Friday Two Cents: A Matter Of Perspective


 

I found myself reflecting on a lot of topics these past two weeks. The provincial election, international politics, sports, colleague integrations and a host of other subjects have been on my mind a great deal. Yet one subject matter has dominated my time like no other.

I am an occasional (supply) teacher in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and as you may guess I have been rather busy these past few months supplying in many classrooms. Where ever I go the staff have been welcoming and friendly. The students are their usual selves, trying to take advantage of a supply teacher as I use to do when I was a student. I have found going into different schools a great education in how other teachers instruct their students and I have learned a few technics and picked up a lot of ideas along the way. Yet one situation found me trying to be sympathetic, but I could not be.
At this time of year many teachers receive their assignments for the following school year to help them prepare for the grade they will teach. This allows them to prepare resources at the end of the year for the new group of students they will see in September. Most of my colleagues are happy with this time and are making every effort to prepare while finishing up the year. However I have met a few who are frankly upset with the assignment they received and in some instances openly cry and are physically upset with what they have. I understand that if you did not get what you were hoping for that you might be upset, but this reaction was not what I expected.
In truth I look at these people with permanent full-time jobs, complaining about their assignments as losing perspective. In fact they should be grateful that they even have a permanent position. You see I have not had a permanent job since the year 2000. That’s 18 years of working part-time jobs, getting my degrees and working contract positions always wondering when and where my next pay cheque will come from. It wasn’t for a lack of trying to find a job but I had to work hard to get even those positions. At one point I even took on 3 part-time jobs to simply make ends meet. Therefore when I see these people look at the negative side of having a job simply because they do not like what they got, I truly have no sympathy for them.
From my perspective, if I were in their shoes, yes I would be upset that I did not get what I wanted, however I would try to look to the positives. The first one being the most important, I have a job in a field I enjoy. I have colleagues I can rely on and ask for help if the need arises. Change is not always a bad thing; it gives you a fresh new way of looking at things. Just as Dan Brown once said …

 

‘Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light.’ Dan Brown

 

Perhaps those people should look from my perspective and the perspective of others who are in similar situations. I wonder how they would react then?

 

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Point Of View: Solar Eclipse


Today, Monday August 21, 2017 we in North America had a front row seat to one of the solar systems’ great light shows, a solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and Sun and when the moon fully or partially blocks the sun. This happens only at new moon phase of the lunar cycle, when the sun and the moon are in conjunction as seen from the earth.  

I decided to try to see the eclipse using a Pinhole Projector. I created one using two card stock sheets and the results where illuminating.

This is what you need to create a Card Pinhole Projector.  

  • 2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 card stock sheets

  • A thumb tack, a sharp pin, or a needle

Directions

  1. To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny whole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumb tack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth.

  2. With your back towards the Sun, hold 1 piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper. 

  3. The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.

  4. To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.

BE SAFE!

  • Never look at the Sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the Sun’s rays can do to them.

  • Always keep your back towards the Sun while looking at a pinhole projection.

  • Do not look at the Sun through the pinhole, binoculars or telescope.

The projector worked and in the end I did get to see the eclipse and take a few nice pictures.

Point of View: When will it end!!!


POV

If you live in Toronto then you would have noticed the blast of winter we just got.   Yesterday in Toronto the temperature was + 10 degrees Celsius, today it will go down to -17 with a wind chill of -31. I don’t know about you all out there but winter is not my favourite season and to be honest I am sick of winter.   I never complain about the summer heat and all I have to do on those sweaty hot days is remember days like Wednesday.

Here are a few images I took while I was cleaning up after this latest reminder that winter is still here in Canada.   Yes the images are inspiring but I would prefer warm breezes and drinking lemonade after cutting the grass.  Anyways enjoy!

Point Of View: Live Long And Prosper


POV

Like many “geeks” I grew up watching Star Trek.  I watched reruns (no I’m not that old) every week and I would imagine living in the future and dream of what might be.  In many ways Star Trek inspired me to expand my reach and embrace new and wonderful things.

The episodes with historical overtones made want to know more about human history and where we have gone through. Other shows on technology got me interested in computers.  But the biggest influence were shows that featured the arts such as drawing, painting, music and of course Shakespeare.

I found that Star Trek was not just a show about some future adventures but an exploration on the human condition.  And no I am not some Trekkie/trekker that runs around with a Starfleet uniform thinking he is some officer.  I’m just a guy that loves a show that makes me think, cry and laugh.

In essence, Star Trek has inspired me in ways I probably don’t even know.  But one thing I do know, is that it makes me laugh and feel good inside.  I cannot wait to see the new Star Trek Into Darkness movie and a great side effect of the movie is the merchandising and commercials associated with the film.

On that note I want to share a YouTube link with all of you.  It is an Audi commercial staring Lenard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto, the 2 Spocks’.  When I saw this commercial I couldn’t stop laughing.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Live Long and Prosper.

Point Of View: Funny What A Few Degrees Can Make You Do.


soilprep

All I ask is a piece of land to work and to live in peace.

What a difference a few degrees make.  If it was 5o C. or below I would be shoveling snow and probably swearing and complaining about the weather and the bloody snow.  Instead, it was 20o C. and I was shoveling and preparing the garden for planting and enjoying myself.

Today in Toronto we had a beautiful day with +20o C. weather and not a cloud in the sky. I usually would rest on Sunday or go out for a drink, but because I had class all day on Saturday I felt the need to get outside and prepare the garden.

lawn-mower-maintenance-1

Even after six months, it started up.

However I must admit, I do enjoy shoveling and moving the soil around.  To  remove old roots and get it ready to plant vegetables all the while hearing the ballgame on the radio in the background.  Ahh, a good day.

Interesting, a month ago it was cold and we had flurries with snow on the ground and I would avoid going outside to shovel or to do anything outside.  Now I’m outside soaking up the sun and relishing in the hard work and the sweat I put in.

Funny what a few degrees can make you do.

doug --- off the record

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