Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Hopefully this week with Terra Nova testing I will be able to get a better handle on it all but only time will tell.
P.S. I have tried to post stuff this week, finish the blog on Munich but blogspot has been SO slow this week and I can't load pics so I am trying to get stuff posted.
Oh it was a sweet white bread with raisins in it. I don't remember the name of it-something that starts with an "H." The crust seemed to be glazed with something (and no I am not referring to the saran wrap). Mmmm, mmmm good!
I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer fly! Mom and Dad, if you ever see me in person again, you might have to pick me up at Los Angles harbor because I can no longer fly and will have to sail home. It just doesn't work for me. After spending 6 days in U.S. airports I think the TSA saw me enough on security cameras, past my information to all airports in the world, and now they all make sure if I, Stephanie S., am scheduled to fly somewhere, something must happen; they must either cancel or postpone my flight.
From the airport to our hostel, we drove through a tunnel that I swear was 10 km long! Jess tried holding her breathe at first but there was no way she was going to make it. After our mini-tour of Dublin we found our hostel and I my germ-aphobia came to the surface. The hostel was not dirty...well a little, but this is Stephanie S. from little town of Taylor, USA. I didn't know what to expect but really you can't have much expectations of hostels. Long story short, I had to use the blanket Jess brought because I wouldn't get in the covers (until I got cold during the night) and put my towel over the pillow. Nothing looked dirty, I was just freaking out. Since we arrived one night earlier than our scheduled time we did get a nice view with the 4 bed dorm. Luckily, no one else showed up so we didn't have to share.
Our room - not bad eh? I was just germaphobic to much to enjoy it. But what do you expect for 15 euros a night...
After that we headed to Temple Bar. No it is not a drinking bar filled with 150 guiness beers, it is names Temple Bar after the Temple family and is coined "Dublin's Cultural Center." Really it was little tourist shops, little cafes with a few pubs. But it was cute and magical.
Dublin is famous for its different colored doors. The reason for the colored doors is decades ago it is said that one night a man was so drunk that he wandered into the wrong house and went to bed. Well when the real husband got back and saw his wife in bed with another man he shot the drunk that was 'in bed with his wife.' So to make sure drunks at night don't wander into the wrong house, each door is painted a different color on each street.
Corned Beef w/parsnip gravy, Cabbage, and roasted potatoes.
The VERY nervous driver - can't even give a smile for the camera...
Our Little Speedster - How cute!
Outside of Blarney - don't take the size for granted...especially if you go up to the stone.
How many steps you say? I lost count after the 2 floor.
Stuck in the wet, cold, dun-dun-dungeon
Well that is all for Ireland for now. I have a LOT more to tell about Ireland and LOTS more pics. (I am averaging between 100-200 pics per trip). I have 3 pages in my notebook full of memories. But another time and another day.
But then again, I want it to keep snowing so we can have one more snow day. We have only had one with all this snow so can't I just get one more? I guess I need to have another one on one with the Commander. Also, since it has snowed everyday for 2 weeks the kids have had no 'true' recess for a long time so they are getting pretty antsy.
Well, we couldn't take it anymore last Friday. The kids needed to get out and get some exercise so us 4th grade teachers rebelled and took out the kids. Here are a few pics of the kids running around having fun. Unfortunately...who am I kidding - luckily I didn't have any snow boots so I didn't get to play. I wasn't going to have cold feet the rest of the day like the rest of them. :)
Oh the priceless smiles!!
You would think Big Foot was trying to eat these boys but they were just afraid of the camera.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
After we failed at finding an actual map of Munich to help us navigate we set out with my hand-drawn map from googlemaps.com to find Marienplatz before the demonstration started. We were able to find it with no problem but it wasn't hard to find once you found the crowd of protestors and shoppers heading the same way you were going. Once to Marienplatz, we looked in a few stores for it is mainly a wide street with shops on both sides. We were able to also find Frauenkirsche (Church of Our Lady). This church is an icon of Munich. It has beautiful architecture in and out. We spent about 30 minutes there, enough to warm up. And now a few pics (I know haven't posted any for awhile).
After the Frauenkirche, we headed to the main center of Marienplatz. This is where the Glockenspiel is which is a big clock and under the clock is a place where at certain times figures come out and enact the Dance of the Coopers. We didn't have time to wait for noon since the square was beginning to fill with protestors and militia so we took a few pictures. We tried not to talk while we were there since the demonstration was against Americans. (Hmm, yeah we are smart eh?!) I really don't have a good picture of the Glockenspiel but I hope to have time to go back before I leave.
Zoomed out, you can see the sqaure filling up with demonstrations. If you look closely at the bottom of the picture in the middle you can see a man in the background. He was going on and on in German about something to do with the demonstration.
Swimming hall where Mark Spitz set his 7 gold medals record.
Sadly this is where I must end for this portion of "Hanie in Germany." I do have more to share about Munich but due to early mornings I must head to bed now. Check your local computer screen for the next blog in a day or so.
So the concert was of a new band on tour in Europe called Virginia Coalition. The concert was awesome!! I really enjoyed it. As of now, they do have a place on my ipod. We also got free cds of their album so I get to enjoy their music anytime I want to. (Check out their website www.virginiacoalition.com). But this post is not just an advertisement or sales-pitch for the band. There is more to the night.
After the concert, we had to wait for our "chauffeurs" to clean up since they are on the base's activity committee. So we waited, and waited, and waited. While we waited we also got to meet and greet the band. Well since we were waiting and waiting for our "chauffeurs" to do their job, we got to talk a lot with the band members. We talked about how they became a group, where they have had concerts, where they were going. It was cool. Time was soon winding down for us to go when the drummer dude invited us to dinner!! Wow! Me, invited to dinner with a touring band. Needless to say I was pretty estatic that this was happening. Luckily our "chauffeurs" were invited too so we were able to go. That's right, no ride on the tour bus darn it. We then headed to a local italian restaurant. (Yeah we are in Germany and head to an italian restaurant. Ironic eh?)
At the restaurant, we were not the smartest gals. There were places at one end of the table and some at the other end. Which end did we sit at? Oh, yes the one not at the end with the band!! Jess and I did get to sit by the manager and head singer but all they did was talk business. We regret it to this day but we really could not change our seats once we realize what we had sat. From then the night only got worse.
We soon said goodbye to Virginia Coalition and they headed to their next stop on their tour. Unfortunately we still had the ride home. I did mention earlier that the ride to the concert was pleasant but on the way home I was shocked by the language I heard from the soldiers, well actually one and he really got on my nerves. I 'swear' he talked the whole way home which was about 30 minutes and 29 1/2 minutes of this time he said the "f" word and every other cuss word in the 'trash-book'. Ahhhh!! He wasn't even making sense! (And he wasn't drunk either.) I wanted to call up the commander (whom I had previously met that night) and tell him how disrespectful this kid had been! (And I could do that actually.) But I didn't want to get into all that.
Overall it was a fun time and if Virginia Coalition ever makes it to the 'big charts' I can really brag that I saw them in concert and had dinner with them "back in the days." Oh, and I was a lucky winner of the night. During the concert there was a raffle and I won! I didn't win the ipod docking station but I did win "The Littliest Big Man" (or something like that), the biography of some wrestler! Yeah BABY Yeah!! I accidently forget to forget it in the van but eh its I nice space-taker on my dresser. Just haven't been in the mood to watch a movie about WWF. Crazy aren't I??!!!!
When you meet someone, there is always a lot to learn about the other person and you most likely have a lot to share with them because you have stories to tell that they have never from you. When you have 30 minutes to spare on a bus with this new person, you have a tendency to get carried away. Well, when I first got here to Germany the train between Oberdachstetten and Ansbach was out of service due to a broken water line so the usual 10 minute ride on train ended up being 30 minutes on bus. Jessica and I were just getting to know each other and one day we got carried away with talking about hot actors like Orlando Bloom. About half way through the ride, it dawned on us that we were literally the only ones talking on the bus. And yes, we were not whispering either. That was the first time we realized that the bus was also 95% male passengers. We bother bust up laughing!! Even though we cannot understand German, the majority of Germans understand English. This bus of males was totally eavesdropping on our conversation about hot guys in Hollywood. EMBARRASSING!!! - We did not talk the rest of the trip but it wasn't silent because we could not stop laughing. Pretty much since then we haven't talked much during our trips unless we are alone. - Moral of the story and advice to future foreign travelers: Most people still understand English so beware of what you say.
In an upcoming blog I will tell you about my adventure to Munich but for now, I must share the train ride home. The trip was wonderful but I had a lot to plan for the upcoming week with it being Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday. Mr. Young, my cooperative teacher and lent me his ipod because he had downloaded some history channel shows about Lincoln to see if I could use any for my lesson. Well, I had heard enough about bogus claims about Lincoln so I thought I would browse what other shows was on the ipod. The angels sang as I saw "The Office" new episode. The episode's name is "Fire Safety." If you are an "Office" fan, you might agree that this episode is one of the top episodes! It was hilarious (with a few slow points) but overall it rocked! So the first few minutes of the show, Dwight is trying to teach the rest of the office that they should have paid better attention to his fire safety presentation the other day. To get their attention he sets fire to a trash can and the rest must be watched. As I watched, I bursted out in uncontrollable laughter. Jessica gave me weird looks and I shared the funny moments with her. She started cracking up, both of us could not stop because it was so funny. Now I should mention the guys on the other side of the aisle. This German guy just gave me the weirdest look. Between gasps of air and my laughter I finally burst out "Funny show." I didn't get the kindest look at that moment and I could only imagine what was going through his head but I was loosing calories as I laughed and he was only gaining wrinkles from his furrowed brow. Moral of this story: Laughter is good for the soul. Just be careful where you watch "The Office" if you don't want grouchy people frowning at you.
Tomorrow I start teaching Math which I am very nervous about because this isn't 1+1 math. I hope I am able to teach and deliver the lesson clearly so I "leave no child left behind." (Gotta love NCLB 2001 eh?). I also am putting together a lesson on Abraham Lincoln to celebrate his 200th b-day this Thursday so that will be interesting.
Oh and to share a "Friends" moment that happened the other day in the classroom. So 4th grade, girls no longer chase the boys or vice versa; cooties no longer exist. As a boy and girl walked into the classroom the other day they arguing about something. I caught the last of it when the boy says, "He doesn't want to break up with her; he only wants to take a "break!"" And yes he did the quotating fingers when he said "break." I totally was dumbfounded. How in the world would 4th graders know about 'breaking up' and 'being on a break'? ??? Too much adult tv I guess...