Monday, September 24, 2007

This Just In.

Here's a picture of my class from this summer. This was taken on the last day of the course, August 24th, in front of R.D. Lawrence Place, the museum we built. Click on it for detail.



If you count 28 instead of 26, that's because my instructor and his assistant are in the picture as well. Can't tell which ones they are?

Here they are:























Kidding. Here's what they usually looked like:

This is Jen and Chris.












I've never known two adults more keen on dressing up in costume. A familiar scene at a potluck:


















Here's the final product of the museum. This picture was taken at dusk on August 22nd, when people worked into the wee hours.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Apologies.

I'm so sorry, all you kind people that for whatever reason are interested in reading about my life [insert: you creepy voyeurs].

My school has three periods a day, each 2.5 hours long.

In the first period (8:30 - 11:00), I co-teach English Lit. to 8 students with a very experienced teacher. I surepticiously take notes on what she does.

In the second period (11:15 - 1:45), I'm on my own for the same class again with 9 students. This is when I blatantly rip off everything my colleague did in the first period.

I don't have a class in the third period. This is usually when I eat. I only eat one or two granola bars during the second period, but otherwise, nothing. I am pretty cranked up on nerves, so I don't really feel the hunger until I get out of the classroom.

I also photocopy. A lot. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to go on worker's comp. when I'm diagnosed with "Toner Lung."

Then on Mondays and Wednesdays, I teach a night class which goes from 4:30 - 7:30. I'm really tired out on those nights, and the 3 students aren't terribly engaged, so I feel like I have to dance around more than usual to keep them interested.

I finally kicked the adrenaline-enduced headache I had all last week, but I still live in fear that I'm going to be found out as an imposter. When I was introduced to an aunt of T's last week, I felt like I was lying when I told her I was a teacher.

I'm a teacher.

I'm about as comfortable claiming that I'm a teacher as I would be claiming I'm a gun-runner.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Let's Play Ball.

Marianne and I went to a Jays game last night. We shelled out not the usual $11 but a pricey $32, which bought us tickets closer to the field.

And by closer to the field, I mean 2 rows from the field. I could have leaned over the boards and touched the first base line. (So, you can read from that description that we were pretty far from home plate, since it was almost where the 1st base line terminates, but still, Alex Rios was really close to us in right field.)

Still, the perspective was really neat. I like the $11 seats because you can watch the whole field and get the big picture, but where we were, I had to swivel my head a lot to see the action, and I found that when a batter got a hit, I couldn't follow where the ball was.

I have to say, the most fun was sitting next to Marianne crapping her pants every time there was a fly ball. We were so far down the 1st base line, it took a ball 2 minutes to reach where we were, but still, she was sure some sort of powerful line drive that was uneffected by gravity or friction would drill her in the forehead. I tried to explain that she would be able to see it coming and would be able to react, but this didn't seem to process. It was super funny. Marianne's great.

Maybe it was my fault. I suggested we go get a drink before the game, and she had her first pint of cider, which can do funny things to an initiate.

The Jays lost, which Mare and I noticed was strange. We think every other game we ever saw, they won. We lost 6-4 to the Orioles, who handed our asses to us for the who game, and we only got those 2 runs in single homers in the bottom of the ninth. Too late for a rally, boys!

So, the seats were a neat change in the p.o.v., but since it caused the Jays to lose, maybe we should go back to the nosebleed section. (Not that this will really change their standing this season. Mathematically, they could still be in the race, but realistically, no.)

Me An' Captain Mike.

So, now that I'm living in Toronto and I'm a hip young urban professional (=cough=), I thought I should take in at least one TIFF showing. Marianne suggested we try to get tickets for Rendition (2007), and to her credit, the box office rep. didn't laugh in my face. I might as well have asked for a private audience with Clooney. (Ok, fine. I did that, too. But what if that worked?!)

Then, Mare suggested we try to get tickets for Captain Mike Across America (2007). I didn't know anything about the movie. In fact, I thought it was a documentary about Michael Moore, not a doc by Michael Moore. The tickets were $20, but this is normal for all the non-gala showings at the TIFF. The gala showings are considered the "premiere" and usually the stars and directors and producers and a lot of industry klingons are around. And they cost $40. There was no "gala" listed for Captain Mike, nor would I have paid double to see Michael Moore and Harvey Weinstein.

In the end, I got that for free! Woo-hoo?

Yeah, Michael Moore was there, and he introduced the film. Then, when it was over, he hosted a Q&A. He is as unassuming and amorphous in real life as he is on cellulose, and he was pretty transparent with his answers, so that was good. He also spoke openly about he's always such a Canada-lover.

The movie was ok. It was about Moore's 2004 60-city tour ostensibly prompting youth to vote, but really rallying support for people not to vote for Bush. (Or to vote for Kerry, but one can argue that point.) I hope most people watching his docs are media-savvy enough to recognise the manipulations he employs and what he chooses to leave in to serve a purpose. I won't see it again.

