Archive for March, 2009

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beautiful sunset

March 30, 2009

Today was a bit of a long day as it was the first one in ages where I spent a whole day “in the office”.   And then I wound up staying late?  Needless to say, I really missed the extra 100 minutes that I usually get at home.  There was no washing dishes before work today and so I was further delayed with cleaning the soup pot to make dinner.

I was thinking today was serving as a wake up call to tighten the reigns on things at the house but the sunset changed my mind.  While we sat at the table for a late meal of tomato lentil soup I witnessed this amazing view of the sky.  It reminded me of a Waldorf painting.  (Which I was thinking about plenty this weekend while trying to finalize an order of books, paint supplies etc.)

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I went outside to get a real photo and was surprised to find that what we could see through our window pretty much lined up with with the full extent of the redness.  I’m fairly certain that there was a special meaning in the deep red sky that then turned a deep, bright blue (like what you see at the top of the photo).  I’m not exactly sure what that meaning is but I’ll take it as a hint to get painting!

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ending the torture

March 29, 2009

In January I signed up for a distance ed course that would give me the one remaining prerequisite for the Education programs at UVic and TRU in BC.  I already had what I needed to get into the institutions I really wanted to go to; this class and those extra applications were to give Kevin more options for where to find work.

The content of the course isn’t so bad but there is a tonne of it and the prof has been brutal to communicate with.  That combined with not really wanting to do this class have made getting anything done absolute torture!  And now of course, with me wanting to do the Waldorf teacher training instead this course seems like a royal waste of time.

Rather than torture myself with this course hanging over my head I think I’ll do something I’ve never done before – withdraw from the course.   That way I don’t have to keep fighting the urge to sew, spend time with friends, do more tri training or learn more about Waldorf and anthroposophy.  Sounds like a good deal to me!

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the journey

March 25, 2009

Life really is a journey and lately I love how it’s getting to be more and more enjoyable again.  I’m so glad I’ve signed up for the Waldorf intensive this summer and started looking into anthroposophy some more.

My interest in Waldorf education initially pulled me towards the curriculum and gaining an understanding in how the subjects are taught.  I wasn’t so sure about anthroposophy so my first step was to look at the curriculum and see if I could see the differences.  Math was my favourite subject through most of school and is one of the reasons I want to teach so naturally my initial draw was to that very subject.

The first math book I happened upon was Teaching Mathematics for First and Second Grades in Waldorf Schools.  For such a small  book there sure is a lot of detail and for someone not yet exposed to a Waldorf grades classroom it sure was a lot to digest.  I loved the notion of going from the whole into parts and the example stories for explaining things were so warm and rich.  Relating the topics to Kevin (who’s even more of a math geek) was fun too.

In my recent book order I also acquired two curriculum books.  One is of Eric Fairman’s notes from when he taught grade one; the other more of an overview or “checklist” in a way, for what needs to be included on each subject at each grade level from grades 1-12. The math portions aren’t as big in these books but that’s why I needed to pick up Math Lessons for Elementary Grades too!  It has a number of activities and lesson ideas but not so much of the background.  That’s where the books about the teaching experience have been really helpful.

Last week I borrowed a copy of Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out.  As the owner indicated it was an easy read and surprisingly quick.  Her notes in the book gave me some additional insights into what it is like to be a teacher in a regular classroom so I was really happy for those additional words of wisdom.  It was an interesting book and it did answer some questions for me but my current read has been even more helpful.

School as a Journey was a book that I looked into ordering way back in the fall.  I’m actually glad that it took until now for me to start reading it.  I’ve had an introductory to Steiner’s views on temperament thanks to a local study group and last week I started learning about anthroposophy through a program in Toronto.  The result of all this is that I’m finding that I’m gaining more insight into what some of the main lessons are like and seeing how anthroposophy fits with the curriculum.

Anthroposophy was the main thing that I questioned with Waldorf and while I can’t claim to be wholly open to it I am finding the personal explorations I’m working on to be immensely helpful.

The journey continues…

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smile

March 23, 2009

It’s not very often that Kevin heads out of town overnight for work but tonight is one of those nights.  I could have pulled another portion of chili or soup out of the freezer but instead I decided to use up some tofu that was in the fridge.   Kevin has been having trouble with soy so I made myself the lazy girl’s version of oven fried tofu and marinated peppers.  The presentation in one of my handmade bowls made me smile so I thought I would share.

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I’m usually a stickler for balancing my dairy free meals but with brownies in the oven I figured I’d be getting enough starch.  I can’t remember the last time I enjoying making dinner for me, myself and I but I’m looking forward to our meal together tomorrow.  Yet another smile.

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seedy sunday

March 23, 2009

It’s hard to believe with how beautiful it is out today that we had a snow storm yesterday.  That didn’t stop us from stopping in at the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event yesterday.

I tend to prefer to stay home when it’s cold and snowy and yesterday was no different.  If the seed event had been one month earlier I probably would have been gung ho to go right at the start but reality has set in more recently.  I’m planning to go away for a Waldorf summer intensive for the month of July so of course I won’t be here to tend a garden in peak growing season.   Then there’s the relocation we’re planning for September, right about when most of our vegetables are ready to harvest.   None the less, I wanted to see what the event was all about so we went.

I was surprised to find familiar faces right away and then at my last stop, Prairie Heritage Seeds from Saskatchewan I had some great conversations.  I was surprised to see spelt, quinoa and millet in the catalogue so we talked about how some grains are suitable to grow at home because they’re easy to thresh – like the “newer” wheats.  Spelt of course is much more suitable for larger grain growing operations.  Darn!

Just then a “regular” showed up to pick up her order and the conversation got even better.   We discussed dried beans, different grains and the best varieties of tomatoes, beans and cucumbers.  She sounded like a master baker with in depth knowledge of different types of breads and what different nutrients they provide.  I wish I could remember everything for future seasons but the experience of this enegetic conversation was rewarding in and of itself.  Suffice it to say, I’m very happy we went out and I enjoyed the connections with friends and these seasoned gardeners.

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responsible shopping

March 19, 2009

Some discussion over on Annie’s blog got me thinking… why don’t I share some of my shopping philosophy in addition to the tid bit I shared yesterday.  I know many others who don’t see the rationale in my beliefs and actions, but can you imagine how boring the world would be if we all thought the same way about things?  No thank you!  Anyway, here’s my story.

Years ago I had  the pleasure of working in financial aid (student loans, grants etc.) at my local community college.  My main job was to verify that applications were complete and that students were indeed registered for the fall.   There were countless changes to the system in over the three summers that I held this job but none was more pronounced than when welfare recipients were forced into the regular loan system.

That summer I met with a number of these aspiring students and it was awful to hear again and again how people were trying to make ends meet but simply could not get enough hours at Superstore and thus required welfare to help them along.  Friends of mine have worked there and while they’ve been happy to have a job they’ve been faced with the same thing.  I know of only one exception but that was after years of hanging on.  (He’s since quit.)

When Superstore moved into town it was amid much controversy – mostly because of the environmentally sensitive lands they chose to build on.  Socially there were issues with their policy of not supporting community events.  Today though, I wonder if the costs they pass onto society are really all that different from the financial bailouts we keep hearing about?

Superstore is not alone in this, there are numerous examples of  corporations that cause environmental and economic costs to be borne out by the rest of society.  It disgusts me and I simply cannot, in good consciousness, support them.  They entice people with low face values but in the long run I think they cause us to give up a lot more.  That’s my 2 cents!

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indecisive

March 18, 2009

Sometimes I can have such a difficult time making decisions.  I’m still  figuring out which teaching program to go with next year but I’m hoping that some reading will help me decide.

It took me MONTHS to decide which books to order – in part because they’re so expensive but also because I like being able to see books and interact with local business owners.   I tried to chose books that would help with my decision making about school but also cross over into good teaching resources.  Some of the titles are hard to find and I was happy that it worked out better for me to support a SAHM’s business.

Here are the goods…

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The coil bound one is Path of Discovery for Grade 1 and it looks like a great outline for some of the essential lessons for that grade.  Now all I need to do is make the time to read them and all the books I’m borrowing!