Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Just In: Harrington's Purchase Around the World Ticket

On the eve of Tuesday, January 26, 2010, Mike and Melissa Harrington confirmed the purchase of a ticket that will take them half way around the world. For months now we have heard talk of the Harrington's plan to travel, this past Tuesday, these plans became more clearly focused and more clearly a reality. With some covert operations, we at the Harrington Times are able to publish here, for you our readers the dates and destinations of the Harrington couple. (Some dates subject to change).

May 28th - Denver, CO to Honolulu, HI with a layover in San Francisco, CA

June 4th - Honolulu, HI to Denver, CO with a layover in San Francisco, CA

June 28th - Denver, CO to Guatemala City, Guatemala with a layover in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

July 3rd-5th - Guatemala City, Guatemala to Cape Town, South Africa with layovers in Miami, FL; New York, NY; and Doha, Qatar

July 22nd - Cape Town, South Africa to Bangkok, Thailand

With these dates comes the Harrington's tentative itinerary:

May 28th through June 4th, the Harrington's will be enjoying the Hawaiian life and celebrating the marriage of dear friends; our own best man, Abram, will be committing his life to a lovely Mallory. Upon returning to the Laramie area, the Harrington's hope to work the University of Wyoming's Summer High School Institute from June 6th until June 26th. This will provide a bit of extra cash before taking flight and provide some day time hours to spend with dear friends and family in the Laramie area. Tentatively, the Harrington's would like to host a final "going away party" on the 27th of June, although details have not been set. They will then board a plane on the 28th that will see them to Guatemala where they will be privileged to meet their World Vision Sponsor Child, Doris. From Guatemala, the Harrington's will begin a long trek to Cape Town, South Africa where they will travel the southern coast of South Africa before attending the 3rd/4th match of the World Cup. The Harrington's are currently considering the option of extending their stay in South Africa to serve in the AIDS ministry of Living Hope - South Africa. Should they choose this route, they will arrive in Thailand later than scheduled, otherwise, they will arrive in Thailand as scheduled and enjoy some travelling, perhaps visiting friends throughout Asia and eventually making their way to either China or South Korea for a year or more of Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Continue to check back on the Harrington Times as we keep you up-to-date with the latest plans of Mike and Melissa. An article on tentative South African adventures is in the works and should soon be posted.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Paraprofessional

Both Mike and Melissa Harrington work as paraprofessional's by day. Mike works at the local Jr. High school with an awesome student who only needs help with a few daily tasks. Melissa works at an elementary school splitting her time between English Language Learners and Social-Emotionally Disabled students. It is her daily life we will take a closer look at and from which we will glean some wonderful teacher moments.

Every morning, Mrs. Harrington, as she is known by her students, begins with a group of three 2nd grade boys who are all English Language Learners. It is this group of boys that often bring Mrs. Harrington the greatest laughs. (Two recent accounts of her times with these gentlement will be featured at the end of this article under the sub-title English Language Laughs.)

After working with these small balls of fire, Mrs. Harrington continues her work with the English Language by assisting a group of kindergartener's whose main task is learning to follow directions, it is proving quite the undertaking. Next, she has the pleasure of working with a 3rd grade student who is in his second year of learning the English Language. He can provide some challenges as he desires to disregard all he's ever known in his home language but shines most days, especially on those when he is given the opportunity to draw. The rest of Mrs. Harrington's morning is spent working in the classroom one-on-one or with a couple kids at time on various English tasks.

After taking a short break to read for pleasure and eat her lunch, Mrs. Harrington enters her afternoon of working in the special education rooms. This is an ever-changing job as the needs of the children are often changing and it requires a most flexible attitude and schedule. This part of her day tends to provide the greatest challenges but also some of the greatest rewards as she is able to watch certain children overcome or have small moments of truly enjoying their own childhood.

By the end of the day, Mrs. Harrington is thankful to have the opportunity to work with so many children, receiving great learning opportunities and moments strictly for laughter.

