Weekend Coffee Share: A Mid-Week Concert

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that today I am not feeling well. On Thursday, I woke up feeling exhausted. Luckily it was an easy day as my class participated in a art activity – which meant that for 2 periods at a time, I had only half of my students. Friday I felt okay but, as the day progressed, so did my sense of well-being. The day ended with me experiencing terrible cramps in the mid-section of my body and hanging over the edge of the toilet bowl. I had finally caught the stomach bug that has been doing the rounds at my school. Last night I could not face food. This morning I feel a little hungry but I am going to ‘go plain’ today – no fancy or rich food. And instead of coffee and cream, I will drink a light milk-free rooibos tea with you.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been seeing the parents of the children in my class to update them on their child’s progress. Yes, the report cards are going home on Tuesday and it is time to check in with families. This time round I am trying to spread the interviews out so that I do not exhaust myself as I did during the last round of interviews.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that all the grade 1s , and my grade 1 and 2 combined class, went on a field trip this week to go see a concert by Gregg Le Rock,

Image result for gregg le rock

Gregg Le Rock is a Canadian musician who writes and sings French songs for children and this year is the second time I have taken my class. I prepare my students by teaching them the words to the songs and singing with them every morning. The children love the concert and it is always a pleasure to see them ‘rocking to the music’.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last weekend I pre-wrote many of my blog posts for the last week. As a result, I was able to post more often. Hopefully I will be able to keep up this habit so that my blog posts are less erratic.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the rest of the weekend I will be resting. I am giving Zumba a skip as I want my body to recover quickly from the bout of stomach flu. I will miss dancing to the Latin beats, but there are times when a person has to rest.

Enjoy your weekend and 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)

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Weekend Coffee Share: A New Experience

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that a week which began with a sore throat and a feeling of fatigue, ended on a high note. The sad thing about my week was that I was unable to attend my Zumba classes 😦  BUT on Thursday I had an experience that pushed that all aside.

Last year my colleague (who was the school librarian at that time), convinced me to apply with her to present at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference. She wanted us to present that work we had done for the demonstration classroom (in which other teachers from the board visited my classroom), and which we intended (and did) present at the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) Google Camp. Our application was accepted the end of June last year; and we polished up our slideshow presentation last Friday.

Ontario Library Association Super Conference. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

On Thursday when I woke up, I was pleased that I had rested my voice enough to be able to speak. The honey and lemon drink had also done the trick in helping to soothe my aching throat. I was excited about the day ahead, but also nervous. I met up with my colleague and we headed to the Convention Centre. The place was abuzz when we arrived and we eagerly went to attend the welcome breakfast for first-time speakers. While eating, we browsed the list of events for the day and figured out where we were to hold our presentation. We chose not to attend other speaker’s presentations and instead chose to roam the booths and see what vendors had on offer. We had such fun going to the booths where we stood in line to receive books signed by Canadian authors. I loved speaking to the authors and hearing why they had written their stories. There was such an array of genres on offer, it was mind-boggling.

When it was time for our presentation, we had no trouble setting up the technology (sigh of relief!). I had followed the advice given to us and had downloaded our slideshow as a PDF. In addition, I had brought my charger with me for the laptop – and was thankful for doing so as the laptop’s battery was running low during the presentation (yes, the laptop is an old one). The presentation went smoothly. My colleague and I had practiced at Google Camp and we knew what we would talk about: she focused on the library aspect, and I focused on the classroom activities. We had quite a number of people attend our session. All were teachers (mostly elementary), all were attentive. People asked questions and were writing down notes. The time went by so quickly – we wished that we had had more. Afterwards my colleague and I were beaming. The experience was amazing – and one we would love to repeat.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after Thursday, Friday was a little bland. I did end the day, though, up to date with my marking – and that is always positive!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now going to get ready to go to Zumba. I haven’t gone for the last week because of my aching throat and tired bones. I have missed it and definitely want to go – especially as this is the last day for our current teacher. Last week he told us he is going to teach at another branch and I am hoping today he will tell us that they have found us another Zumba instructor.

Enjoy your week.May it be a positive 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: The Week Rushed By

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week seemed to rush by. I cannot believe that today is already Saturday! The weather has been kind to us temperature-wise with a dip mid-week. The ‘less cold’ weather has brought many a smile to our faces. It is not warm enough, though, to leave the winter gear at home. Winter is not over yet!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the admin at my school offered me a laptop which I accepted with joy. The laptop will enable me to move around the school and still do my work. Bliss! Especially during those times when I have POR work to do and I do not want to work in my noisy classroom (which is filled to the brim with my students and their learning buddies). On Thursday I downloaded all the essentials through the school board and it is now ready to go. Next week I will use it not only in-house, but also when I go to present at a conference.

