Showing posts from June, 2021

Tube-Tipping at the West Edmonton Mall - Danny Story (Episode 5)

My little girl asked for me to make a book about Danny stories -  real accounts of young Danny and his many childhood adventures. "Can you tell us a Danny story?" asks my little girl. I oblige. "Danny was a good little boy, and always very... holy. Except when he wasn't..." * * * Every now and then for a summer vacation our family would wind up at the West Edmonton Mall. Actually, the truth is that I would talk non-stop about the Mall until finally, just to shut me up, we would take the trip. Why the West Edmonton Mall? The pool, darn it! I loved that pool. I still love that pool. I used to dream that heaven was going to be having your own hotel room with a waterslide that goes directly to the West Edmonton Mall waterpark. Maybe it will be.  On one particular trip I was out in the wave pool with some sibling. The waves were crashing over our heads. So too swimmers on tubes. These folks came crashing with the waves, limbs flailing every which way. It is rather da

A (COVID) School Year in Review

  I have just bid farewell to a year of teaching which I shall never forget.  After the disastrous - one might argue criminal - end to the 2019-2020 school year, this latest academic year was approached with great trepidation amongst parents, students, and teachers alike. It was to be a year of unknowns, built upon invented and ever-changing COVID regulations, with the end game of... I'm not sure. Survival? Control? Student-wellbeing? Two of these three, I imagine. Initially, students were very grateful to return. They worked hard too, which was good because many had forgotten basic addition/subtraction (grade 5) due to the 6-month COVId lay-off. The day-to-day wearing of masks was a nightmare. I had many sore throats, as did the students. Overall, however, it was great to be back. The year progressed, so too the regulations. Masks became required in Phys Ed, on the playground, and while playing sports in town. Then by November we were told to stay away from sports (in town), as we

"Why Are We Eating Hotdogs Today?" - Danny Story (Episode 4)

My little girl asked for me to make a book about Danny stories -  real accounts of young Danny and his many childhood adventures. "Oh boy!" I shouted with far too much enthusiasm. "It's the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Do you know what that means?" My children paused and thought.... "We're going to pray the litany?" "No! I mean, yes... but it means we're going to eat hotdogs! What a time to be alive!" "But... why dad?" asked my little girl.  Thus began yet another Danny story. * * * Danny was a good little boy, and always very... hungry. When Danny was in grade one he went to a nice school called Scotsburn. Now little Danny didn't know if the name was to hon our the Scots, or be racist towards them. Regardless, Scotsburn had an honorable tradition built on organically-developed cultural awareness. That is, every Friday they had a hotdog sale. This meant the teacher would take orders, and kids would shell out their

The "Legacy" of Biden's Bishops

I am thinking about a famous scene in the life of St. Jean-Marie Vianney. He is twenty, and attempting to study for the priesthood. “Attempting” is perhaps too kind of a word. It is an utter debacle. As the language of Latin killed the Romans - the saying goes - it is now killing him. In this scene Jean-Marie is being reprimanded by a much younger Mathias Loras, a bright but excitable student of only twelve. Though himself excitable, Jean-Marie does what only a saint would do, and kneels down before the young boy and asks for forgiveness. Mathias bursts into tears at the sight of Jean-Marie’s humility, and throws himself into the arms of our good saint. At that moment a friendship begins.  We know the future of Jean-Marie, later titled the Curé of Ars. But what of young Mathias Loras? According to Abb é Francis Trochu’s biography, The Curé of Ars , Mathias went on to become a missionary in the United States, and was even made the first bishop of Dubuque, Iowa (p.40). It is said that th

Rewire the Child

It was 32 degrees Celsius. For Saskatchewan residents more accustomed to 32 below Celsius, 32 above means unbearable heat.  I was heading back to school after my lunch break, and couldn't help but notice young children outside playing. They were all dutifully wearing their masks. Faces were red. Sweat was dripping. A general look of pain was in their eyes. I am not exaggerating when I say that. A fellow teacher came over to chat, "Sure is hot!" "Sure is. Of course, wearing masks doesn't help," I countered, obviously unable to ever keep my mouth shut. "Well, it's all good," the teacher replied, her voice suddenly sounding cold. "It's child abuse. Look at them! How is that good? Child abuse is not all good," I definitively replied. Yes, I obviously cannot keep my mouth shut. The next day at school, hardly a teacher said a word to me. I guess I got shunned.  * * * My wife met a lady at the park. The lady had an 11-day-old baby with