Friday, December 22, 2006

School's Out!!!

Today was the last day of school and the little darlings were let go at noon!!! Two weeks off...sweet relief! I've been in grade 9 now for a little over a month and a half and I really like it. Not being full time is nice, because I have extra time to do my prep work. I'm not subbing as much as I would like, but that's ok. I do miss the full time pay cheque though!

I'm spending Christmas across town with my sister and her family. I've bought so much stuff for my nephews I can't even remember it all! Shopping is my addiction, I admit I need help!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope Santa is good to you!
Lots and lots of love to everyone in Japan, I miss you all like crazy!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Opening up the video vault

It's Just a Massage...

Dance Lena Dance!

Brooke's New Ride

Karaoke Fun

Leif's Secret Life

Look at the blanket and hat I made!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

For those who are curious about such things...

I just checked my bank account and noticed quite a nice improvement! My pension refund (minus the 20% tax that I will be getting later) was deposited on Nov. 15th. I sent my paperwork from Canada on Aug. 8th. So that means it took just over 3 months to be processed and deposited. Not very speedy eh?

I'm posting here because I know there are people interesting in how long the process takes. If anyone wants to know exactly how much you get after three years you can send me an email.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What were you like in grade 9?

So my job teaching grade 6 finished yesterday. Luckily for me, I was offered another job yesterday, at the same school! I will now be teaching grade 9 humanities (social studies and language arts). Apparently the grade nines at this school are "tough" so I'm a little scared. At least I know how the school runs, and all the routines and rules. I also get to teach a few "options" which are like the fun classes. I may teach P.E., computers, or fashion. This job is until the end of the school year and is a .8 contract. That just means that it's 80% of a full time job. They have made my schedule so that I will have at least 3 full afternoons that I can substitute teach (hopefully at the same school). So I may actually be working full time if I get enough sub jobs. I start on Nov. 13th. Wish me luck!

Do you remember how you were in grade 9?


Should be interesting!

I'm an auntie again!

My sister had her baby on Nov. 2nd. His name is Cobin and he was born by emergency c-section. He had turned around and was facing the wrong way. Both mom and babe are doing fine and went home the next day. What a difference from Japanese hospitals ne?

He is tiny (7 pounds 6 oz) and has the softest little head.

Monday, October 30, 2006

So it's cold these days, -18 today with the wind chill

These pictures are from the weekend, when it wasn't quite as cold.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I've just been busy.

I really like my job these days, and now I only have a week left! Isn't that always how it works? Just when you become comfortable with things, they change. Oh well, there are lots of jobs out there. I was offered another job at the same school but I turned it down because I didn't feel confident about teaching the grades and subjects. I am all set up to go on the substitute teaching list. So I will try that for a while.

A few weeks ago I threw a baby shower for my sister. Then last weekend my little roommate Cameron turned 2. He had a pirate themed birthday brunch.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nearly finished week 4

Random Observations Lately:
  • Life is much better when you are not getting sick everyday.
  • Teaching is actually a pretty great job (when #1 is happening).
  • Holy taxes Batman! I got paid today, or should I say, I was damn near raped by the Alberta government.
  • Paying into 2 seperate pension plans, and knowing that you won't see any of that money for like 50 billion years REALLY sucks.
  • Cell phones in Canada suck asssssssss.
  • My car rocks, but is very dirty, and it's pointless to wash it.
  • My next door neighbour happens to work at my school. He told me about the short cut to school. Now I don't have to drive the Deerfoot Death Trail during morning rush hour traffic.
  • My sister is due in a month!!!
  • My roommates have just purchased two Welsh terriers, they are Copper and Duster. I will post a picture soon.
  • I am all caught up on my marking! It only took 3 weeks!
  • I saw the movie "Invincible" on the weekend. I guess it would have been really inspiring if I actually liked football, but Mark Whalberg was nice to look at.
  • Gas is super cheap here, like 82 cents a liter. It was $1.20 in Powell River in Aug.
  • If I hear Fergie's "London" one more time, I swear I'm going to go insane.
  • The woman who teaches next to me was sick yesterday. A substitute teacher could not be found!! There are supposed to be a few hundred subs on the list but there are so many jobs that the Calgary board of ed. can't hire enough subs. It's only Sept. (teachers hardly miss days in Sept.) and already it's a problem.
  • I had a student tell me she is really going to miss me when I leave. I got a little misty eyed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I finally left the city!

I got to see nature!! And real animals, that were not in cages at the pet store! An old Danbee friend, Holli, took me to Elbow River falls. It was chilly, but (as everyone keeps telling me) not nearly as cold as it's going to be!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Check it out

Help support some friends of mine. Check out CF Sucks. To anyone who has ever planned a wedding: you may enjoy the entry from September 10th.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Join me in welcoming...

...Katy to the blogging world! Check out Kickin' Tofu in Kawamoto.


An analogy:

I've been thrown in the deep end without a lifejacket, and I don't know how to swim.

I used to know how to swim, but have spent the last three years floating in a very plush yacht.

Swimming was not necessary.

So now I'm re-learning how to swim.

The last week and a half have been stressful. It's not even the teaching math and science that's stressing me out. It's all the other things that go along with having your own homeroom, not knowing all the rules and procedures, and being new to the city.

But it's getting better.

A few completely random observations:
  • I hate getting up so dam early, it makes me sick (literally).
  • I hate morning traffic and the daily accidents I see on the highway.
  • My hands are dirty all day, despite washing them several times.
  • My students make me smile, except the ones being little fuckheads.
  • Teachers don't get paid enough.
  • I have no idea how much I'm getting paid, but I know it's not enough.
  • I'm still waiting for my contract to arrive, because of this I most likely won't get paid when everyone else does.
  • Thank god for Tim Horton's.
  • I have the ghetto classroom with the massive hole in the ceiling. It rained today. So we used 3 buckets to collect the leaks.
  • I love my car. Have yet to take a picture of it...too busy.
  • Autumn is here, and it might snow on Friday.
  • Perogies are delicious.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006


Help!! School starts tomorrow and I have never felt so unprepared for anything in my life! My first time seeing the classroom was on Friday. The school is going through some major changes at the moment, and the entire admin. is new, not to mention 10 new teachers. I still don't have the basic procedures down. There is no "new teacher info" packet or anything like that. Everyone is crazy busy and has no time to answer my millions of questions. My schedule changed three times on Friday. For a while I was teaching Math, Science, and PE (what I was hired to teach). Then that changed and I was also teaching French. Then it changed again and now I am teaching more Science and no PE or French.

The classroom is a mess. The students don't bring their own supplies to school, we give them everything they need. BUT all the supplies aren't in yet!! I'm hoping to steal some pencils from other teachers for the first day. Some classrooms don't even have enough desks for all the students!

There are 6 periods a day. I teach math in 2 periods and science in 3 periods, with one period to prepare. Then there is also homeroom time in the morning, at nutrition break (recess is a thing of the past), and after lunch. I have 26 students in my homeroom.

I just wish I had one full day to get in the classroom and organize stuff. But it's a long weekend here and the school is locked.

I've worked myself into quite a state. I can't sleep, I'm having nightmares, and my stomach is in knots. I can't even get in there early tomorrow because I don't have a car yet and have to bum a ride from a friend. I did buy a car, but I can't get it until Weds. or Thurs. I'll put up a pic this weekend. I'm not even excited about it. The nervousness about school is overshadowing everything.

I just need to chill out and not take things so seriously. It's only a temporary contract, I'm finished on Nov. 6. I guess I just don't want the kids to know how unprepared I am. I don't want them to think they can walk all over me. I've been told that with these kids I have to be very strict right from day 1.

Maybe I shouldn't have accepted a full time job right away. I should be happy I'm not a TOC (substitute teacher).

Wish me luck for tomorrow!! It's only a half day, can't be too bad...RIGHT?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Things move fast in Calgary...

Holy crap! I am shitting myself right now!

I arrived in Calgary last Tues. night. Phoned the Calgary Board of Education on Thurs. Had a screening interview on Fri. Passed the interview. Got a phone call from a school principal on Tues. morning. Had an interview with her 4 hours later. Then today, about 20 mins ago I got a call offering me a temporary full time position!!

I start tomorrow!

The kids start on Tues.

Holy shit

Guess what I'm teaching???

MATH, SCIENCE AND PE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy shit

Good news is it's grade 6!!

I will update more when I have time. Excuse me now while I try to re-learn grade 6 math!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I just have to mention that I'm still completely and totally obsessed with Big Brother 7 UK! It's not the same without Nathan and Rebecca to share it with, but I still love it! There are only about 3 or 4 days left, and it's realllllly good these days! PETE TO WIN!! Here are the original houseguests:

This is Pete. I love him and would have his babies anyday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Last Day at Seiwa

My last visit to Seiwa Special Needs School was really heart-warming. I was spoiled with handmade gifts and all the students and teachers had a special assembly for me. The student council president made a speech in English that he had been practicing for weeks! He's an amazing little boy who is hooked up to a ventilator. He can only say a few words before he needs to stop and allow the machine to breath for him. So for him to give such a long speech, in a foreign language, was absolutely amazing. The students at this school inspired me in ways that no other students will ever be able to emulate.

My gifts.

The student council members.

The leader of my fan club. Take a look at the medalian around her neck...she made that herself!

The speech.

Greatest kids in the world

Here are a few pictures from the sayonara party my ESS club gave for me. I miss these students sooooo much! They made me an amazing scrapbook (pictures to come), and each made a short speech. A few of them even came to my apartment to help me with cleaning! My own personal slaves!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Introducing Miss. Izumi Takezaki

Before I left Shimane I had the pleasure of meeting the newest addition to the Takezaki family, Izumi-chan. Her mother, Akemi, was my supervisor (twice) while I was at Gotsu High School. She was/is a great friend so I made her beautiful baby girl a blanket and a matching stuffed amigurumi mouse.