Back to the Grind: UIL, Google Training, and Mew

After my two posts about Google Pokemon, I don't even really want to talk about it anymore. Except I have to. I have to rant about Mew. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, Google played a great April Fool's joke on everyone by putting Pokemon throughout Google Earth. You could find up to 150, and then we all found out that Mew was hidden somewhere on Earth. I know that narrows the playing field a little bit, but it was soon determined that he was somewhere in the Amazon, as per Pokemon canon. 

Well after hours and days of searching, he's shown up in about 21 different locations around the world, the vast majority in Brazil. I've looked and looked and looked, both on my Nexus phone and iPad and still haven't managed to find him. I'm not alone though, there are a few others still Mewless on /r/googlepokemon. The deadline to find them all was at around 2am on April 2nd, but Google realized that they made the search much too hard and extended the deadline for an undisclosed amount of time. I really just want my Pokemon Trainer card from them, especially considering I also hope to be a Certified Google Trainer before long. What would be better than to have Certified Pokemon Trainer as well?!

Anyways, back to more important things. UIL is in less than two weeks with Pre-UIL being tomorrow. I feel like my students are in much better shape than they were last year. I learned more than I ever thought I knew in my first year teaching. Year two isn't a cake walk, but it's a heck of a lot better. Sometimes I beat myself up because I listen to recordings and watch my band and think they sound and behave horribly. I have to take a step back and see where we've come from and what they're actually achieving. I also have to remember that we handed a bunch of 12 and 13 year-old boys instruments and dispersed them among girls that they're starting to notice and expect them to focus for a whole class period on playing. I don't think I ever was a junior high kid because I don't understand at all how interesting rubber bands and paperclips can be, but my trombones always like to prove that they're the most fascinating thing ever. Kids are either interested in the opposite sex or in whatever random thing they brought to class to play with that day. I promise I have a collection of Rainbow Loom bands that prove it.

All-in-all, I really love my kids. There isn't one I wouldn't do backflips for. There are some days that they make me sprout more grey hairs (who am I kidding, I only have one grey hair, no matter how hard I try to not look like I'm twelve) and raise my blood pressure, but most of the time they are just busy making me smile and laugh.

Waiting on the Google Certification process to open back does not make me smile and laugh though. It seems like it's taking forever. I'm "Qualified" and must complete an unknown amount of training others, along with creating some instruction and curriculum of my own before I can apply to become certified. I wish I knew all the requirements, but the website is pretty vague about what they want out of us. Oh well, I'll just keep working on as much as I can preparing for training my district on GAFE, as well as possibly presenting at my region's technology professional development session!