Important Puppy News (sorry Mum!)

Back at it again…

I had a rather good school holiday break. I caught up with friends, went to a few new events and was able to recharge for the new term. Definitely didn’t do as much school work over the break that was necessary, but again, my own fault and something that I will work hard to catch up on this week (thank goodness for DOTTS and being part time!)

Probably my biggest news of the last few weeks (pretty sad, I know, ha) was that I made the decision to get a puppy! I finally realised that hey, I am a grown adult who no longer needs permission if she wants to get a puppy. Except, you know, the permission of the owners/real estate agent of where she is renting.

I have a general list of the breeds of dogs I would like, but I think what’s most important is a dog that I connect with. I’m not saying that if I connect with an St Bernard that I will take it home (unfortunately while I have always wanted one, my yard is much, much too small) but that to me is more important than it being a pure bred anything. At the moment I’m looking at bulldog/spaniel sized dogs; big enough to hold its own and be a good cuddle, but small enough to fit through the existing pet door at my house (as well as small enough that she won’t get bored in my little yard). I’d also like her to be resilient enough to be able to be home alone; as a teacher while I do get regular holidays I am at school roughly 7.30-4. I had the idea that when I do get a dog, I would get it at the start of school holidays so I have that two weeks (or six weeks depending) to bond and get her acclimated to my house and me.

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Chewy looks like this. I’m in love. 

One of the ladies at work brought her ruby King Charles Cavalier in today, and I have fallen in love with her. Her name is Chewbacca and her fur is exactly the colour of Chewbacca! One of my best friends has had Boston terriers and bulldogs for years so I’m used to them as well (on my list, but NOT those ridiculous tiny French bulldogs that are in vogue of late). My grandpa had a Pomeranian that only passed away a few months ago at the age of 16 and while she certainly was a feisty little dog, I don’t know if that was her or if it was the temperament of the breed.

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My granny and grandpa’s Pomeranian Sally Spectra. Yes, my grandmother named her after the fabulous Bold and the Beautiful character. 

My oldest friend is a vet nurse who has a gigantic heart that wants to take home all the sick animals that come into her clinic. She has been waiting for me to get my own pet for as long as I’ve known her (which is almost all my life, literally. I do not actually remember not knowing her!) and when I told her that I had a cat (technically housemate’s cat) that I picked up and everything, she thought it was the funniest thing ever! M knows me as an animal-friendly person who has never really had a pet of my own. We had a budgie and hermit crabs when I was younger, and I was always at M’s house with her dog, cat, rabbit, fish and birds. Her cat in fact was the only one that I willingly pet and was affectionate towards; when I was little I pulled the tail of my cousins’ cat who reacted accordingly (with claws) and ever since I have had a healthy respect and distance towards cats. Tom, my housemate’s cat, is an attention seeking sook who wants to be the centre of the universe so when I first started going to my friend’s house, Tom would make himself familiar to me, sometimes against my will! He would curl around my legs, jump up on me, rub himself on me. I remember one time I was lying down and all of a sudden BAM! Cat on my face. Now that I live with him he quite literally is my child., with all the attention and care I give him. When I first moved in he would pat his paws all over me and my stuff, and when I asked about it J said that Tom was “claiming [me, I’m] his mother now.” Which, awww, but for someone who was decidedly NOT a cat person, Tom has turned me into a cat person. Or perhaps just a Tom person. Either way, it has gotten to the stage that I know I will be more upset over Tom moving out than my best friend/housemate J moving away from me.

BUT getting back on track. My vet nurse friend M is very excited to come puppy shopping with me, though she also said “I’m super excited for you and it’ll come when the time is right. You’ll just be so smitten with her wherever she is”

So whoever she is I know I will be super excited. “Puppy” has been on my birthday and Christmas lists consistently every year. Not every year when I was a child, every year including this year. I’m very excited now about the possibilities and having a new fur baby. And definitely not Googling “are frangipanis toxic to dogs?” instead of working. Definitely not.

Hit me up with great puppy breeds, or tips. This frangipani thing is flummoxing!

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Friday Five: Term 1 at a new school

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While my lovely year 12s are on the computers in the library, and I am taking a break from the bottomless pit that is my marking, I thought I would reflect on what I am grateful about on this, the last day of school.

Being at a new school I was nervous initially about fitting in, about getting back to upper school after a year immersed (and I mean IMMERSED) in lower school students. I didn’t know if I was good enough to teach alongside a “proper” English department (last year me and my colleague were pretty much ignored and alone in planning/reporting/assessing despite having three well-experienced English teachers at the school). I worried about my ability to handle challenging behaviour management issues and trying to keep my emotions in check while getting to know students.

