Sunday, May 24, 2009

Eric Carle Fabric

I didn't know that the Very Hungry Caterpillar was a formidable empire that could rival the Olsens. There's even Eric Carle fabric and it's gorgeous. I wish I knew how to quilt because I would start quilting for friends who may be having wee ones in the future. Check it out:

Blueberries by the Handful
from Blueberries for Sal

We've spent the day eating blueberries by the handful and it's been amazing. I've never been able to do that before. Yesterday, we went blueberry picking. It was so much fun. We got our own mini tin pail and got to search for little blue gems. The trick is looking at the bottom of the bush where some of the ripest ones hide. Initially, we didn't think we would be able to fill even half our bucket but we did! My hubster wanted to keep picking. I had to remind him that a whole bucket would cost $15, which is still a bargain. I love these little bits of country life. Here's my favorite part of the day:

Hubster: (picks up cell phone) Hey.
His Mom: What are you doing?
Hubster: Picking blueberries. We can get a bucket for $15.
His Mom: I can get 4lbs for $8.
Hubster: Blueberries?
His Mom: Blueberries? Oh, I thought you said strawberries. Haha. Did you try them? Are you sure they're good?
Hubster: Yes, we tried them.

We totally did take a sample before we got all into the picking process. Yes, we're that Asian. Overall, I had to say it was one of my favorite experiences. I've always wanted to go to blueberry picking since I read Blueberries for Sal as a little one.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Retail Therapy

Other than having tons of work, I have been noticeably absent because I haven't had many adorable moments to share. I haven't had time to take photos either. Perhaps, I'll have time when we go blueberry picking, if we go. To work off some of my blues, I've been indulging in some retail therapy:

Click for larger product view

Click for larger product view

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Droplets - Colbie Caillat and Jason Reeves


One of the major units that I planned for my two-week takeover is a brief study of Native Americans. As part of the unit, the students copied an artifact that represented the tribe they focused on during their research. We used this teacher-art technique called crinkle art to make it look like it was several hundreds years old. Of course, my kiddos like to help each other. One of my kiddos wanted to help wash off the paint of her classmate's painting. She recited verbatim the speech I gave to each kiddo to reinforce the meaning of the project. It went something like this:

KG: This is an artifact, right?
SV: Yea.
KG: What does the brown paint represent?
SV: I don't know.
KG: Where do you find artifacts?
SV: I don't know. In the dirt?
KG: Yea. What color is the dirt?
SV: Brown. Oh! I get it. The paint is like the dirt.

Yay for Friends

Last night, I was handcrafting twenty eight various plant and animal tokens for a science lesson for today. The crafty nut within thought it would be no big deal to glue two pieces of paper on either side of a penny. I had totally forgotten that I needed to find pictures and create labels then print then cut then glue! In desperation I wrote this for my facebook status:

Me: could use a FML t-shirt right about now. Maybe for a graduation gift?
Mychal: nooooooo, i love your life!
Me: awww...i heart you mychal with a y! that's what i needed to hear. :)

One theme for this year has been, friends will pick you up when you can't find the strength to pick yourself up. Thanks to all my friends (especially my hubster who is my best friend of all)! I would not have made it without you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Something to Make Things Pretty Around Here

My BiL made my hubster's grad announcements for him when he graduated with his Master's. To keep up the tradition, I asked my BiL to make mine. He has an awesome way of capturing our personalities in our announcements. Here's the mock-up for the front that I decided to go with.

Catch Up: Will You..

Last week, I got to work with my wee ones because my big kids were doing some state testing. (Bleh for state tests!) Here are some questions that they asked me while I was there:
  • Will you be in fifth grade forever?
  • Will you at least be there until we get to fifth grade?
  • Will you stay with us the rest of the day?
  • Will you be back soon like tomorrow?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"The soul selects her own society" - Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.

