Weekend Coffee Share: Tidying Up

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would welcome you in quickly from the cold. The temperatures here have dropped quite rapidly: Tuesday I was overdressed and felt too warm the entire day but that changed on Wednesday with the colder weather. The last few days it has felt like winter, and what you would expect of January here in Toronto. We haven’t had much snow, though, just a few flurries. The snow that has managed to stick, has melted very quickly. I do miss having snow during winter as the surroundings are very grey without it – bare trees and brown grass in the parks do not brighten up the concrete buildings and sidewalks.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my day on Tuesday ended with a highlight. I attended an event organised by Frenzy Presents of Harper Collins Canada. (If you did not see my post, click here). I enjoyed the event as I always do. It was fun to go out for a little and meet another author (whose book I loved, by the way. If you want to read my review, click here). The key lime pie we ate was also very tasty. It was my first time trying it and it is definitely a pie I will eat again.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past week I did quite a bit of organising of my students’ work. My aim this week is to write their report cards – which are due in 2 weeks time. I have been recording their results; and testing their oral, reading and writing skills. It is not an easy task as I try my best to put the correct symbols next to their name.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that by the end of the school week, I felt like I had not had a break. This is a busy time of year as we get everything sorted to write the report cards. Teachers are closeting themselves in their rooms during lunch times as they work towards the upcoming deadline. After the deadline has been achieved, things at school will be a little bit more relaxed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I foresee a busy week ahead. I know that I am going to have to focus and stick to my goals of the day so that I do not get stressed. I wish you a wonderful week ahead – may it be a stress-free one.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

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Weekend Coffee Share: A New Year

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a Happy New Year wish. A new year has begun and the last few days have rushed by. We have already wished our son well as he flew back to his new home (tears were involved); and we have spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with some lovely friends. My first book of the year has been read, and I have begun my second ( my birthday gift has to be read asap!).

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am not ready to go back to work on Monday. I still feel tired (too many late nights!) and still wish to rest, relax, and read. I know that on Monday I will have to hit the ground running as our report cards are due in a couple of weeks. January is a stressful time of year for me as I will have to test the children during two weeks so that I can place the appropriate grades below their names.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is unseasonably mild outside for this time of year. The days have been very grey and cloudy, yet we have been able to walk outside without a hat. We did have some snow fall overnight but, within a day, the white covering on the surfaces had melted. The weather forecast for the first week back at school is mild. I am wondering whether we will experience a lot of cold this winter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I put on the usual 2kgs over the Christmas break. The overeating on sugar as well as the sedentary days have led to the weight gain. I know that I will have to work hard to lose what I have gained. The bonus will be getting back into my routine of healthy eating and better food choices. Next year I need to make the decision not to buy store bought cookies and candies – and not binge on cheeses, pastries, and crisps.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you well for the second week of 2019. Make it a good one!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Sickly End

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would whisper my greeting to you. The school term ended with me feeling absolutely exhausted, and my voice all croaky. I was fighting illness for the entire week as I pushed through the days to get all that I needed to do done. There were so many little things that I wanted to complete before we broke off for Winter break so that I could start afresh on 7 January when school begins again in the new year. I was happy when on Friday I closed the door to my classroom and and set off for home with my goal achieved.

If we were having coffee, I would excuse myself for coughing. I cannot believe that I am sick when Christmas, and my birthday, are so near. I am hoping that the aching throat will not linger. I believe rest will be the key to my healing quickly. I have not gone to my exercise classes since Monday and I think my body will be grateful for the break. I just need to be careful, though, that I do not overeat and thus put on all the weight that I have fought so hard to lose during the year.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that all my gifts are bought and wrapped, and that tomorrow morning – early – I will do the last of my grocery shopping for the big day. Tomorrow I will also clean our home and the children will put the tree up in the afternoon as well. Yes, the tree is not yet up! My daughters were waiting for their brother to arrive so that they could put the tree up together. They love the fun of putting decorating the living area and, now that they are all older, the time when they are all together is more difficult to achieve.

