Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good Grief! Why Do I Even Have a Blog?

Its only been two months since I've posted, after all.

I have just been busier than I could have imagined, that's all.

At the beginning of August (somewhere around there anyways) I was hired as a teacher in the Davis, Utah School District. Being a first year teacher is (probably) always nerve-wracking. It's even more nerve-wracking when you're still in school and you haven't done your student teaching yet. Yep-that's right- I am handling a full caseload of students and I don't student teach until next semester! I *think* I'm doing a decent job but I have oh so much to learn. And all I do all day every day, between work and school is dream, breath, and eat special education.

I am a little overwhelmed with classes too, taking far more than what is considered full time for a graduate student so I've got a lot going on there. Plus I'm trying to move.

But I'm so happy- I love what I'm doing. Teaching is an intensive labor but is so, so rewarding. I found this in one of my text books and loved it: "One thing becomes clear enough. Teaching as the direct delivery of some preplanned curriculum, teaching as the orderly and scripted conveyance of information, teaching as clerking, is simply a myth. Teaching is much larger and much more alive than that; it contains more pain and conflict, more joy and intelligence, more uncertainty and ambiguity. It requires more judgment and energy and intensity than, on some days, seems humanly possible. Teaching is spectacularly unlimited." W. Ayers

Erie's great too. She's done two dog shows since I last blogged and won a major (3 points) at one of them- a big deal. She also got two Junior Hunter passes at a Hunt Test.

In this photo she's being expertly handled by professional Jean Gauchat-Hargis who do an absolutely wonderful job handling her.

And that's kind all my life has been lately: work, school, dog, repeat. I'm looking forward to life after graduation.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Long Time, No Blog

I've been up to a lot this summer, most of it with Erie. After finishing my summer classes (that's a new post too, and an exciting one, so be sure to read it!!!), I had plenty of time to do whatever I wanted (other than the homework hanging over my head; I pretty much waited until it was due- the last week of July/first week of August to do it- still got my 4.0 though). I slept a lot and I did go to work occasionally :)

Please enjoy (some of) our summer in pictures:

Erie's got plenty of toys ...

That doesn't stop her from hogging them all though.

Erie's half sister Sooli (Mazey/Budha) was here and Erie, Sooli, and Marcus (half-brother/nephew out of Szari/Budha) did some bird work together. This is my favorite pointing shot of the trip. We also learned that Erie has a natural "honor," meaning when another dog is on point, Erie doesn't blaze in there and try to steal the bird, but honors the point from behind the other dog.

Erie is learning to lure course. Here she is waiting for her turn at a practice run. She loves coursing.

Took her for a run and a swim at the Lee Kay Dog Training Area just before I took her home for a pre-show bath.

Isn't that water color beautiful?

Erie earned the first two legs of the CA (Coursing Ability) title on her first two tries. I think we'll get to go after the last leg in Pocatello in October.

Erie's Grandma, Judy, had puppies out of Szari and a dog named Stryder. Erie was an excellent auntie and babysitter. Here she is playing with Lemon and Ruby, the last two to go home. Incidentally, Lemon is still available if anyone is in the market for a beautiful, active, and fun-loving dog ...

Playing with puppies is a lot of work. Erie takes a break on a lawn chair.

While Erie was enjoying herself at Grammy's (previous two photos), I was at a family reunion in Huntington Beach. My dad and my sister drug me to the beach a few times. I guess it wasn't that bad.

More updates/photos later today. Now it's time to get ready for Church.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thoughts (to myself) From This Morning

1. The season of "shave everyday" has finally arrived to the Salt Lake Valley.
2. Why is it so hard to tell the colors of different pairs of nylons apart?
3. Wow. I thought I was going to feel out of place in my new ward since I've been in it for four weeks and it was my first week there since we were organized but it seems everybody is still meeting new people so nobody even knew.
4. Remember how Erie retrieved a live bird this morning (before church)? That was awesome.
5. Why do so many girls think it's okay to either a) wear clothes that leave their bra straps exposed or b) even worse, wear thin white see-through blouses with black or blue or pink or orange (etc.) bras????
6. Gosh this shirt makes my eyes look soooo blue! Love it.
7. Have I ever met a bishop in the church who wasn't an amazing servant of God? . . . Nope. I haven't.
8.Mmmm. Crepes!
9. Why does my shoe keep getting stuck in the parking lot?
10. Erie looks like such a nerd doing a rear-foot point.

Like so (photo not from today, however)

11. Why the *heck* is the burner on fire and where is the big pot lid?
12. I love having church at 11 so I can take an afternoon nap.
13. zzzzzzzzzzz

I have been working on two separate posts for weeks now. I wish I had some good excuse for not doing them, but really I'm just lazy. Soon. Someday soon. . . Maybe.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Erie's First Title

Hi there, poor neglected blog!

Spring term is over. I survived. Kind of. But you don't need to worry about that. I had one full week off before summer term started. For the first three weeks of summer term, I have only one class that meets twice a week for three hours but the last half of summer term, I have that class plus three classes that meet for one week, Monday to Friday, for eight hours. Sounds awesome doesn't it? I am excited about my orientation and mobility class. Not so much for social and psychological implication of blindness . . . sounds fascinating, doesn't it?
But with only the one class and work just two nights a week, I've had plenty of time to do stuff with Erie.

