Wednesday, December 3, 2008

want to look like my mom


What a year..where has it gone? I can't believe that this year has gone by so fast. I am so homesick..I can't stand it. I wish I could fly home tomorrow. I feel like I need to be in california. I can't leave Andee; she's not doing well at all. I'm worried, she is too. Her medicine is not working like it should be. I can't leave her alone. She's sleeping with me; she's upset about that and doesn't know what to do. I wish I could take on her disease and make her better; I would give my life for that to happen.
I can't turn to anyone, they don't understand. Sometimes, I don't think I do either, but I'm her hope, rock, and rope. Ralph isn't here..
The economic situation in this county is bad. My heart is hurting for all of those people that are out of work. I was at the unemployment agency today to drop off flyers to our GED program and thought, we are just one paycheck away of being here. My hopes are on the new president, I know that he has a very big task to undertake..I hope he has the support to do this.
Sorry for being negative, but lately, that's all my job is..encountering people who just want to work, have insurance and take care of their families.
Enjoy the pic of my 68 year old mom..she's at a late night run:),
tommiann

Sunday, November 2, 2008

my mom


I miss my mom...sometimes I wish I live in Sacramento. If I could move and not be behind financially, I would do it right now. I have missed out on my mom growing old, my sister's children growing up and having a relationship with my sister. I love my husband, but at times, I wonder what i have given up to move, move and move. And now, he's in another country. I wonder what God has in mind for me....I miss teaching, not doing that at my job because of the political climate and people's feelings about immigrants....the list goes on.
The political climate has personally affected my family and I wish that things could go back to normal. I wonder if this election will change things, no matter who's in office. Most people do not have the issues that my family have..a special needs child/no health insurance, a job that directly impacts undocumented immigrants, a retired military husband...so this election is important to us. I do not know who will get in office; I pray that the person who does get elected will care for the middle class family and will try to take care of us, the working family making ends meet.
t

Monday, October 27, 2008

Work day

http://vimeo.com/2008414
I'm not sure if this will work or not..but this video is about work..how much time we spend at work..and does it matter or not..does it?
Lately, I think what I do doesn't matter...politics, work politics,economy, and so forth..seem to interfere with what I want to do..teach ESL to adults.
I told my husband that I just want to teach..that's all. I think all I do now is shuffle paperwork, same ole story, same ole song, same chapter,same scratched record.
I know I make a difference in people's lives...it is the nature of my work. But, work politics is not helping any..what I mean is..I believe our new dean is not for our students..he doesn't know what he is doing,and thinks he does. He doesn't listen to the people in the trenches..he's listening to people who aren't in the trenches..sounds like our political climate, doesn't it?
I'm tired...I'm tired of not having "upper" administration not caring or supporting what we do. How long will our program continue if the upper admin. in our college doesn't see the good of people getting their GED's? Sounds too simple, but it's the truth.
tommiann

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why?


Do you ever wonder why we make the decisions that we make? And do these decisions make us happy?
I used to love my job, but now the aspects are too overwhelming. I'm not teaching, and really not doing too much else. Most people would be happy about getting paid to not do much, but I want to make a difference. It seems that the college's admin. does not like Basic Skills and trying to not let us grow and help students. Our budget is short and we need to cut classes in order to make ends meet. This isn't suppose to be our mission...other colleges put in monies to help basic skills, but my college doesn't. Why? Our unemployment is rising from 8.1 % to more in Dec. 600 people are going to be laid off by May of next year in our county. Basic Skills is their hope, but how are we going to serve these students if we have no money? Where are we going to put these students? Why doesn't the college seem to care?
My supervisor is getting tired...it's difficult to keep pushing for our students and no one is listening.
The above pic is my ESL class working on their thoughts of the US and how much they enjoy living in the US. They only say good things about the U.S. and how much they love the free education for themselves and their children. Interesting, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My husband's dad



Ralph's father died Sept 30th....10 years after my dad..Lawrence's birthday is the same day as my dad's, weird.
It's been a very difficult day. Ralph left for Saudia today; he didn't want to go back. How do you as a wife, tell your husband he has to go? I didn't know what to do..his job is there. With the economy in the shape it's in, I don't think we have much of a choice. His job is an airplane mechanic...who's going to fly with the economy in the shape it's in?
He likes his job in Saudia, but he HATES being away from me. I hate it too, but what is the answer?
Andee has health insurance through this company. His other company would not insure Andee..it's not an option.
With his father's death and leaving me, he isn't doing too well.
I think with getting back to a schedule, and the doldrums of the day, it should get a bit easier, but the holidays will be difficult.
This is the part of getting older, losing parents is never easy..combine that with leaving the country, and it's a recipe for emotional mess.
Well, that's all for now
tommiann

