that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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personal profile

Excuse me while I digress – I’ve had a long and difficult day. Some would attribute it to the fact that I messed up the cinnamon buns I was making (apparently I killed the yeast – who knew?) while others might think it’s because of my constant efforts to become Makenna or Elias’ favourite second cousin (or whatever I am) only to be batted and pushed away, literally, in the face. I am struggling.

But the truth is about this dang personal profile letter I have to write to my pending mentor teacher at the school I am going to be student teaching at. I have such a hard time selling myself and since it is supposed to be about confident and brave and smart and intelligent and admirable Kate, it’s very difficult to write when I screwed up a recipe, had hurt feelings by the people in my life that are less than two feet tall, and misused not one but three words over the course of the weekend which are probably making the other members in those three said conversations question themselves on whether or not I should even be teaching English.

WHERE IN THE WORLD DO I FIND CONFIDENCE IN THAT?

Ergo, you all need to contribute to my statement. Consider this your opportunity to compliment me profusely in the comment section of this post. Kind of like those blog contests you see on the Pioneer Woman or something where the best answer to the contest question receives a prize. Only in this case there is no prize per say, just your own confidence in knowing you played some role in advancing that masterpiece that will eventually be labelled “Kate’s Career”… so if you’d be so obliged:

Why do you think I would make a good teacher? Why do you think the teaching profession is the one for me?

And OBVIOUSLY if you disagree with my career choice and me in it, feel free to comment on that as well… heck, it’ll make everything a lot more interesting. Nothing is going to make me feel any worse today. (Trav, if you feel the need to contribute to this, please remember that sarcasm is dead in written form so please be careful with my oh-so-fragile self esteem).

5-4-3-2-1… comment!

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more on that

Main Entry: authentic
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: real, genuine

Synonyms:

accurate, actual, authoritative, bona fide, certain, convincing, credible, creditable, dependable, factual, faithful, for real, legit, legitimate, official, original, pure, reliable, sure, true, trustworthy, trusty, twenty-four carat, valid, veritable
Notes: genuine means not fake or counterfeit – or sincerely felt or expressed, while authentic means conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief and trust

Who wouldn’t want to be that? I’m trying.


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a mess of things

It’s the end of week two and I am ready to take onĀ  the world. I think I’ve peaked and learned everything I need to be a successful teacher.

Can you imagine it would be that way? Between raging disbelief that I am on the cusp of my dream-come-true and the intensity of the teaching program itself, already, it’s felt like a semester…not a few weeks…have passed already. It’s all very theoretical and practical and intelligent but what I forgot to add to the equation were two resounding things:

1. Other classmates. For the very first time ever I’m actually in a group/cohort of people that are doing the exact same thing I am. A little hard to fathom. And at other times, difficult to handle as I am learning, albeit very slowly, that other people’s opinions are exactly that — they don’t have to be mine.

2. Fear. All of a sudden I am trembling at the responsibility I am learning for. Can you believe in 15.5 months I will be teaching? I can’t. I am afraid. Excited, but afraid. Wow.

So that’s school. I’ve met a couple really spectacular people that I am oh-so-excited about. You really do need like minded people to meld with, especially for group projects. Can you imagine teaching the joys of steak eating with a vegetarian for a partner? Exactly. So I am humbly blessed by the magnetic force that attracted us to one another. It’s great.

On the home front, my little apartment is quite the place. I am fully unpacked and organized which is fantastic but it’ll still take a bit to feel like home. In other words, it’s a bit of an adjustment being solely on my own. I have to pay for everything myself, clean entirely by myself, and then come home to no one. It’s very nice and I enjoy my own space but after spending the summer at home and the year before with some of my favourite people in the world, it just all feels so very quiet right now. I am hoping I will get used to it. Nicest part so far? Walking to school, snuggling into my comfy couches with a book, and having people over where they just feel totally at home. I like being a host — I think I get that from my mom! — so it is pretty fun to have people over and let them just relax. So feel free, I can guarantee quality conversation and cinnamon buns.

I got my practicum placement yesterday and I am pretty excited about it! It’s close to home so when I return for Thanksgiving, I will stay for two weeks to do an observation and meet my mentor teacher before the real deal comes in the spring. I will spare the details for this highly publicized domain but I am very excited about it. I had hoped to go out to Camrose but for whatever reason, the high school there was not taking student teachers. Maybe it’s the conditioner I use? Either way, the practicum advisor’s exact words were: “Sorry Kate, Camrose doesn’t want you” — maybe there is a lesson in that.

Up and coming? Trip to the mainland for a grand tour of Dad’s masterpiece renovation in Vancouver that has been completed and running further than the 5 ish k I am up to now.

And on top of all that, it’s so nice to be back. I miss home, for family and friends, but I am pretty excited about the possibility of everything here. I had a conversation yesterday with Luke where we were questioning each other’s motives and “styles” of living life (sort of what we’d want our legacy to be). With all that I am learning in school and doubly in my personal life I think I want my way of life to simply be this:

Authentic.

I want to know who I am and be okay being that. I am pretty sure that I am on the fast track to getting there. So stay tuned for more… and a lot less “update” styley (word?) posting. I just wanted to get in touch.

Cheers from one of the most beautiful places in the world!


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pad

Here is my very first place on my very own. It’s small, cozy, and perfectly close to UVic and running trails. Speaking of, I went for a run this morning only to come back to find I locked myself out. Since Luke is the only known human to have a key to my place and my landlords are out of town, I ended up shimmying through my bedroom window — it was not cute. On top of being sweaty and gross, I cut up my hands on the window sill. Oh well, never a dull moment. That either teaches me to leave the door unlocked or not to run. I will let you decide the best lesson there. Anyways, welcome to _______ Crescent, home of me and an unending craving for coffee and the company of you:


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habited again

I am in Victoria, borderline all moved into my very own place, and welcome to company, visitors, and people who want to clean for me. This is an open and standing invitation providing that when you arrive you are not awkward — I hate awkward. Or judgmental, because the place is small and I have tried to maneuver my belongings as effectively as possible. It’s cozy. Anyways, I forgot toothpaste so I need to pick some up this morning but after I’ve done that it’s FAIR GAME so come over.

PS Think of me tomorrow — I have my orientation for the teaching program!I hate orientations…because I hate awkward…but this should be good!

Cheers!


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what will your legacy be?

Excuse me while I consider something. Last week-end/week I was up in Smithers for my Uncle Dave’s memorial. I didn’t know what to expect going up there, I am not exactly well versed in this type of pain or grief, most particularly in this family of mine. I was most shocked by how cool his memorial service was. (I am having a hard time finding the proper word for it — I would also say it was neat, humbling, surprising, hard, and anointed) Here’s why: I don’t think there is anything more honouring of someone’s life than watching or knowing what they’ve left behind. To say I learned many things about my Uncle Dave at his memorial would be an understatement to the highest degree — it’s a very real and powerful thing to be reminded of the very best parts about someone. It fascinates me that he lived for an entire lifetime before any of us kids came along. I found myself not wanting the speakers to stop talking about this dear man — there are so many things I don’t know. Neat because I now know this man was much more than an uncle and friend; humbling because the words spoken about him made me want to be that or have that in some parts of my own life; surprising because it wasn’t until we were gathered together that a sea of my own memories, memories that I had been desperate to hold in my hand but somehow were hard to grasp that week, came flooding over me as others shared about Dave; hard because as joy filled as I am knowing exactly where he is, it’s still okay to be sad that my life — our lives — are somehow a little less full now that he’s gone; and anointed because Jesus was truly in that place as evident in the faces of my cousins and aunt whose loss seems so unfair but whose hearts are carried by that faith that God knows exactly what he’s doing.

What will your legacy be? Will it be as staggering as my Uncle Dave’s, where even amidst broken hearts, there is abundant joy in that he touched our lives — making us laugh, teasing us with no remorse, caring about what we had to say, supportive with no reservation, and living with a faith that is to be admired. In my own life, I struggled with trusting Dave simply because every time I got back onto the snowmobile or quad while every instinct of my being was screaming DON’T DO IT, he’d find a way to go so fast, lose control, and dump me in the snow. Yet, he came to or umpired or kept the batting line up for as many balls games I had at Heritage Park as he could. I remember the day I told him I was going to pitch for the very first time (supportive with no reservation), he was so excited — I think he thought I was going to be the next ‘big thing’ in female fastball simply because they actually put me on the mound. I pitched the first inning, and every single batter hit of my first or second pitch. They got five runs in and I thought it wasn’t bad, at least they were crossing the plate. When I came off the field, Uncle Dave checked to see where I was in the batting order. He told me to follow him and I thought (supportive with no reservation) he was going to tell me I was a rockstar. Instead he said “Oh KATE, those pitches are embarrassing! What are you doing out there?” Considering I was 13, and had no formal pitching lessons, I thought I was doing pretty good! He then explained he wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings but that he felt bad that he didn’t show me his tricks before I went out on the field. Uncle Dave grabbed a ball and his glove and showed me for the next 15 minutes, and every other time I was sitting, how to pitch… drop balls, curveballs, whatever else he could come up with. And I proceeded to throw more strikes the rest of that game than I ever had in my shortlived pitching career, with Dave, my biggest (albeit, only) fan in the stands grinning the way we all remember it.

I think that’s what I loved most about him and what his legacy is for me — an unwavering commitment to the people in his life that made someone like me feel accepted, valued, and loved simply by his dedication to helping me or teasing me or being a friend however he could. Uncle Dave made me feel safe and the tragedy of death makes it hard to not beat myself up for not remembering that until now.

In the movie Shall We Dance, Susan Sarandon says this as she’s trying to qualify her understanding of marriage:

“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”

Isolating everything from the part about marriage, those words are so powerful here. It’s so difficult, but last week made me want to be such a witness — so that those I am surrounded by don’t go unnoticed, that people are celebrated in this life for exactly who they are what what they bring to it. To not sometimes, but constantly be reminded of the best parts about them so that when they are gone, and our own lives are a little less complete, a little less full, their legacy is exactly where and what it should be — carried on through people who absolutely adored, admired, and loved every part about them. As already so-very-evident of my Uncle Dave. miss you.