14/52

I’ve been wanting to share this for a while now: my mystery portrait.

It hangs in my office at work, along with the two other artworks made by students and given me over the years.

The other two were hand-delivered, so I could thank my student personally.

Not so with this.

It was secretly left on my office desk in the first week back this year. The only clue was the handwritten note ‘Welcome back Mrs Bloxham’ on the back.

Now the content matter is amusing. It’s me, in a monster BookWeek costume from 2016. The only selfie I have on my Instagram profile.

What I find incredible? And so, so, so humbling? That a student would seek out a photo of me, and then spend hours and hours and HOURS of their time, during their holidays, drawing me! Because it is a FANTASTIC drawing!

Such a blessing. And I haven’t been able to find out which student blessed me yet, which adds to the mystery 🙂

So if it’s you, dear Reader, lurking on my blog, THANK YOU! And for my other blog Readers, here’s wishing you a pleasant mystery in your week too 🙂

– KRidwyn

13/52

Recently, my school held a fundraiser for the families who lost everything in the recent North Queensland floods. And seeing as blue and yellow are the colours of the most popular sports team of the region, the fundraiser was ‘wear blue-and-yellow’ day.

Now, I’m half Malay. I don’t do ‘yellow’ because it makes me look sickly green. So I went and bought blue stuff: some elbow-length satin gloves, a sparkly masquerade-style mask, and to top it off, a blue plastic hat shaped like the top half of a dinosaur head. I was set!

Then I was asked to attend a workshop that day. Sigh.

No gloves. No sparkly masquerade mask. And no dinosaur hat for me.

Double sigh.

Oh well. At least I get to share them on here with you!

Here’s wishing you a fun-filled week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

4/52

I’m so glad it’s a public holiday here in Australia today. I’ve done seven days straight of work, and another four start tomorrow, so I’m very happy indeed that today is a work-free day.

On the up-side though, the last two-and-a-bit days were spent looking at this view here:

2019 Student Leaders Retreat, preparing them for the year to come. It was a good (albeit long and exhausting!) weekend.

Here’s to a great week ahead, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Out the window…

Holidays! A time of refreshing and renewal. A break from routine (and yeh, I needed *that* one like a kick in the head) and a needed period of not-regular-activity so that time with family and friends can happen.

Some routines should never be broken though. Eating and sleeping, hygiene, etc, these must all be maintained at some kind of a minimal standard. I think pretty much everyone would agree with me there. Sure, the work – school routines can go ‘out the window’ for holidays, but I wonder what other ‘important stuff’ we let slip without meaning to, or even realising.

I remember when I was a girl, reading ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. The four daughters decided to take a break from their routines for a week, and see what would happen. Laziness, slothfulness, uncleanliness, and arguments resulted. By the end of the week, all four were keen to get back into their normal routine.

But the lesson wasn’t over. Day 1 of routine again, and the discovery was made that their pet bird had died. No food or water for a week had killed it. Tragedy had resulted because some things had been let go, which should never have been.

Relationships fall into this category. Does that mean that relationships are just routines? Like the apostle Paul I rush to say, “Perish the thought!” But that doesn’t mean that we can’t, out of necessity and convenience, consider them routines for the sake of this example. Because when these get neglected, tragedy strikes. They die.

So. These holidays, I have resolved to relax the ‘work’ standards and improve the ‘relationship’ ones. Let’s see how well I do…

And have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Weekend-ing away

I like my bed. My bedroom, my ensuite, my kitchen, my laundry, my lounge room, my garden. I miss them when I’m away.

Having said that though, I like not having to cook, and clean. I like the time away from ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ responsibilities, and the gratitude that I feel towards my home comforts when I’ve been away for long enough.

Take these past couple of months, for instance. I spent a week in Sydney/Canberra, on camp with my Year 7 and 8 cohorts. I returned late Friday night, spent Saturday washing and packing, then left very early Sunday morning for another week away, this time with family and friends camping on Fraser Island.

This last weekend was another work-related one: Friday afternoon through to Sunday evening down in Brisbane with six Middle Schoolers who were invited to the State finals from our regional Opti-MINDS challenge. Fast forward a few weekends and I’ll be away again, with Hubby this time, down the Gold Coast.

I enjoy my time away.

But I really, really, REALLY like my own bed. I think I mentioned that?

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

[This post is a cheat]

Well – kinda.

It’s still me writing, at my desk, putting words onto the little white rectangle on the computer screen in front of me.

But it’s not Monday morning, the 17th of September, 9am.

