Refuge

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson
Photo Prompt © Dale Rogerson

The arched hallways were filled with a hushed silence, soothing her soul. Moving slowly, she breathed in the pure air. She was safe now. No longer would she live a life embroiled in the darkness of others, their hatred seeping into the goodness of her inner being. No longer would the sounds of the embittered city hound her thoughts and question her actions. The Old Religion would cloister her within its walls and give her refuge. And in return? She would give her life to combing the books that had survived, searching for the truths to help an ailing society.

What do you think happened to the society?

friday-fictioneers-badge

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

Grateful for Approaching PA Day

It is our second week back from the Winter break and we are already thinking of the report cards. It feels like it was only yesterday that I was printing a set and meeting with all the parents.

This week I am assessing the children’s oral communication, reading skill, and writing ability. I am also thinking about their ability to understand my oral communication with them. Do they grasp what I am saying to them in French? Are they able to follow my verbal instructions?

Not only am I to think of the children’s ability in French, I am expected to determine their skill level in Mathematics, their understanding of Science, and their participation in their Social Studies inquiry. Time needs to be spend gathering all their work and reflecting on where to place them on the rubric. It is now that I am grateful for the time I spent documenting all of their participation as their performance is not always evident in the product that they have produced.

This week Friday we have a PA day (day of professional activity), a day that has been set aside by the school board for reporting. On Friday, I will be setting out to school like every other work day. The day will differ to the norm, however, in that I will not have any children in my classroom. Instead I will have the chance to work uninterrupted and do my best to make as much headway as I can with the first term report cards.

This week I am grateful for upcoming PA. The day will give me the opportunity to do as much as I can on reporting and thus lessen the personal time I use to complete the task.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for fire and ice

Lavender Ladi was grateful for finished project

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

The End

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr
Photo Prompt © C.E. Ayr

There was a time when I thought the train tracks leading out of the city would take me away from what had become my life. Tainted. Stained by my environment. Haunted by those who had abused me. Hope had dwindled. And yet, for a moment, it had been ignited by what I believed to be love. Disillusionment and betrayal had led to this moment. I no longer have the will to struggle through life.

The rush of adrenaline as I fall through the air makes me feel truly alive. Maybe ending it was a mistake.

But it is too late.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

friday-fictioneers-badge(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

Grateful for Winter Break

When 23 December came around, I was exhausted and had been counting the days, then hours, until the Winter break. The final preparations for Christmas were a bit rushed but it all came together nicely. Christmas day dawned and all was quiet in our home. Now that my daughters are teens, the day begins a little later than in the past. I enjoyed the moments of quiet before everyone was awake. I prepared a little brunch and then woke up my family. I enjoyed the sense of togetherness as we all sat around the table, chatting and laughing.

The sense of family continued for the rest of the day and spilled into the next two. Christmas day we exchanged gifts, participated in conversation, shared meals, and watched a movie.

The day after Christmas is traditionally a shopping day – and that we did together. The day after my family continues spending time together to celebrate my birthday. As always, we shared a meal together and then we went to see a movie – Rogue One, the latest Star Wars episode. This was my choice as I am a Star Wars fan – and have been since I saw The Return of the Jedi in the cinema with my great aunt.

The greatest gift to me during this period is the family time we have. I treasure it as I know it will not always be thus. My children will one day have their partners and the family dynamic will change.

After the New year, I visited the library – a must during any break I have. I came home with seven books and plenty to read during some downtime.

The first week of 2017, I spent my mornings sitting on the sofa enjoying the words that had been penned by some of my favourite authors.

During the past two weeks I have been grateful for the Winter break. I had family time, read a lot, and relaxed plenty. I am now ready to tackle the next school term.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for a fresh start

Lavender Ladi was grateful for fuzzy socks

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

Truths of Happiness

img_0731In my page-a-day calendar on Happiness, a statement on the Truths of Happiness was made:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make others happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

At first glance, the quote from my calendar may seem contradictory. But on closer reflection, the statements make sense.

It is certainly easier to make others happy if you are happy within yourself. A person’s happiness, I believe, arises from contentment and acceptance of the life they are living whether it be at home or in the workplace. Lack of acceptance of events in our lives can lead to resentment and bitterness. Regret can blemish our complete experience of happiness; jealousy can tarnish it.

When a person is happy, they are grateful for what they have – even though what they have may not seem like much. Happiness is more than just material goods (a car, a house in the right neighbourhood, a closet full of clothing). Instead happiness may be defined by relationships, love, connections with the community.

Happy people easily bring joy to others. They seem to spread their happiness through laughter, sharing what they have, and the help they give unconditionally. In bringing joy to others, happy people are able to increase ten-fold their own happiness. Helping others seems to bring about more positivity in a person’s life; it seems to increase their sense of well-being.

Your own happiness and the happiness of others seems to be closely intertwined. The challenge is to find the balance so that your own happiness is not surrendered in the desire to make others happy.

What are your thoughts on the quoted Truths of Happiness?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Back to Work with the Minions

Today is back to routine. My alarm clock woke me up and I stumbled out of bed in the dark. While eating breakfast, I look out into the dark morning and shiver. Today is going to be a cold one. It will also be a difficult one as we all get back into our workday routines. The minions epitomise the lack of enthusiasm many will feel as they enter the school today.

Once the school day starts, however, I am sure that smiles will begin to spread and joy sparkle in eyes.

If you begin your year at work today, may you have a fulfilling day.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Kat’s Music Mondays)

Word for 2017: Discipline

One of my birthday gifts was a page-a-day calendar by Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. The gift intrigued me as her writing is on my list of books to read. I have placed the calendar on my bedside table and read the extract every morning as I am getting ready for the day.