A conference? you ask. Yes, a colleague and I will be presenting the inquiry we did with my class at the OLA Super Conference. This is a three day conference that is run every year by the Ontario Library Association (my colleague is a school librarian). Yesterday after school we spent a few hours polishing up our presentation. We are so happy with it, proud of what we have done, and are super-excited to present on Thursday. It will be quite an experience, I think.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now ready to go to Zumba. I am loving it – even more now as I am starting to get to know people and even the instructors. Being a regular has plenty of benefits and not only physical! I love it too when the instructors make us laugh – our instructor last Saturday was in fine form 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful weekend and to enjoy your week. As I am listening to the birds chirping outside, I know I will.

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 Gratifying Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a big smile on my face. This week has been gratifying. Why? Because I achieved so many of the things that I wanted to.

I, of course, completed my assessment of my students – just in time to complete their report cards. Friday we had a PA day; that is, a day set aside during which teacher’s could work on their report cards. Last week I started toiling on them and, I am pleased to say, Friday I was able to complete them. They may need a tweak here or there, but for the most part they are done. It is a big relief and I am glad to have that task out of the way.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went to my second BodyPump class at the gym. This weight lifting class is something I will attempt to do every week now. I am lifting light weights until my body gets used to the activity and, in this way, I will not hurt myself. I went to the class with my colleague., leaving school at 4pm to walk to the gym together. I never thought that there would be a time when I would go to gym with my mentee 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I FINALLY went to see the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. I had planned to see it with my family on my birthday – but we were too engrossed in watching Game of Thrones to go and watch an episode of another epic tale. My response? I loved it! And I am so glad I had the opportunity to go and see it on the big screen. I enjoy the story that runs through all of the films and I hope they do not stop filming the struggles of the Rebellion. I do not want to wait for over a decade to enjoy the scenes originally thought of by George Lucas.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the last few days have felt like Spring. For the second time this year (that is, since the beginning of 2018), we are experiencing a Spring-like thaw. What a pleasure it has been to go outside hatless in 5c weather wearing a lighter coat. I am sure, though, that by the end of the week we will be experiencing Winter once again!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy your week. Now that my deadline for writing report cards has been met, I now have other obligations to fulfil.

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: First Week Back

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would excuse myself for catching up with you so late in the weekend. Time has seemed to run away from me over the last two days as I tried to fit everything in: laundry, grocery shopping, housework, Zumba, and a little reading on the sofa. I still wish that our weekends were three days instead of two – I never seem to have enough time to do all of the things that I want to.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a good first week back at work. On Friday I came home feeling really satisfied. During the week I had achieved quite a bit. I assessed my students on their French writing and oral, read with most of them; got my marking up to date; began my students’ report cards, and still went to my exercise classes in the evening. As I lay my head on my pillow Friday night, it was with a sigh of satisfaction. I had a good night’s sleep according to my Fitbit –  I slept for almost 9 hours when normally I sleep a little over 7 hours.

Speaking of exercise, I tried a new class this week with a colleague of mine. We had started going to BodyCombat but, due to schedule changes, the class was no longer offered at out preferred time slot. We decided to try what is called BodyAttack.

I did not like it – too much running and quick movements. I have told my colleague that I will not be attending these classes with her – I would prefer to do a dance-inspired class that rums at a later time slot. This I will attend this week.

The weather this week has been up and down. The first day back at work it was snowing. We had quite a bit of snow on the ground – enough for the children to build snowmen on the playgrounds. On Thursday, it felt like Spring and the snow melted leaving huge, muddy puddles by the end of the day. Friday we woke up to rain. Most of the snow had melted by the time it started snowing again at around two. The temperatures this weekend have been a little on the low side but that did not stop me from going out. A temperature of -23c on Saturday was not the lowest we have experienced this Winter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. I intend to complete my report cards in the upcoming week and hope to do the task only at school.

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 New Year

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would wish you for the New Year. It is unbelievable that 2018 is already here! The year seems to have flown past. When I look at my children, the passing of time hits me. They have grown so much – not only physically but in other ways too. My eldest daughter is getting ready to leave high school and attend university. She is growing in self confidence – a confidence that is shown outwardly as she dresses in her unique way and proudly shows her half-shaven head and red-coloured hair. She aims to be an artist and a person can see this when they look at her appearance.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to quickly step inside out of the cold. The last few days have been bitterly cold with the temperatures dropping to -33c with wind chill. The wind hurts when we walk outside. The few pedestrians on the streets walk with their heads down and the lower half of their faces covered with their scarves. Luckily I was still on break this past week and was able to stay home in our warm apartment. I went outside only when necessary, and those trips were quick.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my husband and I went to see Shen Yun on Thursday. Our son bought us tickets to see the show for our Christmas gift. I enjoy gifts that are experiences; and this was an experience that I enjoyed. The dancing was graceful, the costumes beautiful, and the night out was a treat.

