Friday, February 26, 2010

Netherabsence - due to traveling!

Sorry blog readers for not keeping up with my blog while traveling. My internet time was limited. :(

My voice went missing, and I had a read aloud planned out. Needless to say, the read aloud was horrible due to my voice, but we did Reader's Theater leading to the students having a blast. We didn't have enough time to finish it but we will next time we meet. My 2-4 class went awesome, and some of the students stayed the entire 2 hours! That's just how much fun they had with me. I loved every minute of it except for my voice. The students did cooperate with me though. We also had more students show up which was exciting. :)

Then, we had dinner with the teachers. This day was the day for parent-teacher conference, and the school had dinner for the teachers who had conferences and had to stay at the school during dinner time. I got to eat sauerkraut, and it wasn't one of my favorites.

At 11pm, Ashton and I caught the bus to Paris - a whoping 7 hours drive! We arrived in Paris at 6 am. :)

Paris, France
1st day:
• checked in Friends Hostel
- clean, rooms are very small, 4 beds in a room
- roommates were Corny and Max (both were Germans)
- toilets clogged, showers small
- no hot water
- no breakfast, wifi is not free
- bad location/neighborhood
• Eiffel Tower!
• picked up Paris Pass (89 euros)
• bought souvenirs (should wait until the last day for cheaper souvenirs)
• Free walking tour for 4 hours!
2nd day:
• Used Paris Pass
• Montparnasse Tour
• Conciergerie
• Notre Dame
• Bateaux Parisiens (1 hr. cruise)
• Grevin Wax Museum (dropped my camera in the toilet)
• tried crepes with chocolate and whipped cream 
• Arc de Triomphe
3rd day:
• planned on going to Versailles – never made it
• Louvre – ate at McDonalds 
• Sewage Museum – poopy water!
• Dome church where Napolean’s tomb is
• Army Museum – realized that we dated our museum pass wrong
• Grande Arche
• Montmartre – where all the painters are – amazing atmosphere
• Espace Dali – where the melted clock from Alice in Wonderland is located
4th day:
• traveling
• lots of homeless people (esp. ones that ask if you speak English, then hand you a note to read asking for money)
• went to the slums and sketchville of Paris
• lots of artists on the metro – metro makes it really easy to travel around Paris
• boys like to stare – very creepy
• people spoke English

Barcelona, Spain
1st day:
• checked in Hostel Maritima
- not very clean, rooms are ok, 8 beds in a room
- roommates were British boys and Italian couple (very loud)
- good bathrooms, scared of showers
- hot water, great breakfast, free wifi
- great location
- no heat/air
• walked around La Rambla and surrounding neighborhoods
• Barcelona pass wasn’t as great as Paris Pass – didn’t purchase
• saw one of the many cathedrals, narrow alleys, tons of stores, and happy pills!
• saw Casa Battlo
• people watched – lots of lesbian couples in Barcelona
• tapas and sangria at Ideal Restaurant
2nd day:
• grabbed a map in the room that the Italian couple left
• walked around Barcelona
• found Sagrada Familia, Arc de Triomf,
• bought souvenirs for friends – all souvenirs are priced differently and can bargain 
• tapas, paella, and sangria at Brasil Restaurant
3rd day:
• found a free walking tour by Masaar!
• learned all about the history of Barcelona
• met a family of five who is on a world tour – they plan on traveling for 8 months
• lunch at Travel Bar 
• dinner at Pollo Rico – big plate of chicken and fries (very greasy) and of course, Sangria!
• flight was cancelled because of French Civil Aviation strike – had to rebook flight
• slept in the airport 
4th day:
• traveling
• night life is great!
• late dinners
• witnessed prostitution
• 85% chance of getting robbed
• hardly anyone spoke English

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today was very relaxing! I didn't have to come in to teach, but I did have to tutor the two girls. :) The two girls loved the activity I did with them! They had problems with past/present simple, continuous, and perfect. I printed out their favorite songs' lyrics and got them to rewrite the lyrics. :) It was awesome. They also showed me their letters, and they're having problems with prepositions - isn't everyone? So next time we meet, we're working on prepositions. They also invited me to go watch a movie next Sunday. I'm excited about going.

So I planned my lesson plans, created the worksheets and everything else necessary for the classes, and just sat and waited until it was time to meet with the girls. I rode my bike this morning to school with a flat tire. However, the amazing caretaker/mechanic fixed my bike for me! No more flat tire, and my light is working again! 

