HP || Irma.

(no subject)

Ahhh I forgot how when school rolls around one can feel unprepared for the next week even when there has been a long weekend.

Although I think I can forgive myself for being a bit nervous. Despite having today off, Thursday and Friday are Rosh Hashanah which means the schools are out but many parents still work. The learning centre runs 'camp days' at the centre (rather than at the elementary school, which is where we run the after-school programme) and they are longer: at least six hours, I imagine more. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) lesson plans in hour-long slots.

We have still been so much in training and 'figure this out' mode that much of last week's lesson-planning time went toward meetings and conversations. The other newbie and I are expected to have hands-on, material-heavy lesson plans plotted out so we can have them for Thursday and Friday. One of mine is mostly plotted out (the one for Thursday); the one for Friday I need to make decisions for and write up. We also need to make examples, which really can only be done on the Wednesday, so I suppose I'll be making fossils and making something out of clay in the 1.5hrs before school gets out. I don't know. It all feels very hectic.

The reason there has been so much extra scurrying about and figuring things out is that the city school systems recently changed from letting the kids out at 3 every day (I think), to 3.30 on Mondays - Thursdays and 2.11 on Fridays. So while previously every day had time for snack, half hour for homework, and an hour for 'enrichment' or lessons, now we have four days a week with only 30 minutes for lesson-planned 'enrichment' activities or lessons (including transitions/explanations/clean-up/moving to the cafeteria at the end of the day) and on Friday we have basically a whole extra hour with them; we are splitting the long day into two lesson slots: STEAM-based lesson plans and non-academic/recreational 'clubs'. These first two weeks we are also all stuck pretty much together in the cafeteria (which we split halfway with the recreation-based, loud YMCA) as we don't get classrooms until the 9th.

It's all just been quite chaotic thus far and I have a feeling this week will be the same. Next week I get my own classroom and likely the third-graders (8-9), which is quite a difficult class of teeth-suckers and back-talkers, and I am just as nervous about that. I will also be housesitting from the 6th-18th more than a half hour away from the learning centre/school rather than the 7-minute commute I have from my house here in the city. And will be away from the comfort of my lovely little cupboard of a room.

All in all it's just quite the introduction to the new job. This week and next week (with the job + petsitting morning-bird dogs in a home that is not my own) I will have to keep the chant 'yes but the money' in my head, which is not something I usually like doing. (Half the time I pretend I'm just volunteering and doing my absolute best, so I don't feel like utter rubbish if I muck it up a bit.)

Tomorrow, to boot, I have to get my car inspected in the morning.

Mostly I'm still all 'aaaaghhhh alsjkdhglaksjgh'. Definitely went rather immediately from la-la land into 'do all the adult things and handle all of the stuff now now now!'

Hopefully I'll manage. No matter what my anxieties like to tell me--and they do hate to shut up despite my pleading--I've always managed before.

If I remember I'll try to write up more of my actual experience on the job and with the kidlings at another time. For now, bed. (I apologise for any and all mistakes; I am far too sleepy to edit and that likely indicates a hefty number of SPaG errors with very little sense and organisation of thought.)

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
HP || Sybill.

(no subject)

Trying to keep myself in the habit of sticking 'round these parts in a posting mindset as well, rather than just reading and commenting. (I'm glad having 'inboxes/LJ/poems.com catchup' on my daily to-do list has been working well.)

I forgot how much of an adjustment it is going from little daily scheduling to much stricter scheduling, especially when as part of that there are a good number of hours devoted to work and thinking and being active. How tiring that in itself can be. How adding three hours of errands can completely change one's day and what one can feasibly accomplish while at home, due to time and tiredness constraints. How that is further diminished when one is called to twice be a pillar of emotional support to a terribly depressed friend.

I can't remember feeling this tired for a while and it's only day three of a four day week. We don't even have the kids until Wednesday of next week, which will make it interesting and all the more tiring, I'm sure. September is going to slay me as I learn the ropes and get used to all this again.

