This has been a time in my life where lots of milestones have been reached after lots of months and years of working and waiting.
Milestone #1: I finished student teaching and my entire formal education. I loved every minute of being a student at BYU and most of the minutes I spent student teaching. I wish that I had kept better track of the day-to-day fun we had. It took a little getting used to, but I really did love spending my day with teenagers. I was surprised with how hard many of their lives have been, some so weighed down at such a young age it was sad. But the good news is that we had fun in the classroom. I decided to have the 7th graders get into groups and learn about prosthetic legs and try and build some. I saw about 15 different leg ideas, and they were all very impressive. Here are two variations in the beginning stages:
I think my favorite class was one of my 7th grade classes that was about 50% special education, functioning on a 2nd-3rd grade level. They were sooooo sweet. I came up with this crazy idea for this class to build a geodesic dome. My mentor teacher thought that they would be better off making small domes out of marshmellows and toothpicks, but they were so excited about building a big one. They did great and it lasted a few days before the ninth graders destroyed it (which has a great story attached for a future post).
The last thing I did with the ninth graders was teach them how to make pens on the lathe. In order to be prepared, I had to do a bit of practice. During spring break one of my good friends, who is a pen making expert, walked me through the entire process and helped me make my first pen in a year. Then I figured out how the process worked with the equipment we had at the middle school. It was so fun to have more practice and making four more pens, getting more efficient each time. The best part was seeing the excitement of the students who hate school and usually aren’t excited about anything school related. I gave one pen away to another teacher that I became friends while I was there, but here are the other three:
Milestone #2: Completing my honors thesis. I planned on graduating with honors since my freshman year, but after going to Jerusalem and getting married, I decided just graduating on time was important. At the end of last summer I realized that I had done just about everything to graduate with honors except write a thesis, so I changed my mind again and got started. It was a lot more work than I had expected and I learned so much throughout the whole process. I was able to defend my thesis at the beginning of March and pass without changes (which I was so grateful for). It was a great day when I was holding the final copies in my hands!
Milestone #3: I was crafty and finished a project sitting on my table for months. At the beginning of the year I went to a church activity and started this craft project. While I really don’t have any interest in the project, I am all for attending church activities and supporting those that put in so much time and effort into them as well as getting to know people better. I did not get very far during the activity though, and the bag of supplies has been sitting on my kitchen table for months. Last Thursday after finishing student teaching, I decided it was time. I was crafty and finished the whole project in one sitting. I am so crafted out for awhile!
Milestone #4: Consuming pounds and pounds of strawberries. Andrew and I have been on a strawberry kick the last couple of weeks. They aren’t exactly in season yet, but they look sooooooo tempting that we have been giving in. We are averaging about 5 pounds a week, but probably a little more if I am being honest. It tastes like spring!
Milestone #5: Attending General Conference in the Conference Center for the first time. My dad came to visit during general conference weekend on business, but he brought tickets with him to the Saturday afternoon session. Even though I have lived in Utah for 4 years, I have yet to watch conference live. As this was our last general conference in Utah for awhile, I was grateful for the opportunity to make it once. Plus the company was FANTASTIC! Thanks Dad!