Saturday, April 29, 2006
1. Name of band/artist: Tori Amos
2. Are you male or female? : Cornflake Girl
3. Describe yourself: Strange Little Girl
4. How do you feel about yourself?: Pretty Good Year
5. Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Icicle
6. Describe current girlfriend/boyfriend: I'm Not In Love
7. Describe where you want to be: Jamaica Inn
8. Describe how you live: Happy Phantom
9. Describe how you love: Spark
10. What would you ask for if you had just one wish?: Cars and Guitars
11. Share a few words of Wisdom: The Power of Orange Knickers
12. Now say goodbye: Goodbye Pisces
Okay, Tori's got a song called "Hoochie Woman" which would have been totally hilarious to throw in somewhere, but alas, a hoochie woman I am not.
So far this weekend's been pretty productive. I did laundry last night after school then went out for drinks with Becca T. Today I got up early and did some shopping. Last weekend, I bought myself the Roots purse that I'd been lusting over for months (thank you Revenue Canada for some money for that). Last night I walked by a Roots and they had special sale this weekend where everything is 25% off. Grrr. So I went back and had the price adjusted (woo!) and bought a cool necklace. I also picked up some cool new sunglasses, new jeans and a new shirt while shopping. Then I realized that I haven't had a weekend in a looooooooong time that hasn't involved shopping. So my goal next weekend is to *not* go shopping. I'll let you know how that turns out.
Tonight Becca T and I are gonna catch "Akeelah and the Bee". (Victims of the current Starbucks advertising campaign for this movie? Perhaps.)
Alright, I'm hungry. Supper time. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Friday, April 28, 2006
a) Your son/daughter is fabulous.
b) Your son/daughter is fabulous but needs to study more.
c) Your son/daughter is a piece of work.
Usually the parents of letter c kids tend to stay at home, but I did get to talk to a few of them, and I'm hoping that they'll upgrade to letter b by the end of the semester.
The style nowadays is that the kid will often come along with the parents to the interview. I actually like this but one of the dangers is that there are sometimes tears (usually from boys believe it or not). I had one kid who looked like he was going to cry, but I think it was more from the stress of other interview and not from me because I'd classified him under category b and his dad had said "finally, some good news!" when I'd spoken about his son.
Tomorrow is a PD day and I get to sleep in. Hence I'm blogging so late.
When I got home from work tonight, my roommate and I had a discussion about my dichotomous nature. Here are some of the many dichotomies that make up this blogger:
- I'm hard-working (at work) yet lazy (mainly that I'm really good at putting off housework)
- I'm girlie (I like pink and own a surprising amount of makeup) yet not (I don't scream much and I'm not overly touchy or mushy)
- I'm quiet (around people I don't know) yet loud (around people I do know -- in fact if you get to know me, I don't shut up)
- I'm cool (see my tastes in music) yet geeky (although they say geek is the new chic)
We talked about some more but then she offered me some wine so I'm forgetting the rest.
Yay for the upcoming weekend! Hope yours rocks.
ps Post title is from the song "Ilfracombe" by Hawksley Workman which I'm listening to right now. Only a month and a bit until that concert. Yeesh. I've been waiting forever!!
Monday, April 24, 2006
Right now I'm feeling that odd sensation of wistfulness/melancholy that accompanies the realization of growing apart from someone who used to be very central in your life. A time when I totally appreciate the value of a blog for an outlet for my thought.
Mel and I became pretty good friends in grade 7; her dad was going through a divorce (his second) and at some point she moved a couple of blocks away from me. In grade 8 our relationship as best friends was cemented. Every day after school I'd hang out at our school where we'd gossip, attempt baking cookies, watch TV and movies and plot elaboarte pranks against our chauvinistic, inept grade 8 teacher (none of which were actually attempted).
High school started and we maintained our friendship and moved among different groups of friends together until we eventually found one that stuck (and is still stuck together today). We still had our after school and weekend rituals of spending a lot of time together and getting into enough trouble together. Wait? Isn't it only technically trouble if you get caught? Luckily, we didn't get caught doing 99% of the stupid crap that we pulled; which was good, since my mom probably wouldn't have let me pal around with her so much.
If I were to describe our relationship using a favourite biology term of mine, I would say it was a mutualism. She took advantage of my booksmarts and voice of common sense (which was really beneficial for her since her parents were frequently absent and I used to have a running tally of stupid things that I'd talked her out of); whereas I benefitted from her social capabilities.
Sending away the reply to her wedding has made me reflect a lot on our friendship. If you'd asked grade 10 or 11 me about her wedding, I would have assumed I'd have a big role and that I'd know her finace really well. Not so much in reality; I think I could count on one hand the times that I've met him.
We grew apart starting in grade 13 (the old Ontario school system used to have a grade 13 aka OAC... essentially univesity prep - we were weird... it's gone now). She was done with school since she didn't want to go to university and I was working hard taking my advanced sciences and maths. She met a guy at a bar and started to date him very seriously. They moved in together and got "engaged" pretty quickly (it was a long engagement that thankfully never went anywhere). Once I'd met him and spent a bit of time with him, I coined the nickname "The Devil" for him. He was seriously the worst human being I have ever met in my life. Anyway, not surprisingly a girl involved with The Devil loses track of her friends and by the time I was off to university we'd grown apart sizablely.
We drifted apart further during univesity. She started to rarely show for the semi-annual gatherings with our high school friends. She'd cancel most plans we had. If I called her she'd say she was busy and then never call me back. Finally, one day I just stopped calling her because being shafted so much by my old best friend stung too much.
Eventually she got rid of The Devil and began replying to group emails. She began making and keeping plans with our group of friends again. She has visited me a few times in Toronto. Often there are flashes of the easy going fun friendship we had, but the closeness is gone.
I remember what she told me the last time I saw her before I left for university. "You'll never have another friend like me again."
It was true.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Will I get far in life?
Standard Lines – Dashboard Confessional
How do my friends see me?
Extraordinary Girl – Green Day (I knew I loved my friends!)
Where will I get married?
California – Rufus Wainwright (Oooh… sounds fun!)
What is my best friend’s theme song?
The Marquee and the Moon – Sloan (Ahhh! That works. Becca T loves the Sloan.)
What is the story of my life?
Strange Little Girl – Tori Amos (LOL)
What was high school like?
Mood Rings – Relient K (Had several of those in high school.)
How can I get ahead in life?
Hold On – Sarah McLachlan
What is the best thing about me?
Time of Our Lives – David Usher
How is today going to be?
2 for 1 (Part 2) – Christine Fellows (Does this mean I should go shopping?)
What is in store for this weekend?
The Masterplan – Oasis (Does this mean I should buckle down and plan some lessons?)
What song describes my parents?
River of Daughters – The Old Soul (But they only have one…)
So Pure – Alanis Morissette
How is my life going?
Eight Easy Steps – Alanis Morissette
What song will they play at my funeral?
Dead Disco – Metric (LOL!! Yeah, my funeral’s gonna be funny in an ironic way.)
How does the world see me?
Just Tonight… - Jimmy Eat World
Will I have a happy life?
The Grace – Neverending White Light featuring Dallas Green
What do my friends really think of me?
Non-Believer – Joel Plaskett (Oh well. They still think I’m an extraordinary girl so whatevs.)
Do people secretly lust after me?
Hymn – Andy Stochansky (Huh? Guess not. Hymns are not written with the intent to inspire lust. Sigh.)
How can I make myself happy?
Nothingwrong – Jimmy Eat World
What should I do with my life?
The Best Deceptions – Dashboard Confessional (Okay, so does this mean I should go get a cute emo boyfriend, go on a trip, cheat on him and break his heart? 'Cause that's what the song's about. However, it sounds like a potentially fun plan.)
Will I ever have children?
Elgin Avenue – Danny Michel
What is some good advice?
Bells for Her – Tori Amos
What is my signature dancing song?
Here Nor There – Andy Stochansky (Ummm... totally not a dancing song. Which I guess works since I'm not a dancing girl.)
What do I think my current theme song is?
Calendar Girl – Stars (Cool. I can totally live with that.)
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Heroine – Wild Strawberries (I love people. They think I’m an extraordinary girl AND a heroine.)
What type of men/women do you like?
Nice To Be Out – Stereophonics (Nice to be out of what? Huh? I'm kind of scared here.)
What did you think of this meme?
Perfect Situation – Weezer
Well, I’d have to say that beats a magic eight ball. And, phew... No embarrassing songs were revealed.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I was tired today after school because there was a lot of drama surrounding renovations that are happening in our deptarment. I hate when grownups act far more immature than teenagers.
Anyhow, it is the weekend! I must I must I must do my taxes this weekend and other assorted chores I've been putting off. Also, I think I'll indulge in a little retail therapy, which I seem to do far too often.
