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An International Incident
Is that a minnow you want me to eat?
So, I'm thinking I should shut this journal down. I'd hate for any students to see it. Crikey, that could cost me my job.
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Le sigh. No jobs in sight.

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I know, I know, I've been absent... trust me, when you teach 17 year olds who ask for your phone number, you tend to try and take yourself off the 'net as much as possible.

Had a TDSB interview.... hopefully I'm on the list!

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It's been an interesting month, what with my transformation back from student to teacher. I'd forgotten how much I missed being in the front of the classroom. Being back at OISE now has also been interesting; it's really been revelatory that I need to have that reciprocal relationship in order to feel satisfied. Being a student stinks sometimes. You give yourself to your research, assignments, discussion, etc, but too often it feels like you don't get anything back in return. I have only have one class where I genuinely feel like the teachers are putting as much effort into us as we are into them. And even still, they probably only care because they're using us for their research!

When I'm in the classroom, the energy I put out there is given back to me by the kids. Sometimes it's in greater quantities (leaving me on a high); sometimes it's in lesser quantities (which is depressing and calls for a long soak in the bath before going to bed). Either way though, there's a give and take that I just don't get with scholarship. I love learning and I wish I was grad student material, but I just don't think that a grad degree nurtures my passion for communication, for practical development.

Suffice to say - I miss my kids.
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One more day left of practicum... I think I liked the name Arison-sensei better than Miss Lewis.

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 I'm beginning a drama practicum on Monday. Meep!
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I had tons of good intentions for the weekend. Naturally, I got around to about 50% of them. I'd planned to attend a worshop at OISE on safe schools, then go to Nuit Blanche (an all night art party). Sunday would filled up by Run for the Cure (for Breast Cancer) and then Word on the Street (a literature festival).

So, I managed to do both the workshop and the run. Alas, festivals fell to the way side. Also, Run for the Cure (which I did with Phil and Kathryn - who had run the Toronto Waterfront half marathon earlier in the same morning) was more of Amble for the Cure as we joined the walkers on a five kilometre leasure stroll around downtown Toronto.



Of course, one of the great things about the Breast Cancer runs is the costumes. Everyone was decked out in pinks. Above, you can see the team: Barbie's Boobettes. Sure there were other great team names like "Blue Footed Boobies" and "Boobs Ahoy", but my personal favorite was "Breast Friends". Awesome.



The above ladies (from the Pink Rangers) were kind enough to let me snap their photo before the walkers kicked off. And by kicked, I mean moved very slowly.



Yes, there were a great many dogs all dressed up in pink too. We wondered how they managed to get t-shirts on to the larger dogs. This wee one was very excited to go on a long walk.

There's a lot of heartache here too. Each runner fills out a form to attach to their bodies saying who they're running/walking/moving at a tortoise pace for. Most were heartbreaking.



Some were slightly more humourous.



And just as we passed the 4k mark, the sight of thousands of people in downtown Toronto filled the scene. Now that was cool.

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Hello, hello! I realize I haven't finished the Maui trip, and that I've been missing in action for a few months, but I'm back! Let the bells ring out!

The first of two moves this summer came in July, when Phil and I left Victoria (and the company of the Macquarries) for a brief trip to Vancouver, where we met up with Alana and Bryce for some sea kayaking in Deep Cove. I was far too afraid of my camera falling in the water, so I the only picture I have is of the group is of us posing after the kayaking. 



 After our return from Vancouver (and thank goodness for a smooth flight and the new entertainment system), we immediately went up to the cottage. This was Phil's first visit to the place, and my umpteenth million. One of my favorite things about the cottage is the smell upon opening the door when you've been away. To me, the smell is something akin to wet sand, firewood and happy memories. Phil said it reminded him of summers in France. 



Our plan was to go to the cottage for a bit, come back to Ottawa, then go to Toronto for an apartment hunting trip, then back up to the cottage for the rest of the summer. And really, that's pretty much how the summer went. 



But before anything, I had to try out the kayaks Mum and Dad had bought the previous summer. Like the rest of my family, I hadn't used them when I'd been back in Ottawa for two weeks last year. Tom and Dad took them out once, but used the back rests as seat cushions and ended up hurting themselves. Armed with knowledge (from our Hawaiian adventure) of how to kayak, the back rests were restored to their rightful position, and I immediately got on taking the boats out on the bay. 



For those of you unfamiliar with the cottage, it's on the Ottawa river (but not waterfront), in a particularly shallow bay. The area is called Norway Bay - named for its Norway pines, not because it had been discovered by Vikings (as I had been convinced of in my youth). There are a couple hundred cottages in the area, so it's not isolated like so many people's, but it's still relatively quiet. 

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10 weeks since my last post... y'all can wait another couple of days.
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Alright, so we've now returned from our regularly scheduled drool-fest back to the Hawaiian excursion.

The day we visited the Olivine Pools turned out to be one of my favorites. Olivine is a semi-precious stone, and well, there's a naturally formed pool jutting out into the ocean that's encrusted with said stones. Suffice to say, I wanted to bathe in a place like that!

So, my parents, Tom, Phil and I drove north. On the way, we practically ran into some locals.

Ah yes, the obligatory donkeys. There were a pack of four of them just chilling by the side of the road! Just chilling, as we zipped through hair raising turns! Crazy old donkeys... always being crazy.

The north tip of the western part of Maui was incredibly different from where we'd been thus far. West Maui is the leeward (ergo dry) side of the island. The northern tip was incredibly lush, and had all these gorgeous valleys. The scenery was just breath taking.





Right next to the parking pull off for the Olivine Pools was the Bellstone - which is purportedly a massive stone that rings like a bell if you hit it in the right place. Naturally, I was going to make that bell sing.

We hit a slight snag in the plan when we discovered that there were lots of huge boulders. How to tell which one was the Bellstone?



Tom and Phil insisted they could hear this one ringing... okay! It's a lie! Just like the White Horse of Uffington! This was clearly not the Bellstone, but I insisted they pose as though it was. We did find the actual stone, but it wouldn't sing for us, so I've stricken it from my camera's memory. Let us never speak of the Bellstone again.

On to what we came for:



Phil, Dad and I braved our way down the slightly treacherous slope to the lava formation that holds the pools. Once there, Phil and I got in. The salt water was diluted and warmed from the sun. We floated blissfully, listening to the crashes of the waves on the rocks, feeling the cool ocean spray on our faces. Small, curious, rainbow fish paid us a visit. It was simply breathtaking. Really, just an amazing experience.



One of Dad's pictures... much though I love the man, he doesn't know how to use the zoom. Phil and I are both standing (he's not a giant, so we're clearly on two different levels), and just behind us was a huge, 25 foot plunge pool.

Spectacular.

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