Sunday 21st April 2019

How To Create A Mandala 2018.75.

How To Create A Mandala 2018.75.

For those readers who have followed me here and on Instagram for a couple of years, you will know how much  creating of mandalas has helped me become:

  • more mindful
  • gentler on myself as I create because I have learned it is about process not product
  • aware of the place of mandalas in nature, in buildings, and of course in design
  • somewhat addicted in the nicest possible way to create first and foremost, an original mandala
  • and later to colour it with paints, crayons, pencils, markers if I choose
  • observant of the patterns within mandalas

Today, on the blog, I am taking you on a creation of one mandala step by step.

Paper size: A5

This is but one mandala. I started like this and maybe you already remember doing this in school Maths lessons. I know I did!

I make them in all sizes now and they are my go-to for mindfulness creatively. I often have one or two in stages on my art desk.

I have asked my local library if they would like me to teach a class as a volunteer. They seem to be keen. Getting me trained to be a volunteer is taking time. I am so hoping this does happen and I can share what I love to do with others as it has helped me through….this cancer time and before that it settled my anxiety.

I am using a photo of me (with teeth!) to add to this post and to add to my ‘little booklet’ I have now created from the above photos.

Do let me know if you are going to give this a go. I would love to see your mandalas!

Denyse.

 

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog On Tuesdays
And with Sue and Leanne here for Mid-life Share the Love linky.

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Appreciation In August. #2. 2018.72.

Appreciation In August. #2. 2018.72.

This week is devoted to my appreciation of and for public school education*, particularly in my home state in Australia: New South Wales.  It is fitting to post this in Education Week.

A week which helps shine the good and the great things happening in N.S.W. Public Schools today. My family has children at school and they have been visiting the classrooms for Open Day and it has been a delight to see the traditions continue. I recall visiting my now older grandkids’ classrooms , as Grandma even though I was a principal! Of course schools where I worked as a teacher, then Deputy Principal, Relieving Principal and Principal hosted annual events at school and out of school to showcase the children and their education.

My passion for N.S.W. public education is borne of my years of experience as a student aged 4.75 years to 18 years.

My career choice was K-6 teaching and for two years I trained, at Balmain Teachers’ College (1968-1969) to graduate to work in N.S.W. public schools from 1970 until….the last time I actually taught in a school was in 2012.

Mostly public schools are local schools too! Keeping the community connected is so important.

 

Education Week theme

The theme for 2018 Education Week is: Today’s schools – creating tomorrow’s world.

It celebrates how NSW public schools are equipping young people with the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in a rapidly changing, globalised world.

Key messages

Growth mindset

By developing a growth mindset, our students will become lifelong-learners equipped with the resilience to embrace challenges, the aptitude to reach higher levels of achievement and the adaptability to master new skills.

Applied learning

By grounding education in real world learning opportunities, our students are acquiring the capabilities needed to tackle and solve complex issues in the 21st century.

Evolution of the classroom

By creating future-focused learning spaces that integrate advanced technology and promote connection and collaboration, the classroom is expanding beyond the traditional four walls.

Strong relationships

By building strong relationships in our school communities, we are ensuring that every student is known, valued and cared for.

System-wide commitment to innovation and excellence

By placing our students at the centre of all our decision-making, we are continually striving for improvement and innovation so that young people in our care learn in a world-class education system.

Public Schools I Attended:

  • Gwynneville Public School (Wollongong)
  • Balgowlah Heights Public School (Sydney)
  • Manly Girls High School (Sydney)

Off to Gwynneville PS. Our Tunic was Brown (I think!)

Public Schools Where I Taught/Lead.

  • Barraba Central School (North West NSW)
  • Fairfax Public School (North West NSW)
  • Hillston Central School (Western NSW)
  • Weilmoringle Public School (Far Western NSW)
  • Cherrybrook Public School (Sydney)
  • Jasper Road Public School (Sydney)
  • Seven Hills West Public School (Sydney: Rel/ Assistant Principal)
  • Walters Road Public School (Sydney: Executive Teacher)
  • Seven Hills West Public School (Sydney: Assistant Principal)
  • Shalvey Public School (Sydney: Deputy Principal. Rel/Principal)
  • Rooty Hill Public School (Sydney: Rel/Principal)
  • Richmond Public School (Sydney: Principal) – retired. #1st time!
  • Kellyville Ridge Public School (Sydney: R.F.F. Teacher/P/T & English as a Second Language Teacher)
  • Hebersham Public School (Sydney: E.S.L. Teacher/P.T)
  • Kellyville Ridge Public School (Sydney: P/T English as a Second Language Teacher) – retired. #2nd time
  • Hassall Grove Public School (Sydney: Casual Teacher)

Born in August and turning 5 that year, our daughter was able to start ‘school’ as we had a pre-school class too.

