Friday, January 27, 2006


. . . and Mozart - it seems that I share my birthday with the great composer. My family will tell you I may share his date of birth but I have none of his musical talent. I love music and have a great appreciation for it but sadly, I have no musical abilities of my own. In fact, when my daughter was a baby and I would sing a song to her, she turned into the youngest music critic in the world and would begin crying - once I stopped singing, the crying ceased.

Mozart may also have had critics in his day but he has become one of the most loved composers of all time. People are fascinated by the man and his music. His life has been put on the small screen by the BBC and Milos Forman brought him to the big screen in Amadeus. I was fortunate enough to see the play Amadeus during the Saint John Theatre Company's 1995-96 season and was blown away by the performance of Graham Percy in the title role. Mr. Percy captured the uniqueness of Mozart and played it with perfection.

The music of Mozart is heard almost everyday by people who are watching movies, listening to the radio, or even while being put on hold. It seems Mozart, like other classical greats, have become a part of our lives and traditions. In New York this summer a 40 year tradition will continue at the Lincoln Center when they present their Mostly Mozart Program.

Even though I may not be as well known as Mozart, I too will be celebrating today with my loved ones. There will be good food, good cheer and, of course, some bad singing . . . and without a doubt, cake.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Down With Bullies

What a great idea.

During the week of January 24-28, 2005, hundreds of schools serving grades five through eight took part in the second annual NNCW (No Name-Calling Week). Educators and concerned citizens banded together and created activties aimed at stopping name-calling and creating safer and more affirming schools for all students.

By creating an opportunity for an ongoing dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in communities, organizers have made a difference in their neighbourhoods. Why not give it a try in your area - it just might surprise you.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tradition Continues

Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday and the mystery of who leaves roses and cognac at his grave still intrigues many people. This fascination is a worry to some as they feel the mystery visitor may be frightened away by curious on-lookers. I find it very touching that someone takes the time to pay tribute to Poe and it saddens me to think this tradition may be stopped because of the thoughtless actions of others.

I have read many of Poe's works and it still amazes me how editors can take his works and market them toward children. His last poem, "Annabel Lee," is beautifully written and is believed to be a tribute to his late wife and the folks at Tundra Books have made it into a picture book aimed at children aged 4-8. Now I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this poem at that age but the illustrations are lovely and it is nice for mom and dad to have a book to read to their children that is just as enjoyable for them as it is for the little ones.

Another book aimed at the younger crowd is "Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness" and this one is a real treat because of the illustrations by Gris Grimly - a great name for an illustrator of gothic art.

Whether you read Poe as a child or as an adult you will agree there will "Nevermore" be an author as sublime as Poe.

Happy Birthday Mr. Poe.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Worthwhile Dream

In a previous post I spoke of dreams and today is set aside to remember a man with a dream - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His dream is one that is shared by many but unfortunately is still being wished today.

Please take a moment today and remember Dr. King and even more importantly, remember his dream.

Martin Luther King, Jr.(1929-1968)

(source possumsnooze/holidays.html)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bring on the Rubbermaid

I had the perfect excuse for five years - I'm too busy with university. Now I have to bite the bullet and organize my books, files, papers, pictures, collectibles, cupboards, wardrobe and my life in general. Just typing the list makes me wish I had a class to run off to or a paper to write. Perhaps I will be surprised by The Clean Sweep team or the goddess of storage containers, Martha Stewart, will drop by and give me a hand. It's not that I enjoy being surrounded by teetering piles of books and photos begging to be framed or scrap booked but things always seem to prevent me from beginning the daunting task of sifting through five years of text books, novels, anthologies, magazines, and "stuff" in general. I know once I get started I will become engrossed in the project and push everything else aside - no laundry, no cooking, no dusting, no sweeping - my life will be devoted to creating an organized living environment.

Hey, wait a minute, maybe becoming organized will allow be to retain the title of The Not So Domestic Goddess. After all, a domestic goddess would never dream of putting her laundry aside or ordering take-out for supper (I have planned on doing both today). Perhaps getting organized will help prevent the extinction of dust bunnies that have found refuge under my furniture as I will be too busy sorting, labeling, shelving and storing to hunt them down. Too busy getting organized to complete the mundane tasks of everyday housework. This project is beginning to show promise.

Now, if I could only make this last until my next excuse . . . er, I mean . . . project rolls around.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


One of the definitions for a dream found in the Oxford English Dictionary is, "a long-held ambition or wish." Hindsight being 20-20, I now realize a university degree has been a long-held ambition of mine. Even as a teenager when I protested against the thought of going to university, deep down, I was envious of the students that were continuing their education. I secretly wanted to be involved in the process of choosing a university and deciding which classes to take. There seemed to be a purpose in their lives and they had goals. All I hoped for at the time was a job so I could have money of my own. I discovered over the years that making money is not a very satisfying goal - don't get me wrong, money makes it a lot easier but just making money is not enough.

I have a love of learning. Some may say I'm just overly curious but I am always questioning and searching for answers. Each and everyday I learn something new and I never tire of the process of discovery. The past five years have been a dream come true for me. Being a university student has allowed me to dive into learning and have it become a part of me. Even on forms and documents I am defined as a full-time student, something I have been all my life as I am constantly learning.

The learning process continues for me now but in a less structured way. I miss living by the syllabus - class times, deadlines, reading assignments, essays, tests, exams - it gives you structure and guides you through the learning process. It seems strange to me to be able to read a book for pleasure and not because it is on my reading list. Even stranger still is reading said book and not looking at it as a potential essay topic. It is hard to read a novel and not "unpack" it for discussion. Sometimes when I read a passage I want to discuss it with a group of like-minded people to see what they think of it, perhaps I will be using this forum for that purpose.

In any event, I am finally fulfilling my dream and getting a university degree but I have a funny feeling that this dream is only going to get bigger.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

What now?

Today I begin a new chapter in my life. After five years of reading, writing, researching, studying, and praying, I have completed the BA/BEd program at UNBSJ. It has been an interesting journey and one I wouldn't trade for the world.

As I sit in front of my computer I wonder what is in store for me. One can plan all they like but life has a funny way of turning those plans around. When I was 18 and finishing high school all I wanted to do was go to work. University was something rich kids did, not me. My teachers had tried to convince me to continue my education but I was a teenager and knew it all. I wanted the immediate satisfaction of a pay cheque, not the long term commitment of university. Now, twenty-nine years later, I am starting all over again and wondering what is waiting for me down the road. Will I find the job I have been hoping for? Is this the right direction to go? Can dreams really come true?

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