Monthly Archives: September 2013

My friend, Miss Night, put a post up on her website challenging us to a…well, a challenging year.  When I first read her post, I gasped.  I was stunned.  She was going to give up tv. She was going to give up drinking anything but water. For a MONTH. She was going to unplug from Social Media on the weekend. I read her challenges and couldn’t imagine doing ANY of these. I was speechless.

September 3 hit with a vengeance. Suddenly, I had a split grade which I was completely unprepared for. My Master’s course was starting up, and I had made a personal commitment to not let my house become the usual zone of destruction. I was on our local teacher union executive. I had classes, meetings, prep work and house work. Suddenly, I realized…..I haven’t been watching TV during the week. The bigger surprise to me: I didn’t miss it.

Now, I did slip up a couple of times. I had to watch Jon Stewart’s return to the Daily Show, and I always check the TV on September 11 to see what memorials are being held, but beyond these 2 weekdays, I haven’t missed watching TV. I have watched Netflix on the weekends, and I might have snuck a couple episodes of Community, but I haven’t missed TV.

What have I been doing to occupy myself? I’ve baked, coloured big books, blogged, worked on assignments and classroom projects. I’m making sure my laundry is hung up, washing all my dishes nightly, tidying up before bed. I’ve started eating at my kitchen table because the TV is not on. I am enjoying my food more and I think I am eating healthier.

Here comes the hardest week of all for me. Premiere week. The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Castle, Once Upon A Time, Criminal Minds are ALL premiering before this challenge is complete. I have decided to PVR a couple of these shows, but I have really realized that I don’t need to watch all the shows my friends watch. It’s okay, and I can wait to see if Leonard gets lost at sea, or if Raj has continued to talk to girls. And thankfully, the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is on a Saturday!

Thank you, Miss Night, for issuing the challenge. I thought it would be difficult, but it has been eye opening.

Turning Off the Boob Tube

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Here is my first assignment for the class I am taking. I had fantastic, witty comments written the last 8 times I tried to post this clip, and I am all out of them. Enjoy. It’s short. It’s a sample of me.

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The Moment of Ah-Ha!

For those of you who don’t know, I am taking courses through the University of Victoria to get my Master’s Degree. It’s only been 2 weeks, and I have had moments of panic, worry, the feeling of being completely overwhelmed, and a general fear of failure. But then, I had my moment.

Last Thursday night, sitting in my extremely hot, uncomfortable classroom, I was involved in my online class. I felt ridiculous at times because my friendly Master’s Education fly (he only shows up during online class) had brought 2 friends with him and I kept trying to discretely swipe them away so I could focus. The discussion with the human colleagues centered around ensuring that profiles were made, going over the website we were using, chatting about our blogs and thankfully, someone broached the subject of our media clip assignment. It was a relief to hear what our instructor was saying to us. Her words of wisdom were “Make it fun! Get your voice out there!” Then suddenly, in the midst of the conversation on FOIPPA, and privacy considerations, I wrote the words, “What about just using our students’ voices as a part of a media clip?” As the Doctor would say, Bada boom ba! It STRUCK! My moment of brilliant clarity.

Voice. In my learning last year, I started to take small, tiny baby steps into the world of Reggio Emilia and the fervent discussion of The 100 Languages of Children. Young children use so much more than their actual voice to tell their tales and share their learning. They use light and shadow, song and dance, building, drawing, sculpting and so much more. The question came to me: What about the use of Social Media as a voice of the child? My direction and interest suddenly became very clear to me. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is why I felt drawn to this area of study. Perhaps there is a way to balance this world of technology and social media with the natural, play-based exploration of our very young learners.

So, there it is. My moment of ah-ha. The worry faded away a lot after that. I felt comfortable for the first time with the direction I wanted to take, and the panic ebbed.

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This will be a short post. It is a simple, self-indulgent moment. Tomorrow is an anniversary. Not a great one, but a sad one. 13 years ago tomorrow, my stubborn, argumentative and loving dad passed away. Every year, around this date, I cry. I cry and it is very hard to stop. I miss him. I miss watching political shows with him and arguing. I miss being silly with him. I miss hugging him and in that hug, knowing that I was safe and protected and perfect. I miss the smell of his aftershave, the sound of his voice. I miss him telling me that he is proud of me. I just miss him. So if I am a little more weepy, a little more vexed tomorrow, it is simply because I am still saying good bye to my first hero. My dad.

Summer’s End

I am very aware that summer is not officially over, but as a teacher, this is the last evening of my holiday. Tomorrow I begin my 16th year of teaching and will welcome a new group of munchkins into my class. But tonight is not about them. Tonight is about this past summer and the glorious time I had.

This summer was an odd one for me. It was one where I wasn’t home much, and I am a content homebody. But this year I put on my brave face, and I went away with people I had never travelled with. I experienced a confidence I didn’t know I had. I relaxed and laughed. I had fabulous summer dinners and social gatherings. I journeyed physically and emotionally. I grew this summer. I felt the need, all summer, to record this feeling, so I can remember the wonderful happiness I felt.

This summer I went away with work friends to a cottage at the lake. Other friends joined us there and I can honestly say, I will treasure the camaraderie I had with these folks. We had good food, great conversations, laugh after laugh and we even got to paddleboard. Okay, I tried. It didn’t go as planned. But rather than feel my usual mortification (I did feel a bit of it), I laughed and swam and enjoyed the time with these friends.
The Lake

I went to Las Vegas to celebrate a 20 year marriage with a renewal of vows by Elvis! I hung out with people I cherish and know well, and I felt utterly, absolutely accepted by people I had just met. It was eye opening. I left my arms bare, which is huge for me, and I let myself shine through. I realized that I have been holding myself back and that I can live in my own skin and be happy. I truly embraced my style for the first time ever.

Happiness was overflowing this summer for me. When I got home from Vegas, I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt lighter. I went camping with my awesome mom, and we explored areas of this province I had only heard of. I realized how blessed we are to live in this gorgeous province. I read. I relaxed. I lived in the moment.

It was a summer of friends. I cannot tell these people how much their friendship, acceptance, and love has meant to me. Words are not enough. I will look back at the pictures from this summer and, I pray, that they will bring my happy back when I need it most. I am saying farewell to a work friend as she goes off on a new adventure. I will miss her terribly, but I understand her need for change. I am starting my Masters courses this week. This unknown terrifies and excites me. I am so thankful to have good friends supporting me along the way.

to New Adventures.

to New Adventures.

Students Again!

Students Again!

Thank you, Summer 2013.

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