Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papum!

This is a phrase I learned today when my RCIA sponsor texted me just after I left school for the day. Our text conversation went similar to the following:

her: Habemus papum!
me: still don't speak Latin... just tell me if the smoke is white or black. :)
her: white smoke! We have a pope!
me: !!!!!

Ever since Pope Benedict announced his resignation I have been swept up in the wave of curiosity and excitement surrounding the election of the next Pope. The last time it happened was during my senior year of high school when I happened to be studying the artwork of the Vatican in my art history course. It was a cool experience academically, but it didn't really go much further than that since I wasn't Catholic and didn't really know much about what being Pope meant.

Fast forward to today. I have spent months studying about the Catholic faith and preparing for union with the church and feel like I have a much better understanding of who the Pope is and what he represents.

Still, I was not prepared to be so overwhelmed by Pope Francis' address to the people today. He was so humble and so genuine in his words and actions. It made me wish that I could have been there in person even though the size of that crowd made me panic a bit just seeing it on tv. I'm looking forward to seeing what Pope Francis does with his position and which issues he chooses to take on.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I'm teaching in the field all week this week to implement my PTLS project. It's basically half of my grade in three different classes. No pressure. :)

The basic idea is to teach a mini unit on a social studies topic and integrate a literacy standard. My project is about understanding the origin and meaning behind the Iron Curtain. Yesterday the kids were American spies looking at and interpreting Soviet artifacts like propaganda posters and pictures from the gulag. Today we are playing a game to help us understand capitalism vs. communism.

Our grand finale on Thursday will involve watching Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" speech and then creating a wall in the classroom with paper bricks covered in reasons for US and Soviet tensions.

I'm pretty excited about it and hoping the students learn something. After all, that is the point of school.

Yesterday was a bit rough from a classroom management perspective. The kids were just kind of wild and, although I know there were many contributing factors there, I still feel that my lesson may have been ill suited to my particular class. I've tweaked today's lesson and hopefully the students will have a more constructive experience. :)