This week is my 200th blog post, at least in its new form. I know a lot of you have been following me for a while, but I don’t know how many of you have been here from the beginning. In fact, I think the only people who read the first couple of weeks were related to me. So to celebrate, here, in all its glory, is the very first week. Bear in mind that this was almost 4 years ago. I don’t know if I’m funnier now than I was then, or vice versa but I hope you enjoy it anyway!
October 4, 2014
So I’ve decided to change things up a little bit because I’m not currently a mentor and don’t have a particular protégée that I can practice my educational mentorship on, so I’m turning this blog into a reflection up* the things that happen to me either in real-life or sometimes in my head, which are often even weirder. I can’t rename this blog because a) I am not that technologically proficient and I just spent 15 minutes trying to reset my email for this stupid site and I still don’t think it worked and b) educationalmentorship is kind of an ironic title in a lot of ways.
So here’s some of my week.
Wednesday, also known as the day I realize I really can’t tell stories orally that well.
So I was sitting around with a couple of colleagues and we were talking about how people use the comment tool on almost anything now to slag people for very minimal reasons and say some pretty nasty things because they think the internet makes them anonymous even when their names and pictures are RIGHT NEXT TO THE COMMENT. I launched into what I thought was a very clever tale about how I’m a member of a buy and sell group on Facebook, and how recently a local candidate for town council was totally taken to task when someone posted a warning about break-ins in the area, and he commented that part of his election platform was to help prevent crime. (On a side note, he was very vague and I don’t know how he’s going to prevent crime unless he means he’s going to prowl the streets of our town at night like some badass ninja vigilante). Anyway, I described the nasty backlash he got “for trying to exploit the situation to win the election” and I ended with something like “it was too bad, really.” Then I realized that my colleagues are looking at me a little blankly, almost expectantly, liked there should be more to the story, and then I also realized that my story had no real thesis, which everyone knows a good story should have, and that I’d missed the most important element to the story, the plot twist, which was that the poor guy is only 19 years old and it’s his first foray in the political arena and he probably didn’t realize that people on buy and sell sites can be very fickle. I should just give up on trying to contribute to conversations altogether, and focus on writing things down, which is, of course, my thesis, and the conclusion to this story. Tada.
Did I really just encourage my students to smoke pot?? No. I. Did. Not. It was a total accident that can be explained in this very convoluted way. I was talking to my grade 12s about Titus Andronicus, Act 1, and two characters, brothers, who are trying to become emperor. In what I thought was an attempt to make things relevant, I said that Rome deserved a strong leader, and that just like Rome, so did Canada. I pointed out that the one brother was a lot like our Liberal candidate for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in that he was relying on the goodwill of the people to get elected, just like Bassianus in the play, and that our current Prime Minister Stephen Harper was very much a Saturninus figure because he was relying on the fact that he was the “elder statesman”. Then one of the kids commented, “Justin Trudeau’s only platform is to legalize marijuana”, and I said, “See what I mean? He’s like the fun candidate, and Stephen Harper is the guy who won’t even admit to smoking marijuana and he’s a pretty grim guy in his sweater vests and all. He should really live a little.” And suddenly everyone was laughing, kind of hysterically, and I had this horrible epiphany that I might have just implied that marijuana and “living a little” should go hand in hand, which is totally not what I meant to do with a large group of 17 year olds. So I tried to clarify that I didn’t mean to say it like that, but the kids just kept laughing, and I kept digging myself into a deeper hole, until finally I just said, “Don’t do drugs. I don’t recommend them”, which sounded in retrospect not a great thing to say either. But it seemed to calm them down, and we moved on with the lesson. Will I spend the next few days worrying about whether I get a call from an irate parent who is either upset about the marijuana thing or doesn’t like that I called Stephen Harper “grim”? Absolutely.
This morning I was in the staff bathroom at the school where we have International Languages on Saturday mornings drying my hands with the hand dryer because a) I had just washed them and b) I was freezing and the heat was awesome when I noticed a can of Febreze air freshener on top of the paper towel dispenser labelled “Alaskan Spring”. So I sprayed it because I’ve always wondered what spring in Alaska smelled like (does it really smell kind of like stale Old Spice cologne? Has anyone been to Alaska? If so, can you clarify this?) when it occurred to me that maybe other people had used it BEFORE they washed THEIR hands, and then I got all germaphobic-y and had to rewash my hands all over again. Yep. The thesis of this story is that you should always spray room freshener in a public bathroom BEFORE you’ve washed your hands, then you’re good to go. Or that Alaska smells like someone’s grandfather.
*Yes, I know that there’s a typo in the introduction. It’s there for a reason. Or maybe two reasons that are inextricably linked. While I was typing this blog, Ken came in and wanted to talk to me about something, I don’t know what (because I was typing, you see?). Ken is always going on about how people can’t really multi-task and then he was like, “Can’t you listen to me and type at the same time?” And then I made the typo, which just proves that a) no, I can’t multi-task KEN and b) it’s ironic that he’s always telling me that I can’t multi-task, then he insists that I do it.
*July 22nd, 2018
Happy Birthday to my amazing daughter K, who just turned 20. Yes, I am now the mother of a grown-up adult type person. To celebrate, we took her and her girlfriend, the lovely V, to Niagara Falls, where I am currently writing this bit on my phone. Last night we played Glow in the Dark mini-golf and I paid $35 for a hamburger, which pretty much sums up the Niagara Falls experience if you’re ever thinking of coming here. But the kids are having fun and that’s the main thing.