Thursday, 26 May 2011

Good News

Mr. Janmohamed is a 2011 recipient of the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Awards!

Mr. J was Jaclyn's Chem AP teacher last year and is really the reason that Jaclyn is majoring in Biochemistry next year. We only found out about his award at Jaclyn's graduation ceremony yesterday - his achievement was mentioned in a speech by the principal. I sat there and thought, "I can't believe Jaclyn didn't tell me!" But it turned out she didn't know either. In fact when Jaclyn crossed the stage and shook hands with the principal (before his speech) and he quietly congratulated her ("Nice work with Mr. J") she didn't know what he was talking about, but tells me she just quietly replied "thank-you" out of politeness.

(Jaclyn was the student who nominated Mr. J for the award.)

Earlier this year I suggested she make the effort to nominate someone as an act of gratitude for all her wonderful experiences in public education. It was a pain-in-the-butt with forms to fill out, a short essay to write, recommendations from other faculty members in the school to collect, deadlines to meet. But how could she not take the opportunity to publicly thank this amazing teacher? The nomination was an expression of appreciation, and a worthwhile exercise for any student.

Mr J. told Jaclyn yesterday that she has, "no idea of what she's unleashed."


So he's miserable, and she has nothing to be sorry for, which is so amusing and satisfying.

Congratulations Mr J, you deserve the recognition - even if it's a little uncomfortable.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Long Weekend

We had an extra long weekend just past. It was Victoria Day on Monday and to make it even better all the schools had the Friday before as a day off as well. We planted some vegetables on Friday, then on Saturday I took Carmen and Chloe to Heritage Park opening day. It was hot enough for ice cream (yeah!) but Chloe had to have Sherbet because we have established she can't do milk anymore. She's been milk free for more than 3 weeks and she feels so much better.

Anyhow, on Sunday and Monday we took a little trip up to the Columbia Ice Fields in Jasper. I guess we were missing the snow already? 

On the Athabasca Glacier
(Maybe a back-up Christmas card photo?)

Sipping some pure glacier water. I wish we'd been advised to bring water bottles up to the top with us!

We learned a few interesting things like the Columbia Ice Field feeds three oceans: the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic.

The monster truck buses that transported us onto the glacier were pretty cool. The road up the mountain bends and changes constantly with the movement of the glacier, and it was steep - a 30% grade.

The view of the Athabasca Glacier from our hotel window. It has receeded 2km in the past 150 years, but it is only a small outcropping of the Columbia Ice Field that sits just behind these mountains.

Okay, this is just for my own personal entertainment. Chloe started playing with the video camera as we drove up, and Carmen jumped in with sound effects. (The rest of us did a really good job stifling our laughter so as not to ruin the video.)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Lucky Me

Well, I'm going to Ireland! Which turns out to be rather distracting. There's been a little bit of pre-trip shopping: a raincoat, pants for tromping around graveyards and such. Mostly I've just been occupied mentally with planning food for the kids while we're away, arranging rides for their activities. Luckily I don't have to worry about the travel itinerary at all - Ken and his mom are taking care of everything.

We're travelling with my in-laws who have been to Ireland many times (lots of family history in the country) so it's going to be like having our own private tour guides. At the end of our time in Ireland Ken and I are spending a couple of days alone in London, which Ken has covered! Who knew I could be so happy not in charge?

I will miss a few soccer games . . . Chloe has learned to be bold this season, I can hardly wait to see what she can do when I get back!

Thankfully, choir is all done so that's one less thing to be managed while I'm away.

I spent a good part of the concert trying to capture Carmen and Chloe with 'normal' singing faces, which was quite a challenge. Now I don't know what I was thinking - their funny singing faces (which they seem to use most of the time) would be more fun to share!

I need to set up some kind of training schedule for Carmen for while I'm gone. She's signed up for a triathlon on Canada Day so she'll need rides to the pool and I should ask Steven to take her biking. I think we'll skip the running for now - her hip flexors are killing her, I can't imagine why.

Two things I won't be missing are Jaclyn's high school and Steven's junior high school graduations, we managed to squeeze our trip right between the two events.

I'm thinking it would be fun to give the kids my blogger password and post our happenings back and forth while we're apart: "Dear kids"and "Dear Mom and Dad". What do you think, too risky? Might they prank my blog beyond repair?