transitionu

Life Coaching, Observations, Reflections, Things that make you go hmmmmm

Tag Archives: coping skills

It’s A New Year?!

It’s A New Year?!

I wake this morning and I am now in my 60th year on this little blue planet 3rd from the sun. Doesn’t feel much different than yesteryear but it is!

It’s so cold in this country the Calgary Zoo took the Penguins inside. Yet, I go out and forage coffee. Priorities my good reader, priorities. Writing can not be done without coffee. No it can’t, hush yourself!

Last year and in previous years, I would write in two things at the same time, narrative and poetry. This behaviour has continued in to this year I’m pleased to say.

Sneak peek of the poetry… it aint close to there yet!

Should’ve taken the umbrella because it looks like pain
I can see and it looks like you’re headed for hell
I see it’s not a place where you’re going to fare well
You can trust me because everyone knows I’m insane

It’s good to be me!

Here in Ontario, I’m expecting it to be frigid until June 7th. Gonna get real warm that day, and if you’re of the liberally minded RITE, I don’t see you liking it one damn bit.

I took a cab late last year and the driver was real sociable. For all you immigrants, just because I’m Canadian it doesn’t mean I like frickin’ winter! I like winter in the country where it’s pretty. I like winter in California where you go visit the snow! Been there, done that, short pants 70-degree weather.

Winter in the city is mostly ugly. The snow don’t stay as it was purely driven very long.

This narrative interlude is complete. Poetry is staring me in the face. Word!

G.R. Hambley 01/01/2018 ©

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My Exit Slip

My Exit Slip

The powers that be informed me when I asked them why I hadn’t received certain things after being shown as course complete. I was told I had to complete those “Specialty Electives” before receiving their official blessing and benefits.

Ring kissing was not involved, and the electives are done.

I had looked to change “Teaching English to Korean Speakers” but it was a no. So, in I went in and did that elective over 4 days. I had waited the previous 4 days without a response to a few questions and had to resend the email.

I made my choices and that is it. Fair enough, and it didn’t hurt to ask.

South Korea has the Winter Olympics in 2018 and my plan was to do the Korean elective after the Olympics were over.

When I elected to take my TEFL through University of Toronto and OISE, well that was part of the appeal, University of Toronto and OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education). I told the powers of higher education that when I ran in to some serious technical issues that those issues didn’t have to happen. I’m midway through the course and they rolled out a new and improved web site design. I went so far as to suggest they get the old site back online.

I hit glitches in both Specialty Electives, and both of those were presented in the old format.

If you look at my results on the “Teaching Test Preparation Courses”, final assessment you will see I passed by making 70% with zero attempts.

We’ll just call this an exemption on the final assessment for my demonstrated knowledge. No, I don’t like that “70” number and I’m reasonably certain I could get the “100” but I aint going backwards for the sake of that number!

I’m somewhat disappointed because Teaching those who are preparing for an ELPT (English Language Proficiency Test) or ESP (English for Special Purposes) is my preference for my Teaching English. I can do them all and as I just noted, teaching the ELP and ESP is what I like best.

Yes I am receiving some of what goes with a certain completion level. China among other places is looking very interesting,

As I’m writing this I received email notice on how to get my Certificate. Name as it appears on your Passport is recommended. I asked for my Certificate to show in the same way my name appears on my Passport.

I would have entertained using “Gary R. Hambley” as it appears on the business cards I had made up.

I haven’t had the entire benefit of course completion long but these folks are showing me some real good stuff! Yeah watch me tell you what I’m pursuing on the teaching abroad front.

There were technical issues that never should of happened and I addressed that with U of T.

Simple stuff, your new and improved aint working, get the old and functional back online!

You want to change the rules of the game, that’s fine too. But when you do that you create 2 paths and those already on the path stay there and those coming in new, they go on the new path.

There was flat out hypocrisy that I never addressed with the School and will address that here. I also hit a few things that flew directly against what I know to be true as a Life Coach.

This is applicable to all courses of study and not just “English as a Foreign Language”. You are taught about fair and valid assessments. You’re taught that you don’t spring surprises on the students in your assessments.

