Teacher’s Pet

Daily Prompt Post: Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

My favourite teacher was one that I didn’t meet until my second last year of school, though it quickly felt like I’d known her for a long time.  It’s funny, at first I really didn’t like her…through no fault of her own.  I’d had a favourite teacher since Year 7, and she was supposed to be teaching me Theatre Studies in Year 11, my first class with her since Year 8.  I was so excited.  I rock up on the first day only to find she’d left the school without so much as a goodbye (in fact, she’d ended the conversation with “see you next year!” before school let out) so I was floored and guttered.  Ms Tolli had taken her place, a teacher brand new to the school.  I didn’t know her at all, but she was replacing my then-favourite teacher and nobody was going to be better than her.

It didn’t take too long for her to show us her fun and awesome she was though, and quickly the whole class were counting down to her classes.  Realistically, I probably shouldn’t have been doing that class at all (I only signed up for it because I wanted to be in the original teacher’s grade).  I was shy, awkward and wasn’t really interested in theatre at all.  Despite all that, Ms Tolli made me (and others in a similar situation) feel like we belonged and that would could do it.

She was supportive and really had our best interests at heart.  More than that, we saw her as a friend.  Looking back, I’m not even sure how she managed that, because mostly when teachers try to pull that off, they just come off as try-hards.  Not Ms Tolli though.

The main project of our theatre studies class was putting on a play from scratch, using only the people in our class.  The class was pretty small really, only maybe 15 people, so that’s no small fete.  We wound up spending a lot of time outside of normal school hours working on it, helping the actors learn their lines, building sets, working out the costumes and music.  We became more than just a class of Year-11s-and-12s, we were like a little family, with Ms Tolli as our surrogate mum.

I feel like I grew up a lot that year, thanks to her mentoring and kindness.  I started the year as shy and timid, and left with confidence and a stronger belief in myself.

We were so close by the end of the year that we celebrated at Ms Tolli’s house with a BBQ and booze.  Throughout the year we’d gotten to know her three young kids, and they were so happy we were there and including them.  Everyone was really sad the year was ending.  Half the class was finishing school completely, and others weren’t taking up her class next year (drama).  I was though, purely because I wanted another year with her.

I still miss her sometimes, and wish we were in contact.  I don’t know where I’d be now if she hadn’t given me the confidence and self-belief that she did.  Thanks for everything Vanda ❤

“What show from your childhood would you love to bring back?”

This one is an easy question for me, and only has one answer.

Rugrats-Season-4-Episode-1--A-Rugrats-Chanukah

My all-time favourite kids show.  I’d love it if they bought it back.  I remember watching it when I was little – I used to call the show “Chucky”.  It wasn’t until I was about ten I realized it actually had a different name.  I remember when my sister was a toddler, mum wouldn’t let me watch it “because it’s making your sister talk funny” (not true, as it turned out to be an actual speech issue and she had to go to a speech pathologist for it.  Despite that, the ban still stayed for quite a long time).  I love all the characters and that in some way, they’re all relatable.  I adore the movies.  I even really enjoy the “All Grown Up” series, although nothing beats the original.  They just don’t make shows like this any more!  My favourite character is definitely Tommy (like most people!) but I also love the adult characters like Betty and Stu, who seem to become so much more relatable now I’m grown up too.  Let’s be honest, despite the weird hairdos and horrendous lack of parental supervision, we all secretly wanted to be part of this family!

f5d9a3ff3f09f61719f1271ca771a41a

This prompt, and many more, can be found here.

My Top 5 Movies of All Time

My Top 5 Movies are:

The Shawshank Redemption
This movie was introduced to me as part of my Year 12 Media curriculum.  I’d heard it mentioned in all the “Top 100 films” countdowns, but I didn’t understand how a prison movie could possibly make its way to the top of each countdown.  Then I watched it, and was blown away.  I love the storyline and how it keeps the audience guessing.  I love the characters and how different they all are.  I love how it’s not a romance movie, but you don’t even notice that it’s missing.  I love the actors, I think they do a phenomenal job.  Everything about the film is timeless and awesome and so well done.  I could watch this anywhere at any time and get just as much enjoyment out of it that I did the first time.

shawshank-robbins-rain-700x300

Titanic
This movie has been my favourite since I was about ten.  Leo was my first celeb crush, I watched the movie so many times I knew it word for word (and probably still do).  The film inspired me to learn all about the sinking, and when I was about twelve I’d read about it for hours, scouring the library for books on it.  I was devastated when I accidentally taped over the movie…so much so both my parents and my uncle bought me properly copies of it that Christmas.  This was back in the days of VHS, so I’d constantly have to rewind the tapes every time I’d finish it so I could watch it again.  I had the soundtrack, I had posters and movie stills stuck up around my room and on my desk at school.  Obsessed was an understatement.  When we finally bought a DVD player, I bought the ultimate collections edition, which had 4 disks worth of extras.  While my obsession has since subsided, I still love watching this film.

Uifyexj0iqVl

Interstallar
This is the newest addition to my list, and I was in two minds about whether to add it, but it wound up on here.  I saw this in the cinema and it completely caught me off guard.  It’s fantastic, in a crazy, far-fetched sort of way.  I love how it keeps you guessing, it gets you thinking about the future, about decisions somebody at some point in time will probably have to make.  It touches on space travel and science, both things I’ve watched many a documentary on.  I know the film is probably not accurate at all, but it’s still pretty cool and really interesting.  I love movies that can make you think about things in a different way.

interstellar-3840x2160

Shutter Island
Another Leo movie, although vastly different from Titanic.  This movie scared the shit out of me the first time I saw it.  It’s dark, morbid and creepy, but the twist at the end is mindblowing and fantastic.  It highlights how mental illness and the way it’s dealt with has changed over the years, and shows how it used to be handled.  The storyline is interesting, the characters fascinating and the setting mega-creepy.  You constantly have to question who to trust and what to believe and I love this.  I’ve watched it many times and I always find new things that I’ve missed previously.  Leo is fantastic in it, as always, as are all the other actors.  It really does feel like you’re stuck on the island with them.

shutter-island-which-would-be-worse

All 3 Rugrats Movies
This one seems to be a stark contrast to all the others on my list, I know, but I adore kids movies, and 9/10 times that will be what I put on if I want to watch something.  I can’t decide which one I like best, so I cheated and said all three of them.  I love Rugrats so much.  It reminds me of childhood and fun.  I grew up with Tommy and Chucky and all the others – I started watching when I was only a couple of years older than them!  While the storylines aren’t as complex as any of the other films I’ve listed, they’re a lot of fun and easy to watch.  I remember seeing the first film at the drive-ins with my parents.  All those memories make watching the films so enjoyable that I often pick these over any of my other favourites.

The_Rugrats_Movie_-_Group_Photo

What are your top 5 picks?

-JD

This prompt, and many more, can be found here

“What is Your Favourite Accessory Right Now?”

My favourite accessory at the moment is my Apple Watch.  I ordered it when it was first released and, although it isn’t perfect, I really like it.  I’ve used other smart watches and compared to them, this works a lot smoother and has a lot more features.

s38si-sbwh-sel-201509_GEO_US

There are a few reasons why I really like it (especially compared to the other ones I’ve used).

  • The Size.  The Apple Watch comes in two sizes (basically, his and hers).  I got the smaller one, so it doesn’t look giant and oversized on my wrist.  While the extra screen space would have been nice, I still find the screen usable and, for the most part, accurate.  It is still slightly bigger than your normal wristwatch (though I think that’s probably moreso because of the square shape instead of round) but it’s not anything that would give you strange looks on the street.  The same can’t be said for the previous watches I’ve used.
  • The Fitness Trackers.  This is the main reason why I wear my watch each day without fail.  The watch tracks heart rate, step count, distance walked, how many hours you’ve been standing and calories burnt.  For the most part I’ve found it accurate, aside from a bug I’ve got right now where it isn’t reflecting how long I’ve exercised for properly (though it’s tracking it properly as third-party apps that use the watch reflect it correctly.  Very weird).  I’ve always found the step count accurate, and I think the heart rate is too, although I have no way of knowing for sure.  The thing I really like about the heart rate monitor especially is that it automatically checks every ten minutes or so, and saves it into the “Heath” app, which is great if you have medical conditions (or find out about one later on).  While not 100% accurate, I’m sure it would help doctors to see that kind of stuff.
  • The Alerts.  The main reason anyone considers a smart watch over something like a Fitbit is the alerts that you can get through your phone to the watch.  This was always the downfall of other smartwatches.  It would alert you to basics and that’s it.  The Apple Watch can alert you of anything you want basically (provided the app itself supports WatchOS, and most do these days).  You can turn off what you don’t want, so you don’t get bombarded with stupid notifications you don’t need.  You can read and reply to text messages with either auto replies (that you can change via your phone) or through siri.  You can answer calls.  Yes, you speak into the watch (though I’ve found the speaker isn’t very powerful and can sometimes make hearing the other person difficult).  You can get email notifications.  You can turn off your alarm – no more racing halfway across the house because you woke up before your alarm and left your phone in your room!  I’ve never had any issues with notifications.  To use Apple’s favourite catchline – “it just works”.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity.  I’ve found this especially useful of late after starting a new job and not wanting to have my phone with me.  It has quite a good range, which means I can be several metres away from my phone without it disconnecting, even if the phone is in a different room.  I’m not sure of the exact distance, but I think it might stretch as far as 10 metres, which is pretty good!  It’s also great if your phone is going flat and you need to charge it in a different room but don’t want to miss anything or constantly have to get up and check.

These are my ultimate favourite things, but there are smaller things I love too.  It took me awhile to adjust to the interface, but once you get it down pat it’s fairly straightforward.  I have the Sport model, and the band is comfortable, although a little fiddly to get on in the morning through bleary eyes.  Once it’s on though, it stays in place and I’ve never had it undo.  I originally wanted the green band but wound up getting the white one to match more outfits.  It’s got a few little marks on it, but overall has stayed fairly clean given I’ve worn it every day.  There are about 8 different watch face layout options, which are then customisable.  Since the reason of version 2 of the software, you can chose your own background picture if you want, or you can use one of the preset ones.  There are both analogue and digital faces, and you can also add things like current temperature, moon cycle, sunrise and sunset, different timezones and how you’re tracking with your fitness goals for the day on the watchface if you don’t mind the clutter.  Overall, I’d recommend it if you’re thinking of spending some cash on a new watch or on something like a Fitbit.  It does set you back a little more, but it also gives you a lot more features.  I don’t know that I’d recommend spending big bucks on a more expensive model…I know they look a bit nicer but it is technology and technology isn’t timeless.  This is why I wound up getting the cheaper one.  It does the same job but means I won’t feel obliged to keep using it after it’s well and truly outdated.

And no, I’m not sponsored by Apple.  I wish I was.  I’d have a more blingy watch than a Sports edition!

This prompt, and may more, can be found here.

#loveme challenge – Day Twenty

IMG_0546-2

Day 20 – Something You Love to Wear

Ah, this one is definitely my favourite prompt!  I have a giant collection of Converse shoes in all different colours, patterns and designs – the crazier the better!  I have roughly 40 pairs and once I start having a steady income again, it’ll no doubt grow from there.  My favourite pair are my purple hi-top platforms, as they’re not only eye-catching but super comfortable as well.  When I was at my old work, I used to (naughtily) get away with wearing whatever shoes I wanted to (the bottom half of our uniform was jeans so it didn’t look terrible) so I got to make use of my collection.  This new job isn’t gonna be quite as flexible as that unfortunately, so back to weekend-only wear they all go 😦

unnamed (2) unnamed (3)

-JD

“Who is your favourite literary character of all-time?”

My favourite literary character of all time is Ellie Linton, the heroine from John Marsden’s the Tomorrow Series and later, the Ellie Chronicles.  A character a lot of Australians would know well.

john-marsden

I first read the series when I was about twelve after a recommendation from my Grade 5 teacher.  I initially didn’t think much of it.  I was young, what could I possibly like about a series based around a war?  Little did I know it would become my favourite series ever, one I’d read over and over again.

All the characters in it are great and relatable in some respects.  Fi is the innocent friend, the one you hate to see hurt the most.  Robyn is the religious friend, who is caught between her faith and her loyalties.  Lee is the smart one, who can sometimes be a little socially awkward.  Corrie is the faithful best friend, always there with a shoulder to cry on.  Kevin is the outspoken one, who let’s his words get him into trouble as much as get him out of it.  Homer is the boisterous one, the good guy with a rebellious front.  The reason I love Ellie most of all though, is because she’s the bravest and the toughest, even in her weakest moments.  Where Fi and Robyn show bravery then fall apart, Ellie doesn’t let herself do that.  Not only that, but she’s incredibly selfless, and always puts her friends first, even when it could cost her her life.  That kind of loyalty is something usually reserved for male characters.  In saying all this, though, she isn’t some sort of war robot.  She’s constantly torn between what’s right and what needs to be done, and sometimes she gets it wrong.

