A while back, Dean asked us to engage in a couple of assignments from the DS106 website.  I blogged about my tasks and received a comment from a classmate about another assignment she thought I would have chosen: Cat Breading.  Had I seen it when I was carefully selecting my projects, I definitely would have completed it then. Fast-forward to this week, and I found myself with a couple pieces of decrepit bread in my cupboard, some time to kill, and a very special cat named Charlie.

The Story Of Charlie Bear

It was Friday, November 10, 2006.  I remember this because I had the day off work as Remembrance Day fell on the Saturday that year.  I was on my way out to my car when I heard the tiny meows of a kitten somewhere on the street.  I looked around and called, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty!"  Almost immediately, a little cat skittishly ran over to me on my driveway.  I tried to approach her but as I stepped toward her she ran back onto the street. It was snowing and getting too cold for a small cat like that to be out for long, so I went up to the porch of the house and called again: "Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty!"  Again she came, and so this time I opened the door and invited her into the house. She came running in the door and was warmly greeted by a curious German Shepherd, a Collie crossed with who-knows-what, and a growling/hissing cat who was clearly running the show.  Needless to say, Charlie bolted back outside to safety.  I looked around for her, but she was nowhere in sight.  When I returned to my car and turned on my headlights, the beam of light shone into a bush at the front of the house, revealing the little kitten.

Tugging on my heart strings, I rescued her from the bush and brought her back into the house and into the spare bedroom where she spent the night with my mom.  The next morning I called the Humane Society to report "him" found (I am really bad at deciphering the genders of kittens) and was informed of my options:

        1.  Bring her in immediately
        2.  Keep her at home until someone claims her and if after two weeks no one phones looking for her, bring her
             in then
        3.  Keep her at home until someone claims her and if after two weeks no one phones looking for her, keep her
Charlie's New Zipper Post-Surgery
We obviously chose option #3 and here we are today.  She is the polar opposite of my other cat, Hank (#catproblems), in that she is almost annoyingly affectionate and will take whatever our two Bostons or we dish out.  Last year she swallowed a large piece of a rubber dog toy and underwent major surgery to have it removed. When the vet techs phoned to update us the morning after, they said she was still a little groggy from the drugs but was rubbing her face on everyone's hands.  That is my Charlie Bear.  So when I stuck a piece of bread on her head, she just sat patiently while I snapped pictures and laughed hysterically at her expense.  I almost feel bad when I write that, but then I look at this picture and chuckle a little more:    

Miss Charlie, Donning Her Bread-Crown
The end of my semester has come and gone.  My final marks have all been posted and yet I still have this anxious feeling in my guts that I have something due.  I wonder when that feeling will subside and give way to the freedom that is my reality and allow me to actually enjoy my summer?  My semester proved to be fruitful in more than just a learning sense.  In fact, things almost seem too good to be true right now.  One of my instructors has moved on from her role as classroom teacher and into the role of consultant with the Ministry of Education and she generously donated all of her classroom resources to me.  I have a bajillion boxes to go through and decide what to keep and what to toss, but I am so grateful for the offering because it can be expensive for a new teacher to go out and purchase these things.  Another one of my instructors happened to also be a superintendent with the school board I am hoping to work for in January and has provided me with some advice for my internship as well as a foot in the interviewing door.  Although none of this guarantees me a job, I am feeling optimistic about my future career.  

I started work this week at the Ta-Wa-Si Recreation program.  I am working the luxurious hours of 1 - 5 and spend the better part of my day outside, engaging with most of the same children I have spent the last 6 months working with.  I enjoy that I can say, "I love my job" and mean it.  You would have to meet and get to know the children I spend my days with to get it.  They are such a cool bunch who continue to humble me with their perspectives.  I have been working to find camps and activities of interest to connect the children to so that they can take advantage of the programming that is available to them.  I thought I had a basketball camp lined up for a group of boys who love to shoot hoops and played on the school team, but some issues have come up causing us to look elsewhere. The YMCA is really great about making things work for these children so I am hopeful we can find something.  I actually have to deliver the bad news to them today that the camp we had been talking about is now a no-go.  Hopefully the fact that we are going swimming this afternoon will provide some sort of silver lining to the day, as I know they are going to be disappointed.

On a completely different note, this morning I committed myself to blogging and visiting my neglected Google Reader.  Check and check!  I had about 150 things that I had missed since I looked at it last.  I am glad I scrolled through instead of marking everything as read because I found a really neat resource that I want to share with my fellow primary teachers.  It was a post from Amanda at One Extra Degree about a resource she is selling over on TeachersPayTeachers.  I had purchased her pirate themed mapping package during my pre-internship and loved her ideas, so when I saw her dinosaur themed word-work bundle, I was equally enthusiastic to share.  The resource she has created is geared toward grade-threes, however I can see it working for my kinders in the fall.  I am envisioning a centre with buckets of sand or dirt and rakes for the children to "dig-up" their laminated popcorn or sight words.  Check it out and leave a comment about how you might use it in your classroom!