aelfie: (Simpsons me)
How...what an energy drain.

The good:
Love the school.
I got "hello"s and "great to see you again!"s and hugs from various staff and faculty members
I lined up 2 more days to sub this month in kindergarten
I got to finally meet the second grade teacher (the single teacher I hadn't met last spring) (if I get a job here, he'd be Elli and Gwen's teacher)

The bad:
The commute sucks
Teacher left me NOTHING for them to do for 2 practice periods!
I forgot lunch, which then gave me massive headache, but not until after school
I broke the rocking chair (oy)
It hurts to be there.

I'm glad to add to the resume and I'm glad to have a chance to integrate myself into the community. Honestly, this is my first choice school for next fall if the librarian gig falls through. BUT I feel dreadfully inadequate to the task of being a teacher. Today, being left with a class, all by myself, really let me know, how much I don't know. I know I would be supported by a mentor...but daaaaymn...it's just so much. And an 8 year commitment to these kids to begin with!! I mean, you have to teach so much and there's so much I don't get about how I'm even supposed to attempt it!

Does every new teacher feel like this? Just. Ut.
aelfie: (tattoo)
Why am I being all posty mcpostal?

I had my teacher look unofficially at my student teacher blog and he pointed out I was missing a few things. I'm posting as many as I can tonight while I'm still at school and won't be bothered by anyone.
aelfie: (cat hates everything)
I hate this time of year.

This is when the dolrums of depression really start smacking me around.

It's not as bad as other years, but it's bad enough to be ANNOYING. I don't want to knit, I don't want to read. I just want to spend my time lying down being entertained and even then, I'm not that interested. I'm going through the motions. I get up, shower, dress. Care for children. Attempt to educate them. I do laundry and clean the house enough to keep it orderly. Which I know is a good thing. Just moving every day helps.

I'm trying to sit under my lamp every day. I'm trying to get outside and work in the garden every day. I can't really exercise 'cause of the damn boot, but it's my own damn fault it's there again, so oh well. I know that eating better will help immensely since oh...80% of how I feel is created by how I feed my body. I feed it crap...I feel like crap. Every day I do it a little bit better. I added 3 lbs over the Holidays (which is an immense improvement since last years 12 lb gain.), but I'm not adding any more so go me! The bingeing is slowing, every day it's a bit easier to stop. Every day, its easier to say "Nah, I don't want that." Every day, there's a step in the right direction...and if there's a slide, I'm kind to myself....I know it will be better tomorrow.

But still. I'm dragging. I have class tonight. I've done the reading, but I've not finished the paper. I've done the drawings. So...essentially half my homework is done. I'm struggling with how to write what I understand and do so succinctly. It's hard to do Steiner with brevity. Goodness knows he couldn't do it! There are times I yell at the book...Okay! Get to the point and say it already! I'm working on the next assignment's reading and I'm still waiting for it to get good. Parzival is not coming across as a sympathetic character to me (spoiled little brat), so the story is dragging. I can grind through it...but, bleh. There's a reason I'm not a Medievalist. These stories just go on and on and I swear to god they are paid by the word....bleh.

Ike is driving me crazy and I'm tired of pushing him through bullshit homework. I can see bringing home the work on his MLB he didn't finish in class, but damn. These math and grammar assignments are driving us crazy. Especially since he's already done the grammar ones already. I just want to go to his teacher and say enough with the bullshit. You have EXTRA main lesson slots daily...finish this bullshit stuff then, don't send it home! But...it still comes home. He worked for 90 minutes this morning struggling through his fractions and grammar. Normal kid probably would have taken 20...*sigh* Not sure how to deal with this. We are all tired of him struggling.

Just keepin' on keepin' on.

Christmas!

Jan. 11th, 2013 07:35 am
aelfie: (tattoo)

When Ike came home on the last day of school before Christmas he says to me "Sorry Mom...your present just isnt' ready...you'll have to wait." I said "no problem"

Yesterday when I pick him up from school he has this huge cabbage in a plastic bag.

"Is that your's Ike?"
"Yep! I grew it in Gardening class"
"Awesome! It looks beautiful!"
"Merry Christmas Mama!"
"This is for me?"
"Yea, it wasn't ready to be picked before vacation, it was ready today."
"Did you get to choose what to grow?"
"Yep. I chose a cabbage 'cause I knew that's something you would like"

He's right...I weighed it, 3lbs 15.5 oz. It's a big cabbage. It's slated to become coleslaw and jalapeno saurkraut.

