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Too Kool for Kony?

8 Mar

Today I saw this image floating around the Facebook.

At first I just rolled my eyes. Then I thought about it some more. Then I started to comment on someone’s post. Then I realized I had a lot more to say then I thought. Here is the CliffsNotes version:

Regardless of whether or not someone goes on to do anything more than learn about the Kony situation and share the message, is there no inherent value in doing nothing more than just that? That someone might become inspired or motivated to be a part of creating positive change in the world? In someone else’s world, at that?

If someone’s reaction to the video is nothing more than feeling passionate about something other than their own lives, passionate enough to think “Is there ANYTHING I can do?? I’ve never been a part of a social justice movement before, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to do it, but maybe I can give it a go now?” then something great has already been accomplished. All activists, of which there are many, many forms, start somewhere. I think the biggest, the only, accomplishment of putting down those who are sharing this video, wanting to help and be a part of something, is just to discourage further social activism. And frankly, the absolute arrogance of people who are putting down those who are participating in this effort is really pissing me off.

I absolutely understand why people have problems with Invisible Children, and I agree that their lack of transparency is shady, but honestly, rather than tear down a group of people who want nothing more than to have a role in a movement for positive social change, why not respectfully share the facts that you know and allow people to educate themselves and make their own decision on the matter?

Meg’s Misadventurous Morning

23 Dec

I woke up early today with my morning pretty well solidly planned out. I was going to pack my bags for my holiday visit home, hop on a bus to the train station, check my bag and board.

The first part went pretty well. I finished packing ahead of schedule, and sat to enjoy a cup of coffee. As I was sipping my cuppa joe, I looked out the window, and saw that it was suddenly winter, and there was already far more snow than I had suspected and no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. Hmm, did I want to drag my suitcase through the snow to the bus terminal and then from the bus stop to the train station? Not really, but I also didn’t want to pay for a cab. I decide to tough it out on the bus.

I zip up my suitcase and lift it upright–whoa! This bad boy is heavy! Coupled with my oversize purse and heavy backpack, plus the snow, the idea of bussing was less appealing than ever. Better call a cab.

“Hi, I’d like to arrange a cab for 10:45 please.”

“We will do our best but we make no guarantees of it being on time, especially during times on inclement weather.”

“Uhh… better make it for 10:30?”

The cab arrives at approximately 10:31, so things are looking peachy. We take off as planned, and I start texting family to let them know I was on my way, not paying attention to the road. Suddenly the driver says “Oh! You said you’re going to the train station?! Um, oh.. uh…” I look up in time to see a sign informing me we’re getting on the highway–going in the opposite direction. Great.

He says he’ll stop the meter while he turns around, apologizes profusely, and asks every few minutes when I have to be at the station. “Don’t worry,” I say, “this is why I called a cab early.”

It takes approximately forever to get to the next exit and return to where we started, and in that time I notice that the meter is still running. I don’t say anything but continue to eye it suspiciously. He sees this and says, “Oh, sorry I thought I stopped that. I’ll stop it now and it’ll just be $11.50, is that alright with you?” HECK YES, I was planning on at least $20.

Traffic is crazy because it’s December 23rd in a snowstorm, but eventually we make it onto the right highway where we can move along at a better pace. The roads are terrible, and just meters before the divided highway becomes a two-way street we start sliding and do a full 360 on the road, missing lampposts, street signs and the concrete median by inches. Thank. God. I do not have time for a broken down cab.

The rest of the drive is uneventful, and when we get to the station I give him $15. He says “Oh, ten is fine, really,” to which I reply “Oh no, it’s been a rough trip and I appreciate you getting me here on time.” because I’m stupid (and also because I, too, work for tips and had a horrible shift last night).

