Thanks to Wendy, Rebecca and Darren for hosting yet another amazing feast to celebrate our long-time friendship and the Christmas break. This culinary experience is a bit of a tradition and not like any ‘eat in’ dining experience that I’ve enjoyed elsewhere.
2011 saw us enjoying a Japanese Hot Pot and all of the other dishes that precede it…
Japanese Hot Pot…amazing!
Beautiful friends….awesome chefs!
Prime Rib and a most amazing tea service. (I am only selecting a photo or two to represent the epic treat!)
Yet another feast! Can my readers believe the presentation?
Here we are some time years ago, likely after being spoiled!
And…this year…let’s face it, we’re Besties! YEAH!
Darren began by serving us roasted potato soup…and yes…absolutely yummy! The most creamy delicious soup! Unbelievable! On the menu…
“Potato soup with micro frites and green onion. Pork rib roast studded with garlic and rubbed with rosemary, pepper flakes and salt cooked over charcoal. The pork was served over steamed asparagus on a roasted pepper reduction. With the pork, were two potato croquettes topped with sour cream and homemade grainy mustard. For dessert, there were profiteroles with some melted sugar.
The extra sauces I made were: Parsley and garlic in olive oil and salt. Home made grainy dijon mustard. Raspberry puree with balsamic vinegar. Chimichurri. Pico de gallo.
I think that’s it. Was going to make fresh bread sticks but I forgot. Next time!”
The nourishment that our friends share with us is very symbolic of how we nourish one another through the laughter, the tears, the celebrations and the struggles. To be fed by others is an act of sacrifice and of giving. I want to thank my friends for the treasure of their giving hearts. I appreciate the empathy and the support that you have offered me. I also appreciate the good food and the good drink that brings us to a circle. Grateful…always!
And…because it’s the first anniversary of his passing and I really like this song…this.
I haven’t written many blog posts lately! I’m very busy teaching a four month grade three contract these days. I began the last week of February. I really enjoy my students, but we are super busy! Each student, taking on an altar ego and the mantle of a super hero means that school is a very busy place. When not a super hero, then there are always the roles of mathematician, engineer and wildlife biologist to fulfill! It’s a busy life we live.
As a result of all of the ‘busy’, my body flops onto the red sofa shortly after dinner and sometimes I even nod off. I just can’t even believe what heroes teachers are to take on such a huge part in children’s lives. Since retirement, I think I’ve become one of the most outspoken advocates of teachers I know. It’s one thing to support teachers in theory; it’s another to know and understand what they are living each and every day.
In the morning we have quiet focus time on the mat…I log onto Duke Farm’s Live Eagle Cam, much as I did during my grade one contract a couple of years ago. I made up a booklet that was grade specific, using the content provided for a higher level study. Duke Farms provides a wealth of information. This year we have two eggs on the nest and the weather has been brutal in the east. We have some sad moments as we observe female or male sitting until their own bodies are absolutely covered by snow. I think I captured a screen shot one day…yes…here’s the nest on March 1 and that snow crept up a few times so that only the adult’s beak was exposed. The children seem to be enjoying observing life on the nest and I am holding out hope that the eggs will successfully hatch over the coming week. Here are the blog posts directly from Duke Farms.
I have a few photos of my little nest, but it hardly captures the intensity of the space when the children enter and begin swirling through their day. There is never a pause. There is so much to learn.
In the morning, each morning, for just about ten minutes, I read aloud from the BFG by Roald Dahl. When I asked my adult daughter what she remembered about grade three, she told me that she remembered Roald Dahl and all of the wonderful books that he wrote. And so, just for wind down time, the children and I are sharing those words.
The BFG makes us laugh…and he shares some very intelligent, however nonsensical, words.
Books for inventions and schematics of every kind…this week…a dream making machine. INVENTORS!
Each pod of desks is a city in India (Mumbai and New Delhi) or the Ukraine (Kiev and Odessa) or Peru (Lima) or Tunisia (Tunis). The students are just getting their pavilions researched and constructed. This makes it very easy for calling up a rep from each city to pick up things or deliver things to their group. They share responsibilities and connect it to their place in the world. Sorry for the out-of-focus photo…will try to get a better archive. Most of the art has been collaborative to this point. This Klimt tree will be evolving over the seasons. A place to publish descriptive words and elaborative detail.
Students collect bling for all sorts of everything and post them on their plain-jane brown paper wrap Super Three frames. By end of year, these will be the most highly decorated frames in existence. The students are wildly motivated.
My brother and father both sent explanations of their military medals and ribbons so that I could share with the students what an honour it is to be decorated. I showed these to my students and explained what a sense of pride is felt with such achievements. They were very excited about the possibility, as Super Threes, of receiving such as these. While having gold star days are an every day occurrence, receiving a ribbon is more special and rare. I’ve got a huge stash of them and jot down the reason for each ribbon presentation on my note cards. The children have to then share with me what they are going to do to earn the next. Again, every child receives recognition and praise.
Our class medals and ribbons.Our gathering place.
We keep many different publications going…books of THREE (a place to look at why Three is such a powerful number), WHEN-THEN books When__________ (teacher provides an action) Then___________(what action results, giving students opportunities to explore how choices and results connect) and Save the Day booklets (students explore how they want to use their super powers for good).
The students are engineers. After the students tested for stability in a large, medium and short cylinder, they had opportunity to explore how to increase stability. Whoosh! They are some sort of inventors. At the end of the frenzy, they decided that the base of a structure should be wider and heavier and include some sort of connecting material in order to be more stable. :0)
Thanks to all of you peeps who have supported me and shared your wisdom. You know who you are! And, no, you won’t be seeing many updates! Now, “Come, MAX! Let’s go!”
Lent began yesterday with Ash Wednesday and our classes are collecting work socks for the Mustard Seed. I love the photographs, so make certain that you visit the SOCKS photo album. Like any good installation sculpture, we’ll see if we can, in the end, make a huge visual impact by providing many pairs of socks….what? perhaps 2000 pair?
I’ve been teaching every student I meet how to fold socks and we are sharing the work together….along with a calming radio station, this experience transforms the art room into a huge EXPERIENCE! I have always loved Bruce Cockburn’s music…saw him for the first time in the Yates Theater in Lethbridge, Alberta. Now that I am able to embed music videos and things, I am going to pepper my blogs with his tunes so that you can listen to something while you read. The first one…a powerful tune called Soul of a Man. Enjoy!