6 May


Above is a picture I took in Vinales in Cuba back in 2008.  It was so so dry there and hot.  Hot and dry.  The tobacco farmers used some turn of the century methods to farm – I wonder if this will be changing now that the U.S. situation is changing there.

Photos.  I have awakened to photos – taking them and looking at the work of others.  I have long liked looking at photos and yet and still it seems awakened somehow.

I have been thinking about how my life gets so wrapped up in one thing and tunnel visioned – the downtown school and my issues there of late, for example.  It does make sense this wrapped up-ness because there goes my income, such as it was, and also any work place socializing.  Up in smoke really.  Gone, not to come back.  I have been down this road more times than I can count actually, more often than most I know.

I keep forgetting that the world is bigger than that.  Seems obvious, yes?  Of course the world is bigger than that.  When I was in high school a century ago, I would get all wrapped up and stressed about a social studies assignment.  “Remember, Karen,” said Mr. George, my hot social studies and homeroom teacher, “One billion people in China don’t care.”


I find that extremely comforting really.  Photographs really tell stories of the world, yes?    My desire to learn more and more that is outside my tunnel vision is huge.  But I get wrapped up and nihilistic and lonely and hopeless.  That’s a fact that is.

But then – like London.  Let’s say London.  I could go there again and get wrapped up in the architecture, the museums, the bookshops, the Queen and all the rest of it.  And my tunnel back here – the one with cycles that I keep repeating and repeating – that would be smaller, yes?

The geographic cure in a way.

I realize that I have never been settled into a work situation – a situation where I felt safe, secure, like a layoff wasn’t imminent or like in a factory really, I wasn’t going to be replaced because  I couldn’t make the donut holes fast enough or the donuts didn’t evaluate me in a universally positive way.

I love chit chat and the blah blah that goes into a teachers’ lunchroom/breakroom/prep room.  Teachers squished in there, most with interests that make them happier than teaching but alas, they gotta eat, right?  Smart folks generally.  I need that, that slice of life, people around, people interacting.  I would get that from classes sometimes too – my most recent class (‘get out, you are not a 5/5 teacher all of the time and we can’t have that.   Pack your lunch pail and go.’)., a higher level (two students still insisted I spoke too fast, did not explain well.  If this downtown school doesn’t get an average of 5/5 or 4.72/5 then the multi national owner will descend with a hammer, I guess) and I got along just so well.  Bing bang boom.  I had them writing essays and reading newspaper articles out of The New York Times.  We discussed issues.  Way hipper and smarter than I will ever be, these young folks were lawyers and engineers and university students from different parts of the world.  That class flowed and we did more and more challenging work.  Uh yes, I thought, I’ve found my groove again and maybe I can keep the class through the summer when numbers are high and this will be like a real part-time job and I can save a bit of money and –


This week all I have had is a bit of tutoring with my lovely tutees but other than that I have been wondering the streets or binge watching, ‘Web Therapy’ (funny,  you should watch it).


It also turned out to be the week that a friend decided to tell me some stuff that well, fair enough, people have to say what they have to say.

Meh, life.  The world is giant and big, even.  It is a giant and big world.

Interacting with other people – interacting, not just observing the interaction (earlier this evening a guy and a  girl on Kitsilano Beach were balancing each other in some pretty amazing positions.  She supported him with just her outstretched legs at one point!  A remarkable world).  The relentless thrum of my brain and then I am at my student S’s last night and she needs to prepare for provincial exams and boom, I am out of my head and back in the land of the living.

Tomorrow late afternoon is D., who is also preparing for provincials.  It will be the first time she will be writing them – she is doing hers in June, three full days for goodness sakes.

Oh and on Saturday I am doing a 2.5 hour food tour of Gastown for only $15! ($59 for most folks).  This will be fun and interesting I think.  Not sure about the fish or beer but the tortellini, ice cream, and maple syrup will be divine no doubt.  Yay for Meetup.



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