Grandma’s Gettin’ Run Over By a Reindeer…

…and other sundry Christmas carols. Every time I try to explain that particular carol to my students, we end up laughing. What a horrible song! In the eloquent words of one 13-year-old, “Dude, G-ma, don’t leave the crib!”

I enjoy all carols – all but “Feliz Navidad,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “Dominic the Christmas Donkey,” “12 Days of Christmas”, and “Last Christmas.” I know I’ve already gone on a diatribe about “Feliz Navidad,” but let’s talk about “12 Days of Christmas.” Is there not something disturbing about wanting 11 lords-a-leaping? And why must we calculate, and adjust for inflation, the cost of those 12 days, especially when most people wouldn’t want half of those things anyway? You’d end up with a menagerie of noisy animals with nutty people leaping about and milking things. It’s just not right. 
And “Last Christmas” is the “I just got dumped by my boyfriend” song of Christmas carols. I gave you my heart – you gave it away? Sounds like unexpected heart surgery. Gross. 
Alright, I’m done with Christmas carol bashing. There are plenty of good ones out there, but my least favorites just really bug me. But, when you really think of music & lyrics, you find out just how absurd they are – even if they’re supposed to be symbolic. If I had the time, I’d have my students pick an APPROPRIATE song and illustrate the lyrics with Comic Life. Think of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” Or “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Now that would entertaining! 
Anyway, I’m really done now. 
It’s one more week until I fly home for the holidays, and I’m looking forward to 14 hours of flying, during the holidays, with people poking me and stepping on me to get the bathroom. I need to check in early so I have room for my carry-ons with all the other stuff people are shoving onto the plane. It will be an exercise in both futility and patience, I imagine. 
So, what else? It’s just been incredibly busy with the holidays approaching at work. A fellow teacher and I applied for the Apple Distinguished Educator program, which involved essay writing and video making. The kids were good sports to help me get decent shots of all my tech work in action. I can’t believe how much we use tech on a day to day basis – trying to incorporate Macs and iPads especially. Because of their laptops, we can do so much “on the spot” teaching. I highly recommend the GFlash+ app for iPad if you need a good study tool, by the way. I created a game with it for social studies review and then emailed out the flashcards to my students. They loved that I was using an iPad – it’s like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs for some of them! They were very supportive!
On Sunday, I finally booked my spring break trip – to Prague! With my family being half-Czech, I thought it would be great to visit the “red-roof city” and check out my roots. I have a hotel right near Prague Castle, and I’m planning day trips out of the city to nearby towns. Everyone has recommended Budapest, but I think for my next October break I’m going to fly into Budapest and take the train line through Prague again and into Germany, culminating in an Oktoberfest somewhere. How beautiful of a trip as well when the leaves are just starting to change? 
Chinese New Year is still in limbo, but that looks like a toss up between the beaches of the Philippines with a few other teachers or going with another small group and helping teach English at the Jacaranda School in Malawi, Africa, and also repairing school buildings too. I’m not sure which is going to materialize or work out right now. 
At the end of February, a small group of us are looking at going to Harbin, China, up by Russia, to see the amazing ice sculptures and light show. May as well go freeze and see some beautiful sculptures!
The travel opportunities are endless, and that’s what thrills me each time I think of where I have the chance of going. A year ago I never would have thought any of this was possible. A year ago, I was wondering what resolutions I was going to make – and I’m pretty sure this whole adventure wasn’t a resolution. But, resolutions are too planned. I fail at them every time. But, I can succeed with going with the flow. With making no predictions but just – jumping in?
A year. 
365 reasons why I can’t plan everything perfectly. 

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