Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I love my job.

I love my job. Seriously, it rocks. And not because we get "summers off" (which, by the way, is definitely not true...I continue working all summer on curriculum, attend week-long workshops and conferences, do home visits, etc...), but because I get to teach and be taught by teenagers everyday.

Since Sunday we've been down at Dauphin Island with the 8th graders on a sea lab expedition. For those of you who don't know, we're an expeditionary school. This means about 35% of our learning happens outside the classroom. Our 8th graders big trip every year is to Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, and in about a month we'll be taking our 7th graders to Tremont Smoky Mountain Institute in Tennessee. These are a huge reason why I love my job so much--learning outside the classroom is awesome. Not just for the kids (who totally dig it and love the expeditions we go go) but for the teachers too. When you're with kids 24-7 for a week straight you learn things...not only about the kiddos but about yourself. I'll spare you all the preachy-esque details and leave you with this: teaching is amazing, stressful, rewarding, exhausting, fantastic, and every other incredibly good / bad adjective you can come up with. I love my job and continue every day to be amazed by the things these middle schoolers can do and teach me.

Here are a few shots from our expedition to Dauphin Island:

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Sunday, March 20, 2011


Greetings from back on this side of the pond!  That's right...the week has seemingly flown by and our London vacation has come and gone...and we're back stateside.  HOWEVER, it was hands-down the best trip ever!  Here's one of the reasons why:
Yup, that's right, Mike proposed and I said yes!  It was so perfect...we were walking along one night by my favorite spot in London--right next to the River Thames by Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, and poof!  He popped the question!  I was so unbelievably surprised and shocked, but managed to clear my head and say YES!  It really was absolutely perfect!  And now we're engaged!  AHHH! YAY! :)

The rest of our trip was almost as good as that night; we managed to do and see a ton of stuff!  Here are some pics from the rest of our trip and our amazing week we had in London.
The Clink Prison

Waiting for the Tube...

After the proposal...YAY!

My lovely old roommate Grier and I seeing Wicked!

Visiting professor Mike teaching the year 10s about law enforcement in the US

Dinner at the Crispy Duck...best Chinese restaurant ever!

Big Ben

The London Eye

St. James Park

About to get beheaded at the Clink Prison

Ahhh, my favorite spot! :)

London Bridge outside the Tower of London 

Abbey Road! 

In the WWI trenches at the Imperial War Museum

Parliament and Big Ben...FAVORITE SPOT! 

St. James Park with Big Ben in the background 

Princess Diana Memorial

Princess Diana Memorial with my old roomie

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures.  I don't really know why I like it so much, but I do.  Probably cause Mike's in his uniform and he NEVER lets me take pictures of him in his uniform.  It's from Mardi Gras a year ago...I was begging Mike to give me a ride home after the parade and festivities (and conveniently when he got off work) because I didn't want to take the "scary Metrolink."  My friend Courtney snapped this shot--unknown to both of us she was taking a picture--as I was pleading my case to Mike.  He did end of giving me a ride home...such a sweet fella :)

Have a great Friday and weekend peeps!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

can I brag on myself for a sec?!

I just finished my 3rd grad school class...I'm 9 hours done and only 21 away from a masters in Educational Technology from Mizzou!  Woo hoo!  Okay, that's not what I'm boasting about.  Actually the class I just finished is called "Intro to Web Development."  Stupid Alex here thought we'd just be creating websites that we could use in our classrooms.  Ohhh, how wrong I was.  We actually were writing the HTML codes by hand for our websites.  Yup, that's right, we were writing all of this lovely jibber-jabber (that I'm guessing most of you have no idea where to even begin to digest what it's saying).

When I realized that the class involved this type of work, I was overwhelmed.  It's an online class--how the heck was I suppose to teach myself to write HTML codes?!  Something that number one is outdated and number two CONFUSING as ever!  However, I didn't let myself take the easy way out and just drop the class; I stuck with it and was determined to learn how to write and code HTML.  And you know what?!  I'm glad I did.  I actually learned a lot.  And yes, I probably learned a bunch of outdated stuff (since almost no one writes HTML sites by hand anymore...that's why there's web creating programs!), but I still learned something.  And now when I see those crazy little codes on websites or the "embed" feature (like on YouTube), I know exactly what that code means and what it's going to do.

So that's why I'm proud of myself today.  I can write HTML codes now!  Yay!  And if you want to check out my final project website that I wrote BY HAND, the link is below.  The subject is (what else?!) Scooter.  Enjoy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

More from Ms. Pepin...

Have I told you how talented my 7th graders are?!  Seriously, they continue to amaze me.  They definitely are a lively and loud bunch, but boy, can they sure come up with some creative ideas for the projects they produce!

So recently we have been looking at the Age of Exploration...so instead of having them just answer some guiding questions about the time period, I had them use a Web 2.0 tool called xtranormal to create a cartoon movie about the Age of Exploration.  Let me just say, the kiddos LOVED this activity...they got so into it!  I bet they didn't even realize when we watched their classmates videos they were hearing the same content OVER AND OVER again.  I'm so sly :)

Anyways, here's a few of their xtranormal videos they whipped up.  Super impressive for 13 year olds, eh?!  I definitely think so!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Flashback Friday

I use to live here.

Even though it was only for 8 short months...

I still cherish every memory, every person, every experience from my time in London.

I have been getting myself jazzed up (hence the reason for this post!) because soon we will venture back to this place...

One of my most favorite places on Earth!

Stay tuned for more pics to come...this time NOT in flashback form!

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