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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in
Antoine Henri Giraud's LiveJournal:
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|Thursday, October 20th, 2005|
|Please support our teachers
The (illegal) strike by teachers in B.C. is causing a dangerous and detrimental societal rift. The government refuses to open up a dialogue with the B.C. Teachers Federation and resolve several key issues, including class sizes, support for special needs children and bargaining rights. The government has frozen the union's assets. They have behaved like children. Yet it is the 600 000 children of this province who are being denied their education by the vulgar hubris of the government. Please email our premier, Gordon Campbell and tell him you support our teachers. Tell him to sit down and negotiate with them.
This is a shameful Canada I am presenting to the international community. Why won't the government listen? Already other unions are shutting down non-essential services like public transit, libraries, colleges, universities. I cannot believe they would let British Columbia fall into such civil disarray. Yet, ironically, it has been decided by the EUI that Vancouver is the best place in the world to live: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4306936.stm Current Mood: annoyed
|Monday, August 15th, 2005|
|No subject, I have no subject, how sad.
I've moved back to the beach! I'm living in White Rock and cruising around in my smartie-red Echo. I'm still working, but don't have any disposable income. What else is there to say? The summer has been good, I've been doing a lot of hiking and swimming and enjoying the sunshine. Well, now I feel awkward, breaking my diary comments with inane comments. I'll be going now, I hope everyone is doing splendiferously.
|Monday, May 23rd, 2005|
|Happy birthday you old cow
It's Victoria day today, in Canada that is, and I'm not at all sure why it's celebrated, I'm assuming it's Queen Victoria's birthday, but I could be wrong. Actually, I'm in a gloriously good mood, but alas, the poem I'm including today is quite incongruent with my current mellow vibe. I am running out of poems, you see. I certainly don't have any happy ones left.
I don't wish to strike a dark note; in general life is great. I recently finished writing another song, which my brother produced. I've been busy with work, for good and ill. I was on the 8:00 pm news in Korea (KBS) for a documentary they did on Korean children studying in Canada. When I found out the story had a slightly negative slant, I was glad I did not widely publicize this event. Even so, it was cool to be on the telly (albeit for a total of 5 seconds max). Yesterday Angela and I went on a grueling, yet enchanting, hike up Mount Townsend in the Olympic mountain range. I started having my accustomary visions, the ones that happen when I'm sick and dehydrated. The thought that lingers even now is: Why is Chlorophyll green and not red? If grass, vegetation and trees were bright red in colour instead of green, would red be considered a colour soothing to the eyes?
Here is my dark poem for the day:
The Liminal powder room
Sickly passage warp the ways
I can function, like being born into the care
Of death’s harbinger,
A far worse fate than meeting the master.
(by all accounts)
Finality is stretched into eternity
And I too am stretched too thin like opaque paint
On a mottled wall
Primed for failure, preened to faint
Like a flustered lady trussed up
In her corset, pink and ruddy
A neophyte reaper socialite Current Mood: happy
|Wednesday, April 27th, 2005|
Well, my parents made it back safely from South Africa and they seem to have had a good time, they came back plumper and in good spirits. This week-end Angela and I are going up to Whistler for our one year anniversary. It should be awesome. Anyways, here is the weekly poem, as promised. You didn't think I was going to talk about me did you? No, never!
The milling madness returns
Weariness alone taints my dreary disposition.
Manifest as the milling madness taking position
In my spirit’s home; the temple of bone
Dressed in flesh, yet never hewed in stone
A malleable masterpiece, easily corrupted
A soft mess too readily sculpted
By those soft mad hands.
So it is, Defeat seldom signals an end
Dogged by malcontent, I toil to fend
Off the stubborn foe poking burgeoning holes
in my riddled temple.
yet, in their slow conscientious way, I know
those fingers, those ruddy bulbous digits,
Will depress my flesh with relentless
meticulousness and find my harrowed soul.
I've written about "the milling madness" elsewhere, and this seems to be a common theme for me, it's the feeling you know when your body feels so very very tired and weak...it's paralleled here by the vulnerability of the spirit. And those "soft mad hands"? well...I'm not going to enunciate anything, take it as you will.
chow for now Current Mood: creative
|Friday, April 22nd, 2005|
|Another bombastic poem...
