Monday, October 31, 2005

all the fall halloween festivities

okay, so a week ago, we had our middle school dance. cute costumes from some of my 7th and 8th grade kids :) (and some of the teachers--this is mrs. calhoun and mrs. ericson, a couple of my co-workers and fellow chaperones)

then there was the band competition at cape fear, where we got to see washburn and his band from south carolina...

then there was the homecoming game at ECU, complete with costumed band performance...

trunk or treat at church on sunday evening--new thing where you have kids come around to trick or treat out of the trunk of your car (i had a winter wonderland theme--and in case you couldn't tell, i was a snow-person)

and finally, the parade of characters and historical figures (sounds better than halloween costume, i guess) at school this morning!

yeah, it's been busy. and i don't even have pictures from the fall festival this past friday! lots of fun :)

happy halloween!

update to come later on... i need to get some photos on my computer and then i can illustrate the weekend's events when i write the next entry.

until then, carve a pumpkin or two...or a thousand (pumpkin fest in boston, 2005)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

my attempt at being athletic

so a few interesting photos to post...

my attempt to be athletic at the faculty/student volleyball game. here, we've got coach amy, coach steven, math/soccer coach brian, science/math teacher eric, spanish teacher shona, tech guy fred and assistant headmaster jim. formerly known as "the oakwood geezers". (i had a slight issue with that considering i really don't call myself a geezer)

between the moisture from wilma and the freezing temperatures in the mountains, justin's dad got 12 inches of snow over the week. crazy!

and finally...a very happy halloween to everyone. i love this picture from last year's pumpkin fest held by "life is good" up in boston.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

halfway there...

so it's been a bit of a crazy week so far. but it's halfway over. thank goodness :)

so we knew it was too good to be true that the dance went as smoothly as we thought. sure enough, there was an incident with one of my love triangles where the girl slapped the ex-boyfriend. and as a result, there has been a fallout between the 8th and 9th grade to the point where we're going to have to do an intervention with the girls of both grades to smooth out some of the issues. my mind goes back to the scene in the gym from "mean girls", and i'm tempted to show that clip to intro our discussion tomorrow, but i'll most likely just stick to the basics. should be quite an experience.

faculty/student volleyball game yesterday afternoon--so much fun :) we surprised the students by having the faculty dress up in hip hop atheltic gear and running out to our own theme song, but i capitalized on my lack of athletic experience and ran out late in every piece of sports equipment i could find, including shin guards, a catcher's mask and a lacrosse stick. got a big laugh, and my "state of confusion" continued on the court as i attempted to play volleyball against our school's B team. We beat the A team in the first game, and lost to the B team and the A team again in the last two games. i only played in the B game, and they wanted to put me in the second A game, but they were saying, "okay, let's take it to them," and i said, "then you don't want to put me in cause i wasn't trying to lose out there. it just kinda happened!" all in all, i had fun and now have an oakwood jersey with my nickname "red hot" on the back. oh yeah...

we played the most amusing homemade game on monday night at young adults. you take a stack of index cards or small sheets of paper. everyone gets the same number of cards, and the number of cards equals the number of people you have playing. the more people, the better. (ex. we had 9 people playing, so we each had a stack of 9 cards). you write a word, any word, on the top card. flip over your entire stack and pass it to the person next to you. they take the card with the word you wrote and put it at the back of the pile. on the top card, they draw a picture of the word you just wrote. then they flip over the stack and pass it to the next person, who only sees the picture. they look at the picture, put it at the back of the pile, and write the word that they think the picture is describing. so on and so forth until you get the pile back with the word you wrote or the picture you think describes your word on top. then you get to see the crazy progression between words and pictures as the stack went around the circle. we laughed so hard at some of our drawings and some of the words that resulted from them. when you have guys giving words like "exhaust manifold" or attempting to draw objects like "sausage", it just gets funny. you get to see how "grinch" becomes "santa claus" (and passed through "gnome", "elf" and "dwarf") or how "chuck amato" becomes "rob" (or "joe" becomes "life preserver"). use it at your next get-together. you won't regret it.

fall festival on friday night--i'm face painting. ecu homecoming game on saturday--justin and i are going (and the band will be doing another costumed show, should be entertaining!). trunk or treat at church on sunday--i think i'm face painting again and decorating the trunk of my car to hand out candy. and halloween is actually monday, and who knows what i'm doing then. yup, busy weekend ahead.

