Why I loved Wonder Woman.

I will be the first to admit that I am not as knowledgeable about Wonder Woman as I am about Batman and that side of the DC universe. Of course I remember watching re-runs of the 1970s show and I loved watching the Justice League cartoons when I was younger and, although I know about her character and the basics of her story I never seemed to get as invested as I feel like I should. I guess seeing her as a background character more than an equal had a strange effect on me.

I’m righting that wrong, though.

Wonder Woman’s “cameo” in Batman vs Superman was the highlight for me and when I learned that they were making a Wonder Woman film I began to research into her history. The more I read the more excited I became. Of course there is so much to her history that I don’t know but I’m excited to find out.

Now, onto the review.

I. Loved. This. Film.

My mum loved this film. So far, all my friends who have seen it have loved it.

Here there be spoilers.

Continue reading

31 Days of Horror, Bullet Journaling and Stuff

Admittedly 2016 has not been a good year for me. There have been highlights – most notably San Diego Comic Con – which was so awesome. There are words but none of them are intelligible at this present moment.

But, generally, 2016 has been a ‘suckfest’ in numerous senses. I guess the gallbladder thing takes the cake and I’m still dealing with all that. You’d be surprised at what foods seem to hate me at present. (For those of you who can eat anything after your surgery I’m actually glad and happy for you. Unfortunately, some food goes through me faster than … well I’ll let you finish that off.) It’s been 17 weeks since the surgery and I’ve done a lot of traveling and teaching and thinking. Maybe a little too much in the way of thinking but that’s me.

Anyway, it’s October (seriously, where the hell did the year go) and now it’s heading into Spring (which soon means summer holidays but who’s counting anyway?)

On tumblr the Northern Hemisphere is going wild with it’s fall aesthetic and pumpkin spice lattes (something I have never tried but have heard all about…the nearest Starbucks is over an hour away so … yeah). Plus, all the Halloween pictures appearing  has got me in the mood for horror films. And, thus, I have arrived at the actual topic of my blog today.

I am doing a 31 Days of Horror challenge wherein I attempt to watch 31 horror films this month. I jumped in a little late, starting on the 3rd so watched 3 horrors in a row.

Krampus (2015) which now ties with Gremlins and Die Hard for best Christmas film ever. The Chernobyl Diaries which was terrible but it counts and then I re-watched From Dusk Til Dawn which totally counts cause vampires…Then, on the 4th, I watched Rogue which is about a giant crocodile and stars Radha Mitchell,  Sam Worthington and Mia Wasikowska. Pure and unashamed cheese.

I love horror films. Always have. Especially the slashers of the late 70s and 80s.

If you want to join me jump in and tweet me @inkblotsquills with film recommendations or let me know what you’ve been watching.

I also decided to start bullet journaling last night. This came about after I did some tidying and found no less than 15 unused notebooks/journals in my craft room. I have a problem…

Anyway, I will add some pictures once I get it fully underway.

I also started a teacher focused tumblr if you wanted to check it out. The Caffeinated Teacher. I will probably use that to do more teacher posts and turn this blog back into just a blog about me and the nerdy stuff I like. (Though teaching is a huge part of my life so there will be ideas and thoughts etc… but less of the technical stuff and more of the real stuff…)

So there you go. An update. A not so great update but an update none-the-less.

If you have any suggestions for what you’d like me to watch let me know.

Also, if there is anything you’d like me to write about, well leave a comment. Let’s do this.

Peace and Pancakes

Jaime

 

The One When I Had a Sick Day

Note: This is just a quick blog so I don’t fall behind. Next week will be a better post.

Sorry for not blogging on Monday but I had to have a sick day. I woke at four with a blinding headache which I quickly recognised as a migraine. I couldn’t turn my head without the world spinning and there were definite squiggly things in my vision.

I proceeded to get ready for school (because I’m me and I’m bloody stubborn) but decided, at 6.15am, that it might not be the best idea for me to go to school. Instead, I went in, briefly, to set up relief.

Relief is something that I hate doing. I hate having days off sick because it is often more of a hassle to set up relief than it is to actually teach a class when sick. I know that I’m not the only teacher who thinks like that, either.

Anyway, I went home and slept most of the day a way. I couldn’t even attempt to look at my computer for longer than a couple of minutes.

The benefit of the sick day is that I got extra sleep and, as someone who doesn’t get sufficient sleep anyway, this is always good. It also allowed me to come back into school in a better frame of mind.

I’m not going to lie. I have days were I question why I became a teacher. Not because I think I’m a terrible teacher (though I have those days as well)- but because I feel like I can never do enough. I plan lessons, spend hours researching ideas and theories and even more hours reading about ways to make myself a more efficient teacher – a more effective teacher. Still, I always feel as if there is more that I could be doing.

My average day:

5am – wake up and do some stretches and get the coffee ready

5.30-6.30am – Drink said coffee, check emails, mark some essays, eat breakfast.