And here it is...
The rainy poets
What fell voices hath rent the darkened firmament,
Tearing asunder the veiled illusion that hides
The horror of infinity from our upturned eyes?
Indeed, it is a foul day with an evil bent
That we seek to smite with our sinful superstition
And ephemeral fairy-lights of our own deft construction
Yet here in the hiding holes, our futures are wrought
As we give sway to heavy dreams of lighter days
With winsome winds less rank and less dismayed.
For whatever unnamed fear on us befalls
By the gossamer tendrils of our spidery scrawls
We diligently carve immortality
with fickle flicks of our youthful wrists. Current Mood: geeky
|Wednesday, April 6th, 2005|
|Good to be home
I didn't go anywhere really, but I feel like I'm at home in my mind, body and soul, so I've decided to start writing a poem once a week just for fun. These days I don't have too much to say about my existence as a sunsangnim
, I feel like I've said it all before, and nobody reads this anymore because now I'm just an ordinary person lost in a plethora of other ordinary people's narratives in cyberspace. Anyway, back to the poem. It's easier sticking it up here than on my (tantalizing and informative!!! See it now!!!)webpage
. I've also stuck it up on poems
. Here's the first one:
Conflict licked wick
Woebegone missing gene
Silicone cinder bits
Miocene dentist ventriloquists
Dance with the wind genie lean
Into the prayer wheel
Steal your soul-words from
Your whispering god so humble
Jumbled yet joyless like
A tin-knuckled kinetic skeleton
The formatting is a bit off, but there you go...
Don't bother trying to interpret it, it's supposed to be a joy to articulate as well as conjuring up some interesting imagery. On the menu we have banal imagery juxtaposed with pseudo-sublime imagery in a cacophony of lexical paradoxes.
Until next time
see ya Current Mood: artistic
|Friday, March 25th, 2005|
|Spring break in Jefferson county montage
I've just had a weeks vacation here in Port Townsend at "The Loft"...Lots of cool spring sunshine, beaches, seagulls, seapups, bobbing yachts and clacking pebbles...clean bright-eyed ladies painting faces on sidewalks...reed-thin trees swaying and swishing in the heady sea-breeze...hippies in hot Spring pools, phat beats and screwdrivers, Japanese tourists trying to pronounce "Juan de Fuca"...Showgirl theatres on a timeline hiatus, Sun-dried tomatoes and Olive oil in a fairy-light Italian dream, all roads leading to nowhere or to lands end lanes, pristine white barracks and the ghosts of soldiers whose war ended on a football field, batteries and spotlights and nuclear submarines on secret missions to spy on Russia...bored billy-goats with quizzical expressions and yellow eyes, Toxic shellfish and messianic paper mills...Scottish priests jilted by brides-to-be and the castles they built out of broken dreams... Current Mood: recumbent
|Sunday, January 30th, 2005|
|Alas! A purge is imminent!
Occasional journal writer that I am, it never fails to amaze me how insipid this whole thing is, or why I even bother at all. Yet, the idea of disbanding seems fatalistic somehow, like you're leaving your public persona in the lurch or something. Anyhow, while I can hardly call this immersing oneself in the creative process, it is at least some form of writing...these days a sporadic poem hastily scribbled at the back of my notebook is about the extent of my creative endeavours.
Life is sweet my friends! Since I last wrote I have managed to secure myself a position as a writing instructor at a private school. The working conditions and hours are much better than my previous position. The students are young, they range in age from nine to fifteen, but they are a studious lot and quite amiable for the most part. They are all from Korea and come from the wealthiest families, their fathers being judges, doctors and businessmen. Let's not bandy words here, it is basically a Hagwan
, and all the same notorious baggage that comes with Korean Hagwans
comes with this one. The difference, friends, is that I am teaching exclusively writing and writing is what I love to do. Furthermore, my boss has been generously giving me a lot of hours, and I have just finished two months of a schedule from hell commuting from Coquitlam to downtown to Surrey and back to Coquitlam everyday. Not to say I am not grateful. But from February things will be easier.
