Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I wasn't supposed to be at home today, but the weather and my car seem to have ganged up on me and force me to stay home. I now present you with the Christmas Blog Challenge, at least days 2-4 to start.
Day 2 - Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Oooh good one! I had my first Black Friday experience this year. Read all about it here. The verdict: I was dissapointed! It wasn't busy at all, or at least not the way I was expecting. My biggest shopping tip is to go at the right time. That may mean early or that may mean late. Either way, I calculate when the least amost of people are likely to be at the mall at a given time.
Day 3 - Meaningful/Memorable Gift(s)
This is a tough one, I'd like to consider all my gifts to be meaningful and memorable. Wow I'm really drawing a blank on this one.
Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season
My number one money saving tip: Coupons! I know it may sound cheesy, but I love discounts and coupons. I just recently discovered ebates (hello! where have you been all my life!) and whenever I go shopping south of the border, I scour the coupon websites.
Another trick, is wrapping paper and bows, ribbon etc. Hello Dollarama! They have the cutest present accessories for $1 each. It's great!
I'm off to bake gingerbread cookies and enjoy a snowy day and prepare for my last exam tomorrow morning!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Hello bloggers! I'm not entirely on christmas-time yet, I still have one take-home exam, one exam, 2 days of placement and 2 actual classes to go - BUT the last of my official assignments were handed in this morning so I feel a lot lighter.
The Christmas Season has been chugging along without my knowledge or approval the last few weeks. 15 Days from today is Christmas Eve - scary right? I'm almost done my christmas shopping, only a few people left to go.
I've wanted to do this blogger challenge for days now, but I just haven't had the time. So I'm going to start attempting it now. Over at Aly's blog, she and fellow blogger Molly have a wonderful 14-day Christmas themed blog challenge. Go there now!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I'm at a bit of a quandry at the moment. The urge to blog suddenly hit me the other day, but the need to finish my assignments is hitting me even harder. We're talking hitting me like a MAC Truck kind of harder. So I'm trying to balance school work and blogging, but neither one seems to be surviving at the moment.
But all my complaining aside, I'm completely excited and freaked out that it's December already, and only just over 3 weeks until Christmas. Hello panic mode, nice to meet you.
I have two December/Year End blog challenges that I'm dying to attempt, so expect a few posts in the next few days.
Monday, November 29, 2010
After a great few days spent with family in the D.C area, I have returned. I'll save an actual post about what I saw and did for another day, today I wanted to broadcast about my experiences shopping on black friday.
***Now I should add a disclaimer that this was my first experience, so I don't have much to compare it with.
This is what I expected...
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Hello everyone! I'm trying to get back into blogging, but lately I think I've been in a blogging funk. I just haven't had the motivation (or time) to blog, but no fear, I think I may slowly be making my return. My semester is slowly coming to an end, there's only 3 weeks left including exams and then I'll be off for just over a month.
As of tomorrow I'm Washington-bound for Thanksgiving! I'm actually very excited about this, because it will be my first (American) Thanksgiving. Since I attend an American University, we get 3 days off over Thanksgiving, so I'm jetting down to Washington to visit family.
I'm looking forward to a nice break to spend time with family and maybe (just maybe) squeeze in a little bit of shopping. I've only heard stories about this elusive "Black Friday", but I really want to make a pit stop to Wal-Mart and check out the DVD sales.
Is "Black Friday" really as crazy as I've always heard?
I think that's all I have to say for now, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and Happy Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Just a quick post to announce that I am still alive and still very much blogging. I've been so busy these days working on assignments and my teaching portfolio that I haven't had much time to blog recently.
Luckily my assignments are slowly coming to an end. I believe the official count is 8 assignments and 3 exams to go. I promise to start making regular appearances again shortly - perhaps even this week again!
I know I've been neglecting this little blog recently, but the bulk of it should be over next week.
Then I'm off to Washington DC to celebrate Thanksgiving with family so expect a few posts around that time
Have a good week!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Do you ever get the feeling that Halloween isn't what it used to be?
I didn't grow up with Halloween, in Germany Mardi Gras is celebrated with costumes and candy in February instead but I always knew about this elusive holiday from cartoons and movies.
So you can imagine how excited I was to go trick-or-treating the first time (at the tender age of 10). I believe I dressed up as a witch and I filled pretty much a whole pillowcase full of candy and chocolates.
Tonight I think my house got a total of 10 kids in the span of 3 hours. I remember the days when the doorbell wouldn't even stop ringing and we'd run out of candy. Instead, I'm sitting here munching on leftovers.
This year is the first time in many years that I haven't hosted a Halloween party. I didn't think it would bother me, but the truth is that it does. It's been a very quiet weekend.
I hope you all had a good Halloween weekend across the blogosphere!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Although this is only my second "teachable moments" post, I've had so many amazing experiences the last few weeks I wouldn't even know where to start. I'm at my placement 3-4 times a week now, so both the classes know me pretty well and are comfortable having me do simple tasks like assigning homework.
The best part, on tuesday I get to spend the whole day with the grade 10 class on a field trip! My placement teacher asked me if I wanted to come along and help chaperone. I was a bit unsure at first, but as soon as I found out where they were going, I knew it was something I had to do. I re-arranged my actual class schedule and cleared it with my professor so he won't mind me missing his class.
The grade 10 History class is just starting their Unit on World War II and the Holocaust so they're going to the Holocaust Education Center. The few IRL (in real life) friends who read this will know how much this trip means to me, and funnily enough it's one place I haven't been to.
