Distressing after busy school days

Author: emilyashton21 (Page 2 of 3)

Blog #1 – The beginnings of “row row row your boat” and “This old man”

After a few weeks of learning the basic cords and strumming techniques for the Ukulele I finally feel like I have gotten somewhere!

I was off to a rocky start and honestly I did not think I was going to get anywhere. I was pretty discouraged when I began learning the ukulele and I honestly considered just giving up.

I am beyond proud of myself now because although it may not be perfect and it may be slow, it sounds much better than when I started.

I started off a bit confused as to how to turn my ukulele but with the help of some of my friends who play instruments, and with the help of the music dept. at UVic I was able to figure it out and am now able to confidently tune it myself before I begin to practice.

I also had asked one of my friends to practice with me and I found that really helpful when I had someone else there to show me how the song should sound and how to properly place my fingers on the strings.

One thing I noticed I was having trouble with, was that I was not pressing down on the strings hard enough. This made my cords sound quite squeaky when I strummed, but after the help of one of my friends and her noticing this, my cords sound much more enjoyable and flow together much better now.

I have learned my two basic songs in both C and G7 “row row row your boat” and “this old man”. I am now beginning on working at changing between the cords faster and keeping a consistent flow throughout the song.

I am going to begin learning the cords for my final song “Sweet home Alabama” this week as I feel much more comfortable with the first two songs and like I can move on and begin attempting some other more complex cords.

New hobby – Frisbee golf!

This reading week I was able to get out and do some more de-stressing activities which were much overdue!

I have recently began frisbee golfing and I am really enjoying it! I went and played in Langford one time before but this time Anna (also in this class) and I went to the Interburan Camosun Campus and played there! Since it snowed last week it was quite muddy but it was super duper fun still! I really am enjoying it because it is a fun way to get outside and its something a little more entertaining than a walk or a hike. I am not much of a walk person because I find myself bored, I have wayyyy too much energy and need some form of game or something to play to keep me entertained! I am really excited that I got into this because at home my Uncle plays in Rossland all the time! I am looking forward to going and playing with him in the summer. But first… I need a lot more practice 🙂



Photo by Braxton Apana on Unsplash

Photo by  Josh Calabrese on Unsplash


Jeff Hopkins – The Pacific school of Innovation and and Inquiry.

Jeff Hopkins is the founder and principal of The pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry right here in Victoria. I think this is something so special that we are able to have here on the island and I am super excited we get to have the opportunity to learn how the school is operated and its focus for the learners within.

I agree with Jeff’s ideas that inquiry is an effective way of helping students learn in an environment that provides them with adequate learning and resources for their own proficiency level and learning that aligns with their own personal interests. I think that inquiry allows the students to really deepen their understanding because they are genuinely interested in what they are learning about. Inquiry has the power to diminish that act of laziness and disinterest that is difficult to overcome in high school.  You typically either get learners who are beyond interested and so in tune with their learning that they are more focused on marks rather than the actual content and if they are even interested in the learning, and then you get the students who just are completely checked out and do not want to be there because they are uninterested in the content.

I also really like the way this school is set up. It is not like a typical busy high school. It has space and places that allow your creativity to flow in a safe and welcoming environment. I think this is really important in an inquiry based setting. We as teachers in places like PSII need to allow the students their own individual spaces and areas where they can work individually on what they have chosen to work on, rather than seating in a traditional classroom with desks in rows that all face the front of the call. I like this approach to learning because I feel like it provides much more leeway in the learning and also in the ways they choose to go about the learning.

A little inspiration – Where this passion all started

For this weeks post I wanted to talk about the inspiration behind the gym and how I became to be so motivated to keep lifting every day for 3 years.

When I began lifting 3 years ago I started because I had quit swimming and dancing just was not something I was interested in anymore. I am a super energetic person who needs to constantly be moving, playing, even running around so sitting on the couch was driving me nuts! At the time my brother who I looked up to so much was weight lifting and suggested I try going to the gym to stay fit and active. So I did!

I was the type of kid that loved something and wanted it to be my new hobby but it would only stick for a few months or so before I quit, was bored of that and wanted to find something new.

I decided I was going to make the gym “my thing”. My brother often hounded me saying he was going to give it a few months and then I would quit and stop going ….. 3 years later I have gone almost everyday and it has turned into my whole world.

When you become friends with me you quickly realize that going to the gym is my only personality trait and the only thing I talk about 24/7. It makes me so beyond happy and it has become honestly addicting to go into the gym and smash a PR that you have been working so hard to get to.

I went from being a really lanky tall swimming built, to being able to say proudly that I can throw around some weight in the gym. It is amazing to me how much your body can change in 3 years and it brings me so much confidence and joy looking back at old photos of me where I was so tiny! I love the gym because it is a way for me to destress on my own and focus on myself for a little while. It allows me to put aside all the craziness of school and allows me to blow off some stream and do something for myself for a few hours out of the day. I Look forward to it because it allows me to better myself everyday and have a focus and something to work towards constantly. I am a super competitive person so having a chance to compete against myself everyday is right up my alley!

I also have had the chance to make so many amazing friends because of the gym. I have tons of guy friends that I go with and that help keep me motivated and moving forward. We feed off of each-other’s energy and it is honestly contagious. We all push each other to work harder, to hit PR’s and to walk out of the gym everyday knowing that we put 100% effort in.