Might I mention the reason I have this job is because my "old man on the mountain", the good Mr. John Bae highly recommended me for the job, and now I work for his son, for the school is indeed owned by his son. So it comes full circle and my meeting with the old man on the mountain is finally revealed! (See this Entry)
I've also been looking for a good used car to buy and have realized that the statement "good used car" is in fact an oxymoron. One of the main reasons is that Angela is moving to Port Townsend really soon, and this is a six hour drive away. I am also very, very, very tired of catching the bus. I've been spending a lot of money for a mechanic to tell me how junky the car I'm interested in is. There must be a better alternative.
Anyways, has anyone seen Sideways
? What a funny movie! Saw it last night. Folks, I'm out of steam and have decided that I am quite hungry. Goodbye. Current Mood: busy
|Tuesday, November 16th, 2004|
|Stick it to the man dammit!!!
You can't fight city hall. Death and taxes. Don't talk about politics or religion. This is all the equivalent of enemy propaganda rolling across the picket line. Lay down GI, lay down GI. We saw it all through the 20th century. And now in the 21st century, it's time to stand up and realize that we should not allow ourselves to be crammed into this rat maze. We should not submit to dehumanization. I don't know about you, but I'm concerned about what's happening in this world. I'm concerned with the structure. I'm concerned with the systems of control, those that control my life and those that seek to control it even more. I want freedom. That's what I want. And that's what you should want. It's up to each and every one of us to turn loose and show them the greed, the hatred, the envy, and yes, the insecurities, because that's the central mode of control. Make us feel pathetic, small, so we'll willingly give up our sovereignty, our liberty, our destiny. We have got to realize that we're being conditioned on a mass scale. Start challenging this corporate slave state. The 21st century is going to be a new century. Not the century of slavery, not the century of lies and issues of no significance, of classism, of sadism, and all the rest of the modes of control. It's going to be the age of human kind standing up for something pure and something right. What a bunch of garbage: liberal, democrats, conservative, republican, it's all there to control us, it's two sides of the same coin. Two management teams bidding for control, the CEO job of Slavery, Incorporated! The truth is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of lies. I'm sick of it! And I'm not going to take a bite of it. Do you got me? Our existence is not futile. We're going to win this thing. Humankind is too, good. We're not a bunch of underachievers. We're going to stand up, and we're going to be human beings. We're going to get fired up about the real things, the things that matter, creativity and the dynamic human spirit that refuses to submit. Well that's it. That's all I got to say.
(Excerpt from Waking Life
, Guy with a bullhorn driving through the city streets yelling)
What are some other real things we should get fired up about? How about love, friendship and altruism...accountability, sustained development and ecologically friendly industry. COOL! I love that movie. What did I do today? Time to hold myself accountable. I woke up mid morning, read my book, rode my bike to the job centre in the pouring rain and sent out some resumes as well as explore future career options. Then I did some tutoring, I'm trying to help a kid pass his Grade 12 provincial English exam. It won't be easy. Now I'm about to enjoy a Sushi dinner deftly made by Sarah, so I must flee...I had planned to stay and chat, but not this time I'm afraid... Current Mood: my feet are cold
|Monday, November 15th, 2004|
|Dedication to the art
I always say I'm going to spend more time writing, but never do. Well, I mean it this time, and that means updating my journal more regularly. I'll freely admit that life is tough right now, but isn't it for everyone? I may as well share my angst. I wasn't going to post that last entry, which I cut and pasted from another 'secret' journal, but I thought it was fittingly angst-ridden that I may as well go public with it.
By the way, for those of you looking for something racy and think that sex in the city
is "like, the best show ever
(which I don't, but my girlfriend does), check out this blog for some wit and girl talk from a very talented young writer.
What's happening? I recently turned 28 on the 11th, I had a nice birthday, the 11th is a public holiday in Canada (albeit a sombre one) which is great. My girlfriend took me out to dinner at the very popular Stepho's on Davie street for Greek food, we braved the inevitable line-up and stormed in with our hunger blazing. Good times, I'm aging like fine wine over here.