Hm. Tomorrow is my busy day. I teach nonstop from 9 - 4. AH! I wanted to get my hair cut today, but it was way too expensive. I might wait until after all of my trips.  If not, I'll just get it cut in the US. I did go work out today! Finally! However, I just did weights, but better than nothing. I consider cycling to and from school today my cardio. :)

I went to church at 7 for Ash Wednesday. I really wish I could understand Dutch. I'm sure my life here will be more enjoyable. 

Anyways, I did talk to some people today on the phone, and it made me happy. I talked to one of my fav professors, and she made me happy like always. I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow for Paris. I haven't packed. I don't want to pack right now. 

I have to have lots of energy for tomorrow. I have to focus on my lessons before Paris. I have to keep my priorities straight. Ha. 

Oh yea, I did get my two laundry tokens that I lost the first time I tried to do laundry. Yay for complaining. :)

And I watched Will and Grace today for the first time in a while, and I remembered just how much I missed watching that show and how happy my gay friends make me. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Tuesday: 2nd day of teaching 

1st years: It was my last session with this group of kids so I wanted to go out in a bang - we had a pop quiz! I bought balloons and treats for all of them since there were only 12 students. We went over everything that I've taught them - short/long vowels, voiced/voiceless /th/, the sounds of /ch/ /sh/ and /wh/, silent letters and /c/ /k/. I glued more handouts in their foldables so that they have something to look at after. The students also did an evaluation and all of them gave me a 5 - which is really good! I was super excited! 

5h3: I played a game with them concerning common mistakes in English. I divided the class up in 5 groups and got the groups to tell me what they thought the answers were. They participated for a while, but the last ten minutes, they got off task. The statements seemed too easy - they did have problems with spelling though. 

5h4: I played a game with them also, but changed how we played it. Instead of dividing the class into five groups, I divided them into two groups. Instead of me writing the answers on the board, I got the students to do it for me. It was a race - the first person to write the correct answer on the board got a point. It was great although I had one student who said why the fastest one got the point and not the person who got it correct - and I told him, it was just a fun way to learn quickly.

With both classes, I also gave them a handout with all of the common mistakes and wrote an explanation on the back. Hopefully, they look into it and do well on their writing exam coming up in March.

My mentor teacher really liked the fact that I changed the game because I had problems with the first one. Since both 5th years are learning the same thing, I could teach the same way, but I never do. I have to give myself extra work, you know. Ha.

I rode Ashton's bike today since my bike is dead right now. I have to get it fixed. I also had to hurry and go to the store to buy balloons and candies.

I'm super tired. I didn't get to work out. I passed out at 7. I've been so lazy with working out. Not good.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Monday: the beginning of my 2 week unit teaching = exhausted already

So here's my schedule this week in the classroom:
Monday - WASP Report
Tuesday - Grammar
Thursday - Literature

I've realized a long time ago that my 5th years love discussions and engaging activities so I sat on the computer planning a lesson plan for 2 hours straight. I wanted to make sure that the students will be engaged the whole entire time. 

5h4: We read Mix-n-Match. I did a chalk talk with them, agreement circles, hot seat, pairing, and dividing up the questions. They loved it! They had the same reaction as my 10 year olds when I did hot seat with them. They were so excited! The students got my sense of humor, and we had a great time discussing things. 

5h3: We read The Numerati. I did number tricks with them, group work, presentations, adverbs, give me an answer (don't know what else to call it - I gave answers to five students so that they will participate when I call their name). The Numerati wasn't as exciting, and the students didn't really like the article much. I don't blame them, I didn't like it either - BUT they didn't know that.

I gave both classes an option of either taking a test and going over it or playing a game, participating, and leaving class early. :) Of course, they chose the second option. So game playing on Tuesday for grammar - here we come!

4h4: Verbal Practice: Moving Questions where I provided controversial topics for students to ask each other. It actually got a lot of them talking and participating. +++ For the other class, we read How About Hugs? and had a discussion. This class is a little rough on the edges, and there are four students that ruin it for everyone. I got a little bit upset with the class, and I told them that if they wanted to act like children, I will treat them like children - meaning the next person to say something inappropriate will stand in the corner with their nose in the corner. I normally hate doing this but it got them to be quiet. I've literally tried everything I can to deal with classroom management, but nothing seems to work. :( I've tried at least 7 different things with them already. 

