Saturday, 31 August 2013

On Neighbourhoods

Before committing to a long-term rental agreement it's best to walk around the area for more than just a few minutes.

(Random cat wandering in my new neighbourhood)

Friday, 30 August 2013

On Harrods

Just because your shop caters to an upper class clientele it doesn't mean they are capable of following basic instructions on their own.

(Instructions in the Harrods' bathroom in London)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

On Life

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."

-J.R.R. Tolkien, 'Lord of the Rings' author.

(An ancient ship/restaurant in Kuwait)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

On Coconut Water

Due to low sodium and/or high sugar content it is often an expensive alternative and not necessarily more effective than regular water or commercial sports drinks 

(Expensive water I found in Ottawa last month)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

On Food Choices

Having a little information about the animals/products you choose to consume is better than having none at all.

(Beside the menu at Chipotle restaurant in Toronto)

Monday, 26 August 2013

On Muhammed Ali

Any famous athlete who takes the time to visit a school and inspire children is truly deserving of the title "The Greatest".

Sunday, 25 August 2013

On Doormats

There is a fine line between putting yourself first but not seeming selfish, and putting yourself last while not being a doormat.

(A humorous mat in my old Ottawa apartment)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

On the National Anthem

Using "Our home and native land" in certain lyrics can be potentially upsetting to people who are truly native to Canada.

(Canadian anthem words at Montreal Central Station)

Friday, 23 August 2013

On Colons vs. Semicolons

They are punctuation marks that resemble one another but serve different purposes in a sentence. 

Colon: Used to focus attention on the latter part of a sentence by providing a list, explanation, or quotation. (e.g.: He said: "No this will not work" to which she replied: "Why not?")

Semicolon: Used to connect two clauses/statements which could stand alone as separate sentences. (e.g.: Joe was upset; he didn't know she would be moving to England so soon.) 

(A friend's unique wedding favours: honey and maple syrup)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

On Wild Mushrooms

Unless you are an expert on mushroom identification or advised by one, consuming wild mushrooms can result in a variety of unpleasant experiences.

(Edible mushrooms my mom picked last week)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

On Marketing

Putting a new twist on a classic product in order to boost sales is becoming the new norm in advertising.
  1. Lay's new flavor competition
  2. Monopoly's new cat game piece
  3. Tim Horton's new doughnut search
  4. Axe's space camp competition 
  5. Loblaw's Recipe to Riches contest
(New Lay's flavor "Peogy Platter")

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

On Change

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
-Apple, Inc.

(A misfit on stilts at the International Children's Festival in Ottawa)

Monday, 19 August 2013

On Fire Hydrants

Just because thousands of litres of potable water leaks on a main road for months it doesn't mean that the government will rush to repair it.

(A broken fire hydrant in downtown Montreal)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

On Student Learning

Despite what may seem like resistance to learning, there is always some going on in any given classroom. 

(A drawing made by one of my former students)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

On Environmental Changes

Why is it that children, who have so little, want to make a difference whereas adults, who have and know so much more, seldom lift a finger?

Friday, 16 August 2013

On Non-Alcoholic Beverages

There are some people who enjoy the taste of certain alcohols so much that they would rather drink non-alcoholic alternatives over juice or water.

(Non-alcoholic wine at a grocery store in Ottawa)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

On Translation

Investing in proper translating and/or proofreading services can often be essential to a foreign company's survival.

(A pencil case from South Korea lost in translation)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

On Interjections

They are words used in exclamation often to express added emotion from the speaker/subject.
  • Wow, that's amazing! 
  • Psst, I'm over here!
  • Oh, I didn't know that!
(Ouch, that looks painful!)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

On Gardening

Just because a garden may have been neglected for many years it doesn't mean there is no hope for it to bloom once again.

 (Spring onions growing in my neglected garden)

Monday, 12 August 2013

On Bloom's Taxonomy

It is a series of six learning objectives created by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 that aim to provide more depth to lesson plans and easier ways to evaluate their efficacy.

Knowledge: Ability to memorize and recall basic information. (e.g.: What are the ingredients in banana bread?)

Comprehension: Show an understanding of basic information through description, organisation, and comparisons.  (e.g.: Explain the difference between bananas and banana bread)

Application: Applying previous knowledge/information to solve new problems. (e.g.: Which types of bananas are best for baking banana?)

Analysis: Examining, classifying, and inferring information. (e.g.: List other dishes that use bananas and organize them from lowest to highest health benefits)

Synthesis: Use previous information in different ways to create different solutions to problems. (e.g.: Convert a classic banana bread recipe into a vegan, gluten-free one and explain the difference in health benefits)

Evaluation: Making and defending judgments based on a set of criteria. (e.g.: Is serving banana bread at schools a smart cafeteria choice?)

(Van Gogh's Almond Blossom at the National Gallery of Canada)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

On Oppressed Pedagogy

"Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."

-Paulo Freire, author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

(A trapped pine tree morsel in Montreal one winter)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

On Flying

There are few things more ethereal and visually stunning than flying over a sunset on a cloudy day.

(Beautiful skies somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean)

Friday, 9 August 2013

On Graduation

It can often be a bittersweet moment as many are terrified to exit the comfort of school and face the uncertainty of the real world.

(Graduation from uOttawa at the National Arts Centre)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

On Education Lotteries

There are children in many parts of the world whose best chance at a good education lies at the mercy of a lottery.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

On Dentist Appointments

Eating a substantial meal before an anticipated appointment is crucial as it may take many hours for your jaw to be able to function normally afterwards.

(Sitting at my dentist's office last week)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

On Osheaga

Be sure to bring water, snacks, and extra toilet paper when/if attending an all-day island festival.

(Thousands of fans crammed onto Ile St. Helene for Osheaga 2013)

Monday, 5 August 2013

On Pronouns

There is more to them than meets the "I".

Personal: Refers to a specific person or thing. (eg.: I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they)

Possessive: Shows possession of a particular object or person. (eg.: Mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs)

Reflexive: Refers back to the subject (person or object) in the sentence. (eg.: Myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves)

(A photo my mother took herself in Germany)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

On Parking Meters

Make sure you check the days/times meters are in effect so that you don't end up paying for no reason.

(Manual parking meter near downtown Montreal)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

On Wild Animals

Although they may seem cute and harmless, some animals can quickly become aggressive in close proximity to humans.

(A deer peeing in front me in Mont Tremblant)

Friday, 2 August 2013

On Friendship

"Why did you do all this for me? he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' You have been my friend', replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing... after all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die... By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."

-E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web

(A web outside a friend's home in Montreal)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

On Traffic

Unexpected traffic delays can be a nightmare without proper diversions so make sure your vehicle is always equipped for such conditions. 

(Major traffic and construction on the 417 to Ottawa)