Research project

Okay, now I have officially had two weeks of night classes under my belt. Am I allowed to be overwhelmed yet?

School started last thursday, and I just started seeing ONE of my students today. On top of that, when we just thought we were getting things finished with scheduling, we were informed that 7th period, which was math with 2 of my students, has now been switched to 3rd period.

That was just a little tiny piece of information that we should have been informed of. Now, we have to make some changes not only to my schedule, by my mentor's and the paraprofessionals!


I am sick of scheduling. I HATE doing the schedules!!

Tonight I had my class called Action Research. Yes. ACTION RESEARCH. Nice.

Like most people, I was not totally thrilled with the idea of having to take a research class, let alone one at the graduate level. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind papers...but RESEARCH papers!?!?

But, I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy this course. Yep. There are 7 students (since many of the RT's dropped due to FEAR). We are planning from here on out to meet at the coffee shop on campus for class instead of in a big classroom.

But..... I am stuck. Yep. Really stuck.

I have to think of what I am going to do for my action research project, and I am having a really hard time thinking of an area to really focus on. Maybe you all out there could give me some ideas, or help... First, let me give you a little background on what action research is....

Action research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants (eg: educators) in order to improve a) their own educational practices, b) their understanding of these practices, and c) the situations in which the practices are carried out. Action research is the systematic study of attempts to improve educational practise by groups of participants by means of their own practical actions and by means of their own reflection upon the effects of those actions.

To sum it up: Action research is to identify an area of focus, collect data, analyze and intepret data, and then to develop a plan of action.

For example, let's say your students in your class are not progressing in essay writing as you had hoped. This would be the area of focus to research, collect data, intepret and develop a plan.

I am really struggling with an idea. Our professor wanted an idea tonight, and told us it might change a few times before we stick to one. I guess an example that was thrown out there was something along the lines of what is the best way to teach reading: the whole-word approach or phonics?


I want to do something that is going to be benificial for not only me as a teacher, but my students as well.

I guess something that I brought up had to do with how much a child's environment effects their learning. For example, let's say we have a student who was labeled ED in another school, has transfered to a new school, and shows NO signs of an Emotional Disturbance. Could it be possible that her past school environment played a huge role in her being "labeled" ED?

I guess I will have to sleep on this project. Did I happen to mention that I am mentally drained right now? I can only imagine what kind of zombie I will be in a couple months!


A few miles later...

Went for a run tonight when I got out of class at 7pm. Couldn't have been a more beautiful time of the day. Gorgious. 75 degrees, sunny, with a cool breeze.

I took off at a good pace. I felt like I had nothing holding me back and that I have been running for years. What a wonderful feeling... it has been almost a week since I had ran last.

So, a few miles later, I came to a stop and felt GREAT.

This semester just started last week, but getting situated with night classes and trying to figure out my schedule for school (which can take FOREVER in special education) has been a little stressful and but more so time-consuming and mind-consuming. I haven't reached that high level of stress yet. I hope that won't kick in until october/november. First sign of that will be grinding my teeth in my sleep. Anyone who has shared a room with me (cdoc?!?!) could agree with this!

Well, back to the homework/paperwork! Happy runnings, y'all!

P.S. Neese ---> I plan on doing the 5K Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning in my hometown! So I will have a little over 10 weeks to train for that! I am not a speed runner, so I made need some advice from you all out there!


Training: WEEK 17

Graduate school, teaching, and other weekend stuff is really cramping my training... crappy. 13 more days until the 10K! I should really be doing some hills, but for those of you who aren't from around here, ther are NO HILLS in this city. And I have NO gym to go to for running on the thrillmill with the incline.

What will I train for next? I just love the idea of training for something. I think my goal will be to improve my 5K time! You folks heard it here first! Now you just got to hold me to it!

P.S. The Twins lost today. But they took this series! Now they head back to MN to beat the Royals tuesday night!

