More about me teaching Work

in which I get pragmatic…

I’m directing a musical at the moment. Performance dates Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th August. That’s pretty close! And it’s a pretty huge undertaking – over half the student population of my school is involved, in one way or another.

So because everything’s ramping up and I’m getting even less time to blog than I usually would, I’m going to make this post short and just say, YAY! We’re alive and have the chance for happiness, both for ourselves and to bring happiness to those we interact with every day 🙂

Here’s praying you have a wonderful week, dear Reader – a blessed week, a happy one!
– KRidwyn

Random thoughts teaching Work Writing

in which I contemplate the joy that is Beerwah Writers’ Group

Back before I was working full time, I joined my local writers’ group. It was fantastic, the fortnightly face-to-face interaction with people who shared my passion for word-smithing.

But the constraints of my current day job meant that I haven’t been able to attend a meeting since January of 2017 – and even though some meetings fell on school holidays, at no point was there a meeting I could attend, due to family commitments, being away, or meeting cancellations.

That is, until the meeting just gone. Friday 13th. I walked in, surprising many people, and it was as if I’d never left. It was fantastic!

I love that idea – that I could be part of a supportive group of writers who, in spite of my 18 month absence, are just as continually supportive of me and my writing as ever before 🙂

I look forward to the next time a meeting aligns with a school holiday – because such a wonderful group of people are a joy to be with.

Here’s wishing a close support network for you too this week, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges

Sipping from the saucer #20

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #20.

Yesterday was a huge day. I left home soon after 4am for my stupid-o’clock-gym-session which I absolutely adore and wouldn’t miss for the world, and didn’t get home from work til almost 10pm. That’s a lot of hours, if you don’t mind my saying!

So today between classes, I headed down to the chapel at my school to finish taking down, and packing away, the display that I’d created for last night’s event. I’d already done some, earlier in the day, but had needed to stop at about halfway through, for meetings and classes and the like. So I was planning to finish up quickly, because I had limited amount of time before my lunchtime playground duty.

Imagine my surprise to find it had all been done for me! What an incredible blessing, because it saved me what felt like (in my exhausted state, that is!) a HUGE amount of time! The facilities manager had organised for it all to be done. He’s a fantastic bloke 🙂

So that was my blessing for today. How about you, dear Reader? What were you blessed by today?

– KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Random thoughts

Sipping from the saucer #18

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #18.

It’s a busy time of term (of semester, actually) at work – I’ve noticed I’m pulling more hours just to get things done, and the amount of time I’m spending staring at my laptop screen is just sad.

I’ve also noticed I’m wearing my glasses more and more. I can complete work faster if I’m wearing them, so they’re on my eyes while I’m at my desk, more often than not.

And I’m starting to realise just how much I’m relying on them. Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s probably just an ‘inevitable’ thing, instead. But no, it’s just that today I was thinking: I’m glad I have them. I’m glad I have the opportunity to put something on my eyes to assist me in doing the things I need (or want!) to do. So many? Don’t. I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at exactly how many people there are in this world, who need assistance just to be able to see, but who can’t get that assistance for a variety of reasons.

So that’s what I want to thank my God for today. For the sense of sight. And even though it may not be what it once was, for the blessing I have of owning a pair of glasses which assist me to still read, and write, and… well, everything.

They’re pretty cool 🙂

Here’s wishing you a blessing-full day as well, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity

Sipping from the saucer #7

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today: blessing #7… and it’s another work-related one.

As Head of Middle School, I decided this year to institute a new policy for my students: mobile phone collection during the school day. So I collect the mobile phones from the kids in my care – students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (11 to 14 year olds) – at the beginning of the school day, and then they collect them again at 3pm, prior to leaving the campus. It’s been working REALLY well, and the instances of cyberbullying between the hours of 8 and 3 have dropped to zero. (Surprise, surprise!)

But that’s not the point of my story. Instead, the story starts when I was on a deadline, to purchase the hardcover mobile phone storage case, so that I could use it to keep the kids’ phones safe. (There’s a HUGE amount of $$ that the school will be liable for, should any harm come to a kid’s phone while it’s in my care!) So I’d done the research, and decided to purchase a sturdy, the-best-that-money-can-buy storage case, from the Jaycar outlet that was closest to the school.

The trouble was, to make the case ready for phone usage, I needed to purchase it on the Friday, so I could have it over the weekend and cut out all the little holes so students could insert their phones securely, first thing Monday morning. But other commitments after school on Friday afternoon meant that I needed to duck out during the day to buy it.

Which wouldn’t have been a problem… but I have a fairly heavy teaching load on a Friday, with very little time between classes in which to shop.

So I found a spare 45 minutes. Not a huge amount of time, but enough – perhaps – if the traffic was light, and if I could find an easy park (I’d never been there before, and I’ve already mentioned how awful I am with parking at locations where I’ve never been before,) and if the service at the store was great, and if they had in stock the exact case which I needed to purchase. And if, after all that, the traffic was light on the way back to school, so I could get back in time to teach my next class.

Yeah. That was a lot of ‘if’s. And yet…

Who said God isn’t good? It all happened! And with 3 minutes to spare!!!

A blessing indeed. In fact, so much blessing that I was left sipping from the saucer 🙂

Have a great day, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

family anecdotes Random thoughts

Turn around twice…

The other evening I looked across my dining table at my Miss10 and noticed her elbows were resting as wide apart as my own. It startled me; the revelation that she wasn’t a ‘little kid’ anymore.

I shook my head, and said, “Do you know, it wasn’t that long ago when you [Miss10] were on a booster seat; you [Master9] were in a high chair; and you [Miss VERY MUCH 13, JUDGING BY THE ATTITUDE] were seated on a normal chair, with your chin just past the height of the table.”

