November 29, 2006

Report relief

Well I finally finished the marking, and wrote the reports in something of a hurry. I felt better about my struggle with marking the exam when I found out my very professional colleague in the next room only finished marking his exams today, and stayed rather late after school to finish his reports. I also stayed a couple of hours after school to finish my reports.

The boss is offering me a deans position and also an assistant science position for next year - I saw a really cool job at another local school, and asked him to be a referee. This is his counter offer, and I will stay where I am. It seems from dean you start applying for DP and AP jobs, so it is a definite career step up. I'm not sure how far I would want to go in education, but I don't want to stay an indian forever.

I am really very tired, and am looking forward to going to bed.

Posted by Toni at 06:27 PM | Comments (1)

November 28, 2006


the weekend was dominated by gymnastics. On Friday night we had an old and good friend call in on his way to Waiouru. We stayed up till late at night talking and drinking, and a pleasant time was had by all. The next morning we had to get up and get C to his gymnastics rehearsal in the morning and get the rest of us to the main road so we could watch the Christmas parade, which the gym club was part of.

the parade was surprisingly good - I was expecting a lot less floats, and there were three or four bands, so it was much bigger than we thought a wee hokey town like Wanganui would come up with. The wierdest prize goes to the Falun gong (sp!) float which had about five people on it, dressed in bright yellow and decorated with tinsel, who meditated on the back of a ute down the main road. Seriously wierd. And the best float was the Pacific Island one, they sang and danced and had decorated their huge truck beautifully. Gym was just a really REALLY big group.

Then R jumped in the car with A (the friend) and went to Waiouru with him to buy a car... It is very tidy but I still think rather over priced. But R likes the fact it has come from a family friend.

The next day we would have wagged church, but I was playing keyboards, and wagging would not have been good. So we went, then rushed off to get groceries and then straight off to the end of year gym display. That was brilliant. So well organised, and what some of the kids can do is very impressive. It is odd though looking at their really quite normal accomplishments, and remembering that the olympic gymnasts are actually about the same age, and doing a hell of a lot more. I suspect our kids have happier childhoods, or at least I kind of hope so.

I'm still marking damn exams so better go.

Posted by Toni at 06:14 AM | Comments (1)

November 22, 2006


this week we are supposed to mark the junior exams which were done last week and provide reports on all the juniors. My thought on that is Ha Ha. On Monday we had a teacher only day which was okay but boring. Sort of more of the same. Not enough real useable techniques to take back to the classroom, and far too much 'research' and 'philosophy'. It might be interesting to listen to that kind of stuff for about an hour, but four or five is dreadful.

Yesterday I was part of the team that did an orientation day for next years form three/year nine students. It was okay, the kids were busy for the day but the worrying thing was the numbers. Only forty kids signed up for next year so far, which means we will not have a viable seventh form. We have a pretty high drop out rate as they go off to jobs like shearing and stocking supermarket shelves and apprenticeships but that means there will be less and less of a job for me in the time to come unless we suddenly get a increase in enrollments.

The science exam last week was a lot of a disaster, and marking it is just as bad as it is so disorganised.

Posted by Toni at 06:15 AM | Comments (2)

November 16, 2006

Crazy times

I have no classes today due to the seniors leaving, the juniors doing exams and having no exam supervision today. The down side of all that is that I have a DOUBLE SUPERVISION tomorrow. I am going to be so very very bored. During the exam you are not supposed to mark, and so theoretically I am going to spend my time walking around watching people write and not being able to talk to anyone. I would far rather be doing the exam.

On the solo mumming front things are going pretty well, I think because I have taken Flylady's advice to heart and done as much as possible well before it was urgently needed. This means that lunches have been done the night before, and the bags loaded with the necessary equipment too. So the morning are a matter of getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and leaving. It meant that last night I was finished doing the mum thing at quarter to eight, which doesn't leave much time for doing the Toni thing. Next year I will be doing the cooking but not so much of the lunch thing, and that will give me a little down time.

