Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some tunes

Ever had those songs that just make you grin when they come on? Well here is some music to uplift and amuse you:

Green River Ordinace - Dancing Shoes

FUN - We are Young

Jana Kramer - Whiskey

Kate Voegele - Sweet Silver Lining

Foster the People - Pumped up Kicks

Nikki Minaj - Super Bass

Adele - her entire album '21' (she is truly something special)

Some Glee Mashups:
Rumor Has it/ Someone Like you

I feel pretty/Unpretty

You and I 

Avril Lavigne - Wish you were here

Year in Review

Well here it is, a little late but at least it's done :).

2011, what can I say? We had a blast didn't we? Looking back I cannot not smile. Here are a few of those unforgettable highlights:

    Obviously and without a doubt the most amazing experience of my life. I will never forget it. I remember getting on the plane in Halifax at midnight and trying to control my breathing and get some sleep because I would be waking up in LONDON. Well that week I am pretty sure I slept the least in my life but I wouldn't change a thing. London was astonishing and I can't wait to go back. Paris, while I only saw you for a few hours was breathtaking and Scotland, well you were magic as I always knew you would be. We shall meet again.
     Sweden you were an experience. Our seven weeks were wonderful. Your stunning landscape, your friendly people, your brilliant architecture and your easy going ways will always stay in my fondest memories. My time there truly gave me such a new insight into education and our world. I sincerely thank you.

- Graduation and becoming a 'grownup' -
    Firstly, I would like to thank UPEI, my professors, my amazing fellow scholars, my family & friends and most importantly my students for getting me through the final steps of reaching my goals. Graduation was a great experience, made more special by a unique meeting and reminder that I really and truly do have angels watching over me. Since graduating and entering the world of substitute teaching and loan repayment I have yes questioned my sanity with regards to my career choice but I have never questioned the actual path in itself. As I said in an earlier blog, something just clicks. You will notice that I put the term 'grownup' in quotations, that is simply because (and I am sure many of you will have heard me say) I don't believe in growing up, we need to keep that little bit of magic, creativity and imagination to make life interesting.

- Spending more time with family -
    Undoubtedly, one of the hardest things about leaving for college (especially out of province) was missing out on family moments. I am so thankful to be home and able to spend time with some very important and amazing people. Whether they be almost 2 or almost 80, these people are so special in so many ways and I am blessed to be able to know them.
- Concerts and other notables -
    ELTON JOHN - holy frig, can words describe this man? Breathtaking, awe-inspring, magical. Elton you were something unforgettable.
    Glee Live - what started out as being a really cool TV show quickly got me hooked. The show has come to be so much more than just another tv show and seeing it live only added to my love for it. Easily one of the best shows I have ever seen.
Sound of Music Festival 2011  
    Bedouin Soundclash - so cool. An outdoor concert on the beautiful Burlington waterfront. They were fantastic.
    Emerson Drive - added to my love of live country music.
    Jimmy Rankin and my fabulous cousins the Barra MacNeils - probably one of the best east coast shows ever. The audience was blown away (and mostly made of east coasters based on how many knew ALL of the songs).

Well thats the highlight reel. If I think of anything else, I'll add'er in later: For now, Goodbye 2011, thanks for everything, Your adventures will be with me always. Hello to 2012 and all of the amazing things I am sure we will scheme up!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


My sincerest apologies for neglecting my blog these past few months. I will admit I have written a number of things however I was just not sure they were post-worthy.

Life these days includes becoming accustomed to substitute teaching which, while rather frustrating in terms of waiting and wondering, is magically wonderful. I love getting to see so many students in different classroom environments and to experience the many different ways that teachers approach their craft. I am learning so many lessons every day. Having spent a marvelous week with a grade 2 class I learnt just how high energy lower elementary is and how amazingly adorable the creative imaginations of 7 year olds can be. I even had one cutie a few months back who wished to be called 'sweetie' instead of his real name, because he felt like it would make him work harder (How much cuter can you get). I guess my biggest realization to date is that it feels right. Something just 'clicks' when I walk in a classroom. :)

Stay tuned for more lessons learned and observations.....

Monday, May 9, 2011

All Done.....Literally!

I didn't mean to fall off the face of the blogging universe but once I left for Stockholm I got distracted, (that's what happens when an ENTIRE SWEDISH HOCKEY TEAM is in the same airport lounge as me :), dreams really do come true sometimes). Alas I have arrived back home in Canada and have been in a relaxed state ever since (minus the random freakouts over having to figure out my life and all that jazz). I arrived home on April 29th after 28 hrs of travel, 5 airports and countless delays. I was picked up in Halifax by my exhausted but amazing family. We arrived home in Washabuck at exactly 7am, just in time to watch Will & Kate walk down the aisle. (sleep truly is overrated).

The fun hasn't stopped as this past weekend I graduated from UPEI with my Bachelor of Education degree, specialization in International Education. It was amazing to see so many friends again and to hear of their tales from abroad. It was bittersweet to leave them all behind but there are many promises of visits to come. My peers, now colleagues are people I will never forget and will always be fondly remembered for their roles in my development as an educator.

However, grad day had to come to a quick end as we had a very important event to return home for. We jumped on the ferry only to be met with a wonderful surprise. Former NS Premier, the Honorable John Buchanan was on board. He was one of my grandfather Joe's best friends and dad thought that on my graduation day, nothing would make Grandma Dolena happier than a picture with someone who around our home is a legend the likes of Gretzky and Orr. He was an amazing man, spending the rest of the ride telling us stories about my grandfather and his Tory antics as well as many stories about how politics were done in the good old days and tales of the tories coming out on top. Let's just say that Grandma's mother's day was extra special when she saw the pictures. :)

That big event we had to get home for was none other than the 1st birthday party of my absolutely amazing and fantastic and handsome godson Mr. Thomas Malcolm. (Little Malcie, as uncle Kevin calls him). The little man was in his glory clapping along to Happy Birthday (not so impressed when the song ended) and of course diving into the cake (which he wasn't supposed to eat). We did placate him with chocolate icing and vanilla ice cream. He was quite impressed with his collection of new toys and stylish clothes (that is, as impressed as a 1 year old can get).

I will finish off with some photos and a promise to get around to writing a blog about the end of my trip and Stockholm shortly! Until then, I leave you with the words of our convocation speaker, former NFLD Premier Danny Williams who gave an amazing address ending with (in latin, so as to not offend anyone) "Don't let the B*****ds get you down!"

 Janna, Holly & I
 BEd class of 2011
 With mom & dad
 Craig & Angie
 A collection of international girls! Holly, Lyd, me, Janna, Kelly & Katie
Dad, myself and the Hon. John Buchanan

Friday, April 15, 2011

2 weeks left, only 2 days of which are for teaching :)

It's officially Easter Break here in Sweden. 1.5 weeks off. Currently watching the Big Bang theory and relaxing for the night after a very busy week.

Recent Highlights:
- A day snowmobiling and dog sledding.
- A trip to the famous ice hotel including the more famous Absolut Vodka ice bar and an impressive ice chapel. Also discovered Brown's Bear's long lost cousin (see below).
- My first time down-hill skiing on the Swedish Alps, not bad. Kabdalis is the home of the Swedish National Ski team.
- Got Neon pink Nike's.
- Flew kites (but didn't have the supplies to make our own, Swedish kites are inferior)

Kite flying in Jokkmokk


two of the dogs

The Absolut Ice Bar

The Ice Chapel

Brown's Bears long lost cousin at the ice hotel

The Ice Hotel

Kabdalis Ski Hill

Easter Break Plan
   On Sunday, I leave for Stockholm to spend the week exploring the capital. Should be interesting and I will post a blog when I return.

Looking forward to getting home in two weeks!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week 4 down

Some more observations.....

- Sweden is VERY laid back, almost too laid back. I have never seen so much down time in a school day.

- Elementary kids are adorable.

- Old MacDonald and Twinkle Twinkle are universal.

- In the time it takes to put clothes in a washer and walk outside, it can go from sunny and 10 degrees to snowing heavily and freezing cold.

- Teenagers everywhere are the same, they all can recite the lyrics to every Lady gaga, Katy Perry and Beyonce song on cue.

- What is the biggest English resource in Sweden? Family Guy with subtitles. Only problem is, the vocabulary is awful.

- Pizza in Sweden has paper thin crust.

- Having Skype dates with a 5 year old in Canada while you are in another country is highly entertaining. Try explaining why you can't come have kraft dinner with him right away. :) My favorite was trying to explain where Sweden was by relating it to where the elephants live in Africa.

- Junior High kids will prove their excellent language skills by reciting every curse word they have ever heard, their teacher will just look on and be thrilled because they are finally speaking English in English class.

- Living in residence that is not like StFX, will make you miss StFX explicitly.

- 1 week to go!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

some more notes about Sweden...........

Hello again, 

A few more notes to add after week 3:

- The roads are still very slippy, (yes it's a word) and they will wake you up at 6am with the incessant noise of the ice breaking machines that tear up layers of ice on the road and then make giant piles with it along the sidewalk. 

- Sunsets come in many color combinations, I don't believe I had ever seen a truly purple sunset until the other night. 

- We ate reindeer this week, I haven't quite recovered from the thought of consuming Rudolph and am still considering calling PETA. PLUS.....they don't burn their meat here which means there is too much blood, definatly not the way we do things in Washabuck. 

- We have discovered that once you tell elementary children you are from Canada and that yes you know who Justin Bieber is, they will love you forever and hugs will soon follow. Bonus points if you play Baby on your ipod and sing along. Double bonus points if you also happen to have the Hannah Montana playlist (disclaimer: I have a lot of younger cousins okay). 

- Teaching is interesting. We always have random lessons ready because we never are sure when exactly we might teach. It's rather random. Most of our lessons have to do with speaking English because we keep getting told they need to work on pronunciation even though we feel their English skills are top caliber. 

- If a teacher here is sick (or wants to go skiing for a week), they don't get a sub, they cancel class. They also reserve the right to uncancel class and have the Canadians teach it. :P

- Being referred to as 'The Canadians', kind of grows on you. 

- Getting mail from home is the best thing in the world. (Thanks aunt Murdell)

- If you feel homesick, turn on the tv. 9/10 times the Simpsons or Family Guy are on. (Swedish Favorites)

- You know you're far north when a school field trip depends on whether or not the location has already melted. 

Just a few observations, more to come in the next few weeks.