2 days of great

The past 2 days have been so good.

Friday was my students’ Junior High graduation service, which I have been planning for the past month and a half. It turned out great, and I was really proud of the students’ behavior. Up until they entered the chapel, I was running around with tons of things on my mind, and when we opened the doors and they walked by me in their 2 single-file lines, I almost started crying.

Hey emotions, nobody likes you, go home.

Throughout the evening, I would see and talk to students, all the while trying to shove my sadness back into the pit where it belongs. And then came the part where we had to say goodbye to each other. Like, forever goodbyes. Thankfully (for my dignity), many of the students had already left, so I didn’t have to blubber through lots of goodbyes. After only a few though, Ruth and Anika and I retreated to the teacher room and cried in safety.

On the way home, Brady said, “the sadder it is, the better is was.” It’s so true, which is why the end of this journey is so hard.

*Once again tries not to cry in cafe*

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Yesterday was my birkday, and it was so good. We went out to lunch, where a few students surprised me by coming around the corner of the restaurant singing happy birthday and carrying a delicious birthday cake. Don’t worry Mom, I got to blow out some candles on my birthday.

It looks like a pancake cake, but it's actually a layer cake made up of tons of crepes with whipped cream in between each one. Delicious.

It looks like a pancake cake, but it’s actually a layer cake made up of tons of crepes with whipped cream in between each one. Delicious.

Birthday surprisers

After lunch, we watched Eurovision. If you’re European, you know what that is. For those of you who don’t know, it is an annual song contest where each participating European country selects 1 person/band to represent the country. It’s a bit like American Idol on steroids. And it’s much more European, so there’s that. This year I made these scoring sheets to use while we watched (the show is like 3 hours long).

Eurovision Sheet

 

(Fun fact: Eurovision’s most notable past winners are ABBA and Celine Dion.)

To finish off a great day, a group of us went to the highest rated restaurant in Jakarta, which was a buffet at a 5 star hotel. Dear Obama, come experience the buffets over here, and then fix all American buffets. #Change.

People, I’m telling you, the place was magical. Amazing sushi, the tenderest roast beefs and lambs, quality Indian food, a dessert section like woah, and too many other things to mention. I was too distracted by the food to even consider taking pictures.

And then I died of food.

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Finally some Internet

Why is ‘Internet’ capitalized?

Let’s see, I’m currently in the middle of one of the biggest transitions of my life, which is ending the school year and leaving my home for the past 2 years, and moving back to my home for the previous 22 years before that, where I currently have no job.  I would like to share what is going through my mind as I brace myself for this huge transition that is seemingly blazing toward me at light speed, but I don’t even know where I would start.

Maybe I’ll just say that it is incredibly sad, extremely weird, a bit scary and a bit exciting. I think I will be happy to be back home, but it would be a lot more comforting if I had a job waiting for me. Meanwhile I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t force timing, so I need to keep my eyes and ears open and try to be okay with that.

There is this one thing that I am unquestionably thrilled about in the midst of all this, though. Smack dab in the middle of my transition is the dreamiest of the dream vacations: a 2-week funfest where my brother and sister and I take on Spain. Can you say ‘hola?’

I was finally able to look at my photos from my last day teaching, and I feel incredibly blessed. I love all my students and I’m sad that soon I will be a whole world away from them. I can only hope that many of them will go to the US for college and I will get to see them again.

*Cries in the middle of the cafe.

Here are my 2 classes:

Class 9.3Class 9.4

Grading tests

At school I am in charge of the entrance test that kids have to take in order to be accepted to our school. It’s not a very fun job, especially grading tests for students who I don’t even teach. The test I just graded may have made it all worth it, though.

There is an essay portion to this exam, as seen below:

Writing prompt

Now these kids are usually in 6th or 7th grade, so this essay is not the easiest for them (they are usually able to write a paragraph or 2). But look at this hilarious response I just read:

Response 1

Response 2

Not quite the response needed, but I like what is going on in this kid’s head.

 

 

Singapore

A week and a half ago I went to Singapore for Chinese New Year. It was awesome and I have been wanting to share my adventure, but I have been super busy.

Last night I finally finished grading my students’ research papers, which took me a total of 12-13 hours to read and grade. I’m scarred forever.

But enough about the boring, painful parts of my lyfe, let’s talk about Singapore.

Okay!

Dang. I can’t share everything. This post would be too long. So, here are my top 10 highlights in random order (because I hate ranking things)!

Okay!

  • Going to the world’s largest aquarium. 