Have you all seen the Jack White coke ad? I haven't seen it on tv, but I had read a couple of places that it was good so I found it online today. You gotta hand it to Jack White - he can write a catchy tune, even if it is for the purposes of being a corporate schill. I'm not a huge White Stripes fan or anything, but I really do think he's an awesome songwriter. I love My Doorbell.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Today was a good day at work. Most days are. The worst that ever happens is that I get frustrated at lazy teenagers but there are enough nice hardworking ones to buffer that frustration. Today I had a healthy mix of frustration and the happy opposite of frustration so it's all good. Luckily, I end up laughing at the frustrations because something lightens them somehow. Case in point: today I booted a kid out of my class and gave him a lecture in the hall. A student who I taught last year, who would look rather large and menacing looking to the kid I was lecturing, was passing by and leered at the kid and said, in a rather menancing tone, "You'd better listen to her." I had to try hard not to laugh and resume my stern lecture.
Today was a happy flower day for me; hence the post title from the super happy springy Travis song Flowers in the Window (suggested download of the day). I brought in some mini daffodils for my period 1 class to examine. I felt guilty this morning as I was bringing the plants to school since I was essentially bringing them to meet a gruesome, but educational, death at the hands of grade 9s. However, we didn't use as many flowers as I thought we would, so now I have some daffodils in my classroom. I'll have to put a kid in charge of watering them so that they don't meet the ill fate of the ivy plants I had last semester.
In other flower news, my fabulous roommate has planted some flowers in windowboxes on our balcony. They look so beautiful and I've been meaning to take a picture. Here are a couple plus a depressing shot of my gardening attempts. Oh, a word from my roommate: the tulips are actually dying a bit now and aren't at their most beautiful.
From top to bottom:
- a view of the windowboxes
- tulips in the foreground; view of lake in background... I doubt I'll ever have an apartment with such an awesome view again
- the remnants of my feeble attempt at horticulture. This is the ficus plant that I got mad at and banished onto the balcony because it was dropping too many leaves on the floor. I've killed several other plants since then. There is nothing slightly green about my thumbs.
Well, I'm going to enjoy the rest of the lovely evening and go for a walk and maybe get a coffee (decaf at this time of night)!
Monday, April 17, 2006
Anyhow, I've just finished typing out overhead notes for a thrilling lesson on sexual reproduction in animals and plants (oh, I dread the questions that I'll have to deal with when I bring up the subject of hermaphrodites ). My old crappy overhead finally broke and I got a new one last week. The old one was so bad that I never used it. And, you cannot get something replaced on the basis it is virtually unusable. It's gotta be completely unusable. Finally it completely broke and I got a new one. I'm into overhead overdrive now. I'm enjoying the reduction of chalk on my pants.
Anyway, I had an enjoyable time at home. On Friday night, I met up with Sandee and the gang (my new blog name for my high school friends - gives you guys a point of reference). Some good gossip was shared. The rest of the weekend was spent with my family. I saw some movies with the 'rents (Cinderella Man and Good Night, and Good Luck). I also actually took some walks around town and got some pictures of Stratford. Here they are:
From top to bottom:
- the court house
- one of the many trees that is now practically growing in the river due to erosion
- the Festival Theatre
- crooked picture of the city's "skyline" (guess you could call it that) complete with swans on the river
- a swan cooperatively posing for a picture - they're like typical models: all hissy and ill-tempered until you put a camera on them (yes, swans hiss)
Well, time for bed. Hope you all have a great week!
Friday, April 14, 2006
Last night was the Matt Good concert that I had practically forgotten about in the insanity of the stuff going on this week (namely getting my marks/comments in for report cards). The concert was awesome. The opening artist, Melissa McClelland, was quite good. Matt played for a really long time which was beyond great. Here are some pictures of the show:
From top to bottom:
- far away stage shot
- zoom lenses are great
- not using a flash makes for a cool effect
- encore where Matt covered NIN's Hurt with Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet
Song that I was psyched to hear = Indestructible. I actually did not like MGB until that song came out and then I got Underdogs and fell in love. I equate that CD with my first year of university. When I hear it, I picture walking across Queen's Park in the spring, taking a nap after a bio lecture and studying for chemistry. (Whoa, wasn't I quite the wild child?)
I also really enjoyed hearing Better Man, which is the hidden track on White Rock 'n Roll Review. It totally goes with my newfound enjoyment of a lil' bit of country twang.
Soooo, today I was tired but I made it to school. As I was helping a student with math this morning, he pointed to the stamp on my hand and said "Miss, is that a tattoo?" I laughed as I said no.
"Did you go to a club then?"
"No, no, no. Just a concert."
Another student overheard me. "Miss! A concert on a Wednesday night! How irresponsible!" Love how they judge.
"No, it's not. I'm here and I'm teaching you, aren't I?" Although after this point the rest of the class turned into a discussion about tattoos.