English Language Laughs
A few weeks ago Mrs. Harrington 2nd grade group was receiving a "lecture" of sorts from their teacher regarding the need to go on to college. The boys then began talking of their love for wrestling and wondering if that was something they could do in college. "Of Course!" replied Mrs. Harrington. However, within moments it was clear that the wresting the boys were interested in was the WWE-RAW. From there developed the following conversation:
Child: "Is the WWE in Cheyenne?"
Mrs. H: "No."
Child: "Well, when I'm old enough to drive I'm going to drive until I find the WWE!"
More recently, Mrs. Harrington was teaching her students some new vocabulary. The teaching of this word sounded like this:
Mrs. H: "Today we're going to learn the word annual. What word?"
Boys: "Annual."
Mrs. H: "Any ideas what annual might mean?"
Child 1: "I know. It's like: Annual do my laundry. Annual get me a drink."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lessons from the Couch: January 18th

In 2010 Lessons from the Couch will take on a slightly new look. The Harrington's will offer readers a more insightful look as how the spend time with each individual guest and hopefully be able to share with readers more about the story or stories of the guests who come to rest their heads on Clark St.

To ring in the new year of CouchSurfing, Mike and Melissa welcomed Jake from New Hampshire. Jake found himself in Laramie on a quest for the best in the west! The best being a PhD. program, the west being Colorado and Wyoming schools. Because Jake is taking a serious look at living in this region he posed a question never before brought to the Harrington's couch: What is your least favorite part of Laramie? Mike and Melissa faithfully commented on the extreme cold as well as the altitude. Melissa however made the distinction that the high altitude often provides a perfect excuse for many everyday activities: I'm not running like I used to, must be the altitude. My bread didn't rise like it should have, must be the altitude. Cowboy football sure is lookin' good, must be the altitude. I'm not as polite as I should be, must be the altitude. Of course, the Harrington's were also given an opportunity to talk about the many things they so dearly love about Laramie: small town feel, more cultural opportunities than in most of Wyoming, long season of snow sports and winter comformt foods, and most importantly the many people they've come to love so dearly.

As is to be expected when hosting a stranger on your couch, the Harrington's were able to collect an entertaining story from this week's guest. Jake told our faithful hosts of a hunting adventure in the heavily forested mountains of his homestate, New Hampshire. After spending a day in a tree-stand it was time for Jake to head back home. Before making his way safely out of the tree stand he spotted a large mass of muscle and golden fur stalking through the forest. Hoping to get a better look, and determine how safe his walk out of the forest would be, Jake continued to watch. Moments later, he spotted the creature again, still impressed by the creatures size Jake noticed what appeared to be a tuft of hair encircling the creatures head, much as is showcased in this picture:
Understanding that New Hampshire forests are not the home of lion's, Jake also had to justify and understandy why exactly he was seeing something that so clearly had a mane. Fortunately, local papers and town-gossipers were ready to provide some answers. A local zoo had recently closed down because of financial irresponsibility, but word on the street was, the owner's were also irresponsible when it came to keeping confined large cats that generally live in Africa.

With stories such as this, the Harringtons, their friend Mark and their guest Jake finally made it to the dinner table to enjoy Altitude Brews, Catfish Cakes, Twice-Baked Potatos, Dumpster Salad and Orangies. The meal was nothing-short-of enjoyed and was followed by a surprisingly interesting movie: District 9.

And that dear readers, is how the Harrington's brought in the CouchSurfing new year!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Celebration of an American Tradition

On Friday, December 11th, the Harrington's had the great pleasure of welcoming over 20 guests into their home to celebrate a Merry Happy ThanksChristmasing. Having been privileged to meet various International students this year through the University of Wyoming's Friendship Family Program, CouchSurfing, the process of Adoption and by going to church, the Harrington's were lead to believe that hosting an International/American Celebration of sorts would add the perfect touch to their holiday season. With the help of beloved friends from Emmaus Road the Harrington's were able to bring together representatives from: North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia to celebrate the Holidays in true traditon.

A turkey was dressed, stuffing prepared, sweet potatoes baked, and pumpkin pie ready for whipped cream. A traditional Blakan's dish of Mousaka and a delisious Nepalese dish also made their appearance on the Thanksgiving table. Guests enjoyed eating together, chatting, a round of Apples to Apples and of course some live music. The evening was beyond enjoyable and left all knowing just how much they truly had to be thankful for.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jackalope Jump

After having been cornered by a fellow employee, Mike Harrington was convinced to take part in the annual Jackalope Jump in Laramie, WY. The jump, which includes dressing up as a "Lone Ranger" and jumping into a freezing lake, will take place towards the end of February. However, before this jump happens, Mike needs your help to raise $50 (preferably more) to go towards the charity of his team's choice...The Wyoming Special Olympics. A worthy cause! To do so, please visit his giving homepage at: and click "Give Now". Please help Mike's frigid dip feel worthwhile!

P.S. There is also a small widget to the right that you can use to donate!


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