Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We started out the day with a visit to the nature center and planetarium. They were both okay (especially the touch tank at the nature center, which let the kids pick up starfish, horseshoe craps, etc, and then the "tour of the solar system" show at the Planetarium), although neither will make highlight reel of the trip, I'm sure.
But the best part of the day was the cookout with my friends. The boys actually had a great time, because a) there was a pool, which is all they cared about, LOL and b) two of the guys, Andy and Rich, came up with this game that was a big success. It's hard to explain, but I'll call it Ultimate Pool Frisbee. Andy and Rich would stand in the shallow end of the pool, and they took turns tossing the frisbee over to Donovan and Anthony. The "catch" (no pun intended) is that the boys would have to take a running start, leap into the pool and catch the frisbee in midair. It was quite the party hit, let me tell you.
Today, Shawn took us out on the boat. We were very lucky because we saw a LOT of dolphins today. It was so cool. We saw them extra close up on our way back to the dock. Seriously, they were right in front of us. I'm SO GLAD the dolphins made an appearance for us today--in spades.
Shawn was nice enough to buy us all dinner (it was a little restaurant out in the bay; we pulled up and "parked" the boat right there, and then hopped off and went in to eat). The boys ate--are you ready for this??--GATOR TAIL!!!!! And they really liked it, too. Missy and I both tried it, but we weren't big fans (I, of course, almost hurled, but I kept it down). We were out on the boat for like 5 hours. The boys got to swim in the Gulf, and Shawn and I towed them from the boat onto shore (they had on life jackets), so they could look for shells on a whole different beach (Missy stayed on the boat, laid on the deck and got some peace and quiet, LOL). The boys had a great time--we all did, actually. He was a great host and gave them yet another memorable Florida experience. The boys seemed to really like him, too. It was cute. (I'm sure Mrs. A will be glad to hear that the I Heart Shawn Fan Club has two new members.)
And on the way home from the beach, we somehow ended up with Zeke and Thriller--Donovan's and Anthony's new pet turtles. It's a long story. =-) They've been asking for a pet for a long time, and, well, we were in the right place at the right time. (They're little itty bitty baby turtles; we're not sure how they're getting back to Michigan but I'm pretty sure they will count as a carry on; they're both in one little tank with a plastic lid.
Anyway--yet another great day here in paradise. Tomorrow, the zoo during the day and then we're heading up to Orlando later that evening. We have to get our rest on Monday night because Tuesday is DISNEY!!!! We'll spend the night on Tuesday night, too, and we'll head back here on Wednesday--their last night, already. How is that even possible??
Donovan: "We can do whatever we want, 'cuz we're on vacation."
And later: "I have a ring of itch-ness" (where he's peeling on his back)
Anthony: "Turtles are awesome."
Missy: "It's Florida, bitches."And there you have it.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The boys, of course, are already in love with Ft. Myers. Once I picked them up at the airport, we hit a Waffle House on the way home, where we discovered that Anthony (8) loves, loves, LOVES him some grits. After stocking up on groceries, we went down to the beach (it was rainy for most of the day but finally stopped around 5 or so). The boys went right into the Gulf and they took to it immediately. The looks on their faces when they got their first mouthful of salt water was hysterical, but once they got used to it they were diving into the waves like dolphins. Missy and I weren't planning on going into the water, but I sucked it up and went in wearing my shorts and a tshirt when I saw that the boys wasn't to go in a little deeper. We talked Missy into coming in, too. We also went on the pier and just walked around Ft. Myers beach. We took a break for dinner at Hooters, then went back onto the beach so the boys could swim and hunt for shells some more and Missy and I could watch the sunset (it was cloudy but still damn beautiful). Another highlight for the boys is "gecko hunting," where they stalk the gecko lizards and then try to pounce. The geckos, of course, are on to them and are able to jump out of the way pretty easily, but it's still so funny to watch.
Today, we have a cookout (where the boys can swim in the pool) with some of my friends. We were going to try to hit the planetarium and nature center today, too, but we better freakin' get moving since it's already noon (so Donovan, quit watching me type this and go get dressed).
In closing, I will let each boy give me one sentence that describes how they feel about Florida so far.
Donovan (12): "It's ten times better than Michigan."
