June 22, 2009

My Angel

What can I even say? Besides the fact that I am now absolutely positive that there is only one person on this side of the earth who absolutely melts my heart. My knees shake and my voice trembles whenever I am within six feet of her. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. It's been this way with no other woman that I have been the least bit close to. The air becomes drier than air in the sahara when the sun's at its highest. I feel chills but my temple beads with sweat droplets and I know in the back of my mind that every single one of my flaws has become a million times worse. But I can't even think of wiping the booger that is hanging from the tip of my nose or even trying to suppress the alfalfa-style cowlick at the back of my head, as I am too busy being absolutley mezmerized by her. Luckily, I didn't fall down when tripping over my own shoelaces that don't seem to ever stay done up. Or maybe I did, but I was just in such an oblivious stuporous state, that I didn't even notice. Her smile is so warm and genuine that I can't help to believe that she's actually even enjoying the random retarded nothingness of sentences stringed together that I'm pitching to her. She listens and tries soo incredibly hard to comprehend what I might be trying to say. But her angel eyes look into mine and my heart is in my throat and it's all I can do to not look down at my un-tied shoes. Those penetrating yet soft blue eyes remind me of the southern carribean sea. I don't know if it's because of their endless depth, of their beautiful colour, or the way they sparkle even when the sun's not there. They seem to look deep past mine as if trying to find something deeper and more substantial than my semi-dirty blue jeans and my somewhat wrinkled t-shirt. Her long brown hair dangles modestly in a windless evening but still shines - even when the sun's not there. It smells like something sweeter than roses and fresher than rain. I can smell it from a mile away. But the distance between us usually more like 2 miles - what might as well be 20 thousand.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about her is her spirit. Her soul, passion, and heart. It radiates from her and energizes me. It makes me feel like I can conquer the world and the universe, too. Her drive & focus to become the change we need in this world today inspires me to want to become the man who can stand by her side and change this world together.

So I work at it. Little by little, bit by bit. I talk a lot about priorities and time and what a person should be doing with their life. I try to act on those, with getting as undistracted or disheartened as possible. It's hard though. Knowing that there is truly an angel on earth but being soooo far removed from anything this absolutely perfect is somewhat hard to take. I will not give up though. I will try my damndest to be her lobster. If only I don't get eaten up first.

June 14, 2009

maybe it's all just a lot a bullshit

if you have read any noam chomsky or gwynne dyer maybe you think you are kinda cool.

if you have ever heard stephen lewis or archbishop tutu speak about AIDS in africa you might think (the enlightened privelged elite that you are) "wow, what the hell is going on in the world and why aren't our elected officials doing more to make things better?".

if you even slightly recognize the names thomas homer-dixon, jeffery sachs, naomi klein, henry thoreau, ronald wright, paul polak, john perkins, or even maybe our boy joseph stiglitz, you might be one of those people that even likes the idea of a better world, since this one here, now, is not meeting your standards/expectations. if any of these names stick out to you at all, then at the very least, you might just think: "wow, im pretty up to date with the pop-culture world of non-fiction and the worldly devastating situations" or else: "who cares about stupid reading by stupid know-it-all authors when there's so much work to be done & money to be made & beer to be drunk?" ... hang on, that reminds me, my beer's in the other room...

...canadian was 8 cans for $13 incl tax & dep. good deal. even if it's just canadian. (which is american).

with this whole recent "green" propaganda you are hearing about in the media, maybe you have heard of george monbiot, maude barlowe, andrew nikiforuk, tony clarke, tim flannery, marq devilliers, eric schlosser...

who cares?

maybe you put your energy into realizing the classics like catcher in the rye or great expectations or wuthering heights or stone angel or pride & prejudice or crime & punishment or gulliver's travels or 1984. those, after all, are the stories that inspire us to use our creative minds. and where would we be without creative minds?

and not to mention:

it takes a lot more investment and dedication to get through a >250p book, in comparison to giggling through an 87 minute will ferrell movie or watching the ever-repetitive evening news.

but this is your life. and your time here is running out minute at a time. i hope you are really having the time of your life. i hope you are getting everything accomplished that you ever dreamed you would, whether that be completing your Adam Sandler DVD collection, watching all of the X-Men movies on their first day in theaters, spending your days "gaming" - whatever that is, golfing - like the rich white men, or any other vice that gives you that feeling of fulfillment.

me? i'm just waiting. biding my time. barely breathing. doing what I can. dreaming of doing more. action without knowledge if futile, but sometimes knowledge can only be gained through action. the books are endless, after all. and aren't all these realms of writers i just mentioned nothing more than capitalists who are getting rich off of our inability to actually close their book, get off our ass and just start DOING SOMETHING?

especially when the weather's this damn' good.

i'm going to the driving range.

and having some more american canadian.

June 11, 2009

i am here

here i am. it's hard to believe. with plans and ideas. ideals and convictions. no, not those kind of convictions. yet, anyways. but this is me. degreed. here. now. forever. and now what? hopes?dreams? always. fingers? ever-crossed. can't begin to count the first stars i've seen any night. but what more can a guy really wish for? a few things. his wildest most out-of-this-galaxy dreams to come true? doubtful. but surely, some dreamers get the chance of living their dreams? i think they do. but here? now? that's where i am. do i have to go somewhere to make them come true? possibly. and what about that time thing. running out? probably. but what if everything that could make the dream come true is right in front of my eyes but i'm just to thick to comprehend? and time? what about time??? some things will come to be, i know. the dates are set and everything. but in the mean time. and in between time! what then? patience. wears thin. is a virtue. but even so, there's so much to live for! so much to stand for!!! even from here. even if everything "good" looks like it's over there. thousands of miles away. how do you know you are compensating for something less than what your wildest most incredible dreams might be if your far-sighted scope let's you miss every happiness that you could ever wish for? here. where i am. where you are.

i will go to the ends of the earth for this happiness i seek. unless it finds me here first.

