Directions to Barry’s Place

Making Your Way Around Yorkton:

Red Dot - Represents Barry's Place Blue Dot - Zion Lutheran Church Orange Dot - Home Inn & Suites Yellow Dot - Prairie Oyster Bar & Grill Reception

Red Dot – Represents Barry’s Place
Blue Dot – Zion Lutheran Church
Orange Dot – Home Inn & Suites
Yellow Dot – Prairie Oyster Bar & Grill Reception

Barry’s House – 4 Sully Ave. Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Screen Shot of Barry's Place

Zion Lutheran Church – 234 Independent St. Yorkton, Saskatchewan:

Zion Lutheran Church Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Home Inn & Suites – 506 Broadway St W.  Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 8.46.55 PM

Prairie Oyster Bar & Grill – Two Buildings Behind the Gallagher Center Yorkton – 455 Broadway Street W, Yorkton, Saskatchewan

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Matryoshka Measuring Cups

As you know, Babas love to cook and bake.  A Baba always needs sturdy and functional kitchen utensils and if they look great that is an added bonus.  We just love these Matryoskha Nesting Dolls Measuring Cups.  Not only are they functional, these little Babas make us smile each time we use them for a recipe.  An even bigger bonus is that they are reasonably priced at $12.00 on Fred&Friends.com.  If you are a Baba that keeps a real tight grip on her purse, Amazon.com has this set for approximately $10.49. But by the time you add tax you may as well support the person who produced the product.

Be sure to check out everything else that Fred & Friends has to offer.  They have some super neat gift giving ideas that are totally functional (so you know your friends won’t be selling them on Varagesale.com next week.

Matryoshka Doll Sitting Pretty Outside.

Matryoshka Doll Sitting Pretty Outside.

6 Different Portion Sizes are Included

6 Different Portion Sizes are Included

Find the Matryoshka Dolls here on Fred & Friends.com

A Reflection on an Old Dog and it’s New Tricks

"Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?"

Courtesy of Google Images

This semester has come to an end and I have definitely surprised myself with how much I have actually learned and been able to do using the power of the internet.  Prior to this class, I was definitely a skeptic when it came to social media.  I mean, I definitely used social media and means of open education, but I do not think I was using it in a critical or creative way.  Now that my professors Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt have helped this old dog to the computer, I can truly say I now have the skills to use means of open education & social media to better the lives of my students and myself.

Check out my Summary of Learning to take a look at some of the tools we used within class.  You can make your own white board video using an online tool called VideoScribe.

Our class was given the means to choose one’s own direction of learning.  Thus, I choose to get in touch with my inner Baba and carry on the traditions of my Eastern European Grandmothers.

I have compiled a short list of a few things I have learned through open education & social media.

  1. I built and learned to use a blog called #BabaRevolution (www.bababritthies.wordpress.com).  If I needed help with my blog along the way I used Google or Twitter to connect with technology addicts to help me through the process.
  2. Began to learn the native language my maternal grandmother spoke.  Now, ich spreche ein bisschen deutsch (I can speak a little German).  I used free tools like GermanPod101.com, Duolingo, Mango, MindSnacks, and HelloTalk to help me with mein Deutsch (my german).  Check out my counting video that I posted to Youtube.com.
  3.  Babas like to save money, time, and save the earth too!  In turn, I learned to give hair cuts to my male family and friends.  This saves us about $300 dollars a year in our house hold.  Check out the finished learning process and finished product here.
  4. Babas love to feed their family so I used open education to practice cooking techniques, learn new recipes, and document the process with time lapse videos.  The Greek Baba Bowl and Cranberry Pesto Chicken Sandwiches were my most liked recipes on Instagram.
  5. Finding a balance, spending time outside, and being a self sustaining human is important to Babas.  In this case, I entered myself in a fishing derby and connected with Pro fisher people like Jason and Jeff Matity and Roger and Sue Geres on line to learn more about the art of the fishing derby.  Check out my McBride Lake fishing learning and adventure here.
  6. Babas do love to share and collaborate because sharing knowledge is true happiness.  So, I worked together with my friend to up-cycle old clothing to make it new again.  We even made a fashion reel that will probably be shown on the next cycle of America’s Next Top Model.  Find our in fashion knee cut jeans here.
  7. I developed a Queen B Creative tab to help with learn to make chalk boards and eventually helped to start my own little chalk board art business.
  8. The number one lesson or development that has been internalized throughout this semester is that social media and open education creates the means to be connect and stay connected!
    Jeff and Jason Matity

    Jeff and Jason Matity (who can solve my fishing problems at anytime).  

