May, 2009 browsing by month


T[h]wo for Thursday

Thursday, May 28th, 2009
  1. Is sublingual immunotherapy as effective as allergy shots?  Does my third-party insurance cover them?  Will this be my breakthrough treatment?
  2. Should i get a free iPod Classic or a free iPod Touch?  Hmmmm… perks to both, really.  Good thing I’ll have Jay and my own Personal Apple Store Shopper tonight to figure things out with.

When it rains, it POURS.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Pour example:

  • My job-
    • Report cards begin…
    • …and some fun news: My Teaching and Learning Online Certificate recognizing 200+ hours devoted to Professional Learning online arrived.  =)  *woot*
    • Provincial Achievement Tests gain full force…
    • Diagnostic Reading tests start…
    • Year-end activities get planned…
    • The job transition takes place… as classroom life ends, and cart life begins.
  • My chequing account-
    • Buy a Mac, Get a Free iPod Touch begins!!!
      • I (with Jay as my hostage) HAVE A PERSONAL SHOPPING SESSION…. BOOKED tomorrow soiree at the Apple Store!!!!  It’s time, folks!!!  It’s time!!!
    • Property taxes due… in one month.
    • Condo/Car/Patio Furniture/Barbeque… why not?
    • Bills, bills, bills.  I HATE getting mail.
    • When’s Montreal?
  • My health-
    • Broken Elbow follow up goes…. meh.
    • Dentist appointment goes…. meh.
    • My throbbing inner ear…. meh.
    • Do all three require more follow-ups?  Yes they do!
    • Today I find out I have significant allergies to:
      • dandelions
      • cats, dogs
      • horse, cattle
    • Today I find out I have allergies to:
      • English Plaintain, Pigweed, and Timothy Grass weeds
      • House dust, dust mites
      • Corn Pollen, Alfa Alfa Pollen
  • My university program(me)-
    • first assignment is due Saturday; I CANNOT help over analyzing it
    • official readings received
    • every topic tempts me to look up more… but that’s going to have to stop.  I need to focus and dig in with what’s there.

…from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh:

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

There were once two acrobats–a little girl named Meda, and an adult who was her teacher.   To perform their act they used a tall bamboo pole, which the teacher balanced on the top of his head while the little girl sat perched on top–a challenge that required their full attention and perfect balance.

One day the teacher instructed the pupil: ‘Here’s the best way to work.  I will watch you and you watch me, so that we can help each other concentrate, stay balanced and prevent ourselves from being hurt.

But the little girl was wise and answered, ‘Dear master, I think it would be better for each of us to watch ourself. To look after oneself means to look after both of us. That way I am sure we will avoid any accidents and will earn enough to eat.’

from the book The Miracle of Mindfulness
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Your search – glee – did not match any items.

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Well then.  I guess it’s time to change that:

Not once in my blogging history have I expressed glee?!  How terrible!

I had seen the promo, but it wasn’t until my houseguest, Nick, mentioned it that I became inspired enough to find it and have a watch.

It was EXACTLY what I expected: which is neither a positive nor negative review.  It was also EXACTLY what I needed.  In these days leading up to grad school, I’m making myself (for whatever reason) participate in the solemn: academic reading, international films, meditation, (note: still no jogging, running, or swimming).  And it’s coming at a cost, I’m feeling like I’m not reading enough or the right things, I’m feeling like I have a zillion things to catch up on, and I’m feeling inadequate.

…and Glee, might have been just the answer!  (not unlike Prince’s Island Park, three barbeques, and some sun!).

What also might have been just the answer, was heading into the school to get caught up on some of the less-fun aspects of work, that are inevitably going to have to get done.  Oh well.  …just time to buckle down soon, time to enjoy the Spring all the same, and time figure out my teeth/elbow/allergies/ears/nose simultaneously.

Thanks Glee, for putting just the right amount of pop-culture into my life to maintain inspiration.



Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

While I’m always surprised students who are eleven-years-old are expected, by our province, to understand the term synecdoche, I always mention it none-the-less.  This year, I went beyond mentioning it and actually had a brief discussion about the term.

I gave the CLASSIC “All hands on deck!” example my ADVANCED English [200] professor oft’ sited, and asked the students if they could think of their own examples.  [Could you?  Could my students’ parents?  Could other teachers?]

One did, and it [the clarity and understanding] kind of blew my mind:

“Like when you say, all the time, Mr. Robertson, ‘Busy pencils!  Let’s keep writing!  Don’t get distracted!’?”

Exactly like busy pencils!  Exactly.  …and I wouldn’t have made that connection on my own.

I love my job.  Don’t let me forget it.

…and don’t forget how bright you probably were at eleven, too.

Something for nothing?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

So how do we know when micro-blogging (i.e. Twitter) is useful?  Obviously, when you get a free iPod.  …an actual free iPod not to be confused with the claims of free iPods that seem to pop-up everywhere.

I’m giving myself five weeks to give the iPod Twitter Test a chance.  So far the hypothesis-supporting data looks alright.


  1. Travis decides on Mother’s Day Weekend he is going to need his own laptop for his work/masters/life.  One that has not been purchased by tax payers that can be updated at will, and be an intimate extension of his own life.
  2. Travis decides on a MacBook for a variety of reasons and checks with the Apple crowd online that he’s on track with that decision.  Apple crowd= Jay.
  3. Travis posts to Twitter his pending purchase idea and ability to discover the Education Discount–for which he qualifies double: as a student, and as a teacher.
  4. Travis goes to Apple Store last night and verfies all his research, including the unlikelihood of a sale or the release of a new product in the very near future.
  5. Travis receives an @reply that changes his life and view of social media: Don’t buy now.  Usually just before summer the Education Discount comes with a Back-to-school rebate offer for a free iPod.  Google reveals this to be true, all the way back to 2006.  …Usually the first week of June or so (not so long from now).  The @reply is from bff’s high school friend, from Leduc!
  6. Travis realizes social media does what it does best, bring people together for some unique obscure cause, that could probably not be brought together as easily any other way.  In this case: sticking it to the man.  [haha, ya right.  more like giving the man a thousand or so more dollars, just hopefully in a more efficient way].

As the iPod and MacBook wait goes, time will tell.  I’m cautiously optimistic as per usual.

=) Oh internet, what would we do without you?

The really big decisions.

Friday, May 8th, 2009

My current Microsoft Outlook default font for outgoing work e-mails is Century Gothic.  This decision was a big one, but is mostly based on aesthetics I find quite pleasing, slightly retro, and representative of my creative and presentation strengths.  The colour is royal blue.

Just yesterday I received an e-mail from a colleague whom I respect a great deal as both very intellectual and confident.  Her default font is Calibri.  The colour is a soft grey.  While I’m sure I’ve seen this font before, it stands out as different to me from any other font, and is quite pleasing and relaxing to the eye.

I am now forced to do two things:

  1. Consider a font switch, with consideration to both the colour and the type.
  2. Do a handwriting analysis-esque look at all incoming e-mails, to determine a) what type of people have which font and colour and b) if my current font choice is a true match for me and one that truly communicates what it is I want to be communicating.

Big day.   Big big day.


Friday, May 1st, 2009

There is nothing quite like a fifteen page course outline with ten assignments for a three-week course to welcome you to a brand new university program.

Time to start reading maybe.

There is also nothing quite like looking at an online course outline separated into tiny parts, and trying to figure out just how to combine all those parts efficiently and print them… especially when the university program is INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.  (In a stroke of genius, I did figure out how-to by the way).

My brain is SO SO SO on what’s coming instead of on what’s happening now: the new teaching position, the masters, the summer.  I don’t need to be the world’s best yogi/meditator to know that I need to work on changing that, and getting some work done in the now.

So just like any project, when you’re looking at the whole thing at once for the first time… it seems overwhelming.  I have no doubt that as it comes piece by piece (perhaps, why the online course outline is framed that way), it will become all the more manageable.

(likely next post: my pending nose-job… as recommended by my ears-nose-throat m.d. … oy!)