It's my job situation that's been giving me the real ups and downs. About a week ago I was fired from my morning teaching job. The students didn't like me so those back-stabbing bastards had me surreptitiously ousted in an act of clandestine mutiny. I really can't tell you what went wrong because communication levels in the ESL biz are notoriously circumvented. The students, of course, never said a word to me. From what I was told by second hand sources, I lacked the "chemistry" and the "charisma". From this I've concluded that I should never enter a beauty contest or run for office. Seriously though, what it came down to was just a bad fit. The students wanted to party and I wanted to teach and the whole thing failed miserably because I'm just not a party animal. They did harp on about how they wish Korean was the "world language" because they hate learning English and are only doing it to get a good job back home. Needless to say, a tough job to motivate those kids, but I bowed out gracefully and there are no ill feelings, despite the slightly bitter tone I take here.
Today I had a bizarre interview at another school nearby for just a couple of hours a week. I say bizarre because it turned out that the school was owned by the same guy who sent me to Korea in the first place. The same guy whose father I serendipitously met up on Bhukansan. Well, needless to say, I thought I was 'in like Flynn' with such a great networking connection. Well, I didn't get the job but the director of the school spend a good hour dissuading me from pursuing the ESL thing, citing the declining market, the lack of benefits and full time hours and so forth. All things, I might add, I saw my mother vigourously nodding her head to in my mind's eye as he went on about it. He was a very nice man and remarkably perceptive because he could gauge what type of person I was after just a few minutes. His suggestions were to go into business by myself as a tutor specializing in Grade 12 prep work or going back overseas to either Japan or Taiwan. For a Korean he seemed quite negative about Korea. He was saying something about the government encouraging young people to buy everything with credit a few years ago and only now discovering no-one could pay it back and losing lots of money caused an economic crisis. Huh? I can't say I know much about it but that sounds a little off the wall. So basically I need to make some tough choices. Keep gunning for that non-existent full time teaching position? Buy a car, develop some business savvy and become a full time tutor? Branch out into other areas? Go back to school? Work at the mall? Put on my steel-toed boots and head back to the warehouse? It's funny how time goes on the options get increasingly desperate until you're on the streets begging for spare change. Well, it's not quite that dramatic but I often question my ability to take an aggressive stance and initiate positive and constructive change in my life. I'm too passive, I'm a whiner, a daydreamer and I still have those anti-establishment sentiments I should have shed along with my university years where 'sticking it to the man' was liberating as long as we lived off our student loans. All I know is, deep down inside (Hell, it's not even that deep down)I don't want to teach anymore, I'm on the verge of hanging up my teacher's hat and putting sunsangnim
to bed. The passion is gone, it's gone gone gone. Current Mood: anxious
|Tuesday, November 9th, 2004|
|Les Optimiste Miserable
That's what we poets are. Fueled by magic and mayhem and the rich darkness that lurks in the deepest recesses of our souls, we seek the sources of our gloom and inspiration . There is a kind of poignancy and immediacy in our search, as if the infinite universe itself constantly clouds our vision with ubiquitous stars yet sears our dreams with the touch of God. We are les optimiste miserable
, oxymorons of the dreamer, plagued with incompetence, completely ineffectual in the social worlds we inhabit, yet branded with the essence of life itself. For there is no room for us in this time, in this place, where romantic notions are laughed at, where the poet's sensitivity goes unrecognized, shunned, debased, to the point when that miserable optimist questions his own worth. To the point where the dreams take over, once energetic and vibrant, now grey and numbing, lulling the soul to sleep with slow poisonous lullabies. Our own art turned against us. When did we pervert the smile? Feigning good will for profit and gain, the insidious tool of anonymous greed. When did we demote love and sex from the sacred to the secular? Now love has been lost and sex rendered meaningless, and hardly a soul left who knows the difference. When love is charading as love
who would know?
