Thursday, July 22, 2010

Capital District Writing Project Summer Institute 2010

I just completed one of the most amazing professional development courses I've ever had. Roger was involved in the summer institute during the first year of its re-inception, and he has remained involved.

It was a 4 week self-discovery journey into writing as a teacher and as a writer. I read many challenging thought-provoking articles that challenged my thoughts and ideas about writing, teaching and myself as a writer.

I wish I had written right after the program ended because already I feel many of the things I learned have become assimilated into my thoughts, they are no longer 'the things I learned during the Capital District Writing Project's Summer Institute' but now just another part of how I think. Which is great...but I wish I could show you the process I went through, though it is probably only really interesting to me. :) The first week was amazing. It made me even research what it would take for me to go back to school for my PhD. The second week I stumbled in the lesson I had to teach then felt like I couldn't get my footing again until about the middle-to-end of the third week. During the fourth week I was exhausted, but was suddenly the craving the institute to last another two weeks. This is ironic if you know me since I HATE being away from my kids and yet for 4 weeks I had 'class' from 8:30-3:30. I wondered how I would survive being gone that long. But it was so energizing and reflective that the time flew for me. I felt like I could take myself more seriously as a teacher of writing and even more a writer for myself.

One of the really great reasons I was able to relax into this experience was that Roger took the reigns as the point-person at home. He turned on the daddy-light and the girls had a great time. He even had a storytime where he invited some little friends to join them for a snack, book reading in the tent and games. They had lots of pool time, with Kath learning how to move at least her left arm with both feet and being able to propel herself in a controlled way in the pool.

Alex has been working hard at reading. She's taking our annual family summer reading contest very seriously. She has earned one free book so far through Barnes and Nobles summer reading program. She read 8 books by herself for that. She's also worked on a math activity book we bought for her.

The girls and I went to Long Island and had a great time visiting and staying with Aunt Eileen. We went to Robert Moses beach several times as well as the Fire Island Lighthouse. (Kath was thrilled to see it in a distance and then walk the beach path to it and TOUCH it!) We also got to spend a day with Grandma Steiger and time with Grandpa Steiger. We traveled by ferry with Aunt Eileen to Ocean Beach and got to see Chris at work at his grandparent's hardware store, enjoyed a walk through the town and of course the beach! On Tuesday we drove up with Aunt Eileen to Sag Harbor and had a great time window shopping the town, getting starfish, t-shirts, lunch and ice cream. And seeing huge, huge (ferry sized) rich people's boats. Before we made the drive back up home, the girls and I stopped once more at the beach where we also had lunch at Robert Moses. Great time.

We have been back into the swing of things with Kath's therapies, but for the most Roger has been the one who has dealt with it since I had the writing project for the 4 weeks in July and then this week I had a three day inservice workshop.

Summer has been great. I'm actually excited to go back to teaching fulltime. It will be nice and good for us financially. It will be wonderful for Roger to be able to quit working his second job...after the Christmas tip season. Our worry is still the childcare situation...I do have faith it will work out and it will all be okay. But it sure will be nice to have it figured So feel free to send us your positive thoughts and prayers in regards to that issue! :)


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