that's it for right now...feels like fall (or in some cases, winter) but i'm loving it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

so it was definitely...

a fabulous weekend :)

here's to an excellent middle school dance--complete with halloween decorations and tons of amusing costumes. i went as a 50's sock hop girl (easy enough with my swing dance stuff) but i had a great time with the rest of the faculty and the students. shona brought her 1st grade daughter skylar, and she had better moves than most of my 8th graders! the remainder of the evening was spent having dinner and relaxing with justin.

saturday was going to fayetteville and getting to watch parts of the cape fear high school competition. here's to seeing washburn for the first time in three years and getting to watch some great bands. we went and visited my grandma during the long dinner break but went back in time to see the BIG bands--southeast raleigh, southview, and clinton (and cape fear's exhibition show). definitely worth coming back--even when southview stole the 2004 blue devils show (summertime train blues). clinton did "sights, sounds and flavors" with themes like cayenne pepper and curry powder :) and cape fear had a good "seasons" show with one of my favorite numbers--appalachian spring. overall, great performances and it was wonderful to be able to sit with washburn in the stands to catch up during the breaks. oh, and i got to see plenty of clinton folk--i am a native, you know ;)

and this morning was introducing justin to hay street and all of the history there ("there's my pediatrician...and my 9th grade english teacher...and my great-uncle and aunt....") and having lunch before we headed back to greenville by way of clinton. i'm not planning on leaving greenville again during the weekend until probably thanksgiving, so it was great to see everyone before things get really busy. and they are going to get REALLY busy...

full week of work about to begin. time for some sleep!

Friday, October 21, 2005

i have decided...

that it is going to be a fabulous, fabulous weekend.

the weather today is absolutely GORGEOUS. it will continue to be gorgeous and even more like fall following the cold front that is coming through.

i helped out in the spanish classes today--i love helping out in the spanish classes. makes me feel useful. and it's just a ton of fun.

i also helped out in art and music--can you see why i like wandering around for parts of the day? i can hit all of my interests (and my cases that i'm keeping an eye on) with strategically patterned visits to other classes.

we are planning a faculty/student volleyball game for next week that will include teachers dressing up like big-shot athletes and coming out on the court to rap music. me--i've volunteered to play, but i'm going to run in late wearing a football jersey and carrying a tennis racket. yes, i know i'm a ham.

i've also gotten the thumbs up to start a winterguard of sorts with my middle school girls. once we get a routine or two down, we can perform for basketball game halftimes. soooo excited about this. let me know if you have suggestions for music :)

and shona (the spanish teacher i subbed in for today) just brought me back a bouqet of hot pink roses to thank me. they smell DIVINE.

have i mentioned i love working at this school? love love love love it. the staff is just amazing, and the kids are too cute (though they will occasionally try your nerves). but in the end, it's all worth while.

fayetteville tomorrow! bring back memories...

hey band! who are you, band? what are you, band? how does it feel? are you motivated? are you motivated? are you motivated?

when will i ever stop being major mason?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ready for the weekend

good morning, all.

even though it has been an abbreviated week, i am soooo ready for the weekend. lots of good times to be had, especially going down to fayetteville and watching the band competition. will be a nice throwback to the good ol' days.

this week has been somewhat crazy, somewhat productive. yesterday, i had my class with the wild seventh grade class (there are two classes of 7th graders--one is wild, the other is mild--not sure how that happened). anyways, my topic with them this week was going to be about creating a "politically correct" vocabulary. yes, i know how being PC can occasionally be a pain and make it difficult to express yourself. however, some of these kids have adopted a few questionable slang terms, particularly saying that something is "retarded" or "gay" when they dislike it. the faculty and i have been wanting to break them of that habit and it seemed like a good opportunity to bring up some of that stuff in my class. so we started off by reading a selection from "politically correct bedtime stories" (always amusing) and then going over some definitions about stereotypes and all of the "isms" (classism, racism, ageism, ableism)...well, the discussion went from that to...every possible tangent we could find. and it certainly was a productive discussion, but we were all of a sudden talking about the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation, what terms were correct or incorrect to use in those situations (quote from the discussion, "queer is a word you should only use if you're talking about a show on bravo") and then we moved into descriptions of various personality and mood disorders and why they shouldn't think that "multiple personalities are funny" and that bipolar people don't flip-flop back and forth between the manic and depressive sides. and here's the thing--the main reason the kids thought it was okay to use "gay" and "retarded" as slang is because they know everyone at oakwood and they know that it doesn't offend anyone, so they don't need to change that since it doesn't offend anyone now. i did a quick reminder that they won't always be at oakwood and they won't always know whether or not those terms will offend someone and that in the long run, i want to make sure that when they reach their respective universities or even new high schools, that they don't make fools of themselves by inadvertantly offending someone by carelessly using those words. i have a looooong way to go. but it's a start.

