Wednesday, May 31, 2006

You know you need more sleep when...

I was just leaving a friend's place this evening after dropping something off. I got in my car, and did the normal routine. Sat down, buckled up, dealt with the club, turned the car on, and went to drive out of my parking space on the street in front of my friend's appartment. It wasn't until the handle of my club THUNKed against my windshield that I realized I had put it ON my steering wheel and then had tried to drive away.

I am going to bed now.

Just a reminder to go check out my tenant/blog of the week! ---->

Blog of the week - My Pink Diary *UPDATED*

Well, after having that little "Rent my Blog" icon sitting empty over there on my side bar for faaar too long, I finally decided to do something about it. The very first bid I got was from Kailani over at My Pink Diary.

See that pink box over there on the sidebar, right below my photo? 'At's right... go click on it! The box is a link to her blog, and you won't be disappointed. She's a mommy of two girls, a flight attendant, and lives in Hawaii. Makes for some pretty great stories! Go check her out! Quick! What are you still doing here?

Aaaah. My apologies to you Firefox users. My sidebar was a dog's breakfast. Everything should be up now, including (finally!) the link to My Pink Diary. Sorry, Kailani!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Why I do what I do

One of the grade three teachers at my school gave her kids the assignment of writing a letter. It could be to anyone, about anything. Lots of kids wrote about their week, what they do at school, etc. Well, the teacher showed me a few of these letters. One in particular caught my eye because it contained my name. Here's what I read (click the picture for a larger view):

And on Wednesday we went to music. Our music Teacher was Mrs. ____.* We always get to play on the xlyophone. Thats why I like music class so much. Also I feel bit dizzy when I go to music because I am so excited to go. The xlyophone I like going is the metallic xylophone. I like it because it is just like a clock that does dinnnnggggggg! And another thing I like about it is the colour silver. It reminds me of my mom keeping a silver necklace in her small pocket. Also I feel confused when I say "I'm B and he says I'm B".** The thing I like the most is the mallets. Mallets are stick with a white ball on top stuck to it. And I like it because when I scratch it, it itches me. And when I feel it it is soft and ab it smooth.
Awww! He's dizzy with excitement when he comes to my class! But I think maybe he needs a review on what the mallets are used for!

Gotta love them kidlets!
* Nope, I'm not suddenly a "Mrs." Miss, Ms, Mrs... it's all the same to the kids! Just wanting to clarify! ;-)
** We don't have enough xylophones for everyone, so I get the kids to pair up and decide who's A and who's B. Then I choose partner A or B to start off on the instruments while the other one waits their turn

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Not as young as I once was

"What am I, eighty???"

This is a question I've been asking nobody in particular these past few weeks as I've been getting increasingly more frustrated with all the whining and complaining my body has been doing lately.

I am NOT getting older. No! Never!! I will not have it!!!

Ever since my car accident in November (yeah yeah, I'm sorry, I refer to it a lot), I've been SO frustrated with my body. It aches, it creaks, it moans, it cracks. Ugh!

Before the accident, I was actually in an ok state of fitness (well, for me, anyway!). I was jogging, going to to the gym, hiking, just generally getting out and being active. That of course had to stop as I was dealing with whiplash (that and it was the winter time, a generally less active time for lots of people). About three months of not doing much got me out of the habit pretty quick, so when the doc finally said it was ok to slowly ease back into my routines, well, it took another six weeks or so before I actually did anything about it.

Basically I got sick of feeling like a fat lazy slug.

So I went for a run. Forty minutes, right off the bat. I thought I was going to die. BUT, I also felt great. Till the next day. My whiplash, which I was barely feeling the effects of anymore, was back with a vengeance, baby. My back was tight. It ached. I couldn't sit for long periods of time, I couldn't stand for long periods of time. And it kinda was my own dang fault. Crappity crap crap. So I stopped again for a few weeks, let my body recover.

Again, the fat lazy slug thing got me up at at 'em. Granted, a bit slower this time. I showed my face at the gym again, and took to slightly shorter runs. It was good. I was getting into the routine. I ran a few 5km runs, and felt great.

That is, until the day I ran about 5km then went for an 8km walk later that evening. My legs were kind of sore afterwards. Specifically my left calf. It ached. And it didn't go away. For a week and a half. I started doing some research and asking around, and lo and behold...

I have given myself shin splints.


Back to doing hardly anything again. I've been going to the gym, but have only been able to do about half the things on the circuit. Grrrr!!! I just want to get up and go!

I need to start slower, I realize that. But last night, as I was telling some friends of my woes (ah, how much patience my friends have with me!) my friend Laura pointed out: "We're not as young as we used to be."

And she's right.

