Thursday, April 25, 2013

Forced Relaxation - Celtic Visions Bracelet

I am a migraine sufferer; have been since I was 12 years old.  I remember the doctor telling my mom that the "good news" was that, generally, people who start having migraines as a child tend to have milder versions as an adult.  He was spot on.

As a teen I got what I call "grand mall migraines". Blind spots; auras; nausea & vomiting; sensitivity of sounds, smells, light; and an excruciating headache!  As I have gotten older, they have gotten more tolerable, sometimes I can do live while dealing with a migraine, but most of the time, they sideline me, especially when my migraine medication doesn't work.

One of my many triggers is the let down after stress.

Interviewing has been exhausting and stressful.  In all honesty, there was really only one of the five that I really wanted, and when I got the rejection call for that position, it hit me hard.

So, this morning, as I was about to walk out the door for work, the migraine, although a not totally expected, it wasn't a surprise.

It was one of my "baby migraines," bad enough that I couldn't leave the house, have taken naps, but not knock me out to sleep for many hours.

It has been forced relaxation and between my naps I played with my new pretties.

This is where the fall down the Rabbit Hole began: I had fallen in love with this bracelet (which I bought!):

One thing lead to another and I ended up at the Blue Buddha Boutique website and decided I wanted to try chainmailling and ordered some starter kits.  One of them was the Easy Pack, which came with instructions and all the supplies to make the Celtic Visions Bracelet.

First you have to open and close certain jump rings, then the fun begins!
Start hooking the links together.
At first, it can be a mess.

And then you add a certain ring in a certain way and your item begins to take shape!

After a couple hours opening and closing rings.
I ended up with this:
And here she is all done!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Last of Five


I have been interviewing for a new teaching position for the last couple weeks.

These interviews have had me leaving middle of the school day (during my prep), early at the end of the day (again during a time I do a lot of prep), and this morning I will arrive late (missing my before school prep time).

I didn't realize how much this has taken out of me until last night.

I decided to try chainmailling and ordered some kits. They arrived yesterday and I was excited to see them when I got home from my last interview.  Because the interview was right after work, I made it home earlier than usual.

After cleaning up from dinner, I sat down at my desk, started reading instructions, and following the directions to create my first chainmailled bracelet. Suddenly, I realized how incredibly tired I was despite the early evening time.

I should know by Friday if I have a new position, or if I have to continue the process.  I have a contract for full-time for 2013/14 school year, but have yet to secure a position.

Monday, April 22, 2013

FO # 6

It has been crazy busy here with state testing, district testing and job search for me.  Today I will have go to my fourth interview in the last couple weeks.  It has been nice to work on this Nautilus Scarf as it was nice mindless knitting. 

I bought the yarn on April 13 while on a "yarn crawl" with one of the knitting groups I belong to.  Started the next day and finished it yesterday.  I was going to post pictures of all my new yarn, but time just got away from me.

Saturday my honey and I took a drive to Talkeetna, Alaska, I took advantage of seat time and knit most of this cute little scarf Saturday, finished up yesterday and wore it to my mom's birthday dinner!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Spring? Round 2 = Snow Day!

Does that picture look familiar?  Well it is, I didn't waste time taking another picture yesterday, but the deck looks like this again.

Monday we got another foot of snow, so since Friday we've gotten over 2 feet of snow.

My school district closed schools due to poor driving conditions on the back roads.

I spent the day trying to catch up on Special Education paper work as well as a call to the State of Alaska to get questions answered for my Professional Teaching Certificate application.  That call involved being on hold, and something I haven't been able to do while at work.

I didn't get to knit, or bead, or read.  I just worked on school related "stuff".  I got my aforementioned teaching application in the mail.  As I was standing in line at the post office to mail it certified return receipt, I looked down and saw I had my pajama bottoms on.  No big deal, they really are yoga pants, but I sleep in them and had planned to put jeans on.

The sad thing is we will make up this day in the REAL spring!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What Spring?

We got about ten inches of snow this weekend.  National Weather Services has an advisory for 12-18 Monday through Wednesday.

Mother Nature needs a new calendar.  Yes, I realize I live in Alaska, but, enough!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Longest Day - Part II

Yesterday was another killer and has left me drained and stressed -- it is after midnight and after tossing, turning, and remaining totally awake for almost two hours, I am out of bed for a cup of hot milk, and trying to determine what keeps me awake tonight.

Day 2 of State/Federally mandated, NCLB testing was horrible.

All year I have been working with several of my VERY LOW kids.  Helping them realize they can learn to read, and getting them to actually read.  They have gained skills.  They are reading at home.  They are learning.  They are 5th graders, just learning to read and have begun to see themselves as "readers."

Telling them how hard work pays off, getting them to do homework, to read on their own, to choose books they can read and be proud of that.  To believe, if they work, they can do it.  I have witnessed a great awakening in them the last couple months as they read a passage, understand it, and KNOW they can read!  I have watched them go from refusing to write, to writing longer and longer responses to passages they read.

I have been proctoring (supervising) a group of 5th graders.  Their reading levels are so low, I have to read the Writing and Math tests to them.  I can't read the reading test because, well it is assessing how well they can read.  In their cases, it showed them how they CAN'T read; it is not appropriate for them.  It is so far above them, we can't gain any insite, see any improvement.  All it does is gives us a negative mark for No Child Left Behind, and makes students like the group I have realize they are less-than!

Day 1 of testing, I watched hope die in one of the students who realized how incredibly low his reading level is.  He entered the testing room ready to show what he knows. I watched the belief he CAN learn to read dwindle. After the first passage, he gave up, turned pages as others in the room turned them, and filled in bubble after bubble, just guessing because the test was not appropriate for him.

Day 2 of testing, and more of that hope died to where I struggled to get him to follow along when I read the test.  He guessed for most of it, I'm sure.  I can't help them in any way, other than to read the test to them.  For this child, I could also make sure he was marking the correct bubble for the question we were working on.

For that, I HATE NCLB.

I HATE mandated testing.

It is not fair.

It proves nothing.

And for those who need the most help, it destroys their belief they can learn.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Longest Day

It is State Testing week here in Alaska. Every child shall be tested, no matter their skill level, or lack of.

Today was the reading test. As a Special Education teacher, during this time I proctor for one of the many groups of students who have accommodations. Today's test is reading, and as such, there isn't much I can do except encourage them to do their best. Despite reading at 3 or more grade levels lower than the test, they have to take the test.

We have been assigned a "room" to test in. At one time I think it was a storage closet. Upon completion of the test the students can read a book or put their heads down and sleep.

Me? I am not supposed to do anything except proctor the test.

Tomorrow should be better. I get to read the test to the students! But today, was very long, frustrating, and very boring.