i'm really tired of being judged. it's getting old.
jon and i sent out christmas cards with a letter about our lives to many of our friends and relatives. if you want to read it, here it is (otherwise scroll down)
Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family! Jon and I have been living in Phoenix now since the end of June, and we're really looking forward to going home to Chicago for Christmas. For those of you who don't know, we moved here because Jon (University of Illinois '06 grad!) got a job as an Electrical Engineer for General Dynamics in Scottsdale, AZ. We drove the 1800 miles from Chicago to Phoenix in 2 1/2 long days, and luckily we had Jon's parents and our friend Adam to help us! Our caravan was led by my sturdy '95 Honda, followed by the 17' U-Haul filled with our belongings that was towing Jon's car. We only had one minor problem on the drive out here, when the U-Haul broke down right outside of Albuquerque, NM! Luckily the emergency repair man was able to fix it, and we were on our way in just a few hours. We were lucky to be welcomed into town by my mom's cousin Tom and his wife MarySue who live in Tempe; they have invited us to spend holidays with them, and they got us a job house and dog-sitting for their neighbors in August. Jon and I are currently living in a beautiful apartment in Phoenix. There is a pool (heated and open year-round), a hot tub, an exercise room, etc. It's a really nice complex, with about 600 apartments in one huge building. We survived the scorching Phoenix summer heat, and finally turned off the air conditioning in November.
In July I got a job at a local elementary school, and ended up getting an emergency teaching certificate to be a Special Ed resource teacher. Basically my job is to take a few (high functioning) Special Ed kids out of their general education class for an hour or so each day, and work with them in subject areas in which they have educational goals, such as Reading or Math. In January I am going to start a masters program at Grand Canyon University (in Phoenix) to get a Masters of Education in Special Education, along with a standard teaching certificate. I work in a Title 1 school, and Spanish is the first language of most of the students-- but luckily that's what my bachelor's degree is in, so I do not have problems conversing with the parents or students.
Jon has been working for General Dynamics for almost 5 months now. Lately he has been riding his bike to work, 6 miles each way. He has a pretty nice ride, right through the Papago Mountains that line the border of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Jon has been working on space communications projects (don't worry--he's not building missiles or anything else that you might think of when you hear about a government defense contractor!) Jon is also going to start grad school in January, to get a Masters of Engineering in Electrical Engineering at Arizona State University.
Jon and I have been busy the past few months with our many visitors. The visitor brigade began on Labor Day weekend with my college roommate Meghan, followed by my oldest friend Christie and my friend Laura who has relocated to Belgium (and you all thought Phoenix was far!). Jon's parents came in October, then in November we had my parents, our friends Dan and Julia, and Jon's twin brother Dave and his girlfriend Elise. We've also kept busy with our softball team- we play in a (not competitive) co-ed league, and our team is made up of mostly Jon's co-workers. The team has only won two games this season, but it's really fun. We have a busy year ahead of us with work and grad school, and we are planning to buy a condo or townhouse next summer and get two dogs (we're each getting our own!) But.... we'd love to have more visitors!!!
Jennie and Jon
so that's the letter. anyway, today we received a less than kind card from one of my older relatives. i knew that everyone wasn't totally thrilled with jon and i living together without being married, but i never realized it was this bad.
well actually it wasn't really a card, it was a guideposts christmas pamphlet-type thing. and this is what she wrote in it:
"Dear Jennie and Jon,
Did I miss the wedding or what? I'm sure Carol (my grandmother) would have told me, cause I talk to her quite often."
needless to say, i'm kind of upset about the whole situation. i know my own grandparents have been less than thrilled that we are living together without being married, but they have never really said anything, and have never been as rude as this relative was.
in the past year and a half, jon and i have both graduated college, moved across the country, gotten good full time jobs (i'm on my second because of the move), and we're both starting grad school in january. but apparently that is irrelevant, because the only thing that really matters is marraige. maybe we should have just skipped college, applied for jobs at mcdonald's, gotten hitched, and moved into my parents' basement. then maybe she would approve.
well, i didn't go on the field trip because they had too many adult chaperones and not enough students, so they didn't need me. but i guess it ended up working out because i have the flu. how do i know that it's the flu and not just a common cold? i'm glad you asked.
* The common cold is centered in the nose.
* The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and runny nose.
* Throat irritation is often involved (but not with a red throat).
* Adults and older children with colds generally have minimal or no fever. Infants and toddlers often run a fever in the 100 to 102 degree range.
* Depending on which virus is the culprit, the virus might also produce a headache, cough, postnasal drip, burning eyes, muscle aches, or a decreased appetite.
* Within one to three days, the nasal secretions usually become thicker and perhaps yellow or green -- this is a normal part of the common cold and not a reason for antibiotics
* With the flu, you are sick all over.
* Classically, the flu begins abruptly, with a fever in the 102 to 106 degree range (with adults on the lower end of the spectrum), a flushed face, body aches, and marked lack of energy.
* Some people have other systemic symptoms such as dizziness or vomiting.
* Somewhere between day 2 and day 4 of the illness, the "whole body" symptoms begin to subside, and respiratory symptoms begin to increase.
* The virus can settle anywhere in the respiratory tract, producing symptoms of a cold, croup, sore throat, bronchiolitis, ear infection, and/or pneumonia.
* The most prominent of the respiratory symptoms is usually a dry, hacking cough.
* Most people also develop a sore (red) throat and a headache.
* Nasal discharge and sneezing are not uncommon.
i am indeed sick all over. my head hurts, my throat hurts, my nose hurts, my back hurts, my neck hurts, my stomach hurts... i pretty much just feel awful. oh yeah, i have dizziness and a fever too. i don't have the stuffy nose thing, which is a nice change of pace. the stuffy nose is just SO annoying. i mean, a sore throat and aches suck, but they don't compare to not being able to breathe and leaking mucus out of your nostrils. i think the mucus is definitely worse.
anyhow, i'm guessing i got sick from one of my students, all those little kids are rampant with disease. i take 500 mg of vitamin C every day, but i guess i should start taking airborne every day as well. and maybe get a flu shot... although i may have missed the boat on that one.
i hope i'm better for christmas though. i remember one christmas i had a really high fever, like 104, and my family went to christmas eve church at midnight and left me home. i turned on the tv and saw the old black and white christmas carol movie (the one from 1951), and it FREAKED ME OUT. and then i kept hearing noises and it was just a really unpleasant hour.
well, merry christmas and i'll see ya all on friday!
it's a field trip! to the maricopa county jail known as tent city. http://www.cnn.com/US/9907/27/tough.sheriff/ every year one of the teachers from my school takes a group of students (chosen by their classroom teachers- students who need to be "scared straight") to spend a night in tent city. they needed some more chaperones so i decided to volunteer. it sounds pretty intense though- you can't bring any belongings or toiletries, you are treated like a prisoner-- you wear the black and white striped outfit (yeah, they actually wear those in tent city- check out the cnn article), you eat the prison food (which i think i'm going to skip after reading the cnn article), you sleep in the tent with no pillow, and you are put to work. well, the kids are put to work but the teachers just supervise. we also get to tour the on-site prison where the inmates who have committed more serious crimes are locked up.
i think it's going to be a really interesting trip. i'm a bit concerned that we can't bring anything with us- i like my toothpaste, deodorant and cell phone. and i'm also a little worried about cold weather (yes, it gets cold at night in the desert!) and disgusting food, but we'll only be there 18 hours so i should be okay. and hopefully i'll have some interesting stories to tell when i get home!