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I was so happy when it came.

The first snow invoked a sense of disbelief-

Could this be happening?

Was this really mine?

Was the snow here to stay, just for me?

The first flurries sent chills of curiosity, intrigue, and hope down my spine.

I spent all my time playing with it.

I snuggled into its cold embrace,

Lying there for hours, glad that I had finally found a home.

The snow made me feel clean, worthwhile, fresh.

It invigorated me, made me want to go, do, see, feel-

to love.

The fingers of cold air slithered into my lungs, invaded my body,

became a part of me in ways I hadn’t imagined.

Sometimes the cold frost prickled my skin, causing the pain of frozen flesh-

But the euphoria was worth the pain.

I was happy-

Until spring came.

I tried to hold on to the snow, I tried to keep it by my side-

Don’t leave me so soon! I miss you.

But the snow had already melted.

I naively thought that it would stay forever, that the promises of its white blanket would cover me always.

But I knew spring had to come.

I had known it all along.

Having chosen to ignore it, the inevitable shock was amplified tenfold and rattled my bones.

I was knocked to the ground, the air left my lungs, and I wept.

I wept for the companionship that I had lost.

Slowly, a warmth started to penetrate my body.

The sun had come out to comfort me,

sending beams of light to dance across my back,

Reminding me.

I looked up, gathered my forlorn limbs into a semblence of a skeleton,

and drug my weary body onto my feet.

I felt a warm breeze tease my hair and caress my face,

Whispering words of hope.

A smile crept across my face, slowly but surely erupting into a grin of elation.

Yes, winter was over. Yes, the snow had left me.

But it would return. One day in the fall I would feel the cold breeze again,

and remember.

Today, it is spring. Today, I will hope.

Today I am free.

Free to embrace the hope of summer and create my own reality.

Free to stop relying on the cold, steely determination of winter,

Relying on the sweeping course of mother nature that takes no detour for no man

To show me the way that I should go.

So, now, the snow is gone. And part of me mourns its passing.

It was a good winter.

But it will snow again. And, for now, I get to enjoy running free through the fields of tall grasses,

feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my face,

and live.





What is wrong with our society? I, being a willingly sheltered little Mennonite girl, never really was exposed to the party scene or to people who were into sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. I willfully hung out with people whose definition of party was playing apples to apples or watching a Disney movie. We had good times.

So when I went to a club for the first time in my life last night, I was appalled. I mean, I knew our society was still sexist, and that women were sex symbols in music and in magazines, but  I didn’t realize quite how bad it was or what that meant. But last night, everything just hit home.

One of the first things we noticed as we walked in was the tv screens with dancing people on them. But these weren’t just random dancing people having a good time, they were naked or about to be naked silhouettes of girls dancing seductively with themselves or with other girls. This played on the screens the whole night. There were also various tables and surfaces that girls could get up and dance on to show off their stuff. The songs were all about having sex and scoring and men’s “bitches.” Girls and guys were grinding all over the floor, the guy hoping he could make a score tonight.

This shocked me. This is a horribly blatant use of women for sex symbols. Getting men drunk and then sticking them in a room full of provocative imaging is just asking for men to see the women as objects of sex and to go a little to far, to harass women, to rape them. After all, the women are just there for their viewing and grinding pleasure. What are we telling the guys in our society? This whole mentality, that partying is fun with half naked girls and some alcohol, where does that leave our young women in society? No wonder women can’t get past the glass ceiling. No wonder they’re not taken seriously. How can you take someone seriously when you’re using their body as a means of getting pleasure for yourself?

I thought we were better off than this. I thought sexism existed, but fairly subconsciously and that we were possibly close to eradicating it in North America. But I was so far from right. With this image of fun, when talking about girls in this way is ok, when it’s socially acceptable to plaster half naked girls everywhere to sell things to guys and to give guys pleasure, we’re never going to get anywhere. We need to start now, standing up, saying “this kind of partying is not ok. These kinds of messages are not ok. These kinds of images are not ok.” Because until we do, we’re never going to be able to defeat this.

Sleep. It’s my favorite past time. Honestly, if I’m sitting in my room, thinking “I’m bored, what should I do?” A nap is usually my answer. It’s just the best feeling, waking up, especially after a really long nap and you don’t know what time it is and you don’t care because you are half asleep and feel amazing. Groggy and still sleepy, you snuggle back under your covers and slowly drift deeply into unconsciousness.

But the best part about sleep is when you’re not quite asleep. You’re not unconscious, but you’re not awake either. You’re lying there in a semi-conscious haze of contentment.

This. This is when sleep-think happens.

Sleep think is an interesting phenomenon. You see, when you’re lying there, half asleep, you still think. And your mind wanders. It ponders the tough questions of life, the things that weigh heavy on your mind, those problems that you can’t solve when you’re normally awake.

Your mind not only ponders these deep thoughts, but it has brilliant revelations. It makes connections you never thought possible. It solves problems like world hunger, what you’re going to do in life, what makes the world spin, all those deep theological questions seem crystal clear as you lie in bed, hovering an inch away from pure black unconsciousness. The world seems right and everything seems as though it’s going to work out.

And then, you fall back to reality. You slowly become aware of your surroundings and the real world surfaces around you, but that feeling still lingers, that feeling like you just had a genius moment, an important revelation, that you have to share with the world.

But as soon as you try to think of it, it’s gone. You can’t even remember what it was that you were thinking about, let alone your moment of brilliant epiphany. You desperately rack through your thoughts, going through every possible scenario, because you know your thoughts were direly important, you know your life would be improved by their content, but yet those elusive thoughts sit smugly outside your grasp, only to be found when you drift back into that strange land of enhanced cognitive function.

And that, my friends, is the madness of sleep-think.

What makes me feel like an artist? Is it seeing my mental images coming to life on a blank page? Is it tracing the lines of a persons facial features with my eyes, as if I’m drawing them in my mind? Is it knowing exactly what colours I need to mix together to create my desired shade? Is it smelling fresh paint as I open the cap and try not to gag? Is it feeling the moist, yet hard clay moulding to my touch and shaping into a new creation?

Sure, I guess all of those things are well and good artisticy things. But what makes me feel the most like an artist is having dirty hands. When I have dirty hands, I feel like I did something. Like I was so into my art that it overflowed off of the page and onto my deft fingers. Whether it’s graphite rubbing off onto my hand while I use my finger to smear lines into subtle shadow, pastels leaving a dusty, pale, chalky trail where ever they touched, dust vibrant splashes of  paint jumping off of the canvas to colour my pale hands, or clay coating my fingers in a crackly, thin grey layer, having dirty hands makes me feel good inside.

Sometimes I’ll intentionally try not to keep my hands clean for just that reason, “accidentally” setting my hand in some wet paint or blending a particularly dark spot with my finger. But, because I’m a generally messy person, I usually don’t have to go out of my way to be messy. Once my hands are dirty, I’ll half-heartedly wash them, but not too too well, so that some residual artistic expression remains on my palm, part of me hoping that someone will see it and ask me what I was working on.

Messy hands, to me, are the badge of an artist. If you don’t get messy, you’re not doing art. Maybe that’s just me, and my interpretation, but if I’m doing art right, I do not stay clean for long. Now, I’m not really an artist, and only sporadically sketch a pencil drawing now and again, but when I do decide to stretch my dormant artistic side and wake it up, it’s an amazing feeling, and I remember why I loved doing art ever since I was a little girl. Time ceases to exist, and it’s simply me and my work, existing, shaping each other, as I quietly sing to myself and attempt to spill my messy, colourful emotions onto the blank white wilderness before me.

I need people. When I am not around people, I am sad and get lonely. As soon as I have people, I get happy again. This is a fact of life. This is because of my Flying Purple People Meter.