Last night I quilted, and it is not looking too bad. Certainly not a competition quilt, but then I am making it for use, and too much perfection looks like it should be on a wall and not on a bed. I have finally decided what I am going to do in the blue squares, which is a range of celtic crosses, each one different. I will need nine, but I found a great book of quilting patterns, and nine is no problem. And if I use stitch and tear, it should be not too slow or hard. I also unpicked a couple of straps on a dress I bought, which are too long. I am going to shorten them by about an inch, which creates an illusion that I have boobs. I love illusions!

I have applied to be a dean next year - if I get it I will be working a great deal harder next year.

I have been saving hot points even since we bought the house, and two nights ago we finally had enough points to buy a digital camera. I was so excited - I've been wanting one for ages. The only fly in this particular ointment is that they can take up to three weeks to arrive according to the confirmation email I got. After waiting and saving since April last year, to have to wait another three weeks seems incredibly difficult.

Posted by Toni at 07:10 AM | Comments (1)

November 13, 2006

Solo mum again

R is away for the week down at Wellington, going to a couple of conferences. It sounds really really boring actually, so I am not jealous of him getting the break. He might get a chance to catch up with a couple of friends and family down there, but whether he does more than make a phone call depends on whether he has a car to get round in.

the obsession of the weekend was the complete lack of hot water in the house. It started leaving on Thursday night and was completely cold by Friday. Fortunately R has a key to the army showers so we went on Saturday and Sunday to the communual showers. There are three cubicles - one for me, one for R and one for the senior son. Junior son hates all water that is not in a glass, so he goes in with one of his parents. He yells for the entire time that he is in the water - but loves being wrapped up afterwards. There is more howling again if he doesn't get wrapped up. Apparently I will almost certainly have hot water again tonight. The plumber rang this morning and he reckons it will be the element, and that it will be fine. Here's hoping.
I reckon one of the best inventions of humanity is hot water. There is nothing I miss more than being able to have a hot shower every day. On occaision I have gone whole weeks with cold showers, and it is when I get the hot stuff back that I am re-convinced that hot water is the greatest.

Posted by Toni at 07:20 AM | Comments (2)

November 09, 2006

About my hair

I have been to have my hair cut tonight. I like to keep it really short. Apparently I am lucky to have the right shaped face for short hair - which is good because if I didn't I would have to choose an actual style. While what I get is just really short hair. Just above the line where they would use clippers.

If I needed to have an actual shape to my hair I am not sure what I would do. Shape would require styling, and as I often go to bed with wet hair the only styling I do is trying to make it stick a bit closer to my head, and look a bit less like I went to bed with wet hair. Which I did. But no-one else should have to know.

Because it is so short I don't dye or colour it. The coloured bits would be cut off in 8 to 10 weeks, which is too expensive. I'm too tight to see my expensive coloured hair lying on the floor so soon after I have paid the bill.

On the shopping front, my parcel from fishpond is on its way, and we nearly have enough points on the loyalty system to buy a very cool digital camera. Fabulous.

Posted by Toni at 07:14 PM | Comments (2)

November 08, 2006

An oldie but goody

I was wandering around the Warehouse in the weekend looking for an opportunity to increase the fortunes of Stephen Tindall and reduce my own economic wealth. There's always an opportunity to use the credit card in that shop, and I bought Shakespeare in Love. It was made in the mid nineties, so at the rate of movie production these days it is pretty old. Can you imagine - no digital enhancements in the whole movie!

Gosh, it is still a great movie. Being set so many hundreds of years ago it hasn't aged at all. The acting is still brilliant, and the sets and locations still work brilliantly. I reckon it must have been a fantastic job to get as an actor - most actors have a love of Shakespeare, and in this film they get to do all the best parts of Romeo and Juliet, as well as act a whole nother story which parallels and ties in with the play. The costumes are stunning, and I found the embroidery almost distracting, it was so rich and fascinating.