As a University Practicum Supervisor/Advisor and Tutor of Master of Teaching subjects, I was in many different public schools from 2012-2015 in both Western Sydney and North Western Sydney. – retired #3rd (and final time!)

Our children attended public primary schools and high schools. Their children have as well. In fact, a lot like history repeating itself, our daughter had her parents as her first teachers when she started school and one of her children had her mother as a class teacher. There was probably an effect of being ‘harder’ on our own children so favouritism did not occur.

Thank you to those many teachers who taught me in my school years. Thank you to the students I learned from as a well as taught in my years as a teacher. Thank you, to all the staff, students and parent communities where I was a school leader for your support, passion and assistance in the quest for the best educational outcomes possible.

I hope Education Week 2018 achieves its goals for all: students, staff and community.

Let this finish what I started!

Denyse.

*this is not to say I do not honour parental choice for their children’s education because I do. However, I continue to believe, as is in the current research that a private school education does not result in a superior education nor result in better results at the end of H.S.  I also believe in a parent’s right to choose a school for a particular cultural or faith reason.

 Today I link with Leanne for her Lovin’ Life linky here.

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Telling My Story. Chapter Four. 1970. 2018.68.

Telling My Story. Chapter Four. 1970. 2018.68.

A catch up for my readers:

In early May 2017 I began Telling My Story – after being hesitant then giving it a go, thanks to a friend who suggested writing my story “one blog post at a time“.

Deciding to begin my story! Early May 2017.

Then, as many may recall, I was diagnosed with cancer that same week. I did not announce the news till later.

MORE time went by (of course) but I knew Telling My Story would continue.

This is also the new profile photo of course!

One year post major cancer surgeries.

Leaving Sydney and Home.

After the Christmas holidays and break everyone has in an Australian summer, it was time for me to leave home!

On January 27 1970 I commenced my permanent teaching role with the N.S.W. Department of Education at Barraba Central School in North Western N.S.W. The beach and city girl gave that away to ….teach…and be closer to her then 3 year boyfriend who was now working in Tamworth.

Before that occurred: Graduation from Balmain Teacher’s College and Getting the Telegram to send me to my first school. Yes, appointments to a new school by transfer, promotion or first appointment came via a telegram until early 1980s.

I had no trepidation about leaving home and present Denyse wonders why! I think it was the excitement of independence and the love of the job I was starting..and the boyfriend being only an hour away probably helped. Well, I do know one thing about me arriving in Barraba with my parents. I had nowhere to live (yet) and just guessed it would work out.

Mum had lots of home-type things for me such as linen, I had my clothes (teaching apparel was dresses/skirts – no slacks or jeans) and my beginner’s mind!! School was the first place we visited on that long weekend in January 1970 and we found the deputy principal there sorting people out as he did us with a huge welcome and I knew I was going to be fine!

My first home-away from home. Shared Bedroom at front!

But having been given a name of a ‘lady who takes in boarders’ along with my teaching appointment we duly went to this house…and I did not quite think that was my place but, we returned to the school where we were helped again “there’s a share teacher house just over the road and I think they need another person.’ Yes! Off we went and I was in my new home. Shared bedroom with another teacher who went home on weekends and I was all OK.

Mum, apparently, who cried all the way back to Sydney Dad tells me recently. “Empty nest syndrome” had probably not been invented then, but in 1992 I experienced it when our daughter left home.

Dad and Mum in 1990s

Beginning My Career as a Teacher. 

In the overall scheme of things I did really well in my first year of teaching but as most people know, you tend to learn more once you are IN the classroom than when you are trained. I give my training at Balmain Teachers College full credit in how we were taught how to TEACH the basic of literacy and numeracy. We “did” every subject that was in the curriculum and it was a superior model compared to how I saw others being trained in the years following.

My training speciality was Infants teaching. K-2. However as time went on in our N.S.W. education system, this qualification was made K-6 so I could have taught in a primary school setting  too. It is important to note this as specialities were needed and I know my love of and for learning of young kids stays with me today as a passion.

What I Found Out About Myself in My First Year of Independence.

I really am stretching the brain cells to go back to the young woman (almost said girl) of just 20 years of age. I was away from living at home for the first time in my life. I was not, as I recall, wonderful at keeping house because I had been pretty spoiled living with Mum and Dad.

So to be part of a teacher-share house meant a roster for cooking and cleaning. I was also responsible for my own washing. In this town the water was pretty putrid so I used to ‘wash’ …OK Mum used to ‘wash’ my linen etc when I took it back to Sydney every few weeks. How come, you ask? The Deputy Principal of the school (someone I admire greatly and his influence on me as a teacher was a good one) was engaged to a lovely Nursing sister who, it turned out lived a few suburbs away from my parents. Terry, the DP, would drive down on a Friday night after school (about a 4-6 hour trip back then down the New England Highway, and I would be picked up from a central point by my parents and spend time at home and getting the washing done and probably knowing Mum, some home-made treats to take back. Terry used me mostly as a companionable co-driver and that was fine.

I experienced my first (and only) relationship break up in the first school holidays that year. My long term boyfriend (3 years) had not loved his new career at Tamworth and was going through some pretty anxious times and he called off our relationship. Yes I cried but over time, I saw some good things about it. In fact, it gave me a better focus on the school teaching community and the fun we could have as young people as a group outside school hours.

We had drinks at the local golf club, we drove to the coast down the Great Dividing Range for a weekend at Port Macquarie, we staged dinner parties at each other’s houses and of course we supported each other at the K-12 school. It was a year of growth and friendships made. I coached the boys’ basketball team. I had no idea but apparently they went well. I was even encouraged to enter the Miss Australia quest representing Barraba along with another girl and had a day or two in Tamworth to take part in the judging and then the Presentation Ball that night.

For those who want to know..I am 3rd from left. Short! A tall person won!

In a teacher’s first year back then, an Inspector of Schools came to the class to watch me teach, talk to me and then as I was successful, I had a report written about me and what he saw and that led to permanency. An excerpt:

Miss Simpson approaches her work in a sincere manner and her  lively personality enables her to manage a combined group (K/1) in a capable manner. Control does not present any problem and her classroom activities proceed smoothly as a result of detailed programming and thoughtful preparation. Full use is made of the available display space in order to enhance the appearance of her classroom. A good working environment is evident in her classroom

In October 1970 the NSW Teachers Federation (of course I was a member) held its first ever Country Conference in Tamworth. Tamworth was the main centre for the airlines, and good department stores and clubs – RSL and more. For my two teacher friends, Sue and Rob, and I, it was an chance to…..socialise…and maybe meet blokes? We stayed at the Travelodge and whilst I can say I “did” attend some of the day meeting, I also used the time to shop for a delightful pink pantsuit. Pants suits were the rage. That night we were ready for socialising and when we rocked up for the dinner in frocks, there was one table with some spaces. It had 5 men occupying one end and we asked if there was space for us…”of course”.

I sat at one end and this young smiling man sat at the other and I will tell you readers, our eyes DID lock…and we smiled…and then…he asked me to dance. I was nervous and trod on his toes. He WAS about a foot taller than me.

Game Over. The singles one I mean!

Love All.

A preview..of what’s to come!

I do hope you are enjoying the stories. I am quite liking having to use the memory even if trying to find the photos is more troublesome.

Denyse.

 

 

On Tuesday this posts links with Kylie here

On Wednesday this post links with Sue and Leanne here

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

My Head & Neck Cancer 1st Anniversary. Pt 1. 2018.44.

My Head & Neck Cancer 1st Anniversary. Pt 1. 2018.44.

Writing this post I feel a surge of gratitude for my cancer diagnosis.

Weird?

Well, for me, BEFORE I knew that there was a nasty cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma in my upper front gums, I was anxious, fearful and this had been building up for the 3 years since just before we left Sydney to come and live on the Central Coast. My life was reduced to managing a sense of fear any time I needed to leave the house. Whilst it was not quite crippling, because I have a very determined edge to my nature, it was not how I liked feeling. AT. ALL. Blog posts here and here tell more:

In early May 2017 after a series of medical and dental examinations, CT scans, X-rays, a biopsy for gums that were not only NOT healing after the teeth and bridge had been removed  but were growing ….the news came through about WHY. The posts about my cancer can be found here.

Words are few but pictures tell much of my story. Away we go. Oh, and I AM someone who takes lots of pics and am grateful to have this record.

Part One.

In the lead up to the first Anniversary of my diagnosis I had thought this post could be a ‘thank you’ one.

I did not realised until late March that I would need a 4th surgery. However, I accept that the mouth still needs more work ….and I am trying not to whinge too much about the fact I will be having the ‘mouthguard/stent’ in for much longer AND another skin graft….because whingeing is not cool. This post is going live AFTER my 4th surgery on 16 May 2018.

I have accepted that there is no real END time with cancer.

I will be having checks until mid 2022. Then, as with most head and neck cancer patients, there is more to come, such as management of my implants over time. See this wonderful Australian-based  support site: BeyondFive here.

So, no “thank you and farewell post” for Part Two. Just more gratitude and let me show you who those people are and why I am grateful!

Part Two is scheduled to go live on Tuesday 29 May 2018.

Denyse.

In many ways I hope, that as I am a teacher AND a learner, anyone who knows someone with Head and Neck Cancer might find my posts helpful. It is one of the reasons I blog: to share, to learn and to connect! My page above has my other posts relating to my cancer story.

On Tuesday this posts links with Kylie here

On Wednesday this post links with Sue and Leanne here

On Thursday this post links with Leanne here.

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.

Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.

This week, 47 years ago, my parents drove the 6 hours from Sydney to Barraba with 20 year old me, my luggage, teaching needs and more to check out where I would be teaching and where I might live!

I was more excited than nervous. This was me, getting ready for what I couldn’t wait to do! Teach. The school was located about 30 minutes drive from where my boyfriend of 3 years had just started his new job after graduating with his Ag Science degree, and we would likely meet up most weekends! Even though I didn’t have a car.

Sweet! But, where would I live? In those days single teachers often found accommodation in a person’s house as a boarder but I was not 100% taken with that notion. The school was open and that I got to meet the DP who was getting ready for school starting that week and asked him about accommodation. He mentioned the teacher share house just down the road from school where there was a vacancy. We drove to the house (see photo from screen shot!) met the already arrived 2 teachers (one was yet to come) and I was offered the place. All in the space of an afternoon.

Looking back, and speaking to Dad only recently about this whole experience, apparently Mum found it all pretty traumatic leaving her daughter behind. I recall her helping me get the bedroom sorted (my part of it as it was a shared one – the front room seen in the pic) and just being ‘Mum’ about it all. She cried on the way home Dad tells me. Oh. I found the truth of how that feels when my daughter left home aged 21.

This post one year ago is about my first school as a teacher.

Back to the topic! I had NO idea what it would be like to live in a shared household with 3 somewhat older women. We were all on the same staff of the K-12 school. However, I was the spoiled only daughter who had a social life as her priority rather than anything else to do with chores so I think, over time, I did not do well as a contributor to the house.

I learned to cook spaghetti bolognaise as we did have a cooking roster and I got some help there.
I did keep my room tidy. I used to save up my washing and take it home to Mum’s when I drove down to Sydney for a weekend every fortnight or so with the DP who would make me drive part of the way (and back) as he was visiting his fiancee.

My relationship with the boyfriend fizzled in Term One, so I became much more interested in socialising and holding Saturday night parties! The other housemates were generally away on the weekends. Once I met my now-husband in the final term, I did nothing. Except be lovelorn when he wasnt there and we married by the following year. I learned that I was a NOT a good household sharer. Marriage though was a BIG lesson!!

Thanks for my Facebook friends for their tips!

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6199/6059949428_226b92144a_z.jpg

Tips for Living In A Shared Household.

  1. Don’t live with Denyse when she is young and in love (my tip)
  2. Work out from the outset whether you’re going to do shared meals or fend for yourself.
  3. Allocate cupboard and fridge space accordingly. If doing shared meals, allocate a budget and draft meal plan.
  4. Use your words. Literally.Don’t get in a huff with your house mates when they don’t do things your way.
  5. Spoons in the sink when there’s a dishwasher two feet away can drive you mental.
  6. Hold regular house meetings.
  7. Work out who is an introvert and who is an extrovert. Make plans accordingly. In one share house I lived in, where people were incredibly busy and social, we instituted a weekly no guests night.
  8. Live alone.
  9. Some people suck at grocery shopping. Train them.
  10. If you own anything precious, don’t keep it in shared areas. It will likely get broken.
  11. Oh God, just don’t. The stories I could tell about my nightmare 4 months.
  12. Set ground rules – who does what, and what items are shared and which are your own.I think talking about things as they come up is great, so they don’t become bigger problems.
  13. And do fun things together – like house dinners and nights out, because they’re your new family. I loved my share house experiences for the most part!
  14. If you find yourself house sharing in middle age, as I have, share with a man. Living with another woman was too stressful and it’s never fair when both are set in their ways. The dramas were awful. Never again. My last two housemates have been men and it’s worked really well for all of us.
  15. Make them clean. Don’t just clean because no one else is doing it and it’s driving you slightly mental. You’ll just get resentful that you’re the only one who cleans anything.

So, have you ever lived in a shared household?

How was it for you?

What tips would you add?

Thanks for sharing!

Denyse.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.   Next week’s prompt is “Back To Routine”.



 

I also link up here with Alicia and here with Kell on Mondays.

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest