Posted in life, work by Siobhan on November 9, 2008

I really admire people who can blog on a regular basis. I find it hard to keep it up. Quite a bit is going on lately. I started training for the activities coordinator position this week. Tomorrow is my first day all alone. I think it should be pretty boring this week, but fairly crazy next week. The first week of the study block involves telling each class about all of the exciting things that we have to offer for the upcoming month and then signing them up and taking their money. December 5-7 I’ll be going to Big White, which should be super fun.

Enough about work. I’m really feeling bummed about the lack of mountain biking lately. Since day light savings time started, it has been dark by 4:30 and raining almost daily. I don’t feel very comfortable riding in the rain and I’ve had a cold for the last week. I wonder if I’ll get any riding in the winter or if I should just accept that I might not ride until spring. Cohen and I are both feeling antsy; really feeling the need to travel. We’re looking at a couple of big options for month long trips next year and also a week long one a bit sooner.


Smokin’ Halloween

Posted in life, work by Siobhan on November 1, 2008

So last Sunday I decided to go  to H & M to get some new clothes for work. As I was walking down main street, I had to pass the bingo hall. I walk passed said bingo hall at least once a day every day. Those assholes are out there blocking the sidewalk and smoking most of the time when I walk passed. I’m an ex-smoker myself and just like most ex-smokers I hate the smell. All of that aside, there are bigger reasons why these bingo-hallers annoy me. Blocking the sidewalk in a high traffic area is inconsiderate and annoying. While living in Taiwan and suffering from a bad case of “I miss Canada like crazy”, I mistakenly believed that Canadians were considerate people.  Now that I’m back here, I realize we are just as rude as the rest of the world and if we were as densely populated as most of the world, we’d be even worse. Anyway, on top of all of this, there are signs posted in front of the bingo hall telling them to please smoke in the back, where they have built them a covered smoking area. Finally, they are violating a city by-law, which states that smokers must not smoke within 6 meters, yes meters,  of any doorway, window, or ventilation. So, as I passed the bingo hall last Sunday, I reached up and covered my mouth. No big deal, just not wanting to breathe in their toxic shit. Just as I pass the last of them, some asshole yells, “It’s a free country we can do what we want.” I almost kept walking, but instead, I turned around and pointed at the city of Vancouver “no smoking sign” and informed him that he was violating a city by-law. After that everything degraded. Two of his buddies joined in and began saying things like, “It’s not like it’s poison. It’s just a smoke.” and “What about cars?” The final straw came when the three fifty somethings began taunting me asking what I was gonna do about it. By then I could see that my logic filed brain was no match for these grown men, who were basically regressing to a “I know you are by what am I?” point in their lives. The thing that really pissed me off was that I hadn’t said anything to them, only covered my mouth as I walked through their haze. So, I pulled out my phone so they could see what I was doing and began to walk away. First, I called information for the non emergency police number. The police referred me to the city, who I called right away. It being Sunday meant that I  left a message. I was very happy when the next day on my lunch break when I received a phone call from the city stating that they would be sending out an inspector to deal with this issue, which has apparently been ongoing.  And that’s my story.

Halloween was great. I’m glad I dressed up, even though few could guess who I was. I wish I had a kid to take out trick or treating. Pictures are from work.

Shopping and Shit

Posted in Biking, life, work by Siobhan on October 26, 2008

Well yesterday Cohen and I spent most of the day driving around the North Shore checking out full-face helmets for mt. biking. My dad is going to Borneo soon and is going to be gone for Christmas. He said that he would buy me a full-face helmet as a Christmas gift. I ended up getting one for about $120 which is a smokin’ good deal. We also drove by the housing co-op that we applied to over there. It looked really nice and is at the base of Mt. Seymour. Speaking of Seymour, I’d really like to go for a ride today, but Cohen is working and I don’t like to ride difficult trails alone. I think I’ll go downtown and go shopping again, this time for new work clothes. I got the activities coordinator position and I feel like I need some stuff that isn’t quite so formal. It weird that I”m spending the weekend shopping because I actually hate shopping and spending money. Being over in North Van yesterday was so nice, I really hope we get into that co-op and are living there by next April.

Fun Shit

Posted in life, work by Siobhan on October 11, 2008

I always think of things that I’m going to write about here and then forget when I finally get around to updating. I did something this week that I never thought I’d do. I went to yoga. Not only was it yoga, it was hot yoga and I LOVED it. I went both Monday and Tuesday and hope to go again tomorrow and then hopefully get into a routine of 4-5 times a week. In case you don’t know, hot yoga is a form of hatha yoga done in a room heated to 40 degrees. I absolutely loved the intensity and difficulty that the heat added. I really want to keep active through the winter and hope that this is something that I stick with. In other news, I went ice-skating wit my school on Thursday after classes. It was a total blast. Most students had never been before and pretty much held onto the boards the whole time, but it felt great to be on skates. I was asked by my boss if I would be interested in taking over for our activities coordinator for three months while he’s away. At first I thought I’d like it, but after going on the activity on Thursday and talking with the current coordinator I don’t think I’d be suited to the job. It involves a lot of tedious tasks and it involves dealing with large numbers of ESL students in public. Further, I love my current hours. As I mentioned before, Cohen and I are looking to move to the North Shore. I sent away to a few Housing Coops to get application forms and I already received one back. I hope to fill everything out and get it back to them quickly. This would greatly reduce our housing charges and increase our space. Fingers crossed.

