Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snorkelling Cats, Flying Elephants, Snake Charming, Sail Boating.

I dreamed last night of snorkeling with a purple cat with fins, and riding a flying elephant through the clouds. Then I ended up in India charming snakes, and then on a sail boat in the Mediterranean sea with the Chinese diving team and Johnny Depp.

Have you ever wondered where your mind comes up with these things in your dreams? I've always found dreams quite fascinating, and usually I wake up wishing my reality was as exciting as my dreams. I hate it though when I wake up knowing I had a good dream, but I can't remember it, and all day I'm trying to pick at my memory.

Or have you ever experienced a series of dreams that relate? Every now and again I dream of the the same science lab, doing all sorts of crazy experiments. And I have a crazy scientist friend with a giant red afro and laser vision goggles. One night I found a formula that can grow you a tail and a few weeks later I came up with a chemical that can make you any pet of your choice in a matter of minutes. If only this were true... I could be a billionaire!

15 Fun Facts:

1. When you are snoring, you are not dreaming.
2. Toddlers do not dream about themselves until around the age of 3.
3. You forget 90% of your dreams.
4. Ex-smokers have more vivid dreams.
5. 12% of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white. The remaining number dream in full color.
6. People tend to have common themes in dreams, which usually relate to school, being chased, running slowly, sexual experiences, falling, arriving too late, a person now alive being dead, teeth falling out, flying, failing an exam, or a car accident.
7. Our dreams are frequently full of strangers, but your mind is not inventing those faces – they are real faces of real people that you have seen during your life but may not know or remember? The psycho man with a gun may be a waiter you had at Boston Pizza 3 years ago.
Normally you have four to seven dreams in a single night, and on average you dream from one or two hours every night.
9. Studies have proven that animals dream too.
Five minutes after the end of the dream, half the content is forgotten. After ten minutes, 90% is lost.
In your lifetime, you would've spent about 6 years of it dreaming. That is more than 2,100 days spent in a different world.
12. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 have the most nightmares of anyone.
Studies have shown that our brain waves are more active when we are dreaming than when we are awake.
Blind people dream too; whether visual images appear in their dream depends on whether they where blind at birth or became blind later in their life. Vision is not the only sense in a dream; sounds and smell become hypersensitive for blind people and their dreams are based on these senses.
A lack of dream activity can mean protein deficiency or a personality disorder.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We Day Insomnia

Besides the fact that I had to get up at 5am for hockey practice this morning, I barely slept last night. And it's not because I'm an insomniac, I think it has to do with We Day.

Yesterday morning I woke up to my radio blasting. Now, normally I would hit the sleep button and put off getting up for as long as possible. But as soon as I heard "You know I know how" the first line to 'Club Can't Handle Me', I jumped out of bed. This is one of the We Day songs that the entire 20 000 youth occupying Rogers Arena will be dancing to. What a nice change to be excited to jump out of bed.

Then, for the past few hours that were meant for homework, I've been glued to watching "Shameless Idealists", the talk show hosted by Craig Kielburger himself, that I will be live in audience watching after We Day.

I can't see myself falling asleep easily tonight.

And after tomorrow's volunteer orientation, I can't see sleep being easy either.

Vancouver We Day 2010 begins in 37 hours.

Here we come world.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thank you- Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for! It was only the other day I was sitting in the gymnasium at Argyle Secondary listening to two young Ugandan men speak about how they never really had a childhood and how they have always lived in fear. They grew up in Northern Uganda during the civil war and were forced to leave their families. They slept most nights in the bushes hoping not to be discovered by the soldiers.

Something like this really makes you realize how good you have it.

I'm thankful to live in such a safe, developed country.
I'm thankful for my childhood.
I'm thankful for such a loving family.
I'm thankful for great friends.
I'm thankful for the roof I live under, and the food I eat.
I'm thankful for my education.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to play sports.
I'm thankful for my health.

The list could go on for a while.

I know that these days we probably don't take enough time to acknowledge everything we're thankful for, but we really should. This weekend I was in a soccer tournament, I had hockey practices, I went to the Canucks game, I was at the We Day crowd pumping rehearsal, and I hung out with amazing friends.

This is why we don't have time to think about everything we have going for us; life is just too busy these days, but the fact that life is so busy, and that we can do all these things is something to be thankful for in itself.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Run for a Cure

Did I mention that I ran in CIBC's "Run for the Cure" last weekend. It was so much fun, and such a nice day for a 5k jog. Besides from that though, the atmosphere was just amazing. Some 22 000 Participants were there, creating a sense of hope and power. It felt like such a tight-knit community but it was a bunch of strangers. When people come together for one common cause, it's like a wave of spirit hits everyone. Everyone had huge smiles on their faces and were cheering each other on as they ran. It gave me shivers when I saw one lady walk up to a stranger in a Survivors shirt saying "You inspire me- I am running for you." To see people with such warm hearts rally for a cause and raise $3.6 million in a single day brings me great hope that anything is possible. People do care, and we can change the world!

More exciting news- I got the "Congratulations!" email today, about CBC's News Day in BC! I made the final 30, so I will now be paired up with a mentor and will have my story on the news on November 18th.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


There's been a lot of talk about 21st Century Learning and Personalized learning. My favourite quotes from last night at the Education and Program Standing Committee meeting were "Learning styles are as diverse as fingerprints." and "Teaching is the most complex job on the face of the earth."

I found it ironic this morning while in French when a international student from Germany asked if he could use his phone as a dictionary because we don't have German-French dictionaries in the class. The teacher who I shall not name, but am not very fond of sounded appalled "Absolutely not!". I find it quite interesting how there has been so much talk about technology in the classroom and how can we take it to the next level, yet something as simple as using a cellphone for educational purposes is absolutely unacceptable.

We talked today in DSLC about keeping balance between technology use and still focusing on the fundamentals and relationship building. We discussed how it's crucial that teachers encourage teamwork and using diverse personalities to our advantage. It has been proven that students learn great deals from each other, so collaboration is very beneficial, yet this same teacher refuses to let us talk to each other. This is outrageous; we're learning a second language in silence. You are not to speak at all, it's like we're learning sign language.

Teachers have a revolution to create before this "21st Century Learning" ideals are reached. Here is a list that we came up with today of things we need to see from our teachers:
- engaging students to the global world
- assignments being able 24/7 and accessible anywhere
- creating balance between fundamental skills, technology and personal relationships
- flexible curriculum that works with for a variety of diverse students
- a Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

AND all this, while the budget is rapidly decreasing. All this while the class sizes are sky rocketing. And what I find the worst- all these young teachers who are passionate about changing the education system, and all the young teachers who are innovative and creative being laid off while the old, pen and paper, textbook teachers are continuing to teach the way they like- not what's best for the students.

Anyways.... on a lighter note here is a treat from Ben Lee. I love this song- it's a breath of fresh air, with every song these days revolving around sex, drugs and alcohol.