Friday, December 30, 2005


I gave notice at the end of the November long weekend. This really didn't give me much time to find a new apartment or a new roommate for December. Luckily Rach's little sister was looking to leave home so that solved problem number one. For many people it is confusing that I now live with my best friend's little sister (including their family), but it works quite well. Now to find a place.

I looked at lots of places and they were all "OK." Blah. There wouldn't be any trouble living in any of them, but nothing really great. Considering how many times I've moved over the years, I was hoping to do a little better than just ok. I was hoping to finally move somewhere I could stay and love until I bought something. Something that felt like my home. Just as I was giving up hope and getting ready to settle for the least blah of the blahs, I found it. A townhouse in City Park, end unit, nice size and layout, newly rennovated. It's selling feature - paint! The owners have a hatred for eggshell white that rivals my own! Our kitchen and hallways are a nice shade of yellow with blue/turquoise cubboards, our living room is a very nice shade of green, Dani's bedroom is a blue and mine is a brown. It's wonderful to live somewhere that's not white and sterile. Yay to having a home.

We moved in December first and a few days later I realised exactly how unhappy I'd been with my previous living arrangements. Magically I was back to my old self again. My short temper with poor Sean-o and my students all but dissapeared. I started laughing again. Regular customers at work commented on how happy I seemed. I started sleeping and relaxing more. I should have started blogging more, but Christmas was right around the corner and there was so much to be done!

the stress

So, I know I am a terrible blogger and email updater. But at least there is some explanation, mainly the stress that was my old house.

I believe I mentioned earlier that I moved. I have since moved again. Why so much moving you ask? I have learnt that I need to live in a clean environment to be happy.

You see, the first move involved me moving in with a very swell girl I met at work at the Odeon. She's also a teacher with a couple side jobs, and she was looking for a roommate to help pay her mortgage. When I viewed her house in the summer when I was thinking of moving, yes it was a disaster, but she spoke of cleaning, finishing renovation, and it was (and is) a very cute house. Added bonus being I liked her enough to think we'd make good roommates. To help fix the first two problems, it was decided I'd move in in October instead of September to give her a little extra cleaning time. I gave my notice, my landlady was sad to be losing me as a tenant and I was looking forward to living with my new roommate and doing roommate-y things. Eating supper that wasn't popcorn, watching girly tv shows etc.

The end of September came and I started moving my stuff in. It was very obvious that no progress had been made in the way of cleaning or renovation. It would appear "some things came up." Not really having any options, I moved in anyway. Thus commenced a two month decent into hell.

You see, this was no ordinary kind of mess. This was a super mess. A house eating kind of mess. This kind of mess would make the people on that TLC show about organizing rooms want to eat babies. There really is no was to describe the utter madness that was to be my new home. Imagine if you took the contents of 4 homes and then jammed them into one small wartime house. Now buy new furniture for the house, but have nowhere to put it, so randomly keep it in boxes where it will fit. Now flood the basement so you have to throw everything around to get it out of the way. Add an argument between yourself and the house so the house decides to vomit it's contents up at you to prove a point. Create one path to walk through the house and clean one chair off so one person may sit. Voila! That's about the best description I can muster. I'm speaking very literally when I say the entire house except the one path,chair and folding table beside the chair was stacked a minimum of 3 feet high in stuff.

Stress mounted. My bedroom and a small area around my desk were the only Oasi of "clean." I spent my days trying to spend as little time as possible at home. My home stressed Rach out and that says a lot. Sean-o was very concerned. The stress got to a point where I couldn't even recognize it as stress anymore. An ultimatum to the roommate was made - progress on the house must be made, or I would be moving out. She seemed to understand, you really can't be in denial about something like that. I was hopeful for change. The agreed cleaning date came and went. A desk was cleaned. Much anger ensued. Frustration hit an all time high. I gave my notice.

I could go into detail on the frustration, but I have a feeling this is a long post already. My ex-roommate and I still get along very well, she is still a great person, however we have very different opinions on what an acceptable living arrangement is. I think I've done a pretty good job of not taking out my frustrations of spending 2 months in hell on her. Considering everything, I think that's pretty amazing.

the conclusion

So before I make a proper update I think I should end the mmm bop story.

While being the part time home of many hooligans, ruffians and future low life of Saskatoon, Feehan also houses some very ambitious, motivated and creative kids. Many of these students find themselves in a young, trendy, opinionated and challenging teacher's law 30 class. This class just so happens to occur in period 3, the class in which our Christmas hampers are put together. What does this have to do with mmm bop, well at first not much.

