QOTD

Aug. 2nd, 2011 12:38 pm
labelleizzy: (just write)
"Create for yourself a new indomitable perception of faithfulness. What is usually called faithfulness passes so quickly. Let this be your faithfulness:

You will experience moments, fleeting moments, with the other person. The human being will appear to you then as if filled, irradiated, with the archetype of his/her spirit.

And then there may be, indeed will be, other moments, long periods of time when human beings are darkened. At such times, you will learn to say to yourself, "The spirit makes me strong. I remember the archetype. I saw it once. No illusion, no deception shall rob me of it."

Always struggle for the image that you saw. This struggle is faithfulness. Striving thus for faithfulness you shall be close to one another as if endowed with the protective powers of angels."

-Rudolf Steiner
labelleizzy: (treeDance)
I think I've figured out a great big part of my problem as I work thru the phases of the Waldorf teacher training.

I've had this problem my WHOLE LIFE, and it manifests out in a variety of different ways.
I want to belong SO BAD that I ... push. I push outward, striving to find and create intimacy on an artificial timeline. I want to put down roots. I want to be HOME.

My discomfort of the last two days is related to feeling like "this could be home" or judging "this SHOULD be home" and then my roots start pushing outward, looking for the rich soil of connection and community.

Problem: I DON'T belong. I might belong someday, but I don't belong THERE, now. And I have to accept that, and work around it.

So I'm imagining myself, my life, as a potted plant, some kind of lively tree in a pot that is simply too small.

Naturally I'm going to try to poke my roots out, it's what trees DO. But I don't HAVE to take primary sustenance from what's outside my pot (my personal life), my pot has nutrients enough. And I can imagine my pot being carried to this place, carried to that place, doing the work that this tree needs to do =), and sampling the earth wherever I go.

I am enough, and I have enough. I am not starving anymore, I can rein in that behavior.

I can bring what I am able to bring to the school and the students, and go home and get fed with family, kittehs, and friends. And I can bring what I am able to bring to the Waldorf teacher training, and get fed there somewhat, help feed others somewhat, work my ass off, and come home to rest and recharge.

I am enough, and I have enough.

As far as the rest goes, I'll keep on keeping on, let myself recognize what I'm feeling, and keep learning from it.
labelleizzy: (take the action)
+ I got a job interview...
+ ...at a Waldorf school
+ and liked Njeri and the co-teacher who will take the second grade in the fall, very much indeed
+ and they were favorably impressed with me (liked my art! eee!)
+ and wanted to find a way to make this job work for me, including suggesting that we could try to have teaching experience at that school count as my third year practicum.
+ they want me to tell them if I am willing to teach a demo lesson. To the first grade, before school starts, even. Um. With the parents in the room observing, also. Double um. Amazing to get that offer, seriously, even if the idea intimidates me a little, really amazing to have that offered to me. It's making me think deeply about what I want to teach to the first grade, how, with what methods and techniques

However, to follow the example of a wise friend of mine, I think I want to make different mistakes in my life, so I should hopefully have the opportunity to learn something new...

I have already taken teaching jobs against my better judgment, where I didn't feel I was properly qualified for the subject and well-grounded in my teaching practice (or my personal life, for that matter!)...

Teaching drama was one hell of an adventure, I learned a lot, but I don't EVER want to teach-by-the-seat-of-my-pants again. I want to really know what I'm doing and why, well enough to explain it to anyone with questions about what I'm doing, and why. I am nowhere near that when it comes to First Grade curriculum *or* classroom management at that age.

It will be a different mistake, saying no, but I feel it is the honorable choice both for my growth and development as a professional, and for the children who will be in that classroom.

Instead I am choosing to boost signal about this job opening for others who might be drawn to the opportunity, and hope Njeri finds the proper teacher for her incoming first grade. Have sent email to Lisa Anderson at my teacher training program, and have linked to Njeri's website on Twitter, where I have several Waldorf schools I follow and who follow me.

