Blog Archives

The last day of school…

It’s the last day of school before the holiday break, and so the whole school is having a pajama day.  Everyone looked super cute, and as we were waiting in the class for the bell to ring, the teachers and administration gathered in the hall to sing carols.  It was so much fun.  I’ll admit, quite openly, that while I am excited for the break I am sad to know we are losing one of our two fabulous teachers.  Miss Begg is an intern, and is finished her time with us.

Unlike many interns, who find themselves overwhelmed, and stumble through their internship Miss Begg came in already ready to teach.  She so clearly has found her place with these kids, and has been such a wonderful addition to their class.  We were already super excited to have Ms. Jackson – who is one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever known – but then to have added Miss Begg to the team?  It’s been absolutely fabulous, and I’ll be sad to see her go (as will the kids).  I’m also excited for her too, as I know wherever this journey takes her she is going to touch so many little lives.

Anyway…

Because tomorrow is Yule, we brought gifts for both Ms Jackson and Miss Begg today.  Normally it’s about a month before Yule and we start to plan.  We’ve made scrapbook pages, blown up pictures, given plants the girl propagated herself (wrote “thanks for helping me grow” on the planter)…  but only a few weeks into this year Lily-Ann told me she wanted me to make tutus for her teachers.  So that’s what I did.

The tutus I’ve made for Rhonda get borrowed and passed around between all the teachers.  They all just adore them.  And I’m thrilled to report that the two newest tutus were equally well received.  Lily-Ann and I both got big hugs, and I’m so glad to have made Ms. Jackson’s and Miss. Begg’s day.  The put them on immediately and began showing them off to the rest of the staff.  LOL  Lily-Ann was just tickled (as was I).

After putting on a Disney Christmas movie for the class to watch, the four of us headed into the hallway to snap a quick picture.  Everyone in their PJ’s (and tutus) next to the tree:

No-one in a kerchief, none in their cap,  but tutus and smiles, and my iPhoto app.

None in a kerchief,

none in their cap,

but tutus and smiles,

and my iPhoto app.

And because this is during the 30 Days of Disney…  Lily-Ann is wearing her velveteen Cinderella PJs.  😉

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A2Z – Heroes

Blogging our way from A to Z on issues of sexual and gender identity - Heroes!

Heroes.  They are something we should all have, and they come in many shapes and sizes.  Some may be the usual suspects, heralds of a cause, but others can be found unexpected places.  In truth, I believe everyone has the potential to be a hero.  And I can’t think of any better way to demonstrate this fact that to share a few of my local Saskatchewan heroes who also happen to be members of the acronym community.

Mikayla Schultz is the founder of TransSask (support services).  She is a tireless advocate and campaigner for equality.  Through tremendous efforts, she recently put government to the test and had many successes with the signing of a declaration formalizing March 25-31 as Transgender Awareness Week in communities across Saskatchewan.

Don Cochrane is a former University of Saskatchewan professor, who continues to educate everyone he meets.  His groundbreaking work into subjects of importance to the Sexual Minority and Gender Variant community continue to force change, improving the lives of everyone in Canada.  You can see his hand all over this province, and especially at the annual Breaking the Silence conference here in Saskatoon.

Sarah Houghtaling is a local high school student.  She strives diligently to make lives better not only for those who attend school with her, but for minority students across our province.  A student activist who’s name I highly recommend taking note of.  She’s one of the many young people who WILL change our world for the better.  If you are ever able to attend one of her talks, DO!  You will be inspired.

Kay Williams is one of the most outspoken allies you will ever meet.  A determined advocate for her son, and a helping voice in a confusing world for parents new to the world of parenting LGBTT2QI children and youth.  Kay is a proud volunteer, and one of the founding members of PFLAG in Saskatoon.  She also was awarded the Peter Corren Award for Outstanding Achievement this year at Breaking the Silence – and yes, I teared up during her acceptance speech (which I recorded, and will share at some point).

Four individuals, all unique, all at different stages of their journey, all willing to do whatever it takes to see things become better for those around them.  All four are heroes, and all four I’m proud to call friend.

Who are the heroes in your life?

Where is Christopher Now? (a video of Ivan Coyote)

Ivan Coyote was invited to attend Breaking the Silence this year as our keynote speaker.  Her down to earth stories and sense of humor speak directly to each person in her audience, making you forget the distance between the stage and yourself.  As if sitting down for coffee with a friend who just needed to talk.

In the clip I’ve shared below, Ivan tells a story about Christopher, a much loved family member…  about how her cousin inspired her to go into schools.  About how we all shit, it’s the great leveler, and how a poop story can get students and others to identify and invest in Christopher.  How it can get people to care.

Take a few minutes and watch Ivan tell her story.  It won’t take long, but in those few minutes, you may change for the better…  thanks to a little boy named Christopher.

