Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tribute to Teachers

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and today was Teacher Appreciation Day. The kids at our elementary school are doing little things every day this week to show the teachers how much we appreciate them.

Driving around and listening to all the inspiring teacher stories on K-Love motivated me to add my little tribute.

When I think back to my school years... many teachers stand out in my mind. I really could fill pages if I were to sit here and list all the various ways particular teachers have touched my life.

Well, here is just a small small glimpse...  few gems of memory that stick out and make me smile...

Mrs Merrill - 5th Grade Teacher at Dutch Neck
-  read to us after lunch... just loved it!
-  gave out jolly ranchers for reciting the Gettysburg Address by memory
-  taught us all the bones of the body from cranium to phalanges using rhyme and rhythm
-  taught us geometry facts with song and rhythm as well... 
"the area of a tri-an-gle is... the base times the height... divided by 2"

Mrs Long - 6th Grade Teacher at Dutch Neck
-  showed us Ben Hur in class as well as a bunch of other movies... but I particularly remember Ben Hur
-  had a hamster pet in class and we took turns taking him home

Mr Enz - Elementary School String Teacher
-  he pretty much taught me how to play the violin

Mr Glass - Elementary School PE Teacher and Freshmen Field Hockey Coach
-  PE was my favorite class. I had so much fun! Loved all the sports and games... and I loved the Presidential Fitness Challenges
-  He recruited me and my good friend, Kathleen, to play on his freshmen team in high school
-  He always ran with us.. the long runs, the suicides, diagonals, and sprints at the end of practice!
-  Whenever it rained and folks started to complain... he'd say "Hey, skin is waterproof!  I shower, don't you?"

High School French Teacher - wow, I can't remember his name... but I still remember what he looks like!
-  taught us a song to remember the verbs that conjugate with etre
-  funny, funny teacher... made learning French fun

Dr Chen - 11th Grade Physics Teacher
-  motivated us by writing our names on the board if we get over 90% and another section if we get 100% (LOL prob not a motivator for everyone but it worked for me)
-   she used these two silly character names to illustrate physics word problems and though I can't remember the names I still remember the problems!

Mrs Mauro - High School Orchestra Teacher
-  let us hang out at her office before school, during lunch, after school...
-  let us hang out at her house after prom!
-  took us on an orchestra trip to DC
-  witnessed me hit my R eye with a music stand and sent me to the nurse, then to the ER to get 5-6 stitches
-  was also my homeroom teacher another time when I got hit with a field hockey ball in the R eye. I had the eye covered with a patch but she made me show her... then sent me to the nurse, who sent me to the ER... again!

Mrs Hussong (knew her as Ms Jung originally) - PE Teacher as well as Field Hockey and Girls La Crosse Coach
-  inspired me to give it all, never give up, and fight to win
-  4 memorable seasons of high school field hockey which became such a love and important part of my life...
-  would never have played girls la crosse if it weren't for her!

Oh.. I'm sure I'll think of more if I were to keep going...

Now, I send my kids to elementary school and I know they have wonderful teachers pouring out to them. I'm so grateful for all the teachers out there showering the kids with love, inspiring them... giving them hope and a future.

Thank you, teachers!!!

Friday, May 4, 2018

May the Fourth

May the fourth be with you!

Figured today would be a good day to post this blog that I had written a while ago after we came back from our Star Wars Cruise.

I wanted to list all the reasons why we loved our Disney Cruise Star Wars at Sea experience… but really it came down to the simple fact that we are Star Wars fans.

in case you can't tell, that's a view of the death star from our porthole virtual window

Highlights from our Star Wars Day at Sea…  

·      Watched all the Episodes from I-VIII of course…

·      Darth Vader and Storm Troopers paroling the boat…. throughout the day instead of the captain announcing usual cruise information, we may hear an Imperial guard letting us know that they have taken over command of our ship

·      Our kids received jedi training as padawans and then lightsaber dueled with Kylo Ren and Darth Vader…  

·      Joe acted out his dream of wearing a mask and role playing Vader with a bunch of kids in the ship’s atrium as cruise employees directed scenes from Episodes IV V and VI…

·      Interactions with all the classic characters… C3PO, R2D2, Chewbaca…

·      Entertained by all the other crazy fans on board the ship and marveling at how fanatic some are… my favorite costume was seeing someone dress up like Jabba the Hut…

·      Star Wars themed stage shows and fireworks at the end of the night…

Now, I’ve been blaming my husband for getting our four kids so into Star Wars. My husband is a fan. I mean, there are those who like Star Wars… I like Star Wars… but then there are true fans. I will not bore you with the details and the list of Star Wars toys from models to legos to whatever 3D puzzles that he has from way back when…  but I will highlight that he has made an actual light saber. I believe it is Luke’s saber from Episode IV.  All the materials used to make this saber were the materials used for the prop in the movie.  I thought this was “most impressive” since this was made back in the days before google was widely popular. Somehow he got all the parts through ebay or something to put it together. It always makes me smile when visiting friends would admire it and ask him to turn it on. It doesn’t turn on. It’s a prop. But if you want one that turns on we got like 20!  In fact, the groomsmen and bridesmaids in our wedding party each pulled out a lightsaber during our wedding reception as a surprise to us and had a little duel in front of our guests. We were introduced as husband and wife for the first time walking out to the Star Wars theme music... of course.  Our bridesmaids each slayed our groomsmen after a grueling fight… and then we had our first dance.
So our kids like Star Wars. They quote quotes and know all these random facts from the movies.  Sometimes I hear my youngest walking around humming the Kylo Ren theme song as if it is his entrance background music… (he was Kylo Ren for Halloween this year... but still… little weird)

When my third child is having a melt down, we now start asking him Star Wars trivia questions as a tactic to distract him and reset him. He and I are working on using the force to move garbage cans and using the mind trick on folks to make them do what we want… (this skill is not yet mastered)

Our girls are not as into Star Wars as the boys… but they know more trivia facts than I do about all the movies.  We have watched all 8 episodes (multiple times) as well as the spin off movie, Rogue One… and now we are eagerly waiting for Solo to come out later this month…

But confession… I actually didn’t realize just HOW huge a fan I am until it dawned on me that I was getting just as excited as the kids. I actually get goosebumps during that beginning Star Wars intro... you know… when the awesome John Williams music blasts on and you see the writing scroll down on the big screen? Total goosebumps… and I giggled in glee when Han Solo and Chewbacca stepped onto the Millenium Falcon for the first time after years… I think what it is for me is nostalgia!  I’m a very nostalgic person and I need to give credit and applause to John Williams because his brilliant music score compliments the story like no other.  His music remarkably elicits those feelings of nostalgia and adds so much depth and emotion to each character.  I am so glad that he will be composing for Episode IX.

So the rest of the cruise was great as any cruise experience goes… Disney does take it to a slightly different level when it comes to service and making your kids feel like royalty. The shows at night stand out in quality and entertainment. The food was delicious as expected but even more extraordinary were the intricately detailed themed restaurants. The water slide was fun though pools were a bit small and crowded… hard to expect more when on a boat…


Overall… it was fun and my youngest keeps asking to go back on the “Star Wars Boat”.  We’ll see… May the Fourth be with you all and tomorrow is Revenge of the Fifth!