Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Day of Peace

This Friday our school celebrated Pinwheels for Peace Day.  Thanks to the 2nd grade teacher who came up with an awesome way to recycle the church bulletins into pinwheels this year!  This day gave me the opportunity to speak to my kiddos about what peace means. Being peaceful means more than just being nice to your friends.  In our area of the world we have so much crime occurring.  Many of my kids have already had a parent, cousin, family member, etc. be killed or seriously injured in a crime.  One of the first things I noticed when I started teaching down here is the lack of conflict resolution.  Even at young age of 5 many of my kids have already been taught that if something does something you don't like then it's okay to just hit them, kick them, or say mean things to them.  I have had to sit down with my kids each year and explain that yes at home this may be how you hand problems but in our classroom that is NOT how we do it.

So many of the crimes in New Orleans happen because you did something to my brother so now I am going to do something back to hurt your family and over and over the cycle repeats.  I feel like part of my job as a teacher is to help teach my students that there is ANOTHER option besides violence when you are mad.  We are learning that it is okay to be angry but we do not use our hands to solve the problem.  I loved being able to use Pinwheels for Peace Day as another way to show my kids how to vent their anger.  We used our pinwheels to talk about how drawing or paining or even dancing can help release some of those angry feelings we have inside of us.

I must admit the students this year did a great job decorating their pinwheels. Here are just a few of them!

This weeks marks the final countdown before a visit home for the weekend!  I can't wait!!! I've been pretty homesick this month so this trip is coming at a great time!  Enjoy your week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Calm after the Storm

Hurricane Issac has offically come and gone.  I struggled with wanting to write in our blog last week but decided it was best if I waited til I wasn't so crabby about it.  The actual hurricane was not too bad where we lived. We did not experience the intense flooding that other parts of the state had.  Where we lived there was quiet a bit of wind damage but our apartment was just fine.  There were lots of trees, power poles, fences, signs, and roofes blown down in our area.

The rain was pouring down

 Kia lost their carport
 Flooding in the Kmart parking lot
 One of the many fences blown down
 Another car port blown down

The Baby-R-Us sign and Office Depot sign blew away and the electric pole was pulled out of the ground some.

The worst part came just before the storm really hit us and the power went out. The first 3 days it was still rather cool and I wasn't bothered about not having power.  Many of the major stores such as Target where open so we went there when we got bored or needed to cool off. A big praise to Target for providing each guest with one free bag of ice!  I've never been so happy to get ice before!  The power went out late Tuesday night and didn't return until Monday evening.  By the time Friday-Sunday rolled around I was flat out done.  It had started to get hot in our apartment, all the food that we had just purchased a week or so before eventually had to be thrown out of the fridge and freezer.  We were able to save 2 packs of bologna, 2 bags of shredded cheese, ketchup, miracle whip, and a container of pickles.  My poor popsicles flat out melted and I was not happy about it.  I am incredibly thankful that Derek's work got their power and internet back Thursday afternoon.  Derek and I spent quiet a bit of time hanging out his work watching movies and surfing the internet while we kept Sammy cool there.  I am so thankful his boss allowed us to spend so much time there!!

I think one of the toughest parts of the storm was all the emotions that came up. Thankfully my husband took excellent care of myself and my co-worker Sarah who stayed with us. He made us some great meals via our little piggy grill. We even had eggs one morning and barbque ribs one dinner.

But it was such an empty feeling waiting for the storm to hit and having no idea when it may hit us since we did not have any power.  Then there was the feeling of anxiety as we waited to find out about the power, every time I called I was told that 75% of people would have it by Tuesday and 90% by Thursday which is a very very vague answer!   It was also difficult because our cell phone signal was so in and out all of the time which made it difficult to talk with family and keep them updated. My poor dad was so worried for us.  The storm also made us realize we have so few friends here and we need to work on that.

I am thankful that things have finally gotten back into place and we are back into the routine at our jobs.  If you could please continue to pray for all of those who lost their home during the storm it would be much appreciated!

I'm also thankful that we could roast marshmallows while the power was out!