Monday, December 18, 2006

a year ago

... i sat in our apartment in Windsor, staring at that startup screen for, wondering if I had any idea what the hell I was doing. Figuring that I'd fake it, I tossed out a lame first entry - more to get it out of the way than for any other reason. It was the week before Christmas and as a student teacher, I was in this midst of a dozen assignments, exams, and volunteering with an adorable grade 1/2 class at King Edward School.

I've come a long way since then... literally. 1600km and several months have brought me to my first professional teaching job in London, and given me several life lessons along the way.

For the last week or so, I've been looking at some of my archives, which led to this list...

Favourite Posts that I've Written this Year
* Editor's Note: please excuse the excessive use of Friends-like titles. I thought it would be fun - plus it makes the titles seem almost as interesting as the stuff their writers came up with...

The One with the Grocery Store
"I think the point of this rambling blog is that I learned something today. No matter where I live after Windsor, I will find some place that will be familar to me, and meet people who remind me of old friends."

The One about Being Thankful
Well this blog's getting super long - to sum up I'll just say that it was a perfect weekend with great weather and time spend with all of the people I love the most. Nothing better really.

The one from the Last Day of Teacher's College

Tomorrow is my last day of school. Again. I can't believe that 8 months has passed by - the busiest time of my life for sure, but also the most rewarding. I thought it might be fun to put up the reflection that I included in my professional portfolio about the year and what I have learned.

The one with the Tribute (thanks Green Day)

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road...

The One with All the Camping
Top 10 Reasons why Pelee Island is Better Than Disneyworld:

10. It doesn't cost hundreds of dollars to get
9. Ferries are way more fun than planes.
8. It doesn't matter if you smell like campfire or burnt hotdogs

7. A traffic jam on the island is made up of 3 cars and several birds crossing the street. (I'm still a little bitter about the 2 hour trip to Disney when we were in Florida the last time)

6. You can buy ice cream for less than $10

5. The people on the island actually feel bad when you spend $30 in their stores - apparently this is a "lot" of money and leads them to give you free stuff

4. No crowds of people everywhere (or lines)
3. You can still have fun there during a thunderstorm

2. free wine samples

1. you can stay there for free!!

The One with All the Top Tens
A long list of top tens things about my life...

The One with the Fish Blanket
It felt like we were little kids playing with a living room fort of couch cushions and blankets. You know it's innocent fun, but it still seems like you might get in trouble.

The One when I Graduated

Graduation means that we are free to congratulate ourselves for a job well done, for recieving a reward for several months or years of hard work, to get more letters behind our names and take a hard look into the future that will be affected by the piece of paper in our hand. Today means that I am officially a "real teacher" and will be looked upon as an educator for the rest of my life.

The One Before "The Move"

I've been trying to write this post for a week. Trying to think of a way to record this step that I'm taking in a way that I can look back at later and be proud of. Unfortunately the closer we've gotten to getting on this plane the more jumbled things have gotten.

The One After My First Day of Teaching

I avoided writing about my first day last night because it was BAD. Very bad. Like losing-my-mind and oh-my-GOD-these-kids-are-terrible-i-need-a-drink kinda of bad.

The One About the Morning

"mmm McDonald's egg McMuffins... hash browns... coffeeeee"
... my waking thoughts.

There were a few more that I really like as well, but these posts give a pretty good overview of the last year and I'll use this opportunity to encourage people who like these posts to read my archives if they want to read more.

It's hard to believe that I've only been blogging for a year. It seriously feels like a lot longer. This might be because of how much has happened in 2006...

* graduating from Teacher's College
* moving to one of the world's largest (and most fascinating) cities
* living alone for over a month in one of the world's largest (and most fascinating cities)
* getting a job as a professional teacher! (and achieving my goal of becoming what I wanted to be when I grow up)
* my adorable nephews each turned one year old
* my cousin got married, leaving me the last unmarried female cousin in the family
* camping trips in the summer
* saying goodbye to my car (that I still miss even though you couldn't pay me enough money to drive in London)
* running out of money (about 10 times so far)
* dozens of road trips around Ontario to visit friends and family
* losing a person I thought was a very dear friend
* making new friends (some from foreign countries)
* 223 blog posts (so far)
* lots of tears and laughter, goodbyes and nice-to-meet-yous, and about a thousand hours spent on the phone

It's been a hard year for me in a lot of ways. I've been forced to realize that I'm not financially independent yet - a goal I'd set for myself a long time ago. The reality is that I'm still very much broke and it will take several years to sort out my finances. This is hard to admit, but I know that with the support of my friends and family, and a little bit of luck, that things will work out.

So that's it. The end of my Blog-birthday post. I can't forget to add that one of the greateest things about my first year as a Blogger (and Person of the Year - heehee) is that it has allowed me to "meet" people I would never have known if I wasn't doing this (check the links - they're all brilliant). That alone has made this worthwhile...

Thanks to those of you who've come along for the ride.

I'll be celebrating the start of my second year of blogging by not posting for a few days - Jeremy will be home on Wednesday afternoon so the next few days will be a flurry of getting ready for his homecoming as well as the last two school days before Christmas. My first Christmas party as a teacher and a long-awaited reunion should definitely make for a fantastic few days.

be back soon, I promise


  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Suldog said…

    Congratulations on your year - and on Jeremy being back in your city!

    Liked the lists a lot.

    Of the "10 things I want to do while living in London", how many have you done already?

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger Beechball * said…

    Happy Birthday Mel, it's been a fantastic year and it's been great reading all your great posts! I'm super happy to hear that Jeremy will be home with you again in a matter of hours and that you're Christmas is looking brighter by the second! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year - can't wait to hear all about it :)

  • At 8:15 AM, Blogger Laura Coubrough said…

    Yay! Jeremy is back! I'm so happy for you mel.
    The top tens post was my favorite but I'm sure the best are yet to come.
    Merry Christmas to both of you!


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