Anthony: "Everything's better in Florida." *
*Hence the name of this post. It became a running joke yesterday that everything, from coffee to Target to trees to sand, is just way cooler down here--'cuz it's in Florida.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
So by now, we know that we lost Michael Jackson today. However, I have a slightly different view, if you will, on the days' events.
Liz and I were down at the hotel bar this evening, having a glass of wine (shocking, I know). We were talking about Farrah Fawcett, and since Ed McMahon also died this week, I mentioned to her that my mom often says that celebrity deaths happen in threes (many people say "bad things happen in threes," but for Mom, it's just celebrities). "So watch," I said at about 5 pm today. "Someone else relatively famous is going to die in the next couple of days."
"Oh, that's ridiculous," Liz said. "And anyway, it depends on your definition of 'celebrity.' I'm sure if you look hard enough, then SURE, you'll be able to find someone that SOMEONE has heard of who dies in the near fiuture."
TEN MINUTES LATER, on the flat screen TV directly in front of us: Michael Jackson has been taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest.
We just looked at each other.
I opened my mouth.
"Shut up," she said. "First of all, it's cardiac arrest. He's not dead YET. And second, that's just an incredibly weird coincidence."
Thirty minutes later: The King of Pop is pronounced dead.
"Okay," she said. "That's pretty f*ckin' weird, I give you that."
And you know what, HE was pretty f*ckin' weird, especially in the last part of his life. But he was also a true iconic legend. And watching it on the news was just SURREAL. Michael Jackson, dead? And out of nowhere like that?
That glass of wine, by the way, turned into several. The bar was packed, but it was silent. Everyone was just glued to the TV. For me, it's like Princess Di or the Challenger disaster: I'll always remember where I was when I heard the news.
And for once, I don't even have a smartass comment to make.
(Well, except: at least we don't have to hear about Jon and f*cking Kate anymore.)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I almost used a picture of Wine and Cheese night (hint: plastic cups, spray cheese and wine with twist-off caps were all involved). However, the BIG part of the night was our (attempted) trip to Universal:
See the ponchos and umbrellas?
Yeah. Good times. Like true Floridians, we know that rain showers are, often, frequent but short-lived, so we tried to wait it out. After several hours, though, we finally gave up. (We aren't talking sprinkles, either--we had torrential, bone-chilling downpours.)
If we're lucky, the "adventure will live on" tomorrow night.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I've decided that each day, I'm going to take just one of the shots I've captured that day and make it my "Picture of the Day"--a shot that kind of encapsulates/sums up the overall theme or message from that day's adventures. (Then again, they may be totally random shots sometimes, too. Today, for example, your pic of the day was almost a huge-ass muffin from the deli here. It was seriously the biggest muffin I've ever seen in my life. Take your hand, spread out your fingers--that is the size of the TOP of the muffin.)
Anyway, here's the POTD for Monday:
I call this shot "Tickets to Paradise." See, during the day, we are loaded down with stuff--purses, tote bags, binders, training materials, trainer kits, etc. We are freakin' pack mules.
But at night, walking around Doubletree City (ha ha--I'm so clever)--and, tomorrow and Wednesday, Universal Studios-- this is all I need: my driver's license (because I've been getting carded a lot lately--holla!!), my debit card and my room key. No matter where we end up or what we're doing, there is a world of fun to be had--and the keys to that world are these 3 items.
And that, my friends, has been your POTD.
Conference center was just evacuated --not sure whats up
Sunday, June 21, 2009
** Note: this started as a comment for my original post until I realized how freakin' long it had gotten. =-) **
It's actually beautiful here. It's a DoubleTree, but it's amazing. You know they have Targets and then Super Targets? This would be the equivalent of a Super Double Tree. It's like a palatial mini-city, with all these stores and restuarants (and BARS). The lobby is amazing. And you get a free warm cookie when you check in. Hell yeah, byaatches! Seriously, though, it's really, really nice. Hell, we got our exercise today just by walking around and seeing what all is available. (Nice fitness area, too. I even brought my sneakers, just in case we get ambitious.)