After the rollout of the new and infirm web platform that replaced the old and functional with poor typography platform assessment changed. The passing grade on Quizzes in the lesson sections went from 70% to 80% while the passing grade for the entire lesson assessment remained at 70%.

I don’t disagree with the number and in fact agree with the number the school set to pass the quiz. It was the hypocritical manner in that the change was made that perturbed me.

They changed the rules of the game after the game had started and that is one giant no no!

In the “Teaching Test Preparation Courses” elective “Exam Anxiety” was brought up. This is the statement that is made, “Help students to change or suppress negative thoughts or worries”.

No, no, no, not ever do you teach suppression!

If you have “Exam Anxiety” and I have it a bit more than the average person, you contact me and I’ll work with you to get you more comfortable and at ease. We Coaches and others call that endeavour, “Coping Skills”. Taking the exam is still gonna suck but you’ll be much better prepared to cope with those feelings and at no time will you ever hear me say, “Suck it up buttercup”.

Previous to that tidbit of information it was noted that if you’re finding yourself possibly over critical, put a Coach in the classroom with you to monitor your performance. I gave that piece of information when I hit it an audible, “no shit”. I had good reason when I hit what I hit to say what I did and more reasons later.

One of the things that Higher Education appears to need to learn is that their students are clients. I made that point clear on a couple of occasions because it was necessary to enlighten the bringers of Higher Education that while I am a student, I’m a client as well.

Education is different now. I’ve been computer literate for over 25 years. The changes in education brought on by the functionality of the computer in the last 25 years is wonderful. The delivery method of this education suits me to a tee. It didn’t take me long to tune out the audio and stick with the visuals of reading and then exploring the material outside the course work.

There were exceptions to me eschewing the audio and the “Teaching English to Korean Speakers”, I listened to everything! I will learn to make those sounds.

I learned a lot. I adapted myself. My thinking is different and the way I speak and express is a little less bombastic. I have my moments, as we all do.

Through this course of learning for me I created a teaching philosophy and figured out what my preference to teach is and why I have that preference.

So as the University taught, “Exit Slips” from your students regarding how they saw the lesson and even critiquing the teacher at term and year end are excellent sources of information.

Careful what you wish for because you just might get it and did you like, “My Exit Slip”.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the powers that be have placed the world at my fingertips and shown me how to go about garnering a teaching position.

G.R. Hambley ©
December 20, 2017

Writings from on the path.

Orbital Thoughts
Forever More, I Am A Teacher of English
It’s The Final Countdown
Oh My Head Again, or Watch Your English
Adapting Me
There Goes Perfection, For Now
Teaching Philosophy, Mine
English 101, 100
The Final Act

Orbital Thoughts

Orbital Thoughts

It’s all said and done and now I’m orbiting looking at jobs teaching English.

The course was terrific except for the technical glitches on the school’s side. On the I.T. side, the issues were addressed with the University and the ship moved on. Well the glitches affecting me are over with, I hope.

I opened up a “Speciality Elective” for a look see, “Teaching Test Preparation Courses”. Hit a glitch. Hit a critical thought judgement too. I’ve only looked at the first section, but I think this would have been a good way to start out any instruction of teaching English.

What’s next is a controlled search and searching out a couple contacts. With one of my contacts a short discussion has been had. The wheels are in motion to an introduction.

In the looking around I’ve discovered something we have that the rest of the world has too, weekends.

The point being is that there is a job to be done and there will be time for the culture and the sites. The immediate co-worker culture will be taken up immediately. Those co-workers are going to have information I’ll need if I want to be successful.

I put a few irons in the tutoring fire in my community as well. My community friendlies are a good bunch of people and I’ll miss them when I go. The plan is to come back, but who knows.

It is as important and maybe even more so, that you know where you don’t want to go.

If the cultural norms of a country disturb you to the point where you cannot respect them, don’t go there. Simple stuff. If you opt to go to a place where you think you really don’t belong and find yourself in difficulty because your Alligator Mouth overloaded your Hummingbird Ass, you own it, on your own.

For me, warm matters but it isn’t everything. I’m spiritual and learning of “Eastern Spirituality” up close and personal appeals to me. I’d like to see “Red Square” and “The Winter Palace” too. I love the architectural no matter where I find it.

