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: Closures

If we were having coffee, I would settle in for a lengthy chat as it has been a while since we got together. February was a difficult month: the school walkouts and picketing in below zero temperatures did take a toll on my physical and mental health. March has led to me recuperating and the strike action to being more school-centred. Negotiations are finally under way and I am crossing my fingers that an agreement is reached soon. We all want to continue doing what we love with no restrictions – working for the best of our students.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday schools broke for March Break (or spring break as it is known in other places). On Thursday evening I learned that March Break would be extended for another 2 weeks as all publicly-funded schools would close. In addition, yesterday it was announced that all public libraries, public recreation centres, and ministry-owned daycare centres would also be closed for the three week period. In addition, public museums and tourist hotspots would also be closed. My daughters came home last night with the news that their university has closed until the end of the academic school year – and that all their courses will now be online.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I hope all of these closures work at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. What it has certainly caused is a mild panic among some people as some shelves in the supermarket have been cleared of their stock. Hopefully people will soon calm down and realise that these are only preventative measures.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I will be spending March Break a little differently to what I planned. I will not be going to the cinema but still plan to spend some time with my friend. Many events have been cancelled but coffee shops are still open. My daughters will need space to do their work so I will make plans to give it to them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is starting to feel like spring and that I am hoping to soon see flowers growing in gardens. The change of season brings a thread of hope into the panic that is currently occuring world-wide

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: A Strange Week

If we were having coffee, I would admire the falling snow with you that I see through the window. I enjoy it when the snow falls as the world seems to be quiet and at peace. In a little while, I will need to go out and do my weekly grocery shopping and I will enjoy the walk because not much snow has fallen and I will not struggle too much with the shopping cart. Yesterday sidewalks were cleared so walking is made a little easier.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week was strange because I taught for only three days of the week. On Thursday and Friday, the elementary teachers in Ontario, Canada walked out of the classrooms to protest the changes that the government are proposing to public education. Yesterday I posted a summary of my experience which you can read here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I planned and wrote yesterday’s post early in the morning. However I was having some issues with uploading my photos I managed to publish quite late in the day so many of you will have missed my summary. For some reason, the comments weren’t open – which I have now rectified. I love having the comments open on my posts as conversation is what I enjoy most about blogging.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday after school I went to a teacher’s evening at the textile museum. We were given a tour of their new textile exhibit which features the printing on fabric in the past by the indigenous peoples in Canada. I enjoy these evenings as they are informative and I enjoy seeing the creativity of people when they work with fabric. My intention is to work on a post this week so that I can share with you some of my favourite pieces.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I am recovering from being outside in the cold (and the below 0c temperatures) for 4 hours two days in a row. My throat is scratchy and I am coughing. I am trying to recover quickly as the upcoming week brings with it more picketing – unless the government moves towards the bargaining table. We do not have any hopes though that this will happen.

If we were having coffee, I wish you a wonderful day and the best 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: A Quick Summary

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is snowing right now. The weather was very kind to us during the past week temperature-wise and I am hoping that the snow does not bring frigid temperatures with it because in the upcoming week, we are going to be picketing again. Winter is definitely not the best time in which to have an altercation with the government – it gets too cold outside! Negotiations did begin again during the week but by Friday, they had fallen apart. The plan is to walkout for two days this week. We will see if it will make a difference.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Thursday and Friday I went to the OLA Super Conference again. I enjoy going there every year as I get to speak to publishers as well as authors. I met up with a teacher friend of mine who no longer teaches at the same school as I do, and we had some time to catch up. It was great seeing her and having lunch together.

Before the OLA conference, I was lucky enough to get tickets to attend a Harper Collins event on Wednesday evening in their offices. I took a friend of mine with me and we had a wonderful time listening to the author speak as well as catching up on our news. I look forward to reading the book the publisher gifted us with as it deals with postpartum depression. If you missed my post, you can read it here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I spent the morning working on my bullet journal. I am really pleased with my spreads and will share them with you sometime this week. They do take a bit of time to set up but I think it is something I will continue to do as I do find the activity relaxing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now off to do Zumba with a friend. Her building has a lovely yoga studio with the perfect floor and we have now taken to exercising in there. It is great fun! I wish you a wonderful week – many it be filled with positivity.

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: A Little Catch-Up

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a big smile as it has been a while since we have had coffee. I have no excuse for my lack of commitment except to say that the weekends have, for the last month or so, been a time when I have avoided any computer screens. I have instead been journaling and enjoying the creative process that this activity brings. This coming week, I will share a little of what I have done with you. It is a relaxing activity and one that reminds me of the hours I spent as a teenager drawing and practising my calligraphy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since our last chat I have been on a break from school as well as celebrated Christmas in the warm climate of the Dominican Republic. I am still sporting browner skin but the memory of the warm sun on my skin seems like a memory. Instead it has been cold in the city I live with icy winds, sleet, and snow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am back in my routine at school – the deadlines very quickly make a person feel as if a vacation hasn’t happened! On Friday we had a PA day on which we wrote report cards. As we are currently in strike action mode, we are not expected to spend hours crafting comments and inputting these into the system. Instead, we are recording grades on a class list. It makes for a less stressful and time-consuming experience.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that negotiations with the government have stalled and they are not negotiating in good faith. Up until today, we kept our fingers crossed that the situation would change. Alas, nothing has so we will walk out tomorrow. All schools in my school board will be closed and the teachers will be walking the picket line. Tomorrow is forecast to feel like -20c so I do not think it will be a pleasant experience! However, it is important for us to show solidarity and I am sure all of my colleagues will be with me in front of our school standing up for what is important.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I plan to spend some time reading this afternoon. For some reason, I am feeling tired this afternoon and will take the time to relax.

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)