Halloween and Dia de los Muertos

Trip Start Jul 31, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another 2 weeks without a blog entry! I sure and not on top of my game here! I have survived conference week without many problems. I have a great group of parents who are very supportive of the school and our class. It is always interesting to meet parents and see how much their children reflect them. I was left very exhausted following the week of conferences. It sure does take a lot out of you talking with all those parents. I was in bed by 8:00 on Friday night! 

The weekend before Halloween brought some festivities for the staff. Some of the teachers put on a huge Halloween party. For lack of money and knowledge of resources I had to get pretty crafty as to what I was going make for my costume. After scouring the internet I settled on a Price as Right contestant. It took some people a while to get it but with some clues everyone figured it out. We all had a good time at the party. I always love to see what people come up with for their costumes! 

For Halloween at school we didn't do anything to celebrate during the school day. It is one American holiday that we don't participate in. Though they do have a Halloween Family Fun night put on by the high schoolers and middle schoolers. This allows the teachers to have a night off rather than having to organize an event. And I did just that, took a night off to relax. On the night of Halloween I heard that some of my students went trick-or-treating. It all depends on where the students live since it isn't a holiday celebrated here. So the holiday passed without much excitement here. 

The week following Halloween as we entered November marked the start of a much less chaotic month. I was ready for the change and having the chance to just focus on teaching without interruptions of assemblies, meetings and other things that seem to clutter our schedule. It was nice to get back to a normal schedule. And though my classroom was back to a normal schedule there was still a buzz going on around campus. Every 7 years the school has an accreditation team visit to grant our school an American accreditation. It was a year in the making for our planning team putting the plan in action as to how our school will continue to grow. I only got a glimpse into what is planned but it is very exciting to be a part of a school making so many changes for the better! While the accreditation team was visiting they met with students, staff and administration to talk in depth about what is going on at school. I was oh so lucky to have one of the members to a surprise drop in visit into my classroom. Luckily it was during an alright lesson. But whenever someone comes into your class to observe it gets your heart beating a little faster. The preliminary report from the accreditation team was positive but it will take a couple months to receive the final word. 

In other excitement at school we are entering the joys of 5th grade when the hormones start to kick in and the friendship drama begins. It is not in full force yet but you can see its trickling effects in the classroom. Students beginning to test the waters, short tempers, high emotions and everything else that goes with hitting puberty. Can't wait for it to be in full effect!! 

We have been busy at school with some special projects. We have finally gotten our response letters back to our pen pals. The students are very excited about this project and in finding out about another school and students. There are so many differences between the population of the students so I think it will be a great learning experience for students on both ends. We have also dove into getting our garden up and running. On Friday we took a whole day to make garden preparations. We spent the majority of our time in the garden getting a grid created so that we could map out what we are planting. While we had students tying up strings to popsicle sticks the other half were digging up grass to get the second part of the garden ready. These students were mostly distracted by all the worms that they were finding and they weren't doing much as for getting the grass and rocks out of the garden. Hopefully this week we will get some things planted! I am interested to see how successful the garden is. I don't have much of a green thumb so I am learning right along side them.

This past weekend I was invited out by some of the other teachers to get all dressed up for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and go celebrate in San Jose. So on Friday night we got our faces all painted and headed into the city. We used out normal taxi service and they were pretty excited to see us all dressed up and asked for a picture so they could put it on their taxi website. They are the company that drives us to school every day so they thought it was pretty funny to see us all dressed up.  Well we got into San Jose and quickly noticed no one was dressed up! We looked pretty awesome in full face paint looking like dead people! Well we rocked the look at hung out at one bar for a while and then some of us decided it wasn't really our seen so we headed back to a newer, bigger, more our scene bar/restaurant closer to home. Good news was the music and vibe of the place was much better, the bad news we still looked like fools because we were the only ones in face paint! Lesson was learned, no day of the dead celebration! The night was still fun but felt a little out of place all night but oh well! 

In other news, Kev and I have been working hard on getting our trip planned for his visit! We have our general plan made and hotels booked! We are 39 days away from his arrival! I am hoping this last bit of time just flys by! We are getting close to the one month mark and from there it should be a piece of cake because we will have Thanksgiving and then our sleep away field trip with the 5th graders. I sure can't wait to get to see him again! :)

Once last thing, I want to send out a hello to a group of students that I know read my blog and are tracking my time in Costa Rica! Hello to all of Mrs. Goihl's students! I will try to keep the blogs coming for you! :)

Hasta Luego! 
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