Perhaps I can be the bridge between a need and filling that need. The idea is very satisfying, though I may never find out if I *did* help. I'm okay with that.


*** now, back to finish my homework!

argh.

Mar. 25th, 2010 08:58 pm
labelleizzy: (cats)
My cats keep taking turns coming and sitting upon or lying upon the poster I am trying to create.

I turn away to check my notes, fact check, or add to my spreadsheet, and a new furry body has interposed itself. First it was Tribble (now she's here investigating my blog post) SEVERAL times, and at the moment the ginormous personage of Otter is completely eclipsing my working copy. (the joke about the cat who sits around the house, REALLY sits AROUND the house? not completely wrong with Otter.)

So. A brief break before the eviction notice is served. I hope this time of me-vacating the space will negate the interest the space has for him just now; have YOU ever tried to dissuade even an amiable 22 pound cat from sitting on a flat surface that you value and are trying, carefully, to apply art and calligraphy to?

Yeah, me neither.

Wish me luck.

=-/

Today.

Mar. 25th, 2010 07:24 pm
labelleizzy: (quiet before the work)
my teaching day was good, then okay, then ARGH with unnecessary student craziness and outright cruelty.

*headdesk* I had to write a note to the vice principal as well as to the teacher.

Then I got home, and [livejournal.com profile] eeyore42 was there! I didn't have to manage my frustration alone! It made me feel so much better to talk about it, and to eat some food. Then I phoned [livejournal.com profile] chinders about delivering compost-food to her house, then I got to go visit her and check on the progress of her garden (yay), dog training (yay) and behbeh chickens! I got to hold baby chickens! (almost adolescent chickens!) One perched on me for awhile, it was awesome.

Came home a little while later, started layout work on my poster for class this weekend. It's challenging - I'm doing art that requires a certain amount of precision, and well. Precision has rarely been my strong suit, but it is coming along.

I think that this is going to be great. AND I can put off one of the assignments I thought I had to do, till next weekend: read three more Steiner lectures and make a poster for THOSE. well.

Back to it then!
labelleizzy: (crow in flight)
Two quick notes from this week.

Children don't love their teachers weaknesses or deficiencies. They see enough clay feet as it is.
Let them love your STRENGTH instead. Make sure that is what you bring to them, your best, your strong places.

The TEACHER can be, should be the textbook. (maybe this was obvious. but in Waldorf this is the norm, as it is not for public schools.) Not in best case scenario, SHOULD be the textbook. I brought a half-assed story to the kids today; Santa Cruz kids know more about whales than I do on my best day, and I should have realized this. What I did succeed in, was bringing the Imagination of what it would look like, feel like, to be in the water with a whale. I haven't done that, I brought it out of disparate experiences like seeing the blue whale model in the Museum of Natural History in NYC - that thing's chilling to me... and honestly? guided meditations I've done.

But I couldn't keep the story in my mind/heart/spirit and manage the classroom behavior. Scott was the heavy, bless him for that. I was all enmeshed in the story I wanted to tell, he had to speak strongly to them about keeping attentive and not interrupting/disrupting a teacher, and he sent one child out of the room. He groks them, I don't.

I'd almost be sorry I'm so attached to them... but I only have two days left, and I intend to do as well as I can with them. Give my best, bring what I have, love my time there. They're good kids, they're just... TEN.

You know?
labelleizzy: (Default)
... and all I gotta say, is it was a lot easier kvetching about Scott's not-management skills than it was to manage things myself.

=P

Okay. I get four (or three, depending on a doctor's appointment) more shots at this. I planned in great detail for tomorrow, with timeline minute-by-minute, and sent it to him tonight. We'll see how that goes over, I think I included most everything he and I talked about. And we're killing the Sacred Cow, or at the least putting her on a serious reduction diet (I mean the tradition of Morning Circle - With Scott's approval and encouragement I'm shaving it to 20 minutes.)

Also, I'm getting better at remembering things I hear.

