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Nov. 19th, 2011



haha, that looks like fun!



what a goooooood pony!

stop all the clocks.

today
the people lined the streets to
say goodbye

and inside
in the velvet chill
of community,
your children wept

as they sang soaring melodies to you
and only you.

then the sun kissed their
tear heavy faces as they
held each other up outside

and waited for the rest to follow.

it broke their hearts to say goodbye
and all the words of hope
and love
and commiseration

are lost in the swirling layers of chiffon
and desert rose dusted cotton

and the people stuck for words
grasp at each other
as drowning men
seek life.



......

eh, i can't finish it & don't know where it's going. i had the first few words in my head from the moment i walked into the theatre & saw almost 1000 people come to celebrate the life of this amazing woman.
years ago i sought an animal communicator to help me out with beejay. she didn't tell me anything new apart from the appearance of a 'brown pony' (obviously taz, who came into my life about 2 years later) and stuff about my mum & the SPIRIT and passing away and stuff.

idk about that stuff, but i guess it makes sense. one thing is for sure, if my friend's soul or spirit or whatever it is that makes a person who they are was floating around today & able to focus on the goings on in the earthly world, then she would have been proud of her beautiful children and so so so astonished that she, as one person, could bring SO many people together to share such beautiful stories about her.

i tried to talk to Bec at the end & tell her how inspiring and amazing her mum was to me but i just choked up so badly. she said that a lot of tears had been shed that day.
ugh, i'm so mad at myself for not being able to get it out without crying. it's something i need to work on (for example, a child revealed to me last week that she self harmed & i promptly burst into tears! wtf!)

but it's not about me and my faults, is it. so hard not to be introspective tho when something happens that truly rocks your world.


one thing i have learned from today and from this horrible thing tho, is the importance of family.

it's really made me think a LOT and i have some deep reflecting to do.

anyway.

Tags:

so much sadness in the world at the moment. I hope people can begin to find some peace considering all that has been happening.
oh gosh, it's not been the week for it at all.

BIG HUGS to my friend jaanka.

o heart.

i am deeply, deeply saddened by the death of an old friend of mine.

http://www.smh.com.au/wa-news/horrific-headon-crash-kills-woman-in-wheatbelt-20111101-1mswz.html

When i first started teaching and moved to Merredin, she was the first friend I made. She was the library assistant and i was the teacher librarian at the local high school. we spent a lot of time together chatting and drinking coffee and talking about boys and families and you know, *stuff*.

She had been working there for many years and her children went through the years at the local primary school and then on to the high school where we worked. although we lost touch when i moved back to the city we were connected through facebook.

I just can't believe it's happened and feel great shock and grief over this. she is an absolute inspiration to me and a total role model for the type of woman i want to grow into and DEFINITELY the type of mother i aspire to be if that should ever occur. her family and her amazing, kind & generous children are a credit and a true reflection of the warm-hearted, open person she was.

i can't believe it and i am thinking about it ALL the time so far. the SHOCK of it mostly. with illness you can prepare yourself. idk. it makes sense sometimes. this, this just makes no sense. it's way too early and so totally unfair not only to lose her, but for her family. god, i can't stop thinking of what they must be going through as well.



i've driven those long, straight country roads a thousand times and by the looks of it she perhaps fell asleep at the wheel. i have also woken up whilst driving my car on the wrong side of the road, as have many people. it's a timely reminder, i suppose.

i don't necessarily believe in God but sometimes it's easier to make sense of the world and the unfair and horrible things that happen by attributing it to some kind of Grand Design or Scheme or Plan or what the fuck ever it is. But when someone like that is taken so horribly and suddenly - where's the SENSE in that? how on EARTH can losing/taking a woman like that be part of anyone's grand plan? what are the rest supposed to LEARN from this?

i just don't know.

RIP, Karen. you will be so deeply missed.

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my dad went into hospital last night cos he couldn't breathe. he's being kept there a 2nd night too.

and whilst on the phone he not only revealed that he was quite frightened cos he couldn't breathe (after insisting it was NOT an emergency and he did NOT need to go to hospital, to my stepmumma).

and then he told me he had skin cancer & was about to start chemotherapy.

cue *omfg* *cries*

i'm going down tomorrow, back on thursday.

stuff

i've been a bad LJ friend. so much has happened to you guys that i've missed out on, and it's taken a while to catch up on things. hope people are looking after themselves, first and foremost. livejournal is an interesting phenomena because it feels like you can become such a close part of someone else's life, regardless of distance. it offers an intimacy and closeness far removed from the surface tension of facebook. tho FB has immediacy & convenience. i'm glad i was an lj'er before a fb'er, that's for sure. i've learnt a lot on this blog & discovered really amazing things.
my time away from LJ in this past year has been more than any other in the 11 years i've been a member. i hope to improve that.

