Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Couldn't Sleep

I couldn't sleep. The world caught up to me today. I had been submerged in schoolwork, throwing myself into crafting the ultimate center of gravity lesson plan.

For inspiration, our teachers point us to a vast online archive of mediocrity. It's frightening. We have access to special Ontario teacher resource sites where, at the press of a button, we find hundreds of lesson plans jam-packed with boring. I'm going on the record here: these bland "educational" resources are joining Betamax as anecdotes to be brought up at history's wedding so we can all laugh at how crazy she was before she settled down. In my lifetime education will move online, dominated by a few resources that do learning right.

I realized this when I was asked to write several reflection papers on my education. It's hard to quantify what I learned in school but most of the skills I am currently using in my life (from needlepoint, to cooking, to bike repair, etc.) I got online. Maybe my education prepared me to be an independent learner  but there's also a case that

I stood up for Wikipedia in my class, arguing that it was more articulate and better sourced than our textbook. Some people laughed at this which didn't surprise me since technophobic teachers have been instilling the Great Fear of Wikipedia without ever visiting the site.

Wow. I can't sleep. I have to be careful because I'm a very passionate person. I throw myself into what I do. I think what is keeping me up tonight is my internal instinct to look up and make sure that I've thrown myself in the right direction.

I'm going to read some more of Doctorow' Little Brother and get some sleep. It would be nice to start eating breakfast and lunch, put myself into a nice routine, and stay up one night thinking about death in that useful, contemplative way, bringing perspective and resolve to my life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Live in Thunder Bay

And now I live in Thunder Bay.

I've learned a month of information in the last five days, distorting my sense of time.

A friend of a friend picked me up at the airport. A quick driving tour of the city landed my a free bike.

Me: How much for this bike with the sale sign?
Stranger: $200.
Me: That's too much. I was looking for a beater to ride to school.
Stranger: Take that one.
Friend of friend: Put it in the truck. What a score!

The tires needed some air, that was all.

Discovery makes a life feel full.

I'm attending a one-year program at Lakehead to earn my teaching certification for Ontario. I've had a week of class from experienced instructors who can't help but treat us like children.

In Thunder Bay, the grocery store "Safeway" is said "Safeways". No reason.

I watched a friendly Pastor rock a three run home run in a close softball game.

I've met seven great children and their six wonderful parents. They've opened their homes to me while I wait to move in to my place in Current River. I settled on a distant location for the beautiful forty minute bike ride to campus. Today is the first day of cold and rain and I realized I am a fool.

I know that we pronounce a hard 't' in Junot Road.

I check Google Maps using my iTouch when I'm lost. It's a lot easier to find an open network here compared to Toronto.

I delight myself by impressing the locals with my rapidly accumluating Thunder Bay knowledge.

*Quality Market moved next to the University on Golf Links and their old building is going to be a No Frills.
*There's a looming transit strike. Mid-September.
*They use kijiji here over craigslist
*I think Rogers is abandoning Thunder Bay and handing their clients over to the dreaded TBayTel.
*The ravens are like Toronto's raccoons. Some people through a blanket over their garbage bags if they don't have cans.
*I was helping friend of friend's brother-in-law move to a new house. It was a rough scene. In the end, a car caught on fire and the fire department had to put it out.