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My dad


I miss my dad...Margo (my supervisor) dad died this weekend..ironcially, it's the same weekend...exactly 10 years ago, that my father died. I miss him sooo very much. He was known as "the legend" all across the country. he was a gentle and wise soul and to this day, I miss him. Losing a parent is never easy, and I still think of him every day. It may not hurt as much, but I still miss him just as much. People say the stupidest things..but life doesn't prepare you, no matter what age, to lose a parent. If I could just have "one more day" with my dad, I would take it in a heartbeat. I would give up a million dollars to have one more day with him.
Margo loved her dad as much as I loved mine...and she had him much longer than I had mine...but the pain is still the same. Getting older doesn't make it better...I wish it did, but that is the fallacy...age doesn't always make it better...just explains it better, maybe. I had a very difficult childhood, but my dad was the hope. I hope that I was just as good as my father was as a parent. I hope and pray my daughters will remember me with the same fondness I have for my dad. Well, I guess that's enough digressing!
tommiann

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eternet back!


I really have missed blogging. My internet has been down and it has been an act of God to get it reconnected. It's quite hilarious. Thought modem was fried, bought another modem, didn't work, returned it..bought another modem, didn't work, come to find out..bell south moved to AT&T and it was disconnected. Got the order to reconnect it and of course, my outside line was dead. Then took another week for a tech to come out and have it reconnected! I think this is an I Love Lucy episode in the present time.
Bryanna is doing ok. She's poor as a church mouse but making things work. Her school is going well..of course, that's no surprise. I always knew she was smart, too bad she didn't believe it and dummied herself down to match other people. I wish what we know as women in our forties, we knew when we were younger, things would be better. To hell what everyone else thinks!
Andee is loving her job at Bravos and really doing great.
Ralph is settling in Saudia Arabia. Interesting outlook on things..he's struggling with a different cultural perspective, but I think it does him some good. I think we Americans are arogant and forget that we are not the only ones sharing this world. Although...I do love being an American Woman!
ESL is still in the toilet. I don't have any hopes of it returning to its old glory days. Writing three grants..not my thing...I wish I could just teach. I love teaching and miss it sooo much.
I have had two of my former teachers ask for references..they are great people and know that they will be great. It's just that I wish sometimes the same opportunities would just float my way. However, I do think I'm where I should be for now...
Too much to type...
tommiann

Saturday, August 9, 2008

a lot has happened

Sometimes just getting to do one simple thing takes a lot of time out of your day. My husband left for Saudia Arabia and things haven't been the same. My ESL program is truly in the garbage, my daughter still doesn't know about her lab results, and my other daughter is struggling with her memory at work...what more can happen? However, I do know that GOD is in control and that things aren't as bad as someone elses troubles.
I ran today, but that took an effort. Something I truly enjoy is giving me some heartache. I don't have any injuries, just not having any fun with it. I'm really trying to deal with this melencholoy about this running..spelling? Anyways, Ralph, my husband told me it's like practicing for a softball game with no games to look forward to...I guess I need to sign up for some races. It's that I'm not very good and it gets discouraging to sign up for these races and not doing well. I haven't sign up for the Richmond Marathon yet because my husband does't get paid for awhile. I have to hold on to what I have and make it stretch. Hopefully, I will sign up for it next month..it is quite expensive. My friends and I will go shopping. I can't wait to have some fun with my friends..it's been awhile.
Please can someone tell me that I will be ok and that fun will reeinter my life? I'm looking over the edge and need some help to pull me back. Sound stupid doesn't it?
tommiann

Monday, July 21, 2008

back again



Wow, can you believe how much time has gone by? Middle of July and it feels like it was just Jan!
I've been running quite a bit; I much rather run in the heat than the cold. However, I do not have any races in mind. My husband is leaving for Saudi Arabia Aug. 6th and we usually go together. It won't be much fun without him. The Richmond Marathon is in Nov. and that will be a girl's weekend, so I'll probably start training for that. I wish that I had a running partner for the long runs. Ralph usually crews me, so doing it alone doesn't thrill me.
Bryanna is doing great in school; she seems to like it now...now that she has a goal in mind. I always knew she was a teacher at heart; she will be a very good teacher because she will truly care about her students.
Andee is home from California, she had a really good time. She lost too much weight; I'm a little concerned about that. I hope when she gets back to a regular routine she'll start eating.
ESL
ESl classes still aren't doing very well. My passion for ESL seems to not be enough anymore. Right now, I'm teaching refresher courses and will be giving some training seminars in a few weeks, but after that, I do not know.
Well, not much more to say......