...
Boring teacher stuff
on friday my deputy principal called me into his office & offered me a new position in the school. i am torn whether to take it or not.

some context: i've been at my school for 7 years, in the same office, teaching the same subjects (English and Social studies), teaching the same year groups (8 & 9 & sometimes 10, in the "Middle school" part of our high school).
2 years ago i was turfed out of my classroom of 5 years & put into another room. a student teacher i had at the time gifted me with the most beautiful mural on one wall, and an ed assistant who was also arty did another smaller one on the other side. i have decorated & it is a beautiful, gorgeous room - i would hazard to say that it is the most impressive classroom in the entire school of 1200 kids (so a lot of rooms!).



murals just after they were painted in 2009, before i'd settled things up.

i work with a wonderful (mostly) group of people. My boss is awesome (again, mostly). i have access to great resources and facilities. i have not been in a hurry to leave.

My goal (that i have been brewing on in my head) is to go for (and get) my Level 3 Classroom Teacher. I have no idea if the US or UK have a similar level. but basically in exchange for a helluva lot of hard work to put the portfolio together & gather evidence that highlights stuff you *already do* there's a payrise to about $85k, plus 0.1 fte (half day equivalent) of non-teaching time given to you to do more awesome shit.
Level 3 CT is no joke. it is serious fucking business. there is a LOT of kudos awarded to those who reach it. it has a big FUCK OFF application process & you have to present why you're so awesome to a panel of your peers. there are 5 criteria you have to fulfill, and supply evidence. Evidence includes things such as: letters, certificates & awards from teaching, data from increased performance of your kids, etc and so on. it is a pain in the fucking ass.
a lot of people have been hassling me about going for it & providing as much support as i need to get it, including my principal, the other deputy principal, and a bunch of peers. my school has a lot of talented teachers and of course, it would look good for the school to have x% of Level 3 teachers on staff!
i'm okay with most of the criteria, but one of them i need to work on A LOT. it's to do with community involvement (beyond the normal Parent Teacher contact etc and so on), and to do with building networks etc. it's a pain in the ass.

so i've been planning this teaching program with a little group of special kids that i teach. i have them in year 8 & then roll with them into year 9. i've been REALLY EXCITED about what i'm doing and how i'm going to do this. I got the idea from a Big Picture presentation i went to (http://www.bigpicture.org.au/). i'm also interested in Montessori education as well, so a lot of this stuff has already been floating around in my head.

anyway.

so then on friday Mick offers me this position as an Industry Links teacher. Industry links is an education pathway into TAFE or Trade certificates. the school has had an unexpected jump in enrollment into the Year 11 course - from 60 kids currently, to over 100. so rather than say No to the kids & have them completing Senior School courses that they aren't into, they want to make a new class.
I laughed & asked why i was "the first person he thought of" and he listed things such as:
- personality type
- excellent behaviour management (the type of clientele for I.L. may be dodgier than mainstream!)
- flexibility
etc
basically, grooming my ego. He then said there was no one else on staff who would be suitable & otherwise they would have to advertise the position publicly.

my first thought was NO & i told him as such.
Then i thought i better think about it for a while, so i called him back & said i'd have to do that.

so now comes the thinking.

Pros
- great for my teaching: it's teaching Upper School kids (16+ yo's) rather than the 13 & 14yo's i've been teaching for the past 9 years.
- community involvement (it's part of the program)
- a challenge
- the kids enrolled would be ones i've already taught in Yr 8 & 9 so the teaching would be FUCKING AWESOME and very exciting.

Cons
- moving office & moving classroom (this is a big one!)
- working with a bunch of new people (i know them, of course, but i don't KNOW them)
- losing my current year 8's & any chance of implementing the awesome program i had in mind
- teaching maths (i'd be the core teacher, so would have the kids for the majority of the day & teach them set skills as opposed to subjects)
- NOT teaching Social Studies, which i fucking LOVE LOVELOVELOVEOVOEOELOVE (get the picture?)

idk. i've talked to 3 ppl & 2 are pro and jed is sort of against. mainly because Mick has pulled this shit on me before - stroked my ego then asked me to do a massive favour which has involved a shitload of work & general craziness.

i'd like to talk to some of the current IL teachers to see what they think. i think that might be on the agenda next.

Lips

another thing that has been pretty consuming for the past 6 weeks or so is this fucking allergy thing i have had that has resulted in HUGE swollen, chapped lips. fucking AWFUL.
at first i didn't think it was an allergy, just a reaction to the cold we've had here & not drinking enough water.

then i googled doctored & allergy was mentioned A LOT. plus once i thought about it i realised it was a sensation i had felt once before when i ate a SHITLOAD of broccoli in one go - my lips got tingly & swelled up!

as i've been eating a LOT of broccoli (like, daily; i buy the microwave "Steam Fresh" vegies and have with dinner), i cut it out entirely.
i also cut out Flouride toothpaste, courtesy of sprinklerized's advice.
neither of those things had any sort of significant result. started taking an oral anti-histamine. used a SHITLOAD of different lip balms as well. various self-appointed doctor friends of mine reckon it's the lip balms at fault. i'm like, WHATEVS.

i've been using straight vaseline for YEARS. like, since i was 12. every now and then i use something different & have never had a lip reaction. i also like to use the Palmer's Cocoa Butter (choc mint flavour! omg YUM) one - never had a problem.

if it happens again tho i'm going to try a lanolin based product as everything on the market seems to be petroleum based.

it just happened RANDOMLY & followed a set sort of pattern. it's happened twice now & followed a 2-3week course.

best thing was zapping it with natural honey & leaving to soak in for about 10-15mins, washing off, then covering with calendula oil & then topping off with Carmex.

BUT overusing calendula oil causes tiny pimples, so have to be careful of that shit.

i've got a doc's appointment on monday. fortunately, (or not) the lip thing has gone away but i hope he'll be able to give me some insight into it anyway.



horsey update next!

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Aug. 7th, 2011

poo bum wee.

was at a masquerade ball in flash fancy long dress last night & pointy shoes. said pointy shoe perhaps did or did not get caught in said flash fancy long dress, thus causing one pointy shoe to go one way (with leg attached) and one pointy shoe to go the other way (also with leg attached).

resulting in me grovelling in hideous fucking pain (combined with pain memory i think - cue panic attack!) on the floor with glamorous people looking on in concern, but not alarm.

yes. so knee is now BUNG. interestingly, it's not the same knee that resulted in 3 months off & another 6 months gaining confidence back. it's the other one (obviously, haha).

same pain, same sensation. so i'm going to save myself a $400 MRI & assume it's the same sort of injury due to my genetically deformed tibia/femur/bone bits with a predisposition for dislocation - which came up in scans of the OTHER knee.

it's not as horrendously, hideously broken as the other knee last year. i can walk on it and there is a pretty good range of flexion. but can't bend on it to tackle stairs & it certainly can't take my weight very well.

POO BUM WEE.

came home & strapped it and Iced it and stuck it up in the air. have applied topical anti-inflammatory this morning. hopefully not out of action for too long. shame - it's stunning weather out. one of those gorgeous mid-winter sunny days. a great day for riding.


speaking of, i need to do a SERIOUS horse update.
well the ball's starting to roll here.

a) REALLY gotta get my reports done. jesus christ i have been ACE at procrastinating this year.

b) went for a road trip to bindoon yesterday to Yates Equestrian to check out their Hill Paddock.

long story short, it's delightful & i'm going to bring Beejay up there next weekend.

he's still flexing unsound & on friday he did a sharp turn to the left (his dodgy knee side) & totally hobbled for a stride until he was straight and that's when i knew i was making the right decision. I can't face leasing him out to someone as a parelli or companion horse because he ISN'T suited as a companion - he LOVES hooning and WILL stir up trouble, and as for parelli - the middle aged parelli-ites would either get walked all over by him OR seem to prefer their station bred brumbies for playing games.

and it's wayyyyy too premature to do the other option that lots of people, surprisingly, have advised.

i'm looking forward to seeing how he enjoys being a horse. the paddock is just amazing - they have a herd of around 17 horses, ranging in ages and breeding. they're checked at least once a day & supplemented hay once a week. The paddock is 170 acres, fairly hilly, with a dam, bushland & cleared meadows. it's sweet. the whole property is family run & they grow their own hay & have cattle, but the main income comes from training & re-educating horses.

i actually know a few people who have horses there & they came highly recommended as well, which is awesome.
i really wish i could move beej to live with blitzen, but sherree doesn't have the room or the feed right now. maybe later on.

so that leads us to c)
Kym. i'm looking forward to riding again & getting my riding legs back. but a bit fearful as well because it too so long to get in sync with beejay. i don't want to be slogging away for 3 years with another horse before it becomes fun. i know this won't be the case as she is relatively sane. and hopefully teacher beejay taught me SOMETHING about leadership & taking the initiative.

anyways. i'll keep you updated.

Jun. 6th, 2011

oh. i think i forgot to mention that both little 16.5 inch saddles that lou had lying around at her place had broken trees.

wtf are the chances.

so now we're totally saddle-less. karen managed to source some little synthetic saddle out of paul's tackshed that hasn't been used - well, in at least the 7 years i've been agisting there. it seemed to fit taz around the gullet, but we'll see what lou says. he was not entirely happy in it tho, but that may be from making him trot on the limestone, which he hates.



*sigh.