Monday, June 21, 2010

...and sometimes, it seems as if I'm slacking off...

It's a sad irony that when I have the most stuff to blog about, I have the least amount of time to do so.

The solution? Another super-sized, multi-topic ramble, I suppose!

What I've been up to/thinking about/not blogging about during the last month:

1. My First 5K Run

Yes - I actually DID it! If you read my earlier posts about coaching a Girls on the Run group at school, you've likely been waiting breathlessly for news of my promised 5K. After ten weeks of training with the students, we headed to Downsview Park in Toronto on June 6th for the celebration run/walk. My personal goal had been to run the entire way. I didn't run fast, but I did jog without stopping. Except for those places along the post thunderstorm/totally under construction track where the mud got so deep that we could only pass through single file without losing out shoes and socks in the goop. In those places, I stood in line, like everyone else.

2. Hansel et Gretel, en musique

As if the coaching/run wasn't enough, (remember: my idea of fun is reading a book) I just mounted the coolest show ever with my grade seven students. "Hansel et Gretel en Musique" is an entirely original French musical version of the Hansel and Gretel story. "But, why?" you ask. "Because they are a super class, with many students who like to sing. Because I like to keep French class interesting and different. Because it turns out my inner Weird Al Yankovic was crying to be set free, and it turns out I can rhyme in two languages.

I painted a gingerbread house, then (quite by chance) ended up at a couple of yard sales where I got patio lanterns (light up gumdrops) and giant candy canes to finish it off. I made cardboard trees. And I turned songs like "Sweet Caroline" into funny show tunes like "Maison Sucree". I'd already talked the students into it when I heard about funding available through the Ontario Ministry of Education to "support increased opportunities for students in all FSL [French as a Second Language] programs to improve and apply, through clear educational objectives, their oral communication skills. The aim is to encourage students to pursue the study of French when it is no longer compulsory for their program." So perfect! We got the funding, I booked a school bus, and last Friday we took our show "on the road" to four area schools. "My kids" were amazing. I am so proud of them, for taking on this challenge, and believing in themselves! And I'll try to post a picture, if I can get permission from parents...


Still on the language teaching side of my life, I'm getting ready to book another SEVEC exchange for the 2010/2011 school year. Fundraising is already under way.

4. Spring
(Sigh) Yes, I know today is the first official day of summer. But I've been busy, okay? (See above). So busy. And my garden keeps growing, and the cottage is under renovation (an updated septic system so I don't have to worry about polluting the lake! Hooray! A dishwasher because I have a real septic system - hooray, hooray!). Some pics:

The woodlot beside my mail box (part of why I love living here!):

The roses and lilacs beside my house

5. Report Cards

'Nuff said.