I feel like in some ways my academic career has come full circle, and teaching about the Holocaust is something I'm meant to do - and I'm really interested to see how the students react.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Almost 2 weeks and no post, and now my first post will probably be somewhat of a downer - excellent Ella!
My excuse for the past days? None really. I've been busy with school (and I'm getting a lot more responsibility in my placement) but even that leaves my evenings fairly open.
I've also had increased free time in the evenings due to the untimely ending of a certain fling - but alas, still no blogging
I just haven't had the motivation - which isn't to say that I didn't want to, because I did!
I spent the majority of my saturday with my 3 best girlfriends. It was actually planned before the end of said fling, but really could not have come at a better time! Because our schedules are so vastly different, it's incredibly difficult to find a time when all 4 of us are free, but it just so happened that Saturday night worked out perfectly.
We spent the evening looking at old pictures for the Bestest's wedding slide show, which of course included a long trip down memory lane. It was good to spend the evening with these girls, and it provided me a great distraction at the same time.
All in all, the weekend definitely had its ups and downs - and I'm currently adjusting to not having someone fairly important in my life anymore. It's a little loney, but it's getting there.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Happy friday everyone!
This weekend is an extra long weekend (and exta-extra long for me) in my area because it's Thanksgiving. I'm off to Ottawa to visit my family tomorrow for a few days full of good food, good family and homework. October is turning out to be one of the busiest months of my life school wise.
Since this is Thanksgiving, I thought it might be nice to post a list of things I'm thankful for. Feel free to add your items to the list!
I am thankful..
..for my car - I do so much driving these days and I'm thankful every day that I get home safely
..for pumpkin pie scented candles - yum!
..for the great kids in my placement classes
..for Tylenol and Advil cold medication - it's been getting me through the week
..for orange spice tea - another thing that's getting me through the days
..for my family and friends
..for The Big Bang Theory on dvd
..for scarves, Uggs and leggings/jeggings
..for Pumpkin Spice Latte's from Starbucks
What are you thankful for?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Remember my 2010 Blog Challenge that I first talked about Here ? more specifically the Tea Challenge from Here ?
I'm happy to report I've successfully completed the Challenge! I've actually found a tea flavor and combination that I not only like but l-o-v-e
Constant Comment Tea - steeped 4 minutes - cream - sugar
I'm failing miserably on the rest of my Challenges - but at least I managed this one!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I had my first real "teachable moment" today in my grade 12 History class. It's only my second week doing placement, so I've spent most of my time so far sitting in the back of the classes observing and taking notes on teaching styles.
The class was just starting and the teacher was setting up a movie ("Amadeus" - based on the life of Mozart, excellent movie) when one of the girls came over to me. She seemed a little hesitant at first, but then timidly said she had a few questions.
Her questions and concerns were all about University, and by the sounds of it she was quite panicked at the thought of attending lectures and having to copy everything down quickly and she was overwhelmed at the prospect of picking a school and career path.
Her fears were the same ones I had when I entered my first year of University, just like I'm sure many of you had as well.
I ended up talking to her and her friend for a good 15 minutes. I covered everything from lectures to note taking, to considering other options like College instead of University and gave them my personal experiences since I did both. They both seemed a lot calmer after my talk, and I walked away feeling very good about myself.
It didn't occur to me that I was assuming a teacher role by giving advice, but that's exactly what I was doing.
My first Teachable Moment!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I've been writing this post in my head for days during my down time - ie. in the car or before falling asleep - but for some reason I just haven't had the time to actually type it out until right now.
Since I've pretty much spent my life in a classroom, my internal clock always sees September as a new year. To me, New Years is just another holiday between Christmas and my birthday but September is the beginning of fall, the end of summer and the start of another school year. In other words, a new beginning.
This particular September has found yours truly back in a highschool setting. My placement school. I've now completed one week of placement and the verdict - I love it! I almost squealed with glee when I walked into my first class and they were studying World War I.
Although I'm exhausted from doing my placement in the morning, having my own classes in the afternoon and then coming home and doing homework I really can't wait to actually start teaching.
I spent the day today washing all my scarves and gloves in perparation for the upcoming season. There's just something about fall that I really love.
Pumpkin and harvest flavoured candles, a crisp wind in the air, taking out my Uggs for the first time and creating new outfits involving leggings and long sweaters
What do you love about fall?
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Good morning bloggers, I hope you've all had a good weekend around the world. Mine was a good balance of quiet and busy, which is exactly the way I like it.
As my status up above says, I'm in complete school mode now. This has to do with 2 things, one being the start of my placement in an actual high school and the other being my new obsession with Glee. I blogged about Glee being my inspiration to pursue Teachers College here and since then that inspiration has grown exponentially.
The complete first season of Glee came out on tuesday, and I'm a little ashamed to admit I actually left for school early in order to be able to stop at WalMart on the way and pick it up. Since then I've been a self-admitted "Gleek". I'm half way through the first season, and determined to finish before the season premier on tuesday. Oh, and I'm completely in love with Will Schuester - just thought I'd point that out.
On friday I had my first taste of a "real" Glee experience. I got to meet my placement school! I was a little terrified, but luckily there are about 6 other people from my classes going to the same school so I wasn't alone. The VP of the school gave us an extensive tour of the school and introduced us to some of the teachers. I haven't stepped foot into a high school since I was in high school, so needless to say it was definitely a trip down memory lane!