This meter looks like a large thermometer with bat-like wings and spikey hair. When I am around people, it fills up with happiness liquid and I am content with life. Everything seems right in the world and I get enough energy to power a small town in rural Pennsylvania. When I am lonely, the liquid drains until I have no energy and just want to curl up in my lonely ball and go to sleep, engulfing myself in my own emotional black whole of nothingness. This meter, invisible to all other people, hovers around my head constantly, wheeling in little circles as the liquid fills and drains throughout my day. When it is empty, I simply go find some people and have fun times, and it fills right back up again, saving up a store of energy for me to draw upon. I have drawn pictures to illustrate this phenomenon and to capture the heart and soul of my quirky companion. Enjoy.

Why does going to university suddenly render me scared silly of driving a motor vehicle?

I mean, I love driving. When I was at home, I would always be the designated driver. No, not in the sense of sitting around while all my friends get drunk and me being bored in the corner and then me having to drive them home at the risk of them vomiting all over the inside of my pristine car. I mean it in the sense that whenever we wanted to go anywhere, I was just assumed to be the responsible one who would drive us while my friends pushed my ridiculously large hazard button that glowed red and was apparently irresistible to anyone who rode in my passenger’s seat. I loved speeding down the highway with my windows down and blaring “Good Life” by OneRepublic, and got way too excited for long drives by myself. I did not for one second doubt my driving skills, and was fairly confident in my abilities, especially considering the fact that my 1990 Mazda 323 was  a stick shift. Automatics were a piece of cake.

Then I go to university. And I discover that apparently my driving skills were left behind in the states, along with my doll and beanie baby collections. I first found this out after living here a couple weeks. Kenya and I went for a Starbucks run, and before we got in the car to drive home, she asked me if I would like to drive. All of a sudden, it feels like a rock dropped into the bottom of my stomach, and I start to feel all queasy. But intellectually I knew I loved driving, and that I was a good driver. I shook off my doubt, and convinced myself that I was fine. I know how to drive, I drove all the time. No need to freak out.

So I get behind the wheel, and I can’t shake this crazy sense of horror that I have. But I drive anyway. It felt so weird. Maybe it was because Kenya’s car was so different than my little Mazda, but still. I’d driven automatics before. For some reason, I felt like I had my permit again, and I had just started driving. Like somehow all the rules had changed and driving in Canada would be way different than the states and I would screw up and kill everyone and AH! When I first started driving, I would freak out every time a car came past me in the opposite lane, every single time. “Oh shit oh shit Oh Shit OH SHIT… *car zooms past with tons of space between us and nothing bad happens* Phew.” Every time. That’s how I felt when driving in Canada, after having had my license for 2 1/2 years. It was very disconcerting.

However, I got back to Grebel without killing anyone. Which is always a success in my book. The next time I drove was a different story. Kenya was eating cotton candy, so she had me drive to her apartment. I got behind the wheel, and the sense of uneasiness started to build up again. My muscles tensed and I climbed into the driver’s seat, jaw clenched and stomach jumping around like a little kid with a brand new pogo stick.

All went fine, until I heard a siren. I didn’t know where it was coming from, and having grown up near a fire station and hearing sirens almost every day, sirens don’t alarm me nearly as much as they should. All of a sudden, I approached the intersection, and I saw the ambulance. But I saw it a little late. I slammed on my brakes, then realized that I wouldn’t stop in time and it would have be more beneficial if I sped through the intersection. But by that point, I had already slowed down to a near stop. Freaking out and thinking that I was going to ironically get killed by an ambulance, I yelled “SHIT!!!!,” slammed on the gas, and zoomed out of the intersection. I had effectively done the absolute worst driving possible in that situation, slowing down to an almost stop and then hightailing it out of there, effectively blocking the intersection. Way to go me.