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

thoughts

So much has happened in the last few weeks that I don't even know where to begin....
My youngest daughter graduated from high school! This is a miracle in itself! She is a delighful, sweet and God fearing young lady and my hero. She overcame many obstacles and recieved the pot of gold..her diploma! My mom, sister and nieces were here to witness this miracle. We had a party and many people came to rejoice in this miracle.
She is in California right now with my mom and sister..enjoying her vacation. We will figure out what to do when she comes back. College is not an option or a good fit for her, but I know that there will be many wonderful opportunties for her. We will have to be patient.
My husband has accepted a position in Saudi Arabia...it will be a 3 year contract. I'm not going, I haven't figured out how all of this will work, but this is what will make my husband happy. Me....I'll press on.....
My oldest daughter has cervical cancer; my heart is broken to pieces. We do not know how evasive/aggresive this thing has become. She has surgery on July 10th..the doctor will not know until after the lab results what stage it is in. She's only 22...can't explain my thoughts/feelings.
What does God have planned out of all this?
tommiann

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Getting closer

I'm not sure how I'm going to get through the next 2 weeks. I can't explain in words what this means to me..unless you have witnessed this miracle. Andee is graduating! We went to her Baacaulariette (spelling?) today. I kept choking up... and in my mind, I went down memory lane. Who would have thought this wonderful child would overcome huge obstacles to receive her diploma? Remember when the school wanted to "fail" her again in the 5th grade? I said, "over my dead body".....keeping her back would not "fix" her. She was performing above her ability..what more could anyone ask of her?
Andee is a hero and she isn't aware of it. Everyone who meets her keeps telling me she is a very special young lady. I smile, and say...I know,thank you. I know every mom thinks their child is special, but Andee truly is. She has overcame obstacles, and challenges to reach her goal. I wish I had just 1 tsp. of her will and determination.
Tommiann

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial weekend

All I want to do is teach.......



What a wonderful relaxing weekend. I went to the beach and visited some friends; we had a wonderful time.

Ralph is finishing the guest bedroom; I can't wait till it's done. My family from California is coming in 2 weeks for my daughter's graduation. I need to clean the house today, but I know I will really need to deep clean next weekend, so my heart isn't it today.

My ESL classes are now officially closed. I'm really heartbroken over all of this. I am the ESL coordinator and have nothing to coordinate. I have NOTHING to do. My supervisor thinks she has enough to give me to keep me busy, but I know she doesn't. I need to think about what my options are. I LOVE teaching and can't imagine doing anything else. I'm going to see the dean of another department because their are a couple of part time teaching positions available. I have worked really hard to get to be full time and don't want to lose my full time position, but what else do I need to do? The idea of going to my office with nothing to do is really terrible for me. I do not possess many gifts, but the one gift that I have is teaching. Classes do not begin till fall so the question is.....what will I do this summer????????? sit in my office?
tommiann

Sunday, May 18, 2008

wonderful site

pictureyear.blogspot.com

Wish I knew how to add these sites.....

Military Ball

I hestitated to post this one..obviously I'm the one in the middle. I'm so proud of my daughters...22 and 19.
Just finished reading a blog "The year in pictures" and there is some controversy about the Dove campaign. Well, I love the Dove campaign..I say bring in the digital touch ups, and I will continue to buy face cream:)........I love the idea that every day women can be models, and be in advertisments. Even though digital touch ups are done, it's nice to know you don't have to be famous, be beautiful, to be a part of the beauty campaign. From an everyday woman, wife, mother, ESL instructor, friend, etc.......
tommiann

Military Ball





Last night was one of the best nights of our family's lives. First, Andee received the Msgt's award for demonstrating leadership and excellence. The highlight...Ralph presented that award! It brought tears to everyone's eyes. It was one of those moments that will continue in our hearts. Second, Andee won for the second year in a row....the TOP female athlete in ALL of NC state for JROTC!!! That is 180 schools!!! INCREDIBLE! No one has in history has received this award twice!! The Marines presented the award to her and even stated that she is a very special young lady, and No ONE will ever do this again.
For those of you who know us...who would have ever thought that Andee would overcome obstacles and challenges that were/are thrown her way everyday. Bryanna even cried....I don't think I will ever forget last night.

Friday, May 16, 2008


It takes ALL of us to pull together.
Almost finished with writing a grant today. I really, really want this grant. This grant could help fund some awesome software that would greatly benefit our ABE (adult basic education) students. I truly hope we receive the monies; the software program is quite expensive, but it is effective. Many community colleges across the nation report positive result from this program. My only problem is..will the committee fund software? Our program is funded through a block grant and we do not receive any monies in addition to this grant. We are one of the few community colleges that operates off of the grant and not receive additional money from the college. It is VERY difficult to fund 5 seperate programs off of one block grant, but my supervisor does it. However, it does NOT allow the purchase of anything above operating costs. I hope and pray that this will be taken in consideration. If not, our students will ultimately loose.

