Share Your World: Relaxation and Music

What’s your go-to for unwinding after a stressful event or day?

Each day that  I arrive home from work, I do the same thing: put on the kettle and grab my favourite read. My day is filled with the noise of chattering young children and when I get home I crave silence and some alone time. My own children know this and only ask me for help after I have relaxed for 30 minutes. I put my feet up on my bed and read while drinking a warm cup of tea. This has come to be one of my favourite times of the day. Twice a week I cook dinner early for my family and I head off to Zumba. Dancing is a great way to release the frustrations of the day and I wish that I could attend classes every day.

The plane you’re flying in is going to crash, no survivors.  If you had one song you could listen to before it happens, what would it be? 

This question is a difficult one as I love so many songs! Would I choose an old French classic (La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf)?

Or another classic that I have always enjoyed dancing to (In the Mood by Glen Miller)?

Or a more modern classic (Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen)?

I guess it would depend on my mood. Or I would cheat and wish for a remix including all three songs 😀

What is one thing you’re really, really good at and not ashamed to admit it?  I worded that deliberately because aren’t we taught to be humble and not pushy about our achievements?  Celebrate your ability!

I know that I am good at my job. I have helped so many children, adolescents and young, come to enjoy their learning and celebrate their successes. I have come to realise – with the subtle help of my former principal – that I am especially good at helping young children who have no confidence in themselves and who have had difficulty in the past adjusting to the expectations of children in a structured school setting.

Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?

Memories are better than pictures, I have found. In the digital age we take so many pictures – and how often do we actually go and look at them? Money, on the other hand, is a necessary evil in our society. We need it to pay for our accommodation, to buy food and clothing, to purchase the things needed for our children. As for the valuables – those can easily be replaced.

What were you grateful for or something that made you smile during the past month?

This week I am definitely grateful for my shelter. We are onto our forth day of rain and wet and I joyfully enter my home at the end of every day.

NEWSYWbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Sparks, the new host of Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge).

Share Your World: Passion and Equality

NEWSYWbannerAre You A Better Listener or Speaker?

I am definitely a better listener – so much so that I have encountered strangers who felt they could unburden their worries with me. However as I have grown older, I have become better at speaking, especially in front of an audience of more than a couple of people. Speaking in front of people is still not easy and it is not something that I seek out.

If You Were Asked To Design A Warning Label That Would Be Tattooed On Your Skin, What Would It Say? 

Caution! Mature woman at work.

What Are You Passionate About?

The first thing that comes to mind is education. Teaching our younger generations is an important task which includes not only reading, writing and arithmetic but also the socialisation aspect, how to work with others, and how to think critically. Children who have been educated are able to participate in society and feel their worth. There are those in the world who believe that the work of educators can be done by anyone; people who disregard the worth of the lessons learned when younger. To them I say: come do my job for a week; and remember that you would not be in your high paying job today if it were not for the work that educators had in preparing you for your position.

If You Could Change One Thing About Your World, What Would It Be?

That women, as a gender, are treated with respect by all men. They say we have equality, and yet women are paid less than men for doing the same work. They say we have equality, and yet women are expected to work harder at their job to earn the same respect a man has when doing less. They say we have equality, and yet women are the ones who do more in the home. They say we have equality, and yet women are still often treated as second class citizens by some salesmen (yes, men). Yes, there are men out there who treat women with respect – yet there are still those who continue to treat women as the inferior sex.

What Gave You A Reason To Smile This Past Week?

I am relieved that the temperatures have dropped (though I wasn’t too enamoured with the continuous rain yesterday). I no longer have heat rash and I am sleeping much better. This past Summer was brutal weather-wise and I look forward to enjoying the milder Fall temperatures.

What would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Sparks, the new host of Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge).

Share Your World: A Mixed Bag

NEWSYWbannerWhen you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?   If you are ‘old’ (a term with different meanings for everyone); what stories do you tell your grandchildren?   

I can imagine my grandchildren asking about the country where I was born and asking me to tell them stories about my childhood growing up in an African country. Of course they would always enjoy stories about when their parent was young; and of when they, themselves, were babies. The children would soon learn that I love to read and so would always ask me to read to them – which I would willingly do with pleasure.

When did something start out badly for you but in the end, it was great?

The biggest thing I can think of that began badly is moving to another country. In the beginning it was difficult to adapt and to survive financially – I did not think we would make it. Finding work was difficult and we had no support from family. However once I was certified and able to obtain work as a teacher, things did improve. Now I am teaching at a wonderful school in a great community and now believe all the hardship was worth it. I have a lot more resources and support as a teacher here in Toronto than I ever did in South Africa – and I am paid better here than I ever was in my home country.

What do you think you are much better at than you actually are?   Maybe this one’s kinda mean…thoughts?  

As you grow older you become more realistic about your own abilities – and more sure on what you are good at. I tend to know what I do well, what I am mediocre at, and what I should avoid doing.

What would be the worst thing to hear as you are going under anesthesia before surgery?

“This one is a difficult case!”

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

As you all know, the new school academic year here in Ontario, Canada began this past Tuesday. Yesterday I began teaching the children how centres work in my room. My aim is to have them work independently through the all activities that I have set out. In my room students are able to choose which activities to do first and are encouraged to monitor themselves. The first day was successful with most of them completing all tasks by the end of the day. Definitely something to smile about.

What would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Sparks, the new host of Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge).

Share Your World: Yes To Nuts, No To Peanut Butter

041514 sywbannerDo you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

I am okay with nuts in my food – though I am not too keen on peanut butter. Lately my daughter and I have taken to putting nuts in our salad. The salad is crunchy and more filling – and it is a perfect way to get more protein into our diet (we eat a largely plant-based diet). In addition to the nuts, we add seeds and raisins and/or cranberries.

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

The closet doors need to be closed – if they were open it would annoy me so much I wouldn’t be able to sleep! Open closet doors do not seem to worry the other members in our household so I am always closing them – in the bedrooms, in the hallway, in the kitchen.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I abhor being late and, as a result, I often arrive at meetings, workshops, or social events ahead of time. I always factor in unexpected delays in my travel time and leave home before I should so as not to be late. I do not like to rush so I make sure that I have enough time. I have noticed my younger daughter is a lot like me. She will wake up a little earlier, get ready at a leisurely pace, and leave home so that she can be a little earlier than needed at her destination. The  rest of the family is “rush, rush, rush” – and they always arrive a little late!

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

Yesterday I saw the friend of mine who lives a distance away for one last time before the end of the summer break. I enjoyed the time with her, chatting about things that are happening in our lives and things we would like to do in our futures. We both savoured the time together as we knew it would be a long while until we would see one another again.

What would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge).

Share Your World: A Wish and a Realisation

041514 sywbannerA class you wish you would have taken?

I often wish that I had taken dance classes when I was younger. The classes would have given me the opportunity to express myself with my body – and, I believe, it would have given me self-confidence. I currently attend Zumba and Shab’am classes at my local gym and they are giving me a taste of what I missed when I was younger. Following these classes, I have realised that I would have loved dance as a child.

Are you scared of heights?

I am, but not so much that it has prevented me from going to the summit of the CN tower, or climbing the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Once on the top, however, I do not wish to hang over the edge – and would never stand on the glass floor that they have to look down from the top of the CN tower. After living on the 12th floor of an apartment building in the city for 14 years, I have also grown accustomed to looking over the balcony and do not fear stepping out as much as I used to.

Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?

Cooking has become a chore ever since I have had to cook for my family whether I am inspired or not. There are days when my meals come out exceptionally well; and there are dishes that my family enjoy when I make them. I would not call myself a chef, however, as I follow recipes and do nothing really creative with my cooking.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

We have had some very hot days recently and I am grateful that I do not have to work in this heat as it would be difficult to do so. I am thankful that I am able to sit in front of the fan and do some reading 🙂

What would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge). 

Share Your World: My Favourite Treats

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?

Jigsaw puzzles are not my thing – though I did do ones up to 150 pieces with my girls when they were younger. Anything bigger frustrates me and I itch to move onto something else. Growing up and as a young adult, I used to love doing word searches and each week would do the ones in my mom’s magazine. Now I no longer have those magazines to turn to (I am unable to get them as I live in a different country to the one I grew up in), and instead spend my spare time reading, blogging or watching TV. This question has me remembering the pleasure I used to get from doing these searches. It may be time I get myself a puzzle book!

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.

The following makes me feel good inside, and always makes me happy:

  1. Long chatty dinners with my family. I love it when we circle around all topics and manage to throw in some laughter. The dinners on special occasions are an added treat.
  2. A good book that I can read more than once.
  3. A dinner cooked by someone else. It does not have to be at a restaurant – home-cooked meals are often better. I love it when my husband cooks – especially when he tries out new recipes.
  4. Going to the cinema to watch a movie on the big screen.
  5. And, of course, anything chocolatey!

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

I do not have a favourite. Growing up we had a variety and I loved them all. The nice thing about small dogs is that they can cuddle on your lap but the bigger dogs are equally affectionate.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

During the past week I have appreciated the comfort of my bed and the softness of my pillow. During our stay in Paris, the beds we slept on were hard and the pillows uncomfortable. I love the mattress and the bedding that we have chosen for our bedroom and have enjoyed them even more than usual during the past week.

041514 sywbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge). 

Share Your World: Experience Different Places

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

photo (10)Thinking back on my life so far, I have experienced quite a bit of change: different schools, moving house, new career, marriage. The biggest change, however, has been changing the country in which I live. Not only did I move from a warm southern hemisphere city (Johannesburg) to a colder northern hemisphere one (Toronto); but I also moved from a developing country to a first world country. There was so much that I had to learn and get used to. I would call my autobiography Migrating North. I have written a little about my experience on my move using this title. The posts can be found here if you are interested.