Monday: 3.45 miles overall (1.19 mile run, 1.07 mile walk with dog, & 1.19 mile run)
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 2.5 miles run
Thursday: OFF
Friday: OFF
Saturday: OFF (I did do some canoing with my sister...does that count?)
Sunday: OFF

WEEK 17 Totals:

  • __5.95_ miles ran

Back to Reality

Oh yes. It is time to get back to reality. We returned to GF this morning after spending a beautiful weekend at "the lake". That is what people refer to going to a lake up in these parts of the woods. We drove into MN for our cousin's bachelorette party and it was great! So much fun! We stayed in this little cabin right off the water. We spent most of saturday soaking up the rays either by laying on the docks, canoeing, peddle boating, floating ontop of rafts, or chilling with a refreshing drink on the pontoon! The pontoon was my favorite! We couldn't have had a more beautiful weekend! Thanks Linds for a well-planned weekend!

So, now it is back to the grind. I am looking forward to spending my afternoon finishing up some homework and watching the Twins....wish them luck!

On a more serious note... I have come across a bloggers post and couldn't post myself without mentioning this. There is this runner over in Senegal, named Naomi. She mentions how the people over there run around playing volleyball, soccer, or just plain running in these plastic-like shoes. She is back in NY trying to put something together where people can send her their old running shoes, becuase we all know where they end up when we are done... Our old running shoes may sounds like nothing to us, since they have served their purpose and most of us now wear them to mow the lawn or run quick errands... but to people who like to be active in "plastic shoes" they would probably be excited! If you are interested here is Naomi's post that refers to this and has her email address.

Happy runnings, y'all!


1 Book Down...

Just finished reading one of my shorter books for class... thought I would share this quote from the conclusion...

"It is often the small moments of interaction that matter most: smiling at a child, winking approval, sharing encouraging words when things aren't going well; firmly, consistently, and gently correcting behavior when needed. It is wise for us to be guided by the fact that ultimately it will not matter how many beautiful cars or homes we owned or rounds of golf we played, but touching the lives of children will."

From Connecting with Students, by Allen N. Mendler



Yes! I just said BOOOYAAA!!

But you would if you were me! I finally just got up the guts to check my grades from summer school, and after I tell you why I was afraid to, you will understand why I am soooo excited!

So, I took 7 courses this summer...in a 9 week period. Yep. Well, my one class, crisis intervention, that was only a week long (that being the first week of summer school), we had this take home final. ...

2 scenarios...and we had to basically tell what we would do based on what we learned from the class. ... .

well, we had atleast 2 weeks to complete it and put it in her box...

..did that...

...and mind you I never do a half-ass job on any of my assignments for T&L....

..from there, she finally returned them to us...

.... 7 weeks later...

...I had so much writing (and coffee stains) on those 5 pages that you would have thought I was an idiot!... I thought I was going to puke...

*turn page*

"Watch your sentence structures." .. .. 15/25 ---->60%


Turn a few more pages... 12/25 --->48%


Overall ---> 54% ON MY FINAL!!!

I was mad. So mad. I wanted to cry. I figured that this would bring my grade down to atleast a B...What the heck! I thought I knew what I was talking about.. There was so much writing on my paper, but NOTHING that told me what I did wrong! GRRR...

So, as you can see, this is why I was afraid to check my grades...but I got over it and had to find out...



I am so excited! This calls for a drink!...sometime...in..the..near...future... hmmm...

It's started..

With the finish of the fourth day of inservice today, I had to rush to my first night class. Yes. It has officially started. I am back at school. Tonight we started our assessment course, and I think it is going to be great! Our professional is young and has much experience in many different areas of Special Education.

We started our night out with an opening group activity. For those of you who were not lucky enough to participate in any education courses in college, you have definitely missed out on the fun "ice breakers"!

