Category Archives: Education

Who killed Bambi?

It’s been a little bit since I updated.  Let me see…  Well, most importantly, I graduated!  I actually went to graduation this time (this is my second university degree) and I’m really glad I did.  It was an interesting experience and I got to see some people that, frankly, I may never see again.  The actual receiving of the degree passed by in a blur and I barely remember walking across the stage.  I graduated on the Dean’s List with a 4.1 GPA.  I’m pretty proud of that!

On Monday night I did something very dumb.  I was heading to my room and took a long, quick stride and suddenly felt (and heard) three quick pops.  Each pop felt like I was being punched in the calf and I went crashing to the floor with a cry of pain.  It was pure agony.  I crawled into my bedroom and ended up just lying on the floor crying for a good hour because it hurt so much.  At first I was terrified to look down.  Having witnessed three wrestlers tear their quads on TV, I was terrified I had done the same to my calf.  I was scared if I looked down I’d see the muscle rolled up in a ball under my skin.  Fortunately that wasn’t the case or I may have passed out.  Still the agony was unreal.  Eventually I slept and I made an appointment to see the on-call doctor the next day (or that day I guess because it was actually 3am Tuesday when it happened).

I was having a horrible time walking and I was terrified that either for whatever reason the doctor would think I was exaggerating or that he would cause me even greater pain during the examination.  I had a strong urge to flee the office before he came in.  He was actually very nice but of course in order to examine me, he pushed on my foot towards a straight position (which it won’t do at all) and I yelled and started to cry and felt very silly except that it hurt really bad.  It was almost comical because he looked up at me and said “You broke it!”  The diagnosis is “ruptured tendon in the lower left leg”.  He gave me some Celebrex and Tylenol 3 and suggested I might need physiotherapy but I’m going to hold off on that one.  Getting around sucks and my right leg and left quad are beginning to really object to the way I’m walking but I cannot put my foot flat on the ground.  Not only is it painful if I try, I am physically incapable.  So that’s been fun.

I’ve done a little bit of sewing.  I’m a bit off my game and things are turning out wonky.  Not that I was fabulous before but it seems that I’m having more problems.  Probably because I hadn’t done any sewing in a month.  I made a little pouch, which Kate quickly claimed and then I made her a matching iPod holder.  Today I made a felt iPod case that’s a bit of a mess, hand sewn and what not.  Tomorrow I want to make some baby shoes, 2 pairs because someone I know had twins today!  Before I do that I have to try to finish a 5000 word paper for a Masters class I’m taking (why did I think it was a good idea to jump right into my Masters?).

Behold my latest creations in all their wonky glory.  And if you stumbled onto this blog for the first time may I add that I only started sewing in February so, you know…

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hello world!

So I’m very overdue on some kind of update here.  Also, I think Alex might be reading, so hello Alex!  Your guilt trip didn’t work but just in case you are stalking my blog I figured I’d give you a shout out.  😉

Today was the last day of my internship.  I was not prepared for how heartbroken I would feel when I left.  I didn’t want to leave.  Sure it’s nice to be home for the weekend but next week, I have no place to go.  I wish my internship had have been for the entire term.  That way at least I could have stayed until everyone was going for summer break and it wouldn’t have felt so much like I was abandoning them.  Not that they aren’t in good hands, they are, the best even, but I still feel like I’ve abandoned them.  I like them so much and they made me smile every day, not having that next week, not seeing them, is going to be really hard.  I feel really fortunate that I got to know them all.  9 English and Poli Sci.  I’m the lucky one and they probably don’t realize how much they taught me or how much respect I have for them.  What an incredible bunch of human beings.  The world better be ready, these kids are about to take it by storm.

So here I am, Friday night and I’m in my pjs.  It’s an exciting life.  Non-stop action.  I just watched a movie, Freedom Writers to be exact, and now I’m just chillin’ as my students would say.  My knees are killing me and I’ll be going to the doctor about that on Wednesday.  They seem to be getting worse and worse and especially my left one has been making walking difficult and causing me a lot of pain, more than I care to admit.  Perhaps I should cut them off, who needs knees?