I don’t think I’d mind Tibet, but in the moment, I just don’t have enough information and that’ll change. I would kind of like to see the place where I’m going to be working in my second next life.

They tell me culture shock is inevitable. They tell me how to cope with Culture Shock.

Decorum is universal and an important part of one’s make-up. I have that, and I practice it every day. They also made it clear what not to put up with. I don’t see me having a problem with standing up for myself and getting help should I need it.

What is my teaching preference? I want to teach the ELPT’s. I wanna teach the game. I got the game for the task.

This is “Language Arts”. Art is messy.

Don’t worry about it, you’ll clean up, read on.

I see teaching ELP’s in the same way I saw teaching the trade at the Trade School Level.

I’ve spoken of this before about the different dynamic for apprentices at College. We were there as part of our job. We left our jobs to go to school and then went back to our jobs where our marks were reported to our employer.

For lack of a better term, “The regular students”, the ones who had come from high school straight in to College preparing for a career. They don’t know anything but being students and their mindset was different.

The regulars were preparing for something at school and the apprentices were working at school.

People looking to take the proficiency tests for entrance to university in a foreign country, they’re in the game with a purpose. People looking to take an ESP, English for Specific purposes, they’re in the game too. They’re motivated to achieve with a goal in mind. Isn’t that the idea of a game, to score goals of some kind?

I’ll be comfortable as I can be teaching any level. Teaching the game is my preference.

I’m friends with a man of the Christian cloth. We have had some interesting conversations and we’ll have more. In the conversation we had last we talked about blended language.

I’ve spoken on blended language in my, “Carlin Influence” piece.

Both my friend and me, we have good vocabularies. We use them speaking to each other. We talked about how we both blend the academic and the interpersonal when we talk. We agreed, we wished there were more people who did the blending we do in interpersonal communication.

We both have a good sense of humour and we’re both pragmatic. Pretty much the only place where we differ is on what is the path to ascension. I respect his path and he respects mine.

He doesn’t even mind waiting when I have to take a phone call from on high.

It turns out I was mistaken about being done. Especially when they told me I was 100% complete!

I was functioning on the presumption that with there being 3 different course offerings to this TEFL course, the completion levels were graduated. I’m told that’s not the case and the Electives, which show up as different courses have to be completed before I’m seen as being complete and therefore worthy to receive the benefits that go with completion.

I now have a Quandary of my own that I’m waiting on answer to from the powers that be of Higher Education. Been almost 48 hours since I sent an email inquiring.

What the hell, it’s weekend, somewhere but apparently not in my orbit.

G.R. Hambley ©
December 09, 2017

Teaching Philosophy, Mine

Teaching Philosophy, Mine

I’ve made it known along with showing bits and pieces of the work and results that I’m taking a TEFL course. The question was asking about practicality and as I saw it, philosophy because it was asked what I would do.

Challenges you face in the classroom. How you going to manage it. How are you going to meet needs. They’re asking about practical knowledge and coping skills. I got above average coping skills. My recognition skills aren’t to bad either.

Not only will I be watching my students, I’ll be watching out for my students.

So here you have it. As I wrote and submitted for the assignment. But now, I call it, “The Teaching Philosophy of G.R. Hambley”.

I don’t even know if teaching is the correct term anymore. I see the role of the teacher as being that of mentor.

Meeting the needs of all the students, I would hope that when they walk in to the classroom they would understand that I have something they need. That position, I have something you need (and hopefully want) and that by being here you are entitled to what I have, but you have to earn it. Those understandings will be in the opening address to the class.

My delivery would be far more loquacious and sensistive than is written here.

The needs of the usual adult learner are different than the needs of the grade school student. The grade school student could be harbouring resentment at having to take a foreign language.

Specifically, my students, to a degree will be treated as I was as an apprentice. Most of the mechanics I worked with as an apprentice were terrific mentors/teachers as well. Learning the requirements of my trade, any trade, it isn’t enough. You must learn how to communicate and work with your peers and the other trades. Those other trades people are also peers, or cousins if you like.

