Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Moment

Every year I have this moment. I am currently experiencing it as I sit and write. It’s the feeling I LOVE about Christmas, that happy, excited, can’t stop smiling feeling because you know that Chrsitmas is almost here. That moment when you can relate to the Grinch because your heart feels like it is actually swelling with Christmas spirit. 

I will admit I am not a huge fan of the Christmas season. I see it as such a stressful, commercialized time of year and I rail against those who decorate in November. Next year I will try to look at you differently if you are one of those people. Maybe you get this feeling earlier than I do, and I need to respect that. You see, Christmas will always bring some tears as I remember my dad and the fun he and I would have every holiday season. Lighting up the house together, picking out our family tree together, watching Muppet Chirstmas Carol together, the Christmas Fireside record that we both loved, wrapping all of the gifts from him since his left arm never recovered from his stroke. It does get easier though; I am no longer gutted as deeply as when he first passed. For those of you who are experiencing their first season without a loved one, I understand, and 15 years later, I can tell you it does get easier, but it never goes away.

Despite all of this, every year around the Winter Solstice, the Christmas spirit hits. Maybe it’s because the tree is up, maybe it’s the look of the house, perhaps it’s the marathon Christmas viewing of old favourites. I don’t know. But I’m glad the feeling is here. I was worried that it wouldn’t arrive this year since my family is doing very different things this year. I’ll miss tracking Santa (yes, I still do that with no children in the house), and it feels a little strange to have the presents wrapped and under the decorated tree (it usually doesn’t happen till Christmas Eve).  If you haven’t found your twice the size heart feeling yet, I hope it comes to you. If you are having a hard time this year, know that there are people out there thinking of you.

To all of you, I wish you a Happy Christmas!


Thank You #tiegrad

Wow. Just over 30 hours ago, I left my hotel and walked to Steamworks to meet a group of people I had been meeting online for almost 2 and a half years. I had meet a few of them before, but the idea of meeting 15 of them was a little nerve wracking to me. I was already pretty nervous about presenting my Masters of Education project, and the idea of finally being in the same room with these folks was adding excitement to the nerves. 

Wow doesn’t seem like a big enough word. Hugs, lots of hugs happened when I walked into an already large gathering. People who I have only seen on screen were much taller that I thought. MUCH taller (I may have had some hobbit feelings) and holy cow, was it ever FUN to be in the SAME ROOM with them. I wonder now why we didn’t do this sooner. 

The nerves stayed till I presented, but man, did I laugh and hug last night and, honestly, not once did I have my usual “awkward” moments that I am prone to in a large group. Folks can say that online connections aren’t the same as “real” connections, but, well,  I can’t honestly explain it. I just knew these people. I had caught glimpses of their lives over the hours we spent together online. We worked together, learned together, laughed together and struggled together. 

Every so often last night, I had to stop and look around and just realize that I was sitting beside Alison, or Harprit. That I could just walk over and talk to Heidi and discuss Marvel comics with Jake-IN PERSON! These were surreal moments for me. See, I always feel a little “outside” of groups at parties and gatherings, and last night I just didn’t feel that at all. The hardest part of the entire thing wasn’t actually giving my presentation, it was saying good-bye to these people. I felt like I wanted to keep talking to them. I wanted to call them up today and meet for coffee. It felt odd to see them onscreen this afternoon as the presentations wrapped up. 

I don’t know if words can ever explain the gratitude I have to Val for bringing us together.  I don’t know if she knew the connections that would be made as tiegrad grew. What I do know is that I am so thankful for these people in my cohort, my tiegrad family. Each of them has such greatness, such amazing brilliance, and they have so much heart.  I can’t wait till the graducation meet up!

Thank you. 



I recently watched “Inside Out” after many people encouraged me to watch it. I get why. It’s a good movie and I am currently understanding those mixed blue and golden memory orbs at the end of the film. Things are ending  for me, and while I am incredibly happy and excited to be so close to the finish line of the Masters, I am also being hit with waves of sadness.

I have grown so much as a teacher in the past 2 years of this program. I have the confidence to do what I believe is developmentally appropriate with my students, and I now have a binder or two of research to pull on if I need to defend my theory of play, play, and more play with my young charges. While I am still not a huge “let’s go for a hike” person in my off time, I am more than willing to put on the rain suit (yes, I DID get a “muddy buddy”) and wellies and tramp outdoors with my students where we all get wet in the rain, dirty from the mud and somehow come in with huge smiles on our faces from exploring the great outdoors. Although I am tired of citing Dewey, I am embracing his ideas thanks to a summer course where my eyes were opened, and I think Loris Malaguzzi was brilliant. I have learned how to do SO MUCH with google (mail, slides, docs, hangouts, and more), and I am insanely proud of my website. (Really, I have started showing it to complete strangers!!)

I have met some bright, hilarious, talented, and geeky people on this journey. Our ‘off the cuff” meetings have me laughing so hard I can’t breath. They have let me vent over the frustrations of figuring out my topic and question, and they have supported me every time I have though of giving up. Some of them even understand my obscure references to Star Trek, Middle Earth, and the TARDIS. I even got to use my limited Kilingon knowledge. These people are the best, and I hope they know that.

I am excited to present tomorrow, I will be thrilled to finally submit the polished paper, and I rejoice over the opportunities given to me during my four months off to finish this and to work on myself. It has been a gift to get my health on the right track while spending copious amounts of time in front of the screen.

But still, I feel like crying. I will miss meeting with these brilliant people. I will miss the shared joy, frustrations, and laughter we have had. I keep forgetting that I am not returning to the students I left behind; the class that helped me change so much. I get nervous thinking about my return. I may have mentioned that I don’t like change, so I am struggling with the idea that I won’t have to write any more papers, do anymore research, and yes, I will miss having access to the books at the UVic library.

If you and I chat over the next few weeks, and you see me get weepy, I need you to know I am okay. I’m just adjusting to the new me. See, I have learned through this that I am stronger than I ever thought, smarter than I really believed, a better teacher than I realized, and that, although I may whine and complain, I am happy about the choices I am making. I have more to make. I’m not sure where my path is heading, but I can face it.

I am reminded of the Doctor (as I so often am) as I finish up this part of my life:

                        We all change, when you think about it, we’re all different                                 people; all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good,                                 you’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the                               people that you used to be. (Moffat, 2013)



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