I'm both excited and scared to begin working in an actual classroom on tuesday morning. Most likely I'm going to be placed in a history class, which is my main teachable anyway. This semester I have to volunteer a minimum of 75 hours, most of which will be spent observing or mentoring small groups of students within the class.
I'm spending today alternating between catching up on school readings and watching Glee, either way you can bet my mindset is completely in high school mode at the moment
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
September = blog fail
Since I went back to school 2 weeks ago it seems to have consumed my entire life. I spend my days in front of my laptop so by the time I get home (after an hour long drive) the last thing I want to do is spend more time in front of a computer screen.
I have this occuring fear that I'm going to log onto blogger one day and all my followers will have left me - this is where I insert a little plea to not un-follow me - so I'm making an attempt to return to my little piece of the blogosphere
That all being said, I am liking my program, especially the people and teachers, so all in all I'm pretty content. The workload is starting to pile up drastically, so don't be too surprised if I dissapear from the blogosphere periodically. But don't be alarmed, I will always return. Eventually.
I feel a little better now that I've at least contributed a small (albeit pointless) post and now I'm off to learn about teaching students with special needs
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
May I introduce to you..
Make: Chevrolet Aveo
Date of Birth: August 2010
I'm in love with this little piece of machinery. Like fully. I have no idea what the engine size is or how many miles/km I get to the gallon/liter but I do know that he (yes he) is a sparkly blue colour, has a good radio and sunroof!
It's my very first car, and although I was overwhelmed at first, Avi and I have driven enough kilometers together in the last week and a half that we've become good friends.
Does all that sound totally cheesy and lame?
Do you guys name your cars and give them personalities?
Now that I'm back in school, my daily commute is about 45 minutes each way which is a big change from my previous driving which may have been to the local mall and back.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I've seen a lot of bloggers do this 30-day blog challenge, and I think it's a really good idea. I've really enjoyed reading all of your answers so I'm officially hopping on the bandwagon. But because school starts for me on monday, I don't know if I'm going to have time for the next 30 days so I'm doing what I've seen some of you do and combining different parts into one.
Day 1-your favorite song:
This is a really tough one, I have so many for so many different reasons.
Day 2-your favorite movie:
This is a little easier, I would say either Dirty Dancing or Eurotrip, both for vastly different reasons
Day 3-your favorite television program:
Right now hands down Big Bang Theory, which is funny because when it first came out I thought it was the stupidest show in the world, but it's grown on me now to the point that I own the first 2 seasons and I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of season 4 on tv and season 3 on dvd!
Some close runners-up are Mad Men, Glee, Grey's Anatomy and Gossip Girl
Day 4- your favorite book:
Humm. I really only read a lot when I'm in Germany and then it's mostly Chick-Lit with the Twilight and Harry Potter series' thrown in for good measure. If I want an easy read that will always entertain me I grab the Shopaholic series, especially "in Manhattan" or "and baby". Those two are probably my favorites.
Day 5-your favorite quote:
"What defines us is how we rise after we fall"
It's actually a very inconsequential quote from Maid in Manhattan but I've always loved it
I have already have a post planned for sometime in the next few days, and then I'll post the second installement of this series
Have a good weekend!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Jumping right back into the swing of all things blog, I've decided to participate in Jen's Favorite Fridays topic this week - Chick Lit!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I feel like I haven't stopped in weeks. Ironically pretty much since I stopped working mid-July. There has just been SO MUCH going on as of late, I believe my last post was the beginning of August!
Since then I have safely and successfully returned from Germany. I say successfully with a bit of trepidation because the flight was COMPLETELY overbooked so Ella had to spend 8.5 hours in the middle of a row of 4. Not to mention in a row of 4 who's in seat entertainment did not work for the first hour or so of flight. Not my cup of tea. Needless to say I was cranky and exhausted when I finally got home.
Less than 48 hours later I left on a whirwind bus trip to New York City for 4 days. My mom and her friend do an annual bus trip for a group of ladies every August. Through word-of-mouth it has grown tremendously, and this year they even had a waiting list! I'm so very proud of how it all plays out each year.
We arrived back exhausted but happy on sunday and since then I feel like I've been going non-stop. I've been very busy car shopping, which I'm starting to like more and more and yesterday I had my orientation for school!
I'm both excited and nervous to go back to school, especially to Teacher's College. They're actually putting us into real schools the first week, so it's a bit overwhelming.
I hate that I've been neglecting my little blog, and I really hate that I haven't been able to update the layout, hopefully I'll find some time soon
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
It's that time again! More Life with GG snippets. In case you're just tuning in now, during my stay in Germany, I'm broadcasting my life with my German Grandmother. GG for short. I preface these segments by saying that I love her dearly and unconditionally, but sometimes she drives me crazy.
If you're at all familiar with the show "Gilmore Girls" imagine a German (and brunette) Emily Gilmore.
The first 2 segments of Life with GG can be found here and here
One thing to know about GG is that time seems to move differently for this woman than the rest of the world:
*Ella getting ready to go out for the day with GG. All dressed and putting shoes on*
GG: Ella! Why are you getting your shoes on already!? We have LOTS of time!
Ella: Oh, okay. *takes off shoes and settles down on the couch with a book*
*30 seconds elapsed time*
GG: Child! Why aren't you ready! We're heading out now! Come!
*Setting: In the car. Grandfather (GF) is driving, I'm in the passenger seat and GG is in the back*
GG: GF! Slow down, this is a residential area. You're going to get us all killed! The speed limit is 30 (km/hr)! Ella how fast is your grandfather going?!