If were were having coffee, I would tell you that I have a number of books to review so in the next few days you will see reviews of some excellent books in my feed. Two of them will be released at the end of this year. Keep a lookout for them – especially if you enjoy historical fiction, or psychological thrillers.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful time with your family over the next few days – whether you celebrate Christmas or not. We will be spending it together en famille – it is definitely a day that I look forward to.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Desire to Recharge

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a tired smile. I am looking forward to the winter break for then I can rest and recharge my batteries. This is an exciting time of year for the children and their constant energy tires me a little. Most children in my class are looking forward to Santa depositing gifts at the Christmas tree; and all children are looking forward to two weeks at home with no school. Yes, two more weeks and we can all have a little break.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have bought all my gifts for the great day – and that most of what I can put in the freezer has been stored. Now I need to buy wrapping paper and tape and then spend time getting the gifts ready for everyone. I bought all of the gifts within walking distance of my home so I did not need to get on buses and spend time travelling to buy what I wanted. I was so pleased when I  found what I was looking for at the stores nearby.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week looks to be a busy one at work. On Tuesday, the entire school is going out for the annual movie day to see The Grinch. As can be expected, my class is looking forward to it. When we get back, we will all have lunch and then we will spend the rest of the afternoon working on our Holiday door. Previous experience has shown me that I cannot do anything too academic as the children are all hyper from the field trip.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Wednesday after school is our staff Holiday party. We will be celebrating at a local restaurant. And eating Mexican food. I will tell you next week all about the food. We don’t get much chance to socialise with colleagues so it will quite a social event.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I blogged a little more this week – and even managed to write a flash fiction which I haven’t done in a while (titled Approaching Change) I have missed writing and need to make an effort to get back to it. I will try to write another piece this week – my creative writing muscles need to be flexed!

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. Mine will be chilly as we have had snowfall and it feels like winter.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: Countdown to Christmas

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am counting down the days to Christmas with many other people all over the world. Christmas is my favourite holiday. I love the decorations. And I love the days that my family and I spend enclosed in our home together. Christmas has come to mean quality time which we spend together with no interruptions from the outside world.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have begun my shopping for the big day. I have bought most of the gifts, and have started squirrelling away treats for the family as well. I am hoping to get everything bought by the end of this coming week – with the exception of the fresh fruit and vegetables. I do not enjoy the crowds in the shops leading up to Christmas and do my best to avoid malls. In addition, I will be working right up to the weekend before Christmas so getting things done early, means less stress for me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Christmas preparations have started in my class as well. Decorating will begin next week, but we have already written letters to Santa. As I work with grade 1s in a French Immersion setting, I created the letter with them in class. The children then chose which sentences they wanted to write. Not all children in my class celebrate the advent of Santa. Those children I asked to write a letter to their parents. The children who celebrate Hanukkah, made reference to this celebration in their letter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am feeling very tired and am looking forward to the winter break. In the meantime, I will continue with the preparations for my favourite holiday of the year.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: It’s Been a While

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, you would be wondering why we haven’t spoken for so long. The period after Halloween was busy with parent interviews, and then with trying to catch up my work. I also hurt my back and sitting in front of a computer to post was not a pleasant past-time for me.

My back healed with time.  It was frustrating for me not to be able to go to my Zumba and Shab’am classes! Resting was worth it though as 2 weeks after the initial back pain, I was back dancing. I learned that while I was away one of the Zumba time slots had been cancelled – as well as the Shab’am class. So annoying! I have now had to change my schedule and go to a later class – which is what I did this past week. I will see if I can keep up attending the later class at another location as I did feel tired yesterday in the afternoon.

Last week I had the chance to Dance 4 Kids at a charity event (see my blog post here). It was such fun and I loved it! The three hours went by so quickly and I did not notice the time passing. We had such a pleasurable time and it felt like a party. I wish there were more of these events that we could attend. There are always runs being organised for charity and I would love there yo be more dance marathons for us dancers.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I won a ticket to go to the Read For The Cure event in Toronto. It was a pleasurable evening and I got the chance to hear two more writers speak. I am currently preparing a post about the event and will speak more about it then.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have read a number of books lately that I have enjoyed. The pile of books to be reviewed is growing and I think it is time for me to get to work and review them. I enjoy coming home each day after work and reading a little – especially when the stories are so good. By goal for this weekend is to have the posts ready so that I can share them with you during the week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that blogging in the past week has escaped me as I have been going to work early to meet parents. Hopefully in the coming week I can get back to my usual schedule and spend more time in the blogosphere. Looking at the time, I see that is is almost time for me to leave for my class. Enjoy the upcoming week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Halloween Week

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am not enjoying the dreary weather that we have been having this week. Grey skies and rain has been in the forecast. Mid-week, we had a break with some costume fun (and luckily the rain stopped for a while for the kids to go out trick or treating).

Speaking about Halloween. Did you dress up? I did, of course, as it is a fun event to participate in – and the kids love it. No-one really got my costume but that is okay – my family enjoyed the memories it brought back of our time in Paris. If you want to see what I looked like dressed as a server at an upscale restaurant in Paris, visit my Halloween post here.

On the night of Halloween I came home exhausted. Not only did I have excited kids in my classroom, but I also had an Open Classroom so that the parents could come in and have a look at their children’s work. It was an enjoyable time and it was good to chat to have the chance to chat to them. The children also enjoyed showing their moms and dads what they had done in class.

The day after Halloween was just as tiring for me. The children were cranky from their late night and also running high on sugar. The sugar rush seems to have continued over into Friday. Hopefully by Monday they will have calmed down – until they get all excited about Christmas! 😀

I almost forgot to tell you. Last weekend, my cousin and I attended two more events at the Toronto International Festival of Authors. On Friday we listened to a panel featuring Linward Barclay, Joy Fielding, and Shari Lapena. The discussion was so interesting that I did not want it to stop. One hour is definitely not enough! On Saturday we went to listen to Esi Edugyan and Meg Wolitzer. This was also an interesting discussion. Esi Edugyan read a piece from her novel. What a beautiful voice! She should be reading her own audio books!

This weekend I do not have any plans to go out anywhere. Instead I am doing the usual: housework, laundry, exercise dance classes, and reading. This afternoon I found a TV show on Netflix that I am enjoying – Lethal Weapon. I have been trying a few recently that haven’t kept my attention but this one will as it has some humour in it.

Have you seen the show? The pilot was really well done. I will watch a little more and see how it goes.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful week. It is almost time for supper, and time to head into the kitchen.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Fall Week

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it definitely feels like Fall. The temperatures is consistently staying lower and I have had to wear coat and gloves when going outside. Inside our apartment it has also been cold. After complaining, however, the problem has been fixed and now we are warm and toasty in our home.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am enjoying the Fall colours. Even though I live in the city, there are places where I can see the beautiful colours in the trees. One of the spots is in our school yard. This week, I went outside with the children and they spent some time searching for leaves so that they could work on an in class project. They had such fun searching for a variety and, once the bin was filled, they had extra time to play outside in the crisp air.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday I took a break from the classroom and attended a teacher’s workshop on guided reading. Guided reading is an area I want to work on this year as it is so important to get he children reading. Our school board has a vision of getting all grade 1s reading by the end of the year – which is why the grade 1 teachers have been given guided reading tables and are being sent on workshops. The session on Wednesday was a little disappointing as they spoke on the Daily 5 – something which I am already implementing in my classroom. I have been promised that the second session will be more of what I want. I will attend it with my grade 1 teacher colleagues next month.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last night I went to another author talk presented by the Toronto International Author Festival, and that I will attending another this evening. I am really enjoying these sessions and will definitely attend more next year.

