Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Adventures in Blogiversaries...

I just realized I've been Blogging now for 3 years (and 2 days). I was just browsing through some of my first posts and realized I'd forgotten how cute the kindergarden kids could be. I don't miss teaching at that school at all, but I do wonder how some of the little kids are doing.

It's amazing how interesting (or procrastinative) it can be reading through dull little day-to-day blips from years ago. So many things that would normally be forgotten have now been recorded for posterity, so I can re-read them, then forget about them again and again and again.

I hope you've enjoyed reading 'em over the years. It's certainly a mish-mash of "random randomness at random times" to quote the byline of Ben's blog. Thanks for your readership!

Adventures in Bathroom Accessories...

1. My toilet paper roll holder was made by a Korean company: Bum Han.
2. During a nights sleep, my sense of humour seems to reset itself to somewhere around its kindergarden level. After my cup of coffee, my sense of humour tries to catch up with my real age, but it doesn't always succeed.
3. Sometimes, it makes me laugh a little that the word "Bum" is permanently etched above my -ahem- hygenic tissue roll.
4. Sorry you had to read this.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Adventures in Books...

For my birthday, I was given some gift certificates for an English book bookstore here. This past weekend, I used them to pick up a couple of titles that looked interesting. I've just finished reading the first little one, and it was fantastic. It was short, and simple, but it was written from such a unique perspective that it kept me interested. Even though I finished it yesterday, I've picked it up a few times today and read a page here and a page there - mostly because I don't want the story to be over. I keep hoping I might have accidentally missed a few pages the first time through, and might discover them if I pounce on the book (catching it off-guard, of course) and spring it open to a random page. So far, no luck.

I'd like to be able to tell you what book it is, but since I just got a copy of it for my sister for Christmas, I can't. Even so, I hope you're all enjoying a good book today.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Every November, Canadian schoolchildren are encouraged, persuaded, inticed and/or forced to memorize Lt.Col. John McCrae's poem "In Flanders' Fields". (Parents of schoolage kids - is this still a requirement?) Every November, Canadian war vetrans march through the streets to the local cenotaph and lay wreaths in memory of their fallen friends. Every November, regardless of our personal opinions, convictions or reservations about war itself, we are encouraged to show honour, respect and gratitude to those individuals who have fought, suffered and died for our safety and freedom. This November, I hope you'll sign a petition calling on the Prime Minister to offer a State Funeral to the family of the last veteran of the First World War resident in Canada. Only three Canadian veterans of the First World War remain. They are 106 and 105 years of age. You can find the petition here: .

After years of learning it, we should all remember the end of McCrae's poem... "If ye break faith with us who die/We shall not sleep though poppies grow/in Flanders' Fields". Neither should we break faith with those who survived fighting in Flanders' Fields. It's the least we can do.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Adventures in Quality Quality Control ...

The university is conducting an internal audit/quality control exercise this month. We were told to expect a staff member to show up to each of our classes with a checklist. We're supposed to sign the list to verify that we are actually teaching each class on time, and for the required 50 minutes.

How this has actually played out across campus is rather interesting. Some teachers have had the auditors arrive to each and every class, and stand outside the classroom until it's finished. Other teachers have had auditors come to ONE class, and had the teacher sign for all 7-9 classes that they teach. For those of us in the Engineering Department (where 6 of my 7 freshman classes are), the lists are on a table in the teacher's lounge for us to sign at our convenience. Now that's top-notch quality control.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Adventures in Gunpowder Plots...

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

On November 5th, 1605, the plans of Guye Fawkes and his fellow conspirators to blow up the British parliament were thwarted. (Although the gunpowder was stored in barrels under parliament, by the looks of
the gigantic pylon on his head, a great deal of gunpowder could have been stashed away beneath Fawkes' hat.) To this day, November 5th is marked by bonfires, fireworks and burning effigies of Guye "Guido" Fawkes. What an odd holiday. I'm not sure what perplexes me more: the holiday itself, or where on earth I learned that poem, and why do I still remember it!?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The day did improve (after the cat licked my 'do smooth.)
Adventures in being 30-something...

If the state of one's hair on the morn of one's birthday is any indication of the year to come, I'm in trouble.

Sorry for the scare folks. I'm off to brew a barrel of coffee; as you can see, I need it.