All posts by Karen J. McLean

A Timely Reminder

Scrolling through Facebook, I see those memory posts pop up.  Sometimes they make me smile.  Sometimes they make me wistful. 

This one stopped me in my tracks.

I still remember that neurocognitive assessment — the first one I’d ever had. Two days of putting my injured brain through its paces, having to push it to the point of failure so we would know what was impaired, and to what extent.

It was as difficult emotionally as it was mentally. But even on the drive home — feeling nauseous, dizzy, and with the left side of my head pulsing like it was visibly “breathing” — I was hopeful. So, so hopeful that the rehab centre was going to help me.

And they did.

Hey, Brain. Sometimes I only notice the continued deficits. But this Facebook Memory reminded me: You’ve come a long way, baby.  ❤️


This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

More Than Two Months of Crickets

With a subject line like that, I’m sure my teacher-writer friends and natural science enthusiasts, Tim and Christie, are hoping for real crickets.  (Sadly, not this post.  Perhaps in the spring?)

Nor, thankfully, is this post about a plague of biblical proportions.  After all, we’re still in a global pandemic.  Adding a meteorological event featuring millions of insects would be a little bit over the top, (although my late, great, hedgehog Duncan would have loved it).

No, these crickets are of the metaphorical kind, garnished with a dollop of guilt.

I knew it had been a while since I had posted on my blog, but I had no idea until I set out to write this post that it had been more than two months.   Covid-19 has done bizarre things to the space-time continuum, and I do well to remember what day it is.

I’m not teaching at the moment, due to having an autoimmune disease and doctors’ orders to stay away from the classroom.  I’m a substitute teacher, so no one is really missing me — not the way I’m missing them — and so my days just drift by, looking much the same, one after another.  Were it not for the fact I have the heat on, I might not even realize it’s no longer summer.

The stagnation of so many months looking the same has led to my creative well drying up.  But after making a break from my own bubble of safety to a friend’s bubble of safety in a different province in recent weeks, my Muse suddenly woke up, stretched, looked around, and decided that — among other things — this blog no longer suits her.

Stay tuned for renovations, now that the crickets have been evicted!

PS — Tim?  You’re going to have to tweak your sidebar when I’m done. *wink*


This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

September Eve

Tomorrow is the first day of September.  I’m still waiting for the email confirming that my substitute teaching paperwork has been processed, but I am already in “school year mode.”  Yep, you guessed it: I’ve been hoarding loose-leaf and scouting new pens, and looking up principals’ names, and trying to find my “good shoes.”

I spent much of today setting up a new notebook, to use for the coming year.  I counted pages, and put in monthly tabs, and tested my pens on a back page to see what — if anything — bled through.

Am I excited to go back to school?  Yes.  I haven’t been in a classroom since the 2018-2019 school year.  (Thanks, COVID.)  Am I afraid to go back to school?  Also yes.

Although I’m fully-Pfizered, my autoimmune disease means we have no idea just how much of an effect the vaccine has had, and being a substitute teacher means I travel from school to school where other substitute teachers are also travelling from school to school.  The teachers went back today; the students start next week.

I’m very, very nervous.

But maybe by the time the paperwork is ready, I will be ready too.


This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.