My students, mistakes are expected as it is part of the learning process. My students will also be allowed to fail if that is what they achieved by word and deed. Adults understand failing where a child may not and the child needs to understand the ramifications of failure. Fortunately, with my class being language, you can run an exercise where the result is failure and how to cope with it.

Meeting the needs of each individually isn’t possible. I believe in a class that has dialogue as exercise you should be even more careful because the language classroom isn’t a political office or soap box to name a couple.

I read this in The Toronto Star and it is from the story, Ontario to launch review of how students are tested. “The shakeup comes at a time of growing concern that the system is too focused on EQAO tests which critics say don’t broadly reflect the many skills students need to keep learning — such as creativity and critical thinking.”

Ontario Launches Testing Review

Creativity and critical thinking, I started learning that from my specialty teacher in High School. That behaviour wasn’t just expected, it was demanded. To this day that man gets the nod as my favourite teacher and I had some good ones. I shall set the same standard with my class.

I’m going to be walking in to my classroom with many tools at my disposal. Those tools include my own poetry, narratives and life lessons.

The students will know that a failure isn’t the end of the world. My students will know their successes will be celebrated and are shared successes with me.

G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 06, 2017

English 101, 100

English 101, 100

I took the final assessment of the first TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) module this morning., September 01, 2017. Feels and seems somewhat fitting with this being Labour Day and the kids back to school on Tuesday. Thanks Harry

Everyone looks forward to that day as summer closes down for another year.

If I satisfy me, it will more than satisfy the minimum requirement. Mind over matter. I mind so it matters. This certificate is not the prize.

The Brass Ring

The minimum requirement isn’t good enough for me. I spoke with a couple of friends prior to taking this examination. I explained my position, my attitude this way. Tipping, the service staff want 20%, expect 15% and settle get about 10%. For me on this path, I want 100%, I expect 95% and I’ll settle for 90%. On this one I got what I want and I deserve what I got. I’ll be expecting the same from myself going forward.

Assessment - Intro to Enflish Langiuage Teaching

 

 

 

Quite literally, this endeavour means the world to me. This is my current world and I want more of the world.

The photograph above taken by my good buddy “Ara Sagherian” is a clue to this posting’s Theme Song, it’s “Harry Chapin” and could be one of a couple songs. Do the research. Trust me, it’s a pleasant trip.

G.R. Hambley ©
September 01, 2017

You Don’t Hate Me?!

You Don’t Hate Me?!

No, I don’t hate you. I don’t hate anyone.

The title of this piece, “You Don’t Hate Me” is from an individual who asked me if I like them. That after I had said “No” to being asked by that individual if I liked them. I don’t dislike the individual either.

There are a vast number of people I neither like, or dislike. This possibility didn’t figure in to the individual’s equation.

There are a great many people who don’t put all the factors in to their equations.

All those people I’m in indifferent to, I hope they’re having nice lives and are basically happy. People who are having basically happy lives probably aren’t up to stupid shit. I detest stupid shit.

Stupid Shit 02I got a whole lot of healthy indifference for pretty much everyone on the planet. You and me, we’re all the same. You got a whole lot of indifference too. I’m not much for telling people what they should do but in this case, that worldly indifference, so you should.

I’ve also got an interest in meeting and talking to people and not just foreign ones.

I also have a pretty intense dislike for a handful of people walking this rock too. They earned it.

You hate me! I’m good with that and you know what else, I don’t care. I don’t care and you can just carry that hatred load as long as you desire. Hatred is a wasted emotion. Hating only demeans the self.

G.R. Hambley
July 04, 2017

I shot the Ibis a long time ago and you’re welcome to use the meme.

Chronological Order of Postings

Rite of Passage or Practical Indignancy 101

Rite of Passage or Practical Indignancy 101

On 2 June, 2017 I made the visit to the new to me Pain Clinic I spoke of in my eHealth Ontario piece.

I went in with the information sheets filled out. Didn’t pull any punches on the forms. One of the questions was, “What would you like your doctor to do with the pain”. My written response, “Give it to the individual that hit me”. If you know me, you damn well know I did so write it down and you’re laughing because doing that is so me!

