Saturday, October 29, 2005

that was by far the best time that we ever had

A busy week for the academia nuts, who are are no longer so much oriented to academe as they are currently enrolled in a professional school. This is a small difference, though, mostly in terms of what happens right now. Once I am finished being schooled, there is enormous potential to take the academic world of education by storm.

Project Blog was presented on Monday. I am not sure that the presentation went well, as it has disappeared into that hazy part of my brain that deals with presentations--I seldom remember them after the fact; but that is not the point--the ideas are now out there.

Last night, I took back the night along with about one hundred other people from the University and the community. It was a wonderful night for it--cool and crisp without being too much so. The Squidge wrote a poem for the reception. I am very glad that I went, and more glad that I will be back for the candlelight vigil on the 6th of December, for the anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

Mostly I'm glad that I can finally be involved in these things; that I know now why it is important to be.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

more david bowie in my head

Having thus returned to North Bay Rock City, I find myself anticipating this deluge of homework...but at the same time I'm not entirely convinced that it's going to come. Be that as it may, it is good to be back here. North Bay in fall is a very beautiful place...and right now it's exactly the kind of fall that I like: crisp and cool. I like winter a lot too. Perhaps I am a northern girl at heart.

My birthday is in eight days; I am hoping a copy of Atwood's new book, The Penelopiad might find its way to me. My mother is usually pretty realiable for that; Dad likes to buy me Atwood paperbacks at garage sales. Or, if worst comes to worst, it'll hit the best sellers' list soon and then it'll be less expensive. I gifted myself with Michael Cunningham's Speciman Days a few days ago, after everyone's musings about it. And November 8th is George R. R. Martin's A Feast of Crows, for everyone's favourite fantasy not-quite-filler.

As I have been writing this, the day has changed from the cool crisp fall that I apparently love to snow. And quite a lot of it, from the looks of things.

Friday, October 14, 2005

poetry is not the opiate of the masses

I wound up talking about music and poetry with some of my students during class yesterday. I surprised myself by admitting that I do write poetry. Apparently, to those who are some seven years younger than myself, I look like a poet, or at least someone who writes poetry. I am pleased to know that teenagers listen to, variously, Tom Waits, the Postal Service, Elliott Smith, Leonard Cohen, and the Mars Volta.

So during my prep period, I was helping the youngest skylark with an English paper on our old friend Mr. Rex, and one of the students came up to me, holding a book of poetry. I hadn't heard of the author (John Hicks?) and asked the student what he knew about him. He admitted to having just picked up the book, but added, "I've read, you know, Robert Frost and Leonard Cohen before." He paused. "And there's a feminist anthology back there that's pretty good."

Such earnestness!

The upshot of all this is that I may attempt to put together an anthology of student poems. We did one when I was sixteen, and I know it's in the library at the school somewhere. The few students I talked to in the library seemed pretty interested...

easy like a sunday morning

I worry a lot about whether I will be a good teacher. Variously, this tends to drive my boyfriend crazy, as he tends to think that I am worrying a lot about things that are beyond my control. (This is entirely likely.) He may feel differently when he steps in front of a classroom next year—or, perhaps, when he steps into a university classroom and faces the 800 things that he has to hold in his head simultaneously that relate to teaching. And all this before he even gets close to the subject matter that he’ll be teaching.

I understand that this will get easier for me; that at some point the balancing act becomes seamless and invisible even to the user. But right now it seems like it’s all I can do to keep from being crushed by that. It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t living this life right now…perhaps I ought to do semiotic or deconstructionist analyses of some of the legislature and documents that surround what I’m doing right now. I think it would make more sense then.

I’ve taught three lessons this week. The grade ten history class has gone pretty well so far; I will be showcasing my sweet PowerPoint skills tomorrow. The World Religions class is chatty as all get out, and I think I am the most afraid of teaching that class.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

mount pleasant

I spent a good portion of yesterday in Toronto, on Mount Pleasant Road. Now, those of you in the Crowded House loop know what I'm refering to...and I know that tecchnically the Finn reference is Mount Pleasant Street (rather than Road) but this still amused me (and mon pere) to no end. We were up in the 600s, but I have been down to the far end and i am very sad to report that there is no #57.

We went to the wedding of a cousin on Dad's side, which was interesting, as we don't really know that side of the family all that well. The ceremony and bride were beautiful, and the food was quite was a Catholic wedding, though, which brought out the gender equalicists in my family.

It's back to Toronto today for turkey at one of the sister-aunts' and then I can spend all day tomorrow getting ready to teach my first lessons.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

a past we've been passed out of...