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  • The Singapore Zoo, which is huge and awesome.

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  • While waiting in a 30ish minute line to enter the Night Safari portion of the zoo, a lady and her husband kept trying to cut us. The first time she tried (approximately 10 minutes into waiting), I noticed and cut her off. Then to show her who was boss, I kept leaning back to reclaim my personal bubble. But then when we were rounding the next corner, she cut us off! What!? Anika, who is more bold than I, moved right next to her waiting for the opportunity to reclaim what was ours. The moment came and she struck, and quickly us 3 boys joined her back in our rightful place. We then made an impassable line so history would not repeat itself.
  • Eating Subway.
  • Meeting up with a friend from college who is teaching in Singapore.

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  • Going to a water park that has dolphins at it. Someday soon, the dolphins will be able to swim around the park. Crazy.

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  • Duty free stores at the airport.
  • Finally getting to see the Merlion.

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  • This fish’s name.

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  • These guys.

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Sea Monkeys

You may know that I asked for Sea Monkeys for Christmas so that I could bring them with me to Jakarta and have them as pets.

Well the plan went without a hitch and the year 9 English classroom is enjoying a thriving little tank of these creatures. I think they are already having babies, because I keep seeing little tiny ones in there. However, now that I think about it, not very many of those little cutie-pies are growing up, so they must be getting eaten by the older ones. Ah the circle of life.

Our Sea Monkeys! You can only see a few in this picture (I circled them for you).

Our Sea Monkeys! You can only see a few in this picture (I circled them for you).

Things changed last Friday, when we discovered 2 of them linked together. I told the students to give them some privacy, and then emphasized that we might have some babies soon!

This morning though, they were still attached. Hmmm. Well Brady did some quick research and found that when they are attached, it means they are fighting to the death! Wow!

So naturally, we decided that we should name these two guys and come up with some background info for this deathly tussle they are in. This is what we came up with:

The attacker’s name is Potato, and the victim’s name is Mash. Potato was jealous of Mash, and attacked in a violent rage. The reason for Potato’s jealousy? Mash’s eyes are far more beautiful.

Once we named them, I realized how morbid it was to only name the Sea Monkeys that are on the brink of death. Oh well, I noticed new babies this morning so we have replacements on the way.

Pros and Cons

I have been back in Jakarta for almost 2 weeks now, and right now I am going to assess that time via a list of pros and cons. Here we go:

1. Pro: School got canceled today because of flooding.

Con: The flooding is apparently bad enough to destroy homes and leave thousands of people stranded. From my 33rd floor view, I see no signs of stopping. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-17/thousands-flee-from-jakarta-floods/4468382

2. Pro: I get to watch the Australian Open all day.

Con: Sometimes the sound is delayed by up to a second, which is annoying whenever watching TV.

3. Pro: I’m no longer freezing like I was at home.

Con: There’s some sweat, but actually it’s not too bad.

4. Pro: My sea monkeys hatched and they are so cute.

5. Pro: My iPhone is finally updated which allows me to text other iPhone users around the world.

6: Pro: I got to watch the Golden Globes on Monday night because the TV programmers scheduled a replay.

Con: I had to watch Jodi Foster’s acceptance speech.

7. Pro: My students haven’t been too bad since they got back from break.

Con: They aren’t perfect, which is annoying because I am.

8. Pro: I dont have to eat my same old school lunch today.

Con: My lunch will cost more than 75 cents.

More pros than cons. I wasn’t expecting that.

Restlessnessmentation

I’m in a very dangerous place right now.

I just had coffee and I am in the mood to not do anything–a combination that makes me really funny. Like, I crack myself up. The thing is, my coworkers, for some reason or another, are being really productive right now. That means I am basically isolated from the world, forced to retreat to the shelter of my imagination and websites like mashable.com and Youtube.

Additionally, I leave for home in 2 days. In case you didn’t know, when you have been away from family and friends and Chipotle and Peach Wave for a year, it gets really hard to concentrate in the days leading up to that special reunion. How am I supposed to enter grades and plan lessons with that on my mind?

So now, as this post draws to a close, I have to figure out what I will do after I hit ‘Publish.’ Will I go Google Taylor Swift? Will I read the CNN headlines for the 5th time today (it’s only 8:20 am)? Will I stare blankly at my computer screen with the iTunes store open?

Or, maybe I have just found a little bit of motivation… The thought of trying to finish everything I need to do in 1 hour seems like a fun challenge. Yes. In 10 minutes, after I’ve had time to Google Taylor, I will begin this new journey.

Thanks for your help.