I'm kinda glad the film festival is over today. The media's been pooping its pants over all the celebrities in town, and they're all just scrambling to get soundbites that say any of the following:

a) "Canada's so beautiful and clean!"
b) "I love Toronto! Everyone's so polite!"
c) "The Toronto Film Festival is now the bestest film festival in the world."

Off to do some marking.

'Cuz I'm a teacher 'n stuff.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shalom!

All hail the wonderful and beautiful Jewish faith.

All hail half the student population of my school who belong to the aforementioned wonderful and beautiful Jewish faith, because it has given us all today and tomorrow off to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. And I will. I will celebrate Rosh Hoshanah, with all the gentile gusto I can muster. I'm going to party like it's 5768.

The first three days of school have been ok, but there's a strange dichotomy between appearing super-confident in front of the students while figuritively browning my pants. The classes are two-and-a-half hours long, so the teachers have to have a lot of meaningful material to go over. Having never taught the class before (grade 12 English Lit.), I happily and openly steal lesson plans from the other, more experienced, teachers.

Some of my students, I can tell already, are going to be great. Some of them, of course, I'm afraid, are crapweasels. Huge crapweasels. Hopefully, as the semester progresses, I'll be able to instil some fear in them.

I'm tired, though. I slept until 8am this morning, and it was so decadent!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sweet City Woman.

Holy shit, I sure do live in Toronto. The classmate I live with scoffs when I say "Here's to not getting mugged!" before I leave the house, but there are a lot more people here, and therefore, my chances of being mugged, statistically speaking, are up. Especially compared to Minden. And Charlottetown.

Also, I find there are a lot of very good-looking men in Toronto, but I think it's also a statistical, density-based blip.

I struck out today to buy books for my classes so I can dog-ear them and write notes in the margins as if I have pored over them for weeks.

Yesterday I went to my school to check in, and, unfortunately, my grade 11 Religious Studies class has been cancelled due to low enrolment, but I've been put in with another English Lit. teacher's full class to help her. I like this plan, really. I will be able to watch the goings-on of an experienced teacher and see what I have to do when I'm flying solo.

Also, the principal said she was thinking of designing a grade 12 World Religions class, and I got all twitterpated and told her I'd love to have some input if it is needed.

So, to change the subject, my classmate, who I will call T (and maybe sometimes T-bone, simply because I think it's funny) and his father got home last night, so I was not all alone in the house anymore. It was nice. His Mum is home tomorrow, and then, next week, his eldest sister. It'll be a full house! All we'll need is a milkman, a paperboy, and evening TV.

And, to change the subject again, my friend Dafs assures me that having sexy dreams about Michael Cera is legal, healthy, and justifiable. Thanks, Dafs.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Whirlwind.

Whew! I left Minden on Saturday the 25th at 8:20am. I got into Charlottetown at 11:30pm on the same day. I was pretty tired, to say the least, but there was a Confed. Centre 'do, so I eventually found the place and I missed it! Everyone had left about 15 minutes before I got there. It meant I didn't get to see one friend that was moving to KW, unfortunately, but I cought up with others later.

On Sunday, I saw Lisa, Paige, and Chris, went up to Savage Harbour to see my father's cranberry bog (which was positively white with berries - let's hope the frost doesn't get them!), and then Mum, Dad, and I went to the Confederation Centre for the Maude Whitmore Concert, where we met Jackie and Lisa for the show.

The show was fine. I've seen better Maudes. And longer, too. But still, one of my FOH girls won a scholarship to study dance, so I was pleased.

I bid adieu to Lisa and Jackie, who are both working girls in, as Lisa puts it, the least possible prostitute sense possible. There was a 'do at Mavor's and I spent some more time with my Centries, also in the least possible prostitute sense possible.

The next day, I did some running around and then Jackie called to say she was taking the afternoon off after an exhausting and successful presentation. We had lunch with Lisa and then did a little shopping. I was looking for a pair of jeans and a purse. I got a purse, anyway. One that looks a little too grown-up for me, but I should fit in fairly well with all the other city girls.

That night I hung out with my parents for a while, before a late-night outing with some other Centries.

On Tuesday, I saw Sobia for "coffee" and a great chat, and then got to see Anna before I went home.

On Wednesday, Mum, Dad, and I loaded up some stuff in the van and set out for New Brunswick. We stayed overnight in Pres-du-Lac, and then on through to Minden via Ottawa the next day, Thursday.

Dad and I finished packing and loaded the van in Minden, I closed up shop, and set out for Toronto. We arrived last night, went out for supper, and then I set about typing up a final report for my course.

Today, Dad left me and now I'm in the house all by myself. I always liked being alone, but it a little strange being in a friend's family's home when there's no one around. They're all up north for the long weekend.

It's good I have some alone time. I have to read read read in the next couple of days. I have to prepare for the classes I'll be teaching. Oh! I forgot to say: the school has given me a Religious Studies class! I'll be teaching a grade 11 world religions class, and I'm so stoked.