Ella: *looks over at the speedometer* ..25
I really need to start carrying a notebook with me. There are so many more conversations I wanted to post, but right now I can't think of any! I'll post another segment when I successfully come up with more stories
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Hello everyone! I promise next week I will once again regail you all with tales of Life with GG (and believe me I do have more stories) but for now I had had HAD to get one last July post in.
Can you belive tomorrow is already August? The summer is almost half over! I'm both looking forward to and dreading August because it will be such a busy month for me. More on that some other time, I need to get back to the point of this post.
I've been in Germany for over a week now, and I've already been through the 3 books I brought with me. And 2 paintings. Yes, I paint - long story. Anyway, with the first season of Mad Men on my iPod quickly coming to a close, I desperately needed something to do during the quiet hours here at GG's. So today I dragged myself to the bookstore. This place was amazing, and definitley put any Chapters or Barns & Noble to shame. I think something like 5 FLOORS of books, in all languages, complete with Cafe and children's play area in the basement. Better then that, they have a slide that goes from the main floor to the basement for children. How cool is that?
I picked up 2 new English books to keep myself occupied. The first being a nice chick-lit-ish book by a British author, and the other "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Oh. Em. Gee.
I'm in love with this book. I just started today and really, I have a hard time putting it down. I'm determined to finish the book before going to see the movie, but judging from how it's going I don't see that being a problem. I think perhaps the topic is very relatable to me and that's why I'm liking it so much.
I've been doing a lot of soul searching the last little while, both introspectively and in my surroundings, and I look the main character's journey as a sort of inspiration. Not that I plan to move to Bali, but you get the idea. There is something to be said for leaving everything you think you know behind and embarking on a completely different journey.
Anyway, enough philosophical jargon and book promotion. I recomend the book (and/or movie) to all of you, no matter where you are in your lives.
Have a good weekend around the world!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
It's time for the first official installment of Life With GG (also known as "we don't do that")
These are actual conversation that either I've had with her or that I've overheard. I'm telling you, it's like living with Emily Gilmore.
GG: *to my Grandfather, we'll call him GF* You should really each a peach. They're on the counter and they'll go bad if no one eats them. Do you want a peach? You should really have a peach.
GF: Yea..I'll have one later.. I'm not really hungry right now
GG: Aww you should really have one, they're going to go bad. You want a peach?
GF: *sighs heavily* Fine, I'll have a peach now
GG: *looks offended and pouts a little* ..Well I'm not forcing you..
GG: Child, (yes she calls me child) do you want something to drink?
Ella: No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want juice?
Ella: No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want water?
Ella: No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want milk?
Ella: *sighing a little* No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want orange juice?
Ella: *sighing loudly* Fine, I'll have orange juice.
GG: You should really drink, you don't drink enough.
Ella: *grinds teeth and wonders idly if there's any alcohol in the house because she could really use a drink* (there isn't)
GG: *Picks up sweater she sent me for Christmas 2 years ago that's made of wool* Have you ever washed this?
GG: Well I'm just asking, so nothing happened to it? It didn't get destroyed?
GG: So you've been able to wash it?
Ella: ....You seem to think I live in some heathen land that doesn't have washing machines
GG: *purses lips* It was just a question
GG: Do you have a boyfriend?
Ella: ...that's sort of complicated right now
GG: ...he's not married is he?
Ella: *puts her head in her hands and shakes her head in disbelief*
That's all I can think of off the top of my head, I should start carrying around a notebook because I'm sure there are lot of snippets that I'm forgetting. Stay tuned for another installment soon.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I'm not sure how many headlines this has made around the world, but here in Germany it has been front page news for days.
The Love Parade first occurred just months before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It was started by the Berlin underground at the initiative of Matthias Roeingh aka "Dr Motte" and his then girlfriend Danielle de Picciotto. It was conceived as a political demonstration for peace and international understanding through love and music. It was supposed to be a bigger birthday party for Roeingh, later "Dr Motte", and the Motto "Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen" (Eng. Peace, Joy, Pancakes) stood for disarmament (Peace), music (Joy) and a fair food production/distribution (Pancakes). Roeingh dissociated himself from the Love Parade in 2006 due to the commercialization of the event.
The event has been held almost every year since then, with annual attendances around 1 million people. It was touted as the largest Techno Party in the world. This year's Love Parade was held this past saturday in the city of Duisburg, about a half hour drive from where I'm currently staying.
The event was staged in an old industrial railway station. The capacity of the enclosed location was limited to 500,000 people at most, but at least one million visitors were expected, based on the experience of previous years.There was only one entrance to the event location, a relatively small rainway tunnel.
Between 100,000 and 200,000 people entered the tunnel, and just before 5pm when the main music act was about to start, hundreds of thousands of extra people swarmed the tunnel in hopes of getting into the concert. Mass panic ensued, thousands of people got stuck in the tunnel because they could not move, some attempted to climb up the metal framework of the tunnel and fell. In the end 20 people were killed and over 350 others were seriously injured either from falling or being trampled to death.
Both the city of Duisburg and the event promoters are pushing the fault onto the other, but the result remains that 20 families' lives have forever been shattered. The Love Parade has been cancelled indefinitely.
My heart goes out to all the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Guten Tag! That's Good Afternoon in German for ya
I've now been in Germany for 48 hours, and I think I'm almost over the culture shock. I guess it isn't so much culture shock as a return to my childhood when I'm here, but either way it takes some getting used to.
