Monday, March 16, 2009

Back home...

Well, it sure has been a long time since my last blog. The reason for this is simple - I've been adjusting to living back home since the end of February. If you recall from an earlier blog, I have a random head injury that is still affecting me and my daily life. I found that I was missing way too many classes this semester and that even if I was completely healthy, it would be hard to catch up. So I made one of the hardest decisions I've had to make and that was to come home and stay home. Now that I'm here though, I'm finally getting the help I need (I've been to 7 specialists so far!) and am greatly improving. So it was definitely the right choice for me though of course I miss Mount A!

I hear from my friends though exactly what I'm missing (and from Facebook) and it sounds like a lot has been happening! There was a cross-dressing pageant at Edwards House where three judges decided who was Mr. Edwards and who was Mrs. Edwards. From the look of the pictures, I'd say everyone who was involved had a pretty good time! There was also the Vagina Monologues which took place this past weekend and apparently, everyone in it did great. It was funny, touching, and memorable. There will be loads of more events in the next couple of months and though I'm sad to be missing them, I can't wait to to hear the stories from friends!

So this is my last blog for awhile. I may be a blogger for Mount A next year (and I hope I am because I love blogging!) but right now, since I'm not actually physically at Mount A, I'm signing off and concentrating on getting healthy. I hope you've enjoyed my past blogs and maybe they've reminded you why Mount A is awesome (even if it gets really cold sometimes!) or inspired you to be a future student of Mount A. Or maybe they just made you laugh or maybe you were just procrastinating which is the most likely option! Thanks for reading though and I hope you enjoy the springtime which is just around the corner!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fashion and Betty Crocker and a Mysterious Murderer

Sounds like a title for a novel eh? Except it's not - it's actually the summary of the past weekend. At least, for me personally - I can't be accountable for everybody's weekend!

Friday night was the Free the Children Fashion Show and it went really well! Everybody got there around 5 or 5:30, spent an hour or so doing hair and makeup and then we practiced for a bit before the big event. Coming up with poses was the most difficult part - to pout or not to pout? In the end, I forgot about my nervousness and just did whatever came to mind! It was over rather quickly and then it was the other models' turns to walk. The audience loved the designs and I even bought the jewelry I was modeling because it was so beautiful! My feet definitely deserved a massage after all that walking around in high heels!

On Saturday night, a good friend and I cooked up a storm for about 5 hours. It. Was. Awesome. We made Wacky Cake (chocolate) and homemade cinnamon buns. The cinnamon buns took the longest because they had to rise for two hours but the cake only took 30 minutes and we had a piece as soon as it came out of the oven! The cinnamon buns we cooked the next morning and they were delicious....warm and soft. In fact, we've already eaten them all! Betty Crocker has nothing on us.

Sunday afternoon, I went to a Murder Mystery Party at a friend's house. Murder Mystery is a game that you only play once because after you've played, you know who the murderer is. There's usually a story about how someone was killed and there's all these various characters who have reason to have killed them. The people coming to the party dress up as those characters and act out how they believe the character might actually behave. There's four scenes in all and in each scene, secrets and motives are revealed for each character. At the end, everyone has to guess who the murderer is (the murderer finds out by reading their script). We did this last year and had so much fun, we had to do it again! It was an afternoon full of laughter as everyone attempted to behave as their character. One person was a magician and one of their lines was, "I can make things disappear before you even knew they were there." Good times for sure.

All in all, it was another great weekend but soon midterms are coming up! That means I might actually have to start hitting the books....oh dear.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


First off, sorry this blog is so late in coming out! There's a nasty flu bug going around and I seem to have caught it at the beginning of the week and am finally feeling better...well a bit anyways. Since I'm still not feeling up to speed, this will be one of my shorter blogs and it will be a list. It will be a list of things I love about MTA, where to go, what to do, and 'the haps'. So here goes:
  • George's Roadhouse - one of my favourite places in Sackville. I haven't been for the food yet but the concerts are always mind-boggling. They have artists from all over Canada and the atmosphere is always really relaxing yet invigorating. It's the perfect size for a concert and when it's packed, boy does it get loud (which is what a concert is supposed to be though).
  • Fish and Chips - I've only been there once but it is delicious! Everything they have is homemade and they even have...get this...mozzarella sticks. I kid you not. Granted, there's not much greenery available so make sure you eat something healthy before you go!
  • Free the Children Fashion Show - It's tomorrow night actually and EastLink is coming to record it so it will probably be on TV! Very exciting and the models have to be there at 5 though the show starts at 8:30! The hair and makeup do take awhile apparently!
  • Skating on Swan Pond or Waterfowl Park - it has to be done. At least once in the four years you'll be here. Enough said.
  • Cuthbertson House - if you can, attend one of their potlucks where they include the community. The food is always good and very very healthy, the house is gorgeous, and the people there are all amazing individuals. It's the environmentally-friendly house on-campus and it's even coloured green (how fitting!)
  • Tantramar - every year, a bilingual play is put on by students from MTA, written by themselves and it is amazing. It's usually quite different from the norm and it's sometimes hard to follow but the characters are always unique and it's just darn funny!
Good grief, there's so much to describe that I don't even know where to start! The ones I've mentioned are ones that just popped into my mind and just because I didn't mention others like Bridgestreet Cafe, or the Vogue Theatre, or Society of All Nations, doesn't mean they're not worth talking about! I'll most likely continue this list as the weeks go by, so keep checking it out!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Busy, busy busy bees

Tomorrow, it will be two weeks that I've been back at MTA and I'm already looking at a pretty busy calendar. For example, this weekend was packed with fun events and there's even more to come.