Here's what *I* think sucks, though. Now, tell me if this is normal, for those of you who stay in nicer hotels on a regular basis. Seriously, this place is like a freakin' palace. It's gorgeous. I hate to bitch, especially because it's all paid for. Even sitting down at the pool--and the Jacuzzi!! Holla!!--after our workshops, looking at the palm trees, having a drink from the tiki bar....this is NOT a bad work trip, at all.) =-) HOWEVER:
1) No free Wifi in rooms. You have to go down to the common areas, like the lobby, pool area, etc. So you won't be hearing from me QUITE as much; maybe once a day. I don't want this damn thing around all the time.
2) You have to pay for parking, $12 a day. That's onsite parking. WTF? I have to pay to use their parking lot?
3) They charge your credit (or in my case, debit) card $50 a DAY for any "incidentals" you may incur; so right now there's a $250 hold on my checking account, which doesn't get credited back till probably Monday, since we check out on Friday and it will take at least a business day. $50 a day would be a lot of porn, my friends. Of course, this money DOES also go towards the parking (you swipe your room key to get in and out of the lots), and of course the parking (and meals) will be reimbursed when we get back, but still. WTF.
4) You have to pay to use the in-room safe. Good thing I left my jewels at home.
5) NO FREE CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST IN THE MORNING!!! Shit, even Motel 8 has that. You have to go to a cafe or restaurant (they have plenty of them here, and some of them are pretty reasonably priced, considering--it's just the principle of the thing. Would it kill you to throw some free juice and cereal my way? Maybe a banana, if you're feeling REALLY saucy? Damn).
Those are my main complaints for now. Is this shit normal? Damn. It's expensive to be rich. ;) I guess, being right in Orlando, they're capitalizing on all the tourists that came through here. But seriously, I got more free shit staying at the Days Inn in Atlanta for Ron Clark. And I'm pretty sure there was a drug bust while we were staying there, if that tells you anything.
I told Liz that I'm scared to even open the fridge. "Oh, our records show that you opened the fridge at 8:00 this evening. That will be a $10 daily free."
And now if you'll excuse me, I have to get a toothbrush from the front desk. I may have to apply for a loan.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Tomorrow, I'm leaving for Orlando for a week. I'm going to a workshop on Differentiated Instruction; it's a "Train the Trainer" kind of thing, which means we (myself and the other 2 5th grade teachers) will receive the training, and then we'll go back to school in the fall and train the other teachers. Fun stuff. It will be boring as hell, I'm sure, but it looks really good on the resume and it's a really good investment to make (time-wise, not money-wise; the school is paying for it, of course. And speaking of which, it's costing them $1300 PER PERSON just to ATTEND the workshop, not to mention putting us all up in a hotel for the week, food, etc. We figured that by agreeing to attend this conference, we were securing our jobs just that much more--after all, if they were willing to put this much money into us, then obviously they weren't going to kick us to the curb any time soon).
The best part of this conference is that the hotel is right at the entrance to Universal Studios. The SECOND best part is that teachers get in free to Universal all summer. So, yeah. They'll be keeping us pretty busy this week, but we're hoping we'll get at least a couple of free hours to check out Universal.
I'm bringing my laptop, so I'll still be online and stuff. (Not a whole lot, though--in addition to the trainings during the day, we then have to spend our evenings putting together some kind of presentation for Friday, to demonstrate that we've learned what we need to learn.)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The news is in: my school has officially received an "A" from the state.
In Florida, schools receive a grade (from A to D) based on their students' performance, primarily on state tests like the FCAT. When calculating school grades, a number of factors are considered, including the percentage of students who scored at "proficient" and the percentage of kids who improved/showed growth (even if they're still not at grade level). There's even a seperate category that looks solely at the performance of the lowest 25% (the "low kids" in each grade, aka my class).
This is an extra huge deal when you consider that we went from a D to an A in just 2 years. We received a D during our 2nd year (my first year), when we were still in the process of establishing ourselves as a school (this was due in large part to the huge staff turnover we saw in the first couple of years). Then last year, we went from a D to a C--which was good, because we were showing improvement as a school (we even received bonuses for going up a letter grade) but still far from ideal.
And now, this year, we busted our asses and went from a C to an A. We are now officially a top-rated school. And we're one of only 3 schools in our entire district to go up two grade levels in just one year. (In related news, our school district received an A for the first time EVER.)
