Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's happening here

Okay, not much. Same old same old. That could be one reason why I haven't written. Also, if any of you are friends with me on Facebook, you could use your deductive reasoning about how I said I beat Final Fantasy XII to realize where all my free time has gone. To playing video games. Stinking, time-wasting video games. It's sad. Okay, but school for me got out early and it was just the month of December that I wasted. And I visited family and did stuff and lost a little weight, so I don't feel too bad about it. I just don't want to relapse again. It doesn't help that Adam encourages me. I do like to please him. :-)

Our status quo is that: Adam is in his first year, second semester of law school at Washington University in St. Louis. (I say in St. Louis because people would THINK we were in Washington State or Washington D.C. - it helps nip any misunderstandings in the bud, and that's what teaching is all about.) He is enjoying his classes, although it snowed a whole lot yesterday and he had to trudge through a lot of unshoveled sidewalks today in his sneakers. He said it felt like trudging through deep snow, uphill, both ways. And then he laughed at his hyperbole. Or sounding like someone's grandfather.

When Adam isn't in school or here reading, studying, or working on assignments, he is putting on fun shows for us to watch like 30 Rock on Hulu, or The Office, or Netflix movies piped from our laptop to our new flatscreen*, and then he plays video games like old school Final Fantasy, or sometimes The Political Machine 2008. He also cooks for us when I'm not feeling up to it. It's very nice. :-)

Today I picked up two baby shower gifts at Babies-R-Us. It was the first time I had set foot in the store and it made me a little scared about having babies. Not too scared, but it gave me a lot to think about. I didn't realize that babies needed soooo much stuff, and I feel like I should already start getting all the free and cheap baby stuff I can pick up. And I could kick myself for already passing up the chance for a free stroller. The people next door had set theirs outside with a sign that said "Free." Grrrr. And we have some space where I could just store it for a bit. I'm hoping we can start a family when my student teaching is done or after (or during) my first year of teaching, that I hope happens as soon as this August. I am starting to get more and more interested in babies, and it's about time I had some of my own.

I couldn't believe all the things that Babies-R-Us had. Aside from the obvious - strollers, cribs, carseats, bottles, clothes, blankets, diapers, books, toys, breast pumps - there were also mattress pads, fitted mattress sheets, mattress pad covers, changing stations, changing station covers, all kinds of bedding, pack-and-plays, pads for the pack-and-plays, it was exhausting. And I couldn't believe how much everything costs!!!! I would need to take out a loan just to get my baby the "necessities."

Onto something more pleasant, I am almost done with my Master's program at Drexel U. I am enrolled in two classes this quarter, and I have two more classes to take next quarter at the same time I do my student teaching. I'll be teaching at Ladue High School, a great high school in the area. My cooperating teachers are two physics teachers at the school. I'll most likely be with one for the morning classes and then another for the afternoon classes, something like that. It will be great to see the two teaching styles and be able to find my own style in the classroom. I should have my Master in June. :-) Wow, that is really coming up close. Okay, I'm sorry, I feel like this is all I ever talk about these days, but it is what is going on for me. I also temp for a nice temp agency and have been placed at Missouri American Water Company twice and it has been a very enjoyable work experience.

Today one of my Drexel classes met in a virtual classroom and quite a few of the students could participate. We were using Wimba. I was feeling especially techie and not only had my microphone hooked up for comments, but my webcam was also up and running. It was really fun. We talked about our class projects called Action Plans that help us incorporate technology seamlessly into our lesson plans. We also discussed Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, an extension of the regular taxonomy which focuses on higher-order thinking and critical thinking skills.

*Sidenote: Our biggest news is probably that we got a flatscreen a few weeks after Christmas. Adam found an amazing deal on the Internet at that we just couldn't pass up. Adam was pleased because has such a great return policy that if there was a problem with the flatscreen it could be easily remedied.

