Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing


True. I love her more with each passing thought. With each sound of her barely dragging feet, clutching her walking cane with obstinacy, breathing through the daily pain brought upon by old age and hard work.

I remember how angry I used to be with her sometimes when I was younger, not understanding why she would do somethings in such a complicated, old-fashioned way, why she wore the same shoes for decades and claimed she didn’t need new ones, why she constantly gave me chores, why she never appreciated gifts, why she would slways find faults woth what I did and yet boasted about me to her friends, why she would be so stubbornly difficult about trying out new things. I still get frustrated when she won’t ask for help.

But now I understand.

And I love her more with each passing day. It is an honour to assist her in taking a shower. It is a privilege to have received, and to still be receiving, from her so much more than she was supposed to be able to give. It is bliss to remember how she taught me to draw (it worked), how she made me write everything double to stop me from pressing the pencil too hard (it worked), how she taught me how to sew, knit and cook, at least a bit before she would lose patience and do it better herself. I thought it was meant as better. Now I know it was just faster because she had a million other things to do.

Now I understand. I may still disapprove of some of it, but I understand.

As I write this, my playlist reaches ‘In the Arms of an Angel’. How stunningly appropriate!

I love her more with each passing thought. Just being able to still hold her, look at her, learn from her… it is a privilege. A loving mother. She.

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What are we to do?

Today is another defeating day for humanity. In a neighbouring country, there has been a school shooting started by a 14-year-old boy.

Just this morning, before I even learnt about it, I was travelling to work and among my many memories, my review for Jean Gill’s Left Out popped out ( I remember reading it very vividly, as I also read it with my teenage pupils just last year. It deals with plenty of teenage issues, one of them even resulting in a school shooting.

I also remember my teenage pupils commenting on the school shooting in the book as something distant, something that happens only in American movies and some parts of the US.
Well, it does not. And it does not only happen in books and movies. I wish we could say it only happens in fiction.

There is NO ‘it happens only there’ to it. We are all in this together, we all share this place and timeline. Each one of these events chips away at a big chunk of our entirety as humanity. A painful, irretrievable chunk of our joint spirit.

No amount of finger pointing will fix that now. Blaming the parents, blaming the bullies, blaming schools, blaming the system… will NOT fix it.

We all NEED to act now – talk with children, be with them, meet their friends, listen to the warning signs, talk with other parents, listen to each other more. Hug. Breathe. Together. Feel each other. Trust each other. Be kind to each other.

Kindness matters. It really does.

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Alive & Questioning

Times may change. No, they do change. However, humanity does not always adapt well.

The Question Mark Method came out before the Covid pandemic and all sorts of unfavourable events in my life, which all affected how we lead our lives, how we do our jobs and how we feel/fear about everything. In my profession of teaching, so many aspects underwent tremedous alterations and the learning curve was steeper than ever. All of that made me think The Question Mark Method might remain shelved, collecting dust in the shadows as a distant memory of times gone by.

However, now that things have settled down somewhat, and my teaching circumstances have changed (and are ever changing), I have come to realise, more than ever, that my methodology is sound and strong, not only for the teachers but for learners, too.

There are so many techniques, ever-changing technology, so much data, countless variations, a limitless plethora of things to take into account while teaching or learning… What I see all around me is the need for everyone to find focus. Focus on what truly matters – the basics. The focus board in my classroom is (still) who-what-where-hen-how-why. It works, perhaps more than ever.

We all tend to be distracted too easily., no matter our life experience and age. It is too easy to be overwhelmed by the chaotic and rushed world around us and within us, and then we end up feeling underwhelmed by our final results. As for the ability to focus on something for a longer time (which is nowadays more than a couple of minutes), it is systematically being reduced, but that’s a topic to discuss some other time.

Therefore, The Question Mark Method is alive and kicking, eagerly awaiting for me to add only this updated section about the times that are a-changing.

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A single snowdrop
Brightens up my day
With the promise of hope,
Softly whispering:
“It is possible.
Winters have their story,
Sequels and spin-offs,
But they also have endings.’

Or, in the words of Pink ‘s song, “it’s just turbulence”.

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Storytelling rocks!

Winky’s adventure lives on!

In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to tell Winky’s Colours to children in several storytelling workshops, even the Croatian version. It felt so good to see and hear their reactions, do follow-up dance and art activities and enjoy their laughter.

It is amazing how many times you can tell a story and get more and more new ideas on improving the text of the book. Not change events just rephrase and tweak some parts.

#kidlit #penguins #storytelling

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This is a lesson I still have to revise from time to time, yet such an important one. #acceptance #kindness #lifelonglearning

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Another chance to get it right

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Speaking with thought

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Awethology at 💝

Seven years ago I was honoured to be a part of this anthology. My story appeared in the Light volume, naturally.
It was so interesting to be a part of this. Forever grateful for the opportunity.
#awethology #writingcommunity

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