Can I still win this fight? Disentangle myself from death's embrace and flee the dance in lucid fear. How the years have accumulated, oh how weary I feel, a ghost of a man in the weak winter mornings, the mockery of youth still slaved to my identity. No passion, no profession, no honest labour for this ridiculous person that I am ashamed to call myself. Will the grey dreams lighten, will their colour return, like a rainbow's promise? Or is the pattern crystallized, the laws governing my conduct immutable and set in their obstinate spirals of decay? I would say time will tell, but aghast I cry “Time has told!” and I am left holding the book of my life to God with trembling hands, every page empty except for one. That page is this, the page no-one would read. Current Mood: thoughtful
|Thursday, October 7th, 2004|
|Sunsangnim is back, well, sort of...
For the past two weeks I've been teaching a class for two hours every morning at a school up the street. It was convenient and I needed the money. Full-time job prospects are not looking great right now, but I do have my name on a subbing list at a fairly good school in downtown Vancouver. "But out here, in the perimeter, out here we are stoned immaculate...doo dee doo dee doo..." That's such a great Doors song. The perimeter I'm referring to is Canadian suburbia. The school I teach at in the mornings is located in a mall (along with just about every other business in the suburbs) and is rather ill-equipped. I have a strong dislike for malls. The washrooms are located behind the scenes down some long labyrinthine corridors and one morning last week one of the maintenance staff locked me in. I had to bang on the door for a while until somebody let me out.
Ironically, it's a Korean school, that is to say, all the students are Korean. The "Won Jang Nim", or as he calls himself, "president" did not bother to interview me, in fact the only question he asked me was "Do you drink beer?" which is of course, a reasonable question in any Korean company. The students, all in their twenties, are an unmotivated bunch, who would sooner play golf at the local country club than spend a sunny morning learning a language they don't really like. They speak Korean a lot and sneak off for smoke breaks more than is necessary, in fact some of them pretend they need the washroom, then just stand outside smoking. Such juvenile behaviour, while amusing, is something which I have recently been advised to curb immediately. I freely admit I'm not an authoritative figure, and I thought I could treat these guys like adults, but unfortunately, this hasn't worked so far. A polite request to pay attention and speak in English only for their own benefit has no effect whatsoever. My supervisor sat me down yesterday and told me, and I paraphrase a bit, he wants me to be a "cocky bastard" who "oozes charisma". He said the inevitable student-teacher power struggle must result in one or other of the parties seizing it, and that the students will not voluntarily give it up. They need to be controlled, they respect a strong leader, that's what they're used to in Korea, etc. etc. It was pretty good advice actually and I've tried being more of a hard-ass with some limited success. Some of the hardcore apathists still scowl and mutter angrily in Korean under their breath, but when I ask them what is wrong they say "nothing". One student expressed his anger artistically. I had an activity that involved drawing a face. He drew a mohawked, ridiculously over-pierced punk giving the finger, saying "fuck you" and had "you're going to die" written on his shirt. I suspect that most of them are pissed off they ended up in godforsaken Coquitlam, which I must admit, is quite boring to most young people, let alone ESL students who come to Canada to party and get away from their over-restrictive parents. Yes, indeed, classic symptoms of culture-shock. All very fascinating stuff from a socio-cultural point of view. It's interesting, because now it's the students that are experiencing culture shock, not me. In Korea I would leave the school and be immersed in an incomprehensible foreign culture and it would bring me down a bit sometimes. Now my students have that problem, not me. I get to leave the classroom and continue to function quite normally. Now I have to inspire these guys to learn the chosen language of the world's economic superpowers and encourage them to soak in a bit of Canadian culture instead of hanging out in their little Korean bubbles. Easier said than done of course and there are so many intersecting social, psychological and anthropological issues to consider when trying to be a successful teacher. Anyways, for the most part I'm enjoying working with these guys, and quite appreciate the challenge. I do, after all, need to work on my leadership skills. Current Mood: okay
|Friday, September 24th, 2004|
|Lured back to my journal
Yes, I've been momentarily enticed back to my journal... I finished my course a few weeks ago and graduated with flying colours, if you'll excuse the expression. My instructor even pulled me aside and offered me his job, as he was being promoted to a university prep. course. Unfortunately, my instructor is full of extremely hot air and the reality of the situation is that the owner of the school is a bit of a... Well, it's not my place to say anything. I read in the newspaper the other day that some guy working at Starbucks got fired for saying that his boss (who's name had been changed for his protection) was a bit of a wanker or something to that effect. I would never say anything so derogatory about potential employers, no sir, not me, mmm mmm...especially anything relating to their masturbatory habits, that would be totally uncalled for, oh yes, how shocking...mmm.mmm.mmm... Anyway, the bottom line is that, although the prestige of being a TESL instructor is not to be sneered at, it would be somewhat overwhelming given my limited experience. Not to mention that solid lecturing from 9:30-5:30 is very very intensive.
