Friday, July 20, 2007

LAHS Class of '98 Reunion

Well, can't believe I signed up for this, but it should be fun. I have officially volunteered to plan my 10 year reunion. So, I'm asking for the help of any LAHS graduates who have friends from the class of '98. If you have any contact info, can you shoot it my way? Also, I know a couple of you have some experience planning reunions, so if you have any suggestions can you give me those also? Thanks so much guys!

Aside from that, I know I haven't written in a while, but I've been nose in the books for the past week. Classes are over next week, so I'll be back on the ball soon! Off to have a birthday dinner cooked for me by my marvelouse "sisters"! Then to the Harry Potter release times! See ya!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter

Here's my own review on the new Harry Potter movie.

First of all, I think it is important for you to know that for the 3rd movie in a row, I have gone to the first midnight showing. Totally worth it!! I got the closest to dressing up this year by wearing a Dumbledor's Army necklace...I think that's as far as my fanaticism will ever go! I have some sort of respect for those who show up in full costume just because of their willingness to make fools of themselves, but at the same time, they definitely scare me a bit!

Laura and Mindy were the first two in line (they got there at 5:00 PM). We were pretty surprised that the line was as short as it was until as late as it was. The last movies we saw at Century 24, the biggest theater in town. For the last movie we showed up at 3:00 and STILL weren't first in line (ok we were second, but still...). Also, in years past there have been long lines HOURS before the show started. This year, people didn't really start showing up until about 10:00. Weird, but I guess the theater had something to do with it.

So, we sat in line and made friends with the theater staff, ate dinner, played cards, did homework, played more cards and were finally let into the theater at 10:30ish. Laura started polling the fellow fans "Friend or Foe" (if you don't know what I'm talking about read the books) and found that all but 3 people say included. If you want my reasoning for this, I'll be happy to offer it at another time! Then we started playing Harry Potter trivia. I am not that good at recall, so I was amazed at the people and what they knew. Can anyone else name the four types of dragons in the Goblet of Fire tournament...without looking it up? Some of the fans there could! And what is Voldemort's mom's name...woah! As answers were shouted out, I remembered them, but the fact that people could recall something that was mentioned in maybe 1 Chapter of a 700 page book just baffled me.

We also received many lectures about the fact that cameras of any kind, including camera phones, would be confiscated if used in the theater. Technically they were supposed to confiscate them if they SAW them, but I guess they were realistic enough to know that that was a silly goal! Apparently, there are already bootleg copies of some movies that just came out last weekend circulating throughout the city. There is a $250,000 fine and 5 years in jail in the future of anyone taking pictures if someone decided to turn them in. And why would someone turn them in...$500 finder's fee. Honestly ridiculous. So, I misunderstood the whole "in the theater" thing. I thought that it meant in the actual seating area of the theater...oh no, ANYWHERE in the theater. The Movie Posters for upcoming movies are copyrighted also, so they are just as guarded as the movie themselves. Well, thank goodness the "officials" weren't around when I took a picture of the long line for the movie right before we were allowed into the theater...sorry, the seating area of the theater. Anyway, once we got in and were seated, there were flashes going off all over the place. The theater staff went crazy for a little while trying to confiscate all of the cameras until they decided that they didn't want to be liable for the cameras! LOL! Needless to say, the cops weren't called in on anyone.

Before the lights went down, a reporter came and talked to Laura and Mindy because they had been the first ones in line. Check it out at if you are interested. At first I was upset that she hadn't asked me about anything, but when I ended up with some stomach thing the next morning and couldn't go to class or work, I was fairly relieved. Something tells me that my being sick may have been questioned, legitimate as it was, had my instructors or boss seen me quoted about being at the theater until 3:00 in the morning!

Anyway, the movie started and we all groaned through the previews. They can be annoying when you HAVEN'T been waiting for 7 hours to watch the movie...need I say more! So as soon as the Harry Potter music started, applause began and quickly died down as we tuned into the much anticipated film.

