Friday, August 27, 2010

Canada Trip - Part II

We arrived home last night from our trip to Alberta. Jeremy absolutely loved spending time in the mountains - he said it was the best trip he'd ever been on! Our second week there the smoke from the fires in BC finally started to clear out, so these pictures of the mountains are MUCH better. 

Peyto Lake

We saw incredible scenery for 230 km along Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper

Athabasca Glacier at Columbia Icefield

Patricia Lake

Pyramid Lake

Medicine Lake. This lake was named "Big Medicine Lake" by natives, because it mysteriously disappeared every winter and reappeared every summer. Big Medicine referred to magic - the natives were afraid of the magic they thought caused this disappearance. The secret is small fissures in the bedrock of the lake - when melted snow isn't filling the lake during the winter, the water leaks out.

Lake Louise

We're already brainstorming our next trip to Canada to visit friends and snowboard!

Love - 


Monday, August 23, 2010

Canada Trip - Part I

We're still in the midst of our anniversary trip to Canada, but here's a little update of what we've been up to and just a few pictures. We've spent some time in my hometown of Cochrane, Alberta and have been staying with our dear friends Ron and Sandi Richard. Shameless plug here - Sandi is a FANTASTIC chef and has a show on Food Network Canada. Check out her website here and purchase some of her healthy cookbooks!

I've had a blast visiting with old friends and introducing Jeremy to the breathtaking part of the world that I grew up a part of. Last week we spent 3 days in Banff National Park. I've posted some pictures of the highlights of that mini-trip. Right now we're in Jasper National Park - look for pictures of that adventure soon!

Lake Minnewonka - just outside the town of Banff

A waterfall we passed on our 3.5 km hike up Sulphur Mountain

At the top of Sulphur Mountain overlooking the town of Banff. We were bummed that the first week of our trip was super hazy because of forest fires in BC (the province just to the west of Alberta). The mountains look grey and hazy in most of our Banff pictures because the smoke was so thick. It's MUCH clearer now, so we'll post better mountain pictures soon!

The view down Banff Avenue

Hiking up to the Teahouse and Lake Agnes just above the Chateau Lake Louise. The Lake below us is Louise. 
We spent this hike getting to know a couple from the Czech Republic. 

Mirror Lake

At Moraine Lake we climbed on top of the pile of logs and boulders creating the dam for the lake. This was the view from the top!

Early morning (and cold!!) at Bow Falls

Beautiful flowers on the outdoor terrace at the Banff Springs hotel

Johnston Canyon Upper Falls

On our drive back to Cochrane Saturday afternoon - in front of Vermillion lakes with Mount Rundle in the background

We are having a wonderful relaxing vacation and can't wait to tell you all about it! (And for good measure, just in case you didn't assume, we miss all our friends and family back in Texas, but we are not eager to return to the heat!)



Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Graduation & One Year of Matrimony

We have had a majorly exciting past few days. Here's a quick summary of everything:

Jeremy graduated with his Bachelors in General Business from UNT last Saturday (whoooo hooooo!!! Is it obvious how excited we are??). We spent Friday night and Saturday celebrating with family. It was so great to see everyone and celebrate Jeremy's accomplishment.

Jeremy with the Irwin side of the family (some of them ;) - we're a large bunch!)

Jeremy with his Mama and Bobby

The Howard/Irwin/Hamels (I guess we'll be adding the last surname when Sarah becomes one in June!)

He's just a bit excited. Only a bit.

The day after graduation was our first anniversary. I can't believe how fast this year flew by! We celebrated by watching our wedding video and cracking up at all our amazing friends' dance moves. The video of our reception entrance is below - just because it's hilarious. Disregard the darkness :)

We were also pleasantly surprised that our wedding cake still tasted great a year later....

...and that my wedding dress still fit!

We were able to spend the night at the Adolphus hotel in Dallas, and were surprised with an upgrade to a junior suite! 

All in all - a blessed weekend of celebration and much needed relaxation. Now we are on our anniversary trip in Canada. Look for pictures from the trip soon!