I also worked on my other lesson plans for the remedial English teacher because I'm also teaching her 1st year students. I enjoy these classes because the students are still super excited about everything. I did get away from teaching the 4h4 class to teach my adorable 1st years. 

Hm. Enough about classwork. Apparently, I'm giving off the vibe that I'm the party girl because I talk a lot and am very friendly. Ashton is the mommy figure - the responsible one. Ugh. Maybe I should just stop talking to everyone. 

My bike apparently sucks at life. My lights won't work because the battery is already dead, and my tire is flat. (That's why it hurt so bad to cycle today. Ugh.)

The weather was pretty today, and it's supposed to get warmer towards the end of the week. 

Lazy moment of the day: I planned on taking a 30 min nap (because I'm just so tired for some reason) and ended up sleeping through my ZUMBA class. I also just stayed in bed for a while and waited until later to do my ab workout and pushups. 

I'm off to read before I go to sleep...

Sunday, February 14, 2010


1. Open School Day - 9:30-12:30
*Open School Day is when the school tries to persuade perspective students to choose our school for their secondary education* Every subject had a room, and teachers decorated it to make it more appealing. I was with the English teachers, and the parents loved the idea of having an American student teacher in the classroom. :) I even spoke to some parents and students in English - one talked to me in Dutch, and I got to practice what I knew. It was awesome. After 12:30, there were food, wine, and drinks for the teacher. Calvijn definitely takes good care of their teachers. (Also, I've been telling everyone I talked to and meet that I'm looking for a teaching position.) 

2. Oud-Beijerland - the whole day and night
*Oud-Beijerland is called a village and one of the teachers I worked with invited me over to meet her family and have dinner with them. Amazing family + amazing food + religious = awesome time. We went to the center to go food shopping and show me around. Then, my teacher cooked Romanian food (she's Romanian married to a Dutch man, and they have precious kids!) She got me to try out a lot of new things like old cheese, French cheese, and healthy Dutch snacks. (I'm definitely bringing some back home to the US.) We talked a lot about education issues, God, and life in general. I stayed until 11:30pm just talking with them. It was such a great time. 

*NOTE* For Lent this year, I want to have a better relationship with God and to try and live the life that he wants me to live. I finally found the support system that I've been needing. I'm scared and excited at the same time. :)

Sunday: Whoa!
1. Original plan: work out, church, grocery shopping, carnival

2. What actually happened: work out, church, hung out with new people, grocery shopping, carnival

3. New people - Filipinos - I don't want to jump into conclusions or make any assumptions, but I seriously think that I just hung out with two former prostitutes and their pimp. He was called Big Daddy. Whoa. The lady I met at church answered my question of "why the Netherlands?" by saying "well, you know how the stories go." The only story I've heard about Filipinos here are that a lot moved here because of prostitution. *holds breath*

4. The food they gave me was good, though. Hahahahah. I miss Filipino food. 

5. Ashton and I went to Breda for the Carnival for the experience, and it was crazy!!!! Lots of costumes, floats, people, beer, and confetti everywhere on the streets! I would hate to be the one to clean up...I did partake in the parade which was awesome!!

This was my weekend in a nut shell. Good stuff, and definitely the most interesting Valentine's Day ever...and I got a cute email from the one I love most. :)

By the way, I think I'm adding Romania in my list of countries to visit. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


I ate raw herring today rolled in onions. 

The weather today was absolutely beautiful! The sun was out, the skies were clear, and the snow was starting to melt. I cycled to school - and it was really nice. 

I was at school for a while working on my lesson plans for next week because I'm taking over all of the classes for both my mentor teacher and the other teacher I'm working with. It's going to be a really busy week but I'm coming up with lesson plans that hopefully will motivate the students to work. 

I had individual meetings with different students, and I was a little worried that they might not show up, BUT they did! The two Turkish girls that I'm working with showed up at 11 and we worked for an hour. They took this pretest for me so that I could see what needed work. I also set up a penpal for them with my brothers. My two little brothers are 18 and 16 - same age as the girls. They were really excited to be contacting someone in America. 

Also, the guy from my 5th year also showed up! He's having problems with subject-verb agreement, so I've been giving him exercises to work on. I thought that he would want to work on it together so that he didn't have anything to do during the weekend, but he wanted to work on it over the weekend! I was impressed. I did tell him that I wanted to sit down with him and go over some things with him. :)

Anyways, about the raw herring - one of the caretakers of the school thought it would be nice to buy me raw herring since I told him I wanted to try it. I wanted to take my time with trying the raw herring - meaning I was not ready for it, but since he brought it to school, I couldn't say no! I was so scared and nervous...but I actually liked it! The teachers were impressed. :) However, I did smell like fish and onions the rest of the day. 

