Last `Ordinary’ Week

This week is my last ordinary week before I graduate so I am pretty excited and grateful for all the interesting experiences I had in High School. At Big Sky we only have 4 classes a day, not 8 as they do at Hellgate.  That is why we have Blue Days (periods 1-4) and Gold Days (periods 5-8).

Today was a Blue Day which means that I had Painting Class the first thing in the morning. I took Art all four years which was really fun. My para-teacher, Mark, says that I have a distinct style and that he could recognize a `Stroethoff’ anywhere.  Mostly I like to draw.  I draw most of the cards that I send to people like Birthday Cards or Get Well Soon cards.  This semester we painted a picture of ourselves and we took them to the library for a little display.  Today I brought home some of my work from the semester and I brought home some of the supplies we used during the year. We have done this at the end of every year but this year is different because I am a Senior. Next year I will not be taking Art Classes. My mom says that does not mean I am finished with Art because I can enjoy drawing and painting my whole Adult life and maybe even ceramics and sculpture if I really miss it.

After Painting Class, I have English Class on Blue Days. On Tuesday this week my mom visited English class because she wanted to see how I was doing and how she could continue to help me with my reading next year in my adult life. My reading teacher is Connie and Mikayla is my peer tutor. My mom was very happy to see how hard they make me work on my reading and my thinking as I answer the questions. Connie and Mikayla do not give me the answers; they wait for me to figure it out on my own.  My mom said that she wants to follow in their footsteps next year. Connie said that it is good to read a little bit everyday. Then Mrs. Huffman came to get me for Speech Therapy and my mom wanted to watch us work on the iPAD. First I put the words in the right order for a nice sentence and then I read the sentence out loud. I spoke loudly and clearly and then we played it back so I could hear myself.  At first I couldn’t hear myself very well but Mrs. Huffman told me to use my big voice and then I tried again and spoke in my big voice. She said, `good job, Mathalia’ and I could hear myself better in the recording too.  It was fun! My mom thought that this would be a good thing to work on in my adult life too.

After English and Speech Therapy, I have lunch and then after that I have Culinary Arts which is one of my favorite classes.  My sophomore year I took Culinary Arts 1 twice because it was so much fun and because I learned so many helpful skills. This semester I am taking Culinary 2 which is a lot of fun. Last week when my mom came to visit we made fried rice. I chopped the meat and the peppers.  I also helped with cooking and with cleaning up. Then we all shared our fried rice. My mom thought it was delicious and wants me to make it again at home as part of the things I will learn for my adult life.  Sure!  No problem! In Culinary Arts 2 we have also made pie crusts, soups and breads.  I like helping with measuring, chopping vegetables, washing, drying and putting away the clean dishes and the dirty towels.

After Culinary Arts I have Voc Prep 2 or I take the Ag Ed bus to Dillards and then I walk to the bus stop and go to Prudential on Tuesdays and The Writing Center on Fridays. On Tuesday I worked at Prudential. There were no bills but I helped prepare Sales and Listing Files. I had to make lots of copies. My mom was impressed that I can make two-sided copies and that I remember all the code numbers.  Of course! I know what I am doing, silly mom!

Tomorrow is a Gold Day which means that I have Orchestra, Creative Writing, Lunch, Ag Ed. and Voc Prep 2. Tomorrow in Orchestra we will be celebrating a very successful Final Spring and Award Concert. Our Concert was Wednesday night and we played Allegretto from Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven or The King’s Speech, Symphony No.1 second movement by Mahler and Jupiter Theme from `The Planets’ by Holst. Mrs. Haarvig gave out awards for District:  I got one Award for my Solo and one Award for my Duet with David.  David will receive his Award on Friday because he could not come to the Concert. I missed him very much. She gave all the Orchestra friends their Awards and then she gave me a yellow rose because I am a Senior and will be graduating. My mom says that it was a Gold rose because Orchestra has always been on Gold Days and that Gold Days are special because I like Orchestra so much. Then we showed my slide show—the one my friend Rachel helped me make. It was fun! We played some more music and then it was all done. I am afraid that I must report that my mom was being a little silly during the concert. I wanted to tell her that it will be okay. We will figure out new and different ways for me to enjoy playing my violin.

