Posts in School
Why study industrial arts?

The 1950s' must have been a wonderful time, with handy public service videos like this one to help kids make decisions about what sort of post-secondary education they should take. I actually saw this as part of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 VHS video that Aaron Peck and I rented from Silver Screen Video back when I was in high school. If only I'd taken its advice. Damn my liberal arts education.

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My first courses are complete

I return to school and finish two courses through the power of cramming large amount of highly caffeinated tea into my stomach and staying up really late.

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Like a vampire I've been up late nights, but instead of blood I've been trying to suck my brain juice from my extra large head.  Instead of a thirst I've had school projects to do, and instead of living forever I've just given up sleeping to maximize my working hours.  My first two courses for the BCIT Technical Writing Program [jks] wrapped up this week with heavily weighted final exams and final projects.

It was time to brew some Earl Grey tea.

I finished my last project around ten this morning, after catching a full four hours of sleep after the exam.  The exam itself, for my Technical Editing course, was either way to hard or way to easy.  I was the first one done, and while there were a few terms that I did not know I feel like I got most of everything else.  It's hard to know if I was so fast because I missed things that I was supposed to edit, or because I've essentially either been freelancing or editing something for the past decade and a beginners course was a little too basic.

Ah hubris, my good friend, I've missed you.

I should have my final marks, or at least a good idea of what those marks are going to be, within a week or two.  Then I'll need to pick out the next two courses that I'll be starting in January.  The plan is to burn through this and finish sometime just after the wedding in August so I can start a new jobs with the big money paychecks to keep my trophy wife happy.

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In the classroom they have wi-fi

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I guess it dates me to say that when I was in high school nobody brought laptops to school. When I got a very old Powerbook to take with me to France, and would use take it in class on my return to Canada, it was a novelty. Even when I hit university the only other students using laptops tended to be the special needs students who the school supplied with computers to aid in their studies. There certainly was not wi-fi available anywhere around campus, and if I wanted to get my laptop online I needed to unplug one of the computers in the Phoenix's office and stick the stolen ethernet cable into my computer.

By the time I left it was more common to see laptops, but university wide wi-fi was still in the future. In the newspaper office we'd finally set up our own private wireless network, simply because we were always short on ethernet ports, and that seemed cutting edge.

These days though wireless internet is the norm in post-secondary schools across Canada. Karen Pinchin wrote an article for The Georgia Straight about how that's taxing student's attention spans in class [tgs], and I guess the fact that I'm blogging as the teacher is trying to get his laptop to display the correct slide, is proof that it does divide attention. Myself though I'm of the opinion that students basically find ways to let their minds go on mini holidays with or without technological advances.

I was generally attentive in high school but when the teacher was having to go over a concept for a third or fourth time for someone my mind would wander. Back then I'd write short stories, work on terrible lyrics to terrible songs that I intended to write one day when I finally learned to play guitar (I never did and likely never will), or came up with names for the terrible band that would never perform my terrible songs.

On notable class was grade eight English. I was an avid reader and would generally finish a novel within a week, which since we studied a novel over a month or two, meant that I had a great deal of time during the class' reading time. Seeing this, and seeing that Curtis Seaman was also reading ahead, Mr. Brooks would send the pair of us out to wander the school and write short stories and plays for extra credit. This never resulted in any great pieces of literature, since they were generally very silly parodies that only really made us laugh.

Still it was the type of thing that made us really enjoy the class, and I think that year was probably the best mark I ever got in English.

So here I am blogging. The projector is almost fixed, and the class is ready to continue so I guess I'd better go. I probably won't get extra credit for this, but at least I'm not unleashing more terrible lyrics to terrible songs to a yet unformed terrible band out into the world.

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Even Superman needs a break and I'm no Superman

Superman: Jim Lee / Hush

Between school, work and freelancing I'm starting to feel a little bit tweekish [wp].  Being busy is of course good, since work and freelancing pays the bills, I'm starting to feel like I've been on the go for so long that I could just curl up right here and have a nice long nap.  I've had a fairly recent vacation [jks], but while Las Vegas was fun it certainly was not relaxing.

I just deleted two full paragraphs explaining why I felt so stressed out, including a large section on the ins and outs of my days off, but at the end of the day that doesn't matter.  What does is that I feel like I need to have a nap, or at least a nice comfortable spot in the store near the iPhone display where I can lay down and cry for awhile.

I need a staycation [wp]. 

What I really want to do is to get two days off in a row, and just disconnect.  I'd like to stick my iPhone in a drawer for two days, grab my iPod and just enjoy life without a telephone, email or anything else.  These days I try to go a day without using a phone and I inadvertently start a citywide manhunt for my lifeless bloated corpse.  I need to find a way to modularly unplug myself from life for awhile, without everything else falling apart.

Now excuse me, I need to go lay down and have a nice cry.

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I'm not even supposed to be here today

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Through a series of not particularly interesting occurances I ended up having both yesterday and today off this week. It was unintentionally perfect, since it was going to give me two whole days to work on the sizeable load of school work that I'd been given in my first two technical writing courses [jks]. They did not look particularly hard but rather time intensive, and one is even just a major copy and pasting job that requires pasting various recepies into a basic Word File for use in a cookbook that is going to be a class project.

