Thursday, May 31, 2007

Held up

I can't walk. I can hop, but I can't walk. This is certainly worse than it was in January.

Today I'm skipping class, skipping a party, but not skipping. I'm instead getting reacquainted with TLC. They've got some fantastic shows on these days. Like "Ten Years Younger" where they put run-down looking women in a sound proof glass display case in the middle of a busy sidewalk and have passersby guess their age. Then they give them a make-over, usually involving chemical skin peels, dental work, hair, clothes, and make-up adjustments, and put them back in the case. People guess their age once more and, believe it or not, the average is much younger. Amazing.

There's also "Bringing Home Baby" where you get to watch a couple with their new baby, trying to figure out things like breast feeding, dealing with involved family, etc. etc. etc. It looks easy. Babies sleep and eat and that's about it. Piece o' cake.

I'm a better person for having sprained my ankle. I'd really like to shower but the trip upstairs to get my stuff and back down hardly seems worth it.

Maybe momma and poppa will come and bring dinner. That would be fabulous.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Today my ultimate team finally met our match. After a game of losing horribly and two games of winning incredibly, we were playing well and working hard to keep a slight lead. And I was rocking it! Catching and throwing much more reliably than I had previously. Until disaster struck.

My ankle connected with a small divet in the field, rolled outward, and was punctuated with a decided crack. Fuck.

Now I'm lyin in bed with my Ikea footstool and a bag of ice, hoping magically that it'll all be better in the morning.

It's always like this, isn't it. Just when I get back into a regular exercise and eating routine, am feeling energized and good, and then I twist the ol' ank. :(

On the bright side... hmm.. what's the bright side? Oh yes, on the bright side it's not too swollen and not too painful, therefore not too badly sprained/strained. I plan to stay off it for a few days and hope that I'll be good to go next Wedesday. I don't want to let my team down! I love playing! Ooh hoo hoo.

Still no word from Peace Boat. If they don't want me I need to find a real job. Gahhh!


I find myself continually impressed when I hear adults and small children using normal English to talk about norrmal things.

Today I overheard a swim instructor speaking with a crying four year old.

Instructor: "What's wrong? Did I do something wrong?"
Child: nods
Instructor: "What did I do?"

Maybe this is a bad example. The girl didn't even respond with words. But I was still struck by the instructor's use of sort of complex expressions like "what's wrong". In Korea I might have asked "why are you sad?" but never "what's wrong?" It's amazing - small children understand most words! Language acquisition is so cool.

I also saw an eight year old boy say to his swim instructor, "You just look so sullen. I want to see you smile." He was right, she did look sullen. Sullen! Amazing! That boy is going places.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Impatient Jessica

I can't stand the suspense any longer. Peace Boat, just take me!!! I am supposed to hear by June 1st Japan time which I guess is really May 31st my time. I'm starting to feel doubtful. Ooh hoo hoo.

Head is hurting. Going to bed early.


Isn't it a shame when your boyfriend drops by unannounced late in the evening while you're working on a presentation you must do in class the following day, leading you to wake early in the morning after not enough sleep to prepare?

It is a real shame.

It's 8:27. I have five hours until I must leave for school. Plenty of time!

I take back the shame part. I like it!

Let me introduce you to Adam:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I love summer

I've been playing in an ultimate frisbee league for the past few weeks and it rocks my world.

The opportunity to get outside and run around with a bunch of like-minded others is really fantastic. I forgot how it felt from back in the ol' soccer days... High fives all around!

I was once known as the Iron Curtain for my stellar ability at blocking any offensive attempt at my team's side of the field. Those were the glory days.

Anyone know of someone looking for a roommate in Toronto? I need to find me one of those ASAP.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Answer me this!

Imagine you are faced by the demon on your deathbed with the sentence (or gift) of reliving your entire life, moment for moment, without the ability to change a single thing. Would you say "oh boy!" or "woe is me?"

For whichever philosopher it was who said this, the point is to live your life accordingly so that the former is your response.

I would say "oh boy!" without a doubt. What about you?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Balance and hope

Working against me...

- I don't technically have the 1.5 years of teaching experience that is highly preferable
- I don't have experience teaching English to a Japanese population
- I don't have experience teaching to adults
- I have a North American accent and the goal of PB is to expose students to a variety of accents/nationalities
- I am an international applicant which is less preferable than those already in Japan

Working in my favour...

- I have close to enough experience
- I think I wrote a good letter and good lessons plans for my application
- I took a TESL course
- Americans are not allowed on this particular voyage because we're stopping in Cuba
- I have a great smile
- I've been crossing my fingers for days and pretty soon I might even start believe in a higher power

Speaking of believing, two questions posed in my Spirituality class today were:

1) What was your happiest time?

2) What one thing is most important about you.

Please consider.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer bloggin'

I'm onto my last set of courses for this ol' master's degree. Sociology of Religion is one. Spirituality and education is another. Perhaps I'll develop some connection to religion or spirituality through these. I'm choosing to keep an open mind.

My application to work as a volunteer English teacher on Peace Boat has officially been received. I want it more than I've wanted anything in a long, long time, if ever.

Here is my letter:

Dear Peace Boat,

I was climbing the Great Wall of China over a year ago when I first heard of Peace Boat from an alumni GET teacher who had just completed his stint aboard. Ever since then, throughout my time teaching English in South Korea and this past year studying for my Master’s degree at home in Canada, I have been unable to get it out of my mind. Working as an English teacher on Peace Boat is something I want to do more than anything else.

The most obvious reason for my great desire to do this is to travel the world by ship. I have traveled to many places (specifically in Asia) and I have spent time on a number of cruise ships in and around the Caribbean. The feeling of arriving in a foreign place and leaving with some measure of increased understanding of that place and its people makes me a traveler at heart. The vast blue of the ocean and the sun setting below the distant horizon makes me yearn to be out on the water. A combination of the two is like a dream.

Though perhaps a less obvious reason, but certainly equally compelling for me, is my love of teaching in general and teaching English specifically. I have worked as a teacher in one way or another throughout my life; I was a swim instructor, a camp counselor, a tour guide, and a teaching assistant (many times over). Most significantly, I worked as an English teacher in South Korea for over a year. When I arrived many of my students did not even know how to count in English. By the end they were reading and understanding complex sentences. The extreme satisfaction I felt from being able to guide my students through the learning process (while simultaneously learning a great deal from them) is what compels me to teach on Peace Boat.

I feel my training and experience make me an ideal candidate for this job. Prior to departing for Korea I took a 100 hour Teaching English as a Second Language course at an accredited school (CCLCS) in Toronto, Canada. My experience in Korea was invaluable, and my education in sociology has developed my skills as a teacher and a thinker, as well as my commitment to international relations and equality for all. I would truly love to be a part of this journey; to assist the participants in spreading the message of peace around the world.

My youthful energy, love of music (I will be sure to bring my guitar and my singing voice), and creative flair will add excitement and liveliness to the trip.

I am an enthusiastic and committed young teacher, eager to participate in Peace Boat’s 59th voyage. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.



I should hear if I get an interview by June 1st. Send me good vibes, people!