Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am shutting down my Blogger activities.

This is to announce that, effective immediately, will no longer be updated. I think all my readers (read: Emma, Kef, and least, those are pretty much the only people who have commented on my posts anytime in the last 2 years, except for one comment on an update regarding my husband's health) are on Facebook, and therefore it makes more sense to post directly on Facebook rather than make a post on Blogger and wait for Facebook to import it.

If you are reading this post via Blogger (rather than the Facebook-imported version), are NOT on Facebook and have issues with this cessation of Blogger blogging, feel free to post a comment on this post and I may reconsider.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You never know.

Last year my timetable had me in 2 different classrooms every day (one for math and one for science), both of which were used by only one other teacher all day. The teacher I shared a math classroom with had prep during the one period I taught in there, and got to know the faces of some of my students as she popped in and out of the room now and then and waited for us to clear out so she could get set up for the next period. We got along pretty well, and she complimented me on my board notes several times that year.

This year, that teacher has a couple of the students in her grade 10 math class that I had in that grade 9 math class. When I popped into her room to show her something a couple of days ago, one of those students noticed and loudly piped up, "Hi, Miss!" Later that day, when I popped down to the hospitality department to purchase yummy student-prepared food for my lunch (I *love* having an excellent hospitality department at our school), that same student was there serving food..."Hi, Miss!" In both cases, I smiled, said hi, and carried on with my day...I'm not real chatty with students outside my own classroom, unfortunately, and, well, let's just say my experience with this particular student was not the most pleasant.

Today, when I was chatting with that student's math teacher about this and that, I mentioned being amused at her enthusiasm...and this teacher told me that student has a deep respect for me as a teacher. Huh? *Her?* I sure didn't feel respected by her last year...huh.

Last semester, at parent-teacher night, I had a similar experience with another student...someone who was not doing so hot academically and probably got my unhappy face more frequently than I might have liked for wasting time during class. Pretty much the first thing her mother told me was, "You're her favourite teacher!" Huh? I'm *her* favourite teacher? Really? Don't I give her a hard time and get annoyed with her a lot? Huh.

This semester, I have been pretty sticky about making students use a sign-in sheet when they are late and when they take "washroom" breaks...a policy that I have adopted from multiple teachers in the school (it's got history behind it that we don't need to discuss here). I was mildly shocked one day to see my first instance of swearing at me on one of these sheets, basically telling me to eff off. Of course it was done completely anonymously, and I discussed with another teacher that I had decided to intentionally not address the issue in class...lecturing the whole class was pointless and would probably only lead to an escalation of aggravating incidents. She told me that it was an indication that I probably have a crazy student in my class, because as students have talked in her class she has got the impression that I am generally well-liked. Really? By my students? Even the ones whom I probably make feel my irritation with them on a regular basis? Huh.

Last semester, I commented once to my grade 12 college-preparation-level chemistry class that they were my favourite class (they were...probably partly because the material was more intellectual than the grade 9 and 10 courses I taught the rest of the day and partly because the students were closer to me in age than my grade 9s and 10s and I felt I "clicked" better with them). One student replied, "Why, miss? We're a**holes!" I guess the surprise goes both ways. Huh. Maybe that's something I should fix...students should not be surprised that when all is said and done, their teacher still believes in their potential and likes something about them, even if they are one of those students that seem to be wasting that potential at the moment.

One student from that grade 12 class greeted me warmly today & we chatted for a bit in the hallway (look at that...I guess I do chat with students occasionally)...and that was a student I had to fail. Really? He is not bitter? Huh. Perhaps he was just as surprised that I was not bitter about his failure to get the credit.

I could put some words in here about how you never know what impression you're making on those around you, or about how we are all being watched all the time, and I could probably even tie it into what I talked about during the young adults' service this past Sunday, but I won't. I am just recording some thoughts that were in my head here. Besides, I have an in-school professional development workshop all day tomorrow, and I still have to put together supply teacher material for my grade 10 classes (though I am actually just going to modify another teacher's material, and the prep for my grade 9 class is already done), and it's already 10:00 at night. Part of the reason I try to build in safeguards against procrastination when I assign projects is because I procrastinate so easily myself, heh...

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Bucket List

[Got this from Miriam.] Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then send it to your friends.

