Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

Archive for April, 2010

Friday Follies …

I did not sleep well last night, and did not nap well today either. My brain is spinning 100 km/hr and I am not sure what to do now. I spent the morning with my spiritual adviser, Rev Joyce. We talked and that was about it. Then we prayed and I set off for the Dept.

There was nobody in the office when I got there and so I just came home. I did get my other two grades. I got an (A-) in Hermeneutics and a (B-) in Samuel – Old Testament studies.

My MA adviser did not write me back. And I don’t know how to read his silence on my request from the other night. Are they going to help me stay on or are they going to toss me out???

I don’t know.

That’s all for now. What should I do now???


Never Write in the middle of the night when the commmitte is in session …

My spirits are sinking fast. I don’t know where I stand at the moment academically. The warning signs are there, but no contact has been made in the form of punishment, but I don’t think it will be very long before it happens. Maybe someone in the department will step up and lobby for me to continue. But I am not going to lobby, it just doesn’t seem right to do that. Seeing that I rewrote those two papers on a lark and ended up with C grades…

I had complained to one of my spiritual advisers that I was not enjoying what I was doing, and the more I pray and think about it I am coming to the conclusion that a change may be in the works like the inevitable.

I’ve sent a couple of emails to several ministers in the city to sit down and talk with them about what I should do next and to see if they can help me reorient my life in another direction and put to use the 2 degrees I already have in some pastoral ministry capacity.

I am going to be canvasing the AIDS groups here in the city, I also thought about going to Toronto to see if I could find a job there, which would mean a dual household, not sure if that is feasible at the moment, but an English province is better suited to me than a bilingual province that demands bilingualism …

I also am going to check with the hospitals in the area to see if I can find a position in the pastoral ministry field at these locations. Lots to think about and ponder over the next few days.

Summer classes start on Monday and I am not sure I should show up and face someone telling me that I am no longer welcome. So there are still two days this week for news so we shall see what happens.

I know that there are jobs waiting for me in other provinces, but I can’t ask hubby to uproot when he just got accepted into the MA in Sociology for the fall. That would not be fair. But maybe I can find a good job that pays the bucks we need to be able to work where ever I want to work.

Any of you with suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

More to come, stay tuned…


The “C” Rule …

I broke the C rule … I imagine that I will be withdrawn from the program shortly. Not sure if they will allow me to stay in the program. This could be the end of my academic career…

C Rule

Graduate students who receive more than one C grade during the course of their studies will be withdrawn from the program unless continuation in the program is requested by the student’s program or Faculty and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Course-based programs in the John Molson School of Business apply a term-by-term GPA requirement. Students should refer to the section on Academic Standing in their program’s calendar entry. Students who have been withdrawn may apply for re-admission (see Re-Admission of Withdrawn Students in Graduate Registration section). Students who receive another C after re-admission will be withdrawn from the program and will not be considered for re-admission. Individual programs may have more stringent regulations; students should check their program’s entry or with the Graduate Program Director.

Re-Admission of Withdrawn Students

Students who have been withdrawn from a graduate program may wish to be considered for re-admission into the program. Normally, students must have been withdrawn from the program for a minimum of five terms in order to be reconsidered. If recommended by the program, these students will then be considered as a new admission, i.e., new application, transcripts etc.

Reinstatement of Withdrawn Students

Students who have been withdrawn from a graduate program may wish to submit a Student Request form requesting reinstatement to the program. This request is to be submitted for consideration during the same term in which the student was withdrawn.


The "C" Rule …

I broke the C rule … I imagine that I will be withdrawn from the program shortly. Not sure if they will allow me to stay in the program. This could be the end of my academic career…

C Rule

Graduate students who receive more than one C grade during the course of their studies will be withdrawn from the program unless continuation in the program is requested by the student’s program or Faculty and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Course-based programs in the John Molson School of Business apply a term-by-term GPA requirement. Students should refer to the section on Academic Standing in their program’s calendar entry. Students who have been withdrawn may apply for re-admission (see Re-Admission of Withdrawn Students in Graduate Registration section). Students who receive another C after re-admission will be withdrawn from the program and will not be considered for re-admission. Individual programs may have more stringent regulations; students should check their program’s entry or with the Graduate Program Director.

