Time Out

I have needed to do this for a long time, but better late then never. 

Tomorrow I will have 200 + students moving through room #2 at Frost Middle School, and in light of that huge time commitment and the blessing of having Katy in town my blog is taking a break.  No great loss, I know.  For some reason I will feel better if this is a quote “official timeout” as opposed to me simply ignoring my blog.  I hope to be back sometime in the not to distant future, but that is all for now.

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Gainful Employment

By God’s grace I have been offered and accepted a teaching position at Robert Frost Middle School.  I had the interview on Monday and was offered the job yesterday.  It is an 8th grade position and I am very excited.

Some of the reasons I am excited:

1. After 17 years of school I have a real job … at a school.

2.Everything I have heard and all of my personal interaction points to this school being an excellent school for both the teachers and the students.

3. I will be teaching 8th grade.  8th graders are a lot of fun, and I love the curriculum.  US History from the nation’s founding up too right before WWI.

4. The school is close and has trees … if you live in Stevensons ranch where nothing is more the 10 years old … tall trees are very cool.

5. The schools mascot is the Timber Wolf. Always been one of my favorite animals – absolutely and undeniably cool. Never underestimate the power of a good mascot.

6. Last and finally I have a peace that only comes from knowing that God is leading.  Being turned down for two jobs was a great learning experience, and was a reminder that while I need to work hard and be prepared ultimately nothing happens outside of God’s grace.

… better late then never …

Not sure if two times in a row counts as being stuck in a rut, but looking back over my blogging it looks as if I have slipped into a blog after each time I see Katy rhythm.  Not sure how her moving to CA will impact this trend yet.  Only time will tell. 

I just got back from PA on Saturday morning … after going seven weeks without seeing each other the twelve day trip was a true blessing.  Now that I am back in CA and looking back the trip I am amazed at the number of things that we were able to do over the time that I was there.  Here are a few highlights.

1. Emerging from the visit a perfect 2-0 in UNO Attack with the second game being an especially dramatic comefrombehind victory.

2. I was able to take part in the every couple of years Heinle Family bike trip.  I had been playing basketball and spending some quality time on the elliptical machine before heading back in preparation for the trip but I can speak with complete conviction that basketball and the elliptical machine are two entirely different muscle groups.  The trip went along the C&O canal (think back to your US history class when you learned about the canal building era and the teacher talked about the importance of the Eire Canal … well the C&O canal probably got a sidebar at that point).  The trip is almost entirely flat except for the periodical down hill that the Locks provide.  The miserable soreness of my backside was easily eclipsed fun that we had along the way.  Fun events included flicking a very angry rattle snake off the path, seeing the Antietam battlefield, watching Katy try and run over a groundhog, and seeing undeniable proof that my girlfriend could kick my butt in a bike race.

3. We were able to make a quick run to Canada and Niagara falls over Memorial day weekend.  We didn’t have long there, due to time constraints, but I completely understand why everyone goes to visit.  What I do not understand is why in the world anyone would want to try and go over the top in a barrel…

4. Gettysburg … if you have the chance go.  It is an incredibly sobering visit.  Nothing was quite as sobering as looking at the hill that Pickett’s charge took place on. That charge was categoricly insane.   I think time spent at places like Gettysburg is well spent.  So much of our lives are centered around what we need, or what we want.  A place like Gettysburg is a mandatory confrontation with the fact that there are people who believe in things that are bigger then themselves. 

Those four points don’t even begin to cover all the things that took place over the time in PA, but they do give a little glimpse.  It was hard to come back especially hard to say goodbye, but as I learn each day God is good all the time.  Right now I am back in SCV looking for a job.  I had an interview this morning and am hoping to maybe line some more up for next week.  If you think about it I would appreciate prayer that God will lead me to the right job.

Spring Break in PA

Well I guess life is back to “normal” now.  Last week (two weeks ago now) was my spring break and I had the privilege and joy of spending it in Bedford PA and the surrounding area.  It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with Katy and her family.  It was the first time that I met her family and you often hear horror stories of such situations my version of meet the parents was wonderful.  I was able to get to know both her parents and six of her eight siblings.  In spite of having to fight off a cold and some less the pleasant weather (it snowed for four of the days) it was a great trip! It provided me with context and I am finding that being able to picture the location or know the person she is talking about makes the distance seem much less. A huge blessing in a long distance relationship.

 A few highlights:

1. I spent three of the days hanging out at Hebrews Coffee shop.  Katy works there so the days that she had to work I went and hung out.  If business was slow, she was able to come and sit at my table. It was a joy to see where Katy works and meet her “regulars.”  Aside from the amazing employees the coffee shop serves a great cup of coffee and is a great location so if you are in the area it is worth your time to stop by.