6.45/50am – Arrive at school and begin organising my classroom, do more marking, prep lessons and so on

8.25am – Morning Briefing

8.40 – 3.15 – Teaching/planning/duty/brief breaks

3.15-4.30 – Still at school most days – sometimes I have a meeting sometimes I’m just trying to get work done.

5pm – Hopefully home and sometimes still doing work.

Now this is just my average week and I’m not doing a thing where I’m all like – look at the hours I work – I’m stating my day. And, having that sick day, helped me put some things in perspective. (No guarantee how long this will last)

Writing down what I do helps me remember that I also need to acknowledge what I do as a teacher and as a person. It also reminds me that I like smiling and I like helping students and fellow teachers. Teachers have a difficult job and, although most people realise it, we don’t always acknowledge it.

So, to all my fellow teachers:

You are wonderful, brilliant, amazing, powerful, educated and strong. teacher-motivational-quotes-2

And this lovely Buzzfeed list about teacher memes

Nerdy Teacher Building Relationships In the Classroom

So, I was rapping the verse from “Satisfied” from the amazing Hamilton Musical in class the other day and some students heard me. They were impressed. And this got me thinking about how the students view me. Cause, let’s face it, I’m pretty white. (Regardless of my ancestry I present as white.) Plus, I don’t speak with the typical kiwi accent. I can blame that on years of speech therapy and travel. I guess that this makes it hard for students to categorise me and, if they haven’t been taught by me before, they can often be confused or, at the very least, a little intimidated by me. (Trust me, I find that strange as well. I mean, I’m a short, stocky, nerdy gamer girl who drinks far too much coffee and has a tendency to lisp…oh let’s throw in the glasses as well…who can be intimidated by that?)

But what I found more interesting was the fact that the students seemed interested in the musical and the fact that I like rap music, (from the late 80s/early 90s mainly…)  which leads me into my main point – building relationships in the classroom. I tend to get along with most people, regardless of my introverted nature, I can talk to people from most walks of life. I just need a lot of alone time to make up for it if it goes on for too long. However, the students often find us, as adults, fascinating. Whether they are looking for some kind of inspiration or someone who they can respect I don’t know.

Building relationships is one of the key elements to creating a safe and powerful learning environment. Students have to know who you are or, at least, have a small sense of who you are in order to listen to you for four hours a week. And it is through these relationships that respect begins to grow.

Some of the ways that I build relationships between my students and myself are as follows:

  • Being honest. (To a degree, obviously.) I always try to be myself and, if I’m having a bad day I let the students know and then I move on. Students are smart – they pick up cues that others miss. It’s fascinating.
  • Being myself – this is part of being honest. I’m a huge goofball and nerd. And it shows in my classroom from the Tardis Cookie jar to the Literary puns that adorn my walls to the pop culture references in my lessons.
  • Allowing them to see that I make mistakes. Teachers are human, contrary to many beliefs. Making mistakes is important to show them that it’s okay.
  • Being passionate about my job. I truly love my job though it’s stressful – paperwork aside I find much of my time consumed with worrying about my students. And questioning if I am doing enough to help them. (This is something that, I’m told, is a sign of a great teacher…I don’t know if I agree…)
  • Talking to students. Actually sitting at their level and talking about things that they are passionate about.
  • Showing them that it’s okay to like things – i.e. video games, musicals, anime – students often feel so isolated that they often love the fact that adults also have likes and dislikes – who knew that teachers were actual people, right?

teaching-quotes-5

 

My apologies for the rushed blog. For the sake of honesty, I’ve had a headache for most of the day so actually came straight home after school. Now I’m trying to prep for tomorrow, write this blog and tackle my to do list.

Anyway, what do you do to help foster a safe learning environment? Sing Disney tunes to your classes? Dance around the room? Do dinosaur impersonations? (Guilty of all three…)

Peace and pancakes,

XJaime

Type A Personality…

I got a lot done last week, over the weekend and today. And, as I sit down to write this I still have this feeling that I should be doing something more, something else, just something that will make me appear as productive and proactive as I am told that I am.

You see, I’m a worrier and tend to be Type A personality – if you read into those sorts of things. I’m not talking about horoscopes because I believe those are utter tripe but I sometimes like to play around with online personality tests. (I’m aware that they aren’t necessarily accurate but they are fun.)

According to much of the information I have read some things that Type A Personalities do are as follows:

  • Time is important – Type A personalities hate wasting time or having their time wasted.
  • They can become overly passionate about something
  • Very prone to stressing (worrying about everything and anything.)
  • Trouble sleeping because their mind is always racing.
  • They are highly efficient.
  • Their career is at the front and centre.
  • They walk fast and with a purpose.
  • Love solving problems
  • There are many lists – task lists, to do lists etc.

This, by no means, is the entire list. I will include some links down the bottom for your reading pleasure.

I look at lists like this and realise that my friends are right – I am Type A. It’s not a bad thing and it’s not necessarily the most accurate thing out there but I do identify with many of the traits and it does help me when I try to rationalise when I’m feeling overly stressed or struggling not to worry about something. All of this relates back to my job as a High School Teacher. Knowing and being aware of my tendencies will help me prepare for any nervous or stressed moments.

