Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to All and to All a....uhhhh....line?

Hey all, just wanted to wish everyone a festive holiday season. I hope that Santa treated you all very well. As usual, Santa was particularly generous to me, getting me the usual clothes and candy, plus my big gift for this year, a GPS Tracking System. How cool is that? I will surely be amused for hours on end figuring out where the heck I am in the world, and it may help me finally kick my habit of getting lost all of the time.

I conclude my December 2006 Eastern Tour tomorrow as I head back to Onterrible bright and early. I take off at 7am, which will be awesome!!! I'm excited to get back to the other province that I call home to have some more Christmas cheer with my Dad's side of the family. I'm sure that I will have more of a haul to report then anyway.

Since I am going to my Dad's, I doubt that I will be able to be up to much in the way of blogging over the next couple of weeks. I will do my best to sneak onto a computer or two to be able to do some blogging. I have some ideas as for topics, and since I have a birthday, a wedding to attend, and New Year's Shenanigans to take part of, they will probably take care of themselves.

So anywho, back to the point of this message.


For all that I talk about my LOVE/HATE Relationship with this time of the year, I am happy to say that I have had a Merry Christmas this time around. I truly hope that all of you have as well.

Until next time,


Saturday, December 23, 2006

About Time I Was Given Recognition

Well I am sure that you have all heard by now, but I was named Time Person of the Year. I know, I know, I should have posted about this earlier but as you can imagine I have had a very hectic schedule of late. I have barely had a spare moment to blog my little heart out, what with all of the autograph signings and television interviews that come with such a distinct honour.

When I found out that I was named earlier this week, I was genuinely touched. I felt flattered, yet somehow humbled to be joining such great predecessors as Bono, FDR and Stalin. Yet there is one thing about this whole ordeal that I can't help but feel miffed at. I have to share this honour. If there is one thing that I hate, it is sharing the spotlight. I like things to be all about me, and stupid Time decides that I have to share this award with 6.5 billion jackasses out there. No offense to you of course.

So here I am, having to share something that I have worked so hard for with so many people. I can't help but feel depressed as a result. Time awarded it to "You" (meaning me) for spearheading this whole Web 2.0 thing that we keep hearing so much about. When it comes to Web 2.0 I really am the perfect person to be honoured. I right this very amazing blog that you read, I am thoroughly addicted to Facebook, I visit YouTube (and now all the time, and I believe everything that is said on Wikipedia!!! Who could deserve this honour more than me?

The people who invented all of these great things you say? Well you may have a valid point there, but really, what use is an invention if nobody ever uses it? I mean would we consider Thomas Edison a genius if we all decided to live in the dark? Would people care about Johan Gutenberg if the world had remained illiterate?

My point is that without me the inventors are nobody. Who do people remember more, the cowboys or the people who invented the gun and lasso? Case and point, I am John Wayne and they are merely Samuel Colt, a footnote on the greatness of history.

But alas, politics have once again taken over. Instead of my sheer awesomeness being recognized and there being parades held in my honour, I am forced to accept the compromise of this whole "You" (meaning all of us) thing. I guess I will have to hold my head up high and keep on blogging and YouTubing my heart out.

There is always next year, after all.

Until next time,


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My 2006

I have been thinking about writing this blog for a long time. I suppose, I have been thinking about it, in some way or another for the past twelve months, but I have been thinking quite concretely about it for the past several weeks. This year has been by far the most educational year of my life. I think back to who I was at the beginning of this year and I barely recognize myself. I have been wondering just how much information to include in this write up. I don’t want to offend anyone or anything, but I feel that I owe nothing but complete honesty to myself and most of you have probably heard the interesting parts of my year anyway. As a result, I have decided not to censor any information as I write this up.

Before I begin to explain my 2006, I had best explain how 2005 ended for me. To make an incredibly long story, incredibly short, I had moved to Scotland at the end of August 2005. I was following my girlfriend at the time Melanie, who had accepted a teaching job in the small town of Dumfries, in south-western Scotland.

While I was meeting many new friends and traveling to many amazing places on the other side of the world, I still was, by and large, not happy. I spent several months unemployed. I had a job waiting for me as a supply Educational Assistant, but I had to wait for months, upon months to get my police record check. But finally, after months of waiting, I finally got a job. In December of 2005, I started working at a school that was attached to a Residential Care Home. There were six girls, aged fourteen to fifteen living there. They had all been removed from their biological parents by Social Services for a variety of reasons that I find far too terrifying and saddening to ever want to mention again. Needless to say, they had some very specific challenges, not only academically, but emotionally as well. If teenage girls are difficult to deal with, these ones were downright impossible.

After only being there for a short few weeks, it was Christmas Holidays already. This was to be my first Christmas away from home, a difficult challenge for anyone. Now since my parents have been divorced since I was eleven, I have long been used to not being around everyone I know and love for the holidays. As a result, it was not that big of a step to go from being around one parent to being around no parents.

Melanie and I used this time off of work for both of us to travel. After having an “Orphan Canadian” Christmas in Scotland, we hoped on a flight to Dublin on Boxing Day. After spending a few days exploring the city we took the ferry across to Wales, and hiked up Mount Snowdon on my birthday before returning to Scotland on New Year’s Eve to bring in 2006 with our Scottish friends.

So here I am, a quarter of the world away from home, many amazing travel opportunities at my finger tips, starting a promising new job, and approaching my two year anniversary with Melanie. This year seemed to be full of promise, adventure, and education. Looking back, I can’t believe just how incredibly right this newfound optimism was.

January started off simple enough, I returned to work, very excited to see the girls again. In my few weeks before the holidays it was clear that I was the “cool Canadian”. They were very interested in hearing my stories of home and comparing them to their own stories of home. While the weather got cold, and the sun became a distant memory the month carried on. The days were a mix of challenges and rewards, and the nights were full of drinks at the many pubs Dumfries has to offer. In this time, I should note that my friend Andy and I decided that we were going to run a half-marathon. Yeah I know, laugh it up, but I had agreed to run a 13 mile (20 km) race. We had signed up to run the Stranraer half-marathon at the beginning of March, but had begun to train at this point. So when I wasn’t at the pub, I was busy running. I got quite good at it, if I may say so myself.

Near the end of January and into February, my honeymoon period with the youths I was working with changed to the bitter monotony of married life. Things got hard for me at work, really fast. I had a terrible time dealing with the girls I was working with. Normally I can handle tough kids, but these were different. I was having a lot of trouble, but I felt that if I just had a bit of a break I would be fine. Lucky for me, there was a school holiday in February, so Melanie and I decided to hop a plane to Amsterdam. I can not speak enough about that city. I fell in love with it. It just has the most relaxed atmosphere of any city that I have ever been to. It is one of the few big cities that I have been to that I could honestly see myself living in.

When I returned, I felt refreshed and thought that everything would be better. How wrong I was. Things continued to spiral out of control for me at work. And after getting really upset and feeling really down about everything, I did something that I am not at all proud of. I quit. It is a decision that I don’t think that I will ever be able to fully let go of for as long as I live. These girls have always been let down by the adults in their lives. Even though they were outright trying to scare me away at times, I wanted to stick it through and show them that I cared, that I saw something in them, no matter what they saw in themselves. But then at the end of February I put in my notice to quit. My last day would be March 3, coincidently, the day before my big half-marathon that I was so excited about.

