Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oahu

We spent the past few days visiting friends in Oahu. They live on the north shore across the street from Pipelines Beach. The waves were really big! Cory did some body boarding and surfing. The waves were too big for me though! I watched from the beach.


We also went to Manoa Falls, which is where we got engaged! The hike is just under a mile and has a lot of awesome views. For anyone traveling to Oahu, I would definitely put this hike on your list of things to see. It is a little muddy, but not bad.




We spent part of our trip in Waikiki, which is where most of the action is. We lucked out and got a hotel room for only $75.00, and it was downtown within walking distance from all of the stores and the beach. I got to go to the brand new two-story Victoria's Secret. It was huge and filled with big screen tv's that played their fashion show.
 View of the city from our hotel.

We are back home now, and I'm glad to be back. I'm beginning to understand why everyone says that Kauai is the most beautiful island. So far, I think it is. The air even feels cleaner. Plus there is not any traffic, ever!

-Emilie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Big Island

Earlier in the week I went to the Big Island with my principal and a fellow teacher.  The purpose of the trip was to visit a certain unique school on the island.  This school places a large focus on agriculture and forestry.  They have a huge greenhouse, and a lot of land for growing various plants.  Below are a few pictures of some of the things I saw on our trip!

 This is where the students get their lunch.  They eat on picnic tables nearby.

 Hula practice area.

 This school is really in the rainforest of Hawaii!... The buildings are various offices, the actual classrooms are in a separate and new building. The beach is literally a 30 second walk away.

 The greenhouse.

 Peppers!
 I'm lucky a got a picture of this little guy... he was extremely quick! Aren't his colors awesome!

This is a whale bone!  It is hard to tell from the picture... but it is over 6 feet long and at least 2 feet thick!  Since the school is a Hawaiian focused school, and it washed up next to the school, they get to keep it.

-Emilie



Photoshoot

Yesterday Cory and I were in a wedding photoshoot! The photographer was from Alaska. It was a lot of fun! I got to wear a vintage dress for most of the shoot, it was really pretty. I also got to wear a modern looking dress for some beach pictures. The photographer even rented a horse to use in the shoot! That was the best part. I had a beautiful tropical bouquet as well. We are looking forward to seeing the pictures. Next week we are supposedly going to be in the newspaper for a special wedding section...we will see! We will post pictures once we get them.

-Emilie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Waimea Christmas Parade

Yesterday we went to the Waimea Christmas Parade to walk with the school. We didn't have a float but the school looked nice dressed in matching school shirts with the younger students carrying a school banner to lead the way. Santa and Sparky the fire dog came to visit our students while we were waiting to start, which was quite exciting for them.
 The lei po'o that we are wearing are the ones that the older students wore last night for the Christmas program.


It felt like half of the island came to watch the parade! There was a ton of spectators! We sang Christmas carols as we walked along the route (in Hawaiian). The parade itself wasn't as big as the Festival of Lights, but it was still good. All of the stores in town were decorated with Christmas lights. In the center of town there is a courtyard with a dozen palm trees all wound up with lights... Now Christmas break has begun!



-Emilie

Saturday, December 17, 2011

KANAKA Christmas Program

Last night was our school Christmas program!  The school spent the past several weeks getting ready for it.  All of the girls wore white muumuus and the boys wore dark pants and the school shirt.  Each student made themselves a lei to wear, the younger children had lei's for around their necks and the older students had a lei for the tops of their heads.  They turned out wonderfully!  They were made out of a dried leaf/pod type thing from a tree.  They were pretty time consuming to make, but since they are already dried the students can save them, unlike the fresh flower lei's which wilt quickly.

 An elementary student's lei.


The program began with a nativity play and bible readings in Hawaiian.  Next was a variety of Christmas hymns (also in Hawaiian).  Lastly, the students performed the hula.  That was my favorite part of the performance!  They are very talented.  There was also a pot-luck and afterwards each student and teacher was given a Christmas gift.  The teachers had all wrapped the gifts and hand made gigantic bows for each gift...it was quite a big task.  We got a duffel bag with the school logo in it :) 

 Dressed in our muumuus, waiting for the program to start!



-Emilie

Corys Hawaii Update!

It has been a few days since my last blog post, but its hard to get motivated. At work, a large part of what I do is blogging and promoting our new website. Real Estate has been great the past few weeks. Now with the retired couples flying over to thaw out from the cold weather, business has really been picking up. I spent all day yesterday on the North Shore with my clients who have been looking for ocean front property.

