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[icon] a child's garden of wonder
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Time:05:19 pm
It would seem my use for livejournal has come to an end. One by one, friends have either stopped writing, or gone to write elsewhere. So I'm heading off...it makes sense, I had mara_b in high school, mairia for university, and now...


So, if you like reading about my daily life, the occasional rants, and rare creative writing, then this is the place for you.

If not...it's been swell. I can also be reached via email at mjblakley@mta.ca, should you feel the need to contact me.
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Time:01:35 am

You know the realization that things just aren't as good as they used to be? It's a terrible feeling.

I am, of course, talking about blankets. That's right, I'm in a bitter bout of nostalgia for blankets.

When I was fourteen or fifteen, my mum picked up this blue comforter from the BiWay. I miss that store. Anyway, it was the right size for a twin bed, and had stars printed on it. I think she meant for it to be used in the daycare, but I swiped that thing almost immediately. It looked good in my bedroom, and matched my multi-coloured walls. At the time they were painted yellow, violet, green, and blue. This came after my Yellow Submarine inspired mural, and before the lavender/royal blue combo with black and silver furniture.

I miss the BiWay and I miss my old room.

In the late winter of grade ten Mum and Dad decided that I needed a new bed, and a new duvet. The bed was this awesome black frame thing from Ikea, and a great improvement over my metal cot+board+mattress combination. The duvet we bought wasn't filled with real down, due to my allergies. Dad took Katie and I out to Orleans to buy some new bedding. Katie had moved home following her two year stint at McMaster, and I can remember her telling my that whatever I picked, it needed to be good enough for university life in a few years. This kept me from buying anything too babyish.

And then we found it. This gorgeous duvet cover in rainbow checkerboard. Bright, cheerful, and the kind of colours that would go with any set of sheets I could find. It was soft, too, and closed with wooden buttons, an improvement over a zipper because buttons are much easier to replace. I loved it. Paired with my blue blanket and an abundance of pillows, it made my bed one of the coziest and happiest places to be.

Those blankets survived, and help me to survive the rest of high school and my undergrad. After Jason and I moved into together, the blankets went home, kept for visits while we shared an increasingly well-kept double bed in various apartments around Sackville, and later Kingston. I didn't notice the changes until recently.

My rainbow duvet became very thin, and eventually ripped and tore, the kind of wound that can't be repaired. I carefully washed it and put it away, promising myself that I would make something, anything, out of the remaining fabric.

I brought my blue star blanket back to Kingston on Thursday, wanting something lighter for our bed. Only it's become rough, and covered in fabric pills, much like a blanket of Jason's that I made him toss following our engagement. Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. Is it time to let go of my childhood, to surrender to adult comforts? We sleep in a grown-up bed with grown-up sheets, in what can arguably be called our first grown-up apartment. And yet it is filled with childhood relics. A few stuffed animals, picture books, old figurine, scrapbooks and writing journals. If there was a fire, what would I save? Probably Norah, my cabbage patch doll, my grandmother's engagement ring, and my wedding bouquet. Perhaps a framed photograph from about 1987 or 1988, of my sisters and I on the front lawn after a community fun-fair or trip to the Exhibition. There are numerous other things that can't be replaced, but at the end of the day, they're just things. My blankets are just my blankets. They have served their purpose. I will find other treasures, other comforts.

And now, to the comfort of my bed, the soft cotton sheets, and my husband's arms. Perhaps growing up isn't always so difficult.
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Time:05:39 pm
What I'm reading: A Library List

And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families
Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
Spiritual Midwifery
Not My Boy: A Father, a Son, and One Family's Journey with Autism
The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes
Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats
Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility
Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage

Still waiting on Cheap, Exit Through the Gift Shop(I'm now seventeenth on the waiting list. I started up at forty-nine), Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and The Liar's Club, among other titles.
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Time:04:41 pm
A. Age: 24, turning 25 in three months!

B. Bed size: Double, although I only get a tiny bit of the edge cause Jason is a bed hog.

C. Chore you hate: Dishes. Eff.

D. Dogs: Ringo the Lackadaisical Standard Poodle. He's technically my Dad's dog, but I love him like crazy cakes. I am going to write a book about him. He's nine months old and weighs about eighty-five pounds.

E. Essential start to your day: Tea.

F. Favorite color: Purple.

G. Gold or silver: Silver.

H. Height: 5'4.

I. Instruments: Voice, and once upon a time, the guitar.

J. Job title: Education Student/Artist/Radical Homemaker.

K. Kids: Not yet, but hopefully soon!

L. Live: Kingston, ON

M. Mom’s name: Heather

N. Nicknames: Boo, Mimi, Miss B

O. Overnight hospital stays: A few emergency stays here and there for asthma.

P. Pet peeve: When my husband forgets to write his schedule on the calendar. People who talk out loud in church when it is silent prayer time.

Q. Quote from a movie: You ruined my new jacket! Kill him a LOT! (Thanks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Paul Reuben's amazing delivery.)

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: Two sisters and one brother in law. Plus the two kids I 'adopted' when I was about eight.

T. Time you wake up: These days it's about 6:30 in the morning so I can go to Aquafit.

U. Underwear: Cotton panties from Jacob. Simple, but still sexy.

V. Vegetables you dislike: Corn, beets.

W. What makes you run late: My husband. There's Blakley time (precise to the second) and Swan time (half an hour to an hour late).

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Wrist, arm, chest, digestive system. And a few ultrasounds for tumors and an MRI and a CAT scan.

Y. Yummy food you make: Black bean enchiladas, salmon cakes with potato wedges, carrot ginger soup, pancakes with blueberry sauce, banana cake with coconut icing.

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Polar bears, or sea mammals like seals, sea lions, sea otters, etc. And lemurs.
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Time:02:07 pm
/lhfl/BFLBEWLFBLEWBFLEWL/FBLWEBFLDA C.M s>NCLKSNC.MX SA/.X/anx;kns./c .sfc;sanf;kw;rb31pirhp31r;. eflnf


I hate online applications. I fucking hate the website 'apply to education'. I live in Kingston, and for the time being, am ONLY applying to the public board in this city. I live a ten minute walk from the board office. Why can't I just walk my application package down there instead of using a stupid complicated website that keeps on messing with my documents and wont accept my credit card?!?!?!!?

Did I also mentioned that two of the people who were supposed to write me references both emailed to say 'oops, sorry, we forgot/we're busy/we're going to screw you over just a little bit' and I can't get away with just providing contact info, oh no I need the real thing, a heap of glowing praise like every other fucking applicant.

today is not a good day. if anyone needs me I'll be sobbing in my bed.

(Yes, I know that last night was totally emo and i don't care.)
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Time:10:01 pm
Finally, vacation time.

I have been going back and forth and back and forth about taking a trip to sackville. I miss my Bagtown family...lulu and bibi and their big brothers and their wonderful parents. And Jennie and Paul, and alex and Margaret, and people from church, and people from mount a, and theatre folk, and oh god the food and the air and the buildings and I just want to go home. Jason and I never I intended to stay in Ontario this long without a visit...but finances have kept us back.

And I'm just about at the point where I say "screw it" and go anyway, if I can get my job applications finished by Saturday.

Anyone have any via rail discount coupons??? Share some love?

It was my old boss posting on Facebook, telling us to visit...I don't want to wait until June. I want to see my girls before they forget me.
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Time:10:27 pm
I finished my last in-school practicum on Friday. I had a blast teaching intermediate (grade seven/eight). I worked as a generalist, which meant teaching Language Arts, Science, Health, Visual Art, as well as math and drama from time to time. I taught a full course-load and am quite exhausted. My students are now on March break, but I have three more weeks of work before I get my break. I begin my alternate practicum tomorrow, working for the English theatre education department at the NAC. First week=march break camp, second week=working with the curriculum and next year's season, and third week=work project. I am excited, because i get to work at the NAC, and because I may have a job with a puppet theatre troupe as a result of this experience.

I still haven't decided where I;m spending my break: a trip back east, or something closer to home (aka Toronto or Montreal). All I know is I am tired and deserve some time off. Then it is Queen's for two more weeks and then I will be a teacher. woot woot.
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Time:09:26 pm
My grade sevens are doing a persuasive writing unit in language arts. We started with short opinion pieces exploring different perspectives on issues like facebook, video games, cell phones, etc, and are currently working on film reviews.

Friday is a bit of a throwaway day, since it is the ski trip, and 2/3 of the class will be gone. I still have to plan, but it needs to be 'filler' as opposed to heavy content.

I decided to plan a lesson on PSAs, because they're excellent examples of persuasive writing (and it blends with media literacy).

Here's some of my faves from the eighties and nineties:

The House Hippo
Astro from the Planet Danger (I think this was a War Amps one)
Stay Alert and Stay Safe
"We Are Girls"
"What's your thing?"
Doncha put it in your mouth

And some of the creepy ones: the one with the wire brain, and the kind of trippy one "why be you when you can be me". I also remember an anti-smoking add that involved a super industrial looking pool being filled with water as a voice-over guy listed all the different toxins found in cigarettes. Three divers then jumped in the pool but never came out. Scientists with clipboards made notes and then walked away. That was it. Does anyone else remember this, or was I just on some kind of trip? This ad made me super scared of swimming pools, combined with than damn Are You Afraid of the Dark episode, "The Curse of the Dead Man's Float", which is still terrifying as can be. I wouldn't go swimming (or pee anywhere with a floor drain) for months after that.

Am I missing anything important?

(I also remember Mormon ads that ran during Saturday morning cartoons. Those were just odd.)
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Time:06:57 am
grade seven=awesome. I think I have found where I want to be. middle school. with the tweens and pre-pubescent kiddies, some in the middle of their first awkward growth spurt, others so far away that I feel like I should ask them if they prefer cbc kids or tvo and give them a juice box.

I think we could all use a juice box.

given that my middle school years (tail end of the churchill experience+ two years at broadview) were kind of a nightmare at times, I think I understand why I want to teach this age. in the immortal words of my own seventh grade diary, "being twelve bites". but a good teacher makes all the difference in the world.

yesterday I realized something very important: these kids are still kids. minimal social bullshit, unlike what I had to put up with every. single. day. when I taught high school. no attitude, no already-seen-it jaded cynicism, a healthy dose of innocence and play and curiosity. the social divides are starting to form, but it's not the focus of my class. hell, these guys still go outside to play in the snow! I remember doing that. the run away and scream and invent games and come back energized and ready to learn. am I seeing things in rose coloured glasses? maybe. am I just relieved to be anywhere but gloucester? maybe. but for the first time since I started this program I have a genuine feeling of "I can do this, and do it well."

now if you'll excuse me, I have to collect examples of persuasive writing, including "everybody's free (to wear sunscreen)". it's fitting, that song came out when I was in grade seven....remember 1999? good times.
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Time:08:22 am
Crappy conditions on the Rideau canal=broken wrist. I start teaching grade seven on monday. This is going to be fun.
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[icon] a child's garden of wonder
View:Recent Entries.
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