    Mr. Matity

    Mr. Matity

     

I think I have come a long way since the days of my first blog post!  Thanks to my classmates and teachers for this beautiful experience.  #IthinkIamgettingthehangofthis

Baba’s Peppy Pickled Eggs

A Baba’s pantry wouldn’t be complete without a good jar of pickled eggs.  I have recently learned the secret to perfecting the skill of the perfect pickled egg and it lies within the initial boiling of the egg itself.  By meticulously completing this initial step properly an individual will be able to breeze through the rest of the recipe.

These two videos taught me how to perfectly boil and peel an egg (the most important part of Baba’s recipe.  Youtube.com is definitely a glorious concept.

How to Boil the Perfect Egg.  So you have this in writing: place one layer of unfresh (not a word, I know) eggs on the bottom of a pot.  Pour water over eggs until covered with one inch of water.  Bring water to a rapid rolling point.  Let eggs stay in this environment for approximately 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover with lid for 10 – 14 minutes.

Baba's Peppy Pickled Eggs Cooling Off

Baba’s Peppy Pickled Eggs
Cooling Off

How to Peel a Hard Boiled Egg.  Note: After boiling and letting eggs sit for 10 to 14 minutes, drain water and pour cool water and ice over eggs until covered.  Let eggs sit in ice water for about 10 minutes before starting to break the shell against the pot.  One can even use the rolling method shown in the first video, either way works great!

Baba’s Peppy Pickled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp mixed pickling spice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 clove garlic (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp brown sugar (adjust to taste).  Baba ran out of brown sugar and did use white sugar, as well.
  • 1 small onion, sliced (adjust to taste).  If you are making these for Ukrainians then you may have to add 10 more onions, that keeps ’em healthy.

Directions:

  1. Boil the 6 eggs: put eggs in pot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil, shut off and let stand 45 minutes. Shell.
  2. While eggs are boiling, in separate pot, boil all ingredients (except eggs and onions), 3 minutes.
  3. Place eggs and onions in clean glass jar; add liquid ingredients. Cover; immediately place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using. Longer is better.  Usually we let our eggs sit for 2 weeks before devouring the entire jar.

A Baba Tip: Sometimes, a light chemical reaction will cause the garlic to turn blue or green. This is normal, and perfectly safe to eat. And, the eggs will turn brown during the pickling stage; again, perfectly normal and safe to eat.  If you do want to eliminate this blue garlic chemical reaction place jars in fridge on top of a cutting board and then cover entire jar with a tea towel so light can not touch ingredients.

pickled eggs

This recipe was adapted from: LearnPysanky.com.  You can visit this site for more pickled egg tips.

Baba’s Summary of Learning for #eci831

Well it has been a jam packed, content filled semester and I feel like my eyes are going to fall out of my head from learning everything from the internet.  Although, I have to admit because our class was encouraged to guide our own learning, use open education, and make connections I feel like I have learned more in this class then any other.

I even surprised myself with by creating my own whiteboard animation video, you can make own to through the powers of the internet (they have templates and a 7 day free trial, just click here).

So, here she is folks my summary of learning:

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed.

Thank you to Alec & Katia for putting up with my technology illiterate mind.  Also, good luck to my classmates, go enjoy your summer!

Tea Towels To Dry For

Have you ever met anyone who dislikes dishwashers, but would rather just wash the dishes by hand.  Yup, that is this Baba.  Until a couple years ago I didn’t have a home that housed a dishwasher.  Thus, growing up I just got used to washing dishes by hand and now something about the process is so therapeutic.  This isn’t just personal opinion, science says so too.  According to Time magazine washing dishes by hand is a stress reliever when done mindfully.

It is the process of washing dishes that has spawned my obsession for vintage or graphic tea towels.  When I am drying dishes with a good ol’ tea towel in my hand, I feel comfort and I feel at home.  Most times, I think of the farm I grew up on and my grandmother.

During family gatherings hand drying dishes was a time to converse with the other ladies in the house.  At times, some of the best conversations were had during this time.  It is an ample place to have difficult conversations with an individual based on the idea that eye contact is almost impossible at the time.

Some of my favourite tea towels come from ToDryFor.com.  Check out their designs, they have zillions and zillions of tea towels for any occasion or personality.  There are tea towels that have cats, Taylor Swift, David Bowie, or a healthy looking herd of elk.  I am in love with this site and these tea towels.

Another great site with cute tea towels (along with some other spectacular gizmos and gadets, not to mention amazing clothing) is ModCloth.com.  This site is by far one of my favourites for absolutely anything.  ModCloth has very reasonable prices and a great return policy.  Plus, the customer service is the bomb.  Buyer beware though, you will have to pay customs if you are ordering from Canada.  So, I propose that Mod Cloth help us Canadians out and come our way!