Re-Admission of Withdrawn Students

Students who have been withdrawn from a graduate program may wish to be considered for re-admission into the program. Normally, students must have been withdrawn from the program for a minimum of five terms in order to be reconsidered. If recommended by the program, these students will then be considered as a new admission, i.e., new application, transcripts etc.

Reinstatement of Withdrawn Students

Students who have been withdrawn from a graduate program may wish to submit a Student Request form requesting reinstatement to the program. This request is to be submitted for consideration during the same term in which the student was withdrawn.


Act as If (Redux) …

The weather right now is frightful. The snow began early this morning, on Tuesday. And at 10 p.m. this night, it is still snowing. It is cold, windy, rainy and snowy all at the same time. Just miserable. This is the kind of weather that keeps people from coming out to a meeting.

You really get to see who the dedicated people are on days like today. And just as I suspected my 10 core members of our Tuesday Beginners meeting people showed up for the early meeting. I can always count on them to come. As I was chair for the month of April. But at the business meeting tonight, things are not so rosy. Our numbers that have been down have taken a chunk of money from the kitty. We just barely made rent this month, in collection terms. We still have 3 months prudent reserve with about $100.00 extra in the bank, so we are good with that. But if our numbers don’t pick up in the coming weeks things may get dicey.

My topic for the night was “Act as if …” I had forgotten my beginners book on my way out tonight, so I went with what was in my head at the moment. So that’s what we talked about. Faking it until you make it.

I’ve been living on Acting as If for the last week. I am not a scholar, by any stretch of the imagination. I am not a writer of stellar papers, and I knew going into this last week, that my MA career was on the edge of being ended. My two grades came in that I was waiting on. The last one came in tonight. I made 2 C’s. That is not good news because I need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 to stay good in the program. I am hoping that the 2 grades for Hermeneutics and my OT class are above board. With this I am confident, because I have done well all semester so I should bump up my GPA with those 2 grades.

At least I know I passed, to a degree. Now I have to face my MA adviser and be told that I need to do better. I know what I have to do, if I want to succeed. I think I want to stay in school for the time being. I can’t afford to quit now. I am not fluent enough in French to get a job in this city. If I am truly honest, there are plenty of other cities I could move to tomorrow and get a job doing what I want to do with a career based on the two degrees I have at the moment.

We had a good speaker at the 8 o’clock meeting from the West Island. It was good to hear the message tonight. We had a good group of people show up, but the weather did not help matters tonight. My friend Dave was up from the States for the meeting tonight. It is always nice to see him. We get the odd “out of towner” now and then, more during the summer usually.

Other than than, there’s not much else to report.

More to come, stay tuned …


China lifts travel ban against people with HIV

By The Associated Press

BEIJING, China – China says it has lifted a 20-year travel ban that barred people with HIV and AIDS from entering the country.

China’s Cabinet, the State Council, said in a statement posted to its website late Tuesday that the government passed the new amendment to the Border Quarantine Law on April 19.

The revised law comes just days ahead of the opening of the Shanghai Expo, which expects to see millions of visitors from overseas.


OMG – WTF Spectrum

I saw this photo on  my friend Steph’s Blog: Real Euphoria.


Change …

It was a productive day today. I went to turn in my paper this morning, and returned all my library books. I am now free until the 3rd of May. One of my grades that I was waiting on came back. I got a (C) on my Origen paper. It’s not good, but it is passing. I imagine that I will be lectured by my MA adviser I haven’t been booted yet, and I am not going to stir the pot. I still need my other IP grade and then my two grades from this term.

