Monday, February 23, 2009

Inspiration generation

When I look back on the 80's I remember so many inspirational influences. When I ask my students to reflect on their popular culture and interactions with the world outside our school, they can't come up with very many inspirational connections. Or maybe it's just that there are now too many, too accessible for them to really identify with one or two in particular. These past 2 weeks in class we have been looking at influential and inspirational music. I stumbled across this in my searches and it moved me. So I'm sharing it with you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We are the World

The students in 5E are investigating the lives of children around the world in our current Unit of Inquiry into Social Justice. Recently we learned about Bob Geldof, BandAid, and USAforAfrica. Specifically we have discussed Geldof's influence on making a change in the world by raising awareness for people who were suffering from starvation and malnutrition in Africa in the 1980s. We have learned how music can be a huge catalyst for inspiring people to want to make a change and help heal the world. Out of our enthusiasm and admiration for what those musicians did 25 years ago, we decided to honour them by re-making the video "We are the World".

Please check out this showcase on the CDNIS Learning & Teaching Technologies webpage

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stickin' with it

I have been faithful to my diet now for 5 straight days. I have only eaten fruits, vegetables, rice and rice noodles. I have been drinking herbal tea, and fresh fruit juices from the market. I have used loads of herbs and spices in my cooking to make things tasty. I have bought blueberries, persimmons, pomegranates, strawberries, and plums to keep it somewhat exciting (and sweet). I really crave sugar sometimes, and today my kids were eating and offering me chips and chocolate bars and candies. Oh my goodness..... I stayed strong though. I haven't caved. Snacking on prunes and raisins and dried apricots has helped with the sugar-crave.

Lots of people have asked if I feel any different, and honestly I don't. I have been letting myself get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I don't feel weak and I wake up feeling normal. I have been doing Yoga each night and that helps me feel good, but so far not any different.

So I think I'm ready to stop this diet experiment, but now I am not sure what to do next. How do I choose what to start eating again?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time to get healthy

I'm feeling sluggish, tired, heavy, lethargic, stiff, and just plain unhealthy. In early January I was quite sick with congestive and flu-like symptoms. My immune system was weak, and going back to work was hard on me. Now I feel completely over that, my respiratory system is feeling great but my digestive system is suffering. I get through the work day with a somewhat healthy lunch thanks to the cafeteria at work, but it is more or less the same every day. I have too many treats and candies in my classroom which I eat throughout the afternoon when I start to feel tired, then I come home and either snack on moderately unhealthy stuff until bedtime or go out to eat restaurant-sized portions of varying degrees of healthiness. What to do?

I kicked off this weekend with yoga on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Since the retreat in Thailand I have not practiced once! I must admit, it didn't great on Saturday, but today was better. I have some damaged tendons in my left ankle, and I am still wearing a tensor bandage, so I have to be careful and not push it too much.

Then I reflected on the Ayurvedic body styles I learned about in Thailand to help me plan a 1-week cleansing diet. I'm not in the mood to try and just 'eat better' or 'snack less', I need a serious regime to clean out my body as well as my mental state of craving comfort foods and compromising my better judgment in terms of food choices. I researched some common cleansing diets and applied the dos and don'ts to my Ayurvedic body type - which is Kapha - to come up with a general idea of what I will be eating over the next 7 (or more) days. Then I went out into the wet markets in my neighbourhood and stocked up! I bought broccoli, peppers, asparagus, artichoke, apples, blueberries, eggplant, carrots, spinach and a dozen bunches of fresh herbs. Then I stopped in the super market for a sac of mixed Thai rice (8 rice varieties), 2 liters of pure carrot juice, herbal tea, rice paper, raisins and dried apricots.

So here I go. I just cleaned out my fridge of all that could tempt me (there really wasn't much in there to begin with), cut up some carrot sticks, put some rice to soak, ate a bowl of blueberries, and I have no idea what to do next...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Getting back to normal

What a wonderful 2 months I have had. Spoiled to say the least :)
I planned on writing every day over the CNY holiday, but ended up being too busy having an amazing time to even consider wasting time on the computer. I love it when that happens. Unfortunately there is now way I can recount all the fun, so I'll just have to rely on Jodi's great memory (and journal) to protect the wonderful memories.

Showing Jodi around (and getting to know) my new home city of Hong Kong, and see the festivities and traditions of Chinese New Year was really neat. Highlights included: walking around the outer rim of the Macau Sky Tower, Hong Kong Ocean Park, Picnic + Fireworks over Victoria Harbour, Pizza Dinner Party at my flat, A traditional round table Chinese meal with Joanna, happy hours and dinners in SoHo, and exploring Kowloon.

The upcoming 60 days will be less exciting, as I count down to my Easter vacation when I will fly to Korea to celebrate Rohanna's first birthday with Bruce and Barb. I can't wait. Not too much should happen between now and then, so I will make all efforts to write, more often, about the daily adventures of my life as Master Explorer.