Well, tonight's "ice breaker" topped them all off. There are 16 of us in class. And we all have gotten to know each other quite well through our summer classes. Tonight, we had to get into groups of 4 and and try to think of how we were in common. Sounds easy, but is kind of difficult. Once, we figured out our commonality, we had to find a song that matched that! Yes. A song! That's not it folks. From there, once we found a song, we had to sing a line or two from that song, and the rest of our classmates had to figure out what it was that we had in common!

I don't sing. I do. But I can't. I was not looking forward to this. But, all in all, it was very fun. We struggled so much with finding a song. We went from "Superfreak" to the "If you go ta, North Dakota..." since we were all from ND, to "Don't Stop, thinking about tomorrow..." except we changed it to "CAN'T stop thinking about tomorrow.." since school pretty much starts tomorrow.. It was fun.

So I have tons of homework already. And here I am blogging. But, I just had share my wonderful first day of classes! Tomorrow night I have a different class with the same professor...so it should be fun!

Oh and P.S. My campus gym closed on the 31st of July due to the new one opening, but now I have NO gym to go to in the meantime. They had to close down to trade in the old machines for newer ones, but due to changes in some of the new gyms plans, the gym will not be opening until the 25th of September! A whole month with no gym to go to! Grrrr...

Happy Runnings, y'all!


Training: WEEK 16

I think this week has been an overall successful training week. We'll see what next week looks like... just a little worried about that...

Happy Runnings, y'all!

Training: Week 16

Monday: 6.0 mile run
Tuesday: OFF (very sore)
Wednesday: OFF (raining)
Thursday: 2.75 mile run, volleyball
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 8.06 mile run
Sunday: 9 mile bike

WEEK 16 Totals:

  • _16.81_ miles run
  • __9__ miles bike
  • __0__ miles rollerblade


8 Miles!

Yes! I finally did it! I ran 8.06 miles (to be exact) today! Wahoo! Two long runs in one week. Crazy! I am not even going to post how long it took me becuase I did do quite a bit of walking the last couple miles. My dad was joking with me that I would be dragging his butt through the Badlands of Medora for our 10K in a few weeks. I don't think so. He has more strength and endurance than I do. He'll probably drag my rear over the finish line.... I just hope it won't be too warm. The weather in the AM here as been quite pleasing, so I hope it stays the same for the next few weeks.

Happy Runnings, y'all!


For Your Information...

For those of you who read my blog occasionally, this is a little FYI for you all....

Starting Monday, things will be different. Very different. This girl won't be able to go out on weeknights (which is a very good thing). I will be teaching all day, during the week, and taking night classes tuesday, wednesday, and thursday. I will be using my weekends to do paperwork and homework. Somewhere in there, I will HAVE to find time to keep up with my running. HAVE TO! It is one of those things that keeps my stress level down and makes me feel good, especially when things are getting crazy at work and with school.

So, with that in mind, I will probably be making less posts about running, a lot about teaching and classes. I love what I do, and enjoy sharing with others stories of my students and their successes, as well as stories that make me laugh! This school year is going to be quite interesting with juggling everything and the whole experience itself.

Looking back on last school year (as an LD teacher) I will miss my students so much. There are always those that you can't get enough of, those that make you laugh, those that drive you crazy on occasion, those that ask you questions or say things that you will never forget, and those that cause sleepless nights as well. I will miss them all equally. They were all special in their own unique way and I will miss them for that. I hope they learned as much from me as I learned from them. You never know what they are going to say or ask.

I had one student that took his sweet time in the bathroom, and I thought he was using it as a way to get out of reading, but found out after I asked him what took him so long that he was actually constipated and ended having to announce it in front of a couple other students. Poor child, I will learn to never address that in front of classmates again.

I also had another student that asked me a question that I will probably never forget. This little girl was such a sweetheart. Barely said anything, even when she finally started to warm up to us in the spring. She was quiet and very reserved. But one of the last weeks of school she turned to me and said, "Ms. S, what does LD mean?" My heart just dropped. How do you explain to a young second grader what LD means in a way that won't make her feel down or think less of herself. It was definitely something that made me think....

