Monthly Archives: April 2016

Possessed

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The weirdest thing happened to my phone today. This afternoon, I received a text message. After pulling my phone out of my pocket to see who it was, I unlocked my phone to reply. Suddenly, I knew something was wrong. The keyboard, all on its own, began typing random strings of letters. I tried to delete the text being written, but it was typing so fast, that in the time it took for me to delete a few letters, it had typed 10 more. After typing a nonsense message, my phone sent the text on its own. What was going on?!?

From there, I decided to power down the phone. Restarting my computer works when it’s being screwy, so I figured it would probably work on my phone. WRONG! After turning it back on, it began opening random apps, and clicking on things. At one point, my phone opened my inbox and began deleting emails, tried to order an Uber ride (we don’t even have Uber in Albania!), started calling some of my contacts, and even opened the Google map app and the blue GPS dot started moving, like I was walking somewhere across town. Holy crap! This is super frustrating and annoying! After not being able to close out any of my applications, I did a hard restart, which is apparently recommended by Apple if there’s an issue. Still didn’t work.

At this point, my colleague looked up “iPhone freaking out,” and apparently this is a thing with iPhone 6’s. We saw a YouTube clip of a phone acting like mine with the screen having a mind of its own. The comments said it was most likely a software issue, and to contact Apple for help. Of course, the only Apple retailer (not an official Apple store) in town has inconvenient hours for service, so they were closed by the time I got off work today. I am going to have to take time off work to go get it looked at unless it magically fixes itself tomorrow. I have never heard of this before, and am not super happy that it happened to me. Hopefully it gets sorted out soon! I realize that this isn’t the end of the world, by any means, but its definitely an inconvenience!

My Personal Inquiry

Lately I’ve been inquiring into how to lead our annual Programme of Inquiry (POI) review, where we take a look at our units of inquiry, and the POI as a whole, to evaluate their effectiveness and make improvements for next year. At my previous school, I’ve taken part in leading our POI review for the last 3 years, and it’s gone well, but I’ve been wondering about how I can structure it for my current teachers, who are new to PYP. I want it to be meaningful and engaging, rather than something they feel like they have to do because the IB says we have to do it.

In the past week, I’ve been in the tuning in stage of inquiry, actively thinking about how to do it, asking myself questions, and gathering resources. Today, I ended up working late on some other stuff for work. Despite being at work for 12 hours, I was motivated to delve more into my personal inquiry into the POI review. I printed off a few of the articles I had found earlier on the topic (I like reading hard copies when researching), and headed over to The Montrose for some dinner and a change of scenery. I set up shop at my usual table in the back, where I can be alone, spread out, and get work done. Diving right in, I began the process of finding out and sorting out, as I took copious notes from my readings, as well as jotted down things I knew I wanted to include in this year’s review.

Anyone who knows anything about inquiry knows that it leads to motivation. I continued to work for hours, without stopping. Usually when I’m working on something, I get off topic, take breaks, get distracted, etc., but not tonight. I was so energized by the planning and work I was doing, that I couldn’t stop.

After I gathered notes on the POI review, my mind drifted to teacher orientation planning. This is another topic that’s been floating around in my head lately. Like the POI review, I want it to be engaging and purposeful for my teachers. I want them to walk away feeling prepared for the year ahead, motivated to learn more about PYP and inquiry teaching, and equipped with a toolkit of teaching strategies that they can implement in their classrooms. To this end, I began making more and more lists, gathering strategies for orientation and the big ideas I wanted to be sure and include in this year’s orientation. Before I knew it, it was 11:00pm, and even though it was late, I didn’t want to stop working! Obviously I did, because I’d be a zombie tomorrow if I didn’t. I feel good about the work I did today, and am motivated to continue this process in the coming days. After I finish sorting out, I’ll go further and begin planning how I’d like to approach both the POI review and the teacher orientation. Can’t wait to see it all put together, and then in action with the teachers!

Making Changes

It’s no secret that I’ve been down lately. I’ve been under a lot of stress, some of it externally imposed, some self-imposed, and I haven’t been myself. My once joyful outlook on life was replaced by a cloud of negativity, following me around and weighing me down. This weekend I decided enough is enough.

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I realized that I was allowing the circumstances around me to control me, thus putting me in a funk. I was playing the victim, letting anger over the injustices I was experiencing take over. What I realized was that I was the one who was ultimately affected. Those other people weren’t bothered in the least and went on about their days, oblivious to my plight, but there I was in turmoil nearly every day. I found myself getting worked up over everything that didn’t turn out right. I was short-tempered, sensitive, and constantly complaining about what was happening to me. To be fair, I was wronged, taken advantage of, and not appreciated, but my reaction to the situations was ultimately what was causing me to feel that way.

I’ve decided that I can’t change how other people act, but I can change how I react to the situations that come my way. Yesterday, a few things happened where I was not respected. Normally, these things would have bothered me a lot, and I would have been so frustrated by them that I would have worked myself up and been angry. But, surprising even myself, I changed my reaction. Instead of getting angry or feeling sorry for myself, I laughed it off and moved on. And you know what? It felt good that I was able to move on quickly without dwelling on it.

Another thing I’m working on is being less of a workaholic. It’s in my nature to work hard and to do things perfectly. I have an extremely strong work ethic, and I take pride in my work and my accomplishments. As the classic overachiever, I don’t know how to say no, even when my plate is overflowing. As you can imagine, this leads to late nights and endless stress. I’ve decided to make a change. I need to find my joy again, and believe it or not, I’m not going to find it at home, alone, stressed out, and working all the time. Instead, I’m going to give it my all everyday at work, even staying a little longer each afternoon to get things done, but then I’m going to go home. I’m not going to carry the burden home with me, working tirelessly all night. It’ll be there for me tomorrow, when I’ll be well-rested and more able to tackle it anyhow. I’m taking back time for me- time to enjoy life, doing the things I want to do with people I enjoy.

So far, I’m two days in and doing well. I can’t promise that I won’t have setbacks, but I can promise that I’m going to keep trying everyday to maintain my positive outlook and find my joy again. 🙂

One of Those Days

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Today was one of those days when I wished I just stayed in bed. Not only was it nonstop (Tuesdays always are), but it was high stress and emotional. I hate that I let things happening at work get me so stressed out. Sometimes I wish I could care less. I am so invested in the people and making things work out perfectly, that when things aren’t right, I care too much. If I cared less, I wouldn’t get so stressed out. If I cared less, I wouldn’t get so emotional. If I cared less, I’d have more of a life outside of work. But I honestly don’t know how to do that. I put my all into what I do, and can’t imagine doing it another way.

I’m fortunate that I have an awesome, supportive team for days like today. When I was down and out, my team encouraged me, gave me hugs, and showed me that they cared. It’s the people in my corner that matter, not all the other crap. I’m going to focus more on them and less on the things I can’t control. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.