But then a funny thing happened, a truly rare and monument occurrence. Scotland got snow. I am not talking any massive White Juan level blizzards, just a soft dusting, maybe half an inch. But since that is something that they are just not used to dealing with, it seemed as if the entire country shut down. My half-marathon was postponed. I found this really hard. I had been looking forward to this for several months and had been training really hard for several weeks, only to have it taken away from me at the last minute. Since we had already rented a car for my race, we decided to turn it into a road trip (WHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!). So me, Melanie, and our good friend Shannon (another proud member of the Dumfries-Canada Embassy) took the car and decided to just drive north. We ended up getting all the way to the Isle of Skye, a simply magical part of the world. It was uninhabited, barren, snow covered and magnificent. Please check out those pictures in my “Assorted Scotland” album on Facebook, or better yet, go and take some of your own pictures to show me.

So here I am, without a job, again. However, fate would look down on me in an interesting way, and after being unemployed for only one day, I got a call. I was offered to work at the same school that Melanie had been working at in Dumfries. I got to spend time in the Learning Centre there, and I really loved it.

But a few weeks later my world got thrown for yet another loop. For a variety of reasons which do not need to be said in here, I found myself single for the first time in two years. That’s right, Melanie and I broke up.

As a result of this, I had to come back home to Canada. I was looking into a number of flights and found it to be “cheaper” to fly from Glasgow to Paris, and then from Paris to Toronto a week later. Note the use of the quotation marks, since that clearly did not take into account paying for hostels, site seeing, and of course having to eat every day. But none the less I decided to go and spend some time in France.

But I still had a good five days to kill in Scotland. At the start of this time, I felt really quite alone. All of my friends over there were teachers, who I thought to be much more Melanie’s friends than mine. But none the less, I received an overwhelming amount of support from my friends over there. On my last night before I left, two of my very best friends over there, Shannon and Michelle, threw me a going away party. I found this all to be genuinely touching as everyone over there proved to me that they were genuinely my friends. That night, I knew that I would miss them a lot more than I had originally thought and I felt that I would be missed far more than I thought that I would.

It is important to also note, that in those five days Melanie and I spent a large amount of our time talking and gaining closure. While I was sad to go, and even more scared to move on with my life, I left Dumfries without an ounce of anger towards her.

France was an amazing experience for me. At first I was a little anxious about traveling alone, but I quickly fell in love with it. I arrived at my hostel in Paris in the evening and proceeded to make friends with my roommate Ryan. We talked outside briefly, and I said that I was planning on taking a walk, and I heard that the Eiffel Tower looked great at night. So off we went, making many beer stops along the way. After a series of stumbles we finally made it to the Tower. At this point all of the beer I had been drinking caught up to me. Unfortunately, all of the public washrooms were closed at this point, and so I found some bushes. As I stood there starring up at the Eiffel Tower, peeing, I couldn’t help but laugh. My first trip to the Eiffel Tower was not quite as romantic as I had imagined, but it was memorable none the less.

Ryan and I proceeded to travel around Paris for a couple of days before heading up to Normandy where we got to see Juno Beach (to read my entry on that click away). After a few days in Northern France, Ryan and I parted ways as I returned to Paris and he got a ferry to England.

I still had a couple of days in Paris, so I had already booked my spot at the same hostel I was at before. I quickly made friends with my two roommates, Lisander and George, and a Spanish guy Ricky in the hostel. We wandered around the city, with me as their French translator. I had an amazing time with those guys and I have really missed them since I left.

Then on April 3, for the first time in almost eight months, I was home. The next day, I received some wonderful news. I had been accepted to Nipissing University for the Bachelor of Education program. I had applied to both the Primary/Junior Division and the Intermediate/Senior Division. I was really quite torn as to which one I wanted to do, but in the end I decided to stick with my first instinct and go for the older students, a decision that I will probably question for a very long time.

I laid low for the next couple of months. I did the occasional odd job and spent a lot of time visiting a bunch of my friends, both in Ontario and in a trip to NS I made in April.

That would all change at the end of June when I made my annual pilgrimage to McKellar, Ontario. For the fourth year in a row, I went up to Camp Kodiak for another summer. This one, however, would be very different than any other summer I have had. The resident Kodiak Legend, Nicholas Hanson, was unable to return to camp this summer. Also, a number of returning counselors were unable to go for the beginning of the summer. As such, I was asked to take a number of responsibilities around camp. Including (but not limited to): leading team building activities during staff week, being the head of the canoe & kayak program, serving as an academic tutor, planning Theme Days every Sunday, delivering the meal time announcements, hosting the Camp Fires every Wednesday, playing the Spirit Fairy, and of course looking after my own cabin of nine hyper active eight year olds.

Needless to say, I had a very busy summer. However, it was made possible since I had by far the best collection of co-counselors I have ever had. I was so lucky to have my summer mom, Karen, and Rachel, the one person at camp who could make me look responsible. To stack it even more, we got the help of some Junior Counselors, as second session came and Ashley Beane’s amazing sense of humour and maturity beyond her years came to help us out. So there we were, Glen and the Girls, sure our kids were tough and down right infuriating at times, but we made it work. My three co-counselors made last summer not only amazing for me, but without them, I don’t think that I could have managed it at all. I feel sorry for whoever I end up with this summer, as they have a very tough act to follow in my eyes.

Every summer there is something very special at Camp Kodiak, Kodiak games. The premise is very simple, divide the camp into a Blue Team (The Voyageurs) and a Green Team (The Habitants) and they “compete” against one another in a series of events. In my past few summers I have been various levels of leaders on both teams, but this summer I was asked to play the neutral role of Spirit Fairy. I, of course, decided to wear a tutu and call myself Glenderella and prance around the camp amusing and terrifying children throughout the day.

Normally, I say that Kodiak Games is better than Ten Christmases (and given my opinions of Christmas, that may not be saying ALL that much) and is usually my favourite day of the entire calendar year. However, this year it was different. As that just happened to be the day that one counselor was fired and three others decided to quit. I quickly went from being the Spirit Fairy to the Drama Fairy as I spent a lot of the day talking to a variety of different people about the events including some of the people who would end up quitting. Combine this with the staff marathon, a 5 km race in 30 degree weather (which I of course ran in a tutu) and that is the recipe for one tough day. But none the less, I had to remain excited and energetic. One can not be sad in a tutu after all. I even addressed the camp at the end of the day and made allusions to the staff leaving and other troubles that had been taking place around camp. All in all, this was probably my most exhausting day of the year, but I feel it may have been my most educational day as well.

I returned home to Trenton, and proceeded to hibernate for the next week after surviving on a solid three hours a night of sleep for the previous two months.

Then on the last weekend of August, I set off on another adventure. I packed my life into the car and drove up to North Bay to start a new life and get ready for school. The roads that lead me to North Bay are rather interesting actually. When I first decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, I thought about Nipissing University. Then in September of 2005, I met a couple while I was in Scotland, Rob and Eileen. Eileen had gone to Nipissing the year before and Rob had been working at the University’s technical support. They raved about Nipissing and North Bay. After consulting with Melanie, I decided that Nipissing would be my first choice of schools. One of the main reasons was that Rob and Eileen would be in North Bay and I wanted to make sure that Melanie would have some sort of a social circle, and not just my fellow Education Students. However as the year went on, and plans changed, I found myself going to Nipissing all alone. Not exactly what I had planned.

But none the less, there I was up in North Bay. I tossed and turned the entire night before my first day of classes. I ended up getting out of bed at 5 because I was just so excited to go back to school for the first time in nearly a year and a half. As I drove to the University I realized something. This was the first major venture I have done by myself in a long, long time. I knew my roommate at Acadia from high school. I did not go to Scotland by myself. But here I was walking into Nipissing all by myself.

