Friday, February 27, 2009

Thank you, Les

One of my students just phoned me (9:10 pm), saying that she had told her dad to pick her up at Western at 9:15, thinking that was the location for the devotional for all the basketball players. However, she was over at Regina Christian, and could I run over to the school and tell her dad to pick her up at Regina Christian.

So, it's -22 out (-32 with the wind chill), and as I was talking to her on the cordless phone, I walked to the neighbour's apartment to see if any of their teenage boys were there. Nope. However, Leslie very kindly put on his coat and toque and ran over to the school for me. Thank you, Lord, for generous neighbours who go the extra mile for me.

Weekend Plans

I had hoped to cocoon this weekend - stay in out of the cold, vegetate a bit, maybe do a little sewing. However:
  1. There's a big basketball tournament at school, and I've agreed to take tickets at the door tomorrow morning from 11:15 to 12:45. (I did it for about three hours today and it wasn't an onerous task.)
  2. I have library books that must be returned, so I guess I need to plug in my van so that it will start tomorrow.
  3. I promised Rose and another student that they could come over and sew tomorrow. Rose has a kimono about half finished and the other girl wants to sew her wedding dress.
  4. I am to "witness" to the teen girls class Sunday morning on how the Lord has worked/is working in my life. (I've been pondering and praying on this all week, and I don't know what I'll say Sunday yet, but I do know that the Spirit will give me the words I need.)
  5. Jordan has three papers overdue and I need to try to bully him into getting them finished.

Maybe the cocooning will have to happen tonight and then I can get back to the grind tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You know you're procrastinating when....

I need to be doing marking. In fact, I've done about half of it, maybe a little more. After awhile I go a little brain dead though. So, I have:
  • finally joined Facebook (will I regret this?)
  • practiced piano
  • tidied the living room
  • helped Rose with her homework
  • checked my e-mail
  • brushed my teeth
  • gone to bed... talk to you in the morning.


It's -31 this morning; -42 with the wind chill. That's genuine "count your blessings" weather. I'm thankful that
  • I have a warm apartment with no drafts.
  • I can walk to work and don't have to start the car (especially seeing that it's not plugged in.)
  • I picked up groceries yesterday when it was a little bit warmer (-22)
  • high school teachers don't have to do "supervision"
  • my bed has flannelette sheets, so snugly!
  • I've made my lunch, so I don't have to walk home at noon
  • in Saskatchewan (unlike the NWT), while it may be -31 this morning, the weather will moderate up to near freezing by Sunday. (However, I would point out that it's only -25 in Yellowknife this morning.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Introvert vs Extrovert

Every single evening for the past week I've either needed to go out for some kind of function, or I've had people in to my house. Since I'm moderately on the introvert side of the introvert/extrovert scale, this has been a challenge to me. I kind of figure that I "perform" all day as a teacher, in the evenings I like to recuperate at home (alone?). All the visiting has been good and important, but I'm really looking forward being home alone on the weekend to recharge my batteries a little.

In addition, it's really hard to fit in piano practice if there are people in to my house or I'm going out every single evening. I'm missing the regular, extended times of practice. I'll keep working on it though. I don't have piano lessons for two weeks now, as my teacher is in Europe, so hopefully I'll have some progress to show her when she gets back.

We're still struggling with strengthening my visual recognition and kinesthetic senses (a.k.a. sight-reading). I'm practicing with some duets - just playing the secondo parts, as they don't have a melody, so it's hard to jsut play the "tune". I actually have to pay attention to the timing and the fingering.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Teacher's Convention was in Calgary Thursday and Friday. This was the ACSI Teacher's Convention (Association of Christian Schools International) for Alberta and Saskatchewan schools. I have to say that it was the best teacher's convention I've ever attended, and in 20 years of teaching, I've been to many, many of them. What made the difference?

First of all, it was a meeting of like-minded Christian teachers - so they had scheduled in worship times every day. That made a huge difference. Then, the different workshops and general sessions were excellent. Usually, I figure that if half of the convention had stuff that was worthwhile, then it's been good. This time, every session but one that I attended was great - and the other one was ok, just not great. Finally, I got to travel about 9 hours (twice) with my co-workers, and share and eat with them. That really builds community.

