Friday, September 30, 2005

A New Blogger Trend?

Come on now, I know you have one. That photo of you as an awkward gunky teenager or pre-teen. Show it off! I wanna see! Ellen posted hers, which reminded me that I have a photo like that on my computer, too. And I'll bet so do you. Go on, post it!

Dah da-da daaaaahhhhhh.....

All I can say is, mom made me wear the jacket, I hated pink and shoulder pads. I had a big gap in my front teeth and didnt like to smile with open lips. And the glasses. Oh the glasses. They're even moderately straight in that picture. That wasn't usually the case! Gotta love the eighties!

Boy I'm glad I grew out of that gunky teen phase.

Eeerrrrr..... yeeeah. I'm out of the teen phase, anyway. ;)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sick Days

*cough hack sputter snurf*

What??? A post at 9 am? On a school day? How can this be?

I'm home sick. I should have been home sick on Monday and Tuesday, too, but I went to school. Why? I was thinking about sick days as I was driving back home today after going in early today to write out my lesson plan for my sub. I always feel guilty taking them.

Am I really so sick that I have to miss work? Other teachers are sick, too, but they're still working. Dayquil's pretty good. Maybe I could just drug myself up and push my way through the day.

I always feel so guilty staying home. I worry about what others will think and wonder if I should have just pushed my way through the day. My logic brain tells me this is silly. How am I supposed to get better if I don't rest? And why go to work and make others sick, too? But logic brain gets drowned out by doubting brain.

Work work work! Not feeling well? Suck it up, princess! Why is it that our culture or our society has so ingrained in us the idea that to call in sick is to be weak? That we should ignore our health and just keep working?

Now I have all day to contemplate those questions.

Or maybe I'll snuggle into bed with a big mug of hot water with honey and lemon. I think that sounds like a better plan.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

No iron deficiency here

This is what happens when you crash a boys night out.

Having not even spoken to any of my friends all week (I was at grade 7 camp, I'll update about that another time), tonight I was up for some company. I ended up calling Dave and Jordan to see what they were up to. They were headed out with their friend Neil for some dinner and then something afterwards (which, really, let's be serious: it's Dave we're talking about, so "something" meant playing Settlers of Catan) so they invited me along. They were dead set on Chinese, but by the time we firmed up plans we were going to Sambas, a Brazillian BBQ downtown.

This place is definitely a dining event. (But you'd better be hungry. And not a vegetarian.) There is live music, Brazillian dancers and martial artists, and servers walking around with every kind of meat you can imagine on giant skewers who come to your table and carve you as little or as much meat as you want. It's all you can eat meat. The meal also comes with the 'salad bar,' which I suppose has lettuce if you count what the bowls are lined with. This is one serious salad bar. Potato salads, pasta salads, yam salads, couscous salads, chickprea salads, fried bananas, guacamole, onion rings, (to only name a few) and of course, platters and platters of meat. At the salad bar. Ham, roast beef, black bean soup with beef, fish, prawns, chicken... and on and on it goes.

When we first sat down, the server brought over a set of tongs each and a meat signal card. Oh yes. You know a place that has tongs as one of its main utensils is very, very serious about meat. And then the signal card. As long as it's on the green side, they'll keep coming with meat. When you can't take it anymore, or you want a break, you flip it over the the red side and they'll pass you by (passover?).

We feasted on many many meats tonight. Silliness abounded (come on, three guys and endless meat? They were in heaven!) and we had a great time! Neil won the meat award for the night, hand down. This guy just didn't say no every time more meat came by. We had beef: ribs, strip loin, sirloin, sirloin tip, brazillian beef, and probably more cuts that I can't remember now. We had buffalo, lamb, pork, veal, sausages, and prawns. We'd been eating for about an hour when Dave started rubbing his eyes. We figured the pressure he was feeling was meat blindness setting in. Ah, meat blindness. Jordan said he felt like he had a bleeding lip (most of the meat was medium rare, I'd say, so lots of juice. After a while, all you could taste was the juice).

After two trips to the 'salad' bar and rounds and rounds of meat (Jordan figured he and Dave had eaten a pound and a half of meat or so each. Neil had way more. I had way less. But still more than any one person should have in one sitting. Ever.), we were wondering how we were going to walk out of there. Should Dave even be driving? Drunk on meat? But still, Dave had heard that there was cornish hen available, and we hadn't seen that yet. So he asked for it, and the four of us shared two cornish hens. But that's it. We were done. No more meat. We were about to ask for the bill when another server came up with a skewer we hadn't seen yet. "Chicken wrapped in bacon?" he asked. Suuure! Aaarrggg...

After the chicken, that was it. Even Neil flipped his meat signal card to "I give up." We were done.

