September, 2007 browsing by month


{a weekend emotion}: {rationale}

Sunday, September 30th, 2007
  • excitement: Montreal in one week!  It seems to all be coming together, quite splendidly actually.  I’m trying to come up with “objectives” for this trip.  I guess that will be this week’s work-in-progress.  I hope something big happens this adventure…..
  • bloatedness: James Joice Friday.  Too much food.  Way way way too much food.  Curry three times this weekend didn’t help either.
  • judgment:  At Ali’s I saw some pictures from when I worked in Edmonton.  I looked terrible.  Am I going to look at pictures, in the future, of me now and be embarrassed again?  Ug.
  • accomplishment: A bday gift for my mom has officially been purchased.  I found the Science of Sleep dvd I wanted and have pretty much organized my entire October. *woot*
  • ‘the dance’:  Neha’s houseparty living room floor and a tiny little appearance at Bamboo.  I’m not going to lie, I’m going to need to work on a few feature dance moves between now and October, October being month-of-the-dance.
  • envy: I cannot wrap my head around the fact dvb has been to HABITAT ’67?  Not even a tiny little bit.
  • rich: I’ve finally received a paycheck… for the first time since JUNE 2007.  Yes, most of it is now gone, after a flight, rent, and other various expenditures.

Some stories we’re following…

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
  • Copenhagen 2009. Summer 2009 to be exact. (That’d be the one after this one). I’m leaning towards the majority of summer. Who’s in?
  • Vote October 15th or you’re dead to me.
  • I need jeans. Bad. Real real bad.
  • I need work shoes. Bad. Real real bad.
  • I need work pants. Black. Khaki. Both. Bad. Real real bad.
  • Will a haircut happen before Montreal? Tanning? Gym? Hard to say at this point.
  • I’ve been hard-to-keep-my-eyes-open tired the last few days [more specifically nights evenings]… time for a diet change? …or just evidence of me being ready for fall break?
  • If I don’t see the Habitat 67 apartments this trip, I’m never going to forgive myself. I’ve been a kajillion times, still haven’t seen them. I also want to take a kajillion pictures this trip. We’ll see.
  • I feel underappreciated at work. Sappy? Yes. Probably common? Also yes.
  • I’m reading an awesome book. You should, too. Open offer for you to borrow. Library cards are also cheaper than you think! Why don’t you have one?

Tonight’s Drama Class

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

She [the instructor] said, “For this next exercise, we won’t use our words… we’ll just use our vibes…” and she waited for two volunteers.  She whispered two different emotions into two different ears (of the two brave souls).  The two would show and see how the two emotions collide.

Just prior to that, I had volunteered for a “with words” exercise.  I was glad I did because I was even-more-than-characteristically less willing to volunteer tonight for some reason.  My scene was a pub-disagreement.  I was now a generic audience-member.  Again.

The classmate beside me whispered…

“Were you in Inglewood, Friday?”

Me: A Look of surprise.

“Planting trees?”

I was.  We were.  My class was.  Planting trees as part of our City Hall week.  I said pretty much just that…….

And suddenly I was three places at once.  None of the places were ‘present’ just as I just was… (watching the scene, and listening to the instructor.)

I was:

  1. Thinking of the strangeness of her happening to walk by, me not noticing, and her realizing I was me after only one class together.  Thinking of the greatness of that morning.  Thinking back to what possible moment she may have walked by.  Questioning if I maybe saw her.
  2. Thinking back to my “scene” and how glad I was I volunteered.  Thinking of how I was surprised at myself with this round’s class and how it was tons different.  And how the class itself was tons different.
  3. Thinking about our homework of a ‘fantastic story’ and how City Hall was kind of ‘fantastic’ and how this class was kind of ‘fantastic’ and how teaching is kind of ‘fantastic’ and about what I might do with that.  And how creative energy can be one of energy’s coolest forms……

And eventually I was back.  Likely in only a matter of seconds: watching the scene and present, again.

Then, not long after, we did our cool down, packed-up, and left.  “Not using our words, just our vibes” we took elements of our class out into our worlds.

Vibes, I’m sure, affecting those worlds accordingly.

Democratic Dive

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

I’m lucky.

First, I have the most amazing class in Calgary (which is such a strange coincidence because I’ve had the most amazing class in Calgary since I’ve started this career).

Also, I get to be there–as a teacher–when students learn something for the first time.  A small example in Grade 6 would be Exponents in math.  Students learn–from me–most likely what exponents are for the very first time, this year.  For the rest of their living lives when they deal with exponents it will have all began one cold winter’s day in my flourescent lit classroom… and I was there.

So if I get that excited about superscript numbers… you can imagine why I have literal goosebumps and chills this week when I get to take the kids downtown ALL WEEK on our City Hall School adventure.

Yesterday my students began LIVING democracy.  They met a Mayoral candidate up close and personal.  They saw him put in his nomination papers–live–on Monday.  They were pumped.  They had amazing questions.  Their brains are calculating who they will vote for in the city’s Youth Can Vote internet campaign.  To watch it all unfold was[, pardon the poetics,] magic.

Today they’ll meet the incumbant mayor.  They’re starstruck.  They also saw him officially begin his race Monday, and in their usual classroom have been learning tons about the responsibilities of leadership and the challenges of accelerated city growth…. at the age of 11.

It’s one thing to read about local government.  It’s quite another to experience it.  Will this week be one they ever forget… no.

First week with snow.
First week of an election campaign.
First week with a new understanding of a very complex political system during a very complex time.

This week I’m reminded I’m in a career good for the heart.  I’m reminded that learning is a powerful thing, and I’m reminded that we’re all in good hands:

Turns out we have 11-Year Olds determined to lower user fees in this city, determined to be advocates for the environment, and determined to maintain recreation and culture as essential services available to everyone, everywhere.