The local community paper asked me some questions regarding the new immigration letter that went to all of NC's community colleges. NC will no longer accept undocument immigrants into the curriculum program. However, this does not include ESL/GED programs. BUT...the undocumented immigrants that enter the curriculum programs have to pay out of state tuition. This is 140% ABOVE the cost of educating a single student...I truly do NOT understand what the big deal is. ...Receiving an education above the cost, is NOT a benefit. And to add more to this, only 112 students across NC is affected.
I know that undocumented immigrants is a hot button political issue but isn't there more things to go after..for instance, cost of GAS, WAR, HOMELESSNESS, HEALTH CARE......I guess I'm too simplistic.
What ever happen to reaching out to others? Someone PLEASE explain this....

Monday, May 12, 2008

cold, blustery, pooh sort of day

Have you ever had just one of those days? Well, it's was mine. Can't explain it, but I'm not myself. It's cold and very windy outside, so I wasn't able to run (don't like to run in wind). I'm having some issues with a co-worker, not sure how to handle that one. My boss is worried about my position (I am too) and my husband wants to work overseas. Well, if that isn't just the "cat's meow?"
I know life can be much worse...and it has been. One of the blogs I follow asked this question, what is one of the best pranks that you did as a child? I didn't pull any pranks as a child (too afraid of my mom)..but as an adult, I forked someone's yard. That was fun..bought a ton of plastic forks and put the forks in the ground to spell "Happy Birthday"...I felt like I was committing a crime and still having some harmless fun. So, my question to myself and any others that may be reading this, when was the last time you or me..had some good ole fashion fun?
tommiann

Sunday, May 11, 2008






Well, this is my LAST prom...but it's also Andee's last prom. Don't they look terrific?
He's a very nice young man. Andee said she had the BEST time. I'm so happy for her. I will sit down one of these days and blog her story. She truly is a miracle.
tommiann

Friday, May 9, 2008

Look, NO one in site (sight)!
tommiann

For all parents...never give up on HOPE.....

Andee...SECOND in the COUNTY in Cross Country running...
Well, tomorrow is GED graduation. Some of my ESL students will be walking. They came to my ESL class and I helped them with various subjects and questions. I really love teaching GED, it is a wonderful opportunity to give someone a second chance at receiving their high school diploma.

Tomorrow is also my daughter's prom. It's going to be very busy and hectic. I'm lining up the graduates (the largest class ever!) and afterwords, zipping to get my daughter's hair, nails, and make up done. I like doing this type of stuff, but all in one day?
Ran just a few mile tonight, my heart wasn't into it. I have to much to do and not enough time or money to do it. My youngest daughter is graduating from high school and she is a miracle unto herself! She was diagnosed with Developmentally challenged (the old Mental Retardation) and mild autism. Her diagnosis changed at the age of 13, right when we were considering finding a home. Well, to make a VERY long story short, she has several separate diagnosis' that mimick the above. So she is graduating from high school..with a diploma, is a MIRACLE! I want to give ALL parents hope, FIGHT for your child in school; you know YOUR child.
More later on her story.....
tommiann

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I love to browse blogs. I find good and interesting information, plus I get to see pictures of different areas of the world. I will probably never see these areas so it's interesting to scroll through these blogs' pics.
I am closing most of my ESL classes; I'm only leaving 3 opened, and 2 of them should probably be closed..especially for the summer. I had an interesting conversation with one of my ESL students. She is a mail order bride, and her husband seems to truly love and cherish her. There is a large age difference between the two and I would have thought that would be problematic in itself. But, she said she never realized how different her and his cultures are..in fact, she said she was naive to think that the cultural differences wouldn't be a problem.
I can't imagine trying to bring these cultures together, think of the differences, history, language, food, (food is a huge problem) education, etc.......She is used to fresh food, and food here in America is primarily processed. For example, she loves chicken, but doesn't like the chicken here because it's not fresh. She is used to her father killing his own chickens for dinner. Fruit is another thing, she LOVES fresh fruit, but the fruit is from other areas of the nation. So, it tastes different to her.
I love to view America through my students eyes; it gives me more of an understanding of myself too.
tommiann