Ocean front properties are something that sounds great in theory, however you are paying the ultimate premium for the privilege of being on the ocean. I have not done a complete market comparison, however from my experience, to live in a "ocean front property", you will be paying in the area of 1 million dollars just for  .2 acres of land, then you can tack on the value of the building that sits on it. The small price tag a side, the salt from the ocean causes damage to the exterior and requires lots of upkeep.

Real estate that is only slightly off the ocean does not hold such a high price tag, and tends to be less maintenance. Another thing that must be held into account is the increase of traffic if your home is on the ocean, especially if you are in a particularly nice area. 

Business has been great and I have created many new clients from first time home buyers to retirees who have created their wealth from real estate. It has been great meeting all these people and hearing their stories.

Our Hawaii Real Estate website is nearly finished! I keep thinking that the end is right around the corner, however the website has so much depth to it. The developers have been doing a great job getting this project exactly how we want it.

Until next time.

-Cory

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sea Creatures

Recently one of my coworkers brought a sea urchin to school.  She broke open the shell and told me to try the meat inside... completely raw!  I trusted her and took a bite of the yellowish meat.  I really can't remember the taste because I just couldn't believe that I was actually eating the creature.  They are found on the rocks by the ocean.  Many of my students talk about collecting them and eating them with their families.  Here is what it looks like!

- Emilie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big Island Day Trip

Next Wednesday I will get to go to the Big Island for the day!  My principal invited me to go with her and one of the other teachers.  We will be visiting a school while we are there.  I don’t really know any of the details exactly, but I’m excited to go and see one of the other islands!  

-Emilie

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hula at Polihale

Yesterday instead of having a regular hula practice we went to Polihale.   I had to drive with someone else because you needed four-wheel drive to get to the part of the beach that we went to.  Polihale is an incredibly huge beach!  I finally got to experience driving on sand (well riding on it anyways)!  
While we were there, the dancers who will be competing in Merrie Monarch were videotaped by a professional videographer.  It was awesome seeing them dance on the beach!  We also took some group pictures. 
Afterwards we went into the ocean in our practice outfits (white pa’u skirt and black tube top) for a blessing.   The ocean was wonderfully calm and it was just before sunset.  We stood in a circle in knee-deep water and listened to a prayer that was spoken in Hawaiian, and then sung a hymn in Hawaiian (I knew it too)!  Next we all had to dip ourselves underwater for a moment (we were fully clothed in our practice outfits).  It is hard to describe, but it seemed to unify the group and was a special experience.

-  Emilie


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Aloha Friday

Every Friday night at the mall there is some kind of free performance in the food court (outdoors). How can you beat free live entertainment? Last night we got to see a hula performance and a Tahitian dance performance. Sometimes local bands perform or other dance groups. Once they had an ice sculpture carving competition! That was quite a surprise considering it was 80 degrees outside!

-Emilie

Work Christmas Party

Tonight we went to Merriman's restaurant for my work Christmas party! It was nice to have an occasion to get dressed up. This was my first time wearing heels since our wedding! Since then it has been flip flops and the very occasional running shoe. The dinner was delicious! Thankfully we didn't have to pay because it was extremely expensive. It is certainly a restaurant for special occasions. I had a really good salad with red and green tomatoes, papaya, beets, and feta cheese. We had a very nice time!

-Emilie

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Gifts

Two of my students brought me gifts for Christmas this week. It was so thoughtful of them to think of me after school was over... and after working hard all day!  One of them brought a small wrapped package tied with a bow, inside was a picture of a Christmas tree and presents that was drawn on a piece of cardboard.  She had clearly taken her time drawing the picture.  The other gift was wrapped in Scooby Doo wrapping paper and taped together with duct tape.  Inside was a Hello Kitty toy.  Isn't that so sweet that all by themselves they wanted to do something nice for me.

I'm also accumulating a very large collection of pictures and letters that I have been given throughout the year!

