October, 2006

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Do you ever have those mornings…

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

…where you go back to sleep after your alarm goes off.  Then you look at the clock and have a mini-seizure when you calculate the “Am I Still Okay?” Time-Factor.

Today the calculation worked out okay.  I was still *brag* *cough* within the first five teachers at the school *brag* *cough* *as always*

Do you ever have those mornings where you kind of feel like you’re still running late [even though that’s not really true anymore] and then can’t find the coolest part of your Bee Costume for Halloween, the nerdy/circular glasses?  Then do you ever spaz a bit trying to find them as you calculate how long it’ll take to find the glasses versus the value of the time you’re wasting by not being at work?

Do you ever have one of those mornings where you try to decide if you have a sore throat?  Not a fake one because it’s report card time, but a real one… where it’s dry-slash-gobby?  Then you hope that after a little listerine and toothbrush job it’ll all be solved; maybe a glass of water’ll do the trick.  You start thinking about how much sleep you’ve had… and if anything’s going around… and then calculate the whole ‘is it too late or worth the gross price of a ColdFx/Eccinecia Regimen?’ even though it’s basically impossible to stick with either one as long as they recommend, especially once you feel better.  “Maybe after a nice warm shower, it’ll all be better and this whole thing will be moot.”

Do you ever reward yourself with a little Tim Hortons on the way to work for surviving “a bit of a morning”, kind of as your brain telling your body you’re commited to trying a bit harder than you did the first of 17 hours awake?

I miss telling myself that once I was done being a student that all the deadlines and “thinking” would be done… telling myself no more will i need tim hortons or need to find stuff or worry about deadlines.  Maybe that’s part of why school doesn’t seem so bad (or far off) again.

Cold War

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Winter

C’est L’hiver.  (It’s Winter).

Well, kind of.  There’s no solstice.  In fact, we’re now half way between a solstice and an equinox (ergo the time change).  But there’s snow–a lot of snow–that tells my brain summer is now behind us.

I’m not angry that it’s winter.  26 winters of experience (I was born in the fall) have helped with that.  That said, I wouldn’t say I’m pumped or ready to throw a party about my new indoor existence either.

It’s crazy that my sister and I ended up greeting winter in the same way–as bees.  I just found out we both ended up dressing up in bee costumes (which, again, it’s experience that tells me bee costumes aren’t too common of a choice) for Halloween.

My other winter greeting was probably shared with most of my friends, too.  Total outright laziness.  I have a to-do list that seems to be getting larger by the minute but instead, I did very little.  Okay, nothing.  A weekend or two for friends and relaxation can’t be so awful, right?  Hopefully, “Weekday Travis” understands.

My [disad]Vantage Point

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Yesterday I went to a Teacher Workshop put on by the National Film Board (NFB or ONF en francais).  It was awesome.  I learned how to make digital movies and how to facilitate discussions on racial discrimination and media awareness.  Those things made me feel SMART.  🙂

Here’s what made me feel DUMB 🙁 :  As an icebreaker, we were asked to form groups without talking after being given foam shapes.  I looked at my shape and saw a scary monster.  I started looking for other people with Scary Monsters I couldn’t find ANYONE else with a scary monster.  All the groups were forming and finally this [somewhat agressive older male] teacher points to a group holding up Cute Cows and gives a look that says, “Are you really this unable to do ANYTHING?”

Here’s what happened and why.  (Hint: Stand on your head if you need to.)

Am I crazy??

Mission

Friday, October 20th, 2006

If you’ve ever been to church, you’ve probably heard the term “weighing on my heart“… it’s kind of Christianese.  Example: “I’ve always known I wanted to do mission work, and right now the situation in South Africa is really weighing on my heart.”

Today in the shower [you see, if I’m not totally comatose with sleepiness my morning shower tends to be one of the most reflective times in my day] I couldn’t stop thinking about two things weighing on my heart.

First, Montreal.  Today I was thinking about a day when David and I went to Jean Talon open air market and picked out some groceries, fresh peaches included, and metroed and walked to a house in this funky cultural district and sat with some newly [and one not so newly] made friends out in one of the nicest summer nights I’ve ever experienced.  Everytime I think about Montreal… and my entire experience this summer… I wonder how I can fit the city into my future.  As strange as it is, I feel like I’m meant to spend at least part of my time there.  For now, the context is just unknown.

Second, School.  I’ve had this uncanny drive to look at second degrees lately.   I’ve even been to U of C live and in-person which means I’m well beyond virtual contact.  Most people don’t get it; I don’t either.  The Faculty of Social Work e-mailed me yesterday.  It’s seeming very realistic that I can do a two year degree in that.  What’s strange is that I’m loving teaching… so why mess with a good thing.  I know EXACTLY how school stress becomes very real, right with that first course outline, so there’s no question that right now I have a somewhat romanticized version of campus life in my head.

Can I combine the two and go back to school for awhile out east?  Will I read back on this someday and laugh, because none of this ever came to surface?  Is all of this pipe dreaming, an excuse to not settle down or feel locked into some of this?  Arg.

Maybe the new Encana Mega Skyscraper Complex truly will come to Calgary and save Calgary’s culture and vibrancy and I can just do my thing here easily and happily… heart nice and light again.

Travis turns a Quarter of a Century

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

🙂 😀 🙂

It’s my birthday.  I’ve been digging the notes, calls, e-mails, shout-outs… which makes me feel like I’m in grade six, instead of teaching it.  Who knew that humans have a basic need for ‘feel-good stuff’ like that.

