02 December 2014


It’s hard to believe it’s already December. Some things I’ve been involved with are winding down. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been volunteering in a kindergarten classroom this term as a part of my Education in a Complex World class. I work at Roseway Heights School in Northeast Portland. Today was my last day there, and no one was very happy about that - not me, not the teacher, and certainly not the kids. It was hard to leave, but I got plenty of hugs from everyone. The teacher I had been working with even said she thought I had all the makings of a great educator.

Hearing that meant a lot to me because before I started volunteering there, I never saw myself being able to work in a classroom, especially with young children. But I have definitely learned a lot about teaching this semester, and a lot about myself. The education class sparked my passion to teach, and the volunteering showed me that I was capable of it and could even enjoy it. I am starting to see myself as a future teacher. It was such a cool experience to be able to get off-campus each week and work with the Portland community, and I’m going to miss not being able to do that next term. But mostly, I am just going to miss the kids. It was amazing to come back to the classroom each week and see how much they’d learned since the last time I’d been there. When I first met them in September, they had just begun their journey into school. And now, they are well on their way to learning how to read and write! It's really heart-warming.

Although that saga is ending, most everything else is ramping up for the last full week of classes. I have three papers due on Thursday and Friday, and another two due next week. We’re going to be filming our Japanese skit this weekend. I’ll eat, I’ll sleep, I’ll study like mad. Then, I’ll take three final exams. Yikes. It is definitely a stressful part of the year.

Despite my workload, I was still able to come home to California for Thanksgiving break last week. It was good to see my family.

My dog is always the happiest to see me.

My little brother and me twinning it up in our plaid for Thanksgiving. We spent Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house in the Bay Area.

The food was all delicious. We also went hiking in the canyons near my house. The weather was very Portland-y for California.

My dad and brother (in the Santa hat).

And here's the view out the window of the airplane on the way back! Check out the snowy mountains! I thought this was Mount Hood, but I wasn't sure. 

Now I'm pretty much settled in here again. Time to get down to business! The last sprint to the finish!

If you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.