Archive for April 2003

Change of Plans

On Monday everything changed at work. In brief, I’m now teaching a course (The Ocean Environment) given by my department (Earth and Ocean Sciences) at the University in the spring semester that begins next Monday. I have 175 students, 30 hours of lecture to give in the next six weeks, a midterm and a final to set, and mark, and perhaps an assignment or two to give. Along with all of this, I’m not at a stage in my research where I can take six weeks off, so I’ll be trying to get three days a week in of research amid all this teaching.

The fact that I’m teaching this course this semester is quite a suprise. I taught 1/2 of the course as a co-instructor two years ago, so some of the material is familiar, and good quality course notes exist for the second half of the course. I’m confident I can do a great job, but under the constraints of the lack of notice, and the demands of research, I think my personal life just flew completely out the window.

So for the next six weeks, I’m probably not going to be around as often as I’ve been in the past. I’m sure there’ll be semi-regular updates, but I want to be able to use all my free time to hang out with Cory, enjoy the great weather (that I’ll mostly see from the inside of my office), and relax.
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Guess what we did this weekend

Waking up in the tent to the sound of rain drumming on the fabric. I move my sleeping bad even closer to Cory and feel something slightly damp. We forgot to set up the groundsheet properly. But it’s 2:30am and I’m too cosy to care.

4am and it’s not raining as hard. This time it’s my body that wakes me up and I bundle myself into my jacket and headlamp and ease out of the tent. The world around me is very dark and the sound of the rain muffles me into my own little space. It’s warm out though, the rain insulating us, and when I slip back into my sleeping bad I’m not even chilled.

The day before had promised sun, with blue skies in the city while we threw everything into the car. The further east we drove, the greyer the sky, but by midday at our campsite everything was just a lovely white, like a cloud caught in the mountains.

We walked through the mossy forest and down a path to Alouette Lake and a tiny strip of beach. Cory took his shoes off and let the water run over his feet. I sat on a rock and just sat still, the way I never sit in the city.

When we got up to walk back to the campsite we were both smiling and happy. It’s important to be outside.

We didn’t buy wood for a campfire. The environmental impact of hundred of campfires burning for hours has started to bother us, but while feeling this way make stop us from having our own fire, it doesn’t stop us from enjoying someone else’s (like carpooling, the more people enjoying a fire, the less it’s damage per person). Armed with Irish Whiskey and beer we made our way over to the next site and secured an invitation to join them and were even fed popcorn. Laughter, stories, and a warm feeling from the whiskey in my belly. The slight rain as we went to bed seemed irrelevant.

Packing up a wet tent in the morning we still felt wonderful. It’s as if camping can wipe away stress and clear your mind. With it still spitting, we ended our trip a wee bit early and had Tim Hortons for breakfast instead of firing up the stove. Bagels and coffee while we debated what to do with the rest of our day.
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On an evening walk

There’s something really peaceful about walking in the evenings. It’s a good way to wind down and relax. This picture is from a few weeks ago, but last night we walked home from the movies and enjoyed the different feel of the city at night.
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The spark for a daydream

There was a postcard from Todd in my mailbox this morning, a swedish postcard mailed from France. I love getting postcards from friends, they lead me to daydreams of travelling myself in far away places. Cory and I have talked about where we want to go next and I think we’d both really like to go back to Eastern Europe. Somehow we didn’t really see Budapest when we were in Hungary and I could definately handle another week in Eger.

We’re also talking about the potential for moving overseas when I finish up my PhD here. It’s still just a daydream, but a lovely one, and I’d like to think our days of adventuring are just starting.
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cleaning vs beer: what to do?

I’m cleaning the house right now, my parents are coming to visit tomorrow and I don’t want them to think I take care of my apartment with the same disregard I had for my room back in junior school.

I can’t figure out which side of the family (mine or Cory’s) I should clean more for. For Cory’s family, I want them to think I’m clean and well brought up, but they’re not too picky. My dad will notice if anything’s messy and point it out, but then my mom does most of the cleaning at home so he’s not aware how much work it is to keep a place looking spotless. Maybe I should just leave the house a mess and have a beer.
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free coffee and fresh scones

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Happy Adventures

Go exploring this weekend. Take a car, a bus, a bike, and go somewhere you’ve never been. Life’s too short to spend our time in just one place. So go somewhere new and take a camera, a journal, or just memories. Everytime I stop to look, I see something beautiful.
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