Posted in life, work by Siobhan on September 26, 2008

Every four weeks my life starts over. What I mean is, every four weeks I get a new class full of new students and teach a new session. This week was the first week of the study block. My new students seem nice, but a little young. Most of them are around 18-20. One of my students, from Mexico, told of being robbed outside a local pub here. He has a scar across his face, where they knifed him. I hate hearing about students’ negative experiences. I prefer to hear about Canadians offering them help on the street when they’re lost or local fishermen inviting them to dinner when they visit Tofino.

In other news, I received my teaching diploma in the mail today as well as my final transcripts. You know you’re a dork when you are bummed about a 3.95 GPA.

Really steppin’ it up

Posted in life, work by Siobhan on September 11, 2008

Wow two posts in one day and to think nobody even knows about this blog yet. Blogging in secret is fun. Anyway, I just got back from an exciting adventure. I decided to go and have an americano at starbucks after a short nap (super stressful life, I know). Anyway, I grabbed one of the free papers and sat out front in the sun- sipping my americano, reading about local events, and being mildly annoyed my the sun that I had sought by sitting there in the first place. After about 3/4 of my drink I could handle the sun no longer and decided to stroll home in the much comforting shade. I learned to fear the sun during my time in Taiwan; at least I don’t carry an umbrella. After arriving home, I couldn’t find my keys. I usually can’t find my keys or other things of importance so I didn’t really panic. After searching a little more frantically, I started to get a little more freaked out. At that point, I realized that my purse had fallen off of the chair when I was sitting at starbucks and that my keys had likely fallen out. This means that my keys were either sitting on the middle of the sidewalk on Main St, which is super busy, or they had been picked up by someone who had then followed me home and planned to rob me later. I quickly walked back to starbucks (two blocks). As I approached, I noticed the same woman sitting at the table next to where I was, this was a good sign. As I got closer, I saw the reflection of my keys and my heart rate began to return to normal. Catastrophe averted. Did I mention that it costs $100 to replace my apartment key?

Now I’m listening to the new Metallica album and I think it sounds pretty good. Tickets go on sale for their December 2nd concert on Saturday at 10 am, I’ll definitely be hitting refresh until I get a good pair. As a side note, Cohen tattooed hakuna matata on some guy in Metallica letters recently. I guess you gotta do what comes to you when you’re an apprentice. Funny shit.

I just got an email from a student who wanted to send me some pictures from our graduation ceremony and say this:

“There are two things I have to tell you. One is you are really a good teacher. The other is you look like a typical beautiful doll. It is so true.”

I am really flattered and humoured. When it comes right down to it I have a really rewarding job.

Posted in life, work by Siobhan on September 11, 2008

Today was a fairly typical day. I’m teaching an upper intermediate class right now and the topic is adjective clauses. To make things more exciting, I decided to do a “Friends” episode with them. I had a vocab worksheet and a grammar worksheet as well as some comprehension questions. The students really enjoyed it and were able to catch so many more of the jokes than I expected them to. I have one student from Saudi Arabia and I was kind of worried about his reaction to some of the content- it was the episode that tells about how Monica and Chandler hooked up for the first time. He seemed to take it all in stride. That’s not to say that there haven’t been other challenges with that student. During a discussion on capital punishment, I heard him advocating cutting off people’s hands for stealing. I guess it’s a cultural learning experience from everyone involved. It really puts into perspective how small the gap is between some cultures and the vast difference between others.

The weather here has been totally phenomenal lately, but I feel like I have been taking advantage of it. Every morning as I walk to work, I plan all the things that I’m going to do after work. I usually imagine going Mt. biking or attempting to go for a jog outside. In the end I usually come home from work and want noting more than to chill out on the couch or on the internet. By the time I start feeling antsy, it too dark and at most Cohen and I go for a walk. It’s such a bad cycle. I’d like to think that if I didn’t have to drive to Mt. Bike that I’d do it.

I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since 9/11. I remember my friend Mike calling me and saying, “turn on the TV, the states is under attack.” I remember thinking, “I hope that a white American is responsible for this.” It’s hard to imagine what it was like before 9/11. I can’t help but wonder whether Barack Obama can really make any difference in the world. It will be interesting to see. It will be interesting to see if he even gets elected.

That was a lot more lengthy that I intended.