After school, I had to finish our book club selection (The In-between world of Vikram Lall). I had 40 pages left to go and I'm sure you'll all be pleased that I got it done. Overall, it was a good book. It took me awhile to get into it but it really picked up after 100 pages or so. Only 2 of us actually had finished it but we managed to have a good book related discussion and the others are motivated to finish it.
I also found out that my old summer roommate/dear friend/book club member Ali is pregnant. It's her second child (the first was born in May). Wow.
Well, I'd better get to bed. I gotta wake up early, do some dishes and pack for my trip to Stratford for the long weekend. Happy Easter everyone. See you in awhile.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Becca T: "So when's the concert tomorrow night?"
Me: "Huh?" pause "Oh my word - I totally forgot that Matthew Good is tomorrow night! AHHHH!!"
Yes, I actually totally forgot about the concert that I've been looking forward to for eons. I even had my Wednesday plans made: come home from work, clean floors and finish book club book just in time for Thursday's book club meeting. Ye Gods. I can't believe that I totally forgot.
Sooooooooo, anyhow thanks for all your wonderful haikus! You guys totally rock. At least I didn't forget that.
On the weekend I bought Neko Case's new CD "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" and I love it. My favourite song is "That Teenage Feeling" which has a line that I adore:
"And nothing comforts me the same
as my brave friend who says
I don't care if forever never comes
'cuz I'm holding out for that teenage feeling."
I love that part so much that I know that it starts at exactly 1 minute into the song. Anyhow, if you like your indie rock with a bit of twang and awesome vocals, get this CD.
On Thursday, my book club that consists of some friends and many a current/former roommate is meeting to discuss The In Between World of Vikram Lall. I had the hardest time getting into this book but now I'm really liking it. I'm on about page 250 with 150 pages to go. Can I get it finished? I have faith in me.
My other book club, the teacher book club at my school, is looking for a book to read over the summer holidays. Any suggestions? (It has to be fiction.)
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Matt once had a band
They broke up; now he's alone
With Rivers' glasses
David Usher drinks
Coffee from King Street Starbucks
We didn't see him
Much black eyeliner
Bazillions of records sold
Sings like Alanis
Question remains unanswered
When are Sloan concerts?
Stupid computer haiku:
Want to check email
But modem will not respond
Annoying pet haiku:
My cat's loud meowing
Goes on and on constantly
Will she ever stop?
And yes, there's even a science haiku, proving that I'm truly a geek. Or, maybe it's just proof that I must have written these when I was in teachers' college and had the idea of cross cirricular connections shoved down my throat on a constant basis.
In the nucleus
Protons and neutrons are found
Have a nice week!
ps I challenge you all to a haiku poetry contest in my comments. You know the rules - 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Go!
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Anyhow, I decided to move back in with my parents until I found something concrete. I began applying to some jobs on larks. I applied to a non-convential job on a whim; it was at an internet-based secondary school in a remote community in Northwestern Ontario. At the time, my pal Sandee was teaching in Northern Quebec and I figured that if she could handle it, maybe I could too.
Well, I actually got a call from the principal for this job and I was offered it because they really needed a math/science teacher. I had about a week to make up my mind and then a week to get packed up and go. It sounded like an adventure, and I felt I was in need of an adventure in my life, plus the pay was good. I consulted some friends, including Sandee, and my family and I decided why not, it'll only be for a year.
So, for 10 months of 2003/2004 I live in a small aborginal community in Northwestern Ontario. You could only reach the community by plane. Well, except for in a few months in the winter, when there was an ice road that connected the community to the nearest town. My experience there was a total challenge. It was a complete eye-opener. Conditions in communities like this are not good; poverty, unemployment, addiction, depression, violence, and sickness are just some of the problems that plagued the community. Many large families are packed in small houses. It's amazing that conditions like this are present in Canada. It's like a totally different world.
Even though it was hard, and completely eye-opening, I met some great people while I was there and was amazed by the strength of many of the community members. I learned a lot during those 8 months and I've learned not to take so much for granted. I taught 15 year olds who had been through more sorrow and hardships in their short lives than I could imagine going through in my entire life.
Anyhow, the reason why I'm talking about this today is because I called one of the teachers I worked with today to chat and see how she is doing. She is on her third year teaching in the community and I enjoy getting updates from her. Plus, I developed a bond with two of the teachers who were up there at the same time as I was (there were 4 of us in total - one was a nutjob), and it's important for me to keep in touch.
I got all of the updates from her today and there really wasn't too much good news. After the converstaion, I almost felt like my 8 months there was a book and what she told me today was like an epilogue, or like the screen that comes on after a movie telling you what happened to the characters after the story was finished.