Love My "Treat Yourself" Tea Towel From ModCloth.com

Love My “Treat Yourself” Tea Towel From ModCloth.com

Dress from Mod Cloth

Dress from Mod Cloth, Make Up by Face By Meagan, Photo by RIA Photo, & Headpiece by Wascana Flower Shoppe

In Regina, I often find the greatest vintage and graphic tea towels at Crocus & Ivy.  Crocus & Ivy is definitely one of my favourite home decor and gift shops.

Tea Towels from Crocus & Ivy

Tea Towels from Crocus & Ivy

Not only do tea towels give me the feeling of being at home, but each has a different story.  Whether that story is depicted through the graphics, where you got the towel from or depicted through a much deeper symbolism based on who you received that tea towel from.

It’s funny I speak of these “tea towel stories” because if you live in New Zealand right now (or are travelling there) there is currently an exhibition describing how every tea towel has a story.   Get your tickets here from the Rotorua Museum.

All Tea Towels

Home is definitely where you are surrounded by the people that love you, but in my mind home will always be found on my farm just outside of Calder, Saskatchewan.

Stuffing turkey for our last Thanksgiving at the farm.

Stuffing turkey for our last Thanksgiving at the farm.

Do you share the love of tea towels like I do?  What are some items that make you feel at home (besides people)?

Special Abilities Classroom Description

Often people ask what we work on within our special abilities classroom.  Most times, I am at a loss for words because it is rather, what don’t we do!  Here is a little overview of the skills and knowledge we build on within the Developmental Center.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Communication Skills: We strive to give students functional means to communicate based on their individual skills. When a student is empowered through communication they are able to express both their wants and needs.

Functional Behaviors: In our classroom we work towards being the best citizens we can be. Through socialization, creating, and critical thinking we learn what actions are appropriate in our society today. We work together to become the best possible persons we can be, as well as, contributors to our society.

Meaningful Inclusion: We also involve ourselves in as many mainstream activities, as possible. The more interaction we have with diverse people the better persons we will become.

Life Skills: The developmental center guides students to cope with everyday tasks that many of us take for granted. We practice proper hygiene, healthy living, social skills, money math, and reading.

Community Involvement: We pride our classroom on being extremely involved in our community. This helps us work on our communication skills, appropriate behavior skills, social skills, and creates and opportunity for us to volunteer our time and foster healthy relationships

Partners in Education:

In the developmental center program almost everything we do throughout the day is based on a partnership with other people or organizations.  Without others our program would be non-existent.

Feel free to adapt this description to suite your own special abilities classroom needs.  Is there anything you would add for those of you who teach students with special abilities?

Stress Coping Strategies for Teachers

So, teaching is tough and it’s these strategies that have helped me and my fellow teachers make it through the first five years (I just about checked myself into the Timberline Lodge several times).  Many times you feel like you have the world on your shoulders because you are so emotionally invested in this type of job. One thing I have come to terms with is the reality that I will be stressed.  Sometimes, you can’t fight the stress; all you can do is simply accept it and be stressed.  This too shall pass. 

Stress Managing Tips for Teachers: 

  1. Coffee: It’s better for you than alcohol and more potent than water, but you didn’t hear this from me – I don’t even drink it.
  2. Take a Boxing Class: Or any form of physical activity will do.  This is a healthy way to physically release frustration rather than punching your pillow or screaming in your car.
  3. Dry Shampoo:  It will make you look like you are Carrie Underwood when in fact you probably stank like Smelly Cat.  I love No Drought Dry Shampoo by LUSH.
  4. Jam Out: Get Pumped Up for the School Day like you would get pumped up for next years hockey try outs like you are Happy Gilmore.  Seriously, before you pull into the school parking lot make sure you listen to your favorite jam.
  5. You Can Cry if You Want: Have yourself a good 5 – 10 minute cry then channel your inner Sasha Fierce.
  6. Eat Your Emotions: Hammer down on those Roulette Doritos once in a blue moon if it makes you feel better.  Just don’t go crazy on the emotional eating thing, Lord knows you need your energy.
  7. Shake it Off: Yep, just like Taylor Swift.  Grab your friends and hit the nearest 80s night dance floor.  Dance and sweat (perhaps this will force you to pencil in a shower) your heart out.
  8. Not Your Circus Not Your MonkeysMany teachers have Type A personalities, but I will be the first to say don’t try and control things that are uncontrollable.
  9. Laugh: One must laugh at themselves to truly enjoy life.  Even when you teach for a full day with your jean fly down.  Why does this happen to me and why don’t my teacher friends tell me that my fly is down?  Did you know my favourite teacher friends are the biggest Arschlochs to me.  We laugh at ourselves and at each other.
  10. Be Yourself: If you don’t know who you are yet, then just work on developing yourself.  Hell, I don’t even know completely who I am yet.  Does anyone?  I digress, you don’t pretend to be a different person everyday so why would you pretend to be a different teacher everyday.  I mean – always try to improve your practice, but make sure you are being you throughout your practice.  Sure, at times you have to sway your words and thoughts, but when you can incorporate your personality into your classroom (appropriately) then do it.  Students see that their teacher is comfortable with who they are and this is such a great life lesson for them to learn.

