24 November 2005

Snow, snow, go away.

Today was the first proper snowfall of the season. Ever since I started my degree in this city with its a-typical Canadian climate, I have been counting down the number of winters I would have to suffer through before I could graduate and move far away, ideally to a tropical climate. Today was no different. Maybe because I didn't grow up in a snowy climate (those of you non-Canucks may not realize, but the West Coast really is milder in comparison to the rest of the country in terms of winter weather), I am really horrible at walking on snow and ice. While I see everyone else walking briskly, heels and all, through the snowy conditions, there I am in the background, skidding and slipping all over the place, even though I am wearing my lovely Ralph Lauren winter boots. Every time I leave my flat, I pray it won't be the day I slip on the sidewalk, fall (face first, of course) and slide directly onto the adjacent road where a passsing car with worn tires and a distracted driver won't quite stop in time. This is the reason I sometimes think I am obsessive compulsive...

At least this means I will be able to go snowboarding soon!

In other non-weather related news, I am on a mini-break from mandatory school assignments until December, which I now realize from looking at the calendar, isn't really the far away after all. Still, I am excited that I will be able to focus on other pressing matters, such as my Research project, sleeping properly, working and of course, knitting warm things for this cruel winter.

I am not going home for Christmas this year. This probably isn't news to those of you who know me; I've only been home for this holiday once in 4 years, and I'm not much of a Christmas person anyway. This being said, I have been presented with a number of lovely prospects for the holiday season: my mother may stop in Toronto en route to Greece to visit her parents, and I may be going to NYC some point over the break to visit my lovely friend Hayden, who also is going to be far away from home for Christmas. We actually spent Christmas 2003 together when we couldn't afford to go home then either, so it would be cute if we repeated it this year. Regardless of what happens, I'm sure I will be happy as a clam to be with someone I love, stuffing my face with treats.

On a sidenote, I have been given a supervisory position for a (single) shift at Parliament, which totally isn't a big deal at all, but I am mildly excited since I'm the only new employee who has been given this opportunity. I think it's probably somewhat related to the factI've clocked some serious hours in the few short months I've been there.

08 November 2005


Since I last posted, I have uttered the phrase "I have NO time" countless times. As is the way every fall, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of craziness at uni, and it doesn't end until after exams are finished at Christmas. On top of this though, my job at Parliament keeps me long hours (although I am very grateful!), and volunteering for two different organizations occupies a lot of time as well.

However, as if I didn't have enough to deal with at once, I went ahead and got a second job. The title of my position is Ecological Footprint Research Assistant, and I am working under the supervision of the Director of Climate Change at the University of Toronto. My work is focusing on Radical Roots, a not-for-profit, worker-run collective located on campus who have hired me to help them minimize the environmental and social implications, or the 'ecological footprint', of their activities. Here is a brief newspaper article on the project, for those of you who are interested. Note the reference to me as the to-be-hired work-study student.

I am very excited to be involved in this project as not only is a great experience for me simply in terms of ameliorating my research skills, but also because I think it could potentially make a signficant contribution to the organization's efforts. I must also admit, it may give me a minor advantage when it comes to looking for a 'real job' after I graduate. Or at the very least, it won't hinder me.

All the work has left me with very little time to get my assignments done however, and thus my anxiety level is pretty much constantly in the high range.. I know school should be is priority number one, but I have become so apathetic in my last year that my only concern is finshing.

I took a well-earned break this weekend and went down to the Niagara region to look at the leaves, which were purported by the Weather Network to be "absolutely stunning". Perhaps they were, but the gale-force winds ripped all the leaves from the branches by the time we got down there, and I feel somewhat gipped. At least I got to go dino-golfing in Niagara Falls. On the drive back, we stopped at Balls' Falls (what a name) to admire the waterfalls and old buildings on the property. As you can see in the pictures, it was rather eerie when we were there right before sunset.