Yes, I brought out some theatre. Yes I brought out some of my intelligent donkey and yes I made it known I wasn’t pleased to be having to do the same things again because there is next to nothing in the way of records attached to me.

Put more simply, you gotta rise to the occasion!

I went in there prepared to make a stand and with an open mind. Both objectives were accomplished.

No nonsense, no pretense, no side stepping. Oddly as I was being examined, I was never questioned about my answer to the “what do you want done with your pain” question.

You’d think the Docs would of wanted to discuss my B.A. (bad attitude) but nary a word.

The initial questioning was done by a resident. Poor dear girl, exposing one so young to a mind like this.

Going through the info sheets and the Resident asking me if there was anything else that made the pain feel better, and I said, “Not without a partner”. A blank look on a doctor’s face after you’ve answered their question, priceless! I don’t know how anyone else feels but, I don’t think you should have to explain the benefits of sex to a doctor, even one in training.

It is incumbent on you to tell your health care professionals the truth. It is in your best interest to be emotionally present when discussing your condition(s). They have to know your mindset as well as your physical status. Complete communication is not an invitation to go off on a rant. A rant  is singular expression and not communication in a good way.

The simple explanation is that there is a long history of dealing with chronic pain attached to me and I still have chapters to go. I had a lot to say and I did a lot of talking during this examination.

No, no seeing doctors as Gods by me. Doctors are just body mechanics. I’ll grant you they oversee the most complex machines on the planet but they’re still mechanics.

I made certain both doctors, the anesthesiology resident and the specialist were clear on what I wouldn’t do. A stand had to be made. I am simply not going to keep doing what doesn’t work and relating it to new faces any longer.

I’ve been dealing with chronic pain far longer than those that need it will receive palliative care. My demand is simple, give me the same considerations in my medical dealings with chronic pain that would be given to an individual in Palliative care.

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of the terminal diagnosis.

I’ve been living with chronic pain almost 1/2 my life. Oddly mine too is Osteoarthritis. What the court did is good because the Feds didn’t get it correct with Bill C-14, Medical Assisted Dying and that piece of legislation still needs work.

Let’s not be reading things in to the statements I’m making that aren’t there. I’ve a 150 year life plan that is my harmless little fantasy so leave me the hell alone.

Part of your decision must come from dealing with the reality of your own impending death. You are setting a termination date for yourself and that reality may help you examine your pain more closely. I would hope the death reality would make you examine more closely.

I’m tired of building the history when I have to see someone new. Hell. I’m tired of seeing the new. I’m tired of the slight variations in a molecular chain that just might make a positive difference for me. But we’ll have to try different dosages to see which will work, if any of course.

I enjoy my mind quite a bit. With all that goes on up there in my head space, I love my mind. Of course I talk to myself a lot. But then I show other people the conversations I’ve had with myself. This is called writing and it is how writing gets done. Talking to yourself and not writing it down is called something entirely different.

We are talking antidepressants here. Depression was part of the consultation conversation. By definition I am depressed. Going by the definition given to me by one pain clinic doctor, I’ve been depressed 30 days less than I’ve had pain. I wasn’t real pleased when the event took place so let’s call it 20 days.

I’m tired of having my brain chemistry tinkered with so I’m not going to take on the new old with a slightly different chain. I’m not taking it on despite telling the Doctor in charge that I would. Yup, I flat out lied to the Doctor. The Doc got to feel  good that he’d done something good for me and I got him to stop pulling out stops.

I’m a creative. My mind is never off. I’ve been through this idea of treatment before and I can show you in my journal where my handwriting changes back to what it was when I stopped taking those mind altering drugs previously.

I’m still trying to figure out how me sleeping 25% longer, keeping me horizontal 25% longer is going to make me feel better. Especially so when the problem is I have to get up and move around to feel better. Doc didn’t have an answer for that.

The Doc did make the point of all drugs affecting the mind and that is true BUT, not all drugs directly affect cognizance and antidepressants do.

The consultation wrapped up and the primary clinic doc looks at me and says, “Degenerative” and I looked right back at him and said, “Yup”.

My demeanor and disposition are much improved with the decisions I’ve made. I’m not shutting off and tuning out. You present me a possible treatment option that is new and I’ll listen.

