We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sharpening the Saw

I taught my new catechist classes yesterday, returning for the first time after becoming pregnant. My plans for being nice and early were snafu'd as uusual... I was up, dressed, Wombat and I had breakfasted, Yeti was even up and had taken over Wombat duty, but in worrying that I had left everything he might possibly need in places where he could find it, and coming back for one last Wombat hug, I managed to leave home 10 minutes late. I then got caught behind the world's slowest ute on the drive down - 60kms in an 80km zone, on a twisty road with no overtaking. Despite that, when I got to the school, I was only five minutes late... that was, until I spent the next 10 minutes chasing around what is a very tiny school, looking for the class I was supposed to teach - year 3. By the time I actually got them seated and introduced myself, half the lesson-time was over. This was not a good start, and they consequently behaved in an absolutely obnoxious manner. I seemed to spend more time asking for silence and making threats than conveying any kind of salutory message. This class of 10 - 4 boys and 6 girls, were harder to control than the classes of 30 I used to have! On sober reflection afterwards, however, I realised that there were really only two trouble makers - twin boys. Another boy copped most of my ire, but when I think about it, he was trying pretty hard, just easily distracted. He is also a slow reader, and used to being in trouble with teachers. If I can somehow keep the twins interested and working, he won't be a problem. Just as I was beginning to feel like a teaching failure and wonder why I had returned, the lesson ended and year 4 arrived. This class also has 4 boys and 6 girls, but WHAT a difference! They were intelligent, willing to work, happy to colour-in quietly and listen while I talked, asked relevant questions and were eager to answer my questions. The best class I have ever had! I shall have to make a greater effort next week not to be late for the first class. There were one or two moments when I got through to them. I am hoping to build a better relationship from there.

Wombat greatly enjoyed his one-on-one time with his Daddy... apparently he was a bit upset to see me go, but squared his shoulders and very bravely didn't cry. He then spent a happy hour exploring the world, including attempting to pour a pot full of soil down his throat. That's my boy! I was very relieved to get home and find such big smiles waiting for me. He was completely exhausted, though... which means longer nap times, and he almost slept through the night despite the nasty teething! He's even napping well today and asked to go to bed early (I took him for a bushwalk on his own two little feet, which wore him out satisfactorily.)

My chances of getting to a library lately have been zero, and other than blogs, environmental articles, law books, and baby books, I have not been reading anything for myself. Catechist teaching is my spiritual part of what lifecoaches call the "sharpen the saw" role (I'll make this a link when I find the url.) I have chosen reading for the mental part.

Wombat likes to participate in anything I'm doing while he's awake, which could also be very detrimental to library books. (The copy of The Baby Whisperer by sister lent me is looking a little bent and chewed around the edges... and I haven't managed to finish it yet - sorry Steff... it's not that bad, but I feel like I should buy you a new copy, since I can't return it in the same condition as I borrowed it...) To cut this long story short (since Wombat is 11 months old today and I MUST write an update for him) I went browsing at Project Gutenberg (this always makes me feel like a child let loose in a candy store ;P) I downloaded a few interesting books, but leaving the more adult selections aside, I decided to follow my heart and start with the kind of kid's book I have always loved: E Nesbitt's The Magic City. I will keep a list of my reading at the side, and write a little review when I've finished, but suffice to say I am enjoying it immensely, despite having to limit myself to half-an-hour a day instead of devouring it in one voracious sitting. It's in that restrained English turn-of-the-century tradition, but has enough imaginative details to carry the moral without making it tedious. I'm looking forward to reading it to Wombat in a few years. Here's just a little taste:

You know when people are making the animals for Noah's arks they make the big ones first, elephants and lions and tigers and so on, and paint them as nearly as they can the right colours. Then they get weary of copying nature and begin to paint the animals pink and green and chocolate colour, which in nature is not the case. These are the chockmunks, and vertoblancs and the pinkuggers. And presently the makers get sick of the whole business and make the animals any sort of shape and paint them all one grey—these are the graibeestes. And at the very end a guilty feeling of having been slackers comes over the makers of the Noah's arks, and they paint blue spots on the last and littlest of the graibeestes to ease their consciences. This is the blugraiwee.

The update will have to wait for the next nap - the happy growls of a just-woken-up Wombat talking to his teddybears are just starting to become "where's my mummy?" whinges...

1 comment:

Steff said...

Actually you will prob notice that it is hard to be calm an ontop of a situation if you dont feel calm and in control yourself (wheter it is teaching year threes, adu
lts or coping with toddler tantrums)
(AsT no problem with "well r tually ag\re
e10000M 100% )kaelyns contribution

I have no problem with "well read" at least you read my suggested material even if you didnt agree with it 100%