The Federal Department of Odds and Ends

Photo from "The Lost Thing" by Shaun Tan
Photo from “The Lost Thing” by Shaun Tan

The summer is over and I’m back at work. There’s always a feeling of slight disappointment at returning to work, the holiday is over, it’s time for the same old routine…The summer holiday now feels like a distant memory. However, I must say, there was a lot of excitement today, when I went to my pigeon-hole at the end of the day to see if there was any mail and there was. I suppose receiving mail is no big deal, us adults get mail all the time, and in fact it’s usually a bill, so really not exciting at all. This was.

The envelope, nothing special really.
The envelope, nothing special really.
The surprising contents of the envelop...
The surprising contents of the envelope…

A letter from the Federal Department of Odds & Ends! It really was a treat to receive such a letter. In writing this blog, I had hoped someone was reading it, but certainly didn’t expect anyone from the Department of Odds & Ends to read it let alone respond!  Here is what the letter said:

August 2013

Dear Rebecca

It gives me enormous pleasure to return these items to you on behalf of the department. I know they have been missing for some time, but we are s small department and there are so many odds and ends to deal with.


1x Teaspoon

1x Sock

Please don’t worry if some other precious items seem to have just disappeared into thin air. They will eventually turn up at our processing centre and we will get them back to you as quickly as we possibly can.

Your friend at the Federal Department of Odds & Ends.

The mystery of this department remains, there is no return address. I have no way of contacting them to let them know just how thankful I am.  Maybe next time…


An App for an App?

Xcode (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I recently blabbed on and on about creating an app. I downloaded an app to help me, knew that it would not be an easy task but, I’m always keen to give something new a go.

However, at the moment, I’m feeling like I may have to quit before I even begin. I’ve tried a couple of times to start creating, but I can’t. This is not due to lack of ideas, I know exactly what I want, I just can’t seem to use the app!

A bit of light reading to do
A bit of light reading to do

I now have my hands on the manual, which I intend to tackle and hopefully it will unlock the gate and lead me into my new world of creating an app. Either that, or I’ll end up getting extremely frustrated, have a tantrum and then make myself a cup of tea.

If you’ve used Xcode before, do you have any advice?

As always, I have the idea; it’s the execution I’m worried about.

So things have started to wind down at work, summer is fast approaching and I’ll admit, my head is not so much in the classroom as it is up in the clouds!

Cartoon Clouds
This is a cloud, if you squint, you can almost see me. Almost. (Photo credit: calebunseth)

I’ve begun to think about all my wonderful summer projects and what I hope to do in the long break. I say this often, and rarely make a dent in the plans I have, but I’m going to keep the list small and hopefully manageable.

First in line is to finish the draft copy of my second manuscript. It’s almost there. Then I intend to make a serious list of all the ideas in my head, think Dumbledore and his pensive.

Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope in doing this, that I’ll be able to become more focussed on each task instead of acting like a kid in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (look what happened to them!)

Despite all of this, I’m rolling full steam ahead with my latest idea. I’m considering creating an app. Everyone is creating apps. Maybe there are too many apps….

I started researching how to go about achieving this. Many people have said it’s easy, although, no one I know has actually created one. In my research all the ‘experts’ are talking about marketability, interfaces, android vs apple, scalability…ARGH!

I have what I think is a good idea and I love trying new things, so…I’m currently downloading an app (funnily enough) that will help me create mine. I have no idea what to expect. I’ve done the reading on it, and I’m wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this latest idea, but I’m keen to give it a go.

I’m not a web developer, and I’m certainly not doing it to earn big bucks, but as a teacher I see the value in technology and the impact it can have on kids.  So I’m going to give it a go…when the app I’m downloading to help me create my app is fully installed…

There’s always an app…

‘Whipple-scrumptious Words’

I’ve always been a fan of Roald Dahl. I remember as a young girl, watching the BFG (one of my favourites) and reading Matilda, the Twits, the Witches… I think we even had the audio books and in the summer when we were stuck in traffic my parents would put it on- must have kept me quiet!

So, when it came time to fill out an order for book club, I couldn’t resist. Along with buying the latest edition of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook I also bought, something which might be deemed far more important:

Whipple-scrumptious words

Inside the box

I believe there simply aren’t enough words in the English language, so I’ve decided to create my own set of words. Obviously, to do this I needed a blank canvas. So, I walked to the shops this afternoon to get said canvas, this is what I bought:

The blank canvas
The blank canvas or glotters glorium

I must admit it looked very sad and, well blank, but it didn’t take me long to open up the box of words and litter them all over the canvas…

So many words!
Too much?

ARGH! So many words! The possibilities are endless! Too many words can be intimidating, so I took them all down and put them in a tin. Then read my little book I got with the words.

Some sound advice/ some splendiferous twinkler

Then I got creative….It’s going to take some time to create the many possible words but I got started and here are a few of my creations so far…

A couple of nonsensical sentences

This is going to be so much fun!

Hurricain: The Truth Revealed.

My blogging drought is over. Many people make excuses about their absences from blogging. I’m not going to do that. It’s pointless, we all know that whatever I say will just be an excuse and it certainly won’t be original.  Instead, I’m going to tell you why had to lie low…my secret is out.

The truth is revealed...
The truth revealed…

All my life, I have worked tirelessly at keeping my secret safe. However it seems that I am no match for my Year 7 class, who recently made the discovery.

It all started a few months ago…

One day in November I attended a workshop about effective use of iPads. It meant having to miss a day of teaching, but  us teachers do what we can to keep our audiences interested. So off I went to the workshop, and enjoyed it very much. It wasn’t until my return when I realised that something was amiss.

I was standing outside my classroom, coffee cup in hand, as I do in between classes. My usual pose, and also as other superheros will attest to, a good way of surveying the public. I was awaiting the arrival of my Year 7 class, who came as usual in dribs and drabs. Only this time, instead of yelling out and waving ‘Hey Ms. Cain’, they looked at me, wide-eyed and whispered to each other. It was at that point that I knew something wasn’t right.  The air was electric. They were clearly excited.

Suddenly it was a barrage of questions: “So, where were you?” “We heard you had to save the children” “Is your real name Hurricain?” “Can we call you Ms. Hurricain?” “Do you wear a cape?” The questions just kept coming, so I raised my hands, asked them to stop and then began to tell them my story. My real story, the truth about Hurricain….


Some would say…

Some would say that being a teacher is fantastic, great holidays, educating young people and helping them on their way to achieving their dreams, but the truth is, there is a down side.  GERMS. They fester. They fester particularly on days when the air conditioning breaks and it’s really hot. They fester when children come in after running around outside in 40 degree heat. They fester.

It was unfortunate that on the day this happened, I left my special germ seeing vision aids and cape at home. If I had remembered to put the special glasses and extraordinary cape in my bag I know for sure that I would have seen a collection of little germ monsters. They would have looked like this:

They would have had fun, frolicking in mid-air, bouncing from one person to another in ecstatic jubilation at the opportunity to fester. Just like this:

And this is how I ended up at home, alone, feeling very sorry for myself. It was also the rebirth of my alter ego…Hurricain.

A teacher by day, a superhero by night…..travelling all over the world saving children from literary disaster!