Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wonderfully informative post on the benefits of family planning in preventing maternal death, newborn death, and unsafe abortions.

finding development

Very.

Today marked World Population Day and the focus was family planning! There was a conference in the UK today discussing the importance and benefits of family planning (aka reproductive health, contraception, information, and access). At this conference, they pledged 3.6 billion dollars a year towards family planning that could drastically improve the state of maternal and women’s health.

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Boring New World

Canada is drop-dead boring, apparently. For the past two or three weeks, my uncle has been visiting from out of the continent. It’s his first time being in Canada and quite frankly, he’s not enjoying it. In order to visit Canada, a lot of paper work and planning had to be done since he came from a country that is not so fond of its citizens leaving the country. He was expecting this new country to be absolutely fantastic and filled with maple syrup and polar bears.

Unfortunately for him, his misconceptions were pretty munch debunked. Harshly. My uncle’s impression of life in Canada (and perhaps North America) was shattered. He’s just so bored here and I don’t blame him. Being too far away for school, I can’t really be there to talk to him. Similarly, my parents are at work. They can’t afford to take weeks from work for him. They have taken him to see local tourist attractions and explore the downtown wonders of Toronto, but those kind of activities only take up one day, respectively. Last and definitely not least, he doesn’t speak English and English is the only language my two younger brothers (whom are off from school for summer vacation) are fluent in.

The situation has made me ponder what citizens in other countries think of people in Canada and perhaps North America. A few Canadian bloggers I follow ( Simon and Martina from eatyourkimchi) once described in a vlog that while they were teaching in Korea they showed their students pictures of their humble bungalow back in Canada. The students were shocked. They thought that Simon and Martina were extremely rich for owning a home with LAND.

The two explained in their video that the reason for this misconception was because of the condensed nature of real estate in Korea. Homes are built upwards due to lack of land. In Canada, land is a little (read, a lot) more abundant, so it’s typical for a house to have a front and back yard.

I guess there is only so much you can learn about different parts of the world from the internet and other forms of information. Sometimes, you just really need to experience something to be able to truly understand it. I’m thankful to live in Canada where I can experience many cultures via a vast number of people to interact with.

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This is a rant.

I had a really bad day yesterday.

Every Thursday I have rehearsal with my university’s A Cappella club. I love it; it is easily the highlight of my week. On the Saturday preceding this week’s practice the club had hosted a kind of boot camp day where all the members of the club got together to get to know one another and really drill into our musical repertoire. I was forced to miss the boot camp due to work. I was pretty sad, especially since I work on campus and was thus a mere five minute walk away from the club’s activities. Alas, priorities must be made or life would be a mess.

In light of missing this boot camp, I had practiced really hard all week for this rehearsal. I’m actually a section leader for our club’s alto section, so I knew I had to make up for my absence. 

That’s when my day was ruined.

Our section was split up into two parts: a higher “alto 1” and a lower “alto 2”. I was to lead the higher alto 1 section in practicing one of our songs. I was feeling confident because I was sure I knew my part; I had easily put in 2-3 hours of practice on our newest repertoire just that day.

And then I cracked.

I couldn’t remember how one bar of our music went. I tried to get it but my mind was blank. I subsequently couldn’t remember how the rest of the page sounded. I decided to play it on the piano. It turns out my crappy printer had not printed out one line of the musical staff. If you’ve ever played music, you know that missing just one line completely changes the music like as if you begin to speak a different language.

I was kind of really devastated. To make matters worse, one of the alto 1’s I was supposed to help is actually co-president of the club. I felt so nervous around her; I hate to let people down.

But I did. For someone reason, I blurted out that I had heard that the practice on Saturday had only gotten up to the part before I messed up and was thus uncomfortable with the next part. I don’t even know why I said that… Well actually, I’m quite sure I said that because I didn’t want to say “I’m sorry, I went over this but I still can’t do it.”

My self-esteem has been severely damaged. On my walk home from A Cappella I could only think of how badly I was handling my so-called executive position. I really felt inadequate. I really hate feeling inadequate… This isn’t even my first time as a section leader. I was a section leader last term, too. My fellow alto section leader is amazing. She takes control and has such a powerful personality! I want to learn from her and do as well as she does, but I just feel like I’m really useless right now.