-Emilie

Whale Watching

Cory's grandparents sent us this link with good information about whales.  I thought some of you may be interested in reading it!

http://www.napali.com/na_pali_coast/hawaii_whale_watching/whale_behavior.html

-Emilie

Dolphins

As of today, we have been married for 5 months!  Time is flying by… especially because there it still feels like summer here!  Well in the daytime anyways.  It has been getting very chilly at night!  I’m now wearing long-sleeves and a coat each morning on my walk to the bus in the morning before the sun is up.  I miss my heated blanket for my bed at night!  I really don’t need it, but I always loved it.  Even though the nights are getting colder, it still gets hot during the day. 
Last Saturday we spent the whole day at the beach.  We saw a school of dolphins from the shore!  It was pretty exciting to see.  I wish we could have seen them up close.  We are hoping to start seeing whales soon because in the winter months whales migrate here. There are quite a few cliffs that would be a great spot for having a picnic and watching for whales.  I think we would just have to be patient.
-           Emilie  

Festival of Lights

Last Friday we went to an awesome Christmas parade (in t-shirts of course)!  It was called The Festival of Lights.  It started right after sunset.  As the sun was setting hundreds of green parrots covered the sky! I had never seen them before, but I was told that it happens at sunset because they are flying back to their homes.  We were watching the parade from a large courtyard in front of one of the county buildings in Lihue.  The whole area was covered in a wonderful display of lights, which were all turned on at the same time when the parade began.
This was inside the county building.

 As the name of the parade implies, each float was covered with lights.  Two of the local high school bands also marched in the parade.  One of which just recently got back from the Macy’s parade in New York City! 
My ride to school!

Next Saturday I will be in a different Christmas parade with my school.  I think we are just walking in it, but I have been told that it a big parade and it should be fun.  The students are getting excited for it!  


- Emilie

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kahiko

I'm really enjoying my hula class, I'm slowly but surely catching on.  We are currently learning a dance in the "kahiko" style.  This style is different than what many people typically think of when they think of hula.  Below is a link to a video that be the easiest way to explain what it looks like. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpfnwn9bHDs

Here is a description of Kahiko that I found online:
Ancient hula, as performed before Western encounters with Hawaiʻi, is called kahiko. It is accompanied by chant and traditional instruments. "Ai Kahiko", meaning "in the ancient style" are those hula written in the 20th and 21st centuries that follow the stylistic protocols of the ancient hula kahiko.

-Emilie

Thanksgiving Break

We have been super busy this past week!  It started with a "flower hunt" to make a lei for my friend Staci who came to visit us.  It was so wonderful to see a familiar face again! We were able to enjoy exploring the island together.

According to Staci, we should encourage everyone who visits us to go camping at Polihale.  I would have to agree with her... it must be one of the best places in the world for camping.  Don't let this sign scare you off... its not that treacherous... especially if you are used to driving on dirt roads.  The bumpy road is worth the gigantic beach at the end.  Almost no one is ever there which makes is very peaceful.


We also explored Waimea Canyon, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and it was very gloomy.  We drove to the Kalalau Lookout, but literally could not see anything through the clouds.  However, if it had been a clear day we would have seeen this.


Of course we also went to several different beaches and did some shopping.  We also realized that the northern part of the island is not that far away so we drove up there so Staci could see more of the extraordinary views.  We normally don't spend much time "up north" because we feel like it is farther away than it really is.  I have a feeling we will be spending much more time there.

Staci came to school with me on Monday and Tuesday to help me in my classroom.  The kids loved her and I loved having her help!  Staci was showered with notes and pictures from the younger students. She told them about how lakes freeze in Michigan and they were blown away by the idea!  Unless there is a hurricane, I don't think there is any bad weather here.  It has been slightly cooler in the mornings and some people on the island have begun wearing Ugg boots!  I was shocked that those are worn here.  I only wear flip-flops, which are called "slippers".
 

- Emilie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kahoolawe

Our school has been invited to the island of Kahoolawe!  It is the smallest of the eight Hawaiian islands.  No one permanently lives on the island because the United States used to use it as a training ground and it was severely damaged by excessive bombing.  Now there is a project to restore the island.  Eventually, people may be able to visit the island.




The school has been on a wait list to volunteer at the island for several years!  Finally, a slot has opened up... April 2013.  I don't know any of the other details at this point, but it would be exciting to see an island that is mostly off-limits!  The entire island is on the national registry of historic places.

I found this on the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission website and thought it was interesting:
"Various ceremonies and rites are regularly performed on Kaho‘olawe using traditional cultural practices. The annual planting ceremony takes place every October at the beginning of the wet season, and people from both the KIRC and the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana (PKO) come together to give offerings and open the planting season. Cultural practitioners, usually from the PKO, perform seasonal ceremonies for Kane and Kanaloa during the solstices. Proper burial ceremonies are also held when iwi kupuna are found on the island."

Here is the link to the website for more information about the island and restoration project!


-Emilie

Monday, November 21, 2011

Avocado Tree

Our neighbor has a huge avocado tree in their backyard. There are dozens of avocados growing on it! They recently brought us a few. But they are not ordinary avocados...they are gigantic!


-Cory and Emilie

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hula Practice

I had my first hula practice on Monday! It was a lof of fun, but hard. Everyone else has been dancing for at least a year, if not several years and are really good. I have a lot of practicing to do, that is for sure. Most of the class will be going to the Big Island for a hula competition in April. It is called Merrie Monarch and is considered to be the biggest hula competition in the world! I will not be performing, there is no way I could be ready in time. Maybe someday!

Here is the link to the Merrie Monarch site in case you are interested in learning more about it!

http://www.merriemonarch.com/home

-Emilie

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run

Yesterday I ran my first 5k run in years! I was a little nervous because I have only been consistantly running for the past three weeks. When we got there I was surprised how many people were there, apparently over 500 people were signed up. Some were running the 10k though. We rarely see anyone outside running, so couldn't believe they had such a good turn out. I guess people must be running early or late when it is coolder outside. I ended up placing 30th out of the 266 people who ran the 5k! I was third in my age group so I also got a ribbon. After the race they had an awesome breakfast for everyone!

-Emilie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas Program

The school is working on a Christmas program to perform for their families in December. They are doing a moving nativity scene and singing Christmas carols in Hawaiian. I joined them for their practice yesterday so I would know know what is going on. I realized that it is much easier to read words in another language when it is to a familiar tune. I actually had a lot of fun! One of my sweet second graders announced that I should be the angel in the nativity scene because I am so nice. Children can sure be sweet! The school is going to be selling reusable bags (the kind the grocery stores sell) for a fundraiser this Chirstmas. They are purple with the school logo on them. They are raising money to purchase caps and gowns for the seniors I believe.

-Emilie

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Resorts in Paradise

Last weekend we decided to check out some of the resorts on the island.  We went to Waiohai Beach Club and the Kauai Marriott.  Both of them were awesome! 

 This picture is of Waiohai... they had a really nice area with picnic tables and a hammock.  They also have several pools and a hot tub of course. Not to mention, the beach is only a few steps away.


This picture is from the Kauai Marriott.  They had a huge circular pool with about  hot tubs surrounding it and fountains everywhere.  It is probably the most extravagant hotel that we have seen so far.

Aloha!

-Emilie and Cory

Cory Actually Gets Paid for This!

One of the guys who works out at the Kauai Gymnastics Academy made a video of part of their practice last week.  He posted it on youtube and sent us the link... enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giqaFD0_cU8
-Cory and Emilie

Camping Trip to Polihale

Now that we have a car, we decided to go camping at one of our favorite beaches, Polihale.  This is one of the few places that the bus does not go to, so we have not been there since one of our first weekends here when we had a rented car.  It is literally the farthest beach accessible by car on the west side of the island.  The beach was deserted, and we felt like we had it all to ourselves!

 Beautiful sunset!

The waves were to big for swimming, but they were entrancing to watch.  I also spent time looking for sunrise shells, which are small shells that are the color of the sunrise!


We saw several boats out this morning.  We are pretty sure that they were headed for the Na Pali coast.  There are a lot of boat tours that go out there because the coast is not accessible by car.  So you have to hike or boat in to see it.

-Emilie

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rainbows

This morning as we were doing our daily protocol I saw a double rainbow above the school! On the way home, I saw another double! I really think there are more days that I see one than days I don't. The word for rainbow in Hawaiian is, anuenue. There was one day that I saw a trace of a triple rainbow! Now we really understand why the license plates and ids have rainbows on them, they are everywhere here!


-Emilie

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween

It was strange to be dressed in our "summer" clothes for the first time on Halloween. At school we did a pumpkin carving contest. Each classroom had a pumpkin to carve/decorate as a group. Ours turned about pretty good! My class choose to make a witch pumpkin, and they did it without any of my help (aside from just monitoring). I had them choose a partner, and each pair had 15 minutes to work on the pumpkin while the rest of the class chose from an assortment of activities I had for them in the classroom. 

 We won the "Most Creative" award.

After school, Cory and I went to Kekaha to pass out Halloween candy. We didn't think we would get any trick-o-treaters at our place because we live on top of a huge, steep hill that most kids (and parents) probably wouldn't want to climb.  Plus, in Kekaha I got to see some of the students from the school all dressed up in their costumes.

