Poetry

Hello everyone!

I haven’t written here in MONTHS. Hoping to change that this year!

However, I have still been writing! I have been posting somewhere else: my poetry instagram account! I started this a couple months ago with the encouragement of a friend in order to keep my writing alive despite being super busy with work and life. It has been a success! I have been able to write and post when I can with zero pressure, which has been a big help in my creativity and inspiration. I have created a link to my Instagram in the left sidebar for easy access to any of my latest pieces. I will also be creating a poetry category so that I can post some of my poetry directly into here as well.

I have also started a 30 Day Writing Challenge with Justin and our good friend Caitlynn. For 30 days we are writing for different prompts. There are no limits or guidelines to what we are writing. It could be short fiction or poetry or anything we desire! I am hoping to post a few of my favourite pieces from that as well.

Feeling really, really good about writing and poetry lately! I’m so happy to have found a way to share and put my writing out there. Engaging with a writing community has been so helpful, uplifting, and supportive. Still hoping to eventually put together a second zine as well once I have a wider collection and narrow down a theme.

Here’s to 2018, a year of MORE writing and reading.

Planning For Fall

I haven’t written much over the summer, other than in my own personal journal a couple times. It’s been one of the busiest summers I’ve had in a long while! I visited Toronto for two weeks in July, which was a non-stop trip seeing friends and family. Also helping my Nan (my Grandma on my mother’s side) get to some appointments due to some minor health concerns. She developed Bell’s Palsy this last month which was a bit of a scare and more of a frustration for her than anything.

Coming back to Edmonton has been quite busy. This city thrives during the summer. There is so much to do and I’m sure there are still a bunch of things I’ll have to save for next year. So far this summer, I’ve been able to experience farmers markets, Taste of Edmonton, Heritage Days (Canada’s biggest multicultural event!), Shakespeare in the Park, and various new restaurants and cafes. Next week I am heading to Cold Lake with Kailene for a night, and in a couple weekends Justin and I will be visiting a farm sanctuary just outside of Edmonton! I’m. So. Excited. PIGS. 

After reading and frequenting Pinterest for about a month, I’ve finally started to pry open various English resources and planning guides because I am starting my first teaching contract this September! I’ll be the ELA (English Language Arts) Instructor for a Grade 4 class, two Grade 5 classes, and a Grade 6. I’m nervous and excited. Nervous because I am more familiar with high school students and teaching, but excited because I supplied a lot for elementary and honestly really like it. I always said I’d NEVER teacher elementary. But I’ve known since starting teacher’s college that you take what you get and you may not even start in your subject area. With that said, I’m happy and grateful for what I was offered this past June. I was a bit hesitant at first but the more that I plan and read and get to know the staff and school, the more that I am excited and confident.

Also, I will have my very own classroom! Four classes of students will come into my class throughout the day (sort of a rotary system) since I am just the Language Arts teacher, so I’ll have to figure out some organization and routines. But I am soooo excited to set up a reading nook, a library space, plants and pictures, a Word Wall, and all sorts of neat things that I maybe couldn’t do in a high school setting. I really am going to take advantage of the fact that this will be my own room.

I’m going to get back to planning and reading, but here are some pictures of my so far empty class.

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My future desk area with bright windows behind me!

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Trees right outside the window.

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So much shelving!

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Can’t wait to start decorating!

Supply Teaching

I’ve officially been added to the supply list for the Edmonton school board that I will be working for! It’s been an exciting week with various phone calls from an automated robot who Justin and I have humanized and grown to love and hate. (He starts calling at 6 in the morning to notify me of possible supply jobs.) Finally, after many anxious emails and phone calls, I accepted my first supply job and went to a junior high school today to cover for a teacher.

I’ve been so nervous, anxious, and excited leading up to this day. I hadn’t been in a classroom for almost a year and a half. For some reason (anxiety), I started to think I was forgetting everything I had learned and that I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a classroom again. And it’s true. At first, I wasn’t completely comfortable today. But as the day went on so much came back to me. Importantly, the love, passion, and comfort I feel for teaching came back. It felt so natural again and I think I worried that I lost all this after being out of it for a while. But I realized that just because I had been waiting and trying to get into a classroom or a school doesn’t mean I stopped liking it or stopped caring.

So today was my first day back into a classroom and my very first day as a supply teacher. I’m still nervous for so many other firsts that will happen along the way, but I am really happy that I can say I love what I’m doing. And I can confidently say that I didn’t forget the things I learned after all. They just got tucked away, like books on a shelf. Now, I am reading them again.

First Week

Edmonton is full of large evergreen trees. Spruce and pine floods my peripherals when I am driving around. There are many old houses and large spaces of vast, flat land. It’s refreshing to see so much land. And then, every once in a while, you drive through a part of the river valley and over the North Saskatchewan River. It excites me every time. It’s hard to look away from all the trees and the river.

I have settled in pretty well this first week. I’ve been able to see so many friends of Justin’s and a couple of my own which has been filling my heart up a lot. I’ve seen my very close friend Kailene a few times already and we have more plans again this week that I am really looking forward to. We are still getting used to the idea that we are not provinces away anymore. I’ve also been getting to know the various animals in my current household (Piper and George the cats, Winston the pug). It’s been really uplifting and exciting having all of them around at various times and bonding with each of them in different ways. Justin’s sister has also been really sweet and even made me a few decorations for my bedroom! I like my new surroundings a lot and the people around me.

It was helpful seeing many friends before leaving Toronto. I really needed that and I’m so grateful for who I was able to see. I feel really happy to be here, but I have to admit I’m missing home and my family. Today is probably the first time I am truly recognizing and acknowledging this feeling. I know it’ll get easier the more I adjust and the more that time goes on but right now, it’s gonna be a little hard at first. It really hit me after I talked to my grandma and brother on the phone. I wasn’t even really sure why I felt sad today until I finally just cried and thought, oh this is homesickness. I am missing things. I just really miss people and certain rituals and parts of my life that are changing. Not changing in bad ways, just changing, adapting, and evolving. I’m really quite happy but change, transition, or moves of all sorts are very hard and this is a big one.

I’ve also been really sick and that always makes me feel emotional and incompetent. So with my sickness combined with a lot of change, I’ve been curling up in cozy blankets, having ‘lots of tea, sniffing a bunch of peppermint / eucalyptus oils, getting really nice hugs, cuddling animals, and crying when I need to.