Image result for shen yunIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that my family and I have almost completed watching Game of Thrones. Each year over the Christmas season we watch a series, and this year we chose to watch this well-known HBO TV show. We love it and each day we have watched a few episodes. Yesterday we began the first episode of season 7. I will be sad when we have caught up with others followers and wait eagerly for season 8 to know what will happen in Westeros.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tomorrow I go back to work. I have enjoyed my 2 week break but do not feel ready to go back. Part of it, I know, is that when I get back I will be faced with deadlines. So I will take a deep breath, Zumba, and continue. Thankfully, the temperatures will rise tomorrow and we will be faced with a day at -7c.

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: Family Time

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you to come in from out of the cold. We did have a white Christmas as my daughter wished for. But there was no packing snow – and it was too cold to go outside! Instead we stayed inside and spent wonderful family time together. The Christmas period is always a special time for me as my husband, children and I spend quality time together with no outside distractions. We are not working and have no deadlines to follow. It is a wonderful time to chill together and just be a family.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Christmas Eve I made a simple supper. My family love spaghettini with a simple basic tomato sauce. It normally takes me about 30 – 45 minutes to make from scratch. After eating we moved to the sofa to commence our annual tradition. This year my daughters are old enough to watch films containing sexual and violent content. As a result, we decided to watch Game of Thrones. I had bought the seasons we were missing, and we began our watch-fest from Season 1.  Rewatching the first seasons has not only allowed my daughters to watch from the beginning, but has also helped us remember the finer details of the story.

Image result for game of thronesChristmas Day shone brightly – even though it was cold outside. As usual, I was the first one up. I do not mind this as I take the time to settle myself on the sofa and read a little after placing the gifts under the tree. When everyone was awake, we opened our gifts. We took our time and, even though there are only 5 of us, opening gifts took over 2 hours. We love this time together as we laugh, admire our gifts, and thank one another for the thoughtful things we have made or bought for each other.

Our gift opening is always followed by brunch then tea in front of the TV. In the late afternoon we stopped watching our show as I began cooking dinner and the family showered and dressed. My nephew always comes over for an early dinner and to spend some time with us. Dinner was what I usually make on Christmas Day – roast chicken, fried rice, and vegetables. After supper and a dessert of strawberries, whipped cream, and ice-cream, we took out Trivial Pursuit.

My eldest daughter’s Christmas wish this year was to play a board game. For the family this Christmas, I had decided to buy one of my favourite board games – Trivial Pursuit. When at university, I used to play this game often with my friends. The memories of these times were in my mind when I picked up the game while Christmas shopping. I had hoped my family would love the game as much as I did. After dinner on Christmas Day, we opened up the new game and played. And we had so much fun! We guessed, we laughed, we were stunned by answers, and we all enjoyed the game – even my husband who is not much of a board games person. I think this game will come out of the closet often.

Boxing Day, the 26th December, dawned and we stepped out to do some shopping. The wind chill was -26c and the wind burned our cheeks. We walked briskly to our destinations and noticed that there were not many people out on the street. The snow cracked beneath our feet as we walked and we kept our faces down. My husband did not get what he wanted (the badminton racket he had been eyeing was bought by someone else who got there before him!) but I found what I needed: two – not one – pairs. of winter boots.  One pair is perfect for snowy and slushy days; the other is good for cold days that are snow-free. My girls found some things that they wanted as well – and we could not resist a trip to the book store. A good day shopping ended with us sitting on the sofa sipping warm drinks and watching our TV series.

