Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Silly girl – Study breaks are for studying!

I’m “off” this week. I use the term off loosely because I’m supposed to be using the time off to study. So far it’s not really working as planned. The plan was to use half days to do work around the house and half days to study.

Saturday: lazed around the house all day (well deserved, though)
Sunday: worked
Monday: Went through a bunch of stuff at my Mom’s house and transferred said junk to my house. Thankfully I’ve managed to find a place for most of it.
Tuesday: Ran around town like a mad woman running errands. Visited my sister post-surgery.
Wednesday: So far I haven’t done anything.

Since I’m working all day Saturday and Sunday, I have 2.5 days left and am starting to panic. I have two exams next week and have yet to open a book. As well, I’m supposed to be sewing and building a headboard! Gah! Where do I start?

I should start a list, but I'm afraid I won't stick to it. Hah!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Adventures in waitressing

Yesterday I had to dress up for a Halloween day at work. As previously posted, I went as a “cereal” killer. The costume wasn’t much of a success as most people had no clue what I was nor would they ask.

To make they day even better, a few hours into my shift I bent over and split my pants! Actually, it’s like my pants just disintegrated! I had to work the rest of the shift with my ”holy” pants! I kept asking the girls if my ass was falling out… but the best they could answer was… it’s not THAT bad. UGH.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I had a date!

I went out on a date last night. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, my crazy sister Suzanne gave me her tenants phone number. I called him and we decided to meet for a drink. Things went well. We chatted for three hours or so over a few drinks and then he walked me to my car and gave me a good night kiss on the cheek. All very sweet. I’m not sure if there were fireworks, but then was definitely sizzle. I think we’ll be going out again soon.

Here’s the low-down on the new boy:
- He’s 32, divorced
- He got married at 26 to a woman who already had three kids. He said he fell in love with the kids as much as her, but then realized after a few years they married for the wrong reasons.
- We didn’t get on the subject of kids, but I’m guessing from his previous relationship he wants kids.
- He works in a bank and loves his job. He also works a second part-time job to be able to put some money aside (sound familiar? :-))
- He’s an only child and somewhat close to his parents – but not annoyingly close. Right now he’s helping his Dad build a house (knows how to handle a hammer – bonus!)
- He’s tall (maybe 5’10), dark haired and has a goatee.

I’m looking forward to seeing him again and seeing where things go.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Sunday I have to wear a costume to work. It’s not easy finding a costume that won’t get in the way of waitressing! I’ve decided I’m going to be a “cereal” killer. I’ll be dressing all in black and will attached mini cereal boxes to my clothes. I’ve redesigned the cereal boxes to make it more fun:

I can't take credit for all the ideas as some were inspired by a group costume we did at work a few years ago.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Oh happy day!

Don’t you love having little things make you happy? Today I got one of my physics assignments back and I got a 100% on it! Wheeeee! I was so excited, I thought I was going to burst. You see, I got a 60% for my first assignment, 0% for my second and 80% for my third so 100% is freakin’ awesome! I also got a lab report back on which I scored a 90%. Yiiiipppeeeeee!

To top it all off, my sister shows up at my place with a boys phone number for me. She’d told me several times about her cute, single tenant, but I never thought much of it. Well, today while chatting with him she mentioned me, and he said, “well, I’m just a phone call away” so she took down his number and said I would call. Could be exciting. :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Seeing the world through rose coloured glasses

My sister Suzanne literally sees the world thru rose coloured glasses. She has Irlen Syndrome (also known as Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome), which requires her to wear actual rose coloured glasses. This is a very recent discovery. Earlier this year her son Isaac was diagnosed with severe Irlen Syndrome. The diagnosis came about thru my sister’s persistent insistence that his reading difficulties were due to perception issues and not his intelligence. You see, Isaac has always had trouble reading. He would also get frequent headaches whenever he had to read for any extended period of time. My sister’s colleague (my sister is a teacher) happened to be researching this particular syndrome, which seemed to fit with Isaac’s symptoms. He was tested and sure enough he had the Irlen Syndrome. He now wears dark red/orange shades which has made a huge impact on his school work and comprehension. At one point, while he was doing the testing, the tester showed a page with text he couldn’t read. When the tester added a coloured filter to the sheet he looked up and said, “That’s not the same text you had earlier! I can read THIS!” Apparently he was seeing something along the lines of this:

Since the Syndrome is genetic my other nephew also got tested and now wears light blue shades. As mentioned before, my sister has pink shades… which I might add are actually quite fashionable!

Last week I came home shattered because I had failed yet another exam! This time it was physics. The thing that made it more difficult to deal with was the fact that I thought I had done fairly well. Turns out many of my calculations were off. Looking at my sheet I noticed equations that weren’t properly transcribed, symbols that were the wrong direction, etc. It was so frustrating because I actually understood the concepts but because of my so-called inattention errors I hadn’t passed. I’ve heard this all my life; “You need to concentrate more… you’re making so many inattention errors”. I’ve always performed very well in school because I had the capacity to learn what I needed to learn but just listening in class. However, when it came to math or French I would always have these “inattention errors” in my work. When I told this to my sister she quickly replied you have the syndrome too! Suzanne can be very high-strung and when she believes in something she will talk about it excessively and enthusiastically. I think I kinda rolled my eyes and thought whatever you say Sue. She insisted I get tested and said she would pay for the whole thing (it’s fairly expensive). So I finally succumbed and let her arrange for me to get tested.

Today was the final part of my testing and all I can say is WOW! I hadn’t realized just how many symptoms I actually had (headache when reading, “accident-prone”, trouble with hand-eye coordination, tiredness from reading). I also hadn’t realized that I don’t see like everyone else. I had always assumed everyone saw the same way I did! The only way I can describe it is that pages seem to have a glare in them and each letter seems to have a tiny glow around them. Once the tester found the correct lens combination I didn’t see that glow anymore!

I also hadn’t realized that my clumsiness was actually due to my depth perception. I bump into things all the time and have the many bruises to prove it. At one point the tester had me walk around the room without the glasses. I bumped into the chair, bumped into the couch and got my arm caught on a purse hanging from another chair. I actually didn’t realize I did all this because it’s completely normal for me. I then did the same circuit with the lens and didn’t touch a thing. When I did the circuit a third time without the lens and bumped into everything I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically because I was actually noticing all the bumping around but just couldn’t control it.

Another thing this made me realize is that my fear of balls (no jokes please), like soccer balls, baseballs, and tennis balls isn’t so irrational after all. I always thought I was just weird, but it turns out that my perception without the lens and with the lens is completely different! She did a test where she moved a pen with a wide silver clip on it right to left, but at the same distance from me and asked me to concentrate on the sliver clip. The pen looked completely normal. Then she moved the pen towards me and I couldn’t help but back away because the pen was getting bigger and bigger and it felt like it was going to attack me. The same test with the lens did not give me the same feeling at all! Now I understand why I freak out when someone throws something at me!

The entire experience was quite fascinating. Soon, I too will be seeing life thru rose coloured glasses. Actually, it will be more of rose/amber coloured glasses. I’m so excited about this and completely sold! I just hope it helps me with my finals.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oh Baby.

I’ve been thinking about this post for several days. I think of stuff I want to write… but then there are so many thoughts and ideas that I just can’t seem to pull it all together. I guess that’s more or less a forewarning that my post will be long, confusing but has an actual point.

My best-friend had a beautiful baby girl, Claire, on Saturday. I have many friends with babies… in fact, I think I have more friends with kids than without. However, Michelle is likely my closest friend to have her first child. I am thrilled for her and her husband. Really, I am! Yesterday I went to see her at the hospital and spend a good half-hour holding her beautiful little girl. She’s got lots of black hair and big eyes and is just breath-taking. As Michelle passes me Claire she says to me, “Isn’t it strange how a few years ago we didn’t even think we wanted kids… but you… you always knew… even in high school you knew. You know, I’d never have imagined I’d have a child before you! It’s completely surreal.” I smile because I know exactly what she means… it’s strange how you think your life will end up one way and then suddenly you are on another path and have no idea how to get back on the initial path!

I was happy to see Michelle and Claire and like I’ve said before, I’m incredibly happy for her and her husband, but as I leave the hospital I start to bawl! I can’t help but feel that it should be me having a child by now. No. Let me rephrase that. I should be having a child as well. In the last four years I’ve tried to convince myself that if I didn’t have a child by the age of 35 I would adopt. I still feel strongly about this, but you know what? I don’t want to settle… I want the package deal! I want the husband who wants a baby as much as me! I want to share the experience with someone! Ugh.

