Tag Archives: esl

15 Down… ? To Go…

22 Mar

15 Months.

Despite starting a new cycle today, it’s not been a bad day.  I’ve known for a couple days that this month wasn’t our month, but I’ve had so many good things going on today, that I couldn’t have asked for a better day for it to start.

I had lunch with the ladies I used to teach with in Bolingbrook.  When I took over the Downers Grove ESL class a couple months ago, it was really abrupt.  I never got to go back to say goodbye to my students or the other instructors, and I found myself really missing all of them.  They’re all significantly older than I am, but we really enjoy each other’s company. 🙂  I had a really nice time with them.
They brought a card from the Bolingbrook students.  They all signed it and some even wrote messages.  There were a lot of “I miss you”s and “good luck”s, but the one that stood out the most was from Guadalupe.  She wrote, “Smile Yessica Forever.”  Keep smiling, be as happy as you can be. That’s an amazing thing to remember, especially these days when it doesn’t feel like I have a lot to smile about.

In ESL today, we talked about idioms, contractions (they think contractions are silly, and I have to say I agree 😉 ), negative sentences and we read a story about winning the lottery.  Part of our activity was to make a list of what everyone in class would do if they won the lottery.  Trips to Disney World, Las Vegas, and Brazil, world cruises, houses, shopping sprees, and airplanes (with lessons) all got added to our list.  It was so much fun to hear the things they wanted in life.  They all want to spend more time with their families, one of them wanted to buy houses for all of the families in the village in Mexico she is from, and another just wanted to send her kids to college.  These students lift my spirits every week.  They’re always so eager to learn what I have to tell them.  They make me so grateful to be able to teach them.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my period almost always starts on a Thursday…

Jeremy’s urology appointment is at 9:20 tomorrow morning.  I’m nervous.  I’m so incredibly nervous.  I’m terrified of the drugs that come next, of the procedures that might come next.  The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach.

But, I’m taking my brothers to see The Hunger Games tonight at midnight.  Hopefully that will prove to be a wonderful distraction. 😉

ESL Changes.

16 Feb

Today was a wonderful day.  I’ve been feeling kind of down both emotionally and physically the past few days, but I feel a million times better.  Positive things make a wold of difference. 🙂

I’ve been substituting for the Downers Grove ESL group for the past 2 weeks and I’m really enjoying them.  There are only 4 of them, but they’re relatively advanced.  They encourage me to read things in Spanish so they can correct me for once. 😉  I actually think my Spanish is slowly improving.  Today was my last scheduled day with them.  I’ve been on the fence about asking to be transferred there permanently.  They only have 1 teacher, while we have 4 in Bolingbrook.  It doesn’t seem fair.  Today was going so wonderfully that I thought I had just about made up my mind.  And then those wonderful students asked me to stay in Downers Grove with them.  They told me they really liked how I explained things and that they were really happy with how much they were understanding.  That totally pushed me over the edge.  I called in before I even started my car to go home and asked for a transfer.  I know my Bolingbrook students enjoy me and goodness knows I LOVE them, but they have some very capable teachers out there.  The other Downers Grove teacher is a wonderful lady, but she doesn’t know any Spanish, and to the students, making an effort in Spanish speaks volumes about your capability to teach them.  I think she and I will make an awesome team.  I think this will be a wonderful change for me.

I never thought I would enjoy teaching.  I started teaching ESL to get a better understanding of what it meant to be a teacher.  I thought it would be a neat experience and a good chunk of volunteer work to put on my resume.  Now, however, I’m starting to think there are very few activities I enjoy more than teaching.  I think I’d be happy as a clam to do it every day for the rest of my life.  I wish it happened more than once a week.    I’m so lucky to have been able to have the chance to try this profession out before I spent years of my life in school for it.  I am eagerly anticipating get my masters degree in education. 🙂

Meanwhile, this month is kicking my butt…  For serious.

BUT, looking positive, I did ovulate 2 days earlier than normal.  We’re currently 5 days past ovulation.  Yay!!  Maybe the acupuncture is working?  I can tell you that acupuncture is doing a world of good for my circulation.  My hands and feet are usually painfully chilly.  These days, they’re the warmest parts of my body. 😉


10: Distractions

28 Oct


Today starts 10 months on our journey to a baby.  Weepy, yes.  Completely depressed, not this month.