Part One: Life


THE SOUL selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing 5
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I ’ve known her from an ample nation
Choose one; 10
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

Getting Ready for Summer

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I, Juan de Pareja

I went to Borders to pick my mom up a mother's day gift and couldn't help picking up a book for myself too. Lately, I haven't had time to pick up a book and read it cover to cover. When I saw, I, Juan de Pareja, I just had to have it. It's a young adult book loosely based on the life of Juan de Pareja, a black slave who lived in Spain and becomes an artist. I say loosely because it still falls under the category of biographical fiction. The book is beautifully written. It has a calming rhythm that is felt through its words and the pacing of the story. I definitely recommend it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What Does an Over Analyzer Look Like?

Part 1 of the Over Analyzer Story:

Last night, I was catching up with my mentor teacher from my fifth grade placement about my interview that I had earlier that day. He's been really awesome with providing me support through the whole stressful process of landing teaching interviews. Here's one of my favorite parts of our conversation:

Me: Well, I just don't know what more I can do. I guess I'm just over analyzing the situation because I have such limited prospects.
Mr. W-----: Well Bea, from what little I know about you, I think you would be over analyzing it regardless.
Both: (laughs)

Yes, we're that honest with each other. I called him out for being stubborn a couple of days ago, so I fully deserve that comment. I attribute my over analysis behavior to being an English major for four years. That's all we did was analyze literature and human behavior. I don't know any better now. :)

Part 2 of Over Analyzer Story:

As with most of posts, I like to post some kind of visual. I think it just makes the blog look more interesting than a fatty block of text. I went to Google images to find a picture of an over analyzer. I was hoping to find some adorable cartoon, which I did find on the first page. I decided to hop over to the second page to make sure that there wasn't anything more suitable. What did I find?

I find myself in the third row of images. How flipping funny, no? I'm never telling my mentor teacher to search Google images for a picture of an over analyzer. :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009


With the fire and being away from my kiddos for two (now three days), my hope has be waning. I know I have to keep my head up though, so I called my homie Alex. He's often pretty insightful and talks to many insightful old folks.

His advice that he passed down to me:

Through my journey in this teacher-to-be process, I should be looking for wisdom. I can't expect wisdom to be given to me. I need to seek out those who can help me find this wisdom, so I can continue to grow and improve.

Thanks Alex!

Love It!

One of the blogs that I check in with eversooften is Mo Willems' blog. Pictured below is a chalkboard wall in a dining room. I can't decide if I love it because of the teacher in me or the doodler in me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Go Big or Go Home

I'm not sure if the adorable picture of the hamster stuffing its uber cute cheeks is totally related to the title. However, it's the best I can do functioning at this level of exhaustion. I've been quite absent from my blog because it's the wrap up time of my program. I didn't know that I could be busier than I was before. Haha. I have my two-week takeover, which is when I get to teach all day everyday for two weeks, starting next week. I have a draft of my second chapter of my thesis due then my third chapter is due a week later. In between, I am writing and rewriting cover letters, which I just learned are now called interest letters. When I get interview calls, I have to peace out of my classroom early and go to those. I also have to prep materials for that two-week takeover. I also still have to teach eversooften this week. Don't forget, I still have class and homework to do too. Yay! I'm going to be quite the multi-tasker after all of it. Perhaps, the picture below would be more appropriate.

The Little Stone Lion,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg

I'm always on the lookout for Asian-related children's books, especially picture books. I try to incorporate these books as often as I can when I teach. I also love teaching about Chinese New Year's. While we were at the Huntington, I stumbled across this adorable book called The Little Stone Lion. It's written through the perspective of the little stone lion that the old man is leaning on. It's about how the little stone lion is steadfast and watches over the village. The illustrations are a-mazing.

Catch Up: Initials

Now that I'm with the big kiddos, sometimes you just get to shoot the crap with them and talk about random stuff. Last week, we were talking about initials. Here's what happened.

Miss OJ: Mrs. T---, what's your middle name?
Me: Ann
Miss OJ: So, your initials are BAT. You're a bat!
Mr TT: (to Mr. W-----, who is my mentor teacher) Mr. W-----, what's your last name?
(Everyone is quiet.)
Mr. W-----: W-----
Mr TT: Oh! Yea, it is W-----. (blushes)
(Everyone laughs.)