So anyway, being unemployed again is no fun, especially here in Vancouver where you have to sell your soul to make it, I'm hoping I won't end up in the same impoverished situation I was in before I left for Korea. I have some interesting, albeit morbidly existentialist, pieces of writing from that time though. I'll have to try dig them up and post them. For no other reason than to give this lame journal some credibility. So what else? I'm currently living with my brother, his girlfriend and her eight year old daughter. It's in a nice house in a nice suburban neighbourhood in godforsaken Coquitlam...these days though I've come to enjoy the abundance of nature in this area and don't have that horrible feeling of being trapped in suburbia anymore. Unfortunately it's hard getting around as the bus only services this area once every half hour or something like that. I need a car! I'm seriously thinking of spending the last of my savings from Korea on one. Yes folks, it's hard to believe I haven't been working since Korea, but look at all the stuff I've done with the money! Went on an awesome holiday to Mexico and central America, went back to school for a few months...I'm just hoping it'll pay off in the end because things are looking a bit dismal right now. Well, let me clarify, life is not 'dismal', my life has been rich and rewarding, even self-indulgent, but I have to reconcile myself to the fact that it is ever-changing changing changing, like a constant and furious storm that constantly reshapes the landscape...the landscape of my life and of my mind. I still have the hope of finding an oasis of calm within the storm, a time and place where I can settle down and develop a deeper appreciation of the social and physical dynamics around me from a static perch of stability.
I would like to stop wallowing in my cumbersome and wayward thoughts and send a few shout outs of congratulations to some people. Firstly, congrats to my brother who received not one, but two scholarships from the music department at the college he is attending. Nice going man! Congrats to my dear girlfriend, who has been offered a position in the United States with a substantial salary. It's in a really cute seaside town called Port Townsend in Washington - about a four hour drive from here (or a two hour ferry trip from Victoria). She's living the dream! A huge congrats also to my best friend from High School Adam and his wife who recently gave birth to an adorable baby girl. They live in Bath, England at present and are very busy and happy. A big big Congrats to my friend Brian in Korea, who I'm sure is reading this right now...(thanks for your comments Brian) I'm so happy for you man! After a few years of teaching kids in Korea he landed a great job in IT for his church organization and now wears a suit to work!
Well friends, it's time for me to go and face the world once more. I will return, oh yes, I will return... Current Mood: okay
|Wednesday, August 18th, 2004|
|Restless nights of a furtive fugitive...
A fugitive from my own inevitable doom to be sure...It's been a rough couple of weeks. The workload quadrupled overnight as my practicum kicked in two weeks ago. Since then I've been racking my brains 24-7, trying to come up with decent lesson plans. I've taken to cornering the students and desperately interviewing them...What do you want to do tomorrow? Isn't there anything you want to learn about? What do you find fun? Last week was particularly hellish, my mentor teacher was a notorious nazi with dragon blood in her veins. It was a beginner class, not exactly my forte, but I tried my best. Didn't get such a hot evaluation, but at least dragon-lady gave me some good feedback. This week I've had the advanced class, which suits me better, because I'm more "intellectual" whatever that means, and can engage the students in analytical thought. My evaluation is substantially better and my mentor teacher is way more laid back. Here is something I wrote about a week ago:
I feel like I’m being unceasingly pummeled, my disposition is bruised, I’m having blackouts. The black and blue of my mind is almost tangible, I can feel the thickness of the blood as it wells after each blow. A perpetual plane-wreck getting pushed over the edge of sanity. Sunlight is foreign and feels forbidden, yet I yearn for it…I wish I could drink in the green of the trees and the blue of the skies and get drunk on beauty. I wish the war wasn’t brought to be bear on me, it’s seems unfair that I have no comrades, no brethren to share the assault, to absorb the blows...
