February 27, 2009

Clubs at Mount Allison: Rotaract

As I noted earlier one of the great things about Mount Allison being a small school is the opportunity for community involvement and even to lead you own groups first year. The school put a spotlight on Music of a Cure which began a few years ago.

But just this year there are new clubs. I've talked more established groups like Leadership and the SAC committees, but this year Lights Out Canada and War Child are starting up, and Rotaract has been restarted. I talked to Kiera Kent who took the lead with Rotaract, the University level of Rotary, just last month. The group works with groups in the community, as well as international organizations with the support of the Rotary Club. Already they have raised around $200 through a 50/50 raffle I was able to help with. That money will go towards Blood: Water Mission which helps provide clean blood and clean water to those in need in Africa. Each dollar provides one African a year of clean drinking water.

Groups that are registered with the Student Administrative Council are eligible to apply for funding and for a small school they are very generous with their funding.

If you want to get involved with Rotaract you can contact:
Kiera Kent, President (krkent@mta.ca)
Abby Wilson (alwilson@mta.ca)
Pierre Landry, Treasurer (pjlandry@mta.ca)

or you can come to meeting most Wednesdays at 6pm in Avard Dixon.

A little more about Rotaract from their website:

About Rotaract

Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary.

As one of Rotary’s most significant and fastest-growing service programs, with more than 7,000 clubs in about 163 countries and geographical areas, Rotaract has become a worldwide phenomenon.

How does it work?

All Rotaract efforts begin at the local, grassroots level, with members addressing their communities’ physical and social needs while promoting international understanding and peace through a framework of friendship and service.

February 25, 2009

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart- Coverage of Obama's Trip to Canada

Last week was reruns but this week Stewart lost no time catching up. It's pretty funny that the Canadian Press actually had a story mostly about Jon Stewart's commentary.

Barenaked Ladies Lead Singer, Guitarist, and Co-Founder Steven Page Leaves the Barenaked Ladies

I guess I won't be able to see them all in concert again. The rest of the band is continuing but it won't be the same, obviously. He just created new blog to about his solo career. I guess that's life. Just like the Ambassador Bridge may be left abandoned so will everything else. The song fit perfectly...but for some reason I'm left thinking of a line from Hurt by Nine Inch Nails: "Everyone I know goes away in the end. You could have it all: My empire of dirt."

and here's a song mark the ending of Steven Page's BNL:

Here's the story from this morning:

Barenaked Ladies turn a Page

OTTAWA (AFP) — Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies on Wednesday announced the departure of lead singer, guitarist and co-founder Stephen Page, who was charged last year with cocaine possession.

"By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies" in order to pursue solo music projects and a theatrical career, the group said on its website.

The rest of the band will continue to record and tour together, and plan to start recording a new album in April 2009, followed by a tour in the fall.

Page, 38, was arrested in July 2008 at an upstate New York apartment and charged with drug possession. The charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor.

"These guys are my brothers," Page said in a statement. "We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."

The band formed in 1988 in a Toronto suburb, and are best known for their hit singles "The Old Apartment," "Pinch Me," "If I Had A Million Dollars," "Brian Wilson" and the 1999 Grammy-nominated "One Week," as well as for their light-hearted, comedic live performances.

Canadian Food and Childhood Visits to Canada

To continue on the earlier note about differences between the US and Canada (Smarties are chocolates, not those sugary-fruity plastic wrapped excuses for candy) I'll fill you in a little more on the childhood vacation trips I went on. From the time I was 4 and moved from a small town in Quebec to a nameless suburb of Chicago my family have gone up north to visit family and reconnect with Canada. That involved the 7-9ish hour ride (depending on who drove) to the Detroit/Windsor and rarely the Port Huron/Sarnia border...filling up on cheaper American Gas before crossing, and once in Canada stopping for some poutine (french fries with cheese curds and gravy...a Canadian fast-food staple) and an amazing burger at Harvey's and/or a Double Chocolate or Maple doughnut at Tim Hortons.

In Canada we would eat/bring back some of the following: Werthers (may have been available in the States...but I remember getting them fom my relatives), Wine Gums, and real Smarties, Ketchup and All-Dressed Chips, Bits and Bites, VH Sauce, Five Alive, Aero, President's Choice Maple Syrup, Nanimo Bars, Buttertarts, and Kraft Peanut Butter (with the two bears). I must be leaving something out but that's a pretty good list of things that I missed living in the States.

Going to Canada seemed somehow like returning home...and because I moved around a lot I didn't really feel like I have a true hometown like someone who was born and raised in the same town could say. I spent the most time going to school in a Chicago Suburb but I didn't live in the same house or town full-time for very long. It's been interesting being back in Canada...and so is figuring out where home is.

February 24, 2009


I've been writing this blog for a few months now and I've gotten pretty positive feedback from people here...but I just wanted to take a second to open up to any feedback from other people reading this. If there's anything you're not sure about, any questions about Mount Allison, or any requests for future posts just comment below.

Spring Break at Mount Allison

So the last few weeks a few things have happened...

A friend of mine performed in The Lover - by Harold Pinter at the Windsor Theatre.

Another friend of mine played in the
Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association Badminton Championships and won every match, earned an award, and qualified for nationals...she's pretty amazing like that. Unfortunately I was too sick to attend...so these photos are from the Mount Allison Athletics Website.

I turned 19 and (gasp) didn't drink. It really wasn't a life changing event...just a lot of fun with some great friends.

It snowed...a lot.

And there was an Open House on Friday the 13th (think long lines for meal hall and large crowds). Actually open houses are quite helpful especially if Mount Allison is your first University visit and you have questions. If you can't make it to them...just about every other day of the school year is quite nice as well. I visited around this time a year ago...it was freezing cold and nobody in their right mind was outside but I still decided to come here...so the visit is really what you make of it.

I applied for and received both of my passports (no more embarrassing Grade 8 photos)...now no being stopped trying to cross the border (96 Days until you need secure documents to cross the border into the US)

I made it through all of my midterms...don't ask how.

I found out which flight I'm taking home (Classes end the beginning of April and Exams are until the 23rd). Shorter semesters mean less total time working...but also less time to catch up.

Most students have gone home for the break but I'm here busy
working on a primary source analysis paper on the October Crisis and writing my paper on US-Cuban Relations for US Government.

March 13th I'll be going to Pat LePoidevin's Blue Tornadoes CD Release Party and on March 22nd (if I can get a ticket) I'll be going to Weakerthans and Constantines

George's Fabulous Roadhouse

That's about all the news I have for now...this week I'll be working a lot to be ready for term paper deadlines and reviewing notes for tests. Lots of fun. Soon I'll be writing a bit more about getting involved on campus...and some detail on a group that was refreshed this year.