It also turns out we have 11-Year Olds ready to hold a door open for you, smile, and wave–making sure you have an awesome day as you work hard to keep our community operating the way it should!


#TAXI… Monday Edition.

Monday, September 17th, 2007

#TAXI* (#-8-2-9-4)
*Please check with your wireless carrier for pay-per-use charges.

This would be the first of two pay-per-use charges.  The second would be FIFTY DOLLARS.

My morning:

I wake up, shower, blah blah blah… eat breakfast, make my lunch…. go to find my keys.

Can’t find them.


At all.

Today’s the first day of our City Hall School adventure.  I cannot be late.  I cannot even feign illness.  (not that I would). I know my inability to find keys is irrational because I used my keys yesterday afternoon and used them to get into the house.  They’re somewhere.

7:00 I decide it’s time for the triage decision.  That decision is to call a cab.  It pulls up at 7:30….  still no keys found.

$50 and a hernia later, I’m at school none-to-early with other teachers waiting to get in my door because they’ve sent stuff to my printer, a brand new student, and an assistant principal there to inform me two volunteers will not be coming.

I make it to the copier to copy a few forms and am whisked away on a city bus… downtown.

Praise Zeus the day was flawless.  We see Mayor Dave and Alderman Helene file their nomination papers.  The kids are amazing (as always).  The kids pull all their amazing knowledge from their brain-files when asked by various guests.  It all worked out…

…with not such a nice start.

Keys: still not found.  Parents: trip to the city for a rescue.

Oy vey.  Just another manic Monday.

Week in [p]Review

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Downtown!  I get to take the kids downtown for a WHOLE WEEK!  I did an application last year for this opportunity early last year and tomorrow IT BEGINS!!  I’m so excited (slash a little bit nervous).

Drama!  My course starts Tuesday.  I’m so pumped.  I’m a bit sad because part of what I liked about the course was that I got to take an operator operated elevator (the only one in Calgary) and now it’s in a different room.

Dance!  I’m choreographing a dance for our Drama production in October.  I was so freakin’ nervous and feeling VERY underqualified.  It’s going pretty good.  This week we polish it off…. and it’s going smashingly.

Decode!  My e-PD is going equally smashingly.  I’m ahead.  I’m doing well.  I get a tad computered out but C’est la Vie!

Drink! (pop, of course).  Eat!  Be Merry!  It’s our housewarming this weekend!  Fun. Fun. Fun.

Decide!  Montreal’s sneaking up.  I need to figure out my action plan.  Did some major surfing today of what’s going on.  Sounds like tons of people may be around so I’m very very excited.

Ah, September!  October’s next best brother!

Today’s Examples of “Good idea —> Bad idea —> Good Idea, again”

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

1) I should go to the gym today! —> Holy Cow it’s been forever, I think I might actually be sick! —> I feel good and healthy, I should go again this week.

2) I should sign up for “e-PD” (electronic professional development) —> WHAT!?!?! I have to write a REFERENCED discussion-posting by Friday???  There’s a RUBRIC???!!  There’s HOW MUCH WORK??? —> I am now 8 Days ahead according to the schedule.

3) I should go to Montreal, AGAIN, for Fall Break —> “Yes, Mom, we’ll have to move up Thanksgiving”  This week’s brainwave: Oh, man.  October’s coming. Have I made any plans?? —> Bookings made, e-mails received, totally looking forward to ALL OF IT.

4) Oh sure, I’ll help out with the drama production —> WHAT??? I’m going to be a first-time choreographer?  Oh what, you want to quit, too?? —> Okay, I’ve got some help… now I’m looking forward to our big shindig.

5) I should take a night class.  Maybe I’ll take Drama downtown, again. —> My calendar is looking pretty silver from all the pencil —> I’m totally looking forward to Tuesday.

🙂 Pattern noted.  Reference here.

Inspiration, Home, Peace. Today: in that order.

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Why is it, whether George Strombolopolis or Oprah is asking the question, “What inspires you?”, the answer is almost always canned.

Humanity.  Family.  God.  U2.  Ghandi.

Sometimes, and maybe it’s just me, it’s the small things that inspire me (not that the big things don’t ever).  Here’s five from today:

  1. E-mails and Facebook replies from my friends related to my slew of outgoing invitations yesterday.  How fun!
  2. Hearing about Yarnover Calgary (Yo Calgary!) on the radio today.  I plan to check it out by the 17th.
  3. Watching my Grade Sixes meet their Grade One buddies today and then watching them teach.  Virtual Manipulatives, no less.
  4. On the “junior high side” of our school, Grade Nine students posted quotes on big posters with a small description of where the quote came from and why it was chosen.  One student’s quote, however worded, reminded me the value of education can’t be underestimated.  The quote was from the student’s parents.  It really made me stop.
  5. …and isn’t this the height of cheesiness.  A view, nearly daily now, of the sunrise over the city on my morning commute to work.  This morning’s view was really incredible.

I guess it all relates.  Well, in truth, it all relates to something I read this weekend while waiting for a friend’s theatre production, a book by Buddhist authour Thich Nhat Hanh, “We may realize that everyone and everything around us is our home.  Isn’t it true that the air we breathe is our home, that the blue sky, the rivers, the mountains, the people around us, the trees, and the animals are our home?…  See the trees as your home, the air as your home, the blue sky as your home, and the earth that you tread as your home.  This can only be done in the here and now. … When we say, Home sweet home,” where is it?  When we practice looking deeply, we realize our home is everywhere.”

Peace, it seems, is Every Step.