Monday, October 29, 2007

Here we are!

video

Yesterday, there were two. Today there were four (one still wet) and one egg was moving. This is so cool!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Night Air II

After my walk the other night I really wanted to know if my memory of the Little House on the Prairie book was correct, and it was! I started to read the books all over again, and in the second one of the series (that's the one that's actually called Little House on the Prairie) I found what I was looking for, I couldn't find anything about my night air recollection, though. In chapter fifteen, called Fever 'n' Ague the whole family gets sick with malaria.
That's where I read this:

"Mrs. Scott said that all this sickness came from eating watermelons. She said: 'I've said a hundred times, if I have once, that watermelons - '
'What's that?' Pa exclaimed. 'Who's got watermelons?'

Mrs. Scott said that one of the settlers had planted watermelons in the creek bottom. And every soul who had eaten one of those melons was down sick that very minute. She said she had warned them. 'But, no,' she said. 'There was no arguing with them. They would eat those melons, and now they're paying for it.'

[...] No one knew, in those days, that fever 'n' ague was malaria, and that some mosquitoes give it to people when they bite them."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Kitty present

Sorry about the length of this fragment, but if you fast forward to 2:00 you'll understand what Dennis the cat left me on the yellow carpeting in our study today! Thank goodness for Biotex.
Love this movie, by the way. It's so funny!



Making babies




No, not me! I know that we are married now, and that I am 26 so in the making babies-demographic, but sorry: we're not ready yet. However, two of my chickens are working on making babies: Kuifje and Ellen. They had both been broody for a few days already, and I had tested how determined they were by letting them brood on one of their own eggs. But since we don't have a rooster anymore, that would never work out. M's uncle donated some eggs from a chicken who does have a husband, and now they're both hard-working brooding chicks. In about three weeks we'll hopefully have ten little ones in the hen house!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Concert

Paradoxically, I hardly ever went to a concert while I studied at the conservatory. There just wasn't any time. Now I'm totally making up for that, though: this month I'll be going to to several concerts.

Last night was the first one: I went to Darlene Zschech and Michael W Smith in a big soccer stadium close to where I live. I had never seen or heard Darlene before, but I did know Michael's music. I have several of his cd's (thanks to Those Crazy Jarboes who introduced me to his music) and had been to one of his concerts before. I was able to sing along to almost everything! Thank goodness the lyrics were projected on the big screens so I had a reminder for the lyrics that I hadn't memorized. Of course I bought one of his new cds (Stand, even though the Christmas cd looked good too.)

It was so cool to hear 15000 people sing along to the songs. Especially "Let it Rain" and "Above All"(video) were really impressive and touching. If he ever comes back to the Netherlands, I'll be there again!


Saturday, October 06, 2007

... Makes you stronger

My teaching this week was so much fun! Apart from my little difference of opinion (which will be talked about on Monday) I had such a good time. My students this year are really cool. It seems to be so much easier than it used to be to work with them.

Of course, five years ago I walked into a VMBO-school ready to take on my first job as a middle school music teacher. I taught in a music/geography room with little or no musical instruments. I'd never taught a thirteen year old before, because I had just graduated from elementary education college. But I was armed and ready to take on whatever came on my way. And boy, did I find a lot!

Teaching music to these teenagers turned out to be a difficult thing. Especially the second years (eighth graders) gave me frequent stomach aches. But every discussion and every problem was a new bit of experience. And now, I find myself free of stomach aches. The kids don't surprise me anymore when they ask if I am pregnant. I now know that whenever I am a little tired and don't think to straighten my back and suck my tummy in, it makes the kids think I'm expecting. So I can reply with a joke and not be shocked. And this is true for so many other things that happen every day or week.

The fact that I am done with music college probably helps, too. The past four years I always had a mind full of to-do-lists concerning college. Now all I have is my four day job (and of course husband and house) to worry about and I'm so much more relaxed. The kids probably feel that, too. And especially my mentor group is a "warm bath", as we say in the Netherlands. They're a joy to teach!
After a few less positive entries, here's a happy one again. I love my job!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What doesn't kill you...

... Makes you stronger. Isn't that a famous expression? I'm going through one of those times at work at the moment. One of the other teachers (who shares a room with me) called me last week and accused me of all kinds of horrible things. I block her progress, I say no to everything she wants to change, I can't think outside of the box. In short, I'm a horrible person at work and there's no fun working with me.

It totally made me think, and shocked me too. Am I really that narrow-minded? Do I really get scared when things go differently? After a lot of thinking and talking to different people, I realised that I do say "no" to a lot of things she wants to implement. But only because they're against school or music department rules or agreements. And maybe I sometimes try to stop her, because I know ahead of the time that the thing she wants to try won't work. I've shared lots of lesson plans and work sheets that I've made with her, thinking that she would appreciate not having to make them herself. But she accused me of trying to make her into a copy of myself, teaching wise! I was baffled. Here I was, trying to be nice, and she totally used it against me! That taught me a lesson. I won't share things with her any longer.

Last week I sent her an e-mail, inviting her to stay a little longer on Monday and talk to me about this situation. She did not reply, but Monday she had called in sick. Of course, there is a flu going around. But it did seem like an awful coincidence in my narrow-minded suspicious mind.