The final highlight of the week was my birthday. I began the day with a visit to the hairdresser. I decided to spoil myself and colour my hair. The hairdresser suggested highlights and I went for it. My hair looks a little different now and it is something that I still need to get used to. My family loved my hair and I asked for a picture to be taken at the restaurant we went to for lunch. Eating out on my birthday is another annual family tradition – and one that I love. It does make the day special especially as we do not go out too often. After our meal, we walked about the mall for a while. We could not stroll a bit outside as we usually do because the temperatures were too low. We did not mind as we wanted to get back home, have some tea, and watch more Game of Thrones.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have had a wonderful week. I have enjoyed the family time and the break from the responsibilities of work. Today I have started getting back into my routine with a Zumba class. Slowly over the next week, I will get back into the rest of my routine – and of course finish watching our chosen TV series for this break.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to stay warm and enjoy any celebrations you may be planning for the New Year.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Long Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week felt long. There were days when I felt that Friday 3:30 pm was upon us – and it was only Tuesday. I think the children in my class felt the same way. Not only was I thinking about Christmas and my family time, but I was also thinking about the two week break from school. I got home yesterday feeling exhausted and just lay on my bed for an hour watching TV until supper was ready. (Oh, yes, my husband is already on leave and he cooked dinner 🙂 )

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had snow, then rain, and snow again. Yesterday’s snowfall led to the school board cancelling the school buses. It also led to our admin cancelling our movie trip. We were all so disappointed – teachers and children alike. The day ended up being calm and laid back, but not at all what we planned. The bonus for the children was that they could play outside in the snow – and in my class they had the opportunity to build with blocks. My students ended up having a good day and left for home smiling.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week one of my students gave me a penguin cookie that he had baked at home. It was delicious with my tea – especially as it had been given to me with love. Our school mascot is a penguin and we are all crazy about penguins.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that once again I am overwhelmed by the parents’ generosity with the gifts given to me. I have received gaily boxed presents – which I have placed under my tree – and a number of cards. The parents’ gifts and thanks actually encourage me to give even more energy to their kids.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am not quite ready for Christmas yet. I still have a little grocery shopping to do as well as wrapping the gifts and tidying my home. But whether I am ready or not, I am sure my family and I will have a wonderful time together. I will leave you now to ‘get on with it’ and get ready for Christmas Eve. I hope you are ready and looking forward to some family time.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Sickly Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile and a sigh of relief. My voice was on a hiatus for a few days and decided to get back to work on Wednesday. What a relief! I was off sick at home for three days (it was not only my voice that needed a rest!) and my mind kept drifting to my class and the activities I had planned to do with them.

As you know, being sick is not fun. But, as my husband says, rather be sick now and not during the school break. I would not want to be sick either during Christmas as I enjoy the time with my family too much to want it spoiled by illness.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my SNA (Special Needs Assistant) was so happy when I entered the school on Thursday morning. And I was so happy to see how she had held everything together by following the routines I had established in the classroom. The children were also happy to see me back – especially when I brought out the projector and put on a video for them to watch. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have not yet gone back to zumba. I am not 100% healthy yet and don’t want to go back too soon and experience a relapse. I do miss it though, and I keep hearing the songs we dance to in my head. I am hoping that by Monday I can get back to my exercise routine.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have begun my Christmas shopping. I don’t have too many gifts to buy as my children are older now and what they want/need is so much more expensive. I am starting to stock up, though, on the treats my family and I eat over the Holiday (shortbread biscuits, pastries, and some Liquorice Allsorts from the UK that I saw in the store this morning). These things I need to stash away from my family so that they do not devour them before Christmas. This afternoon I plan on going to the bookstore to browse through the books and decide which books I can buy for my family this year. Tomorrow I will go to some clothing stores to see if I can find a few items of clothing for them. I don’t buy too much of this either as I prefer to have them with me when I shop.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the rest of your weekend, and to have a productive week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Quick Update

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the busyness of my life has caught up with me. For the past two days I have had no voice, and my throat has experienced a tickling sensation. I am not surprised as the days leading to issuing the report cards can be long, as are the days when conducting parent interviews. Now as I have relaxed a little, my body seems to be telling me to relax a lot!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that it is a month before Christmas! I am not feeling the Christmas Spirit yet – I am sure it will begin soon. The children in my class are excited this year. One child could not wait for Halloween to be over so that we could start talking about Christmas. I think she will be one of those children who will love Jean-Jean, my Elf on the Shelf. I will bring him out when December starts.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since we last spoke I have done some reading. I finished Paula Hawkins’ latest novel yesterday, Into the Water. As I closed the last page, I felt that her second novel was even better than her first – it was certainly less confusing. I would recommend it – especially if you enjoyed her debut novel. I wonder if this yarn will be made into a film?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday I went boot shopping and I was lucky to find boots that I liked amongst the Black Friday deals. I bought a pair of high ones for the Fall (which I will begin wearing on Monday), and I found a short pair of warm, winter ones to warm my feet as I stand outside doing yard duty. To replace my high winter boots, I will need to go shopping again in a couple of weeks as they did not have anything that I liked. I also took advantage of the Black Friday deal at my local tea shop and stocked up on some teas for the next month or so.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. If you are anything like me, you will begin your Christmas shopping soon.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017