Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Season of Changes

Spring has sprung and I find myself changing with the season.

Currently I am working as a "Life Skills" facilitator in a program that helps people on social assistance enter the work force. It is a very rewarding job and everyday is an unique experience. The changes I see in the participants in six short weeks is amazing. Most people in the program have the necessary skills to become employed but they just lack the confidence and support needed to make the transition from living on assistance to becoming gainfully employed. It always surprises me when I learn these folks are often not encouraged by their loved ones to do something rewarding for themselves. I guess I have been fortunate enough to always be surrounded by people who support my life decisions and lucky enough to have the confidence to try anything.

Besides working, I have been busy adding to my teaching portfolio. I have come to the point in my life where I have to market myself and make myself stand out in the crowd - be the yellow tulip in a sea of red, so to speak. If I wish to become employed as a teacher in New Brunswick then I have to be prepared to present documentation on my professional development. This is not a bad thing but I still feel as if I am trying to sell a product.

My situation is a little different than most new graduates as I have actually been involved in the school system for the past fifteen years. I have experience as a substitute teacher, tutor, mentor, and volunteer. I have done the "Hokey Pokey" in a kindergraten class and discussed STD's with middle school students. Some days were filled with laughter, others with tears. There are students I will never forget and some I wish I could. Through all these experiences I have discovered one thing - I love it all. The learning, the teaching, the researching, the planning, and everything else in between.

Teaching is my passion and now all I have to do is figure out a way to package that passion so it will shine through in my portfolio. Wish me luck (I have a job interview next week).

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Wearing of the Green


May the luck of the Irish be with you today and you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Look here for some interesting facts and history about St. Paddy's Day.

Of course St. Patrick's Day would not be complete without a traditional Irish Toast:

As you slide down the banisters of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

And The Oscar Goes To . . .

Philip Seymour Hoffman

He did it! As noted in a previous post, Hoffman is my boy. I think he is one of today's finest actors. His body of work speaks for itself. Not only is he a great actor, he is also a very down-to-earth person who doesn't fall into any of the Hollywood pitfalls that have claimed other actors. He takes on roles he will enjoy and considers none of them to be supporting roles or character roles - just good roles that represent a person.

I am even more fond of Hoffman after hearing his acceptance speech on Sunday night. He looked scared to death as he delivered his speech and was very sincere in it. The most heart touching part was a congratulations to his mother, who was in the audience, for raising four children on her own. He not only honored his mother, he thanked her for her support over the years.

His press room Q & A after receiving the reward further cemented my fondness for this actor, especially when a reporter asked him about his feelings towards playing a gay character and he responded by saying he was portraying a person and not their sexual preference.

Kudos to you Mr. Hoffman, and may you continue to entertain us for many years to come.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mad Marg

It seems that Margaret Atwood has now turned to inventing.

It wasn't enough that she is one of Canada's best selling and most recognized authors, she is now the proud owner of a tech company that has created a way for authors to do virtual book signings.

Atwood got the idea for the device during a particularly gruelling book tour for her 2003 novel, Oryx and Crake. Strange that she would think of such a high-tech, science-fiction-like gadget while touring for a book that she argued was not science fiction. See what she has to say about the invention.

Margaret Atwood as an inventor shouldn't be too much of a surprise to her readers, after all, she does have the hair for it.

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