Tuesday, September 29, 2009

every day anew!

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could, some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely. "
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 24, 2009

best food find at mcgill...

one of my favourite things about this campus?

.... that at lunch, dozens of hippies, and people with hippie tendancies (like myself), gather together to eat free vegan lunch.

this phenomenon is called "the midnight kitchen" and i like it a lot.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a wee bike trip, and starting to think ahead...

so, right off the bat, I want to make an announcement. I am not rowing. I am not rowing. I am coaching. my butt does not sit in that boat, and my hands do not pull on that oar. I bike along the side of the olympic bassin, yelling at others in broken french. or english. or "franglais..." which is a french-english combination spoken here in montreal... :)

Last week, I joined the Mcgill Outdoor Club. And, the first weekend came along, and it was entitled "new members weekend." I'm new, and, i am a member. so, i paied the 35$ (45 if you take the bus, but I vouched to ride my bike), and got prepped to go. It didn't take me long to realize the most new members are about 20 or 21, and surprizingly, many new members are also foreign exchange students. so, it ended up being an interesting weekend. The ride up to "the house" is about 75km eachway, along a bike path up to the laurentians, to shawbridge.

side note, apparently, quebec has one of the longest series of bike paths in north america.
The way there was okay, but definitely (considering the hot weather) forgot to bring electrolytes and food. (REALLY!?!?), and I definently found myself bonking at about 60km. ughghgh. also, although we were in the "fast group," we had to stop a number of times. but, it was beautiful! that afternoon, arriving at the house, we got lunch (I ate wayyyyyy too much, an overload from bonking. i jsut couldn't control myself...). and went for a little hike. that night, 20 year olds were 20 year olds, and i felt a little awkward and old and sober. the evening had a little bit of a wierd vibe to it. but, there was a campfire.
the next morning, as people began to wake up, and the hangovers began, I began to help cook breakfast... and, for me, this was the best part of the weekend. I LOVE cooking for people! :) so, french toast it was, and lots of french toast was consumed. way back, I packed food, and there were e3 of us on the ride back, 'cause we wanted to leave earlyish. fast, sunny, and with a coffee break. LOVE IT. the only thing i don't understand right now is the street layout on this island. makes noooooo sense to me. and, that is really frustrating.
other points to comment on, prior to running off for the hellish pharmacology.
  • i am loving "the thrive diet." i have been aware of this way of eating, but haven't really investigated it much. been reading the book, and it looks like something I really agree with... maybe except with the fact that i still like my dairy products and eggs and fish.
  • the farmers markets in this city are ridiculous. I cannot control myself when there.
  • starting to think about next tri season, especially since this season (or lack thereof) was sooooo short for me (two races!? i mean, comon!) but, dreaming of at least 2- 1/2 ironman distances next year... and, dreaming to go fast. so, dreaming of the things to get me on that track. and, i am excited about it.
  • been asked to help out with another rowing team. ha ha ha! this one=a boy's school, grades 9-11. ha! sooooo funny.

okay. going to be late.

today, after abuot 3 weeks of it being bright and sunny, it rained. and, that made me sad.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

viva le montreal..

so, things are picking up...

about a week ago, i was feeling a little worried. for instance, feeling really lost with such things like "how to make friends" and "where to drink coffee" and "where the crap does this bike lane go" and "where can i go to get some yummy organic groceries?" and "why can't i bring my bike on the bus" and "am I going to get along with my classmates?" and "where do I go to get a job?"

let's just say that virtually every day, I have had a situation that I have not expected. an occurance, of sorts, that keeps me on my toes. and, they just keep on going, and going, but, i think i am starting to get glimpses as to why people love this city. there is great coffee. there are cute little walk-up apartments. the view from the top of the mountain is amazing. there are farmer's markets which run 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. there are people who speak french better than they speak english. and, i especially love that last point the most.

so, let's just talk about something that i used to do. these are pictures, circa 2004-2005. a time of my life, that was filled with great victories, and great defeat.

in boston. head of the charles. me.with.dreadlocks.

in sandiego. me=2nd tallest person on team.

in washington DC. i believe that in this race, our rudder got taken off the bottom of our boat on a log. wasn't so great.

for many years, rowing was something i lived, breathed, and loved. and, in reality, it has never left my "things i like" box, but it has just been removed temporarily. but, it looks like day by day, i am getting sucked back into it. via Le Club d'aviron de l'Université de Montréal (CAUM).
and, it is exciting. they are a francophone rowing club. in fact, the only one in north america. and, that makes me laugh, 'cause I am very much an anglophone. so, they speak to me in french, and i coach them in english :) it works well! ha ha! but, i love it. i love it. the head coach, guillaume, (from france!) started up the team last summer, as a project to keep his mind off his PhD work at UDM. And, the day after I had a interview with the montreal rowing club, i showed up in the morning, and, didn't really have a clue what to do. but, it worked out that I met Guillaume that morning, and he pretty much was like "okay, come along. coach."

pretty stinking amazing. and, despite the fact that I still have to figure out how to get paid, so far it is amazing. and, i love it, and i love the fact that it is not the mcgill team, and that I can grow in my coaching as the team grows in their rowing. so. every morning at 6am, amo=happy.

so, lets talking about this nursing degree.

it seems to me that many of my classmates are wondering if they are in the right spot. and, you know, that worries me. it kinda worries me why are people worrying so much. you know? i guess it makes me realize how much other people can affect you. Our program, is a Master's of Science, Applied. in nursing. NOw, what that seems to mean, is that after this 3 year program, we will be RN's, with a M.Sc. to me, what that equates into is: i will be a "Regular nurse," but with a greater understanding of in-depth theory and practice in a clinical specialty... the ability to be a bit more of a leader/avanced practicioner.

