Friday, May 30, 2008

50 years!

I realized that I forgot to mention an important milestone in the Tyler family. This past weekend my grandparents celebrated their 50 year anniversary! It is really amazing to think of all they have done and what a great example they have been for our entire family. They were both the first in their families to join the church after they were married, so really all of our lives would have been totally different if it wasn't for all of the great and inspired decisions they have made. Mike and I both argeed that they set a great precedent for us. We set a goal to make it 50 just like them, and after that I don't think eternity would be very far away!
We had a great time celebrating this weekend with them. My grandmother and her sister were married together, so my great-aunt and uncle, Janis and Eddie, came from Texas to visit along with their family. Their daughters both have young toddlers and it was fun to see them. On Saturday afternoon we hiked to a beautiful waterfall and spent some time at my aunt and uncle's house in South Weber. Sunday we had a casual dinner at my parents, and then Monday night we had a beautiful dinner and program at Carvers steak house in Sandy. Unfortunately our family was a little late for that because we were trying to finish off a slide show/video for their 50th. However, it turned out great and we were able to catch the end of the festivites. Congrats to Grandma and Grandpa Tyler!

Another update for Chelsea :)

My good friend Chelsea pointed out that it has been awhile since I have posted. Just because I think so highly of her, I decided that now would be a good time to write... hehe. Basically I haven't written because we don't really have much to report. Right now we are in a waiting period for many things. First, I am still waiting to be hired for a new job. I have done a couple interviews so far, and I have at least one scheduled for next week. Hopefully I should be able start somewhere by the end of next week? Anyway, once I finally start training somewhere new there will be an announcement.
Secondly, we are waiting to see where we are going to be living for the next year. Our contract at our current residence, Wymount, ends on June 4th. So, we will begin moving out and doing the final cleaning probably tomorrow! I am a little bit sad to leave Wymount, it has been a pretty good place for us. However, we felt that it was time to move on and look for something with a few more modern conveniences. :) We weren't too excited about spending the summer with no A/C. We are also looking for an apartment with a dishwasher and washer/dryer in the unit. Yesterday I found an AMAZING deal on pretty much the apartment of our dreams, but we are not sure if we will get it because there were several other couples interested as well. So, I won't go into too much detail about it so I won't get my heart any more set on it before we know! If we don't get that apartment, we will most likely move with my parents for a month or so to save some money while we look for something else we can get really excited about. Before we move out of Wymount we will post some pictures and maybe video as a final tribute, and so those who haven't ever been to visit us can get a look at our first place!

In other "news," I am trying to get some reading done for fun since I have a little more spare time this summer. (warning: this will not be at all interesting to some) So far I have only finished one novel, but hopefully I will improve after I'm not so busy with job hunting and moving, etc. The first book I read was Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. Supposedly it was one of the greatest war novels of all time. However, I was not really that impressed. It was okay, but nothing earth shattering. Now I am in the middle of reading three different books, hehe. The first is Beloved by Toni Morrison. It is a Nobel Prize winning novel set around the time of slavery. I haven't really gotten far enough to make a judgement about it, but hopefully it will be interesting. After I finish Beloved, I also want to read two other books by her which are kind of a series. Jazz set around the great migration, and Paradise set around the civil rights movement. The theme bringing the books together is basically examining three major events in black history, and specifically how women were affected by the movements in society at these different times. As a warning, none of these books are "G" rated! (not even close!) Anyway, with the Hemingway and Morrison books I am trying to get a better background in kind of the standard "classics" and scholarly literature. At the same time I have also been reading some more recent hits just for fun. I am about halfway through New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. I read Twilight a couple years as one of 30 different young adult novels I had to read for a class. I was a little disappointed in the writing quality after hearing rave reviews from different people. It was kind of fun to read, but definitely not "great writing"... oh boy! Anyway, it is extremely cheesy and over-dramatic, but I am actually enjoying reading New Moon. I'll select a few highlights from the book so far so those who aren't familiar with the novel can get a feel for it: I think the narrator's first description of her boyfriend is pretty classic, "I couldn't feel anything but despair until I pulled into the familiar parking lot behind Forks High School and spotted Edward leaning motionlessly against his polished silver Volvo, like a marble tribute to some forgotten pagan god of beauty," .........for reals? I think the quote speaks for itself without commentary. A couple chapters into the book he breaks up with her and leaves because he decides it's not safe for him to be with her ( he is a vampire). Pretty much this completely ruins her life and makes her very existence absolutely meaningless. The next pages pass October, Novemeber, December, and January--totally blank--because her life is now empty without Edward. What a great message to send young girls! If your 16 and your boyfriend breaks up with you, you might as well die! Yikes! Then whenever she thinks about him even many months later she feels like this, "it was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been punched through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unhealed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded me nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn't hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together." Dang girl! Melodramatic much? Anyways, the books have been very successful and there is a movie about the first book coming out soon. Could be interesting.