The first entry in the  calendar asked me to choose a word that would be my theme for year of 2017; a word that would guide my thoughts and actions over the coming months. The word that came immediately to my mind was ‘discipline’. This word will be linked to my goals for the year, my tentative New Year’s resolutions.

In my context, the word discipline means more than punishment for wrong-doing; it means more than following a set of rules.  Instead the word ‘discipline’ refers to using self-control to attain my goals. This self-control would need to show itself in all aspects of my life.

In the Workplace: I enjoy my work and put my all into it. I enjoy spending time with the children, planning the lessons, and working on the assessments and documentation of their learning. I am, however, a person who wants everything to be done properly and completely. Many times I find myself staying longer at work than I should just so that I can complete things to my satisfaction. This year I need to focus on putting aside the work, locking my classroom door, and leaving the school building. I know that I cannot achieve many of my goals if I do not have the self-control to put my work aside.

 On Eating: This year I wish to work on my self-control when it comes to eating sugar. From past experience, I know that the best way to achieve this is to avoid bringing products into the home that contain the refined sweetener. I have already begun this process and my family are complaining when they have a desire to eat something sweet. 🙂 We will all need to get into the habit of reaching for a piece of fruit instead!

On Fitness: During the Summer of 2016, I began my  fitness journey. This year, I wish to continue with it. I wish, however, for the journey to be more disciplined. I will continue to fight the inner battle between staying at home (warm and relaxed) as opposed to walking out into the cold to go to a group fitness class. I have set out a schedule in my journal that I wish to follow. The first week of 2017 was a success exercise-wise. The test comes when I begin working and am tired at the end of the day.

On Blogging: Blogging brings me pleasure and is one activity that I wish to continue during 2017. It does, however, require a certain amount of self-discipline to blog every day. There were times during 2016 when blogging was not a priority because of my responsibilities at the work. I am hoping that with improved self-control, I will be able to balance my work responsibilities and my pleasure in blogging.

On WritingI enjoy writing and blending words together to create an image in the reader’s mind. During the past year, however, I noticed that the number of times I wrote creatively had dwindled. Will my focus on discipline enable me to write once again? Time will tell.

If I look even more into my life, I am sure I will find other areas in which my word for 2017 will create an impact. As the year progresses, I will write on how the word ‘discipline’ is (or is not) an integral part of my life.

What is your word for 2017? If you have written a post, I invite you to share it with us in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: Winter Break

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comGood morning, and welcome. If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the Winter school break has now ended and Monday we will all be back at school. And it will be cold! The weather during the first week of our break was unseasonably warm but Old Man Winter has decided that we should not forget that we are meant to experience cold weather at this time of the year!

If we were having coffee, we would chat about about what we have done during the break. I would tell you that I loved the week of Christmas. This is a time that my family are together and we have some serious downtime. We eat together, laugh together, read together, watch movies together. On Boxing Day, we always go out somewhere to do a little shopping. I avoid the malls as I am not a fan of big crowds. This year we shopped along the main street near our home – and the fellow shoppers were bearable. Bearable in that there were more shoppers than usual, but not too many that it made browsing unpleasant.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my birthday is soon after Christmas – the 27th December. It has become a family tradition that we go and eat a buffet lunch to celebrate my birthday.

I enjoyed our lunch and the time we spent eating together. Now that my children are older, we can have some interesting conversations.

After lunch, we set off for the cinema. As I am a Star Wars fan, we saw a film of my choice: Rogue One.

I do admit to being a little disappointed – I expected the story to continue from where the last film left off. (I had deliberately read nothing about the film prior to watching). I found that the film was shot too much in the dark; and that many of the battle scenes were reminiscent of the original Star Wars films.

If were were having coffee, I would tell you that I have relaxed a lot during this past week. After a visit to the library, I have immersed myself in words and enjoyed the stories of many authors. This is something that am able to do only when I am on break. The break is now over and I am spending the weekend putting away the Christmas tree, shopping for the week, and getting ready to go back to school on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend and have a wonderful week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diane, The Part-Time Monster)

Wishes for 2017

Image result for happy new year 2017 free imageA new year has begun. Unbelievable isn’t it? My New Year did not start with a bang. Instead it began as every other day and continued as a relaxing day . Next week, we are back at school and we will hit the tar running as we begin to prepare for the report cards.

5 Year Anniversary Achievement Five years ago, I registered with WordPress to begin blogging on this space. In 2012 it was my New Year’s resolution to begin blogging and share my thoughts. And today I am still continuing with that resolution. What has been amazing for me are the friendships that I have formed in the blogosphere due to my blogging resolution. It is my dream that one day I will meet face-to-face some of the amazing people that I have met online.

I would like to wish all of you, my readers, a wonderful 2017.  May it bring all that you wish for. Thank you for reading what I write. And thank you for commenting on my posts. I appreciate the time that you take to do so.

To a fantastic 2017.

Colline

A Very Merry Christmas 

When I woke up this morning, my home was quiet. My family was still sleeping and I could hear no sounds from outside. I was still wearing the smile that I went to sleep with. Our Christmas Eve dinner was out typical family dinner – but with no time limits. After dinner we sat and chatted … and chatted … and chatted. We spoke until Christmas Eve became Christmas Day. As I wait for my family members to wake up, I feel that I have already received my gift. Quality time with my family.


I wish you all a Merry and Blessed Christmas. Enjoy the time you will spend with your loved ones – I know I will.