Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friendlies on the train

Holy Dinah - I'm tired. Today marks the last day of this first portion of my first in-school practicum where our focus has been mainly to observe different types of classes. My university chum and I have been visiting many classes - never repeating - and have for the most part been witness to some very cool and very inspired education.

I want to focus on that last word because I've been reminded daily about it's importance. I was also reminded of the importance of defining it properly: through an anecdote delivered by one of our faculty associates at SFU, we were reminded of Christy Clark, British Columbia's Premiere, when she spoke in defense of the cutting of higher education funding suggesting that "skill-acquisition, training, and education are all essentially the same thing." Our faculty associate suggested how cathartic it would have been to have had someone inquire of Ms. Clark right then and there if she would prefer to have her daughter receive from her public schooling, sex skills, sex training, or sex education.

Point is, there is a difference, and a lot of what I've seen has given me great pause when it comes to my approach and shifting views as I go through this year-long program. I graduated high school in 1993. I didn't love all of it, but I was comfortable enough in school. I managed it - what it was then - and made it what I needed it to be. But I couldn't get away with that level of avoidance in high school today. Teachers have been re-taught and as a result everything has been re-thought. They simply don't teach the same way anymore. I like this, but at 35 I'm feeling like a bit of a dinosaur again. 18 years is enough time for paradigm shifts to take place and take root. As Joey Lawrence (or is it Joey Lucas) would say, "woah!"

Anyway, wanted to say that last night I had a chance to meet-up with my friend, Michael, who - along with his wife, Sandra, joined me for a showing of 50/50. It was very good. There was a moment of romantic longing in this film (which also deals with rare spinal cancer and male genital grooming) that ranks right up there with Bill Murray holding Scarlett Johansson's foot in the Park Hyatt, Tokyo. Just awesome stuff, Ms. Anna Kendrick. Thanks for that.

Then off on the train to make my way home to complete a crafty task and while on the way home I bare witness to a sea of disgruntled Canucks fans who gave-up on the late 3rd period 3-0 score VS the Rangers. A nice, older couple in matching Kesler jerseys stands in front of me and I politely inquire as to the score of the game. We strike-up a conversation and I reveal that I'm actually from Calgary - a fact they visibly bristle at - but it becomes playful right away. They have a great deal of respect for Iginla. Well, of course they do. They offer me a memorial program from the Rick Rypien tribute before the game and we eventually get to revealing that I'm here for school, she's a Simon Fraser graduate and a recently retired teacher. Glad to have asked the score and regretful that I'm getting off the train only three stations away.

Nice people, these Canucks fans. THESE Canucks fans.

And still thinking about that phone-call from the car. Go see 50/50.


Alex said...

Hey Dave,

I think it’s been approximately one year since last we corresponded – though I’ve been keeping up with your blog! How have you been? The program you’re involved in sounds like something straight out of Harry Potter, so you must be enjoying it, and I hope you’re bonding with your classmates well.

I got hired with the Fire Department in July and finished recruit academy in September. I still have much to learn, but I have four years in the apprenticeship program to work with before I become a journeyman, which doesn’t mean much other than I can train other people and I get a raise.

Starting in December, I will be able to schedule some vacation time for next year. I’ve never been to Canada, and I figure I’ll have my own car by then, so let me know if there’s a time that works better for you if I could swing up for a visit. I promise I won’t spend much time offloading about women, Korea, and the like this time around – but I will make you take me to the best ramen shop in Vancouver.

I wish I had videos or pictures to show you about my new life, but in the meantime this will have to suffice.

Take care, bud!

George Bailey Sees The World! said...

Dude - if you come to Canada, we shall have a grand time and I will show you some good mountain stuff. Let's try to skype soon so that we can figure-out a good time between my practicum and my course work. Let's make this happen, sir.