Well, I think this post is long enough for today. Hopefully we will have some good news to write about soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Substitute Teaching

For the past week or so I have been substitute teaching while I look for another long-term summer job. Sometimes it is extremely crazy, but for the most part I actually like it. I first started subbing about 3 years ago when I came home from Idaho. Since then I have just subbed at random times when I had available days. I do all different grade levels and classes. These past few days I have subbed for a high school math class, junior high English and geography classes, sixth grade, first grade, and special-ed kindergarten. So, as you can see, I get a little taste of everything. I'm currently attempting to major in English Teaching, which means I will be certified to teach English in High School or Junior High when I graduate.
If I wasn't going to be teaching High School, I think I might like to teach elementary school. The kids are so cute. I think around second grade would be the best age. They are old enough that they aren't so hard to teach, but still young enough to be sweet and lovable. (Once they get to about fourth grade that starts to go away for some!) Another fun thing about younger kids is that they usually actually like their teachers. They will even develop affection for you if you are only there for one day! These are some of the drawings and cards I have gotten from the kids I've taught in past years:

These are all pictures taken from pages of my scrapbook
This is what I look like, apparently.

I'm really not sure what this is supposed to represent, but it was for me. :)
You can't really see, but underneath the black crayon it says, "I like you Miss Tyler"
Mickey Mouse without a nose, still pretty good though, right?
This note is probably my favorite. I had a fifth grade class that I taught about 5 or 6 times one year because the students asked for me to come back. One of the last times one of the boys gave me this letter,
" Dear Miss. Tyler,
Thank you for substute teaching in our class. I don't know about anyone else but I think you will become a good teacher if thats what you want to do if you aren't alwady. have a good day.
from Alexander Carlson"
It basically warmed my heart.

So, pretty much, it's things like that which make teaching worth it, even when you get a few classes which are absolute horrors! Unfortunately, I doubt I will get very many "I love you" cards from students teaching high school. However, I ultimately decided to go for high school because I think I would enjoy teaching a more advanced subject matter. Also, a lot of teaching in elementary school is just disciplining the students and getting them to behave, which isn't too fun for me. I'd rather just stay at home and have fun with my own kids! If I have to discipline students, I would rather have them be high schoolers who really deserve it when they get in trouble (supposedly they should be able to act like adults). Anyway, that is basically a glance into the mysterious world of substitute teaching!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Alison needs a new job - take 2!

This is just going to be a quick update. As many of our small readership may know, I am again looking for a summer job (or jobs). I quit Kneaders last Friday after several interesting experiences with the management. Basically, I was absolutely amazed at the way they treat their employees. Well, just like customers, employees have connections too, and I would like you all to know that Kneaders is actually a very shady establishment! I wouldn't recommend patronizing their shop in the future. (Or at least go to the one in Provo, not north Orem). Anyway, since then I have applied at a few places, but so far I haven't had much success. Tomorrow and Friday I am going to be substitute teaching at Lehi High School, but I need to find a more permanent solution soon. If anyone has any leads to good jobs around the Provo area, I would really appreciate it! I'm so thankful to the people who have already been helping me by e-mailing me jobs they come across! It makes me feel loved, hehe. Well, luckily for us Mike is still doing well in his work. He seems to be enjoying it more now than in the past. That's all for now!