I think it will be ok.

How do you like this new theme? It’s called 2010. Word Press rolled out this new theme today, and I kind of liked it. It took me a little time to figure out how to work the widgets, thank GOD I didn’t have to re-size all my images, that would have been a nightmare, because they are scattered all over the place. It was a simple switch from one theme to another. My widgets got saved and all I had to do was replace them where I wanted them to go. It’s all good.

Hubby is out at a party with his classmates and I still need to cook dinner. I was too wrapped up in fixing this new theme, so I am going to go eat now.

More to come, stay tuned…


Completion …

Another productive day was had by all. Hubby is well on his way to completing his next task for his classes. And tonight I finished my last paper for my OT class on Samuel. It wasn’t as difficult as I had first thought. I had all my books and notes written down and all my citations listed. It went pretty easily.

Tomorrow I turn in my paper and return the stack of books that have been sitting on my dining room table for weeks. And the wait continues to see whether or not I make it to the next semester. Let us Pray …

The next set of classes begins on the 3rd of May. I am registered for two classes, one is a graduate course and the other is not. It’s all good.

More tomorrow, stay tuned…


Saturday Late Late Edition …

So it’s late. I should be in bed reading and listening to the radio. In a few minutes. It has been a quiet weekend for us. We did a little supermarket safari today and hubby cooked us a nice dinner.

The day was spent lazing around the apartment. I have been working on my final paper for Samuel, which is due on Monday. It is coming along nicely. I’ve got 9 pages typed up at this hour. My notes translated really well, from my in class presentation, it’s a good thing I noted where my citations came from. Tomorrow will be another writing day and I should finish it up by tomorrow night some time. I am riding a wave of inspiration for this paper, I am hoping to carry my gpa further in this class. I just need to stay focused and not ramble or make any stupid mistakes.

That’s about it for the moment. I think I should get to bed.

More tomorrow. stay tuned…


Elton John’s letter to Ryan White, 20 years after his death from AIDS

Found: On The Ten and the Washington Post.

By Sir Elton John

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Twenty years ago this month, you died of AIDS. I would gladly give my fame and fortune if only I could have one more conversation with you, the friend who changed my life as well as the lives of millions living with HIV. Instead, I have written you this letter.

I remember so well when we first met. A young boy with a terrible disease, you were the epitome of grace. You never blamed anyone for the illness that ravaged your body or the torment and stigma you endured.

When students, parents and teachers in your community shunned you, threatened you and expelled you from school, you responded not with words of hate but with understanding beyond your years. You said they were simply afraid of what they did not know.

When the media heralded you as an “innocent victim” because you had contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, you rejected that label and stood in solidarity with thousands of HIV-positive women and men. You reminded America that all victims of AIDS are innocent.

When you became a celebrity, you embraced the opportunity to educate the nation about the AIDS epidemic, even though your only wish was to live an ordinary life.

Ryan, I wish you could know how much the world has changed since 1990, and how much you changed it.

Young boys and girls with HIV attend school and take medicine that allows them to lead normal lives. Children in America are seldom born with the virus, and they no longer contract it through transfusions. The insults and injustices you suffered are not tolerated by society.

Most important, Ryan, you inspired awareness, which helped lead to lifesaving treatments. In 1990, four months after you died, Congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, which now provides more than $2 billion each year for AIDS medicine and treatment for half a million Americans. Today, countless people with HIV live long, productive lives.

It breaks my heart that you are not one of them. You were 18 when you died, and you would be 38 this year, if only the current treatments existed when you were sick. I think about this every day, because America needs your message of compassion as never before.

Ryan, when you were alive, your story sparked a national conversation about AIDS. But despite all the progress in the past 20 years, the dialogue has waned. I know you would be trying to revive it if you were here today, when the epidemic continues to strike nearly every demographic group, with more than 50,000 new infections in the United States each year. I know you would be loudly calling for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy that was promised by President Obama but has not yet been delivered. I know you would reach out to young people. I know you would work tirelessly to help everyone suffering from HIV, including those who live on the margins of society.