And I'm pretty much set for meat for the next month.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I must be crazy!

In a few short hours I'm off to camp. Grade 7 camp, to be specific. Five days in Squamish with 100 twelve and thirteen year olds. And I volunteered for this?!?!?!

Actually, I'm looking forward to it. I've taught music to most of these kids for two years now, so I kinda know them. They're good kids, most of them, but there are a few rough ones in the bunch, too (as one of the teachers at my school puts it, "They're not bad kids, they're broken kids." No child should have to go through what some of these kids do).

Because I only teach these kids for 40 minutes a week, sometimes all I feel I do is yell at them. That's not true, but it sure feels like it sometimes. I'm looking forward to getting to know these kid better and to building positive relationships with them that will hopefully carry through the rest of the year. I'm also hoping to let these kids know that I care about them. I want them to know that they are valued. I want them to catch a glimpse of God's love for them through me (Ok, God, you're gonna have to get me out of the way to do that!). I'm hoping, too, to get to know the other teachers I'm going with, too, and for them to get to know me a little more, too.

I really want people to see God's love in me. If you are someone who believes in prayer, please pray for me this week! I would really appreciate it!

I'll be back on Friday afternoon, I'm sure with lots to blog about! Have a great week!


Apparently this is still a confused word for me.

I have been living on my own for... [counting on my fingers] ... wow. Six years now. I have been at my place now for exactly three. I feel like my place is home. I still refer to my mom and dad's place as 'home' sometimes, but I would say overall, 'home' is my own place.

That's sort of a wierd shift for me. It's strange going home (there I go again... I mean to mom and dad's) and not totally feeling like I belong there. I don't have a bedroom there anymore, and I don't always remember where things are. When I'm helping to unload the dishwasher, I often have to ask where things go in the kitchen.

Even more strange is coming home, er, to mom and dad's, and having the first person I see be someone I've never met before. My parents are part of a homestay program for a few language schools in town, so there is almost always at least one student from Japan or Germany or Brazil or any number of other countries staying there. Sometimes I walk in (I do still have a housekey!) and the new student looks at me like, "Who are you?" (They're not always that attentive to photos on the walls, etc). I feel like saying, "Hi, I'm Hillary. I live here."

Except I don't.

I realized this past week that this issue of 'home' is more confused for me than I thought it was. As I've mentionned, my friend Cathy from Australia is staying with me right now while she's finishing up her ocupational therapy practicum. Other than her staying with me, I've never had a roommate, so the only reason I've had to phone my house is to occasionally leave a reminder voicemail for myself.

The other day I was grocery shopping and wanted to know if Cathy wanted me to pick anything up. So, I got out my cell to call home. And that's exactly what I did. I dialed the number without even thinking, and after two rings, I got a voice I was definitely not expecting.

"Uh.... hi, Dad."

I had called home.

We had a good chuckle about this and then I did what I meant to do in the first place: call home.

Now this makes for a cute story, but it's not exactly blogwothy in and of itself. However, the story's not over. (Hillary? Tell a short story? Neeeever!)

Cut to last Friday afternoon. I was preparinng for my substitute teacher who will be there all week while I'm at Grade 7 Camp. It was taking longer than I had expected and Cathy and I had plans for the evening. I needed to call her to ask her to get dinner started so we could eat before we went out.

The command went from my brain to my fingers: Call Home. One ring later, "Um... hi, mom."

I laughed at myself and told her how I ended up sounding confused and talking to her instead of Cathy. She then then told me that she thought I was calling to wish my dad happy birthday. AAAHHHH! Which also meant that I had forgotten to call her on her birthday three days earlier. But that level of "I'm a bad bad daughter" guilt requires it's very own post.

'Home' is not a cut and dry word for me, apparently. I guess on some level, mom and dad's will always be home. It's where I grew up, it's where my family is. It looks like I'm in for a few more confused phone calls 'home.' And I'm ok with that.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A new addiction

Maybe it was the huge gap in skill level between me and my friends that but a bad taste in my mouth, or maybe I just wasn't ready for it, but this Friday I became hooked on a strategic board game that was (is?) all the rage in Germany... The Settlers of Catan. Oh yes, my friends. Wood, sheep, ore, wheat, and brick... settlements and roads and cities... and, heaven forbid, the THIEF. I'm gonna have to get this out of my system.

I had played Settlers (Zeidler) a few times before with my friends from university, but they all had played it WAY more than I had, and had moved on to the expansion packs (Cities and knights and Seafarers) which makes the game infinitely more complicated. Not a good scene for someone just trying to learn the game.

