Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's all in a name...

So my classroom list is being compiled over these final days before the kids are arriving. And I love seeing all the names come up but my favourite one in a long time showed up on my list this year. I have to change the first name... but that part just doesn't matter... trust me.
So when students register their names at school they list the first, middle and last name. If a student doesn't have a middle name, that section is usually left blank. Well, one of my student's parents decided to write "no middle name" on that section. Funny all on it's own... but funnier when you read his full name (remember, the first name is the only one I changed and I promise I am NOT lying!!)

Paul no middle name Dang

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meetings, meetings, meetings

So as we begin our preparations for a new year with new students, we get the pleasure of attending tons of meetings. Normally I don't mind professional development sessions, but endless sitting for endless hours just seems inappropriate, especially when we are talking about engagement and rigor. The rigor we had... it was SO rigorous to sit for that long. It took all my energy and focus to just stay awake. So that was a challenge. I propose that there MUST be a better way to instruct educators and to help them prepare for the new school year. Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My good friend April (April May is her blog) wrote a blog about her faith and observations on faith in general. I just loved it so much and then she put the above link in her blog so that others could read another blog about it. The blog asks the best question ever and provides no answers, just quandaries and the opportunity for you to think for yourself. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Year in VA

So tomorrow I start back at my school for another school year. Another year of teaching Kindergarten which scares the pee pee out of me even though I've just finished a year and summer school with that age level. I am excited to get back to doing what I love and what I believe I am gifted at doing but it is amazing how much a 5 year old can scare you, especially when faced with 20 of them that you don't know.
Fortunately, I get 2 weeks to organize myself and prepare for the munchkins, who will arrive for class on September 8th. I know that once I am in the room, making lessons plans and preparing things for students to do, I will be fine... but the anticipation is the same every year... fear.
Bet you didn't think a 34 year old would be fearful of another year of teaching in her 11th year in the job. Well, surprise, surprise... I am...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Job Hunting

For most teachers, all they are thinking about at this time of year is getting ready for the kids to walk through the door, or if it is in an international setting, they are thinking about what to do with the kids that have already arrived. But this teacher (a.k.a. me) is thinking about her next job. I love the kids that I get to work with and some of the staff as well, but I do think it is time to move on to something or somewhere else. I've already posted my resume on the site and have even heard back from one interested school in Hong Kong. I'm not too sure where I'd like to go next exactly, but I know it needs to be a city. I loved living in the city of Seoul very much and would love to get back to that kind of lifestyle.
What kind of lifestyle is that you ask? The kind where you get dressed all pretty with your slick high heeled shoes and you walk to the main street and hop in a cab to meet your friends for dinner and the cab ride cost a reasonable amount. The kind where you can hop the bus or subway to just about every location you want to go. The kind where there are constant cultural and entertainment events going on all the time. The kind where a visit to an art gallery, museum, historical landmark or crazy market just seems like the most normal thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. The kind were traveling out of the city or country for the long weekend seems doable and affordable. The kind where the people you work with share the kind of experiences mentioned above with you and they understand you because they too have traveled and lived in random places. The kind where the city doesn't sleep and if you don't want to either, it's okay because there is a lot to do. That is the kind of lifestyle I miss, that is what I crave. I am not sure if the location or culture will matter too much, it's just the lifestyle or philosophy of living that I miss the most.
Don't get me wrong, Williamsburg, VA is a beautiful place to visit or even study in or spend a summer at, but it isn't the place that holds the lifestyle I miss so much, so it isn't the place for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So last week , as my few but loyal and lovely readers know, I went to Mexico for a wedding. The picture above is the wedding party. We were asked to run towards the bride and groom (Sophia and Stephen) in this shot. See all that gorgeous sand? What about the crystal clear turquoise blue water? Yes, that was where the actual wedding too place, right on the beach. I think it may be my favourite wedding so far because I was told that I couldn't wear shoes... Instead, I had to scrunch up my toes for the whole ceremony in the soft, cool sand. *sigh* It really doesn't get much better than that folks. Below are a few pictures of Mexico. Since I was there for a wedding and I only knew the bride and groom, I really didn't take a lot of pictures. They would have bored you anyway... shot after shot of palm trees, sand, surf and swimming pools... who wants to see that anyway?! hahaha

Yup... that's me, lounging poolside in my big girl bikini... wore it lots!! Eat your hearts out skinny and fearful women all over the planet! hehehe

View of the resort... I think there are 12 pools in total, 8 for adults and 4 that are shallow enough for the kiddies.

