October, 2008

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Halloween Spirits M.I.A.

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I am SO not in the Halloween Spirit.  It’s crazy and awful.

No school costume.
No treats purchased for the kiddies (so I’ll head over to Superstore at lunch).
Nothing.

I’ve never really had this adverse reaction to Halloween before.  Usually I have some wonky stroke of genius with costuming and this year after waiting and waiting… it never came.

Next year I guess.

A course, of course.

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I learned myself a new word this weekend: acedia. [a-see’-dya]; it jumped out of the radio and took a hold of me just like the condition it describes.  It’s a bit biblical, like pre-seven deadly sins biblical… but with a middle name like John you can guess hearing references to the King James are nothing new.

So.  Acedia.

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church defines acedia as “a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray” [or focus].  Essentially it’s being more worried about tomorrow than today.  It’s about sentences that keep starting with “if only”.  It’s incessant brain chatter, incessant planning, incessant daydreaming, incessant-…ness.

I think it would be fair to say that in my ‘life of balance’ the work slice of the pie is starting to assert asserting some major bullying techniques on the poor other slices.  By no coincidence, I’m now, for the first time in my career able to choose my own position (at the end of this school year).  It’s all I can think about.  I don’t really even think I will probably transfer out, but I can.  I have flexibility.

So how am I dealing with that.  Oh, right.  I’m attending workshop after workshop.  I’m taking them online.  I’m taking them after school.  I’m taking them during the day.  Leadership.  Teacher exchanges.  Everything.  I’m reading piles of information about my school board, about our education system, about university programs, about everything.  Even my Google Reader is full of blogs related to what?  Work.  It’s sick.

And it all ends up where the radio voice said acedia always ends up: a need for urgent-destressing, a term with paradox written right in.  That feeling that “if I just book a three hour massage?” or an emergency “weekend retreat” or “do sixty-four hours of yoga and then have to sixty-four more hours to deal with how I’m now so far behind with life because of all the yoga” I’ll be fine [an attitude she says is CLASSIC North American].

[I’m so CLASSIC North American I have the eczema to proove it, so there… and right now that exzema is as acedia, as they come].

So.  With no signs of slowing down, my eyes look up and towards winter break.  Well, when they’re not looking at course listings, or information related to a possible Graduate Program in Technology Education Leadership this summer, and the application process towards that.

Oy yoy yoy.

Acedia, a spiritual-morphine, and me… waiting it all out.

Judging a man’s FitBank by his Fit Credits…

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

hahahaha… WiiFit is a joy.  Just like I knew it would be.

Is it sick I have over an hour’s worth of Fit Credits earning me new activities and changing the colour of my FitBank.  It is SO funny to me how these little “reward-gestures” have me coming back for more with such ease.  It’s no wonder I was always a teacher’s pet.  Show me a shiny star, or a little graph, and… oh right, I’ll do whatever you want.

I’m still exploring it all, but I have to say I’m all about the Step Aerobic activities and some of the balance games.

Ya, my WiiFit age is embarassing high, and my centre of balance is far from perfect… but with this sort of time-investment I’ll be WiiFit in no time.

JUST WHAT I NEED… another timesucker.  JUST WHAT I NEED!?  *eye roll*

[a peak] in[side] my head

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
  • audio:
  • visual:
    • Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s multi-coloured brain graphic
      • a) Barry just mentioned her [over pancakes] Sunday and did an impression of arms in the air, eyes closed, saying “…Nirvana!”
      • b) I watched the clip today at school he was impressioning [not a word, as evidenced by a little red line] after being reminded of it and thinking how much I love[/d]
      • c) Serendipitously [spelled correctly first time suckers, as evidenced by no little red line] she was on freakin’ Oprah today. I watched and LOVED her message; I watched and DID NOT LOVE how it was an overproduced over-Oprah-sized exact replica of the above TED Talk
      • d) time to read the book? [with the rest of the world now that it has Oprah’s endorsement]
  • academic:
      • How do I KNOW this will be our next over-referenced edubabble very very soon? It, too, is everywhere lately.
      • Very interesting stuff…
      • Very interesting guy…
      • …so. I guess I should just say referenced not over-referenced. [HOWEVER, school-board types tend to over reference everything].
  • affective:
    • My grandma who I love heart and soul, and who made me the teacher I am 1000%, is newly diagnosed as diabetic and is awfully scared. My mom’s feeling equally ill-equipped. Think you’re bounced around our healthcare system like a pong ball, try being rural and older? It’s so so sad.
  • kinesthetic:
    • “…wait for the break, and…” *chocolate-milk-and-potato chips rhythm* —-> *dance* [that’s African folks, that’s African]…

A mind that’s ready for more school [as a learner]? I hope so. I think I’m ready.

27

Friday, October 17th, 2008

-my room number at school
-my age, as of tomorrow

I’m so excited.

I get to have people over to check out the pad.  I was able to make it out today for some splurging (some shopping, a hair appointment, dinner out).  It also seems I willed WiiFit into my life.  The original goal was to line up at Toys R Us tomorrow before opening, but a Drumheller Cousin has come through.

I’m pretty optimistic with this birhtday that the year ahead will be an awesome one.  Not that I have everything together [insert laughter], I certainly have some wonderful things in motion.

