Posted by: Colleen Ens | May 23, 2010

The Kids and I – off to a great start!

Motivational thoughts
Reflections on Reflecting
Lateral Thinking versus excuses for procrastination

The above topics represent to cerebral an introduction for a Sunday morning. I’ll start, perhaps by putting a ‘toe’ in the proverbial pool of knowledge. I’ll begin by saying that on such an auspicious day as this – the day of my birth two score fifteen year (I love being obtuse) – I realize that no matter what day it is, we make up our own minds in marking the turning points in our lives.

The immediate turning point to which I am referring marks not just another year passing, but my first week with the kids in Mr. Fulcher’s 4/5 class but also tangibly closing the ‘uni’ student’s text and opening the pre-service teacher’s readers.

Man, am I happy to see the first semester of academic writing behind me! No results are available to me from the University of the Sunshine Coast and happily, this relieves me of the duty of sharing my standings with my sorely missed readers. For now, know that I have passed them all (yes, including Math in everyday life) However, to bring you up to speed I am VERY happy to report the feed back on my first week in school in which Mr. D. Fulcher reported never having seen such a wonderful result in the decorations for the new library: I carried out the huge task of replicating a winter snow scene, complete with a huge design of a polar bear, attended by several stuffed white bears purchased at the local Sunday market who were united with their penguin friends in honour of Curriumundi State School’s, ‘Blizzard Book Sale’. Imagine my bewilderment in scouring the downtown section of Brisbane last week in search of images of walrus, penguin and polar bear – now that’s what I call a milestone!

With the thought and the sense that being a student with a beginners mind in the land of plenty, so plenty means being open really and absolutely and ‘overt’ to enchantment of this place. This is not to be confused with being enchanted with the people. I’ve discovered, as in any other country, I suppose, there are too many who don’t look at each other and miss the pleasure of seeing the joy in each other. There are too many people who push in front of each other and fit the word – new to me –  the term is ‘HOON’ a similar word back home called ‘Hooligans’. Either word strikes me today as having an almost Aboriginal slant to it.
However, what I could not be happier about is having met many Aussie’s who do not resemble the former group mentioned and whom, by my reckoning, are the ones who give fair consideration to each other and more than an ‘occasional’ G’day’ to each other.

You may remember that there is another milestone approaching, one I will find even more difficult to spend without Zoli so in dedication to his sacrifice in holding up house and home while I’m down unda for all its trials and tribulations, I have found particular lyrics to a song written by a well known Canadian artist by the name of Jim Cuddy. He has been the lead singer with Blue Rodeo for a great many years.

To Zoli:

May  30th  2010 marks my 13 year Wedding anniversary with Zoli I dedicate this to you my darling husband:
You Pulled me through

There are papers scattered on the lawn and birds upon the line
There are letters left unopened here there never is the time
There are messages I should return and people I should call
I’m left tripping over echoes left lying in the hall
There is a light comes through the darkness and slowly to my eyes
You can fall back there forever I just never realized
Oh time won’t let me go and I everywhere I know…

That you could pull me through, you could always pull me through
Even when I’m lying here, drowning in my blues
You take the sting out of the rain and bring the sun back out again
You could always pull me through

Oh we stood outside together and we laughed like ancient friends
Then we lay down in a field just where the road begins and ends
I see you in the mirror and I watch you from afar, my friends all think I’m crazy but I know the way things are.
Outside I hear voices underneath the moon but I’m grateful for whatever breaks the silence of this room. Oh…

Time won’t let me go, and everywhere I know
You could pull me through, you could always pull me through, even when I’m lying here, drowning in my blues, you take the sting out of the rain and bring the sun back up again, you could always pull me through.
I hope you’re travelling well now and there are stars over your head.
I hope the river carries you everywhere you’re sent.
I miss the way you look at me and how you’re always there
I miss the conversations we left hanging in the air
Oh late a night I wake up and wonder what’s been done….
But I know our life together will go on and on..

You could pull me through, you could always pull me through..
Wrap your arms around me and chase away my blues
Take the sting out of the rain and bring the sun back up again, you could always pull me through.

If you have time to read this now, carry on, if not now, please let me know how the spring is treating you back home.
This is a reflection on a bizarre day I had while heading to Brizzy to obtain my Chinese Tourist Visa:
The more time I spend here, the less I believe in coincidence.
Background: One of my most recent work experiences includes being hired on as an aide for the office of Independent Living and working with Ana in her home.
It was a Sunday and I received a message that Ana, a wheelchair bound lady who lives near the university and whom I have the pleasure of working with to help with meals and music and French introduction, needed a backup ‘aid’ to assist her and cover a shift in her home. On that day I had a personal dilemma as there were four large and contentious projects with pending deadlines, all to wrap up within the next few days so I had to decline.
I was feeling badly about not stepping up when her usual worker could not make it because she had been in a car accident;

Ana’s mom has more challenges than would be fair to write here and now but in deference to Ana and her mother, I really wanted to have a word about it with Pam, Ana’s Mom and wished I could see her to set her know I was not able to help.

When I stepped off the train the city of Brisbane, more than an hour’s train ride from either of our homes, I thought I must be dreaming; As is the way in there ‘dream world, I stepped off a train, asked directions to the street I need for the Chinese consulate and found myself standing directly behind Ana’s Mom in the train station!! How on earth does that happen? Seeing her there was so out of place, I had to ask for her number so that I could have it recorded, just to prove to myself I really did exchange a conversation with her on May 14th.
Here are some reflections from my first three months here:

Honour yourself with theses important decisions.
Consider how your attitudes colour your life. Remembering this; the focus is on what is being started not what is ending.
Consider whether it is your biography – your past that is shaping your future as an individual who values effective communication above all, I am taking these initial steps with the long term plan of leading by example:
I believe that today’s children are challenged by having so many choices with few stable points of reference. Many of their popular role models are actors or celebrities who are not grounded in the realities of the times in which we are living.

Upon my successful completion of Teacher Certification, my intention is to return to Canada with two clear objectives. The first is to impart the good news to Primary School students that their ability to speak a second language starts with a fresh approach and a belief that they are more likely to do so if they are having fun while they learn. My second objective is to be sure to weave many stories of my Australian training into my lessons in order to help maintain their interest and enthusiasm.
Go ahead and take a byte

Recently I have conducted some informal research with several Canadian teachers on their views of the caliber of those returning from Teacher’s College in Australia. I am hearing only positive accolades with regard to the approach in the classroom from those fortunate enough to have training down under and I would be honoured to learn sound teaching techniques. I see teaching French as a most significant responsibility and I approach it with a goal of opening young minds towards actively reaching their goals rather than being less than inspired and allowing their dreams to slip away



  1. Thanks Baby. Very eloquent. Congratulations on completing the first stage. I hope the classroom experience does not scare you away. So far, it sounds wonderful. The home front is secure. The dog is safe. I have removed all known dead animals from the property for which she enjoys rolling in. For now she is nice and soft after a visit with Kelly. Jessie is holding the fort admirably. Which pleases me.
    In my new profession I spend a lot of time listening to radio and audio books. I should start writing down some of the prophetic writings as some really do hit home, as you know. In music, John Mellencamp (I believe) sings “life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone”. Well, as long as you keep the thrill of living alive, life will always be a thrill and we do not have to wonder about life just going on. You keep the thrill alive and for that I am grateful. It is these moments we will always treasure and remember fondly. It’s all about experience and that will be your advantage when you embark on this new course in your life.
    Thank you for your notes and kind words. I love you a lot and miss you more. As it now stands, I am 30 days from leaving and 32 days from seeing you. It’s been a while. Be good. Zol.

  2. Dear Colleen,
    It sounds like you are enjoying your sojourn Down Under very much, and the creativity of learning how to teach and inspire children. I’m sure you will do it with your usual verve, energy, and optimism.
    It’s hard to believe that only a year ago we were celebrating your birthday and anniversary in the country with you and Zoli and your family and friends.
    (By the way, I think three score and five makes you about ten years older than you are).
    Happy Solar Return and Happy Anniversary to you and Zoli, and keep on enjoying.
    All the best, Heather

  3. Now the really hard, but best, part begins… Working with real students! Couldn’t have picked a better age group for you!

    • You are right Marie!

      They are fantastic! My classes are going well and the joy of play is all around me!

      I’ll post some photos in the downtime perhaps over the next few days.



      ‘Mrs. Cee’

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