Said teacher's creative students really wanted to go the distance this year for their Christmas hamper. These are generous folk, the kind who make us all wish we were better people. They brainstormed ways to raise as much money as possible for their family. And then, they came up with a goal. They made a deal with their teacher that is they raised $400 dollars for their Christmas hamper that he in turn would let them wax his legs. A contract was signed. Work commeneced. These kids went all the way - bake sales, asking families, allowances and precious work money was all collected for 2 weeks. The goal was met, an appointment with an esthetician was made.

Would these crafty students let it stop there however? No! $400 was not enough for these gianormous hearted gr 12 students. They devised a second money making scheme, this time the profits being donated to the stop the bop charity. The deal? To view the waxing of the very popular teacher's legs you would have to pay $1. A pretty good deal considering it's rumoured he screamed like a little girl... These wonderful students raised another $400 in admission fees that was donated to stop the bop - meaning for the last week of school we could all enjoy Christmas carols instead of the mindless spasms of the Hanson brother's vocal chords. Thank you Law 30 students.

On a final note, said teacher has girlier legs than I.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

mmm bop!

In case some of you have forgotten the love that is mmm bop is, let me remind you :
"mmm bop, bee doo bee dop, bah doo wap, boo doo bah dop"
Thank you Hanson brothers/sisters - they may be married but it still is quite possible they're not boys...

I digress. My school is raising money. Money for people in Uganda. Hopefully $500 for people in Uganda. Quickly. This is where the Hanson boys come in. The SRC is going to play the song "mmm bop" by Hanson every single break, between every single class until the school raises $500.

Brilliant! I love it! We're on day one of the fundraising campain and already there are gangsta looking students humming mmm bop in the the halls. No one with any kind of "street cred" would be caught dead humming Hanson. The fine folks in Uganda will have their money before Christmas! A big yay to the school in Edmonton who's idea this was, I'm a huge fan of annoying people into giving up their money.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Now hopefully I won't run into any more people who haven't seen Empire Records (maybe the best movie in the world...) so that you can all have an idea of who GWAR is. If not, well that's what google exists for.

So GWAR was at the Odeon yesterday. I worked. Now, before I went to work I knew there was going to be some insanity. We'd been warned to wear clothes we could get wrecked cause of the fake blood spraying. I knew they were planning on "plastic wrapping" the Odeon. I'd "seen" them on Empire Records. You'd think I'd have been prepared, this of course was not the case. Thinking I was prepared probably made me even less prepared.

So I get to work. While I knew the place was to be plastic wrapped, for some reason my mind obviously was rejecting that as reality. Boy was I surprised when if really was plastic wrapped. The Odeon is 3 stories tall. The plastic went all the way to the top. The dance area was completely covered in carpet and mats. There really was no exposed space in the whole front area. I started to get a little worried at what I'd gotten myself into.

Happily, I was scheduled to work the landing bar. This was a really good thing in my opinion - not for it's money making possibilities - but for it's distance from the insanity. It would be very difficult to spray me with anything if I was at the landing bar.

Doors open. It would appear if you go to a GWAR show, it is mandatory that you wear a black t-shirt declaring your love for GWAR or another suitable heavy metal band. If you could not afford a real band shirt, it was acceptable to make one. In visiting with the patrons, it was obvious everyone was excited. Think of how excited a 14yr old girl would be if you told her she could meet Justin Timberlake or Hillary Duff. This is the excitement of GWAR fans. They were basically vibrating from excitement. If you could bottle that excitement, we could have powered Saskatoon for a year. Take that SaskPower!

GWAR finally makes the stage. Whoa. They are gianormous. I wasn't actually expecting them to be wearing their costumes for some reason. I really wasn't expecting their costumes to make them 8' tall. Here's where the bad part of working at the landing bar comes in - I couldn't see anything. Not that I had a lot of customers by this point, so I kept sneaking out to see what was going on. So yes, GWAR is this crazypsycho costumed group. Something like pokemon warriors meets transformers meets the devil meets steroids meets g-strings (oh yes, their costumed selves wear g-strings). I have no idea how they don't pass in those things or how they play music. So if this wasn't enough, GWAR is really crazy musical theater. Their sets have a story line - they play songs and then make fun of and kill public figures. The first victim was President Bush. They eviscerated him on stage. At least that cleared up my curiousity as to why they spray blood all over the crowd. I got to see the bit where his intestines were being pulled out along with the rest of his organs. They also killed in various ways Sharon Osborne, Michael Jackson and one other person. At some point in time green goo was involved.

Their fans loved it! I'd never seen so many people happy to have ruined their clothes. Some of them were more than happy, they were proud! It's some kind of status symbol to be able to get the most guck on you. Clearly this states your dedication to GWAR and killing stupid people (that part I kind of understand...). Besides, the fact that these people managed to dye black red is pretty amazing all in itself. Just think of how wet you have to get to dye black. Oh ya, that was 500 people last night at the Odeon. Then imagine me trying to walk between these people at the end of the night without touching anyone for fear the love of GWAR is contagious or something. If I was Marla there is no doubt I would have slipped on the goo and made a spectacular fall into a group of dripping, vibrating fans. It was pretty entertaining.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I just thought I'd let you know that I officially have the internet in my new domicile. This is pretty exciting for a girl who is over a full month behind on all the tv she watches. Maybe less exciting for my cooworkers - no more covering my ears signing songs and doing strange chair dances to avoid hearing info I don't want to know yet for me! How the dancing helps? that's for me to know, thank you.

Today was a rather eventful day in period 3. Somehow a student managed to "spill" a slurpee on my floor, down my bulletin board, and on my ceiling. This mislead soul can't add, but he sure knows how to spill up. To make this story even better, while he's cleaning up a brawl almost erupts between him and another typically good natured student. I've pieced the dialogue together and I believe it may have gone something like this (I really only heard the last bit, I was handing back exams at the front of the room):
Slurpee spiller - student is mopping the floor, wiping the ceiling and wall...
Other student "hey, you better do a better job, you missed a bit"
SS "do it yourself if you don't like it"
OS"fuck you"
(I never did find out what SS said here)
OS: "Well I'm not the fucking retard who fucking spilled it in the first place, fuck!"
This is where I clued in and kicked them both out. The admin was in to talk to my class later... never a dull moment...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

the reader's digest edition

stay tuned for the full stories later...

so in the spirit of trying to get this thing updated- something is better than nothing ne? - real stories to come asap.
since my last post i have (in no particular order):
- gone on a canoe trip to nistoyiak falls with 5 students
- become an "adult ally" for feehan's youth action circle
- continued teaching
- worked an insane amount of hours at the odeon (one cheque had 40 hours on it...)
- moved into a house with a roommate (odeon employee and public system teacher)
- had parent-teacher interviews
- worked saturday nights at diva's
- attended two conferences, one in saskatoon and one in regina
- attended a stagette in moose jaw
- joined an adult ballet class
- completed my professional growth plan for the year
- most likely driven my boyfriend crazy more times than he can count-he claims to love me anyway : )
- turned 25
- finally finished reading "a complicated kindness"
- bought a new bed
- gone to the ballet twice (swan lake and dracula)
- saw the arcade fire and wide mouth in concert

well i'm sure there's more but i'm drawing blanks so til later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

blogs are for updating

... which it would appear I'm not so good at these days. Sorry folks, school has been nutty, the extra job was a little psycho for a bit, moving was a classic gong show and parent-teacher-student conferences were just peachy. No internet at home is also not really helping. I've thought of updating at school, but have decided that I really should stick to teaching and helping my students. Anyway, internet should be a reality in the next couple of days so hopefully I'll get a whole shwack of blogs done. No promises as those are dangerous may cause something bad to happen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

well if I have to

I teach one of the nicest boys on the planet, I'm sure of it. Everyday he comes in and tries to speak French to me, he's taking core-french this semester and obviously must be loving it. He's so happy to be able to use new words when he can, it's fantastic. I'm not sure I've ever seen a student put such an earnest effort into learning. Last semester he was in a co-taught classroom - indicating he has difficulties in Math. Yet he outperforms most of the class. Probably feeling a little nervous about our first unit test that's coming up on Monday, he made an appointment to come see me for extra help (on Tuesday, almost a full week before the exam!).

However, today was one of those weird sick days. I woke up, felt kinda sick, but not so sick that I thought to stay home. A decision I immediately regretted once arriving at school. The world was a haze. Nausea kept sneaking up on me. Any little bit of heat felt like impeding death. I kept losing white board markers. You get the picture. Anyway, I like to warn my classes when I'm feeling under the weather - it's a little head's up for them that should they choose to misbehave I'm not fully feeling responsible for the reaction I'd have.

By period 3 I was feeling slightly better, but I wasn't looking forward to my lunchtime commitments. Not only did I have the help session, but a detention to supervise. My detainee skipped class, and his detention (looks like we'll be spending more lunch hours together...) so that got rid of that problem. I couldn't cancel my help session though, this young boy is so wonderful that I'd hate to discourage him in any way - though I'm sure he'd have understood.

Understand he did. About halfway through the class he came up to me, "Ms Parker, I'm not going to come today at noon."
"You're not feeling well and I really think you should go home and get some sleep" (my students know I don't teach in the afternoons)
"Oh no, that's alright, I was planning on being here during lunch anyway."
"Nope, I can just come tomorrow, you really should go home and rest."
"Really T, 30 minutes won't hurt me any."
"Well Ms Parker, you can stay at lunch today, but I sure won't be here."

Done deal. We're meeting tomorrow. I slept all afternoon. I still feel like there's a flu monster hiding in my shoulders and neck just waiting to devour the rest of my body, but hopefully another 8 hours of sleep will drive him off.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

No fun news...

