Career options

From my journal, dated August 11, 2013

I’ve been thinking a bit about careers and the future. As you know, I’ve never know “what I want to be when I grow up” or what I’ll do after getting my poli sci degree. Earlier this summer, I read Kim Campbell’s autobiography and she made me think about other options, like going to law school or running for local council/school board/parks board. It’s cool to see other options and I’ve truly started believing that I’ll find something cool to do, even though that path might be non-linear, or that “something” might be in fact a variety of somethings.

Friday was my last day of work and today is Monday. I’ve really enjoyed sleeping in, gardening, cleaning my room, reading the newspaper, etc. etc. and it kind of makes me think that I may want to become a stay-at-home mother. Just writing that makes me feel like a bad feminist. But I want to be a mother and I don’t mind doing practical domestic work. Even though that makes me want to gag, it’s true. Why can’t women be free to do whatever they like, without stigma?

On being treated as an adult

From my journal, dates August 6th, 2013

The trip’s going well and we’re on our way back. The Rockies were spectacular. But right now, I’m gonna write about something else: about being a full-fledged adult. (Have I already talked about this? I think so, but I’ll continue because this is my journal and I can write what I want).

Being 18 was a fun and interesting age to be, because you could pick and choose if you wanted to be an adult or a kid. At 19 I feel no different on the inside (still young and inexperienced), but you’re treated like an adult in the real world.

I just can’t get over the fact that in situations like this trip to the Rockies, I’m put in charge of groups of kids (many not much younger than me) and treated as “the responsible adult”. I’m given all the privileges and responsibilities of being an adult and it blows my mind. Furthermore, nothing is off limits to me in society (except renting a car). Apparently I’m mature enough and ready to gamble, drink, watch porn, get married, smoke, pay full library fines, live on my own, and so on and so forth. The only thing I feel qualified to do is vote.

On the road: History, Nature, and Fancy Hotels

From my journal, dated August 4th, 2013

One day down (almost). So far the trip has gone pretty well. No major mishaps. I’m on a bus with Dave (my boss) which is good because he usually takes the lead/knows what’s going on. It’s a little awkward sitting beside him, because we don’t have too much to talk about, but it’s ok.

We stopped at some waterfalls, then a town for lunch at a Japanese Restaurant. In the next town, we stopped for ice cream. Then it started pouring rain, and we stopped at “The Last Spike” — where the Trans-Canada Railway was finished. The kids didn’t really “get” the historical significance – plus it was pouring rain – but I thought it was pretty cool. Then a train went by and Dave and I smiled at each other through the pouring rain because it was perfect.

Dinner in the next town at a greasy Chinese restaurant. Then we arrived at the hotel, and it seems they may have skimped on dinner to splurge here. It is so nice. Probably the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Plus the two other adults I’m sharing a suite with just told me that I could have the room with the queen-size bed to myself. And my own bathroom, complete with double sinks, bath, and separate shower. I wish we could stay here the whole trip. It’s pretty awesome.

Enough ranting. Oh, except I have to rant a bit about the scenery. BC is so freakin’ beautiful, it blows my mind. Why would anyone ever leave (like go study back East)?!? Walking through the rainforest at the water falls was magical and the mountains here… I can’t even. I missed it all so so much.

I’ll try to get my fill before I have to leave this paradise.

The ups & downs of the job

From my journal, dated August 2nd, 2013

I’ve been working at my job now for 3 weeks. It’s had its ups and downs, but overall it’s been a good experience. It took me a bit to get past the crappy pay, the crappy curriculum, the crappy extra unpaid hours, and the complete lack of organization. But I recently got into the groove of it all, and it has been pretty fun. Exhausting, but fun.

This job really took me out of my comfort zone; putting me in front of a class as a teacher. I normally don’t like being the center of attention and thus found teaching nerve-wracking at first, because it all depends on you. The kids wait for you to lead them.

I really did become more confident and, I think improved my leadership skills quite a bit. I’ve also gotten better at kid-wrangling and counting moving targets.

So, in all, I mostly feel really proud. I’m proud of myself for taking on the challenge and succeeding. I learnt that I can teach and be a leader. I’m really glad I got the chance to learn that.

Another thing I like about this job is that I get to go on different excursions and do some typical hometown things that I would like to do anyways this summer, for example going to the Science museum, going skating, playing Laser tag, going to the Park, downtown, the Market, and going to the beach.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going on a 4-day Rocky Mountain trip with the camp. I’ve heard the horror stories from the previous trip regarding the lack of sleep and lack of organization, but despite all that, I’m still excited.

I love road trips and I’m so psyched to see the Rockies again, as well as more of this region’s awesome scenery. I have to get my fill of mountains and forests before going back East.

I’ll bring this journal along and hopefully write in it some more. Maybe about my feelings about the fact that it’s already August and I’m going back to O-town in less than a month! AHHHHH! *don’t think about it*

Working woman

From my journal, dated July 16, 2013

I am officially a working woman. And I’m officially exhausted. I really should try to go to sleep now, but first I want to record this day, because, boy oh boy, what a day. It was jam-packed, and full of highs and lows.

I woke up + got ready fast + put my bike on the bus + got to work early. I had time to call the hospital to book an appointment for Thursday w/ an internal medicine physician to discuss my constant thirst. Then, I picked up workbooks w/ curriculum and got a classlist.

I have a class of 17 students, from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, and China, ages approx. 10-16. Today was my second day of work, but my first one really teaching. I was really nervous, but I think I did an OK job.

We made namecards, set goals, learnt vocab, read out loud, wrote a journal entry, and played hangman. It went well for the first day, and I was proud of myself.