Oh, and Gods bless the Waldorf teacher training. I'm doing things this week that would have been HELLA scary without the last 18 months of training and self examination and overhaul. This week, even today on 5 hours sleep? Just challenging and logistically complicated. Not scary.

YAY

*thud*
labelleizzy: (balance)
Friday went reasonably well. The kids were very patient with me, though I got the hairy eyeball for messing up the words to the song and for ringing the wrong bell to call them back to recess. Because I don't know any better. =) I'm okay with that, observing for three days, out sick for one day, then taking the classroom for a day as the full teacher (the first substitute, I am told, that Scott has had during the three years he's had this class! Amazing!)

I had fun, I learned a whole lot, I have been reflecting on my mistakes and where I can fix them or do better next time.

Friday night and Saturday morning classes have been good from the perspective of preparing for the upcoming two weeks, and getting feedback from my classmates both on art and on lesson plans. Willow and Melinda both have said that they are envious of my energy and confidence in front of a classroom and that they think I'll be a wonderful Grades teacher. *beam*

A whole week of not-enough-sleep means I spent four hours comatose this afternoon instead of socializing with my hubby... =( But I had dinner and then have been reading and talking with him, telling him about my week, we have a fire going downstairs, and a really, RILLY nice bottle of Ridge Carignane (sp?) that we're drinking between us.

*curious*

he's playing some kind of swing music downstairs, I'm going to investigate.
labelleizzy: (green path)
I'm about to embark on a three week intensive journey deep into the landscape of Waldorf.

I may or may not see and talk to y'all for the duration, I probably won't have time & energy to read LJ.

Here's the schedule: Oh, and did I mention my car needs a new radiator as of yesterday? BAH...

  • This upcoming weekend: Still have classes in San Rafael, with its particular soul-quality and load of homework requirements
  • Daily during the first week: Drive from Mountain View to Santa Cruz, and back.
  • Spend most of the day intensely observing, and breathing in/living the culture of the 4th grade classroom and the whole school.
  • First weekend: Still have classes in San Rafael, with its particular soul-quality and load of homework requirements
  • Second week: Daily drive to Santa Cruz etc, except I should be actually assisting in the class
  • Second weekend: I get the weekend off from my Waldorf classes to prep for my actually teaching a Waldorf class during the week. *inhale* *exhale* I can do this.
  • Second weekend: Am currently planning a visit to the Nova Albion Steampunk event in Emeryville. Not sure I can pull this off; let's see how heavy the workload and prep time are.
  • Third Week: Daily Drive to Santa Cruz etcetera, AND I'll be teaching the main lesson, on a totally new subject from what I've been observing. Whoa. AND it's something I only just learned myself, in my last Waldorf weekend class, AND I'll have to present it in a way that's appropriate for fourth grade Waldorf students, which I am not yet sure how I will do this.

Okay.

Short answer: I'ma be busy, and none of it, unfortunately, brings a paycheck. I'll be hermiting hard, practicing self care, and getting as much sleep and water as possible.

Still, I Love you all, send me an email if you wanna talk to me, or give me a phone call.

argh.

Feb. 11th, 2010 04:21 pm
labelleizzy: (are you ok?)
Two days of work at the same school with the same classes, even if there ARE 150 kids, is enough time to start learning some names.

and to start losing my heart.

*sigh*

is it too "egotistical" or too arrogant, to think, "they need me"?
But I don't think I could teach full time in that school, not with what I know already... not with Waldorf workings in my spirit... my head, my art, my intention...

Jeff is bothered by public spaces that have too much "ping"... it's an auditory thing. These public schools have a literal AND a figurative ping... Sharp edges, no pride, hard surfaces, much of the nature around them broken down, splintered, or scattered with trash... kids learn anger because they learn it gets them attention. But that's another tangent entirely...

Okay, how's this. If a place of learning is to be an oasis for the mind and the spirit, it simply doesn't do, to have each person hand carry a bucket of water from a faraway place. Or to "start an oasis" with bulldozers...

There's no meaning behind what I was teaching. It's all been drills of some kind or another, mental calisthenics maybe. Not that that's a bad thing... But all calisthenics and no... what? using the muscles you've built for something useful? No learning how to play a new game, or ride a unicycle or swing from a trapeze or climb a rope?

argh.

just my quick note here.
*is tired and frustrated, and missing the kids already*
labelleizzy: (independent)
Just Three Things I'm taking away from this week of substitute teaching.

1) Speak professionally and spartanly with high school students, be precise in my language and in expressing my expectations & standards, and work to not over-share. (jessica's waldorf-kindergarten challenge to not speak until spoken to by students, would work surprisingly well in another independently-motivated high school classroom.)

2) Do The Right Thing, always, even if it's a day or two delayed.

3) At the end of the day, Doing More Good is actually a pretty simple balance to maintain. Respect, helpfulness, friendliness, and taking care of the students, are why I'm there. Substitute teachers are a necessary gap-filler, we serve an essential purpose. Good to remember.

that's all I got right now, the nap earlier this afternoon is still Sucking What Little Brain I have after a weekend of Waldorf lectures on "Man as Symphony of the Creative Word", but yay, butterflies. (yes that sounds like a random tangent; ask me later if you see me.)

<3
labelleizzy: (laughing)
Today went very very smoothly. The teacher has a routine of the students practicing their work at the OH projector, then they do their own work in pairs or independently.

Bathroom rule is pretty standard: 5 minutes maximum out of class.

Fair enough. One kid, the last period I was working(fifth) decided to "go to the bathroom" but was gone for 15 minutes. The students were debating whether he'd gone to Starbucks or Panda Express. I was being quietly amused at how aware they were of this particular student's, um, proclivities.

Then one kid (I have to hand it to him for carpe-ing the diem) says, mischievously, "Hey, we should call him, put him on speaker phone, be really quiet, and ask him where he is." Eyes go slideways toward me.

I thought for a second, was even more amused, said, "Sure, let's see what he has to say for himself." The kids were delighted, the call proceeded, the kid outed himself in front of the whole class. He says how he went home for chocolate then realized he wanted his ipod for after school sports practice...

O.M.G. I was (silently) laughing so hard I took my glasses off and was wiping tears out of my eyes. Now, it wasn't mean-natured or anything, it was just, he did something goofus, now we've busted him and we're gonna laugh a little.

Kid moseys into class a few minutes later. Avoids eye contact. Slides, maybe slinks out the door when the period ends. Probably thought he got away with it, too.

He didn't. I let Ms. Woods, the sub-scheduling secretary, know what went down. She LOL'd as well, and then I happened to mention this kid had been seeming disconnected and avoidant and not-grounded, or floaty, "kind of like a stoner", I said, "though I'm not implying I believe he is one"... Ms. Woods says, "Well, if you even THINK he might be doing something like that, we want to know about it."

A good day. I got a whole Waldorf lecture read and annotated while the kids were working today, connected the dots for it by doing some artwork (boy, I'm glad I thought to bring my homework to do!!), and got a damn fine bellylaugh out of the deal as well.

I love that his peers totally punk'd him.
labelleizzy: (smart)
Wrestling with the Threefold Social Order in my Waldorf lectures. We're singing again (yay!) and I am "the strong alto" who knows the alto line on the Christmas Carols (thanks to MDUUC choir and [livejournal.com profile] coyote3502!) and several first-years want to sing next to me.

I, however, want to sing next to Anne-Marie, who's a strong SOPRANO, and who's in my year, so I can hear what the music's supposed to sound like. I can find the blend/harmony easier when I can hear her.

I want to talk more about, oddly, Economics and the Waldorf school (part of the Threefold Social Order, the other parts are the Cultural sphere and the Rights/Political/Lawmaking sphere) but not at the moment.

tonight, going for burritos with [livejournal.com profile] zpdiduda for her birthday. Nom nom nom.

p.s. Six days and counting till MY birthday. Heh heh heh. Looks like it will be quieter than I thought, but that's okay.

yikes.

