Friday, February 29, 2008

i need you like my kidney

i heard this fantastically cheesy line in a zouk-love song in the taxi on the way home from the train station. zouk is a music style that originated in the french Caribbean. its slow, rythmic, sensual, and usually has ridiculously cheesy lyrics (like the one above!). the lyrics are usually a mixture of french, creol, english and portugese. i became familiar with zouk in burkina, i believe its popular throughout west africa.

cours de danse zouk (zouk dance class!!)

here's some zouk-love: sexy lady

here's a faster song, of zouk, not zouk-love. the costuming is so funny!

anyways, as you can see i made it back "home" safe to montreal.

Monday, February 25, 2008

it is lovely to be back in the land of goshen.
sunday, especially, was a really nice day. i went to church in the morning. i was struck by the way it felt to go somewhere were everybody knew me and stopped to say hi and ask how i was doing... oh community, you are so important. i have really missed that in montreal. in montreal i have friends and people i interact with, but they are not interconnected, and my life sometimes feels like snippets of moments with different people and different places, it feels disjointed.
after church i had lunch at my dad's and then went to yoga at the kara's studio downtown. it was great to be back in a class with kara. i got the chance to talk to her a bunch about my plans for teacher training in august and she was really affirming. this summer i may be co-teaching a class with her and subbing from time to time. which i'm ridiculously excited about!
to top off my already good day, an old friend L. came over and we talked for hours and hours catching up on one another's lives. It will be so nice to be able to do a lot more of that this summer.

today is a considerably less lovely as i am tying myself to the kitchen table and working on an essay due right after break is over. but this evening i'm going for coffee with another great old friend, A.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


the thing that cracks me up about youtube iss that half of all university students have seen these ridiculous videos. free culture.
I’m on the train! I left montreal at 7 this morning and I’ll be arriving in Windsor were my mum will pick me up to head to g-town at 3:45pm.

I really love taking the train, its by far my favourite mode of long-distance transit. Here are 10 fabulous reasons why:

1. train stations are located right in the city, so you don’t have to commute way out to the airport (like in montreal, you have to take a 1 hour bus to get to the airport in the first place). The train station was only a 10 minute and $10 taxi ride from my place.
2. the seats are big and comfy and lean back way further than a car or an airplane.
3. you only have to show up 20-30 minutes early, there is no security, no lines, hardly any waiting.
4. you don’t have to stow away your electronic devices for take of, and you can have your seat in a non-upright position all you want.
5. there is no take off, no ear popping, no turbulence.
6. you can bring a huge suitcase right on the train with you- actually you can bring 2!
7. they are more environmentally friendly than driving by yourself or flying. (I need to look up the stats on this)
8. the view is better than a car ride, no roads or highways, the train goes through the country side.
9. its much safer than driving way faster than the bus.
10. you can just sit, back, relax and enjoy the ride. (or sit back, relax, enjoy the ride and work on writing midterm as the case may be).

On the train I’m sitting catty corner (there are 2 sets of seats facing to other seats of seats) to a 30-something guy, I’m pretty sure he’s british- he’s stylish even by montreal’s high standards. A mini mo-hawk, trendy black boots, and I think I caught a bit of an accent when the conductor asked him for his ticket. Right now he’s sleeping with the hood of he’s trendy black sweater pulled over his face and his long legs awkwardly crossed. earlier he was reading some pseudo porn magazine. gross.
Across the isle from me is a woman, she looks a but staunchy but equally trendy to the british guy. She is dressed all in black- black hair, black cashmere scarf, black boot-cut pants, black flat boots with pointy toes. I guess I lied, her jacket is grey. But even the book she’s reading has a black cover, the title in white is “go ask alice.” I’m wearing comfy blue jeans, a purple long sleeved shirt with a bright green t pulled over it, my scarf is fuchsia. My book, “the mbuti pygmies: change and adaptation” has a brown and yellow cover. It definitely doesn’t match my outfit. Uh-oh! The black-outfit lady just pulled out a snack that doesn’t complement her ensemble: bright orange gold fish crackers! Wow its been years since I’ve eaten, or even seen those.

Monday, February 18, 2008

i don't know why, but this makes me laugh out loud every time i watch it.
Environmental Education Brainstorming Workshop
Saturday I led a brainstroming session on enviromental education. This session was a collaboration between MIE, Greening Duluth and the Maison de l’Amitié. Throughout the session we brainstromed ideas for creating enviromental education activities and lessons to include in the english and french classes at Maison de l’Amitié. To start off the session we introduced ourselves and the different initives collaborating on this project. In this collaboration Maison de l’Amitié is the main actor in carrying out the enviromental education through their language classes. Greening Duluth works on the ground helping to impliment the environmental education, give teachers training opportunities and provide new materials and ideas for curriculum. MIE acts as a facilitator, questioning western-enviromental assumptions, maintaining cross-cultural enviromental awareness the curriculum, as well as contributing ideas for curriculum.

Towards the middle of our time together, the group of 17 broke into 4 groups to brainstorm on concrete lesson plans for the 4 levels of classes. Here’s an example of one lesson plan for an intermediate class. It involves each student bringing an object from home and presenting the object by tracing history of an object (the raw materials used to make it, the place it was made, how it got to be where it was bought). To dicuss the history of the object they would have to practice the past tenses. Next student could discuss, using the present how they are using the object. Lastly, using the future tenses, students would consider the future of the object, what will happen when they are done using it.

We concluded the workshop by sharing our ideas and giving feedback. Next, participants from the workshop will compile more detailed lesson plans. Then we’ll meet again in March to give feedback and finish the final drafts of lesson plans we well as look at how we can go beyond just lesson plans and broaden the scope of our activiites.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

the ugly sweater event

Thursday, February 14, 2008

what are you doing saturday? if you're in montreal you should come to....

La Maison de l'Amitié language school is looking to develop and implement environmental education units as part of its french and english classes. This initiative will be a joint effort between Maison de l'Amitie, Mouvement Interculturel pour l'Environment
( and Greening Duluth.

I would like to gather a group of members from both organizations and teachers from Maison de l'Amitié for a visioning and brainstorming session of how this project can play out. The session would include discussing the clientele and logistics of the language program and how environmental education can enrich their time at MA. As well, brainstorming ideas for lesson plans and social activities that raise
environmental awareness.

We'll be meeting Feb 16th from 11-13h at La Maison de l'Amitié. If you would like to bring a bunch/lunch dish to share we will be able to nourish ourselves a bit as we brainstorm!

Teaching is so rewarding, especially when you get valentines presents and paintings from your students!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Boyne 2008
early morning thursday i left montreal and flew to grandrapids, MI. from there my dad and friends picked me up and we drove up to Boyne Highlands. this is an annual trip for a group of friends from my church. i had a wonderful time skiing, eating, talking and reconnecting with old friends (who feel like family) as well as my dad. another huge highlight was meeting two sweet sweet little boys- josiah and ian!

now its back to work in montreal. i've got a very busy rest of the month what with mcgill midterms, teaching english and work!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

i love inversions. sometimes when i'm sitting studying or at my computer, i just have this pressing urge to turn myself upside down for a while.
my favorite inversion in yoga is Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand). according to it offers lots of benefits! yoga master Iyengar explains that the entire body is reconditioned by the regular practice of Salamba Sirsasana. in particular, there are four major systems in the body that the practice of inversions positively influences: circulation/cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine. Others add that it also conditions the respiratory and digestive systems.