Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend of Transition. . . . Back to School

 LittleGirl heads home this morning, and I'll miss having her here. The long earnest chats about who said what to whom -- whether in that afternoon's sailing camp or in some movie I'm getting a scene-by-scene summary of.  The belly laughs she provokes and those she loves to indulge in,;her cautious willingness to try new foods, alongside her grand appreciation of a plain peanut butter sandwich made with Granddad's homemade bread. Even the transformation of the house by the invasion of My Little Ponies and Brio railroad tracks under the piano. . . yesterday, I picked up some Crayola markers that had been placed in groups of 3 on the livingroom floor and on the stairs. Turned out those were meant to form directional arrows, part of a scavenger hunt she'd built for herself, and I quickly restored them to their places. Even the tiny,sweet surprise of finding a pair of scissors decorated with Rainbow Loom elastics. . . . A wee story there, in the patient threading of each one. . . .

But she will be happy to see her Mom and Dad again, and they her, and I have much to distract me from her absence. I'll spend the weekend making notes for next week's classes and gathering up strength for the deluge of adrenaline needed to get through them. So much is about performance, the first week, and about energy -- meeting 3 groups of 25-30 students, and beginning to build working units from each group while responding to individual needs. In one of my classes, many students are International students for whom English is a Second Language, and I know from some of the emails I'm already receiving that some of them
will only have arrived a day or two before. They'll be jet-lagged, experiencing some culture shock, trying to adjust to English spoken at a speed and in accents and in quantities that may have them struggling to follow. And I'll be throwing readings at the poor things, expecting them to be ready for next class's discussion.

As part of my preparation for all this, I'm sorting out some What to Wears, and I will try to share some of these soon. I've had fun sharing my renditions of How to Wear my toile-printed jogging pants, especially reading your comments about whether/how you'd wear this particular Trendy Item. One of my other Back-to-School purchases is also Trendy, but not too much so, I hope -- I'll show you that soon as well.

As for comments, Sue (from the fashionable High Heels in the Wilderness) notes that she's been having trouble leaving hers. Here's what she says, and her recommendations for a fix:
P.S. Have you had any readers saying how their comments disappear when they click "Publish?" I know that happened to you on my blog and it always happens to me on yours. Now.. I write the comment, highlight and copy, click "Publish" and log into Google. When the comment box reappears without my comment I just "Paste" it in and click "Publish" again. But what pain. I'm not sure why Blogger does that.

I agree that this is a real pain, and I'd like to add that if you find the process frustrating you could email your response to me by email: fsproutATgmailDOTcom substituting, of course, the appropriate symbols for AT and DOT (does that substitution really foil/fool the nasty spamming robots, do you think?), and I'll post them for you.  Because I love to get your comments and would hate to miss a one!

14 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing all the activities that a solitary child can invent? The mind at age 5 is so creative. It is a challenge for you to respond to the individual needs of your ESL learners. Do they have a placement test before you meet them? On the other hand, I remember my first year French Literature course at UBC. I had never read a French book before. Perhaps the mind at 18 is a marvellous thing as well. Good luck on your first week.

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    1. In a workshop this past week, some of us remembered our experiences in Literature classes in a second language. . . It's good to think back to that point, as you do.
      As for our students, yes, they do have a placement test and it shows them as theoretically ready for university classes -- but often students prepare for tests and learn to write them well, in a manner not always reflective of their ability to perform IRL situations. . .

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  2. I love the little artifacts of childhood. Like altars to the capacity for play.

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  3. I remember those times when the whole world felt like a playground. Distant, but can still touch those feelings. I can only imagine the amount of mental and emotional energy you need to muster at the start of each term. I find that my Introvert tendencies tend to get stronger over time and it requires much more effort than it used to in order to confront a new group of people. I've had the trouble publishing comments off and on over the years...as a precaution I almost always "copy" and lengthy comment before I hit publish...if it doesn't appear I'll paste and try again. Second time is almost always the charm.

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    1. I do that too, with any long comments, just in case. . .
      As for the introvert tendencies, it's surprising to me how much they've intensified with age (or perhaps just with this particular stage).

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  4. Darn "Blogger" ...meaning the program not the writer... aka you! Always love reading and don't mind the extra steps it takes to comment....but know that since I'm having the problem...others are probably as well.
    I'll be feeling your pain next week. Well, maybe not pain...but exhaustion due to all that talking and the sheer energy it requires to get those classes up and running in the first week. If you're anything like me...Friday will bring a welcome glass of wine and you snoring on the sofa by 8 pm.

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    1. Oh yes, I'll be working for the weekend . . . not that I don't enjoy what I'll be doing, just that I find it absolutely drains me. By the weekend, that glass of wine will look so good!

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  5. Love the scissors and the thought of artifacts of the visit about the house. Such joy. Strength and energy be with you for this first week. It all sounds exciting and exhausting. I suppose at the moment I'm at an odd stage in my introverted spectrum in that I look forward to meeting and exploring the dynamic of new groups of people, but I also treasure the requisite alone time that this exploration demands. As I get older I increasingly dislike the telephone.

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    1. Oh Mardel, I'm with you on the telephone. I'll do quite a bit to avoid it, and I don't think it's just because my poor hearing can make it awkward. Much prefer IRL conversations or texting or emailing.

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  6. I wondered whether you'd written your P.S. in response to my mess-up with your lovely comment this morning. The error was all mine, though: in the wee hours of the morning w/o my reading specs I wasn't careful enough to distinguish between Publish and Reject. It could also be the size of my tiny iPhone screen :-( .

    On another note, and in the spirit of your banded scissors, Mr. C put on his cowboy boots this morning after a summer hiatus and found in them an unopened fortune cookie, a batter's glove, and a couple of Legos. Not a bad haul.

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    1. Nope, that response was written without having seen your follow-up to my comment. Like you, though, I find the size of these phone screens so very frustrating!
      I love that image of cowboy boot as stash storage. Just hope he didn't step onto the Lego with too much force -- there should be a special name for the foot pain a Lego can cause!

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  7. So sweet are the moments a little girl brings to your life! Hope your weekend of planning and preparing for the new academic year will still allow enough time to relax waterfront with a cup of tea and reflex on your amazing summer!

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    1. Thanks SP. I am making sure to take some time for reflection -- and you're right that it will be waterfront with a cuppa. ;-)

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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