October 31, 2005

Les Félixs...
Last night was the Gala de l'ADISQ, which is basically the Quebec version of the Grammies.
The winner for the best group, and highest selling record of the year was Les Trois Accords!!! I wrote an entry about them in the summer. They're one of my favourite French groups, partly for their funny lyrics.
The winner for the best song of the year was Les Etoiles Filantes by Les Cowboys Fringants, another amazing (pro-)Quebec (sovereignty) group. They do a lot of work for Third World countries, and often sing about social problems.

October 29, 2005

I saw this list of "what to know when meeting Canadians" on the internet from an international relations textbook, and thought it was interesting. Especially the first one, which I find to be very true.

- If you are knocked by, or knocked into someone, it is customary to apologize regardless of who is to blame for the contact.

- Anglophone Canadians often begin informal meetings by talking about inoffensive topics, such as the weather or transportation.

- Be punctual for meetings and appointments, as promptness is valued. In French areas, time is more relaxed. However, you will be expected to arrive at the appointed time, even if the French attending the meeting don't.

- If you are from the U. S., don't say, "we Americans", inferring you are including your Canadian hosts or guests in your reference. Canada is a distinct country with its own wonderful history and culture.

- Canadians who are primarily English-speaking are commonly referred to as "Anglophones." Since many English-speaking Canadians are not of British descent, reserve the term "British Canadian" for immigrants to Canada from the U.K. Or, omit the qualifier unless it is relevant.

- Tolerance, calmness, and reasonableness are behaviours valued by many Canadians. Becoming forceful or outwardly frustrated will not help close a deal.

- If your natural tendency is large sweeping arm gestures, restrain yourself when meeting and talking with Canadians.

- Canadians are a private people. Invitations to private homes are rare. Occasionally, in the western provinces, you may be invited to someone's home. If you are invited, you may take candy, flowers, or liquor to the host or hostess.

October 27, 2005

I finally finished my midterms for this semester. I got my Mandarin midterm back, and was happy with the result (97%!). I don't think I did nearly so well on my French linguistics or Vertebrates midterms. I'd be happy with a B on those two exams. We'll see.

October 24, 2005

Ben, y'a vraiment rien à écrire. Rien d'interéssant s'passe dans ma vie ces jours-ci. C'est toujours la fac, les devoirs, et les examens d'mi-semestre. En plus, des presentations -un de chinois demain soir, pis un en linguistique française la semaine prochaine. J'ferrai le Chti, le patois qui s'parle au Nord de la France. Ben ichi pour aprinde el viu parlache picard, ou même acater un life...

October 19, 2005

I'm sure that most of you have no idea what birdsicles are, so let me explain. In my Plants and Animals of BC course, we have to most of the mammals and birds that are found in BC (the western province of Canada). So to help us learn the various birds, and a few mammals as well, the biology lab has prepared birdsicles. They're birds that have been stuffed and mounted on sticks, so that you can look at them from all angles. In lab today we got to check out the birdsicles, which was actually pretty interesting.

October 18, 2005

Well, I should probably write something, but I don't know what. There's not been anything extremely interesting or exciting. I just came back from my Mandarin Chinese class, which is still the most interesting one that I'm taking this semester. I've got a midterm in it on Thursday, so I'm going to have to study a fair bit tomorrow.
Ah, I've finally got a French party date set for the French students at my uni. I'm putting on a party one evening with French food, music, and hopefully some Quebecois dancing. I think it'll be fun, if I can get people to show up!

October 13, 2005

We all, well almost all, love our caffeine. But do you know the symptoms of caffeine poisoning? Did you know that it would take 117 cups of Starbucks Grande Cappuccino in one sitting to kill me by caffeine? It doesn't sound like too bad a way to go, although it would be a rather expensive way to go.

October 11, 2005

Motorcycle Diaries...
Last night, after another turkey dinner with my grandparents, I finally had the chance to see The Motorcycle Diaries, a film I've been wanting to see for almost a year now. It's the story of Che Guevara when he was 22/23, and travelling around South America, from his home in Argentina to Columbia. It shows a bit of how this trip and the injustice he saw in the various countries, changed his life. I like the quote from the film, "You gotta fight for every breath and tell death to go to hell".
But my favourite is:
Let the world change you... and you can change the world

October 09, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving...
It's Thanksgiving weekend, which means lots of food, and a day off from uni! On Saturday evening my family had a big turkey dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's place with two of the cousins.
Tomorrow (Monday) evening we'll be having another turkey dinner. I'll be stuffed by the end of the weekend, but I don't really mind. The more turkey and stuffing the better. And then there's that apple pie. Mmmmm...

October 06, 2005

I'm taking Mandarin (Chinese) this semester at uni, and I've finally got proof that my younger sister has been gunning for top position in the house since the age of two!
When my sister was young, before she could say my name, she would simply call me didi. The Mandarin word for "younger brother" is "didi" (fourth tone). That's it -proof that since the age of two, my sister has been calling me younger brother...
The world makes so much more sense now. Maybe I can finally deal with some of my self-confidence problems, lol!

October 01, 2005

Rabbit-Proof Fence...
I finally watched Rabbit-Proof Fence, a movie that I've been wanting to see for a while. It's the true story of three aboriginal girls in Australia who were taken away by the government to be trained as domestic workers. The three girls managed to escape, and make their way 1,500 miles through the Western Australian countryside and desert back to their home. Along the way they are hunted by the authorities, who try to out-smart the three children.
It's set in 1931, a time when the Australian government removed "half-caste" children from their homes "to save them from themselves", from what's called the "Lost Generation" today. Two of the three original girls are still alive today, and are still living in the Outback. It's a truly incredible story.