Plus, it’s such a nice number: 27.

Here’s to hoping for a great one.

Travis John Robertson: Great citizen but flip-flops on one important issue.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Two Augusts before this last one I sat in an interview chair and heard about Modified Calendars and about how my current school subscribes to one.

Since it was a job interview, I put on a polite smile.  On the inside I was squirming awkwardly thinking of soon-to-be lost summertime and senseless weeks off freezing cold, with nothing to do.

Now.  Especially right now, I’m ALL for this calendar we refer to as Modified.  In fact, I’d choose it any day over  the boring old Traditional one.  (maybe a clue as to how I voted today, too *wink, wink*).

So what have I done today, the first official day off of my week-of-the-same.

I didn’t travel.  A year ago, within this same scenario… you may remember that I did and the whole event ended up being nothing short of tragic, with my entire ego being left out to die.

I did daydream about my upcoming birthday weekend.  The daydreaming was made all the much easier in a magically cleaned-up and organized condo.  An early gift it seems from a local mathematician.

I did head out for lunch with no lineup (which is never the case on weekends).  I voted.  I used some of my paramedical health plan coverage for some neck and ear relief.  I Dance-Dance-Revolutioned and had an ALL TIME PERSONAL BEST (i.e. AA Perfect Score –holy nervewracking as the song winds up and I’m SO SO worried about wrecking all my progress).  I looked up showtimes for a possible date with Calgary.  I facebooked.  I googled random search terms.  I caught up on my daytime television.  I thought of possible hair visions for Friday’s appointment.

…and my body, skin, energy levels are all as thankful as they were this summer in that quirky little French classroom over in the belle province.

AND just as then, society benefits.  A well-rested happy teacher makes for a well-taught happy classroom.

Tomorrow evening, ANOTHER event I’m quite excited for.  This day and week after Thanksgiving, there’s SO MUCH on my plate to be grateful and thankful for. (two things we shouldn’t ever be afraid of being)  …all despite tonight’s election results.

My current inner dialogue

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Upgrade undergraduate coursework?
Begin graduate coursework?
More French?
Less French?
Teacher Exchange?
Which Specialist Conference?
Upgrade undergraduate coursework?
Begin graduate coursework?
More French?
Less French?
Teacher Exchange?
Which Specialist Conference?
Upgrade undergraduate coursework?
Begin graduate coursework?
More French?
Less French?
Teacher Exchange?
Which Specialist Conference?
Upgrade undergraduate coursework?
Begin graduate coursework?
More French?
Less French?
Teacher Exchange?
Which Specialist Conference?
Upgrade undergraduate coursework?
Begin graduate coursework?
More French?
Less French?
Teacher Exchange?
Which Specialist Conference?

*ching-ching*

Monday, October 6th, 2008

I imagine that my more-intuitive students can gauge my mood and headspace almost immediately when they see my writing on the whiteboard.

Each day, I write the date and plan for the day as well as a small message pertinent to the immediate future.

Days that writing is bubbly and written in an array of colours and thought given to spacing and parallel lines: forecast great!

Days that writing is monochromatic and rushed and small and too the point with a million additions crammed in: hold on to your hats. We’re feeling behind!

While even this last week alone has probably been a mixture of the two, it has felt like a slightly crammed-writing sort of week. Things feeling just a bit rushed and behind, as we readjust to life after a week away (at Fire School).  Things feeling just a bit rushed and behind, trying to get all those planned things done before Fall Break.

*****

The two of us went for dinner last Thursday night. AND. The same writing indicator isn’t true for the other one of us. When behind or rushed, the [s.] other’s writing remains flawless. AND. I think it would be fair to say that the [s.] other’s week has been an understated slightly busy week.

We went for dinner amidst the busyness, and it was a perfect escape on a perfectly yellow-orange fall day.

Time together, with or without fall colours, always is a perfect escape.

It, as Thanksgiving approaches, is something I’m very very grateful for.

With the help of Pulcinella, well, a manager there we even had an icing-on-the-cake moment, with an on-the-house duo of champagne.

If at school, my writing would have went from crammed to expressive.  …All in the timespan of less than an hour.  Well, that’s a bit of a rough analogy.  If at school, the beverage would be a green tea.  Coffee at best.

*****

The weekend at home this last one, I hope I paid some of those great sentiments forward.  The homefront was one when expressive whiteboard writing was difficult amidst life changes, decisions, and …life, the more hectic version. While an exciting trip to Vegas was planned and booked for the holidays, all that was slightly shadowed by instances more immediate.

So while moderately successful spreading good cheer this last weekend.  I hope this next one for Thanksgiving can be a better ching-ching from me amidst more laughter and smiles.  Ching-ching, being the sound effect made by the Pulcinella manager, to indicate the champagne placement wasn’t a miswritten table number.  Thanksgiving.  My mom’s B-Day celebration (the actual day is tomorrow).

Life is crazy BUT it doesn’t usually take much to start the momentum to make things better.  Usually things-smaller and things-easier are pretty great at doing the trick.

Fall break is coming, school can take a back seat, life can take the front.  When I return the students can likely see the writing they hope for presented before them.  =)