Doesn't he look so proud?

aelfie: (tattoo)
2013 is shaping up well. Took Ike to the ER tonight for evaluation after he and two of his classmates attempted to occupy the same space during a game of tag. In other words, Ike got his head bashed again and complained of headache, nausea, and sleepiness. Fun! And to add insult to injury? My co-pay doubled with the New Year. Yipee! And OMG that hurt. (I'm not looking forward to the co-pay for his surgery next month. OMG that's gonna SUCK. If I had known everything was going up...I'd of had his surgery done last year to get it done on the cheap!)

Oh...and he's ordered to stay home tomorrow to rest and we should expect a degradation in his behavior again.

Woo-fuckin'-hoo

Yesterday was capped off with a simultaneous crying jag by the girls on how they want friends. They are lonely and want to go to school. They like the school part of homeschooling...its the no friends part they don't. I'm feeling defeated, disappointed, and like I made a huge mistake for these girls. And I'm feeling swamped trying to teach and do all my homework. I'm behind.

I think I need more sun and more time outside. The being stuck inside and having no time to sit under my lamp-o-wonder isn't helping my mood.

*sigh*

Need sleep.
aelfie: (tattoo)

I had Foundation Studies this weekend. The Art for this session was drawing.  *Groan* 

I will not say I suck at drawing. I will not say I don't get it. But I will say...I'm learning. I'm just slow.

First we tried pastels on paper. After about 2 hours of work I ended up with this.

2012-11-10 17.34.03


Then we moved onto crayon. This is about 30 minutes of work.

2012-11-10 17.33.53

Then back to pastels...about an hour.

2012-11-10 17.34.12

And lastly pencils. This is after about an hour...and it's so not finished. And I'm not sure where to go next with it to continue it...I need to finish coloring in the boat, and the sails...and I've got to fix the cliff but I don't know how...


Bonus points to people who can correctly ID the myths or stories I drew for the last three drawings.


aelfie: (Have a Nice Day)
I just got my acceptance letter from Rudolf Steiner College! I'll be off to Fair Oaks for three weeks in July! Woot!!

Now just to figure out how to pay for it....
aelfie: (Default)
Hooky:
I should have done homework tonight. I owe my Foundation Studies teacher from RSC a paper comparing and contrasting the cultures of Ancient Persia and Ancient India. As fascinating as I find this subject (and I do, its really cool!) I just couldn't bring myself to do work. I busted my butt last week in order to turn in enough assignments to pass my latest class at UCSC Extension. I got as much in as I could by the Saturday Midnight deadline. And I was satisfied, I knew I passed. I got home from church on Sunday to find an email from the instructor saying she'd give me a chance to fix an assignment I turned in at the beginning of the month. Fair enough. I revised it, and emailed it back in. This move quite probably changed my grade from a C to a B in that class. Yea. I passed. That's all I care about. So after that, I was less than willing to do more work, even if its fun work. So I've been goofing off online, downloading pictures off my camera, and searching for a crochet hat pattern.

Bypassing a FUBAR:
I teach Handwork at the children's school. I'm attempting to teach 3rd grade how to crochet. They got the basics down and we have attempted to start crocheting hats. I am not the greatest at crocheting. I know how, but this is one craft that does not really click for me. I get lost, easily. I am screwing up the pattern I found for the children to work. They are flailing, I am flailing. Time to scrap this project. I think I found a better pattern that's much more simple and less difficult to screw up. I'm going to collect all the children's handwork bags, rip out what they have done (maybe a round in most cases), and we will all start together. I've also put in an email to another parent who is awesome at crochet to see if she can come around and help me. I think I've recognized that I'm over my head early enough in this process that all is not lost.

And the fact that we have 8 days of school left is not lost on me. Ut. Next year should go better. My only defense is that I'm not a trained Handwork Teacher, I'm a mom who is very crafty and is attempting Teacher Training (Grades). That doesn't mean that I know everything I need to know. But at least I realize I'm out of my depth and am asking for help.
aelfie: (Default)
One of the kindergarteners has the Chicken Pox! And its one of Elli and Gwen's best friends! And its a little brother to one of Ike's classmates! Yea! Now maybe these kids will catch it! (this is only the third exposure...)

I'm so weird, I want my kids to get sick. =)
aelfie: (Default)
Last night was an awful lot of fun. I still can't sing music written for a Mezzo Soprano, but I can fake it well enough (amazing what happens when you drop the music an octave). When we had our dress rehearsal on Thursday we got worried. We had sold only 24 tickets! There's 100+ seats! Well, getting the word out worked because when the curtain went up it was a full house! Yea! The children did an awesome job, and I fulfilled a dream. I was a lead character in a Musical (okay, opera...whatever, I was a lead character and I sang!) I blew a few lines and completely blew the big moment (started on the wrong note) It was cool...scary, but very cool. I'd love to do it again...but my voice is dying today, so its a good thing that there's no show today.