Friday, May 2, 2008

I forgot the blog site's name:
transamericatrailcycle.com
Here's another site..this one is wonderful. It is from the Murdoch station in Antartica!
jasonsolis.blogspot.com
Check these sites out!
tommiann
It's Friday!!! yea!
End of the month..beginning of the month's paperwork is due. It is also the end of the semester. I have to make some decisions..I think I'm going to close mose of my ESL classes for the summer. It is not cost effective to run these classes with so few adult ESL students attending. Last night in my computer class, I only had 2 students to attend. It is the end of the semester, and only 2 showed up. I am really discouraged!
I ran 6 miles today; it felt really good. I love this weather; it's warming up and the birds are chattering. I really love this time of year.
I've been following a blog about a person who is bike riding across the United States. He's from England and his comments have been really interesting. I enjoy reading his perspective. He's going through the small rural towns of the United States and has described the places and people that he has encountered in detail. I have to smile because he is getting an immigrant's perspective on our country. Ironically, it's the same perspective my students have about our area. Don't you think it is odd how we can skew our perspective based on one piece of information? In otherwords, we can base our thoughts, ideas, and perspective about a country, culture, or a certain person, on one piece of information?
Let me give you example, I think it is funny (curious) when I hear someone lump all hispanics as Mexicans? When in reality, most of my students are from different areas of Latin America? How about when I mention I'm from California, and people immediately assume Hollywood?
Just a few thoughts......
tommiann

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

God is in control

This blog is a reminder that God is the Alpha and Omega...there is no plan B.
Please sit back and read this blog. Watch the video, the video is about 25 minutes, but it is well worth your time.
This message reminded me of National prayer day; Prayer is to keep our hearts open to what God's soft voice. I am reminded that it is NOT about me, but about listening to a quiet sound.
Please take the time to watch and listen.
audreycaroline.blogspot.com
tommiann

esl thoughts

Esl went well today; I had 4 students, but they were very inquisitive. Even after all of these years teaching ESL, I still get questions that "stump" me. For instance, one of the students said, "me don't espeak ing├ęs very well"..I responded "yes, you do..I understand you perfectly". She gave me a puzzled look and asked me to repeat my answer. I had to think, and then repeated, "yes, you do". She heard, "Yesshudu"......I had to really ponder my response, linguistically, and from a dialect perspective. I've never thought about it, but my assumption is that there is a form of "sure" in that response. Yes we say, Yes You Do, but in reality, if we truly listen to ourselves, we respond...Yesh you do..but run it together. I find the English language a fasinating inigma, and I continually learn this language from my students. Funny how I only speak English, but my understanding of this language is through my non-native English speaking students, ironic..don't you think?
tommiann

Friday, April 25, 2008

I attended a U.S. CIS (citizenship and immigration services) seminar today. The information was really good. They are changing the citizenship test as of October 1, 2008. I think it will be for the better. Right now, a computer generates questions for the potential citizens to answer (orally) instead of standardized questions.....amazing that anyone could pass. The pass rate was 84% and with the new test..it's in the low 90's. The new test isn't easier, just standardized. I wonder how many U.S. citizens could pass it? I have taught citizenship classes for several years now and wondered about the new exam. I feel more comfortable with it, but the students will have to study more. The new standardized exam will keep the examiners from being gatekeepers. The CIS officials were really nice and accomodating in answering questions.

Again, I wasn't able to run today. I need to....time has slipped away. I hope this weekend I will be able to run.
I've been working really hard to build my ESL classes and at the same time, I've been working on my daughter's graduation. My family are flying in from Sacramento CA and my guest bedroom needs some work. My friends and I went shopping tonight to try and find a comfortor that would "best fit" the colors. I painted the guest bedroom an orange, not neon, more of a earthy orange. The color is beautiful but to find a comfortor that's not wild and compliments orange,...is quite difficult! My friends helped me tonight, but we did not have any success. I guess that what I get for painting "out of the box" :)
tommiann

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Did the CSI thing today!! It went really well, not many students participated, but the ones that did, it was wonderful. They participated in solving a re-enactiment of a crime scene. I received a grant to provide this opportunity for my students. 17 students signed up and completed the book and study guide, only 9 students showed up. I was very disappointed in the turn out, but at least these students were able to have this opportunity. They had to solve two different crime scenes. One was set up in a burned out mobile home and the other was a car accident. It was really interesting. They had to make casts of tire tracks and foot tracks...also they lifted fingerprints, measured different aspects of the crime scene and took photographs! It was exciting to watch the students collaberate with each other. The chief of police, some detectives and a fireman helped the students with the crime scenes. I watched..not interested in this sort of stuff, but my students sure had a blast! And I guess the bottom line to all of this...it's for the students and to open their eyes to other possibilities!
I only had 2 ESl students attend tonight's class; we worked on percentages with word problems for 3 hours. It has been a very long day.
I'm going to Raleigh for a seminar on Friday. The seminar is about immigration. I have a list of questions..I hope they will be answered.
tommiann

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Took my class to the job fair today; they really enjoyed it! The employers were giving out pens, pencils, knick knacks, candy, etc...so it was quite enjoyable. A couple of my students were interested in promoting their Spanish language skills, and some of the employers seemed to be interested. I hope something comes out of this..it is nice to see my students be given an opportunity.