I have loved my first term at my new school. The kids I teach (admittedly on the better side of our school’s standard) are for the most part wonderful, and even the most troublesome ones have never been malicious or nasty. The staff are amazing, greeting you happily whenever they see you and always checking that I am getting on okay. My English department is beyond amazing. The Head of Learning Area has been so kind and generous in making sure myself and E (fellow grad/newbie to the school) are getting all the help, opportunities and resources that we need. Colleagues are always willing to give advice on problem students, re-read assignments to help figure out grading and all around offering support.

The kids, especially my year 12s, have been beyond expectations. Here are a couple of my favourite moments from my kids this term.

  1. One of my years 12s A started playing music after we finished working one day, turned out to be one of my favourite songs EVER. Same thing happened the next lesson, and when he was in charge of the Friendship Week music playing at recess. It’s as if he has taken the playlists directly off my phone, and I listen to some pretty obscure and uncommon 90s and 2000s hip hop/R&B/rap/soul.
  2. Every Tuesday afternoon with my year 12s having to allocate 5-10 minutes at the end for “Walking Dead Talk.” It’s a lot of fun for me, but also as a teacher kind of funny seeing kids who claim they can’t do essays and have trouble analysing texts, spout off diatribes about who Negan killed and was Glenn really dead and look at the symbolism of certain props, characters, sounds and gestures. #everythingisenglish
  3. Assigning my year 8 ACE (academic achievement/extension) class autobiographies, and then reading them and learning so much about my kids. Also seeing some of the lesser engaged ACE kids pull out autobiographies of an insane level, well beyond what they appeared to be capable of. I say it all the time to kids; you write better when you are writing about what you know and love, and this assessment was perfect for my class in that regard.
  4. The moment at the start of the term when I assigned my ACE class homework to post on a discussion what their favourite books were, and upon reading the responses realising that I had a class that (mostly) loved to read and loved to read similar books to me. And when I took them to the library for silent reading for the first time and they sat reading for an hour, uninterrupted and silent. This is after a year of trying to do the same at my old school with rarely any success.
  5. Doing an in class essay with my year 10s, and while most of them couldn’t be f-ed doing anything, watching those who had done their notes and tried their hardest connect the dots and write their first essay. AND then reading the essay of my favourite year 10 F, who had impeccable notes and finished her essay in one lesson, and who wrote so lyrically about theme and the loss of innocence and characters, and linking to other texts. I literally clutched it to my chest when I say what she had written.

 

Hope you have a wicked last day of school teacher friends!

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Hell is teaching in a heatwave with no power..

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The power went out at school yesterday, leaving more than 1000 teachers and students suffering in a 40+ degree day with no air-conditioning.. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of being around young adults during hot weather, but there are two things main things to know:

  1. They do absolutely no work whatsoever
  2. They smell. 

Continue reading Hell is teaching in a heatwave with no power..

New start, new ride

Just a quick one on this glorious Wednesday!

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Today was my first day at a brand new school. Last year I formed a pretty significant bond with my advisory as part of the Big Picture Education pedagogy, and I was dreading having to leave them and start fresh. I’ve never been a big fan of change, and I had settled in so well at my old school that I ended up in a panic on the drive down to my new school this afternoon.

However my old school was nowhere near perfect (it is solely the familiarity and the students that have me missing it). So as soon as I got all my induction information and realised that I could finally be in an environment where I could learn and not have as much premature responsibility as at all my previous schools, I was a LOT happier. I loved being a part of a Big Picture school because of the emphasis on knowing your students and having a strong relationship with them, which is one of my biggest strengths as a teacher by far. My relationships with those kids were some of the best in the school, and I am very proud that in my farewell speech my line manager told everyone how I was a big sister figure for the disengaged kids especially,and that I was frequently the only one they responded to and would complete work for. Even now it brings me to prideful tears thinking how far I was able to bring those kids, though they are coupled with fearful tears knowing some of those same kids will go backwards without someone investing that same amount in them as I did.

As great as my student relationships were though, the staff were another story. Not dissimilar to my previous two schools, often I was left to my own devices with a huge amount of responsibility for someone only two years into her careers. The English department was nonexistent both in support and function. I would have my reports all ready to go with very little guidance, only to be told I had done them wrong and I should have been told the correct way to do them.

My new school already has a vastly different feel amongst the staff. The English department head has been amazingly helpful and there are a lot of existing systems in place for personal and professional support. One of my personal beliefs when it comes to teaching is that I will be less than useless in looking after and educating kids if I am not looking after myself. I struggled a lot in my first two years with that, overworking myself and taking on a lot of duties that were beyond me, and only recently finding a balance between work and self care.

Maybe that’s why I was hesitant and on edge this afternoon before arriving to school. I had finally found that routine and balance only for it to be swept out from under me without being able to do anything about it. I like to have control over things, and I do tend to panic first before letting go and enjoying the ride. Hopefully I have the panic all out of the way now, and can enjoy being at what seems to be an amazing school.

Hope you all are having an awesome week and that you Australian teachers are taking care of yourselves ahead of a new school year!

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Life Update Time! (Taking Stock Jan 2016)

Life update time! I head back to work next week which I find myself kind of dreading. But I have had a great summer (non-relationship-wise) and I’m ready to take on some new challenges.

 

Cooking: A lot lately as I (again) attempt to change my eating habits. I find that I struggle to enjoy cooking for myself, but I adore cooking for other people! Below are the last two breakfasts I made for my housemate, very proud of them if I do say so myself!

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Drinking: Water from an old Mount Franklin bottle. Is that whole “don’t reuse bottle water bottles” thing still a thing??

Reading: Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labours. Side note: How bad ass does Gal Godot look in the Batman vs Superman trailer?!

Wanting: so many, many things. Let’s go with motivation for now..

Looking: at the old Casablanca poster above my desk, finally hung up!

Playing: that Covet fashion game (I’m pretending it’s helping me be more fashionable!), Pandemic and Ticket To Ride . I am OBSESSED with Tabletop at the moment!

Deciding: if I want to go run myself a cold bath. It is SO HOT that sometimes I do that first thing in the morning, just sit in the bath to cool down. The cat has started sleeping in the bathroom (apparently over his previous bath trauma) which goes to show, evaporative airconditioning= NOPE!

Wishing: that my housemate was not moving out in two months, or that he asks me to move in with him (HA!) or that he just gives me a really nice birthday before he moves.

Enjoying: that the cat and I have gotten into a perfect routine this holidays. And that I know all his facial expressions and postures, and he does what I want (finally!) at one word, AND that there has been no inside pooing. Victory!

Waiting : for my younger housemate to come home, so I can tease him about his lady dramas.

Liking: the new organisation of my desk. I cleaned it up nicely yesterday to give me a good workspace. Naturally the rest of my room remains less organised!

Wondering: if I can pull myself together enough to clean up the rest of my room. I-think-i-can i-think-i-can i-think-i-can….

Loving: My boo.

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Pondering: waking up early tomorrow to try get into my school routine. ORRR do I sleep in as it is one of my last holiday days?

Watching: The Office (US) S05 E09 The Surplus. About to head into an Agents of SHIELD catch up too.

Hoping: a fairy comes and waves their wand over me and makes me look like I did four years ago. #fatty #badday

Marvelling: at other people’s abilities to be hella into their fitness and health. Very, very envious.

Needing: To find some motivation.

Smelling: the bowl of frangipanis on my desk from my trees in the backyard. Another reason I wanna stay in this house!!

Wearing: pink singlet, green undies, black shorts. And I’m only wearing the shorts because my housemate is due home soon!

Following: Ashy Bines on Instagram and Snapchat. She’s annoyingly perfect looking, and yet so accessible and down to earth about herself and her ups and down.

Knowing: I need to do some more planning and reading for school. My first year teaching HASS (Humanities and Social Studies) so I’ve got a lot to catch up on!

Thinking:  that I want to go on a cruise this year. My Hawaiian trip was cancelled as my aunty changed the cruise we were all going on from one in the school holidays to one during the term! Sad that I can’t go with my family, but the cruise they are now going on is far better value. BUT I do still want to go on a holiday this year sometime.

Feeling: like the weather has cooled down a bit and the air con is actually working properly!

Admiring: friends that are changing their lives and making better choices than me.

Sorting: out my possessions into keep, give away, throw away piles. Biting the bullet, organising, cleaning, the whole thing.

Buying: Too many books that I do not have time to read. It’s a sickness!!

Bookmarking: ideas and things I want to buy for school. I do love me some stationary and resources!

Disliking: that I still get itchy eyes and hayfever from the cat (and all the cat hair and dust in my room!).

Opening: my iTunes to find that all my music has disappeared. Joy.

