Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Since you put it that way...

I've thought about posting a new blog entry from time to time over the past...year...hehehehe...instigated by my fwend's recent post, here I am, actually sitting down to write, so, fwend, this entry is dedicated to you!
Summer of 2012 included a renewed commitment to fitness, a trip to SoCal, my first ECCE practicum, and several Vancouver area mini - adventures with Puppycat. My first year of ECCE courses, center-stage since my last post, went extraordinarily well.  A+ average.  This invokes skepticism, contemplation, analysis...what does it really mean???  The central question is, will my class performance translate to A+ ECCE practice?  My practicum went well, and according to my sponsor teacher's assessment I was "skillful" and often "exemplary."  I guess, even after a year away from an ECCE classroom setting during my permanent residency application process, 2/2010-3/2011, I hadn't lost my groove^_^

The beginning of my second year, September 10, swiftly approaches.  I'm enjoying my textbooks, Art for the Fun of it, and Worms, Shadows, and Whirlpools.  I might even complete a quick read-through of each before classes begin. I've heard that year two is less intense than year one in this program, so i should be able to allocate more time to things like fitness...

Puppycat and I have renewed memberships to a set of local aquatic centres that also offer exercise rooms with a variety of machines and equipment.  My workouts mostly include weights, and cardio on an elliptical and a rowing machine, although I prefer swimming.  The pools are too crowded in the summer, but I plan to swim regularly once school starts.  I also hope to do some rollerblading before it gets too cold.

SoCal, Nannying(still the best job I've ever had), and Vancouver adventure stories abound.  I will, perhaps, blog them soon, but until then, you may view them in pictures, or send me an email/facebook message to hear more! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Let me repeat that back, just to be sure...

"What would be your reaction if a child painted his whole arm and his face whilst exploring finger paint?"

well, commend him for his outside-the-box-thinking, of course!

...to which the program director replied,"you might respond differently if this happened in a group of ten...," while not completely disagreeing with me, and siting the sensory delight of such "exploration.";)

this was my actual answer to my favorite question during the college admission interview that almost didn't happen yesterday. if not for my very assertive decision to investigate, i might have been stuck with a grueling rescheduling battle, and quite possibly a crippling delay in my pursuit of employment security, aka License to Practice, in addition to possibly losing my "new immigrant credential updating/validating" funding(there's a time limit).

my admission interview adventure began at an information session, where i signed up for my interview time. after clearing the appointment with my employer, the program director called to request that i reschedule. my employer approved the new time, 2:45 on 6/23, yesterday. the next day, my employer, with a sense of urgency, graciously requested that i reschedule again, since she'd forgotten all about a commitment she'd made during that time, and had no available care for the girls. after several calls that day, and a few the next day, i was able to reschedule for 11am on 6/23, which i thought i had carefully confirmed...

at 11:05, sitting in a very quiet, empty corridor, surrounded by printed signs with arrows pointing to the dark, deserted room in front of me, reading "early childhood education interviews," i was fairly certain that something was up, even ay about 10:42, since receiving very clear instructions at the information session to arrive 15 minutes early to review questions that would be asked. it seemed very clear that i was in the right place, what with the extensive, explicit signage that began at the entrance to the college, but perhaps missed some rescheduling memo.

i set out with Waltson, who had so awesomely driven me, since i don't much care for downtown driving, to attempt to locate the program director's office. after a phone call and a directory search, we arrived, and i explained my situation to a very helpful receptionist, who dashed away to see if the director was available. to my delight and surprise, the director came out to the lobby where i waited. she checked her schedule, and had penned me for 11am on 6/21, instead of 6/23. despite the mix up, she offered to interview me alone, although the original plan was to interview in a group in front of a panel. she asked if i would mind this deviation. ha! the introvert in me cheered, since this scenario was exactly what i had sort of hoped for! :D provided, of course, that it wouldn't negatively impact my admission chances, which i was informed would not.

the director was absolutely lovely, and exemplified the ideal Early Childhood Educator. Although, looking back(as this never fails), i imagined several better answers to my interview questions(like, in addition to commending the boy, i might gently redirect him to use paper instead of his body, lest he give himself a new paint job every time), i am almost certain that i will be accepted. i should know by mid July...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Nearly a Year Later...

Time for another blog, which will probably be more of a warm-up than anything super entertaining, but hopefully still enjoyable:)

Its completely cloudy now, and I kind of regret not making more of an effort to spend time outside earlier today when the weather was sunny and relatively clear. The usual Pacific Northwest rain looks to dominate the weekend, but it will still be warm enough for outdoor adventures. Doing my best on the second day of my usual 4-day weekend to catch up on neglected chores, and waiting to see if my second attempt at Paneer will be more successful than the first, which is edible, but not firm enough to bbq or fry. I am determined to master that light, fluffy cheese, one of my favorite elements of Indian cuisine, which I have only been able to find frozen in tiny cubes at local stores (better than nothing, but not nearly restaurant-quality).

