Music Monday: Happy Together

I was chatting to one of my student’s parents and she told me of a project her choir group had done during the COVID-19 isolation in order to feel connected. She sent me the link of their rendition of Happy Together for me to listen to.

I loved it! Not only did they sing the song beautifully, but the music brought me back to my childhood. 🙂

Do you know of any other projects like this sung by choirs?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Weekend Coffee Share: First Week of Summer Break

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to come inside and sit near the fan – it is HOT outside and you would need to cool down. Today is the fourth day of our current heat wave and I am sure you would want something cold to drink.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I haven’t been able to blog for the last few weeks. Not only was I tired of sitting in front of the computer; but I was also feeling a little sad. The end of the school year was hard mentally and emotionally for both me and my students. I was not able to end the year correctly with my them – nor tidy up my classroom space. I arranged Google Meets online to say goodbye but it was not the same.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been on the Summer Break for one week now. I like not sitting in front of the computer for the entire day working and have not opened my laptop for seven days now. Working in front of the computer has been the only indicator that school is over. As we have been isolating at home for four months now, being on break does not have the same feel to it. I am hoping, though, that I can get to do some of the other things I usually do during the school vacation.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my hopes of doing the usual seem slim. Going shopping is going to be a problem: fitting rooms are not available to try on clothing; and the lines to get into stores are over an hour long! It doesn’t seem worth it to me. (I did spend Thursday and Friday giving it a go). Coffee shops are open for business – but we cannot sit at a table inside and enjoy the space. In addition, the cinemas are not open so we cannot pop in to enjoy a film. It will be frustrating if the next two months are similar to the last four.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my husband has been cooking up a storm. He has made noodles from scratch (as well as wontons); tried his hand at briyani and a delicious Indian curry; grilled some delicious ribs; and experimented with a variety of vegetable dishes. He even made croissants – which took him three days to prepare! We have enjoyed eating the offerings Chez Roland. It has also given me a most welcome break from cooking! 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday we celebrated Canada Day. My husband and I invited our nephew over to eat with us as we hadn’t seen him for 4 months. It was good to see him and to see that he is doing okay – seeing someone in the flesh is always better than texting. Even though we spent the day indoors, we still had a good time with family. Hopefully next year we will be able to go out again and celebrate with others.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I do not have any plans for the upcoming week – except to go to the nursery. I have some re-potting that I need to do so I will buy soil and some pots. Have a wonderful upcoming week and may it be filled with things that bring you joy.

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)

Music Monday: Muévelo

One of the songs on my current Zumba playlist that I dance to when I exercise is Muévelo by Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee.

Not only do I like the song, but I also enjoy moving to the choreography. Often during the day, the melody creeps into my mind and I dance to the music in my head. This song is definitely going to be on the playlist I dance to with my students when school starts up again!

What song are you currently moving to?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week of Reporting

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are still living under restrictions. We are now able to have a social bubble up to 10 people so at least social interaction with other families can happen. Plenty of stores are still closed, however, as the number of cases has not gone down enough in the city to move completely into what is called stage 2. So no eating at restaurants, having your hair cut, or visiting the library.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have spent the week in front of the computer writing my report cards. It was not an easy task because of the school closure and not having worked with children face-to-face for 3 months now. On Thursday afternoon I finished and submitted them with a sigh of relief. Next week I will do the corrections and I will then be done with another end of the year task.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I am tired and yesterday I took a day off away from the computer screen. Teaching remotely does mean I am in front of the computer more often. It also means that when it comes time to blog, I need a break from from sitting in front of my laptop and therefore can no longer foster the desire to type and stare at the screen. Hopefully this upcoming week it will be easier.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather was a little chilly for the last four days. The cooler temperatures made my morning walks more refreshing and also made it easier to breathe in our home (which does not have air conditioning). I am sure it will get warm again soon so I am currently enjoying the milder temperatures.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there are 2 more weeks left of school and then it will be the summer holidays! I am hoping by then that I will be able to meet up with my friend and go shopping for things we need at home. In the meantime, I will continue with my work and look forward to the time that I can do so.

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: First Week of June

If we were having coffee, we would still be meeting virtually. Even though some stores have opened up in our city for curbside pickup, we cannot yet meet up for coffee at our local coffee shop. I long for the time that I can do so and I look forward to chatting with a friend and experiencing the buzz of people around me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in the final week of May, we were told that we would continue with remote teaching until the end of June and the end of the school year. I was disappointed to learn that I would not be spending time with my students, but the decision was what I expected. We will know by the end of June what the new school year will look like in September. Our province is looking to others to see what their experience of going back to school is like.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Tuesday afternoon I went into school to place my students’ belongings into bags and to tidy up things a little in the classroom. My heart felt a little sad as I saw the incomplete projects lying around in the room; projects that I will not be able to complete with this year’s group of students. I had to organise and tidy everything within a 3 hour framework. Both my daughters came to help me and I would not have managed to do as much as I did without their help.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you have noticed the new banner on my blog. My daughter (who is studying art at university) created it for me. She also created the specific banner for my weekly coffee share. What do you think? I like the clean-cut lines of it – and the banners definitely make my space look more professional. Slowly I am cleaning up my blog and hopefully taking it to the next level.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the next week I will be focusing on report cards. I have not seen my students for 3 months and I know that writing them is not going to be easy. I will be focusing on what we did in class before the March Break, and mentioning as well the tasks that they have completed during the school closure and the remote learning period. The upcoming week is definitely not going to be an easy one as I grapple with them.

If we were having coffee, I would encouraged you to enjoy the upcoming week and to focus on the positive. This is what I am going to try and do.

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)

A Flower Treat

Yesterday I was unable to walk in the morning as it was raining when I woke up. I missed being outside but I knew, according to the weather forecast, that I would be able to walk today. I took my usual route which allows me to achieve my goal of 10 000 steps.

I passed by a house that has not showcased any flowers up until now and I could not help but admire the beauty of the flowers that had recently opened up. The colour stands out to me as it is my favourite, and the flower is always impressive.

I look forward to seeing these flowers again on my next walk. I hope their beauty is on display for a couple of weeks.

What made you smile this morning?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Summer Composition

Today I am in the mood to share music that embodies summer; music that does not distract you from its melody with voice. One of the pieces I have discovered is Summer by Joe Hisaishi. It is an upbeat piece that makes the listener think of the joys of summer.

Sometimes when I am working I listen to musical compositions like this. They relax me and help pass the time when doing mindless work.

What song do you think represents summer?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

White Blossoms

One of the habits that I have adopted since the isolation period due to COVID-19 has been walking most days for an hour in my neighbourhood. My reasons for walking are two-fold: for exercise and for my mental health. I have found that going outside for a walk has helped me with the cabin-fever I was experiencing, as well as my feelings of sadness.

What I currently enjoy on my walks are the beautiful flowers that are blossoming everywhere – on the trees and in gardens everywhere. Their pollen does affect my hay fever but seeing their beauty encourages me to brush aside my discomfort.

Despite some windy days that we have had, many of the small blossoms are still tightly packed between green leaves. I am pleased with that because seeing the small flowers do add plenty of joy to my walk.

Seeing these blossoms this morning made me smile once again – so much so that I had to share their beauty with you. 🙂

What made you smile this morning?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Rejuvenation

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

The cool night breeze gently moved the hair around her shoulders, reminding her to enjoy the moment. Coming here, to this beautiful place, had been the right move for her. Slowing down the pace of her life and enjoying the space she was in rejuvenated her. She breathed in slowly, taking in the sound of falling water, the clatter of a nearby restaurant, the gentle murmur of conversation. She continued moving forward and, as she did so, new ideas began to seep into her mind. Yes, the break had been good. Now she was ready to get back to work!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

Weekend Coffee Share: More of the Same

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a resigned smile. We have now passed the 2 month mark of the social distancing and stay-at-home mandate – and the ending of this seems so far away. Ontario is moving into stage 1 of loosening the noose on Tuesday 19 May, but that will not in any way alter my current lifestyle. I cannot help but sigh as I look forward to another two weeks of remote teaching. It has not yet been confirmed whether or not we will go back to school on the 31st May – I am thinking we will be told in a week or so. Somehow I don’t think we will.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tomorrow is a public holiday in Canada – Victoria Day – and yet it will seem the same as every other day. Tuesday will be filled with meetings as we discuss where we are going to place children for next year’s classes. I think that doing this remotely may be a bit of a challenge but we will do the best for the kids in our class. I am wondering what next year is going to look like and what the impact of the COVID-19 virus will have on our practice. At least the monotony of Tuesday will be broken by our small celebration for my youngest daughter who is turning 19 years old. My plan is to buy her a cake and to cook one of her favourite meals.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the remote teaching is becoming easier – but there are times when I am out of ideas to keep my students engaged. They do love my Google MEET sessions with me and sometimes when talking with them, their chatter inspires an idea to take seed in my brain.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that not only am I uninspired to create classes, but also to write blog posts. This past week, no ideas sprang to mind but I am hoping that the upcoming week will be better. The temperatures are slowly inching up so I am thinking it is time to set up our balcony which will give us another space to work in. Luckily our wifi reaches the space so we can take our laptops outside to work. Maybe breathing in the fresh air and sitting at a different table will be inspiring.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am reading (too much!) and am working on a crocheted afghan (while listening to audiobooks). I am also still enjoying my morning walks in the neighbourhood which have definitely become a part of my daily routine. I am looking forward to the time, though, when I can meet with friends and share a cup of tea or coffee in real time.

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)