It would sadden you that today, in certain parts of the United States, some poor people with AIDS are still placed on waiting lists to receive treatment. It would anger you that your government is still not doing enough to help vulnerable people with HIV and populations that are at high risk of contracting the virus, including sexually active teenagers. It would upset you that AIDS is a leading cause of death among African Americans.

It would frustrate you that even though hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive Americans are receiving treatment in your name, more than 200,000 don’t know their HIV-positive status, largely because of a lingering stigma surrounding the disease that prevents them from being tested. It would disappoint you that many teenagers do not have access to science-based HIV-prevention programs in school, at a time when half of new infections are believed to be among people under 25.

I miss you so very much, Ryan. I was by your side when you died at Riley Hospital. You’ve been with me every day since. You inspired me to change my life and carry on your work. Because of you, I’m still in the struggle against AIDS, 20 years later. I pledge to not rest until we achieve the compassion for which you so bravely and beautifully fought.

Your friend,

Elton

Sir Elton John, a Grammy- and Academy Award-winning artist, is the founder and chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


Elton John's letter to Ryan White, 20 years after his death from AIDS

Found: On The Ten and the Washington Post.

By Sir Elton John

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Twenty years ago this month, you died of AIDS. I would gladly give my fame and fortune if only I could have one more conversation with you, the friend who changed my life as well as the lives of millions living with HIV. Instead, I have written you this letter.

I remember so well when we first met. A young boy with a terrible disease, you were the epitome of grace. You never blamed anyone for the illness that ravaged your body or the torment and stigma you endured.

When students, parents and teachers in your community shunned you, threatened you and expelled you from school, you responded not with words of hate but with understanding beyond your years. You said they were simply afraid of what they did not know.

When the media heralded you as an “innocent victim” because you had contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, you rejected that label and stood in solidarity with thousands of HIV-positive women and men. You reminded America that all victims of AIDS are innocent.

When you became a celebrity, you embraced the opportunity to educate the nation about the AIDS epidemic, even though your only wish was to live an ordinary life.

Ryan, I wish you could know how much the world has changed since 1990, and how much you changed it.

Young boys and girls with HIV attend school and take medicine that allows them to lead normal lives. Children in America are seldom born with the virus, and they no longer contract it through transfusions. The insults and injustices you suffered are not tolerated by society.

Most important, Ryan, you inspired awareness, which helped lead to lifesaving treatments. In 1990, four months after you died, Congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, which now provides more than $2 billion each year for AIDS medicine and treatment for half a million Americans. Today, countless people with HIV live long, productive lives.

It breaks my heart that you are not one of them. You were 18 when you died, and you would be 38 this year, if only the current treatments existed when you were sick. I think about this every day, because America needs your message of compassion as never before.

Ryan, when you were alive, your story sparked a national conversation about AIDS. But despite all the progress in the past 20 years, the dialogue has waned. I know you would be trying to revive it if you were here today, when the epidemic continues to strike nearly every demographic group, with more than 50,000 new infections in the United States each year. I know you would be loudly calling for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy that was promised by President Obama but has not yet been delivered. I know you would reach out to young people. I know you would work tirelessly to help everyone suffering from HIV, including those who live on the margins of society.

It would sadden you that today, in certain parts of the United States, some poor people with AIDS are still placed on waiting lists to receive treatment. It would anger you that your government is still not doing enough to help vulnerable people with HIV and populations that are at high risk of contracting the virus, including sexually active teenagers. It would upset you that AIDS is a leading cause of death among African Americans.

It would frustrate you that even though hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive Americans are receiving treatment in your name, more than 200,000 don’t know their HIV-positive status, largely because of a lingering stigma surrounding the disease that prevents them from being tested. It would disappoint you that many teenagers do not have access to science-based HIV-prevention programs in school, at a time when half of new infections are believed to be among people under 25.