I'm still getting over the jet lag, which is a b*tch BTW, and once again getting used to the rain that accompanies every German summer.
As you've probably noticed, my little blog has undergone some major changes recently. My old template site has decided to give up, forcing me to scramble and create something using the new blogger "design" feature. I'm not totally thrilled with it, but until I get home to my beloved laptop it will have to do.
As you also may notice, my spelling may get atrocious while I'm away becasue I can't get used to this
I've decided to create a feature while I'm away about life with my grandparents. When I come back from Germany each year, I regail my IRL (in real life) friends with tales of "we don't do that". It may sound like I'm bitching or complaining, but I really truly do love my GG (German Grandmother). She just has a habit of driving me crazy sometimes.
My GG's favorite expression is "Das macht man nicht" which loosely translates to "one doesn't do that". This list includes (but is by no means limited to)
- watching tv during the day
- when one does watch tv, it must only be the news or something German
- fixing ones hair in public (apparantly this is impolite)
Today I had the pleasure of riding in the car with GG and my grandfather. I should tell you that GG has not been behind the wheel of a car in 20 years, but she is probably the worst backseat driver in the world. So much so that my grandfather takes out his hearing aids when he drives to tune her out. She does not stop complaining or "warning" him of things on the road the entire trip. From point A to point B. Today I made the mistake of forgetting my iPod at home - Big mistake.
I guess that's enough for now, I only have a limited time on the computer before GG comes over and wants to see what I'm doing. When I informed her a few minutes ago that I was blogging, her response was "that terrible thing where you write all about yourself and send it out for the world to see and rapists to find you" *GG purses lips and shakes her head disapprovingly*
See what I deal with? There are times I believe she thinks I'm still 5 and not 25.But I know she means only the best.
I'll post more Life with GG updates tomorrow or the next day
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Hello Blog I've missed you the last couple of weeks. There has been so much going on that I haven't been able to bring myself to blog, lots of good things have happened and lots of bad things have happened. I may get into the specifics of the bad things at some later date, but now is not the time.
The biggest of the good things is that I'm leaving for Germany tomorrow! That's right, 2 glorious weeks of being spoiled by my grandparents and relaxing! I really can't wait! I'll be blogging a lot more while I'm away, but they will probably be shorter posts of the things I see and do throughout my trip.
I finished work a week ago today, my co-workers were so sweet and brought me breakfast and a cake! I'm sad to be gone, but I don't think it's really hit me yet that I'm currently unemployed.
There are so many changes happening in my life this summer but I don't think I've fully realized it yet. When I come back from Germany, I have 2 days at home before I leave for New York City for a few days. After that I have about 2 weeks to find a car before I start Teachers College.
I'm so terribly behind on your blogs, and believe me I feel horrible about that! I'll see how many posts I can get caught up on today
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Hello Hello! Happy Thursday everyone
Yesterday was perhaps the strangest weather day ever in my area. As the title says, we had an earthquake, tornado and rain storm all in the span of 12 hours. I should note that I don’t live in an area that is prone to ANY of those things, so for us to even have them is something let alone all in the same day.
The earthquake was probably the most unexpected and the scariest. That being said, I didn’t feel it. The only reason I knew it happened because ShyBoy text messaged me asking if I felt the earthquake. I believe “…there was an earthquake..? what?” was my exact response. No sooner did I log onto Facebook to find hundreds of status updates from friends commenting on the earthquake. The news later confirmed that a 5.0 magnitude earthquake shook the Ontario-Quebec border yesterday at 1.41PM and lasted about 30 seconds. People as far away as New York, Vermont, Michigan and Illinois reported feeling the tremors. I think a co-worker and I were coming back from lunch around this time and were probably driving and that’s why we didn’t feel it.
I’m curious, if you live in any of those areas, did you feel it??
About 5 hours after the earthquake a tornado touched down in a town 2 hours north of here. Officials have declared a state of emergency for the area, a trailer park consisting of about 40 trailers was completely destroyed and 1 person was taken to hospital as well as roofs and windows of nearby houses and businesses were torn off. Thousands of people are still without power and Environment Canada is surveying the extent of the damage.
On a much smaller scale, we had a torrential rain storm in the early morning hours of the day today. I woke up around 4:40 to loud noises outside that sounded a bit like an air conditioner on overload. I got up to check it out and could only see rain outside. The area was gray-ish white because of all the rain. I’ve only seen that much rain a handful of times in my life so it was a tad unnerving – especially with the earthquake and tornado yesterday.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I finally have a decision about the future. Finally.
I've been waiting for this for weeks now, getting increasingly anxious because time seemed to be speeding up. I finally finished all my applications the beginning of May and blogged about it here but until now there was no end result.
I haven't gone into specific detail about my future plans on this blog, partially because until a few days ago i didn't have future plans, and partly because I wanted to keep it to myself. Even some of my closest friends were surprised by my decision.
I sort of know what inspired my decision, but when I explain that to all of you, I guarantee you will all think I'm a moron.
I've been saying for years that I want to be a teacher. More specifically, a professor. Meaning, I want to teach at the University level. This can be achieved one of two ways, a masters degree or teachers college.
People that know me know I'm not a kid person. I've never been crazy about babies, and the idea of a room full of little kids scares me. In the past I always wrote off the idea of Teachers College because I had no desire to actually teach "kids".
Here's where my moronic inspiration comes in:
At the beginning of May I flew to Washington D.C for a few days. Because the flight was only an hour and a bit, there was little point in starting a movie, so I flipped to the T.V Shows. I found Glee. I'd heard a lot about the show, and people seemed to be pretty crazy about it, but I'd never seen it.
