‘Gracie’s School’ Q and A Post + An Exciting Blogging Announcement

In my last post I introduced to you to my very own school, students and classroom. I shared my happiness at being able to fulfill my dream and making it happen through my own determination.  I  also asked you to submit your questions for my school themed Q and A. Well, many of you had lots to ask so read on…and enjoy!

Questions from Mukta:

When and how did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

I’ve always loved learning and, to me, nothing sounds more like paradise than a place where young people can gather together to learn and share and pursue their passions.

School, and the modern education system, are supposed to provide that service, but I don’t believe they are. The majority of my generation view school as a negative place, a prison, something they’re forced to attend. School should be a place everyone wants to go to.

I am home-educated and the above is precisely the reason I don’t go to school. The reason I decided to become a teacher is because I want to create the school that I dream of, the school I want to go to.

What time do you begin/end teaching?

Nothing is set in stone yet, at the moment I’m being pretty flexible. Usually we start at about 10am and finish about 4pm??? 😀😀😀

Questions from Loren:

When you start a real school, will you want it to be elementary, middle, or high school?

I hope that my school will be a place where kids and teens of all ages can come together and learn. I want it to be an environment where they help and teach each other. I am from the UK so I’m not exactly that familiar with the US education system, we say ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ schools here!

Questions from Melissa:

Are your pupils allowed to direct any of your teaching and follow their own interests or are you quite strict in following your lesson plans?

There needs to be a balance. I do make lesson plans (which I try to stick to), but if I see that my students are interested in or enthusiastic about a particular subject, I’m more than happy to focus on it. I also welcome my students suggestions and ideas. I have certain parts in each lesson where I ask one of my students to lead the activity and I just watch. It teaches them teamwork, leadership and creativity, all equally important lessons!

Questions from The Girl With IronWings

Are you guys going to travel around the farm place and learn things practically or…..?

Yeah, I guess so. It’s important to include a bit of reading, writing, maths and theoretical science, but most of the activities we do are outdoors, hands on and practical. I find that my students learn better when out and about on the farm. For example, we went fishing in the stream and then identified and learnt about what we caught. They loved it! Way more than reading about the affect humans have on natural habitats! 😀 I bet they remembered more of the former too.

How is the teaching going to be – How different from today’s schools? 😊

Hehe. I would say it’s pretty different. Here’s a quick list.

  • All different ages and abilities taught together.
  • We learn about things that are important in life, like knowing and appreciating your surroundings and how to protect them. 
  • The learning (and teaching!) is FUN!!!
  • I try and think about what suits my students individually, what they need help with and what their strengths are. I keep that in mind when making my lesson plans, unlike school with its ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

Also, since it’s about the environment will you be using gadgets?

We have a few gadgets… a camera trap that we’ve used to try and capture the secret lives of wildlife on the farm. We don’t use a lot of technology, just the internet to research things and find information.

Questions from Misabella :

What is your favourite subject to teach?

I’m about to start doing a book club + English and creative writing classes. I don’t enjoy maths very much, just because I teach out of a book and have to follow a set system/curriculum. These ‘environment’ lessons are great, I get to be creative and come up with fun, unique ideas that really engage my students. 😁

Do you find particular methods of discipline more effective than others?

I’ve googled the different ‘methods of discipline’ and would say my style is a mix of them all! I do try to set boundaries, but I also try and be positive and humorous. I wouldn’t say I’m strict, I try to be patient and listen to my students – although that is something I struggle with. I think this is an area I need to look into a bit more – especially if I want to be a successful teacher!

Questions from Tom:

How long do you hope to be keeping up with this school for?

Well, we’re living at the farm over the autumn, winter and early spring so the lessons will probably continue through those seasons. After that my family and I are off on our travels, maybe into Europe, maybe even further, searching for a place to settle down and call home. When we find that place I have no doubt that my school will re-establish itself and begin again, stronger and better than before. 

School is an interesting word, I wonder if it’s Greek?

Well, thanks to your research, Tom, we now know that it is a Greek word meaning ‘lecture place’. It would have looked like this in its original text: skholḗ or σχολή. Great fact! 

