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

 

I’m Not a Hugger…

I’m an awkward person – I’m also a bit of a dork. When these powers combine you get someone who never knows quite how to act in most given situations. This often results in me somehow saying or doing something that is not always considered appropriate – like somehow directing a conversation to poop…why poop? I really don’t know. And I don’t do it to be disgusting or anything it just happens. Like the time I attempted to “flirt” with someone and brought up a specific scene in a film called Deliverance. (You know which scene…) It’s a great film but it’s not exactly the kind of film that you talk about when you are trying to create a bond, if you follow my drift. Or the time I talked about… well, I won’t go into detail…

What I’m trying to explain is I’m not always the best as social interactions or cues – often misreading a situation or standing so far back that the perks of being a wallflower (pun intended) aren’t even perks. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out and hanging out with friends but that’s because I have a great group of people who kinda understand my oddities. And these great people have, sometimes, stepped in and explained to people that I’m not really a (insert word) kind of a person.

Which brings me to the title of this blog. I’m not a hugger. In certain situations I am but, in general, I am not a hugger of people I have just met or even relatives really. The exception being my nieces or other young cousins…I mean, I will hug people but it’s not my preferred method of interaction when first meeting someone or even seeing someone after a break. I’m also not much of a hand shaker either. I don’t think it has anything to do with germs it’s just something that I’ve never been a fan of. Hugging people has always just seemed awkward to me – or I seem awkward to hugging. People lean in and squeeze you and I am suddenly in someone’s personal space and they are in mine. And, in a way, I guess I could describe it as a form of sensory overload and uncomfortableness. I never know what to do with my arms because often I realise too late as to what is happening and my arms are trapped at my sides…

It’s strange as I can talk to anyone – I ramble on and have been told I can talk the ears off a/n (insert animal). I have no worries about talking to people but the conversation will be erratic and, without fail, I will jump from topic to topic – a master of weaving a tale and making tenuous connections as well as directing a conversation away from something that I don’t understand or don’t particularly want to talk about. I am verbose and articulate but hugs and handshakes from most people make me super uncomfortable. So – yeah – that’s a thing…not enough of a thing to make it a challenge or resolution – I’m not going to go around and randomly hug people that I don’t know. But it is something I’ve noticed about myself over the years…so, are you a hugger? (Hopefully not a face hugger…)

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Current Obsession: Making a Murderer on Netflix. I maybe a little late on this train but I started watching this the other night. Only a couple of episodes in but already hooked.

Currently Reading: The Chimes by Anna Smaill – recommended by a good friend.

Current Earworm: “Alone” by Selah Sue

Current Game: Still playing Alice The Madness Returns

Peace and pancakes… mmm pancakes…

xJaime

Happy New Year

Happy New Year – It’s 2016…I’m 33 and a handful of change. I’m a teacher currently on summer break who has been trying, desperately, to catch up on the latest reads, the latest music and even the latest games…(that I can play on a PS3 – still saving for that upgrade to a PS4). I’m also battling the heat of summer of which, I am not a fan. Give me autumn any day. I just despise sitting/walking/existing in weather so hot and humid that I feel like I’m sweating from every available pore. (You’re welcome for that mental image, by the way.)

As I sit here, finishing off my second coffee of the morning and listening to 80s Hair Metal, I’m thinking back over the last year and what I have planned for this year. I’m not really a resolution person because I think that you can choose any point in your year, month, week or day to make a decision to change. However, there are some things that I am working on changing in my life:

  1. Improving my self confidence in tiny little steps. (#bodypositive right…)
  2. Read more.
  3. Relax more often.
  4. Simplify. (Yeah I’m not good with the simplifying part but I promise I’ll try.)
  5. Say yes a little more…not for everything but being a bit more open will help with numbers 1 and 3 on my list. Right?

Five simple little things.

I’m also doing my second year of A Drabble A Day over on my tumblr:

A Miscellany of Drabbles

Last year I was challenged to write a drabble a day – exactly 100 words, no more no less, and, aside from a little hiccup in July, I did just that and now I’m heading into year two. Each month I have a different theme and it’s been a lot of fun.

And finally a quick list of a couple of things that I am enjoying or finding useful this month.

Current obsession: Passion Planner – I ordered one last year and found it really good but didn’t use it to it’s fullest potential. This year I downloaded a copy and will order a new one for next year. It’s actually really nice and easy to use. And it taps into the creative side of me – which is always good.

Currently reading: Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. Based on the popular podcast of the same name I’m finding it an interesting, albeit, confusing read.

Current earworm: Hamilton The Musical soundtrack. I was trying to avoid falling in love with another musical but a friend made me listen and now I’m hooked.

Current game: Alice The Madness Returns – it was on sale on the PS store.

Peace and Pancakes and a very Happy New Year to you all.

SDCC 2015 A Brief Series of Highlights

I went to San Diego on my school break. Mainly for the purposes of Comic Con. Yes, that Comic Con – there were lots of lines, lots of coffee and lots of amazing sights to see.

Going on this trek is almost like a pilgrimage but it’s more like a chance for me to truly indulge in my geekiness and gather resources for teaching… (I had to mention that because that is one of my motivating factors – I’m a geeky teacher and I can’t be that if I don’t do the geeky things.)

Many of the resources I gather are not just for my department. I was given graphic novels for teaching Physics and many that relate to history and other such amazing departments.