Due to a hilarious clerical error, I ended up in the wrong section on the first day. After figuring everything out, I ended up getting with the right group, Section 23, by the second day and all was worked out from there.

These last four months have really flown by that I don’t know if I can break them down in the same way that I did for many of the other months. I have spent a total of six weeks on placement so far (One in September, two in October, and three in November), with a Grade 8 class. At first I was really quite worried about spending time with Grade 8s. I don’t remember being all that pleasant at thirteen. But I was quickly won over by these amazing students. They have done an amazing job at both reaffirming and questioning my decisions. I am totally confident that I am doing the right thing pursuing a career in education. I find it both rewarding and challenging, and feel that I have a natural talent for it. However, I have really questioned if Intermediate/Senior (Grades 7-12) are right for me. I can’t help but wonder if I would be better suited for younger students. But, I have made my decision and I am happy with it so far. I may end up changing streams later on in my career, but who knows?

Things up in North Bay have been absolutely amazing for me. I have been blessed with a great section and many great friends. While I may complain about some elements of the program, I am still honestly and genuinely happy to be at Nipissing. After some of the struggles I have faced over the past several months (and even years), I am really very happy to be doing what I have wanted to be doing all along.

So what does 2007 hold for me? Well if I could tell you that, then I would be advertising my psychic hotline instead of writing a blog. But I am going to do a teaching placement in China in April, which I am incredibly excited about. I plan on staying over there and traveling as best I can for May as well. I then get my second expensive piece of paper in June before heading up to Camp for my Fifth summer. I hate to say it, but this may end up being my last summer for a long time. I don’t’ have any definite plans for September, but I have been leaning more and more to teaching English in Japan, Korea or China. But who knows? I never have been much for planning anyway.

As I look back, I can’t help but be amazed at where this year has taken me and what next year promises. This really has been the most educational year of my life, and I think that when I look back this may end up being one of the most influential years as well. Thank you all for a part of it in some way, shape or form.

Until next time,


Monday, December 18, 2006

Why I Love Christmas

Back a little while ago, I posted eight reasons why I hate Christmas. But as promised, I would provide the same amount of reasons as to why I love Christmas, while it was a bit of a challenge for me, and somewhat of a stretch, I found reasons to enjoy the Holiday Season. Without further ado...

1. Snow, Snow, and MORE Snow – Easily my favourite part of this time of the year is playing in the snow. I love the feeling of falling back into a sea of cold fluffy powder to make a snow angel. While I was in Scotland last year, it is undoubtedly the thing that I missed the most. I was so thrilled back in December when I got back to North Bay and I saw a solid foot of snow waiting for me. However, as I look out the window now, I can’t help but feel that it is beginning to look a lot like Easter. I have been hooked on the white stuff for a long time, and if global warming keeps on trucking, then I am going to have start a twelve step program.

2. Giving the Perfect Present - While I am not a huge fan of getting things that I don’t need, or getting the forced “you shouldn’t have”, I love watching people’s faces light up when you give them just the right gift. It makes me feel really great about myself to give someone the absolute perfect present. It almost makes all of the stress of shopping worthwhile. Almost.

3. The Grinch – This is by far my favourite Christmas movie/special ever. It is simply one of Dr. Seuss’s most amazing masterpieces. The way that he so brilliantly invents words to fit his rhyme and rhythm never ceases to amaze me. This is perhaps his best work when it comes to Seussisms. Fap-dablers and Flungers hold the same special place in the English language as the Jabberwocky and Jub-Jub Bird.

4. Mock Christmas Songs – While a lot of Christmas songs outright annoy me, there are still some amazing satires out there. From Bob and Doug McKenzie’s “Twelve Day’s of Christmas” to South Park’s “Merry Fucking Christmas” there are some amazing acts of parodies out there.

5. The World Junior Tournament – Sure this may have nothing to do with C-Day, but around this time of the year my favourite annual hockey event takes place. I love the World Junior Tournament and am really looking forward to watching Team Canada go for their third straight Gold Medal. It is often the best hockey played of the year. The players, all under 20, and many of whom are un-drafted, have so much to prove. Combine that with larger rinks and national pride and you have an amazing event.

6. Family Gatherings – While they are a huge pain to try and organize, I am always glad to have them. Especially my mother’s side of the family, where there is not only the obvious fact that we all love each other, we’re family after all, but it is clear that we all genuinely like one another. A rare thing for families I find. While you don’t need Christmas to have such gatherings, it is handy to have an excuse to get together.

7. Great Movies – Yeah I know, it doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do with Christmas itself, but there are always a lot of really good movies that come out around this time. Usually it is a studios last minute attempt to be considered for Oscar Nomination, while staying fresh in the minds of the public. Whatever the reason, there always seems to be excellent movies that come out around this time of year. I remind you, that it was the Christmas season that brought us all three Lord of the Rings.

8. Holidays – Yeah call me selfish, but it is always great to have some time off. Whether it is from school or work, there is always a chance to rest around Christmas. I consider myself very lucky that I am going into a profession that guarantees that I have two weeks off for Christmas, for the rest of my life.

So there you have it, I guess the Holiday Season isn't SO bad after all....I guess. Anywho, speaking of Holidays, I am heading out East to see my mother and I won't be back until after the big C-Day, when I have about a zillion things to do including a Camp Reunion, a wedding, a birthday (my own damnit!!!), figuring out something to do for New Year's Eve, about three more Christmas's to celebrate and maybe sleeping a little bit over that time. Moral of the story, I wont' be posting too much over the next couple of weeks. I shall do my best to sneak on and post a thing here or there, I really want to get my 2006 in Review up before 2007 comes along, but we shall see.

Until next time,


Friday, December 15, 2006

"Whooah, we're half way there"

No, sorry, this is not a blog entry about the awesomness of Bon Jovi. If that's what you are looking for, then I am sorry to disappoint.

Today I finished classes for the term. Well technically there is a one hour class one Monday, but since I think that it is stupid for them to schedule it that way, I am not going as a form of peaceful protest. Also, it saves my mother a solid $400 in air fare for me to fly to Nova Scotia for Christmas on Monday than it would if I were flying out later. Seems like a pretty simple decision to me!!!

So as I was saying, today was effectively my last day of classes for the term, making my one year Bachelor of Education program half way done. Meaning in a short four months I will be done taking University classes for a very long time, and maybe even forever. Wow...I can't believe that I just typed that up. The thought of having yet another degree and a career staring me in the face both thrills and terrifies me. I am that much closer to being "grown up". Now that is a scary thought. On one hand I feel that I have taken enough schooling and am in dire need of starting the rest of my life, but on the other hand I can't help but feel unprepared. I mean, I can barely take care of myself, how am I to be expected to look after thirty-some teenagers?

As usual though, life will happen irregardless of how prepared you are for it. So I guess that I had better get ready to start a career. However, looking back to how I felt back in September, I feel much more prepared now than before. Accepting that this is what I want to do with my life and pursuing it has been a very rewarding experience, considering the road blocks I have faced (and built for myself) over the past few years.

Now, in the coming weeks I am going to be making a blog about my 2006 in review. So I am not going to bother going on about all that I have learned this term, as you will get a chance to see that soon enough, but suffice to say that it has been a lot.

But I just want to take this chance to tell all my NipFriends out there, thanks a lot for the great term!! I know that the break is barely 2 hours old but I miss you already. I can't wait to make some more memories in the new year!!!!