Things you have done during your lifetime:
( ) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school [only a few classes, never a full day!]
( ) Watched someone die
(x) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
( ) Been to Florida
( ) Been to Hawaii
(x) Been on a plane
( ) Been on a helicopter
(x) Been lost
( ) Gone to Washington, DC
( ) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored with crayons
(x) Sang Karaoke [but never at a bar/etc., only at friends' houses, in a college lounge, etc.]
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
( ) Made prank phone calls [no, but I have called people & then hung up because of being too nervous to speak]
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe [I think...]
( ) Watched the sunrise with someone
(x) Blown bubbles
(x) Gone ice-skating
(x) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving [nope, but I've been parasailing]
( ) Gone snowmobiling
( ) Lived in more than one country [only for like 3 weeks, so likely doesn't count]
(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets [Camp Saugeen forever!]
(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish
( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
( ) Seen the Statue of Liberty
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
( ) Been on a cruise [I think this means one where you sleep on board, so the various sight-seeing cruises I've been on likely don't count]
( ) Traveled by train
( ) Traveled by motorcycle
(x) Been horseback riding
( ) Ridden on a San Francisco cable car
( ) Been to Disneyworld
(x) Truly believe in the power of prayer
( ) Been in a rain forest
(x) Seen whales in the ocean [six times, and they were so close!!!]
(x) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
( ) Been water-skiing [tried to, but couldn't get up, & then gave up]
(x) Been snow-skiing [I have never heard it called this before...anyway, I am counting cross-country here...gave up too early to get off the bunny hill as far as downhill goes]
( ) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game
( ) Been to a National Football League game
( ) Jumped in the ocean when it was 20 degrees

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More fill-in-the-blank procrastination

Well, look at that, I got sent another one of those fill-in-the-blank things that claims it helps your friends get to know you by telling them such soul-searching stuff as what you're wearing at the moment. Well, I'm in a mood to play along...

1. What is your occupation right now?
High school math and science teacher

2. What color are your socks right now?
Black. I always wear black socks at work unless the laundry situation does not allow it...I know, I know, black socks never get dirty, but I just can't help but wash them anyway.

3. What are you listening to right now?
The fans pumping mass quantities of heated air into my classroom on this coldest day of the year (until tomorrow)

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Trail mix

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes, and do so pretty much every day...I get very confused in an automatic car :S

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Someone from the York University Foundation thanking me for the donation I gave way back before the strike started.

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Well, sure, he's my brother after can't not like someone related to someone as wonderful as me ;).

8. How old are you today?
28 (for another 17 days)

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
Hockey...but I don't even watch that.

10. What is your favorite drink?
Cola (Coca-Cola or Pepsi...I don't usually care which, although I swing one way or another at times)

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
No. Someone told me it would never come back the same and that scared me off.

12. Favorite food?
Does chocolate count?

13. What is the last movie you watched?
I showed my students part of Lion King the other day. You know you're a teacher when you choose the movie based on its curricular relevancy (we just finished studying ecology).
The last movie I saw in the theatre was The Tale of Disappointment--I mean, uh, Desperaux.

14. Favorite day of the year?
My theory. Depends on the year.

15. How do you vent anger? anyone around to hear me?

16. What was your favorite toy as a child?
I spent a lot of time with LEGO, My Little Pony, and Barbie...but I also liked making stuff.

17. What is your favorite season?
Weather-wise, spring, but summer in general. I now have magnets that state the three best things about being a teacher are the month of June, the month of July, and the month of August :).

18. Cherries or Blueberries?

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?
I like e-mails...

20. Who is the most likely to respond?
*shrug* I hate it when these things ask this question. I think it is meant to guilt-trip someone into answering.

21. Who is least likely to respond?
See above.

22. Living arrangements?
Me and the hubby in a basement apartment we rent from my MIL (who lives upstairs with my 2 SILs)...oh, and the in-laws' cats like to spend a lot of time with us, too.

23. When was the last time you cried?
I don't remember. I thought yesterday I was headed for an exhaustion-induced session, but nope.

24. What is on the floor of your closet?
Stuff that has to be washed and then either hung or laid flat to dry rather than being put in the dryer. Why? Because I'm obsessive like that.

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to?
I'm posting this online...that's a little different. The friend I still speak to regularly that I've known the longest is Jen.

26. What did you do last night
Came home, sat in a chair with my laptop on in my lap in order to send an e-mail attachment to a colleague, fell asleep in the chair (not having yet sent the e-mail), woke up, heard hubby wake up from his nap in the other room, sent the e-mail, went to Bible study, came home, dithered around on the Interweb for a bit, went to bed.