On the walk to lunch, one of my students told me I was beautiful, and said that all the other students thought so too. That was really nice to hear (it was a girl who said it to me).

We had a delicious all-you-can-eat lunch, then went to the Science museum. Getting kids on + off buses was a bit of a nightmare. When we arrived we had to wait outside a LONG time in the blazing sun and it was NOT fun. I was not in a good mood.

Inside the Science museum was actually very cool though. I walked around and saw all the old classic exhibits, and then there was also an exhibit on sexuality which I went through by myself + found very interesting (none of the students went in). Then there was a science show w/ dry ice + liquid nitrogen and it was actually really cool.

Back on the buses. I was stressed a bit about our return time but it all worked out. Once back at the school, I took off on my bike and I rode fast.

Boy, do I love riding, especially when I’m listening to a good song and going fast. At the end of the long stretch I slowed for a second and a cute guy passed me and said “You’re fun to chase.”

Actually! And then we were going to same way so we chatted, can you believe it. He was working the summer soccer camp. I never asked his name. But it made me feel good, because when has a cute guy ever struck up a conversation with me.

I arrived at my grandparents’ and began overheating. I had made the trip in 20 min. I changed shirts, but then sweated through my clean one.

I had dinner with my grandparents, my aunt Marina and uncle Hugh, aunt Phoebe, and my brother. Did I mention that my parents are out of town on a hiking trip? Dinner was delicious and it was nice talking more like an adult in these kinds of situations, not only because I’m allowed to drink wine, but because I feel more willing + able to actually participate in the conversation of the adults.

I left at about 9pm, and not a minute too soon. It was getting dark, and I was crashing hard. I was so tired + emotional, I was almost in tears. Once again, I felt better on my bike, and once home, hurried to bed after watering my garden.

I really need to sleep now, it’s 10:30pm. Sorry for the messier-than-usual writing this time, but I was really hurrying. I’ll talk to you again soon. xoxo

My 19th birthday

From my journal, dated July 6th, 2013

Best. Birthday. Ever.

Not only did I get one surprise party for me, but 2. On my birthday I didn’t do too much; I mostly read in the sun. Then I had been told that we were going out for dinner with my grandparents for my birthday. And guess who shows up to my door instead? Madeline, Stephanie, and Alice. For me. We went out for dinner together on Main Street at a hipster vegetarian restaurant and it was fun and delicious. On the way home I bought my first bottle of legal wine and back at my house we drank it and ate cake with berries. It was so lovely. We also saw a raccoon.

So that was my first surprise. The second: I had been invited to a surprise party with the high school girls organized by Dani for Callie’s b-day (she has the same birthday as me). Little did I know the party was for me too. It was like inception, the double-surprise-party. The others had brought food and Rachel brought a delicious cake from her work. We drank cider with dinner and the with the cake, out came the tequila.

You can probably see where this is going… I got completely smashed. 3 shots + copious amounts of cider, and I had a blast.

As we were getting read to go out, my memory is starting to fail. I remember somehow ending up sitting on the floor and getting force-fed bread by Stephanie. Dani’s mom drove us to Broadway and she probably knew I was pretty drunk because I remember she said to me: “I think you should sit up front” and I remember smiling and saying “YES”.

I don’t remember the rest of the car ride. On Broadway, we didn’t go to the first place, because they wouldn’t let Stephanie in (she’s underrage [sic]). So we went to another bar and I just remember having a great time. I ordered a beer. Us girls talked with some guys at the neighbouring table. They were older (mid-twenties) and I remember that a number of them had mustaches and fedoras.

I guess near the end of the night, I ended up at the table alone with Stephanie and we talked a lot. (I have no idea about what). Today I was messaging Steph, and she said “remember the band and singing” and I wrote “you’re joking, please tell me you’re joking”. But then I remembered that sure enough, a band played and Stephanie and I belted out “Hey Jude”. I can’t even believe it. Apparently the drummer was grinning at us.

And then Stephanie and/or I decided we should go home. We were the first to leave and we took the bus to the subway, but arrived just as the subway was closing. So we walked from there and I remember having a real intellectual conversation with Stephanie about politics and our lives and Elizabeth May. Once again, I wish I remembered it; I would pay to hear those conversations again, I’m so curious as to what I said.

That’s it. I went to bed at 2:00 am (after having Cheerios) and woke up the next day at 8am, feeling pretty fine. Sophie credits it to the bread. I am actually surprised that I didn’t throw up or have a real hangover.

God, I had so much fun. Stephanie also made me remember that I swore A LOT and cried a bit about leaving my bike behind at Dani’s. I laugh just thinking about it.

My birthday this year really made realize that I do have some friends, friends who care enough about me to throw me a party. Those two evenings I really felt special, like I mattered. I’m really so thankful for them all, especially Stephanie who took so much care of me last night. I can’t imagine what I would have done without her.

God, I am so blessed, and I had such a kick-ass 19th birthday.

On turning 19

From my journal, dated July 1st, 2013, 11:04 p.m.

Last few hours of being 18.

I’m kind of scared to be 19. 19 is adult, no excuses. 19 is old. 19 is practically in the 20s, and people in their 20s actually have some parts of their lives figured out. 18 was a good age to be, though it did feel a little strange since sometimes you’re seen as an adult, and sometimes you’re seen as a child. And it kind of felt that way too; that you were stuck awkwardly between two worlds, where you felt too young for the adult one and too old for the child one. I liked being able to still feel and act like a child sometimes, retreating into naivety. 19 is no excuses. 19 is adult. I’m afraid.

I’ll tell you tomorrow if it feels any different.