Oh dear.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just to see 'em squirm

Last week I met some girlfriends in a park nearby my house to hang out, chat, and share a carton of gelato. Mmmm... Through a series of rather random events, my friend Rebecca and I ended up at a choir rehearsal in the community center next door singing the names of several cheeses in operatic voices with a couple of guys we met in the park.*

Yeah, I know. Welcome to my life.

Well I, being the music teacher I am, thought this song would be peeerfect for a few of my primary classes. I made mental note of the words, and Rebecca and I sung it to each other over the phone a few times over the weekend (I love my kooky friends!) and I was all set to teach it to my kids today.

Senooo-o-o-o-oooo-o-o-o-ooo-oore, senior-iii-iii-na
Mozzarella, parmigiana, pescatore, pizza pie,
Mozzarella, parmigiana, pescatore, pizza pie, buh-dum-boum

They had the tune. They had the words. But the emotion! Ah, it was sadly lacking. They were just a bunch of singing lumps on the carpet! I wanted them to get their voices and entire bodies to portray a deep feeling when they were singing this song (can we say, dramatic exercise?), so we talked about opera, and how it was intensely emotional.

"People aren't just happy," said I, pausing to smile weakly at them, "they're HAPPY!" I flung my head back, shot my arms in the air, arched my back, and raised myself up on my tippie-toes.

A little louder now, I told them, "People aren't just sad," as my eyes turned downward and I stuck out my lower lip ever so slightly, "they're SAD!" I rolled my shoulders forward and let my head drop. As my hands fell to my side, I let out a heavy sigh and let my face feel the weight of all the sorrow I was trying to convey.

Still louder, I continued. "People aren't just mad." I frowned at the class. "They're MAD!" And with that, I scowled my fiercest scowl, lunged at them, one foot forward and my fists up and ready to fight. A few of them squealed and scurried backwards on the carpet.

"And of course... do you remember what 'seniore' meant?"

"Sir!" "Mister!" They all called out variations on what I had told them.

"And 'seniorina?' "

"Mrs!" "Maam!"

"Ah Haaa! Well, In opera, we can't forget about one veeeery important emotion! People aren't just in love, they're IN LOOOOVE!" One hand on my heart, I threw my head back and raised the back of my hand to my forehead... which point the entire class of eight year olds scrunched up their noses and cried, "EEEEWWWWWW!!!!!"

Some raised their shoulders to their ears in disgust, some covered their ears, and some physically turned around to avoid the horror of even thinking about those cootie-laden creatures of the opposite sex. One boy mimicked ramming his finger down his throat and made loud gagging noises.

I got them to show emotion all right!

Ah, how I love horrifying my students with my antics! Giggle giggle!

* ok, ok, so Rebecca knew them, but it just wouldn't sound as good if I had told you that, now would it? ;)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

I saw you... *updated*

That "I saw you" section of the classifieds has always creeped me out intrigued me. Some dude sees a pretty girl on the bus, they make eye contact or share a flirty smile. He wants to contact her somehow, so he takes out a classified ad in despearate hope she might see it. Some might call it romantic. I just call it creepy. Anyone got any stories involving an "I saw you" ad? Met their spouse that way or something crazy like that?

Well, I'm gonna suck it up and put an "I saw you" type ad right here on my lil' blog. Um, except it's not quite in the same context as the one I described above. Ok, it's not in that context at all.

I was looking at one of the blogs on my blogroll the other day and came accross a blog called "Thoughts on a Napkin" or something like that. It had a vase and a napkin with the title written on it placed among the flowers as the title picture. I read a few posts and really liked it, so I kept the window open meaning to come back to it later, but my dumb computer had a spaz and shut down on me. Now I can't remember for the life of me who had it on their blogroll. I've tried searching for it on google's blogsearch, but haven't seen it.

So... anyone know the blog I'm talking about? Would you be so kind as to leave it in my comments? Thanks in advance! :)

Yay! Anne from A little bit crazy pointed me in the right direction. Anne's the bestest! Go over and say hello. For a good chuckle, check out her series on Lily and Smacky! It made me giggle!

The blog I was looking for is called Notes On A Napkin. Katrina's "about" blurb is one of the best I've ever read (just below her picture). Her Lessons from Mom post is really touching. And plus, she links to Savage Chickens and Homestar Runner... she MUST be cool! :D

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Parlez-vous francais?

I always enjoyed French classes in high school. I took French right to grade 12, and then when I registered for university, I decided to take first year French, too. First year French turned into second year French plus a French lit course, which eventually turned into a full blown major. Grammar, translation, phonetics, composition, linguistics, history, liturature, civilization... you name it, I probably did courses in it.

I decided on my major in part because I enjoyed learning a language, but in part because it afforded me lots of variety in the types of courses I took. I loved my classical studies courses, my religious studies courses, my anthopology, astromomy, chemistry, and math courses (ok, no, actually, I hated the math courses), but I didn't want to take as many of any of those as was required for a major. But French? Within the French major, there was so much variety. So I went for it, and filled the rest of my degree with as many different courses as I could.