27. What are you most afraid of?

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
Cheese. Preferably (brace yourself) processed cheese. With bacon. And some kind of awesome sauce, like the Baconator sauce (oh, wait, I forgot the Wendy's lady told me that's just ketchup and mayo mixed together).

29. Favorite dog breed?
Something with soft fluffy hair, not wiry/bristly hair. And NOT a Jack Russell or anything wtih a comparable energy. And not yappy. That still leaves the field wide open.

30. Favorite day of the week?
Hmm. I guess Saturday, because I like to sleep in. The feeling of anticipating the weekend and then leaving work on Fridays is nice, but I am usually tired/etc. on Fridays.

31. How many provinces have you been in?
I don't think I've been in Alberta yet (Mom will correct me if I'm wrong), and I definitely haven't been to P.E.I. or 7.

32. Diamonds or pearls?

33. What is your favorite flower?
I don't really have one. Roses are nice to get, but they're expensive :P.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One word.

Got this from Emma via e-mail, and since I just finished setting an exam I think I deserve a break to see what this piece of procrastination is all about. Here we go...

Answers can only be one word...

1. Where is your cell phone? Coat

2. Your significant other? Martin

3. Your job? Teacher

4. Shoes you are wearing? Socks

5. Your father? Dad

6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate?

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten

8. Your favorite drink? Cola

9. Your dream/goal? Upwards

10. Room you're in now? Main

11. Your fear? Failure

12. Where you want to be in 6 years? House

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. What you are not? Done

15. Muffins? Yum!

16. One of wish list items? House

17. Where did you grow up? Scarborough

18. The last thing you did? Exam

19. What you are wearing? Grubbies

20. Your tv? Underused

21. Your pet? Shadow

22. Your computer? Maclicious

23. Your life? Busy

24. Your mood? Okay

25. Missing someone? Always

26. Your car? Efficient

27. Something you are not wearing? Shoes

28. Favorite store? Chapters?

29. Favorite color? Blue

30. Favorite place? Home

31. Last time you laughed? Today

32. Last time you cried? Forgotten

33. Who will/would repost this? Unknown

34. Four places I go to over and over again...
(a) Home
(b) Work
(c) Church
(d) Paul's

35. Four people who email me?
(a) Mom
(b) Flylady
(c) Boss
(d) Facebook

36. Four favorite foods?
(a) Chocolate
(b) Sushi
(c) Burgers
(d) Eggs

37. Four places I would rather be right now?
(a) Bed
(b) Dominican
(c) Bahamas
(d) Cuba

Four people you think will respond?
(a) Unknown
(b) Unknown
(c) Unknown
(d) Unknown

Friday, November 14, 2008

Three things about me

So...I'm cheating at this by making this a blog post (which will be imported into Facebook) rather than doing this via e-mail, but that doesn't stop any of you who read this from creating a similar e-mail forward or Facebook note out of it, so I'm still within the intent of the message, right ;)?

Three things about me.....

Three places I have lived: Mom and Dad's (Scarborough), Tyndale College (Toronto), Mother-in-law's basement apartment (Scarborough). Does 3 weeks in Israel and Jordan count?

Three shows that I watch: Heroes, Lost, Battlestar Galactica

Three places I have been: Israel and Jordan (counted as one), North Carolina, several provinces across Canada

Three places I have been this week: church, work, Science Teachers' Association of Ontario conference

Three People who e-mail me regularly: Facebook (e-mail notifications out the wazoo, but I like getting them), the curriculum leader of science at my school, and several e-mail newsletters that I actually intentionally signed up for at one point but now just allow to collect dust in my inbox. I have decided not to take it personally that pretty much no one other than my mom e-mails me to say "Hi" because I know how busy my friends are ('cuz it's not like I often take time out of my day to say "Hi" either :( ).

Three of my favourite foods: Strawberries, sushi, pretty much anything in the "dessert" or "bacon and processed cheese burger" categories

Three people I think will respond: I hate surveys that ask this question. I refuse to answer. Respond if you want to and don't if you don't...if you have to choose, I'd rather get one of those "Hi" e-mails or a phone call than a response to this post.

Now here's what you are supposed to do.....(and please don't spoil the fun)

Hit the forward key, delete my answers and type in your own answers.Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who think they know you. Don't forget to send it back to the person who sent it to you.