January 13, 2016

Days Like These

I fell asleep around seven tonight, on the couch, as the girls watched Supergirl. I had just eaten some cous cous salad with cranberries, almonds, avocado and vegan cheese. I had a sip left in my beer. The show ended. I finished the beer. It was warm.

I put the girls to sleep and finished a scene from my book- the one I began last night. I had such high hopes of cranking out a lot of text tonight, despite my early evening nap, but seven hundred and fifty words was all I could muster. It felt okay. Necessary. The scene could blossom into something worthwhile.


I’m not sure why I am so tried. I had a pretty chill productive day. Maybe it had to do with running home from school with Scott​. It’s only about 8km, but something about it drained me: hotter than usually, chatting with Scott, slightly faster opening pace. I don’t know what it was, but it killed me.


Back to the day- We had a mid-week professional development day at school, which is weird. The morning I spent catching up on email, designing some cards for a parent event tomorrow night and organising my charts whilst playing some Kendrick Lamar. I still can’t get enough. There may have been some dancing in my room, but I’m not sure.

Before the run, during our last session we spent the afternoon practicing a writing workshop session for parents tomorrow night in order to educate them on the workshop model. We acted like students while Anne Marie​ taught us the lesson, so we could get a sense of it for tomorrow night. It got me thinking about how much I like it when I write with other adults.

There is a definite sense of camaraderie when writing together that beats writing curriculum, planning classes and talking about the administration of our classes.

Everyone in our department teaches writing, but to actually sit and write together feels a bit awkward. I would argue that all departments, but especially English departments at all levels, should have regular writing sessions as part of their meeting time.

Get people into stories and workshop and have them write. The process will remind them how difficult, and at the same time rewarding, the writing process really is, so that they can empathize with their students, and hopefully find a love of sorting out their own shit in fiction.

It’s also nice to have other writers in the room to learn from and share ideas with. I am excited to teach the parents tomorrow too.


We work hard at UWCSEA. I am sure most teachers work hard where ever they work. We all know that there is something about a faculty of people who are passionate and talented that creates an energetic environment of productivity. But sometimes it all gets to be too much, so for two hours today during our PD time, we had “wellness” sessions. Teachers offered a variety of activities from: ultimate Frisbee, to charcoal drawing, to salsa dancing, to reading in the library, to body pump, to poker.

And so for two hours today after lunch, I played poker with seven or eight other teachers at school. We laughed. We bonded. We learned a few tricks from Richard​ and we had the experience of being together at school without the usually baggage of sharing our busy-ness.

If you are a teacher, I would highly recommend implementing a similar program. I just hope that we can do things like this more than once a year. A calm school needs to get its teachers together, doing things that are removed from work. No matter how dedicated they may be, it feels good to have time to be allowed, expected actually, to relax.

I had a pretty chill day- dancing in my room, lunch, poker, writing with my department, run with a friend and passing out on the couch. I’m not sure what kind of days I will remember as I lay dying, hopefully it will be a peaceful passing, but I hope I will remember days like today.

Today wasn’t like the time I went bungee jumping  at Angel’s Camp, or my first few days in Mozambique; it wasn't like the time I saw a whale shark while diving or like touring around Vietnam with Anthony and Ari​.

Today, was just a regular Wednesday in January and a professional development day at work. Nonetheless, I hope it doesn’t blend into all the other “it was just another” days. Because sometimes it gets harder and harder to remember days like these.


Now it is time for some non-dairy ice cream, and the first two episodes of New Girl.

Lessons Learned:

  • Run slower when it is crazy hot out. 
  • Make opportunities to write more often with our department: 
  • Playing poker at work is relaxing and we should have more opportunities to relax and bond collectively. 
  • The epic life is in the tiny details. (Referring to this animated video by John Spencer​)

  1. What activities get you super tired? 
  2. What activities recharge you? 
  3. What things do you do with your colleagues that are beneficial to moral? 

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