I hate when I start thinking of the future. I wish someone could just guarantee me that I will one day be happily married and will have children. If I knew for sure I could stop worrying, right? Am I the only one who is always living for the future? Does everyone think like this or is it just me? I try my best to live in the moment, but it’s so hard. It’s always been – when I have my house, when I go back to school, when I graduate, when I meet my future husband. What about today? All this fast-forward thinking has brought me to another issue: God.

I’ve struggle with faith, spirituality, religion and the meaning of life for as long as I can remember. I grew up Catholic, but I wouldn’t call myself Catholic today… but rather a person who is spiritually lost and has been for a decade or so. When my father passed-away I got pissed-off at God and renounced religion for a very long time. In recent years I’ve realized that you can’t deny God’s existence if you can hate him, right? So I guess I do believe in God after all. My spiritual struggles have kinda been at a stand still for the last 5 years or so. I’ve read, I’ve researched, I’ve questioned, but I haven’t found my place. Then, one day in August, a seemingly normal girl rents one of the rooms in my house. Turns out this roommate is quite spiritual and has immense faith. She’s Christian… which denomination I can’t remember… but her faith is extremely important to her. So much so that she has an undergrad in biblical studies and she reads the bible every day. She prays on everything! Whether it’s about her job or her most recent boyfriend. She truly feels God has her back - sort-of-speak. Her faith amazes me. Particularly since it’s something she chose as an adult and not something she was forced into as a child. I find it rare to meet someone who is as well versed in World Religions as she is. Since she’s moved in, we’ve had numerous lengthy conversations about beliefs, faith, how she feels about other religions, etc. It’s been really uplifting to talk with her. So here’s the thing. I am not the devout Christian she is and will never be… heck, I’m not even sure if I’m Christian. I can’t see myself signing about Jesus in the shower or going through my morning prayer while I ride my bike to work. It’s just not me. However, since meeting Liz she has opened a small space in my heart for religion. I think I truly believe in God again… which God, I haven’t quite narrowed that one down yet, but I’ll get there. I think Liz was sent to me because she has something to teach me.

We interrupt this program for an important message from your broadcaster:
“I swear I have a point and everything will connect soon”
We now return to your usual programming.

Are you still with me? This post has a few elements: 1 – baby fever and my constant need to know I will one day be happily married with kids. 2 – Faith. This is where the two come together.

In the last few days I’ve wondered; if there is a God and he is in fact all goodness and perfection, then he only wants us to be happy, right? If this is true, then God would never put me on this earth with such a strong maternal instinct only to have me never have children of my own, right? How could a God that truly loves me do that? I can justify every difficult moment in my life with some sort of lesson or greater good. From every tragedy in my life, something positive has come out of it. But this one… I don’t see any lesson to learn from not being able to have children. There simply isn’t anything good to come from it. I guess the point I’m trying to make (to myself, anyway), is that, if there is a God he would never let me go through life without having any children. He knows it means too much to me.

So if I believe in God, does that mean I can stop worrying?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Balance Sheet

My family has recently received some bad news. It’s really just a blip in the road but for reasons I can’t share it must remain a secret for the time being. However, my mother’s reaction to the news sent her into a downward spiral of “why me?” I must point out that it’s not even her issue, but rather a family member’s issue. I don’t want to be the negative person my mother tends to be, so instead of focusing on the bad stuff in my life, I’ve decided to prove that the good stuff outbalances the bad!

My balance sheet will go 15 years back since it’s a nice round number.