It’s last week (well, it will be last week, by the time you read this – and I know that this sentence isn’t grammatically correct from when I write this, but it’ll make sense when you read this later… I hope!) and yes, there *is* indeed a very valid reason for this cheating post, which I’ve written and scheduled ahead of time.

I’m in Canberra right now. Or Sydney. Or en route to one of those places. At this point in the planning of the event (because it hasn’t happened yet) I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.

But Hubby is at home with Miss10 and Master9 and my mum, keeping the house fire burning (although maybe not, because the weather’s starting to warm up nicely and it might be too hot by the time this post is published, to need a nightly fire) because Miss13 and I are with sixty-nine other 12- and 13-year olds, enjoying (ha! hopefully ‘surviving’, at least) a week-long camp to our nation’s capital and other ‘worthwhile to visit for educational purposes’ places.

Hence the need to post ahead of time. I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at 9am on Monday 17th September, but I *do* know that multiple kids will be there. All with pre-teen and early-teen needs, which is to say MULTITUDES!

Sigh. I’m tired now, even just thinking about it. And I haven’t even started packing yet.

So. That’s what my week’s going to be like. How about you?

– KRidwyn

on habits…

I’ve been talking to my Middle School students quite a lot about habits recently. How often they’re unintentional, a routine formed over time, often because we ‘accidentally’ make a decision to suit us in the circumstances we find ourselves in, and then the next time that situation occurs, our mind/body combo decides ‘let’s repeat the decision, because it didn’t kill us last time!’ or something.

However, if we unintentionally form habits that we see in others and would prefer to NOT have ourselves, then we have a problem. English poet and literary critic John Dryden is said to have coined the phrase: ‘We first make our habits, then our habits make us.’

What habits am I forming at the moment? Are they intentional or unintentional? Because whatever habits I allow myself to form (couch potato in front of the TV; Hubby and my kids’ worst critic; lazy housekeeper; workaholic) that’s the person I will become.

The takeaway? Be INTENTIONAL! I once read somewhere that “the trick to life is to be awake in it” and this is so true. So often I let life pass by because I’m focusing on something, which I deem ‘more important’ at that moment in time.
It is always my decision, and mine decision alone, to deem that ‘something else’ of more importance. And that decision automatically meant that other things were, of necessity, of less importance to me during that moment, that time, that season.
And that decision then reflects my values. So my question is: are these values, ones that I truly want to be holding? And having others witness my holding?
And what exactly do I hold dear, anyway?
So it seems I’ve taken a bit of a tangent, but the thoughts are swirling around up there and this is probably as logically coherent as I’m going to get, this time of the morning.
Here’s to an ‘intentional’ day – and, indeed, week – for the both of us, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Moving right along…

So now the musical’s over, I’ve been head down and getting stuck into the work I’d been (of necessity, mind you!) neglecting. Housework, gardening – oh, and my students’ assignment drafts too, don’t forget! I’ve also had enough head-space to actually ponder the commencement of writing again, would you believe? And I also found 15 minutes in there somewhere, last week, to FlowState… although what came out was embarrassingly pitiful and barely worth keeping, but writing is writing and a skill practiced is a skill improving, I always say. (Well, okay. I made that saying up just now. But it sounds significantly better with the word ‘always’ in it, don’t you think?)

What’s FlowState? You ask. Well, it’s a horrific tool which forces you to write by threatening to remove all your words.

Originally, you could set the timer for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. I preferred that. But with an update a year or so ago, they removed that functionality, leaving users with only a 15 minute option.

And the idea behind it is that you WRITE for 15 minutes. No hesitating, just writing. Adding word after word to the screen. Or else!

If you hesitate for longer than 5 seconds (from memory; I *think* it’s five but I’m too scared to check it and see) the words fade on the screen and when they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

You’re forced, you see; to write, and write non-stop, until the timer finishes, and the work is saved.

And believe me, you do NOT want to stop at 14 minutes and 55 seconds! I did that before, and lost literally hundreds of words. Yes, I cried. And yes, I also stopped using the app, my own solitary protest, for several months. But returned though, because it’s perfect to get the writing mojo happening (rather than the thinking mojo!) and the threat of losing work is enough to keep the fingers tapping keys 🙂

Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

That, and dreaming about publishing. If only Book 7 of my Justine Browning series would write itself!

 

Have a great week, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

And… it’s all over :)

until 2020, anyway! The CCC musical, Conundrum, was an absolute blast… and now the adrenaline is wearing off, I’m realising I’m the most exhausted I’ve ever felt in my life. And my back is SORE!

But it was worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces. And I learned heaps too 🙂

And check out these beauties!!!

Very blessed.

See you next week… I’ll have managed some sleep by then!

God bless,

– KRidwyn