Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Numbers and such

Today was Maths Day!
To celebrate National Literacy & Numeracy week (I hope you have been celebrating this too) we had a whole day of measuring, patterning, data collecting, counting & dividing - in the form of running, dancing, playing, building, drawing...and watching the traffic (who would've know that 107 cars drove past our school between 12:20 and 12:30 today if it was for our data collecting kids?!). It was a really good day!

It was also really sunny. I am really burnt.

Maths day was one of my jobs for the year. I love planning and logistics and maths and forms, so this worked really well for me. It was really interesting seeing how the things I planned played out in real life through my amazing colleagues, they adapted & put their own flair on things and came up with some incredible results! I work with really fabulous people.

We also had a Maths Information Night for the parents tonight. About 30 parents showed up to learn about addition and subtraction. I 'got to' (when you come up with ideas, it often becomes your responsibility to follow through on them) present the information on Year 3 & 4 Maths. I'm not really the 'speak in front of people' type & I had a complete mental blank when it came to the compensation strategy...hmm. But apart from that I think it went pretty well (though that compensation strategy is going to haunt me forever now... I'll probably dream about not being able to subtract 35 from 49...Arrrgh!).

So it's been a 13 hour Maths lesson today (don't you wish you had one of those everyday?). Time for bed.

Oh in other news... Telstra said my t-box hadn't been sent (oops) and it's definitely on its way now...  and yes this is the 3rd time they've said that... in the past 4 weeks. Ahh good times.

Also my house needs a good clean... hmm 'good' probably isn't a strong enough word here.

Also it's only 9 days until school camp! woo hoo!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hmm there's too many things I could write to sum up this weekend.
It has been surface level fun! I have hung out with some great friends - starting with a sleepover with my 9 year old piano student on Friday night... ALOT of junk food, board games, nintendo 64, explaining that I don't have a wii or abc 3 (because I am STILL waiting for my t-box) and finding heaps of things I forgot I had - who knew I still had the pop-up card kit?! Of course we played Mouse Trap, because no sleepover is complete without it, & i won my first ever round of mario kart :) I learnt some good life lessons from hanging out with T, which maybe one day I'll write about!

I also got to watch my friend win her netball final, 42-41. I am so not a netballer. The constant whistle-blowing drives me insane. After a while the whistles from the 5 games in the immediate vicinity of where we were sounded a bit like crickets chirping & that made it a bit more bearable cos it was funny (the actual netball fans didn't like my metaphor). They played super well & made it to the grand final!

Last night another friend had a massive bonfire on her property. It was fun to hang out & toast marshmallows (and oranges...eww). Such a nice night. and sooo good to catch up!

Today I was on kids church...hmm.
Then I sewed 3 chickens and watched the whole of season 2 of phineas and ferb (such a fun show!)

So all in all, if I read that summary I could say that it was a super fun weekend, and it was. I just wish I could switch my head off. I think I have been over-thinking stupid things and have become so frustrated about things that aren't even things, hmm. I'm glad I live on my own, cos of there was anyone around me at the moment I'm not sure I could be kind. On the other hand, I sort of wish I had someone to ramble at...hmm.  I've also had crazy pain in my back & horrible girl pain for the past 2 days. so not fun.
So yep. I'm grumpy and not heaps fun tonight. Really need to spend some time with God & get my priorities straight.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I think God is using Telstra to teach me patience...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear Miss F

Today a kid got sent to me for time-out from another class. Before I sent him back I got him to write out an apology to his teacher... it went something like "Sorry for doing the wrong thing, next time I will do the opposite." He couldn't actually think of what he had done that had got him sent out of the room, other than 'Mr H just talked in his mad voice and counted to 3 because I was standing up when he said to stand up and I didn't even throw the thing that he thought was me' (or something to that effect), so his note made me giggle a bit.

I thought I would share three of my other favourite notes from the past 4 years (which live on my fridge):

"Dear miss f Sorry for lieing to you I am realy sorry I Just wanted to tell a Good Joke but i guess it just turned out as a lie I just wanted to be funny but in the end it wasn't funny I'm realy sorry!

"To Nikolou [our school's sponsor child]
I think Australia is the best country in the world becaues it has the best weapons in the world we have knifes, Guns, connons, bows, crossbows
From L"
[obviously this one is on my fridge because I didn't send it]

This next one was written after I made a student re-write a poem about girls that wasn't very kind

"To Miss F,
I am sorry for the inappropriate work that I did. It was offensive for every female. I am also sorry for getting on the red traffic light. I should not have been showing off to my friends. This is why I'm writing this letter. From R
P.S I should not use a pencil as a weapon (emotionally)"

I love the ending :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The power of the 'one'

Yesterday I worked on the elections on the dec voting table. Filling in forms is one of my favourite things so I had a great time looking up codes and writing them on the special envelopes. It was a fun day hanging with my mum and meeting ALL sorts of people.

After 11 hours of this & some hot (salt-less) chips, round two started. The counting.

It was amazing to watch the individual papers add up in their piles of ridiculously long white papers. Each one represented someone's nomination for who they would like to lead and direct our country.

It seriously made me so sad to see the number of informal papers grow (probably a sign that I am getting super old). 7% of votes cast by the people who voted at our booth didn't even count, either because they purposely wasted their vote or didn't follow the instructions (it can be difficult to put a '1' in a box sometimes)! If 'Informal votes' was a party they would've come in a close 4th in our local booth - just 3% behind the greens.

According to today's figures (are you getting that I like statistics a bit?) 618,435 people cast informal votes yesterday, which is roughly 5% of our voting population - in some electorates almost 15% wasted their vote. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/election2010/7949200/informal-voting-hits-record-high

Why is this bothering me so much this year? I have never really cared before whether people voted or who they voted for. But it has hit me this year how awesome it is that in Australia we get to vote for our political leaders and that if we'd lived 109 years ago us women would have been fighting for our right to elect our leaders. Voting is a great privilege that not everyone around the world is privy to!

The second thing that hit me was how quickly the 'ones' became many as we sorted them into their piles. I think sometimes people think 'what's the point, my 1 vote won't count.' As I was thinking about this last night, I thought about a storm - storm is made up of millions of 'one raindrop's without the 'ones' there would not be a storm. Likewise a choir is made up of many 'one voice's, an army of many 'one soldier's, a herd of many 'one cows', a beach of countless tiny, insignificant 'one grains'. It's so easy to see the enormity, but forgetting it is just made up of many 'ones'.

I think sometimes this mindset can also affect the way we react to people and to problems (I know it does for me). We see the hugeness and the impossibility of changing world hunger, or poverty, or kids on drugs, or environmental issues or whatever and give up. We do nothing. We waste our opportunity. We forget about the power of the 'one'.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Underpants and parades

Today we celebrated book week.
We love dress up days at school! This year it was a good old fashioned 'come as your favourite book character' (which we have actually never had in the 7 years I have been teaching). The kids looked amazing! My absolute favourite costume was a 'Captain Underpants'. (this is captain underpants incase you are unfamiliar with the literary heroes of 7-10 year olds...)
So, one of my boys came in a skin colour body suit with a MASSIVE pair of undies and a red cape. It was fantastic! I also had 3 lions, 2 Jessies (from Toy Story 2 & 3), Harry Potter, someone from Twilight, various fairies, princesses, Bart Simpson & fairy tale characters. One of my boys, who doesn't like change, came as "myself in casual clothes". He had even written a book titled "xxx in Cashl Close" just to make sure he was covered incase we questioned the authenticity of his book week character.

I came as Queen Susan from Narnia. Mostly because my sister already had the dress.  It was pretty fun to wear a velvet dress to school, but it was so painful trying to navigate around kids and their costumes with a crazy full-skirt with a train, and sleeves that went past my knees. (I don't have a growth coming out of the top of my head in this photo, there was a person behind me).
Just wish I had more queenly graciousness to go with my cute outfit today. It was one of those days where my human-ness was showing real bad. It didn't help that the kids were super hyper, but I still could've been more lovely. hmm.

Our day consisted of a class 'book quiz' which my kids were real good at. Then we had our Junior School parade. Somehow we managed to string this out for 50 minutes, including a 'teacher parade' at the end.
I love the Junior School team I work with!
 After recess my class had a bridge building competition with paper and straws. Then we ended the day with the 'Schuman the Shoeman production'. It was a fabulous book week day and I'm looking forward to our next big event - Maths day!

In other news
- I had the yummiest beef tonight with a fun friend! Yay for being spontaneity-ous!
- I just found half a bag of tortillas in my handbag
- Tomorrow I'm working on the elections with my lovely mum
- My t-box still hasn't come
- Snapfish is having 9c prints this weekend. Time to fill my photo album!

- Also it's time I went to bed! Night!

Monday, August 16, 2010

"don't worry, you'll find someone soon!"

Ok, so today I was sharing with one of my married friends (which you seem to collect alot of by the time you're 28) how I have decided to make the most of my 'now' and enjoy being single... of course she responded "don't worry, you'll find someone soon!"    Um... were you not listening?

2 weeks ago I was reading 'Sex God' by Rob Bell and I was really challenged about my attitude towards being single. I have spent so many years living in limbo, waiting for 'that' guy to come and then get on with all that God has planned for my life. But what if the ministry God has called me to at this point in my life is just as important? Am I going to be answerable to God about whether I had a husband by the time I was 25, or about whether the kids in my class grew to a deeper understanding of their Creator while they were under my care? Should I spend my time and energy pining for the 'greener grass' of marriage and having my own family, or would this energy be better spent in encouraging those around me, developing the gifts God has given me and helping my kids to recognise and develop their own gifts?

So anyway, out of this pondering I decided to make a conscious decision to go with the later, to focus on becoming the best teacher, friend, 'aunty', daughter, colleague and follower of God that I can, and leave the rest up to God. I actually got really excited and passionate about living out my 'now' calling!