As you may remember, I was stressing out pretty hardcore in the months leading up to the FCAT. I was particularly nervous because my class WAS the lowest 25% in the fifth grade--so, as I said, my kids kind of count for double. If my class didn't perform well, it would hurt us in a multitude--a myriad, if you will--of different ways. And they ended up doing GREAT. I was so excited.
We knew we were at least a B, which was our goal. But once the FCAT scores were released, we realized that we had a very real shot at surpassing that and going all the way to the top.
I am SO HAPPY!!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Okay, she's not TECHNICALLY mine. But she does belong to my new future roommate, April.
Now as most of you know, I'm horribly, deathly allergic to dogs. As I recently discovered, though, I'm not allergic to "hair" dogs, only fur ones. And Sophie here is a hair dog--therefore, no allergies. (And I was around her for a good couple of hours today with no problems at all--and if you've ever seen me around a dog, you know I'm usually pretty miserable within a matter of minutes.) So--whoo hoo!! I get to "have" a dog without any of the real responsibilities--it is, after all, HER dog. Perfect! LOL
We went apartment shopping today and found a 3 bedroom, 2 bath for a ridiculously low montly rent (shout-out for the shitty Florida housing market!). So we each get our own room AND we'll have a study/computer room/"teacher" room (April's a teacher at my school; we've been working together for 3 years. Which is ALSO great, because we have similar schedules, etc. Plus, we can vent to each other. After splitting rent, electric, cable, etc., I'll be paying roughly the same as I'm paying now, but for a way bigger place. (It's on the 2nd floor, so moving will suck, but the upper apartments have those huge cathedral ceilings--totally worth it.)
Anyway--all in all, a great day. We move in August.
Friday, June 12, 2009
What makes this letter extra special is that it's from a student I had LAST year There is no better reward, as a teacher, than knowing you've made a lasting mark on one of your kids. Hell, it's why we go into teaching in the first place. The back story on this particular student: I encouraged N. to sign up for the advanced classes in middle school, because I knew she could handle it. She disagreed and was dead-set against it, convinced she would fail. I finally called her sister (her mom only speaks Spanish, so her college-aged sister is the go-to person) and explained the situation; the student, N., came in the next day and didn't talk to me for the first 2 hours (for her, that was a really long time, LOL). She finally told me that her sister was making her take the advanced classes, because "if your teacher thinks you can handle it, then you can").
N. made straight A's during her first year on the advanced track.
Dear Miss K----,
Even though you were my 5th grade teacher doesn't mean I'll forget about you and it doesn't mean that you won't be my favorite teacher still. I'll never forget you no matter how old you get or I get or the years that may seperate us. I know I can accomplish that because you didn't forget about the New Kids on the Block and they are oldies, probably older than my grandparents (jk). But this letter is mostly about you helping me be ready for life. You helped me start my life career by giving me advanced classes. You helped me believe that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Thank you so so much. LOVE YA, Miss K----!
4ever ur student,
PS--Can I borrow ur New Kids on the Block CD??
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I have officially been on summer break since noon(ish) today.
My excitement, however, is somewhat muted by the fact that a few of my good friends were let go today. I knew there were going to be cuts but didn't know exactly who.
We (teachers) still don't know how many were not invited back or exactly who all of them were, but word is starting to spread. And the atmosphere at school today was just...weird. Very solemn. Someone would stop by your room and whisper, "Hey, did you hear about so-and-so?" and your heart would just sink a little bit more. Sure, there are some people who didn't deserve to return, but some of the them are truly good teachers who just had "personality conflicts" with administration. No one was cut for budgetary reasons, mind you. As a charter school, we're run like a corporation, and some of the employees were not "invited to return."
So...yeah. I'm on summer vacation.
But we lost some good people today. And some of them happen to be my very close friends.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Sent out to some of my nearest and dearest via email:
If you saw ME in a police car what would you think I got arrested for? Reply to me, alone, then fwd this on and see how many crimes you get accused of.
The answers (word for word, except for #3)
1) Drunk & Disorderly Conduct at Girl's Weekend! And we'll all be right there with you ;)
2) Beating up one of your students' parents for swearing in the hallway
3) This reply contained an elaborate and very detailed story, the content of which is too dirty for me to even be able to post. It involved me dressed up "as a 'bad' teacher complete with plaid skirt, white button-up, and black buckle shoes." I'll give you 3 guesses as to who this was, but you'll only need one. (It did make for very interesting mid-day reading, however). ;)
4) Battery or assault. Possibly prostitution ;-)
5) Um, didn't this actually HAPPEN to you?
