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. 

End of Term Funk…

It’s been a busy term and the end is nigh…near. I feel more drained than I normally would at this point of the year so I thought I would put up a list of things that I do when I find myself feeling that funk that comes with teaching.

Here is one of my student’s response to writing an essay to get this list going. And to remind me that students are also feeling the stress of end of term.

This list is in no particular order…

One: Pinterest. I love pinterest and I have so many different boards for different ideas, places and so on. Two of my favourite boards are: Just Plain Cute and Humour Me. I have other boards as well, for education and inspiration and more. Just looking at cute pictures makes me smile and, sometimes, that’s all I need.

Two: Dance. There is nothing I love better than playing cheesy pop songs from the 80s and 90s (and even some from today). For a few minutes I am the world’s best dancer…then I accidentally trip or forget where I am and end up bruising or denting myself.

Three: Talking to someone. In my case I ring my mum (thanks mum) and she puts up with my stressed ramblings. And having friends at school that you can just unload to. The hardest thing for me is remembering that I can talk to people. I have to remind myself that I can’t do everything and talking through problems can actually help. (At this moment I hear certain people laughing at me…I give great advice but so seldom do I follow it…)

Four: Take time out for myself. This is one that I struggle with but sometimes the marking can wait an hour or even a night.

Five: Scheduling/To Do lists. I love to do lists and after getting a Passion Planner I have found it so helpful. It acts as a constant reminder of how much time I work each week and I use it to schedule time for me. Check out the link because I’m finding it really worthwhile.

Six: Playing video games. Yes I’m a 32 year old woman and I play video games. I am challenged by students all day who can’t believe that their English teacher could probably best them at Batman: Arkham City or Bioshock Infinite. It’s a great stress relief.

Seven: Writing. By doing something totally unrelated to school I find myself able to de-stress and refocus. Both key things. Even if it’s just writing 100 words a day.

Eight: Going for a run…or a juffle (part jog part shuffle). It’s a great way to go through your thoughts and organise them and it helps with the exercise aspect. If not a run definitely a walk.

Nine: Leaving work at work…this is a hard one…and I often struggle with this. I also feel that a lot of teachers, regardless of them being new or established teachers struggle with this.

Ten: Having a nap. Just because…

So, what do you do to help refocus? Leave a comment below.

The Small Pleasures – or an Incomplete List of Small Pleasures…

I still consider myself a new teacher even though I’m nearing the end of my fourth year. And, in ways, it has gotten easier but it is still a hard job. It can be unforgiving being a teacher – and it isn’t just the teaching part. I’m not going to complain about the amount of hours because we all know that. We know that teachers in all facets of school work really hard. I’m more focused on the small things that make everyday great – and yes, most of it revolves around teaching. I have used this prompt in class and it has worked well with students:

I’m sure I saw this on writingprompts but there is also the URL to the author’s blog down the bottom.

The junior students really loved it and we shared our ideas in class. My seniors, however, were confused. They didn’t understand what a small pleasure was and were reluctant to buy in. I ended up having to share my list – and I made them write nine of their own – because the number nine, to me, is an incomplete number.

So, here is my list:

  • the sound of gentle rain in the middle of the night
  • the smell of fresh cut grass
  • the first cup of coffee in the early morning
  • seeing the trees change in autumn
  • talking to my nieces
  • finishing a book in a day
  • a nice cup of tea
  • fresh strawberries in yoghurt
  • crawling into bed after changing the sheets

You may notice that there are no small pleasures from school but you must remember that this is an incomplete list of small pleasures. There are many things that I enjoy about being at school. The joy on students faces when they learn something new is a popular one but a new favourite of mine is the fact that students come to my classroom to say hi. Or lean in my windows and shout out my name. Or who sneak into my class and expect me not to notice that they are juniors in a senior class or vice versa.

So, the purpose of this post was to remind each of us to look at the small things that bring us joy. Especially when we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Sometimes, the small things remind us that the big things will come when they come but there are always small pleasures to help us through our days.

Leave your incomplete list of small pleasures below…if you want to.

Peace and pancakes.

Edit: I wrote this post on the 15th of March but had to back date it in order for it to post. Sigh. I will figure out this glitch, I promise.