Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Goings on

I still haven't bought the new Coldplay album. New as in, this past Spring. Oops. Any way, I've been enjoying this track from Ghost Stories: A Sky Full of Stars.

I thought it was about time for a little update!
I'm sure you are all dying to know what it's like being an administrative assistant as an NP.
It's like this: you have way more files then is probably necessary because how the heck can you even decide what folder to put something in? If it could go in one of three folders then it gets its own spot. Also what about those little notes to oneself with info that could come in handy one day? I assume there is a better method than a patchwork of sticky notes/ pieces of paper paper clipped together. But I haven't figured that out.
But those are the really the only struggles. I've been so lucky to get to help edit a book, which is one of my favorite things to do, and impress my boss with my "look stuff up on the internet" skills. Bet you didn't know that tracking down info on the web was a life skill, but it certainly makes me look good when I can come up with a phone number deemed lost forever--because like me, my boss writes important information on little pieces of paper. Oh brother ㅋㅋㅋ

I've also gotten the chance to do a little tutoring on the side many days after work with a Korean staff member here. Mostly just conversation based, giving help with pronunciation and article use and such, but it's been so very nice not to give up all my teacher-y doings.

Which brings me to another fun thing I've been up to: being one of the acting coaches for our church's Kids' Club/Christmas play program. I've been dragging my memory for every fun activity I can remember from Voice and Drama camp and Spotlights and Showstoppers and all that. (Some of the games I realized also could be modified for ESL use as well, which is super...always trying to expand the toolbelt!) This week we're holding auditions, and I am super pumped! It is really fun to be around kids again, but I have realized that American kids are more squirrelly than Korean kids...or at least they take a longer time to listen. So I need to practice being a little firmer. I also have been so used to speaking slowly and clearly with young kids that when other more seasoned teacher types get up and give instructions, my first thought is, "Woah slow down no way can they understand!" then, "oh right...native speakers..."

So I'm trying out some new sections, mostly for myself to keep track of stuff, but maybe you'll enjoy it too! The first one is a book review:

September Books (and why you should read them too!)

1. Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery

Beside's Montgomery's delicious descriptions of landscape and her fantastic dialogue, let's talk about the main character. Anne Shirley/Blythe is one of the most glorious characters in fiction--s a woman who is smart, witty, wise, imaginative, ridiculously caring and decidedly not boring. You know how sometimes you read books and there is a character who is flawed, definitely, but who you still want to be like? This is one of those for me. I've dreamed of being a combination of Jo March and Anne Shirley, because both of them grow. They know where they're weak, and the strengthen those areas. And they listen to criticism. The Anne series also is such a lovely picture of growing up, and how each stage of a person's life has its own wonderful people and places. You think no other place but Green Gables and the people of Avonlea could be so wonderful, but then you go to Redmond, and Windy Poplars and the House of Dreams and then Ingleside and each one is full of joy and beauty. A good reminder to me, who so often looks wistfully at the past, that what is to come has its own unknown delights.

2. The Little Book of Restorative Discipline in the Classroom by Lorraine S Amstutz and Judy H Mullet

If I could write a subtitle for this powerful 70ish page book, it would be "How to treat students like they matter a lot--even when they mess up big time." With those not familiar with restorative justice practices, in a nutshell it's looking at justice (and discipline) as primarily an issue of broken relationships, not of broken rules. That means that when misbehavior happens, the focus on discovering what relationships have been broken and how to restore them. That means that victims and offenders both have a voice in the proceedings and Zero-Tolerance strategies that cause more harm than good are done away with. Basically, it's a call to be more creative in discipline so that instead of simply receiving doled out punishment, students receive an education in how healthily resolve conflict and understand their responsibility in the relationships around them. It's a quick read, but I really recommend it, especially to teachers.

3. Stephen Fry's (In)Complete and Utter History of Classical Music as told to Tim Lihorean

My favorite way to learn stuff is while I'm laughing. Making a joke about something helps you remember right? Gabby was telling me the other day about a joke her class had about a composer, Hildegard of Bingen, and you can bet your socks they aren't going to forget about that feisty nun anytime soon. So besides this being written by Stephen Fry, one of the funniest guys out there, it's actually quite informative and I am learning a lot about music history! Here's one of my favorite bits about composers who were quite popular in their day, but are kind of unknown now:

"Of course, I have a personal theory, which I am willing to share. You see, Gluck...largely out of fashion isn't he? Hmm? And Dittersdorf? Also, more or less forgotten. And now Hummel. Revered by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt in his day, but now the dodo of classical music. And why? Well, my theory...mildly amusing middle names.
Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf
Cristoph Willibald von Gluck
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Need I say more? QED, as the French call the famous cruise ship." (pg 114-115)

So happy reading! I hope you enjoy those books as much as I do!
And of course, wouldn't be a proper post without out a few quotes:

Quotes from the Community:

"My whole body is smarting!" --Yoonseo bemoans having to ride his bicycle home after playing soccer.

Gabby: "Do you know why the Wise Men went to see Jesus?"
Nicholas: "To give him some....valuables?"

Gabby: "I spy something red."
Nicholas: "Your cheeks?"

1 comment:

  1. Guess I know what I'm re-reading next. Anne is one of my all time favorite characters. Love the new book reviews!