Friday, 29 August 2014

Getting SMART about school goals

If you’ve read my blog long enough — * waves to long time readers * — then you know I like to set school goals every year. I don’t always hit the mark (I’m really terrible at Math!), but I think making goals keeps me a little bit more focused.

That said, I had a GIANT Summer To-Do and I didn’t quite finish everything on it. (I did finish my short story, though. Well, the first draft anyway.) I think that’s because I wasn’t making SMART goals.

Not SMART in the “intelligence” way. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Get it? SMART. I know it sounds complex, but let’s take a look at my summer list. Sure I had some specific goals, and most of them were relevant (it was about having fun, right?) but I fell apart at time-based. There’s NO WAY I could have crammed everything I wanted to do into two months.

Just like, getting 100% in Math is NOT achievable for me.

That doesn’t mean I’ve failed though. It just means I have to think…SMARTer.

Keeping that in mind, here are my S.M.A.R.T. goals for school this year:

1. I will increase my Math mark by 15%. (Specific, right? Also…measurable!)
2. I will read 10 books by the end of the school year. (Last year, I tried for 25. Clearly not achievable.)
3. I will go for an afternoon run five days a week, no matter how busy I am. (Definitely relevant since I want to make the Track and Field team again.)
4. I will volunteer for one school committee. I have NO idea which one yet, but it will be something meaningful. (This is obviously measurable — and achievable!)
5. I will use my ENTIRE notebook before starting a new one. Okay, this sounds easy, but I LOVE starting a new notebook. There’s something exciting about the first page. I can do this — I just might need to write MORE to fill up the pages. Which, ironically, is another of my school goals this year.

These are my Top 5. What are some of your school goals this year? Are you being SMART?

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 22 August 2014

My GIANT Summer To-Do List: Recap

I wish THIS was my list! Next year. Ha ha.
Okay, I admit it — my summer To-Do list this year was GIANT. Like, MASSIVE, actually. It seems like every year I try to pack more FUN into the two-month school break. But with just over a week left until I’m back in the classroom, maybe the list was a bit ambitious.

Don’t get me wrong, I checked off a good number of things from that list. My family and I went on a great vacation through British Columbia, I took dozens of pictures, my friends and I saw some great buskers  during The Fringe (in fact, we may be going to a play tomorrow before it closes Sunday) and I ate DELICOUS food at a couple of other festivals. Plus, I ran the length of my Grandpa’s canola field MANY MANY times.

But there are a few things I won’t be able to check off the GIANT Summer To-Do List — like finish reading five books. I don’t even think I finished TWO books! How terrible is that? Pretty terrible. In my post next week, I’ll be talking about my school goals, and reading will be on that list for sure. But this summer, I just didn’t make enough time for reading. Gasp!

I also didn’t make enough time for…writing. I know that’s one of the FIRST things Mrs. Kratky is going to ask me about, too. I wanted to finish my short story for her, but unless I put my fingers to the keyboard RIGHT NOW, I don’t have enough time.

Wait. Of course I have enough time! In fact, I’m going to start writing today! Even if I don’t finish my story, I’ll have more to show my teacher. Smart, huh?

Gotta jet — I’ve got some plotting to do! (For my story, of course…)

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 15 August 2014

Acting out!

Can you believe there are only TWO weeks left of summer? Gasp! I’ve had an amazing couple of months, but with school just around the corner, I’m going to cram as much “fun” in as I possibly can.

It’s no secret that I love to write — my Mom says I’ve been “telling stories” since I could talk. Maybe even before if you could decode the crayon scribbles I drew as a baby. Hey, storytelling takes MANY forms, right?

Last year, I discovered playwriting, almost by accident actually. My drama teacher had an idea for a play, and I made one little suggestion and next thing I knew, I was rewriting the whole thing. The story is based on the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare, you know the one about…wait! You can read all about it in Cut! To The Chase…, the sixth book in the Superman Duffy adventure comic series. <tee hee>

Anyway… the Fringe started this week! The Fringe is an annual theatre festival in Edmonton – the largest in the world. (Nice segue right?) Many of the buildings on Whyte Avenue are taken over by playwrights, actors, directors and thousands of audience members for TEN days of theatrical FUN, plus street performers, concerts and even more. I don’t know about you but I think “acting out” is the perfect way to spend the next ten days!

Will you be hitting the Fringe? What fun things will you cram into your last few weeks of summer?

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 8 August 2014

Family Fun Month: Week One — Beautiful BC

I LOVE British Columbia.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Alberta’s big blue skies and sprawling fields of brilliant canola, but I am SO lucky to live in a country FILLED with beautiful places — from east to west coast. (Though, I’ve only travelled as far as Saskatchewan!)

For our family holiday (during FAMILY FUN MONTH), we spent most of the week camping throughout BC — starting at Christina Lake (the warmest lake in the province), and then on to Osoyoos and Oliver. We saw orchards, fruit stands, turtle and rattlesnake crossings (no snakes though — whew!), beautiful buildings and So. Much. Wildlife. Not to mention the stunning mountains. WOW!

We’re making our way back to Alberta this weekend, and even though I’m excited to get back into my training routine and attend some of the end of summer festivals (hello, FRINGE!), I’m really going to miss…this.

Christina Lake, BC

A marmot!


An old farmhouse.

We didn't see any but...

On the way to Christina Lake

Flowers in Oliver, BC

A cool statue at the NK'MIP reserve in Osooyos, BC
See what I mean? Sigh. Canada is really a beautiful country.

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy