An anglophone from the west. A francophone town. Hoo boy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

marshmallow world

The winter has arrived in Québec. The white stuff arrived Tuesday morning -- a big dollop that would have been beautiful if I didn't have to drive to Shawinigan. Slowly. Verrrrry slowly. For the first snow of the season the snowplows weren't too quick to get moving. Worse was the drive home. Even with snow tires, it's pretty slick out there.

I choose to blame certain members of my family for winter. They came out for a visit last weekend, ostensibly to watch the Grey Cup final. And to visit us as an added bonus. Convenient, that.* It was a fun weekend, even if it was extremely windy and cold, and we all seemed to have issues with dropping things. And with hotels. Mom, Dad and Nick were staying out by the airport. Conveniently located for getting to the airport, but not for much else. We had a bed and breakfast close to downtown. Lovely home, nice location, but terrible service. There was nobody there on Sunday morning so we left without breakfast and without paying. **

Long story short, they brought the cold with them and left it here, where it turned into snow and winter.

I suppose I'll have to forgive them though, because it was so good to see them! And now I'm extra looking forward to being in Alberta for Christmas. Not to alarm anyone, but that's less than a month away. And coming sooner than you think... At least with the snow on the ground, things feel a little more Christmas-y.

* I wonder how much more often they would come to visit if Montréal still had a professional baseball team?

** The excuse offered? It's a private home. Yes, like just about every other bed and breakfast I've stayed at. Usually though, there's an understanding that the private home has also decided to function as a business and to accept your money for the service. Implying that there will be some service offered.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

memories of an ALT

This week is the end of term at school.

The students and teachers are all busy with end of term exams -- sorry, "learning evaluation situations" as they're called now. If nothing else, the educational reform in Québec seems to have come up with some interesting new terminology (management-ese) to describe otherwise easily understood concepts. And in two languages!

But I digress. As the English monitor, I have very little to do this week. I had 6 out of 11 classes canceled outright, and one rescheduled. I don't mind so much -- I have exams and an oral presentation to prepare for -- but it does remind me of working in Japan. The difference being, that I'm allowed to go home when I don't have a class.

Not that it's not depressing when you realize that you've spent more time in your car than you have in the classroom... the joys of fake teaching.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Howl - o- ween

So this year, for the first time in a long time, I had my favorite kind of Halloween. Oh sure, I dressed up (and someday soon I'll even post pictures -- although if you saw me as a singing, dancing stripper in northern Japan, it's old news) and whatnot. But this year, I sat at home in the dark watching scary movies, eating bad Chinese takeout and scarfing miniature chocolates. And not even by myself. I had a girlfriend over. Isn't that what everyone likes to do for Halloween?

I didn't carve my pumpkin though. It became a delicious pumpkin pie, and tubs of frozen pumpkin to be used at a later date. Mmmm... citrouille...

Well, there's always next year.