I’ll be sharing more of Ivan and the Breaking the Silence conference in the next couple of days.  I have more videos, more pictures, and more stories.  All of which are so very worth sharing.  So I hope you’ll keep coming back to see more.  🙂

I was a failure!

I was a complete and utter failure in school when it came to math (or algebra or whatever you’d like to call it).  In standardized testing I ended up testing in the bottom five percent of our population.  I switch numbers in my head, so when it came to memorizing the multiplication tables I was hooped.  64’s became 46’s, and vise versa.  Later on I’d fail at any concept that I couldn’t visualize.  Provide  me with a way to rectify the equations in a tangible manner and I’d breeze through the chapter.  Otherwise, and generally, I was in way past my ability to stay afloat.  All through school I thought I must be an absolute idiot.  It was hard on my self esteem, and interfered with so much I’d hoped to do or become.  But today I know better.

As an adult, in every day life, I can often figure out number problems faster than my “high honor roll” husband.  He comes to his answers the way the teachers insist one should…  I come to them by means that baffle and confuse anyone who’s ever asked “how did you figure that out so quick?”

Even simple math problems get answered in a way vastly different than we are taught to find the answers.  Today, for example…  I needed to know how much it would be for three items that were $3.50 each.  Easy, right?  $10.50  But the interesting part is how I arrive at that figure.

Most people simply multiply 3.50 by 3…  Me?  Well, I know that three threes is nine, and .50 three times is 1.50…  together they make 10.50.  And be glad that’s an easy one.  LMAO  The way I arrive at correct numerical answers would astound most.

Anyway…  the whole point of this is simply to say that numbers tormented me as a child.  I was taught that I couldn’t do math, that I didn’t have the capacity.  The bottom five percent of society, incapable of even the most basic math skills.  But it wasn’t true.  I just fail at “textbook” math.

Should children be punished because they can’t arrive at an answer the way society insists they arrive at it?  I don’t think so.  There has to be a better way.  Do I have the answer?  Do I have a solution?  Unfortunately no.  But I do know that the way things are is not okay.  The status quo is simply not good enough.  If I am capable of surpassing honor roll math intellect in terms of speed and accuracy than surely there are others who were also failed by the education system – or who ARE being failed by it at this very moment.  Can’t something be done?

 

Children Need Animals!

I’ve been lax when it comes to posting lately.  It’s so much easier to just share a snapshot I took with my BlackBerry than to download the photos off my card, pick one, edit it, then upload it.  It takes me roughly three times longer to share a nice picture vs the snapshots.  LOL  I’ve had my good camera out quite a bit lately… but I haven’t actually shared anything I’ve taken.  Not because there hasn’t been anything worth sharing, there’s been a lot that I’ve been really happy with.  I’m just too exhausted at the end of the day to do a whole lot.  For that, I’m sorry.  Sometimes sleep is just more important than sharing.  LMAO

So today.

Children need animals.  I really do believe that a childhood without animals is like a broccoli salad without the broccoli… sure you can have everything else in there that you should have, but it’s just not right without the broccoli.  I know kids who have grown up without animals in their lives, and they turned out fine…  but why settle for fine when fantastic is within reach!

The benefits of growing up surrounded by animal family members have been documented again and again.  There are physical health benefits, psychological health benefits…  you can read the literature, there’s tons out there.  What it all boils down to though, is that sharing our lives with animal companions is simply good for us.  I can’t imagine a better way for a child to learn love, for a child to learn empathy and compassion, for a child to learn that sometimes our own desires need to be put on hold to help those who depend on us, than for a child to simply live these things every day.  And I know no better teacher than a dog.  Okay, yes… cats, birds, rats, turtles, etc. are great too.  LOL

Animals simply make our lives rich.  For those of us who are truly devoted to our animal families they also leave us cash poor, but they are so worth it.  And I cannot imagine having my daughter grow up any other way, than surrounded with the love and devotion of a family full of fur.

Puppy Love!

My Little Witchy-Poo!

Singing:  “One little, two little, three little witches…”

…and Optimus Prime.

 

Here’s Mrs. Tracy Painchaud (dressed as Belle) taking a photo of Mrs. Rhonda Carlston, Lily-Ann, and another girl in their class all dressed as witches.  And, of course, Optimus Prime is there – bogarting the limelight.  LOL

If you couldn’t tell, the wee girlie’s class had their Halloween party today.  And guess what?  Lily-Ann won a pumpkin.  😀  She can’t wait to carve it this weekend.  Love, love, love the celebration of Halloween and all the tremendous fun that goes along with it.

Here’s the wee girlie’s school costume from the back.  I love making tutus and have to show this one off.  It’s SUPER full and flouncy.  And I made up a matching bit to put on Lily-Ann’s hat (braided the tulle and sewed on a bow and some dingleballs).

 

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