January – Thirty years ago student teachers HAD to be a member of a professional organization as part of their graduation requirements. Although it is no longer mandatory, social studies teachers who join California Council for the Social Studies become the leaders in their field as they meet colleagues from across the state, and make friendships that last a lifetime. In January the CCSS Executive Board asked to serve as the First Vice-President, replacing a member who had moved to Colorado. In May CCSS members voted me in as President-Elect, and in June, 2013 I will serve as the President of this organization.
February – In 2011 I become officially involved with the Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS) as their recording secretary. This year TCHS decided to adopt a broken-down caboose, remains of the old Visalia Electric Railroad, as its project of the year. To kick it off the Society held an event at the museum so that people could take a look at the caboose, and see how much work it needed. It had definitely seen better days, but its good bones, charm and appeal made it the best project ever.
March – At the 2012 California Council for the Social Studies Conference I enjoyed some amenities as the new First Vice President. Although I shared the room with the Conference Chair, it WAS a HUGE suite. With size came responsibility. Several
parties important meetings took place in this room.
April – I started blogging April 17th just as this busy month got into full swing. Our San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies Banquet honored our County Superintendent, Mr. Vidak, my boss. Most teachers, and in our case social studies teachers, seldom receive recognition for the hard work they do, so this banquet is the highlight of our year. Instead of being serious and boring, this year everyone played the part of stand-up comedian.
May – National History Day California or State History Day. Set in historic Riverside, CA at the Mission Inn and Convention Center, this was a photographer’s dream. Now that I was officially a blogger, I appointed myself the official photographer of this huge event with nearly 1,000 students aged 4th-12th grades attending. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to focus my camera at this point, and with lasik vision – one eye distance and one eye close, nothing ever looked in focus, and often wasn’t. One of the participating students taught me how to focus my camera. Students from all over the state display their year-long theme-based projects: exhibits, documentaries, performances, papers or websites for 6-12th grades, and posters for 4-5th grades. They present to a team of 3 judges who have the difficult decision of determining which of these amazing projects will advance to the National Competition in Washington D.C.
June As the school and fiscal year ended, we came to the last year of a three-year cohort of teachers who participated in the Tulare County Teaching American History Grant. Each year we had a one week institute during which time teachers went on a short field trip, worked with primary source materials, received scholarly lectures each day, and translated all of this learning into a lesson plan. This was our last week together with this group of teachers. For their final project teachers presented their lesson plans to the new cohort of teachers. We toured the Railroad Museum, Old Town Sacramento, and the Bicycle Museum in Davis.
July History Ladies go to Shell Beach May was our last official meeting as County History Consultants, and three of the four friends moved on to different responsibilities. We decided that instead of loosing touch, we would travel somewhere in CA once a quarter. Our week-end at Shell Beach cemented the already strong friendship with crazy dancing in the kitchen of the rented house, cinnamon rolls, pictures of a walk in San Francisco where clothes are optional, feeding baby animals at Avila Barn, roasting marshmallows over the stove after the barbecue ran out of charcoal, and sun bathing on the beach.
August – Retirement Once I made the decision to retire, that’s all I could think about. My last day was funny because I fought with my poor secretary about why I dressed casually that day. She knew I was having a party, and I didn’t. Paula took me in hand, and took me get a new dress for the party I didn’t know I was having. Ivette was already dressed for the party, so we posed when I got back from my spree.
September -V and I decided to start taking advantage of retirement right away with a trip to the beach. Lots of walks with Kalev until one day it started raining, and it didn’t stop. We scurried back home.
October – We arranged a week-long trip to our timeshare in Hawaii to Ka’anapali Beach Club. It was almost like coming home. We preferred October to December which was cold and rainy last year. We had a great time rolling around in the surf, horseback riding, and eating.
November – The National Council for the Social Studies Conference took me to Seattle. We really did go to meetings, sessions, and had a chance to socialize. I finally went to the dance they have on Friday nights. I walked all the way back to the hotel to change into a dress. Walked back. Got to the dance. Where were all my friends? Felt really hot – had my dress on backwards. Went to the rest room to change. Got back to the dance. No friends. Cajoled poor Joel into letting me teach him the West Coast Swing. One dance. Left. My friends got to the dance just after I left. Leslie and I went to see Twilight Part 52 or something like that. Then I walked home after midnight. Got lost, helped a lost soul find HIS way in Seattle (that’s a switch), and finally made it back to the hotel safe and sound. Had a $65 dinner at the Space Needle for two rotations of the restaurant. Had a great time!!
December- Home At Last For the first time all year I hardly traveled during December. Oh whatever would I find to occupy my retired time? Hmmmm How about an online birthday party for Renee? Christmas with PT and the kids, started going to Kiwanis Club, read some great books, blogged, blogged, blogged, and ……
…..poof the month was gone!!! Woah!!!! What happened??? Did anyone else have that problem???