Well, either we were so hyped up that nothing was going to please us, or the first 10 minutes of the movie were truly disappointing. The acting, the cinematography, the choppiness...everything just didn't feel right. Thankfully, it soon turned into the white knuckle movie that we expected. The comedic relief of Delores Umbridge, the crony sent to the school by the Ministry of Magic, was great. The fight scenes in the Ministry's Hall of Mysteries were wonderfully done, although the minimalistic coverage of the fate of Sirius was slightly disappointing.

Some say this movie was supposed to be the darkest yet, although I think I would argue that the Goblet of Fire still takes the cake in that aspect.

So, there's my review...can't wait till the 21st when the last book comes out!!! Well, off to class I go.

Wish me luck as I am attempting the bicycle for the first time in years tonight. I know..."it's like riding a bike," and I should have no problem, but I fear that I become less and less comfortable with adrenaline the older I get, so I'm hoping for no adrenaline triggers tonight! (I just read that back and I sound like a 72 year old, paranoid grandma...oh well, notice I didn't erase it!) Have a great night to you soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Update on the Fraud Situation

So...Here's the deal. I got a text this morning from Jessica stating that yes indeed, the two Monica Olivas' are the same woman...weird small world we live in huh? So that means nothing monumental except for the fact that I am not jaded against all women named Monica Olivas for the rest of my life! Since this turned out to be only one person and not two, I can just be jaded against her!

As soon as I got to work I covered my own butt by talking to two of my superiors and giving them a heads up about the situation. I just wanted them to know that if it ever came back to the NMAA, I had NEVER given permission for my address to be used. They both laughed incredulously at the situation and told me that I needn't worry.

OK, next I called APS, the school district, and made them aware of the situation. They looked up the kids, and the good news is they have never been listed at my address and they have been going to the school on the military base here in town (their dad is a vet). So, technically I should feel all better about the situation, but I don't!

Even though they never took that final step of registering outside of their zone, they still made legal changes to their address AFTER I had told them that I was unwilling to allow them to use my address. I just feel betrayed. And if they had been unable to get them into the school on base (apparently there were issues with this because of their parent's divorce), would they have still used my address? What astounds me is that as Jessica and I were making these odd connections, she stated that her boss had openly admitted that she had used someone else's address to get her kids into a different school zone (what's absolutely hilarious to me is that she was admitting this to a resident of that address and neither one had ANY idea!!!). Anyway, how dense can you be to advertise to the world that you have done something like this, let alone the fact that you're proud to be successfully fooling ME! ARGHHHH.

So, I think I am going to write a letter to my dear old co-worker letting her know that she didn't totally fool me, and that I am not happy to have had to deal with this. I'm also not happy that I had to figure it out the way that I did. And lastly, I'm REALLY not happy that she broke her word to me saying that she wouldn't use my address.

I called Sprint and they have taken my address off of the account, and put a note on the account as well. I have to run into a local Wells Fargo branch and make sure that everything is taken care of there. After that point, I can let this situation go, but I think we can safely say that I have learned yet another lesson about placing trust in the wrong people...but the question still do you know?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Thanks Jim...

side note...(this post is specifically directed to a guy who left me a comment who I can't seem to comment back. Fair warning, it's all about the dreaded video game!)

Don't know who you are, but you gave me advice regarding beating Ursula. I was actually talking about the second form of Ursula which is a WHOLE lot harder than her and her cauldron, but thanks for the advice. By the time I read your comment I had beaten her and was back fighting tournaments in Olympus. Thanks again though!

Wow, I had quite a disappointing evening. Let me break this down for you...

For over a year I have been getting mail at my house for a Monica Olivas. I don't know a Monica Olivas. I have been getting her mail from both Wells Fargo and Sprint. Last year when this started, I called Wells Fargo and asked them to check on the account to verify that there hadn't been a mistake. They told me very plainly that there was nothing that they could do and refused to even look up the name and address.

I got more and more frustrated about the mail, but kept referring back to the fact that I was told that, due to customer confidentiality, there was NOTHING that they could do.

