19 January 2011

back at last!

Hi everyone! It's me, back for my semi-annual blog posting. I hope y'all had a great holiday break. I had a wonderful time visiting friends and family in North Carolina, New York, and Texas for a few weeks...so wonderful, in fact, that it was a little hard to come back. But now that I'm here, I'm excited to do some traveling and to see my little kiddos soon!

While going through some pictures from last semester, I found a bunch that I never posted, so I'll be putting those up over the next few weeks. Today's update theme: birthdays. One of the many fun things about teaching the younger kids is all the parties that are involved. On my birthday, my class threw me a surprise party...

...complete with noisemakers, balloons, a banner, cards, gifts, and lots of delicious cupcakes! One student even brought me a bunch of hydrangeas, which just happen to be my favorite kind of flower. Here's how it went down: students usually start arriving around 7:45. By 8:00 on my birthday, no one had appeared. I wondered if there was some kind of traffic jam or weather problem going on, but other classes seemed pretty full, so those options didn't seem likely. I checked the hallway but didn't see any of my students out there, so I started straightening the classroom library. Around 8:05, all of my students, and most of their parents, burst in with horns and rattlers, shouting and singing "Happy birthday! Happy birthday!" They gave me the banner, cards, and gifts, and we had a group hug. Such a wonderful, after school special-like, start to the day! THEN, after first period, we went outside for recess, and discovered that the moms had set up a whole elaborate/beautiful spread of cupcakes, juice, and popcorn!! So amazing!!! After the party, it was time to get back to business. Sigh. But not for long! We had a school spirit festival in the afternoon, so I got to chaperone a group of students from Kindergarten through 12th grade as they made a collage, created a skit, and completed a scavenger hunt and obstacle course. Later that day, I went out with some friends for a delicious dinner and to see Eat, Pray, Love (hello, my life right now!) Seriously, the best birthday.

A few weeks later, I went to a student's birthday party at a roller-skating rink. Let me tell you, those places are dangerous. I almost fell about a hundred times on the extremely hard floor. The only reason I didn't is because I was holding on to this little kindergarten kid (the younger brother of one of the fourth graders) most of the time. But it was really fun, and once again, the cupcakes were delicious. Cutest part of the evening? Definitely when the little kindergarten kid glided up to me (we had decided to branch out away from each other by that point) and exclaimed in his high-pitched, gravelly voice: "Look! I'm learning!"

Later that week, I went to a resort about two hours away, for the pirate-themed party of another student.

The resort is on the beautiful Sarapiqui river:

Getting there was a little nerve-wracking, because the bridge seemed to be composed of corrugated cardboard that rattled and shook like crazy as we drove across.

Once everyone arrived, we all went tubing for a few hours. Since Hurricane Tomas had blown through earlier in the week, the water level was really high and the river was flowing very quickly, so it was even more fun than usual. Also because of the hurricane, there were these huge (~5 inch leg span) spiders everywhere. Whenever we brushed the riverbank along the way, we kept crashing into them, which I was not a big fan of.

After tubing, we returned to the resort to break open a pinata. There are some really attractive pics of me mid-smash, but unfortunately I can't post them because there are students in the background. Gotta protect their privacy, you know? ;)


  1. Your students sound adorable! I love your description of your surprise birthday celebration. The cuties!

  2. I LOVE the new photo on your "title page"!

  3. Sarah-yeah, they really are the best!

    Rebecca-thanks! I took it at Cahuita a few years ago.