About half way through the first episode, I was hooked! Better than that, I was intrigued. High School Teacher. The idea had never crossed my mind before hand, but all of a sudden the wheels in my head began turning.
Being a High School Teacher would allow me to only teach certain subjects (in this case History and Social Science) and it would be an ideal stepping-stone to one day advance to teaching at the post-secondary level.
I came back from Washington with the idea firmly planted in my mind. Problem was, I was already way past the application deadline for most schools. In the end I found *one* school that was still accepting applications for this coming september. I applied and began the waiting game.
As of last week, the wait is over - I got in! I can't even begin to tell you how happy and relieved I am.
As of September 2010, Miss Ella will officially be on her way to becoming a teacher.
Wow that's a sentence I never thought I'd say out loud.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I’d like to start a weekly feature on my blog, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to call it. The premise of this feature will be inspiration but “Inspirational Wednesdays” just doesn’t have the effect I’m looking for.
One thing that most people don’t know about me is that I love inspirational quotes and sayings. So much so that I have an entire notebook filled with everything from song lyrics to famous quotes to biblical scriptures. I hear something I find inspiring and, presuming I can remember it, I write it down somewhere. Over the years this book has become a sort of safety blanket for me because all I have to do is flip through the pages and without fail I end up feeling different. In a perfect world the quotes would be organized by category or at least chronologically, but nope. In fact I actually started it by writing quotes down on the back pages of a notebook I used to use for school.
About 20 minutes ago I was busy working on a project here at work, when my iPod chose to play one of the most inspirational songs I know. This song is also the only music video I have downloaded onto my iPod, which I promptly also had to watch. This is where the idea for this post popped into my head.
Everyone, go Google the official music video for Nickelback’s “If Everyone Cared” .. I promise you, you will be inspired! If it catches me at the right moment, I’ve even been known to have tears in my eyes by the end.
Every week I’m going to post an inspirational quote to share with all of you. There may be a story or explanation behind it, or there may not be.
I leave you all with the first inspirational quote:
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died”
- Nickelback, “If Everyone Cared”
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I've seen features like this on other blogs, and it's something I always do for myself anyway, so I figured I would post it for the world.
Wow that was cryptic wasn't it? I'll back-track a little. My mom has guests over that arrived on wednesday. So tuesday night I was cleaning my room to prepare for company. Whenver there are guests around, I clean my room and always think "okay so if someone who doesn't know me where to see my room, what would they know about me" Maybe that's very wierd - but I've always done it. If I had my own place, I would probably do the same thing - but to the max.
So I've decided to give you all a peak into what my domain is really like.
When you look around my place..
..you see someone who loves her friends insanely, there are picture frames e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e
..you see someone who is very proud of her German heritage, with Germany signs and a beany baby sitting on a shelf (not to mention the German Soccer jersey I just bought for the World Cup that has yet to be put away)
..you see someone who likes fashion, make-up and all things girlie due to the stack of Marie Claire and Glamour magazines she has beside her bed
..you see someone who has way too much stuff because there's stuff everywhere
..you see someone who loves Paris and all things French
..you see someone who once had a severe obesssion with Tigger from Winnie the Pooh
..you see someone who has a closet over-stuffed with clothes - too many clothes
..you see someone who likes nice candles, especially lavender and clean cotton scents
What does your place say about you?
Friday, June 11, 2010
Hello everyone! Happy Friday to all of you.
Jen over at A girl in Pearls & A boy with Toys has a wonderful weekly feature called Favorite Fridays. I'm new to Jen's blog, but my bestest has been following her for a while, and each week the Favorite Fridays post catches my eye.
It's actually very coincidental, but when I saw this week's topic, I was actually listening to a song off of my favorite movie soundtrack at the same time - it's like it was meant to be!
It may sound cheesy, but my favorite movie soundtrack hands down is The Lion King.
It actually isn't my favorite Disney movie (The Little mermaid takes that one) but I've always loved the songs. I still to this day think "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is one of the best love songs of all time. "Circle of Life" always fills me with a feeling of power and inspiration and c'mon, no one can forget "Hakuna Matata"!
Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be playing catch-up on the World Cup, my laundry, my girlfriends and squeezing in a movie date
Monday, June 7, 2010
Most of the people around here (execs included) seem to lean more toward “casual” as the typical outfit seems to be Jeans, running shoes and a polo shirt/T-shirt/Hoodie. Yes hoodie. Imagine meeting the Disney or Paramount Reps in running shoes and a hoodie – not my cup of tea, but luckily I don’t actually work with any important people.
Anyway, I consider myself to be fairly well dressed. Even when I do succumb to the Jeans-Runners-Hoodie uniform (which is quite often in the winter) I make sure I look nice and well put-together. I enjoy dressing up occasionally, but also want to be comfortable.
This coincides with the new “Summer Office Attire” memo. According to the policy, skirts and dresses must be no shorter than an inch and a half above the knee.
My issue is this:
I’m between 5’10 and 5’11. The same skirt would be a lot longer on someone who is say 5’5 or 5’6, so it is virtually impossible for me to find dresses and skirts that are the right length without actually being floor length. I’m not going to argue with HR about this technicality (even though I think it’s perfectly valid) because I believe I might have found a solution. Leggings. I figure with leggings I can wear shorter dresses in the summer and top them off with Capri-length leggings.
