Things I have been meaning to tell you about:
1. I eat like a five year old. Lunch? Tuna sandwich and carrot sticks (and cucumber!). Dinner? Bowl of cereal, a hand full of olives, and some chocolate pudding.
2. I have new flatmates! Ella is settling in to Dublin for her study abroad 5 months and so Jenny and John Henry have moved in to her room. Jenny is a technical theatre student at school and is, surprisingly, from Tacoma. John Henry is a philosophy student and from Sweden. They are very nice and we managed to get the keys all worked out in spite of the fact that my initial attempt to make them keys resulted in four inner door keys and no outer door keys. Oops. They are still moving in so I do not yet have any concrete things to tell you about them. More will come, I am sure.
3. Something is wrong with my keyboard that is preventing me from using my apostrophe hence the lack of any contractions in this particular post. I do not actually talk like this when I am speaking.
4. One Wednesday of last week I DID in fact work. In spite of arriving in London around midnight on Tuesday-Wednesday. (I apparently also cannot do slashes either. What is up with my keyboard?) I managed to get through that full day of teaching very well indeed. Yay! Mostly what I remember is that during garden time we had to keep telling the tykes "Do not kick over anyone elses snowmen!" and then at the French school I *almost* did not have any students. And then one showed up... but I manfully came up with a lesson plan for my one, mute, four year old. Fortunately a couple of the other teachers came and hung out with me and the four year old (excuse me. FIVE year old. He had a birthday.) so that was nice and I got to use my new music books including one that matches up works of art from the Metropolitan museum with movements from various pieces. I got A. (the FIVE year old) to listen to "The Elephant" and draw an Elephant on the board. Success!
5. Consort has six members! We're going to be playing for the Early Music open day next week so we have to pretend like we actually practice instead of just sight reading music together. Good thing we're so good. (And suddenly my apostrophe/slash works! Fantastic! (Do you like how this is a real time analysis of what is going on with my computer? I just want to keep ya'll precisely up to date.))
6. I love my yoga class. There were only three of us today which meant we all got bunches of personal attention which is just SO good and MAN do I miss yoga when I don't have it. That being said I'm still in my yoga togs and now I'm a little bit chilly. What solution should I go with? Put on another sweater? Go get a blanket? Turn up the heat? Stop eating cereal for dinner?
7. I'm listening to Sons of the Never Wrong and if you don't know who they are- you should check them out. Fun fun band from Chicago. They make me happy.
8. In one week I'm playing solo gamba for an art reception. Wish me luck, I'm nervous about it. I'll just be background music (this is a good thing) and I'll be improvising "light and gentle music" so that should be good.
9. I'm still working on my lesson plans for this term which *technically* were due on Monday but considering that last term I finished them half an hour before we left for our end of term Christmas Lunch I'm really doing quite well: I have the next two weeks planned. (Two weeks if you include tomorrow...) But I'm all excited about it right now!
We're working on keeping a pulse (being able to hear where the beat is); the difference between staccato and legato (so far we've only done staccato- frog jumps! Legato is going to be snakes); and we're going to start beginning composition tomorrow by linking the topic that they're learning about (nursery: hibernating animals; reception: traditional stories) and using those words to create rhythms (i.e., hedgehog hedgehog bear door mouse OR Cinderella Jack Goldilocks Jack) I have pictures of all these things so they can arrange the pictures themselves and write the songs/rhythms that way. Clever, right? Like I said *I'm* excited about it.
10. I finally had a solid feeling session with my Tuesday kids. The Tuesday kids are...a challenge. Over break I read a bunch of early education books and met with a very experienced elementary music teacher which was really helpful in terms of coming up with strategies for dealing with that group of kids. Things that really helped today:
*writing up the lesson plan on the board before they entered the room- I don't know if it helped them so much, but I felt much more secure being able to look up and SEE what we were going to do next. To know that I had a really clear plan for what the class was going to look like.
*writing their names on the board and putting up smiley faces when they were being good/paying attention/listen ting and X's when they were interrupting/calling me names in French (thanks, Kid.)/screaming/rolling around on the floor. Oh. that makes them sound much worse than they are, though truthfully they do do all of those things. But not by the end of class! By the end of class I honestly and sincerely thanked them for being so good and paying such good attention. So lets keep that up, yes?