Cool things that happened today…

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So Mike Griffin has this blog challenge going on.  You just keep track of the cool things that happen to you during the day.  It seemed like a great idea.  I thought I would give it a try. Yesterday I went into work and was all ready to join the cool-is-all-around me blog parade.  But a funny thing happened, there was a mountain of paperwork and meetings stretching from late morning to late afternoon (which is actually the opposite of a funny thing).  I kept hoping something kind of cool and magical would happen.  Maybe someone would have had enough of meeting, suddenly jump up on a table, and belt out ABBA’s Chiquitita.  That would have qualified as cool.  Didn’t happen.  But I did learn the size and height of the new school desks we ordered for our classrooms.  I actually jotted that down in my notebook, thinking, “hey, knowing the height of the desks in your class isn’t an uncool thing.”  I finally gave up looking for coolness with an hour of work left.  Instead I analyzed the reading section of the EIKEN test to try and figure out what they were trying the measure.  I figured if I wasn’t going to find any cool, I might as well get good and angry instead.  And picking over that standardized test did make me good and angry.  So mission accomplished there.

But that was yesterday.  Today I really decided to make let the cool happen.  And students were in school today for our big closing ceremony.  And you know what, there was some coolness going on:

  • There were Kit-Kats in the coffee room this morning.  I munched down two and then started wondering who had put Kit-Kats in the coffee room.  So I tracked down where they came from.  Our office staff ordered them from the office supply catalogue.  I thanked her, both for the Kit-Kats and for teaching me that things like Kit-Kats can be ordered from an office supply catalogue.
  • Someone from Finland left a very cool comment on my students’ blog.
  • I sent a LINE message off to the students in my course about the new comment and one of the less proactive students said she would write a reply.  That was very cool.  She also said she hoped the person from Finland was a handsome guy.  Which might or might not be cool.  Not sure on this one.
  • The university through which I’m taking my dip TESOL suddenly gave me full access to their journal database.
  • One of the middle school students who comes to the “free school” on the fourth floor of my campus came up to me suddenly and pinched my nose.  So I hugged him.  He is a short, round boy.  He hugged me back, for a long time.  I think he really needed a hug.  Maybe I did, too.
  • I found out that the hotel near this year’s PAN SIG conference has a discount for teachers who belong to my school’s teachers’ pension plan. The rate was so cheap that I can take the whole family with me to Nagoya for the weekend of the conference.
  • My third year students invited me to have dinner with them at the end of this month to celebrate the end of the school year.  We are going to eat kushi-katsu, which is all kinds of gorgeous deep fried food on a stick.
  • A student I always thought was really fragile came up to tell me that after failing last month’s EIKEN test, she has been studying every day and will definitely pass the next test.  She didn’t sound fragile at all.
  • I received a tiny crown of folded cranes from a student.  I put it on my head and wore it around school for a while.  The crown was very cool.  The students’ very nonchalant reaction was also very cool.

So that was my day.  Much more filled with coolness than yesterday.  But I think that had to do with both the students being in school and maybe also do to a little more effort on my part to help make the cool happen.  Anyway, thanks to Michael and everyone taking part in this blog challenge.  It made my day a little bit better than it probably would have been without it.  And that’s the coolest thing of all.

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10 thoughts on “Cool things that happened today…

  1. Kit-Kats, comments, hugs, journal access, invites, stronger students and a crown of cranes… very, very cool! I am sorry to hear, though, that nobody did jump on the meeting table and sing. Nevertheless, the image of it is in my head now, so that's cool ;-)It was worth waiting a day for this post! Thanks!Carol

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  2. I second Carol on every thing she said. For sure an interesting and fun task – imagining all the cool stuff you went through the day. 🙂 Actually I was feeling like you said in the beginning of your post. Looking for cools things doesn't really work (at least it didn't work for me), it has the potential of blinding than really guiding you to it. Another thing that I think it may have made the difference was that we were not surrounded by the students. I am almost certain that was the key ingredient. 😉 Thanks for sharing Kevin. 🙂

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  3. Hi Carol,This and Anne Hendler's "laughing diary" (http://lizzieserene.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/the-best-medicine/) challenge both came at exactly the right times for me. A little overloaded at work, a little stressed about studying…I guess just a little tired of the daily grind. That's one of the great things that blog posts and Twitter and Facebook have done for us as teachers I think. They've helped us to explore our work environments not just through the lens of language teaching, but as people: people who get bored at meetings, who slip up when printing worksheets, who enjoy a heavy spring snowfall. Sometimes those connections make all the difference in how I feel about heading off to work. Thanks for the comment, and everything else as well,Kevin

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  4. Hi Rose,Thanks for taking the time (and so often taking the time) to carefully read and comment on my post. It's strange how being on the hunt for positive things can cut us off from what we are searching for. I often find this to be true. But if I just try and make that kind of positive thing happen FOR someone else (and not to me) I don't have to look for anything, it just naturally happens. And I think you're right, it's all about the students. Students have to be in school for me to really have a good day. Which is why I'm making them come to school next week for special EAP Jr. classes (true story). Happily, they aren't complaining about it very much. Maybe they want to be in school, too (one can hope).Kevin

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  5. Really enjoyed this, Kevin. I'm not gonna say more than that, because too often once labels get applied to something, they stop being what they were labeled. Kinda like looking for cool.

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  6. Hi Tom,Thanks for stopping in. Great to get to know you on #AsianELT Twitter chat the past few weeks. I agree that a simple word of appreciate is better than labeling what you appreciated. And a simple thank you is probably better than this relatively long reply to your short and well crafted comment. So thank you.Kevin

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