Oct. 22nd, 2009 11:30 pm
labelleizzy: (Default)
Finished my homework: Yay!
Flaking on a promised visit to [livejournal.com profile] celticmoni due to finishing homework: Boo! (and, I'm really sorry, Monica.)
Sugar crash that led to multi-hour near-depression: Boo!
Husband who shopped and cooked dinner, an AMAZING dinner: Yay and Happy Dance!

Now to complete the last work for school: a self-evaluation from the course we just completed, then go thud with the book for my Dickens character. I think I'm going to like this - not only is it a satire on American manner, mores and values, it's a recently retranslated satire, with academic notes and history of the previous translators' efforts. *nerd swoon*

okay, i go thud now.

Epiphany

Oct. 10th, 2009 03:01 pm
labelleizzy: (Default)
Realized today that my weekend Waldorf commute is about 100 miles and frequently (vainly attempting to avoid the worst traffic) circle
round the Entire SF Bay. Oy!

Good thing I love it so much or I'd be bitchin' about the mileage... and hours in the saddle!

Words...

Jul. 27th, 2009 05:04 pm
labelleizzy: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kineticphoenix gave me words.

Tea,
Read more... )
Universe,
Read more... )
Waldorf,
Read more... )
Dance,
Read more... )
Discipline
Read more... )
labelleizzy: (Default)
BARON EMANUEL VON BODMAN. 15
BLACKSMITH PAIN.

PAIN is a blacksmith,
Hard is his hammer;
With flying flames
His hearth is hot ;
A straining storm
Of forces ferocious
Blows his bellows.
He hammers hearts
And tinkers them,
With blows tremendous,
Till hard they hold.
Well, well forges Pain.
No storm destroys,
No frost consumes,
No rust corrodes,
What Pain has forged.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Ridiculous and inconceivable that tomorrow is my last day of Summer Session for the Waldorf teacher training.
I won't get to see my friends every day? I won't have dance and art history and creative writing and speech classes every day? I won't get to hang with the incomparable Ken, my sculpture teacher? I won't be learning new songs on the fly every morning with Lisa?

*WAAAAAHHH!!!*

This has been wonderful. I am entirely sorry it's almost over. I will survive the transitions necessary, but for now I have to kick my own ass to get there.

I get to bring a lot home with me. My Main Lesson book from Roberta's class, with art and poetry we created together. Some of my sculpture work. A LOT of literature to read and share, including a great article on the Waldorf philosophy of reading in elementary school. I have work I want to continue to refine, including writing and speech exercises, some of the art in the Main Lesson book, and I have a bit of clay I can use to be creative, and which might last a long while if I am kind to it.

Tonight I have to make a card for Glenda, another for Anne-Marie (my class secretary), and try to do a bit of practice for Saturday's assembly: the skit, the speech exercise, and the eurhythmy performance.

Gonna take the husband out to find some food he finds appealing. Right now he's feeling better enough to play piano, which is a VERY good sign.

Love ya, read y'all later,

Liz
labelleizzy: (balance)
In other life news, today finishes the second full week of the summer Waldorf teacher credentialling session.
I am STARVING. I am always starving when I come home after classes. AND I eat like a pig at snack (11:00) and at lunch (1:00) ... but I'm not changing shape at all, unless i'm gaining a little bit of muscle ... I suppose it helps that we are dancing for an hour every morning, and doing sculpture in the afternoon, and I'm THINKING like a hard-working thinking-thing the rest of the day (my Creative Writing teacher and Program Director, Dorit would have FITS about that description, not to mention all my parenthetical habits and multiple-adjective descriptors, hee!)

Other teachers and students refer to the work we are doing as spiritual work. And that it's HARD work I do not deny, nor do I deny its spiritual nature. But spiritual work burning this many calories, is just something I have to make an effort to wrap my head around.