Yesterday, on my B-Day eve, I sat in my first-Calgary house for the very last time (without a computer, book, tv, journal, anything… because all that stuff is ‘moved’ already) before bedtime thinking a bit, about all of life’s changes lately, but mostly… that… “Life is good!”  I think there’s no better way to greet a Birthday than in a state that’s three-parts thankful and one part whoa-life-is-crazy-slash-constantly-changing.

Saturday night was a celebration like no other.  My friends are the best possible: 100%.  I can’t think of one place (North American or otherwise) I would have rather have been Saturday evening.  Loud.  Fun.  Dancing.  Laughing.  Look-exhanging.  My family’s the best, too.  Today they’re helping me move.

Some unexpected birthday surprises–MONTREAL TRANSIT REALLY DID SEND ME A HUGE MAP OF THE METRO (the funky black one) after I mailed in a request; IT WAS LIKE CHRISTMAS; I might even look for a frame– also, AN NFB Program I get to go to next week is on film making within the classroom *fun*, plus ANOTHER city of champions (Edmonton) mini-vacation to say adieu to my BFF temporarily as he exits stage right for a WAY-CRAZY-ADVENTURE, not to mention a day to get caught up on work without students today, then add on a newly recertified lifeguard existance… who said the start of winter is a bad thing?

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Usually when people read their own horoscopes to me, I quazi-tune out.  Then the inevitable question comes.  “Isn’t that exactly perfect??”

My lips, then, are saying “Totally!” but my brain is saying “Please don’t quiz me further, because I don’t know a) what your horoscope really said or b) what part of your life you think that horoscope pertains to.”

With that, I share with you my FFWD “Cruisin’ the Cosmos” universal advice, to turn the tables a bit:

“In this freeze-dried, vaccuum-sealed, microewavable, instant gratification culture we’re used to everything bein’ ready right out of the box.  Well, don’t be surprised when life don’t work that way.  The meal you’re currently cookin’ll take time to prepare but its nutrition ‘n’ taste’ll be beyond compare!”

Now let me tell you why I had a bit of a gasp, while I ate my Wrapture Wrap and read this.

Yesterday, I went to three (two successfully) academic advisors at the U of C.

It seems after-degrees, whether as a B. Psyc, B. SW, or B. Ed Dip. student are a lot of work.  The goal, here, is not to end my teaching career, but rather to extend it.  Extend it, specifically, with the ability to council.  I’m major courses short, and my GPA would need defibrilating to the scores I was achieving now over five years ago… so my ego is a bit on the fence with this one.  Any of the programs are super hyper ultra competitive, and labour intensive.

That said, I and the stars/planets maybe quazi somewhat think this is in the cards.  It seems there’s no real time limit on the 10 Full Credit courses, either… so that’s a nice perk.

How can a meal with nutrition ‘n’ taste’ll be beyond compare not be food for thought??? Guess we’ll have to see.

The UFAQ (unfrequently asked question)

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

I talk[ed] about Red Robin a lot.  A lot; a lot.

People have commented [big time] but no one has asked why, (at least as far as I can remember).

So here I am… answering the unasked question (a close cousin to the unanswered ones, also known as rhetorical questions).

Sit closer to the screen please.  This is deep, and soulful, so act interested.

I have met people far beyond my ability to be at Red Robin.  Three, specifically.  They challenge me.  Help me.  Make me better.  Are.  Laugh.  Confide.  The best I can try I to explain it: They rock.

Joanne just spent an entire day with me helping me get caught up on life.  We did 17 loads of laundry.  That, if you’re wondering, is a lot.  We packed/sorted/culled… [culled being a library term related to discards] the whole time laughing and commenting on life.  My life is now more organized because of her.  She understands me, often, better and more deeply than basically anyone.  She’s amazing.  (and definitely not just because this weekend a HUGE weight has been lifted off of my shoulders… she continues to ‘lift weights’ [off of my shoulders] time and time again).

David is my hedonistic advisor.  He reminds me to take chances, live life, and be loud and fun and goofy… because that’s who I am… most importantly he reminds me to have fun, and sometimes even how that ‘having fun’ possible.  David reminds me, as Hallmark Cards do, to cease the day, the moment, the existance as someone different.  David opened my eyes to a world I couldn’t see, and I continue to respect his charisma and free spirit.  His BFF status is a proudly worn honour.

I just looked at a picture Ali took of me with my shirt off trying to put a frozen turkey into a cooler.  My face is grossed out because of all the Turkey Guts and Blood.  Ali reminds me not to take myself, or life too seriously.  That’s been a really important lesson to me.  She’s been one of the most honest people I’ve ever encountered, and one of the best at reminding me of Life’s priorites.  She’s great at grounding me to reality, and family, and life… and always great at making me smile and boosting my sometimes slightly injured ego.  She’s fierce, and a force… thankfully on my team!

So, these three have SERVED me well (Pun intended).  Looking back… they’ve made a very concerted effort to take care of me.  I hope I’ve been there and am there, too, to make life as amazing as possible for each of these monkeys.  My time post-Red Robin with these characters has been nothing short of perfect.

I guess that’s why I refer once or twice [a minute] to that wonderful building filled with gourmet burgers.

 

Get Away!!

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

I like getting away to my Monday night Drama class.  A lot.  A lot; A lot.  …100% meant-to-be and a nice start to my week and carrying into my life and classroom and heart.

I like the idea of booking a trip on a website I just found, in order to get away.  It’s for those of us who like to live life in the  59th minute.  (not that this is always a good thing).  Was it made for teachers who can travel in the off-season, or what??

Seen the pics yet?  I think I can [for-the-most-part] get away without hair.  Not forever, but I’m digging the change.  Dare you to shave your head for cancer!!

Don’t get away without asking me about my Oct 14th BDay celebration, or without telling me that you are coming and excited and prepared to dance your heart out!!