The Bad Stuff
1 – My brother’s kidneys failed
2 - My Dad passes away
3 – I am diagnosed with depression
4 – I have a second burnout
5 – My sister has a burnout
6 – My brother separates from his wife
7 – My engagement ends
8 – My nephew is diagnosed with diabetes
9 – My Mom’s boyfriend, Roger, passes away
10 – My brother’s kidneys fail a second time
11 – My brother passes away
12 – The most recent family drama

The Good Stuff
1 - My sister Christine buys a house
2 – My brother gets a kidney transplant and a second chance at life
3 – My sister Christine gets married
4 – My nephew Alex is born
5 – My brother gets married
6 – My nephew Isaac is born
7 – My niece RayLynn is born
8 – My nephew Sébastien is born
9 – My brother buys a house
10 – I get engaged
11 – My mother meets Roger
12 – I buy a house
13 – My sister Suzanne buys her third house, which happens to be the home of her dreams
14 – I finally go back to school – something I had wanted to do for the last 10 years!
15 – My sister Christine is in the process of building a house that will be exactly what she wants

So, current tally – good is in the lead! When you think about it, I only listed the major happy events… if I were to add all the daily happiness in my family’s life it would be insanely positive.

Now all I need to do is convince my Mother!

Friday, October 12, 2007

It gives a new meaning to “parking”

My 12-year old nephew has developed a keen interest in sex lately. He’s in grade 7, which, if I recall correctly, is when sex-ed starts (or at least, more detailed sex-ed). Anyway, this week he started asking questions to his Mom (my sister) about the subject. It started out as a discussion on other terms for “screw” to which my sister offered-up making love and sexual relations. He reflected on those words and then asked if there was a manual available for when you want to have sex. My sister explained that, no, there wasn’t a manual per say, but there were plenty of books out there. She offered to buy him one, but he quickly responded no! What if his friends saw it! Then he asks, how long does it take? Unsure what to answer, my sister compared it to exercise… in the beginning you don’t have as much stamina to exercise for along period of time compared to when you have more practice. He thinks about this and then adds, so how does it work exactly? So, do you like, just park it in there for like 30 minutes (he says, while thrusting his hips forward)? That’s pretty much when my sister lost it and couldn’t stop laughing!

Ah the joys of raising teenagers!

There’s no mid in mid-terms

So apparently I’m in midterms… but since the semester is divided into thirds, it’s more like thirdterms. Is that a word? All I know is I’ve had lots of exams! As you saw from an earlier post, my math exam didn’t go so well. Physics on the other hand went fairly well. My goal was simply to pass but I’m feeling I managed to pull out a C or maybe even a B! That would totally rock! I kicked-ass in my nutrition exam. I figure I either got an A or an A+; either way, I’m feeling really good about it. As for chemistry, I’m finding it difficult to judge my score. I found I didn’t spend my studying time wisely and didn’t concentrate enough on definitions. Oh well. It kinda sucks because we had to learn 85 anions and their charges by heart, but those only accounted for 8 questions (out of maybe 50). However, there was no way around learning them all because you had no idea what was going to be asked.

I should be getting my scores back in the next few weeks. Regardless of the scores, I’m feeling much more confident than during my last post. Right now, math is the only major killer!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Please tell me it gets better

School is hard. There are no ways around it – it’s hard. I feel like I’m working my ass off and based on my weekly assignments and first exam, I’m not even passing. Ugh. Current tally:
- Physics assignment #1: 50%
- Physics assignment #2: 0% (I didn’t even submit it because I couldn’t even do one problem! – This was before the tutoring sessions began)
- Math assignment #1: 47%
- Math exam #1: 53.3% (it’s 54 to pass)

I go to physics tutoring sessions 3 to 4 times a week and although it does help me with my homework, each week I’m back because I can’t figure out the problems on my own! I found out today that math tutoring begins next week, twice a week. Looks like I’ll be a steady fixture there as well. Ugh.

To get into my second year I need at least a 2.5 average. My current average, based on University Version 1.0, is 2.83. I figure if I just pass physics and math with Ds and get at least a B+ in both chemistry and nutrition I will be able to maintain the 2.5 average. However, only 9 students get into the second year and entrance is based on grade point average plus an interview (50% each). So I’m not sure 2.5 is going to cut it. :-(

Last week my chemistry teacher inspired me. He’s a cute soft-spoken little man and he really makes me laugh. His name is Hicham. Anyway, he was telling us how he used to handle exam problems that seemed complicated. He would say to himself, Hicham, you are courageous. Hicham you are not going to skip this problem. Hicham you went to all the classes and you did your homework and completed all the readings. This is just a more challenging version of what you already know. You can figure it out – just breath. :-)

So I guess I’m just going to have to use Hicham’s words… replacing Hicham with Danielle, of course and be confident in the fact that I CAN do this… right? :-S