6) Killing me for getting married before you! Which we both know is going to happen.
7) Lewd and lascivious acts, definitely!
Hmmm. There is a definite pattern to these answers? LOL
If anyone else would like to share a response (Fred?), post 'em here....
Monday, June 08, 2009
Today was our Awards Ceremony (or 5th Grade Graduation, for most of them). This was my last official act as team lead. As always, there was a lot of prep work, a lot of stressing, a lot of running around--and then everything just came together in the end. Our biggest challenge today was that our sound system blew, so instead of using microphones to speak to a totally packed cafeteria, we had to use our "teacher voices". Mrs. A spoke first, then turned it over to me. I gave my team lead speech about our year as a whole, and then talked about (and to) my class. This was where I had to cut my speech short because I was starting to get choked up. So I gave my kids their awards (every student received an award for something, and each student got something different--and THAT takes freakin' forever, coming up with awards for everyone. And they can't be blowoff awards like "Class Clown," either. They have to be serious, significant, academic-related awards).
After each of the other classes received their awards, we played the special, super-secret DVD that we've been working on as a surprise. It started off funny: we had different shots of all the kids in sunglasses to go with "My Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades". It was really cute and everyone had a great time. Then--BAM!!--came the emotional sucker punch. That song segued into "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts, and showed pictures of the kids with their friends and stuff. The last song was "I Will Remember You," and by this time, the parents are pretty much hysterical. (It was really kind of funny; when the lights came back on, all you could hear was sniffling and nose-blowing.) After the video, I went up one last time ("Don't feel bad," I told them, gesturing at all the Kleenex. "I had to watch that thing like 5 times before I could get through it without crying") and thanked the parents for sharing their kids with us this year. It really was a good ceremony, and I couldn't believe the turn out. A LOT of parents had to get off work for it, and I hope we made it worth their while.
**Note: I really hope I can find a way to share that DVD with all of you. I'm pretty sure I can upload it to YouTube, but I only want to do that if I can make it private--I THINK there's a way to do that. I'll work on it. If anyone knows anything about that, let me know.**
Each class had their own party; ours was at the end of the day, and it wasn't a just your ordinary party, it was a "reception." Seriously, my class parents are freakin' AWESOME, and put together a truly amazing little bash for them. (The highlight for the kids were marshmallow and strawberry shishkebobs that they got to dip into melted chocolate--yes, we were quite high-class, LOL.) The second minor dilemma we had was the parents were planning to set up during lunch and recess--until it started to rain and we had indoor recess. Obviously, the room wasn't ready for us yet, so to "stall," I ended up taking my class down to the cafeteria, where we played Heads Up Seven Up for half an hour. (I don't care how old you are, that game NEVER gets old.)
Anyway...that's about it for the year. We have 2 official days of school left, but everyone knows those are basically bullshit. We're really not doing much of anything. We'll have a LOT of movies and stuff, which will give me time to do some of my last minute teacher paperwork and stuff. My last day reporting to work is Thursday.
I made it!
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
This is a video of one of my old, old friends at the bar last weekend. Skip ahead to 4:55, when he actually starts singing. I couldn't place the song at first--until he hit the first high note in the very, very recognizable chorus (hint: it's a Prince song, and the chorus is essentially two words: the name of the song). I have to say--to ME, it sounds he actually hits the damn high note--but then again, that's not saying much, on account of my tone-deafness. Whether it's technically "good" or not, though (and it very well may be), you sure don't expect THIS to come out of HIM, and either way, it's most definitely entertaining. Heads up: just don't watch with kids around.
Added bonus: check out the random guy from the audience who gets up on stage to "back up dance".
Take the time to view even the first minute or two. Come on, you know you have nothing else to do. And after all, it comes to you Jen Recommended and Jen Endorsed....