Three weeks ago, we had a local show. It was a major, so everybody really wants to win their respective "Winner's"- more so than normal. Erie won her class everyday, but she was the only dog. Ha! Never got WB so no majors for her.

This weekend we were at a show in Logan, Utah. There were only five dogs and two of them are "specials," meaning they are already champions and are competing just for Best of Breed so they don't count towards the counts when determining how many points a win is worth so the other three dogs meant there was just one point up for grabs. Erie won one day so she is one point up. It's cool but not overwhelmingly exciting.

But what I really want to talk about is last weekend.

Erie and I were entered in an AKC Tracking Dog (TD) test. Tracking tests are time consuming and expensive so they aren't held too frequently. It can be hard to get into one so I was glad that this was only the second one we had tried to enter and we made it in. Erie and I have been training for tracking since November. She's a natural! In order to pass a TD test, the dog must follow a track that is 30 minutes to two hours old, has three to five turns and is 440-500 yards long. The beginning of the track is marked with a flag and a second flag, indicating the direction of the first leg, is place 30 yards from the first. There is a "starter article" at the first flag for the dog to use to catch the scent and a glove placed at the end that the dog must "mark" in order to pass. The dog is allowed some mistakes, meaning if they go off the track, they do get some time to fix their error and being off track slightly due to wind is okay.

Erie was off like a racehorse at the start!

The judges were waaaayyyy behind us. The judges normally stay one "leg" behind the working
dog but if the dog goes off track they will stay on the track while you wander off it. So, honestly, you can kind of glance at the judges to get an idea of whether you've gone far off or not. I was terrified because the judges weren't anywhere close to where we had been. I found out later that Erie and I were tracking so fast that they decided just to stay in one spot and wait for us to get to the end of the track. They couldn't keep up.

We're going to find that glove!

We found it!

Erie and I drew the third track. We were the third and final pass of the day. The photo shows judge Kristi Rasmussen, me and Erie, judge Wendy McCleery, the apprentice judge, and our track-layer and fellow Vizsla person, Sheryl Hohle.

It was awesome. She was right on the track- she nailed it. We ran it in less than seven minutes (we used just a watch, not a timer so we can't be exact). I was so excited. I didn't know until Judy (Erie's dad's owner) posted it on Facebook, but Erie is Budha's first titled get! That's kind of a fun accomplishment too!

Erie is now known as Kezza's Pride of the Mountains Deepest Desire CGC TD.

I can't wait to try out TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent) in the fall.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's Almost the End (of the Term)

So enjoy my new blog background and banner, courtesy of the time I spend wasting trying to procrastinate doing my Nemeth Braille homework. If you know anything about Nemeth, you'll understand.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What We've Been Up To

I am exceedingly, disgustingly busy with classes and all the stuff I try to do with Erie. I posted last at the beginning if February and those last few posts certainly weren't exciting.

So . . .

Just Me
- School is horrific
- It turns out that I'm really bad at Nemeth Braille
- I love my reading class and tutoring (for some reason that I can't possibly understand most people don't seem to get this- I am taking a class to learn to teach reading, I'm not in a reading class myself)
- Read some fantastic books: All of Shannon Hale's books. I wasn't too enthralled at first but I stuck with her and kept reading and I'm glad I did because I loved the last four I read, her Books of Bayern series. Ally Condie's Matched. And my most favorite, Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I am currently waiting very impatiently for my turn with one of the library's hundreds of copies of Mockingjay.

As Erie's entourage
- Started Rally classes
- Went to a fun match and won "Best of Breed"
- Went to a show in Denver where we won our class 4/5 shows
- Erie is becoming super easy to live with
-And she went into season
- Dealing with that now

Cute little Erie napping.

Dog bed I made Erie. Isn't the fabric great?

Erie not looking to thrilled about being photographed in her "pants."

Erie not seeming to mind being photographed in her pants.

Erie relaxing on the couch. Ummm, she really shouldn't be up there- it's my roommates couch and she doesn't want the dogs on it- but I had to take a picture before I got her off.

Erie will be spending her longest time away from me this month as I'm going to Seattle this week for an AFB Conference. I'm not sure where she's going . . . Ahh! She was staying with her Grandma (her doggie daddy's family) but since she's in heat and will be in standing heat while I'm away and her daddy is intact, that's a problem.

I'm hoping to take Erie to a NAVHDA test towards the end of the month. This particular test she has to pass by 16 months in order to get the title, so this is our only chance. I have a lot of training to do before then . . .

And in between all that I have all my regular assignments to do, two papers to write, a bunch of data to enter and run stats on, etc. etc.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Love Month

And since I changed my blog background 14 days ago, I'm already ready.

I wish I had more to blog about right now but my life is a constant circle of work, classes, too much homework, working with Erie, and starting over again. It's really not that exciting. Hopefully they'll be something to report soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Somebody finally told my blog it's not Christmas anymore. We miss it, but it was time for the background and banner to get over it.

Hope to see you again soon with some time to update about something.

Off to work . . .

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back Again

The new term starts today. . I am so not excited.

On the agenda:

Elementary Reading Methods. Okay, I'm a little excited about this class.
Functional Communication
Principles of Assessment and Data Based Decision Making
Nemeth Braille. Really not excited about this one.

Pray for me. I'll see you in three months.