Travel delays

6:50 am: Alarm goes off…time to get ready and catch our flight out of San Francisco in the pouring rain.

7:00 am: Text 1, which read, “Your flight has been delayed for 2 hours.  You will now be leaving until 12:31 pm.”

7:02 am: Try to go back to sleep.

7:15 am: Give up on falling back asleep and get up to eat breakfast and hang out until it’s time to leave for the airport.

9:45 am: Get another notification that our flight is delayed 15 additional minutes.

10:15 am: Leave for the airport to drop off the rental car and board our flight.

11:00 am: Find out that our departure time is delayed another 15 minutes.  We’re now leaving at 12:52 pm instead of our original 10:30 am.  Deep breath.  We’ll get there.

1:25 pm: Still waiting on the runway to take off.  Start a show on the screen in front of me to distract me from my impatience.

3:55 pm: Land in Salt Lake City (2 1/2 hours later than expected).  Stop by In ‘N Out for a burger and shake before hitting the road for our 4 hour drive home.  Hit traffic on our way out of Salt Lake. More deep breathing.

10:00 pm: Finally arrive home…just in time to watch overtime of the Florida-Wisconsin March Madness game!

It’s the little things in life that make the problems, the travel delays, seem less significant.  The perfect song that plays on shuffle at the end of a day of traveling.  Laughter.  Basketball games.  Family.  Friends.  Memories.

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Goodbye, San Francisco!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

A day for the books

It’s super late, and I don’t have the energy to write a long post tonight, but today was an amazing end to our San Francisco vacation!  Here are some highlights from the day:

  • Waking up by the ocean for a last morning at our lighthouse hostel.
  • Eating a delicious breakfast at a seaside cafe.
  • Driving into town and catching the ferry out to Alcatraz, enjoying the cool sea breeze as we neared Alcatraz Island.
  • Exploring Alcatraz Island, learning all about the history of its tenure as a federal penitentiary (and some of the more dramatic attempted escapes!), and seeing the incredible views from all around the island.
  • Biking over the Golden Gate Bridge (and back) with the wind whipping around us and the massive red bridge looming above us.
  • Trying to find a nice restaurant for our last night but finally deciding to eat at a local burger place, which was a perfect end to our San Francisco adventures.
  • And throughout the day, lots of laughter, photos, and great conversations!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

 

Redwood explorations

Today’s adventure?  Hiking in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park!  We walked through the giant trees, some with trunks carved out into cave-like structures, some with towering branches, all majestic in their own accord.

The drive was amazing, full of twisting, winding roads to get to the park; mist rose from the road after the rain and gave the air a mystical quality.  When we got out, we did a short hike to get our bearings and then a longer hike to see a waterfall.

On our way back from the redwoods, we took Highway 1 up the coast and got an oceanside view the entire drive!  There’s nothing quite like zooming down a highway with the sunshine on your face and the ocean waves rippling toward the coast on your left.  We stopped to watch some kite surfers on the way as well…wow!

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There’s nothing quite like going from ocean to forest and back to the ocean again in a day!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

 

Seaside noticings

I’m currently sitting on some rocks overlooking the ocean at our hostel outside of San Francisco. Words cannot even begin to describe what I’m experiencing right now. But I decided to use all five senses to try to encapsulate the moment.

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Sight:
Waves crashing against the rocks, the spray almost erupting into the air.
Seagulls dipping low, then rising higher, moving with the sea breeze.
Cliffs jutting out of the ocean in the distance, their rugged rockiness juxtaposed with the green hills behind.
The sun shimmering on the water, the brilliance almost painful in its beauty.

Sound:
Waves beating against the rocks, growing louder—almost thundering in their power—until they hit the shore and quiet for a moment before beginning again.

Taste:
Salt from the sea air, subtle but powerful in its subtlety, bringing back memories of many Pacific Ocean vacations through the years.

Smell:
Sea air filling my nostrils, the fresh breeze mixed with a tinge of saltiness.

