Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lazy Afternoons

For the second summer in a row I have chosen to teach summer school in the mornings. So basically I work for 4 hours everyday, 8:30- 12:30. It's a pretty easy gig! Plus I have developed quite the routine for a perfect lazy afternoon.

I come home, walk the dog (I try to go for 30 minutes to an hour depending on the weather and my motivation- it's the only non-laze part of the afternoon usually), watch some TV, read about of my current book and then PRESTO!! I fall asleep on the couch. Now these "catnaps" can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours...but I am not exaggerating when I say I am in a well-developed nap routine!!

Now summer school ends next Thursday, which is going to mean more sleeping in. So I have to ask myself, does this mean the end to my afternoon nap?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's Thought

Today has been full of introspection (is that a word?) and reflection. I am hoping that soon I will be close to some answers...but until then, I will always have quotes to express my mood.

If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quotations

The above picture was posted on another blog today and it captured my interest. I love the idea of what is says. (It was cited as being found via ffffound)

ALSO.....


I found a great quotation today that I feel sums up my life right now.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~ Flora Whittemore


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Living Me to We


I am going to piggy back off a friend's blog today and talk about living in a socially responsible way. My friend blogged about TOMS Shoes today on his blog and I am so happy he did. For just over a year I have been working towards teaching social responsibility to my students in as many ways as possible. And this fits perfectly!

TOMS Shoes is a socially responsible company that has dedicated itself to ensuring children around the world have proper footwear. For every pair of shoes that is purchased from their company, they donate a pair of shoes to a child around the world who needs shoes. What an amazing idea that completely embodies the idea of living "me to we"! I can't wait to get back to school an tell my students all about it.

In fact, it has given me a great idea to do this year with my students on the Me to We team. I want to sit down with them and brainstorm or research all the ideas we can think of that students can live "me to we" on a daily basis. Then we can share with the school and get the movement moving!!

For those of you that are wondering what Me to We is...well it is essentially a social responsibility movement started by Marc and Craig Keilburger who founded Free the Children. It started as a one day/year event just 2 short years ago at Ricoh Coliseum where over 8000 school children where brought together to celebrate the power youth as to change the world. This was called National Me to We Day. National Me to We Day is now in it's 3rd year (2009) and is getting bigger every year. The event has moved from the Ricoh Coliseum to the ACC, where 15 000 students will come together, and there are 2 more events being held in Hamilton and Vancouver!

I had the great opportunity to attend last year with 4 grade 7 & 8 students from my school, and then we brought the movement back to our middle school. This year, I will be going again and taking 13 students with me! The movement is growing. We dedicated ourselves to raising money to build a school in Kenya, which costs $8500.00. We have so far raised just over $4000.00 and hope to reach our goal next year.

Meanwhile, each of us can live more socially responsible each and every day. It can be as simple as a reusable grocery bag, a shirt made from organic cotton, or a pair of TOMS shoes- so both you and a child have something on your feet!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Staying in...

A few nights ago I stayed in on a Friday night and watched movies and TV with a good friend, and I think it was one of the best night I have had in a long time. There's just something nice about hanging out at home, in comfy clothes and rolling with whatever is on TV. It was night of laughs (we watched "Wedding Crashers" and various comedy shows" and had some great conversation. It was all around a comfortable night without expectations and stress. I wish more of those night would come around.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nothing to do....

I am not good at having free, unplanned time. Not good at all. This makes my job as a teacher somewhat difficult when summer hits. Everyone thinks, "Oh!! Two months!! That would be awesome." Well yes, not having to get up everyday (except for the month of July when I have summer school) is AWESOME! But...it does make for some long days with little to do. Remember that everyone else is at work, and you don't have unlimited funds at your disposal.

I really don't want people to think I am complaining about having 2 months off work, because I know how lucky I am. I am merely saying that I am really bad at not working. I think I get it from my father. There are just so many days of watching TV, movies, browsing the Internet, and even..gasp!..reading that I can handle. Plus it gets to the point where I haven't done anything in a while so I don't want to do anything...a vicious cycle if you ask me.

This is why I enjoying teaching summer school. Not only do I get a little extra pay but I have something to do for half of my days in July. I think if I was able I would take some extra classes in the summers as well. Not just AQ's for teaching, but the stuff that I was interested in and never really had the chance to take or couldn't fit into my schedule when I was doing my undergrad. Art history! Sociology! Anthropology! Imagine taking the stuff you want and not really worrying about the marks. (Although, for anyone out there that knows me I, of course, would be worrying about the marks. How did I ever become such a nerd? It boggles the mind, really.)

