Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Wake up.
Practise Estonian flashcards.
Reading/writing blogs on the bus.
Eat, coffee.
Planning lessons.
Lunch duty.
More Lessons.
Handbell practise.
Estonian homework.
Cook dinner. 
Folk dancing practise with husband.
Wake up.
Reading/writing blogs on the bus.
Eat, coffee.
Planning lessons.
More lessons.
Meeting, more coffee. 
Planning/ preparing/ marking.
Estonian lesson. 
Dinner out with friends visiting. 
Practise Estonian flashcards.

And so on and so on, until the weekend comes and I can breathe. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A letter to my skin.

Dear Skin, 
Another pimple? Come on! It's not even that time of the month! I only just got over the last one you handed me. Remember? That monstrosity of a chin Mount Everest that arrived just before a conference full of important people? Now it seems you have blessed me with some kind of horn, smack bang between my eyes. While unicorns are pretty, It's not my preferred look!  
I mean, I know you were relatively kind to me in my younger years but why spit the dummy now? I thought pimples were supposed to be teenage thing, not a late 20's thing! 
I don't know what you're so pissed off about but I hear you, loud and clear! As can everyone within a 3 metre radius. 
Anyway...please... can we be friends again? Let's talk.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The sun is back

An old lady sitting opposite me on the bus closes her eyes and points her face towards the sunlight shining through the bus window. 
Basking like a lizard in the glorious light that we have been deprived of for several long months. 
On her face is a small smile. 
Winter is finally thawing she may be thinking. 
Perhaps all of us on this full bus are thinking the same. 
Things have started to come alive, an awakening from the cold, dark winter. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Board games

You can gauge a lot about a person from how they play board games. Similarly, if you know a person well, you can also predict how they will play. Last night, we played apples to apples, a game where it is very important to know your audience.  I have a kids version in my classroom at school, a fun game to build cooperation and vocabulary. 

When I am the judge, I usually pick the weirdest or most disgusting combination, as I find these to be the most funny. In the above case, it would be a tough choice between 'juicy- pigeons' and 'juicy- having an operation'. My friend, however, always goes for the most literal card, 'juicy- oranges'. I also like hearing the judge's reason for their choice, as it is often accompanied with some sort of back story.

About 80% of the time, I inadvertently pick my husband's card, as he knows my strange, twisted thought processes better than anyone else in the room. In contrast, when we play 'codewords' on the same team, we almost always lose...  interesting. 

Which one would you pick? 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Soviet apartment.

Tonight, I have invited a few friends over to play board games. It will be the most people we have ever hosted in our tiny 35 square metre, hodgepodge  apartment. It led me to reflect on our time living here.  It has been more than two years since we moved into our rental apartment, in a district of Tallinn with a large ethnic Russian population. We were pretty desperate for our own place when signed the lease. It was a 15 minute bus ride to the city centre, was available straight away and it was cheap, very cheap. Unfortunately, the apartment was also very old and rundown and like many old apartments in Tallinn, seemed to be stuck in the soviet era. We had a carpet on the wall..Yes, that's right, on the wall.  Combined with the 3 different types of aged wallpaper, the floor carpet and the sofas, it made for an interesting look. 

But it was our own little place, our sanctuary. So much better than sharing a room at a hostel. 
After a few months, we decided the bathroom was just too disgusting to live with any longer so we (mainly my husband) did some retiling and painting. Our landlord was happy to cover the cost of the materials. After the bathroom, the kitchen soon followed...

 The next step was to get rid of that hideous carpet wall...
 In honour of this momentous occasion, we had a Russian style send off party, complete with herring, potatoes and vodka. 

 Next, we decided that we would re-wallpaper the whole apartment. 
It can't be that hard, we thought....

 ....That was before we discovered that there was some areas with up to 7 alternating layers of wallpaper and newspaper on the walls....

At the end of a long, exhausting weekend of bleeding knuckles and frustration, we decided to call it quits on the renovations, since we were not getting paid or owned the apartment. 

Our apartment is still pretty strange looking... Our wall-papering job was less than perfect and our apartment is still filled with a mix match of old furniture our landlord seems to think is ok to store here. 

But it's a little place to call our own, our home.
And even with all it's quirks and faults, we love it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

6 Words

Reading some other posts has prompted me to try out some 6 word memoirs. Found it was much harder than it sounds! 

1. A quiet classroom moment, unproductive mind. 

2. Didn't make time to miss you.

3.  How to make apartment more 'hygge'?

4. Trying to be a better me. 

5. Scratchy throat attempting to pull me down. 

6. Addictive sugar screaming my name constantly. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017


I came back from a recent conference excited and inspired. I have already tried some new ideas with my Grade 3 students and am feeling fresh with enthusiasm.  I also attended a post conference workshop my director was running titled 'Women in leadership'. This was both an amazing and terrifying experience. At the end of the 1.5 days, I was required to present a speech to a room full of 15 powerful women, who are all in leadership roles, about my 'Vision for education'. I was the youngest and least experienced of the group but found the workshop incredibly insightful thought provoking. It was great to get to know the women as they shared their visions and hopes for the future of education. It also prompted me to reflect on the direction of both my personal and professional life. This lead me to come up with 3 major goals I want to work towards in the near future: 

1. Develop my public speaking skills by seeking opportunities to practise, rather than avoiding them!
2.  Be more committed to regular exercise. Make the effort to get up early 2 mornings a week to workout before school. 
3. Continue to work towards B2 level Estonian. Make time every day to study and practise.