Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Character Sketch: Henry (though if you watched WB network in the late 90's...)

He sat facing the door to the coffee shop with his tea placed in the middle of the coaster.  Occasionally he would glance down at his watch, look around, then pick up the cup and take a sip, grimacing at the taste every time. 
He was young looking for his age which I guessed to be around forty; his tweed jacket purposely hung over the back of his chain, his faded jeans well worn below his crisp Oxford style button up grey shirt with the top button open.  His hair was clean and short with a hint of salt-and-pepper.  His face was clean –shaven and tense – his mouth tight and his eyebrows drawn together.  He began to reach for the pocket of his jacket when the bell above the door rang, announcing another patron’s entrance.
 When he saw who it was, the tenseness left his face.  He stood up to greet the young woman who just stepped out of the sun and into the shade of the cafe.  She was probably younger than him by twenty years – he carefully held her hand for a moment before they sat down together.  Both were quiet for a moment with several false starts at speaking where he would open his mouth, body tense, then stop and look away for a moment before starting again.
“I don’t suppose I can make you change your mind?” he asked gently with a clipped accent he either inherited from his parents or from living across the pond then moving here.
“No, you really can’t,” she replied, her breath sighing out of her as if she was resigned to talking on a subject that was old news.  “Honestly, Henry, we’ve been over this and I’ve made up my mind.”
“I really wish you would call me ‘Dad’ or something,” he said quietly while taking another deliberate sip of tea, perhaps to gather his thoughts, his eyes downward cast.
“Well if you acted like my dad instead of...look, we’re happy.  I’m happy,” she began then huffed out a frustrated breath when the man across from her took off his glasses and began to polish the spotless lenses with a handkerchief he pulled out of his jeans pocket.  “Would you stop doing that?”
“Doing what?” he asked as he continued to clean his glasses.
“That thing where you don’t want to see what’s going on so you polish your glasses.  Just stop it, okay?” she asked as she reached across the small table and gently grabbed his hands in hers.  “We’re moving to where his work is, and I’m sorry that means that I won’t be around to see you as much.  I’m also sorry it’s in Saskatchewan because I’ve heard what the weather there can be like.  But...we’re working on building our lives together.  His contract will be up for renewal with the company in two years.”
He nodded, lost in thought.  He looked at her but it was as though from far away, looking through time, eyes glassy and distant.  “It’s just...” he began then stopped, taking a breath and clasping hands together for want of something to do with them.  “It’s just...since your mother...” he was now looking at her instead of a ghost, “now that she’s gone; you’re the only family I have.”  He offered a stiff-upper-lip smile and busied himself with another sip of tea that didn’t meet his standards.
“I know, Henry, but can’t you see that I’m trying to make a family of my own with Will?  You’re not going to be cut out of it, but we need some time to get our bearings, to figure out if we can really make it together.  It’s like with you and Mom,” she said as she sat back in the chair.  “You followed her from England to could I possibly be your daughter and not follow Will to Saskatchewan?”  A twinkle in her eyes betrayed a smile.
Henry looked at her with his glasses held by a stem in one hand.  His eyes were lightning blue as they studied her face for a long moment.  She stared right back with that not-quite-a-smile.  Then he exhaled and placed his glasses back on his nose, looking through them at the young woman.
“Well, we should go pick some things up like extra blankets and those fuzzy socks you like.”  He clapped his hands to his knees and stood up, one hand held out to his daughter.  Then he turned and scooped up his coat, spinning it around his shoulders and sticking his arms into the sleeves.  He offered his daughter his arm and she took it with a relieved smile. 
He looked at her sternly over his glasses.  “And bug spray,” his face relaxed and a hint of a smile appeared at the corners of his mouth, “I hear the mosquitoes out there are the size of cats.”

Character Sketch...some might recognize her...

Character #1

I turned and she was there, her appearance severe from her head to her toes. She was speaking to a group of about five people at the party that she had helped create the need for with poor management skills. Several people were saying ‘goodbye’ to a company they had worked at for over thirty years since she had stuck her oar in the water last year when the board hired her.

She had incredibly tightly curled hair that didn’t tumble elegantly so much as it maintained its defiance of gravity in a perfectly inverted ‘U’ shape around her head. She wore pristine ironed gray pants suit with two strands of pearls around her neck, one longer than the other. Her shoes were pointed and ridiculously thin with a heel that gave her the slightest height advantage, as though she had always wanted to be just a little taller than she was.

Her eyes were lifeless and cold as those of a dead fish. When she introduced herself to someone she would smile, which was particularly horrible since her enormous teeth would hold the words she was saying prisoner by never opening up. I watched her ooze around the room with dainty calculated steps, person to person to person.

“Ah, hello, this is...” someone would start.

“Oh, yes, it’s so nice to meet you...” or did she mean ‘eat you?’ I couldn't listen to the rest – I was mesmerized by the lack of warmth and genuine emotion on her face. Was she aware that every move she made looked contrived and false? She would smile that shark smile, but it would never reach her eyes. She would keep her teeth clenched together when she spoke to someone, those lips pulled back from the chompers as far as she could get them. Her eyes would roam over their faces briefly then return to their lifeless state. The entire time she would spend with someone would subject them to that unaltered smile of false promises that she was happy to be there.