Giggling: at a photo frame I found this morning with an odd brand name (inside joke hehehe)

Snacking: On nothing at the moment!! Trying to kick the habit and eat regularly enough that snacking doesn’t happen.

Coveting: a house. a car, a boy, a holiday, a size 10 body.

Wishing: to have the resolve and commitment to stick to my plans to change habits, even when I am feeling conflicted and down.

Helping: myself by deciding not to go to the shops to buy dinner and snacks.

Hearing: my text tone go off as my housemate asks me to let him in. The silly boy left his keys at work, so all weekend he has been pestering me to see when I am at home.

Hope you have all had a great start to the new year! Any motivation suggestion slay it on me, I suck balls at motivating myself!

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Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve thought a lot about how I want to start my year, with goals or resolutions or promises to people. Recently there has been some.. turmoil (for lack of a better term) in my personal life that has led to me (once again) trying to rethink the way I live my life, what makes me happy and how I can get back to those happy places again.

I have decided to take things one day at a time. Set small goals that can be achieved, and slowly work towards the bigger things. Make time for the things that make me happy and feel less guilty for choosing to do those things instead of over-committing myself to other pursuits.

If I had to name any overarching themes of my 2016, I would like them to be health, writing, reading, career. I hope that I can stick to what I am trying to do, and that I can keep myself to deadlines. They were the one part of journalism that I was able to do exceptionally after all!

Hope you all had a great new year’s celebration.

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Hottest Thanksgiving Ever

Long time no post (yet again…)

School is really kicking my arse at the moment, as well as an insane amount of personal drama of the “can’t believe this is happening to me” persuasion. BUT in great news I have a position for next year where I can start fresh and possibly get permanency (ah that golden word!) so I’ve been able to handle the work drama. I am very thankful for the help my principal gave me in getting the job, and so I thought in the spirit of American Thanksgiving I would list a few things I am thankful for right now.

  1. Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I know she’s not exactly the greatest role model but damn, she’s just awesome. More amazingly is how much I am astounded by David Tennant’s Kilgrave. He is really compelling as a villain and an amazing actor. I’m currently watching episode 8 (AKA WWJD?) and I just love it.
  2. Good friends. Malinda at work and Caro from decades of friendship keeping me sane, Coop coming home for the holidays, Rach getting her dream job, Mich being there for me when I needed it and most of all J for being everything I need and more.
  3. Water. Swimming keeps me sane and helps clear my head, and   though I’ve been dry of late I’m hoping to get back into it soon.
  4. Perth. With this weather and the amount of driving around I’ve done lately I’m falling more and more in love with my home town. I can’t wait until the school holidays so I can explore more of it with friends and family.

Back to reports for me now, I’m hideously overdue with them and trying my hardest to stay on track. I don’t know why I consistently do this, procrastinate and lose motivation for things that I know will benefit me and make me feel good in the long run. It’s getting real old real fast and I don’t know how to stop it.

Delightfully positive right? Hope you are having a good weekend.

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Hello October!

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Things that I want to accomplish this month include:

  • Finish reading the Thone of Glass series by Sarah J Maas – I’m addicted and currently in the middle of Heir of Fire (book 3).
  • Swimming at the pools a minimum of 1km per session, and at least three times a week.
  • Eating at least two pieces of fruit per day, and at least two servings of vegetables per day. Doctor says I have dangerously low iron levels so I’m looking to completely revamp my diet, starting with a new love of mushrooms and spinach!
  • Going to the beach at least four times this month. I’m ridiculous, the second the sun comes out a light goes off in my head saying “well. must be summer, time for thongs and bathers and sand and seaweed!”
  • Walking/running at least once a day – again. with the aforementioned revamp. I call it “Operation Hottie.” I’m also doing the Colour Run on the first of November, which I know is more fun than run, but I still want to do well!
  • Keep my bedroom clean. End of term saw me doing a lot of mindless dressing in the mornings without any time for laundry at night, resulting in the Everest of dirty clothes piles in my bedroom.
  • Stick to my Lorna Jane Active Planner – it’s all pink and amazing, and the core of my 12 week aim/Operation Hottie for the next three months. And on that note..
  • Lose at least 2cm from some measurement in my Lorna Jane planner. I’m trying hard to remember it’s less about weight and more about how my clothes fit me (especially with all my swimming making my arms so BUFF), but who doesn’t want to see that number on the scale go down? And finally:
  • Watch my darling Eagles take the flag this Saturday!

Hope you had a fantastic September and that your plans for the last three months of the year are coming along great! Just 12 weeks until Christmas!(shudder)

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It's useful being top banana in the shock department.