There were lots of copies at the shop - go and make sure you have this in your collection. For the ultimate accolade is that my husband who generally chooses war movies reckons he not only likes it, he wants to see it again.

Posted by Toni at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2006

The training pays off

For six years I have been sleeping with tuned ears - if a child cried in the night I would wake up. With the first I was so well tuned I often woke before he cried. Its a kind of telepathy that is fairly common in mothers. Perhaps we hear the restless sleeping and wake, and so are awake when the genuine crying begins. Whatever, if a child cried in the night I heard it.

Last night H woke up at some stage and cried. The first I knew of it was when I woke to hear him and his dad having a conversation in the dining room. I hadn't heard the crying, nor the husband leaving the bed. R eventually put the sprat back to bed, and returned. I must gone back to sleep and have been sleeping deeply, becuase next I knew they were having another conversation in the dining room about weet-bix. And I know hubby had been back to bed, because we spoke to each other before I went to sleep.

I apologised this morning - we both work and so we usually share the getting up during the week. I hadn't pulled my weight at all.

But isn't that impressive! From being hypersensitive to my children, I now sleep through their cries of distress. Its lucky for the kids I am not a solo parent.

Posted by Toni at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2006


When we bought our house, it had a swimming pool out the back. Over the last couple of months or so we have been removing the pool, and that was pretty quick and efficient. then we got to the bit of filling the hole in and that part has not gone as quick. We live about five minutes drive from the sea and our subsoil is pure sand. So we have had a five metre by ten metre sandpit out the back for the last couple on months. For the last couple of weeks we have had five truck loads of soil delivered, and R and friends have been shovelling the sand in to the hole. One more truck load should do it.

The kids have been having an absolutely fantastic time out there. They have built castles and tunnels, dug holes in the hole, and jumped off tall piles of sand. They have got incredibly dirty and have then rushed into the house dribbling sand with every movement. The shower feels more like the beach due to the amount of sand on the floor (and there's water in there too). Even the toilet is sandy, and last night I found myself vacuuming for the second time in one day due to the carpet being grey with sand. The garage has a couple of centimetres of sand on the floor... The washing machine is much the same. And it goes on... it is pernicious.

Once the yard is fairly level, we will then cover the area with grass seed, and start trying to get the sand covered. Its going to be really hard to convince grass to grow in the sand, because it is going to get so dry so quickly. This whole summer could be the summer of sand.

Posted by Toni at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2006

Winning the technology battle

On Tuesday morning we had a tekkie brekkie. This seems to involve bring our laptops to the home ec room, eating a breakfast together and seeing if we can fix each others problems.

No-one can fix my problems. They are such simple things - I want to be able to put wallpaper on my computer, and the function for doing so has been disabled. And I want to update Java, and the function for doing that has been disabled as well. It appears to be something wrong with the way the laptop has been imaged.

So instead of being a learner I became one of the teachers. My first task was to make the projector work. It took a wee bit of thinking and remember all the problem shooting I had done with my class room one, but the problem was sorted eventually, and I felt pretty chirpy that I did solve that rather public problem, and looked competent.

And then one of our older staff, who sometimes moans because she can't get her laptop to work, and because there is no cable to her classroom and so she cannot do electonic roll keeping started moaning about getting her laptop to work. So I decided to help - after all the only other thing to do was eat. For some reason the computer dude had set up her computer with all the programs hidden. He hides the c drive. Why would you hide all the programs??? So I did some icon dragging and set it up so she can now operate computer without having to be on the network. The hardest thing was overcoming the repeated statements that this was too hard. And then the rush to turn the thing off. I just stopped her and made her do revision - she is as bad as the kids she disparages. She has certainly absorbed their techniques!! I must go back and see if she has tried starting the thing again, and whether what I did worked.

Posted by Toni at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)