Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The little band geek

So by brother has decided to follow in the Bryan's footsteps and play in the Sprague High School marching band. Last weeked (Oct. 25), we went to the competition at OSU, where they took eighth overall, and first in their class. They also won High General Effect or something like that, which is good. The weather cooperated (besides a little wind), and they played a great show. Shane even had the big solo in the second movement (ballad). He playes the baritone. He did really great, and I got to be right on the field with my press pass. He didn't see me while I was down there paparaziing him, which is good because it might have made him nervous. I think he was nervous enough being on the big screen at Reser Stadium (he is a big Beaver fan) during his solo. One of the things Shane was famous for in this show was his jiving ability. This is him jiving...that's Derek Jones on his right.It was a fun time with my family, and then afterwards, Bryan worked the OSU volleyball game vs. Arizona. OSU got clobbered, so it wasn't much fun to watch, but oh well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin time!

For game night we all went to Alicia and Ben's house and carved pumpkins.

I carved a skull and crossbones, which was surprisingly only a one on a difficulty scale of one to four. Bryan took on a two, which was a spider web and spider (very hard). For the first time, I wasn't the last one done! Alicia made a cool bat, and Kari made a ghost face. Kyle and Ben free-handed it, Ben making a Chinese pumpkin, and Kyle making a face out of straight lines. Kyle also carved the smallest pumpkin ever for Isla...who was very well behaved for most of the carving time. Isla was all dressed up in her halloween outfit. Her shirt says "Snack-o-lantern" - so precious.

My October column - bilingual education

I always took the easy way out.
In elementary school, I’m not sure I even knew other languages existed besides Pig Latin. In middle school, I shrugged off my 12 weeks of Spanish because my teacher’s constant squawking of foreign phrases annoyed me. In high school, my foreign language requirements were fulfilled by attending two years of American Sign Language classes, which isn’t technically even a different language. When it came to languages other than English, I was regretfully uninterested. I never needed to know Spanish to buy groceries, get a job, or buy a plane ticket, so why should I learn it?
After coming to work in the diverse town of Woodburn, I realized how wrong I was.
Being the education reporter, I am constantly in and out of classrooms where eight-year-olds are speaking in multiple languages, as if it were nothing. I see teachers teaching in Spanish one day, and in English the next, all with the same children nodding along to the instructions. It makes me wonder what I missed out on.
Woodburn is a unique school district. Because approximately 78 percent of its students do not speak English as their first language, the district gets extra funding from the state and federal government to make sure those students know English. This funding not only benefits the English language learners, but also their English-speaking classmates. This extra funding has allowed Woodburn to become a bilingual district, where students, whether Anglo, Russian, or Hispanic, have the opportunity to become fluent in two languages.
Back when I was in fourth grade, my entire class spoke fluent English, so we were never exposed to Spanish at a young age, besides the occasional counting songs of uno, dos, tres on Sesame Street. Looking back on the age when I didn’t know better, I wish I would have been exposed to bilingual education.
I do not want to be bilingual to get a new job or become a translator. I simply want to understand the 350 million people out there, whose native language is Spanish. As an adult, it is much harder to take the time to learn a language, but as a child, I could have been exposed to it every day, and learned it steadily, as I learned English.
I do not regret my monolingual education, I am thankful for all my teachers, especially my mother, who homeschooled me for my first four years. What I have learned from watching the Woodburn bilingual system is that maybe I will consider such a program when and if I have children.
Watching more and more people pour into this land of opportunity, I think it would be ignorant to disregard the benefit of bilingualism, and maybe my children will not take the easy way out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carolyn's vacation