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Hall of Shame: College Student Papers

This summer session is my fourth semester as a teaching assistant for the same class at the University of North Texas. This course is a 3000-level core class - meaning students take it usually as juniors, and they must pass it to graduate with a degree in Kinesiology. While grading papers for this class I have seen some of the most ridiculously incorrect sentences, spelling mistakes, and oversights. Some make me laugh - some cringe. And now I'm sharing them with you, completely unedited (and anonymously, of course).


  • One of our reoccurring assignments involves the students touring a restaurant or other public space and evaluating how accessible the space is for an individual in a wheelchair. One student commented that a store's shelves were "much too high to be reached by dwarfs". No mention of wheelchairs whatsoever. 
  • A male student evaluated a popular restaurant that is commonly known for its scantily-clad female servers for his accessibility assignment (inappropriate mistake #1). He then commented on the location of the trash can in the restroom... "in case you're too drunk to make it to the toilet" (inappropriate mistake #2), and finished his paper with the statement: "[this restaurant] is a great place visit if one wishes to see the state of America's future mothers" (WAYYYY past inappropriate mistake #4).
  • In multiple assignments I've seen individuals with disabilities referred to as "handicaps", "wheelchair people", and "disables". 
  • One student used the name of a particular restaurant seven times throughout his/her paper. It wasn't capitalized a single time. 
  • Another changed font style and size (drastically) in the middle of the paper. 
  • Yet another consistently put two periods at the end of every sentence. 
  • Another repeatedly wrote "I failed to mention...." Since we have computers and can edit papers, wouldn't you NOT fail to mention it and just edit in what you forgot?
  • An entire two-page paper center justified. No paragraphs, no indentations, just jagged edges on both sides. 
  • Quote: "They may have partially missing teach, defective tool enamel or small, widely spaced teeth."
  • Quote: "One of the main rules is not baby sling or high chair next to the booth sections because of blockage to the rest of the other guest and employee."
  • Quote: "The patio is circus because of the mass movement done by both guest and employees."
  • Quote: "As a normal costumer I evaluated the facility with a close eye. The employesses were very professional and nice."
  • Quote: "I did not have a lot of experience with the cane but I was able to use it very effecient. Something that I did not like it was that cane was short for me I had to bend a little because of my height 6'5."
  • Quote: "There were several issues that I faced during this assignment that I had not put too much thought about people who are blind face."
  • Quote: "Since the outside of the Health Center is so wide it is hard for you to get your impaired partner to walk to start line so buy telling them to try and keep strait helps but sometimes they would stray to the left or to the right."


Students are required to write lesson plans in groups and teach physical activity in the form of games to kids in the community with disabilities. These are things I've seen in lesson plans.

  • "Make sure to move your legs opposite of one another when running." (I'd like to see someone run without moving their legs opposite of one another!)
  • "Gallop while seated."
  • "When hopping try to visualize that you're a rabbit going home and hop the best you can when going home."


  • Through = "thru" (as well as: You = "U", Are = "R", and other "text language")
  • Accessible = "assesable"
  • Waste basket = "waist basket"
  • Dining = "dinning"
  • Bar stools = "stoles"
  • Aisles = "isles"
  • Bathroom stalls = "stales"
  • Hence = "hints"
  • Absence = "abscence" (repeatedly on an email)
  • Spatial awareness = "special awareness"
  • Misguided = "miss guided"


  • "I missed the assignment because I was on a cruise. Can I turn it in now?" (over a week late...)
  • "Can you tell me what I should write my paper on and how I should write it?"
  • "two page paper we are writting is based off of the service learning questions from the log on the callendar? if not can you tell me what the paper is suppose to be about. - thank you"
  • "kelly have the extra credit points been added to the final score mine is a 171 plus i see 8 extra credit points but i dont see any points for the discussion board and i need 11 points to pass the class so will i get for the other 3 points from the discussions on line..."
  • "i resent the paper too you last week and i dont see a grade did you recieve the redo on it.. i have had a lot of trouble learning this system.."
  • "i broughat my paper to class printed out dr driver told me to go post it online and gave me until 5pm i had a little trouble doing in in the lab but i got it in i dont think that is fair because he said i could go after class and send it thru black board. i was not late."
  • "Omg I just realized I spelt your name wrong, I'm so sorry really. Please don't take off anymore points off my assignments hahaha and I'll def make it up to you for sure."

Hope you got a kick out of this.


- K