10 to 9

Its a Saturday morning, and I have been up since 7:30. I guess that’s what happens when your body is on a schedule every other day of the week. Today marks an official 2 weeks of being here in New Zealand. I am still very happy to be where I am and doing what I love most.

I have to be quite honest though and admit to being a little homesick and sad about missing valentines day at home (and not being with my valentine.) Spending months away from someone you love is one of the hardest things to do…Chris and I have spent 5 days together over the past 6.5 months. Let’s just say that it is not nearly enough to be content about, but we are still able to love each other well from where we are. When I exited my room in the morning on Valentine’s Day, I found a flower arrangement outside of my door. It wasn’t even 8 am yet, and my valentine had already impressed me with his love for me. Needless to say, that was all I needed to have a fabulous day.

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As I mentioned before, my school here does a “secret Valentine” gift exchange each year, and mine brought me a beautiful gift. Kate found it in her school mailbox because everyone is so sneaky about it. It is a “Koru” made out of art glass [photo below] which is a symbol for life and new beginnings (so me), which is also the start of the New Zealand icon: the silver fern. If you look it up on wikipedia, there is a picture of what it looks like as it grows. It is absolutely beautiful and a lovely souvenir. I also received a hand-picked flower from one of my girls 🙂 They are so adorable!

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Yesterday, I taught a lesson on how to draw a self-portrait. I was nervous because I don’t view myself as artistic, even though I was (or tried to be) when I was younger. However, I feel like I did pretty well explaining the placement and shapes of facial features and how to use the art pencil to make a dark/light line. Most of my students were focused on doing their best, since I reminded them that since it was their very first time and art can be difficult-as long as they’re doing their personal best, then I am happy with their work. I have included the pictures of all 18 of their self portraits (some are pretty funny-knowing their personalities and listening ability) for you to check out! I am proud of their work and excited to see how much more they/we grow in the weeks to come.

Side note: my students have their own wiki-spaces where they can write about their day or post widgets. Well, one of them posted a youtube video of Gangnam Style on his and there is a video of some of them dancing to the song. You wouldn’t believe how popular American pop culture is here! My younger host brother, Jono, was playing and showing me the “Harlem Shake” yesterday, too. Hilarious.



I’ll keep updating my blog about every 3 days, or so. Next week I will begin full-time teaching, which I am very excited about, so I will keep everyone updated. (I am also using this blog as a personal journal to remember my journey here, so sorry if the posts seem long sometimes.)

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