And I haven’t managed to shake this feeling! Even though I know I can drive, I feel like I’m 16 again and can’t tell the clutch from the brake. Sigh. Will I ever regain my driving confidence? I sure hope so…

This is a story to raise awareness of the unfair abuse of laptops that takes place daily in many civilized countries. I am extremely cruel to my poor laptop, expecting her to survive while being constantly abused and dragged around on a cable. I have since realized my cruelty and hope to spread awareness through this post. Beatrice, this one is for you.

You see, I’ve come to realize that all the cables plugged into my lappy, Beatrice, when at my desk are life lines. They’re similar to IV’s or respiration machines or other kinds of machines that keep her flowing with life giving electricity. But I show no regard for this dependence. Whenever I find it convenient, I savagely rip the cords out of their sockets, with no regard to the pain and suffering it causes Beatrice. I imagine she lets out a dramatic tinny computer scream, or perhaps a quiet pathetic whimper, that is not audible to human ear. Her hard drive mind is racing, fraught with worry about from whence her next electric meal will come, or if it will ever come. But I care not, because I want to go sit on a comfy couch.

Beatrice then only has 3 hours to live. I do my best to make her life more efficient and comfortable, like dimming the screen and putting her it on conservative power settings, so I can squeeze every last bit of life out of her dying body. I idly play games and write silly messages, ignorant to the fact that my lappy is rasping out her last breaths. She tries to please me, jumping through my hoops and doing all the tasks I set her to do, hoping that maybe, this time, her sadistic master will reward her with safety. But I reward her not, and continue to drain her life force.

Eventually, with a final sigh, she utters her last words- “Battery power is low. Switch to a power source.” This is really a call for help, for pity, a last effort to make her needs known; I, the unfeeling human, treat this with utter disregard, bleeding my poor lappy dry. She sighs one last sigh, screen flickering until it finally fades to black, and retreats into the quiet solitude of death.

Finally, I plug her back in. She responds little, so I do computer cpr and push her power button until, with a wild gasp, she jumps back to life, screen blazing and motor running. She is finally secure again, if only briefly, and breathes a sigh of relief as I plug her back into her life giving cables, allowing her to catch her breath and revive. But she can never live in peace; Beatrice always lives in a state of constant fear, not knowing when I will chose to wrench her from her comfortable home on my desk and drain all of the life from her once more.

Sometimes, you can guess where a person is from, what they like to do, or how smart they are from how they act. But can you guess what instrument they play? Or, if they don’t play an instrument, what instrument they should play? What seems random to most people can be easily calculated by the trained eye. I will pass onto you the knowledge I have gathered from being a and geek for 8 years. Here, I will go into detail about the different species of musicians in the Band family. Maybe you can identify these creatures in the wild. Call this your basic band geek field guide.

First, let’s look at woodwinds. The flute. Flutes tend to be female, though there are male flute players. Male flute players usually have some degree of femininity; there are not macho male flute players. Flutes tend to be the girly girls of the band. They worry about their clothes and titter at jokes behind their dainty hands. They have a lot of runs, but don’t always get them right, and can have serious pitch problems. They are very social creatures and can be a little air headed sometimes.

Next we’ll move to the clarinet. The clarinets are more chill than flutes. They tend not to be attention seekers, but content with mastering tricky runs and blending in the background, though they do enjoy their fleeting moment in the spotlight. Because the clarinet is a subtle instrument, clarinets bond together and are very social as well, realizing the need to combine their sounds collectively to be heard. They are usually the fun loving members of the band, but not crazily so, and they can be a little wacky sometimes. They are dependable and consistent, and usually don’t play loud enough, most certainly never drowning anyone else out. Their arch enemies are the trumpets, who tend to blast loudly and drown out the clarinets, who simply can’t crank as much volume as the obnoxious brass.

Oh the saxophones. Saxes are the trumpets of the woodwind section. They think that they are the bomb, and love playing loud, bending notes, and just being generally obnoxious. However, girl saxophone players are usually pretty chill and a ton of fun. In general, saxes think that they should always have the melody and get jealous of the trumpets. They think they’re cool, but in reality are a tad dorky. But shush, don’t tell them that. Goofing off is their past time, and they can be sure to have some lame pun in their back pocket.