And budgeting, rather than "this is how much money I have and I have to make it last as long as humanely possible so no, I can't buy that and no, that is not a necessity". Fun to bring out the handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet again (yes, I suppose I'm that sort of life-nerd).

Sunday is still a definite point of stress. I wish my first week of 'work' (even if it's training) didn't coincide with one of the more stressful bits of my congregation volunteering (especially because there are kids involved in this service, which always ups the stress). I feel as though it'd be easier if I were able to look at this weekend as an "ahhhh, real relaxation" time after my first week. But alas! Things work out the way they do and there's nothing I can do about it at the moment.

(Except groan over the fact that I sent out a detailed message with questions to assist in homily writing and all the key points for Sunday to all participants last week, and only today received a message from one of the teenagers asking if I still wanted her to participate or if it had already passed--right under the long message I had sent. Uhm. Agh. Hair-tearing time. But I've sent out email check-ins with all the other participants: heard back positively from two and the other was only going to send something to be read anyway as she couldn't attend in person. Hopefully everything will still work out fine.)

I am too tired to be typing right now. Eyes closed. Time for a short shower, I think, and wrapping up all sound in bed.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Nature || Indigo crocus.

(no subject)

It is so bizarre to me that life can be so much the way one expects it to be, based on things one has observed and read, yet even with the mental preparation it is all there to be felt; and as or after it is felt one might be tempted to write about it but it is so easy to think there is no use to that because others who came before have observed and written it so much better. I know because I've already read it.

Young adulthood. Engagement announcements, ultrasounds, babies everywhere. Postgrad acceptance, graduation. Job hunt, endless cover letters, twiddling thumbs. First careers. Rat race. New cars; old cars that guzzle funds. New lovers--and the excitement of calling them 'lovers' in a new, fresh, out-of-college world. Moving, so much moving, so many boxes! 'Crashing' with parents that lasts longer than anyone wanted. Travel, some of which comes across as that 'last adventure before putting down real roots' sort. Renting and constant calls for repairs. House-hunting, house-buying, the headache of not having a landlord to call when all hell breaks loose. Marriage. In-laws.

I'm watching it all with a few congratulatory smiles, a bit of trepidation, a hefty dose of insecurity, and the fear that I myself have dammed and damned myself to stagnancy. I remind myself as frequently as I can that I am my own beaver--my own keystone--and that if there is a dam, I may remove it for a river when I choose; and if there is a dam, it does not necessarily mean that I am stagnant, with its negative connotations, but may be resting in a lake-state as I gather myself for the future. A lake is not the worst thing to be.

The river is a-flowin', flowin' and growin'.
The river is flowin' down to the sea.
Father, carry me, child I will always be.
Mother, carry me down to the sea.

I don't have anything important to say, I'm afraid. Things are happening. I hurt often but find reasons to smile and laugh, people to smile and laugh with, places where I am at peace for a time. It isn't quite so hard to be in my own company, although the fact that it still is to some degree breaks my heart a little; my ability to enjoy time in a solitary fashion was always one of the few things I consistently appreciated about myself.

My summers are often times of more exterior, active growth--personal growth through doing things, being active, going places. I think there is already a large part of me that is ready to turn inward to my more interior, introspective growth as I approach winter. I still feel very raw. I think the deciduous dormancy will do some good for my heart. Although the idea of Christmas Eve services, without my heartwood friend up by the pulpit with his violin...

Ah, yes. Still raw. Three months this weekend.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
HP || Witchly sign.

(no subject)

Greetings Professor Snape,

I caught a peek of your email inbox. I am incredibly sorry. Not for seeing it, but for the inbox itself. You poor harassed soul.

Collapse )

I disconnected your new laptop from the SMART projector so the class wouldn't see. Pesky technology, I know, always putting people's abnormally large noses into their superiors' business.

Best wishes and kind regards,
Informal Hogwarts Teaching Assistant for the Summer Term

P.S. I know nothing, as always.

