Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer 2017 Update

There were so many things I had planned to blog about in their own separate entries over the past few months that I just never got around to, so let's put up a few pictures and move on. Here are a few life updates in chronological order:

In May I had my year-end evaluation with my principal.  This is based on Student Growth Objectives (a series of graded assessments given to two of my six classes), a Reflective Practice Portfolio (digital documents uploaded to seven different categories with accompanying written reflections) and two formal in-class observations.  This year I scored a 3.65 out of 4, my highest score yet, placing me firmly in the highly effective range.  I was pretty proud of this given all of the problems I've faced in my personal life this year.

At the end of May it was my turn to bring the beer for Who's Up?, and I once again went with the South Jersey beer theme like I did two years ago.  It's amazing how many new breweries have opened in that short time.  Pictured above:

  • Lower Forge from Medford
  • Forgotten Boardwalk from Cherry Hill
  • Devils Creek from Collingswood
  • Eclipse from Merchantville
  • Double Nickel from Pennsauken
  • Tonewood from Oaklyn
The variety and quality went over very well with the beer nerds I run with.  South Jersey really has an amazing variety of breweries and it truly is an incredible time to be a beer enthusiast.

Global Running Day, as always, was on the first Wednesday of June, and as always, Dave Welsh of the Haddonfield Running Company outdid himself.  He put on a mini expo right on the sidewalk outside of his store, and raffled off 12 pairs of running shoes (runners were eligible for the pair they wore to the run).  Because I wore my Nikes to the run, I put a ticket in the Nike box and won myself a free pair.  I can't tell you how many times I've entered a raffle for a free pair of shoes over the years, and this is the first time I've ever won.  I was ecstatic.

Just a few days after school ended, I left for Germany with 14 students and one other chaperone.  As usual, we spent ten days in both Berlin and Munich, staying in hostels while visiting museums, churches, parks and plenty of beer gardens and beer halls.  Unlike many high school language teachers that plan trips abroad, I don't travel with a tour company, but instead plan the entire thing myself.  Planning the trip this year was like having a part time job, and the trip itself was no less exhausting.  But I'm proud to say we hit every single thing on the itinerary I built with no major snafus of any kind.  I'm pretty sure my kids had a blast while learning a little about German history, culture and language along the way, and for that I would do the trip again in a heartbeat.

While in Berlin, I got to meet up with Christina, an old high school friend whom I haven't seen in ten years.  She now lives in Berlin with her husband and dachshund, and we spent a night at a beer garden catching up.  Also my t-shirt says "it's lit" which was a present that day from my students, because teenagers are hilarious.

While in Munich I got to meet Henrik, who first started reading and commenting on this blog many years ago.  We spent a few hours drinking beer in downtown Munich while talking in German about running, politics, and life in general.  It's the first time I've ever met a blog reader in person, and he was an absolute pleasure to spend time with.  Henrik, if you're ever in Philly, let me know!

Just one day after returning from Germany, I joined some friends for the annual July beer mile.  Because this year's beer mile fell on Canada Day, I decided to go with Molson Canadian beer.  Last year I drank luke warm Budweiser because I had read it was easier to chug, which ended up being a terrible decision because it was so disgusting and was so hard to stomach, and I ended up finishing DFL in well over twenty minutes.  Ice cold Canadian beer was the perfect choice this year, and I finished just 22 seconds off my PR in 11:07.

Last week I took advantage of free passes for teachers and weekdays off in the summer and took my son to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden.  We had the place almost to ourselves for the first twenty minutes until the day camps took over, and it resulted in one of my new favorite pictures of Neale, trying to give a two ton hippopotamus a kiss on the nose.

Erik told me that the website Athlinks now lists your friends on the site as your "rivals," and lists any races together as wins and losses.  The one "loss" I have against him is the 2007 Distance Run which I ran in 1:49.

And there you have some updates from the last few months.  I hope to write more regularly in the future, but who knows if that will happen.  Until the next time, run hard, friends.
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