Home Again

August 8, 2011

There ya go. follow me on twitter!

Man! I am back home. Wow. What a trip! I got back Friday night from Quebec and was it an amazing experience! I was going to blog while I was there but I was far too lazy and forgot to. Well, what did I do in Quebec?

The first week was a whirlwind. I was constantly exhausted from speaking in my second language and napped often. I have never napped that much before. Normally I don’t, but I found myself sleeping between lunch and my workshops.

So, here is what my day looked like: I’d get up for breakfast in the cafeteria. Then before 8:30 my friends and I would head to the Pavillion across the street for class, which went from 8:30 to 12:00. Then we would go back to the school for lunch. After lunch, at 1:30, our ateliers (or workshops) would start and run until 4:30.

Monday- Video and Theatre ( http://vimeo.com/27249884 video my group did. I’m the one with the black glasses and purple morph suit)
Tuesday- Culture Quebecoise
Wednesday- Video and Theatre
Thursday- Journal (we wrote miniature articles and had a weekly newspaper)

On weekends we had excursions. We went to beaches, Bic National Park, Quebec City, Pohenegamook and Tadoussac for whale watching. I spent so much money. Oh no!

I’ll update more tomorrow! ūüėÄ I’ll even have pictures.


20 Days!

June 12, 2011

20 more days until I leave for Quebec! I’m starting to get really excited. I’m thinking of all the stuff I need to pack, and I’m thinking of what kind of stuff we’re going to do! Whale watching, a weekend trip to Quebec city, taking language classes etc.

So I heard an interesting discussion on the radio a few weeks ago. I can’t remember exactly how it was worded, I came in part way through the broadcast, but what I gathered was someone was claiming that drinking in front of your children is bad for them psychologically. Not being an alchoholic, but like, even having a beer on a weekend.

My brother and I were driving in the car when we heard this, and we talked about it a bit. We talked about how our parents would have drinks when company came over etc and we turned out perfectly fine. No psychological issues, no alchohol abuse.

Personally, I think if you are a problem drinker, that’s what will mess up your kids. If you abuse any sort of drugs in front of your kids, its all whacked.

What do you guys think?


June 4, 2011

Huh, well I guess its been awhile, eh?

Anyway, nothing really exciting going on for me. I leave in 28 days for Quebec, though! I don’t remember if I’ve talked about this before, but I’m going to Quebec for five weeks with two of my friends on a language enrichment program called Explore. We will be living on a CEGEP¬†campus. (Click the link for a definition of CEGEP.) We’re taking classes there as well as partaking in lots of activities in Quebec, like whale watching. I’ll try to write while I’m there, keep people updated. I’ll definately be taking¬†lots and lots of pictures, so I’ll post some of those too!

Also! I went and saw Pirates of the Carribean 4: On Stranger Tides! I saw it with my friend Natasha first, then I went and saw it with my friend Bryton last night again. Lots of people said they didn’t like it, but I really did! I thought it was well done. Barbossa is such a badass! On that note, I found this song by The Lonely Island, called Jack Sparrow. Its awesome. Here, have a listen.
/web_design/jacksparrow.wav¬†(If this doesn’t work on your browser, you can find the song here)

That’s all I have for today. I think I’m getting new glasses frames today, so I’d better go get ready.
Autobots, roll out!


May 20, 2011

Well I haven’t updated in awhile!

I’ve been kind of busy with school. The end of the year is rolling around and I am so ready for summer! Two of my friends and I were chosen to participate in a government program called Explore (French pronounciation). We will be in Rivere-du-loup for five weeks and going to class at the cegep there! I am so excited, it is an amazing opportunity. It is a French language enrichment program. My homeroom teacher is very excited for us. He keeps telling us all the neat things we’ll get to see and experience.

Actually, that brings me to what I really wanted to talk about. See, at my school, we don’t have ‘homeroom’. We have “Teacher Advisory Program”, otherwise known as TAG. I hate TAG. I think it is a waste of time. Every Thursday, our schedule changes. We have shortened classes so we can fit in a whole new period¬†between 2nd and 3rd. So on TAG days, our schedule goes: 1st, 2nd, TAG, 3rd, Lunch, 4th, 5th. Our TAG¬†teacher is who ever¬†we have in¬†2nd period.

As soon as TAG starts, a majority of the boys in my class go to McDonald’s (partly because it isn’t far, partly because a lot of them work there.). TAG is not an acedemic class. You could skip TAG every day and it would not affect your mark. In theory. You are marked on attendance, so if you skip TAG you can fail. To add to the suckiness that is TAG, no one can tell me how it is useful.