So, flash back to about a year and a half old co-worker of mine asked me if she could use my address so that her grandchildren could get into my school zone which is rated as superior to theirs. I told her very plainly that no, not only was I not comfortable with the dis-honesty of that, but that because of where I work, that could cause serious issues in the future. I trusted her promise that they would not pursue this address fraud.

So I know what you are thinking...duh Kristin, it took you over a year to figure out what was going on?? Well, keep in mind, I trusted my co-worker Louisa and didn't think that she would go against her word. I also did not know her daughter Monica, who had a different last name. I just thought that I was getting some random woman's mail.

Back to today...I get another piece of Wells Fargo mail for Monica Olivas AND one for Martin Olivas...this is new. Knowing that proof of residency is used for many security purposes, I decided I didn't care what I'd been told in the past by Wells Fargo and I called them again. After hearing what I had to say, the employee and his supervisor gave me permission to open the Olivas' Wells Fargo mail. Ironically enough, the items that I received today were confirmations of an address change. The new address seemed strangely familiar...I recognized the street as an old address of my best friend. So I called her and asked what her address had been. When she told me her old house number, it suddenly all came clear...Louisa lived down the street from her old house and the addresses fit perfectly.

Not wanting to believe what I was thinking I understood so clearly, I took a drive and verified that the address on the Wells Fargo letters was indeed that of Louisa's house. WOW!

And even stranger, as this is all falling into place, my roommate realizes that her boss' name just happens to be Monica Olivas. We are not 100% sure, but we're thinking we're not incorrect in naming these two as the same woman. We'll know more about that tomorrow when she does some investigating!

And what am I doing tomorrow? Talking to my boss about the fact that my address has been frauduently used for inequitable educational gain...pretty much the biggest thing our office stands for. After I cover this at work, I will talk to the school district and inform them that I feel that my address has been used without my knowledge to unfairly register students outside of their school zone. Hmmm...

I guess I'll let you know what happens!
Video Games...ahh the waste of good brain cells...

Yes, I know that I just posted, but if you hadn't noticed, I specifically spoke against my use of video games, so I figured I should separate the two topics further! Let me tell you how much time I spent playing video games this weekend...on second thought, I better not. Let's just say that I think I safely made up for my 6 month sabbatical from my PS2 in a matter of 3 days. Funny thing, for the first half of a day, all I did was complain about the game that I was playing. But I figured, I'll give it a little more time and maybe it'll grow on me. So what did that accomplish? Not sure it grew on me, but I am so determined to beat the stupid thing that I have latched on to it with a death grip! I am playing Kingdom Hearts which, for those of you who don't know, is an adultified game with the Disney characters!! Right now I am stuck trying to beat Ursula and man is she a tough one. I just want to give King Triton his trident said I think...I'm gonna go stick my head in an encyclopedia now and see if I can coax some of my brain cells to come out of hiding.
Social Responsibility and my Conscience... (my blog's not allowing me to add titles, so this is the best you get!)

My Social Studies class had an orientation at Roadrunner Food Bank today and then worked for about 2 hours. What a smack in the face...this warehouse is less than two minutes from my house and this is the first time that I have been there. How much effort did it take on my part to put in two hours today?? Not a whole heck of a lot. And how many people will benefit...THOUSANDS. Hello Kristin...maybe you can find something better to do with your free time than playing video games (see next post!). Don't get me wrong, I think free time is essential to one's sanity, but would sacrificing 2 or 3 hours of it a week be detrimental? I'm determined to find out. So help me all are my accountability partners. Next time you chat with me, or send me an email, or leave me a comment, will you throw something in there about how my community service is doing? It will keep me on the ball and hopefully help me to change my current pattern of spending all of my free time sitting on my gluteus maximus to one of productiveness!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Well, I think my intelligence level may be diminishing as I complete this assignment! I have just finished reading 17 children's books...15 of these are bonified picture books! Actually, some of them are great reads and I will definitely be storing their information for my future lesson planning. Now I have to review the books, and plan a lesson plan and then a unit plan around one or two of them. Funny thing, and somewhat unfamiliar, I'm not dreading the work that will go into this process.

