Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Away from it all but bringing it all with me

I am at the cottage this week, Monday to Friday. Today is Tuesday. Yes, that's right, I am blogging from the cottage. My parents and I are renting a trailer-cottage from West Lake Willows and it just so happens that all the cottages here have wireless access to the Internet.  Considering that my husband is in England at the moment and I am relying on Messenger to communicate with him free of charge (well, once I pay for the Internet access), it is great to be able to access the 'net while I'm here.  Don't worry, though, I am still making sure that I take the time to enjoy the benefits of cottage life.  This morning, for example, my dad and I walked over to Sandbanks Provincial Park, which is a hop, skip and a jump from our cottage.  We climbed dune after dune because I kept seeing higher peaks ahead, until eventually the way up got blocked by plants I didn't feel like fighting through.  My mom and I also went for a walk around the trailer park our cottage is part of, checking out the boat launch, swimming area, the other cottages WLW rents, the privately-owned trailers in the area, and so on.  I suppose our main activity the past 2 days has been taking it easy in ways we would have done at home but in a much more relaxing setting...reading, eating together, spending some time on the laptop, checking out the local towns, etc.  I wasn't sure how I would like staying in a trailer-cottage due to its small size, but it hasn't felt confining in the way I thought it might.  Yes, my room is barely big enough for the set of double-bed-sized bunk beds on which I sleep, but if all I'm doing there is sleeping (and sometimes reading), what does it matter?  Anyway, I have some more relaxing to get into my day before tucking in, so I will sign off for now.  Main event for tomorrow: Bergerons Exotic Animal Sanctuary.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The End.

Water flows under the bridge
Water falls from on high
Water breaks

Washed and washed away
New-born eyes open
To the freshness of the world

My feet are washed
The day is new
And I will never ask for sunshine again.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Martin's trip so far, the joys of technology, and feeling old

(Warning: this is going to be one of those über-long "Hmm, I haven't written a comprehensive post in a while" entries, sorry :). I'm in a rambling kind of mood :-P.)

For those of you who don't already know, yes, Martin touched down safely in England this past Sunday. For future reference, if you ever fly out there, plan on having your first day completely lost to travel. His flight took off here at about 9 a.m. our time and landed at Heathrow airport at 9 p.m. London time. On top of that, his hotel is not in London but in Cheltenham, which is a couple hours away from the airport by taxi (and remember he still had to retrieve his luggage and whatnot before getting in the cab). He and the 2 guys travelling with him got to their flat at about midnight...and they were to start their training at headquarters the very next morning, with the cabs coming to get them at 8 a.m.! Needless to say Martin and one of the other trainees found themselves napping here and there through their first day at work, but he is well-adjusted to the time change now.

Martin's hotel flat does not have a land line. His company has provided the flat with a cell phone, but they are only to use it for outgoing calls in the event of an emergency. Incoming calls from here are fine, but we quickly discovered that it is not worth the cost for me to call it; the quality and time delay are awful. However, we have been able to keep in touch in other ways. Each trainee was given a laptop on loan, and Martin has installed Windows Live Messenger on his. At first, this only allowed us to send instant text messages to each other. Yesterday, though, we finally figured out how to get both our headsets working with Messenger so that we could have a realtime voice conversation without the lack of quality and time delay we experienced with the cell phone. We also have a webcam here, and I was able to hook that up so he could see me, his mom, his sisters and the cats Unfortunately he doesn't have a webcam there, though (and doesn't want to shell out the pounds to get one due to the higher cost of everything over there), so we couldn't see him. Still, long-distance voice calls for "cheap as free," hooray! And Catherine was right, we do talk more now that he's in England than we do here, heh :)...

Based on the training he's been doing, Martin is getting quite excited about his new job. He messaged me the other day and said, "Remember how I told you 'I'd love a job where I could sit and compile Linux all day'? This could be that job." He has been trying to get out of the electronics/hardware work he was doing and into IT for years now. Having only his hobby experience and no formal training to put on a résumé, though, he hasn't felt confident applying for IT positions. The fact that one of our guildmates from World of Warcraft was able to help him get this job is a huge blessing to us (see, playing computer games isn't a complete waste of time, lol), especially as Martin had felt the job he was working at was a dead end with no possibility of progression. The fact that Martin will now be making more money doesn't hurt, either :).

*Reads previous blog entries*...hmm, I seem to be repeating myself a little bit...sorry. Anyway, where I was going with this was that because Martin will be earning a little bit more now, we've decided to get me something that will help me when I finally get my career started (hopefully in September...*crosses fingers*)...I am finally getting a laptop :D! Since I'm heading into the world of education (among other reasons), I'm also going to be entering the world of Apple, shelling out the extra cash to get a MacBook Pro rather than a PC. The fact that it comes with a built-in webcam and the ability to access wireless Internet connections also means that I'll be able to keep in touch with Martin even when I go to the cottage with my parents in a couple weeks. I'm not sure whether the wireless connection up there will be good enough for any WoW-playing, but who plays WoW at the cottage anyway? (*looks around with shifty eyes*...)

