• musings

    March 25-31 NaBloPoMo Catchup + March THP

    Playing catchup today after staying home sick for a day and a half. I find myself repeating these patterns of “push too much” and “overschedule” and end up paying for it. I ended up not finishing the “post once a day for March” goal that I’d envisioned for my March Happiness Project goal, but I want to at least answer the questions (however short the answers may be). Tuesday, March 25, 2013 What is your favourite personality trait that you possess? Before this month, I would have said “creativity.” After reading a letter from my dad to my cousin’s son (who had asked about the traits that his children had…

  • musings

    March 24 NaBloPoMo – One Thing

    If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? My first thought was to change one of my physical qualities: to clear up my vision to 20/20, to sing like Ella Fitzgerald or Fiona Apple, or to run like Kara Goucher. Those potential qualities are lovely but wouldn’t pay off as much (unless I landed a recording contract or running sponsorship). Changing my devotion to the “shoulds” would pay off so much more. The “shoulds” involve social pressures and doing things for extrinsic motivation and the approval of others rather than for intrinsic rewards. I don’t like that the question almost implies that the “one thing” has…

  • musings

    March 21 NaBloPoMo – Doing More

    Do you do more for yourself or for others? More is not better. I am not a good multi-tasker. I prefer quiet workspaces and small groups. When I add more to my metaphorical activity plate, I get stressed but I hide it because I think that multi-tasking is what’s prized in the working world. I say I understand balance, but I don’t. In fact, when a coworker used to tell me “be kind to yourself” during times of stress, I would interpret “kindness” as being lazy and not upholding myself to my standards. I think this attitude comes from long-held subconscious equating of self-worth with extrinsic rewards: straight A’s, high…

  • musings

    March 20 NaBloPoMo – Know Yourself

    Benjamin Franklin said: “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” Do you think you know yourself well? I used to think I did. The more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about teaching, about cooking, or about myself. You would think that we all know ourselves well, but I think that we all have blind spots that we are not aware of.

  • musings

    March 19 NaBloPoMo – Best Friend

    Would you say that you are your own best friend? No. Several of my posts for this NaBloPoMo challenge have examined conflict between the dueling natures of self. This one continues the theme. I can be strong and motivate myself to persevere through tough situations, yet I can easily spiral down into weakness, discouraging myself from finding the positive. I’m learning to be kinder to myself, but I can still be my own worst enemy.

  • musings

    March 18 NaBloPoMo – Confidence

    How would you rate your self-confidence? When is it at its lowest? When is it at its highest? If it were a function: 1) The first derivative would be positive. 2) Relative minima occur on days with lessons that don’t go as well as I hoped, bad races, or bad sleep. 3) Relative maxima occur on days with good lessons, unexpected surprises, or sufficient sleep. 4) Absolute minima and maxima happen with the life events that make me laugh and cry.

  • musings

    March 17 NaBloPoMo – Trust

    Who do you trust more: yourself or others? I used to rarely trust myself. Rather, I deferred to others because I assumed that they always knew better. In my first few years as a teacher, I always thought of myself as the newbie who resided at the bottom of the totem pole (even when I had useful ideas to contribute). Now I’m learning to trust my instincts and to get used to the ideas that others might trust me.

  • musings

    March 12 NaBloPoMo – Revealing Self

    Do you feel like you reveal too much of yourself on your blog? Do you think you hold back too much? When I was younger, I blended into my classes like a fly on the wall, never daring to make a peep. The idea of a five-minute presentation on New Zealand in the 6th grade had me praying that the school would burn down just so I wouldn’t have to give the presentation. I did end up giving it, but my poor note cards were mangled by my death grip and smudged from the sweat on my palms. In high school, I wrote an impassioned response to the book “Surely…

  • musings

    March 11 NaBloPoMo – ten years

    Do you think you’ll still be blogging 10 years from now? I hope so! Over the past ten years, I have started various blogs on Xanga, Blogspot, and WordPress, but none stuck until this one, and I think it’s because I’m now solidly confident in who I am. Going from 23 to 33, I got older but became younger at heart. I transitioned from consultant to teacher (and have now been a teacher for 50% more time than I was a consultant). I went from teacher to team leader + IB coordinator. I went from feeling like a little girl playing dressup in teacher clothes to comfortable in my teacher…

  • musings

    March 10 NaBloPoMo

    How has blogging changed your life? Tell us one thing that is different now than from before you started blogging. Though I started blogging partly to indulge my math-y side and become a better math teacher, the experience has helped me think about capturing stories. Even though I tried to fit the “science + tech” mold from a young age, I still have a strange creative streak and whimsical ideas. My favorite inspiration is my friend Melissa, who captures the stories of her family with humor, love, and enthusiasm. When we lived together in college, she entertained us all with her stories: fanciful tales of study abroad in Leiden, hilarious…