June 4, 2009

The Re-Inventing of Public Education

Chapter 45. The Re-inventing of Public Education

These blogs are way overdue. I blame my inability to pound out a few hundred words without sitting on the idea for a while of what I want to at least try to say. Not to mention that distractions are endless: hockey playoffs, my library book, facebook, and not necessarily in that order. But sometimes key current events force me into just forcing out the few semi-thought-out ideas I had scattering around in my head. This is what is happening now.

VueWeekly had an interesting article just come out in today's issue by social activist Ricardo Acuna. It clearly indicated acts of fascism and intolerance by the Albertan government, under the guise of ironically wanting to move forward and developing a long-term vision of what education in Alberta should look like in 20 years. This incoincidently happened to be an immediate follow-up to the passing of Bullshit Bill Number 44. I mean, hell! Even the slightest liberal-thinking young person would want to see this Bill fail terribly!! This could be seen with the 4756 members in the facebook group called "Students Against Bill 44" in comparison to the 61 members in the group called "Students For Bill 44". Something's up. HEY! Teacher! Leave Us Kids ALONE!!!

So. Now that we are all updated with the current events, let's go ahead and see what the hell I was thinking about regarding public education when I came up with my 45th topic of something I thought that could be turned into a blog .

#1 - Bill 44 proves we need a change in government.

Aside from the street response from the passing of this bill ("Alberta's always been seen as a bit of a redneck province"...), the vocal minorities sometimes do need to be heard. What good is a government that has no intention of letting the local gay & lesbian community have any degree of clout in the place they call home. Sheer intolerance. This is not the way to work towards a world with acceptance and peace. Even outside of this minority community, there was a whole whack of parents who agree that their kids need to be getting the entire curriculum so that they all come out with the information they need to make decisions for themselves. Education is not supposed to be limited.

So, it is important to understand that governments provide us with schools but we get the government we deserve (including strategic voting & apathetic non-voting). But more importantly we must understand that industry controls the government. Economies thrive on industry. And now since the economy is failing, we have the perfect opportunity to go all Obama-style and realize the potential in change! We can actually vote in a government with ideas on fresh technologies and genuine acceptance of all the minority groups that make Alberta interesting! We can realize the devastation of the air, water, people of oilsands production - despite how proportionately small they say it is!

#2 - Curriculum Enhancement: we can get more out of kids than just having them be able to regurgitate biology textbooks, take the derivative implicitly of a multi-variable equation, or memorize dates of wars.

This is actually a part of Engineer's Without Borders' goals once upon a time. We hoped to (and did) get more talk about "development" in the classrooms - something more than Grade 5 Social Studies, Post-War rebuilding policies in high school, or Sociology 269 @ the UofA. But the current curriculum must be re-vamped as we move farther into this 21st Century if we have a hope in hell of leading lives that will benefit all Albertans aka global citizens.

EWB focused primarily on aid dollars, water access, food subsidies, and fair trade. These 4 components have to be embedded into the Alberta curriculum at a very young age, just as RECYCLING was put into the classrooms when I was in grade 2.

So in addition to studying spelling, reading, the government, math, computers, christmas, the food guide, phys ed, sex ed, canadian politics, the holocaust; our curriculum needs to be more precise on taking on topics like:

the environment:
global warming, pollution, recycling, water scarcity

ethics & faith:
abortion, stem cells, evolution, islam, christianity (like, get them to read Life of Pi)

inequality & intolerance:
the apartheid, HIV/AIDS, globalization

I hadn't even touched a non-fiction book until I was well into my post-secondary. Why not get high school kids reading at least 1 fiction and 1 non-fiction book per semester through high school? That doesn't seem too hard.

#3 - Developing temperance of students is a lifelong skill we can work on developing even at school, even when the parents aren't there.

Restraint. Thinking. Patience and understanding that often less is more. Sometimes the easiest solution isn't the best. Sacrifice. I think that these things could be incorporated into day-to-day classroom stuff.

#4 - The teachers must actually want to teach (see my blog called 80 X 40)

So many times, a good government job is all that a person could really hope for in life. We need some way of paying the bills and paying into a pension so that the golden years will be all that we hoped they would be.

But I know of two people from my past. Let's call them Mr. C. and Miss B. Both are relatively new teachers. Miss C. counts her days until holidays and reaps the benefits of everything the teaching profession has to offer, with giving as little back as possible. On the other hand, Mr. C. hopes to be a principal one day, and is constantly putting in extra time with his class in sports-related activities, and also sits on committees that he doesn't get paid for to discuss item #2: Curriculum Enhancement! Kudos, Mr. C! Miss B? Why did you even bother going into teaching? Don't you realize that these kids need to see a passion in their role models - the shaper of their minds? You deserve an F. Your kids deserve better. So please, young people, don't go into teaching unless you are certain that you could convince your class that you are in fact there to create a positive influence in their lives. Maybe it's up to the government we elect, and the parents too, to ensure that we hold our teachers (with these compensating salaries) up to the standards we feel our children are entitled to!

Ricardo Acuna's article:

Andrew Nikiforuk has a book: "School's Out: The Catastrophe in Public Education" available at the edmonton public library