Tomorrow is the finally of my grant..YEPEE. I'm glad that it is almost over with. The grant encompassed the Basic Skills students reading a book, "The Body Farm" and completing the study guide. If they do this, then they get to particpate in solving a re-enactment of a crime scene! This is being done by someone who trains CSI people! I think it will be exciting, but the downside of this is..most of the instructors were not enthused about this. I truly don't understand this....this is an opportunity for students who do not have their GED or high school diploma to experience something that is "out of the box". So..since the instructors seemed to NOT encourage this, I do not have many students to particpate in this project. I have only 16 students to sign up for this...out of 500-600 students!! How sad! I truly hope all of the students that signed up for this will show up for this project. The state (who gave me the grant) wants me to do a CSI 2...I will have to really consider this...at this point, the answer is NO.
tommiann

Monday, April 21, 2008

Only one student tonight...the price of gas is affecting everything. This county is large and since my program is an extra, it is considered extra in a student's budget. I had 5 students this morning, but who knows how long that will keep up. I had helped an ESL high school student with editing. His paper was wonderful..he compared the wall around Mexico's border to the Berlin wall...interesing, don't you think?

It was cold and rainy today, didn't run. I'm also very upset with myself...gained 12 pounds since last summer. I know it has something to do with my tumor that was removed so I hope I will get back on track. I don't want to be heavy again, so I'm a little scared.
tommiann

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I had a really good day. Cleaned house, car and the fish pond..didn't run though. My legs feel tired and heavy, I think the 1/2 marathon last week was too much, especially since I didn't train for it. I will try to run the trails tomorrow, but I 'll take it easy.

My husband's in New York working on Cessna Planes. There were no planes here, so his company sent him and a few other A&P mechanics to New York. They needed some extra help..we are lucky, at least he won't be laid off. His company will send him to other areas.

Met my friend's son today; he's a cutie! She adopted him from China and let me tell you, he's a doll baby. Nothing but smiles and giggles...what a blessing he is!
tommiann

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What a strange day for me...nothing in particular. I had 2 ESL students in my morning class. They are interested in buying homes, but there isn't any Spanish speaking realtors in the area. How horrible...I can't imagine buying a house and not being able to speak English very well.. It was awful enough for me..I can't imagine not speaking the language very well.
Taught computer class tonight; the students seem to enjoy it. We started Microsoft publishing tonight. Next week they will make a flyer and a card in class.
I enjoy teaching so much; it is really wonderful to see students get the "aha" moment.

I ran 6 miles today, but walked the last 1 1/2 miles. I don't know why...I just felt DONE. I think because it was warmer than usual. I'm not complaining..it is wonderful to run in warm weather. I will have to adjust to it.
tommiann

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I brought computers to my morning class; the students loved them. Some very interesting questions; for instance, did you know "wearing" does not translate well? The difference between the sound of woman or women...anyways, I love teaching English; my students continuously challenge me with questions regarding the English language.

Trying to figure out what race I want to do. I haven't signed up for anything as of yet. If I don't, I won't motivate myself to run. I really like running, but sometimes I get tired. I do like to run the trails but getting there is a drive. I don't have time to drive a 1/2 hour to run the trails. I try to fit in my run between my classes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today was kind of depressing in ESL land. I had 2 students show up for my morning class, and they were new..well sort of. The attend my other morning class and enjoyed my teaching. However, the other students didn't show, if they didn't come then I wouldn't have had ANY students. Last night, out of 11 regular atendees, only ONE..yes only one came to class:(..hopefully I will have a full class tomorrow night.

