt bad that she forgot to pick me up. I just started to walk, I got about half a mile, and someone picked me up. This happens quite often here. I got home, checked my mail, and stopped by the high school. I went back home and took a nap so that I was a little less dead for parent-teacher conferences. Just in case any of you reading this haven't talked to me in the last several days, I lost my voice while I was in Haines (and it has steadily been coming back) but trying to talk to anyone has been a bit of an adventure. I went up to the high school during conferences because people usually don't make the trek down to the music building. I talked to several parents and my A.D. (who felt really bad for forgetting to pick me up from the ferry). Then I talked to the english teacher down at the middle school (Kathy) about my week away. Home was my next stop and I went straight to bed.
Friday was an interesting day, mostly because I came back to a room that had been messed up. Trashed might be too harsh of a word for it, but it certainly felt that way. I was also informed that the sub didn't really follow any of my sub plans. Joy! I also got notes back from one of the subs disagreeing with the sub plans and then stating what they did instead. Come to find out, that my 7th grade class was also shown a rated R movie. This was not what was listed to do on the sub plans. What in the world is going on here. My elementary students were awesome on Friday though, especially with it being Halloween.
Friday night and Saturday late afternoon, I was a referee at the last regular season volleyball games. I happened to be 1st referee, which means I got to stand up on the stand next to the net. Friday went fairly well but Saturday was a different story. It was sort of a nightmare. When did a game become more than just a game? Why was the line judge calling balls out when they were really in? Why were so many people arguing with me? Why did the line judge call a tip, at the net, when she is at the end of the court and I was at the net? (There was no tip). Well add this to the list of things my AD feels sorry about to me (which once again I told her not to worry about). She came over last night after I got home from playing at a funeral to apologize. I told her not to worry about it. She insisted on taking me out for ice cream. We talked, got ice cream, and I told her not to worry about it. It's not the end of the world. She really has so many things put on her (and she's a really great person and deals with it all so well) that I don't worry about it.
Did I also mention that Saturday and today I've slept in till like 8AM (I never sleep in that late)? I also copied some new pep band music yesterday. The week ahead holds lots of Christmas music. It is now time to buckle down and work on the Christmas program. I should also figure out what I'm going to cook today.
I'm off to church and then I need to do some cleaning around my house. Laundry and dishes would be good things to get done.