Snack and lunch are incredibly tasty affairs at summer session. Today the snack table had berry scones, a variety of bagels, cream cheese, corn bread with honey butter to spread on it, melons and berries in an attractive display, hummus and sliced peppers and cucumbers and tzatziki... plus very tasty coffee with honey, brown sugar, whole milk and half-n-half, and a variety of teas, both caf. and decaf.

Lunch has been fresh, organic, and varied, and incredibly tasty as well.

I love my sculpture class. Ken Smith is also our Art History teacher, and he's built like a short balding blacksmith, with a gentle New Zealand accent and a puckish sense of humor. Really devoted to his subject, and very heart centered. Unfailingly polite and helpful, even when our class is feeling our oats and we start to talk over him. I thought sculpture would be kind of scary, you know, new means of expression, but he's so approachable, it's very easy to ask questions and get help.

I love my eurythmy (dance) class. Glenda was born in South Africa, has lived and worked all over the world so she has this intriguing mixy accent, and she's SO graceful and warm and welcoming and sweetly funny. I told her today what an amazing "stage ninja" she was, backstage (behind a simple curtain) at the first Wednesday night performance... she was unnoticeable, and I was LOOKING, and on top of that, managed to change costume back there, utterly unobtrusively... the way she walks is amazing, the variety of movement styles, accents she flows between, the real gentility of her manner... wow. I will be sad when I no longer get to work with her every day. I will really miss her. And I love the range of movement she has us doing, and doing beautifully, in class. She is unstinting with praise and warm eye contact, and I love that about her also.

I love my Language Arts class. Roberta is an experienced Waldorf teacher, having ushered two classes through from first to eighth grade, and now teaches teachers and, I believe, works part time in another Waldorf school with students having reading difficulty. She's profoundly deaf and relies on hearing aids, which gives her speaking voice a kind of metallic, flat affect, but her enthusiasm and encyclopedic memory for verse, rhyme, game, and story makes her a real force to be reckoned with. I hope my mind is as sharp and my will as enthusiastic by the time I'm her age (which I don't know, but she's got white white hair and an 8 year old granddaughter, so...)

I am having a time of it in the creative writing class. *wry*
Dorit, I am discovering through the grapevine, lacks certain social skills like tact and communicating the parameters of an assignment. She knows her subject, that's for sure, but when her way of telling you how she wants you to write an assignment consists of saying, write three sentences using these subjects, and then proceeds to just rip every body's work in front of the class? Hm. So she's letting everyone make their natural mistakes first, then bringing examples to the class for correction and suggestions... which is not too bad, everyone can give suggestions for improvement... kinda makes her the bad guy, but she's almost gleeful about it (funny, for a melancholic personality!) so yeah. She's maybe harsh but I don't see anyone crying on the way out of the room so it's probably all right.

And honestly? if anyone can break me of the remains of my codependent habit of trying to please authority figures? It'll be Dorit. Nothing I do seems to please her, I seem to irritate her somehow (no, really I have evidence) and tbh she's starting to irritate me also, though I'm trying to be compassionate about it. I'll work to stop trying to make her notice me and just pay attention to doing the work properly. And I have to admit I haven't given it as much thought as I have the other classes, cos hey, I can write already! I am a Writer. </ poncy pretension> heh. I need to give those assignments decent focus and not dash something off as I have been doing. I need to go ahead and draft something, work on the draft and change and experiment and fix things... I need to really friggin' WRITE, and do myself proud.

Lots of progress being made now. This is the halfway point, I can't believe we're already half-over, it's gone by swift as the wind over the El Sobrante hillsides...

I. Am. Loving. It.

Doggerel.

Jun. 29th, 2009 07:00 am
labelleizzy: (Default)
Early Morning wake up call I hear,
The homework's done, I've nothing to fear,
Except being late, now for breakfast and tea,
Then out the door for me!

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