I ran only 5 miles today, but it felt good. I needed to get away and to just listen to my thoughts.
type more later,
tommiann

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well...I finished the 1/2 marathon in Charlotte. I didn't do well compared to others, but I felt pretty good. It is a hilly course..very few flat places, so I feel really good about my time. It drizzled off and on but not too bad. It was quite humid so I welcomed the drizzle.
I wish I could run faster, sometimes I wonder why bother? It would be really nice to have bragging rights about getting a good time and placing, but that's never going to happen. Some people have talent, for instance my brother. He's a very talented athlete, along with my mom. She usually places, even when she was my age. I guess what I'm trying to type... is I need to look at accomplishing a race and not where or what everyone else is doing. But...I can secretly fantasize about placing in my age group:)

In the ESL world, my classes are still struggling with the number of students. However, I did have a meeting with Smart Start and we are brainstorming a really BIG idea/project. I want to combine Even Start and Adult education. It is in the very beginning stage, but I'm really excited if this can happen. I have always dreamed about a consortium with Smart Start to help the parents that have little education obtain one. However, with young children at home, for some parents, this is not possible or unlikely. So, with Smart Start, we could bring adult education to the parents, and the children are a part of this. More later...
tommiann

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It was warm today, yepee! However, I only ran 4 miles..what am I going to do this weekend? I haven't decided if I'm going to run yet or not. I need to make a decision. Saw something on the internet about CHIrunning. Read a little about it, but not sure I undersand it.
ESL class went ok tonight, everyone worked on the computers. The room was warm so the students were really getting sleepy. Worked with math too; I love teaching math. I had 7 students, this is unusual to have this many. I was pleased, but still not enough. I need 10 students to help offset the instructor's cost. I just don't know what to do about this situation. It really is bothering me. I have brainstormed ideas with others, and the idea of a Saturday class might help. I'm starting the marketing for it for Summer. However, I'll probably close some other morning classes. I'm teaching it, but it doesn't make me feel any better.
tommiann
Yesterday was ok, only one student showed up to class. I am really disappointed. The student that showed up need some help with the "buying a house" process. How overwhelming for someone who's native language is not English. It's difficult for native English speakers, add another language and it can be overwhelming.
Well, off to work, maybe I will have a lot of students...well I can wish, can't I?
tommiann

Monday, April 7, 2008

ESL classes went well today. My morning class is so incredibly enthusiastic about learning. It's a pleasure to teach this class; my night class was wonderful too. My students were able to make the connections between percents, decimals and fractions. I almost cried with joy; it has been difficult to teach this class in English and for the students to understand it in English. However, I think we made a breakthrough!

I didn't run today, work was hectic so I wasn't able to get it in. I'm worried because I'm not trained for the 1/2 marathon this coming up weekend. I'm truly not trained for it, so why am I running it? I must be out of my mind. I don't want to get injured. I've read some other blogs and found some interesting insights into running. Someone suggested the 123 approach to running to keep your gait even. For example, count 1 2 3..2 2 3...3 2 3..and this helps with running evenly. I'm going to try this when I run.
Well, off for tonight,
tommiann

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ran trails today; it was wonderful! It rained most of the time, but it was very warm. I took Tucker with me; he loved jumping in the lake. The trails were muddy and slick, but it wasn't too bad. I hope I can go back tomorrow and run it again, if the weather cooperates. I don't want to run in wet and cold weather. I like to run, but I'm not going to kill myself:).

I didn't get selected for the Nike Women's marthon..I was really disappointed; it my dream to run in this marathon. The irony of all of this is, I had my mother sign up for it and a friend at work (she's not a runner). It would give her something to strive for..they both got selected and I didn't. It actually depressed me, I'm still depressed thinking about it. It truly wanted to run in this marathon. It would have given me the chance to fly home and run a marthon with my mom again. I've got to stop thinking about it because it's really upsetting me. Now my friend doesn't want to run the Nike marathon because I'm not..which upsets me even more because I really want to run it! Oh well, if there were 20 people in a room and 19 are selected for a prize, I wouldn't be one of them. I have bad luck; I just don't ever get picked or win anything. See, I need to stop OBSESSING about it!
tommiann

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wow, what a week in ESL land. I taught a computer class last night, and my students loved it. However, one of my students did not speak any English, and he had a difficult time trying to stay connected. I spent a lot of one on one, but he didn't seem too receptive to help. However, at the end of class, he was all smiles.
Thursday morning's class was an eye opener too...a student was applying for a job but had some difficulties filling out the application. It was her first day in class and brought her job application with her. I hope she comes back to class............
My mileage has been down for awhile, with work overload and weather difficulties (rained almost all week)..I haven't been able to run. I have a 1/2 marathon to run next weekend, and I am not ready to run it. I have to make some decisions. I don't want to get hurt trying to run the race or bomb out. I'll try to run a long run tomorrow and see how I feel.
I'm really tired this week; it has been tough. I'm glad it's the weekend.
tommiann

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today was a little tiring...I taught English to students who knew little English but willing and eager learners. It took some time to get them to feel comfortable with me. Starting a new class is challenging, not because of getting to know students, but to help facilitate a safe and secure learning environment. Adults come in with fears, baggage from previous learning experiences and then put that with cultural and language differences, it could be disasterous. So it takes a lot from me, emotionally and mentally, to make sure the students want to come back and learn.

