Time just keeps flying by and since I've been diligently blogging on my education blog and updating my website (access both at www.thirzadune.com) I figure I should update on here. I finished my semester with an 87% average so I'm pleased to say I'll make the dean's list once again. It was a tough semester for some reason and I found myself really overwhelmed I think it's because it was split between class work and teaching in the field, I just couldn't seem to get into any kind of groove.
My field placement went really well I spent three weeks teaching a writing unit to the grade 2/3 class I was in and we all made it to the other side with stories to be proud of. I did struggle at the beginning to figure out the students level and adapt for such a diverse group and I have ideas for how I'd change the unit for the next time I teach it. However, that's the point...it took me a while to figure out that the point wasn't to teach a flawless unit but to learn from teaching a unit. Sometimes being a perfectionist isn't a good thing. I really stressed myself out but thankfully didn't stress the kids. It sure helped having a mom who is a teacher to talk to about the experience and to help me debrief my feelings about how the three weeks went. She really understood what I was going through and why I might be feeling stressed.
I wish I could share the pictures of the students with you but I don't have parental consent for that but for my prayer warrior friends please remember them in your prayers. One of the hardest things was knowing that these students face incredible obstacles in coming to school and learning. It was an inner city school and community which means a high poverty rate and high aboriginal population. All of these students have stories that can break your heart but yet they would be there with smiles on most days and trying their best. Our society does not create an equal playing field for these students. I pray that they keep coming to school and trying their best because that is the only way they have of changing their future. Already in grade 2/3 I could see the boys mimicking the gang behaviour of the older boys. When asked about what they want to be when they grow up most of the girls responded "a mom". They really don't see any options for themselves. Also pray for their parents and families, these aren't bad parents they just lack the resources society requires of parents to produce successful children. They are battling issues of addiction, poverty, and racism while trying to be good parents. I had to learn to hold part of my heart back or I would have given everything to the students and had nothing left. The system is trying to help but there is just never quite enough.
I did spend one whole weekend embracing my inner geek at the Calgary Comic Expo. For the first time all the original members of the Star Trek the Next Generation cast were in one place and for trekkies this was a big deal. I really enjoyed myself and will totally go to the Expo again but next time I'm dressing up! I got to go to discussion panels about things like steampunk and roller derby. Learn tips from various artists and collect signed pieces of their work. I also got to see my jr. high crush Will Wheaton in person (although I didn't pay the money for an autograph or photo). I promise I didn't scream or embarrass myself but I was a little giddy. My 13 year old self would have had a meltdown but at almost 33 I was able to handle the excitement. LOL!
I also got to drool over James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) and enjoy a rare musical performance by him. He's actually a pretty talented musician as well as being one of the handsomest men on TV. The thing that impressed me the most at the celebrity panels I was at was how down to earth and genuinely nice all of them were. Some seemed even a little stunned by the large crowds they were presenting to. A big highlight was getting to hear Sir Patrick Stewart speak about his career in both film and theatre. I don't know what I expected but he was just a genuinely humble and well spoken man. The only time he bragged was about his son's success in the theatre. All in all it was a great time. I met up with a bunch of my cousins and we had a chat over a late (really late) supper. I also met my good friend Carmen and her fiancé, chatted with Shannon the SIL of my friend Kathryn several times and ran into my sister once(but she was too good for us dweebs so turned her phone off). Yep the only thing missing was a great costume but I have a year to work on that for next year. I did pull off some purple hair and cat ears so it wasn't a complete waste :)
Whew what a lot to say! This is what happens when you neglect your blog for months. I won't promise daily blogs but I'm aiming for weekly because I miss sharing my life with my friends and family this way. Next time an art update but for a preview I've posted some of my new stuff on my webpage under samples.