I also helped out with setting up for Open School Day on Saturday - it's a way to persuade new students to choose our school for their secondary school. I put up posters with English words that the 1st years did, and put proverbs around the school that had Dutch translation as well. I talked to one of the English teachers and he said that if I was serious about working in Holland, I need to meet with the Ministry of Education in De Haage while I'm here to see what all I can and should do to be able to teach here. I will definitely be doing that while I'm here. 

I realized that I cycle two miles back and forth to school so 4 miles everyday. :) I also lift weights everyday for 30 min, do cardio (hour of ZUMBA, 2.81 miles on treadmill), and been doing ab workout twice a day. I really want a toned body, if you couldn't tell. My diet is a lot healthier as well, which excites me. (Don't worry, I do take at least a day off from working out for rest.)

Oh yeah, I had a bad dream about Ant again. :( It makes me really sad that all of my dreams about him are bad, never good. Then again, they are just dreams right?

I have a busy weekend ahead of me - lots of hard work and of course, lots of play as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Quotes of the day:
"That's the American way..."
"Well, Americans..."
"Here are the hungry Americans..."

Btw, Ashton and I are on the school's website, and it says in the end of the paragraph that our English isn't the preferred British English but the American English. Whoa. 

What's up with that?!

i had a really long day today. 7:35 - 5:00. My 4th years received their new literature book today, and started on a poem. One of my 4th years gave me his dialogue journal - that makes 7! I'm so excited about it! I taught my 5h3 class over Mix -n- Match article. We had a chalk talk and an awesome discussion about mixed races and interracial dating. It was awesome. However, the students weren't motivated to answer the questions, sadly enough.

Funny story: One of my students is Filipino and she knows Tagalog. Well, there's this other student who is outspoken in the class, and he said "Maganda ka" which means "you're pretty" in Tagalog. I blushed like a teenager because the last person who said that to me was my ex-bf, and it completely caught me off guard. 

I also taught the 1st years today who needed help. We did Find Someone Who and Charades. It was fun. I also picked up another project: teaching two 4th year Turkish girls English grammar. They will meet with me at least three times a week, and both are very excited about learning English, which makes me really happy. 

Today, my mentor teacher and I talked for a long time. It seemed as if we hadn't had a chance to really sit down and talk. She gave me Dutch/Indonesian recipes that I have to try - so excited about cooking! 

My mentor teacher wants me to work with a group of students with their English from the 4th year class - which is completely fine by me. :) 

I'm also working with this 5th year student with his grammar, and I think he finally knows that I do care and want to help him. He's paying more attention in class and participating. I love it! I wish I could have taken a picture of the chalk talk today. It was great. 

Problem of the day:
Most students have lost motivation to do their school work - or at least in my English classes. There is no reward system here like in the US, and so students just don't want to do anything. My mentor teacher and I talked about possibly incorporating some kind of small rewards for the students to get them motivated - and I was talking to the other teacher I work with about this. Another teacher butted in and started saying "Well in America, that's how you do it. This is Netherlands. Competition will make mean people." Of course, I said nothing. I told her I understood where she was coming from but she kept saying how the reward system is the "American" way - but other countries do it too...

There was also a parent information meeting today for students who are interested in attending our school. Ashton and I arrived at 7:30pm for dinner when dinner was at 5pm. Whoops. We got left over though! Chinese/Indonesian food. :)

Instead of seeing the presentation, the janitors kept us occupied in their office by talking to us and entertaining us. Anto, who is an amazing man, cycled from Rotterdam to Paris! AH! He doesn't have a license and he's been cycling since forever. 

When we finally caught up with my overseas coordinator, the presentation is over and the individual meetings started - all in Dutch. We talked to one of the English teachers, and asked him about applying for a job. He also told us that teachers get 14 paychecks a year - a bonus during Christmas and one in May (for vacation money). Whoa right?! He told me that I would have to learn Dutch to be able to teach and get my teaching certificate approved by the Ministry of Education here in Rotterdam. I swear, if they offer me a job, i will learn Dutch as quick as possible. 

...I have hope. We'll see. I also contacted Macon County for a job. Ugh. I'm missing out on teacher fairs and such!

V-Day is coming up....I'm dragging Ashton with me to Maastricht to attend the carnival during V-Day - kind of like Mardi Gras in the US. 

I'm ready to start traveling. One more week until Paris and Barcelona with the roomie! YAY!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Funny moment of the day: I was riding the tram and this lady walked up to me and started talking to me in Dutch. I'm so tired of telling people that I don't speak Dutch so I just went along with it. She laughed and I laughed and nodded my head. It was quite amusing. Ashton was laughing her butt off. 

So today was uneventful. 

1. There's snow outside!
2. Took the tram to school because Ashton talked me into it. 
3. Made a checklist - everything is checked off except portfolio
4. Looked up awesome posters that could be printed out. 
5. Got home and took a nap. 
6. Woke up and started working on my portfolio! Yay. 
7. Talked to Danielle. 
8. ZUMBA! And weights! Btw, zumba is amazing - it amazes me how older women are willing to shake their hips and do the whole popping dance moves. I love it!
9. Been eating good dinner the last couple of days. 
10. Finally booked my trip to Athens, Greece! How exciting!
11. Organized my life. 

European countries that I'm planning on visiting:
1. France
2. Spain
3. Italy
4. Greece
5. Ireland
6. Germany
7. Poland

European countries that I've already visited:
1. United Kingdom
2. The Netherlands
3. Belgium

.....I think I might want to go to one more country.
Austria or Czech? I love having options!

Summer 2010 plans:
1. Vegas
2. International Student Volunteer - I want to volunteer in Ecuador for a month! (also to learn Spanish)
3. Take online courses so I can travel! - Start on Spanish classes!
4. Try and get a minor in something.
5. Possibly work at McDonalds again? Eh, probably not, but we'll see.


Teaching is like a rollercoaster - there are high points and low points - but it's never boring. Everyday is different, and I love it. 

Monday, I had one of my days but Tuesday was absolutely one of the greatest days I've had. Granted, I did work with a different group on Tuesday - I was with the younger groups, and I just remembered again why I loved teaching. 

One of the teachers I worked with had to substitute a 2nd year math class, and she wanted me to introduce myself to them. I had so much fun talking to them, and the class enjoyed my sense of humor. 

Some of the questions that I was asked today:
1. Are you going to Amsterdam to go smoke weed?
2. Are there a lot of hookers in America?
3. What kind of boys do you like? 
4. How old are you? (I always tell them to guess b/c normally students say 18, which I love, but this time someone said 28...whoa.)
5. Are you rich?

We had such a lively discussion. It was soo much fun talking to them. 

**Note** When someone is a substitute, normally they are in the classroom and the teacher leaves an assignment or whatever. Here, you do watch the students but there is no work. The substitute has to find something for them to do. This 2nd year class that I visited was a math class, yet we worked on English. Ha. 

Also, this teacher found out that two teachers from the English department are quitting (including my mentor teacher) and she told me that I needed to take over one of the spots and work there. That's pretty awesome that she thinks that. I really want to, but I think me not knowing Dutch is a huge problem. 

Remember when I wrote about the English program that I'm working on with a teacher after school? Well, apparently our letter has already been distributed to teachers, but they still haven't told their students about it. The teacher and I wanted to personally invite students to come after school for help, but my overseas coordinator opposed the idea and wanted the teachers to do it. It's so frustrating when we're doing so much work and nobody wants to take advantage. Ugh. 

I taught one of my pronunciation classes today as well. Before we started, I got the students to make name plates so I can start remembering their names. I just started teaching this class so the students are new to me. We worked on /th/ - voiced and voiceless..../sh/ /wh/ /ch/. They took notes on their foldables, sang a song with me, practiced, and played bingo! It was fun. The students were so attentive. 

I started my dialogue journals today too with my 4th years. I only have 6 students participating right now, which is completely fine by me b/c I think all 28 students might be too much work. I also talked to the Spanish teacher and she will be giving me a list of things to do in Barcelona! 

My bicycle light won't work anymore, and I don't know why. I ate a ridiculous amount of french fries and mayo - their mayo here is totally different. 

And, Stevon and I are having a hard time booking a flight to Alghero, Italy in Sardinia...our cards won't work and we don't know why. It's so frustrating. As long as we have rome to go to, I think we'll be fine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Netherbusted - Ha

Story of my life: can't tell a lie worth a crap

Everyone is so liberal here. Goodness....I kinda like it. 

