January 2008- Back in Texas

I’ve been back in Texas almost a month now. My goal was to come home and get a job teaching second semester, so that I could start earning a paycheck again, and so that I could resume adding to my retirement account, which was about to stop accruing interest if I did not return to work in a Texas public school. To that end, I’ve been hired by a Dallas high school to teach reading to 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. It will be a very demanding semester. The high school I am at is on it’s last year as a Stage Four school- meaning, that if it does not improve its testing scores this year, the school will be closed by the state next year and various other bad things can happen. The basic culture of the school is very different from anywhere I have ever taught, and very different from the culture I grew up in. I am trying to view this semester as an opportunity to go into these classes and really try to make a difference. I hope that I can be successful.
Outside of work, I have been keeping busy with friends and family. I try to see Mimi and the kids once a week or so- Abby definitely responds to me but little Jack still isn’t quite sure who I am or why I keep showing up at the house. He won’t really let me hold him yet, but Abby wants to play, play, play with me. She is such a bundle of energy.
I love spending time with Ken, Kris, Mysti, Amber, and Hunter. Last night we went to a couple of bars in Arlington that we hadn’t been to in a while, Birraporetti’s and Swamp Daddy’s. Last weekend a group of us went to a club in Dallas to hear our friend Jon’s band play. It was nice getting over to the live music scene. We all met up at Mikey and Juliana’s house in Richardson for a Cowboy’s watching game a few weeks ago, although unfortunately they lost. Speaking of “lost”, Lori and I are eagerly anticipating this week’s 2 hour season premiere of Lost, which I’ve been waiting for since May 2007.
Chris and I are meeting in Germany for my spring break- just six weeks away! He has a conference there the week after my break, so it will be very convenient for us to meet up in Frankfurt and do some sightseeing. He also wants to go to Tunisia, so we’ll see about catching a flight down there. I can’t wait to see him. We are both definitely regretting having to spend this semester apart. It’s been a month already, and we still have five more to make it through. I really don’t want to have to do this again next year, but we will see what 2008 and 2009 bring.
Mom and Dad are off on an adventure. They are in the RV, driving to Key West. Along the way they are checking out Miami and the Everglades and other coastal cities. They sound like they are having a great time.

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