Sunday, 25 November 2012

Note to Self: Write to Think and Acknowledge the Beauty of the Journey

And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?”
Mary Oliver

Hi guys.  
It's a quiet rainy Sunday here in the east coast in Singapore and I am embracing the fact that November, the second to the last month of 2012, is drawing to a close.  
the somber Saturday sky: been thinking of this post since yesterday
Can you believe it?  
Just a few more days and December will bulldoze its way into our lives only to just as quickly end another year and begin a new one.  Wow,  what a year it has been, right?  The first term has come and gone and I must say, it's been a pretty amazing, challenging and loving journey.  I have learned am learning a lot and as a self confessed life long learner, I would not have it any other way. :)  
Happy feet
New beginnings: The first note on my desk before classes began
Last week was particularly interesting.  From having great conversations with my colleagues/friends reflecting on our practice (post the parent teacher conferences), being interviewed for an article on colleague collaboration for Dunia (care of Mr. Plaman), attending Dylan Wiliam's sessions on formative assessment (I was mind blown), planning new things we can do in our learning spaces with Mr. R and Mr. T (that's always fun and enlightening), to sitting down with your parents to talk about your successes and areas of growth (we talked about ours, as teachers, too), I was on a roller coaster ride of massive information, feelings, thoughts, insights and opinions.  Up and down I went with everything I was thinking and feeling inside; moving from one important thing to another, my mouth agape, screaming in the dips and dives where sometimes, no sound would come out.  Which is why, I sat in my head for awhile, to mull, argue, assess and process it all.  I needed to make sense to myself I guess and I chose silence on the grid to be able to that.  I am still processing actually, so please bear with me as I write while I refine my thinking.  If I wait another day to write though, I will  spontaneously combust.  
Too many thoughts and trying to catch up
Anyway, the best part about all this is, it's not yet over.  There is more to build, share and learn with and through you.  The community is growing.  Trust is solidifying. Deep and meaningful reflection is happening.  I can see the slow build of voices and relationships and communication lines forming before me and I really wanted to write about that and acknowledge the beauty of this journey today.

I mean check these out...just SOME of the original poetry by some of the 7th Graders:

I know that many of your pieces are still tucked in notebooks and Google documents waiting to be uncovered, polished and revealed...and am thinking it's just a matter of time, right?  Like I said, I can't wait to read, ask questions, listen and talk about your work with you.

And whether you are a Gr 7 or 8 student, it would be worth it to check out the Grade 7 lists of ten things you know to be true too (refer to my Gr 7 bundles at the right hand side and click on any of their blogs).  The lists thus far have been honest,  revealing, inspiring, funny and well, true.  :)

Now, two more things to mention as I high five this amazing journey... last week I was really moved by this

and this ... where my response began with...
“listen: there’s a hellof a good universe next door; let’s go” - ee cummings
Yes, Mr. Raisdana has made a habit of sending me links to amazing blog posts and videos, this being one of them, at midnight right before I close my eyes, after I've said good night to the air and my book. And am grateful. Because in the end, all this awesomeness tends to fill my dreams. 
...which actually led to the spirit of this blog post.

I mean, I can't help but feel like, we are all in this together -- from the successes to what make us vulnerable, insecure and scared to the growing pains, misunderstandings, confessions, redemption, clarification and celebrations -- we are becoming and can be everything we say we are.

Ginsing 2012 Flower Power
The UWCSEA Learner Profile:  from Theory to Reality 
Because look at just some of these responses (intentional or not) to Solal's blog post :
Mizuki. Eric. Sid. AroniEthan. Hazel. Ella.

and some of the blog post comments by other UWCSEA students on his heartfelt entry:

Through this, I see your heart, UWCSEA.  I feel its pulse, its size, its immense compassion and integrity.  I am very very grateful for you.

And as Mary Oliver asserts and asks,"Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?"  My answer is a resounding yes; a Yawp!, in fact, which brings me here, exactly where I need to be. :)  Ah, the rain has stopped and the sun is slowly making its presence known.  I think I will step outside to feel the sun on my skin on this special Sunday.

before I go, here is something for all you, with a special shout out to Solal and Michelle and to everyone out there feeling all these massive feelings, good or bad.  I leave you with Thandie Newton's TED talk on embracing otherness and embracing ourselves.   It has everything to do with you and me, poetry, prose, art, the self, and the danger of the single story.

Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?"  What will your response be?  Would love to know what you are thinking.   :) 

Inside this new love, die. 
Your way begins on the other side. 
Become the sky. 
Take an axe to the prison wall. 
Walk out like someone 
suddenly born into color. 
Do it now. 
You're covered with thick cloud. 
Slide out the side. Die, 
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign 
that you have died. 
Your old life was a frantic running 
from silence. 

The speechless full moon 
comes out now. 


-- Version by Coleman Barks 
"These Branching Moments" 
Copper Beech Press, 1988 


  1. Wow! Ms.G.

    Is everyone reading this? Feeling this? Understanding where we are headed? it is okay if you are not. We are here and we are patient and we will guide you when you are ready.

    I couldn't agree with Ms. G more about what an amazing trip it has been. Your posts, all of you, continue to inspire me in ways I never knew. Inspiration is a two way street. Like an echo it works in two ways. To hear you speak and watch you share is my favorite part of this job.

    It is also so amazing to have a teaching partner like Ms. G to help keep me on track and remind me of what we are here. I cannot think of better advice:

    "Please bear with me as I write while I refine my thinking. If I wait another day to write though, I will spontaneously combust."

    Yes, that is where we all want to be, That place where you don't know where you are headed, but you know that writing and sharing will get you there.

    No one wants perfection. We just want you. In all your awkward and insecure glory. We want you to join us on this journey to discovery, to learning, to life. Don't worry we won't got fast as long as you commit to taking the first step.

    I think I feel a blog post forming, catch you in some other space soon.

  2. I really love your pictures and I am amazed about how much you write because I don't think I could do that. I think I will write some more on my blog because of this post because it gave me some inspiration to write about anything that you set your mind to.

    1. Hi Courtney,

      Thank you. The best way to develop the eye is to keep on using it. So one snap at a time. Goes for writing too. Just keep at it. One blog post at a time. Yes, use your blog. To develop your voice, your convictions, your thoughts. You are awesome and I can't wait to see, read, witness your growth on and off line. :) Thanks again, love.

      Ms. P