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I think around seven or eight. I know I definitely didn't believe anymore by the age of nine; I remember my best friend's mother taking me aside and asking me not to discuss Santa around her children. She was very nice about it and I stopped immediately.
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A bunch of knitting supplies. Seriously, there were several hundred dollars' worth of Knit Picks links on my Christmas list sent out to family.
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[livejournal.com profile] momentrabbit's Schadenfreude Pie. Especially since it followed some Alderaan cookies and a few other sweet treats all on one day. It was the first time I experienced a sugar rush that made me feel sick enough to leave the party and go to bed; I was stumbling around and looked ghastly. But the treats were worth it.
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If you give me enough money to spend that week in Paris, I'll do it.
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There have been only two Septembers of my life since I was four that I didn't head to school in one capacity or another: the two years I was on maternity leave with each of my daughters. Even then, the second mat leave included preschool for my older daughter and I was taking her to school and volunteering periodically.

On the one hand, I get significant anxiety at this time of year. I don't sleep well for the last couple weeks of August, and I rarely sleep much at all the night before school starts. I get tense. I know very well that the tone for the whole school year is set on the first day, and if it's bad, I also know what kind of hell I'm likely to go through.

On the other hand, a nicely laid-out classroom (or in this case, school library) full of books and materials and newly-sharpened pencils and a pristine white board and chart papers and and and. . . I love the promise of a new school year. I love happy faces looking at me, knowing that I make a key difference in their lives for the months they're mine. This year, I'll be teaching every student in the school, and I'll teach most of them for several years in this capacity. My job is to present the wonder of books and learning; to encourage them to try new things and show them my enthusiasm; to make the library the beating, living heart of the school. The kids who connect with me, who take advantage of the wealth of opportunities available because I organize, purchase, and teach them, will never be the same again. Their minds will expand, their horizons possibly too. It's a sacred trust.

Teaching, like the ministry, really like any helping profession, should be a calling. It should be something you do because you're passionate about it. There was more than one year when I didn't feel that, and did very much feel the lack of it, to the point where i questioned whether I belonged in teaching at all. I don't question it now. For all the stress, for all the stupidities and bureaucratic nightmares, for all the elements I disagree with and wish would disappear from my job, this is what I have to do.
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The people setting the limits should be those most able to enforce them - i.e. the parents.

I don't generally like age limits for a lot of things.  I'd rather teach my children that alcohol is something to be used with caution, than have them grow up with the taboo they're ready to flaunt as soon as they can get away with it.  It's the same with the internet.  A gradual release of responsibility, from complete supervision where the parent is the keeper of the passwords to complete autonomy, is a process to be followed a bit differently for every family.

It's not LJ's job to decide how I should teach my kids about the internet.
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I'm not a big fan of some of the teaching jargon that's been coming out in the last few years, but the one I hate the most is "capacity-building." Basically, it means increasing the average amount of pedagogical knowledge amongst all teachers, with the idea that a broader base leads to a taller pyramid. But it's an incomprehensible term on its own, and of course it's been interpreted four hundred different ways by four hundred different districts.
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Yes. I do not think we can currently explain everything via science, and I do not think that everyone is capable of understanding every scientific explanation that will someday be out there - that realm is already too vast. But I do believe that a scientific explanation for everything is indeed possible.
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I'll start by paying off some mortgages of family and a few close friends. Then I'll put a bunch away for my daughters, either for their educations or for them to buy a house or whatever. I'd probably do the same for my nephew and any other kids born by then to Piet's or my siblings.

The rest would be divided into three equal parts: one for something in my city, one for something in my country, and the third for overseas. For the first, I think I'd look at setting up a scholarship to McMaster University for underprivileged kids. For the second, I'd look for a school in a poor area - say, the Northwest Territories - and earmark that money for them to outfit their school with all the resources they need to run a really excellent elementary program. (In fact, if there's more than a hundred grand in that pool, I'd probably give fifty grand each to several schools. You can get an awful lot of good resources for fifty grand.) The third, out-of-country fund, would go to doing similar things in impoverished nations - probably in Africa.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]Well, a few months ago, the secretary and kindergarten teachers were trying to figure out why there were so many May birthdays amongst the JK class, and why it was such a big class compared to the SKs from the same year.  Then we did the math.  There are approximately 5% more kids entering senior kindergarten in the Great Lakes region this fall than there were the previous fall - and the majority of them have birthdays in May. 

As for me, I had a four-month-old at the time of the 2003 blackout.  I slept on the couch and she slept in her playpen because it was way too hot upstairs.  Piet got out his telescope.  It's not often you can see that many stars from the lower city in Hamilton.

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That would depend. I know more than the minimum about growing stuff, and I can recognize quite a few edible plants and quite a few poisonous ones, so I'd probably be okay in the plant food department for a while. I also have enough of a grasp of basic mechanics that I could probably rig some kind of trap for small animals if necessary (and very hungry.) I suppose it would depend on how many tools I had on hand. "Hatchet" style, with just an axe, I doubt I'd manage very well. But if I were allowed to raid my library, a gardening centre, and a hardware store, even for only what I could carry myself, I could probably manage during the warmer months.

Winter? All bets are off.
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Yes, I do, on one condition: that they're trying to improve the situation for next time.

I had a poster many years ago, an early version of an lolcat, that had a picture of a kitten in a difficult situation (peering wetly out of a watering can and looking miserable, I believe) that said, "Be patient, God isn't finished with me yet." So long as you're not writing off nasty behaviour as the "way you are" and claiming you can't help it, you'll get a second chance to fix it from me.

Now, heaven help you if you try to tell me that your bad behaviour is someone else's fault, or whatever. I can lecture as only a teacher can.

June 2017

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