Anyways - Monday: I was having one of those days. Just didn't want to put up with the students' ridiculous behaviors. I was so upset that the students aren't giving me the time of day to pay attention or pretend to be interested. I'm incorporating all the fun things that I've learned to do, but my students just don't have the motivation or the determination to work hard - well some of them anyways. Am I doing something wrong?

I checked some essays - and several students didn't even finish when they had 75 min to do the essays! And it was about interesting topics (increasing drinking age, use of condoms leading to irresponsible behavior, sports participation keep teens out trouble, and age in relationships)....or so I thought.

I had a venting out with Ashton - she makes me smile. I seriously don't know what I would do without her. I also talked to my mom and she's hilarious. She knows how to make me feel better. I've finally figured out what I'm doing with my relationship/ex-relationship. 

I went to the gym and did ZUMBA - how nice it is to shake your hips and feel good about being able to. Ha. 

Oh! And I booked my trip to Rome, Italy! Stevon and I decided it was too expensive to go to Athens, Greece so instead we're flying out to Sardinia for a couple of days. It's like a romantic getaway except with a gay guy. I'm sure we can make it romantic somehow. Ha. I'm super excited! 

My aunt and uncle are the greatest - they sent me a care package full of food! So my dinner is covered for a week or so, at least. :) And it's so nice to have the instructions in English. My mom sent me an email with two recipes that I can cook - I have to start cooking, for real. 

The temperature is dropping. It's cold. It's supposed to snow later this week. :(

Sunday, February 7, 2010


So best weekend yet. :)

* watched Manila Skies - a Filipino movie - wanted to start speaking Tagalog again
* did laundry (finally! after a month of rewearing everything...ha) I absolutely love doing laundry....
* worked out (30 min of cardio and 30 min of getting my swole on)
* grocery shopping (more bread and cheese! ha)
* ate french fries with mayo and chocolate with the best roomie - best combination - :)
* cycled to town with a skirt and heels on (shake your head if you knew this was a bad idea, b/c I didn't even think about it - results = hahahaha)
* Coffee Shop Nemo - tried a "Snow White" - coolest place ever - we were in an aquarium!
*  Plan C - finally! after being so eek about it b/c the outside looked a little sketch - 3 drinks for the price of 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! talk about someone who was really happy
* retired at 12 - cycled home - another bad idea - could've died
* got home and decided to order pizza - closed before we could order - went to the other restaurant
* didn't realize it was 12 and restaurant stopped serving food
* owner was drunk and welcomed us! also showed us a dead pig - raw ----- EW.
* owner got the servants to cook us food - hahaha - for free!!!!! and we got hot chocolate!
* hallucinated that my hair tie was pearl earrings that i couldn't manage to lose while i was sleeping
* had a really bad dream about Anthony --- ugh

Overall: Successful! Didn't get to dance, but def found a hot spot. :)

* church at 10:30 - priest talked forever - meaning 25 minutes plus lighted seven candles and talked about each - all in Dutch - I just wanted to give money during collection and get my communion
* had to leave church early b/c couldn't miss the train to Utrecht
* really tired...cycled really fast home - realized that i'm a better driver than a cyclist - i've almost killed myself along with others
* cycled to Rotterdam Centraal and bought tickets  to Utrecht and got rid of all my coins! yay!
* finally got to Utrecht and walked around - stores were open b/c it was the first Sunday of the month - rest of Sundays, stores are closed
* loved the atmosphere - 60 roses for sale for 5 euros - whoa
* grabbed hot chocolate at a cafe that used to be a hidden Catholic church - still had pipes for organ, a statue of Virgin Mary, etc.
* dinner at my overseas coordinator - amazing food - apple pie with ice cream for dessert
* talked about WWII
* made a friend!!!!!!!!

The End. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I keep forgetting to write every night. Ugh. 

Thursday: I taught my other 5th year class about argumentative essays, and I was very impressed with the lively discussion we had with some of the most controversial topics. The other 5th year class participated but not as much as this one. My activity - four corners - turned into a discussion that was amazing. I love that class! For my 4th years, they had a literature test over the different things that they've been reading. My mentor teacher reviewed with them the different terms they needed to know - and basically gave them the answers. You would think they'd do well, but no. Almost none of them studied - one of the students told me that he had a religion test so he studied for that one instead. I'm a bit frustrated because these students won't give me or my mentor teacher a chance to get them interested in English. They underestimate the English language and say that it is easy, but they have so many problems. For my other 5th year class, we gave them back their argumentative essays with comments and suggestions. One student used "bullshit" and others contradicted themselves. The level of English was just a bit frustrating. One student had problems with subject and verb agreement, and I promised to help him. I'm doing everything I can to show them that I care about them learning, and I'm not giving up on them. One of the students was absent that day and I have to come up with a good deal for him to write an essay at home. It's ridiculous how they refuse to do homework - and I can't force them. 