Which do you prefer sweet, salty or buttery? 

Image result for butter popcornMy preference does depend on what I crave at the moment. I prefer my food to be savoury (please don’t add sugar or honey to my carrots!) and enjoy sweetness when I eat dessert. My favourite form of sweetness is eaten in the form of fruit in the morning and chocolate with unsweetened tea after my dinner. When I go to the cinema, I cannot resist the buttery and salty popcorn that they have on offer. And to be honest, the best type of croissant is that one made with real butter!

What’s the finest education?

I find it is important that a person be educated in a skill as it is necessary to help one be successful in society. If a person has a skill, finding a suitable paying job is so much easier. A person’s education, however, cannot only be found at a tertiary institution. Instead it is enhanced with life experience. The best way to do this, I have found, is with travel. Seeing a little of how other people live can only broaden one’s horizons. Living in another country amongst a different culture, not only enhances one’s education, however, but also helps one grow as a person.

041514 sywbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge). 

Share Your World: A Tweet Response

If aliens landed on earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go? (remember this is SYW, they are friendly aliens)

I believe I would go along with them as my curiosity about what is beyond Earth would need to be satisfied. Going on a voyage with aliens would be like experiencing many of the stories that I have read in the past – especially the stories that I read in my adolescence.

How tall are you? Are you satisfied with your height?

I am 5ft7″ and have always wished to be as tall as my mom who is 6ft. Why? Being taller would allow me to see over the average person’s head (as so many of my family members are able to do); as well as enable me to reach for those things on upper shelves that are just out of my reach – no matter how far I stretch.

Do you think you could live without your smartphone (or other technology item) for 24 hours?

I currently do not own a smartphone, or even a mobile phone and connect to social media with my laptop and iPad. When visiting South Africa, or going on holiday, I am able to do without access to wifi or the internet for the duration of our trip. Our vacation is always a perfect time to reconnect with the people I am with, as well as to connect with my surroundings.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

As you know, last week I went to an author event and book signing organised by Harper Collins Publishing Canada. While signing our books, the authors commented on the unusual spelling of my name which in turn led to me explaining its origin. Both Karma Brown and Tish Cohen enjoyed the story. When I shared my gratitude for the event on my blog and twitter this week, I received a comment by Tish Cohen. I loved the fact that she took the time to respond – and, of course, I loved her comment. It definitely made me smile! 🙂

041514 sywbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge). 

Share Your World: Meeting with Authors

If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?

Image result for charles dickensThe first person that comes to mind is Charles Dickens. I enjoy reading his stories and I admire the fact that he used to earn a living writing his tales. I would love to speak to him about his writing process and where he got his ideas for his fabulous stories.

Image result for tolkienI would also love to chat with Tolkien. The Lords of the Rings is one of my most favourite novels – I love the imagination of it, and the creation of new worlds. What a great mind filled with imagination he must have had. A conversion with him and C.S.Lewis would be extraordinary: a conversation filled with ideas and thoughts on religion and the social world order.

Image result for jane austenChatting to Jane Austen on a daily basis would also be intriguing. She had so much to say in her novels and it would be interesting to chat with her about her thoughts and the role of women in the world. She must have been an amazing woman.

60s, 70s, 80s, 90s: Which decade do you love the most and why?

I love the 80s for their music. The reason? Probably because that is the time when I was a teenager and a young adult. That period of your life is so carefree, filled with time for music and friends. Whenever a song from that time period is played, there is always a person that I am reminded of – whether it be a friend or a family member.

When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for being kind and doing good work to help children learn. I know that I will be remembered for being a bookworm 🙂

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

During the past week, I completed my report cards. Definitely something to smile about! Today I plan to read them over before I hand them in to see if I can catch any errors. I will also decide if there are any parents that I need to see before the end of the year to discuss their child’s progress.

041514 sywbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge). 

Share Your World: A Bit of my Past

A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?

Image result for denim jacketWith the help of photographs, I remember the red stockings that I used to wear. My mom tells me that I always wanted to wear them – but my taste has changed. Red no longer is my first colour of choice.

As a teenager and young adult, my absolute favourite piece of clothing was my denim jacket. I would wear that jacket with everything: a dress, a pair of jeans (which I wore most times). That jacket saw me through my adolescence, my university career, and my first few years of teaching.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

Image result for latin dancing I would dance! As a young adult, I did dance Ballroom and Latin – but at the lower level. I managed to reach pre-champ in competitive Ballroom dancing before I married and had children. What I would have loved to do, though, is dance Latin at the higher levels. Even now, I enjoy watching the movements of two people as they dance with one another to the Latin rhythms.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

Driving is not my favourite past-time and I would always prefer to be the passenger. What I do enjoy about driving, though, is that it gets you places.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

The warmer weather definitely has me smiling – even though the temperature for the last few days has been a little lower than earlier in the week. In addition, I am currently about 75% done with my report cards – and that is certainly something to smile about!

041514 sywbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge).