not all girls wander on purpose

"…the best and most efficient way to learn something is to write about it, because it kind of parboils your attention, and forces you to really crystalize your intellect and… gather your information with great discipline (to) come up with conclusions." - Elizabeth Gilbert

“…I love to take notes- often for no apparent reason. I’m always marking up books, making odd lists, gathering examples of strange categories, copying messages. For some reason, I like working on some permanent, undefined research project” – Gretchen Rubin

I blog to learn and to make a record of my life. It is like writing a book without a plot.
~ Thursday, April 17 ~
Permalink

Where your first year of teaching can lead you…

mine has lead me of course to Haiti. The power goes off from time to time (but we have a generator and a groundkeeper that has our back) and there isn’t as much access to things as there is in Canada but my life in Haiti is pretty damn sweet. I have been able to experience the culture as well as have a maid, a driver and now a full luxury pool just outside my door. 

Some of my friends went to the capital of Ecuador, the mountains of Bhutan, the crowded city of England, the mean streets of Toronto begging to teach anything that walked, the supply lists of KPR and any board that would hire them, the backwoods teaching world of outdoor ed, the northern Canada Native reserves and the list goes on. 

Some of their classrooms (or lack of when the forest is your class) are filled with the finest technology, and equipped with all of the latest gadgets of the modern teaching world. Some of us (like me) have a mix of both. Concrete walls with frequent power outages. But the idea is all the same. To spend time with kids and to teach them a little and learn a lot from them. What I am saying is that no matter where we teach it is all the same, the methods are just a little different based on the kids. 

This job is an arduous one but as I think about taking two weeks off (one to see my best friend Marley get married) I think about how much I will miss their silly antics. 


~ Saturday, March 15 ~
Permalink

I am leaving Haiti…

in a few months. 

Can you believe that my contract is up in June, that I have almost finished my two years here in Haiti? I can’t, I really can’t. 

As a result I have been thinking a lot about this country and the school. I love this country without a doubt and would come back here if another opportunity arose. It is time for me to head home, put my head down and get to the grind. I want to teach in Ontario so that is what I am going to do. I woke up this morning and started editing my resume (again for what seems like the billionth time). Just looking at it made me get goosebumps. I hate job hunting, but I took this last two years to beef up my resume and learn a hell of a lot so now is the time to market all of the hard work that has gone into my first two years of teaching. 

What do I say in a resume (in under 5 sentences) that sum up the most challenging two years of my professional and personal life? I keep thinking of great answers to interview questions. 

Question: What do you do to teach to English Language Learners? I got that. 75% of my class is trilingual, the other 10% are bilingual and the rest of us are lame ole 1 language speakers or 4 or more language speakers.

Tell me about a time when you experienced a challenging situation that was out of your control and how you dealt with it? Your literacy program, creating interactive lessons, using technology, accreditation process, PLC’s yadda yadda yadda. Our fear when moving here and working for 2 years is that schools in Canada may not count 2 years teaching in Haiti as 2 years of teaching experience. We feared that it wasn’t the same as working in Canada or a developed country where things are more similar to the school system in Canada. This thought is always present in my mind and here is what I have to say about it. 

No I am not teaching Ontario curriculum, not dealing with Canadian issues with kids and am not used to the way things run in an Ontario school. But Haiti teaches you resourcefulness (by force sometimes) and to let things go. You need to pick your battles. If you freak out every time you don’t have water, or power, or can’t get to where you think you need to go (you often don’t need to, you want to) then you will be fighting always. You can’t put this North American sense of urgency and immediacy on a country that moves at a slower pace. If traffic pisses you off then 2 hours of your day will spent holding on to frustration. This has made me a better teacher and drastically changed the person that I am. I pray that I hold onto this as I transition back to Canada. This is what I have learned while here and I know it will bleed into my life as a teacher. When I am here I often link my lessons to Canada, to show my students a new perspective. When I am home I will often link things to Haiti. This country is so gorgeous, so happy, so full and the media is painting it as an unsafe, uncealn, unhappy place and it is the exact opposite. 

I feel safe here. I am at a cafe blogging, solo. I would be doing this at home on a Saturday morning. Same stuff, different place. Do the streets all need to look the same with evenly paved sidewalks? Yes, your walk to work may be more adventurous but you can still get from place to place on rocky Port-au-prince sidewalks. There is trash in the gutters but people sweep it up (sometimes they are paid by the government, sometimes they do it because they want a beautiful Haiti to be proud of). When you see a merchant on the street from dawn until dusk you may think they are unhappy because they do not live the way that North Americans live. They do not have as much. There house isn’t as strongly built or as orderly. But happiness can not always be read on one’s face. That merchant may go home to a big beautiful family that has just enough food to eat that night and more love than can fit in their house. 

As I said, I am learning. 


1 note
Permalink
   There are days when I look in the mirror and am happy with what I see but for the post part I look at myself and can’t see the good. I have been watching TEDtalks lately and scouring the internet for uplifting quotes and ferocious chicks to be inspired by. I am wearing a tank top outside (that is a leap forward… right?). At some point you have to look at where you came from and say, we have an unrealistic standard of beauty and I don’t care about that, I see that the media is manipulating me and I will be manipulated no longer. The catch is, it is ingrained. I watched a video today about The De Biers Diamond company running an ad campaign in the 1930’s about showing you love your fiancé with a diamond ring. That is where the tradition of the wedding ring came from (according to this video), advertising. If I had one wish it would be that I could separate myself from all of that supposed to stuff. I mean I have avoided the supposed to have a career, house, kids and husband before you are thirty thing. I have taken my own path but this body image thing plagues every friend that I have. We talk about diets, and the gym and yadda yadda yadda when we are together. It would be nice to say that the next time we get together we don’t talk about body image at all but heck, that is in us now. We look in the mirror and see chin fat not our strength. I see the dark circles under my eyes and don’t think of the hard work I have put in at school that week, the great lessons I planned and the awesome work the kids put in, I just see the circles and my tired appearance. I am a work in progress. 

There are days when I look in the mirror and am happy with what I see but for the post part I look at myself and can’t see the good.

I have been watching TEDtalks lately and scouring the internet for uplifting quotes and ferocious chicks to be inspired by. I am wearing a tank top outside (that is a leap forward… right?). At some point you have to look at where you came from and say, we have an unrealistic standard of beauty and I don’t care about that, I see that the media is manipulating me and I will be manipulated no longer. The catch is, it is ingrained. I watched a video today about The De Biers Diamond company running an ad campaign in the 1930’s about showing you love your fiancé with a diamond ring. That is where the tradition of the wedding ring came from (according to this video), advertising. If I had one wish it would be that I could separate myself from all of that supposed to stuff. I mean I have avoided the supposed to have a career, house, kids and husband before you are thirty thing. I have taken my own path but this body image thing plagues every friend that I have. We talk about diets, and the gym and yadda yadda yadda when we are together. It would be nice to say that the next time we get together we don’t talk about body image at all but heck, that is in us now. We look in the mirror and see chin fat not our strength. I see the dark circles under my eyes and don’t think of the hard work I have put in at school that week, the great lessons I planned and the awesome work the kids put in, I just see the circles and my tired appearance. 

I am a work in progress. 


1 note
~ Thursday, January 2 ~
Permalink

Skating on New Years Day.


2 notes
reblogged via intransitionagain
~ Wednesday, January 1 ~
Permalink

Skating on New Years Day


2 notes
Permalink
#365greatful Taking the time to go skating with my best friends, no matter the temperature.  
In an effort to recommit to my blog I have done two things:
1) I have added Tumblr to my phone so I can quickly add photos and updates more frequently (my last blog post was ages ago, my Grandmother reminded me of that at the Christmas dinner table… I got the message G, loud and clear!) 
2) I have started #365greatful in an effort to celebrate the special little moments that happen everyday.  My class makes me laugh, my friends remind me I am loved and my family reminds me who I am daily. I need to celebrate and reflect more instead of being bogged down by the day-to-day stuff that can bog us down.
The theme for 2014 is gratitude, here she goes.

#365greatful Taking the time to go skating with my best friends, no matter the temperature. 

In an effort to recommit to my blog I have done two things:
1) I have added Tumblr to my phone so I can quickly add photos and updates more frequently (my last blog post was ages ago, my Grandmother reminded me of that at the Christmas dinner table… I got the message G, loud and clear!)
2) I have started #365greatful in an effort to celebrate the special little moments that happen everyday.  My class makes me laugh, my friends remind me I am loved and my family reminds me who I am daily. I need to celebrate and reflect more instead of being bogged down by the day-to-day stuff that can bog us down.

The theme for 2014 is gratitude, here she goes.


1 note
Permalink
Classic Trev pose on one of my favorite Christmas ornaments.  The holidays are almost over and I’m glad I came home to spend time with friends and family.  #theresnoplacelikehome

Classic Trev pose on one of my favorite Christmas ornaments. The holidays are almost over and I’m glad I came home to spend time with friends and family. #theresnoplacelikehome

Tags: theresnoplacelikehome
Permalink
Hot cocolate rink side. We were bundled up as much as possible.

Hot cocolate rink side. We were bundled up as much as possible.


~ Tuesday, June 25 ~
Permalink

Raise your hand…

All teachers have been here before.

and whimper if school starts for you tomorrow and you’re SO not ready.

image


178 notes
reblogged via heymissat
~ Monday, May 27 ~
Permalink
A new billboard for the current President •Haiti ap vanse = Haiti is moving forward•

A new billboard for the current President •Haiti ap vanse = Haiti is moving forward•


1 note