I think what people are getting worried about is the "self directed learning" and the rumours that when we first get into clinical settings, and when we first start to work, we are going to feel a little lost.... since, really, we aren't nurses yet. and, we will learn to be them, but, in a different way than undergrads get.

at any rate. i think that i am happy to be sure that i am where i am supposed to be. despite the fact that i want "lots of clinical experience" i know that theory is soooo essential to know, because with knowing that, you can really be a person that expands practice, and uses "evidence based" practice, and knows how to lead people... and, to me, that is what i need.

oh, and i also need a computer. i don't like sitting in the library to do this work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

best friends.

so, this next post brings both great joy, and great sadness to my heart.

As you may know, my friends are the best people in the world. you should probably already know that, though. you are probably a friend of mine. and, therefore, you are the best in this world. ;) but, this post is dedicated to two people who bring some of the most joy to my life. people who have been there in my life in the highs and the lows. the adventures and mis-adventures. the love and the frustrations. the struggles and the victories. these two people are two of the people i love the most in this world, and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

the first, is zach Mauss. here we see him military-esque, and not-so-military-esque. (being hounded by beautiful triathletes, the last time I saw him, in new orleans in April..)
First LT Zach Mauss deployed on tuesday, following about 3 months of living in Hawaii, to go and serve as a Medevac blackhawk pilot. He will definitely be missed, but in his own words,

"...this deployment has been a long time coming. Most of my peers from ROTC in West Virginia have deployed, returned home and are getting ready for round two! Because of the year in Israel and the lengthy time it takes to get through flight school, I'm just now taking my turn..."downrange" as we like to say. Flying Medical Evacuation in combat will be far and away the greatest responsibility I will ever have in my entire life and I do not take it lightly. "

we have been lucky to have him "stateside" for so long. and, i guess it comes with the job! but, that doesn't mean that we aren't scared for him, and that we don't wish that he didn't have to go, and that we are not going to pray a shield of protection around him.

on a much lighter note: congratulations are in order for my bestest of best friends, Christina.
here she is with me, when she came up to visit me for christmas 2007. (come to mention it, zach was there too!)

Recently 4 dozen roses showed up on her desk at work, and then a picnic occurred later on in the evening of the same day. apparently her boyfriend loves her so much that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her! so, now said boyfriend is finacee! so, yay! sooooo exciting. i love LOVE! it just gives such warm fuzzies!

here is christina and Dave!

Friday, September 4, 2009

animals and i...

I would like to begin this post with some photos.... these are various animals that I encountered during my time in the east... wild? maybe not so much. funny? definitely. and, let me just mention that there may, or may not, be other "amo and animals" photos.

me and monkey at wooden monkey restaurant in halifax

me and lobster at fisheman's market just off the causeway to capebreton. I ate one like this soon after!

me and random dog in Mahone bay, Nova Scotia. Cute town, random carvings.

me and bear in Lower Quebec city.

so, I am done my first week of classes at mcgill. on my way to becoming a nurse! woot! it is funny~ I have such a diversity of classes: pharmacology, physiology, and 3 nursing classes (2 with just my cohort, 1 with some undergrads). but, it is crazy, the first two classes.... well, let us just say that there are *multitudes* of people in them. I walked into the classroom, and I thought "dang. I haven't sat in a class this big since sophomore year. at least they are not grading us on participation!" :rolleyes:
mental note: do not get comfortable in the chairs and fall asleep...

there are 17 of us in my cohort, and we are all girls, except for 1 (of course!). most everyone is from Ontario or quebec, with 2 from the states, one other from vancouver, and one from moldova (but has been in Montreal for 2 years). so, a decent combination of people. we will certainly get to know eachother well over the next 3 years, that is for sure... i wish we had more man-nurses though ;)

I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed with "figuring stuff out." but, tomorrow I get a bed (YAY!), and I also get to ride my bike around, and, i get to go and watch a regatta, and talk to them about rowing, to see if it might work.

meanwhile, I have been finding my way around Mont Real park, figuring that it is nicer to walk through there, than walk the streets to school. Also scoping out running/cycling trails and the such. I anticipate getting back into my "routine" next week. but, one thing is for sure... as a person who does triathlons, and has no triathlons to do right now, I am a little bit at a loss... but, already thinking about next year, and what that is going to bring.

meanwhile, i need to get this (slightly larger than normal) butt out of my tiny montreal room, and get back on the bandwagon. I have been off for long-enough. healthly eating habits, and exercise: here I come. and, be prepared, 'cause this girl is taking you full fledged!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

arrival in montreal

so, after a 4000+ road trip through the state of Maine, and the atlantic provinces, I have finally arrived in Montreal to settle in for this ride...

feeling a little overwhelmed, especially with the one way streets (I will try not to mention the occasion yesterday when I drove the wrong way down one of them!), and the insanity of McGill University on first day! aieeee...

Anyway, the trip was great, and I look forward to giving a more complete update. this one is just one of those "I got here, I am safe, I am exploring..." updates. I hope it finds you well.