A Shot in the Arm

It was flu shot day for us. The clinics opened up on Monday, but we waited until today for a couple of reasons. 1) The initial crush would have died down and 2) the kids are off Friday afternoons in case there was a side-effect we would not have to worry about keeling over in class or at work. Simon (obviously) worked from home and I don’t work Fridays.
I had picked up the forms on Monday so we could cut the wait by having all the paperwork completed. We all walked down to Rexall Pharmacy in Tuscany Centre after lunch. There was only 1 other ahead of us. We all tested our blood pressure while we waited. (Whee!) Then we went in one-by-one (except Ian, Simon joined him) and got the jab. Actually it was a lot less painful than the pharmacist at Walmart. We hung around for a few minutes afterwards then walked back home.
Hopefully this will reduce the number of flu incidents in our family this year.

ATESL Conference 2017

Today was the first of a 2-day ATESL (Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language) conference being held in Calgary.  I have never attended one because there has been no real need to in a professional sense, until now. Since I started teaching and using PBLA with Columbia College it made sense to give it a go because many of the topics revolved around it. The only bad thing was having to be there for 7.  I managed to get there by 7.15-ish.

Columbia College is great!  Not only do they train their teachers, but they cover the ATESL membership and conference fees. They really invest in their staff. The following is the series of presentations, keynote speeches, and workshops I attended today:

I learned a lot of really interesting facts and techniques.  I especially enjoyed the keynote speaker on social justice.  He was so engaging and entertaining that I joked with a co-worker that I would be keen on auditing one of his classes.

The food was delicious.  Breakfast was a choice of breakfast burritos, hashed browns, oatmeal, fruit, toast, and juice. The two “nutrition breaks” had granola bars, loaves, and cinnamon buns.  The lunch was caesar salad, pasta, wraps, soup, and cookies. Coffee and tea were available throughout the day.  I also got a lot of free stuff (notebook, magnifiers, a bag, texts, pens, and pencils).

The next big event will be a LINC Language Training Learning Event (funded by IRCC) in Edmonton on Feb. 21&22.  No other details have been released yet.

On Break for 2 Weeks

Thursday was my final day of work in CLB 1 – truly. Columbia College now no longer offers this level. The lowest they have is CLB 2. Of course, no one showed up to this class. They received their report cards on Monday and Tuesday and certificates and we had our farewell party on Wednesday.
Our party went very well. There was a lot of food and only a few students. I love Syrian food even though it’s a lot of pastie-like dishes. There was cheese, spinach, or beef-filled pasties, tabouleh, shawarma, cakes, and squares. I also received some gifts: a purse and a shirt, some flowers, and a chocolate-orange cake.

They were a great bunch of people, especially when you allowed them to be themselves.  I just hope my next bunch are just as great.  I start back on Aug. 14 with CLB 3 (then I’ll be off for a week+a day with out Vic trip).  Of course, now I have to start from scratch again because I have no pre-made lessons for this level. I guess I’ll be planning while on holiday in Vic. 😄


That’s how I feel. I have the dreaded summer cold. I felt it coming on late Friday and I was hoping to either beat it or get over it by yesterday. Of course THAT didn’t happen. Sunday night’s sleep was disrupted because if I moved a fraction of a mm from a certain angle my nose would start acting up. I went to work yesterday, but you know it was a mistake when your bangs are plastered to your forehead with sweat and you can feel sweat rolling down your spine – and this was just standing there. I managed to muddle through (thankfully it was the end of Ramadan and most students were away feasting) and get something prepared for today’s class. I’m not sure who’ll sub – it may end up being my super Mehdi. I’m glad I decided not to go today because I was literally awake until 3.30 before I fell asleep. My sandpaper throat was so uncomfortable every time I swallowed. I don’t have a cough (yet), just feverish and clogged up. I hope I sleep tonight.


…and for my 3rd post of the day…

Ian got his retainer this afternoon.  He had been measured for it last appointment and today they fitted it to his teeth. He has to wear it 24h a day (except for contact sports, eating, and brushing) until August 10th when we go back to the orthodontist.


Grade 4 Movie Day

Today was the grade 4’s end-of-year extravaganza.  They all went downtown to the Globe Cinema to watch Hugo. I was a volunteer chaperone-crowd control. We all piled onto 2 school buses and headed downtown to the cinema.  I’d forgotten how loud a school bus can get.  😣 We got downtown around 9.40 where the “paparazzi” was waiting to take their pictures as they entered the cinema and were in our seats by 10.  Everyone got a small bag of popcorn, a pop, a chocolate bar, and a pack of Twizzlers to munch on during the show.  (Thank you to Tuscany Sobey’s for the snacks.)

The Globe is an older cinema without huge screens, but it was comfortable and pleasant.  They also have $5 Tuesdays with a cheap drink/popcorn combo.  It might be something we can do as a family one eve.

We were back on the bus by 12.15 and back at school for 12.50.  It was a good time had by all.

Spring in Calgary

Yesterday was a surprise. A storm system washed through the area and we had almost every possible kind of weather from sun and clouds to blizzards with thunder. I know the weather here is unpredictable and changes rapidly, but this was ridiculous. 😀

Expander and Braces Are off

This is the day Ian has been looking forward to for six months. This morning he had his braces and expander removed. It was a quick examination by Dr. Antosz then the hardware came off. Next he had to have his mouth molded for the retainer. This almost ended up with him throwing up thanks to his gag reflex going into overdrive.
After the ordeal he was given a balloon and then was walked into a room full of candy bins. He got to choose a bagful of loose candies.
We go back to the orthodontist on Thursday to get the retainer fitted.

Happy Birthday #44 Simon!

Today the kids and I got up early (that’s 6.00 for us) and headed downstairs with Simon’s gifts. 🎁

Today will be, as Simon put it, a gong show because the timing of events. Simon had to be out the door early to go to a User’s Conference. It’s also cycling club night (if the weather cooperates) and I work from 6.30-9.00. The only chance we had to be all together was at breakfast. He may also be going out to supper after the conference if the weather is bad and he decides not to go cycling.
I’m making him a tide-him-over birthday sweet which he’ll enjoy when he gets home. 🎂 There will also be some chicken caesar salad in pitas if he doesn’t go out to supper.
It’s not an ideal birthday, but we’ll make it up to him on Saturday evening.
We love you. Hope you have a happy birthday today. 💖🥃

Simon with his new cycling socks

First LINC Class of the New Session

Last night was the first R/W class for the LINC 100/CLB 1 class. T/R are Reading and Writing classes, M/W are the Speaking and Listening classes. Last term I subbed for the S/L. Now I get all 4 classes and I can start from the beginning with them.
It was a bit of chaos last night. First the attendance sheets were inaccurate. Second I had people in my class that shouldn’t have been. Third the college had the heating on full blast; we were literally sweltering in there.
I haven’t started a LINC class under the new PBLA guidelines, so it was a bit of a schmozzle. I’m beginning to see that all but 3 of my students are very low. We’re talking A is for Apple low and no printing skills. The challenge will be to teach them Kindergarten-Grade 1 skills without treating them like 6 year olds. 😀
This week is dedicated to skills assessment, goal setting, needs assessment for the classes, classroom rules, student responsibilities, etc. This way I can decide what needs more focus and where to start. Next week we will start the theme of the classroom as well as printing skills and alphabet skills. I also have to incorporate computer skills throughout. Most can use touch screen technology, but not mouse-handling technology.
Tonight I find out who’s in the M/W classes. Hopefully the heating has been regulated.