Schoolhouse Rock vol. 41

This week was pretty great.
Well, by that I mean this week was really long, but ended well.

On Thursday, the fire department came to teach our kiddos about fire safety.  After they gave their presentation, we took the kids out to the fire truck and they all get to spray the fire hose.  Naturally it is a life highlight for the kids.  The life highlight for us is that the firefighters brought us kindergarten teachers Caribou!  They took our drink orders and set off in their rig to get us some delicious caffeine.  It was the best ever.

On Friday, we made sandwiches for homeless people in Minneapolis.  We go through an organization called 363 Days which has the premise that a lot of organizations work to provide meals for the homeless on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but what about the other 363 days of the year?  Let’s make sandwiches to provide meals every day.  We had some awesome volunteers come in and help the class count out two pieces of bread, two pieces of meat, one piece of cheese and put it in a bag.  The kids all wear plastic gloves that are too big for them, and I have some awesome pictures of them with their giant gloves trying to wrangle their sandwiches into a baggie.   I love this service project because the kids are actually doing something to help those in need.  Most of the kids were super excited to help the community.  There is the one kid though, who still at dismissal time was asking, “Can we eat our sandwiches now??”

Another special moment on Friday is when I was a little frustrated with my class and something about the way they were lining up, I don’t really remember much besides being slightly annoyed and putting out my hand in front of me to show them where they were supposed to be standing.  One child saw my outstretched hand and must have thought, “Oh, clearly she is looking for a high five.  I will give her one.”  Hilarious.

In other news, we want to learn to read in kindergarten, but I don’t actually have books in my classroom library that are at the reading level my kids need.  So I created a project on Donors Choose to buy books for my classroom at levels A, B, and C.  The cool thing is that between now and October 21, if you donate to my project and put the matching code INSPIRE in at check out, the Donors Choose Board of Directors will match the donation.

Here is a link if you want to check it out

Laura’s Donors Choose Page

And let’s end by talking about how at Sunday School this morning I was trying to prevent a minor lego catastrophe and in the end succeeded in knocking a pitcher of water over and soaking a small child.

Teacher Fail.

Good News!

Good News, folks!

There are times in life when people move away from us.  And that can be really sad.

But don’t despair!

I was doing a little bit of leisurely reading the other evening, and I came across this advertisement in Life Magazine circa 1957.

The good news is that we can now use the telephone to stay in touch with our loved ones.

Look at these two cute little girls.  Are they sad that their friendship is over because little Suzy’s dad got a job in Chicago and she will be moving away from her Bestie Edith in Suburbia, Missouri?  No!  They are not.  They know that they can remain friends.  Yes, because of the telephone. 

In case you can’t read the fine print of the article portion of the ad, it says, “Share the fun of friendship – even when close friends move to another city.  For the telephone can keep you in touch.  Regular visits by telephone let you talk things over, tell them what you’re doing, find how they are, make plans for getting together in person.  So keep in touch… regularly.  It’s quick and easy to do.  And the cost is small.”

Who knew, right??

Fast forward to 2012.  If you are looking for fun new features on your new iPhone 5, you need a break from Angry Birds (or whatever it is the cool kids are playing these days) or you are tired of harrassing hanging out with Siri, try using your phone to make a phone call.  Because I learned that you too can share the fun of friendship… even when your friends are far away.

p.s.  Friend (you know who you are), this does not mean I am giving you my blessing to move away 😉

Safari-ing: Kazinga Channel Boat Ride

After a quick and delicious lunch back at Katara Lodge, we headed out for a magical boat ride along the Kazinga Channel. 

The Kazinga Channel is in Queen Elizabeth National Park and connects Lake George and Lake Edward.  (Think Uganda has some British historical connections??) 

I shared some of the photos from our boat ride in my post about elephants and my post about the fishing villages.   But don’t worry.  We saw lots more animals for me to share with you in this post.

Joseph, our guide, gave us the insider scoop to sit on the left side of the boat, as we would have the best view of the animals on shore.  SO glad we followed his advice.  Originally we sat in front of our friends from Katara Lodge, but from shore we saw Joseph emphatically motioning for us to sit further up in the boat.  It was the right choice – not only was there nobody blocking our photos, but we had good people watching.  There was a group of heavily tattooed Germans sitting across the aisle from us, and we also enjoyed watching a couple roll up on their BMW motorcycle.  My guess is that they are fancy spies escaped from an episode of Chuck.  Sorry if I just blew your cover, guys.

Hundreds of types of birds live in the Kazinga Channel.  Some of my favorites include the Fish Eagle (it looks like a bald eagle, but don’t be fooled!) 

And these awesome birds.  They all sat facing the same direction and you could see their throats shaking.  We didn’t really understand what was happening – it seemed like a nature miracle to us!  The boat man explained further.  Apparently these birds do their thing, living life, and then they get really hot (probably because they are in Africa).  So they fly to a point on shore and sit facing into  the direction of the wind.  They do their weird neck-shaky thing to cool off.  The moral of the story is that they are super fun to watch.

We also saw tons of hippos.  It is super creepy the way emerge and submerge in a  “now you see it, now you don’t” kind of fashion.  I do like that you can see their hairs in these photos.  So that is fun.  And kinda gross. 

We said hello to a few Nile Crocodiles as we chugged along past them. 

Water buffalo were pretty fun.  And we saw a lot of them.  The shoreline was usually a blob of water buffalo, hippos, and birds. 

We learned a lot that I am not sharing here because I don’t remember it all, and we had a great view of the animals.  Boating success.

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 39

Here a are a couple of  ways to not make your teacher smile…

  • Pee all over the floor in hopes that your teacher will slip in it and nearly fall in it (ok, maybe that wasn’t their plan, but it worked)
  • Interrupt the student teacher’s lecture on being better listeners to ask, “Are you a little girl?”  (ok, this did make me smile, but not in front of the kids)

Here are a few things you can do to make your teacher smile…

  • Ask the student teacher for her number.
  • Write your name successfully for the first time (yes!)
  • Tell your teacher that you don’t want to change your card (for bad behavior) because your life will turn into a storm cloud.
  • Answer your teacher’s questions perfectly as if you are a plant in the audience.
  • Blow your teacher kisses whenever she is teaching.  Or when you want something and she is thinking about her answer.  Blowing a kiss usually guarantees she will cave and say yes.