Monday, April 30, 2007 at 5:42 PM | 1 comments
Joe Valeriote, at the age of 65, passed away on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. Joe had been a constant fixture at Christmas for years because of the close relationship he had with Bernadette, my father's partner. Joe was a kind man and someone that I respected a great deal.

To be honest, I didn't know Joe very well. In a way, I suppose that's all right. He spent the majority of his working years as an elementary school teacher. I've heard from many people, including one of my best friends, Chris, that he was a fantastic teacher. He was loved, respected, and appreciated.

But I can almost promise you that none of those students knew him well either.

That's the gift and the curse of teaching as I've come to understand it. I'm about to become a teacher myself and have only begun to see the fleeting nature of the connection between student and teacher. It's incredibly rare to see that bond continue once summer comes, once school is out, once a student has graduated and moved on.

Yet for this fleeting connection to a man I didn't know very well, there was a lot that I liked and respected about Joe. He always had a kind word to offer and whenever we spoke he was full of encouragement and enthusiasm about what I was doing. Somehow he always knew something, some small detail, about what was going on in my life. I wasn't one of his kids, but the fact that we were all gathered together each Christmas seemed more than enough for him to put out that effort.

Maybe it's a trick of the teaching trade, that ability to make everyone feel special. All I know is that now that I'm faced with the same career, I can't think of many other people who are excellent examples of all that I want to become.

There's never enough time, is there? Never enough time to talk, to get to know someone, to appreciate what it is that each person around you brings to the ongoing mosaic that is your life.

After so many years, I can't deny that the Valeriotes have become part of my extended family and as such I feel for their grief. They're a strong bunch and I have no doubt they'll get through this and celebrate Joe's memory in their own ways for the rest of their lives. Matt, J.P., Amy, Dani, and Nick... I'm truly sorry for your loss.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 11:13 AM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI hope everyone watched and enjoyed Drive, because it's been cancelled after only three weeks on the air. Apparently, Fox are morons. Most of us already knew this after the mess that was how they handled Firefly.

I'm not surprised, just a little annoyed that a show isn't given time to get any traction when it's brand new. So often, if something isn't immediately successful, it gets canned. I can think of several series that have done exceptionally well long-term, but were slow getting out of the gate. Sometimes showing a bit of patience will take you a long way.

I'm not writing in this blog much anymore for some reason. It's not that I don't want to, it's that I'm busy being alive. This would have been a foreign concept to me during my days at FMG, but it makes all too much sense now.

Right now I'm enjoying a well-deserved week off. I've finished OISE and teacher's college and now just have a four and a half week internship at Northview, my first practicum school, to complete before my tour of duty is done. I'm hopeful that there's an outside chance I'll get a job at this school in September, which would be great to walk into a place where you've already established yourself and fit in well, but I'm not holding my breath.

My new computer is insane. Catherine and I have been spending lots of time with our new family member and getting to know it. Mostly this just means I'm playing a lot of StarCraft, Diablo, and WarCraft. Oh, and reading comic books.

Look for the new issue of Buffy up at Random Changes as well.

Other than that, things are calm and quiet on the waterfront here. I'm back at karate which is a good thing after having to take so much time off between my feet and school. I earned my belly back, which sucks, but I'm going to have a whole summer off to ensure it doesn't come back. Ideally.

It's strange to be done school. I've been so focused and busy for the past two or three months that I was in a permanent state of anxiety and stress. I'm trying to decompress now, but even still I go looking for work. I emailed Scott, my associate teacher, to ask him if there was work I could do before I came back to school. Catherine's right, I need to learn how to relax.
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 11:19 PM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt's been a while, hasn't it?

Not much to report other than being super busy with OISE nonsense. Well, that's not exactly true as I'm writing this blog post on my brand-spanking new computer that is beyond awesome. I'm going to give full details for this along with my impressions of the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movie, Hot Fuzz, over the next couple of days. Oh, and I'll start paying more attention to Random Changes as well.

The focus of this post is about the new Nathan Fillion (Firefly) vehicle (pun intended) called Drive. It's about an illegal cross-country road race but much grittier. Catherine and I just watched the first two episodes and I have to admit that I'm already hooked. Amy Acker (Angel) plays Fillion's wife, and though I don't really know the rest of the cast, it's pretty solid so far.

Basically people are roped into this race for some reason or another (Fillion is racing because they kidnapped his wife and will kill her unless he wins), so they have to do anything and everything in order to cross the finish line first.

I strongly encourage people to check it out. If you're worried about having missed the first two episodes, just let me know as I have them saved on my hard drive and can burn a copy. I don't have hard drive space issues anymore as I have a combined 750gigs.

Yes, that's excessive.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, April 04, 2007 at 7:21 PM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIf good news comes in threes, then I'm really pushing things these days. I can't seem to turn around without something positive happening lately. Finally, nothing to complain about at all!

Well, okay, that's not true. We all know I could find something to complain about if I really wanted to. At any rate, I present to you a list (in no particular order) or cool things that are happening to me or in my vicinity.

1. Eligible to Hire List

I've already been telling people that I'm on this list (which you HAVE to be in order to get a job in Toronto) based on what Scott Carter, my associate teacher, told me after they called him as one of my references, but today it became official when I got a letter in the mail confirming my eligibility. I feel like king of the castle.

2. New Computer
My dad is one of the greatest people I have ever known. In a gesture that wasn't needed as he already holds this title, he told me that as a graduation present he wants to get me a new computer. This is VERY welcome news as the one I'm currently using is slowly getting senile.

3. Hot Fuzz
From the stars and director of Shaun of the Dead, this buddy cop Brit comedy is finally coming to Canada. As an added bonus, I made Catherine enter a contest (which I also entered) to win two free passes to see the flick next Thursday. As an added bonus, both Shaun & Ed (along with the director) are going to be at an exclusive party afterwards. Catherine won the tickets through the Toronto Star. She's pleased, but a bit dismayed as next Thursday also happens to be her birthday.

4. Aaron's New Job
Aaron Jacklin is my hero. He's managed to not only get one, but TWO new jobs at small town papers. The papers are owned by the same company and Aaron will split his time between the two. This is excellent news and I'm sure he'll do really well.

Is there more good news? I'm sure there is. I'm just hoping that the good news continues.
Posted by Parallel
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