Light at the end

Wow. Haven’t blogged in 3 months.

Life hasn’t quite been a tunnel – actually more like those spinning cups and saucers ride. But the two main things that have taken up 99% of my time and attention are beginning to wrap up: 1) the school year, and 2) my masters program. So…yay!

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Had a very relaxing and delightful spring break. I spent a lot of that time just recharging my batteries, doing basically nothing but yet feeling so productive at the same time. Never underestimate the power of down-time: long walks in nature, daily naps, pilates with friends, fuzzy therapy, decluttering, and a good banh mi turns around my mood any day.

Looking for some good books to read over the summer. I haven’t read new things in such a long time, at least not books. I’ve been sticking to my old favorites, like Harry Potter. I love re-reading favorites, but if I do only that for too long, then my brain gets kind of mushy. Almost as mushy as too much TV (or Youtube, in my case…).

So more reading it is! Especially Christian books. I’ve never had that much experience with Christian books. I’m kind of a purist in the way that I like to stick with only Bible reading, and perhaps some study books. But I know I’m missing a lot of historical connections and theological ideas by avoiding them. Any suggestions out there, internet?

Looking forward to a whole bunch of things this summer. Chaperoning the 8th grade Washington DC trip. Then the summer school college and career camp teaching the engineering strand again. After that is perhaps a missions trip with my church youth group. Then two professional development events that I’m looking forward to a lot. Then bridesmaid for a high school friend. Then off to visit the homeland, Hong Kong! By the time I get back, it’ll be staff retreat and the start of school again. Crammed packed summer, just the way I like it.

An exercise in positivity

1. Got the flu/a severe cold this weekend. It doesn’t seem to be able to decide what it is yet. One minute, I’m achey and shaky with what feels like a fever, and the next I’m up and about with nothing but the sniffles and a tickle in my throat. Had to skip out on a friend’s wedding festivities Saturday and pretty much stayed home doing nothing but drink hot lemon water and watch Downton Abbey. On the plus side: I feel ok enough to work, and I got to sneak in a couple grading sessions with a buddy in between doses of Nyquil.

2. Got my car broken into. At first, I thought a raccoon had gotten in my car and up-turned a trash can into the front and back seats. But my car door was ajar, and all the trash was mine, and they even somehow got into the trunk to steal my air pump for flat tires. On the plus side: Besides the air pump and the garage door opener to my parent’s house, nothing was taken. Not even the fastrak still attached to my windshield (partially hidden behind the rearview mirror – and I did that on purpose!). Nothing was broken either – not a window, not a door. They probably used some sort of flat hook to jimmy up the lock on the driver’s side. All the other doors were still locked. It’s a mystery as to how they got into the trunk though. No material damages, although I do feel a bit violated. But in 22 years of driving, if this is my first time having my car broken into, then it’s a pretty good stat, relatively speaking.

3. An overwhelming amount of work. I feel like Hamiliton in the song Non-Stop. It’s been non-stop. I’ve been running with all cylinders firing since winter break. If it’s not lesson planning for myself, then it’s lesson planning for other people. If it’s not grading my student’s homework, it’s doing my own homework for grad school. If it’s not work or school related, it’s home related. And if it’s not work OR school OR home related, it’s social related, and then the cycle begins anew before the old one has properly ended. On the plus side: Staying busy is never a bad thing, at least for me. And it’s nice to have people who ask for your advice, or miss you when you’re not around, or to collaborate on projects with. It’s nice to feel needed.

Just not too much. ;p

Too good to not post

 This is what a bunch of teachers learning how to make instructional videos looks like.

It was super fun. And apparently, with all of 2 prior videos under my belt, I was the class ‘expert’ on iMovie.

Also: Why does iMovie 10.0.1 suck so much?

Filmed on iPhone 6+. Edited with iMovie 9.0.9.

Vlog #2

Went to school during winter break one day. Organized drawers and cabinets a bit. Sharpened pencils. Took items home to clean/wash/store/repair. Ate the chocolate that the district ‘Energy Turkey’ left me.

Saving up for a new camera and mic. Which one should I get?

Filmed on a Canon PowerShot A3100. Edited with iMovie 9.0.9 and YouTube Editor.

CMC North

Earlier this month, I attended the CMC North Conference with some of my colleagues. Super Colleague always talks this one up, so perhaps I entered it with a much larger idea of what it was than I actually came out with.

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I get what they are doing with the heart logo, but it’s not the prettiest logo in the world, is it?

Not that the conference wasn’t great. Dan Meyer was the keynote speaker on opening night. And it’s always fun to discuss ideas with other people. But two of the 4 sessions I went to left me a bit underwhelmed. My colleagues and I decided to divide and conquer, so none of use went to the same session for the most part. I must be really bad at picking sessions.

The first one I went to was nothing new to me. Or at least the first half was nothing new. I tuned out after awhile.

The second session was a lot more exciting. I decided to go to an upper high school session, rather than my normal middle school/lower high school grades crowd. I learned a lot about the pentagon at this session, and renewed my appreciation for accented, yet clearly spoken English.

My third session I shared with Super Colleague. I went because the presenter was a fellow Aggie and I wanted to know what he had to say about assessments geared for a growth mindset. It was very thought provoking. [And I actually tried it out when I got back to school. More about this on another post.]

The forth session was completely not what I thought it was. Even though I left with something I could use in my classroom, it was only because we were coincidentally on the same topic at the time.

In the end, my favorite part of the weekend was being in Monterey. It was just nice to get away. The work-school-home routine was getting a bit too routine.

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Reminder: Change scenery every so often. It’ll do a person good.

Vlog #1

Clearly, I need to update my camera equipment.

Filmed on a Canon PowerShot A3100. Edited with iMovie 9.0.9 and YouTube Editor.

I probably need to update my video editing software as well.

New hobby discovered.