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March 31st, 2009

10:48 pm - April Goals

Well, I met some of my March goals (and some of my February ones, belatedly).

I have my flight to Ecuador booked and I've planned a fundraising event for the trip, as well as having an appointment at a travel clinic booked.

I planned a semi-amazing last half of my practicum.

I went to the Hart House gym twice, and I hope to go again.

I need to finish some lesson planning, so I'll plan to write my April goals tomorrow or so.

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March 18th, 2009

10:48 pm - She's got a ticket to ride
That's right - I've booked my flight to Ecuador. It's more pricey than I'd hoped - $1,175 but my parents are willing to help me pay for my trip, and I'm going to try to fundraise like mad, so it's not so bad.

I'm going to be travelling with a group of really nice women from OISE. Some of them are worried that they won't like Ecuador, or that the families they will be living with won't like them. I'm not worried on either count. I'm confident that I will adore it in Ecuador, and that I will get along well with my adopted family.

It sounds like at least some of my travelling companions know virtually no Spanish at all - which could make it interesting when we travel around. I really ought to brush up on my extremely basic Spanish. Even though in the villages we'll be staying in, people might not speak much Spanish. They will probably mostly speak their own indigenous languages.

I need to get my Ecuador blog up soon. I'm not sure how much internet access I'll have when I'm there, but I'll need to send a report to OISE once a week so I'll blog at least that often.

I did half an hour of cardio in front of my computer this morning. Hurray! But as I was finishing my workout, my pastor, Tim, called. I'd forgotten all about my meeting with him at Timothy's. But I got there as soon as I could, bought him an almond croissant, and we had a nice chat. Fortunately, I found my PDA which I'd misplaced (and which had my appointment with Tim recorded in it), and I also found the charger for my camera battery.

Tonight my brother and dad and I went out for dinner at C'est What, and I relearned that I really don't like beer, even amazing-smelling apricot wheat beer. Bleah.

Today I finished a book called Ocean Sea by Alessandro Barrico. It`s very poetic and rather enigmatic. Very symbolic, too, I think, but I`m not sure of all the symbolism. The ocean is extremely symbolic in the book, sometimes explicitly, sometimes more esoterically. Hmm. It`s translated from Italian, but I didn`t realize that at first, which is surprising, and a very good sign. It`s about a number of different people who all come to an inn on the edge of the sea. At this inn, time seems to stop, and infinity plays out. A baron`s daughter comes to the inn to be healed of a strange malady, a painter tries in vain to paint the eyes of the sea, a professor tries to measure and record the end of the sea, a passionate woman is being hidden there by her husband to keep her lover from finding her, and a mysterious sailor arrives to avenge his love and fulfill his destiny. There is a lot that isn`t fully explained, or is explained but in a veiled way, but the language of the book is beautiful, and its effect is that of an intensely emotional dream.

Hmm, now I need to find something new to read.

I felt quite happy today! Hurray!
Current Mood: calmcalm

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November 25th, 2007

10:31 am - Time to move on
I'm not planning to write in this journal anymore.

If anyone would like to read the new blog I'm starting, send a shout my way. :)

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November 9th, 2007

12:32 am - The Politics of Difference
Hmmmm, Emily Dickinson's name has a neat - rhythm - to it -

People's hackles are being raised to extraordinary heights over the proposed idea of black-focused schools in Toronto which is being debated this week.

It smacks too much of segregation for people's comfort. But how willing would they/we be to overhaul the whole system so that such measures become unnecessary? People can denounce the idea of black-centric schools as promoting segregation and fostering racism and being at the top of a slippery slope ("what next? All Chinese schools? All Italian schools? Every group will want their own schools"), but many leaders in the black community are in favour of the idea.

I think that the best solution would be a complete overhaul of not only the education system, but of society - and all elements of it, because stereotypes and the promotion of the dominant (white) ideology are so pervasive as to be almost impossible to remove, and they are also often invisible. This would be impossible. But it would be the only way to get to the heart of why so many black young people are dropping out of school or are doing so poorly in it. The system is failing them. So, I think it would be better to have black-focused schools than to do nothing to support students who are the victims of systemic disadvantage and for whom such schools may be something that would help them succeed.

Yes, it would be better to make the existing school system meet disadvantaged black students' needs to a greater extent, but that seems like a very daunting task and I'm very cynical about whether it would ever really be taken seriously, or committed to by those who would need to be involved in effecting the change (school board folks, politicians, parents, teachers,school administrators, communities, colleges and universities). The worst thing to do would be nothing. And all the attention that has been gathered around the way schools in Toronto are failing black students is a very good thing. Keep the debates going, keep this issue moving in people's minds.

Yet, in both of the two classes I do note-taking in, this issue has been brought up by students, and both times I've felt my blood pressure rise. I've heard people with, it seemed to me, such simplistic, knee-jerk takes on the issue that I've almost needed to leave the room.

I've been too grounded, in my life. Time for flight practice. After my essay is finished.


There’s a certain Slant of light
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes

Heavenly Hurt it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes the Landscape listens
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ‘tis like the Distance
On the look of Death

~Emily Dickinson

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September 8th, 2007

02:39 am
I haven't commented on anyone's journal in ages, but I wish to all of you out in lj-land good cheer.

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02:08 am - Another comeback
Well, here I am back in LJ-land.

It's my favourite time of year! School's still super-shiny. I haven't even been to all my courses yet!