I also redid my Briggs Myer Personality test and I got INFJ again. Every damn time. I enjoy reading about the traits but always take them with a grain of salt. Humans are much more complex that we allow ourselves to believe. That being said, I did identify with many of the traits listed. The strengths and weaknesses struck a particular chord – and match rather well with my Type A personality.

My weaknesses, in particular, were interesting. According to this one my main weaknesses are that I am :

  • extremely private
  • sensitive
  • perfectionist
  • always need to have a cause
  • can burn out easily.

These are true for me. All of them. This often surprises people because many think or believe me to be quite extroverted but I’m not. My alone time is incredibly important to me and needed every day. My routines are part of my way to cope with being in a bustling job. I mention this because teaching is not an easy job – especially for introverted people. Add to that the statistics stating that most new teachers are leaving before they reach 5 years. It’s not the best profession to be an introvert.

I’m in my fifth year…but I’m still enjoying it. As long as I get time to myself to recharge.

Anyway, what is your personality type? Are you more laid back than myself? Let me know if you believe in all this.

Read more in this great Huffington Post article. Or this Elite Daily article.

Enjoy your week.

XJaime

Currently…or fave five or…the list?

What’s in a name? Obviously a lot so I’m trying to think of what to call this segment of updates. The amazing people at Geek Bomb have PWR (Playing, Watching Reading.)

Anyway, any ideas let me know.

Currently Watching: The 100 I am part way through season 2 and I know what’s coming up in the next episode and I don’t want to watch it because I am already sad. It’s a brilliant show with characters that are actually complex and constantly changing, which is realistic. (Well, not the dystopian society though I’ve never lived in a dystopian society…that I’m aware of.)

Currently Reading: Still reading The Chimes but also reading a series of articles and papers on teaching…

Currently Listening to: When I’m not listening to Hamilton The Musical on repeat I’m listening to quite a bit of 70s and 80s rock and glam rock.

Currently Playing: I have an unhealthy obsession with Plants vs Zombies 2. I play it every morning on my iPad. The puns for the plants amuse me greatly. Sometimes they amuse me far to much.

This week has been a super busy one, which is good. I’m still planning to put up a post on Monday as well – which is easy this week as it’s a public holiday. It’s great to be back at school but I need to really remind myself to focus on those goals I set on my last post.

Anyway, I hope everyone else is having a lovely weekend.

xJaime

Things I’m Looking Forward To: SDCC2016

I’m going to San Diego Comic Con again. Well, I’ve known that I was going since the end of last year as I had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get online to get in line. For those of you who have never gone through the “hell” of purchasing tickets you basically get sent a link that you have to open at a certain time and then you get shuffled into a waiting room where you are subjected to the 7th level of Hell in the form of the blue circle of fate/doom.

I managed to get tickets for four days and preview night. (First time I’ve ever managed Preview Night!) Then I managed to score some amazingly priced plane tickets direct from little old New Zealand to LAX. Although SDCC isn’t until July I am already feeling the excitement and the stress of it. (Good stress not bad stress.) Accomodation is next on the list but I was fortunate enough to have met two amazing people* in line back in 2012 when I attended SDCC for the first time and we’re going to share costs. This makes the adventure so much more fun and exciting.

I love going overseas and I love attending conventions like this even though large crowds scare the crap out of me. There is something about being in a city where, really, no one really knows you and you are surrounded by thousands of people who share the same likes as you. The enthusiasm and copious amounts of caffeine make it a fun time. Then there are the panels and the lines – so many lines and the merchandise. Graphic novels are hard to come by in New Zealand – for reasonable prices that is. So, whenever I go to SDCC I stock up on as much as possible.

There is also the fact that I can get resources for my classroom, not to mention great ideas for texts to teach and study. Plus, it gives me serious nerd cred with a lot of my students. Especially when they learn that I game…the boys never believe me until I list some of the games that I’ve played and then I have to give details to prove it…

Anyway, this post is part of a little series that I am experimenting with – basically things I’m looking forward to. The next post will probably be about films that I’m excited to see…

Feel free to recommend post topics because I have no real clue as to where this thing is going…It’s an adventure.

Currently Watching: The 100. I just finished series one on Netflix last night and I’m keen to start on series two. I love the gritty feel and the plot twists. It’s basically a cross between Lord of the Flies and Battle Royale and maybe a smidge of The Hunger Games thrown in for good measure.

Currently Reading: I just finished Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green. It’s a 509 page graphic novel which shows how the author developed and then overcame (not really the right word…maybe learned to control) not only disordered eating but abuse and severe anxiety. It’s a heartbreaking but beautiful read that I truly recommend.

Currently Listening: In November last year my drabble challenge was Ipod Shuffle. I finally got around to making a playlist from that.

A Drabble A Day November 2015

*Actually I’ve met many amazing people in line but you don’t always meet up with them again and again

Peace and Pancakes

xJaime