Two days.  It seems easy enough, especially given the way I used to be able to crank out a 15,000 word essay in an evening back at Okanagan University College.  Yesterday I had a relaxed morning as Lydia got ready for her baking class, and then went for a walk with my mother who was taking Charlie for a walk.  Around three in the afternoon just as we were returning to my apartment Mirco called and asked me to work tomorrow... I mean today

Dante's plea/mantra in the movie Clerks "I'm not even supposed to be here today." is my rallying cry as I shuffle through the day with my school work half finished.  Once the rest of the staff arrives I'll make a sneaky exit out the backdoor, but until then I'm on the customer service frontlines.

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New words for obvious concepts or My Secondary Trip Through Post-Secondary

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My first class in the BCIT Technical Writing program was Thursday night. Not quite having a perfect idea of how long it would take to walk from my apartment to the downtown campus I left about an hour early, walking through a light rain while listening to the CBC's Q podcast to hear an interview with John Hodgman about his new book More Information Than You Require.  I brought my Macbook, not quite sure what the computer setup would be, and used to taking notes on a laptop from my OUC days.

The classroom was basically a computer lab, so it had all the computers we needed.  I kept notes of the class in Evernote [en], so that I can access them from my iPhone or back home on my Macbook.  It's a fairly new facility, at least fairly new in terms of the Canadian post-secondary scene.  The computers are all Windows boxes, but they've got some programs specifically for technical writing types that I don't have on my Mac, so I'll be using them for the in-class work and my Macbook for the homework (which hopefully will all be doable in Microsoft Word).

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I'm nearly done these beer shots so it might be time to get back into school

56227461_68e060879d_2 Taking a look at any random month over the past year or so and you'll find entries like this one [jks] where I'm looking for work.  It has become the new looking for a girlfriend in the dramatic narrative that is my life, and like my pre-Lydia attempts at finding love my job hunt has resulted largely in disapointment and nights spent surfing the internet looking for porn... I mean jobs.

A bit over a month ago I felt like I'd finally gotten into a good position in the hunt.  I'd an interview with a local company looking for a technical writer, I had an interview lined up for a sales position with the new Apple Store and I had an interview lined up with the comic book store I shop at.  The Apple Store and the technical writing job were both oppertunities that I considered to be career stepping stones; positions that would lead to bigger and better things.  The comic book store seemed like it would be fun, and a way to help make some extra money to help pay for the wedding.

I got a part time job at the comic book store, which was not the full time position I'd hoped for but was a promising start.  The techincal writing job did not pan out, and the Apple Store turned me down after bringing me in for a group interview where they did not actually interview us but spent the entire time telling us why we should work for Apple.  By the end of the interview I'd gone from really wanting to work at the new store to really really wanting to work at the new store.  Sadly there was something in the way I watched the promotional video that informed them they did not want me.

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The epic poem of my life

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I'm trying very hard to come up with something to blog at this point.  Following the Mr. Rawson school of forced free writing never ends up with anything readable, and certainly nothing that you want to submit to a(n) (potential) audiance of millions.  In fact during the ten minutes of free writing every class I tended to just fill my workbook with the phrase, "I am free.  I am being forced to write."  It was meant to be ironic, in that way that we can achieve irony at 17.

I suppose to make this a better blog I need some drama or adventure in my life.  Another trip, for example, to compete with last year's travel to Europe.  Something quite facinating and new so I can dazzle you with photographs and tales of eating weird food in dodgey resturants.  Instead I have pictures of the inside of the Skytrain, as I commute to and from Metrotown every day.

Which is not to say that life is boring, or dull.  I watched Bee Movie last night and it was pretty good.  However the fact that you're reading about me watching Bee Movie is a sign that perhaps I'm not leading the sort of heroic life that is worthy of great study.  Perhaps I should join Jason and search after the Golden Fleece [wp].  I'm sure such a journey would provide many chances for good pictures and many meals of weird food in dodgey resturants.  At the very least Mysia should be interesting.

Photo credit

  • Photo by: Jeffery Simpson
  • What: Arc de Triomphe, Paris France
  • Date Taken: May 15th, 2007
  • Camera: Sony Ericsson K790i
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By the bright lights in some ICU // Even the planless have a plan
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Thankfully once again it's looking like I'm going to be hitting all of my sales quotas for the month.  Though it still means that I'll make half of what I used to back before the buyout, it's at least a good financial foundation.  Especially since I'm still in the job hunt mode, and trying to sort out school. 

How oddly fucked up is my schooling situation?  Well currently I am registered at both the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, though I have not yet registered for any classes.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to clear up my OUC > UBC-O status in the next week and get everything sorted out in regards to getting my BA after ten years.  If I go to SFU I'll lose nearly two years worth of course credits, so I'm trying to avoid doing that while also avoiding moving back to Kelowna.

Looking for a job I've been a bit less proactive than I had been, since I was putting most of my energy into aiming for a job with Bioware in Edmonton.  Now I'm waiting to hear from Bioware, but I've also got to finish up a resume for eBay in Vancouver and then follow up on other job leads.  The trouble is getting time to do all of this has not been easy.

Meanwhile my broken hard drive seems to mount fine on the ten year old PCs at work, so there's some slight of hand required to get it to actually work with my iMac.  I might just have to buy a new hard drive and transfer all the music over to that at work.  Oh and I need to find time to get to the comic book store.

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