On Friday, some friends and I celebrated two of my friend's birthdays. About 20 or so people came and more people drifted in and out as the evening wore on. We began with loads of food - chips, salsa, candy, drinks, etc. Nothing healthy of course. Then the cakes came out and the birthday girls blew out all the candles (and refused to tell us what they wished for). Then we danced for about two hours and then we all watched MAMMA MIA! Yes, I know it's a complete chick flick and has no real point to it but it just makes you happy! Especially when you watch it with other girls who'll sing just as loud as you. The boys of course left, except for two who were brave enough to stay behind (though one of them mentioned today that they still have 'Mamma Mia' stuck in their head). At the end of the movie, we replayed our favourite scenes and danced along. It was great exercise and we were all gasping for breath at the end. Good times. (In the picture above, that's me holding the cake - you can slightly see my arms)

Then on Saturday, there was a pool party for our house but I couldn't make it unfortunately. I heard it was a lot of fun though! That night, there was a concert at George's, which is part of Stereophonic. Stereophonic is an annual event put on by CHMA Radio (MTA's radio) in which various artists and bands come to sing and play in Sackville for about 5 days. None of the concerts overlap so you can go straight from one to the other! I only managed to attend the one on Saturday and it was fantastic! Groups like The Stance, Shotgun Jimmie, The Stolen Minks and the Tom Fun Orchestra came and played. It was pretty much a full house and the atmosphere was definitely invigorating.

It was a great weekend and this weekend, there's more stuff coming up! Like 'FAME! The Musical!' Which is put on by the Garnet and Gold Society and is always something to see. They put on a show every year and it's usually worth going if you can! Last year, it was Cinderella and they did an awesome job. Then on the 30th, there's the Free the Children Fashion Show which I'll be in, modeling and posing (I have to learn how to walk all over again apparently).

It seems that no matter how small Sackville seems to be, there's always something going on! Keep posted for more updates!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Return of the Jedi (well, the students at least)

After around a 18 hour trip to get back to Sackville, I finally arrived in Edwards last Sunday afternoon. It took a two hour car ride to the airport, a three hour delay, an hour flight to Vancouver, an hour delay, a four and a half hour flight to Toronto, four hour wait, a hour and a half flight to Moncton and then a half hour taxi ride to Sackville. WHEW! And I get motion sickness. I would choose one of the farthest universities from my hometown.

Picture above is winter in Osoyoos (view from my house)

But I survived the trip and survive
d the first week of classes! It's nice to start fresh and to have everything finished and put behind you. My calendar looks so clean and white but already is filling up fast with concerts, plays, meetings, etc. I'm only taking two courses and am applying for a part-time job....somewhere.

Way back in November I hit my head on my bookshelf (yes my bookshelf) and since then I've felt dizzy pretty much 24-7 and occasionally pass out. Luckily, when I first hit it, a friend was there and he was able to phone 911 and I spent the next 16 hours or so in the Sackville and Moncton Hospital. I got a CAT Scan, an EEG and in December, an ECG as well. I even saw a neurologist but he's not sure what's wrong with me so I'm getting an MRI this semester. But I did see an alternative medicine doctor in Vancouver over the holidays and he was able to give me some homeopathics for my dizziness and he balanced my energy pathways. Yes, I realize it's a bit weird and that it's not exactly conventional but I am definitely seeing improvement these past two weeks. I haven't passed out for awhile and my dizziness is going away which means I can start swimming again!

BUT unfortunately, reading makes me dizzy. Hmm mm. Which is why I'm only taking two courses so I can take my time doing the reading and hopefully not pass out. And thankfully my professors last term were unbelievably supportive. They let me take the time I needed to complete my assignments and I wrote my exams when I got back.

Anyways, the point of all this long explanation is just basically to say that that's why I'm only taking two courses so if I mention more about the social life than the classes, there's a legitimate reason for it! I did have an awesome Christmas at home though. Travelled to Vancouver, Victoria, Qualicum Beach and Comox to see friends and relatives so I slept in nine different beds over the holidays! Anyways, till next time!

My brother and I cooking Christmas dinner (though maye he wanted something?)

We even got to see my older 'brother' - our Twainese Exchange Student from about 5 years ago with his wife - it's always good to see the two of them looking happy. (From left to right: Me, my dad, my adopted grandmother, my mum, Andra, Ambrose, and my brother)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Two days....and then I arrive home after around four months of being 5,000 km away from my family. My patience is wearing thin but I remind myself that I got through it last year so I can do it again this year, but STILL! It's hard being so far away from my family.