Back to babies, I think that our downstairs neighbors are going to kill us when we have kids. I'm not even sure what the housing policy is like - maybe we'll get kicked out of this building if/when we have kids, because of all the noise that emanates from a crying baby's mouth. But thinking about evidence, some of our neighbors in the next building (owned by Quadrangle, our same housing company) have kids (the very same folks that gave away their stroller) and I'm pretty sure that our contracts are exact. Our neighbors already hate us though, due to our creaking floors without a lot of padding. Our windows also have pretty big cracks underneath. Often we can hear whatever is going on outside or in the building next to ours, conversations, etc. And we know that translates so that people outside or nearby can hear whatever we are saying or doing. It's annoying because it's not our FAULT but we are getting blamed for everything! Our neighbors are so rude anyway, every time they think we are being noisy they hit their ceiling - our floor - very loudly with a broom handle or something. I tip-toe everywhere at night now. I even realized that I am doing it without even thinking about it. Surprisingly, I NEVER had neighbors this crochety at BYU. Or anywhere!

Something funny: So of course, we were being "too loud" by our neighbors standards, and we hear quite a few knocks while we're trying to watch something on, and we keep turning the volume down so that even we can barely hear what the actors are saying, and the show just doesn't make that much sense that way... :-( Finally the husband comes upstairs to ask us to be quiet. He comes up here and I would normally comply and be polite, but I am just too annoyed and demoralized to be nice anymore. So I roll my eyes and just comment how poorly the floors are insulated in a gruff voice. Adam is being nice. So the husband is like, "Do you guys have a subwoofer?" We even let him poke around. We of course DON'T have a subwoofer, we show him how sissy our computer speakers are and that we DON'T have surround sound for our t.v., yet again a case of woosy speakers. He even takes a few steps toward the speakers, looks confused and says, "Well where is that low bass sound coming from?" I wanted to say your crazy mind, but I let him put two and two together. I am now guessing that it was coming from neighbors across the back alley, they are partying types, or even the building next door. On the plus side, they haven't been bugging us as much since they were trying to blaim everything on us before. Maybe they've found someone new to terrorize! So the husband is actually pretty nice, and can be reasoned with, but his wife (who I'm sure is the main instigator and just gets her husband to do the dirty work) is a nut-case if I do say so myself. On the day we moved in, we had been up and down the stairs with boxes about twice and she came out and told us to be QUIET! Very rudely. And did I mention that we were moving in??? And it was 1 o'clock in the AFTERNOON on a SATURDAY?!? (NOT two a.m. on a Tuesday.) She is a nut-burger. Adam's bro-in-law was helping us move in and he was also taken aback by said neighbor. He was incredulous and said, "She actually asked you to be quiet?!?" Granted, she has been through some hard times. She is a teacher at a nearby school and has to get up at the crack of dawn, her husband in is an MD PhD program for the next 10 years or something (I think that he is one year through the program), and she broke her leg twice in the last year outside of our apartment complex. That sucks but don't take it out on everybody else!

I was already thinking of moving but we are so sick of moving and it would be so pointless. So we're staying until they can find some way to kick us out. And my crying baby will be waking up this wife in the early hours of school days and she will be pissed. And I will curtly tell her to invest in earplugs. Hey, I had to start learning to sleep with ear plugs in my last couple years at BYU because I had a hard time falling asleep and I was tired ALL THE TIME. They are uncomfortable at first but then they really do the TRICK! And you sleep like a freakin' LOG! Or else, we will be moving in 2011 anyway, and her husband will have seven or so more years left on his life-sentence of schooling. Or maybe they will move first. Seriously though, I only see their situation getting worse because I think this is one of the most QUIET buildings I have EVER lived in going to any school. While we were living in cheapo housing at UC Riverside, Asians were always outside in our pool area partying it up, screaming, laughing, playing loud music, until 2am on weeknights, and I feel absolutely NO PITY. And we just got used to it. We could have turned them in because of quiet hours and all, but instead you just tune them out and live your life, and pop in those ear plugs if you need them. :-) Problem is solv-ed.

However, babies crying through the night is something different. I think I would be bugged if I was in school and a baby that I was not related to was keeping me up during the night. This could be interesting. Hopefully I get a baby that has no interest in crying and sleeps 14-18 hours of the day.

haha, I should have known this was going to turn into a rant. I still have angry feelings toward our neighbors. Enough out of me. How are you doing?
Danelle ;-D