This was written about a year ago - makes you wonder why we continually refuse to listen to the smart people in the world...

Monday, September 12, 2005


It would appear my blog loves spam. It attracts it, seconds after I post. So now if you want to leave a comment you have to type in one of those word verification dealies. I'm sure I should apologize for the inconvenience, but really, if you're already posting typing another 5 letters won't kill you. If it does, then I'll apologize.

I love green?

It was bound to happen. 12ish years of doing laundry, and I had to have a laundry mishap of large proportions. No, I couldn't just stick by my tradition of shrinking something every 6 months or so. There must be dye involved. Lots of dye. Unremovable dye. Green dye.

Now blog title aside, isn't the classic thing to do dye a load of whites a pretty pink colour? That's what you were expecting I bet. No one expects to dye a load full of colours a shade of strange green. Especially the washer. Especially a washer who's already washed everything in the wash before, with no mishaps. As I was pulling my laundry out of the washing machine, I was beginning to think my eyes were doing funny things. Anything of a paler nature was strangely tinged. I looked up to investigate my light source, it was fine. I continued pulling out clothes, some were fine, some were not. I realised for sure that I was screwed when I pulled out a "turquoise" tank top purchased earlier in the summer. The only thing turquoise about it was the stiching on the inside. Somehow it managed to get bleached and then redyed the strange green colour. In a very even manner. What? How does that happen? My funny "Canada since 1982" shirt suffered the same fate - previously baby blue, presently "baby green."

I blame Thailand. They have created some kind of crazy dye out of hatred of annoying tourists. How else do you explain the time delayed ink running or the special slight bleaching properties or the dye? Sure they act all nice and lovey while they're selling you the fisherman's pants. This is because they know the 6th time you wash them you're screwed.

This is one pair of pants that cost me more than $3.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Funny Kids

So today was our first day back with students. To avoid the shock of having to work full time after a summer of slothfullness, the student's only come for 30min. That's just enough time to go over classroom expectations with them, ie. scare the poop out of them. Now this isn't quite as easy this year for me as I have all grade 10s and frankly grade 10s are lazy creatures not affected by too much. No longer scared to be in high school, but not yet caring about marks for university/grad. But they proved that they still can entertain me.

So I'm almost at the end of my third round through my classroom expectations. I've finished off with the rules about mp3 players and ask if there are any questions. The largest grade 10 student I've ever seen - seriously, I assumed he was my gr 12 student, he looks 23 - puts his hand up and so only the people around him can hear, asks "so are you single?" in a reasonably polite tone.
Without missing a beat, I replied "No, no you can't sing."
He looked at me very strangely, and then just kinda shrugged it off saying "yes... that's what I asked."

Kids are funny.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

First Day Back

So everyone grumbles about going back to work. It seems to be expected of teachers almost. You get these 2 wonderful months of summer off to frolic in all your free time and then are abruptly throw back into work. I admit it - I participate in these back to work sighs. But why? Why do people look at us like we're crazy if we act like elementary school children and admit we're looking forward to going back to school? The thing is, I like my job. I even love my job. Sure I also love my holidays, don't get my wrong. But no more complaining. As of today everyone can look at me like I'm crazy, but I'm going to choose to be positive about work.

The first day back is pretty administrative. Staff mass followed by a tasty breakfast - made tastier by it's unexpected appearance in my day. Then off to staff meetings, lunch, deptartment meetings, and of course all the walking around visiting and getting things in order. As much as everyone says they don't want to be back at work, and some may not, it was an inspirational kind of day. Everywhere I went in the school people were smiling, catching up with collegues and getting back into the groove of the school year. Everytime I turned around I ran into teachers helping other teachers get ready for the year. Offering materials, guidance, support. One of our new administrators carried a box of books to my classroom for me. This should probably embarass me, but wow, an administrator that has time for something silly like that? I love my school. Ever since I've been in University I've heard horror stories of teachers stranded without support, as lost as the thousand students their schools try and keep track of. I'm so grateful for all the help I've received and will continue to receive. It's incredibly motivating to work among people, who for all they may grumble, honestly want to educate and see young people succeed. Who create fantastic tools and then share them with anyone who is interested. When I grow up I hope to be just like them.

Post numero un

Alright. So I have decided to start blogging. I feel like I'm falling more and more behind with staying in touch with people since I've gotten home from Japan, and I enjoy reading my friends' blogs immensely. Really you guys, it makes my day to feel like I know what's going on in your lives and to be able to "participate" from afar. Also, hopefully this will become less of a daunting project than writing my group emails was. Seriously, those things took time! I can't promise too much, especially in the way of pictures, but I hope to update anytime I have something to say. Okay, not that often, I have a lot to say. If nothing else, my posts won't loom in your inboxes like reading homework.