After I graduated, I decided to go to Chicoutimi, Quebec to do a five week language program. Hey, why not? Becuase of Canada's 2-official-lanuages policy, the government has all kinds of programs to encourage people to learn either English or French. Like the summer language bursary program. Five weeks of language school, staying with a host family, all classes, activities, accomodation and meals paid for. By the government. Yee haw! What I lacked in oral skills in French from uni (that's one area in which my university really sucked!), I picked up in Quebec.

Now that's not to say I'm fluent. No way, no how. But I can carry on a conversation all right. Except when I stumble over not knowing the right words or make terrrible grammar mistakes. Eep! It's all fine and dandy when I'm teaching in French (the kids don't usually notice my mistakes, cause they're not quite there yet, thankfull!) or when I'm talking to other anglophones in French.

But talking to francophones? Yikes. I hate it. I bumble and stumble and mumble and jumble and can't find the right word and make super dumb I-totally-know-how-to-say-that-but-it-just-didn't-come-out-right type mistakes. And all allong in my head, I'm thinking, French is their first language. They're totally noticing all the mistakes I'm making. They must wonder how I'm even able to teach in French without butchering it, or totally messing the kids up... The first year I taught at my school, I didn't teach the French immersion kids, so some of the French teachers didn't even know I spoke the language till I got their kids the next year!

That's totally ridiculous, I know. I think it's a phobia or something. I really need to get over it!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


  • for the sunshine on my face
  • for strawberries and brie and sourdough baguettes
  • for my sister and a great morning spent catching up
  • for the opportunity to take a grade 5 class next year, right when I needed the change
  • for the theatre and the plays I've enjoyed all year
  • for the lilacs I pass every time I go out or come home
  • for my parents, who as of yesterday have been happily married for 33 years (Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, I love you!)
  • for friends who love me and are always there for me (may I do the same for you)
  • for those students who keep me sane and remind me why I'm a teacher (and even for the ones who make me question it)
  • for a God who doesn't give up on me, ever

Monday, May 08, 2006

Kinda dim - stories of me and my monitor (updated)

Anyone got about $400* $300 they wanna give me? ... You? Ok, great!


I need a new computer monitor. Badly. This one is sooo old. I've already had to adjust some crazy setting so that it doesn't emit a high pitched squeal any time it's turned on. But that means that the screen kinda flickers. I don't notice it so much, but friends have asked me how on earth I deal with it. I just shrug my shoulders. I dunno. But the worse part is, as I recently found out, it makes all my pictures (and yours!) show up really dark. I just thought it was my camera (umm... and... all of your cameras, too... oh boy, I'm not too swift, am I?), and so over the last year or so I have spent HOURS (oh brother I don't even want to think about the hours I spent) "fixing" the colour on my photos. Lighten here, change contrast there, fill flash, brighten.... only to find out that... DUH! It was my monitor. Aaaaaand that all those pics I've posted on my Flickr account? Yeah, they're all heinously washed out. BLAH! I wanna cry! And kinda kick myself for being so dumb! :P

PLUS, a new monitor would fix the twizzled back issue I have with my knees going under the desk on one side, and my monitor being on the other. There's no room for the monitor and the keyboard to be in front of each other on my desk. And so I sit kinda sideways and twisted. And my chiropractor yells at me.

I went to Future Shop today and oogled the whole wall of LCD monitors. I might have drooled a little. Time to start saving some more pennies!

* Paul pointed out in the comments that my estimate was kinda high. He totally blew my cover! I was trying to take you for soem extra cash! Muah hahaaa! Well, ok, maybe not. I was just (badly) estimating on the taxes, warranties, etc. Heck, I'll take the $300, too!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Up Gold Creek without a paddle

Good thing we weren't in a boat. :P

It officially feels like summer should be here. Now. It's sunny and beautiful outside, I'm so ready to be finished teaching, the kids are ready to be done, too, and are starting to go a little squirrley, and this weekend I got a little taste of what I want to spend a whooole lot of time this summer doing: camping!

I went with my friend Michael, who goes camping a lot and is set up with all the gear. We had both had somewhat crazy weeks so he invited me to head up to one of his favourite camping spots in Golden Ears Park, about an hours drive out of Vancouver. We hiked in and set up camp right beside the river underneath a spectacular snow-covered mountain. It was sooo beautiful!

I had heard that there was going to be rain Friday overnight and Saturday morning - exactly the time we were going to be gone - but we went anyway, and Friday night it actually was clear enough to see the stars. There's just something about being out in the middle of nowhere under the stars and falling asleep - in separate tents, don't worry, mom! ;-) - to the sound of the river. Aaahhhhh...

I should really go camping every weekend. It would do my stress level good!

More pictures can be found here!