Tomorrow I’m going to watch a rugby game.  I’d like to pull out the sewing machine too.  I haven’t had a chance to sew in the last few weeks.  I haven’t had a chance to do much of anything, really.  I’ve started grad school.  My graduation from the education program is on May 27th.  Lots going on, I suppose.  I am thinking I should throw myself a graduation party.  Which really just means I will try and get the fantastic 4 together for dinner or coffee or something.  My “party” days are done and the 27th is close enough to Kate’s birthday that I don’t want to go too crazy and “party” twice in the span of 2 weeks.  Crazy talk.  Still, graduation party has a nice ring to it.  I think I’ll start plotting…

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We don’t need no education…

It’s strange to think that I’m actually here but as of now I have 10 days left of my internship.  5 days left of teaching, as far as I know.  I have such mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I’ve been so busy over the last couple of weeks that I’m looking forward to having that thing we call a life again.  On the other hand, I don’t want to leave.  Like, really don’t want to leave.

For the first month, maybe even longer, I had serious doubts.  I wasn’t very happy and I really did not want to teach.  I figured I would simply get through it but that it was definitely not what I wanted anymore.  Somewhere along the line, without me noticing, that changed.  I no longer felt like I was someplace I shouldn’t be and I started enjoying it.  I think I just fell into the role, finally and got used to it.  Not that there haven’t been A LOT of ups and downs along the way but I like what I’m doing.  I like it a lot.  I want to stay.

So, there’s the problem.  I want to STAY.  Not just in the field but at THAT school.  I don’t want to go anywhere else.  Ultimately, it’s going to boil down to taking what I can get, I suppose, but I want to be there.  And I don’t want to leave MY students.  I want to know what they’re doing and that they’re doing well and all that stuff.  But, in two weeks, I’m done and I have to say good-bye and I already know how hard it’s going to be because of the tightening in my chest when I think about it.   So that’s where I am, the end which is also a beginning.

I start graduate work basically NOW.  I’m going to be getting a Master of Education in Critical Studies.  My course officially starts on Monday.  I think I may be stretching myself a bit thin right now but I can make it work.  This is something I really want even though I didn’t know it until this year.  I think it’s something I will be good at and it’s definitely something I find interesting and fascinating.

Yesterday I went to an education conference.  It was really very good.  It sounds like something that should be boring “education conference”, however it was something I’m really thankful that I got to attend.  The first speaker was Erin Gruwell (Freedom Writers – you know, the movie with Hilary Swank) and I really liked hearing what she had to say.  I really wish I could have met her.  I’m very sorry I didn’t try to get to her book signing even if I had no book with me for her to sign.  I have The Freedom Writers Diary but it was home.  I wanted to buy another of her books but they had nothing when I went to Chapters today…  After that was Alfie Kohn (The Homework Myth) and he was also very interesting.  I liked what he had to say and I agree with the things he said.  I was always a good student throughout school and I hated homework, it was boring, I wanted to do other things and I would rush through it so that it would be behind me and I could get on with my evening.  If, as a good student, that’s how I felt, then I can only imagine how those who stuggle felt/feel.  And in my opinion, it’s just not worth the headache when it doesn’t get done.  The last speaker that I heard was Harry Wong (The First Days of School) and he was incredibly funny and very interesting.

I think my only complaint about the conference was that in one room they had a lot of booths where people were selling different educational materials and at least 80% of it was geared to elementary and middle school.  I would have liked to have seen more “stuff” for high school teachers.  But, seeing as I’m merely a student at this point (though I am hired on with the school district as a supply and will be able to start doing that when my internship ends), I can’t really say too much.  It’s not like I even have money to buy anything!

My other complaint wasn’t with the conference but rather with the attendees.  As teachers we tend to get angry with our students when they talk while we’re trying to teach, or their cell phones go off, or they pack up before the bell.  So why then, in a group full of teachers, while people were trying to present, were people talking?  Why were cell phones going off?  Why were people getting up and leaving to avoid the rush before lunch when the speaker wasn’t finished?  It was such rude behaviour and I expect more from adults, especially from teachers.  I guess I was just raised to be polite and when someone is speaking, I am not talking, I do not have my cell phone on and I don’t get up and leave before they’re finished.  At the very least, people who wanted to talk could have gotten up and went to another area in the arena.  That would have been far less rude than talking and making it hard for me to hear.

These people who presented are examples of how great teachers can be.  The people who were talking and leaving before someone was finished will never be great teachers.  That’s the irony I suppose.  If you can’t sit and listen to what someone accomplished has to say, you’ll never be as accomplished.  I hope someday I can say that I’ve accomplished great things but until then, I’m going to shut up and listen when someone is trying to pass their wisdom on to me!