Oboes. Oh they’re fun woodwinds. Oboes are always a tad odd and quirky, but make amazing friends. They know how to have fun, and usually have something really unique about them, such as a lint collection or a hobby hunting UFO’s. If you ever need to know a random piece of trivia, ask the oboe player. They’re quiet most of the time, but when they talk it’s either insightful or hilarious. They don’t mind sticking out from the crowd, and just do their thing. Oboes get along with all instruments, all the time. They’re that awesome.

Now we move on to the brass. In general, your woodwinds are less showy, don’t mind not playing melody as long as it’s an interesting line, and generally more chill, while brass players tend to have bigger egos and like making a lot of noise.

The biggest ego of all belongs to the trumpets. “How many trumpet players does it take to screw in a light bulb?” “Only one, he stands still and the earth revolves around him.” That joke pretty much sums them up. They have no trouble being loud, and enjoy showing off at any possible moment. However, they are known to whine excessively about their chops getting tired after playing for just a short while. Trumpets are notoriously lazy and self centered. If they don’t have the melody, than they drown out the people who do, and constantly have to be reminded that they aren’t the only instrument in the band worth hearing.

Next is the french horn. French horns are the most chill and least cocky of the brass, almost like a woodwind in their temperament. They have a mellow sounds and can’t really blast like other brass. It’s a difficult instrument to master, so french horns are usually good at what they do because they work hard. They are the sensible, reasonable section of the brass, and usually quiet in nature.

Trombones. These are usually the perverts of the brass section. They refer to their instruments as “boners” and take every possible opportunity to make a quick sexual innuendo. They’re the jokesters of the band, constantly cracking jokes and making the whole band lose its composure. They are a little pompous in their playing, and when they have a fun sliding part they love blasting it out there. However, in general, they don’t overplay.

Low brass. This includes tubas and baritones. Tubas are the fun, goofy people of the band. If you have a girl tuba, she’s usually pretty awesome and can kick any guy’s ass. They are happy to plod away at the baseline and don’t get too jealous of the runs the woodwinds master, or the melody the trumpets hog. However, when low brass do get some spotlight, they love it. They are very chill, laid back people and can be a tad perverted, but not as bad as the trombones. Baritones are basically like tubas, but a little less macho and badass.

Percussion. Oh how we love thee. Why does it always seem like they are the ones who have the hardest time keeping a steady beat? I jest. Percussionists are usually spazzes in some way, shape, or form. They can always be found fidgeting or drumming with random objects, and have trouble sitting still. They get bored when the rest of the band talks about notes and spend most of their time lounging about in the back of the room, entertaining themselves. Percussionists usually have the least comprehensive musical knowledge, but can beat out a rhythm like nobody’s business. They’re usually little kids at heart, happy to play with the cool percussion toys that make awesome sound effects. Because they have to keep the heartbeat of the band, they are dependable and loyal, even if they get a little temperamental and hot headed; you can always count on them to keep the band going.

So there you have it. The basics of concert band stereotyping. Now you yourself can go out, find random people, and guess what instrument they are based on this model. It works like a charm. One of my favorite things to do when I had a new director was to guess what instrument they played. So, go forth, and make instrumentalists of all families, in the name of Mozart, Beethoven, and Eric Whitacre.

Shaving. What. The. Hell. Whose bright idea was it to have females start shaving their legs and underarms? Who decided that men are allowed to have hair but it’s gross for women? Whose brilliant idea was it to take a sharp blade to their skin at risk of cutting themselves? Whoever it is- I hate you. So much.

Now, you might think I’m some hippie feminist who doesn’t shave or something, so let me correct you. I do shave. A lot. Because I can’t stand the prickly feeling of stubble that is necessary to grow out hair. And plus it just feels gross. But I just have issues with the idea that women have to shave. In practicality, it’s kind of nice.