In tonight's class, it was a very good class. It was really hot, because we are upstairs and the day was rather warm. It's too early for the college to turn on the air, so it was really warm. The students were good sports about it.

I'm really tired, so off to sleep.
tommiann

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

I ran 6 miles today; it was a beautiful WARM overcast day. Not used to running in humidity, but it's better than the cold. 68 was the high, but tomorrow the high is suppose to be 41, YUCK. I HATE spring. I start to get spoiled with the warmth and BAM the cold hits.

Classes went ok today, discussed phrasal verbs. One of the students wants to call others to invite them to class because she enjoys it so much. I didn't have the heart to tell her that they are afraid of driving. Teaching English is rewarding, and I have the perfect Utopian teaching experience. I have students that want to be in class and want to learn; sometimes I think we can learn more from other cultures. I think it's an oxymoron at times that I teach English, because I learn more from them than they learn from me.
tommiann

Monday, March 31, 2008

Dreary, rainy, cold day. I didn't run again...I'll try to get it tomorrow.
My friend adopted their baby boy from China. I'm so happy for them, he's a cutey.

I only had 2 students come to class today; last week's students didn't show. Hopefully, it's because of the weather. The students liked the laptops, but I felt inadequate. Somehow I need to reach students on their wants/needs and not what I think they need. I'm trying to reach more into the community by promoting the program in the stores, business, and letters to students that have not been to class for awhile.
Well, I'm off to tonight's class, this class is working on several different projects at once.
Tommiann

Sunday, March 30, 2008

luv 2 run


Myspace Countdown Clocks at WishAFriend.com
I didn't run again today...I should, but it's still really cold. Normally I don't mind, but the weather was sooo incredibly nice this past week that I got spoiled!

Tomorrow I will bring laptops to my ESL morning class and hopefully word will get out and more interest will be generated. My ESL program was quite large and because of the new immigration laws/scare, students are afraid.
I love teaching ESL to adults; it's my passion. I learn more from my students than what I can teach them. I also teach GED to the Spanish speakers; this is also my passion. Since I went full time this past July, I do not teach GED anymore, only to the Spanish speakers. I absolutely love teaching all subjects, especially math. I love the "aha" moment....since my program is in trouble, I worry that I will not be able to teach my passion. I wish there was an easy answer to all of this, but there isn't. I know all across the state, the ESL program has decreased dramatically in students.
I hope that this trend reverses.
tommiann

Friday, March 28, 2008

Just finished running a 6 mile trail run; it's beautiful outside. It was a nice ending to a long work day. My lab loved it; he kept running into the lake.

I am looking for grant money because my ESL program needs software. I have no monies in my budget to purchase software. I'm looking at Reading Horizons which teaches literacy to adults. I put in an interest letter to a local agency; hopefully, they will send me an application so I can apply for the money. They won't make a decision until this fall.
I have a strong curriculum program, but my software is not as good. I have Rosetta Stone which is ok, but it builds too quickly on reading skills. I needs something that builds more slowly, and adults learn contextually...so the software has to have that component in order for it to be effective.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Began teaching a computer class tonight, only 3 students came. I was really disappointed in the turnout. My ESL program is struggling, and I am having a hard time seeing all of my hardwork not going anywhere. I have to focus on the few students that are regulars and know I'm making a difference.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I ran 5 miles before teaching an ESl class tonight. It was interesting, a few students studying economics (in Spanish)..I taught percentages, and then gave a writing assignment. At this time, all of my students are Spanish speakers. Tomorrow, I begin a computer class; they are excited about learning how to use a computer. This is my favorite class to teach, because their children are using computers in school, so I always hear from my students that they want to learn too. Sometimes, I feel inadequate in meeting all of my students needs, tonight was one of those nights.
tommiann

ESL

I started a new ESL class today but only 2 women came. Hopefully, more will begin next week. Since most of my students are men, I have high hopes that this morning class will have more women. I am going to intergrate computer with lessons; this should help encourage all levels of English. My night class are advanced, but these students have been with me for a long time. My other class sites are struggling, witht the new immigration laws, potential students are scared. I love what I do, but am getting discouraged with sporatic student attendance.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This article is for those who want to train for their marathon..it helped me.
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244-255-11938-0,00.html
The registration is open for www.breastcancermarathon.com in Jacksonville Fl...this was a wonderful experience! I recommend this marathon to anyone who has been affected by breast cancer.
tommiann

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My mom and I ran the Jacsonville Fl. Breast Cancer marathon...it was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed it!
tommiann