Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My first earthquake

Wow, that was crazy. The last earthquake that I remember hitting So Cal was summer of '05 and I was in Texas at the time, so I only experienced it via Fox News. This time I was up close and personal with the event.

At first, I thought someone in the building had slammed a door. But when it didn't stop and the floor shook harder and harder, I realized it was an earthquake. I am well trained and headed for a doorway, right out the front door. Several others were emerging from their apartments into the hallway as well, and I heard several "This is so cool!" and "Oh, G*!". I stood in the doorway as my mind went through the process of thinking, "I should go outside. I need shoes. I need keys. I need my cell phone." That was when I noticed the building was swaying, which put me especially off-balance because I could see the building sway with the ground in the background and the ground was no longer moving. Then I realized I was short of breath, my hands were shaking and my legs were weak (adrenaline rush!). I continued outside, sat for a bit, tried to call Pete, my husband, and slowly caught my breath. Official notice: cell phones will not be a good communication method in an emergency. It was about 30 minutes before a call would go through.

Over the next few hours, I found things that had been knocked over during the earthquake: a penholder, a perfume bottle and a few other small things. Nothing major. Turns out, the epicenter was about 15 miles east, and the quake was a 5.4. Not huge and no real damage done around here. Nonetheless, I have officially been in an earthquake, and will be happy if I never experience another one.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wedding Reunions

It seems we only see our friends (old friends, at least) when someone gets married and we all trek to see the wedding. Its a great time, don't get me wrong, but we are running out of singles who can get married. Only three more to go and everyone (almost everyone) from the "Biola group" will be married. I think we are going to have to rethink our reunion strategy.

Hmmmm... with one couple in Seattle, one in Minneapolis, one in D.C., one gal in Pittsburgh, another in Denver, one guy in Wisconsin and us here in L.A., what is central? and interesting. Kansas is central, but is it interesting? Maybe camping/hiking in Yellowstone? Or some other national park? Dude, this could get complicated.

So, that will require some thought. Hopefully, the thinking doesn't take too long, 'cause I'm missing everyone already.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This really stinks

Last week, my supervisor observed me teaching. At the follow up, he apologizes for the textbook I was given, that its not really that great, and I shouldn't use it for much more than homework. What?! Now, I'm expected to come up with all my own stuff and I have nothing to work from? Now, this shouldn't bother me as much as it does, but I work much better, faster, and more efficiently when I have something to start with... a textbook is a great thing to start working from.

I've had several classes since that talk, and I've done what I can to pull in other stuff. I've looked and browsed and pondered. I found some things to help the student practice the modals in past tense, the current topic and fun stuff, I must say. And then, on Thursday, after class, a student says to me, "I wasn't sure about taking grammar, but I learned something new today. Thank you. And you are a good teacher." Wow. Talk about making my day. After struggling with the news to not use the textbook and about frizzing over it. Its all working out. That feels good.

Friday, July 04, 2008

My new old passion

I love teaching. Dude, I totally hit the jackpot when I started teaching adult ESL (that's English as a Second Language). I love it so much, I'm going to educate myself further in the art of TESOL (that's Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Yep, I finished school and now I'm going back. Am I a nerd or what?

To top it off, I'm even writing two proposals for topics to present on at the So Cal regional CATESOL conference this fall, which is being held at Biola. And I'm thinking about what class to use my free audit on, some upper level TESOL class, for sure.

Yep, I'm a nerd, and I love it.