7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Memorials at the CTV site, where 115 people died in the building’s collapse on 22 February 2011. Credit: Joseph Johnson/Stuff

Today is an anniversary date in my life that I could live without.

Actually, it’s so bad that the other day Noel asked me, “Isn’t the anniversary of Grandpa’s passing about this time of year,” the day after that anniversary, and I felt guilty about forgetting that. (My Grandpa passed away on 19 February 2004.)

Last year, I spoke about feeling stuck, like 22 February 2011 is a fixed-point in my timeline, and, like a black hole, the rest of my life slowly spins around it, stuck in its gravity.
Read 7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Remembering Oma 30 Years After Her Passing

The photo of my Oma that everyone thinks is me in drag!
The photo of my Oma that everyone thinks is me in drag!
30 years ago today (26 February), my Oma passed away from intestinal cancer, 1 month shy of her 66th birthday and about 1 month after the diagnosis. I was nearly 13 when she passed away, just shy of that age where you start appreciating the stories and history your parents and grandparents share with you, if you’re interested in family history and that sort of thing.

A few months ago, one of my cousins asked me what Oma was like, and one thing that struck me recently was that out of all my cousins on my Dad’s side of the family, probably only my brother Brian and I remember or knew Oma the best.
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6 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Oi Manawa, the official New Zealand national memorial to the 185 victims of the 22 February 2011 earthquake, shown at dawn on the 6th anniversary of the quake.
Oi Manawa, the official New Zealand national memorial to the 185 victims of the 22 February 2011 earthquake, shown at dawn on the 6th anniversary of the quake. GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

I felt somewhat guilty that I seemingly pushed the sixth anniversary of the 22 February 2011 quake to the back of my mind.  As I mentioned in my last post, I seem to be living day-to-day lately (being “present”), and this has caused problems like, well, everything seemingly sneaking up on me.  I need to work on a better balance in that regard, the pendulum swinging a little too far the opposite way.

Read 6 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Positive Educational Experiences Can Empower People

We Can Do It!

So, today was one of those really busy days at work.  End of term, which always causes a bit of a kerfluffle around the place, was a little more end-of-term-ish for me as I’m taking a break like everyone else over the school holidays instead of working through like I usually do.  I honestly am burnt out and tired and making lots of mistakes, and since my colleague Lyssa is away overseas for personal reasons, I’ll be dealing with new students the last week in July all by myself administration-wise, so I need to be fresh of mind and spirit for that.

Anyway, I had a surprise visit from a graduate of ours today.  She popped in to get a few things, and it was great to see her looking so happy.

After Jacqui left the school, I took over the interviewing for a while, and this student (let’s call her Rikki) came in for an interview after we received her application.  She was quiet, slightly withdrawn, and wholly unconfident.  Her educational experiences had been, to put it nicely, horrible, and her performance obviously suffered as a result.  I had a feeling, reading between the lines, that she’d probably been called “stupid” or “dumb”, when, in actuality, she was anything but that.

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Our Words and Actions Have Consequences

Today, at Careers Expo, I saw a high school student who appeared to be isolated from other students, anxious, and spending the Expo alone. The student started watching our students applying makeup at the far edge of our stand away from them.

I’ve been that kid and I’ve also not had the courage to help kids like that when I was that age due to the threat of being isolated when things seemed to be coming right for me in high school.

Read Our Words and Actions Have Consequences