Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SOooo..... I've been rather slack in the blogging department. Well that's because I'm completely obsessed with my new toy, the iPhone 4. Yup, I caved and bought it. So did Patrick. We have joined the cult. And I daresay, it's dangerously fun. There are so many apps out there, it's insane.

I've been taking tons of photos for a change thanks to how accessible my camera now is! It's especially practical for the classroom, since I can just snap and then store. It's great.

Fall is in full swing - proof here in my nanny's backyard. There is something to be said about old trees in the fall, particularly neighborhoods lined with tall old trees. Their presence is so commanding, so beautiful. Although I am a summer girl through and through, fall is growing on me, more and more each year. I like the crisp air and sweaters, and the brilliant color everywhere.

What I'm not liking right now is the early hour at which the sun sets. It is making me so very tired lately. I'm resorting sometimes to early evening coffees for the extra pep, but the extra caffeine risks keeping me awake. Arrgh! I'm hoping to adjust soon.

On the weekend we visited with Julie and Ken as it had been forever since we'd last seen them. We went for supper and then took a walk. Later we had drinks and played the weirdest Wii game ever. It was Wario something, where you have to do all these random little tasks holding the control panel in weird ways. It was a good laugh. We weren't expecting it, but it was funny as hell!

And now we are already more than halfway through the week. Sometimes I don't know where the times goes. Patrick has been busy with presentations, clients, making videos, and so forth. I have been busy with my class, as always. We are adjusting, we are getting it, finally. I am no longer missing last year so desperately like I was at the beginning. This year has good stuff to offer too, I'm starting to realize.

Well I do hope you are having a good week! I'm off to collect leaves for an art project. Cheers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mid-week update

Here's what I've been reading for the last week or two. I would have finished it all at once if I had more moments of solitude, and if I could keep my eyes open for longer before passing out so completely, book tumbling to the floor. And also because I feel like I shouldn't rush through it because it's that good. I need to stretch it out, appreciate it in small doses before that bittersweet realization that I've only got a few pages to go before finishing something that feels like conversing with a cool new best friend. The characters are so wonderfully unique, multi-faceted, endearing... The prose just feels like home to me, I relate so well. It makes me think - hey, wait a second, I could write something like this. So very inspiring. I don't want it to end! Although, it's reassuring to know that there's another book by the same author that I have yet to check out. I love me a good book. I may very well take a bath soon with said book in hand (very carefully, mind you, so as not to damage it). I've got years of experience in that domain.

Tonight was the "Open House" at the school I'm working at. I was a little nervous about the whole ordeal, even with a year under my belt, and even after having met the parents before. It went really well. I was so reassured, and so happy to have such positive feedback from parents. It makes me feel so validated, like it's all worth-while. Things are beginning to fall into place. Yes, certain moments each day are a test of patience, but I need to look at the whole and see the good in it all. It's so worth it. I would never have pictured myself talking in front of a group of adults (the thought of it just eeks me out), but every time it goes well, and every time I feel so grown-up, professional, accomplished. So for all the complaining I might put Patrick before-hand, in the end, things work out well. Need to keep that in mind for future reference.

Anyways, I'm going to attempt some digi-scrapping before bed! Cheers all. Hope your Wednesday was good.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The iPhone dilemma

To buy an iPhone, or not to buy an iPhone?

I know, I know, it's so ridiculous to be pondering this. But you know when you just really, really want something and you can't justify it for reasons other than pleasure ... that's what's been going on for the last little while. Every weekend I casually stop by the cell phone booths at the mall or at Best Buy to tantalize myself, to make small talk with the sales people to see if perhaps there is some amazing plan that I have not yet learned about. I haven't discovered one. The price for a monthly plan remains ludicrously high. Yeah, I can afford it and it's completely doable now, but the 3-year contract bit just eeks me, considering that we'll be looking to buy a house within a year or so. And what then? I could probably still afford it, but it would be harder to justify. But Apple's hypnotic selling points are apparently quite deeply routed in my subconscious. Arrrgh! I am still undecided. I am researching other options and making a pros/cons list. We shall see...

Otherwise, it's Sunday morning, I don't have to work at the library, and I am happily sipping coffee in my pjs, listening to some Chilli Peppers, and feeling like I might to something creative today. I have some planning to do for school, but that shouldn't take too long and besides, I like to do it. Sounds so very nerdy to admit to, but it's true. My students are coming along quite nicely. We have been practicing our routines and I have been very strict with the rules, which is starting to pay off. They are sooo good in the morning - things run smoothly. In the afternoon things are more difficult. They are ansy and tired. Their attention spans are shorter. It's completely normal. Thankfully our afternoon consists of free-play and story, so it's manageable for us all.

Yesterday we went out for supper for my friend Audrey's birthday. Although I was worried it might be awkward because I didn't really know many people going, it was fun. Another co-worker ended up being there, and we had the chance to get to know each other better. I am trying to be more open-minded about new circumstances in general - meeting new people, developing new friendships. The results have been interesting and refreshing.