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over and over

It’s been a little bit since I updated.  Busy busy.  I made something new but I can’t post any photos until it has been given to its intended owner.  As soon as it is, I will certainly post!

On a related note, I ordered some fabric from FabricLovers.com and it came yesterday.  I had also bought some really soft, lightweight fabric to use as lining.  It just so happened the blue lining fabric matches this new fabric beautifully and I’m SUPER excited to make a bag for MYSELF from it.  The question is, what bag.  I believe I have a yard of the new stuff.  If anyone actually reads this and has a pattern suggestion for a bag that would show off the detail of my fabric, please post.  Here’s a photo that I took with my cell phone:

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Gorgeous right?

School wise, things are going well.  I can’t believe I’ve only got about 6 weeks left at this point.  I attended a supply teacher information session today and I’m going to take my resume down to the school district as soon as I can print it out.  I’ve also been accepted into the masters program at my university.  I’ll be starting that in September, hopefully.  Money is an issue but I’ll be living at home to help ease those costs.  All the same, if it’s not there, it’s not there.  This is something I’ve always wanted to do, though I always thought it would be in English Literature and not Critical Studies in Education!  Who knew I would fall in love with critical theory?  Not me, that’s for sure!  I’m hoping I can find a way to teach and go to school, even if it’s simply supply teaching.  But, I also need to do well at both so I don’t want to stretch myself too thin and I’ll certainly continue with other things as long as I am able and there is need.  Probably forever.

One thing I have learned from my friend Rachel is work ethic.  I used to be a slacker and I suppose being young had a lot to do with that.  My friend is one of the most driven and hardest working people I know as well as one of the most resilient, even in the face of slander and malicious lies, not to mention the many obstacles, she continues to thrive and work hard to ensure that the best product is delivered.  In many ways, it’s a case of, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.  Not many people can take that kind of heat.  Most people do not have a solid work ethic or the drive to produce only the best no matter how much of a personal sacrifice it becomes.  I suppose this is simply to say how much I admire my friend (and I have many friends whom I admire for many reasons) and how much of an influence she has been on me, personally and professionally.  I don’t think I would have been able to handle the last few years without that influence and certainly I wouldn’t consider taking on full time work, part time work and full time school (whether folly or not) if it weren’t for that influence and the drive to succeed that it has instilled into me.

I have often said this poem reminds me of her.  I do believe it could have been written for her and since I am about to start teaching my grade 9 students poetry, it seems fitting to share it here:

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Bag of Shame

I finally completed the tote bag I was making for myself.  I don’t have time to sew during the week, between student teaching and prepping and marking and BME, I just don’t have time.  It’s unfortunate because I really enjoy the process of creating something and both photography and sewing are taking a backburner right now.

I based my bag on the Morsbags but I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that I didn’t need to follow a pattern or instructions and that I would make up the bag myself.  Well, I ran into problem after problem and the seam ripper and I got to be good friends.  Ultimately though, I think the process of doing this helped me because I was constructing, deconstructing and then reconstructing and I really got to see how to make things work.  I added a pocket to the inside of my bag.  I didn’t look for any instructions on making a pocket, I just used some logic and put it together how I wanted it.  The pocket is probably the only part of the bag that I did not screw up.  Anyway, here it is, in all its glory:

In other news, on Friday I got a letter of acceptance into graduate school.  I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it or what I’m going to do about my living situation but I’m in and theoretically will start working on my Masters of Education this fall.  Go team me.

Student teaching is chugging along.  I enjoy my students, they make me laugh and I think they’re pretty wonderful.  Parent/teacher interviews are coming up and that’s a little nerve wracking though I’m not sure why.  I guess it comes back to doing something I haven’t done before.  I won’t be there alone, of course, but I will be the one doing a lot of the talking.  In related news, we have professional development days at the end of April and I’m going to see Erin Gruwell, Alfie Kohn and Harry Wong speak.  There’s one other person I’m going to see speak and I can’t remember who it is at the moment, I’ll have to look at my registration sheet.  Kind of exciting, those are some big names in education.  I’m actually really looking forward to that.

Well, there’s lots to do and little time in which to do it so I guess that is that.

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