If you didn’t smile at anytime throughout that list, perhaps you can laugh a little at this:

Anything else my fellow educators?  I speak from the heart.  Share your knowledge, ideas, and perspectives – that’s what the internet is about after all.  No?

Creating a Teacher Work-Life Balance

Fellow teachers, I am having a small discussion with an undergraduate class (along with some colleagues) about teacher work-life balance.  Here is a quick and painless list I have compiled:

Quick Ways to Create a Teacher’s Work-Life Balance:

  • Choose to Make Your Life Your Life: Don’t make your work your life. Yes, it can be a passion, but remember your full life comes first.  Your passion or job is one part of you.  You are made of many parts that make you one, whole, awesome human being.  You can’t be an awesome educator unless you are happy and provide balance within your own life.
  • Choose to Have a Support Circle: Whether it is a spouse, best friend, or mother. You need great outside support.  Remember balance because you can’t be the best for your spouse or loved ones unless you are at your best.
  • Choose to Exercise & Healthy Eating: Healthy teachers are happy teachers. Grab a teacher and start a workout club or bootcamp.  Your students are learning (from you) as to how to be a healthy human being.  Make sure you are fueling your temple.  You are a role model.
  • Choose to Request a Mentor From Your School Division: We provide our learners with smooth transitions and you deserve one too.
  • Choose to Prioritize: Download the Balanced App on I-tunes. It is free!
  • Choose to Savour the Hidden Curriculum Learning: I feel as though my favorite and most effective lessons are the ones where the students are learning life lessons. Savour these and remember them on bad days.
  • Choose to Socialize: We all need to have a blast once a week (that is why the weekends were invited).
  • Choose to Continue Learning for Yourself: Make time to develop your own brain. Smart teachers develop smart students.
  • Choose to Internalize the Serenity Prayer: Regardless of your beliefs, internalize these words. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Tackle the issues you can take on for your situation at the time.
  • Choose Dry Shampoo: Because some days I don’t shower.
Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Is there anything I am forgetting?  What would you add?

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

 

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

My whole life I have had a problem with slacktivism, even before the internet got a hold of the term.  In my life, I have been less of a thinker and more of a let’s get’er done kinda gal because with to me with physical action comes change.  Perhaps, it comes from too many meetings (not mentioning which organizations) where people discuss the same issues every single meeting and no conclusion ever resulted.

Now, it really gets my goat when people join a cause on-line because it is #trending at the moment or because it may garner them some kind of personal attention by supporting the cause.

Another issue I have when it comes to slacktivism is that most people don’t do the research.  Let me talk about the ALS ice bucket challenge for a second.  I bet you more than a quarter of people who participated in the ice bucket challenge can not tell you what ALS actually is.  I know many people who actually refer to the disease as ASL.  What?!  It seems, at times, slacktivism produces misinformed or “under”informed populations.  Maclean’s magazine highlights some of these downfalls in their article: The Problem with #Slacktivism.  I have to say I love the following quote:

Don’t embarrass yourself by demonstrating you need a gimmick to give. If you want to help, just give money or time. Anything else is only about you.

I would like to add that give your time more than your money because some of us may not have the funds to help out a movement.

So, I am going to be the devil advocate and say to all you slacktivists, ” put your money where your mouth is.” Pull up your socks, get out there, and take some action.  Go beyond simply tweeting the message and start taking awareness to the next level around your community – volunteer or start a group.  After all, actions speak louder than words.

BUT, I do have to agree with Abby Rosmarin (who is both intelligent and beautiful I may add) in her blog article “I Get It: You Don’t Like Slacktivism. Now Shut Up. Only Don’t.” Even with the all the attention seeking social media goers awareness, movements, and changes have been made for those who need it.  So, I say go ahead hit share and join the slackivist movement!  Just be sure to do it for the right reasons and while using critical thinking skills.

And for those slacktivists who didn’t do anything, but simply put a smile on our faces – we salute you.

What slacktivist movements have you joined and for what reasons?  Have you joined a movement and second guessed yourself after about what the cause really was?