Saturday, November 28, 2009

School stuff

Apparently this is the 100th post I've made for this blog, but I've got better things to talk about. Earlier this week, I attended a two-day workshop on Resititution, and my brain was full to overload by the end of it. Restitution is less focused on consequence, and more focused on a student's needs and finding a way to make amends for wrongs done. It's descended from Aboriginal practices, and has been spreading like wildfire across Manitoba. The two schools I work at are getting very much into this concept, and I attended this workshop because I was feeling a little isolated. Mainly, I wanted to reinforce the language and keep things as consistent as possible for the students. I have not had time yet to put the stuff I learned to work, but I have a couple of ideas as to how I want to put said stuff to work. Especially where kids with overdue books are concered. Kids making an inordinate amout of noise (who do it all the time) are another area where this concept can come in handy.
Restitution is defined as follows: Create conditions for the person to fix their mistake and to return to the group strengthened. This is done through a three-fold concept (picture a triangle) of stabilizing the child's identity (mistakes are okay), validating the need (you had a reason for doing what you did), and seeking beliefs (what are this school/classroom's beliefs?). It is accepted that people have five basic needs (survival, belonging, power, fun, freedom), and that these needs have to be filled somehow, whether by good means (friends and family, success in school, freedom of choice, etc...) or by bad (gangs, drugs, etc...). Most folks would prefer the good means, but for some children, that ain't possible.
That was earlier this week. On Thursday and Friday, I held a book fair for one of my schools courtesy of Scholastic. The turnout seemed poorer than last year, but the time flew by faster this year than it did last year, so I don't know. I do know that Scholastic has upped their requirements for getting the 50% credit (the fiends!). I'm thinking that change is coming. The trial will be in March, for the other school has decided to turn its back on Scholastic this year. Good riddance, if you ask me. Anyway, that's all that's been going on in my little world. BYE.

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Literary Front #4

The Muse has been slumbering for some time, but with all this talk of NaNoWriMo I've been hearing, I've been thinking of giving the Muse a hard kick in the rear. I've been busy with work, reading, and gaming, and the wanting to write has faded somewhat. After a decade of near-constant writing, I guess it was time to take a break. It isn't that I have nothing to say, but that what I want to say has changed somehow. Apologies if that doesn't make sense. Maybe it's just that I've needed to get settled in my new digs and exult in my freedom before I bow to the Muse. This is something I need to examine further, which I will do in my personal diary. In the meantime, I have two projects I could be working on, but one of these two has become less interesting to me, while the other one has too many things indistinct to me. The main character is not at all visible to me, and I need to make him visible in my mind's eye before I can go and flesh out his world.
I've been reading Cornelia Funke, and her work is magnificient! So much detail and so well-fleshed out are her works. Makes anything I've written seem so stripped down and barren. Fleshing everything out and then cutting back the far is the better way to do things. One problem I have with that is how long to make the chapters. I guess once a scene has climaxed, move on to the next scene. Does that make any sense? And then there's the matter of where to start the story and where to end it. That is one of the hardest parts of writing a story, and I applaud Funke deeply. I also applaud her translator, for I don't understand German. Anyway, I need lessons in creating and fleshing out a world for my protagonist and his fellows.
I need lessons in many other things... especially where getting my Muse stirred up to the point where my fingers are on fire with the desire to write (or type, in this case). Blogging and writing in my journal has taken off some of the edge, maybe, which suggests I may need to drop blogging for a while. Hard to say. Well, that's about all for me. BYE.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Xmas closing in?

My first Xmas under a new roof, it looks like. Today I went out and bought lights for my window and some Xmas decorations. No tree yet, but there's still time to go and get one. Something in the 4 foot range sounds about right to me, considering my lack of height thereof. The snows that stay have yet to fall, but I'm not impatient to see them fall (yet!) In another week, if the snow hasn't started yet, then I might get a little antsy. I hear about people going to warmer climes to celebrate Xmas. I would just feel very strange if I celebrated Xmas in Mexico, where snow is virtually unknown. The locals in Mexico find their winters cold; imagine how they'd feel if Mexico got even a week of Winnipeg's Winterpeg? Frightening, I should say. Anyway, today it was the Santa Claus Parade in Winnipeg (the 100th anniversary of this event, to be exact). My sister's boyfriend's niece was brought to see it. She probably won't remember this amazing event... meanwhile, I've never been, so it's nothing to me.
Remembrance Day was on Wednesday, and having the day off really threw me for a loop. I didn't sleep too well over the next couple of nights. I went to bed extremely early last night as a result. Now I'm going to bed at a more reasonable hour (12:00, but it's Saturday, so it's all right). Hope that will balance me out. I'll try to get through Aristotle this evening and listen to Enya, and both of these things should relax me. Actually, my brain's been whirring the last couple of nights, duelling with my worries through the night. Totally irrational, I know. Well, I slept all right last night and hopefully I sleep well tonight as well.
Well, I guess that's the end of this mess for today. BYE.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Picture test #2

Home sweet home (when I 1st moved in)

The nerve centre for my wryness

My pride and joy.

Another view of my digs when I 1st moved in.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Between two Phils

Let me tell you about the two books I'm currently focusing on. Both are massive, gem-laden tomes, and both demand my attention. One is due back at the library in a few days unless I renew it (which will probably have to happen), while the other is from my personal library, so it ain't going noplace. The latter is called 'Classics of Philosophy', edited by L. Pojman, which I bought for an Intro to Philosophy course back in 1999 or 2000, which I want to get through from cover to cover before I give it to C.D. It's got all the visible pieces by the biggest names, from Anaxaminder and the Pre-Socratics to the minds of the 60's and 70's (I imagine, as I have never peeked at the end of it). I have tried a couple of times to get through it, but somehow never get past Hume, which is somewhere in the middle. I guess one really can't get through this monster unless one tries VERY hard to do so. Well, I'm up to Aristotle now, and I am going to keep it around until I have come to the end of it! That's how stubborn I'm becoming.
The first book I mentioned, the one that needs to go back to the library soon, is called 'Pearls from Peoria', and it's all the gems penned by the fairly good Philip Jose Farmer that were either never published or were published but soon forgotten. I am getting through this one all right, and enjoying the journey for the most part, but I suspect that I will need to renew it if I am going to get through it. That or I take a break from Sims 3 and life in general. Imagine needing to take a break from reading?!! Not in my lifetime (not so far)! It's all a matter of how one fills up one's waking hours. I'd like to think that reading takes up a vital chunk of time. I'd be proud if it did, as a matter of fact.
It is All Saints Day, and Halloween and Daylight Savings Time are over. The snow can fall now with complete and total abandon. Bring on the whiteness of Winter!! Anyway, that's all I can say today. BYE.