25 February 2006

Awesome Youth

Camp was great. The students were enthusiastic and a joy to be around. Wilson's Prom was as breathtakingly beautiful as it always is. The weather provided a pleasant enough stage to abseil, surf and walk, but canoeing proved too difficult with the wind on Thursday morning. I loved watching the kids develop friendships and independence and to my delight all students were collected within half an hour of our return, which is the best record yet.
There were some amazing young people on camp that really pushed themselves through their fears and limitations. The behavior was great and they responded very well to all that was asked of them. It was a really positive experience and I am looking forward to spending the year with this group. I know I say that every year, but only because it is true.
Any parents reading this please note that your children really miss you when they are away. They also appreciate your homes and food and many of them can't wait to get home to their own showers and beds and cooking. They also mention brothers and sisters wistfully in ways you'd never probably believe as well as pets. Know you are loved and missed!
When I got home I collected my son from his friend's house. The mother there said to me what a marvelous boy he was and how he is always welcome in their home. I felt proud as I always do. I often hear this about my son and feel such joy for him that he is so well loved. I know how great he is but it is wonderful to hear it from others.

21 February 2006

School Camp with yr 7

Tomorrow I am off on school camp. I have been feeling very reluctant about it. I have been going on school camps for 5 years now and I think I may have had enough of it. I felt more enthused about it today because I genuinely want the kids to have a great time. Whilst trying to pacify their fears and get them enthused and excited I worked the magic on my own mind, which was good.

It is a lot of hard work though. I have to organise my classes that I will miss in my absence, plan my home to be away for 3 days and then be 'mommy' to 28 kids for 3 days and if I am lucky their parents will pick them up on time allowing me to get home before I drop. When I get home, because I have been away for 3 days I have to deal with catch up there. Then on Monday I will get to see whether the teachers who were taking my classes, actually stuck to the plan and the work got done. I hate feeling this cynical but I have been on camp and rarely experienced a variation to this routine.

It will be ok though because it is warm and I will get to do lots of great activities and be in nature and hopefully see independence and team building and all those inspiring wonderful things that I remember when I am asked if I am available to go on camp. It reminds me of childbirth really. You forget until it's time to go! Lucky for that or my beautiful son wouldn't be around. No, it wasn't actually as bad as school camp - childbirth that is.

I will post a favourite photo when I get back, I promise and I haven't forgotten the mask yet. I'm saving it for one day when I feel particularly lost for words.

19 February 2006

This Womans Work

I listen to this song over and over again when I am missing my nana.
'Give me these moments back
Give them back to me
Give me that little kiss
Give me your hand'

It just expresses how I feel. It is nearly 7 years since my nana died but she was my best person if you know what I mean and from time to time I miss her and I want to feel sad about it. This morning I am feeling like that.

17 February 2006

Weeks whizzing by

I can't believe I haven't blogged for a week. Life hasn't been that busy or stressful, in fact it has been a regular kind of week. A couple of meetings after school. Even shares of good and bad news received about friends and family. An appointment or two. Some questions to grapple with, some repairs to be done. The daily exercising and juicing and cleaning and shopping and cooking and teaching and preparing and correcting and learning and loving and discussing to name some events specifically. The range of emotions have been felt, delight at the news my friend, Sam started secondary school triumphantly, fear about my pa having cancer at 85, that is treatable but will no doubt cause pain and disruption to his life, satisfaction about stimulating classes taught and surprise and pleasure when my beloved wished me a happy valentines day. I have been tempted by offers of further study and had to reflect on whether a MA in Educational Leadership is for me, I decided not. I have been troubled by my son's outbursts that have all smoothed now and turn out to be a storm in a teacup and not the catastrophe I often fear when my kids seem unhappy. Helped my daughter with her role as school captain and felt concerned that whilst the role is within her scope of ability that it will affect her study negatively. Not a featureless week or a week without surprises but there is a feeling of dullness in me that I can't shake. A lack of inspiration. I don't know why.

10 February 2006

Swimming Carnival and the week that was...

Yesterday we had the annual swimming carnival. It was a washout. I got wet to the bone. This week has been a long one. All the illness in my home has skirted around me and I have felt it creep closer from time to time. My new routines of eating fruit and vegetables and taking vitamins and exercising and drinking plenty of water have protected me well. It has not quite penetrated my health to the extent of really stopping me.
I am reading a book of short stories called "Black Juice" by Margo Lanagan. It is delightful. When I got it out of the library at the senior campus last year, with the intention of reading it over the holidays, the librarian said the young person who had been the one and only borrower had given it a 5/10 and she didn't expect much of it. I guess that is why I have not rushed into it, although I had read many positive reviews. In my mind I put it in the category of those things that get good reviews because they are all buddies and afraid to tell each other the truth. I usually trust the opinions of the children around me before the 'experts' or 'acclaimed'. In this case I judged wrongly.
This week has passed well. I thought it had been a dull week until I came to write about it. I had a lovely pizza dinner with family and friend last night. It was a great combo of good food, funny, often interrupted stories and much laughter. We were fare welling my daughters best friend who is heading off to Wodonga to study. It was an enjoyable evening although underneath the laughter and smiles, I felt sad to be setting her off into the world. I had that sense that things would never be the same again. So many nights she has spent laughing and being ridiculous, always spontaneously and rarely planned. It is right that they should grow up and pursue their own lives but that is the pain of young people growing up . When they are successful and grown they leave.
I also brought home a ceramic mask I made last year after school. I made the mask at an after school workshop. I was pretty cranky whilst I was putting it together and I really enjoyed the process as a distraction from the hurt I was feeling at the time. It turned out well. One day when I am not tired and lazy (as I am right now) I will put a photo of it on this blog.

07 February 2006

Neighbourhood Houses

Immediately before I became a teacher, I was a co-ordinator at a Neighbourhood house. I loved my time there. I believe in Neighbourhood Houses and the work they do in the community. I find it challenging though when I begin to think about how under resourced they are and how some don't work very well at tapping into the needs of the community. Tonight I had coffee with the Traralgon Neighbourhood House co-ordinator.
Jenny is one of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. She is down to earth and giving and really takes care of the people in her community. Her house is thriving because she is intelligent and skillful at meeting her communities needs. When I was doing that job, she was my mentor and my hero. I wanted my house to be just like hers. Full of people and laughter and value for the community. She is still hard at it and I take my hat off to her and all the Neighbourhood House people in Australia. It is such a valuable part of our community.

06 February 2006


The other two humans that share my house with me are both 'infected'. A throat and ear. I wonder if they are related? The throat is a repeat infection but was treated the same way. I don't understand medicine. I would have asked why it happened again.
I went back to school and taught very mediocre for the afternoon. I came home and had a nap. I feel lethargic and underwhelmed. My throat feels a little sore too. I wonder if it is a sympathetic pain or a real one. I will take some vitamins with dinner, when I get round to making it. It is only Mondayitis probably. I felt good this morning, organised and on track but that feeling has disappeared for now.

02 February 2006

Daylight Saving - don't you just love it.

Tonight we went for a walk down town at around 7.00pm. We walked through the park. It was mild and the light was perfect. I really appreciate the summer and daylight saving. It gives life a leisurely feel. There is time to enjoy the stroll down town, and still achieve a bit of housework and cook a worthwhile meal after work.
I had a good day at work and met my final class. The students were all respectful and well behaved and I hope that I can ensure the classes are interesting and challenging enough to keep them this way. I do love teaching. I know I can build a good relationship with the students. I enjoy learning and improving my skills and knowledge with them. I love getting to know them as people and sharing in this small year of their lives. It is a real privilege I think to be a teacher.

01 February 2006

Massage - Just do it

I had a massage tonight. It was the best. I don't understand why anyone would spend money on any other stress relief. A massage is the best. I have been having massages for probably 20 years. At some times I have had only one or two a year, now I have at least 4 a year. I feel it has really improved my health and helped me a lot. I love to massage the people I love but can rarely sustain the effort for more than half an hour. It is really great to pay for a massage, as I did tonight and enjoy over an hour of total attention to your needs. It is amazing. I feel great. Just do it. You will never look back!