I know this stuff and if I need more help I’ll ask. I’ll keep regular with my primary pain doctor so he’s up to speed on what’s slowing me down.

I shall go forward in life happier because I’ve eliminated a major stressor!

G.R. Hambley ©
June 22, 2017

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eHealth Ontario and Wicked Ways Wynne

eHealth Ontario and Wicked Ways Wynne

We are about a year away from the next election in Ontario. The “No Wynne” Liberals are in full save their collective of asses mode.

Billion dollar scandals; The Liberals are infamous for billion dollar scandals! Over paying for electricity, multiple billions in the dumping of surplus electricity, not building gas plants and of course an oldie and a real goodie, the Billion dollar scandal attached to eHealth Ontario.

I’ve been dealing with chronic pain for almost ½ my life. First week of June I’ll be going to a new to me pain clinic. There is nothing of my past history following me around that is readily available to the staff of that clinic. Nothing they can review prior to seeing me for the first time. There is no historical data to compare against.

I’m going to have to relate everything, again. I’m going to have to fill out the same condition information sheets, again. I’m going to have to sign releases, again. I have to do these things all again because there is nothing attached to me for clinic staff to review.

Fortunately, I keep pretty fair records and they are all electronic. The information I’ve got will still require review. We’re going from ground zero and we shouldn’t have to. Part of the reason we have to start over when there is a change, because of the Billion dollar eHealth mess up courtesy of Ontario’s Governing Liberals.

True Wynne wasn’t Premiere in 2009 and McGuinty was. Also true Wynne and her Liberals have screwed up eHealth even more. With performance as the yardstick, I have to believe patronage with Wynne’s brother-in-law attached to eHealth.

Let me make it easy for you and me, your search parameter is, “Kathleen Wynne eHealth Ontario”. You aint gonna like it.

Signing the release to obtain is no guarantee what is being asked for is going to be delivered by the record holder to the record owner, me.

Two requests were made to obtain by my current doctor of my previous doctor. The requests went unanswered.

I’ve had the who owns the records conversation briefly with 2 different doctors over the last couple days. We all agree, the records belong to the patient. Without the patient there are no records to make.

You can get a vehicle repair/maintenance report from a dealership on a used vehicle you are purchasing. If the vehicle is plugged in to the system you get what has been entered. The dealership or mechanics that have worked on the vehicle don’t own the records, the vehicle owner does.

No more should we ever be having a problem with accessing our health records. The capability is here.

Is it fair to have a doctor go back 20 years and convert the patient file to “E” format? No, it isn’t. Is it unreasonable in this age for a doctor to be providing “E” data to the rightful owner after a current visit, no. The vehicle owner gets the mechanics report so why wouldn’t an individual get a report on their machine from the mechanic doctor?

Yes I understand there are a number of hurdles but the end goal is attainable. The end goal is for an individual to be able to control their own historical health information. The end goal would be much closer had Ontario’s Liberals not blown that Billion dollars.

Does Ontario’s Premiere Wicked Witch Wynne really care about the people as she would now have you believe? Electricity rate reduction and high speed rail Toronto – Windsor corridor to name a couple recent carrots being dangled for the proletariat.

“No Wynne” doesn’t care about the people and never has. Shouldn’t hold that against her though. I can’t name any politicians that care about the people. If they did, those politicians would get their party leaders in touch with the peoples anger and voice.

Kathleen Wynne does care about her bullying agenda and telling people what is absolutely best for them. Give Wynne pushback and she brands you or plays a card. The exception being showing up at her doorstep. Do that and then she’ll bend over and kiss your butt.

I came to these conclusions based on Wynne’s performance and oddly enough, Wynne’s lack of performance. You can bet big that Wynne and her Provincial Liberals are on board with the Federal Liberals in trying to eradicate free speech. See Federal Motion, M-103.

How soon do you think the Liberals will introduce “Governmentaphobia” in to a revised motion? All so you can’t talk about government with the scorn and disgust they so richly deserve!

I’ve used and will continue to use this Heritage Plaque that I pass 3 or 4 times a week. We as Ontarians and Canadians are entitled to a certain standard and we just aren’t getting it. Municipal to Provincial to Federal, we aren’t getting what we’re entitled to.