Of course, it seems not everyone got the memo, and I have found this resolve alot more challenging than I thought. Not because of my own 'desires', but the social expectations of those around me. In the past 2 weeks it has been almost daily that I have been asked the "so... have you met anyone lately?", "who are the single guys at your church?" "anyone on the horizon?" "do you have a man in your life?" etc etc etc questions. And of course then there was the set up by my grandpa (read my previous blog) and the follow up questions by well-meaning (maybe?) friends when I relayed that crazy story... "well, was he a rich indian?" (cos that matters!?! do you people not know me?) Hmm maybe I'm just being super sensitive, but in a way I think that's good that I'm noticing these comments these days and not just letting them sink into my sub-conscious to add to the messed up self-belief that I already have.

I am not an inferior person because I don't have a 'significant other'! I know I am doing what I have been called to at this time and I am going to make the most of it! (even when it gets hard and the tears don't stop)

end rant.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The early night that went wrong

Last night I decided to go to bed early rather than going to the gym.... if only fitness had won out (but it rarely does)! So by 8:30 I was tucked up in bed about to start reading Velvet Elvis when my phone rang. This in itself is a rare thing as generally the only people who call me are my mum, a friend from work and the spastic centre when it's time for me to make another donation. Anyway this phone call was none of those people....

It started normally enough ( I will colour-code the words so you know who is who... I am the pink) Hello, Kaye speaking." "Hi this is xxxxx." "Um...hi" Long pause (this is the bit where it starts becoming un-normal) "Do you know what this is about?" "No" "Your Grandpa introduced you to me at church" (ok must be a wrong number, I haven't been to my grandparent's church in about 5 years) "um...?" "You should speak to your Grandpa and he will tell you what this is about." "okay...."  "Your Grandpa is xxxxxxx." "yes..." (uh oh, right number?... internal panic) "I'm sorry if I scared you, talk to your Grandpa and I will call you later ok?" "ok...bye."  (it was a bit longer than that with a few more awkward pauses, but that's the main gist of the conversation)

What just happened? I instantly rang my mum, who rang my grandparents. And yes my grandpa was trying to set me up with a 50ish year old indian man who had never married and was looking for a wife. Arrrgh! How are you meant to sleep after a phone call like that one? A million thoughts went through my head: What!? Do I look that desperate that my grandpa needs to help my love life along? I guess it was a sweet thought?! How do I not hurt this random guy? How do I not hurt my Grandpa? What's wrong with me? Maybe he is a nice guy? Is being single not good enough? Am I letting my family down by being 28 and still single? Arrrgh!

So my stomach felt ill and my early night was ruined (until I read Isaiah 13... sort of put my troubles into perspective).

Tonight my Pa had left a message on my answering machine, it was sort of an apology, but did include the line "I just thought you could use some experience in talking with men." hmm my Pa is cute, and probably right, but I'm still not heaps keen on him being my match-maker.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another day at the office...in silent movie mode

Today was 'hush-a-thon'. The kids at school all got sponsored to not speak during class time for the whole day! It was sooooo quiet! and also really fun watching the kids come up with different ways of communicating without speaking... one girl tried telepathy - she just came and stood in front of me and shrugged...not a super successful method. One of my favourites was a note saying "how do you spell lukzurius?" (luxurious for those who can't read phonic kid spelling). One boy just wrote 'yes, no, okay, alright, I can do that for you & what am I meant to be doing' on a page & just pointed, that pretty much covered everything he needed to say for the day. I love my job! My kids are so great to work with!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pick Me!

As a teacher there are many times throughout the week that I start the sentence "I'm looking for someone to..." and am met by 26 arms and various pleas of "oh can I?" "I will! I will!" "PLEEEEEEASE!"  I'm not sure whether it's the short break from the ordinary, or if it's the feeling of importance gained from carrying out a special job, but whatever the menial task is, I am never short of volunteers. Even before I have given details of the mission, my Year 3s and 4s are committed to carrying out whatever it is that I ask.

Last night as I was reading Isaiah 6:8 'Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"' The image that struck me was not of holiness and almost military sounding "I shall go"  (hmm it's hard to communicate tone in writing), but instead a classroom popped into my head. I could almost hear the teacher-like 'thinking aloud' of God, "hmm... who can I get to do this job...?" and instantly Isaiah jumps out of his seat with his arms waving furiously, the 'if-you-don't-pick-me-I'm-going-to-burst' look on his face. "Here I am! Over here! Pick me, pick me!" Even before God gives him the details of the job (which doesn't happen till verse 9), he knows he wants in on whatever God is offering.

I was seriously challenged by this attitude as I read (& pondered). Am I quick to jump up and volunteer to do whatever God needs done? Or do I stop to think about the cost... maybe it will be something I can't do, maybe someone else will be better at the job, maybe it will take too much time, maybe it will take me too far out of what is comfortable, maybe if I had all the details...so many maybes. So easily I forget that God is God... (um, you know creator of every minute detail of this universe!) If he's got a part for me to play in it all, who am I to think twice about it?