Sunday, 29 November 2015

Science Fair & Exciting News

I got to go to the science fair. When you have such a small school it makes it possible to have almost all of the students present their projects. What en excellent opportunity to practice public speaking! I was surprised that the majority of the kids seemed quite comfortable in front of a room full of people. I certainly felt for the kids who struggled, because that was me at that age; I absolutely dreaded public speaking. Thankfully I have grown out of it and into a place where I am a bit more comfortable, but the butterflies never seem to go away. Grades 1-3 had their projects on display at the back of the room and the rest of the grades did full presentations. I was asked to mark the presentations with a rubric the science teacher had developed. It was quite thorough. They had strict time parametres and criteria such as elocution and body language. The presentation topics ranged from electric circuits to forensic science and mummification. The mummified fish was a little smelly, but the dissection, and lengthy process to mummify the little fishy was pretty impressive. Poor dead fishy.

I also got some incredibly unexpected news that has me on a roller coaster of emotions. After studying for the LSAT in Durban and at sea, writing it in Madagascar, and completing the lengthy application process I got a response. I got into law school at the University of Ottawa. I got the e-mail on Friday after work and I was so excited I jumped up and down, and then I paused. I thought it was so early (just two weeks after getting the e-mail to confirm receipt of my application) so I got serious. I decided I need to double check before I told anyone, so I called the admissions office. The lady kind of laughed at me when I told her I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a mistake. She confirmed that I had been accepted and congratulated me. Then I got to call my mom. I am thankful I didn't see the e-mail until the end of the day here when everyone at home was already awake or I may have exploded. As I was talking to my mom on her cell phone my dad called her on the house phone so she got to tell him right away. Being my dad he wanted to know how soon I start (anything to get me home). The excitement lasted a few hours and then all the logistics started settling. Moving, going back to school, leaving the ship, leaving my family again. Then yesterday I realized that I would be starting school at 27 and wouldn't be done until I was 30. That seems really old right now. I started worrying about all the 21 year olds that would be my classmates. Kids with unlimited amounts of energy and 5 more years for neuroplasticity. Not fair. Luckily my family is keeping me excited. My brother is already getting ready to go apartment hunting and telling me that he is coming to visit. He has an excellent idea of where I shouldn't live (any of the buildings he lived in while he was in Ottawa). Funny, I am back to going to the school where my brother went, just like the old days. Well, I should say that I applied to one other school and am unsure whether to wait for an answer or just go with the offer from Ottawa. Once I get home for Christmas I can peruse the admissions package and decide. It seems like a no-brainer but I think that is partially because Ottawa is familiar to me. I have been there countless times, where I have never been to the other school or the city in which it sits. Thank you for all the prayers; they were answered. Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 15 November 2015


I saw these barricades on the stairs a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was a little dramatic. This is because I think that calling something a life hazard seems to imply impending doom. Now that I think about it, it might be really nice if these warnings showed up more often. As I have an aversion to making mistakes, having a little help steering away from danger, risky decisions, and actions that have not been fully thought out would be quite nice. Well, you might say that if you never encountered a challenging situation, or made any mistakes you would not really be living. It seems as though the best learning situation comes from making a wrong turn; saying the wrong thing, giving too much or too little information in answering a question, giving the wrong impression, and the list goes on. I hate coming up short. It makes me feel unprepared, inadequate, and like I failed. The other thing is that when I make a mistake it opens me up for criticism, and the next worst thing to making a mistake is having someone else let you know that you made a mistake. It is kind of ridiculous as I am incredibly critical of other people and their work. So, I know that everyone makes mistakes and that is why we have systems in place to catch and correct them. One of the difficult parts of life is when you are criticized for something that doesn't seem like it warrants criticism. The number of friends I have shouldn't matter. Where I choose to eat my meals shouldn't matter. Just because I don't do things the way someone else expects them to be done doesn't warrant a criticism of my actions. I will never ever be able to make everyone happy, befriend everyone, and solve every problem. I know that, but it doesn't mean that it sits well with me. I want to be everywhere, helping everyone, and I wish I were more charismatic, more charming, more friendly, more self-confident, more, more, more. I'm not. I know I often hear people's mere comments and take them as criticism when they were not meant that way. I am aware that I often that things too personally. It is not an easy habit to kick. My parents have been urging me to build a thicker skin for years. It may be happening but a a glacial pace.
Maybe the criticisms are barricades, made to steer you in another direction, not to keep doing the same thing that you are used to doing. In the past week I have heard the following a few times "Isn't that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result?" Perhaps we are there for one another to provide guidance and make sure we don't go insane. The challenging part comes with the presentation and the reception. It has to be done with love or it is doomed. The most well intentioned comment can ruin a relationship, someone's self-esteem, a mood and so much more if it is done from the wrong place. It hurts me to be wrong but often I can't be right without first being wrong. Also, I can't help other people be right if I myself have not gone through the process of correcting my own wrong.
There it is. I had a wonderful weekend full of laughter, tears, and memories (old and new). I hope that the week ahead is full of learning opportunities for me and for you.

With great love,


Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Other Stuff

Since Giulietta was really the only thing that mattered I failed to tell you about all the other things that went on last week.

I finally got to give blood! I signed up last year as well but the lab never called me. Well, this year was different. I got pre-tested on Monday and then I got a call on Wednesday that they might need me but weren't sure. I had to leave my office to go to a staffing call so I let the lab know just in case they needed me. Five minutes later they came and found me. I was so happy to be able to give blood to a patient in need. I know Canadian Blood Services isn't going to want my blood for a long time so I had better contribute while I can. 

I also got to have my bi-annual dental hygiene appointment. My hygienist was a fellow Canadian! She was chatting to her assistant when she mentioned that her dad was a water diviner. I let it pass but when I had a chance to talk I asked her what it was. She was surprised I had never heard of one before. It is someone who can find water underground without digging for it. Apparently he had a gift, and because he knew as much, he never charged anyone for it. She also said they always had the most beautiful, clean water to drink. 

What else? Well I was washing my hands in the washroom and I looked out the window and saw this:

I guess they were working on the motor so they had the prop submerged in a big bucket of water. I am not sure why but I thought it was so funny, but I just couldn't get over it. That is why I went and got my phone to take a picture. You know what is not funny? That clear water! It is beautiful. 

That's about it. We had a long weekend on the the ship and we had a new On Boarding group arrive on Friday, complete with a new member of the HR department. That means that someone left to make space for him. I wasn't happy to see her leave but I am very happy she is getting to go home to see her friends, get her hair done, and eat chips and queso. Speaking of eating, while I was talking to my grandmother today she invited me over for lunch tomorrow since I had no other plans. I wish! If I left now I might be able to make it. Enjoy your Sunday (and what's left of your Saturday).

Check out this rainbow that I saw on Friday! I think there must be some gold in one of the shipping containers!