Anyways, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and then another tunnel and then another tunnel and so on as the pessimist express chugs on through this world. I guess I'm kind of worried about finding a job. Well, all things in good time Antoine, right now I'll just concentrate on getting through the week. Current Mood: tired
|Monday, July 26th, 2004|
|"Don't speak Korean! Thwock!"
I had an observation today at an elementary school. The teacher had a class full of precocious little Korean boys who wouldn't stop babbling away in their mother tongue. I must say I was quite impressed with the teacher, who refrained from rapping on any of the boys heads with his blackboard marker. Thwock! Something I was guilty of doing when I was in a similar situation day in and day out not too long ago. I am actually about halfway through my course already. Despite feeling a little overwhelmed with the workload, I've been learning lots of interesting things and delving a little into pedagogical theory, something I realize now that I sorely lacked when teaching before. I've also met lots of great people...indeed I live with half the world, from Mexico to Japan. I'm learning new levels of patience as I adjust to the noise of living with fifteen people.
My teacher Dave is a jolly fellow, although at times he pulls the 'lads' aside for a pervy story about a "hot chick" he saw walking down the street. He does seem a bit leery at times but is otherwise is really funny and encouraging. Most of my class consists of twenty-something Korean girls who believe this course will help them greatly in their careers back home. Popularity in the class oscillates daily between myself and the other Canadian, Brian, depending on how funny or charming we are that day. Considering our workload, I'm a bit reluctant to engage in extracurricular English teaching activities...but it's hard when they look at you with puppy dog eyes and say "You make me feel funny, I think you are interesting, will you talk with us? We will treat you."
Every week-end either I go to the mainland, or Angela catches the ferry over to the island. It's a long six hour slog, but worth it to see her, albeit briefly. We do nothing mostly, but it's wonderful.
Victoria grows on you after awhile, mostly because it's just so very very chill. Fifteen minutes watching the boats glide across the ice-blue ocean and the sun light up the little islands in the bay is a holiday in itself. I have my bike over here too, which is great.
Well, that's what's going on right now on the island folks. Not much more to say but farewell and goodnight. Current Mood: sleepy
|Thursday, July 1st, 2004|
|Kicking it in the capital city
Well, I'm in Victoria...here for another two months while I study for my TESL. I'm not sure if I'll have much time to write in this, I guess I haven't been keeping it much up to date anyway. It's Canada day today, so tonight they'll be letting off some splendiferous and costly fireworks over the parliament buildings. It is the capital after all. And a beautiful city it is, if not a little slow (or really laid back depending on how you look at it). Lots of retired folks, enough to necessitate a sign downtown which reads "Night time is for sleeping, Day time is for resting"...if you're interested in opening up an English tea-house or a funeral parlour, this would be the place to do it. Still, with the elderly safely resting or sleeping their days away, there's plenty of room for everybody to enjoy all the trees, water and sunshine.
|Saturday, May 29th, 2004|
|officially the most documented trip in history
Wow! Great response from the website, thanks guys! And just because I'm so fastidious, here's a link to Patricia's Costa Rica pictures
I'm not entirely sure these links work, but it's a good reference for my own benefit anyways. Patricia has some great shots of the group, a crazy monkey and of the super-fly swim-up bar at the hot springs! Sigh.....wishing I was there now, the weather here has been chill and drizzly, that's what you get for living in a rainforest I guess... The good news is that Angela will be home June 7th, she's finally coming back to the west coast, sorry, er, wet coast! She graduated two days ago, right on, I'm proud of you baby! On an aside, I've been trying to be a responsible citizen and figure out who to vote for in the upcoming federal elections. After reviewing all the platforms and wading through some impossibly thick rhetoric, my initial optimism faded somewhat. We need some serious democratic reform. I could either go with the opposition, i.e. Jack Layton and the NDP in an attempt to oust Martin and his corrupt liberals or put in a "statement vote" by voting for the Communist Party or the Green Party. Speaking of democratic reform, I think choices like the Marijuana Party and the Absolutely Absurd Party (I kid you not) aren't very useful when all they do is siphon off the pothead votes from the more serious contenders. Well, maybe that's a good thing, I don't know.
