Sunday, August 10, 2014

Coach Kelli

Well, here we are at the end of another week, and I yet again neglected this little blog. It was one L O N G and F U L L, but very fun, week. I'll fill you guys in on as much as possible, so let's start with volleyball. Tryouts began bright and early Monday morning, with a 7am arrival time for the coaches. Bellaire isn't just right up the road the way Stratford was, but it is really easy for me to just hop on the Westpark Tollway in order to get over there.

We started out with lots of paperwork - getting the girls checked in and making sure they had both an updated physical and insurance before giving them a number and four safety pins, as that was how we would be posting who made the volleyball program. I was responsible for about 40 freshmen, which was a bit overwhelming, but come 3:00pm I knew who I wanted on my team.

We posted the list of who made the program right around 3:15pm, and I can tell you right now that that is going to be the very worst part of coaching. It's not that the girls who didn't make it weren't good, it's just that you can't field 90 players on three teams. And when you think about it, we're lucky to have so many good players who want to be a part of the Bellaire Volleyball program. It keeps it competitive for everyone, and we can choose from some of the best in the city.

I have 16 on my team, which is a lot, but I know that each one of them will vie for playing time, especially after watching them in the scrimmages on Friday and Saturday. I always loved the scrimmages when I was a player - four to six 25-30 minute games that just allow the girls to play. No referees, no keeping score, and everybody gets ample playing time. I am on the hunt to find a setter, and I threw about six different players in at setter, just to see how they reacted to the position. I find myself being especially hard on the setters, or at least focusing on them the most, and that can probably be credited to the fact that I heard a majority of these comments repeated over and over and over again to me when I played. Square up, don't release too early, release all the way to the net - who would have thought I would one day be repeating these things to my own players?

Ms. Tomlinson

On Thursday, I received the keys to my classroom! I attended as much as I could of a new teacher orientation in between practices, where we were introduced to many importance faces within Bellaire, were given parking passes (apparently parking is the number one complaint from teachers about Bellaire), and lastly, the keys to my very own classroom. I was relieved to learn that I would in fact have my own classroom, because in a school as big as Bellaire, some teachers are bound to be floating, meaning they float around the school and teach out of a new classroom each period. It requires a little extra organization, that I probably do have, in all honesty, but I don't even know what that organization would look like, and I'm looking forward to decorating my classroom. Come on, what first year teacher isn't looking forward to doing that?

I had about ten minutes before I needed to be at practice, but I just had to see my room, so I ran around the school trying to find it, found it, and started dreaming up different classroom setups. I could have up to 40 (!!!) students in my classroom at one time (fingers crossed that isn't the case), so I'll be working with quite a few desks. And Bellaire is an old school, so these are the old-timey desks. I'm still thinking of how I can arrange them into groups!

And not only did I get a classroom, but I got a classroom with a window. And you can't ask for much more than that. And the reason I even mention this is because my own high school is known for its lack of windows. And that's even after they added in windows the year it was rebuilt. A room with a view? I'll take it!

Royer's Pie Haven

Do y'all remember my Summer 2014 Bucket List? Well, as it turns out, I can still cross things off even when I'm not in Austin. I was out in Katy for my scrimmages yesterday, which cuts off about 30 minutes of the drive to Austin. I was going to just head up to Austin after the scrimmages and spend Saturday and Sunday with Dylan, but I had a couple of things going on Saturday night, and he had something going on this afternoon, so me driving to Austin didn't make much sense. We compromised, though, and decided to meet halfway for lunch. We started driving at the same time, and found ourselves in La Grange.

We enjoyed lunch together at The Back Porch BBQ, agreeing that one of the best things about Texas is that you can drive around any small town and find a great hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint. The Back Porch certainly didn't disappoint, but we made sure to save room for one slice of pie apiece. Dylan mentioned that we were really close to Round Top, so naturally we knew we were going to have to go to the original Royer's Pie Haven - the one that inspired the Royer's on Guadalupe in Austin. We never made it over to the one six blocks away from where I lived (and two away from where I worked everyday), but we did make it to the one in Round Top. Go figure.

Royer's Pie Haven was absolutely precious, as was the little town of Round Top itself, and the pie was just delicious. I was in the clear because both their peach and cherry flavors are vegan, so obviously I wasn't going to pass up this opportunity. I used to think I wasn't a pie person, but one bite of peach pie later and I was converted. It was so fresh and so warm, and absolutely worth the hour and a half drive. Not that the company had anything to do with it.

I can already tell you that I will surely be returning to Royer's Pie Haven, and if you ever find yourself antique shopping in the little town, I would recommend that you do the same!

Stay tuned for another post - this a quick one featuring a 20-minute treadmill workout I squeezed into a very full day this past week. It's been a while since I've shared a workout with you guys!

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