Formulating my next line to the swish-swish of our tiny, overstuffed washer(preparing wintry blankies for storage) and passing traffic below our mid-rise tower, my relatively new nanny position seems to be a good subject choice, since its one aspect of BC life that I haven't been able to capture in photos(and now I must close the balcony door, since someone's cigarette smoke is spoiling the cool breeze. they can have their toxic addictions, but don't impose them on me!*sigh*). Anyhow, I obtained the position as a nanny for two brilliant, adorable girls, aged 1 and nearly 4 at the beginning of March, and have loved it since! Their parents are wonderful, and both girls seem very content and happy. Its a part time position, and I usually work Mon, Wed, and Thurs from about 8:30-5, which is perfect, because I plan to go back to school to fulfill educational requirements for BC's License to Practice. Requirements for Early Childhood Education are more stringent in BC than in most of the states, even California, as far as I know, which is actually awesome, and definitely worth the extra effort. The kids deserve well-trained teachers. In addition, the pay is generally much better than what I remember being offered in the states.

As much as I enjoyed my year-long sabbatical, waiting for permanent residency, it feels great to be working again. I hadn't expected to find employment so quickly. As soon as I received all documentation necessary to work, and after thorough research, I discovered several resources for new immigrants, including a program that provides assistance to skilled workers(updating international credentials, workshops, job market info, etc.). My appointed counselor just happened to have a close childhood friend that was looking for a nanny, so she referred me, and I got the job! I will also be receiving tuition assistance:)

Dinner time! More updates in the near future:)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Celebration of Lights

I didn't think to check the weather before we left for the fourth and final night of Vancouver's Celebration of Lights fireworks display competition. The slightly cooler, breezy, mostly sunny day seemed to suggest a possibly overcast evening and a need for extra layers or blankies at most. We left our apartment at around 6:30pm to reserve a spot on the beach for the 10pm show, toting a backpack stuffed with a beach towel, light rain jackets, travel-size Chess and Connect Four, technological goodies, water, and an assortment of tasty snacks. Rain pants and an umbrella would have helped a lot. Well, maybe not the umbrella/lightning rod.

After a comfy sky train ride and walk along the water, we arrived at the beach to find a reasonable crowd, but plenty of great spots. I planted our towel a bit close to the water, and wary of my choice, Waltson pointed out the rising tide. I reluctantly heeded the warning, although fairly certain that he was right, and pulled the towel back a bit. The risk of tempting beach chair groups with too much viable open space in front of us distressed me, buuuuut, I didn't want to be forced to move, or watch the show while submerged in the bay. I amused myself by "solving" this problem through coercing Waltson into a game of "toss the wood chips" anytime I perceived an invasion threat.

As the lapping waves centimetered their way toward our towel, and the walls of a sand castle, I relaxed on our beach towel, gazing at the horizon as fuzzies pummeled Waltson. Apparently some kid decided to "help" some planties by boisterously whacking their seeds onto a magical journey across the beach and into my hair. I watched the fuzzies land on the beach, and noticed that the sand seemed alive as tiny grain clumps trickled down mini dunes. A closer look revealed some fascinating, and unsettling bugs: some hoppy, some squirmy, and some crawly. I'd had enough of the sand and turned my attention to the sky instead. And I saw a really dark mass of clouds. Hmmm. I checked the wind. Looked like it was carrying those ominous sprinklers in a favorable direction....out of the deep gray rumbled a HUGE THUNDER CRACK! "Ooooooh, Aaaaaawesome!" I thought, until it started rain.

We threw on our rain jackets, packed away our towel, secured the electronics in a plastic bag, and watched as some hunkered down with towels over their heads, and others retreated. We decided to sit on a now vacant log behind us and wait out the storm. The front of my pants got soaked, but I mostly enjoyed the storm, catching a glimpse of lightning and watching a giant swoosh of rain travel gradually further from us. The rain subsided, and the log's previous occupants returned. Although it was a pretty long log with plenty of room for their group and ours, we decided to return to the sand, but a bit further back than before. This time, I strategically positioned us behind a sand ridge, littered with shards of bark, about the length of our towel, still close enough to the water to deter other groups from blocking our view, and far away enough to stay dry(as long as the rain didn't return).

The sky grew lighter and I began to relax, and realize that I was pretty hungry. Waltson and I split a Coffee Crisp candy bar, then played some Connect Four. When I'd had enough of his pwnage, we switched to checkers, but didn't finish the game because I thought I'd felt rain. It was a bit after 9:00pm, and I thought it best to just chill until showtime. The beach was packed, more so than the other 3 nights, and I did not look forward to fighting the crowd back to the sky train station. However, I was thrilled to be on the beach with an unobstructed view of what turned out to be yet another night of breathtaking fireworks.

