Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year

Where are people going to be for the holidays?
We'll probably be in South Jordan a couple of times.
We need to get the gang together.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I want to teach in Europe

I don't think I'm really happy, at least long-term, without some kind of big goal in mind. Something to look forward to and strive towards. The past few years I've been able to cross off some of those goals. Graduate. 10 weeks in Europe. Graduate. Convince April to marry me. Find a teaching job.
Now that those goals are accomplished, I realized I'm out, and so I'm searching for a new big goal. Being an assistant principal doesn't appeal to me right now. Becoming certified to teach all science (not just biology) and English...those are good goals, but they're not big, and they're more to make me marketable than anything else.
So I've been looking at moving to Europe. A place where (unless it's a US school) children want to learn. A place that's big on good public transportation, good food, good culture. A place that's green. A place where the LDS religion is something that makes us different, not the same.
My options right now:
Work for DODDS (schools run by the US government for military brats). US kids, and the jobs can be difficult to obtain, but they provide free housing, and an American influence would make April feel more at home.
Get a TESOL or similar credential and teach English as a second language in a European school. This can also be a difficult job to get in Western Europe, and I'd rather teach biology or English as a first language, but Europeans generally want to learn (as opposed to Americans...please compare high school graduation rates for proof).
Teaching for an international school. Europe has a lot of international schools where the primary language is English. Kids from all over, who have parents working in a foreign country, go to these schools. This would probably be my first pick; I still need to do more research.
Teaching a subject in the English language in a public or private school. Apparently, the Netherlands is big on this...they have classes taught in English, and the students practice English and learn another subject at the same time.
My biggest problem right now is that I don't know how difficult it is to get jobs in any of these areas. My only connection is a retired librarian who used to work for DODDS in Italy (thanks, Kirk). I don't know anyone else who's taught in Europe. So I'll be doing some more research.
Anyone who doesn't understand this obsession has never been to Europe. It'll be an adventure when it happens. We'll have to see how long I can convince April to stay. If anyone has any potential leads, let me know.

Robert Jordan is dead

We knew he was sick. As his "Wheel of Time" series kept growing, some started worrying if he'd ever finish it.
It's a sad day for many of us.
I read the first few books; I've always said I'd wait to read more until he finished the series. Guess that day will never come.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My first traffic ticket

So Friday, heading home from work, I pulled out of the parking lot driveway a little quick. A little too quick. I could see the road for a good half mile in both directions, it was clear, and I peeled out (if 10 mph can be called peeling) and turned right to head home.
Guess I didn't really stop for the stop sign.
Price? Anyone want to guess?
That's right. $75 for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign when the coast was clear and I was turning right from a glorified driveway.
So guess how much respect I have for Idaho Falls cops now? None. The cop tried to tell me the seriousness of my crime, but from the insecure way he said it, I got the feeling that he realized the ticket amount was way too much. And I no longer find the cops here trustworthy, intelligent, or, most of all, fair.
I guess I've made a lot of stupid mistakes driving, some of which would've deserved that hefty of a fine. This was not one of them. Had I been charged $25, I would've been fine with it. But if cops want respect, they need to be fair. And $75, for that, is not fair.
For now, I'll consider it the price for all the dumb mistakes I've made in the past. Including the time I pulled a right onto Bangerter in icy conditions and was this close from plowing into traffic coming the opposite direction (good thing all the lanes going my direction were clear). Or the time I pulled out of 10th West onto 106th...and seriously cut off another driver (some of you may remember that...) It's just too bad I get fined for something this lame.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Happy checks and Sunbeams

April and I got a visit from three men last week. That's right. The entire bishopric stopped by; they called us to teach the 8-year old primary kids. Team teachers. Lots of fun. So why the headline about Sunbeams?
Sunday night, a member of the primary presidency stopped by. "Actually, things have changed, and you'll be teaching the Sunbeams." So we'll be in charge of keeping eight or so (14 on the roll) Sunbeams occupied for hours at a time.
Reminds me of a long time ago when I was incorrectly called to be the datebox co-chair; I was incredibly relieved when I immediately got a call about the mistake. This time, though, I get the scarier position.
Also, update on the refund check. The company actually sent us a check returning 100% of what we'd paid, when the cancellation agreement stated that we'd only get part of it back. Pretty sweet deal! And my mom always said complaining never accomplishes anything...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Edited movies

So, contrary to common belief, Clean Flicks is not out of business. How do I know this? There's one just a few blocks from our apartment. So we went over there, got a free membership, and got "Children of Men". The Masked Mallard had shown me the preview, and it was definitely a movie I wanted to see. Darker and more intense than I expected, but it also included bright rays of hope. And they played King Crimson! The first progressive rock band, the pioneers of the genre, entirely ignored by American radio, and they played a fairly long segment of "In the Court of the Crimson King". Awesome.
Later I watched "Terminator" (number one) and "The Manchurian Candidate." Both good movies. I had mono and April had her internship (so I was home alone, bored).
If you're ever in Idaho Falls, come stop by...and make a stop by Clean Flicks. Some good stuff.