But Friday night was a whole different story. I was playing with three other people who had never played (which meant I had a t least a bit of an advantage!). And guess what? I WON! I know it's jsut a board game, but holy smokes! A strategy game? Me?!?! YEAHOO!

I went on to the champoinship round (yes, it was a Settlers tournament. Man, I'm such a nerd. But so are my friends who I was with, so it's ok. I'm ok with being a nerd as long as I'm not alone! :P ). But my how this round was different. I was playing with Jason, who was totally new to the game; Dave, whose game it was and he's more addicted than I am; John, a Settlers fanatic; Jordan, a board game KING (don't EVER play Monoploly with Jordan. Ever.), and Lars, who is GERMAN.

Hmm... German game. German guy. Guess who won? Guess who lost miserably? Oh well, I'm hooked now. Which is good, cause so is Dave. We jsut have to hook one more person and we're off to the races.

Who will be the next LOOOORD OF CATAN?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Take the Lake, Kill the Hill, Drag the Bag

One week down, 39 to go!

Well, I made it through the first week! My job is kind of strange in that I don't really get new kids every year like classroom teachers do (I'm the music teacher), I jsut get the same kids, but all shuffled around into newe classes and one year older. (I've already made a few mistakes calling the new grade 4's grade 3's, or grade 6's grade 5's. That's such a dis to a kid! Oops!) But that makes it kind of hard to feel like it's a fresh start in the music room. Many of these kids have had me for two full years already, and they figure they know the drill. I still lay down the law anyway. Or at least I will next week.

On the first day, I told two of the grade 7 teachers that I wanted to go to camp. Every year, the third week of September, teh 7's go to camp for a week. It's kid of like and outdoor school. They do different activities like canoeing and orienteering and the like. It's also a great chance for them to bond as a class before they go off to high school and to gain some self-confidence. Maybe I'm crazy, but I want to go. I only see my students 40 minutes a week, and so I don't get to know them very well. This group of grade 7's this year are particularily challenging, and I'd like to get to know them and build a bit of a relationship with them, so I'm not just the meanie music teacher who yeall at them for 40 minutes a week. Plus, I really admire teh way the grade 7 teachers deal with their kids. They are no-nonsense, but also quite engouraging and empowering. I want to see that in action.

I found out on Thursday that it's go! My principal will hire a sub for me for the week, and I'm headed off to camp. My job will be camp songs (among other things). It's gonig to be so fun! I'm gonna make them sing (and do actions for!) all kinds of silly songs.

My eyes are dim I can not see...
I said a boom chicka rrrocka chicka rrrocka chicka boom...
Let me see your funky chicken / What's that you say?
On top of spaghetti...

And so on.

One of the daily happenings at grade 7 camp is the morning physical activity. It starts at 7 am, and everyone MUST participate. It's called Take the Lake, Kill the Hill, Drag the Bag. In take the lake, they go swimming. In Kill the Hill, they go for an uphill run. And Drag the Bag? The Youth and Family Worker goes to camp, too, and Drag the Bag is where they go for a walk and talk with her. They drag her along for a walk. Hee hee! Just so long as *I* don't end up running that activity!!!

Does anyone know any good camp songs I could use up there? Leave them in the comments! I'll be grateful forever!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The hours are quickly sliding away... I'll be walking through those big blue doors in nine and a half hours.

God has SO blessed me with this job, and as much as I joke about not wanting to go back, I'm SO grateful that I landed at the school I did. It's fabulous. And the fact that I even got a contract basically right out of school is such a blessing. It's my THIRD year at the same school, too.

Here's to another year, some new faces, great colleagues, great kiddos, a fresh start.

Big breath, and here we go...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My Wishlist

I feel kinda weird putting this up... but it's probably an easy way for the fam to see my wishlist (and for me not to forget what I'm wishing for! ;) my birthday is a-comin' (February 2)! I don't expect ALL this stuff, of course, it's just a suggestion list!

  1. 'Tarn 3' tent (from MEC, new or used)
  2. Camp Stove (for backpacking) and dishes
  3. Hiking Pack (I will have to shop with you for that one!)
  4. Gift certificate to Mountian Equipment Co-op or anything from my wishlist there
  5. New bedding
  6. Gift certificate to IKEA
  7. A haircut! :P (gift certificate to Hype?)
  8. Gift certificate to House of James
  9. Gift certificate to Jacob Connection

CD Wish list

  1. Paul Brandt: This Time Around (Country)
  2. Keith Urban: Be Here (Country)
  3. Carolyn Dawn Johnson: Dress Rehearsal (Country)
  4. Casting Crowns: Lifesongs (Christian)
  5. Laurell Hubick: The Fool in Me (Christian?)
  6. Garden State (Soundtrack)