Touch:
Rocks underneath me, bumpy yet providing a seat for my oceanfront ponderings.
My hair blowing across my face, the breeze playing with its ends.
The humidity coating my skin, giving my hands that slightly sticky feeling.

And now…for more exploring!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

San Francisco travels

Leaving Colorado at 4:30 a.m.

Getting to the Salt Lake City airport by 9:00 a.m.

Finding out our flight was delayed an hour.

And then another 30 minutes.

Getting on the flight to sit on the tarmac for another 30 minutes.

Taking off (finally) and alternately napping and finishing my book.

Sitting on the runway and waiting for an open gate.

Piling in our rental car and navigating the hilly streets of San Francisco to our hotel.

Deciding on an Italian restaurant for dinner and getting ready to go.

Let the adventures begin!

slice-of-life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Must-read: Piecing Me Together

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I just finished an incredible book.  Called Piecing Me Together, this book by Renee Watson explored the nuances of race, privilege, and identity.  In the beautifully crafted story, the main character, Jade, has to navigate two very different worlds: her neighborhood outside of Portland and the privileged world of her school.  She becomes part of a program called Woman to Woman, which is designed to provide mentor figures for underprivileged black girls.  The importance of art in speaking truth, specifically Jade’s collage art, is also
woven throughout the story in a beautiful way.

The book brings to light so many powerful themes, and as I read it, I wished I was reading it alongside a book club so that I could pause and talk as I moved through the story.  I immediately recommended it to a few other teachers at my school; I’m excited for the conversations that will soon ensue!

After I finished the book, I went online and found an interview with the author (read it here), which made me even more excited to talk with other readers about the power of Renee Watson’s message.

I’m beginning spring break, which means my TBR book stack is growing…this was an amazing start to my spring break reading!

slice-of-life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Reputation

Apparently, I have a reputation at school.  Unbeknownst to me, the 2nd and 3rd graders in the classroom across the hall have some opinions about me that I discovered yesterday.  In the classroom, I am definitely more on the firm side and less on the warm-and-fuzzy side, but my students know how much I love learning and love them; they understand the importance of expectations and ownership and responsibility and also how much I care for each one of them, even on the difficult days.

Yesterday, we were outside at recess (with what seemed like the rest of the school trying to get a few minutes of fresh air before our school-wide talent show), and I had just stepped onto the blacktop with my yellow duty vest on.  I struck up a conversation with a student in another blended 2nd/3rd grade class about how many students were out at recess, and midway through the conversation, he cocked his head and looked at me for a moment.

“Miss Hansen, you know what?” he asked.

“What, buddy?” I replied, scanning the playground to make sure students were safe amidst the chaos.

“Even though some kids say you’re kind of mean, I think you’re pretty nice when people actually talk to you.”

I stopped scanning the playground and looked at this student for a moment.  “Wait, say that again,” I said, curious about what sparked this comment.

“Well, you know how sometimes in the hallway we’re loud and you tell us to be quiet?  I don’t think that makes you mean, though.”

I knew exactly what he was talking about; I give frequent reminders to his class about hallway expectations.  I had to stop myself from chuckling.  “Thanks, buddy.  I hope not!”

One of my students was dribbling his basketball nearby and overheard the conversation.  “Wait, did you just say Miss Hansen is mean?  No way, dude!”  He came over to join us.  “Miss Hansen, you’re not mean at all!  You even gave us extra recess today,” he exclaimed.

I smiled at both boys.  “Thanks, I’m glad you think that.”  As they ran off to play, the honesty of the exchange made me laugh.  And it also caused me to pause and reflect.  How am I caring for our students both inside and outside of the classroom?  How can I do better?  In a school where an increasing number of students come to school and find safety and love within our walls that they might not find at home, I need to make sure that my demeanor (whether in the hallway or classroom or in the community) reflects my care and commitment to each and every student.

That student’s innocent comment made me smile but also led to a moment of reflection.  How does a reputation develop?  How easy is it to change?  What implications does this have for my teaching?  How can I grow?

slice-of-life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March.   Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!