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#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’sΒ 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

 

 

Categories
#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Christianity More about me teaching

26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #7

As a teacher for *cough* over twenty *cough* years, I’ve had a few student teachers in that time. You know, the people who study ‘teaching’ at Uni, who come and practice teaching for a few weeks, or months, to learn the ropes of how a classroom operates. Or should.

Some of those student teachers were fantastic. Dedicated, willing to learn, like little sponges eager to hear and absorb ‘the pearls of wisdom that dropped from my lips’. (Ha! I just quoted from my own Film and TV teacher, from my own days as a Senior. She was a fervent teacher, Nicky Bricknell.)

Other student teachers? Not so much.

But when it boiled down to it, they weren’t in charge. I was. The responsibility for the cherubs in my classes lay entirely with me.

Likewise with God.

FullSizeRender (3)In the book of John, chapter 10, verses 11 to 14, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

I like the idea that I’m not in the class where the student teacher has assumed entire responsibility. I’m in the class where my teacher is the Head Honcho. So I can be confident that my needs – all of them! – will be attended to. He’ll look after me, because I belong to Him.

And that’s my takeaway lesson for Day 7. Because God is the GOOD shepherd, I can be confident. (And if you’re interested in seeing what BAD shepherding is like, and how God feels about it, read Ezekiel 34. But be warned: He doesn’t like it!)

So on that note, have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

Categories
#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Christianity More about me Writing

26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #5

I’m fortunate enough to have two parents still married to each other. They’re in their seventies now; still healthy, still happy. My Mum is inspirational, and I love her to absolute bits, and I’ll post ‘why’ on here at some stage.

But this post is about my Dad.

I’ll be the first to admit, our relationship hasn’t always been smooth sailing. And some – maybe even most?! – of that, was my fault. But that’s life, and I’m older (and maybe wiser) now. And now, we’re doing well.

You see, my father’s a retired lecturer. His area of lecturing? English. Literature, and creative writing.

As in, yes. The same topic that has me up late nights, or in the early mornings, as I struggle with the whole “I want to be a published author” path I’m on.

He’s one of my guides on this journey. And through him, I’ve learned SO much; far too much to even contemplate, let alone relate here.

But I’m also aware that time is limited. As much as I’d like to ignore it… the reality is, he’s only human. He’s not eternal. So it’d be wise for me to receive as much guidance as I possibly can, now, before the inevitable happens.

Yes, this is sad. Writing about it like this may portray me as callous and mercenary. Am I? I’m too close to the situation to answer reliably. I’d like to think I show my appreciation to him, for what he does – whether or not I’ve made that clear here. But that’s not the point.

The point is, that although I fail at things constantly, and my Dad is there to help fix stuff and guide me in the right ways, I also have a Heavenly Dad who fixes stuff and guides me, too.

And the difference is, this Heavenly Dad is everlasting.

Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

[Aside: As soon as I read this verse, I immediately get Handel’s MessiahΒ in my head. Do you?]

God is my Everlasting Father. I don’t need to worry that at some point in the future, He will cease being there for me.

I can continue to stuff up, to fail, and to need guidance, every single day until the day I die, knowing that God will continue to be there for me, every single day, leading me and guiding me, and helping me to fix the stuff-ups that I make. And I like that idea.

(I’m also thinking that my Dad would have a field day with that run-on sentence that I just wrote! Not to mention following it with a sentence fragment which started with a conjunction!)

FullSizeRender (1)So that’s my takeaway lesson for Day 5 of this A to Z blogging challenge. God is our Everlasting Father, so I don’t have to worry about there being a end-point. Which is pretty cool!

Have a great day, dear reader!
— KRidwyn

Categories
family anecdotes Life teaching

On devices and syllables

I assembled Mr6’s desk the other weekend. It came as a flatpack, so I spent quite some time in his bedroom, with an Allen key, bruising my thumbs and pointer fingers. Mr6 visited me from time to time, to watch. I couldn’t stop myself from chuckling when one of his comments was that his desk was ‘loading’. If anything was indicative that devices (and the terminology associated with them) are colouring his world, that was it!

Something else of note during Mr 6’s last week. As his school music teacher, I get to see him with his classmates, and teach them all, the fundamentals of music πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Last week, we were discussing various pictures, and whether they were one syllable words (eg. sun) or two syllable words (rabbit) in preparation for the differences between crotchets and quavers.

My Mr6 was the only student in the whole of his grade (three classes worth) who worked out that ‘owl’ was a two syllable word, instead of just looking at it and assuming that it was just one, because of its length. Cool, hey!