ETA: I did not create this graphic.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
TWW || Constance || Brewing-working.

(no subject)

I have down on my list to finally make a proper LJ update. I find that it is yet again beyond me. I'll see what I can do.

1) Collapse )

2) Collapse )

3) I am utterly fried. I feel too young to take seriously and too old to be useful. My friend mentioned the other day that she always forgets I'm 23 and, my goodness, so do I. I tend to joke with friends that I'm 23 going on 87 or that I'm secretly 87 inside, but sometimes...well, sometimes I just feel much older than I am. It's perhaps why I'm so amused (and occasionally confused) to be one of the token "young'n"s here. That role is incredibly different from the one I play out in real life.

4) To use youthful language, I ouch inside. Too many types of grief in this little heart of mine. Sometimes I'm saner about it and sometimes I'm not; in the 'not' times I feel much more desolate and desperate and detestable and disappointing. I hate how much I cry these days. It makes it feel much more dangerous to be alone, which is when it happens (I don't tend to cry around others), while my ability to find contentment in alone time used to be one of my best features. I thought I was doing better for a time--I was almost able to not just notice things I would normally find beautiful but was almost back to that wondrous feeling of oh, isn't that beautiful?--but here I am. Grief cycles. The waves that take one by surprise.

5) I feel selfish for still crying over my hip and my body when there are so many other things going on. But it seems I can no more change the crying than the feelings. This autumn will mark the anniversary of the year in school in which I a) became 'Kiwi' (decade as myself!); b) came out as queer (and again!); c) got my period (which was a big deal since I had been on hormone suppressants from ages 7-12 so I wouldn't get it as a child and be a legal midget); d) had my first ever moment of "oh my goodness I am hot" with no other negative feelings (and unfortunately I have not had such a moment since); e) decided to go to a non-traditional high school; and f) fractured my fucking hip. It's not as if we often see where our lives will end up or how they will get there but...where I am, how I am, is not always fun. And sometimes I cry about it. Sometimes I laugh, too, because I'm 23 with a six-year-old faulty hip that snap-crackle-pops and squeaks, but I'm afraid at the moment those times are not in the majority.

6) Collapse )

Well, I intended that to be much better organised and written, but that's what I could manage. I'm about to pop home the way to my friend's so I can print out a few pictures for tomorrow's lesson and pick up MS Office. I'm about 500 words into the first story I've written in over half a year, which I hope is a good sign. It's likely going to be depressing as all heck but that's all right; sadness is still a story.

Off I go, then.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
EA || Mrs. Fisher || Is that so?

(no subject)

I have some stories to share from The Crocus Abode, staring my father (occasionally called "Space Captain") and my brother (whom I call "Dweeb" and also, on occasion, "Space Cadet").

The first story Collapse )

The second story Collapse )

I love brilliant people. I really do: they do the damndest things. It's wonderful to return to the family home, eat lavish food beyond my means, and hear all about them.

Have you lot got any brilliant Space Cadets in your life?

(Unedited. I have self-assigned homework to do and Kate Mulgrew in prison to watch.)

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
  • Current Music
    Whatever my brothercreature is playing.
HP || Luna || Just as sane as I am.

(no subject)

My father has decided to teach me how to make "the most perfect scrambled eggs" because he learned from television.

Thus far he has dropped half the egg shell into the pan.

Can anyone see why I'm doomed? Anyone, anyone?

I told him I would offer him my rapt attention.