Anyway – I had tickets for three days so didn’t get in for the Saturday but I wasn’t too worried about that because Nerdist and Geek and Sundry had taken over Petco Park with their Conival and I got to see Wil Wheaton, his son and the cast of his new game Titansgrave. 

Coolest Tote Bag Ever

The panel was interesting and more than a little inspiring. If you don’t know anything about it you need to check out the introduction to the game on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel. It’s amazingly creative and in depth. Plus, it’s Wil Wheaton…

That was one of just many ‘fangirl’ moments I had while I was over there. But as I mentioned before, it wasn’t just the panels that interested me. It was going around and looking at the creators, artists and writers that littered the floor and then there was all the cosplay – and the amount of effort that goes into creating such amazing costumes is just staggering. I have photos but I will wait for another time to pop those up. You just get the pleasure of seeing a few of me from the Friday. (Special thanks to the two amazing friends who showed me around the hotspots of San Diego’s eating establishments as well as just being all around awesome!)

The other highlights include:

Mockingjay Part 2 panel. All the cast was brilliant and hilarious.

Bill Murray singing “Smoke on the Water”

Getting the tote bag pictured. Check out their website

What do you think? Do I have what it takes to rule Westros?

Sitting on the “Iron Throne” … In fact the entire GoT experience was pretty worthwhile.

The many graphic novels that I bought. I will do a pull list as another post.

And, finally, the Supernaturalpanel. Especially with the Always Keep Fighting campaign and what the super fans did. It was an emotional panel with some timely reminders and many laughs. And the hamster…

I could keep talking about this but I wrap this up now and leave you with a few passing notes.

1. Definitely find something that you are passionate about and give it a go. (Obviously within reason…)

2. Look for the fun in all places.

3. Remember that it’s okay to like things with a nerdy, geeky passion.

Me at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Diego …

P.S. I will try and post that pull list in the next week or so.

Five Thoughts – A Quick Post

Thought One – Teaching is emotionally draining. When I started teaching I didn’t realise how emotionally exhausted I would feel after everyday. So many things occur in a classroom and the act of being a teacher it very tricky. Plus, today was a rough day so I need to reflect on it.

Thought Two – I am now living by myself. This is a good thing and I am enjoying the freedom of being in my own space and being my own person.

Thought Three – I really need to get my life sorted. I mean dividing my time more equally between teacher me and actual me. They are two distinct people I feel and one is getting more time than the other…

Thought Four – I really need to get a new vacuum cleaner as my old one isn’t cutting it. (This thought came to me as I glanced at my carpet…which has seen better days…)

Thought Five – I am going to San Diego Comic Con and I am really super excited about this and am trying to think of costumes. I was thinking Velma from Scooby Doo as I kinda have the glasses and the hair and the body shape. Also, yes this means that I have to fly a long way for a short amount of time. I really don’t mind…cause nerd reasons.

This is a quick post segment which might become regular. Due to various events at my school and in my own life over the last few weeks I haven’t found the time or, more honestly, the energy to blog. I am reminding myself that I am a work in progress. So Five Thoughts might become a regular thing. 

The One Where I Start

Blank pages are always inviting to me. They hold so much information and nothing at the same time. It is up to me to fill them with my thoughts, words, drawings and ideas. Now, if I were being clever this would be the point where I would link this to teaching – my metaphor or simile on students and their potential. But, that’s not the main point of this first post. This is an introductory post – the one where I give you tidbits about me to make me appear interesting, fascinating and other such things but I always struggle to think of adjectives to describe me.

So, this morning, when I decided that I needed to dive into blogging again, I asked my friends on Facebook to write down a word that they’d use to describe me. Quirky was one of the words along with passionate, caring, nerdy. These are words that I’ve used when I’ve done a descriptive activity in my classes but others were mentioned: empathetic, thoughtful, private, eccentric, funny. Actually, every word (yes, even lickable) brought much amusement to me throughout today. But it almost made me stop and think about the labels that we give ourselves. I leave this as a prompt for further thought and actually dive into the purpose of this blog.

I was inspired by my friend (read her thoughtful and inspiring blog here: Miss Hamilton’s Flipping Classroom) to get back behind the keyboard.

The generalised aim of this blog is threefold:

One: To talk about teaching. I’m a high school English teacher and I’d like to share my thoughts and ideas on what I do on a daily basis.

Two: To talk about my favourite things which include most things geeky or nerdy. (And how I bring this into my classroom.)

Three: To talk about writing. (That old English teacher stereotype – teaching while dreaming of being an author.)

This is a way to help me with my work/life balance and to get me back into writing more frequently. Although, I am doing a little bit of writing every day as another friend challenged me to write a drabble a day which are theme based each month. Plus, it is a way to reflect on my teaching, which is important, and to document my thoughts.

To round this off or round it up here are five things about me:

  1. I was born and raised in New Zealand but have lived in London.
  2. I have had over eighteen operations for various things.
  3. I collect dinosaur toys and quirky mugs.
  4. My favourite musical is a three way tie between Spring Awakening, Wicked and Les Miserables.
  5. I have a TARDIS in my living room courtesy of my father, who built it for me two Christmases ago.

Finally, I offer you, dear readers, a challenge:

What are three words you’d use to describe yourself? Share them below and any questions you might have.

Peace and pancakes.