 

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#blogjune family anecdotes Reading Review

Reading time

I’m sitting at the dining table. Mr6 is next to me, reading to me. I love that!

He’s chosen his favourite books.

Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

and

Inside, Outside, Upside down by Stan and Jan Berenstain

He’s just finished the last page. We had a discussion about the text on the final page. Mr6 refuses to read the first line: “Mama! Mama!” His coping strategy (typical autism here) – he runs away if he’s made to read it. He always has. Today we talked about why. I thought that it was because the word is different to what we use at home: he calls me ‘Mummy’ not ‘Mama’. But no, that’s not it. He said that it was because if he said it, the mother bear should be answering, “Yes, yes?”

Interesting, hey! Well, I think so, at least πŸ™‚

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

Categories
#blogjune Life momentous events teaching Work

Hat-less

A few months ago, I shaved my head for #ShaveForACure. I raised quite a bit of money… but more than that, I raised awareness of blood-related cancers in the hundreds of kids I teach on a weekly basis.

Today, for the first time since I had my head shaved in front of them all, I’m hat-less.

Here goes!


Have a great day, dear reader!

–KRidwyn

Categories
Life momentous events University studies

Ask me why I’m happy…

You may or may not know that I graduated with my Masters at the end of last year. I’d started studying in July of 2010, took a year’s absence in 2013 due to starting a second job, and finally finished the 12th course, and the 100 hours prac requirement, in November. And was pretty stoked about that!

But I don’t think that I’ve ever blogged about my husband’s studies. He’s also been studying part time, since January of 2011. It was a requirement of his position, that he study for, and receive, his CPA qualification.

So, this morning at 6.05am when he checked his latest result online? His results said, “Course completed”!

Ask me again, why am I happy?

I’ve got my husband back!!!

Categories
teaching Work

Today…

Today I watched children perform. I watched them turn sing, dance, do gymnastics. I watched them support each other, applaud each other, and do this voluntarily. I watched older children organise, compere, stage crew, and sound crew.

This would not have happened without my instigating it. Teaching the older children how to run it. Supervising. Smoothing over the (very few) rough patches.

It was beautiful.

I loved every second.

Sometimes, life is just wonderful.

Here’s wishing your day is just as wonderful, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

 

Categories
family anecdotes Technology

App review: Proloquo2Go

Late last year, I purchased the App “Proloquo2Go”, on the recommendation of Mr 3’s Speech Therapist. It was expensive. But worth it!

It’s programmable, so you can make words (buttons) and phrases and sentences, categorise them according to high-interest activities (we have one folder for Playstation games and a separate one for Wii games, and then folders for breakfast, lunch, etc etc) and if the photo to accompany the word isn’t already in the App’s library, you can take a photo of the concept, and use that.

One downfall is that you can’t program your own voice – but that’s a pretty minor disadvantage, compared to all the positives.

Worth the $200? To hear my autistic boy move from being non-verbal to verbal?!

YES!!!!!

Categories
Life More about me teaching Work

Dreams

A while back now, I used to be a teacher. High school kids mainly, but I’ve taught from Prep through to Uni kids. But it was the High School kids that I enjoyed teaching the most. They were the right age that you could hold a conversation with, logically reason with, argue points of view with, and – if it was a good day – possibly be honoured enough to be a part of expanding their horizons. Witnessing that ‘lightbulb moment’ when a concept they’d been grappling with, finally made sense. SUCH an honour!

Well, some of those kids, at the end of each year, would bring me their Yearbook, and get me to sign the ‘Autographs’ page at the back. It must have been one of the early years of my teaching career that I really worked out what I wanted to say – and then I used the same phrase on each and every child’s book. Because I wished the same, hoped the same, and so gave the same advice, for each and everyone of them.

“Chase your dreams as hard and as far as you can.”

I wonder how many people read that. I wonder how many people remembered it. I wonder if any of them look back at their High School days and think that maybe, just once, someone hoped that they would have the best life they could possibly have.

Dreams are hard. They can be scary. They can drive us, inspire us, or freak us out if we think that maybe, just maybe, if we work that little bit harder, they might actually be within our reach.

How great a feeling it is to have a dream! To have hope!!!

What’s your dream today, dear reader? Whatever it is, my wish today? It’s for you. My advice, the same as I gave my High School treasures, as they set out into the next phase of their lives.

“Chase your dreams as hard and as far as you can.”

Go. Go on. Start chasing.