The sweater-dress I have on today is definitely nowhere near an inch and a half above my knees, it sits probably about 5 inches north of my knees. I figured this was acceptable because I’m wearing dark stretchy leggings that are actually slightly looser than some jeans I’ve worn in the past. I walked into the office this morning and my boss gave me a slightly disapproving once-over, but didn’t say anything. This has lead to paranoia on my part.
I practically live in dresses and skirts throughout the summer months, and the thought of having to resort to jeans or capris all summer long is depressing.
Do leggings count as pants? Or as panty-hose? What are your workplaces like? What do you think? Can I get away with a shorter dress and leggings?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I heard on the radio this morning that the World Cup is exactly 9 days away from today – and I can’t tell you how much that excites me. I’m really not a team sports kind of girl – I danced all my life, but I’ve never been very good at much else. Moreover, I have little patience for religiously following team sports of any kind, but World Cup Soccer I love.
Growing up in Germany, soccer was a big part of my life. All the boys in my class played soccer both at recess and after school in leagues. Us girls used to go to the soccer field after school and watch the boys play. Soccer was also a HUGE deal in 1990 when (west)Germany won the cup. I might have been in Kindergarten at the time, but even I remember the celebrations. There is something very powerful about an entire nation cheering for a team and celebrating the subsequent win.
World Cup Fever returned to Germany once again in full swing in 2006 because Germany was the host country. I was lucky enough to be in Germany during the World Cup that year, and it was amazing. For those few weeks everyone bonded together. It didn’t matter what race or religion you were, everyone sat glued to the television supporting their team. It was also an added bonus that Germany made it all the way to 3rd place that year, only to lose out to France and then Italy.
I have high hopes for my team this year, and I’m really hoping they can follow through accordingly
Who are you cheering for in the World Cup?
Friday, May 28, 2010
This post is coming to you a day late, but as soon as I saw this week’s Top 3 Thursday question I knew I had to fill it out. If you want to play along, head over to Kelly’s blog!
Top 3 Vacation Houses or Vacation Spots.
I’m currently suffering from a bad case of Wanderlust. Late Spring/early Summer has always meant travel planning for me. Typically I usually go to Europe sometime in June-July-August so May is always spent planning. This year is still very much up-in-the-air due to my work schedule and school applications for September. What this all means is that right now I have no plans to go anywhere, and this is making me very depressed. I’m going to try and drown my sorrows by fantasizing about the places I’ve been and the places I’m dying to go.
When I saw “Top 3 Vacation Houses” 2 automatically came to mind. I’m currently at work so there are no pictures, but I’m trying to improve my descriptive writing so hopefully I can paint a good picture in your minds.
The House In Spain
A friend of my father’s owns an absolutely gorgeous summer house north of Barcelona with a view that is worth a million dollars. The house itself is an adequate size, kitchen and living room downstairs and bathroom with 2 bedrooms upstairs. What makes it so priceless is the view from the patio and balcony. This house sits atop a hill overlooking the ocean, to the point that if you stand on the patio you see nothing but water. It is a truly breathtaking view. I spent many hours simply sitting in silence looking at the horizon. There is something very magical about this house, it has a hidden power to change people in ways they never thought possible. The salty air drifts in and out of the house as the cool ocean breeze carries it wherever it wants to go. Each night that place where the sky meets the ocean explodes into shimmering pinks and reds as the sun begins its final decent. Even though the night is as dark as can be, millions of stars light up the sky with their celestial designs. I have been fortunate enough to spend time there twice. Once on a weeklong vacation with my father when I was about 13, and once about 7 years later for 2 weeks with an old boyfriend.
The Hotel In Germany
The small German village that I grew up in only boasts 1 hotel. Whatever you picture when you think about small villages in Germany, this place has it. An old medieval elementary school that was originally built in the 1400’s, a giant cathedral that is probably even older, and tiny narrow streets barely big enough to fit a Smart Car. Every year that I go to Germany, I inevitably spend a few days at this hotel. I’m very lucky to still have a few friends from my childhood in Germany, and although they’ve all gone on to other things (med school, flight attendant for Lufthansa and graduate school, respectively) this village is still home. I spend the majority of my time in Germany at my Grandparents’ place about 2 hours from there, but we always go down for 4-5 days during my visit. I’ve come to think of this hotel as a type of second home in Germany. The location is beautiful, surrounded by forests on 3 sides and a pond with fish, frogs and ducks on the other. We always get the same rooms, with an adjoining balcony overlooking the pond. I love sitting outside reading a book with the sound of the water in the background and the smell of nature all around me. This hotel is special to me because for those few days each year I feel like I actually belong back in the land I loved so much as a child.
As for a 3rd Vacation House, I actually don’t have one specific one that I’ve been to more than once. I’ve been very fortunate to have stayed in Vacation houses in Portugal, Greece and France in addition to Spain and Germany. Each and every experience is magical and special in its own way. I generally prefer vacation houses to hotels because I love going to grocery stores and picking up food in a foreign country.
Wow this ended up being a very long and descriptive post, I’m done rambling now I promise.
Happy Weekend Bloggers!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I can’t believe another week has now passed since I last blogged! What the eff!? I’ve been home from Washington for 3 weeks and I’m only now getting around to blogging about it. Terrible. Chalk it up to the old adage of “Better late than never”
My father’s-wife was recently (speak October) re-located to Washington D.C for her work. From what I had heard she had a great position there, and a very nice house in Alexandria, Virginia but up until now I’d never been there. My dad actually still lives in Germany at the moment, so the two of them have a sort of long-distance marriage. At the beginning of this month he was going to be spending a few weeks in Virginia and spontaneously invited me to fly down and visit.