The cherubs looked at me quizzically. “What’s a booster seat?” asked Miss10.

I sighed. Those memories, all seemingly so recent in my own mind, I had assumed were all-pervasive in my children’s too, but no. I shook my head again, then answered.

But in the back of my mind, the realisation that they were growing up, far more quickly than I had given them credit for, petrified me. My own Dad has always said, “Turn around twice and they’ll be grown” and I’d laughed and nodded indulgently. But suddenly I understood.

You get busy, life happens, and then suddenly, when you stop and notice, they’re grown and their elbows on the dining table are the same distance apart as your own. And you were so busy ‘doing’ the journey that you didn’t realise that the journey WAS happening! And yes, by ‘you’ I definitely mean ‘me’.

So I’ve decided that, like I tell my students all the time, to ‘wake up to yourself’ – I need to do this. I need to ‘wake up’ and take notice that, while all this life is happening, it REALLY IS HAPPENING and I would do well to pay attention and enjoy it while I have the opportunity!

How about you, dear Reader? Had any startling revelations lately?

And have a great week!


Maybe one day…

So it’s November 6th and some of my writer friends are well into #NaNoWriMo – the ‘National Novel Writing Month’ challenge that’s become popular over the last few several years. I have nothing but respect for them. If it were me attempting the challenge, where the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of 30 days, then by now, six days in, I’d be about 500 words in and nursing a mountain of guilt.

50,000 words, in 30 days, is 1,666 words per day. Not do-able for me, I’m afraid, not with the new(ish) full time job, the husband and three kidlets, the household, and everything that goes along with those commitments.

I caught a tweet just yesterday from @paperfury, who replied to a follower that she managed to write 90,000 words in three days.

Now THAT’S insanely awesome – especially considering that she’s also on twitter. Like, ALL THE TIME.

She explained later that she writes for something like eight hours a day. Wouldn’t that be wonderful! [I think?]

Anyway, back to #NaNo. No, I’m not, and have never, attempted it. But that’s not saying that I shan’t, at some point in time in the future.

Perhaps when I get good enough to stop being a pantser, and be a plotter like @Frainstorm – check this out, below!


Anyway, just some random writerly-type thoughts for the beginning of the new week.

Have a great week, dear Reader!
— KRidwyn

teaching Writing


Who was it that said ‘pride goeth before a fall’? Not that this is the same, entirely, but I guess it’s similar. No sooner than I published that post about ‘swimming, not sinking’, I was inundated with busy-ness. [Yes, I realise that I spelled that word incorrectly. It was intentional.]

Kinda have to smile, really. I was so excited about life returning to ‘normal’ – and then my parents disappeared overseas, leaving me to house-sit; dozens of Japanese and Chinese students – and teachers – arrived at school; chess tournaments were competed in and children won trophies; Year 6 students Stepped Up for a Middle School experience; two staff accompanied me on a three-day conference; and the list goes on…

all of which meant that I haven’t blogged in three weeks, but it feels more like three years.


On the upside, there’s one week left until school holidays. And I’m spending that week with a couple dozen Year 9 students on camp. Currently writing this on the bus – cramped because I cannot BELIEVE how little leg room there is on this thing! I can understand why my folks were bemoaning their flight-from-England, if this is all the space they had. I’ve been on this bus for less than two hours and already I’m feeling claustrophobic.

So Year 9 camp should be fun – perhaps – and there may even be time to write a little. At least there’s no meals to cook, no house to clean, no cherubs to look after. I hope. Although more than two dozen 13 and 14 year-olds may not be preferable to my own three…

I’ll let you know!

Have a wonderful week, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges

But who said my hands were idle?

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve spent countless hours sitting on the lounge recently, watching TV with my girls. Actually, I *could* count them: 24 episodes per season, at 40 minutes per episode, and we’re now just finishing Disc 5 of Season 4… umm… that’s too many hours than I actually want to admit to…

But that’s not the point of this post. It’s actually a ‘craft’y  one. Going well so far, don’t you think?

*ahem* yes, well…

So I’ve been crotcheting this blanket for Miss9. It’s the same pattern as the one I crotcheted for she-who-is-now-Miss12. 28 squares, joined together, with 3 rows of chain stitching to hold the outsides even.

I was hoping to finish the blanket before winter. That didn’t happen. So I’ve been pushing myself hard, trying to finish it off as soon as I can (the weather’s definitely getting a LOT colder at the moment!) and so, during each episode of Once Upon A Time, out comes the blanket and I do a little more. The 28 squares are now done. Last week, I chain-stitched the vertical seams, and this weekend just gone, I started the horizontal seams.

Man alive, but there is a HUGE amount of chain stitching in this blanket!!!

Anyway, I’ll take a photo when it’s done. I can’t wait! I’m thinking it’ll be by the end of June… I hope!

And then Mr8 will probably start asking about his… sigh…

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune family anecdotes teaching

touching wood…

#blogJune, for me, meant that it was vomiting bug season. Weird, I know, but last year was the first year since 2011 – when I started #bloggingJune – wherein I was *not* dealing with my cherubs deciding to catch said bug. I held my breath (metaphorically) throughout the whole month, and was glad that not once did I need to clean up after a child.

This year, we’re now almost halfway through the month, and again it would seem that we may not *touch wood* have the ‘pleasure’ of a vomiting bug visit.

I’m okay with that.

I *was* at home with a sick Miss9 today, however her racking coughs and running nose seemed to clear significantly from the good food, bed rest, and Mummy company, so I’m hopeful she’ll mend quickly. She’s my healthiest, strongest kid, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s up and running around as per normal by tomorrow.

Which is good. What with the amount of plates I’m juggling in the new job at the moment, it’s kinda needed that I be there, rather than at home, at the moment!

Anyway, that’s where I’m at, at the moment.

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn