Posted by: pckatie | May 4, 2011

Overdue for an Update!

After 17 years of public education, walking out the door yesterday marked the end of an era.  It was my last day of college, my last day of student teaching, and my last shift on campus at ASU.  It was a bittersweet feeling.  Part of me is so excited for what the rest of my life holds that it is difficult to be sad, but my college experience was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more so I am definitely feeling a little nostalgic as I look back on the last four years.  Another thing that is weighing on my emotions is the fact that my friends and I are all going our separate ways.  I have never really experienced this because after high school almost everyone I know went to one of the two in state universities.  Saying goodbye to my kindergarteners was also difficult yesterday.  I can’t lie, they do drive me absolutely CRAZY sometimes, but I have really grown to love each and every one of them and I will miss them and think of them often.  This morning at 8:23 I thought of them filing into class and carrying on as usual, just without me!  They had a really lovely going away/congratulations party for me yesterday complete with gifts, cake, and beautiful hand made cards.  I really loved that school and felt like a part of the community there, but like so many other schools they don’t have any open positions, and even if they did there are so many displaced teachers within the district they would fill them with those people first.  Upon reflecting on my student teaching experience I feel so blessed to be going into a profession that I love so much.  I am happy that my work in Peace Corps is education because I think I would have to reconsider spending two years away from teaching.  Very few people get to wake up every day for the rest of their lives and go do something they love, so I feel very lucky to be one of the few.

In Peace Corps related news, not much has changed!  I worked through most of the paperwork and reading materials in the invitation packet.  I am currently waiting for my certified copy of my birth certificate to come back in the mail so I can submit my passport paperwork.  I am going to Mexico in a week and a half with my best friend for a graduation cruise so I will need my passport which made the process a little more complicated but its working out!  I have been contemplating ordering a language learning software to start reactivating my Spanish skills and start to build on them.  I narrowed it down to two programs: Fluenz and Rosetta Stone.  Both programs have their pro’s and con’s and I am sure I would have been happy with either but I chose Rosetta Stone because is has been around longer so there is much more positive feedback.  I couldn’t decide what levels to order.  I know I won’t need level one, and pretty sure I won’t need level two, but the way they are packaged I wouldn’t be able to get level three then and I wasn’t sure if I would need it or not.  So I decided to get all 6 levels and start from the beginning just to be safe/thorough.  It arrived yesterday and I am so excited to start using it!

I have a pretty busy next month or so which is nice because sometimes I have a hard time when the semester ends going from being SO busy to having NOTHING to do.  Tomorrow I am going to take graduation pictures on campus with my best friends and then celebrate Cinco de Mayo, next Wednesday is my certification event where I officially become a teacher, next Thursday is the undergraduate commencement ceremony at ASU, next Saturday is my college of education convocation ceremony, that Sunday is my best friend’s graduation party, then the next day we leave for our cruise to Mexico!  When I return from Mexico I will have a few days and then I leave for my family vacation on a cruise to Alaska.  I am also hoping to go camping at some point this summer as well as visit the Grand Canyon as my best friend (a native Arizonan) has NEVER been!!

Hope all is well with everyone, congrats on all of the invites that have been going out!

Until next time…paz y amor.

EDIT:  I forgot to mention something… I have been meaning to ask any current or returned volunteers (or even invitees) to give me some advice on a decision I am trying to make.  I am definitely bringing a computer, I just can’t decide if I should bring my laptop (14 inch screen) or get a netbook (one of those little tiny laptops).  I have done lots of research so I know most of the pro’s and con’s (i.e. netbook is much lighter/smaller but doesn’t have a dvd/cd drive and has much less storage).  I would love to hear what other people have done/are planning on doing and what works best.  I don’t watch many movies now so the DVD drive isn’t very important, but I don’t know if that would change during service.  Also, I have four or five flash drives already and could get a few more so the storage isn’t a big deal either.  Comment with your advice/opinions!

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Responses

  1. Hey! I feel like we may be in similar situations. I graduated from ASU last semester (I’m assuming Arizona state?) and I’m teaching now. I also have my invitation and am scheduled to be an education volunteer in South Africa leaving in July. It’s crazy how close it’s getting!

  2. I am an invitee waiting for staging to go to Macedonia. I have similar questions about technological planning. I lean toward a netbook because of the size/weight factor. I have considered an iPad, but that does not have any USB ports and therefore will not accommodate any flash drives for back-up and ease of carrying files written elsewhere to a PC office, or any other place and I do not want to lug a netbook everywhere. Then, there are the other tablets (Xoom, etc). They have the USB ports. You can get a wireless keyboard for the tablet and have the comfort of typing as on a laptop. Another advantage of the tablets is that they double as an e-book reader quite nicely and obviate the need to also get & carry a Kindle, or anything similar. I am also considering an external CD drive.
    I am going to contact PCVs already serving in Macedonia and seek their advice based upon their experience.
    I will be interested in seeing what other comments you receive on this topic.

  3. Katie, right?! Heya! I am a fellow Nica 57 volunteer as well! My name is Julie and I hail from the great state of Colorado! I’m as stoked as you are to be embarking on this kick-ass adventure too! Interestingly enough, I am also an environmental education volunteer and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty— that, and I can’t wait to get a dog either. Any way, got to meet up with some return volunteers a few weeks ago and they said that a computer is a must-have. So, I’m definitely bringing one and if all goes well, I’m going to try to ship a bike as well. Oh yeah, they also informed me that PCers are eligible for hella-rad discounts, like 50% off Chacos and Tevas. Just email those companies and attach your confirmation letter and you’re all set!! So exciting!! Hope to hear from you soon!
    Con abrazo,
    Julie


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