Small: our class fish died yesterday. I was actually bummed, since I've had him since my first year of teaching and he's been kind of a fixture in my classroom during my whole time at this school. I did, however, give him a very touching and rousing send-off this morning (he died yesterday afternoon); you would have thought that I was a preacher at an African-American church the way my voice was rising and falling. I chose 3 kids at random (because we didn't have all day, after all; it's a damn fish) to share their favorite Shakespeare memories or moments, and they were hysterical. My "drama king" stood up, opened his mouth to begin speaking, and then emotionally waved his hand at me as he sat back down. "I can't. I'm sorry, I just can't," he said, his voice mock-cracking. It was so funny. So 3 other kids shared things like, "I remember how he would swim at the bottom of the bowl," or "I'll miss how he was picky and the flakes he gave him," and "I'll miss how he stared at me when I was taking a test....actually, on second thought, it was kind of freaky."
Big: one of my kids is going through a major custody battle that I am now in the middle of (which doesn't even begin to touch what the KID is going through, since he's literally in the middle--in a big, bad way). Let's just say that a comment I made to his mom was submitted as "evidence" to the court that the custodial situation is affecting him in a negative way (which is not what I said; I did note that his behavior in class had changed, but also that this was around the time of our field trip, PLUS it was the end of the year in general, plus it's the end of the fifth grade year in particular, when the kids are basically middle schoolers in a 5th grade classroom, which makes even the best kid go all squirrely; so I told her that yes, I'd noticed a different but could not state if it was because of his home issues or something else). So now the DAD wants me to submit a letter stating that C. (class-president C.) is a good student, honor roll, blah blah blah); I told him I can do that but I could only state facts, and not an opinion on the matter in any way and he said he understood. And now I don't know if I need to inform the mom that the dad has asked for this letter or WHAT. Not to mention the most important fact, the fact that poor C. is generally worried about whether or not he should invite both parents to our graduation ceremony next Monday or just the one who has "custody" of him that day (Dad), because he says that "they cannot be in the same room together without fighting", and he doesn't care if they're both there but "Miss K, can you please talk to them and make sure they'll be nice to each other?" Truly heartbreaking. Last week, Dad had to call the cops on Mom because she refused to turn C. over on one of "Dad's days." It's a mess and, once again, it's the kid who pays the price.
Small: I have one of those under-the-surface pimples on my chin that will quietly go away in the middle of the night or erupt into the most horrendous things you've ever seen.
Big: Foreclosure drama; namely, I don't know how much time I have. I EXPECT that I will have at least a month from the time we receive the "official" foreclosure papers, and possibly much longer than that (the foreclosure process is not a speedy one, from what I hear). I have a friend I plan to move in with, but that won't be until early July--so I just need ONE MONTH. Please, God, just 4 weeks? (Seriously, I've known quite a few people down here who have gone through the process, and it's never been a shorter than a few months--hell, I've known a guy who has lived in a foreclosed house for like a year, because the bank has no buyers for it--but it's still unnerving when it's happening to you. I just want to hear something like this: Yes, from the time you are served the official papers, you will have at least 30 days to vacate the premises. And I'm not getting definite answers from Brad, mostly because he's not exactly sure yet either.
Medium: I'm working out the final details for our 5th grade graduation ceremony next Monday; not a "problem" but still a source of stress. I'm working on a special surprise that I hope to share with all of you once it's done. It will DEFINITELY be a tissue-alert situation, though. =-) It's my final "job" as team lead, and I want to make this ceremony (and party afterwards) a good one.
So that's what's up in my 'hood. What's new with you?
Monday, June 01, 2009
The last day of school (well, for the kids) is a week from this Wednesday. That means that, after today, we have 7 school days left.
Unfortunately, the closer we get, 1) the crazier the kids get and 2) the less I care, so it's gonna be a loooooooong week, LOL.
Finished my report cards tonight (little-known secret--the final grades are due like a week before school actually gets out--but of course we don't tell the KIDS that). I was actually a little more generous with grades for this last quarter; for example, say I have a kid who ALMOST made the A/B honor roll except for a 78 in, say, social studies. If it's a student who has been working hard this year, I'll bump him up a couple of points (if their grade is lower due to missing work, though, I take no pity on them). There's one boy who has worked SO hard to make honor roll this year, and with a little "assistance", he finally made it during last quarter; I'm so excited to see his face next week!
The end is definitely in sight!