I took Friday off work and left early on Thursday to catch an evening flight.
Been-ah (*names have been changed) had to work during the day on Friday so my Dad and I got up early and drove into D.C with her in order to get in a full day of sightseeing. Our first stop was the United States Holocaust Museum. I mentioned in a previous post that one of my main reasons for wanting to see Washington was the museum. It did not disappoint. ß That’s probably an inappropriate comment, I apologize. Anyway, we got there an hour before it opened because we had heard that the line builds quickly and they give out times entrance tickets
We ended up spending about 3 hours at the museum, touring it from top to bottom. Literally. I must say it was very well-organized and very informative. I’ve been to other Holocaust museums around the world and studied quite a bit about the topic in University, but this one was one of the most in-depth. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, not that I probably would have anyway, but every few exhibits there would be walls with influential and powerful quotes – which I found very moving and effective.
After the museum we simply walked in silence a little bit to absorb what we had just witnessed.
After lunch we decided to buy tickets for one of those “hop-on-hop-off” tours. Now, generally I find them extremely tacky and would not be caught dead seeing a city this way, BUT given that I only had 2 days and the fact that most things in D.C are not in walking distance, I relented.
My main sightseeing requests were the White House, Capitol Building, Library of Congress and the Washington Monument.
The White House ended up being smaller than I expected, and the Capitol Building a lot bigger. Very strange. We didn’t have enough time to do actual tours of the places, but even seeing them from the outside was good enough for me.
My absolute favourite thing in D.C (hands-down) was the Library of Congress. I should first explain that I have a fascination with books and libraries. That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily a book-worm, but I find something very powerful about wandering the stacks of old Libraries. This may have something to do with the fact that I’ve spent the better part of my life either playing or studying in a library – but that’s open for discussion.
This place was magnificent. Marble floors and tapestries as far as the eye could see. The actual “reading room” was off-limits to cameras, but if you Google “Library of Congress reading room” you can see what it looks like. I would move to Washington just to be able to spend my time studying at that library. Sad but true. We walked through "Lincolns Library" which features historic first editions of thousands of books. Some dating back to the 1600's.
Even the outside of the building was amazing, and I can imagine it is used quite frequently for wedding pictures.
After a full-day of sightseeing, I fell into bed completely exhausted.
The next day was spent much more leisurely by sleeping in until 8:30 (!) and then taking a tour of various Embassies in Washington. These were also mostly off-limits to cameras, but suffice to say it was very interesting to see how some countries are represented around the world.
All-in-all I had a great time in Washington, and would definitely go back in a heart-beat. I also recommend it as a tour stop for anyone visiting that part of the United States.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Hello World! I think I took myself onto a sort of bloggy-hiatus the last few weeks, but I promise you I’m back now. I’ve just been so busy and so tired after work each night that I’ve simply not had enough time to blog recently.
A lot has happened in the past 2 weeks, big things like me going to Washington (which will be its own post) and smaller things (like me finally finishing up my applications)
In terms of ShyBoy, there have been some developments, nothing extravagant, but developments none the less. We went to our friend Vee’s wedding together at the beginning of the month. It was a beautiful wedding, the couple got very lucky and had a sunny day for an outdoor ceremony. Unfortunately I managed to catch a sinus infection the day before the wedding so I wasn’t feeling 100% and felt worse as the night progressed. ShyBoy was attentive and took good care of me both at the wedding and on the way home, so all in all it really was a good night.
Last Week I played Paintball for the first time in my life. Have any of you ever played before? Wow what an experience! It’s the closest to combat I ever hope to get. ShyBoy invited me during the week, and as much as I was always a little curious to try it, I was also scared. I’ve heard horror stories about people getting injured and that getting hit really hurts. Anyway, in the end I decided to go.
The first 3 rounds me and a girlfriend kind of cowered in the corner behind some boxes trying to avoid the rapid-fire that was going on around us. I’ll be perfectly honest, it does hurt to get hit at first and I do have bruises – but it’s so much fun. Scary as hell, but the adrenaline also helps the pain and motivates you. After a few rounds we managed to actually get in a few shots and really got into the games.
This coming weekend is a holiday weekend for us Canucks – Victoria Day. Also known as May 2-4. I believe the “original” reason was because we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24th but over the years it has become more colloquial for a 2-4 of beer. For some reason May 2-4 weekend is the ultimate drinking holiday. People go up north to go camping or open their cottages for the year, and there are always parties, both up north and here in the city.
I’m having a party Sunday night to celebrate “May 2-4” with a bunch of friends, and a bunch of drinks. ShyBoy still has to decide if he’s going up north with his brother or coming to my party. I could be wrong, but personally I don’t see him going up north. We shall see how it all pans out.
I finally finished up my applications for next year, and I’m surprising myself by taking a slightly different direction than I previously thought. I’m very happy with decision and I think I may have actually found a career direction that I’m happy with for more than a few days. Now I have to play the waiting-game to see what the next step is. Aside from a cottage trip with some friends and a long weekend in NYC with my mom, I have no plans for the summer aside from working because I don’t know what will happen next year.
I think that’s it for now, you’re all caught up!
Ohhh, did anyone else see the Season Finale of Gossip Girl yesterday? Ohh-Emm-Gee is all I had to say, and way to make it depressing for everyone!