Last semester I asked my TAG teacher, Mr. C, what the point of TAG was. He looked at me, blinked slowly, turned and walked away. This semester I have Mr. L as my TAG teacher, but I simply walked out of the classroom and went to talk with Mr. C. I asked him again, “so, what is the¬† point of TAG?” Mr. C replied “TAG is good. Repeat that over and over.” He laughed and walked away.

ABSOLUTELY NO ONE can tell me how TAG is useful. Supposedly, TAG is supposed to help build community in the school and strong relationships between students and teachers. This is such bullhonkey. When TAG was introduced to my school last year, we were thrown in with a handful of random kids from other classes and a teacher. This was our “TAG group” and it was supposed to be the same group until we graduated and TAG was 15 minutes every day PLUS the hour every Thursday. Obviously a waste of time. Then at the beginning of this year, TAG was change to whoever your 2nd period teacher was and that class as your TAG group.

We do nothing. A couple TAGs ago, the whole school did a collage thing. It is displayed at the front of our school. In today’s TAG, we made posters for “Green Day”, an event happening next Thursday. We could be doing academic stuff, but I guess craft time is much more important.

Sigh. I hate TAG. Everyone I explain it to that does not go to high school always gives me a blank stare before making some variation of the remark “that’s stupid.”

Oh well. More school tomorrow~

Autobots, ROLL OUT!

I forgot to mention this in yesterday’s post: for lulzy and unbelievable stories from working in retail and such, go to http://retailhellunderground.com¬†. I love this website. If you currently or used to have a retail job (mall, fast food etc) I would definitely suggest this website! Worth it 100%.

On the subject of crappy work, I’m gonna come back to what I was talking about yesterday, stuff at work that annoys me. The one I was thinking about today is bad managers.

Where I work totally rocks having amazing managers. It’s great. Except for one. We’ll call her “D”.

Now, D is a nice woman, don’t get me wrong. She’s fine to talk to in small doses. But I, and a lot of the crew, think that she should not be in a management position. When there are other managers working, she is often regulated to crappy positions usually filled by crew. For example, fries or the drive-thru booth where customers pay. I have never seen D as a shift manager, ever. Never once have I asked her what position I’ll be working that day.

Unfortunately, D is also a complainer and will tell you every little detail of her life. I barely know D and I can tell you personal details about her life and her family. I don’t want to get into that, though. Besides her family issues and such, she will complain and moan constantly about all her physical ailments. Its like she’s trying to beat everyone out by being the least healthy person on staff.

I suffer from low arches. I have to wear orthodics¬†in my shoes to keep my bones in place so I’m not all gibbled¬†up. Once I couldn’t wear my orthodics¬†for a few days and as a result I couldn’t walk one day. I ended up crawling everywhere I needed to go and spent most of the time on a couch. When I came back to work and was asked why I had missed a shift, I explained. I immediate gained the sympathies of D, who¬†apparently also has low arches,¬†and she now turns to me whenever she wants to bitch about her pain because “I understand.”

WTF? Seriously! You are a full-grown woman, working in a management position, and looking for sympathies from the high school students you’re in charge of? Is it just me, or does that seem weird?

Another strange occurance¬†was she asked me to be her wedding photographer. What!! I mean, okay,¬†I understand being on a budget, but what are you doing, asking a grade 11 student with ZERO professional experience, to be your wedding photographer? See, when she asked me,¬† I didn’t know a thing about wedding photos. I like taking portraits, and I have a pretty decent camera (Sony A300x). But I didn’t know how much to charge, what kind of equipment I’d need etc. Luckily, an acquaintance of mine who does professional photography talked me out of it.

Okay, that last point had nothing to do with bad managing. But these next points do. When it starts to get busy, D will make up an excuse and bail on us. “I have to pee” and “I need to eat, I’m starving” are her favourite excuses. Excuse me? When we finally start getting a lunch rush, you don’t say “I have to eat!” and disappear for twenty minutes. Managers are supposed to eat when it’s NOT busy to PREVENT this from happening. Also, if you have to pee, hold it. If crew members have to hold it when there’s no one available to take their place, managers should have to as well.

Argh, there’s so many things about D that bothers me. I know I’m not the only crew member who thinks so either.If she ever comes up in conversation at school, you can count on my classmates who all work at the same place as I do to let out a collective groan and voice their displeasures about her.