Anyways, on the bright side, I booked my Ireland trip! I'm officially going to Ireland for my birthday weekend ALONE! The thought makes me nervous but so excited about visiting Europe by myself. Today is our two week mark until Paris and Barcelona!

I also had to babysit for the American woman that I met. Her and her husband went to a concert. She has two daughters, 6 and 8...and they were hard to put to bed. It reminded me exactly why i DON'T babysit. I can handle kids I know, but kids I don't know is another story. Ugh. My roommate came with me and she knew how to handle little kids so she took over most of the time. Thank God the girls were scared of her. Ha. It was our first night also to eat junk food! The American woman took out snacks for us. We didn't get paid - instead we got a box of Belgium chocolates - better than money. :)

Good news! I emailed the assistant principal (ex-teacher at my high school) of SCMS and told him that I was interested in working for their school. He told me to send a cover letter, resume, and application. I really want this job so I can be closer to my family. 

Bad news: I didn't work out today. :(

Friday: Took forever for me to wake up. I went to go watch another movie - Ante. It's a Filipino film in Tagalog and I was soooo happy that I could still understand everything they were saying. The movie was a little bit over an hour, and it wasn't bad. I guess I just suck at criticizing. Ha. But I did go through another part of the city that I've never been in so that was exciting! There are so many theaters in Rotterdam! 

When I got home, I cleaned up my room and organized my life. :) Then, my roommate and I went to school. I had a checklist to do, and I checked off most of it besides starting on my portfolio. It's taking me forever to start on my portfolio. Ugh. Anyways, I worked on my cover letter, resume, and the application. I also worked on my resume online. I'm trying to apply to as many school as possible. I've decided to stay home for 2 years and later try and teach abroad. 

I also booked my Germany trip over Easter break, and Poland trip for another weekend. My original plan was to do both over Easter break, but the transportation to Poland was insanely high. All I want to do is visit Auschwitz, so I just decided to dedicate a full weekend for Auschwitz. :)

My mom had a test today. I hope she did well. I've been talking to my parents a lot. I miss them...and my dog. 

Oh, and I tried to do laundry for the first time and the washer took two of my coins. I was pissed to say the least. I wrote an email of complaint to the company that owns the building asking for a refund and how they should have a "not working" sign on the washer. Ugh. I really don't like this all.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I woke up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy. :)

- cycled to school to get some more work done
- had a meeting with my overseas coordinator about the school
- paid my expensive rent
- talked to one of the teachers about the film festival
- looked up trips to Ireland...will book it within two days
- bought another movie ticket - VAHO - Mexican film for the night at 10:30
- pretty, pretty, pretty day!
- cycled home to mope about not having a job yet
- freaked out about possibly not having a job when I get home, ate like 5 slices of bread with peanut butter - ugh
- called my mom so she could calm me down
- Zumba!!
- bought laundry tickets - can only buy 5 at a time - washer for .90 and dryer for .25 - both machines are in Dutch and very tiny!
- don't recommend the building I'm living in, we pay way too much for rent - the location is great, but totally not worth it
- VAHO: interesting movie, but way too long - 2 hours
- my mentor teacher was right, the atmosphere of the film festival in the heart of rotterdam was amazing - lots of drinks and food :)
- filled in most of the paperwork I needed to get done


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Today, I looked hot.

The end.


Wait? What? You're not satisfied with that? Ok, fine.

1. I looked hot.
2. I wore amazing shoes. (The teachers and students complimented my shoes.)
3. I looked hot.

Ugh. Fine.

1. It was rainy, so my roommate and I didn't cycle - Thank God because there was ice everywhere and we would have busted our booties.
2. I graded the argumentative essays, and it was interesting to say the least. I had to grade according to this - grammar, repetition, and not contradicting. Whoa, right? I'm all about the content so it was very hard for me to turn that switch off.
3. I taught the 1st years today! Pronunciation - it was great. The other teacher I work with told me an hour before class that I needed to teach two lessons today and not one- and it got really hectic really fast. I was a bit stressed because I left my stuff at home but I conquered and my lesson was a success!
4. I sang to my class - another Whoa moment for me!
5. My mentor teacher cancelled her two out of three classes today. So short day for me!
6. I've been doing this ab workout thing twice a day now, and hopefully by the time Stevon gets here, I'll have a toned stomach so I can get an awesome tattoo. The tattoo is a reward for myself.
7. I'm planning a trip to Ireland by myself for my birthday present! It's exciting to know that it will only cost $300 to visit another country - transportation, hostel, and dublin pass card included. Whoa, right?
8. I went to the gym today and did 3o min of awesome cardio and pumped up the rest of the time. :)
9. I cycled to and from the gym and got attacked by rain and wind. I had to keep telling myself that I'm having fun in the rain. Ha.
10. Duffy had a vet appointment today to make sure he tests negative for heart worms and to get medicine! I miss my puppy.
11. Shout out to my parents: They are amazing. I told my dad that since I don't have a bf anymore, I'm just gonna call him all the time now. Ha.
12. I'm getting a haircut soon - or a trim - or I dunno,
13. I played catch up with my friends today! How exciting!
14. I have a new nickname from the students - Toni Montana - great. They know my first name. Ugh.
15. My roommate and I listened to old songs. Actually I listened while she sang. Thank God for an awesome roommate.
16. I bought one movie ticket so that I can finally say that I did participate in the International Film Festival in Rotterdam.
17. I paid my bills!
18. I tried to call this dance center so I can take Modern Jazz Dance classes, but our communication lacked understanding. :(
19. Tomorrow is going to be pretty. I'm excited to be outside and cycling! Yay!
20. I really need to start taking pictures daily. Goodness.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Today is my one month anniversary with Rotterdam! How exciting right?!

Stupid moment of the day: 
Get excited about goodies in the teachers' workroom, ask one of the teachers if he brought it, and happily ate the goodies....without wishing him a Happy Birthday. Ugh.

Lately, I've been having such a hard time getting up in the morning. I'm so sore from all the working out, and my bed isn't the most comfortable thing in the world. I cycled to school this morning, and ended up sweating by the time I arrived there. I haven't been layering as much either. I guess I'm getting used to the weather! Yay!

I arrived to school at 8, and just printed things out for my next class. My 8:15 class was canceled due to a German listening exam. So for my 9:30 class, I had the chance to review Thursday and get the students writing an argumentative essay! It was hard to motivate them at first because their work will not be graded, but I finally encouraged some of the guys to start writing. :) My mentor teacher complimented my presence in the classroom - how the students are only 4 years younger than me but I still get their attention and respect like a teacher. :)

Now I just have to look at the papers and make suggestions. The essays were very basic, and grammar is what really matters, not the content or style. Since English is a foreign language, writings don't have to be in-depth or amazingly structured. They do all that fun stuff in Dutch classes. So I have to turn off my what more can you do with this paper switch and turn on just my grammar switch. We'll see how it goes.
My 12:20 class (which is only 20 mins long), I am in charge of coming up with little activities to practice their verbal skills. Today, I introduced dialogue journals and made them sign a contract saying they abide by my rules and expectations with the dialogue journals. I'm hoping it will be as successful as I'm thinking. We'll see, I guess. 

My 1:55 class is the same as my 12:20 class, but we read from the WASP report about Skateboarding in Kabul. It was very interesting for me since I just finished reading the Kite Runner which was all about Afghanistan. I love all the reading that I'm capable of doing now, since I do have plenty of time. I'm starting on Bridget Jones's Diary tonight. :) Since I only bought two books to read, I'm checking out books from the library!

I cycled home with my mentor teacher and she took me to this bike route that was really nice and relaxing. Then we parted our ways. I talked to my parents today, and it was really good to hear their voice. I was upset about a couple of things, but I didn't allow myself to be too angry. I love and miss my parents like crazy. 

Then, I cycled to my gym and did Zumba!!! It was a great workout and I couldn't help but laugh at this lady who was beside me. She just couldn't get the rhythm or the moves so she just did her own thing. It was hilarious to watch. There's also this girl that works there who seems so interested in me, I'm guessing because I'm American? I'll approach her next time and see if we can be besties. Ha. I can never say no to new besties. 

Anyways off to bed I go. :)