My mum is amazing. She claims I've abandoned her and have left her to the mercies of my dad and brother, ie think sports all the time. My dad loves to meditate and is into alternative medicine, which surprisingly seems to work better than conventional medicine! My brother is 17, though to me, he's still a kid. And dear lord, he got his 'Novice' driver's license a few weeks ago. Last time I drove with him was in June and I came out of the car, shaking and white-faced, and vowing never to get in the car with him again. Apparently, he's improved since then but I'm still waiting for him to get his full license. (In BC, there's your 'Learner's' which you have for one year and can only drive with family, and then your 'Novice' for two years where you can drive with one non-family member, and THEN you get your full driver's license.)

My brother and I goofing off at DisneyWorld

I think, for me personally, being so far away from them is what is most hard about being at MTA. Don't get me wrong, I love MTA and don't regret my choice in coming here at all. It's just sometimes when my friend's parents visit or their siblings or they get to go home for the weekend, I get kinda jealous. They don't seem to realize how lucky they are to be able to see their family often and it does get to me.

BUT, that being said, being away from my family, also definitely increases my independence. Yes, I miss them terribly, but I don't have to rely on them for laundry, or food, or other things. I have lots of friends I trust and I learn to cope with whatever problems surface. And when I do finally see my family, it's that much more special and touching.

I remember when I first told my mum and dad that I was going out East for university. It was right after I got back from 'Go Global' camp at MTA and I had fallen in love with it. My mum's response was, "Are you sure honey? You know there's University of British Columiba-Okanagan about two hours drive away. Or there's a nice college just an hour away - you could commute and live at home!" For some reason, that arguement didn't convince me - it made me want to go even more! But once they realized I meant what I said, they supported me 100%.

So this is my last official post until next semester. I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Two days....and then I'm home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fall with the MASSIEs

For the past four months, I had the honour of being a MASSIE Conversation Partner of a student from Kwansei Gakuin University in Osaka, Japan. Ai was my partner, and my friend Julie had Maki as her partner. Our goal was to meet for 14 hours over the Fall semester, to help with their English, show them around Sackville, and introduce them to Canadian customs, while at the same time learning about Japan!

The MASSIE (Mount Allison Sophomore Semester in English) students arrived way back in late August after a very long flight. I first met Ai when the entire group got together to do a town-wide scavenger hunt. It was a lot of fun, especially with all the miscommunications! What we had to do was split into small groups, and take pictures of us doing the things on the 'list'. This list included spelling MASSIE, hanging from a basketball hoop, feet in Swan pond, cramming into a phone booth, and climbing a tree. Afterwards, we went to Jennings for hot chocolate, and to get to know our partners more. The winners were announced, and our group actually won! It was quite surprising as we had contented ourselves with being 5th or so, but we ended up winning movie tickets and gift certificates to Joey's Restaurant!

The rest of the fall consisted of Ai and I meeting once a week doing different things. We went to Bridgestreet Cafe for a hot chocolate, went to Joey's for lunch, two potlucks at Cuthberston House, dinner at Jennings, and watching a movie at my place. It was much fun getting to know Ai and to see her English improve pretty much weekly (though my Japanese did not!). We also went to TreeGo in Moncton which was a pretty brutal workout, but it was a good time altogether!

Ai, Lauren, Maki and Julie at TreeGo!

Outside of getting together with their conversation partners, the MASSIE students also attended classes, had roommates, and travelled very much! They went to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Halifax, Ottawa, New York City, Montreal, and PEI! They also did many activities here in Sackville such as the Wetlands Centre, Sackville Fall Fair, and Shinerama. Doing all these things really gave them a chance to improve their English, learn about Canada, and have fun!

The Graduation Ceremony and Banquet was two weeks ago, as was the Japanese Festival, where the MASSIE students were given a chance to show MTA students life in Japan and teach them traditional dances. The Talent Show put on last Saturday was amazing! All the classes did group dances, and then all the houses did group dances and they were unbelieveably coordinated! It was hard to believe that they had only been practicing for ten days!

MASSIE students performing at Talent Show

And then, yesterday, at 7:45 am, the MASSIE students left to go back home to Japan. Every roommate, conversation partner, and close friend was there to see them off. Most of us arrived at 6:30 and it took an hour and a half for the MASSIE students to board the bus as no one wanted to! It was heart-breaking and everyone was in tears, even the bus driver was crying! Promises of keeping in touch, visiting Japan, coming back to Canada, could be heard everywhere as well as sentiments of being so happy to get to know each other, thanking each other for the good times, and words of comfort.

The MASSIE students may have left Canada, but I doubt they will leave anybody's hearts, nor we them. It was an amazing experience to see the MASSIE students dramatically improve their English over the semester, as well as forming new friendships. As you know though, Canadians don't say goodbye, we say "see you later", which I truly hope and believe will happen.