I miss you so very much, Ryan. I was by your side when you died at Riley Hospital. You’ve been with me every day since. You inspired me to change my life and carry on your work. Because of you, I’m still in the struggle against AIDS, 20 years later. I pledge to not rest until we achieve the compassion for which you so bravely and beautifully fought.

Your friend,

Elton

Sir Elton John, a Grammy- and Academy Award-winning artist, is the founder and chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


Farmville Madness …

Continuing from Vincent’s post [Here]. Here is a screen grab of my farm. I currently own the largest farm in the market, a 24 x 24 farm called a MIGHTY PLANTATION.

The property is ringed with assorted trees and barns, (which you can’t see in this pic) My farm is so big that you can’t see it all in the screen at the same time.

It’s just a game… but it is an addictive game, nonetheless.

I have on the farm:

  • 4 Dairy Farms (with 20 count cows, and bulls)
  • a 60 count chicken coop
  • a 20 count horse stable
  • a 20 count baby nursery
  • an assortment of animals: pigs, goats, ducks, geese, reindeer (a hold over from Christmas), cats, rabbits, sheep, seagulls

Most recently Farmville introduced the baby barns, which I purchased all of my items to build it, and also the new dogs, you can barely see it sitting near my avatar. Bonkers is 15 days old and should grow up tonight.

I’ve been at this for a long time. It is an investment of time and sometimes a little cash to buy farm cash. I have a stash of farm cash to buy dog treats now, and we can gift them to each other now.

I am at level ( 37 – 109,878 )
I have in the bank 1,889,868 coins …

It costs coins to plow and plant, according to the price of the seed. Each seed harvests in a certain amount of time and each pays out when harvested. Some crops are more financially better to grow because they give you lots of coin.

I have a little town on my farm, with a farmhouse, some cottages, a green house, a red school house and a library, a general store and a Post Office.

Like I said you can’t see the other corner but there are 4 red barns, 3 tool sheds, a harvester, plow and seeder. I have 12 neighbors at the moment. Some of them are slackers, and there are 2 neighbors ahead of me in the game.

There are several kinds of trees on the farm:

  • Bananas
  • Pomegranate
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Grapefruit
  • Dates
  • Plumbs
  • Cherry Trees
  • Evergreens
  • Durian Trees
  • Breadfruit Trees
  • Olive trees
  • Passion Fruit
  • Apricots
  • Starfruit
  • Gulmohar Trees
  • Maple Trees
  • Mandarin Trees
  • Cashew, Walnut and Almond Trees
  • Apple Trees
  • Magnolia Trees

So that is my obsession right now.


Act as If …

So after the day has come and gone, I had a long chat with hubby. My future is in the hands of the professors now grading my papers. I either make the cut or I don’t. So we both decided that we would act as if. So tomorrow I am going to Financial Aide to work out my tuition deferral so I can register for Summer classes. I have emailed the department secretary with my class schedule, because she has to put it into the system for me.

If all goes to plan and I make the cut then I will be taking the following classes:

Theo 639 – Augustine’s Confessions – We touched on this in Hermeneutics
Mon – Wed from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. With Pamela Bright
May 3 – 16 June Session 1

Theo 202 Introduction to Biblical Studies –
Mon – Wed from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. with Matthew Anderson
June 28 – Aug 9 Session 2

I need another course to fill out my credit requirements for Quebec Aide.

All I can do is wait, and Pray …

Act as if … a very sober lesson.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Goodnight from Montreal.


Filthy …

Thank God I am sober. That’s all I have to say.

Tuesday has come and gone. And it was a good day, for the most part. Hubby got up earlier than me and was going to campus for some work and offered to take my other paper to the Theology department for me so I could sleep in longer, which was nice of him.