I wasn’t expecting anything this time, which seemed to really help.  I’ve been trying to focus on other things.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading, including books, articles, and blogs.  I’ve also been pretty busy with our store.  Halloween seems to be our warm up to Christmas season.  I love Christmas season.  It’s the best time of the year.  I love the smell.  I love the clothing.  I love the decorations.  I love making presents for everyone.  I love how happy everyone is.
Much to Jeremy’s dismay, I start celebrating Christmas season on November 1 and it goes through January 1. 🙂   It’s going to be my wonderful distraction over the next couple months.  These next couple months will round off our year of trying and officially put us in the questionable fertility category.  But, Christmas should soften the blow and it should help remind me to be thankful and joyful.

In other news, my last ESL class of the year met yesterday.  We had a mini party with cake and soda.  We’ll meet again in January, but I’ll miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years with these awesome ladies.   I got a little weepy when the ones we’ve grown closest too hugged us and kissed us good-bye.  They’re such a wonderful group of women and I’m so lucky to have gotten the chance to work with them and get to know them.  I think I’ve learned just as much from them about life and teaching as they’ve learned in English skills. 🙂

Meanwhile, we’re carving pumpkins at my mom’s house tonight.  I don’t love Halloween, but I do love our family tradition of getting together to do things like this.  🙂  Also, I’m drinking a few large glasses of wine… because I can. 😉

Summer So Far…

30 Jun

Where has the summer gone?

I spent sooo much time this past winter and spring waiting very impatiently for summer to arrive and now it’s half way over!  Yikes!
It’s been a busy summer thus far though.  I’ve been volunteer teaching at a company in Bolingbrook.  They wanted to give their employees the opportunity to learn more and better English skills and the organization I’m volunteering with stepped in and offered their volunteers.  They offer two classes on Thursday afternoons one upper level and one lower level.  The students are awesome.  They want to learn the English language so badly and they all have varied reasons.  Some want to be able to write their children’s teachers emails or attend parent-teacher conferences, others want to be able to communicate with a doctor without an interpreter, some want to be able to go shopping at non-Spanish speaking stores, and others just want to be able to read a newspaper.  They’re so much more motivated and willing to learn than most kids are.  I really love teaching adults.  I work with two other ladies, Susan and Pat, and they are fantastic!  Both so willing to offer their time and energy for these students.  I’m really enjoying getting to know them as well.
Jeremy and I started this summer thinking I would take a month or two and get some volunteer work in before finding a full-time job, but the more the summer goes on, the more I would like to continue this volunteer work.  It makes me feel good to contribute to society and help improve lives.  Many of these students would never be able to afford to take English classes on their own.  I’m so lucky to have the time and resources to be able to help.

This past week, I met with one of the librarians at the Aurora Public Library’s Main Branch about taking over the knitting group that meets once a month.  I managed to talk them into meeting once a week as that would be more useful in building community and relationships among members.  I’m really looking forward to this as well.  I’ve really missed my knitting group in Oak Park especially now that school is over and I have a decent amount of time to be knitting.
Our bedroom is still under construction, which means our bed is still in the living room for now.  Once our couch is out of storage, I might be more willing to do some hardcore knitting again.

Alice "supervising"

Meanwhile, we took Three Sassy Sisters on the road to Geneva, IL’s Swedish Days last week.  What was initially quite promising turned into a complete bust because of the weather.  We had a good time with my friend Jessica though.

Swedish Days 2011

 That little cutie is due in 2 months and already has a present from his Auntie Jessica. 🙂

Giraffe Buttons!

Moving along, we found 3 kittens in our garage at the beginning of June.  June 8 to be exact.  It was my niece’s, Calli, 6th birthday.  She and my sister stopped by to see them and decided to keep Milly, a very sick, grey kitten.
She’s 8 weeks old now and is a pretty great addition to their family.  My sister closed on her first house last week and they’re all living together now.  We jokingly call her “pure evil” because of her tendency to attack your feet, hands, hair, face, elbow… etc… but she really is a sweetie pie. 🙂

Lastly, is my garden!  It’s going well enough for my first garden.  Everything is growing.  I’ve harvested a TON of mints and basils.


My tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, jalepenos, fennel, rosemary, strawberries, lavender, chives, peppers, basils, mints, sage, and feverfew are all growing and growing.  Of course, so are the weeds, but that’s a battle in itself. 😉


Some kind of animal, I’m assuming a cat or raccoon, has opted to sit in my catnip pot every night.  My catnip is very smashed, but I had Jeremy move it towards the house last night, so hopefully it will perk up. 🙂
That’s all I have for now.  Something else will pop up this week though.  I won’t leave you hanging. 😛