September 28, 2005

Mount Seymour Fieldtrip...
Today we had another fieldtrip in Plants and Animals of BC. We spent 1.25 hours driving up to Mount Seymour to look at plants for an hour, just to spend an hour on the road back home. Yup, I saw trees, green shrubs, a few ferns and some moss. True enough the the percentage of the plant species changed, but still, they were the same plants! The view of Vancouver would've been nicer, except for the cloud which was so wonderfully placed on the mountain. When we arrived, we couldn't even see half way across the parking lot.
Oh well, off to Vertebrate Physiology and Anatomy.

September 24, 2005

Last night at my uni was the annual concert called Dis-O(rientation). It's basically like the final frosh event at a larger university. I got a free ticket for the concert, because I was one of the first 60 (out of 75) people who went to the Student union's AGM two weeks ago. The main act was Matthew Good. He did a pretty good concert, although it was a bit shorter than what I expected (about 45 minutes). There were a few other bands that played, most of whom I didn't hear and hadn't heard of. Hedley played as well, the lead singer being Jacob Hoggard from here (he came in 3rd in Canadian Idol).
The stupid thing about Dis-O this year is that there was no in-out like they've had in the past. So, there were people who arrived at 3:30 in t-shirts, when it was hot and sunny, and didn't leave until Matt Good was finished at 10:20.

September 21, 2005

New Job, Moon Festival...
First off I've got a new job. I'll be working as the French work-study student at my uni, which basically means that I'll be organising and hosting French language activites such as lunches, and movies. Yup, I'll be paid to watch French movies! I'll also be updating the French language section on the university website, and working with the work-study students for Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. My "interview" was more like, "you've got a great CV, here's what we're going to do".
Last night in my Mandarin class we celebrated the Moon Festival by eating mooncakes, drinking tea, reading a poem in Mandarin, and having Chinese candy. We celebrated it with the Mandarin 201 students, and some Chinese international students as well. I also learned how to play MahJong, which was really cool.

September 16, 2005

The Zoo...
I had two more field trips this week. The first was some forest trails somewhere. We basically looked at native species to BC for an hour.
Today was a field trip to the Zoo! We had an hour long tour of the zoo, then we spent an hour observing our selected animals; I had chosen the Zebu Cow to observe. It's the breed of cow that's revered in Hindu parts of India, as being a holy cow. So I spent 30 minutes watching a cow chew its cud, and another 30 minutes watching the cows watch me. Yup, that should be enough to do a 3-page write up!

September 12, 2005

Breaking Spaghetti...
Ever wondered why spaghetti breaks into three or more pieces? Well, now you can find out why.

September 11, 2005

Farm Fieldtrip...
This was my first week (albeit part-week) back at uni. I skipped my first class, French linguistics, and I didn't miss a thing except maybe 2 hours of nap time. On Friday I had my first of five field trips this semester. We went to the Dairy Education and Research Centre, which is run by UBC and Agriculture Canada. We basically tromped around with plastic booties on, walking through cow waste (semi-solid and liquid) while looking at calves and dairy cows. We talked about the centre's research into animal welfare, and increasing dairy production without some of the negative benefits.
This upcoming week is a visit to the zoo (for Vertebrate Physiology and Anatomy), and a trip to a bog (for Plants and Animals of BC).

September 07, 2005

Back at Uni...
I'm back at uni now, as I arrived home just yesterday afternoon. I skipped my first class (French linguistics -I'm not missing much), but went to my Mandarin class later in the evening. I went home and said hi to my family, unpacked a bit, had dinner (Morrocan chicken!), then went off to class.
Today I had Plants and Animals of BC, followed by Vertebrate Physiology and Anatomy. They're both going to be OK classes, but I think that Verts will be more interesting. We'll see. The Plants and Animals one has a lot of memorization of Latin names, which doesn't interest me at all (basically I just need the class for the credits to graduate this year).

September 04, 2005

The Goodbyes...
Tomorrow (Monday) is my last day of work, and I`m leaving Ottawa on Tuesday morning. However, there are a lot of guides who are leaving early, or who won`t be working the last day. This whole week has been filled with goodbyes, and goodbye dinners and parties. Today was my last day working in the Peace Tower, and tomorrow is my last day guiding. My last tour will feel a bit weird. I hope that I`ll have a good group.
After Thursday`s events, Friday evening brought dessert at Oh So Good (Praline and Cream Cheesecake), followed by a housewarming and final party for Véro. Yesterday I met up with Kyla, her boyfriend Aaron from Bristol, UK, and Chantal*. I met both Kyla and Chantal while I was working in France last year. Anyway, we spent the afternoon together, in the Market. I went for dinner at the Horn of Africa (an Ethiopian resto) with about a dozen other guides. We followed it up with dessert at Zak`s. This evening was Avant-Garde, a Russian/communist bar (in fun) with cheap drinks. I had a Russian beer, and a Uzbekistani meat/onion thing which was really good. Tomorrow there`s some sort of final goodbye event in the works as well.
Needless to say I`m going to sleep well when I finally get home. Although, my first class actually starts 50 minutes after I get off the plane on Tuesday. I think I`ll skip that one (it`s only French linguistics).
*As a side note, it turns out that Chantal knows the brother of one of the guides that I`m working with over the summer. She also met Marc a few years back in Edmonton. What a small world!

September 02, 2005

Into the Prime Minister`s Office...
Well, yesterday was a cool day, by any standards. It started with a free lunch because the new pages are in training, and get free meals every day. Sometime around dinner, a man came in with a box of St. Hubert chicken for us. It turns out that the pages had dinner at Parliament, and that we got their left over dinners as well. The pages are definately better taken care of than the guides!
Just after I finished my last tour, and sat down in the guide lounge there was a call on the guide phone. We were all asked to come out to the guide kiosk, immediately. We got out there, and one of the constables had decided to take us to the Prime Minister`s Office, since it`s the end of the summer and we`ll be going home soon. So, I quickly ran to get my cambera (duh!).
Needless to say, we all took photos of ourselves in the Prime Minister`s desk, and browsed his bookshelf. We then went into the room where the Cabinet meets, and took a look around there as well. Needless to say, it was cool. It`s amazing to think of the decisions that have been made in those rooms.
After work, I headed to the Château Laurier with Meena, Sarah, and Natalie (other guides) for some drinks and desserts. The Château is the most expensive hotel in Ottawa, right beside Parliament. I had a capuccino, and then we had a chocolate fondu.
After Château Laurier, we headed to the Urban Well where we met up with some of the other guides. Because we`re all done very soon, there`s an event almost every night.