in the meantime, we carved a pumpkin last night when i taught the kids class at church. after running through one of our skits that we're going to perform next month, we talked about how carving a pumpkin is like what God does with us--he takes out all the junk inside, cleans us out and then puts a light inside of us so we can share it with the world and they can see His light in us. besides getting really messy pulling out the seeds, the kids had a good time carving various shapes in the pumpkin (amos:"i'm going to put a ghost on this side" me:"i really don't think a ghost is very churchy. how about a cross or a heart?" amos:"no, it's the Holy Ghost!" me:"okay, i guess that'll work, then") and then putting the candle inside to show off their artwork. fun times, fun times.

we've been talking about the books we enjoy reading among the faculty members and one of the ladies in the business office dropped off a book yesterday that i have already finished, it was so good. if you're a sucker for the chick lit movement, check out this book for a fun, quick read that is terribly entertaining and addicting. i'm trying to track down the sequel to it now.

okay, i should go be productive now. later :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

a tuesday that feels like a monday

young adults last night--thumbs up, with many compliments on the food. i had real oven-baked baked potatoes (which created a bit of a haze but the results were well worth the smell) with all the toppings and a couple huge bowls of salad. enough leftovers for me to have lunch or dinner for the next couple of days and for a few people to take home plates. but overall, a fun evening and milo stole the show with plenty of cute, kitten antics. oh, and i got to show off my replay tv. if only i could get a kick-back for referring my friends...oh well!

today, the new lockers continue to be the main focus of my middle schoolers. a few of my skinny seventh graders have figured out that yes, they can fit into the lockers with the door shut, and my sixth grade girls are having fun decorating the inside of their lockers with magnetic mirrors and note pads and all of that stuff. yet others have decided that they can still leave their gym bags, purses, instruments and laptop cases out in the hallway (and some of the faculty just had a great time clearing the hallways and taking all of the extra stuff to the main office--i've thought of putting it in my office and charging the students 50 cents to return it!)

busy weekend coming up--will be stopping in at the middle school dance on friday night and then heading to fayetteville on saturday. washburn (my old high school band director) is bring his new high school band up to cape fear for the competition, and they're performing at 4 pm. i know that it's been 3 years since he left FTS, and that he hasn't done such a great job about keeping in touch (even when those of us who like to catch up with him send chronically un-replyed e-mails) but he did finally respond and let me know when his band was performing, so i will try to be there. hope some of you former bulldogs out there will be able to come, too!

oh, and a very happy ten month-iversary to my amazing boyfriend. i am happier and happier every day.

that's all for now :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

back from the highlands

so we're back :)

after an amazing weekend in the mountains, i'm back to get everything back in order and to get ready for hosting young adults tomorrow night, while also enjoying my day off from work. it'll all get done!

asheville was so amazing. after hitting lots of traffic on the way through the state and driving the windy roads up there, we were greeted by a beautiful saturday with blue sky and very comfortable weather. the biltmore house came into view and it was just fantastic. we were in there by 11 and walked around for about two and a half hours, taking in all of the architecture and historical finishings. no pictures from inside (estate rule) but lots on the outside. i think the main thing was the extravagance of the home and the technology that was so ahead of the time. i had seen the biltmore before at christmas time, but this was a first visit for justin and i really wanted to see everything through his eyes as well, essentially through the architect's eyes. so i told him, "i want a running commentary today, just all of the stuff that you notice and are thinking about." and it was great to get his perspective and the details that he noticed. after eating lunch at the stable cafe and walking around the gardens, we left and checked another trip off our list. yay :)

so i had thought of surprising justin and had done some research before we left about some area corn mazes. i'd found one nearby and navigated us to it following our day at the biltmore. as we got nearer, though, i began thinking, "was this the maze that was having paintball at it on saturday evening?" and of course, it was, so we turned back around and went back towards asheville by way of the blue ridge parkway. some AMAZING views there and we returned to asheville safe and sound. dinner downtown at the mellow mushroom and a short walk around the area where there were lots of shops, cafes, street performers and it was just the perfect end to the day.

