I promised my sister I would post something this weekend since it has been WAY too long! She said she's sick of looking at a bag of Lays potato chips and I don't blame her.
So, what's new in our split San Diego/Iraq world? Mike said it's getting hot again which he's not enjoying, especially since he's still walking everywhere. We are keeping our fingers crossed that he's home before the 130 degree temps pick up again, so we'll keep everyone posted on that. We are 'long-distance' planning our wedding...which is both fun and frustrating. We can't really "make decisions" very easily because we have to wait to email each other...but it's working out all right. We've got a date, a location and even invitations so we're off to a good start! I'm also branching out and creating another blog (cuz I have SO much spare time) so that Mike and everyone in both our worlds can get more information about the wedding. It has NOTHING posted on it yet, give me a week to get some things up there...but check it out when you get a chance (and try not to make fun of me too much for creating it): Mike and Colleen's Wedding Plans
In my 'vending machine' world, things are more crazy than ever, but I'm enjoying it. So, to clarify, the Lays bag of chips stands for a directorship of one of our new schools. It's like a principal, but we don't have those. We are opening with a ninth grade class in the South Bay area this upcoming fall and we will be adding a new high school grade each year after until we get our full four grades. Our second year we'll also be opening an elementary/middle school which will eventually become a full K-8 program. I can honestly say that I didn't foresee this new job as an option in my vending machine until about 5 years from now, but to mix metaphors, I'm running with it since it's come early! I'm slowly being "replaced" in my classroom so that I can be figuring out teacher hiring, budget, design plans and making the ever-necessary and very exciting community contacts.
We will be operating under a broad environmental theme, where we'll be looking at our "local" environment, including our classrooms and the San Diego area as well as more national and global environments. Our school plans include an ERC (an Environmental Research Center) - like a large greenhouse for research - where our students will be participating in local, national and global research projects and data collection. This program is loosely based off of another program currently operating in Israel. The gentlemen who founded and are running that site have visited our school and have been wonderful contacts for us and a true source of inspiration and excitement about our project.
The building itself is being constructed with as much "green" thinking as possible including as much natural light and passive ventilation systems as we can muster. Our website is not fully updated yet, but you can check it out and check back often to see our progress (the new campus we will be at will be Chula Vista).
I think that is about all I have for now. I will try and post more often (a promise I've made a lot during this deployment and have often failed at keeping...but I'm an optimist...so I'm still going to try!). Please keep Mike in your thoughts as this deployment is winding down. I know that he would love emails because sometimes the last few months are just as hard as the first few! I'd also like to have everyone keep my friend Kym and "her" Mike in their thoughts as he's about to be stateside again very soon! She mentioned me in her latest blog and I need to ditto her comment back at her - this type of deployment is hard on the "significant other" who is left behind, no matter how busy, strong or "ready" they are. I have found Kym to be a source of support, strength and humor for me during this deployment and I KNOW that we will meet someday and we'll look back on this year as one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, times of our lives! Thanks Kym!!
I love you Mike!