I must be getting to bed...I have a long saturday ahead of me. Hopefully a long run in the AM, work in the afternoon, and a friend's bachelorette party in the evening. Fun times!

Happy Runnings, y'all!

P.S. The TWINS had an awesome night! Go TWINS!


Don't Push It

I was going to try and get up this morning before work, but there was no daylight at 5:30. It's been a while since I have been up that early. There wasn't much daylight at 6:30 either... So, I went out for a run today after my 2nd day of inservice.

I think I was rushing it. I was afraid it was going to rain, and it was still pretty humid but not too warm.

I pushed myself a little too hard. I was hoping to do 4 miles, but had to turn around shortly after completing my first mile.

Total miles: 2.75

I turned around becuase I was walking too much. I had the WORST side stitch EVER! I could have sworn that I had ripped something on my lower left side...ouch!

Needless to say, there was little to desire from that run.

On a lighter note... I thought I would share a song. Single, by Natasha Bedingfield. Check out the lyrics:

Ah yeah that's right
All you single people out there
This is for you

I'm not waitin' around for a man to save me
(Cos I'm happy where I am)
Don't depend on a guy to validate me
(No no)
I don't need to be anyone's baby
(Is that so hard to understand?)
No I don't need another half to make me whole

Make your move if you want doesn't mean I will or won't
I'm free to make my mind up you either got it or you don't

This is my current single status
My declaration of independence
There's no way I'm tradin' places
Right now a star's in the ascendant

I'm single
(Right now)
That's how I wanna be
I'm single
(Right now)
That's how I wanna be

Ah yeah Uh Huh that's right

Don't need to be on somebody's arm to look good
(I like who I am)
I'm not saying I don't wanna fall in love 'cos I would
I'm not gonna get hooked up just 'cos you say I should
(Can't romance on demand)
I'm gonna wait so I'm sorry if you misunderstood


Everything in it's right time everything in it's right place
I know I'll settle down one day
But 'til then I like it this way it's my way
Eh I like it this way

Make your move if you want doesn't mean I will or won't
I'm free to make my mind up you either got it or you don't
'Til then I'm single

This is my current single status
My declaration of independence
There's no way I'm tradin' places
Right now a star's in the ascendant


"If you're not 1st....you're last!!"

"If you're not 1st... you're last. That is what you taught me."

"What are you talking about! I was high when I said that. It doesn't make any sense, Ricky!"

I went to the movie Talladega Nights last night with a couple friends! Hilarious! Hil-lar-i-ous (that's for JTA!). There were many parts that were very funny, and a few I thought "He could do better than this" in reference to Will Farrell. But, overall I enjoyed the movie, and can't wait to see it again to recall some of the more funnier lines! This movie almost made me a Nascar fan.. .. . almost.

Well, with that note, I didn't make it to bed until close to midnight, which resulted in me sleeping later and not getting up to run this morning before my 1st day of inservice. Gosh darnit. What a long day. So much information. Somewhat boring. Tomorrow we have inservice at our school for part of the day and we are using the rest of the day to prepare our classroom! Yeah!

So, I wanted to go for a run soooo bad tonight, but we are under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 11pm! Yeah right. And the county right next to ours has a Tornado Warning right now! Like this girl is going to attempt anything outdoors, where there is no shelter, and a chance of getting eatin' up by a scary twister....nope. I AM NOT GOING TO DO IT! If anyone knows anything about me, I am really scared of twisters but interested in them at the same time... as long as they are anywhere but near me! EEkkks...

Maybe I will be able to get up tomorrow morning before heading to school.. I know I won't run tomorrow evening since I have VOLLEYBALL!!! Yahooo!! Who is excited now!!


5 Years

It's almost been five years. It will be on the 23 of September. Almost 5 years since I started working my "part-time" job!


That is the longest I have worked anywhere, and to be honest I am soooo suprised that I have worked there that long!

I thought that it would be something where I would quit after the holidays, since that is what I was hired for...

Then I thought I would be done by the time I graduated from college.

Then I said that I would quit once I got a "real job". .... ... Last year I got my first teaching job that also required me to commute, but continued to work there anywhere from 6-15 hours a week. At one point I was working as a Sales Lead during the fall.

Then, I said to myself, this spring "If I get into the Resident Teaching program for Graduate School, I will FOR SURE have to quit before summer school, or when the school year starts at the latest!"....

I am still working there... yep...and I am planning on working there every other sunday through the school year as long as it works with my schedule!

Looking back on my experience there, it has been quite the ride. I think I have worked every position their, sometimes more than once when employees became scarse. My favorite being the Sales Lead...but that was always temporary and with school and teaching, I was never available enough to become a permanent Sales Lead.... boo hooo...

But, overall I have really enjoyed working there. Lots. Sometimes I have been ready to pull my hair out with lack of patience for holiday employees that just didn't get how to present themselves in a customer service environment, or just didn't get that they had to ACTUALLY work!

Today I ordered my gift from the company in recognition of my five years of dedicated service and commitment! Yeah. They sent out a catalog of things to choose from! I chose the fossil watch. Yep. I needed a new watch and this couldn't have been a more perfect time!

A little pat on my back for a job well done! Who knows...I may be a lifer! You know you don't make much on a teacher salary! Hahahaha!


6 miles to start the week

What a great way to start the last week of my summer. I got up this morning and was out the door before 8, planning on running 6 miles! Yep! And that is what I did! The weather couldn't have been better. It was 56 degrees with a cool breeze when I left and 66 with sun shining by the time I got back home.

Now, I only have a couple days this week to do absolutely nothing, but don't think I will have much time to do that! I need to head out and get some supplies for school, pick up my books, and run a few other errands today. Inservice starts Wednesday! Yikes!

Happy runnings, y'all!


Training: WEEK 15

Okay, this week was PATHETIC.

I know I have said that a lot lately, but it was pathetic! I only ran twice. I was planning on doing a good 6 or 7 miles today and didn't, becuase for some reason Mother Nature decides that she was not going to give us any rain for two months, and then rain for 12 hours straight here, starting last night and into this morning..... I was PLANNING on running this morning before heading to work at noon!

Now, I have been on my feet for 5 hours and was NOT going to run in the heat this evening.


News Flash: I only have less than 4 weeks until the 10K! Yikes! I need to get my butt in gear! I am getting nervous and hope that I will be ready! There will be so much going on with classes starting and school starting next thursday! Wow!

Happy Runnings, y'all!

Training: WEEK 15

Monday: 2.3 mile run, 30 sets of bleachers (up and down)
Tuesday: 3.62 mile run
Wednesday: 4.3 mile rollerblade
Thursday: volleyball
Friday: OFF
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: OFF

WEEK 15 Totals:
  • __5.92__ miles run
  • __0__ miles bike
  • __0__ miles swim
  • __4.3__ miles rollerblade



Good News: The "ex" is leaving the state...

Bad News: I will NEVER see Duke again...

sniff, sniff

This was the week Duke was brought home from the pet store... I believe he was only 10 weeks old. Now his paw is twice the size... atleast..

This was Duke's first trip to the Vet... only a few months old!

And this is a more current picture.... Duke giving my youngest sister a hug! Duke loves to give hugs... (and yes, she is standing!)

Here is Duke posing with my sister's fiance on the left and Benny on the right!

Oh the memories...I am sure going to miss this boy! He was quite the cuddler. He definitely thinks he is smaller than he really is, since he insists on cuddling with anyone on the couch!



I guess the producers of Regis and Kelly thought it would be cool to do this 80's theme this week on their show.

Not so cool.

Not a pretty sight.

Each day I watch...only to see if their 80's guest is still any good. Well, I am not the biggest fan of 80's music. And these bands are making music again and it has been really hard to watch!

Like today, they had Loverboy on...I believe yesterday was Rick Springfield singing Jessie's Girl... goodness it was just rediculous!

A little update from the past few days:
...No classes, so I haven't done much... ....Worked a few hours at B&BW..... ....did some running.... ....had a few beers..... ....played some fun volleyball... ...and didn't do a darn thing to organize myself (and apartment) in preparation for my classes beginning and getting back into my classroom....

As for the rest of the week: ...dinner with my sister and our cousin before she leaves us to move to England.... ....wedding dress shopping with the Sister and family.... ...and if I am lucky, a long run on sunday!

A few pics from last night....

Me & B-rent

Sis, Britt, Me, Ben
(Left to right)

Happy runnings, y'all!


A Few Pictures from Vacation!

Not the greatest picture...but here is my buddy.... Justin Morneau...on one of his off nights! (8.1.06)
Rest period at the Wave Pool! Ahhhh, so much fun! For those of you who know "of" these girls, the two in the middle are the sisters! My God-daughter being the second one in from the right! (8.3.06)
And this is me...with my cousin's little baby! Fun times at the cabin! (8.5.06)

Training: WEEK 14

Well, I am back on GF now. So sad. I don't know what I will do with myself now. School starts in a little over 2 weeks. Well, Inservice does. Yikes. Well, I will still be doing a very little work at B&BW. So, I will probably just spend some time reading in the sun and getting back on track with my running!

Did I mention that I am no longer training for a half marathon. Nope. I am not ready. Mentally or physically. Instead, Dad and I are planning to do a 10K run that same day on the trails in Medora! I think that will be fun! And beautiful!

Well, I was able to do a short run on friday morning before we headed to Lake Sakakawea! (Thanks CDoc for the spelling...I knew that at one point but forgot!) And then, on Saturday, shockingly, I was able to get up and run out at the lake! I did not use my Garmin, but I am thinking I went atleast 3.5 miles due to the time it took me. First time running on gravel...not too bad...except for those darn grass hoppers.

Enough about that. I will post more later with some pictures from my vacation...hopefully!

Training: WEEK 14

Monday: 7.82 miles bike
Tuesday: OFF - in the Twin cities
Wednesday: OFF - in the Twin cities
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 2.57 miles run
Saturday: 3.5 miles run
Sunday: OFF


  • __6.07__ miles (run)
  • __7.82__ miles (bike)
  • __0__ laps (swim)



Oh what a week...so far. I don't know if vacations are good for the running soul. Not mine.

I haven't ran since my four miles on saturday. Isn't that pathetic?!?! I golfed 9 holes in excruciating heat on sunday, biked close to 8 miles on monday and haven't done squat since.

Unless you count walking to and from the metrodome in downtown minneapolis... for two little-to-desire-Twins-games. Yeah, they weren't doing so hot. we went to the game tuesday night to watch them hand over 8 runs in the fourth inning. Yuck. Then wednesday afternoons game we thought was going to be better, since they sent their pitcher from tuesday back to the minor leagues and snatched a minor leaguer for wednesday. Not so much. Not impressed. Did I mention that I was tempted to ask the vendor at the metrodome if I could trade my Morneau t-shirt I purchased the night before for something else. I was disappointed in him...and Hunter...and Rodriguez... do you want me to go on?

Anyway. I am hoping they plan better tonight with Radke pitching.

I was to run this morning. Didnt' happen. What is wrong with me. Instead I slept in. Read a little of my book. Then drove to pick up my four youngest cousins and take them to the wave pool. Oh, it was so much fun! So much fun! I think they had a blast. We also hit up Dairy Queen afterwards and my god-daughter, who is 7 insisted on getting a medium sized blizzard while I kept telling her that she wouldn't be able to finish it. She won the battle. She finished hers, and my SMALL blizzard. Boy did she prove me wrong!
Tomorrow I will be heading to the lake. Lake Sakajawea! Fun times in the sun to come! And, probably no running.... hmmm.. Maybe I will be able to get my butt up in the morning and accomplish something...
Happy running, y'all!