Weekend Coffee Share: Fourteen Days Already

If we were having coffee, it would once again be virtual. On Friday we experienced the fourteenth day of social distancing and isolation from others. I have now reached the point where I am beginning to feel the isolation and the confinement of our apartment walls. I am lucky that I live with people and therefore do have others to spend time with – I feel for those that live alone.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been speaking to people virtually – and the connection with a different person has been good. I have spoken to my mom in South Africa – a country that has just entered a 3 week lockdown. I am pleased that she is not alone and that she is able to go outside and spend time in the garden. I have also spoke to a colleague – and we had our first virtual staff meeting.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that a garden is what I am missing right now. People who have gardens are doubly lucky at this moment as they are able to move around outside. I do wish the weather were a little warmer here then I would be able to sit out on the balcony and read. I guess that time will come as we have been told that social distancing will go on indefinitely.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have moved closer to connecting with my students virtually. I have figured out how to set up my Google Classroom and am now in the process of connecting my students. It is slow going as the emails with parents are going back and forth and I cannot see exactly what it is they have on their screen. But I have hope that we will eventually get there.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been reading more than usual – though not always as sometimes I feel the need to move onto another activity. I have found pleasure in listening to audio books while journaling and have put a number on hold at the library. I have not listened to books in the past but now I think I have found a new habit. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would wish you well with your experience of social distancing. Stay safe, and stay healthy

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

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

Weekend Coffee Share: One Week Done

If we were having coffee, we would be sharing a cuppa virtually. For the past week my family and I have been practising social distancing and have therefore cancelled all get-togethers with friends. The past week was March Break, a week off for schools in our province. Instead of following my usual routine of shopping, attending group fitness classes at noon, and spending time with a friend, I have spent the week at home minimising my contact with others.

If we were having coffee, I would admit that I do miss the opportunity of socialising with others and the lack of socialisation has sometimes led to moments of sadness. However, I am lucky that I live with people with whom I get on – and my daughter is always good at lifting a person’s spirits. I have spent the week reading (a lot!), working on my bullet journal, speaking to some family members in South Africa, cleaning, and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. The days have flowed into one another with no distinction and each day I wake up reminding myself of what day it is.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for the next two following weeks, schools all over the province will be closed in order to combat the virus and attempt to flatten the curve. I cannot say that I look forward to another two weeks of being housebound! I am prepared, however, and plan to work on some of the marking I brought home with me from school. Tomorrow I will check-in and see if our principal has any plans for online meetings. The next two months is usually the time period during which plans are made for the following academic school year. I foresee us doing some planning remotely.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the shelves at the supermarket are not as empty. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The shopping hours have been reduced giving the workers time to unpack the orders.
  • The managers have put up signs stating how many articles of the product a person is able to buy. This is especially relevant for toilet paper. Now if a shopper needs this product, it is available!
  • There is only so much food a person can stockpile!

Other rules have changed in the supermarket such as now it is mandatory to pay with a credit/debit card; re-usable shopping bags will not be packed by the workers; cleaning of self-serve kiosks after each use. It is interesting to note that no-one lingers any longer while doing their shopping. In my neighbourhood, the shopping mall is unusually quiet as the only business open is the grocery store.

If we were having coffee, I would encourage you to look after yourself during this time period. It is so important to think of our mental health as well as our physical health. Keep well and until next week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Already December!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I just woke up from a nap. I have been feeling exhausted the whole week and what I have been fighting has finally caught up with me. I have a headache, my throat is aching, and all I want to do is close my eyes. I was hoping I could avoid being sick but my body has decided otherwise.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weekend ended with another snowfall. It looked so pretty when I stepped outside on Thursday morning. I love walking outside when the snow is falling: it is peaceful and and I enjoy the crunch of my steps as I walk on the virgin snow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that there are only two weeks of school left before we break for the winter break. The time seems to be rushing by quickly. Next week is our school concert and my class is taking part. I do Zumba with my class as part of their DPA (Daily Physical Activity) when they do not have gym. For the concert we have chosen 3 songs to show the parents and we have been practicing them. The children are excited to perform them on stage. My intention is that we practice this week on the stage.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it was a PA day on Friday. In the afternoon, I took the opportunity to pop into the hairdresser and touch up my colour. I loved the way she dried my hair – it looked so pretty afterwards.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Saturday I received a wonderful surprise. Everyone loves bookmail – and the mail I received was from Harper Collins Canada: the publishing house that I read and review for. They sent a beautiful Christmas card with more ARCs than I had expected: 3 Young Adult and 5 Adult. I felt spoiled. I guess, though, that they are thanking me for all the books I read and review for them (whether I have received the ARC or not).