I walk into the train station and see the enormous line for tickets. I laugh to myself, holy balls am I glad I came in yesterday to buy my ticket. Instead I head to check my baggage where there’s no one in line. I put my bag up on the scale and–of course–it’s five pounds over the limit. “It’s going to be $20 plus tax for that.” I sigh but at this point I just want to be done with it, and I begin to rifle through my bag for my wallet. The clerk stops me and says “Oh, you pay that at the next window.” I look in the direction she’s pointing. It’s a ticketing booth. “I have to wait in that line to pay the baggage fee?” “Yes.” Sigh.

I finally get through that line, shell out 23 ridiculous dollars, and by now the boarding line is HUGE. I’m definitely going to be stuck sitting with a large man who takes up half my seat and who smells of old cigarettes and piss.

I find the end of the line and take my place–right next to three older women playing what sounds like the soundtrack to a horrible film adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor on the flute, recorder, and keyboard, loudly, with BELLS AROUND THEIR ANKLES. I wish I was kidding.

After waiting in line for 20 minutes next to the Weird Sisters, it finally starts moving. I walk to the very farthest car, where I’m to board. It seems as though everyone in the line is headed to the same car as me and yet and, and I still can’t believe this, I got a single seat! Ahh! Beautiful. I think I must have reached my bad-luck quota.

As I’m typing this, we are just pulling out of the station. Let’s all hope my 4.5 hour trip is much, much less eventful.

Such a slacker, but a happy one.

19 Apr

I’ve often said that the people with the least amount of free time get more done in their free time than people with far less busy lives. I am a perfect example of this right now.

For the first half of the month, even though I was still super busy with lesson planning and preparing for practicum, I found time to write a blog every day (except one, and I had a legitimate reason). Now, I don’t have practicum, which means my evenings and weekends are free, and instead of taking the fifteen minutes or half hour it would take to blog every day I’ve been sitting and watching Blossom, Being Erica and Jem and the Holograms for hours.

I don’t know why this is. Perhaps because it’s the first time in months that I haven’t had a high-stress, all-consuming commitment keeping me high strung and buzzing busily. Perhaps now that I’ve got a bit of a lull I want to take advantage of being extra lazy. I don’t want to make it a habit, however. Also, with the lack of stuff going on, I don’t really feel I have much to write about. Maybe once my mind gets back to thinking about real stuff again 😛

In other words, right now, all I want to do is just be lazy. I want to snack and watch tv and drink beer and chat with friends all day. I don’t want to do any work (unless I’m being paid! More on that later.), but on the bright side, I do want to go out with friends. That sounds silly and, like, thank-you Captain Obvious! but when I get a little depressed or down or in a funk, I never want to go do stuff. I’d rather sit inside alone all day and night. It makes me feel happy and hopeful that I’ve simultaneously got a little more time for myself now and am not depressed.

I don’t know how to make that sound less mundane or “duh” or make sense to everyone, but if you’ve ever been really depressed in both high-pressure and low-pressure situations, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. SO GOOD. 🙂

Until tomorrow (when I promise not to drag you through a rolling landscape of tangents and asides),

xx

A new day.

15 Apr

I didn’t write yesterday because I was up marking until after 2 and I had to be up at 7:30 this morning. That’s that.

Today was the last day of my practicum. The last of my real responsibilities of six years worth of post-secondary education. Seems too unreal and ridiculous if I look at it that way. That being said, it was a great day (with a ridiculous fiasco at lunch…perhaps I’ll share that story another time, once I’ve figured out how to share it gracefully). My last class was with an amazing group of students, we finished watching Milk, had pizza and cake, chatted and hung out, they gave me a card, I got swag from the school (mug, book light, mini flashlight, pen, and a Staple’s easy button from one of my mentor teachers), and it was just a great way to wrap up.

I’ve definitely seen myself grow over the past couple of months (not just from the embarrassing amounts of Domino’s and Starbucks, either). I learned not to take myself so seriously, got way better an managing my time even though it sometimes meant sacrificing a great lesson for a good one (sometimes you just have to take a break!), and after the past few months, I feel pretty confident in my abilities as a teacher. That’s a big step for me; I’ve never had any kind of self-confidence.

