I’m sooooo glad to be home! My husband and I spent a week at his parents’ house for Christmas and believe it or not, this is the first year in my entire life that I haven’t gone home at Christmas. While I was at the in-laws’ in the States I spent my time reading my first book for the Canadian Book Challenge. I think it’s absolutely amazing that I still love L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables just as much now as I did as a little girl. I think it’s the nostalgic quality that gets me, but I can’t really put my finger on it. I was a bit surprised at the racism and classism (is that a word?) at the very beginning of the book but the rest of the story completely eclipses those elements in the end. Montgomery’s description of the nature surrounding Green Gables reminds me of my own farm upbringing and all of the time I used to spend exploring the ravine behind my house. I think the most striking thing about the story though, is that now that I know about ADHD I think that Anne has it! I realize that a character in a book can’t have a neuro-chemical disorder unless the author says so but Anne’s dreaminess, imagination, and multiple scrapes are exactly how I was as a child! Maybe that’s why she’s so loveable…because she is so flawed. In any case it’s a good thing that Montgomery wrote several Anne books because I just want to keep reading about Anne. Whether or not I have time to do that with five English courses on the go is another matter altogether!
Baby Steps December 13, 2007
I’m supposed to be working on two essays and an assignment. What am I doing? I’m looking up knitting patterns and researching Canadian children’s literature. I’m finished my exams for the term and now I have all kinds of time on my hands before I have to run my after-school program. One thing I’ve learned about managing my ADHD is that I have to have structure. The busier I am, the more likely I am to get things done. I suppose it’s because when I have all kinds of time open I end up saying “oh well, I can just do it later or tomorrow, or whenever…I’ve got lots of time!”. When I’m super-busy and I know that I only have a one hour block of time in which to do a reading or work on a piece of writing then I get it done because there is no room for procrastination. That’s not to say that I never procrastinate when I’m busy, in fact I do it quite frequently, but when I’m on the ball I can organize my time better when I’m busy. I need to be more careful about giving myself deadlines and not to let my professors give me “open” due dates when I get an extension on an assignment because I just drag it out forever. I should be on vacation from school at this point and instead I’ve got all these papers hanging over my head. One of the papers I need to write is only three pages long and I have done way too much research already. I’ve psyched myself out on writing it way too many times now because I can’t seem to focus my thoughts into just three pages! I will write it today. That is what I will do today. Baby steps right?
Canadian Book Challenge December 8, 2007
Well, so far my blog seems to be about challenges. I’ve stumbled across a blogger who is hosting a Canadian Book Challenge. Participants are trying to read 13 Canadian books (books by Canadians and/or about Canadians) before next Canada Day. Since I’m crazy about Canadian Children’s Literature I decided to take the challenge and focus on children’s literature. I have to admit that the first book I will be reading is a bit of a cheat since I have to read it for the first day back at my children’s literature class after the holidays and I’m sure I read it at least five times as a kid but hopefully that won’t count against me! When I’ve done my reading (which I plan to do over the holidays while visiting my in-laws in Michigan) I will post about my reading.
Walk December 2, 2007
I miss hiking! I know the theme is walk but to me, hiking is just walking on a larger scale so it counts. I grew up on a farm on the Niagara Escarpment so I spent quite a few weekends as a child traipsing around in the ravine behind my house or hiking on the Bruce Trail with my dad. To catch the school bus we had to walk 1/4 mile to the end of our driveway. I even went for walks along one of the sideroads close to my house.
Since then I’ve moved to Toronto and my walking generally consists of walking back and forth between work, school, home, stores and the subway station. My husband and I used to go hiking on the weekends on the trails here in Toronto (yes, there are many ravines full of trails here believe it or not) or on trails outside of the city but recently we haven’t done any hiking at all.
I suppose it stems from being too busy. I’m running the after school care program and lifeguarding at a school while pursuing my English degree full-time so I spend an awful lot of time away from home and an awful lot of time sitting on my butt reading English literature instead of walking. Because I’m not working full-time, my husband has had to start working a few extra jobs on the side in order to support us (which I love him for…a lot) and so neither of us has much time to go walking or hiking.
Sometimes we go for a walk around our neighbourhood, which is really nice. We did that yesterday morning and it was so cold that our legs were numb but it was fantastic anyways.
What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail? December 1, 2007
This was the very first challenge on the Sunday Scribblings blog and it also happens to be the one that inspired me to begin. If I knew I would not fail I would write. Yes, I know, I write all the time as a student but I’m talking about really writing, as in authorship.
Ever since I was a little girl I have harboured a secret desire to be an author. I have piles of old notebooks and pieces of paper filled with characters that I created, floor plans (because how am I supposed to write a great story about a bunch of girls if I don’t know what their bedrooms look like?!), and the beginnings of novels, usually about twelve-year-old girls. I also have journals going back to grade five or so. Nothing ever got finished though, and I’ve found that over the years my writing really tapered off.
I got scared. Teachers in elementary and secondary school started putting negative comments like “Rebecca doesn’t apply herself”, “bright but lazy” and “I know you are capable of so much more” on my report cards. I started getting this paralyzing fear of failing in my schoolwork and the solution was to just not hand anything in at all rather than risk handing something in and receiving a less than stellar mark. (Yes, I am aware that this is not logical, and I have been working hard to get over this!)
As it turns out, the comments on the report card and the inability to finish things (or even get started in some cases) stems from the fact that I have ADHD. In the past few months I have started treatment and I am beginning to face things that have seemed impossibly scary in the past. One of these things is writing. So here I am. Writing. I will attempt to keep writing, even if it’s only to complete the Sunday Scribbling challenge each week.
A great big hello to the blogosphere! I am taking the rather large leap into the blogging world with a fairly unfocused blog where I’ll write about all kinds of things near and dear to my heart. I can’t guarantee I’ll write often or regularly (although those are the goals!) and I can’t guarantee my writing will be good or even interesting but I guess if you’re not interested you can just stop reading right?
So what inspired me to start a blog? Well, I’m not sure how I stumbled across the blog in the first place, but I came across a blog called Sunday Scribblings , which challenges its readers to write about a theme posted every week and then post it on their own blogs and link to the Sunday Scribblings blog. I’d like to try that challenge and so I had to have a blog, and while I’m here I might as well write about some other stuff too!