Until next time,


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ministry Days, Unit Plans, and Other Bits of Random Hell

I'm going to be upfront here. I am really not feeling it today. I don't know what it is to be honest, but I really don't have it. I am tired, I am cranky, I am really very sick of everything that is going on (and not going on) in my life at this point.

Yes, I realize that I am Glen, and therefore required to be cheery at all times. I know that I am often the obnoxiosly upbeat Ying to the negative Yangs of the world, but not right now. Over the past few days I feel that I have been wasting my time and losing my mind. This is a huge shame as these are two of the things that I value the most in my life.

On Thursday and Friday we were subjected to some God-awful Ministry Days. This is when the Ontario Teacher's College comes to our school to espouse propoganda about how great they are. We are then subjected to terrible lectures about how to be a good teacher by people who are so clearly out of touch with today's students that it scares me.

I read the writing on the wall and realized that spending this day in pointless lectures and workshops I decided to forgo this activity and only return to the gym to collect my Certificate of Participation to be able to include it in my Professional Portfolio. I decided that I could better waste my time elsewhere.

So I decide to waste my time making a Unit Plan. A simply abominable assignment that we are required to complete for this week. See I have no problem completing a Unit Plan, and I clearly see how doing this will help me in my future career. What I hate about it though, is all of the extra work that I need to put into this particular Unit Plan. For starters, we have a Ministry Mandated Program to use for creating a Unit, and it is simply a terrible thing. It has strange formats, is really hard to look at for long periods of time and is generally not user friendly. For example, the one thing that you are to never do in the Uni Planner is press the Red X in the upper Right Hand Corner, something that we do constantly for every other program. Why was it made that way? Why is there even an X there in the first place? Why did nobody who designed this program ask these questions?

Secondly, I really hate the prescribed assignment of what we have to include in this particular Unit Plan. We have a lot of information that we need to include, and worst still it is all the same information over and over again. It is so very, very frustrating. Now over my University career I have had a number of assignments that frustrated me, but none quite like this one. I have no problems writing a lot, History was one of my majors after all. I have no problem being confronted with a seemingly impossible task, math was my other one. What I do have a problem with is monotony.

My single biggest challenge that I have faced this term is the fact that I do not get intellectually challenged on a regular basis in this program. So much of this program has been making unnecessarily long lesson plans, and finding various methods of stating the obvious. It is simply mind numbing, and very hard to stay focused.

Lucky for me though, I have made a number of excellent friends up here who are experts and taking my mind of of such things when I need it and putting my mind on things when I need it. If it wasn't for a number of people in my section (you all know who you are) I think that I would have ripped all of my hair out and smashed my computer to bits by this point. Good thing, my hairline is receding fast enough and the Nipissing warranty only covers one free break a year.

Don't get me wrong, there are parts of this program that I genuinely enjoy, they just seem to come few and far in between. Today in my Education and Schooling class, I was one of six people in the class to participate in a debate. The topic was "Be it resolved, that publicly funded education should be dedicated to the development of peace, and social, economic and environmental justice." Thankfully I was on the Affirmative side of things. I really enjoyed that class today as I was intellectually challenged, and forced to think on my feet in order to offer quick rebuttals to a topic that I have a very strong emotional connection with.

The first point I made in the opening statement was that as teacher's we are agents of the state (something that I hate about my future employment) since we are hired by the state and have a state prescribed curriculum. As agents of the state we have to stay true to every state's ultimate mandate, the bettering of itself. The other sides main argument was that we have a prescribed curriculum that we are required to cover and it is all well and good to talk about social issues, but we have a job to do. Also, they stated that we have a responsibility to teach our students how to be competitive in today capitalist society, a place where values of justice and peace do not really fit.

While I applaud my counterparts ability to play the Devil's Advocate (something they admitted both before and after the exercise), I can't help but be scared of their ideas. What scares me, is that teachers out there actually think that. What frightens me, is that teachers out there actually teach that way. What terrifies me, is that I am being taught to that way.

In the majority of my classes, with Education and Schooling being an exception, we are all taught in such rigid manners. Somehow writing the same thing over and over again in the Unit Planner (or using my two best friends, copy and paste), or typing out five page lesson plans, scripting exactly what I am going to say, will somehow help me out in the "Real World" of teaching. We are being taught these things with the idea that it will somehow help us get employed. While the notion is that treating your students like human beings and trying to help make the world a better place, is all well and good to talk about, does not put roofs over your head.

Our professors seem to have a prescribed curriculum of their own that they are required to get through that critical thought and the nurturing of our minds gets lost along the way. Am I not at an institution of HIGHER learning? We have been taught about Higher Order Questions and assignments, yet are constantly given such trivial, lower order tasks to do. I don't know what got lost along the way. It simply does not make sense to me.

Studies have been shown time and time again, that teachers do not teach the way in which they were taught to teach, but instead in the way that they themselves were taught. This scares me greatly, given the ways in which we are being taught right now. I fear that many of the future teachers will not be dedicating their courses to peace and justice, but instead to covering the curriculum. Before you ask, you can easily do both, it just takes a little bit of a creative mind. Something that seems to be in high demand in this program.

So what am I going to do about it? Probably not a lot, I have assignments that I have to get done..hypocritical of me? Probably. Necessary evil? You bet.

Thank you for reading this rant of mine, I have been wanting to post something like this for a while now. Just in case any of my NipFriends out there are feeling the same thing, I highly recommend that you go and listen to Sufjan Stevens. I have been while writing this entry and it has helped me calm down quite a lot.

I guess I had get back to the grind...

Until next time,


Monday, December 11, 2006

Some Insights Into My Twisted Mind, Volume III

I figure that I haven't done any random ass on-line personality tests in a while, and I have a Unit Plan to finish. Therefore, I decided to hit an oldie but a good ol' Sparks Tests.

Unfortunately I can't just embed the results like I could the other ones, so to see the results in full gimme some click love. But here is the gist of what it said:

You are a Performer!
(Dominant Extroverted Abstract Feeler)

You are a PERFORMER (DEAF)— personable, self-assured, and excellent under pressure. You are extroverted and strong-willed, which, in combination means you are good with people and aren't willing to let opportunity pass you by. Congratulations. I'm sure all the peons you've stepped on never saw it coming and didn't feel a thing.You have formidable creative talents, and you often following what your heart tells you instead of your logical mind. Your exuberance can earn you many friends and admirers, despite your ambition, or it can intimidate the less confident into keeping their distance. It's also possible that you're Madonna.

Compared to 14,963,255 other test takers...

82% are more Submissive than you. 8% are more Dominant than you. 10% are just as Dominant as you.

95% are more Introverted than you. 1% are more Extroverted than you. 4% are just as Extroverted as you.

5% are more Abstract than you. 85% are more Concrete than you. 10% are just as Abstract as you.

46% are more Thinking than you. 46% are more Feeling than you. 7% are just as Feeling as you.


Can't say that I'm all that surprised...I knew that I would be dominant; I tend to get my own way, ha ha ha. The fact that only 1% of the world is more Extroverted than I am sort of scares me. I knew I was a big fat, loud mouth, but I didn't think that I was THAT big of one. And 5% more Abstract than me? Why am I not surprised...I would expected me to be higher on the Feeling scale, but what do I know about my own life? I have only been living it for 23 years...

All in all, rather interesting quick little bit of psychoanalysis. If you want some way to put off studying, give it a whirl and let me know how you did. If anyone out there is more Extroverted than I am, I would love to see it!!!!