2.  Bedford is a small town, and is a subtle change from LA.  People walk places here.  Spending time here has made it apparent how much So Cal’s culture is focused on appearance.  To put it simply people here don’t care as much.  I didn’t hear or see a single plastic surgery add the whole time I was there.  It was refreshing. 

3. On Sunday I had an unexpected bonus to my trip.  I was able to visit the Flight 93 memorial.  I knew that the plane went down in PA, but I was I didn’t know how close it was to Bedford. What a sobering moment and invaluable reminder of the passengers’ sacrificial actions.

4. It was great to get to know the Heinle family.  I spent time playing (usually loosing) Uno, being interviewed, watching TMNT and eating ice cream.  Did you know how many types of Uno there are? I was introduced to two new types of Uno on my trip, Uno attack and Uno spin. 

5. Then of course there is the biggest highlight, spending time with Katy.

Bowling in Altoona (an aside: How did I pull this off?)

In an interview

One 1/3 of the Heinle siblings

 Flight 93

Dunkin Donuts in Altoona

Long overdue list of thankfullness.

Well there are so many things to be thankful for but I think I am going to write about a couple of them.

 1. Most of you know this but by now, but the Lord has blessed me with an amazing girlfriend.  Her name is Katy Heinle and we have been dating for almost two months now.  I am amazed at the way the Lord has lead over the last few months, He is so faithful.  The catch is that Katy lives in PA.  The distance definitely been hard at times but God has been so good, she was able to visit for a week this month and I will be able to visit at the beginning of next month.  Even all the way in PA Katy is a blessing from the Lord and I am thankful the Lord brought her into my life. 

  Our “First” DateHaving fun 

2. I am about two months away from getting my credential and being declared a teacher by the State of California.  I entered the year excited about the program and looking foreword to what the Lord would teach me through it, but not convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that I wanted to be a teacher.  Now I am emerging with a peace about being a teacher.  The more I teach the more I like it.  It isn’t always easy, in-fact it rarely is but so far it has all been worth it.  I am even enjoying JH, something I never anticipated. The Lord has blessed me with a career that I am very excited about.

 3. The third blessing that I am listing (this is by no means and exhaustive list) is how much of a blessing it has been to have my family in the country.  It is a gift from the Lord to be able to have my parents on speed dial, in the same time zone, and only a 2.25 hr – 4 hr drive away depending on traffic. 

 I am truly blessed! A poem that my mom has on our bathroom mirror says it the best.

Though He has given so much to me,

Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;

Not thankful when it pleases me,

As if they blessings had spare days,

But such a heart whose pulse may be thy praise.

-George Herbert

Combo Blog … like a combo meal … but its a blog

First of all student teaching stepped up to the next level.  I am now teaching five periods a day and using my own lesson plans.  I love it.  Teaching has definitely introduced me to a whole new level of tired though.  Five periods of lecture and you are ready to crawl into a fetal position for 2.7 days.  The best way to understand it is to think of it as a performance (for my sake/reputation please picture an athletic performance).    An interactive one, but a performance none the less.  Each period goes differently and has totaly different personalities.  By the end of the day I am the tiredest and it is the hardest to speak clearly but by that time I know how to explain things the best and have developed the best explanations so there is a give and take. The best part of the day is the middle (5th and 6th period) One thing is for sure teaching is never, ever, ever, ever dull.

 Second. You know who is a genius … the guy who brought sticker technology to the stamp industry.  A sticker that I don’t have lick is  879 times better then one that I have to lick because it helps me avoid the long lasting aftertaste of glue (thank you Barbro). 

 This lame combo meal/blog only has two items … think of it as a budget combo blog.

Student Teaching

Well I haven’t blogged in a long time.   I am now three weeks into student teaching and hearing things like “Mr. Dalton can I go to the bathroom.” After these three weeks I can honestly say that I think I am going to love it.  Everyday there is at least one thing that makes me laugh so hard.  Never really sure when or where it will come from but without fail the moment  shows up. 

On Friday I lectured for five straight periods on Gandhi’s Salt march and it’s significance in India’s movement towards independence.  I only had one studnet fall asleep out of about 185 students so not so bad.  Can I just say that I was SO tired that I when I made it home I crawled straight into bed and slept for two hours.  Maybe I need teaching roids or something – can some one get to work on that – but I was so tired that by seventh period I was misreading complex words such as “the.”

I really enjoyed it though.  It absolutely makes it worth it when a student makes a connection – when all of a sudden they understand.  I pray that through my time there they will continue to learn about history, but I will also be able to learn about life truths.  I pray that the Lord will grant me wisdom as I teach the material. 

Well that about sums it up for now.