Tuesday, August 31, 2010

post-student sadness

Monday was back to school for all BYU students.

Aubrey texted me saying she had been crying all day, wishing she was starting school with the rest of BYU. This is why she is my best friend. She was only imagining people going back to campus, the excitement...I was witnessing it.

Traffic backed up like crazy. Everyone and their moms at Macey's and Smiths. People swarming to campus from every direction. Parking lots are full. Football is all the talk (BYU went independent by the way! Should be exciting). Everyone is running into everyone else on campus. Reunions are happening left and right. Nights are getting cool. The life has come back to Provo.

But. I have made it through a week of teaching and it is only getting better. I am starting to get things together and my students are a crack up. I asked one of them to do something for me, "sure, baby cakes" was his response. I couldn't have more fun with it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


First, I miss my old class, aides, and the best co-teacher in the world, but...
NEXT, I love my new class, aides, and principal. It has been a wild and crazy (very crazy, emotional, stressful) first week at school, but my students are so smart and so stinkin' hilarious.

**Favorite quote of the week**
"There are these green potato chips and they are made in avocado and when you put one on your tongue, your taste buds go Mexican!"

As much as I can tell I will love this school year, I have never (I know - never being all last year that I was teaching) spent so much time in my classroom! Then I am trying to be social too and right now that is meaning late to bed and super early alarms. My immune system has been weakened and I started getting sick earlier this week. Sadly, I know that I am not the only one feeling this bothersome throat cough because the sweetest girl in my new ward came over yesterday. She is a first year teacher in Saratoga Springs and she definitely sounds a lot like me!

I am tired, really tired, but I am also happy, really really happy. So life is good.

BYU starts on Monday. I spent today with a friend who just got home from his mission and is now living in Liberty Square. We went to his apartment after grocery shopping (which is crazy right now! Literally everyone and their mom is in town!). I was so jealous to see all of these boys ready for a new adventure. I miss BYU and really missed my days at the libsquare. I cannot help it. I loved the student life. The excitement. The newness. It slowly fades and then you graduate. ta da. and life as an adult starts. Good thing I love my job!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Tomorrow is the FIRST day of school!

Yes, I know this isn't my first year teaching. So, it's my second and I am more a wreck than last year. That's mostly (totally) because last year I had Mijken - she did not let me stress one bit and I love and miss her for it.

Life has been super chaotic these days. Last Saturday I moved back to Provo. I only allowed myself Saturday to get settled in. Since then I have spent most days in my classroom, not getting home until 7:30 or 8:00. I am in a new ward, with new people, and I have NO time to socialize.

But, let me tell you a little about the school I am now working at. Brookside (my school last year) will always be near and dear to my heart. This year I am at Eagle Valley and the SpEd team here is AMAZING. 3 of us teachers are new and were all studying at BYU at the same time. Awesome. Our teacher leader, the only one who is not new, is the bomb. Seriously. She is so great and we get along perfectly. Then my new aides are terrific! They are going to be so good for me.

Mostly, this week has and will continue to be a roller coaster of emotions. That is it for my blog break! Wish me luck :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

my biggest fear...

Heights. The fear of falling.

I went to BYU for FOUR years. I lived in Provo for FOUR years. Until the summer I hadn't done things like Moab, the hot springs, or even really been in Park City. Today I accomplished another one of those things that you normally do while you are a student at BYU. I went to Mona and did the rope swing!

A very nice friend of mine decided that at 9:30 p.m., it was just the thing we needed to do. YES. Sounds like so much fun. We were off. On the drive down we started talking about fears. I am afraid of heights. A lot. We talked about it for a while and then realized rope swinging has a lot of heights in it...He jumped twice before I even considered. I stood on the platform for forever! Not even kidding. I was worried Matt would just up and leave. I got so close to doing it SO many times. My legs were shaking like they have never shook before (seriously, my calves are sore already). I almost hyperventilated. I was freezing. I didn't know where to jump. I didn't know how to put my hands. It was just one worry after the other. I did it, sort of. I hardly held on for very long, he says I slipped down the rope rather than jumping. Either way, I did it! And I would like to thank Matt for being so patient with me and my phobia.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

7 more days of summer

School starts exactly a week from today.

1:50 p.m. My Classroom:

So, guess where I am. That's right...in my classroom. I have been here all day and I would like to say that I have gotten a lot of work done and this break is much needed. I have been working on IEPs (individualized education plans - if you don't know what that is, don't worry. It's just for us lucky special ed teachers and they keep us busy and often frustrated) for the last five hours. I know, I was never able to study anything for five hours straight!

My classroom is bright and happy with lots of potential. It's pretty big. The walls are colorful thanks to the previous teacher. All of the class decorating, setting up, paper work, rules, plans, etc...have to be my least favorite part about teaching. Just so that I didn't end up not liking my day, one of my students came in to meet me. She's darling and my heart instantly lit up. This is why I teach. I teach for them. I teach because they make the boring stuff way more than worth it.

Ok, break over. I have work to do.

** It is now 5:00. I have made it home, alive. I am exhausted. AND T'Jae just got here! Yay for best cousins :)

Oh and last night I went to the Dave Matthews Concert. He is amazing live. I only wish he had played more songs that I knew. Still, a super great night!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

All kinds of weather, we stick together....

The same in the rain and sun.

Happy Birthday Kelsey! My baby sister turned 20 today.

I am so proud of my Kelsey welsey. She has always been my best friend. She is almost more protective of me than I am of her, almost. She sticks up for me, always. Back in March, I said this about her: "She is very protective of me and my heart (I think I love that most about her...she'd beat anyone up for me!)" So watch out any potential interests...she is the one you need to worry about impressing.

Kelsey is amazing with the students I work with. I love watching her come in and play with them. I don't have to worry about any uncomfortable situation that might come up. Unless someone is sick (throwing up mostly - she does not to do well with that AT ALL), then she can handle most anything. She remembers their names. She talks to me about them. She doesn't treat them different or act like she doesn't know what to do. She loves them. She is not afraid to tell them that spitting isn't something we can do in class. She lets them hang onto her as we walk out to recess. For any of those who don't know, seeing that interaction makes my heart melt. It shows the true goodness of a person and Kelsey is full of it...FULL of goodness.

She woke up super early (a huge feat for Kels) to take me to have my back surgery and sat there with me the whole time. She held my hand while I was getting my IV put in. She remembered all the hilarious things I said so she could black mail me.

My favorite road trips are just the two of us. I think we have only done it once, maybe twice, but it was so much fun. We danced. We sang. We took pictures. We loved being alone together.

We did everything together as little girls. She followed me - I couldn't get rid of her even if I wanted to. Sometimes I still wish it was that way, but I guess that is part of growing up. She is everything to me. She is beautiful. She is fun. She dances. She lets me embarrass her. She is hilarious. She can't tell stories without forgetting what she was saying. She has a laugh that is more contagious than any other laugh. She loves more than most. She will give to anyone. She is an example to me - more than she will ever understand.

Te amo muchisimo.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Remember me?

I have this strange talent where I remember EVERY single face I have ever seen. I can recognize people that were in my kindergarten class. Impressive, considering how much you change between 5 and 22!

It sounds like a great thing to be able to do, right?

Not really. I used to talk to everyone I recognized. Most of the time they look at me and have no idea what I am talking about. "Ya, we were at EFY together 6 years ago. Land of Sharon? Remember our counselors were Micah and....", then I just stumble and sound like a total creeper.

It happened again today. I was at Kneaders with my mom for lunch. A man walked in and I knew his face. It was President Stoddard. President Stoddard was the Mission President of the Carlsbad Mission while I was in high school. I loved his firesides and he also was at a few of our Missionary prep mutual activities. I remember being sad when it came time for him to be released, but then that summer he spoke to our stake at stake youth conference at BYU. I really looked up to him and so when I saw him today, I knew I had to say something. He recognized someone nearby and asked what her name was, but never told her his name! I was dying and I didn't want to be a crazy. Finally I just asked what his last name was. I was right. I told him I was from San Marcos and he asked who I was. I told him that I was a Thorkelson and whether or not he really remembered us, he genuinely acted like he did and I am so grateful that he did. He later came over to my mom and said, "Now there's a lady I recognized."

It certainly makes you feel nice to be remembered once in a while.

** on another note: Usher has a new song. It's called "Hot Tottie." Now, I am not recommending you go look it up, but I heard it on the radio today and was so confused because it sounded like he was saying, "You can be my hot tottie." I sure got a good laugh out of it. I know a hot tottie is an alcoholic beverage (at least, I think it is?), but I am pretty sure that is the closest my name will ever come to being in a song! Score.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thorks, meet Draper

My family has now lived in Draper for a whole week today.

They have seen Utah in all of its beauty, so it has been a great first week. We have seen beautiful sunsets, watched amazing storms, and have still enjoyed the wonderful sun.

Last Sunday, Dad took some breathtaking photos.

Utah really isn't that bad. I am just excited to see how they handle the snow :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Storms

I just wrote the longest blog about how I love storms, thunder and lightning. It disappeared...So listen for the thunder and enjoy it with me.

***update: I just drove home from Provo. I have never been scared of lightning, I absolutely love it, duh. But tonight I think it almost killed me. It was everywhere. Big, huge bolts that spread like trees of light across the sky. Some were thick and branched this way and that. Others were skinny and curled at the tops. Then there were some that just lit up the whole sky.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Habitat for Humanity

I don't remember the last time I was this exhausted. I am writing this while lying on my bed, body done moving and brain struggling to think. But, it was all worth it!

So, I have taken a temporary job (just 2 weeks) at XanGo. I LOVE it. It is really wonderful. My first day was yesterday. They were still getting my stuff set up, so I got to explore and have fun.

Today we worked until noon and then volunteered to help build a house in Provo for Habitat for Humanity. Such a neat experience. One of my previous students lived in a house built by Habitat for Humanity and I am grateful for those who put in the time and work so that he had shelter. It was nice knowing that someone was going to benefit greatly from the work we were doing because I have seen it bless someone I love.

But, due to my hard work, it is time for me to take a nap or fall asleep for the night...