Visiting Jeff last weekend was wonderful - I surprised him at the airport as he returned from his summer in Germany. And I have a 4-day weekend this year, so that looks favourable to more frequent visits southwards! I still miss the kersnickety out of him, though.

I'm pretty shy right now - I think nervous energy has been emanating from me the past while. Come back, Confidence Woman!

I am probably going to disband SAID. Too much energy and anxiety for something that is so nebulous. Frontier College will still keep me busy, connected, and honing new skills.

Hope I can make it into Wibi, the vocal jazz group at YOrk! It will be fun auditioning, at any rate.

This year I want to participate in Thrill the World. I am on a quest to find my inner zombie. Aurrrrrgh - kshsplat! Oh, there it is. Popping out to say hello.

Soooo excited about my courses! French! Visionary Lit! History of English Language! Inspiration! Now that I have found my inner zombie, I am seeking somekind of metaphysical...exploration, if not fulfillment. I don't think I could ever attain that, fully. But my Visionary Lit and Inspiration classes seem, well, inspiring and visionary.

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July 4th, 2007

06:04 pm

I think it's dissolving, this invisible dome made of a strangely strong alloy of inertia and paralysis that surrounds me. 

I've actually been doing stuff I enjoy instead of letting time slither by. Who'd a thunk.

I called and emailed the tutoring agency I'm with and might have 3 new students. Maybe none.

Yesterday I finished Hopeless by Barbara Gowdy, and began Troubling a Star, a book by Madeleine L'Engle that I'd read when I was younger and couldn't remember the name or author of until Jeff came across it at a garage sale last summer, to my delight. 

Before that I was rereading Pullman's The Amber Spyglas. I've got Paradise Lost on hold at the library and can't wait to see how Spyglass gestures to - and reworks - Milton. Speaking of the library, I've also put a bunch of tutoring books on hold, The Time Traveler's Wife,  Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay, and a bunch of French films.  I'm actually pursuing my goal of absorbing a good deal of French this summer in order to not spectacularly bomb my French class in the fall.

On Monday I watched Brick.  Also I finished watching Jean de Florette and devoured Manon of the Spring, which has gained a prestigious place high up in the ranks of my favourite movies.

Tonya's wedding on Saturday was beautiful, and no part of it was more beautiful than she.  She looked like a Russian princess and had a fairytale of a wedding. Perhaps I'll elaborate more later.

I got my first D in university on my History midterm. It was the first evaluation of any kind we received in that class. I've dropped the course because it's an extraneous course I was taking in order to get a curriculm course under my belt and get brownie points towards my Ed applications which I will submit in the fall, but I've since realized it wouldn't have helped anyway, since History isn't taught in elementary school as an official subject. So I was basically taking the course for interest. And I've learned a lot about Canadian history. Woodsworth, founder of the CCF is my current idol. But it was essential that I cut my losses. So, goodbye history course, greetings extra time. For tutoring, festivals and other fun, and getting the Student Association for Intercultural Dialogue into shipshape.

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June 26th, 2007

06:05 pm

Tonya's wedding is on Saturday!

I still need to write my speech and buy ballet flats for the reception (4-inch heels for 6 hours of schmoozing and dancing? Noooo thank you) and get a decent haircut. Argh. Does anyone know of a good place to get a cheap haircut in the city? I have short hair and just want a simple cut that will look elegant for the wedding.

And I've got 3 babysitting gigs being lined up and am still going to be doing a fair bit of tutoring in the summer and I want to volunteer with a reading circle. Maybe I shoudn't register wtih temp agencies after all - I'll be busy enough (and making enough) as it is, I think!

My history test tomorrow looks to be a killer. We had a 550 page course kit that we read through from early May until now. $145 for that course kit. Eeyouch.

The Scream Literary Festival is just about upon us.  Hurray!

Now it's time to study, and eat amazing swiss chard-tofu-zucchini-red pepper-onion-mushroom-broccoli stir-fry!

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June 16th, 2007

02:10 am
The bridal shower went really well! I didn't stress out nearly as much as I usually do when hosting events. I think everyone had a fun time.

Earlier today I learned my endocrinologist is leaving the hospital where I go to see him and will no longer be my endocrinologist. This breaks my heart a little.

Communication from Germany is difficult and infrequent. This breaks my heart a lot.

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June 14th, 2007

10:41 pm
Tomorrow I host Tonya's bridal shower. Sushi and chocolate fondue and silly games will be had by all. I hope I manage to stay reasonably unstressed. I wonder what gift I should get her...

The Amber Spyglass is amazing. I'm gaining a lot in rereading it. I should read Paradise Lost (which the Dark Materials series draws from) before I lose momentum. Philip Pullman is a genius.

It was fun discussing hippies yesterday in my history class, but I really need to get a summer job. Any leads would be appreciated. boron3, is Book City looking for any extra help? I am ever so bookiful! I really want to check out the situation at the Danforth Book City especially - it's so close. But the Queen one is awesome too, I'm sure ;)

Oh where oh where could my insulin be?

I got the quickest haircut in the east today. It's kind of uneven. Grr. Better than my erstwhile mullet, though.

And my maid of honour dress is great. Except that it is strapless and falls down... Hurray for alterations tomorrow! The dress is light pink and tea-length and so very elegant. Except for its sadistic alliance with the force of gravity.

I should play with Jeff's Wii. That is not an innuendo. Jeff lent me his Wii for the summer since he is in Germany but so far my brother has been the only real beneficiary. The Zelda game looks fun.

Phew - I walked a lot today! Now I should get some sleep. To all a good night!

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