As the last sparkly smithereens faded and the crowd cheered, I jumped up, quickly and vigorously shaking the towel, hopefully leaving all tiny members of the sand community behind. We scanned the hoard for openings and darted between bodies, carefully avoiding towels, shoes, and beach debris in the dark. The scanning, dashing, and sometimes leaping continued as we reached the paved path, keeping one another in view, speed walking and running into open spaces when possible, soon leaving most of the swarm far behind. Our slightly scary, but exhilarating strategy soon brought us to the station, where we caught a train in less than a minute. For the first time in weeks, we had to stand, but at least we didn't have to wait. Some weirdo terrified me on the ride home by giving the train door a random beating, but we made it home, safe and sound. Except that my camera now displays this tiny pixel in every shot, and on the view screen, which is no big deal, as long as its not a symptom of something worse...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

my jadzia

i really thought that i had her best interest in mind when i took her for a dental cleaning and tooth extraction that i had been putting off for a couple of years now because of the expense. despite her nervousness and health problems, including high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and beginning kidney deterioration, three vets had strongly recommended cleaning, even though they all knew that she'd have to be anesthetized. her teeth were really bad. one tooth was infected and her gums were receding. dental problems, i thought, could exacerbate her other health issues, or introduce new ones, so i'd better go for the cleaning. everyone thought she'd come through, even me. now, she's lying in the bathtub, lined with towels, pads, and her little bed, struggling to move, barely lapping up fluids, pupils dialated- maybe she can't see. she can't stand on her own. she can barely stand on her back legs. sharp and heartbreaking contrast to the bright-eyed meowing face that would look up at me, full of love, trust, and a longing for tasty treats. i don't know if she will ever bring me little slips of paper to roll into balls to toss for a game of fetch, or curl up with me as i read, purring contentedly, or race around wildly right after i go to bed, or make her own bed in the crook of my leg as i sleep.

most painful now are thoughts that i entertained about life being simpler and more convenient without her. what i missed, why i took her for granted, is so clear to me now. sharing my life with that beautiful cat is more than worth the pet rent and the expense of her medications and special food, the unpleasant task of cleaning her litterbox, and dealing with vomit. i don't want to feel life without her healthy, vibrant presence. she was always there when i was far from home, when puppy had to be away. with her in my life, i would never be completely alone. i always had beautiful jadzia to share my home. i hope this is not the end for her. i love my kitty so much.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

gear in the works

headaches are a pain. pun intended, as always:)

for over a week now, i have kept my commitment to swim every day in an effort to get some good, healthy, fat burning exercise. easy to do, since there's an awesome aquatic center right across the street from my apartment tower:) i was especially looking forward to my swim today, because the pool would be pretty much empty, thanks to the olympics festivities. last weekend, i shared the huge pool with maybe one or two others on both saturday and sunday night. tonight i was robbed of my swim by a headache that began this afternoon at about 2pm.

it had been a pretty nice day until that point, though i did feel a little off since i woke up. kinda lethargic, even though i got plenty of sleep. i went to a new market with puppycat, and got a package of one of my favorite ramen soups on sale, along with a big bottle of one of my favorite hot sauces, "sriracha." after shopping, we headed home with plans to hurry to the mall(practically across the street as well) and eat at one of my favorite restaurants, Pearl Castle, before puppy had to leave for work. when we got to the restaurant, there was an unexpected wait, so we opted to try this little Korean BBQ place called Koryo. after a bit of a search(there was a huuuuuge crowd, no doubt the olympics festivities bunch, and all tables were occupied) we sat down to enjoy what turned out to be a very delicious plan B! I had some bbq chicken with gravy, rice, glass noodles, and garlic potatoes. everything was super tasty, but i think the noodles were my favorite. i'll definitely be going back, but will prolly get it "to go" for the duration of the olympics;)

so, here i am, still with a hint of a headache, listening to some live music down at the "o-zone," richmond's community center/running track turned olympics festivities site. i think i'll start some laundry, make some dinner, and maybe pop some more druggies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

as of today

loving the job, boyfriend, and apartment.

missing family and socal friends.

i have two tutoring jobs and the occasional babysitting job which fund indulgences such as japanese mini plastic meal toys. each toy is a blind purchase. i really, really want the tea set of the series "everyone's dinner," but i'm not sure if the pursuit is really worth the expense.

trying not to worry too much. a daunting task;)

also trying to avoid going from kumquat to mandarinquat, but i soooo love to eat, especially when deep frying is involved;)