 I hope you all enjoyed that little Q and A! I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas on education, I even learnt a few interesting things in the process. If anyone still has any questions, please feel free to comment them and I’ll try to answer.

Okay, now I have an exciting and important announcement to make: I am getting some newly designed features on A Light In The Darkness soon! Not saying anything more, but watch out for a post revealing those. This is me at the moment: 🤐☺☺☺🤐 

Xxx

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Dwelling On The Darkness

 

Dear All,

Things have happened in this past week and they’ve made me realise a lot. I started this blog to be ‘a light in the darkness’ and I’ve become consumed by the very thing I’m fighting. I’ve been dwelling on the darkness, and that doesn’t make any difference to the world. Nothing is changed unless you’re positive and hopeful. Unless you actually take action. 

Blogging is a beautiful, beautiful thing with so much potential, but for me it’s turned into a part of the darkness. It’s taken over my life, meaning I haven’t been getting out there and actually living a life that makes me ‘a light’.

My Mum wrote this in my notepad:

“It’s the life you lead that makes you a light, not your awareness of the darkness”

She’s right.

I’m going to write more about my own life, things I’ve done and thought, things that I hope will inspire others. I believe that getting young people talking about things that matter is extremely important, but our world needs action too.

Signing off…..

Gracie ❤️❤️❤

 

The Perfectly Imperfect Tag ~ A Guest Post By Aqsa!

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Today I am honoured to host the creation of an inspiring new tag by my amazing blogging friend Aqsa . *fanfare* I asked her if she wanted to do a guest post and she came up with something as brilliant as this. Totally typical. Anyways, it is with great pleasure that I share with you The Perfectly Imperfect Tag! Here’s the link to it on Aqsa’s blog:

via The Perfectly Imperfect Tag: My Blogging Campaign/Featured Guest Post! – Aqsa Says What? — Aqsa Says What?

Expect my participation within the near future!

Wishing this tag the best of luck! Hope it spreads all around the blogosphere…..!

‘Snapshot’ (A Guest-Poem)

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The poem is a little special to me, you see, because, after years of writing, I wrote about how things are in my country, how reality has nothing to do but to lie there with glazed eyes, because everyone is waiting, and just waiting some more, for a change. It’s like walking through honey, and change is bitter and hard work; most people here simply curse it. The few who risk a try get trapped in this spider web of lethargy. Time stills. No one moves. Everything stays the same and hypocrisy prevails. 

These words are a perfect introduction to a stunning poem that I am about to share with you all. The author is Flaw Rainlight  Here is how she describes herself:

Hey there! I’m Flaw Rainlight and often write under the name of T. E. Pyrus. I live in the company of five wonderful cats and writing is a passion. I also learn and love classical dance and music. 

When I first tried my hand at writing, I was about six years old, exploring Dr. Seuss and R. L. Stevenson. That was probably soon after realized my love and awe of books, the way they preserve dreams and lives of people, real and imaginary, for decades and centuries. 

I remember thinking at one point, when I was bothered by the lack of fun things to read on a short vacation with my parents, that if I couldn’t find things to read, why couldn’t try writing them? 

And thus, my imagination, fueled first by boredom, and later by curiosity, passion and a desire to challenge myself further, spilled into little rhymes and incomplete stories. (I’m still mortified that my mother keeps a firm hold on those notebook pages of childish rambling.)

Eventually, encouraged and supported lovingly by friends, family and absolute strangers, I decided to bring my work out into this scary outside world. I began to explore spoken word and set up this blog as a medium to reach out to people like you, who care about writing, and write about caring. After all, thinkers and writers unfurl from the burning fire within to love the world and everything in it, and to witness its evolution that many simply walk past without another glance.