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I spent more time with my daughter bullet journaling. I am really enjoying this hobby and I think I will keep it up. I love the creativity of it as well as the time that I spend with my daughters around the table. It is a time that we chat, catch up and listen to a little music. Definitely something I want to keep doing until they no longer want to.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that now I am going to take some time to do a little marking – I must try and attempt to do a little of the work that I brought home to do this weekend! 😀 The upcoming week here looks cold. I hope that you stay warm and have a good week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: It’s Been A While

If we were having coffee, I would apologise for taking so long to touch base. The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy as I have prepared the report cards, done all that comes with that activity, as well as seen parents to talk about the progress of their child. It is a tiring time of year for me as I meet with so many people back-to-back. It will calm down now as we move closer to the winter break; and hopefully I will now be able to catch up a little on my marking.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Tuesday the teachers in my union will begin strike action. The action will begin with a work-to-rule which is a mild form of strike action and will not impact the students and their parents at all (we will still be doing extra murals and meeting with parents). Everyone is hoping that this first step will encourage the government to continue with negotiations in good faith – though we do not have too much faith in this hope. Time will tell what the future will bring.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last weekend I slipped on the ice, fell, and banged the back of my head. Hard. As a result, I decided to err on the side of prudence and not do any strenuous exercise for the week. It was hard for me not to dance in my Zumba classes – but probably better for my health. This week I will slip into my routine again and look forward to the exercise. The weather is currently a little warmer than last week and the temperatures have reverted to normal for this time of year – therefore there is no ice. The cold and snowfall have, however, caused all the leaves to fall off the trees so it looks a little glum outside at the moment.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I finished reading my library stack. The romances were perfect for my mood and helped freshen my palette for the read I picked up this morning – a thriller titled The Wives by Tarryn Fisher.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I want to start bullet journaling with my daughter. Our plan is to work on a December spread next weekend. I look forward to drawing with her and doing something together at the dining table. Now that my girls are older, we do not really do an activity together and this is one that may work out. I have purchased a dot journal and a few pens and now I just need the creativity to flow! 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now off to make some toasted sandwiches for my family. My husband made some fresh bread last night and I want to try my hand at making paninis. It is time for a little experimentation. I love it when my family is willing to be taste guinea pigs!

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful afternoon – and may you have a wonderful week.

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)

Weekend Coffee Share: Two Months Already!

If we were having coffee, I would greet you tiredly. As I was going through the day yesterday, I realised how tired I am – so tired that last night I went to bed at my usual time when it is my habit to stay up later on a Friday night. Today I am still awash with fatigue so I see myself hitting the hay early again tonight.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this year I was not feeling Halloween. I did not think creatively on a costume and just grabbed a dress I wore a few years back with no intention to add the wig and makeup. Now that my own children are older, there is no vibe at home and, with the change of admin at the school, the vibe at the office and at school is also not there. I still decorated my door and classroom so my room still had the Halloweeny feel about it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though my students were tired yesterday after their late night trick-or-treating, they worked calmly in class. I was so pleased to see that parents did not send them to school with loads of candy. If they did have any in their lunch box, it was only one.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week I completed the first draft of my report cards and handed them in. I also worked on two modified IEPs (Individual Education Plans) which took so much time! Now that I am thinking about all that happened this week, I am not surprised that I am feeling tired! This afternoon I will definitely relax with a book. I have a couple of holds at the library which I will pick up after doing my grocery shopping later on in the day. I am in the mood for reading a relaxing romantic comedy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather has turned. Halloween was a cold and rainy day which brought in the icy winds. When I was outside yesterday, I decided I needed to bring out my winter gear: I am sure I will need my boots, hat and scarf soon to protect myself from the cold. My least favourite season is almost upon us!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is now time to go to my exercise class. Have a wonderful weekend – and may your week be a good 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)

Weekend Coffee Share: Working Towards Deadlines

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sombre days have begun. Yesterday I took advantage of the shining sun to take some pictures for my Instagram posts because when it is overcast, the photos I take are too dark and cannot be used. In addition, during the past week we were reminded that summer is a thing of the past and we are required to now wear closed shoes and jackets. There is definitely a chill in the air and I definitely feel it when I am on duty outside on the playground.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I have been working towards achieving my deadlines at work. Two are coming up next week: the report cards for my students as well as the IEPs (Individual Education Plans). Staying after school on a couple of days and working on the report cards bore fruit as Friday at 5:30pm, they were done. I walked home with a sense of satisfaction as that meant I would not have to work on them during the weekend. Now I can focus on the IEPs.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a pleasant surprise when I arrived home on Friday. I had bookmail! The marketing group at Harper Collins Canada sent me an ARC copy of a Fantasy novel that I wanted to read: Infinity Son by Adam Silvera. I am so excited to read this one that I pushed aside the books I had planned to enjoy during October and opened this one this afternoon. I am loving it so far!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the tree foliage has changed colours – and it looks beautiful. I am also receiving a few leaf bouquets which are decorating my classroom. These are definitely the highlight of the season and the children in my class love collecting them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my Sunday afternoon was spent reading and relaxing. It is definitely my favourite part of the weekend. Now that I have older children, I definitely enjoy these moments that I have for myself – it is like I am finding the person I was before children. 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful week. And if you do anything for Halloween, enjoy it.