-Emilie

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Car

Now that Cory has his real estate license, we knew we had to get a car.  He can't exactly show people houses by bus.  We have been looking at used cars since we got here, but nothing really stuck out.  Luckily, we happen to find something on Friday!

Say hello to our 2008 PT Cruiser! 

The trunk is huge and the seats fold down which will be great for going on weekend camping trips... or possibly for making room for a surf board.  We have been told that a regular sized board will fit, but we'll see. 


-Emilie

Cory got his Hawaii Real Estate License

After passing my exam, it took several weeks to get the paperwork returned and to become a registered Real Estate Agent. That is all in the past, and I can officially do business! Real Estate was never even consideration, but after moving here and meeting Branden I have never been more excited for a job in my life.

In sales, I have always had to sell a product that I did not believe in, or convince people to do something that I myself would not do. But in this business I get to help people with one of the most important decisions of their life. Also its something they are actually excited to do. With that comes alot of responsibility, but i am up to the challenge. I am confident that I will be one of the top performing agents on the Island within a year or so.


Mahalo for reading,

Cory

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pen Pals

I received a nice surprise at school this morning, a teacher from California sent me a package with letters from her students.  She sent nine, which was perfect since I have nine students!  The teacher explained that her class was writing letters as part of a project to learn about people from other parts of the country.  I knew that this was a great writing opportunity for my class, but decided to present it to my students as something to work on independently.

With a lot of enthusiasm, I told my class about the letters and read them out loud.  My class was shocked to hear that these 5th graders have a class of 30!  After reading each letter I gave it to one of my students.  I told them they could work on writing a letter back during any extra minutes they have here and there throughout the day, or on their own time and that we would mail our responses on Friday.  On Friday, I plan to give them special stationary to use for their final copies.  My class was thrilled!  In fact, I had several students ask for detention so they could stay after school to work on their letters! Of course I told them that they could stay after anytime and they don't need detention to stay late.  Five of my students came in after school and stayed for about 20 minutes to work on their letters (completely voluntarily and this was not my idea whatsoever).  I was so pleased with their excitement, and their writing turned out very well.  I'm hoping that the students in California write back!

-Emilie

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ho`ike 2011 Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina` ala

Last night we went to a ho'ike (hula performance) for the hula halau that I am going to start learning hula at.  Hundreds of people were there to watch!  We were surprised at what a big turn-out there was.  Before the performance started there were vendors selling jewelry, dresses, and flowers to wear in your hair.  I picked out a flower!  Then we bought some kalua pork and rice for dinner (that is a pretty typical thing to eat here).

The beginning part of the performance was a Tahitian dance.  It was awesome!  Then the hula dancers began.  There were literally dancers of all ages, from 4 years old all the way up to over 70!  All of the costumes were beautiful, and everyone wore flowers and leis.  There were flower-printed dresses, brightly colored skirts with leotards, grass skirts, and more.  Some of the students performed solos, but most of the dances were done as a group.  The second half the program was a Hawaiian music concert, some of the songs were song in Hawaiian and some were in English.  We had a great time!  I'm looking forward to starting classes.  To get some extra practice, my coworker and I are going to start dancing hula on Friday's with the kids at school.  The hula teacher has always welcomed us to participate, but I haven't wanted to by myself, but together it will be fun!

-Emilie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pule

Below is a link to a video of what we say during part of our morning protocol.  This is one of the many things I'm working to memorize.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTr6zTdOPaI

-Emilie

New Teaching Game

I recently made a "game" out of a file folder that has become a favorite pastime for my second graders.  It is called "build-a-word".

Inside the folder there are note cards with various letters and the spelling pattern we are working on.  For example, I have a card with the letters /oa/ and I also have the letters s, g,b,c,t, and /fl/.  The students can make goat, boat, coat, coast, and float.  The purpose of this game is to practice spelling and phonics concepts.

The set of cards I'm currently using has enough cards for the students to make 22 words.  As they build words they write each one down on a sticky note (which is also inside the folder).  I have written all the words down that they could possibly make and I put them in an "answer pocket".  After the student has built as many words as they could they pull out the answer card to check their work and to see if there were any other words that they could have built.

The best part is, they seem to love this game! 

-Emilie

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fern Grotto

On Sunday we went to the Fern Grotto which is located in Wailua.  It took awhile to get their on the bus, but luckily we made it time!  The grotto can be found a few miles from the ocean down Wailua River.  To get to the grotto we had to purchase tickets for a riverboat tour.  On our way there, the captain of the boat told us about some of the history of the area.  We were told that  the Wailua Valley used to be off-limits to everyone except for the royal family.

