January, 2009

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Reading between the lines…

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

If When I take on graduate coursework, one of my many concerns is the reading aspect.

I’m an awfully slow reader.  Painfully slow.  This deficiency even causes me to procrastinate on marking stories, essays, and reports.  [Things that most people could probably read in about four seconds.]

I like to read.  I can read.  I do read.

It just takes me forever.

As a case in point, I have been reading A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry since April.  Granted, I’ve only been reading it about ten minutes a day, each school day (while the students read).  I’m in love with it (and horrified by the true-to-life lives it describes) but I just can’t get it all finished up.

So rather than finishing up what’s on my plate, I’ve been trying to brush up on curricular reading skills.  I’ve been diving in to school and learning related stuff and trying to pick up the pace.  My latest find is one that alleges “Right-Brainers will rule the future” [Thank the heavens!].  It’s called A Whole New Mind (and is by Daniel H. Pink) and is meant to supplement my current Online Book Study Book Five Minds for the Future (by Howard Gardner).

I anticipate having a review ready shortly after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Oy yoy yoy.


Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

“In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made. Any sentence begun, on the brink, on the brim, on the cusp. Praise song for walking forward in that light.”

— Poet Elizabeth Alexander, reading her poem Praise Song for the Day at the inauguration


Sunday, January 18th, 2009

My relationship with swimming is an interesting one.

I mention this because I’m in a state of attempted rekindling.  So far the outlook is not good.

At times I see swimming as a sanctuary to just swim and think of nothing else.  It’s an opportunity to get fit, celebrate something I’m good at, and just do for the sake of doing it.

At other times I see swimming as a freezing cold chore with zero appeal, and something only serving to increase the likelihood of dry skin and an ear ache.

Swimming and I were at our best (if not during my lifeguarding and medal-scoring Kipper days) in Montreal.  I would swim in the fifty meter outdoor pool in the sunshine, and hear nothing but the cadence of French as I took breaks and drank bottled water I hadn’t heard of before.  Montreal nights were spent enjoying the new confidence swimming provided.

I guess I’m maybe realizing that the swimming itself isn’t going to get me closer to any small part of that situation.  And therefore, much of the appeal goes away.  Instead, maybe, it’s time to get lost in some other sort of substantial ambition.  Then it’s swimming that shows itself as a welcome distraction for refocusing.

And not the other way around.

I can’t really put my finger on why I’m making this return to aquatics.  One day in my classroom I just had this urge to recertify (maybe for one last time) all of my lifeguarding and lifesaving coursework.  And I did.  Just like that.  I’m now at the half-way point of the testing.

All I know is it isn’t even a fraction as magical as it was before.

…and I’m at a loss to explain why.

Let me walk you through my week-end.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Ready?  Let’s begin.

Saturday.  Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes!

Sunday.  I do a Pia Carry, lift a weight off the bottom of the deep end, find a cabbage patch doll presumed missing… get marked on it all, and walk away a lifeguard for two more years.

Spat out on new terrain.

Monday, January 5th, 2009

My family travels well.

Who are we kidding?  We do everything well.  But seriously:

This winter break has been nothing short of perfect.  Family time.  Friend time.  Food time.  Rest time.  Everything a work-break should be.

The travel time was interesting because it was a trip, with many elements somewhat reminiscent of an April Trip.  We even stayed in the same hotel, Treasure Island. That said, it was very different too (less advil needed for one).  It was also a trip reminiscent of one taken by the four of us and two grandparents 15 years earlier.  We did everything we do best: shop, laugh, plan, make fun of each family member in their own turn, walk, rest, and schedule bathroom time.  I’ll never forget this trip in much the same way I’ll never forget our Summer Toronto adventure and all the best parts of our post-RDC Florida adventure.  [as well as the annual summer trip each year before].  And it’s all a very nice way to start-up a new year as well as rest-up from a chaotic room of twenty-nine young people.

I can’t and don’t forget I have a family that goes far beyond what anyone could expect.  (I even get to know that especially more as I now get to work with what seems like a zillion families at any given time).  From that I hope two things for 2009:

  1. My vegas-going margarita-habit supporting family knows even a portion of my gratitude, not just for the great trips… but for the great raising.
  2. The people in my life from all corners get to benefit from the generosity and greatness I somehow find myself in.

There’s something to be said for traveling.  There’s an exciting-stress alive-and-new-feeling that’s fun to explore.  It’s also fun to see the similarities and differences to the whole sensation with all the different people you travel with (and meet along the way).

So, I guess for 2009 and the years ahead, I also resolve for more exciting adventures, travel and otherwise, shared with many.  Shared often.

The extra hour of 2008…

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

So.  2009.  Day one.

I spent the turnover, the odometer flip, the ringing in… along with a pretty good chunk of the planet: in Las Vegas, with the family.

Right now I’m in McCarran airport waiting for the flight home.  And so:

I get to spend the very first day of this 2009 with ‘an arrival’, a fresh start.  Will my arrival go along with any resolutions?  Not really anything too specific.  We did watch Love (the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show at Mirage) last night for our New Years Eve celebration and I thinking carrying-out any of the basic sentiment: All You Need is Love, would be a pretty good start.

I’ll post more on the trip soon.  For now I’ll end the same way our show did (It, like the other two Cirque shows I’ve seen was SO SO good by the way):
“And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give”…

If 2009 is a healthy year of giving much love, I’ll consider that a pretty good year… and a pretty sound investment (far better than any of the gaming here).  😉