And now I’m just publicly wallowing in shame because writing stuff makes me feel better about life and I haven’t posted anything on this blog for awhile. My posts usually have more intellectual value, but I guess it’s okay to rant once in a while.

I’m not looking for sympathy. I just want to use this blog as a medium to express myself.

I will do better next week.

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Let’s play tag!

I’ve been tagged by Karen in the game of blogger’s Q&A!

So to follow Karen’s example, I’m going to begin by naming the people I tag and then presenting them with their questions, followed by my answers to Karen’s questions. If you are tagged and wish to participate, all you have to do is answer the questions below in a new blog post and then tag someone else to answer your own set of questions! This is purely for fun and you really don’t have to if you don’t want to.

I tag: mothersviews , carrieslager, and thinktank101

Here are my questions:

1. What do you think about the 2012 end of world “crisis”? Is it hogwash? A misunderstood interpretation of the Mayan calendar?

2. If the world were to really  end, what’s one thing you’d like to do before you die?

3. What’s your best advice to new bloggers?

4. If Pinnochio lies, does his nose grow?

5. What’s one thing you could not live without in your daily life?

6. What’s the most interesting news you’ve read/heard about recently?

7. Do you believe in love at first sight? At what point can one consider oneself “in love”?

8. What do you think of reality television?

9. How many countries have you visited? Which would you like to visit?

10. What is your favourite outdoor activity?

11. What’s stopping you?

 

Here are my answers to Karen’s questions:

1.  Did you hear about the swimmer that interrupted The Boat Race in England?  Do you think it is right to conduct a protest in such a manner or is there a better way of getting your point across?

I hadn’t heard about it until I read the Wiki article you linked to and did some research on my own. I think it was a terrible way to protest. Not only did the swimmer but himself in danger, but he also endangered the crews. I also felt that his interruption led to a chain of events that was very unfortunate for the Oxford team. That race didn’t seem fair at all, and I feel like the protester only got attention. There was no clear motive to his ‘protest,’ except that he was an elitist?

2.  What is the one thing you wish your teacher had taught you in school?

Time management. Or perhaps they did teach that but it never really sunk in. 😀

3. Which 2 people would you most want to tag and why?

In the world of online bloggers in general? I would say eatyourkimchi, because they’re kind of like celebrities to me and they’re an awesome husband-wife duo!

4. If you give money to a charity, which one and why do you do it?

I don’t regularly give money to a charity, but the mentor team I’m part of regularly does fundraisers for the Canadian Mental Health Association. We picked this charity because we feel mental health issues are issues that are very real but often forgotten in place of more pathenogenic health issues.

5. Why do you blog?

Because I love to daydream a lot. I do it so much I figured it’s more productive to put those thoughts into writing than stare at my ceiling for extensive periods of time. Heh. Plus it’s fun!

6.  Do you think it is important for the youth to go to University after school or is it better to get experience through trade colleges and apprenticeships?

O000h, I actually have a blog post about this topic coming up. Long story short, I don’t like the idea of students going to university studying something they don’t even like because they feel like it’s the only way they will succeed in life. I feel that if a student has a true passion for a career they could pursue via trade colleges or apprenticeships, they should do that instead.

7. What is your most vivid memory from when you were a child (say-under 12)?

I fell down the stairs once when I was 5-6 years old. It hurt a lot. I remember my mom hugging me and crying as I cried. Probably because it was literal an entire flight of stairs… and they weren’t carpeted either.

8. What is your number one item on your bucket list?

Decide what I want to do with my life as I pass the halfway mark of my first university degree.

9. When writing, do you find you have a particular word (or a few words) that you tend to overuse?  If so, which ones?

Hmm, I haven’t really thought about that. I probably do, but I can’t really think of any that really stick out to me. This would probably be a good topic for me to constructive criticism on, though.

10. Do you have an alter ego?

I’d say yes, but nothing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde worthy.

11. How do you really feel when people offer you their ‘constructive criticism‘?

I welcome constructive criticism and am grateful to anyone who offers theirs to me. I am always looking to improve myself, so I don’t mind at all. I would  mind if the criticism was less constructive and  borderlined negative, though.

 

…That concludes my tagged blog post! Please feel free to tag yourself if you want to answer some/all of the questions listed above. Just let me know with a comment so I can read your post. Thanks for reading!

-aJ

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