Sunday, January 15, 2012

So unmotivated!

So I have started yet another Masters class.  Since I have decided to do a thesis, I only have two of the five classes left to go.  Unfortunately, they happen to be the required classes and so far, I'm not really a fan.  My real love is second language education and I really enjoyed the three classes I took which focused on learning about that specific area.  Granted, I've only attended one class but clearly the focus is not English as an Additional Language (EAL) and I feel a bit out of my element.  It's still education but it's general and, so far, quite theoretical.  My article this week is all about various education theories in relation to teaching social justice.  Actually, it's really just about social justice theories developed over the last century with about a thousand references to various research studies and social movements.

While I am still going to continue with the class, the thought has crossed my mind that it would be nice to take a semester off and possibly take the course in the summer session.  On the other hand, that would mean I have to take a class during the summer session and I'd rather take that time off.  I am less than enthused but I'm also sure that I will learn some new things and the students in this class have much more diverse teaching positions.  Only a couple of us teach EAL exclusively and I am interested to learn about how I can relate EAL to curriculum development. 

In other news, I am going to be co-teaching a mainstream English B10 class this semester for the first time.  The other teacher and I have yet to work out the details, but I am excited to have this opportunity as it will be my first time co-teaching for an entire semester.  The class has several EAL students so I will be there to primarily support them but also hope to learn more about how they participate in mainstream classes and observe how they interact with native English speakers. Well, I really should get back to my homework as I am supposed to hand in a three page reading response on Tuesday evening and have yet to finish reading the article.  Amazingly, I got almost nothing done this weekend (sarcasm there) although I did spend some time reading The Cat in the Hat, Curious George and a myriad of bedtime stories.  I avoided Robert Munsch after reading a few of his stories to my stubborn three year old and wondered if his writing is really appropriate for rebellious toddlers. 

Oh, and if you read my post last week about being more financially aware, we did pretty well and learned some things about each other and ourselves.  We made some positive changes without doing anything too drastic.  We drove together everyday last week and it went surprisingly well.  I only say that because we've tried to carpool in the past and it didn't always work that well ...there may have been some disagreements and general friction about departure times.  Last week went quite smootly in both directions.  I also made lunches for Jeremy all week and he saved money on lunch money although he's still buying breakfasts everyday.  He said he wants a hot breakfast...any suggestions on how we can do this realistically each morning would be appreciated.  Anyone making egg mcmuffiny type things 'to go' at home?

I am truly going to do some homework now and try to not watch the Golden Globes.  Really.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Figuring out where the money goes...

I don't really have a New Year's Resolution this year but we have decided to keep better track of where our money is going and to generally be more financially responsible.  I don't think we plan on making any major cutbacks but we want to be more mindful of what we are spending money on and make more of an effort to save up for items we want.    I have been using Gail Vaz-Oxlade's books as a guide to get started and thought I'd share her website for anyone else interested in doing the same thing.  Here's a link to her website:

I'm sure most of my Canadian readers have heard of Gail before as she's the host of a TV show called Til Debt Do Us Part where she helps couples with their financial situations and provides challenges and incentives for making changes.  I enjoy watching her show and have to admit that it motivates me yet it's still difficult to cut back on certain things.  So far, Jeremy has been doing great this year at his attempt to save a few dollars.  He's starting to take lunches to work and my job is to make them when I make my own as I always take my lunch to work.  I actually think he should make his own but it's not a big deal and it's a step in the right direction.  We are also attempting to car pool and started doing that last week...well, it was just one day but it's a start!

So far, we have completed the Interactive Budget Worksheet and have yet to negotiate all of the variable costs.  I imagine that they will change as we discover the true amount we are actually spending on each category.  Then, we can either make changes to those amounts or try to spend less on certain things if they are interfering with goals that are greater priorities.  I am still conflicted as to what my goals are in life as I have dreams of a beautiful home and feel like we're living in less than a dream home right now.  We have plans to do some renovations this year so maybe once that starts, I'll feel more positive about our humble abode.  At the very least, we have taken the initiative to check new house costs and consider how this dream of mine fits into our plans in life.  I have to admit that I love traveling and it's high on my list of things to do in life as well.  Clearly, we need to win the lottery so I can have my cake and eat it too! 

By the way, my resolution last year was to use my Envirosax Reusable bags for shopping.  I have done okay but could have done better so I am adding this to my list of things to improve this year.   The biggest problem is picking up something after work and not having any Envirosax with me.  I am going to try keeping a couple in the vehicle all of the time to solve this issue since these trips aren't usually big ones anyway.  I hope everyone is enjoying 2012 so far and that any resolutions or goals for improvement are going well.  My only advice is not to let a drawback stop you from achieving what you have set out to do. 

By the way, the image of the book I posted here is her new one.  It sounds like a good one for me but it seems kind of contradictory to spend money on a book when you are trying to be more financially responsible.
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