|Thursday, May 27th, 2004|
|The dreamer awakens
Back from my whirlwind vacation to Central America and ay carumba
was it action packed! A lot happened and I couldn't be bothered to write it all up, but I did keep a "laundry-list" factual account of the things we did, if you're interested you can read more about it below. Mexico to Costa Rica 2004...( Read more...Collapse )
I don't often write about my personal life in this journal, but I've come to come realizations about staying true to oneself and not neglecting the people around me that I love... I think in Korea, my life started to fragment in a way that I didn't like and I was becoming distant and self-detached, a pattern in my life that I want to break... Angela called me on it, and although I was running from some personal demons for a while she never gave up on me and for that I'm grateful to her...I just hope she can come to forgive me for the way I was in Korea when I tried my hardest to stop feeling and almost succeeded. I'll never feel regret though, just gladness for the things I've learned and the reminder of what's really important in this life.
So, we're finally together, my best friend of the past seven years... It's a big deal for us, after fighting, and cherishing, and nurturing and being afraid of the love that's grown between us - We have a long history, and I've wanted to be with her when she didn't and she's wanted to be with me when I didn't and the timing was finally right.... I knew when we planned this trip together that it would either make it or break it for us, but really I should have had more faith in what we had and what I never wanted to let go. For us, it's beautiful and daring and real and even though we've loved each other as the best of friends for a long time, only just begun. Anyways, the point of writing about this is to reaffirm what the wise among us have known all along, that love is an unexpected treasure when we take the time to bask in it's glow, but it takes courage and diligence and faith to follow your heart, not just in the love of another, but in the ambitions of our lives. An elevated state of being encourages us to take ever greater risk and a willingness to embrace the bittersweet pain we associate with being truly alive.
It's hard not to see life in dualities, black and white, day and night, awake or asleep... I hesitate to say I'm experiencing an altered mindset any different from before, it's not like you can turn a switch. I've always believed that to perceive growth as cyclic is a somewhat limited two dimensional perspective, yes there are cycles of light and dark, of attacking and defending, conscious and unconscious... but I see it more as a three dimensional spiral of growth. Like inhaling and exhaling in an upward spiral toward an infinite goal. We forget and remember, forget and remember and ceaselessly strive toward a sky with no ceiling...Sometimes our progress along the spiral is obscured, and sometimes we ascend or descent accordingly, but it is always a dynamic movement, no matter how static our lives seem, every action holds consequence, every intention and thought affects the focus and tangibility of our lives. One really has to ask themselves the question,
"When do you feel truly alive?"...Can you recognize those moments, have you found them? When you do never forget it, and if you aren't doing that right now, throw every thought and intent into it's manifestation , make it happen and never stop.
Well, that was hi-falutin'...time to get back to reality Current Mood: happy
|Monday, May 10th, 2004|
|On the Volcano
We´re having the best time!!! we arrived in La Fortuna yesterday, here in Costa Rica. One of the first places we went was the natural hot springs, heated by the Volcano and just relaxed in successively hotter pools. Angela amazed our tour guide by jumping into the hottest pool at the top, over 65 degrees centigrade. On the lower levels they had a swim up bar and they didn´t mind taking wet money. It was all rather luxurious and ostentatious but we loved it. Today we went white water rafting on a class 3 river, it was lots of fun shooting the rapids and ducking under vines and checking out the awesome birds and scenery. We then went on a Volcano hike throught the rainforest and our guide pointed out some animals, like spider monkeys. We arrived at the viewpoint at sunset and watched the lava rocks tumble down the volcano like bright red stars, it was quite a sight.
We´ve had quite a few adventures up to this point since Mexico, too much to tell right now. I think I´ll just save it for another time when I can really get my teeth into it and spin out some anecdotes later on when I have more time. For now I´ll just say that we made it through Central America in more or less one piece and are having a blast. I still have to write about the rest of Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua where we stayed mostly, but I´ll have to do a U-turn on that and come back to it later. Tomorrow we´re heading up into the cloud forest at Monteverde, can´t wait! Current Mood: jubilant