We arrived at a dock and the grotto was only a short walk away.  Along the path there were beautiful tropical plants, several varieties of wild ginger, bamboo, banana trees, and papaya trees.


Quickly, we arrived at the grotto.  The view was breathtaking, our pictures don't do it justice.  The grotto is a 30 foot deep cave with ferns growing from the walls. There is a very light stream that trickles down from the top.  There is a wooden deck/platform for visitors to view the grotto from.  It is a popular place to get married - and I can see why!  There was a small group of performers there who sang "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" for us.  Someone also did the hula!

This was a beautiful sight that I would recommend seeing!

-Emilie

Weekend Fun

This weekend was action packed!..

But before we get into that, here is a picture of Emilie in the lei she was given for her birthday.  Her coworker made the lei and headband out of ti leaves! 


Friday, we went to the Princess Kaiulani festival to watch Emilie's students perform the Hula. It was very impressive and fun to watch! There were many other kids performing at one time, but this is the best picture of the older girls. If you would like to see the full video send us an email and we can send it to you. :-)

After the Hula, we went to the beach and snorkeled. We did some real snorkeling too. We swam at least 300 yards from shore to a spot of the reef that drops off like a cliff about 40 feet below sea level. It was an incredible view!

We swam with the BIGGEST Turtle we have ever seen.

After we dried off and relaxed on the beach for a while, we got changed and headed to Emilie's favorite Dinner location.....
We had some great dinner, and then came the Hula Pie, the real reason why we came to Keoki's...
-Cory

Friday, October 14, 2011

Emilies Birthday Tomorrow!

Well, tomorrow will be Emilies first birthday in Hawaii. How exciting is that? I realized something funny today, I have had two birthdays in Hawaii already. One on Oahu last year, and one this year in Kauai.

I got her gifts about a week in advance, this could possibly be the most prepared I have ever been! On Saturday we on going on a river boat cruise on the Wailua River. I am not sure what to expect, but I have a feeling we are taking the boat to the waterfall so that will be exciting and romantic. 

When we get back from the boat ride, we will be sure to put up some pictures.



-Cory

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Centipedes and Flying Cockroaches

Yesterday I encountered two new creatures while I was at work. A gigantic flying cockroach appeared in my classroom. It was at LEAST two inches long. Luckily, a teacher next door took care of it for me. I keep hearing that cockroaches are very common here. A regular cockroch doesnt seem so bad after I saw the flying one!

Later that same day a different teacher found a centipede in her room...it was about 3 inches long and very creepy. I guess it hurts terribly to be stung by one. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant discovery. I learned that there is a myth about centipedes. Supposedly, they are sent to you from someone who is jealous of you. When you see it you are supposed to catch it and put it in a jar and tell it to go back to the person who sent it. Then you let it go. As you might have guessed, we did not test out this myth.

Aside from the creatures, I have had a great start to my second quarter!

-Emilie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Report Cards and the Sugar Mill

Today I had a "teacher planning day" to do report cards and general planning.  I remember people in the past making comments about how teachers are so lucky to get a day to put a letter on a report card.  Well, it is needed!  Report cards are a lot of work believe it or not.  It took me forever to make sure that the marks I chose were exactly what each student earned.  Also, there is only a teeny tiny space for me to leave comments, so I had to make sure what I wrote was positive but important.  I'm doing parent teacher conferences throughout this next week, I hope they go well!  We are now officially into our second quarter of the school year.  I'm looking forward to it, now that I have settled in a little bit more.  I have some projects planned that should hopefully be great learning experiences for the students, and hopefully fun!

On another topic... the school is located across the street from an old sugar mill that is in the process of being torn down (this was very recently decided).  However, there has been concerns that it won't be taken down correctly and it could be unsafe.  The soil around the school was tested for chemicals relating to the  mill and there is a meeting in Kekaha tonight about it.  I cannot go, but I'm anxious to hear what happens.  They are saying the people taking down the mill might need to wear protective bubble suits.  The question is that if THEY have to wear a bubble suit to be safe, are we safe?  We are literally directly across the street...just a little breeze send the dust from the mill directly to us.  Actually, the school used to be owned by the sugar mill.  It was there administration building.

 Kekaha Sugar Mill

Here is an article about the closing of the mill...
http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/article_45bb8820-ef25-11e0-bca0-001cc4c03286.html

-Emilie