Sunday, September 30, 2007

sadhana pada

I didn't find the books I was looking for so I will most likely order them from a local shop whenever I have time to do so. I am very much looking forward to next Monday:the meeting of two cultures day (ooo how PC) So far this week there are two scheduled night meetings. This is not to say that there might not be a surpise meeting sometime.

One of my team mates said that last year she felt like she was reacting all year long. This year she feels more on top of things. So there is hope. Also it appears that the upper El guide may not be here until May. (......)
Final week of teacher training coming up. While it has been a challenge to be training and teaching nonstop I will miss going in and being with my fellow trainees. Yesterday was pretty intensive with actual teaching, we rotated groups and sequences and I got called on to teach half the class. At first I thought the instructor was joking (he has a certain sense of humor) so when he said "CV is going to teach now." I said. "I am?" Oh you mean really teach. Okay.

We also talked about the possibility of unconditional love, the sutras of Patanjali and bhandas. Last week was all about the Gita***CV

Saturday, September 29, 2007

loka samistha sukhino bhavantu

After receiving an urgent email from a friend I have just spent an interesting evening catching up on events in Burma. I can spare a candle: can you?

You may have read that the Burmese monastics and lay people have been chanting the Buddha’s words on lovingkindness or “metta” during many of their marches. If you do not know it already, here are the words in Pali and in English.
The Karaniya Metta Sutta
the Buddha’s discourse on Loving Kindness

Karaniyam atthakusalena
Yan tam santam padam abhisamecca
Sakko uju ca suju ca
Suvaco c'assa mudu anatimani

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness
Having glimpsed the state of perfect peace,
Let them be able, honest and upright,
Gentle in speech, meek and not proud.
Santussako ca subharo ca
Appakicco ca sallahukavutti
Santindriyo ca nipako ca
Appagabbho kulesu ananugiddho
Contented and easy to support,
With few duties, and simple in living.
Tranquil their senses, masterful and modest,
without greed for supporters
Na ca khuddam samacare kinci
Yena viññu pare upavadeyyum
Sukhino va khemino hontu
Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta

Also, let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Let them cultivate the thought:
May all be well and secure,
May all beings be happy
Ye keci panabhut'atthi
Tasa va thavara va anavasesa
Digha va ye mahanta va
Majjhima rassakanukathula
Whatever living creatures there be,
Without exception, weak or strong,
Long, huge or middle-sized,
Or short, minute or bulky,
Dittha va yeva adittha
Ye ca dure vasanti avidure
Bhuta va sambhavesi va
Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta

Whether visible or invisible,
And those living far or near,
The born and those seeking birth,
May all beings be happy
Na paro param nikubbetha
Natimaññetha katthacinam kanci
Byarosana patighasañña
Naññamaññassa dukkham iccheyya

Let none deceive another
Or despise any being in any state;
Let none wish others harm
In resentment or in hate.
Mata yatha niyam puttam
Ayusa ekaputtam anurakkhe
Evampi sabbabhutesu
Manasam bhavaye aparimanam

Just as with her own life
A mother shields her child,
her only child, from hurt
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours.
Mettañ ca sabba-lokasmim
Manasam bhavaye aparimanam
Uddham adho ca tiriyanca
Asambadham averam asapattam

Cultivate a limitless heart of goodwill
For all throughout the cosmos,
In all its height, depth and breadth --
Love that is untroubled
And beyond hatred or enmity.
Titthañ caram nisinno va
Sayano va yavat'assa vigatamiddho
Etam satim adhittheyya
Brahmam etam viharam idhamahu

As you stand, walk, sit or lie,
So long as you are awake,
Pursue this awareness with your might:
It is deemed the Divine Abiding- here and
Ditthiñca anupagamma silava
Dassanena sampanno
Kamesu vineyya gedham
Na hi jatu gabbhaseyyam punar eti'ti
Holding no more to wrong views,
A pure-hearted one, having clarity
of vision, being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Can I Have a Lesson?

Adult down! (with a cold) and no not me. I found out when I came in this morning that my main assistant called in sick so I closed for him today. We really have so little time to actually work with the children that I find when I stay later I actually get some good lesson time in. This afternoon I played sentence punctuation with one of the late afternoon children. At first she wanted a "challenge" one. After which she said, "I want an easy one now".

