Category Archives: Random

When a lightbulb goes off in my head about a random topic, it will be posted here.

Fallin’ into a New Season

Mums.

The crisp air has arrived.  The darker mornings, the cool breezes, and the warm sweaters have reappeared.

With the back to school theme running rampant throughout the city, it always makes me reminisce about being a student.  I remember my first day of school outfits, the new pencils, a new locker, new classrooms (ok, I was a bit of a geek).  As I got to be a more “mature” student, September also came with new goals and aspirations.  I joined a gym, I ate more home-cooked meals, and I made a better effort to get together with friends, with whom over the summer I had lost touch.

These days, little has changed, other than a different job, a different city, and different goals.  Ok, so a lot has changed, actually!

With a wonderful Labour Day weekend spent at the cottage, I was able to breathe in some fresh air, have a chance to catch up properly with my family, and kiss my little niece every minute I could.

Upon returning to the city, I smiled a little more when Edwin and I relaxed in our cozy apartment.  As wonderful as a weekend away is, coming “home” always feel spectacular.

Within that very week, despite my lack of a new back-to-school outfit, I started setting my September goals all over again.

1. Stop stressing about every detail of every week.  Write things down so I don’t have to keep them in my head.

2. Be more mindful of the moments I experience.  There are too many things around me to be overwhelmed with inner dialogue.

3. Get my butt back to the Yoga Sanctuary, a beautiful yoga studio where I had enjoyed great yoga classes that helped me stretch, strengthen and relax, not only my body, but also my mind.

4. Read. Take time out of each day to learn something new, be it from a fictitious story or from a newspaper.

5. Keep friendships close.  I am not allowed to be too busy to send an email, make a phone call, or have a date with friends.  I have realized that we all grow up, and some of us move to different parts of the world; however, I still think about the friends who have come to be a crucial part of my life.  No excuses for not keeping in touch.

6. Enjoy my time in the classroom.  Work can always be stressful, but I love the time I get to spend with these incredible international learners.  A lot of them have become friends who have opened my eyes to something new and interesting.  I need to focus on the positive aspects and allow myself to thoroughly enjoy and continue to grow as a teacher.

I look at these goals and can happily say I have taken a step toward each one:

I have bought a day planner. I smelled the air and heard the birds as I biked to work.  I attended a yoga class.  I sent a card to a friend. I went to an ESL workshop and found a new activity that I am excited to try with my students.

With the cool air setting in, I find myself warming up to the fresh opportunities that come with Fall.  I am excited to pull out my wool sweaters and sip on hot cups of tea as I embrace the new season.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Liesl ♥

Birthdays are a Time For…

Celebration. Fun. Happiness. Great friends. Big smiles. Good food. Delicious drinks. 

IMG_9932

I recently celebrated a very special birthday.

It was my first birthday in Canada in six years.

It was my first birthday living in Toronto.

It was my first birthday where I didn’t feel the need to plan a huge bash in honour of myself.

However, I felt more honoured than I have for any other birthday I have experienced.

I was surrounded by the people I love most for the whole week around the big day.  I got to meet my little niece for the first time (who is adorable, by the way).  Edwin treated me like a princess:  I received a birthday breakfast, a wonderful birthday dinner, and a surprise trip out of the city for a weekend!  On top of that, my friends came out for time at the beach, a unique evening at an Asian Night Market, and drinks at a lovely brewery I had never been to before.

My birthday was full of new sights and experiences-the way a birthday should be!

I realize that the people you care about are always there to make sure you celebrate a birthday.  Loved ones don’t let you dwell on the idea of “getting old,” or the acceptance of “we don’t really need to celebrate and make today a big deal.”  Because, in fact, it IS a big deal!

We should take a day to look back on the past year and reflect on the accomplishments of the previous twelve months of hard work and experiences.  At the same time, we can see what goals we want to set for the year ahead.  We are never too old to have a party, for each year is cause for more celebration.  It is to say “I survived! I’m still here!”

There are books, television programs, websites that all say we should be doing certain things by a certain age.  This can make a person want to stop counting the years.  Well, I say, sure, we can gain some useful insight from the “life coaches” out there, and they may very well help us veer towards a good path.  Nevertheless, our special day will always remain what it is- “our day.”

So, take that day for yourself.  Grab a friend,  find some sunshine, and celebrate!  I did, and it felt fantastic!  Bring on another year!

photo credit: roamingwab

The Good Morning Revolution

A grey day in Emerald Park

Summer has fallen upon us!

With the beautiful sun and greenery, my bicycle has come out in full force as a means to get to and from work.   My 15-minute commute has become an enjoyable ride to welcome a new day.

My route includes a noisy trip up Yonge Street.  But after a few minutes, I make a sharp turn onto beautiful quiet streets lined with unique homes and overhanging trees.  From there, I head through a large park where I am greeted by morning dog-walking enthusiasts.

However, when I say “greeted” I am not referring to friendly exchanges.  Each morning, I pass by these Torontonians, who are utterly consumed by their dogs and themselves.  They avert eye contact with an oncoming cyclist at all costs.  I began making assumptions about the unattractive personality of these “city folk.”

Some seemed to be in business suits completing a dog walking ritual in a rush before work.  On the other hand, some sported stylish casual wear and strutted along with their pets and fellow animal lovers.  I am very confused as to why such walkers don’t have smiles on their faces as they enjoy a beautiful morning with a leisurely stroll.

I attempt to smile and nod to each person I ride by, but most often, no response or acknowledgement is given.

One recent bright morning, however, I was headed to work in a less than excited mood.  An older gentleman said, “Good morning” to me as I slowly pedaled by him and his pooch.  I couldn’t help but laugh aloud and reply with a smile.  That simple gesture actually created an energetic lift for me to start my day.

As a result, with the month of June coming up, I have set out to begin a Good Morning Revolution.  I will say good morning to each person I ride past and see if I can change my own morning attitude or anyone else’s, just as that sweet stranger changed mine.

Give it a try! Bring a little more sunshine to your summer mornings!

Creative Commons License photo credit: ‌Bahadorjn

Category Archives: Random

When a lightbulb goes off in my head about a random topic, it will be posted here.

Fallin’ into a New Season

Mums.

The crisp air has arrived.  The darker mornings, the cool breezes, and the warm sweaters have reappeared.

With the back to school theme running rampant throughout the city, it always makes me reminisce about being a student.  I remember my first day of school outfits, the new pencils, a new locker, new classrooms (ok, I was a bit of a geek).  As I got to be a more “mature” student, September also came with new goals and aspirations.  I joined a gym, I ate more home-cooked meals, and I made a better effort to get together with friends, with whom over the summer I had lost touch.

These days, little has changed, other than a different job, a different city, and different goals.  Ok, so a lot has changed, actually!

With a wonderful Labour Day weekend spent at the cottage, I was able to breathe in some fresh air, have a chance to catch up properly with my family, and kiss my little niece every minute I could.

Upon returning to the city, I smiled a little more when Edwin and I relaxed in our cozy apartment.  As wonderful as a weekend away is, coming “home” always feel spectacular.

Within that very week, despite my lack of a new back-to-school outfit, I started setting my September goals all over again.

1. Stop stressing about every detail of every week.  Write things down so I don’t have to keep them in my head.

2. Be more mindful of the moments I experience.  There are too many things around me to be overwhelmed with inner dialogue.

3. Get my butt back to the Yoga Sanctuary, a beautiful yoga studio where I had enjoyed great yoga classes that helped me stretch, strengthen and relax, not only my body, but also my mind.

4. Read. Take time out of each day to learn something new, be it from a fictitious story or from a newspaper.

5. Keep friendships close.  I am not allowed to be too busy to send an email, make a phone call, or have a date with friends.  I have realized that we all grow up, and some of us move to different parts of the world; however, I still think about the friends who have come to be a crucial part of my life.  No excuses for not keeping in touch.

6. Enjoy my time in the classroom.  Work can always be stressful, but I love the time I get to spend with these incredible international learners.  A lot of them have become friends who have opened my eyes to something new and interesting.  I need to focus on the positive aspects and allow myself to thoroughly enjoy and continue to grow as a teacher.

I look at these goals and can happily say I have taken a step toward each one:

I have bought a day planner. I smelled the air and heard the birds as I biked to work.  I attended a yoga class.  I sent a card to a friend. I went to an ESL workshop and found a new activity that I am excited to try with my students.

With the cool air setting in, I find myself warming up to the fresh opportunities that come with Fall.  I am excited to pull out my wool sweaters and sip on hot cups of tea as I embrace the new season.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Liesl ♥

Birthdays are a Time For…

Celebration. Fun. Happiness. Great friends. Big smiles. Good food. Delicious drinks. 

IMG_9932

I recently celebrated a very special birthday.

It was my first birthday in Canada in six years.

It was my first birthday living in Toronto.

It was my first birthday where I didn’t feel the need to plan a huge bash in honour of myself.

However, I felt more honoured than I have for any other birthday I have experienced.

I was surrounded by the people I love most for the whole week around the big day.  I got to meet my little niece for the first time (who is adorable, by the way).  Edwin treated me like a princess:  I received a birthday breakfast, a wonderful birthday dinner, and a surprise trip out of the city for a weekend!  On top of that, my friends came out for time at the beach, a unique evening at an Asian Night Market, and drinks at a lovely brewery I had never been to before.

My birthday was full of new sights and experiences-the way a birthday should be!

I realize that the people you care about are always there to make sure you celebrate a birthday.  Loved ones don’t let you dwell on the idea of “getting old,” or the acceptance of “we don’t really need to celebrate and make today a big deal.”  Because, in fact, it IS a big deal!

We should take a day to look back on the past year and reflect on the accomplishments of the previous twelve months of hard work and experiences.  At the same time, we can see what goals we want to set for the year ahead.  We are never too old to have a party, for each year is cause for more celebration.  It is to say “I survived! I’m still here!”

There are books, television programs, websites that all say we should be doing certain things by a certain age.  This can make a person want to stop counting the years.  Well, I say, sure, we can gain some useful insight from the “life coaches” out there, and they may very well help us veer towards a good path.  Nevertheless, our special day will always remain what it is- “our day.”

So, take that day for yourself.  Grab a friend,  find some sunshine, and celebrate!  I did, and it felt fantastic!  Bring on another year!

photo credit: roamingwab

The Good Morning Revolution

A grey day in Emerald Park

Summer has fallen upon us!

With the beautiful sun and greenery, my bicycle has come out in full force as a means to get to and from work.   My 15-minute commute has become an enjoyable ride to welcome a new day.

My route includes a noisy trip up Yonge Street.  But after a few minutes, I make a sharp turn onto beautiful quiet streets lined with unique homes and overhanging trees.  From there, I head through a large park where I am greeted by morning dog-walking enthusiasts.

However, when I say “greeted” I am not referring to friendly exchanges.  Each morning, I pass by these Torontonians, who are utterly consumed by their dogs and themselves.  They avert eye contact with an oncoming cyclist at all costs.  I began making assumptions about the unattractive personality of these “city folk.”

Some seemed to be in business suits completing a dog walking ritual in a rush before work.  On the other hand, some sported stylish casual wear and strutted along with their pets and fellow animal lovers.  I am very confused as to why such walkers don’t have smiles on their faces as they enjoy a beautiful morning with a leisurely stroll.

I attempt to smile and nod to each person I ride by, but most often, no response or acknowledgement is given.

One recent bright morning, however, I was headed to work in a less than excited mood.  An older gentleman said, “Good morning” to me as I slowly pedaled by him and his pooch.  I couldn’t help but laugh aloud and reply with a smile.  That simple gesture actually created an energetic lift for me to start my day.

As a result, with the month of June coming up, I have set out to begin a Good Morning Revolution.  I will say good morning to each person I ride past and see if I can change my own morning attitude or anyone else’s, just as that sweet stranger changed mine.

Give it a try! Bring a little more sunshine to your summer mornings!

Creative Commons License photo credit: ‌Bahadorjn

Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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