Western received an award at the conference for the REACH program, which was also cool.

Today was a holiday, so Rose and I went to Moose Jaw. We had lunch with Doug, Dar, Ben, Jean and little ones. Got to see Ben and Jean's new baby. Then we did one of the Tunnel tours (the Al Capone one) and then went to the Spa, which was crowded. We had a good time together.

This evening I was supposed to have Bible Quiz practice. Rose and I got home about 6:35- quiz practice was supposed to be at 7 - and I always bring home baking. So I made boiled chocolate cookies (with rye flakes instead of oatmeal). However, no one was there for quiz practice, so I shared the cookies with the students working in the library on homework and went home and practiced piano. This was also a good thing, as I've got piano practice tomorrow morning.

All in all, it's been a very good week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Learning Styles

Things haven't been going well with piano lessons lately. It's not for lack of practice on my part - it's more like I've hit a wall or something. My piano teacher thinks it finally comes down to learning styles.

I'm primarily an auditory learner. I learn best by hearing. I enjoy listening to the radio; once I hear something, I remember it, etc. (This is a little unusual, except perhaps in my family.) However, to play the piano, you need to use kinesthetic learning (remembering body movements) and visual learning as well.

The catch is, that while I can struggle to visually remember things, like the black and white pattern of the keys, I really have a hard time with my kinesthetic memory. One of the new pieces I'm working on starts with a really lovely arpeggio in E. My teacher pointed out that the last three times I played it, I used different fingering each time. My fingers aren't remembering!

So, on the theory that you can teach an old dog new tricks (did I just call myself an old bitch?); I'm to work on my visual and kinesthetic memories. We're setting aside the pieces that I've been working on and start on pieces at a sight-reading level. (Grade 3 instead of Grade 7). I'm to work primarily on sight reading (visual), teaching my fingers the patterns they need to remember, working hands separately (kinesthetic) and working on phrasing (auditory). One step forward, two steps back.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Six months later

It is six months today since I left my husband. It was a a difficult decision, but one that I had to take. I felt that I couldn't remain in a marriage where he felt there was nothing wrong with being involved with another woman. I'm still of that mind.

It's been a difficult six months. However, the Lord has been with me through out the change and turmoil. He immediately provided me with a job, and a place to live. I've learned a great deal about living in faith and trusting in his providence.

Where am I now? Physically I'm in much better health, since the stress I was living under has lessened. Mentally, I'm also in much better health. However, in many ways, I'm still waiting. I've attempted get a separation agreement from my husband since I first separated, however he has not responded back to any of the letters sent by my lawyer. At some point he will either have to reply or I guess I'll have to take him to court. I don't want to do that, but I do need to have a formal separation agreement.

My daughter is now down here at school, living in the dorm. That is a real blessing. I wish my son was out of the situation he was in, however he is daily in my prayers and I trust that the Lord will keep him safe.

I continue to give thanks for the grace and mercy of our Lord. I thank my friends and family for their continued prayers and help. Life goes on.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Link

Note that my sister Nancy has now started blogging - now that she's on her way to India, and the link is at the top left.


The whole school went skiing on Monday. I had never been downhill skiing before, and I tried it. I might be just a little bit stiff today. We all had fun.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Good News and lots of acronyms

I saw the ENT (ear/nose/throat) specialist today. He kindly put the scope thing down my nose to view my larynx and told me that I don't have any nodules on my vocal chords. He thinks I'm having trouble with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) again and that's why I'm still hoarse, although I'm much better than I have been. He's referred me to a SLP (speech language pathologist). The really good news is that I get to go off all of the medications I'm on. He's put me back on Nexium for the GERD (for at least three months, he says), but I've been on it before and I don't have side effects with it, so I'm ok with that. I'm already feeling better since I've missed my latest dose of prednesone.

He also informed me that I may never get my total vocal range back again. (I'm hopeful that the SLP will help with that).

Anyways, I'm happy about the whole thing. I don't have to go back to see him unless I lose my voice again, and hopefully I won't.