So Carolyn is up a Legacy Good Samaritan getting her brain observed and I am up visiting her today after work. She's doing good, but hating the hospital food. We scored some pizza, so that was good instead of her plain turkey sandwich. She just finished playing some princess game with her roommate and two other friends from Corban.
It's been a pretty productuve day, I renamed her frog DanDee - she named it Job. She also got a pink stuffed My Little Pony named Pinky Face or something disgusting like that. It came with clip-on earings and a tiara.
You can see the pink monster in the included photo. It is sitting on Carolyn's head hiding her probes (a.k.a. wires reading her brain). No I'm not in that photo, that's the way I like it. I take the photos, I'm not usually in them for good reason.
Carolyn is her same ol' self, it's good to see her laughing with her friends. One of them is dancing around right now...not sure what that is about.
I'm probably going to be heading home sometime within the hour, in my broken down chevy, which will likely overheat. Poor Macie's been home all day by herself! I get to go home and find out what she's torn apart this time. At least it was a nice day today. I love fall days like this, I could see Mt. Hood as clear as day when I was driving up to P-town today.
Thank God for days of relief like today!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baby Isla Belle Lute

So I'm really late putting up these photos, but better late than never!
Kyle and Kari had their baby, Isla (pronounced eye-la), Sept. 29, and she is a sweetie! Bryan and I love holding her when we go over there, and she makes some awesome faces! So here's some photos of us with her on her 1 week birthday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

High School Beach retreat

For the first time ever, the Corvallis Korean Church high schoolers went on a retreat without middle schoolers! Last weekend we took nine of our high schoolers to Lincoln City and stayed in an awesome beach house with a great view of the ocean. They had a great time cooking dinner for each other, playing in the ocean (it was amazingly beautiful weather for October!), playing football, pool, and the fry pan game. The weekend was geared toward purity, and I even had to teach a session to the girls....scary! I'm definitely not gifted in that area, they can probably tell you now! We had a great time, even if half of them were worrying about the homework they had abandoned at home. Here are some photos of the weekend!
This was the 3-story house we stayed in. It was a lot of stair climbing, but just 1/4 mile from the beach!

This play is called the "Crazy Eddie" because all it entails is Eddie running like crazy away from the other team. It scored a touchdown every time.
Eddie splashing Esther as Daniel watches her run away.
Sun making a nice play to block the ball away from Jae.
Daniel and Eddie ... look at how nice the beach is!
The girls out on our front porch. I made them take a break from cooking dinner for the guys to catch this awesome sunset!
Sun taking Yul out.
Veronica and Esther in the waves.
Jessica cutting the onions for our salad. The girls made ravioli lasgna, and wrote encouragement cards for each of the guys on Saturday night.
The boys working on their spaghetti dinner for the girls Friday night. The boys set up the table with candles and even pulled the chairs out for the girls. The girls were quite impressed, and very worried that their dinner the following night might not live up to the standard the guys had set.
Daniel's birthday was the week before, so, for dessert, the girls surprised him and the rest of the guys with a birthday cake. This is me helping Jessica think of ideas for her essay on "The Kite Runner." These kids never stop stressing about their homework!
This raccoon decided to pay me a visit when I took the garbage out Saturday night. He was climbing all over the porch and about to pounce on me as I take this photo. Luckily, I made it out alive.
They look like Jack-o-lanterns, don't they?

Create a memory

Most the time my create-a-memory experience goes like this...

Charissa: I'm bored, what should I do with my time on Wednesdays when Bryan is in Corvallis? I know, I could make Macie a food dish at Create-a-Memory. But I don't want to go by myself because that just makes me look lonely. I know, I'll call Alicia. (I call).

Alicia: Since my husband is gone (he's actually back now, yay!), I have a lot of extra time on my hands, so I will come and paint something I don't really need just to keep you company.

Charissa: You are a good friend.


Jason the runner

Two Saturdays ago (Oct. 4), Bryan, Macie and I woke up early to go watch Jason race at Bush Park. He runs for Corban, and this meet was the biggest one west of the Mississippi. I think he finished around 117th or something out of over 300 runners (my facts could be a bit wrong). He said he ran a good race, so I'll take his word for it. Anyway, here is Bryan's crazy brother who loves to run....