The Process:

- Eggs straight into the pan, no beating. No milk (it'll be creamy enough) or seasoning. Just butter.
- Add heat, use spatula to stir rather than beat. Just to break and mix the eggs.
- When it starts congealing, take it off the heat and stir it around again so it's not sticking at all. (It'll keep cooking because the pan is hot.)
- By then it has cooled down a bit. Put it back on the heat, wait for some congealing, repeat.
- Don't catch anything on fire (this is an important step).
- Do not feed the dog despite his whining (which you totally trained him out of but your father ruined); it is too much of a distraction.
- Do not let the eggs overcook in the pan.
- When the eggs are done, add a little cream-like-substance to cool down the pan and stop the eggs from cooking. If you are out of cream (as we are), skip this step and put them straight in a bowl, making a bit of a mess as you do (I said rapt attention!).
- Attempt to burn your daughter's mouth by feeding her hot eggs.
- Add pepper at the end anyway because you just so happen to like seasoning.
- Ask your son how he did suit-shopping for interview suits.
- Demand a show and tell.
- Finish eating the eggs.

That is how one scrambles eggs in my family. I may also be jealous of Dweeb's new suit. Very slim and black. His size is extra long and mine is petite. Again, jealous.

My father was just cutting kohlrabi and ruthlessly attacked me with a slice by flinging it at me. Accidentally, sure, but an attack it was.

My dog just ran straight into a bucket.

This is my family.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Nature || Tree hug.

(no subject)

The other day found me frantically searching about and calling out (a hair shy of hopeless), "Has anyone seen my clipboard? Mum? Da? Dweeb--DWEEB--EARTH TO DWEEB, have you seen my clipboard?"

For some, a clipboard might offer a sense of officialism and sophistication. I imagine my rainbow sparkly To (Fucking) Do List disqualifies me from any such perk. (I find the expletive helps me add urgency and motivation to get things done: "Clean the fucking closet!" Does wonders for the visualisation, too, although it makes me a bit more cautious on the approach.)

I thankfully found my old clipboard just the moment before I gave up; I had placed it beneath my laptop for when I actually decided to use the laptop on my lap (which is fairly rare).

My grandmother recently purchased me a To Do List kit that comes with a zebra-patterned clipboard (perhaps not official, but highly eye-catching!) and a pad of lined pink-spotted-border To Do List sheets. (I do like pink in, erm, moderation--moderation like speckles, of course.) I find the spotted pink design and zebra background do wonders for highlighting my To Do Lists and its urgent expletives.

Which is to say, I've done rather well on the 'getting things done' front recently. Unfortunately none of them have been catching up on LJ--though I have a list of journals to catch up on. Most of the tasks have been room-cleaning ones as I haven't truly cleaned since before my time of grief started more months ago than I'd like to count. I can never say if my room reflects my state of mind or my state of mind follows after my room (perhaps both in a cycle), but either way, it feels nice to be bringing it back.

I must also admit to watching plenty of The Worst Witch and playing a Sims2 game of the characters because I haven't quite kicked my geek gene yet and I somehow suspect I won't ever manage to. Precursor to Harry Potter, in a girls' boarding school, with a tight-bunned and -lipped deputy? I think so.

I made up a new To Do List this evening; let's hope I get to cross plenty of things off tomorrow before I head out for my housemate's birthday gathering in the evening.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Rainbow || Starry starry night.

(no subject)

Sometimes I forget that I am Pipsqueak the Tin Dyke.

Then I have to go transport a hamper of (clean) laundry from my car to my house in the pouring rain. Which means jogging because, uhm, wet. It's quite an interesting lope.

*Step* "SQUEAK" *step* "SQUEAK" *step* "SQUEAK"

Then I have to go and stub my toe on one of the uneven steps just to change up the beat.

*Step* "SQUEAK" "yowch!" *step* "SQUEAK" "yowch!" *step* "SQUEAK" "yowch!"

My housemate heard the tail end of my odd chant as I made it in the door with my clean, thoroughly-speckled clothes. "What the--?" asked she, quite logically.

"I did my laundry, it's raining, and my body squeaks." We both started cracking up as I stood doubled over my hamper. Sometimes that's all that's to be done with life's absurdities!

Now I'm going to go attend to my bleeding (expletive and descriptive) toe. All of you take comfort in the fact that I will never be sneaking up on any of you again.


[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]