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)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Saturday Catch-Up

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that another week has gone by. The days seem to be moving along very quickly – I cannot believe that it is the last weekend of September and that school has been back for a month! Time really goes by quickly when you are busy and every moment of your day is occupied.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my students and I are slowly getting into our routine. For the first time on Friday, I felt the sense that my students were in their rhythm and that the class was working as I like it. It does take a lot of effort on my part and a lot of energy. September evenings always see me tired at the end of the day as I work towards getting my classes running smoothly, as well as completing all of my deadlines.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was an author event I attended on Tuesday (you can read the post here). Even though I knew I would be tired the next day, I bought my ticket to attend as the publishing house was hosting one of my favourite authors: Gilly MacMillan. I had such a fun evening at the event and laughed along with the authors during the conversation.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this afternoon I watched a movie on Netflix: 211. It has been a while since I had watched a fast-paced movie and I actually enjoyed it. The film contained some emotional moments in it that I actually appreciated. It was well worth spending the time to watch.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I will call my mom tomorrow after my Zumba class. I look forward to chatting with her and I am sure we will spend a couple of hours on the phone. We have a lot to catch up on and I am hoping that the signal will be a good one.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my dinner is ready. My husband knows the way to my heart and has cooked tonight for the family. It certainly smells delicious!

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)

Weekend Coffee Share: First Week Back At School

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was my first week back at school. On Tuesday, after the Labour Day weekend, I had met all of my students by 9am. Thankfully there were only a few tears as most of the children knew me by sight even though had had not already been in my classroom. Most of my class this year are grade 2s (16 students of the 20) and I had interacted with some of them last year in the hallways.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week flew by quickly. I had a lot to do – and the upcoming week will be no different. September is filled with deadlines and I like to get it all done as quickly as possible – before I know it, the time to work on the progress reports will arrive.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my class is settling in nicely. I am slowly getting to know them; and they are slowly getting to know the routines of the class. Time will tell what I need to focus on this year as I get to know their needs and what it is that they enjoy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I have the sniffles. I was not completely over my summer cold when work started up again and my body is reminding me of this. I have spent the weekend resting a bit in between my chores and I am hoping that I will feel in top form tomorrow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday afternoon I spent some time with my weekend read: A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. This is a fantasy novel that is all over Instagram at the moment as readers are posting extremely positive views of it. I decided to read it as fantasy fiction is my favourite. And I can say that so far the writing is excellent!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that supper is ready to be served. My husband knows the way to my heart (read yesterday’s SoCS post to understand this comment more). 🙂

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)

Weekend Coffee Share: The End of Summer Break is Near

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past week I went into school to set up my classroom for the first day of school.

When I walked into the classroom it looked so clean! I had also asked the caretaker to remove some items of furniture so the space looked even freer when I placed the desks.

This year I have changed the look of the reading centre and I have added a calming corner. My intention is to implement the Zones of Regulation to help the children self regulate their behaviour.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had one last coffee date with my dear friend. It was a bittersweet meeting as we will not see one another so frequently until the next school break. This summer has been wonderful as we have met up each week and had a chance to chat, exchange ideas about the books we have read, and even do a bit of necessary shopping.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Friday afternoon, I felt the full force of a summer cold. The long weekend has been spent resting and trying to get over it before the first day of school. I am resting my voice and body so that it is fit to work with the twenty new students I will have in my class on Tuesday. I do still experience first day jitters – though not as intense as the students that will be entering my class. By 10 o’clock on Tuesday everything will be fine. I am prepared and that is half the nervousness conquered. The first week back at school will be filled with creating routines with my students and working on the beginning of the school year deadlines.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful rest of the week and to enjoy all the moments life gives you. I know that I am looking forward to meeting up with my new students.

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)

Weekend Coffee Share: One Week Left

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the cooling days and the chilly mornings are reminding me that the Summer Break is almost over. I have tidied my home, read some wonderful books, spend time with a dear friend, and relaxed to my heart’s content. The time of leisure, however, is almost over and it will soon be the start of the school year.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Monday, and for the few days after, I will be going into school to set up my classroom. Not only will I be moving desks and chairs into their positions, I will also be preparing my students’ notebooks as well as getting the first week’s lessons ready. In addition, I will be preparing my welcome letter to the parents and setting up my centres for the first day. Preparing my teaching space helps to get my mind back into the routine of the school year. It is a time of reflection as I prepare for that nervous-filled first day of school.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have done most of the things that I wanted to do during the break – and that I will have completed the tasks that I set myself by the end of the Labour Day weekend. The days of summer have been hot and wonderful as I have taken a break from my working routine. I do, however, feel ready to get back in the swing of things – though I will not be able to do as much reading as I have done these past seven weeks.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tomorrow I am attending a Frenzy Presents event at the offices of the Harper Collins Publishing House in Canada. I am looking forward to it as I will meet one of their authors and learn about the Young Adult books that are coming out this Fall.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now off to meet up with my husband. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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)