In other news, today I attended my public school's 50th anniversary. I went to Churchill Heights P. S. from grade 4 through to the end of grade 8. Being back there today was, well, odd. Jen and Mary-Beth and I wandered through the school at various points looking at how small everything was, trying to figure out how we fit into the desks, how we managed to do drama productions on such a small stage, how the entire school fit in the gym to watch Degrassi Street on rainy days, how everyone's instrument cases fit onto the shelving in the music room which used to seem so huge...yeah. If it were simply a matter of seeing size differences, it would be odd enough, but add to that seeing the area where some portables used to sit turned into a playground and the old playground tilled over, seeing the computer lab turned into a classroom and half the library into a computer lab (and being able to see all 4 walls of the library at once due to the way the new shelving is organized), seeing old classmates now taller than me (I was reminded at least a few times today that I pretty much grew to my adult height by the age of, oh, 11), and you start to feel old. Er, wait, I'm only 27. Okay, old*er* :). Mind you, when my former teachers found out that Mary-Beth and I have both done teacher's college and are both looking for jobs with the board, their conversations with us suddenly took on a much different tone, which was interesting to see...suddenly, we were not just former students, but colleagues. Anyway, the weather was gorgeous, and briefly catching up with the dozen or so people I recognized was good (though running into one's high school English teacher at one's public school is also odd). However, though it was a little disappointing that the promised Open Forum somehow got scrapped from the program, it was a bit of a relief not to have to stick around for the full 5 hours or whatever that the event was planned to run in order to see it. It's like they say..."nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there." It also seemed like just about everyone I talked to today had another event planned for this evening, including me, so it's good that Churchill decided to make this an afternoon event rather than the evening thing I usually picture a reunion being. Cheers to everyone I saw, kind regards to everyone I would have liked to have seen but who couldn't make it, and as for anyone who wanted to see me but showed up after I left, well, send me a message...that's what Facebook is for ;).

Also making me feel old is that I'm going to attend my nephew's 6th birthday party this evening. Okay, yes, 6 is not that old, but he is the youngest of my brother's 4 children. If he is 6, my oldest niece is 12. Before you know it, she'll be off to high school, then university (or college or the workforce or whatever), getting married...sigh. Oh well, at least this way she'll be old enough to babysit by the time I start having my own children, lol...

Well, I have written way too much again, so it is time to sign off. I'll post my few graduation photos when I can, but since I sent my digital camera to the UK with Martin I am still waiting for my parents to develop the film photos they took. Ciao for now...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Eligible to hire :)

Today I got my letter from the Toronto District School Board telling me that I've been placed on their eligible-to-hire list! Woohoo! This means that principals in the TDSB will see my name and resume and such among the others on the list, which they browse to see who might fit the position when they have one available. Proactive people sometimes mention to principals that they are now on the list, inquire about positions, etc., but it can be a matter of figuring out whether that would help your case with that principal or whether that would just bug them and make them not want to hire you. Anyway, this is a good step, as it also tells me I can supply teach with the TDSB. I'll continue to keep you posted as my job search continues.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Back to the job hunt

Well, it turns out that the school that interviewed me (and loved me) on Monday isn't going to be giving me a position after all. The principal said that I had a great interview and said she'd certainly encourage me to apply to other positions at the school. When I asked if she had any suggestions for improvement (something recommended by my how-to-get-a-teaching-job bible), she said no, it really just came down to the fact that the other person had done some supply teaching and had been at the school. In other words, if that person had turned down the job, I'd have it. Well, I'm glad that I've still been putting applications out lately even though I thought I almost certainly had a job with that school. Hopefully something else will come along. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The story my calendar tells...

Life seems to be very focused on the career path right now.

What's been happening:
May 23 - my last day of teacher's college
May 24 - my goodbye party / year-end celebration with teacher's college classmates
May 28 - husband had 3rd round of interviews with company he applied to
May 29 - husband offered and accepted new job
May 31 - my Toronto District School Board interview
June 1 - I went to get my criminal record checked so I can be certified to teach
June 2 - I had coffee with friends

Today and the next couple of weeks:
June 4 - I got a call: I have a job interview tomorrow with a high school in Oshawa! Also: running around getting stuff husband needs to take with him on his trip (see June 10).
June 5 - my interview with a high school in Oshawa
June 6 - husband starts new job downtown; I go to the passport office to pick up his rushed-delivery passport
June 9 - sister-in-law's dance recital
June 10 - husband flies out to England for 6 weeks of training at the head office of the company he's now working for
June 13 - I graduate from teacher's college
June 15 - TBA...I'm double-booked :P...
June 16 - I attend my public school's 50th anniversary

Highlights coming up after that:
July 7 - wedding #1
July 22 - husband returns from England (having missed wedding #1, which he is not happy about)
July 27 - wedding #2 *and* husband's MRI appointment (though the MRI is quite late in the evening, so I don't think that's too much of a conflict)
Aug. 2 - husband's AVM clinic appointment (this is when we finally find out--2 years after the treatment and 3 years after his initial injury--if his second, non-exploded AVM has been fully treated, whether it just needs more time, or if it needs more/different treatment)
Aug. 18 - wedding #3

Phew! Okay, so who all wanted to get together this summer? Book now :)! (Oh, and if it's me you want to see and not necessarily me-and-Martin, I do have that 6 weeks when he is away when I'll need some company...)