If we were having coffee, I would be saying goodbye. It has just gone past 11am and I need to get ready for my exercise class. When I get back I will work a little on some book reviews before going to the author event. My read books have been piling up and I haven’t had a chance yet to sit at my computer and write down my thoughts on these book. Tomorrow it is my intention to complete my report cards as they are due on Tuesday.

If we were  having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful weekend – and a Happy Halloween. 🎃👻😈

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week Filled with Authorly Things

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would apologise for the late meet-up. This week has been crazy busy. I am happy to say, though, that it was not at all work related.  🙂  My work has suffered a lot as I have left school soon after the bell rang for the end of the day. Even though I will spend this week trying to catch up on my marking, the events I attended were all worth it. There are times when you have to do things for yourself – and the past week was one of those times.

My week began as every other week. On Wednesday, however, it deviated from the norm. I had won tickets to see The Wife as well as the book written by Meg Wolitzer (you can see my review here). My husband was not interested in seeing the film once I had told him the synopsis. Instead I asked a colleague of mine to go watch the film with me. We left school as soon as we could after the last bell had rung so that we could see the early show. The film adaptation of the book was excellent. And what was perfect is that I felt the same emotions I had experienced when reading the book. We both loved the film and were still talking about it on Thursday.

On Thursday, I went to another author event held by Harper Collins Publishing. At the event I had the opportunity to listen to two debut authors speak about their psychological thrillers which will be coming out next year. Their answers to the questions posed to them suggests that their novels will be filled with twists and surprises. I look forward to reading them (we received copies of the ARCS at the event) as I do love twisty thrillers.

On Friday the Toronto International Festival of Authors began. My husband is not interested in going to author events but my cousin was willing to keep me company. On Friday we went to hear Miriam Toews speak; and yesterday we heard a panel of authors speak: Kelley Armstrong, Michael Robotham, and Amy Stuart. We have loved the talks so far and look forward to the others we intend to listen to next weekend. The events are continuing during the week but we decided to attend only those that are occurring over the days when we don’t have to get up early to go to work the next day.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I need to finish getting ready for work. Sorry once again for the late catch up. Hopefully this week will be less busy and I will have more time to do some blogging. Have a wonderful week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: Culture and Dance

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a tired smile. Even though the work week was short (we had Thanksgiving on Monday), my days – and nights – were were filled to the brim with a visit to the Art Gallery and a danceathon in aid of charity.

On Wednesday evening I had the opportunity to view a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The evening was set aside for teachers, the idea being that we might be interested in taking our classes to the exhibit. The evening began with a talk about the photographer’s work and what he had hoped to achieve with showing his work. The title of the exhibit is Anthropocene and it showcases the changes that humanity has made on the earth’s landscape.

The talk and the exhibit was extremely interesting. It is not an event I would take my class to as I believe they are to young to appreciate it. I would, however, do so if I taught older children.

During the week my husband and I celebrated the fact that we have been married for 19 years. We decided to go to a movie – just the two of us. On Thursday evening, I took him away from his computer and his work to see A Simple Favour. We thought it might be an action movie (my husband loves watching these) but instead it turned out to be a psychological thriller. The story had quite a number of twists in it – just like the novels that I enjoy reading.:)

The late nights were catching up to me (I am normally asleep by 9:15pm), so I was a little bit slow on Friday. On Saturday, however, I looked forward to participating in my first ever dancathon. The event had been organised by some Zumba / Sh’bam / Body Jam teachers at the Gym chain that I belong to. The event was part of a group of events that have been organised to raise money for children with special needs.

The event was fun and the two hours passed quickly. My body felt tired afterwards though, and a little stiff once I had cooled down. When I got home, I could not believe the amount of steps that my fitbit had recorded – this is the most I have moved since I got the watch.

The weekend is almost over. I am on my way to see my cousin then I will come home to complete my weekend chores. The past week has been a pleasant one – and I look forward to what the next week will bring. May your week be a wonderful one.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)