I made a call to my mom on Thursday that I think affirmed to both of us that I am on the right track. I told her that I had had a revelation while in class that I really enjoyed what I was doing, and I am constantly looking forward to what's coming next. Yes, I've come far since HS, and I have grown immensely, but I have FINALLY found myself knowing that I am doing what I should be doing. Now, does that mean it won't change, no...what if something were to come of this American Idol thing? I have to continue to take it a day at a time, enjoy every moment of it, and most importantly, keep trusting that God is leading me by the hand to a finale only He knows the plot of!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Here's the glowing one ;)

Well, I feel much better now! I just finished helping my mom catch up with the times by getting her set up with online bill pay. Then I planned a wedding in an hour...hmmm, never said that before!
Megan, one of my three psuedo-sisters, is getting married in September. She and her fiance are on a tight budget, but after tonight, I am confidant that we are going to end up with a beautiful day/evening for a small price tag! She will make a dashing bride (imagine Snow White) and the sunset ceremony will only enhance her beauty. There will only be about 8 people in attendance (family only), the Maid of Honor, Best Man, Officiant, and the happy couple. Lavender, Sage, and Yellow. OK, I guess I do miss this wedding planning thing a little bit! It's nice that I'm not doing it for pay anymore, so that I can make the decision to do a wedding for free. That used to be a tough call...looked bad to other clients.
Well, it's off to bed for me. Happy fourth everybody!

Serious doubts about our children's education...

So I am sure that this is no new phenomenon, but as an individual who is attending classes with the future educators of New Mexico and beyond...I think I'll homeschool! Actually, I think that public school is an important part of social development, but I have serious doubts about the capabilities of some of my classmates.

Today we broke into groups in our Social Studies class. To model the strategy that she was teaching, our instructor assigned each member of the group a role; discussion leader, recorder, reader 1, reader 2, timekeeper and supply chair. My group turned into a democracy...our dicussion leader took her role a bit too seriously and wouldn't give anyone an opportunity to discuss! All I could think of was her poor future students not being able to get a word in edgewise. This is just one example, and a very mild one at that. Don't get me started with the kind of writing skills, grammar skills, math skills, etc. that I am seeing. I certainly don't consider myself as expert in any of these areas who never makes a mistake, but my test scores were in the top 95th percentile. This is not self praise, but what I think should be a standard for those wanting to teach these skills to the youth of our communities.

Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing people in this program, but I don't see much of a margin of error in this field. We don't figure in a margin of error in the medical field, yet it is somehow ok to graduate mediocre educators? I see something wrong with that.

Wow, apparently the combination of my schedule and the heat has put me in quite the cynical mood...I'll be back in a bit with something glowing to say...I promise.

Monday, July 2, 2007

More punishment...

So I just finished my second class, and although it is not near as labor intensive as Social Studies is going to be, let's just say this blog may be the only way anyone will know I am alive for the coming month! 2 more lesson plans, 2 book reviews, one group project, an assessment with a child, and an individual oral presentation. Again...four weeks people...I guess this is what Masters is all about!

Glutton for punishment

Well, I started my second set of summer classes today and I think I'm nuts. Here's my schedule for July...
Monday -Thursday
8:00-10:30 AM - Teaching Social Studies in the classroom
11:00-3:30 PM - Work
4:00-6:30 - Teaching Reading and Literacy in the classroom

OK, so it may not look THAT bad, but you haven't seen the syllabus for my Social Studies class...
5 Journal Entries
1 Lesson Plan
2 Unit Plans
10 Book reviews
10 Website reviews
and I think I'm missing 2 things

Keep in mind this in only a four week class! Oh I won't have a social life for July...I've dealt with worse!

I head to my Reading and Literacy class in about an hour...let's just hope that I don't see the same kind of work load...

Let's just say that I had a hard time justifying the fact that I played my PS2 for hours yesterday until I went to class this morning. My videogame saga was some well deserved respite prior to beginning these classes!

By the way...Lisa, is your fault that all of you now have to suffer through the day to day goings on of Kristin...if only I had no idea what a blog was...