February, 2012

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My dharma [and Greg]

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I have now presented to pre-service undergraduate student teachers twice.  Er, have intended to.

Today I had some pre-service teachers in my session but the majority of my room ended up being administrators and field experience facilitators.  I spoke.  …and loved it.

In fact I loved my whole two days [today as a presenter; yesterday as a participant].  Really loved these two days.  I’d intended to do some work in and amongst my time at the university but instead, I found myself drawn into the event itself and the people there.

Today I connected with some great teachers.  One, a principal, who invited me to give my same talk at his school seemingly soon.  One, a teacher, who I ended up talking at great length with.  Dharma, in fact, is her word.

Surrounded by like-mindedness, surrounded by powerful initiatives, and surrounded by academia (whatever that means or doesn’t mean) I noticed a few things:

  • I felt SO at home.
  • I felt such a draw to *gasp* more school here shortly with me in the student seat.  I also recognized I’ve noticed this draw for awhile, and my resting brain is really working through some of the logistics and possibilities and decisions surrounding that.

Not a bad few days to have right now.  At all.

You know?  The ones where you have an eye (and ear, and mind) on the bigger picture.  I’ve been having so, so many of those days and moments lately.  Here and on the sandy beaches of Bondi.

In 3.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
  1. I think I just registered in a half marathon?!  I think that because I did.  End of September.  Rocky Mountains.  Bring it!  (I hope!)
  2. WestCAST for two days!  Last time I took in a WestCAST I was 19, not presenting, and still remember my sessions.  Will folks remember mine?  Hope it comes across great!
  3. Must. finish. writing.  What insanity the end of this M.Ed. is!  An investment in my career? …or expensive torture?  :S


Monday, February 20th, 2012

The furthest I’ve run is 10k.  Sure people have run much further, but I still remember what it was like pushing past my previous best.  [Aside: Will I run further still?  I’d like to think so.]

The most I’ve written, academically, is the paper I’m writing right now.

The longest I’ve held a figure-four-forward-arm-balance was at the ‘Tree today while I got away from it all.

I don’t know why I’m framing things like this.  Maybe so I can remember to be kind to myself.  …to enjoy some of this.  …and to appreciate the growth, and the process, and the explorations.

In all honesty, if I WAS doing report cards right now or if I DIDN’T have all the inspiration from #yycpkn #cctca2012 and #westcast2012 (haha, I’m tweeting again these days it seems)… I’d be more than a little exhausted.

Must. keep. swimming.

On homestretches and ham/heartstrings

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

I am almost Travis Robertson, B.Ed. (Alberta), M.Ed. (Lethbridge).  Almost!

It’s exciting.  …but it’s also so, so, so necessary to build in some quiet evenings and weekends with my word processor this next while so I can take on my last task: synthesizing all my writing into a capstone (30-,40-, 50- some pages).  The core scaffolding is in place.  I have my template (thanks Rachel!), I have my ideas, I have the go-ahead from my supervisor, and I also had the insight before beginning any of this three years ago to align all my papers to make the stitching and synthesizing simple.

I’ve worked and thought quite hard this weekend and am not quite as far ahead as I though I might be.

Oh well.

I’m hoping that some time on a P.C. here at the start might get a bigger jump on things; as much as I love my MacBook I’m not quite as proficient on some aspects of it.  I forget I only started using a Mac at the onset of this degree.

I’ve also kept all activities pretty minimal, including exercise and yoga.  I’m not sure that was the best of ideas.  Now I feel behind and a bit guilty.   Again, oh well.

My stress is such that I’m a little sensitive this last little while.  Exercise stagnation probably isn’t helping.  At least I’m self-aware enough to know it.  Most of my headspace these days sounds like this: “bite your tongue.  bite your tongue.  bite your tongue.”  Most times, I’m able.

February is inherently a bit of an adventure in the teacher world; I hope I don’t have to miss out on [any or] much of it.  Convention adventures and fun schemes await.

My brain is already itching to make the most of a non-graduate school schedule or workload (or online bank payment schedule)… it itches to think of Spring and Summer and Adventures and hobbies.



Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Today was a day of reminders.  Really great reminders.

  • Before school, I had a conference call scheduled with my supervisor for university.  We had our call and I felt totally relieved, on-track, and capable.  I can’t say I don’t have some work and time to spend on finishing up my degree… but I’m equipped and ready.  A nice reminder that a) I’ve done a lot of work already… and b) I’m prepared for the pieces left ot come.  I didn’t feel complimented (well, maybe a bit), I felt empowered.  Homestretch time, folks!
  • During school, I had the chance to participate in a student activity (while having my classes covered).  While I did some speaking and doing, I did more listening and reflecting.   I’m often so worried about content and rubrics and projects and critical thinking that I can forget (even momentarily) that I’m dealing with adolescents with their crazy responsibilities and lives.  I can bring it back to a small example from the other day; I had a student tell me how excited he was for his birthday dinner after school and it really made me pull back and think.  During today’s specific activity, it was like that moment amplifed.  I was really able to see the students as students and their own unique lives.  Hard to explain.

…just two moments of surfacing from pretty intense work right now, I guess.  Moments that make you go: hmmmm.  🙂

Lotus Flower

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

I’ll update right as I get home from the conclusion of my self-indulgent weekend of yoga.  12.5 hours, haha!

How do I feel?  Incredible!

The physicality of it all?  Maybe.   More, though, I just had a weekend with an instructor (Patrick Creelman) and adjustor (Lawrence)  super good at pacing, and knowing, and intuiting (a word?).  More than that even, he was funny and inspiring.

More, too, getting to know people from the studio better and connecting.

More getting better at familiar poses (slash postures), taking on ones previously fairly unaccessible (crow comes to mind), and taking on poses completely new.

I’m exhausted… but this weekend was such a testament to how much I’m in love with practicing, with connecting, with learning and growing; often my yoga practice is such a metaphor for my teaching practice and condo practice and life practice.

I did it.  I’m grateful.  I’ve learned a ton. …and I hope that much of the learning really stays with me in a pretty enduring way.

Yes, I could have been working on my Capstone this weekend; yes, I probably should have.  BUT.  I make no apologies.  This weekend couldn’t have better or more productive.

In fact, I bet my studies are better for it.

…and if not: my Downward Dog (and Upward) certainly are.  That’s good enough for me.

Lotus Stem

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

The yoga studio was abuzz about Patrick Creelman for the last little while.  I’d hear: “He’s so funny!”, “He’s an amazing DJ!”, “He has people doing things they had no idea they could do!”

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was so excited” the girl on the mat behind me smiles.

Well tonight I met him.  For 2.5 hours-ish… I folded, and held lunges, and….. breathed and stayed present… just like the others, in awe: both of him, and of the whole practice, and of my being there in the midst of it all.

I have four more 2.5 hours-ish sessions over the next two days and am pumped (mostly because I sit here feeling so, so great!).  I’ve never done so much yoga like this… so, we’ll see the result.  I already have a 90 minute massage booked Monday so I’m more ready to dive-in wholeheartedly.

The classes really are great, fitting for this week.  Lee announces her engagement.  Report Cards got finished (and essentially started) today.  Plans and adventures and schemes get made.  Accomplishments are accomplished.

A week of pieces falling into place and as they do, peace does too.  Peace, and anticipation, and gratefulness.

…anticipating tomorrow’s and the next day’s classes.