Orchestra Class with Mrs. Haarvig.

Orchestra Class with Mrs. Haarvig.

After Orchestra on Gold Days, I have Creative Writing. In August my mom made a list of classes that I could take and I chose Creative Writing and I am so glad that I did. We read lots of poetry and short stories and I wrote many poems and a story this year. Our last assignment is to make two handmade books with our favorite stories and poems from the whole year. We have to make two books exactly the same:  one for us to take home and the other one for our teacher Lorilee.  My mom and I worked on my book last weekend and we are going to work on it again over Memorial Day Weekend. It is a big project. Wednesday night—right before the concert we had an Aerie Reading. They did not read my short story `Just Before Spring on My Street’ but I know that it will be published in Aerie Big Sky. My mom ordered two copies because she is so proud of me.   This is one of the first poems that I wrote this Fall:

My Violin is

by Mathalia Stroethoff

A vintage voyage, an old journey

Symphony recital Orchestra concert,

trip Beethoven, Mozart, Bach

Practice and Practice and Practice

to wonder worlds sing in my ear and soul.

Row bridge boat over quiet whisper water

paddle rhythm until beaching in another land.

After Creative Writing, we have lunch break. I usually like to take hot lunch but sometimes they serve something that I don’t like.  On those days I take a cold lunch. On the first day of every month I ask Wendy for the Hot Lunch Menu for that month.  I take a copy home and decide which days I want to take hot lunch and which days I want to take cold lunch. I write this on my calendar. I pack my own cold lunches so my mom doesn’t need to think about it at all. I always bring my own water bottle because I always say `no thank you’ to juice, milk or pop because they cause me to get more congested and then my left eye starts to bother me which is rather unpleasant. I hang out with teacher Mark and other friends during the lunch hour in the cafeteria

After lunch on Gold Days, I change into my Ag. Ed. clothes and take a bus out to the Ag Center Farm.  In the Fall my teacher was Mr. Andres and we studied Animal Science.  One assignment was that I had to cook supper and bring in a little in a plastic bag to show Mr. Andres that I really did cook with meat.  He wanted us to know where our food comes from. I don’t think he knew that we have friends in Eastern Montana who give us real grass-fed beef.  Yum! I also gave a pig a shot in this class! It was fun! In the Spring I studied Plant Science with Mr. Venier. We planted seeds in January and now I have beautiful tomato plants; well, they are not so beautiful anymore since we brought them home. I hope we can figure out how to take good care of them.  My mom is not as good as Mr. Venier is with growing plants. How do you like the beautiful geraniums he and the students grew in the greenhouse?

After Ag. Ed. I change back into my nice school clothes and get ready for Voc. Prep 2 or I go to work. Tomorrow I will stay at school and work at Eagle’s Nest Thrift Store. Then I will ride the school bus home which will be very nice because it is not very often that I ride the bus home anymore because I am so busy. My mom says that I will miss the school bus next year. Yes, maybe I will miss it but for now I am excited about graduation and the start of my adult life:  two more Gold Days and two more Blue Days and one day to practice and then GRADUATION! I am so excited!

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One thought on “Last `Ordinary’ Week

  1. Mathalia, I love your blog! Enjoy your last days at Big Sky High School. It’s been fun for me to watch you grow up. Life is an adventure! You are ending one and starting another completely new adventure. Kelli and I are both starting new adventures, too. Kelli is on her way to Salem, Oregon, to start her new adventure as a speech therapist, like Mary Huffman. And my husband and I will be starting our new adventure in Newport, Oregon next week. Exciting days are ahead for all of us.

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