November, 2007

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And the geeks shall inherit the earth…

Friday, November 30th, 2007

If you’re Canadian and you don’t listen to and enjoy the odd Rick Mercer Rant… you’re probably not really Canadian.

Last night’s was good.  Real good.  Especially if you teach and/or aren’t a huge fan of stupid people. [not that they’re all not]

Turns out: it’s National Bullying Week.
http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport/backissues.php
Then navigate your way to Episode 8’s Rant.

Beautiful.

True.

Timely.

(Will Air Canada complain??…probably not.  The more you get to know the company, the more you realize they’re pretty socially liberal.  They even sponsor great-big-stadium-dances.)

Dearest Rick… I hope you’re our next Governor General.

aGOra

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Ideas worth sharing” and so I shall.

Day of Randomness

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

It’s official!  I’m pushing the “I Feel Lucky Button!” on Google EVERY time from now on.  Who needs lists to choose-from when the best things in life, at least lately, are TOTALLY out-of-the-blue.

[Insert acknowledgement to Barry who has read an academic and widely published work claiming coincidences do not, in fact, exist: here].

  1. First Great Act of the Universe: My sister is out at a Banquet in Edmonton yesterday.  She’s asked where she’s from.  She replies Trochu.  She’s asked if she knows Travis.  i.e.-a.k.a-that would be: me, her brother.  Who’s asking.  Ed.  A super awesome ex-coworker who rocks my socks-off and who I haven’t seen in decades.  How the heck?
  2. Second Great Act of the Universe: A BUILDING DOWNTOWN blog comments. (it’s all very remniscent ((sp??)) of WestJet, the airline’s, comment) Some questions: a) Who goes home from Drama Class and writes about a pedway?  [me.]  b) Who ever expects said-entry to be Googled. [not me.]  c) Who actually hears back from said entry’s said pedway’s BUILDING? [again, not me.] I LOVE IT!!

Okay only TWO today… but still very cool.  So now I sit here expecting big things.  Will Wendy Mesley be busting my doors down with some Marketplace question like one can only hope?? or will Dan Levy be calling with some Hills aftershow question soon??  or DNTO be doing a radio show on teachers who blog and ask for my insight??

I have so many more random things to put out there… so that virtually anyting is possible!!!  I guess blogs really are little microphones to the world…

May 10 [/ 10 Mai]

Monday, November 26th, 2007

May teaching be my music.
May this city become a comfortable home.
May a project come soon that wakes me up with excitement.
May weekends continue to be filled with laughter.
May my enthusiasm radiate.
May calm, good peace be available too.
May more adventures come my way.
May goosebumps never cease.
May family and friends be present to offer continued clarity and comfort.
May learning be my music.

8:14 AM and I’m ON-TRACK!

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Today is Buy Nothing Day.  And that is still my plan.

Lord knows I sometimes sign-for things or bandwagon-jump (if you will) and then do not follow through.  But so far; so good.

As yesterday was Parent/Teacher/Student Conference Day, food was provided for us.  I see there is leftover food in the staff fridge.  In fact, my food situation seems lined-up for a good part of this 24 hour period.

Do I need to get gas today? No.  Do I need to start Christmas shopping? Again, no.  How am I stacked up for moisturiser, socks, and chap stick?  All fine.

It’s not so much that I think I need to make some huge gesture to the world… but I (and others) could certainly benefit from me consuming less.  Today’s a nice day to be conscious of consumption.

Maybe I’ll even make a craft or write a letter.  I just feel like I should be starting some kind of BND Tradition.  I’m in my second quarter century after-all.

Critical Thinking

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Critical Thinking means thinking against criterion (it doesn’t mean being rude or condescending.)  Critical Thinking often begins with good questions… questions that inquire.  Teachers know it… so do their students.

For many reasons I’ve been pretty tuned into the story of the death of Robert Dziekanski.  Uncharacteristically, I even watched the bystander video on CBC.   

I cannot say how much I appreciated the critical questions from CBC’s As It Happens Crew.  As usually, they’ve wowed me.  Their questions are very broad… and are in fact questions we as citizens could and should be asking YET the answers aren’t being given.

I hope to keep this as a living entry and add answers as they’re found.  These questions are from Last Night’s episode and are taken directly (aplologies for the lifting… I very much appreciate your hard work)  Since this aired, Stockwell Day has announced there will be two deadlines related to inquiries into the matter.

In the words of AIH:

“She [the CBSA representative] asked us to send her our questions, and she committed to do her best to get us the answers. Most of our questions are about procedures and protocols, and many of them came from you. We sent them on Friday, and we have no replies. That would be zero. Nada.”

WHY NOT????!!! 

Here’s the list:

-How many cameras are there in the luggage carousel area of Vancouver International Airport? -Do they encompass the entire area or are there hidden spots?
-How closely, and how often, are those closed-circuit TV monitors watched?
-How is it that no one noticed Mr. Dziekanski in that area during the many hours he was waiting?

We also have questions about language services at the airport:
-Is it possible for someone to clear Canada Customs without speaking?
-How do customs officials accommodate passengers who do not speak English?
-If requested by airport personnel, will customs officials who speak other languages help with interpretation?
-Did anyone at the Vancouver Airport’s customs area speak Polish with Mr. Dziekanski?

We also have questions about help for passengers at the airport, because Mr. Dziekanski’s mother was directed to the Border Service Agency’s “storefront operation” for further assistance:
-What is the purpose of the CBSA’s storefront operation?
-Is it staffed around the clock, every day?
-What kind of assitance can the public expect to receive at this desk?
-If there is a missing passenger, can staff confirm whether the person has cleared customs?
-How do they do this?
-How else might friends or family of missing travellers discover whether they have arrived in the country?

Finally, this question: the Border Services information desk told Mr. Dziekanski’s mother they didn’t have any record of him in the customs area.
-Why is that?

“Stockwell Day held a news conference today, and said he requested reports from Border Services and from the RCMP four days after Mr. Dziekanski’s death. And while he waits, he has nothing to say about any of the questions we’re asking. Generic or not.”

The real question…

why not??

I hope that from this terrible tragedy good questions, critical thinking questions, continue to get asked.

I guess it’s up to the government to somehow work on the answers.  What a terrible image for Canada to send to the world… especially for a country that considers itself a natural extension of efforts towards peace.

Approx. 15 feet in the air… we walked accross traffic.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

One would think it’d be tough to choose a favourite +15.

I mean they’re all so great. Just the fact that Calgary’s so unique that our downtown building’s shake hands… isn’t that the ultimate sign of Western Hospitality?

I do have a favourite +15.

It’s none of the ones where you can see the tops of C-Trains… although that’s cool. It’s none of the ones that are oil-rich.. although they’re fancy. It’s not even any of the ones featured in an entire MOVIE about +15’s…. although I love the movie.

My favourite +15 connects Municipal Plaza to the Glenbow Museum. It’s the stretch that goes through the Epcor Centre. Why?

…because THAT +15 is (until now) Calgary’s best kept secret. It has murals. It has strange sounds piped in. It has behind-the-scenes windows. It also has a handful of displays of what’s going on at Calgary’s Art Galleries. It goes up and down and mazes around… and nearly always I’ve had it all to myself. If there are people, they tend to be arty which is very cool.

Haven’t had a +15 Adventure? You’re missing out. Ready to start? Use the fish/train/mountains/fort as guides… the rest is easy.

recomMENDation: Tea and Chicken

Monday, November 19th, 2007

If I wrote to you my story from tonight, you might walk away thinking Tea and Chicken are the cure-all and foundation of happiness.  But that’s where strange rituals start.

In Latin the saying goes “post hoc ergo propter hoc” [happened afterwards therefore because of].  It’s a fallacy.

While it’s true I did have tea and chicken tonight, tea with my Dad and chicken with my best friend and roommate, it was more the conversations than the sustenance that filled me.

So how was my night spent after school?  Talking.  Like really talking.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  The I’m okay.  The you’re okay.  The we’re all okay.  But mostly: the meaty stuff that needs to be said that leaves you, when you’re walking away from the table, knowing that you have people in your life that are awfully good.

Tonight was a good night.  =)  I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: my people rock my world… each and every time.