¬†Honestly, our newest manager the “Baby Swing” as she’s been nick named, is a much better manager than D, and she still has an other manager always there to help her and quiz her because she’s still learning.

Well that’s enough of my whinging for the night.

Autobots, ROLL OUT!


May 11, 2011

Well its sort of late and I should sleep, but I want to update here first. I just got off work an hour and a half ago… Excuse me if I ramble a bit.

I work at a McDonald’s. It is honestly not that bad. I’ve worked there for a bit over two years now and I enjoy it. I like my coworkers and the work itself isn’t that bad, its the customers that drive me up the wall. Most of the time customers don’t stick in your mind. They’re just ordinary people who want to get their food as quickly as possible. They want it promptly, they want it fresh and it hasta taste good. These are three very reasonable requests.

What annoys me, however, is problem customers. These are the people who cannot order in an organized fashion. People who bitch and complain at you when you’re doing your best during a rush. Drunk/high people. And stupid ass kids.

I will no list why these things make me angry.

  1. Learn how to order. If you don’t want pickles on your burger, say it right away, please. “Can I get a regular¬†sized¬†Big Mac meal, no pickleson it,¬†with a coke.” That is the ideal way to order your meal if you are changing or “grilling” your sandwhich. Or any item where you deviate from the original recipe. “Can I get a Rolo McFlurry with extra chocolate?”¬† Ordering your whole meal then at the end (or worse,¬†at the window where you pay in drive thru)¬†saying: “Oh by the way can I get that Big Mac meal a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY THAN ITS MADE?” is a massive hassle for the crew serving you. When a burger is rung up on the till, it shows up on the screens in the kitchens immediately so the cooks can make your food. When you ask for something different on your sandwhich, it is probably already made and we end up throwing out the extra food. Its such a waste.
  2. A lot of the time, a crew member working at McDonald’s will be stuck doing several jobs at once. This, really, is not that big of a deal if you have good managers, (which I do, thank GOD.) But for example, today, I was doing three jobs in drive thru. I was packing the food, handing it out the window and taking orders on one of the two lanes that we have. And the kid working the front counter was doing everything himself too. Of course, when there’s limited people, getting your order might take five minutes instead of two. This can be irritating, I understand that. But is it really necessary to swear at me and tell me I’m doing a terrible job and that you want to speak to my manager who’s busier than I am? Really? And puh-leeze. Threatening me by saying “I’ll never come here again!” is such bull honkey. Big corporations will not miss one customer. And suuure you’re not coming back. Next time you have a Mac Attack, don’t come crying to me.
  3. If you are drunk off your ass, stay the hell home. I can’t believe how many drunk and high people come through the drive thru. One day, a man held up the line for ten minutes because he was SO STONED he could not understand what I was saying to him. He had a 30$ order and I had to repeat the whole thing (grilled sandwhiches and all) to him over five times before he understood. Or drunk guys who come through at 6am and are loud and obnoxious and find it necessary to make dirty jokes and failed attempts to flirt with me. Stop it.
  4. Kids. This term for me ranges from legitmate children to people in their twenties. Its all based on how you act. First off, if you have children in the car, tell them to shut up and sit down. I shouldn’t have to listen to your spoiled brat screaming that they want a Happy Meal for two minutes while I try and act cheerful and ring up your order. For anyone too old for Happy Meals that I call “kid”, this is any immature individual. That includes stupid drunks, stupid teenagers, slick-ass gangsters with their ridiculous music, anyone from my school etc etc who try to act cool and come across as pretentious douchebags. Also, don’t fight in the parking lot. Please.

There ARE good things about working at McDonald’s! I love the people I work with. BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALLAN FOR BEING AN AMAZING MANAGER TONIGHT!!! MAHAL KITA! But honestly, I’m exhausted and stink of fries. I need sleep and a shower!

Autobots, ROLL OUT!

Yesterday I was reading the news paper. Not an overly exciting activity, but an article caught my eye. It was entitled “A parent’s proposals for teachers” written by Ms Bronwyn Eyre. Click HERE¬†to read the article. I suggest you read it before continuing this blog post.

After I read Ms Eyre’s commentary, I was very angry. I felt she was abusing her position as a journalist to use the newspaper as her personal blog, which obviously it is not. I was also angry that she made so many untrue assumptions and claims. I know quite a few teachers outside of the men and women who teach me at school, and they all reacted negatively to Ms Eyre’s statements. This is to be expected, of course.