Progress? More Like ' I Question Everything About this Course' Rant

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tonight I read ahead in the course material – glanced through to the end to see what was in store for me, you know? I can’t say that I’m too impressed with the idea of having to go out and buy a book in order to (essentially) destroy it. I’m not comfortable with that. I would liken that to book burnings or the defiling of art pieces. I’m not comfortable with compromising my beliefs (that books are to be treasured because they are words written by people in time who had something to say, be it good or bad) and I’m not sure what scrap-booking has to do with a writing class. I’m not comfortable with any of this last assignment.

Why do I have to go out and purchase someone’s book in order to destroy it? And I’m certainly not going to use one of MY books for this project – there’s a reason why I buy the books I buy and there’s a reason why I keep them (and in pretty darn good condition, too).

I find more and more with this course that I am falling into the abyss of apathy – my group mates do not comment on anything I post and I, in turn, do not feel all that inclined to post responses to anything they put in the forums. This was one of the concerns I had from the start with this course, especially when the Tutor Marker doesn’t check anything during the weekend, a time that I believe most of us are finally able to sit down and crank out the work and be in the position to request feedback.

I know I’m being critical, but at this point, for the amount of money I’ve dished out (honestly, how does the government expect to get students fresh out of high school in this economy that they have allowed to backslide to this point into post secondary for more than a semester before they cannot afford to take classes?!) and the level of the course itself, I expected a lot more out of it. Dozens of times I have logged on to check and see if anyone had posted to something I’d put into the forums to generate discussion, only to see that nothing had been added…or the fact that there is the resource of having a chat room that no one goes into. It’s…sad.

Tomorrow I begin a new intersession for my Education 471 class: Curriculum. It should be interesting to see what happens as it’s an evening course and we can be expected to have up to 50% of our grades based on attendance and in-class responses to whatever is going on. I am wondering how strenuous this new course will be in comparison to this course or my EDUC 475 course with Peter.

On a very positive note (and one that will hopefully continue to be positive, please, please, please!), I am going to be getting an interview with Langley school board soon. This means I have to finish my portfolio (7/12ths there!) and start practicing my responses to possible questions. I don’t want to, but I know I will inevitably stress myself out over this – my only hope is that I don’t stress too much and I get into the district. Everyone I have told has been of the opinion that Langley isn’t hiring…here’s hoping I’m the exception to the rule.

I’m also hoping that this good news pulls me out of the funk that I have gotten into these last few weeks. I haven’t felt like I’ve made any progress (mostly in a personal way, not so much with my writing as I’m confident I’m ‘getting’ the assignments) so I haven’t felt like I’ve been worthy to write in my progress log. Little accomplishments like doing well on my math problem log and the group problem assignment help boost my confidence that I can do this, and getting a reflection of a good mark for a good writing piece (‘Henry’) helps, too. It’s tough to be more than half way through a course and not be more than 20% of the marks, though.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm taking this online writing course - it's 8 credits (no, I didn't hit the wrong key, it's really 8 credits.  Believe me, it hassle enough for 8 credits).  One of the BIG final projects for the WRITING class?
Basically, a scrapbook that tells a story.  

'Seriously?' you're saying.
'Yes,' says I, 'that's the sad reality of it.'

I have next to NO idea how to do scrap-booking, so I'm really hoping that I'm not penalized for my lack of enthusiasm in this. 

Did I mention that I have to DESTROY a BOOK to do this?

Yes, gentle reader, I have to destroy a book in order to complete this assignment.  I can't just take any old book and ruin it by painting, pasting and befouling it - no, NO!  It has to be a book with MEANING for me.  

Really?  How about I video tape me burning it instead?  That would hold more significance than be ruining it any other way.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ten Years Already?

I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I'm going to my 10 year reunion.  I hear that there will be about 50 people there, including their dates/spouses.  Should be interesting to see who shows up.  I would be spending the night at home doing schooly stuff or *gasp* some glass work, but as Nathan is a social butterfly and this means something to him, I'm going.

At least I'll have Bre there to talk with, and Darryl and Carly are always up for conversation.  I imaging Nathan will be circulating amongst the crowd, talking to people he will assure me graduated with us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lots happened!

  • I got married
  • We had a reception in a ridiculous heat wave!
  • The store I worked at was robbed while I was there
  • My sister got married
  • My friend from the store who was working with me the day it was robbed died
  • My best friend since grade 4 got married
  • Nathan's best friend got married
  • I drove up to PG to visit Nikki and emotionally detox
  • I started SFU's PDP and absolutely immersed myself into it to get away from the rest of my stresses
  • I got through my 405 semester with flying sparkly colours
  • I'm still gainfully unemployed even though I got stellar reviews from my FA and SA
  • Nathan's dad wants us to go up to Quesnel for a weekend to check a couple of his places out.
 In the ENTIRE time I have been doing PDP, I haven't TOUCHED my's sitting there collecting dust and glaring its little eyes at me...all seven of them. 

I really should be doing the finishing touches on my math right now but I just needed to write some stuff there.

Our super awesome pattern block fun activity results!  I love my EDUC 475 class!!