What I don’t get, though, is the choice of body parts. We have hair on our arms as well as our legs. So why don’t we shave our arms? Why is it only legs? I mean, I can imagine the bothersome nature of having stubble on your arm, it would just be awkward and I feel bad for serious swimmers, but seriously. Why is it ok to have hairy arms but not hairy legs? Where’s the logic in that?

But shaving is such a pain, especially when I cut myself. It’s like a tiny nick opens up this river of blood that just pours out of me. You would think that a small cut would coagulate quickly, but no. No it doesn’t. It just continues to rush out like a waterfall onto the bathroom floor for unreasonable amounts of time! What am I, Niagara Falls?? And then I have to go find pieces of tissue or toilet paper and stick it to my leg, and be extra cautious putting on a pair of pants so they don’t become blood stained, and roll up my pants leg, and it’s just so obnoxious! And I look silly!

And heaven forbid I miss a spot. The instant I realize there’s a tiny patch of hair near my ankle or my knee that I missed, I start freaking out, thinking that everyone’s gonna notice my minuscule patch of hair and judge me as a gross person. And stay far away. Or if my leg is even slightly stubbly, I have this huge fear that someone’s gonna brush up against my leg and be like EWWW you’re all prickly! I feel like the concept of shaving and related activities just cause me stress. Unnecessary stress.

Not to mention follicles! And the fact that no matter how well I try to shave, you can still see the little dots of my hair follicles, and it frustrates me to no end. Sigh.

I hate shaving. It sucks. Hence why I wear pants all the time. That is my rant of the week.

Now I’m going to go take a shower. And shave my legs. Don’t judge me.

So, as many of you probably know, this Thursday is the day that many of us have been waiting for- the night that the first part of the 7th Harry Potter movie comes out. I personally am going to that midnight showing and am super excited for it! In anticipation of this long awaited night, we watched the 6th Harry Potter movie last night. And this made me realize something very interesting- I’m Harry Potter!

Now there is no You-Know-Who in my life and I’m not an orphan, but there are eerie similarities. For instance, most of his life, Harry grew up feeling like he didn’t quite belong in the muggle world. Well… this brings to mind a certain little American girl who had an obsession with Canada to the extent that she bought Canadian apparel and absolutely loathed the United States in which she lived. She would give anything to move up North. Hence, the muggle world is America and the wizarding world is Canada!

Now this girl suddenly heard of a wonderful school in Canada called Conrad Grebel. She instantly knew that this is where she belonged, and was so excited to be there. The instant she arrived in that awesome building, she knew she was home. Just like Harry, she had finally found her true home. She dreads the holidays like the plague, knowing that she will have to return to the muggle world from whence she came. While other kids await the golden days of summer with eager minds, she wishes the days would slow down until she could barely sense them passing.

Like Harry, she has two really good friends. She has a same-sex friend, Kenya, who is a bit of a jock and is incredibly loyal, and an opposite sex friend, who is ridiculously, insanely smart. And she loves them to death and doesn’t know what she would do without them. Her trio and Harry’s trio are ridiculously similar.

Like Harry, she is thrust into a new world that is similar to the old one, but still full of slang to learn, new money to figure out, and new places to discover. It may not be actually magical, but it feels magical to her.

Though, wait, hold on a second, maybe I don’t like this comparison. Harry is a bit of an emo hormone crazed prat. He thinks no one understands him because he’s special, and that he needs to go it alone. He has so much wizarding angst. And he can be kind of a jerk. In fact, I don’t think I want to be associated with him at all! He’s not actually that great of a guy, and all of his success is based on pure luck and chance.

Ok, nevermind. Scratch all that. I’m not Harry Potter. Thank goodness.

…But can I still pretend that I’m magic?

What day is it again?

July 2018
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The Dusty Archives of my Mind

‎"If I went through life by myself, I'd waste a lot of my time wandering around in the wrong direction"