Thursday, June 29, 2006

Last Day of School

Today was my last day at school. I think I'll be returning some time in early July to pick up something that I will have inevitably forgotten. But, it was officially my last day.

After a year of teaching, what can I say? I enjoy it very much. I constantly feel inspired to create a new lesson, or use a new resource. If I had in my hands a calendar for the next school year, I'd be planning the units right now. Yes, I need help.

On the other hand, I'm glad that I can now read for fun. Eventhough I do have summer school to attend for the month of July, being a student is not half as stressful as being a teacher. If I feel tired or I'm jus not in the mood, I'll tune out the class and not pay attention. I'll day dream and mindlessly copy down notes from the board. Or, I'll be passive and simply listen to discussions. As a student, I don't have to perform in front of 20+ ppl for 7 hours a day.

Right now, I am tired. I don't have the energy to celebrate. I'm just going to go and read. =)

To all teachers, have a fun and relaxing summer!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Jim's Truth

" the power of the written word, to make you see."

There was nothing within sight to compare him with, as though he had been one of those exceptional men who can be only measured by the greatness of their fame; and his fame, remember, was the greatest thing around for many a day's journey. You would have to paddle, pole, or track a long weary way through the jungle before you passed beyond the reach of its voice. Its voice was not the trumpeting of the disreputable goddess we all know- not blatant- not brazen. It took its tone from the stillness and gloom of the land without a past, where his word was the one truth of every passing day. It shared something of the nature of that silence through which it accompanied you into unexplored depths, heard continuously by your side, penetrating, far-reaching- tinged with wonder and mystery on the lips of whispering men.

How could I not swoon in front of these words?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jerusalem Restaurant

Jerusalem Restaurant
125 Ravel Rd, North York (416) 490-7888

On Tuesday, my teacher colleagues from the ESL department had dinner at the Jerusalem Restaurant to celebrate the retirement and the wedding of two of our colleagues. The place looks very nice, very suitable for a banquet.

We started with a bottle of white wine from Australia. It was very nice. M. and D. are wine experts, and they chose just the right one. With wine served, we moved to the salad bar. The salad was very fresh, and the dressing was at just the right level of tartness. The selection was so various that every one of us found something to praise.

There was pita bread with hummus, tahini and baba ganouj dips. I thought they were a bit weak in flavour. M. tried the lamb and found it very delicious. F. and D. both tried a cheese roll that they originally thought contained spinach. Needless to say, it was very filling. I was half full after the salad, pita, and fish, they served shwarma chicken. Since no one else at the table was able to have it, I ended up eating half of it. Oink-oink!

The service was pleasant, and the atmosphere was quiet. I can't really critique the food because I didn't get to try very much of it. A lot of the warm dishes are still unknown to me. I would like to go back there and try some more.

I will hold off on giving any stars at this point.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Basic Human Rights of the Accused

In today's Toronto Star, there was an article that published some of the testimony made public by a lawyer of one of the accused members of a terrorist cell. They were arrested on Saturday, June 3rd. What he's telling the public is very disturbing.

Firstly, the plans that his client had of bombing certain buildings in Toronto (CBC building), and beheading the Canadian PM, Harper, are chilling. The thought that 13 tons of amonium nitrate being used to create bombs, to amass 13 times the impact of the Oklahoma Bombings here in my hometown is nothing short of terrifying. It is only beginning to sink in for me.

Having said all that, I also learned from this article that the accused are not being treated justly as per their basic human rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I strongly believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. And so far, it seems like all of the accused are guilty, but are they all guilty to the same degree? Some of the accused are adolescents, which leads me to question how much involvement they had in this plot. From masterminds, to trainers, to trainees; their roles are different and the severity of their actions should also be different.

I don't know if the law makes that distinction, but I strongly believe that if we are to prosecute the accused, we should do it right. Even if they all turn out to be equally guilty in the end, the process by which we establish that conclusion is just as important as the end result.

Without a just process, how can we continue to have faith in the integrity of the system?