I love the summer break and I always feel as though it's necessary to take some time to relax and unwind after a long year with my students. Being locked in a room for 6 hours everyday with 30 or so teenagers would drive anyone to the brink. However, there are those fleeting moments when I really wish I had something to do.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sleeplessness

I have long had difficulties with sleeping. These date back a time in my family's history that can go undiscussed, however, I am interested in talking about sleeping, or rather, not sleeping!

Sometimes it can be days and days where my sleeping pattern gets all messed up. I am exhausted and tired during the day, yet when night comes I can barely turn off my whirling thoughts long enough to get any sleep at all. This usually only lasts for a few days before my body shuts itself down and I have an early night to bed!

It makes me wonder why our bodies sometimes won't let us do what we need, like sleep. It is a fact that we need sleep to be healthy functioning people, yet it is my body or mind that is stopping me from getting the rest I need. I wish I could learn how to turn off my thoughts and just fall asleep. My husband puts his head even remotely near the pillow and he is asleep, and my mom says my dad is the same way. He is asleep before his head hits the pillow. So why then is my head a whirling mess when I try to sleep? Maybe it's the pillow?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Visits

I love visiting family and I think it is very important to stay connected with your family.

However.....

I do think it is VERY important to make sure that when you are visiting in Sunday, especially Sunday evenings, that things are planned and dinner is served at an appropriate time. People need to get home on Sundays and have time to relax and plan out stuff before starting work again on Monday, so if you are having someone over for Sunday dinner you need to be prepared to serve dinner early and not be offended if people want to leave to get home at a decent time.

There can't be guilt trips because people want to rest before starting a work week, especially if you yourself don't work. It's just the way things should be!

Saturday nights are the time for late dinners and hanging around after eating, but Sundays are the last moments of freedom before working again.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rain rain go away/ Come again another day...

Rain in the summer is one of my favourite things. There is something special about falling asleep in a tent or a cabin with the rain pattering on the roof. I spent many (many!!) summers at camp and most people would say that rain at summer camp is no one's friend. Of course, most of the activities can't go on. You can't really water ski, or swim in the rain (especially if there is thunder and lightening) but some of my best memories are of rainy days spent in the cabin just bonding and giggling with my girls.

It's a great time to create cabin shirts. I remember a few summers ago when we used stencils to create a special cabin logo on the front and then had all of our names on the back. The many (again many!!) years that I had the littlest girls in camp I have fond memories of rainy afternoons spent giggling over silly 7 year-old humour, impromptu air bands and lip-sync talent shows, fashion shows, puppet shows and general female mayhem. I also remember that rainy days meant a lot more time spent on cabin clean-up the next day!

There was one amazing rainy summer day when I still worked at Circle R Ranch outside of London, ON when my co-counselor had a fabulous idea of taking a walk in the rain. We all put on rain boots, rain suits and went out into the downpour. We rain through puddles, jumped in puddles, slide in the wet grass and generally had a fabulous time. I am not sure the laundry people were too happy with us when they received our cabin's bag of muddy wet clothes, but I hope that it is a memory that my girls will carry with them. There aren't too many places in the world where it is acceptable to run and jump and screech in the rain, but summer camp is definitely one of them!

Sometimes the rain is the only time the kids slow down and pause while they are at summer camp. The time goes by so fast and you want to cram in as much as possible because it's a long 10 months until it comes around again. However, I think a little rain forcing everyone to slow down, pause and really talk to each other is a good thing. Especially the little ones as they need some down time every now and then! A rainy day actually results in "Rest Hour" being restful! If it's sunny they rarely rest of even spend more than a second at the bunk; but when it's raining they will curl up with a book, or even better (!) sleep.

Now that I am no longer going to camp in the summers I am still working out how I feel about rain in the city. So far this summer it has cancelled 2 rounds of golf and countless baseball games for me. Strange that the rain seems to create less to do in the city than at camp, one would think the opposite would be more true. A few rain days sprinkled in is alright because it makes one feel less guilty about lounging on the couch, but this year has already seen more than it's share of rain. I want to come home from summer school and sit outside in the yard, enjoying the sun. If this rain keeps up I am going to start wishing summer school lasted all day so at least I could be getting paid to be indoors all day.

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe