Starting anew


Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

We are about to be knee deep in a school year (meaning, the end of the first quarter is slowly approaching) and this is about the time when things start to get settled. Students get accustomed to the routines and the way things are done in the classroom, and teachers get to know their students and understand their characters and individual strengths, weaknesses, and needs. It is also about the time when things may start getting out of hand if you have not established your expectations properly beginning of the year or if you have not been following through with them.

Late August, just as school was about to start, I was reflecting on my first two years of teaching and trying to figure out what things I should focus on this year. Obviously, you can only work toward a few goals at a time, so I settled for just three:

  1. To improve my teaching techniques (aka to become a better teacher).
  2. To improve my classroom management skills (aka to have a productive and positive environment in my classroom).
  3. To have a life during the school year (aka to have time to do things other than related to my job).

I must confess, I was not sure I could pull it off with these goals, and, honestly, it is too early to make any definite conclusions, but at least I share my current observations.

It is the first time in three years that I am not dreading Mondays, I am not constantly nervous or feeling like a failure.

A little retrospective here. For the last two years, I felt like I am not measuring up to the standards of teaching when others have no problem doing so. My classes seemed very boring and I pitied my students who had to suffer through them. I seemed to never be able to realize my ideas no matter how creative and engaging they looked in my head. So, in the end, I was upset and disappointed with myself. At the and of the day I always felt like I did not achieve anything and only waisted my students’ time, and any hope to improve something tomorrow faded away under the pile of things to do today. On top of everything I had the hardest time waking up and my energy level was close to a zero pretty much right after the school was over.

What an awful way to live, someone might think. Oh, and I would agree with this someone one hundred percent. And it was what made me rethink my entire approach to teaching and life.

I cannot express how grateful I am to God for putting that idea into my mind! Things have been very different this year, and I am very happy for both my students and myself.

Update. It WAS the third week of school when I just started writing this post but it is now sixth. Things are not without bumps here and there but things are going much smoother than they used to anyway. Not all classes are the same but I am pleased to see that many of my students have matured and start to put more effort into their studies.

As for my personal goals, I will probably cover my progress in this area in the next post.

Living today

I’ve gotten a nice reminder from a colleague this morning of how important it is to live here and now, to be present at this very moment. A very timely reminder too, as we’re in the third quarter of the school year, and this is when tiredness that has been accumulating from September starts to manifest itself.

I’m very much guilty of worrying. In my culture, worrying is almost a virtue. People are always concerned about the future and a worried face is a norm. Walking around smiling and being insultingly happy is fairly uncommon.

Life may be hard on us, and sometimes it seems like we can do anything but enjoying the moment. However, this moment is everything we’ve got. I keep forgetting about it. We all do. If I were to die tomorrow, today would be the only time to live. Would I waste it? Never! Would I worry about issues or things on my to-do list? Of course, not!

I must admit though that achieving such freedom of mind isn’t possible on your own. At least, I’m not capable of that. It seems to me that it is only possible if you trust God with everything you have. He is a much better manager than any of us.

So, my next step is to think about some practical things I can do to become less concerned and more joyful.


Photo by Kien Do on Unsplash

What might a medieval knight have for lunch?

So, what’s for lunch?

Food is something we all enjoy. Food is exciting. It is a form of art and an absolute necessity of life. We eat every day and so did people throughout history. Food reflects social status, financial situation, traditions, religious norms, personal preferences and other circumstances that can influence the gastronomical choices people make. That’s why learning about what people used to eat in the past may help bring history back to life. We may actually discover that we have a lot of misconceptions about what food looked and tasted like at different times and places in the history of humankind. Not to mention that it is so much more interesting than reading a dry history book.

The video I’m sharing is from Modern History TV channel on YouTube. These guys deserve many more subscribers. So, please, enjoy their content and subscribe!

What Did a Knight’s Vassals Eat?



Teaching is slowly saturating my life. Aside from school, I’m returning to teaching English in summer and (!) I got a student who I tutor now. I really didn’t plan to tutor any time soon but God had other plans. Now I have to get a cute 11-year old to start speaking English. Two classes in, and I’m still figuring out what to do.

Searching for good one-on-one teaching techniques currently.diomari-madulara-110583-unsplash

Greece vs Rome

Where do we really come from? Well, not in a metaphysical sense but rather an earthly one, the one you can still stumble over somewhere around the Mediterranean Sea.

What civilization should we consider our ancestor? There are two very eligible choices here: Greece and Rome. Both worlds are very much equally attractive, alluring even, challenging, mesmerizing, and… ugly in a way any ancient world would be compared to ours. We are convinced, not without some charm, that we are better/more advanced/more enlightened/more […] (pick and choose what you like) than people of antiquity.

Anyway, as I’ve been watching and reading a lot about this period lately, I couldn’t pass by this remarkable debate between Boris Johnson and Mary Beard.

Enjoy watching Greece vs Rome!

The Story Begins

Thanks for joining me!

This blog has very high chances of becoming pretty eclectic but I think it is ok. Our life is often eclectic and patchy like a quilted blanket. We are made up of countless ingredients, big and small. So many things tell our story! From what we like for breakfast on a Saturday morning to a life-long mission we put before ourselves.

And it all matters. Things we do today, define our tomorrow. Present stories become future history.

I work as a teacher but it didn’t take me long to realize that teaching is not a job, it is a lifestyle. It is something that never fully leaves your mind. 24/7 you think about how you can improve your teaching skills to make lessons more interesting and engaging, how to meet the needs of every student in your class, and how to help kids grow both academically and in their understanding of the world. School ends, you know, but learning should continue.

When I’m not teaching I enjoy knitting. So, this is a patch on my blanket and another aspect of the story. My skills are pretty average at the moment but I’m learning and I have specific goals I want to reach.

And then there are miscellaneous things in life that I enjoy and just want to share. What if you’ll like them too?

So, again, thanks for joining me! Let’s craft something interesting!

P.S.: What do you like in your free time? Knitting, reading, dancing, traveling? Tell me about it!

‘The Lion’ all began with a picture of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself, ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.’ — C.S. Lewis