The beach from the Tulum ruins.

Part of the Tulum ruins... my favourite part. The building was gorgeous and even though it is hard to see if from this small pic, there was intricate details in the stone and red ochre hand prints at the top for decorative purposes... they have survived the centuries...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tomorrow I am getting on a flight to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico!! I simply cannot wait. I have had a very stressful year on all fronts and so this little vacation just couldn't come at a better time. I also have the honour and pleasure of standing up for my friend at her wedding. So I won't be blogging for the rest of this week. I will post pics of my trip on here once I get back. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

For Sophia And Stephen

When I think of love, lots of different images come to mind. Some images are soft and beautiful, some are hard and rough, some are bright and airy and some are dark and clouded. But the image to the left was made with one couple in mind. My friends Sophia and Stephen met in Korea through another friend, Chris. And the more that they got to know each other, the more they loved each other until they finally decided to meld their lives together in marriage. The wedding will be in Mexico on August 14th and this is one of my wedding presents for them. The other gift, they already have. The image of love here is both light and dark. The dark surrounds the branches of the tree, but the moon blesses them with light and the flowers and leaves are bathed in the light. This is how I see Sophia and Stephen... they are like the branches, strong but fragile and intricate at the same time. They are coming from and going in the same direction and they are forever intertwined. The moon represents the blessing of God shining over them and bathing the new opportunities and growth in their lives with blessing. I hope they enjoy the painting. As the artist, I am never satisfied with it, but I feel like it is the closest I can get to the image in my mind. It is titled "Sarang" which is the Korean word for love.


One of the things I missed most about being overseas is the massages I used to get once a month with Shevin and Sophia and all the other massages I would get when traveling. So today I booked a massage at and it was just about the best experience ever. They also do facials and acupuncture. It was wonderful and the prices were reasonable. I am so happy and would recommend them to anyone and everyone!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crazy Rainstorms

We get some crazy thunderstorms here in VA. This is a picture of the garages across from my apartment. I don't know if you can see the rain but the wind was blowing it sideways over the tops of the buildings.

More of the crazy rain. Now all the while the rain was pouring down, the lightning was flashing and the thunder was clapping... it was wild!!

There is my Darla Da Car out front of our apartment. The rain was leaving a little bit of a lake in the parking lot. The rain was warm as was the wind. About 1 hour after it stopped, there was very little water left on the ground because it is so hot here.

For a little while, I almost felt like I was in Seoul during the monsoon season... so wild. I love a good storm and fortunately we have a lot of those here in Virginia!!


I like using the word ponder instead of think... sometimes the word think implies intensity and ponder implies an idleness that I can get behind on a hot summer day with nothing better to do.

So today I was checking my facebook and was becoming increasingly aware of all the happiness out there. It's a beautiful thing and I am happy for those who are swimming in their own happiness right now, but to be honest, all it makes me want to do at the moment is crawl under a rock. It's like a sun that is too bright and too close right now and I would much prefer the dark, damp cold of the underbelly of the rock. I hope this doesn't last too much longer because I have the honour of standing up for my friend at her wedding in just over a week's time. And before the wedding, I get the priviledge of going to Mexico to hang out with her, her family, his family and their friends. The atmosphere of love and happiness will be thick there and it scares me. Now... the people there wouldn't ever try to make me feel excluded or anything like that (it's not in their nature to do that, they are some of the kindest people I know) but by the fact that my heart is not whole, I will feel those things.

So now I am pondering how to put on a brave face, to smile and pretend to be happy in that glaring sunlight when all I want is to crawl under the rock... interesting, isn't it? Shouldn't I want to bask in the light of happiness, hoping that it leaves its mark on me? But I don't... I just want to shrink away...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back to Art

After posting the artwork on here and my facebook page, I became inspired to get back to my artwork. And today, I was especially inspired to paint something that symbolizes love for my friends who are getting married. I can't post a picture of it on here yet because I don't want them to see what I am painting them. It's going well so far, but I feel like something is missing from the painting... *sigh* hopefully I figure it out before I leave for the wedding and holiday in Mexico.

Yes, that's right, this international teacher is finally getting to go international again! One of the things I have missed the most from my international life (even though I am technically still international as a Canadian in the US) is the travel. I am accustomed to traveling on most of my holidays, but that hasn't happened here as it is much less affordable with the bills, taxes etc that I pay here. So I am very thankful for this wedding being somewhere other than the US of A. :) I love to travel.

I will post some more of my artwork soon as I complete pieces. I may even include some of my poetry as that is another art form that I like to work in.