So how would you punctuate this sentence:

the dog or was it the cat who drank the milk


i am


it is
he can
She left the work out for tomorrow morning. We also started a crystal experiment with cupric sulphate this morning with much discussion of the differences between solution, saturated solution and super saturated solution. ***CV

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Just another day

Today I finished Anne of the Island, LM Montgomery, and Arsene Lpine, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice Leblanc. A coteacher commented to me the other day that she wished she had time to read a real book. I don't really have the time but I think I would go mad if I didn't make time to do so.

As it is I am trying to figure out how I can get the latest Bloody Jack and the latest Robin McKinley books this weekend without coming home tomorrow at nine. (Oh wait, Borderlands in the city. I'm observing and practicing as part of the training tomorrow: it's a "field trip", so maybe I can go after!)
Today in class we all got to teach a sequence first to one partner and then to a group of three people. Anyone who has taken a flow class knows that the teacher in such is continually leading and talking. It's almost like a monologue without the seated audience. It's much harder than it would appear from the practice mat.
I didn't realise until I was actually in class that I had forgotten to do one of our homework assignments. I did the take home anatomy quiz, I read the chapter, I studied the bones and muscles but I did not write the 110 word essay. What, I hear you say. 100 words? That's all?


The topic: Who am ? What do I want? Where am I going?

There was no guidance as to what angles to take this topic from.

And my printer is almost out of ink. ***CV

Thursday, September 20, 2007

two weeeks more

No matter how many times I say it each year it still amazes me how true it is: It takes time to get to know a person. I may be fully prepeared with all conference forms. I may have read all teh records of lessons given and status of progress. Still. all that doesn't matter until I have worked with someone for a while.

Yes Virginia. It takes all of the first month to really get going***CV

*my secret weapon in grammar review is on the spot mad lib mother goose ;)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Choice is not License

Turns out that the education program is not tonight but tomorrow night. As I said to the secretary when she told me this, "You mean I get to go home tonight?"

So tomorrow will be a long day but at least that is only (knock on wood) 2 and not 3 loooong days this week.
I would just like to say to the "homework bound" parental units that may read this (like how likely is that? pfft not very): a weekly update reflecting the doings of 38+ children is not going to mean that all the lessons listed involved your particular child. Dude. Just chill. *bleh* And this check off which lessons on the update your child says he did and which he says he didn't? What is up with that?

Bad parent. No weekly update for you anymore.*
So today was something of a reality check for a few students like: CV can raise her voice?! CV will tell me to stop?! When she says "please bring your journal" she means it?!

Yeah and if we need to practice sitting, walking, and cursive - it will happen. ****CV

Funny bit: when I met the homework bound parent in question as I was coming in this a.m. said parent was very concerned that there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on reading and literature but not so much on math. Why said person wondered. So I asked how much this person knew about Montessori. Not much was the reply, only what had been learned while their child was at the school. Ok I said. I have some homework for you. Look up Montessori and Math on the internet then tell me what you find.

The response? Well the directress said parents would never have to do homework.

Would someone disentangle that for me please. I and a fellow teacher are very confused by their statement and/ or logic.***CV

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Want to Know......

Tomorrow starts the second weekend of teacher training. Ten hours each day not counting commute time. I probably should read the materials yes?
It's so strange. I hadn't realised how structured my other classroom environments were before. But these first weeks at the new school have really brought that fact home. This is a very busy school and the children are engaged in one activity or another throughout the day. Not all at once. In small groups or individually. Vocals, music, art, setting up snack, cleaning up snack, setting up lunch, taking down lunch, loading the dishwasher, chorus, instrument lessons, etc. And in between all this they are being given lessons, initiating researches, reading, being read to, writing and socialising. Have I mentioned the languages? So while the children are doing all this they are also being taught by a spainish and a french teacher. That is, two teachers who only speak to the children in those languages, all day.

I hae decided that as a gift to myself during my circle time (we decided to give each guide a set time of day instead of rotating it as we ahd been doing:I get teh morning to luch one), for the most part I will be reading from a chapter book, teaching a new song a week, and incorporating group games.
Then there are the families. All of whom have their childs interest in heart but ... well, how does one explain to an interested parent that when you say, "I will be working with your child on such and such an academic", it does not mean that you have worked with the child in that area yet ,and that, really, quizzing your child the night you get my note is not going to manifest the particular learning right then?