I love the character because it shows that it’s okay to be scared, to make mistakes, to be human.  It shows girls can be brave.  It shows girls don’t always need men around to protect them.  She’s fiery and strong and a leader, a character that I believe has shaped me into someone I’m always striving to become.  I don’t believe the books would be half as powerful to read if a male was the narrator.  It would be just another war series.  John Marsden made a fantastic choice when he put Ellie in the driver’s seat!

Who’s your favourite literary character?

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Thirteen

img_0546

Day 13 – Share a Quote

FullSizeRender

I’m a sucker for quotes.  My “favourites” folder in my iPhone gallery is stuffed full of them, so it was tough to chose just one.  I decided instead of chosing my all-time best, I’d instead share the one I’ve currently got set as my phone lock screen.  I found this on Tumblr (where else?) and I love it.  This is something I’ve learnt in the past five years through my telco experience.  I started off timid, quiet, shy…I walked out of there full of confidence and a lot more prepared to speak up.  I grew so much from my experiences with rude and angry customers, ones that would go out of there way to try to tell me how to do my job.  At first, I let them.  Maybe they’re right?  Maybe I’m missing something?  Maybe I’m doing something wrong?  After I learnt that I was doing all I could, that’s when I decided I wasn’t going to be walked all over.  That’s when I started to grow up.  It’s not often you can pinpoint things like that in life, but I can definitely tell you I’m a different person to who I was at age 20.  I now have a confidence in myself I didn’t have before.  I feel comfortable enough to share my opinions and make myself heard.  This quote sums up perfectly how it feels to finally learn it’s okay to talk.  Before, I’d feel like I was invisible, that nobody listened…at the time, I blamed everyone else and withdrew further.  Now, looking back, I can see it was my fault.  I didn’t let people in, so of course I was going to feel that nobody listened.  I feel like I now have a voice (sometimes even a loud one!) and the world is finally starting to hear me.  It’s a great feeling!

Junk Food Junkie

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Junk Food Junkie.”
What’s your biggest junk food weakness? Tell us all about it in its sugary, salty, glory.

My biggest junk food weakness is anything with or made from potatoes.  Chips, fries, gems, hash browns, jacket potatoes.  Anything made from that starchy wonder is good enough!

Don’t tell me you aren’t thinking the same thing.  I’ll bet a quick Google image search will change your mind.

02513_hash_brown_nuggets.480 cajunchips2 crispy-sweet-potato-roast hero_pdt_hash_brown ig0702_potatoes Perfect-jacket-potato-006

RoastPotatoes  Potato-Chips

Mouth watering yet?  Because mine is.  I’ve been a sucker since I was a little kid.  Cutting back on my favourite vegetable is probably one of the hardest things about my new health kick.  I would seriously eat them all day every day if I thought it wouldn’t cause a heart attack.  Gimme gimme gimme!

-JD

“And then I’ll let her break my heart ‘cos that’s all that I do well…”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “This Is Your Song.”
Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.

One of my favourite songs of all time is Ben Lee’s “Ketchum”, which is off his second album, made well before he became famous.

I’ve loved it since the first time I heard it, years and years and years ago, when I was going through my “Ben Lee 4eva” phase.  There’s reasons why it has stayed in my heart long after the phase died out.

Firstly, those haunting strings in the background.  God, I can’t even deal with how beautiful they are.  I know it’s not Mozart-quality, but they get me every time.

Secondly, I can relate to so many of the lyrics.  These ones are my absolute favourite, though I love the whole song:

I’m gonna roam the Ketchum streets to find a Ketchum girl
And then I’ll let her break my heart ‘cos that’s all that I do well

The valley will become my home her hills will keep me safe
I’ll give her songs about my soul when there’s no soul left to take
And I’ll forget, I ever lived in any other place

And these ones:

And it may seem inevitable, I would love this fate
So beautiful and tragic and her heroes can’t escape
And Hemingway he shot himself one July evening late

I know it’s not the most uplifting song in the world, but whenever I’m feeling upset or hurt or alone, I crank this song up.  The last thing I want to hear when I’m feeling that way is something happy and chirpy.  This song is a reminder that I’m not alone, and that it’s okay to feel bad sometimes.  Hell, it’s even okay to wallow in it for awhile, just so long as you come back from it eventually.

I absolutely adore the whole album, and it still blows my mind that he was 17 when it was released!  How mental is that!  It’s not a musical masterpiece in terms of instruments used or anything, but some of the lyrics on the album are so beautiful I can’t even deal.  I wish I was half as talented as he was back then.  So crazy!