Until next time,


Why I Hate Christmas

I'll let you all in on a not-so secret, I hate Christmas. It is one of my least favourite times of the year. Why you ask? Well that's what I'm going to fill you in on right about now. However, in the spirit of me staying positive, I promise that for every reason I give for not liking Christmas, I will give on that I like about it in a later blog.

1. Egg Nog -- I absolutely loathe egg nog. And let me tell you it isn't just because I'm a vegan, and am therefore morally opposed to anything cruel and/or delicious. My hatred of Egg Nog runs far deeper than that. It is simply a repulsive creation, and this opposition does not just apply to Egg Nog, it applies to all forms of nog. I am a rabid anti-Noggite.

2. Logistical Nightmares -- Now my parents are divorced, and living in separate provinces. This makes it an intense challenge to try and juggle all of my familial obligations and I always find it overwhelming and stressful.

3. The "Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men" CRAP -- This is probably what I hate the most about Christmas. Every year we get the ol' "You have to be nice to people, it's Christmas" attitude and everyone is always being so nice to everyone. Well that's all well and good, but here is my big question, "What about the rest of the year?!?!?!?". Why is it ok to be selfish and mean most of the year so long as you are nice around Christmas? As a protest, I am nice to people most of the year but a selfish prick around Christmas. Makes sense to me.

4. Over-Saturation -- As mentioned earlier, my parents are split. Therefore every year I always end up with anywhere between 4-9 Christmases. As a result, I feel as if I could take the next decade off of celebrating the holidays and end up celebrating the same amount of Christmases as the rest of you.

5. Consumerism, Consumerism, Consumerism!!! -- Ahhh, here we get to the true meaning of Christmas, buying and spending. If you try to tell me that the meaning of Christmas in the modern society is not consumer based then you had better open your eyes and take off your rose coloured glasses. All of the companies plan their biggest releases around November and December just in time for people to start spending. I don't know about anywhere that you are, but Christmas displays in stores came up on November 1, right after the Hallowe'en season ended.

6. Another Excuse to Westernize the World -- Now here is were I get a little abstract. But you all know full well, that Christmas is spreading all over and is really one of the most global holidays in the world. People in all parts of the world get holidays on Christmas. So why on earth is this? Why do people in China celebrate Christmas yet we do not celebrate their New Year? Why do they celebrate Christmas in parts of the Middle East but none of us celebrate Ramadan? Because Christianity and Western Values have been exported to the rest of the world successfully. To have Christmas in China is very similar to having a McDonald's in Red Square. A symbol of the Western need for progress and expansion.

7. Assignments, Assignments, Assignments -- This is just for the students out there. There are always a ton of assignments due around the holiday time. I am stuck with a stupid ass Unit Plan to get through right now. Yuck. I know it is not Christmas' fault, but I still have painful memories of 10 page math assignments tied into the holiday season.

8. The Raising of the Stress Levels -- If Christmas doesn't stress you out even a little bit than I applaud you. I always get so concerned about what to buy for people. I can never afford to get anyone what I really want to get them, and I always get worked up and overcome with guilt at the thought that someone else could have spent more money or more time on a gift for me than I have for them.

So I guess that's enough for me right now. I am in class and I should get back to pretending to pay attention. As promised, I will come up with eight things that I love about this time of the that is going to be tough.

Until next time,


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Same-Sex Marriage, Quebec as a Nation and Other Methods of Beating a Dead Horse

Just a week or so ago, I posted a blog about how amazed I was that the Liberal Party of Canada made the right decision in choosing Mr. Dion as their new leader. But now, here I am both shocked and in awe at how the majority of the Liberal Party, the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois and even a handful of Conservatives made the right decision this week when it comes to voting on Same Sex Marriage.

I'm not going to waste your time by going on and on about Same Sex Marriage, the debate is played out and already closed. We won. To be totally honest, when this debate first started cropping up back in 2001, my naive apolitical 18 year old self, was rather confused. I was amazed that, Canada, one of the most developed and "advanced" nations on the planet could be so bias to forbid homosexuals from getting married. I was simply dumbfounded then, just as I am dumbfounded now that this debate keeps cropping up all over the world. I did a quick Wikipedia search and discovered that Canada is one of only five countries in the world (along with The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and South Africa) to grant Same-Sex Marriages. Granted many others have civil union, but that is simply not the same. It is 2006, we should be trying to increase the rights of the individuals and not restrict them. The government has no right to tell people who they are, and aren't allowed to be in love with.

On a completely different, but oddly connected note, I would like to add my thoughts on the recent notion of Quebec as a Nation. While this debate, and motion were going on, I was at my Dad's place and therefore disconnected from the modern world. I know that the country seems to be divided by this idea, but you know what, I like it. It may not be the smart thing to do, but it sure was the right thing to do.

Why you ask? Because Quebec is different than the rest of the country. I mean that in the most endearing of ways. I love Quebec, it just feels so much more alive and exotic than anywhere I have been to in English Canada. There is a vastly different culture going on within La Belle Province, that is not happening anywhere else in this country.

The most obvious of this is language, but it is much deeper than that. The predominant religion is Catholicism, while it is various branches of Protestantism in the rest of the country. Many of you may be thinking that dividing along religious lines is a thing of the past, and you may just be right, but the be deep seeded values that come along with the religion are still everywhere in our culture. I mean, look at the same sex marriage debate, you tell me the opponents of that were not based on religion? Even if it was disguised in political terms, there was still heavy religious undertones taking place.

Also, there is a much stronger sense of pride in being Quebecois than there is in being a Canadian. I do not just mean this in Quebec, I mean it all over the entire country. Canadian Nationalism is something that only seems to exist to sell beer and hockey tickets, while Quebec Nationalism (yes I am using that word) means so much more than that. St. Jean Baptiste Day is a holiday in Quebec, but not any where else, does that make it a Quebecois National Holiday? Why I think so...

I think that there are two main reasons people oppose this idea. The first is that they do not know enough, and the second is that they know too much.

What people need to learn and understand is that a Nation and a Country (or Sovereign State) are not the same thing at all. gives the following definition of a Nation: an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages. While a Sovereign State (the proper term for a country such as Canada, but often not used in modern terms due to the existence of The United States - a collection of States all submitting their sovereignty to one central state...confused yet?) is defined as: Independent of, and unlimited by, any other; possessing, or entitled to, original authority or jurisdiction; as, a sovereign state; a sovereign discretion. Do you see how these two things are different? A nation is a be all and end all term for an ethnic group, while a Sovereign State is an independent governing body. What is really confusing is that many Sovereign States are drawn up along national lines, especially in Europe. However, Canada is not one of those places. We are drawn up more along political lines than on national lines.

Perhaps to better put it into context, we can look at our good friends and mother-nation, Britain. Now, how many of you out there have Scottish, Welsh or English heritage in you? Would you dare call them the same? Well in terms of a Sovereign State, they are all part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Yet in national terms they are distinctly different. Don't believe me? Try watching England play Scotland in football or rugby and tell me or more importantly, any of their fans, that they are one and the same.

The other reason people don't like this notion, is because they are thinking of the difficult constitutional questions this asks. Since, I suppose we no longer have 10 provinces and 3 territories, but rather we now have 9 provinces, 3 territories and a Nation. How is this going to be different now? Will Quebec be given more rights within Government? What about Aboriginals, or even Newfoundlanders, should their distinct Nations be recognized as well? The easy answer: It shouldn't be, no, and sure why not. But unfortunately, I don't make all of the important decisions in this country, so we are going to have to see how it turns out.

To be honest, I don't really know how it will all work out, and I do defiantly see a number of tough constitutional questions getting asked, with no easy answers coming. But this brings me back to what I originally said on this issue, the government did not necessarily do the smart thing, but I'll be damned, they did the right thing.

So I have yammered about Gays and the French long enough, how do these two things connect? Simple actually, in both cases the Government did the right thing. They realized that the people of this country do not owe them anything. Homosexuals do not owe Canada and they sure do not owe the churches anything at all. Quebec has a long history of getting oppressed and marginalized by English Canada, that still very much goes on to this day, so what do they owe the central government?

In both cases, the government realized something very important. The individual owes nothing to the institution, but rather it is the institution that owes everything, including its very existence to the individuals.

It's about time they start paying them back.

Until next time,


Friday, December 08, 2006

Putting Democracy to Good Use

Sorry this isn't the politics blog that I've been talking about for a while, this is something serious.

The NHL All-Star Ballot has been out for a while and there is something amazing going on right now. There is a grassroots movement to get career 7th Defenseman, Rory Fitzpatrick, voted into the game. And you know what's scary? He is 5th in the votes right now behind only Lidstrom, Pronger, Neidermayer, and Phaneuf, the games elite.

I think that this may just be the greatest thing ever. I can't tell you how happy I would be if Rory gets to play in the All-Star game, it would be just too wonderful for words. It screams Rudy, without the mental disabilities.

Need further proof that this is an awesome idea? Well here is a video made by some people with even more time on their hands than I...

Interested in helping the cause? Then head on over to and make sure you pick Rory Fitzpatrick under the write in candidates for Western Conference. The most important thing to do when voting for him is to NOT include the people who are ahead of him on your ballot (Neidermayer, Pronger, Lidstrom or Phaneuf) and instead take someone like Lilles or Regher as the other Western Conference Defenseman.

For more information you can head to to see just how awesome this is. Come on, this is even cooler than voting for Pedro!!!!

Let's put our democratic rights to good use and make some dreams come true!!!!

Until next time,


Random Acts of Glenness, Version III

Alright so I haven't done one of these in a long time, so here we go, back by popular demand, here are Glen Facts #106 - 136. Missed the first two installments? Well get caught up here and here.

106. I have one full sister, one half-sister, three step-sisters, a step-brother and three step-nephews.
107. I once served as a judge at a Drag Show
108. The Hostess (a Drag Queen) mocked me for being heterosexual
109. Previous posts about Star Wars: 8, not nearly enough
110. I was Straight Edge for over a year
111. I moved to Scotland and therefore reverted
112. Amount of countries I have been to: 10
113. I want that number to match my age, for the rest of my life
114. I have my previous "Random Acts of Glenness" open to make sure that I don't repeat anything
115. Sometimes I wish that I didn't have a computer
116. Most of the time I know better
117. I would much rather drive a standard than an automatic
118. I always wanted to be an actor when I grew up
119. I really hope that I get to go to space at some point in my life
120. I have gained about 10 pounds in the past 8 months or so
121. I really love the snow
122. However, I hate the cold
123. I take on sugar in my coffee
124. I played on my Elementary School basketball team in Grade 8
125. Favourite Hockey Team: Ottawa Senators
126. Some animal rights people really anger me
127. I bit my nails until I was 21
128. I love the show Lost
129. I can't decide if I am a dog or a cat person
130. I believe in God, the metaphor
131. I have a really high self-confidence, and I worry that I am too cocky
132. My family is really important to me
133. Song I'm listening to right now: "Hump my Tunnels", a mashup of Black Eyed Peas and The Arcade Fire. It is a musical abomination of epic proportions, but yet I can't stop listening to it
134. I am really excited to go to China in April
135. I remember my first kiss like it was yesterday (and no before any of you smart asses chime in, it was not yesterday!!!)
136. I saw an all female performance of "Much Ado About Nothing" in Shakespeare's Globe

That's probably enough out of me for now, I'm running out of unique things to say about myself. I 'm pretty boring you know.

I still owe a blog about politics and I have a couple of ideas for Christmas related blogs, and at least one or two more about school for this last week I have ahead of me. Or maybe I can just waste more time on Facebook...

Until next time,


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Music to Break-Up To

Alright, so I was going to write about politics but the combination of my sinus headache and severe Facebook addiction have inhibited any ability for higher order thinking. So as a result, I am going to post what I hope to be the first of many installments here on Getting Glenergized, Music to _________, where I post a list of some of my favourite songs for a particular situation. Since I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of break-ups in my social circle, and as someone who has some fairly recent experience in such a thing, I figure I could be a solid voice to help in such a thing.

When it comes to break-ups and music there are really two routes to take, the "I'm wallowing in self-pity" songs, and the "I am better off without you" songs. For the purposes of this blog we are going to take a gander at the second type right now. Perhaps we will look at self-pity at a later date. So without further ado, here goes...

1. Cake/Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive". Cliche, I know, but what better way to start this list out? Most people I know are divided as to which version they prefer. This is one of the few instances where I prefer a cover to an original, as I think Cake so eloquently captures the anger of being heartbroken and has a certain determination to move on. Plus I think that it will fit better with other songs on the list.

2. Kaiser Chiefs - "Everyday I Love You Less and Less". Not sure how big the Chiefs were on this side of the pond, but they were quite big over in Britain last year. This song is simply awesome for these purposes. It has really sharp, bitter lines but a very upbeat nature to it. Perfect for saying what you are thinking without bringing you down along the way.

3. New Order - "Blue Monday". Another cliche, but at least it's the original cliche!!! This is much better than the later cover by Orgy. It so perfectly captures the sense of confused anger that goes along with breaking up.

4. The All-American Rejects - "Swing, Swing". I much prefer this song to their later "Move Along" (which could fit as well). Sure it's poppy, sure it's simplistic, but I really like how upbeat this song is and the line "My heart is crushed be a former love, can you help me find a way, to carry on again?" is something we can all relate to.

5. The Clash - "Should I Stay or Should I Go?". Alright so this fit my own personal experiences last spring more than they probably fit any of yours, but it helped me a lot at the time.

6. Ben Harper - "When It's Good". If you are only going to check out one song on this list, make it this one. This is a fantastic song to listen to in such a situation!!!! When going through a break-up it is really easy to hate the other person, which can sometimes be hard since you obviously cared for them (and probably still do in some perverse way). The chorus of "When it's good, it's so, so good, when it's gone, it's gone", says what a part of you is probably feeling. It is acknowledging that what you had was great, but being ready to move on.

7. Fleetwood Mac - "Go Your Own Way". Perhaps the greatest "screw you, I'm moving on" song ever made. Period.

8. Oasis - "Don't Look Back in Anger". Good advice for just about anyone I say.

9. Cake - "Is This Love?". One of my most favouritest of bands makes another appearance on my list. This song is so brutally to the point, I love it. "Is this love, or should I close the door?" is a question we all must ask ourselves at many points in our lives.

10. The Philosopher Kings - "You Stepped on My Life". Good and angry, just the way you probably feel!!! It sums up an entire relationship in four minutes and twenty seconds. Sure some members of The Philosopher Kings may have gone on to found Prozzak, but we can forgive them by now, can't we?

11. The White Stripes - "I Can't Wait". One of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums. This song continues with the angry trend nicely and ups it a notch. If you are starting to think that you should get back together, give this song whirl.

12. TV on the Radio - "I Don't Love You". This screams moving on very loudly and very proudly. On a slight tangent: I love this band a lot, I don't know why it took so long for me to discover them. If you haven't heard their stuff then get on Limewire or Kazaa right now and make it happen.

13. Fiona Apple - "Criminal". Only applicable if you cheated on someone. Otherwise, move along.

14. Johnny Cash - "Cry, Cry, Cry". I think just about everyone of his other songs could make the self-pity list, but this one is awesome for the moving on one. The line "You're gonna cry, cry, cry and you'll want me there,It'll hurt when you think of the fool you've been." is very empowering.

15. Bob Marley - "No Woman, No Cry". Surely you saw this one coming somewhere now didn't you?

16. Carly Simon - "Clouds in My Coffee". Such a great song to give someone the metaphorical finger to. I always found this song ironic, given that the chorus is "You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you". She is clearly addressing this person in this chorus, making the song about him. Any way, it's a great song!!!!!

17. Sufjan Stevens - "What Goes On?" Alright another cover. Sorry, I just had to include Sufjan Stevens on here somewhere, the man is amazing, and I really like this song. Yes I know, the original was by The Beatles, who thought they were bigger than Jesus. Turns out, Sufjan is the one that actually is.

18. Neil Young - "Heart of Gold". If Neil can move on, then why can't you? Alright, I know that I 'm reaching here, but I just really like Neil Young, you can't fault me for that one.

19. Hawksley Workam - "Don't Be Crushed". Hawksley is amazing, and I needed to add this song here. I love the poetic lyrics such as "Thank God you're timeless, because my watch is broken".

20. Matthew Good Band - "Suburbia". Yeah I know, it's really slow and sad, but it has a nice little "fuck you" thrown in there.

Alright that's probably enough out of me for the evening, I hope you enjoy this list. I am sure that I am missing a lot, so please comment and I will be sure to add some to the list!!!!

Have any suggestions for the next bit of Music to _____ to? The hit me with a comment and I'll think about err!!!!

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Life is Now Over, and I Couldn't Be Happier

Today, I did something I swore that I would never, ever do, and I really feel terrible about it. That's right, I signed up for Facebook. From the second I signed up, I felt so...dirty...on the inside. I could not believe that I joined a trend that I was doing such an excellent job of bucking. But yet, here I am a full fledged Facebook member (by the way, if you are reading this on my Facebook notes, click to see the real deal).

I resisted Facebook vehemently for several months. I claimed that it was too "Big Brother", I hated the idea of the site knowing so much about me for just about anyone to find out. I hated that it was such a trend. To be honest, I hated just about everything about it.

Keeping with human nature, we hate what we don't understand the most. I decided that I had finally heard enough of the hype and joined Facebook. After navigating the site for a brief amount of time, I became an instant convert. I simply love how user friendly it is. What I realized even more, was the fact that it is so incredibly popular is the best part about it. Everyone is on Facebook, therefore I can get connected to just about everyone I have ever met!!! After being a member for a solid 7 hours now I already have connected with 85 friends!!!! Including many that I have not spoken to in a very long time (you know who you are). I have joined several groups including the Aidyn Fan Club (Aidyn is the son of one of my Acadia friends, and a super awesome lad), and a couple of Camp Kodiak groups, one of which I was made an Officer for just being me. How hilarious is that?

To help me express just how widespread the popularity of Facebook is, here are some of my cyber-heroes Barats and Bereta talking about how one of them has Facebooked God.

However, I am rather concerned that Facebook will ruin my life. I have spent a long time on that site today, and assume that I will continue to do so. Ahh well, I suppose I never had much of a life to begin with. Hey it looks like someone just poked me...I gotta run.

Remember, Freedom is Slavery and 2 + 2 = 5.

Until next time,


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Greatest Bit of Spyware I Have Ever Installed

The more astute ones of you out there will notice some slight cosmetic cosmetic changes to the ol'blogeroo. If you look to your left you will notice some more information on the sidebar. For starters, I added a few more Bloggy Friends, including one of my professors, Jason Price. Secondly, I went to some painful details of adding the Blogegories over there, so if any of you feel like reading about say any of my Political blogs you can click on "Real Politiking" (a delightful 19th Century history reference), or if you want to find out any of the embarassing situations I may have gotten myself into simply click "Random Tales" and they should be there. Lastly, there is the "Who I've Been Listening To This Week" table on the bottom of that sidebar, it is the product of my latest addiction,

This is simply one of the coolest sites/plugins I have ever came across. You simply go to the site, create a profile and download a special plug-in. What it does, is it tracks the songs you have been playing in your iTunes, Media Player, or whatever the heck else you use and logs them down. Sounds creepy eh? Well it sort of is, but here's the coolest part. When you are playing a song, you can open up the plug-in and it will give you all sorts of information on the artist you are listening to, and even cooler, it will recomend similar music. As a psuedo-indie-geek I simply love this!!!! Why I was just listening to my latest musical love TV on the Radio and the recomended all sorts of different bands, and as a result I went and looked up Animal Collective who I am listening to and loving as I type here. Cool eh?

It tracks all sorts of things that I listen to and I only have the "Top Weekly Artist" thing on this blog due to space constraints. I will try to add a bit more later on, since I think it is just so incredibly cool. I have been told that the part on my blog will only update every couple of days, so I expect it to look very different than it does now on it's next update.

When you create a profile on the site it lets you check your musical compatibility with anyone else, so you can really see if you and a friend have similar tastes in music. How cool is that?There are also entries on pretty well every band under the sun and you can go and check them out and stream some of their songs to see if you will like them before pursuing them a bit more.

Now I know that I am someone who is normally so concerned over Big Brother watching him that I would be reserved to signing up for something like that. After all, I still refuse to join facebook. But yet, I find myself loving this little bit of spyware!!! I highly recomend that you all go and check out the site by giving me a click and when you do go check out my profile and add me as a friend so we can see our compatibilty. It will be fun!!!!

Lastly, many of you are probably wondering just who the heck this Danny Elfman character is at the top of my list right now. Well, he is the brilliant composer in charge of The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, something currently making the rounds on my iTunes.

Just in case you forgot how brilliant it is, here is the opening scene. Enjoy!!!!

Until next time,


Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Soundtrack to My Life

I was trying to catch up on everyone else's blogs lately, and I found this little ditty over at McNutt's Blog. So in keeping with my tradition of stealing from other people, I present you with the Soundtrack to My Life.

Now in creating this soundtrack there are some very specific rules:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every scene, type the song that’s playing

So I switch my iTunes to random and let fate decide my life and here is what I get....

Opening Credits: Blessed Union of Souls - "I Believe". Well I guess the story of my life is going to be a sappy tear jerker. Can't say I'm surprised. Not sure how the struggle against racism theme of the song fits into the story of my life. But what do I know? I've just lived it...

Waking Up: US3 - “Cantaloop”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, PERFECT!!!!!!! This is exactly how I feel in the morning, over the top and obnoxiously cheery. This song would be perfect for a Waking Up Montage, with my dancing in the shower and as I get dressed. I like my movie already.

First Day At School: Matthew Good Band - "Euphony". One of my absolute favourite bands here with one of their least known songs. I really love this song, and it seems like it would oddly fit, not sure about the Chorus line of "I would love a room with a view", although the lines of "burning this place to the ground", are pretty hilarious in this context. [Editor's Note: Originally a Jerky Boys call came in here, but I vetoed it, as it is not really a song]

Falling In Love: Metric - “Torture Me". Wow this is so incredibly perfect. The title alone is a prefect reflection of many of my romantic experiences. Sounds like my movie features some unrequited love. I like it even more!!!!