Perhaps a review of future tense versus past perfect is in order.
I finished, Promises to Keep, on Monday and started, Little Grrrl Lost, that night. I've been alternating, Arsene Lupine, with, Ann of the Island. Davy really reminds me of some current children i know.*****CV

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Such an intense young man

This week has been a little off center. Yesterday I couldn't figure out waht day it was supposed to be. This resulted in my doing a cirle time that another teacher had been scheduled to do, and in my writing the following days date on the board as: Friday, September 14. Today I found out it isn't just me. We all have been a little confused about the passage of time.
I find that many of the personalities I have met though my carreer so far have followed me, albeit in a slightly differnt manifestation. I spent an hour talking with one child this afternoon that went from missed playtime angry to verging on Lord of the Flies adult overthrow to card tricks.
As I am looking forward to the week after next as a bit of a chance to get into a regular schedule (next week is three days full of late night meetings) the asst head made a suggestion that once I am finished with my yoga training I could give yoga classes on campus for the other guides in the evening.

Ummmm. While that might be fun and I think I would like to, sleep is slightly higher on my priority list right now.

Early morning meeting tomorrow. G'night***CV

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shhh. Don't Tell the Children 'K?

You Should Rule Mercury
Close to sun, Mercury has very long days - and is rarely visible to the rest of the solar system.

You are perfect to rule Mercury, because you live for the present - and can truly enjoy a day that goes on forever.
Like Mercury, you are quick and elusive. Your wit is outstanding, and you can win any verbal sparring match.

Some people see you as superficial, but in truth, you just play many roles and have many interests.
A great manipulator, you usually get what you want from people. And they're happy to give it to you.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

the Beatles Understood

I am so tired. I don't think I have had one day this week that has been less then 18 hours. Tomorrow I am to catch a 5:59 am bus. Wish the alarm clock good luck in the morning.
On a cheerier note, during the lunch break from my training, I stopped by Borderlands which is a bookstore in the Mission district and what to my wondering eyes should appear but: Little Grrl Lost and Promises to Keep. Two new Charles deLint books. Yay!
Oddly enough as I was walking to the space where the training is taking place this morning I had a spatial deja vu from a rather intense dream I had about three years ago. All the buildings both in size and that angles at which they intersected were precisely what I had dreamed of.

Then, during the introductions, someone flung themselves at me and gave me the biggest hug. Turns out that the person who is letting us use her art studio is the mom of one of my primary children from yeeeaaars ago. So exciting. I get to see this child (who is a beautiful elementary person now judging by her photograph) tomorrow :)
Here is a poem from the opening line I submitted to the Short Story group tonight

Mendel's Serenade

And yellow penguins began to carve the ice
Summer burns on, and my insanity grows.
I can not decide; I cannot suffer choice;
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
Yellow penguins. I can dig it. Kind of Bradburyesque: Golden Penguins of the Sun. ***CV

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I am home. It's funny. it wasn't until I was waiting for the bus to come home that the headache and the "Gee, maybe I should actually eat at lunch", occurred to me.

It was great. Never mind that I was still asking children to clue me in on their names at the final circle. Never mind that my volcano decided to be peaceful and demonstrate acid indigestion instead of shooting out red dyed vinegar; or that I had three adults in the room with me when I was teling the First Story. Man, I'm setting up a maximum height requirement next time ;)

Three more days of the first week***CV

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ah the first day

The teaching team and I spent a good five hours last friday discussing what to do on the first day of school, which would be tomorrow. We figured out who whould come in when and when breaks would happen, what activities to do, etc. So yesterday I went out with the asst. head and one of my team mates to gather some final supplies and I casually mentioned some of the things we had planned. Wow. Apprently there is a somewhat disparate view between what the teachers and what the asst. see as the childrens behavior in the environment and how to direct it.

So now I don't know if I should scrap the plan we worked out as a team (tomorrow right? less then 12 hours away right? and the team is at home thinking we are set with what we discussed) or go ahead with it: come what may.

Meanwhile I will be carrying a poster sized floor plan for our silent tour and a volcano on the train early early in the a.m. Along with at least one 4inch binder of record keeping materials.

Did I mention that I will be telling the first of five foundational stories to at least a third of the class (hence that volcano) tomorrow and I have yet to reread the script?? Oh and I don't know if the tale will be told in the morning or the afternoon. And there is the other fact that two of the team members will not be speaking english all day as we are a multi lingual class. ***CV