I'm glad we did it, but I'm  also glad its over. Now the all the adults involved need to have a proper after party...we all went home and put children to bed...no party for us!
aelfie: (Default)
Our school is putting on the play Amahl and the Night Visitors as a fundraiser on December 16 at 7 PM at the Hoover Theatre in San Jose. Ike, Elli, and Gwen play sheperds and I'm playing shepherds and I'm playing the Mother.
I hope you can make it!

Here's the link to purchase tickets.
http://njerismorningglory.com/community/events/?tab=4
aelfie: (Default)
Wow, that was awesome!!! The Journey took place over the entire campus. There were lots of oooo's! and Ahhh's! And believe it or not, some tears. Once Ike figured out that several of his classmates were in the cast he was upset and feeling left out. But overall a successful evening and a satisfying end to all of the frantic creation going on for the last month. And especially the last couple of days. Between Wednesday and Thursday I baked something like 11 dozen cookies for this and I carved 6 pumpkins yesterday...and I've been helping out with the other crafting sessions since school started. My hands HURT!

Now to start prepping for the next event: Amahl and the Night Visitors. Musical Theater!!!! Wooooot!!! So, mark your calendar's ya'll, we are putting on two shows, one on the evening of December 16 and a matinee on the 17th. Oh. And Gwen is currently one of the kids cast in the lead part (There's like 4). And, uh, yours truly is cast as the Mother (which is the adult lead part). (The rest of the family will also be on stage doing other bits) This is a fund raiser for the school so please make plans to attend a show!
aelfie: (Default)
Okay, I admit it, I'm a lame parent. I forgot to take pictures of the kids before taking them on their first day of school.

So I took them after school...and then forgot to snap one of Ike.  But I did manage to snap pics of the girls on their first day of Kindergarten.

Gwen


Elli

aelfie: (Default)
I drop off the kids at school every day at around 8:30. Acutally, I'd love to say "drop-off" and mean it 'cause in this sick, fearful society I have to stick around until the kids are in the classroom and I have to sign them in and out. (I'd do it anyway for the girls, they are in kindy after all). Anywho...

As I signed Ike into his class, his teacher comes over and asks if I can come back to help the kids cook today. I asked when, and said I'd have to check with Njeri, as I was going to Sweet Peas (a playgroup for 1 & 2 year olds on campus run by a 4th grade parent) and didn't have a way to have Gray cared for otherwise. I checked with Njeri and she said no problem. So Gray got to hang out with the kindergarteners in the later part of the morning and early afternoon.

First I taught a fellow mom how to knit (I love teaching knitting). Then, I went to Sweet Peas from 9:30-11:30, took Gray out to the kindergarten, went into the 3rd grade class room and helped 8 kids cook pasta and simple tomato sauce from scratch. (And yes, we needed 5 adults. 1 to do the teaching (a dad) and the rest of us at each station assisting kids). We got done with the cooking and eating at 1:30, and clean up lasted until 2:15. I joined Elli, Gwen and Gray in the garden. Since Ike got out at 3:15, I didn't bother leaving, I just got a chair from the kindergarten, pulled out my knitting and went to town.

Ike got out at 3:15 and wanted to play a bit. Then I got into a great conversation with some parents, got consulted about some craft projects that need done with the first grade teacher (who is also a LifeWays grad) and didn't manage to leave campus until 4:00.

Gray had no nap.

I decided I needed to figure out how to keep this kid awake. We were all hot, tired, and thirsty. Time for Jamba Juice! We stopped, got smoothies and drove home. Gray managed to stay awake until we got off the freeway, when he promptly passed out. And he just woke up 20 mintues ago. Oy.

So, the kids are watching the Princess Bride, eating pizza and I'm knitting. Pretty good life, no?
aelfie: (Default)
I am riding high. I taught a class today. I am offering an adult handwork class at the kids school using the idea of making things for the Nature Table at home.

It was fun! We dyed playsilks today. Messy!

First, I built a small nature table after stripping my table at home. The silks I used to cover the little table I brought were made by 3 different processes that are easily done at home.
And I even remembered to write those instructions up and give a copy to the ladies. We talked about dyeing, different methods, and mordants. We talked about autumn, the gestures, colors, food, and festivals...and then we got messy.

We dyed 1 yard square silks in brown, red, and orange to create the foundation for their nature tables. We hung them up and Oh! They looked beautiful! I'm sad to say I didn't think to dye a set for the school! (I may go back and do that...the brown and orange didn't come out as deep as I wanted.)

