My favourite colour is purple. I like most colours, except that I'm not too fond of yellow. I'm a teacher, a student, a wife and a step-mom to four young adult-ish kids. My favourite room is my craft room. I like to play with photography, paper, scrapbooking, book and card making. Thanks for checking out my blog!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

My letter to my MLA

Dear Ms. Moira Stilwell,

I am writing you again today. I am utterly dismayed.  The unwillingness to let go of E80 in the bargaining sessions demonstrates the Liberal party’s need to be above the law. In proposing this condition, your government is admitting that they have been wrong in the last dozen years when they stripped the class size and composition language from the BCTF bargaining rights.

I care deeply about public education in this province. I hope that you do too. I wish your/my government would not view this as a cost, but a necessary and beneficial investment in our future. I wish that you would astonish us all by restoring class size and composition before the Supreme Court rules that you should. This brings tears to my eyes to imagine it!

I know "austerity measures” and a promise of fiscal responsibility helped get your government voted in again. So if this is your stand, that you have a mandate to be fiscally responsible, then your party should say that you don’t have enough money to adequately fund public education.  Instead, the Liberal party members continue to dismiss and demean teachers by saying they ask for too much. These words and attitudes hurt. I have not heard your words on this issue and this is why I continue to write to you, in hopes that you will respond. I hope that you will take a stand for public education in our province.

I have taught in Vancouver for twenty three years. I love my vocation. I truly believe it’s my calling. Since yesterday my eyes are full of tears when I realize what I face in light of your government’s position. 

You see, I do believe in smaller class sizes and in supporting integration of individuals with unique needs into the regular classroom. I have seen this support eroded to the point where I no longer feel we’re giving adequate service for the needs of my students in grade four. I deeply believe in and value supported integration. We don’t have that anymore.

When I entered my profession, I never dreamed that I would be in this position today of having to defend my beliefs about best educational practice. I didn’t know I would have to defend myself to members of my government while at the same time doubting that they are even reading my letters, hearing my voice, or even caring to put their neck out to change what is going on, for the development of our society. 

I will be picketing Henderson Elementary School, a school community in your riding, on Tuesday. I do so not for myself. I am already about -$5600 at this point in our dispute. I do so because I believe that public education is an integral, essential part of our society. I don’t want to see it disintegrate even more. 

I want to teach. But I long to teach in a supported system that is adequately funded so that learning flourishes. In order for this to happen, I’m asking that true, unconditional mediation take place. The BC Supreme Court has ruled that negotiating about class size and composition is my right. I am taking a stand on this one. I will not give that up by accepting what your government is proposing with E80. If I did accept E80, I would be turning my back on what I believe about education. I would be turning my back on my own students, and I‘m certainly not prepared to allow a government to duck out of respecting the BC Supreme Court rulings. 

As my elected representative and as the elected representative of the school community I am privileged to work in, can you assure me that you hear our voice in this issue?

Joan Shannon Jung

Monday, August 18, 2014

COLOURful Harvest! Urban Garden mid August

These colours greeted me today, after being away from the garden for a few days!

all gorgeous for their close-up

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


On July 13, I  completed the Vancouver Subaru sprint triathlon. It was really hard! I learned a lot about myself in preparing for this event. I learned that perseverance is a daily thing. Also that sometimes the goals you set can be altered instead of being abandoned altogether.

I'm so glad I finished this and ended smiling!

DISCIPLINE- my one little word for 2014, was a great companion.

SWIM 400 m 

time 11:00

The swim was hard. At half way I thought to myself, “I will NEVER do this again!” It was disorienting having so many swimmers around me, all flailing towards the same goal. I found sighting to be nearly impossible. I swam around longer distance swimmers who were going across my path in a different direction. I never found my steady swimming rhythm. Once I found my own place, away from other swimmers, I just put my head down and headed to shore. It was over quickly, but I was so thankful to be out of the water. My goal was to finish under 15 minutes. I did it in 11 minutes, even with all my struggles in the water.

How did discipline help me reach this achievement?
I swam twice a week. I swam early in the morning so I could get the longer distance lanes. I swam in the ocean. I wrote it into my calendar and was committed to the practice. 

BIKE 20km

time 59:41

The bike was hard. I didn’t settle into my breathing rhythm right away. I had to stop twice on the hill up to UBC. The hill I normally can get up. My legs cramped up and I needed water. I passed a few people. Many people passed me. It was fun to be encouraged by others and I started talking to people too. While riding, I decided to just give it my all and try to make my goal to do it in under an hour. I was 19 seconds under an hour. 

How did discipline help me reach this achievement? 
I stopped commuting by car to work and rode my bike everyday instead. I bought rainy day gear so that the rain would not be an excuse for me to not ride. I cycled longer on Saturday mornings even when I didn’t feel like it. I wrote it in my calendar.

RUN 5km

time 40:57

The run was hard. My legs felt heavy, it was really hot, and I felt exhausted the whole way. I had to hold my blood testing kit in my hand because it was too bouncy in my back pocket. I walked for about half the distance. The encouragement from other runners lifted me. There were three bunnies who hopped with me at one point and that helped me run a bit more. My goal was to run 5 km without stopping. I didn’t make this goal. But I sure ran across that finish line! Even the announcer said I had a great smile! I was so happy to finish!

How did discipline help me reach this achievement?
From the end of May on, I ran every other day on my treadmill. I used the Couch-to-5k app to help me build my endurance. Every time I went on the treadmill, I would at least complete 5km, even though every single time it meant some walking. I wrote it in my calendar to remind me of my goal. 

I guess I learned that even though something is hard, that I can do it. The whole reason I signed up for this in the first place was to have a goal that would get me moving everyday. Something to help me put discipline into practice. 

Now that it's over, I am still being active every day. My next goal is to run a 5 km without walking. So I signed up for a 5 km event on November 16.