we made our way back this morning, stopping off in winston-salem to see maggie and to have lunch, and got back to greenville a little after five. wooo... back to reality.
i LOVE taking trips. i LOVE the mountains (especially in the fall). and yeah, i LOVE this boy, too ;)

Friday, October 14, 2005


it's "grandparents and special friends" day here at oakwood.
(which means we will have grandparents and special friends around the school for the rest of the day)

we have an assembly for the entire school at 9.

we got new lockers put in the middle school building last night (first time the kids have had lockers at all).

it's a half-day before our fall break on monday.

can you guess the productivity level today?

p.s. headed to the mountains this afternoon, perhaps gonna see my mags on the way
p.p.s have found out that duke tip hires a counselor for the beaufort marine lab (a one session camp, so not as long as the other summer when i worked for tip) and i believe i'm gonna put in an application

Thursday, October 13, 2005

technology update

so yesterday apple introduced their new iPod, along with several other newer versions of their iMac and iTunes store. being a novice apple user, i try to keep up with the latest gadgets--not necessarily buying into them, but atleast becoming knowledgable of their features so that when i do have the excess income to purchase one, i'll have a pretty good idea of what i want.
it is amazing the success apple has had over the past few years, taking the iPod (and the mp3 player in general) and turning it from a relatively unknown gadget that only the most techno-friendly people had to a very popular and very common household name. i've seen the nano (and honestly, it's so small that i know i would lose it or the cats would end up knocking it under the couch and i would never see it again), i love the color options of the mini, and the fact that i could download and watch an episode of desperate housewives on the newest iPod just baffles me. what will they come up with next?
last night at church, quite appropriately, we were studying the last chapter of 1 timothy, where the well-known verse, "for love of money is the root of all evil" comes from. and we were talking about contentment and how today's society promotes never being content with what we have, cause there is always something new out there that will out-perform and eventually replace whatever we have. the computer i'm currently typing on will be obselete in about 2 or 3 years, the TV that i just bought this summer won't be able to receive any cable channels AT ALL in 3 or 4 years because all of the signals will be sent in HD form, and the digital camera i'm looking at for christmas will lack the megapixels and features that will be available in just a year or so from now. when will it be okay to stop? i have turned into quite the techno-junkie, with my wireless cable internet, my addiction to my digital photos and my now-extrememly neceesary PVR that allows me to indulge in my favorite shows minus commecials and constricting time schedules. and i love this life-style, because it has spoiled me while also making me feel like part of the 21st century... but i think there will be a point where i have to draw the line and say, okay, this is enough. i just hope i will be able to recognize when that time comes :)

on a side note, it feels like fall. i love fall--i think it has always been my favorite season, but especially since high school. the cool friday nights at football games, the bus rides back home from an away game or competition, driving in the dark with a sky full of stars out in the country, just a few windows open to let the breeze blow just brings back some great memories and some very comforting feelings. i am so excited about going up to the mountains this weekend, to see the fall leaves and for justin to see the biltmore for the first time. it is an amazing architectural example of total extravagance and a family who just had so much money that they could create, well, pretty much a castle in the mountains of nc. should be a great trip (as long as i get rid of this cold that is plaguing me at the moment) anyways, here's to beautiful weather and a wonderful fall break :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

joseph william mason

just thought i'd give an official welcome to my newest cousin, joseph william mason. this little guy was born on september 24th and is the 3rd grandchild for my grandparents, the first child for my uncle and aunt. i was very excited to see him just a week after he was born while i was in the raleigh area a couple of weeks ago, and i LOVED getting to hold him. so yay for my newest relative :)


brand new blog--let's face it, as we all finish up school and spread out across the state (or in some cases, the country!) it becomes harder and harder to keep everyone updated with what's going on in my life. so here's my attempt to put some of it out there, as well as giving me an outlet to share some of my stories. i will be working on this site over the next couple of weeks to get it exactly as i'd like it, but it will take some time so please be patient! so, just drop me a line if you get the chance and i'll be sure to update regularly. thanks :)