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In Paradise

I was lucky enough to live in paradise for a semester my junior year of college. Everyone that I asked about their college experience they either said how much they loved studying abroad or they wish they would have studied abroad.  So I made the choice to take the jump and move to the other side of the world.  I knew I wanted to live somewhere they have beautiful beaches, in warm weather, and where they speak English.  I love foreign languages, but unfortunately my brain has never been able to comprehend another language. My sister on the other hand, she took Spanish in high school years ago, and she can rock it.  Maybe after I am out of the education program I should start the process of learning Spanish…another goal to put on the list.

When you ask someone where their dream place would be to live, quite a few of them say Australia.  I said it too, and then I did it.  I filled out all the paperwork, I booked the plane ticket, I packed my bag, and I moved to Australia.  I signed up through a program that hooked up a lot of American students on the flight over so we were able to meet each other before we got to Oz.

I am going to go back just a few….some of the huge accomplishments that I conquered by going over to Oz was:

  1. Living alone for the first time ever
  2. Flying overseas (hello 12 hour flight)
  3. Moving over to Oz not knowing anyone
  4. Not knowing where I was going to live over there
  5. Moving around the world with only 1 suitcase filled with my possessions…. that was a huge challenge that my sister helped me with

One of the big goals I wanted to be able to say that I could do when I got back to the states was to surf.  And after a weekend with Mojo Surfing, eating a lot of water, being extremely sore for days afterwards, and one broken bikini….I could say that I could surf.  I continued to surf for the rest of the semester, but sadly I haven’t been on a board since.  It has been a few years, and I wonder how many times I would fall before I could actually ride a wave….

surfIMG_0113 IMG_0459 DSC_0033 - Copy DSC_0071 DSC_0163 DSC_0232 IMG_0027 IMG_0064Above are photos from my weekend of learning how to surf.  It was pretty awesome, there were  two photographers that took photos all weekend and then we were able to buy cd’s with all the photos on them.  I love the candid shots.


until again,




Life as a 2nd Grader…Fall Bulletin Board

Before I went back to school in the fall of 2011 I was selling auto and home insurance and working in a parking ramp.  I graduated from Iowa in December 2009 with an art and business degree, and once I received my degree I wasn’t that sure on what I wanted to do with my life.  I was dreaming about moving to a big city and becoming a painter.  Traveling around and producing my paintings from my new free lifestyle, but then I realized that I don’t have the money to do that.  I wasn’t ready to leave the city that my family and I live in.  And I didn’t really believe that I would be able to pay my bills.  So I thought about my choices.  I talked to my friends and family.  I volunteered.  I wrote in my journals.  I painted.  I did yoga and ran.  I ended my relationship.  I moved back into my parents house.  I was accepted into the Education Program.  I was ready to make this change in order to make my life a lot better.

Today was my first time to teach a full art lesson. Here are the stats for the lesson:

  • There are 23 students in this 2nd grade class
  • There are two students who have ADD/ADHD
  • This lesson was 40 minutes long
  • I have been teaching with these students for a month and a half now
  • We created mosaic leaves for the hallway bulletin board

I started by talking to my Cooperating Teacher about a few ideas I had for the bulletin board out in the hallway.  I always check with my CT before teaching any lesson (including mini or full lessons).  We wanted to have a bright and engaging board that would be welcoming for the students as they are walking into the classroom door.  We also wanted the student to be proud of the piece they completed that is now hanging out in the hallway for the whole school to see.  And we wanted something for the parents, friends, and relatives of the students to see during the upcoming parent teacher conference.  So I created the fall themed lesson plan where each student would make their own individual mosaic leaf by ripping up construction paper and gluing it on to a leaf template.  Each student also has a leaf or a pumpkin where they finished the sentence, “I love fall because…”  These items are placed around a tree that I created with brown wrapping paper.  I personally think the board turned out awesome, and so do the students!

I video taped myself teaching this lesson today… That is a super weird thing to do.  But it will help me learn how to be a better teacher for my future students.  I watched the video for the first time tonight, not taking notes, but just as a video.  Who would have known that I need to speak louder when I am teaching. Me, not loud enough?  Really??  But that is the best part of being in the Education Program is that we are taught how to be teachers by teaching.  

Here is the bulletin board before…boring


Up close of some of the mosaic leaves and “I love fall because….” sentences


The students’ reasons why they love fall 🙂

Completed! And I love it!


Until again,