I got up early in any case and did my usual ritual day things. I made a call to Louise to check on her healing progress and we joked and laughed about her lack of boobs and the fact that her drains are a pain in the ass. Tomorrow she has an appointment with immigration to get her visa extended because we Canadians can only stay 180 days less one day in the U.S. on a regular stay. Ms. Louise is well over her stay limit and has to take her doctors letter to get sorted out. And she joked that if they gave her any shit that she would just drip boob blood on their desk and see how they like it. That was worth a giggle.

I got ready and set off for the meeting, making several stops on the way to get supplies, it is such a pain in the ass. You get sugar packets at the IGA because they are cheaper than Provigo. You get coffee at Zellers because only they carry the super duper plastic cans of both regular and decaf coffee and it is only $9.00 a can. At Provigo they only carry large cans of regular coffee at $13.00 a can, and small decafs for the same price, it is a huge rip off. So I spent $22.00 for the month.

This was our topic:

Beginners Book – Getting and staying Sober in AA, Stories from the Grapevine.

From Circles of Sobriety: January 2006…

I am allergic to alcohol and must not put it into my digestive system. If I protect my thinking, I am able to stay dry. If I consistently think grateful, logical, rational, positive thoughts, then my emotions, which stem in part from my thinking, will reflect those thoughts.

It’s important to monitor my thinking, to be conscious of what thoughts I’m hugging to my heart, inviting to stay in my mind, encouraging to hang around my head.

Tough, Yes, but not being aware of what I’m thinking can allow my thinking to run the whole show: emotions, decisions, and actions. Dry drunk, here I come.

Serenity protects my thinking, and everyone’s recipe for serenity is different. It’s like vegetable soup – nobody makes it quite the same. It can even vary from day to day, depending on what’s left over in the fridge. For me, serenity means getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, and staying out of other folks’ business. Everyone has her or his own formula.

Easy? Absolutely not, but far more worth the expenditure of energy than what went into recovering from hangovers.

Francis G., Chestertown,  New York

So my topic from this reading became “What is your recipe for Serenity?”

We had 10 people at the meeting. But the discussion was great. Those who showed up are never shy to speak their minds, from the newcomers to the old timers. A good time was had by all.

At the speaker meeting we had one of the vanguards of Montreal Sobriety. I always love seeing Marie from the South shore. Everybody knows her in the community and the people showed up tonight to hear her speak, and I got to thank her, which was a privilege.

So here is where filthy comes to bear …

We live in a high rise apartment that is not new. We have lived here for almost ten years now. Things break. Drains need to be unstopped. Our toilet seat has been busted for more than a week now. There is a 12 inch in diameter hole in our bathroom ceiling from water damage from the upstairs tenant above us.

Hubby went and talked to the manager the other day, and on my way out this afternoon, I went by the office to check on why they haven’t done anything and wasn’t I colored surprised when the girl said to me that our apartment has been deemed “Filthy” and that either they would come clean it and charge us for the effort because they won’t do repairs in a dirty apartment.

So I took that little comment to the meeting with me. It sat in my chest for the whole time. On the way home Rick dropped me off at the grocery store where I spent $25.00 on cleaning supplies and came home. It was after 9 p.m.

I told hubby what the management said to me and the rest of the night was a blur. I took the bathroom, hubby took the kitchen. 2 and a half hours later and a lot of sweat and stress, you can eat off the bathroom floor. We cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. A COMPREHENSIVE scrubbing down.

Thank God I am sober and I can deal with things as they come up, because you never know when something is going to come out of left field and you have to take care of something right here and now. So that’s what we did tonight. I still haven’t eaten dinner and it’s 12:17 a.m. I am trying to catch up on what I usually do after coming home from my meeting. Check mail, read my favorite blogs, face book a little, and then sit down and blog, as I am doing now.

God grant me Serenity …

So now I need to go eat and clean myself up.

More to come, stay tuned …

Photo Courtesy: Asian Guys Blog (in the sidebar).