The photos included show the difference between when I first started weight training 3 years ago versus today 🙂

Inquiry Based learning conversion with Trevor

Today in class we spoke with Trevor Mackenzie on the inquiry based classroom. We had a really interesting and valuable conversation in my breakout room about our thoughts on Inquiry in student’s learning. We all agreed that inquiry is great! It promotes discovery and sparks interest in the students’ learning.  If the student gets to choose what they are studying it will be something they are actually personally interested in and therefor become more motivated to learn. We also spoke about how learners like myself may struggle with inquiry as we like structure and “guidelines” when it comes to school. I am very much a learner who needs a clear and precise outline of what is expected to me; sometimes I can become overwhelmed and lost in inquiry just because of the vast interpretations and topics we can discover. I think there is a nice balance like Trevor spoke about between the two where you scaffold the general idea for the students and from there they pinpoint one thing they personally want to explore and learn more about.

Trevor also showed us a great map that featured “the Ten Characteristics of the Inquiry Classroom” This is a great resource as it reminds us as teachers what we are striving to achieve when introducing inquiry based learning into our own classrooms. My group felt like even though we have not had much classroom experience as teacher candidates, there were still characteristics that we recognize and strive to achieve in other fields of work such as camp leaders, dance teachers, and any other job that has to do with children.

I personally really like this map and am going to save it as a resource for me as a teacher when creating a inquiry based environment in my classroom to make sure I am welcoming every student, their ideas, and the exploration of new and old knowledge.


Attached map created by: Trevor Mackenzie, Sylvia Duckworth



Big PR day!!!!!!

I am absolutely beaming today as I hit a huge personal record for myself. Today I was able to pull 225 lbs for 3 reps on deadlifts. I am beyond excited and proud of myself because that is something I never in a million years thought I would be able to accomplish. I tried to pull 225 last week and I failed 3 attempts. Many would think that gets you down, but it did the exact opposite for me. I walked in today absolutely fired up and hungry for that 225. I am also beyond proud of myself because in first year I struggled to get 115 lbs off the ground. Something like this is so humbling to me because my body (especially this year) has helped me reach goals I never imagined I would have been able to hit. This little win has made me absolutely eager to set a new one and defeat that in another 3 weeks. My goal by the end of the semester is to be able to hit 3 plates (315 lbs) for 1 rep. Fingers crossed that all this hard work and trining is going to pay off and I’ll be able to accomplish it!! 🙂


Social Media conversation with Jessie

Today in class we had a presentation and discussion from Jessie about social media and our image as educators. This was an eye opening class as I am from the generation who heavily uses social media for anything and everything. I know personally I am cognizant of what I post on social media mainly to maintain the positive image I present myself as, but also because there are things that I don’t necessarily want my future students or employers to find and that skew their image of who I am as a person. I have done lots of jobs with children before who want to follow me on instagram or add me on Tiktok, therefor all my social media is private and I get to decide who sees and who does not see it. I think it is important, and also reasonable to be careful of what you put on social media as an educator. You want to be viewed in a professional role and someone who can be a good role model to people’s children.  Videos of you heavily drinking, or doing things you should not be doing are not a good way of connecting with parents and showing them that their children are in good care. Social media is a powerful tool and it can be used for many great things. It can be incorporated into the classroom and is a great tool to teach and connect with students. That being said I think the biggest take away from today was that you just need to be mindful and careful what you are posting on the internet, and if it is something you wouldn’t be comfortable showing potential bosses, maybe think twice before you post it.

Big Gym week and new activities!

Since I usually go to the gym every week, I decided I want to also implement a new activity into my weekly schedule which I have never tried before. This Wednesday I went disk golfing for the first time and I absolutely loved it! it is super fun to play and its such a nice way to get outdoors. I found it was a great way of splitting my week up and having a relaxing time to just go and play and have fun without worrying about homework. Anna and I went and she showed me the course in Langford and we had great time and many laughs as I figured out how the game is played. I am definitely no star player right now, but with practice here’s hoping I will get better!

As far as the gym goes this week, I am super excited to finally be feeling. back up to the weight and strength I was before Christmas. I have been trying to work on more hypertrophy this week as I try and fuel up and save some energy for when I try for some personal records in the coming weeks.  I am focusing and prioritizing sleep and eating healthy, and holy man does that ever make a difference!

Bernie, Photoshop, and more!

This weeks class I found particularly fun as it was something that I have wanted to know how to do for a while! We learned about photo shop and how to create Bernie memes on powerpoint on desktop. I have never really used power point and I was happy to use it and find out how easy it really is to us. We used the trasparent backgrounders PNG picture of Bernie Sanders and were able to put it onto whatever photo we wanted to. It was super fun and I really enjoyed having the freedom to put him on whatever picture I wanted! This class was also really cool because I ended up using this Bernie Idea to create a few poster for my job. I have an upcoming event soon that I am hosting for my residents on campus and added Bernie to the posters and they absolutely loved it! 🙂

New websites & new knowledge!

This week in class we talked about plagiarism and we looked at websites and resources we can utilize to avoid copy right. I found this class particularly helpful because I was able to find a bunch of websites I had no idea were accessible to use! I am looking forward to utilizing the multimedia websites and integrating things I find off there in my blog and also into future creations and resources I create as a teacher for my students.

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