I found out that the only student who stayed in my class for the entire school year had a baby in January. She'll be 18 this month. I wonder now if she'll even meet her goal of graduating high school... Her younger sister had a baby the next month. Their father had remarked to my friend "those girls really don't know much about being mothers."
There was a woman who was an assistant in my friend's classroom. During the time I was in the community, she left her abusive boyfriend, who was then kicked out of the community. The following year she moved to the city. I asked how she was doing and apparently she's back with the boyfriend and they are both drinking again. So are her two oldest sons, one who is 19 and the other would be in grade 9 now.
One of the staff members at the computer centre next door to me was about my age. He'd never had problems with alcohol but decided to take up drinking this year. The computer centre is now closed because the manager has left the community. I'm sure he would have been capable of the job, but they won't hire him until he quits.
There were some people who were still doing okay, so it wasn't all bad news. But those three cases have brought me down a bit. Today I have the familiar weight on my shoulders that I felt a lot during my time in that community. There are so many problems facing Aboriginal Canadians in communities like the one I taught in, and it's hard to say what should be done. All I know is that I'm far more aware of the reality than I used to be and I have a personal connection to the reality. Maybe if the rest of Canada was connected the problem, more could be done.
Some nights I have a hard time falling asleep thinking about what I left. Sometime it's because I'm laughing hard about some experiences (like sinking into snow that was hip deep, sinking into mud that was hip deep, bribing the school janitor with cigarettes to pick up literacy tests at the airport for me, riding around with my friend the policewoman "fighting crime" at 1 am) and other times because I'm haunted by them.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
2) It's exactly one week until my Matt Good concert. Yay!
3) It's exactly one week until midterm marks are due. Eeep.
4) Therefore I stayed late at work today and threw my own marking party.
5) I had to grab a fruit plate for our staff book club meeting tomorrow (book was Freakonomics - I liked it) and "accidentally" bought a fun new necklace from the kiosk outside the grocery store. How I love random purchases.
6) When I woke up this morning there was snow on the ground. What the?
7) Hung out with Becca T this evening and played a fun card game called Phase 10 while having coffee. We're such nerds, but our awesome taste in music makes up for it.
8) Did laundry. One of the washers decided not to drain so I had to pick my wet laundry out of the cold water and put it in another machine and rewash it. Such fun.
9) Stayed up far too late writing this post.
10) So glad that 3/5 of the week is over.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Got this from Guggenflurgen. I love it - it's too fun! Everyone go here to make your own blog word cloud..
I love that australia, ben, summer, song, iPod, Toronto, concert, weekend and music all made my word cloud.
Less lovin' period (makes it look like I bitch about my period all the time -- not so, mainly I bitch about my period 4 classes), like (makes me seem like a valley girl), and mean (am I always complaining about mean things?).
However, I'd have to say that warts and all it's a fantabulously happy word cloud.
How geeky would I be to buy the tshirt? LOL!
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Blech. Now they have Michale Buble up there. They really should have my dear Joel Plaskett performing since he's a native Haligonian for land's sakes. And, they should have given him the Songwriter of the Year award since he is there and The Arcade Fire is not. And I'll be controversial and say that I much preferred La De Da to Funeral.
Does anyone else find it suspicious that the Black Eyed Peas and Coldplay "tied" for International Record of the Year and they both decided to show up and play? Hmmmm...
Well, I had an all right weekend. I can't remember what I did on Friday night. On Saturday, I got my hair cut and then went to see a movie with an extended group of friends. We saw a sneak preview of the Antonio Banderas movie "Take the Lead". It was the type of movie with is enjoyable if you a) turn off your brain and b) don't mind dancing movies.
I discovered a new song that I love love love and I think you should all download. It's called "See You On the Moon!" by Great Lake Swimmers and it's from a kids' CD made by indie bands. It makes me soooooooo happy. Go get this song.
Today I went for a walk and did a little bit of window shopping. I had to take a detour as I was walking down Yonge St. because a section north of Bloor was closed off. It turns out there was an explosion from a suspicious package at a Tim Horton's. Kind of scary... Read about it here.
Oh-oh. Broken Social Scene just won Best Alternative Album. How the heck they gonna all fit up there? Hahaha. The show could go on forever and ever if they let them all speak.
On that note, hope y'all have a great week!
ps Michael Buble is winning far too many awards. Oh, and Jann Arden is funny. They should have had her host the show. Oh gawd. Now Hedley is closing the show. You know, I think I'm enjoying the Junos just because it's all about Canadian music, even though they have a tendancy to focus on the, shall we say, inferior examples of Canadian music.
Update: Holy - the explosion at the Tim Horton's made cnn.com. Look here.