Fight Song: Hot, Hot Heat - "No, Not Now". Hmmmm, sounds like it would be a pretty cool fight. The upbeat nature of this song tells me that my fight would resemble a 1960's Batman Episode. Just the way all of my fights have been in real life (especially with Travis).

Breaking Up: De La Soul featuring Redman - "Ohh". Alright this one doesn't make much sense to me. This song is a little too hip-hop to fit in with a break-up, although it does sound kind of erotic, maybe there was some cheating involved in this break-up. Hmmmm....doesn't really fit with real life, but again, what do I know?

Prom: The Shins - "Young Pilgrims". Well, I love The Shins, so I'm glad they made the cut. This is one of my favourite songs of theirs, and it oddly fits. It is a great song to listen to while you are deep in thought, something I definitely was on my Prom (but that is a whole other story...).

Life: Broken Social Scene - "Superconnected". I love it, especially the line about "I really don't wanna think about those things anymore". Fits in with my life and some of the choices that I have made.

Mental breakdown: Nickleback - "Favourite Disease". Man, I was hoping nothing embarrassing would come up here, and sure enough, something does. I can't say I'm a huge fan of Theory of a Nicklefault, so it makes sense that they would be playing during my mental breakdown. But I am judging by the nature of this song, that it is no doubt a dirty woman that drives me crazy. Also the fact that he starts out the song singing "I Love..." and ends it with "I Hate..." about the same things signifies that I am going Bi-Polar.

Flashback: Benni Benassi - "Satisfaction". Apparently I am having a dirty, dirty flashback. I guess it goes along with the above song.

Getting back together: Brand New - "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows". Hmmm, cant' say that I saw that one coming, but it works so well. The line of "Today's the day we drop down. Give up my body in bed. All for an empty hotel." seems like that would fit very well into getting back together. Although from the sounds of it, getting back together may not be a good idea in this movie. Hmmmm....

Birth of Child: New Order - "Blue Monday". Apparently I hate my child....

Death Scene: Matthew Good Band - "Omissions of the Omen". Well iTunes figured it out. I really want this song playing when I die!!!!! Especially for the line "You and me, we died a long, long time ago"

Funeral Song: Hoobastank - "Crawling in the Dark (acoustic)". Well I actually like this Hoobastank song, this was before they became Hoobasuck. I guess this song fits, apparently I have been crawling in the dark, looking for the answer. I was hoping for something really upbeat for my funeral, since I want to have clowns at my funeral. The line "Will I ever get to see the ending to my story?" fits eerily well.

End Credits: Notorious BIG - "Hypnotize". PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this song a lot, and the end credits would clearly be me lip-synching to this song. I know all the words, really I do.

Well that is perfect, I have a great movie soundtrack!!!! A few years ago I made up a soundtrack to my life for real, and I liked it, but this one is way cooler and more importantly, it is better than McNutt's.

The rest of you give this a try, it's fun!!!!!!

Until next time,


And the Winner Is...

Last night, as I was driving back to North Bay. I was listening to one of the many hilariously ironic local radio stations. As I pulled off the highway, the news came on.

"Stephane Dion is the new leader of the Liberal Party, beating out Micheal Ignatieff in the final ballot"

I was simply amazed. In recent years, the political process has been very frustrating for me. With the recent election victories of George W. Bush and Stephen Harper, I was losing faith in decision making abilities of the masses. Two absolutely terrible choices to lead their respective countries into the 21st century were chosen and we are forced to watch the body count grow and the ozone layer thin as a result.

But with that simple bit of news real my spirits were lifted. Since he first tossed his hat into the ring I have been a huge supporter of Mr. Dion. He has a very progressive stance on the environment, he is bilingual, he stood up to Separatists when he helped draft the Clarity Act, and he had that whole underdog vibe going for him in this convention.

As the summer turned into fall and the Leadership Convention approached, I started to worry that Dion was going to be on the outs. My deepest fear was to have Ignatieff take the win. I was telling myself all week that if he was the new leader I was going Orange, and never looking back. Thankfully I was saved of this one. I had started to accept the possibility of voting for a Bob Rae lead federal Liberal Party, something that I never would have dreamed of back in early 1990's Ontario.

Now I have been a supporter of the Liberal Party for a while, not so much because of ideology, as that goes more towards the NDP, or possibly Green Party, but because they are the best vote against the Conservatives. However, in recent years with the Sponsorship Scandal and all of Martin's idiocies I became very disillusioned with them. Yet, now here I am amazed that they decided to do the right thing and support Dion.

I honestly and sincerely hope that this Conservative Minority comes to a close and we can vote Dion in as soon as possible. He may just end up being the best Prime Minister we have had in a long time.

So I would like to say thank you, to the Liberal Party. After years of riding your own coat tails, and robbing from the very people you swear to serve, you did the right thing and I for one appreciate it. I really hope that the rest of the country does too.

Until next time,


I Always Knew I Was Exemplary, Now I Have Written Proof

Well my latest teaching placement has come and gone, and I am back up in North Bay right now. I must say, that I missed the dirty, snow and junkie filled town that I have been calling home for these past few months. A huge smile came across my face as I saw the North Bay sign, and an even huger smile came across my face when I noticed all of the snow that has fallen. It reminded me yet again why I love winter in this country so much. It is hard to be mad or cranky when there is pure white fun falling from the sky.

While I am glad to be back up here, I am really sad to be done down there. I said goodbye to my students a few days ago and I miss them a lot already. I was really worried when I found out that I was going to be in a Grade 8 class, since I don't remember being all that plesant at 13. But those kids completly changed my ideas about that. I absoluetly loved working with all of them. They were so funny, and their personalities had yet to be crushed by the cruelty that is High School.

On my last day, they gave me a card, which they all signed, and all took turns hugging me. They kept asking me if I was going to teach at St. Paul's (the local High School, that they are all going to next year) since they wanted me to be their teacher. It melted my heart when they left. I am so curious to find out how they all do in the coming months and years. The hard part is that I doubt I will ever really find out how they made out. I guess I will be left with an entire career of wondering ahead of me. One of those things I guess I didn't prepare myself for getting into this profession.

After all of the students left I sat down with my Associate Teacher and he showed me my Practice Teaching Report that he had prepared for me. We get ranked on a lot of different categories on a four point scale of Exemplary, Proficient, Adequate and Does Not Meet Expectations. And well, I did quite well for myself, earning a mark in all of the categories of at least Proficient, with several Exemplaries in there. Also, there was a space for each of the past three weeks, and I was ranked as Proficient in the first two and Exemplary in the latest one. Needless to say, I am really impressed with myself, and slightly humbled by it all. Apparently I am doing the right thing for me after all.

For the first time in a really long time, I really felt like things were coming together for me. It seems like so long ago I was suffering through my days working at an office job I couldn't stand. Or suffering through having no job at all and being quite depressed, but too far away from people who could help me out with it. Yet now, here I am, doing what I was wanting to do all along and being genuinely happy with it all. Now don't get me wrong, I am really very glad that my life has taken the slight detour of the past two years, but it is so nice to be back on the track that I was destined to be on.

But now that I am back up North, I will be here for a few weeks and then flying to Nova Scotia for Christmas on the 18th of December, only to come back to Ontario shortly after the big C-Day, just in time for a wedding on the 30th (which is my birthday, need I remind any of you!!!). Then back to North Bay for a super long 6 week stretch in January and February before going on a new placement at a different school. Oh right, with many blog entries in between all of that life there.

To my NipFriends, I honestly hope that your time on placement was a blast. I know that you all did a great job and I hope that your AT and your students realize just how awesome of a job you are all capable of!!!

Until next time,