Anyways, my attention is becoming choppy. I'm browsing other pages and thinking of other things that need to be done. I have no photos to share because I have not taken any photos since we went to Ottawa. It's really sad - I have no desire to take photos lately - what's up with that? I think part of the reason why the iPhone is so appealing to me is that I can snap away instantly and store them in a wonderfully organized manner. But I digress again... time to go be more productive! Cheers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vampire Weekend!

Last night Pat and I went to see Vampire Weekend at Metropolis. They were fantabulous. You can read more about it here. If you have not heard of this band, you NEED to check them out. Total feel-good music that will have you grooving along. It is rare that I can listen to an entire album without skipping a few songs, but I can listen to both of their albums straight through - again and again and again. Seriously, I could have them on repeat for hours.

Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf / THE GAZETTE

Anyways, the vibe was great. However, we did have to wait until 10:20 for them to come on... There were two opening acts - The Dum Dum Girls and Beach House. The first act was so-so, kinda bland overall, and the second was majorly trippy but very catchy. I will have to check them out in more detail, as I've heard of them before. Of course, both acts paled in comparison to the opening! They were soooo very good, so involved with the audience, charismatic and energetic. They switched up a crap load of instruments, and sounded exactly, if not better, than their recordings.

We also met some pretty cool people there, which made the long wait in between sets that much more entertaining. Overall, though I'm exhausted today and am probably writing incoherently, it was really worth it. I need to see cool indie groups more often, at smaller venues. Really worth the money.

Aside from that, have been very busy with work. Sooooo busy. A good kind of busy that makes the day fly by and makes me feel accomplished, but still, I need to remember to take breaks and down-time for myself. Which I am going to do right now..... peace out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All is new

Okay, okay, time to update the old blog. I promise I have a good excuse as to why I've been MIA for the past little while. Last time I checked in, I was in the full-swing of job hunting, which amounted to a very stressful, intense period. On the fateful date of August 17th - the day of the call-backs for teachers on the priority list - I waited and waited and waited by my phone ALL DAY LONG, to no avail. I decided to go to the gym in the evening, thinking that no principal would call me past 5:30 pm... But guess again! I got several phone calls that night, but the offers weren't great. I was in despair, thinking that I'd have to except scraps, partial percentages here and there, and try to piece them together at several different schools. I lamented and longed for my good fortune of the year before. I made a big stink. I imagine I was rather unbearable for a good few days, and poor Patrick had to put up with me whining constantly. (Let me just say how amazingly supportive he is - I am soooo lucky!).

I ended up saying no to a few less than stellar offers - a 40% at my old school which would have involved me teaching 5 different classes over 2 days. Don't get me wrong, I would have liked to have returned to my old school, but 40% is just not enough to carry me over financially, and it would have been very hard to try to find other small percentages to compliment it. I decided I would hold off in the hopes of something better turning up. When I thought I was out of luck, I was mighty close to excepting a job almost an hour away from where I live. But thankfully, something even better was just around the corner. Something that made all other offers pale in comparison. Something that coincided perfectly with the energy I had been throwing out to the universe all along...

In short, I was offered a Kindergarten class at a school less than five minutes away from my house. The catch is that I'm replacing somebody who is on medical leave indefinitely. That means that she could be back at any moment, and I would lose my class. The chances of that happening are not great, I'm told, but you just never know. I'm going to ride it out as long as I can, with the hopes that I can luck out the way I did last year. I feel like I will. I have invested time, effort and money as though it will all pan out, just as it did last year. I am so thrilled to be back in K, and in an amazing classroom on top of it. This room was specifically designed for Kindergarten and is all-equipped. It's like a dream come true, especially compared with the amount of flexibility and improvisation that was required to be comfortable in the room that I had last year.

I have been working like crazy for the last 11 days. I went in several days before our first ped-day even started, and I even went in last weekend. I had great helpers: my parents, Patrick and my wonderful friend Audrey, who is also working at the school with me!! I don't think people quite realize what goes in to opening a class at the beginning of the year. You are literally down on your hands and knees scrubbing and washing away all the dirt that has accumulated over the course of the school year and the summer. It is very time-consuming and exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating and exciting. When you have your own room, you can arrange it any way you like. You have to navigate the space, try to imagine what layout will work best. Then there are all the little details, like where bags, supplies, books, bins, toys and so forth will be placed. It is all-consuming at first. You need to force yourself to take breaks, or else you'd be working all hours of the day and night. But finally, a little less than a week into the prepping, the room starts to looks come together. It looks like an inviting, fun place to be. You can envision the lessons and the playing that will take place. It is soooo rewarding. And after all that, you need to do the planning, and decide what you'll be telling the parents when they come in to visit the class with their children. I think about what I've done in the last little while and it seems almost impossible - surreal in a sense. But I've made it. You'd think with a whole year under my belt it would feel like a piece of cake, but not quite. Though it does feel smoother around the edges, and though I do feel like I have more confidence and know-how, it is still a new journey that I have to learn as I go. But I am enjoying it.

So there you have it, the reason for my non-existence on here the last little while. I am adjusting to a new schedule, a new school, a new group, new colleagues and a new (AMAZING) principal. I really miss my old friends, but at the same time, I think I will get to know some pretty awesome people this year. I think it will be a great year.