Wow. She certainly I’d talented. Here is her wonderfully deep and meaningful piece:
SNAPSHOT’
 Curiosity stares through tinted glasses
at railway tracks that glint darker in the sun;
the house crow that pecks on the ties in between
looks only slightly greyer than its shadow.
The diesel smoke and incense mist
lie faintly over red painted benches
that infrequently decorate the station platform.
Glass doored cabinets in miniature stalls
hold jars of hard candy, myriad pan filling
and sugared tamarind sweets to charm the mouth,
brightly coloured foil packets of biscuits and sweetened milk cake
lie sulking on the icebox, liberally filled
with ice cream and badam milk, mishti doi and lassi,
chilled soda in orange, brown, and green,
sealed bottles of water for people to please.
People and more people with stranger clothes and faces
scurry and stumble, then scramble and hurry
up the overbridge and down to platform number four
with sari and suitcase, toddler with a missing shoe.
Cartons of fresh iced fish to be sold a thousand miles away
settle comfortably on the floor of the parcel compartment,
painted blue, like all the thirty and one passenger coaches
tailing the rusty red engine that punctuates the chaos
with sleepy sighs and anxious whistles.
Footsteps and wheels run briskly here,
yet time runs ever slowly still
in rhythm with the ceaseless chant –
“cha~i coffee! co~ffee chai! cha~i coffee!…”

Beautiful Ideas + Determined Bloggers = One Word: Change (An Equation That Can Mean Only One Thing: Another Blogging Project)

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I told you we’d celebrate with something special, didn’t I? Something fun and light-hearted, yet still staying true to the purpose of A Light In The Darkness?

I had a bit of a dilemma, but I really hope that you guys like what I’ve chosen. My blogging project A Passion For The World seemed to inspire so many people to think about how they could use the things they love to change the world. I saw the power of this creative project, the joy and the purpose it gave all my blogging friends. I want to give you another opportunity to feel this way. So……….

Without further ado, I present my NEW blogging project: Beautiful Ideas + Determined Bloggers = One Word: Change 

Here are the steps you follow, it’s simple.

  • Sign up for the project by emailing me at graciechick29@gmail.com If you like, you can invite a couple of other bloggers to participate by sharing the links to their blogs with me.

 

  • I will assign pairs, based in which bloggers I think will work well together.

 

  • You must then collaborate to come up with a campaign idea for using blogging to change the world. Note: if you don’t want to be in direct contact with other bloggers then I suggest you don’t sign up for this. Unless you can think of another way to do it…?

 

  • You can then present your campaign idea to me and I will launch the winning ones on my blog!

Tip:  They can be interactive (like an award) or they can be raising awareness of something, let your imagination flow like a waterfall…..!

I hope this gets you excited and inspired!

Now, there were a few of you who wanted a blog party and, I must admit, it sounds pretty fun. So gone on, leave a comment and join the party! Tell us about yourself, chat and interact, visit new blogs, have fun and SMILE!

 

300 Followers (Looking Back On My Blogging Journey)

Thank you. I actually can’t say much more. I may be a writer, but there are some times where these two simple words are the best way to express my gratitude. Every single heartfelt, genuine, inspiring comment you leave, every follow, every like, has made this blog what it is today.

I honestly wish I could give a shout out to every single one of you who’s made my journey unique and beautiful to be on. But there are hundreds of you and I cannot possibly reach out to you all, but even by you reading this now, it is making my day.

So, thank you.

Sitting here now, I wonder if I’ve achieved any of those crazily ambitious hopes I had when I began blogging? Have I really made any difference to anyone’s life? Have I become A Light In The Darkness, like I desperately wanted to? Have I been honest with myself?

Maybe not. I don’t know. I feel tinges of sadness, yet I’ve enjoyed every minute of this journey, every step. It’s opened up so many doors, given me amazing opportunities and I’ve made the best friends ever.

I’d like to celebrate in some way. If you can think of anything particularly special that ties in with the theme of this blog, please let me know. I thought maybe we could have a blog party? Or I could launch another blogging project? It’s absolutely up to you, my readers. I’m giving you the choice. Comment below.

I’m worried that I haven’t always been myself on here and one of my goals is to be totally me. I am naturally a serious person, but I’m young and I need to have some fun sometimes. Be more light-hearted. I hide in my computer, reading, writing, thinking. I never think about how it affects my family and those who love me. I feel the same way about this blog.

Being A Light In The Darkness isn’t about being articulate and serious all the time, it’s about being fun and spreading sunshine.

I promise there’ll be more of that!

See you all later, talk soon and thank you from the bottom of my heart. ♥️♥️♥️

Lots of love,

Xxx 

 

Why Does It Matter?*

*Warning: If you do not wish to enter the mind of a crazy, philosophical, teenage writer with BIG questions and even more BIG ideas, a burning desire to make a difference and passion and determination like you’ve never seen before, I suggest you turn back now. If you are even remotely interested/intrigued, please read on…!
“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” 

One simple statement. Why would my opinion matter? Why would your opinion matter? Why would anyone want to know what anyone else thought? Those are the questions I’m asking. In this world, which is almost as crazy as the one in existence within my mind, it doesn’t seem to matter what anyone else thinks or cares about.

Our world is very muddled up at the moment, everything seems to be in political and moral chaos. As someone who is aware of current affairs, I see all the hate, confusion, greed, anger, bitterness, prejudice, my list could go on. It makes me feel helpless, but with a great responsibility, as the next generation, to replace these with peace, trust and light. But, I do believe in deeds not words, we must take action.

Sorry about this jumble of words, I usually try to articulate myself carefully, but today I just had to be honest and pour everything out. So yeah, apologies.

Please get in touch through the comments, I’m sure everyone has equally crazy ideas and thoughts. I wonder what YOU all think? Let me know….! 

 

Butterflies…

‘Butterflies in your stomach. Butterflies in your stomach.’ It’s such a cliche but it takes experiencing it to understand how true it really is. I take deep breaths and stare down at the salted caramel cookies my Dad bought especially for today. I realise that this is actually happening.

The gentle rocking of the boat isn’t making me feel any better, I keep glancing up the towpath, nervously watching, waiting. I expect to see them any minute. I don’t really know what they look like. All I know, (well, all you’re allowed to know) is that I am being filmed for a casting development project for a mainstream TV channel. A London production company is coming to film me and my life.

This has all happened so fast and, although I’m nervous, I feel an elated anticipation. Suddenly they’re here, carrying a huge camera and looking professional. This is it, Gracie…..this is it……

It all goes so amazingly, I enjoy every minute. Every minute spent giving my opinions on big modern life issues, being interviewed on challenging topics like politics, feminism, social media, materialism, relationships and social care. Every minute talking about my life and the things I’m passionate about, reading poetry and stories in a voice that seems more powerful now there’s someone here especially to hear it. Every minute spent being absolutely myself.

It was intense and my brain whirrs just thinking about it now. But I was in my element, I like a challenge. I like people who value the perspectives of young people on modern society. I loved thinking about the questions and carefully wording my replies. I didn’t find it easy, but I had the opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it.

All in all, I may be accepted to participate in this programme or I may not. I would love to be able to share my thoughts on life even further, but if not, I am just eternally grateful for this experience and I’m proud of myself for making it happen and getting this far.

Please leave me a message in the comments box below, I absolutely love to hear from you all. Thanks! 

A Light In The Darkness Part 6: The Ambassador’s Name

Demons haunted my sleep. “You have seen us and so you will die.” they hissed. I tried to wake up, but there was something about this slumber that was different. It felt like I was in a prison, trapped in the darkness and unable to free myself. I struggled for every minute of the seemingly endless sleep to wake up and find my way out.

Finally I broke through, gasping and sweating. My fingers closed around my cloak, it was covered in dried, crimson blood. I eased myself back down and stared up through at the canopy of leaves. Sunlight seeped through the gaps between the branches and touched my skin. It was so bright! I never knew how good the light was until that moment. I glanced around me.

I was laying on a sort of mossy bank and I could hear what sounded like a brook, bubbling somewhere nearby. I reached up to touch my head, it was pounding in a most peculiar and painful manner. My hand brushed a ragged cloth, again I could tell that it was crusted with blood.

“Faith.” my voice came out like a croak. “My name is Faith.” This made me laugh, despite myself. I don’t know why I was so deliriously happy. Perhaps it was because I knew I didn’t have Amnesia. I remembered the Ambassador and his strange behaviour in the moments before my accident. I even remembered the force of his hand pushing me hard to the floor.

