FMF Day 6: Story

We are fascinated by other people’s stories. Gossip magazines sell because buyers read eagerly about the lives of the Hollywood famous. Biographies and autobiographies of both current personalities as well as well-known players of the past, line the shelves in book stores. We tend to believe that others have stories that are interesting and well worth reading.

And yet, men and women living in modern society have their own stories. Their lives are made up of experiences and choices that determine a unique tale. Life struggles and successes are weaved into the fabric of their adventures on earth. Decisions made cause deviations, which in themselves develop a person’s character and prominence within their own story.

Just like the unknown people of the past experienced their own life stories, so do we in the modern age discover ours. We may not have articles in magazines spreading the word about our lives, or have films and statues created in our name, but snippets of our lives are shared with people we know as well as with those with whom we come into contact. Our stories do matter. They are a part of ourselves and what makes us unique.

Do you often share your story?

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

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A Biscuit Treat

South African biscuits. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Yesterday was a difficult day dealing with many flare ups occurring in the classroom. Why do all the issues happen at once and on the same day? At the end of the day I took a deep breath and decided to leave for home straight after school (which is unusual for me).

When I reached home yesterday, I was happy to see that no-one had arrived home yet as that meant some quiet time alone. I made some tea and raided my stash of South African biscuits. When I was living in my birth country, I enjoyed these sweet additions to my tea break often. So often, they seemed pedestrian. Now they are a treat to be savoured.

I really need to learn how to make Romany Creams!

What is your favourite biscuit (cookie) treat?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is a response to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. This week the prompt is: pedestrian)

FMF Day 5: Trust

In whom do we trust? Many organisations and groups demand our trust and receive it without question. Our government (whom we trust will make the best decisions for our country), our farmers (whom we trust will grow our food in a way that is beneficial to our health), our doctors (whom we trust will know how to heal us), our teachers (whom we trust will guide and protect our children). The list goes on.

Often we do not realise that we are putting our trust in these people. The trust we give is so much an integral part of our lives that we do not question giving it. Even to those that do not deserve it. In the past people have trusted the police, for example, and yet we hear horror stories in which this trust has been abused – so much so that there are groups of people who no longer trust those who have pledged to protect and serve. Sometimes the breach of trust is three-fold as in the abuse of a child by a priest. The parents’ trust, the child’s trust, as well as the trust of the congregation has been misplaced.

I often wonder what would happen if members of our society did not automatically give their trust. What if organisations, and members within those organisations, had to earn our trust. Would the abuse of our trust be less frequent? And would institutions like the Government and Agriculture be more accountable?

What are your thoughts on trust in our society?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

An Unusual Song

Skinny Ma Linky Longlegs. A weird title for a song, isn’t it? I remember my mom singing this song with us in the car after she had fetched us from school. We would sing the chorus with her in full gusto on the way home. What fun!

I am sure my mom learned this when she was a child. Now I have fond memories when I think of it – memories of trips home after school, and of my sister about whom we sang this song. I wonder if my mom and my sisters remember this song.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past posterWhat do you think of this unusual song? Have you heard it before?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is a response to Hugh’s challenge to share an unusual song.)

FMF Day 4: Hope

Hope was a part of lives in the past, and it continues to feature in modern day lives. Many hopes remain the same – to be healthy all our lives, to be successful, to find love. There are differences, however, in what people over the ages have hoped for. In the past, people may have hoped to catch their dinner – or a few centuries later, to begin working without  school leaving certificate. Our hopes in the twenty first century have changed for a desire to have a stable income and job security, to find an affordable place to stay, to save enough money for a comfortable retirement.

One of the hopes forefront in many people’s minds is that global war does not happen, and that the nuclear weapons that governments have built are never used. So many countries seem to be at war – amongst themselves or against rivals. The hope for peace seems to be unattainable. And yet we still desire it.

An aspiration that those who are concerned about the environment have, is that humans do not destroy the planet. Global warming is slowly becoming a reality and the hope of environmentalists is that others begin to change their habits so that the planet can heal.

As I am writing, a phrase comes to mind that I have often heard/read: “Hope springs eternal”. This statement seems to hold true because no matter what we are experiencing (war, poverty, redundancy, illness), we continually hope for the better. It is with hope and the desire for something better, that we continue to strive and to live our lives.

What hopes do you believe modern people have?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

Grateful for Warm Tea

Processed with RookieLast week I was grateful for the air conditioning units in my classroom. This week, I am grateful for something warm. Yes, the temperatures have dropped that much – especially in my room! As my space is north facing, no sun comes through the windows during the day and, with the lowering of temperatures outside, the space is not warmed up at all.

Because the heating in the school has not yet been turned on, my students and myself wear our sweaters. And if the children do not have sweaters, they wear their jackets. It is at that time of year when it is warmer to be outside than it is inside. We definitely look forward to when the furnance is turned on.

In the meantime, I warm myself from the inside by drinking tea from my thermos. My bottle of water remains untouched as my body craves something warm to drink. I am wondering whether I should take another thermos of tea to drink instead. Brr!

This week I am grateful for warm tea – and the occasional cup of coffee – to warm me while working in my classroom.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

FMF Day 3: Create

“Mommy, people today don’t use the creative side of their brain.” My daughter insists that her statement is true and I tend to agree with her. In my daily experience of the person living in the modern world, I notice that we are expected to follow the rules and stay within everyone’s comfort zone. Even though we are asked to ‘think out of the box’, our employers do not always reward us when we deviate from their expectations of how we should behave and work within the workplace environment.

Our creativity is stifled from the time we are at school. Children are asked to conform to rules and to respond to tasks in a particular way. Children who do think differently are often misunderstood. As children grow older, they lack the confidence to explore and delve into learning with the same creativity and vigour that they did when they were young. Adults seem to have much of their creativity siphoned out of them.

If we could create more – with our hands, with our minds – we may be able to release some of the stress that we hold within ourselves. We should look into ourselves and our imagination in order to help fulfil our souls. We should look inside of ourselves instead of relying on others to feed the creative part of our being. We should look into our own minds instead of relying on the film maker to imagine for us.

Creative people are rare in the modern world. Each person does have a spark of creativity within them. It is up to each individual to nurture it and help it bear fruit.

In what ways are you creative?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

View from a Classroom

As you all know, the windows in my classroom were changed during the Summer. The new panes are not covered by a thick mesh, hindering my view of the outside. Instead, the new window protectors are thin and barely noticeable.

View from a Classroom Window. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The view from my window has also changed. Now I see the new play structure and the green of the pristine soccer field and running track. When I work from my desk in my classroom, I can enjoy the sight of children at play as well as the pleasing aesthetic of the newly renovated grounds.

What do you see through your window at work?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is a response to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. This week the prompt is: windows)

FMF Day 2: Tell

Modern life tells on our bodies. The lack of exercise shows in our weight and lack of muscle. Our diet shows in our constant fatigue and large bodies. Our stress shows in our haggard and drawn faces.

Modern life allows no time for repose and just being. We rush from point to point and often feel the clock ticking within our minds. Many children experience the same stress as they are shunted from one activity to another. High school students are expected to ‘hit the books’ as a heavy workload is piled onto them.

Modern life is reflected in our faces. In the bleary eyes in the morning as we stagger (sometimes literally) to our workplace or place of learning. The circles under our eyes tell of late nights and over-exposure to screens. (Yes, children show these signs as well).

Magazines and TV shows may show that modern life is great – we have so much more now than they had in the past. Life is shown to be easier. But is it? Our bodies tell that it may not be so.

Does your body show signs of modern life?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. To read any posts you may have missed on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week Too Short

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you with a tired smile. The heat continued until Wednesday, making outdoor activity a little difficult. My sleep during the week was restless because it was so hot (no, I do not have a/c at home – we rely on fans). For the first three days of the week, I was grateful that I now have air conditioning in my classroom – it makes being nearer the construction on the neighbouring site worth it! The children came in from recess relieved to be in a cool space. Everyone was relieved when the temperatures dropped on Thursday – but were not happy with the rain and the drop to below 10c on Friday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday I went to a teacher’s workshop to refresh my knowledge on running records and using the reading kit for French Immersion the school board that I work for uses. I went with two of the people I am mentoring. It was good to spend some time with them and to get to know them a little more.

Practising Running Records. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

This year, the school board wants us to focus on reading with the grade 1s. We are to begin working with them early on in the year so that we can avoid them experiencing difficulties down the line. Our admin is supporting us in training us (there are 5 grade 1 teachers) and giving us support to implement the plan laid out by the superintendent. Twice a week for 1 1/2 hours, I have someone coming in to read with the at risk students in my class. Organising the reading and making the assessment more formal will help, I think, with knowing which children need help..

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to try Class Dojo, a programme/App that claims to help teachers communicate with parents about what is going on in the classroom, and about their own child. I set up my account yesterday and sent out the invites to all my parents. I hope to begin using it on Monday. I will let you know how it goes and whether it works well.

Class Dojo is set up! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the teaching week coming up will be four days. Friday is a PA day (professional activity) filled with staff meetings. I would also tell you that next weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada so many families will be preparing for their family dinners.

Have a wonderful evening and enjoy your week. Our temperatures are forecast to rise – but not as high as they were last week!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017