Tonight I could be out partying with some of my colleagues who finished up their practica today as well, but I don’t really feel like partying. I’m content sitting here, in the dimly lit living room, with Randall watching Netflix in the corner and Seguin flopped face down on his bed, dead to the world, and myself plopped onto the couch with a glass of wine , tostitos and salsa con queso. Maybe I’ll get back into Harry Potter later. Who knows.

Tomorrow continues with plans of its own, but for now, I think I’ll enjoy a boring night of internal peace and silent celebration.

Until then,

xx

Baby landmark.

12 Apr

So. It’s 12:30am right now, as I write this, and at 12:29am I believe I finished up what should be that last bit of prep work I have to do for my practicum. There will certainly be a little more on-the-fly modifications, revamping, and adjusting for time between now and Friday, but, for the most part, I believe I’m done.

I just finished making some questions for my students to answer while watching the film Milk, to make connections between their views, the social activism/advocacy writing unit we’re wrapping up in the morning and, of course, the movie. I’m excited to show it because I think it’s a topic everyone should be exposed to (obviously, I mean if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you know where I stand on the LGBTQ rights map), and because it just fits so well right now. As I’ve mentioned, I just had them doing some social action writing (creating change.org style petition documents and letters to well-targeted decision-makers), it’s a great platform for me to talk about the importance of every person’s educated vote as we have an election coming up in a few weeks and the students old old enough to vote in a year’s time, and lastly, next month is International Day Against Homophobia and Harvey Milk Day (in California).

I never saw Milk before yesterday, and I’m so glad I decided to watch it. I knew a little bit about the man, that he was the first openly gay man to hold significant office in the US and that he was assassinated, but I didn’t really know much else. I fell in love watching the movie because of the fact that he was involved in defeating a bill that would have prevented LGBT teachers (and their supporters) from teaching in public schools there. After watching the film I did more research, knowing I wanted to show it to my class and found out that he actually began his career as a high school teacher, getting his degree at 21 and teaching for a few years. I shouldn’t have been surprised.

In any case, I’m excited about showing it to them, and even though I’m not giving a big assignment on it, I don’t care. I only have two class periods and I wasn’t about to assign anything else, since I’ll have about sixty three-part assignments to mark Thursday night as well as a high-school performance of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog to see. Sometimes it’s okay to show a film in class just for it’s content and the connections to wrap up a unit, right?

In any case, tonight was my baby landmark, and I shouldn’t have to create any more resources or documents or anything like that, except maybe a rubric to mark all those assignments, now that I think about it…

Wah.

Until tomorrow!

xx

Seriously Monday.

11 Apr

I’m having a very Monday Monday. So were my students. Despite not accomplishing or working on much all class, they were still pretty quiet, which was nice.

It’s pouring outside.

I was too lazy to cook so my stomach is full of Domino’s.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with my students tomorrow.

All I want to do is sleep.

Monday, Monday Monday.

Until tomorrow!

xx

Fun day, back to the grind.

10 Apr

Today it actually felt like a normal Sunday. By normal standards, not my own lame substitutes. I got up early for a Sunday, at 8:30, and had breakfast with Randall and his dad. Shortly after, Randall’s sisters asked me if I wanted to go with them to take the dog down to the river, which was QUITE a journey. I took some pictures with my phone and posted them to Facebook if anyone cares to see them. It was a lot of fun.
Shortly after we got back I went with Randall and our roommate, Matt aka Seguin, to play photographer while they were skateboarding at a local elementary school, since it has a waxed curb. It was fun, and the photos were cool. They’ll be up on Facebook soon too.
This evening, Ran’s grandparents and some aunts and uncles came to the house for a birthday dinner (yesterday was Ran’s birthday and his sister’s was. two days before that). I. Am. Still. Stuffed.
It was nice to have a normal-seeming Sunday, and not the usual where I just sit on my computer all day. On the down side, I have still done nothing productive and have to figure out exactly what I’m doing tomorrow other than having my students peer evaluate their persuasive letters because that is NOT going to take a full hour.
Ugh. I just wanna be done already. I don’t want to do anything else. Blah. Okay, I’ll stop whining now. I’m writing this in the car on my phone and we’re just about home.
Until tomorrow!
xx

Oh, I forgot to mention, just got off the phone with mom, I think she’s ixnaying our plans for the road trip 😦

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Low key and enjoyable day.

9 Apr

I put off posting all day because today was Randall’s birthday and I thought we might end up doing something exciting, so I figured I’d wait and see. It’s now just past midnight, we’re going to bed, and we spent the day doing random low key stuff with our roommate Matt and Randall’s family.

For Randall’s birthday I got him a book that I knew he’d be really into. A 725-page encyclopedia of secret societies and hidden histories. We went out for lunch with the roommate, Ran got a new deck and wheels (skateboarding), I made a massive amount of soup (which was a bit disastrous due to some overzealous barley, but all is well now), then we went to a mall with his mom and youngest sister to fix up the new board then pick up his other sister to come out to his family’s house outside of the city.

We rounded out the night beginning to watch Destination Truth’s hunt for the banshee ghost but I got tooo sleepy and hence, here I am.

Wow. I’m pretty sure I just rambled on for about 175 words of nothingness. If you made it this far, you’re a true friend. Or procrastinating. And now my eyes are shutting involuntarily so I’ll be talking to you all tomorrowwewwwwzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Unexpected employment.

8 Apr

No, I didn’t get a teaching job.

The other day my friend Nicole informed me that Elections Canada is still looking for people to work the polls for the upcoming election. I’ve never worked at the polls before but I figured I might as well apply; lord knows I need the money. This afternoon I got a phone call from Elections Canada asking me if I’d rather be “…the DRO (deputy returning officer) or a poll clerk. The person in charge, the a person who is responsible to the person in charge,” followed by, “Let me put it this way… it pays more to be a DRO.” I said I’d be okay with that responsibility, he said that’s what he was hoping to hear, and as an added perk, the polling station is literally in the building my bedroom widow looks out at (I’m leaving that typo just because the idea of me having a “bedroom widow” makes me chuckle).

So that’s a couple hundred dollars I wasn’t expecting. Sweet!

In other news, tomorrow is Randall’s birthday so tonight we’re heading out to his parents’ place for probably the weekend. Hopefully it will be relaxing even though I have to do a little bit of lesson planning and marking. Last week for lesson planning and teaching. Just one week to go. Holy. Shit.

A good friend of mine, Breagh, finished her practicum yesterday. She had a really unique and awesome experience at a small close-knit school in a rural community and it was really cool to hear about her practicum and catch up with her over coffee this afternoon. I’m sure you’ll hear more about her and see some pictures before summer is out. I’m one of her bridesmaids for her July wedding 🙂

Okay, time to go glitter glue some dollar store disposable wine glasses (some assembly required) and gaudify the most unclassy champagne I could find with ribbon, bows, butterflies and labels. What? Yesterday was Randall’s sister’s birthday. 😛

Until tomorrow!

xx

Teaching causes bipolar disorder. Fact.

7 Apr

Okay, so not really, but sometimes I feel it’s like having bipolar disorder.

Yesterday when I came home from teaching I wanted to lie down, curl up, and not go back again. I had a bad day. I was fed up.

All afternoon today I was on cloud nine. I was greeting everyone with singsong hellos and was practically skipping through the halls. I had my final evaluation form my supervisor (click to enlarge, if you wish):

See those check marks in the “E” column? “E” stands for “Exceeds expectations”.

Squeee!

Getting back to my point, it doesn’t surprise me how many teachers burn out so quickly. Between the amount of work, the stress of planning, the pressure of the overlords, and the emotional roller-coaster of mania, depression, mania, anger, mania, depression, frustration, mania–you get the idea, it’s enough to make a person go crazy.

That aside, the students’ presentations were AWESOME today, and I’ve asked a few of them to upload them to YouTube 🙂 More to come on that.

Hope you all had as lovely a Thursday as I! Until tomorrow!

xx