The set up was amusing. I had to bring the kids wagon to drag all the stuff I needed. I had four washbasins, the camp stove, fuel for the camp stove, my dyeing pot (a 7 quart jar canner I found at GoodWill for $5.00) (to boil water in rather than dye in), small table, nature table stuff, snack, plates, spoons (forgot a serving spoon!),box of gloves, box of playsilks, dye, 1 gallon jug of white vinegar, towels, twine, and plastic spoons. Ut! Dying takes a LOT of gear!

Oh and I am sooooo glad I brought my stove and dyeing pot, the school doesn't have access to a real stove and they have electric kettles, and it would not have been possible to heat enough water otherwise.

It was good, and nerve wracking, Njeri was very helpful by letting Gray play with the Kindergarten while I taught. Dyeing is not really an activity that can be done with the littles, but everything else we do should be.

Yea!
aelfie: (Default)
LifeWays: Done!!! Although I do not have my certificate. It will come in the mail. After class yesterday (with Suzanne Down no less) we went out to dinner to celebrate. This has been an amazing soul-feeding experience for me. And in these last few months, I've felt it isn't nearly enough. I feel like I've been given an appetizer to Waldorf Education and there is a whole lot more out there for me to experience....

Which led me to the idea of...

Teacher Training: For the last few months, I've been considering taking Waldorf Teacher Training. Considering it to the point that I have the application forms filled out and ready to mail. Its a grueling 3 year program. Every Friday night and every Saturday morning in El Sobrante for the Academic Year. Plus a four week-five full day Summer intensive. I feel a great need to do this program. I can't not imagine not doing it. That being said. Wow. That's kinda intense and bat-shit insane when you have four kids 8 and under and live 70 miles and a probable 2 hour commute away. Oh, and lets not forget the cost. Comes in around $8K a year. Which, now that I think about it is cheaper than the kids tuition.

Speaking of kids tuition....

Homeschooling: Not going forward with it. To be brutally honest. Ain't nobody happy. Except maybe Gray...'cause he's such a happy and mellow kid. But I have to say it needed to happen. Ike really needed these last two years to settle down some and come more into his own. I think he's ready for a classroom. But there is no way in hell I'd ever put him in a public school classroom. So, we have officially enrolled the big three kids at Njeri's Morning Glory, a small waldorf school. We've gotten a tuition adjustment (thank goodness!) And I've gotten a soft job offer for a new program at the school....

which leads to....

More schooling for me. I'm currently enrolled at UCSC Extension taking Early Childhood Education classes. What a mickey mouse class. I can't stand it! And its not the information I can't handle, the information is good stuff, and its actually a well written text book. Its the bullshit, waste of time, really learn nothing except regurgitation assignments. Bleh!!! I'm back to playing a game that I got tired of in Junior High School. But I can play it (and play it well) for the 24 units I need (to create the program Njeri is envisioning) and the 35 for the certificate. (Figure what the hell? If I have to take 24 I might as well take a few more classes and get the damn certificate...may come in handy someday. It is tax deductible after all.). I just hope later classes are better and less worshipping at the Grand Altar of Bullshit. That is the one thing I really valued this LifeWays year...the assignments stretched me! So for now, I'll sit in the back row and knit my way through my classes.

But where does that put Teacher Training?

On the back burner for at least one academic year. I can't do both. And to be honest, it gives me another year to improve my health, let the kids get bigger (let the girls get off my etheric, so I only have one child using that connection instead of 3.) and hopefully settle into our new rhythm of almost everyone in school.

Whew! Been busy!

Homework

Jun. 14th, 2011 03:52 pm
aelfie: (Default)
LifeWays homework is a lot more fun than ECE 1 homework.

ECE 1 homework=read chapter and answer questions at the end (what the hell is this? Junior High School? What a waste of time.)
LifeWays homework=needlefelt something

I like creative homework so much better.

Too funny

Dec. 19th, 2008 02:45 pm
aelfie: (MnM Ike)
Okay, so next month at school is Cowboy! Month. All the lessons will be around cowboys (this month was a bakery) kinda cute. Ike brought home a cowboy hat and a scarf for us to decorate for "Icicle Ike". He just came in asking what the scarf was for.

So I starting showing him the various uses of hankys. Neckerchief, smoke inhibitor for fire, mask for holdups, kleenex. Then I remember something...the Hanky Codes.

Ike brought home a light, almost neon green hanky. After looking it up I found out that a light green hanky can mean he's either hustling or looking to pick up a hustler, depending on which pocket it gets stuffed into.

I am amused.

I wonder if the kindergarden teacher thought of this.

Probably not.

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