Friday, 24 August 2012

My Classroom is my Castle

My classroom is my castle,
So I'll rule it as I wish.
Sit here, or there,
But please do beware
That if you cross that line,
Or that one that's behind you
The fate that shall befall
Will wipe away your smirk
For the wrath of 'miss' or 'sir'
Is certainly not to be scorned.
However, no need to fear
My precious little dears
We will have fun here,
Just maybe not your brand.
For you see my type of fun
Involves filling up your mind
With facts and figures,
Dates and sums and rules.
About gravity and Napoleon,
Spelling and paragraphs
Long division, short division
Grammar rules and music patterns.
There is no end to all the things
That must fit inside your brain.
As subjects in my kingdom,
My rules are not suggestions
And the instructions I give
Are indeed meant for you.
My pen is my sword
And my desk is my throne
If you shout out one more time
I'll escort you to the dungeon
Welcome to the kingdom,
Come in and take a seat
But under no circumstances
Will you make me repeat
What I've already said before.
To you it's just a classroom,
To me, this is my castle.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Converting the Pessimist #2: Advice from Jane Austen

As part of my journey in converting from a 'glass half empty' pessimist into a 'glass half full' optimist I must be permitted to delve into the works of my literary hero, Jane Austen, to find both inspiration and amusement. Of course, some of this amusement is at others' expense, but have no fear, they are literary characters and their feelings cannot be hurt.
Here are some of my favourite lines of wisdom, the formula to a life of happiness according to Jane Austen:

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. (Northanger Abbey)

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn? (Mr Bennet, Pride and Prejudice)

From politics, it was an easy step to silence. (Northanger Abbey)

'It is to be a secret, I conclude,' said he. 'These matters are always a secret, till it is found out that everybody knows them.' (Mr Weston, Emma)

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love. (Pride and Prejudice)

A person my be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. (Pride and Prejudice)

A man who has nothing to do with his own time has no conscience in his intrusion on that of others. (Sense and Sensibility)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. (Pride and Prejudice)

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. (Emma)

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. (Mansfield Park)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Converting the Pessimist

Every day may not be good....but there is something good in every day

A friend recently shared this with me, and I'm going to take it up as a challenge and look for the 'something good' in every day and celebrate those blessings.

Here's a start:
I went for a walk....and this is what I get to walk by

Carpe Diem

I've been teaching one of my classes the well-known Arthur Miller play 'The Crucible' (based on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692) and they are starting to work on an assessment, which is to write an obituary for one of the characters who was executed. We spent part of a lesson looking at some epitaphs and obituaries and talking about how people are remembered and the discrepancies that sometimes occur between how the individual really lived and what their obituaries/epitaphs say about them.

This has sparked a lot of discussion in my class and has prompted me to reflect on how I want to be remembered. I think I need a healthy dose of perspective in my life in order to live a more purposefull life, a life where no moment is wasted (see my previous post on 'moments' ), a life in which every day is lived to the full, a life seeking the benefit and good of others above myself.

This song (which is a little outside the style of music I generally listen to) contains a challenge to live as though 'today were your last day'-be inspired!

Carpe Diem!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Frosty Friday

I had a nostalgic moment this morning, remembering my northern hemisphere winter experience from earlier in the year.

I got in my car ready to go to work this morning and noticed heavy dew on my windscreen, and, as I normally would, I flicked on my windscreen wipers to wipe it of....except today, it didn't work. Instead, I got a terrible scratching and scraping sound (somewhat akin to the 'fingernails on a chalkboard' sound). Yes, in Queenland, a place known as the 'Sunshine State', I had frost on my windscreen. This led me to a conundrum-I am not equipped with an ice-scraper as my North American friends are, so had no way to scrape it off. Instead, I started the engine, turned the heater on and had the vents pointing to the windscreen and waited for it to melt off (while I warmed myself up to!). Although finding ice on your windscreen is a common occurence in many places in the world, it was not what I was expecting to find on my Friday morning, thus making it a blog-worthy event!