I won't say where this came from, but I was pretty bored last night, so I did some digging. There was something specific I was hoping to find, but it didn't turn up. What did turn up, however, looks a little something like this:

Name: fineskylark
Nicknames: Snail, that girl who likes Sloan
Usually Seen: ranting about something that no one cares about; wearing colourful vintage choes; playing euchre in the caf; quoting obscure songs; making up crazy plans for eternal happiness
Favourite Memories: meeting (and being touched by) Matt Murphy; endless card games in the caf; France and the 'peg; perogies; slurpees; Lauren and the cornfield; cruisin' Essa Road with Jewels in the Beamer singing Cheap Trick's I Want You To Want Me; Neil Young at Molson park; being that freaky 80s girl every year on retro day; Jouvence; falling down the stairs at the Juno Awards; being on the Jumbotron; camping in the fields; the rain, the tears and tea in the morning; Sloan at the Palais Royale; having people mock my locker and my Star Wars pencil case.
Future Plans: Nipissing as an Honours Arts English major and then my B.Ed.; or meeting a guy in a band and embarking on a glorious career of being my generation's Linda McCartney; or finally finding financing for my movies and becoming a promising screenwriter and director.
Probable Fate: becoming an embittered French teacher and spending the rest of my life teaching the subjonctif to a bunch of kids who don't care.


The above information actually appears in this year's [2000] yearbook as my grad write-up.

Here's a little more information about me:
I'm 18.
I'm an OAC student, and future English major at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario
I have red hair and grey eyes.
I'm a rock and roll kind of girl, but I also like punk and folk, and alt. Country
Some of my favourite bands and artists include: Sloan, the Beatles, R.E.M., Fleetwood Mac (natch!), Elliott Smith, U2, Crowded House, KISS, Rufus Wainwright, Paddy Casey, Blue Rodeo, Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan, the Guess Who, Wilco, the Pretenders, the Clash, Neil Young and the Flashing Lights, plus more whom I've forgotten to list.
I belong to Girl Guides of Canada, Students Acting for Global Equality, the Students' Commission and the Society for the Normally Challenged.
I'm the editor of the yearbook and vice-president of the Writers' Club
my favourite colour is blue.
my favourite Beatle is George, and my favourite New Kid is Ringo.
I play guitar badly and sing even worse, but I play both flute and recorder passibly.
my favourite piece of classical music is Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf; or some Tchaikovksy
I'm a big fan of the James Bond movies and books.
my favourite movies are the Star Wars Trilogy+1, Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, American Beauty, Life is Beautiful and the Watcher in the Woods.
my favourite foods include steak, potatoes, raspberries, green beans, feta cheese and tacos
I've lived in France, Ontario and Winnipeg
I'm fluent in French and passable in pig latin
I have a dystopia obsession and I've read The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood); The Chrysalids (John Wyndham); 1984 (George Orwell); Walden Two (Skinner); Brave New World (Aldous Huxley); and Utopia (sir Thomas Moore)
I have 4 cats-Jasper (Jazz Purr), Kinsey (Kibben the Hutt), Padmé (Wicky-Wack) and Minou (Mini-nou)
I have an industrial strength ego.


This was me at 18. Five, almost six years ago. Maybe next post I'll tell you what I can remember now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

morning has

School marches on this week. It's my last week of classes before I head back to my parents' house for two weeks of practice teaching. As much as it'll be good to be home (as there is much afoot in the Skylark household at the moment, and I'd like to be able to stem the tide of the chaos at least a little bit) I will miss the North Bay. As always. It's hard to describe the hold that this place has on me, sometimes. Certainly, the BEd program is FULL of people who wouldn't understand it.

It has been a busy couple of weeks here. I don't think that I have really done much, per se, although I did go for a sweet 14-km. hike in the back woods of Northern Ontario. I have also leveled my orc hunter up to 20 in World of Warcraft.

I'm getting excited about blogging again, and how it can be applied to educational contexts, so I'm devloping a couple of learning modules that combine blog technology with Reader Response Theory. It's nice to be excited again about something...even if it is just making fourteen year olds critically literate.

Everything is coming up feminist lately--North Bay is a city with a large French population and a large Catholic population, which translates to a wickedly militant Right To Life movement. They've taken to protesting at the bottom of the hill, with a large billboard of what appears to be an aborted, bloody, nearly full-term fetus. It's pretty graphic, and disturbing. I'd also like to note that that type of abortion is not legal in Canada. Not sure how I feel about this...

On a more cheerful note, the CBC ended their lockout of employees after seven long weeks.