It isn’t wrong to be angry. It isn’t wrong to be vocal. What you do with the anger and the voice can be wrong. Those who would like to make you eat your anger and shut off your voice, that is called emotionally controlling and they’re the ones who are wrong.

Ontario’s next election is on or before June 07, 2018, be relevant!

G.R. Hambley May 27, 2017
All rights reserved

Medical Assisted Dying Bill C-14

 

Supporting the Causes

Supporting the Causes

Yesterday was April 30th, the end of “Testicular Cancer Awareness Month”.

Also yesterday, I was asked to put an 8 Ball emoji on my FB page for “Prostrate Cancer Awareness”.

I told the individual that asked I wasn’t saying no but I’d have something to say on the subject.

I don’t like to override myself. I like to give my postings 3 or 4 days before putting up something new. Exceptions to the rule and rule carefully those exceptions. I got a personal beaut too.

Causes, we all have them and most people are of the mind that their cause is the cause everyone should get behind. If you aren’t on board with them then you’re some kind of something they can stick a label on.

In my travels through April I saw no mention of what April represented on the cancer frontline. I’m talking about usual moving around in the core of my city. No special deals with a percentage going to research for testicular cancer. I got my face in a knot over this lack of male consideration in a piece I wrote about opting out on pink in October.

I was enlightened by a member of my community that one of those major entities I note in the no pink for me has changed the way they do things. This would also be a lesson in being at the least personable, and even better outgoing within your community. You do meet some terrific people.

I don’t know how far reaching the cancer campaign for, “Lady Balls” was. For the uninitiated, Lady Balls are ovaries. That was the crux of the campaign, ladies got balls. Appealing to those feminists sans vagina and FemiNazis everywhere no doubt. Pissing off more than a few along the way with the approach too.

Someone close to me went to Ovarian cancer. I know what it’s about. I can even use the real words that represent the condition. I also happen to believe you shouldn’t be cute when it comes to health matters. That doesn’t mean you should be brutal either.

We in the 1st world are pushed at electronically on a daily basis. Push technology assaulting us when we the people want pull technology. No one likes being pushed.

Showing what cause(s) you’re behind is a good thing. Showing and telling people in your own space where they can learn more about or support the cause, also a good thing. Quietly asking someone for a hand for your cause as was the case with my being asked to post the 8 Ball, another good thing.

In the moment I have my own causes to consider and the things I need to do to be done.

Sorry man, the emoji is out, hope this will suffice.

8 Ball 01

G.R. Hambley May 1st, 2017

I Got Censored

I Got Censored

I couldn’t believe it when the censoring happened. In one of the last places you’d expect to find censorship taking place. It took place in a Scrabble game on POGO.com. For those that don’t know, POGO is a terrific games site run by EA, Electronic Arts.

While I was compiling this piece I had an encounter with Spotify a couple days ago that wasn’t censored.

The specific word is the “N” word. I’m not even real comfortable using that word here within the context I’m talking about. I was completely fine with trying to score points using that “N” word in a word game.

Scrabble; no proper names, no places, no swearing. I had a look at the “Hasbro” site as it’s their game. After a quick read I decided this serves as a better source for reading the “Scrabble Official Rules” than what Hasbro is showing.

I detest both censorship and revisionist history! We’ve all been taught that running in to a crowded theatre and screaming “FIRE” when there is no fire is not free speech and is dangerous and criminal. Nailing your ass to the wall should you wilfully endanger others, I’m good with that.

I wrote a Quoth me piece some time back entitled, “T + W + T = TNT”. It’s about writers and words and yes I qualify.

I spoke with some people about my encounter of censorship in a game. More about those conversations further along.

There will be visual aids and lets please remember we’re talking about words and censorship. After the fact, I tried and there were a couple other words I found I wasn’t able to play, “Rape” and “Slut”.

You can see the tiles in my rack and where I was going to make the word, “Nigger”. Now that I have that out of the way, I’ll go back to using the expression, “N word” because I’m more comfortable expressing with that term and because this isn’t about gratuitous use of a word.

