Categories
family anecdotes Life momentous events

Final milestones

Years ago, prior to children, I couldn’t imagine myself as a mum. Truth be told: I still can’t! And yet, I am. Muddling through as best as I can, and making mistakes left, right and centre. Sorry, kids.

But time passes and things get easier (or, at least, more routinized) and then you realise you can’t remember what life was like before the kids were around. Or in primary school. Or in high school. Or university, et cetera.

Me and my family? Well, Master almsot-12 – my youngest – is about to graduate Primary School. Seven scant weeks after, he’ll be the only pre-teen in my house. And just 16 months after that, all three will be teenagers (and yes, I’m already noticing the grocery bill…) and the eldest will be driving and in her last seven months of school.

Wait, what? Seriously?

Life’s going too fast!

Yup. Breathe. It’ll all happen, and it’s all survivable.

*deep breath* *take a moment*

Well, back to my point – because it’s been quite a rambling one this morning – my little man graduates from Primary School in two weeks. Hip hip, hooray!!

Well done, little man. Congratulations – you made it! I love you.

 

Categories
momentous events teaching Work Writing

Grammar rules :)

My childhood memories are few and far between. I’m not entirely sure why, just that they are. But a couple of things stand out from Primary Schooling: learning how to thread a sewing needle in Grade Four, and – even more significant – spending several weeks in Grade Five, copying down spelling rules from the board and listening intently to my teacher as she explained them, and gave us examples. I remember thinking, “This is it! The key to getting things correct from now on! This is what I need to know!” I was so pleased. I’d figured it all out – and I was only 10 years old.

Those lessons were so clear, so concise. “I before E except after C” and so on. Later, in University, when I realised I’d need to teach grammar to my high school English students, oh! How I wished I’d had similar instruction in grammar!

Well, wish no more. I’ve found it. Short, easy, and – most excellent of all – a detailed study of the parts of speech. And the best bit? It’s an online textbook which my students already have access to! So I’m kinda mandated to teach from it, so the parents get their money’s worth. Cool, huh?

So here I am, week by week, learning about classifying adjectives and participles, gerunds and articles, so I can teach them with some authority… and I’m loving it! Finally, something in the world makes sense again!

Now I know you’re all thinking: well, sure. “I comes before E except after C”, except…

… except when your foreign neighbour Keith leisurely receives eight counterfeit beige sleighs from feisty caffeinated atheist weightlifters. Weird.

… unless the efficient concierge of the priciest Ancient Glacier Hacienda serves a society of proficient scientists studying a species with insufficient consciences leading to racier piracies. Lunacies.

… unless you leisurely deceive eight feisty caffeinated foreign heirs to forfeit their heinous sovereign conceits, and (of course)

— unless you’re an eight-year-old planning a heist to seize a surveillance sleigh owned by a sheik at a reindeer farm. [@jjhartinger]

So yes, I agree: there are many exceptions to spelling rules. And little KRidwyn wasn’t to know that the dozen or so spelling rules I was taught in Grade Five weren’t the be-all and end-all to life. That disappointment came later.

So until this crushing disappointment arrived, I was happy in the knowledge that regarding the correct spelling of all words, there was boundary line there; that I knew where it was; and the learnings I’d been taught fit nicely and neatly inside that area. It was good, life was good, and the world made sense.

It was only afterwards I realised exceptions existed. “I comes before E except after C” often… but not always. There were limits to what I’d been taught. The learning was adequate, but it didn’t cover all possibilities, all potential situations. There was more learning there which I needed to know.

Aside: according to Kris Spisak:

At the moment, I’m sitting in a similar ‘sweet spot’ regarding the online grammar program I’m teaching my students. I don’t yet know its limitations; it seems comprehensive enough, and that’s just hunky-dory by me. If I don’t know it, I don’t miss it… until my horizons expand again, either willingly or unwillingly. But at the moment, I’m happy – and that’s enough for me!

Have a happy day yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
momentous events More about me teaching

28/52

A new semester starts today.

For 4 out of the 5 in my household, today marks the start at a new school too.

Exciting times!

(Feel free to guess the kidlets’ schools from their uniforms…) And have a ‘new’ week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
Life places to visit teaching Work

[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

Categories
Life teaching Work

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

Categories
#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Writing

E is for ’embrangle’

So it’s Day 5 of the #AtoZchallenge, where bloggers around the world publish daily during April, based on a consecutive letter of the alphabet, with Sundays off to make up the 26 days.

I’ve chosen ‘Word of the day’ for my 2017 theme, and Day 5 means the letter ‘E’.

There are so many ‘E’ words that I discovered recently: educe; effulge; embay; embrangle; emolliate; emplace; etiolate; evert; excoriate; excorticate; excurse; execrate; exscind; exsect; exsert; exsiccate; extirpate; extravasate.

I mean seriously – how cool are they! Just let me elaborate, elucidate and – maybe? – educate, and enchant…

educe: to draw forth or bring out; elicit; develop

effulge: to shine brilliantly; to send forth (beams of light)

embay: to enclose in or as in a bay; surround

embrangle: to confuse, entangle, perplex

emolliate: to soften. To render effeminate

emplace: to place or position

etiolate: to cause (a plant) to whiten by excluding light; to become blanched or whitened, as when grown without sunlight

evert: to turn outwards, or inside out

excoriate: to strip off or remove the skin from. To flay verbally; denounce; censure

excorticate: to remove the mark, husk, or outer covering from

excurse: to go on an excursion. To digress; wander

execrate: to detest utterly; abhor; abominate. To curse; imprecate evil upon. To utter curses

exscind: to cut out or off

exsect: to cut out

exsert: to thrust out

exsiccate: to dry or remove the moisture from, as a substance. To dry up, as moisture

extirpate: to remove utterly; destroy totally; exterminate; do away with. To pull up by the roots; root up (kinda reminds me of John Davis ‘manuscript’ Frain’s #AtoZchallenge this year!)

extravasate: to force out from the proper vessels, as blood, especially so as to diffuse through the surrounding tissues. [in Geology:  to pour out molten or liquid matter from the earth as lava from a vent, water from a geyser, etc]

So – did I manage it? Did I ’embrangle’ you, dear reader? Or did I effulge? Excurse? Or was it more of an ‘educing’ that I was doing?

And would you use any of these words in your conversations today?

🙂

Have an enchanting one, dear reader!
— KRidwyn

 

Categories
Life momentous events Random thoughts teaching Work

I’m still smiling…

So the first day of school came, and went, and I’m still smiling. No, not everything went to plan, but that’s okay. Tomorrow’s a new day.

And yes, I’m planning on being smiling at the end of tomorrow as well 🙂

Have a great week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

Categories
family anecdotes teaching University studies Work

One week in…

I posted late last year about my new job for 2017. Well, I’ve been in it a week now. And what an INCREDIBLE week it’s been!

You see, the position I’ve just started, Head of Middle School at Caloundra Christian College, is the position I held nine years ago. I absolutely loved it; of all my teaching jobs over the years, it was my absolute favourite. I resigned from it at the end of 2007 because I was heavily pregnant with she-who-is-now-Miss8. Yes, I *could* have just taken maternity leave, and resumed work after a period of time, but I didn’t know how many more children Hubby and I would have (he-who-is-now-Mr7 arrived just 14 months later) and I felt it wouldn’t be fair on either the school or the Middle School students, to have an on-again-off-again Head of School. Not with 11 to 14 year olds. At that time of life, they need stability, not more uncertainty and inconsistency!

So I resigned, had Miss8, and later Mr7, and started my Masters. Ran a business. Taught contracts. Raised kids. Finished my Masters, closed my business. Scored permanent part-time work.

And then I saw the position advertised. *My* position!

Went for it.

Got it.

And am LOVING it!!!

Plus, now that the child-bearing thing is done and dusted for me, this position is what I’m planning on being in for a very, very long time. I’m smiling broadly about that one. Feel free to smile along with me!

And have a great week, dear reader 😀

-KRidwyn

 

Categories
momentous events Random thoughts

The big countdown…

Hi. My name’s Ceridwyn and I’m a mother of a pre-teen.

143186839_5c9fad13cd_zI’ve never been one before. This journey I’m on, it’s brand new to me.
I’m in the middle of submitting forms for High School and finding those %^&* NAPLAN results from three years ago (seriously, three weekends worth of searching and not only am I majorly embarrassed about my pathetic filing abilities, but I’m also no closer to finding that rotten piece of paper!) and discussing graduation dresses and shoes and hairstyles and OMG some of her classmates are being ASKED OUT by others of her classmates and NO! I’m too young for this! (Yes, she’s too young for it too, but that’s beside the point – if I’m not careful and don’t stop the whole ‘growing up’ thing that she’s doing at the moment, next thing I know she’ll be driving and yelling at me that I don’t understand why she MUST be with this particular boyfriend or she’ll die…!)

Okay, freak out over. For now.

Yes. My firstborn, my baby girl, my Miss11 is rushing headlong to the end of the school year, to ‘graduation’ from Primary School (I still shake my head with how ridiculous that sounds) and into the big wide world of High School.

I’m not ready.

But I can’t let her know.

One of my greatest fears is that inadvertently, my fears become hers. My limitations, limit her. She catches, via osmosis or something, the idea that change is to be feared. That it’s more desirable to stay in the comfort zone, in the place where it’s cruizy and little challenges you.

So I’m finding that my head is high and my eyes are shining (at least, I’m hoping that the ‘eyes wide’ of fear is disguised in the brightness of excitement, or even the tears of emotion at my eldest approaching such a significant milestone.) Because we do this, don’t we? We wrestle our insecurities into submission so that we can prepare our children for the life we think they’ll need? Teach them discernment, teach them about resilience, and then watch from the sidelines as they make their debut and we’re relegated to the role of bystander?

So it’s happening. And I couldn’t stop it, even if I tried. Or, when I really think about it, even if I wanted to.

Because I do want her to graduate. I do want her to experience High School – and everything beyond. I want her to have the best life that she possibly could. I want her to grab opportunities with both hands and hang on tight, and have the courage and the determination to see things through with HER head held high, and HER eyes bright and shining, knowing few regrets and happy with the person she is, and who she is becoming.

I know that she’ll do great.

Now just to get comfortable in this sideline chair of mine…

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

CC image courtesy David Goehring on Flickr

Categories
#blogjune Blogging challenges Reading

30 must-read books – #29

I remember being an angst-filled teen. Who doesn’t, right?

In hindsight though, it was pretty cruisy. I was fed, clothed, dry. I was educated – well! – and had people in my life who cared about me. The values and beliefs that I challenged, I didn’t challenge too far, because I was happy in them and they sat comfortably with me.

#bj29

Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness took me aback, forced me to re-examine my opinions on gender and sex. It was, for me, the first time that I realised that a novel could do that, could stretch my mind in ways hitherto unforeseen.

What power there lies between the covers of a book!

And you, dear reader? What book first stretched your mind?

And, as always, have a fantabulous day!

— KRidwyn