I decided to do something about it, and here is the letter I wrote in response:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “I recently read Bronwyn Eyre‚Äôs ‚ÄúA parent‚Äôs proposals for teachers‚ÄĚ in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and I was shocked and offended. As a grade eleven student, I am not so far out of elementary school that I do not remember what it was like to be in grade eight, or seven or six, all the way back to grade one.

                As a grade one student, I remember being delighted at having grade eight supervisors. I thought they were the coolest kids in the world! Big kids who were willing to spend their free time with me! Care partners were the coolest too! I thoroughly enjoyed being a grade one student with an older care partner.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When I entered grade seven, I remember specifically asking the grade one teacher if I could help supervise the grade one children with my grade eight friends. It was a privilege and I felt very proud that I could be trusted with such a responsibility. I always had a blast with the kids. We would sing songs with them, tell them stories and even play with them occasionally on the playground. Being able to spend time with such vivacious and bright children made me feel amazing, especially since I knew that I might be giving another child the same cherished memories of my ‚Äúcoolest care partner ever‚ÄĚ.

                 Yes, it’s true that grade eight students are not trained as teachers, but with that reasoning, why do we let children of that age group baby-sit? They aren’t trained as parents! They should be at home focusing on their own academic and social development as Ms. Eyre stated in her commentary. Perish the thought of a grade eight child learning about responsibility!

                As a volunteer supervisor in grades seven and eight, I was interviewed by a teacher before being allowed to supervise. Throughout the two years that I supervised, I never once felt overwhelmed by the task I had taken on. Teachers still did their hallway supervision, checking on us regularly to make sure things were going well. I never had any problems. The kids were stellar and the teachers were supportive.

                In conversation with my classmates from elementary school and my brother who is currently in grade eight, they remembered (or are experiencing in the case of my brother) being a care partner or lunch supervisor as fondly as I do. Because of these personal experiences, I am shocked that a parent, who I am sure wants their child to enjoy school to its fullest, would make such outrageous assumptions about students in a school community.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In regards to the point ‚Äúlighten up a bit‚ÄĚ, number four on the list of things paid professionals could be doing better, when have teachers taken away regular playground toys? Frisbees are forbidden? And jump ropes? I call shenanigans on this one. This is simply not true, unless there are special circumstances I am unaware of. I remember the bucket of outside toys at the back of my classroom during elementary school as well. I consulted with a few teachers and they told me that elementary school classrooms are equipped with recess toys such as jump ropes, balls, Frisbees, pylons to make goal posts etc. at the beginning of each school year.

                I admit that I do not know everything that is going on with the potential job action, but how is it fair to target older students in an elementary level? Grade eights, in my experience; have never been relied upon to replace teachers. We were simply engaged in leadership activities with younger students. Surprisingly, this was not against our will, just welcomed leadership opportunity in our school community.  Similarly, you can compare grade eight care partners to the Welcoming Committee in high schools when senior school students take on the role of mentors and friends to young grade nines who are experiencing high school for the first time. These grade eleven to twelve students are not trained as teachers, but we help build a sense of community, familiarity and comfort in their school. We are not trained as teachers as I previously stated, but we are emulating the sense of social responsibility and care for community that our teachers model for us every day.

                In short, I am shocked and appalled at the negative light that kids my brother’s age are cast in. Was this what parents and adults thought of me when I was that young? O Discordia, I never knew I was so foolish, irresponsible and uncaring.


                                                                A disgruntled student who, by the way, is a product of Saskatchewan Education


‚ÄúThere is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.‚ÄĚ

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† -Sophia Loren”

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May 7, 2011

Hello there! My name is Ali and this is my brand new blog!

I tried my hand at this once before and I wasn’t terribly successful. I wrote in it for about two weeks then I quit. Well. Anyway.

I guess I’d better introduce myself a bit more before getting into anything heavy, huh? I’m¬†¬†a home-grown Canadian student who’s currently going to school. As stated in my profile, I enjoy art in many different forms.¬†I also am interested in linguistics. I speak French and English. I am quite sociable and I love to meet new and interesting people.

A few facts about me:

  • My favourite band is Guns N Roses.
  • My favourite movies are Silence of the Lambs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • My favourite colour is purple
  • I am an amateur photographer
  • I am a film nerd. (Go see the 40’s version of The Wolfman starring Lon Chaney Jr and then watch the remake featuring Anthony Hopkins. You will not be disappointed.)
  • I draw and occasionally paint.
  • I am a voracious reader and my favourite author is Stephen King
  • I do in fact read comic books. X-Men FTW

Well that’s all I have for now.