I made the word, “ENGINE” below where I wanted to go.

pogo-censored-pointer

I am competitive. Any game I play, I play to win. I don’t care Thing 1 or Thing 2 about a participation ribbon! It’s about winning the game. Yes I play by the rules.

One of the people I spoke with about the word and censorship, a black woman. This is the same person I called a conservative during one of our conversations. She’ll even play Scrabble with me as long as there is no money on the line. That friend of mine contributed her thoughts to this piece when I asked and I thank her for it. I’ll get to it, further along.

There aren’t many people I know who’ll play that game or any word game with me. How many of y’all would take on someone from the PGA or LPGA straight up? That is Golf for those unaware. Guess again. Those players will beat you handily just using a 3 wood, a 7 iron, a wedge and a putter off any tees you like.

Any game, you want to get off to a good start. I showed my friend another screen capture. Told her this is what it’s about and with hardly any bother, 110 points. Yeah I kick the bots around too.

I made, “Vault”. The Bot makes, “URGE” and oh it was all over but the crying of the Bot’s oily tears right there!

110-points

This is where it starts getting real ugly. We are talking censorship. The decision to ban the “N word” ultimately comes down to one individual who signed off on the acceptable word list for Scrabble at Electronic Arts. Those two other words I noted, “Rape” and “Slut”, someone made those unacceptable for game play as well.

I’d of loved to have been in on that meeting. My commentary wouldn’t have been for the genteel or the Politically Correct Set when that decision got made.

Then along comes the gold nugget courtesy of Spotify who let that word go right on through and in fact provided it for me to look at.

I’ve accumulated a lengthy song list on Spotify. You can go see and use what I’ve put together just by looking me up at Spotify. There are no black outs in effect and there never will be.

Spotify creates, “Your Daily Mix”. These mixes are created from songs that are in your library and interspersed with songs the Spotify Bot sees as something you might like. At Spotify just like at POGO, someone had to program those Bots.

I like some of the stuff of, “Sly and the Family Stone”. Didn’t know their tune, “Don’t call me Nigger, Whitey” at all so thanks Spotify! I could of done without hearing it. I could of done without cuz it’s just not a good tune.

It certainly appears the good people at Spotify are just leaving the art alone and this is so good!

Spotrininicity

THE CONVERSATIONS

I talked to half a dozen people about the encounter I had with that “N” word to get their thoughts and feelings.

A Black Woman, a Caucasian Jew, a 1st Gen Canadian Film Maker, an Actor, a White Woman and of course, Good Friend.

Each and every one of us involved in this little adventure displayed some raw emotion. The question was asked on banning the word. Making the word “nigger” just disappear so no one can use it in any way, shape or form.

The Black Woman, she wondered about a couple other words that could be attached to a ban list and those two words are “Honky” and “Spic”. This same individual did a Google search and returned to me that the “N” word is listed as, “THE most offensive word in the English language”.

One of those people on initial response said the word should be banned. After discussion that position changed.

If you’d like a someone else’s perspective on words and language and how it isn’t the words that are evil, have a look at “George Carlin on Language”. If you haven’t heard George on language and words, you’re in for a treat or apoplexy.

The “N” word along with the battle flag of the Confederacy and the Nazi Swastika must never be eradicated. They are symbols and reminders of where we were and where we don’t ever want to go again.

Everybody in this little word circle agrees that what the word represents is atrocious. We all agree it shouldn’t be forgotten.

We also agree that if you’re so inclined to think racial slurs, we’d appreciate you just coming out and saying them so everyone around you can identify you for what you are by your own admissions.

I could get in to root origin of the word but in this argument, the origin of the word is irrelevant.

Me personally, no word offends me. The assholes behind those words and symbols, yeah they offend me plenty.

Words and History must be preserved. History and words are our lessons and our compass.

I’m going to close this out with a different word and that word is, “INSIDIOUS”.

It is conceivable as our digital age moves along that one person by changing a “0” to a “1” in a single line of code can make a word vanish as if it never existed.

Censorship is wrong.
Freedom of Speech is right.
I not only like this one by ATL, I love it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV7T9escp20

G.R. Hambley ©
March 22, 2017