Salty tears run down my cheeks. I trusted him. I thought he was good and kind and wanting to be my friend. I was so naive and now I had paid. I struggled to my knees and gritted my teeth against the searing, throbbing pain that plagued my head. “Ah!” I used the tiny incy bit of strength I had to heave myself to my feet and stumble off into the trees.

I had only walked a couple a steps when I began to feel extremely dizzy. I tried so hard to hold myself up, but it was no use.

I fell.

I don’t know how long I laid there, half conscious and moaning. It could have been minutes, even seconds, or it could have been hours. I only recollect two familiar arms folding themselves around my body and lifting me gently up.

Up, up, up.

High.

I was on top of the world.

All I could see was a deep, never-ending blackness, and I felt lost. “What if I’ve gone blind?” Stupid thoughts filled my barely conscious mind. Then I heard his voice and I didn’t care either way. “It’s ok.” he soothed, sitting me back down on the moss, I could feel its comforting springiness. I couldn’t see his eyes so I had no idea how he was feeling.

“I can’t see your eyes.” I whimpered. “Try opening your own.” he laughed. I did and was so overjoyed that I forgot to feel silly for not thinking of it before.

“Phoenix.” I spoke the word slowly, cocking my head to one side. An understanding passed between us.  “The bird that rose from the darkness in a glorious burst of flames and lit up the world with its light.”

This was so different to the way I had imagined telling him the name I’d chosen, but it seemed like the perfect moment. “I’m sorry, Faith.” he whispered. “You will forgive me, won’t you?”

“Of course!” I cried. “But why did you do it?”

His answer distressed me even further. “Because you’re my friend.”

“Then why did you push me?” My head started pounding again.

“I didn’t want you to leave. I knew they’d come to take you away from me and I, being the selfish person I am, wanted you to stay. I’m sorry, Faith. It wasn’t your fault. I was just hurt, and angry that you had to be taken away from me so soon.” he hung his head “Now I’ve ruined every chance I ever had of changing. I can never change, the dark side has crept into my mind and is poisoning me. I understand if you don’t trust me any more.”

I began to laugh and he glared at me. “Phoenix-” “Call me Ambassador.” He was angry with himself, I think he was on the edge of absolute despair. I had to make him understand.

“But I was never going to go with them! I decided that long before you found me!”

“What!? Don’t be stupid, Faith. They’re your friends.” he smiled ruefully. “So are you.” I said softly, turning sadly away.

“Huh?”

“I said you’re my friend too!”

He hugged me then, tightly like he’d never let me go. “Are you sure?” he asked, doubtfully. “Yes!” I exclaimed. “Phoenix, no one has ever been a better friend to me. No one has ever shown me so much, inspired me more, trusted me with their very identity. Honestly, please believe me.”

He gave a slight nod of his head, too overcome with emotion to speak. I nodded back happily and then sank, exhausted, back onto the mossy bank to sleep.

Da da da! All has been revealed! I find character’s motives in stories quite fascinating, don’t you? What did you think of The Ambassador’s name? I decided to stick with the original one that I chose. I think it suits him. Do you like the sort of prose-y vibe that I snuck into this installment? I hoped it would compliment the drama of this part of the storyline. Please leave me all your thoughts, questions and ideas in the comments below! It’s much appreciated, guys. 

See ya….😉

Gracie

Xxx

 

Remember Me

Remember me as I was before things changed and took a lifelong pause. Remember the me that was so sure that life could be shaped the me that was pure. Remember me back when we did not think that in a blink things would be so different I did not know what this meant. Remember […]

via Remember Me — Elsie L.M.C

I read this post and just had to share it. It is authored by the wonderful Elsie L.M.C, an inspiring blogger who genuinely cares about others. She wrote this poem about Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects so many of our older generation. It focuses on the fact that we so often judge people on who they are now, caught in an inescapable mess of muddled memories, sometimes unable to communicate or interact with others. But we forget about the person they used to be and still are, deep inside.

Me and my family cared for a 96-year-old gentleman for seven months and he had dementia, so I know what its like. It can be confusing, saddening and frustrating for everyone. But that just makes the moments when he smiled or laughed even more special and joyful. We need to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, so I have shared Elsie’s post with you today. Please enjoy….