transitionu

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

Tag Archives: Inspiration

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Damn Elves!
Here on the 2nd day of November in the year of our lord 2017, the frickin’ coffee elves are playing Ho Ho tunes. We are not amused! Had this happened yesterday on all saint’s day, I might of risked a couple of my 6 wings and beatified a couple elves.

I told one of the elves, with this music, in 7 – 10 days there are going to be dead elves. The Elf thought I was kidding when I asked if there were any spare holes lying around.

Canada and this is how it is supposed to work, We have the Grey Cup game and parade the last weekend of November and the next weekend is Santa Claus parades all over the Great White North.

I was referring to the corporate elf and not the good service elves who take such good care of us for the spare holes.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
I haven’t said much about the TEFL course I’m taking of late. It’s moving along with a few glitches. I was in the course doing work when an unannounced site overhaul was implemented. Yes I let them know of my displeasure.

The powers that be there hit my, “You pissed me off” switch. I’ll tie this in to the “just because I don’t do this anymore it doesn’t mean I got stupid” category. In January of 2000 I interviewed to be the web director for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. When I walked in to the man’s office he had the piece I did on his desk. He’d checked me out. He told me, “Artistically and creatively you’re the best”.

Anyone care to question as to whether or not I know my shit?

The typography is much better. The previous was soft pastels on a white page. In the course they talk about meeting the needs of the learners. I wonder if the PC people seeing to those needs ever considered when the site was being built, a little thing that afflicts some people called “colour blindness”.

I see extremely well. Might explain why among other things, I’m a damn good photographer and observational writer. So, if the design is bothering me…

Lemme ask y’all a question I already know the answer to because I know how to run a web site. Should your clients be notified prior to a major alteration to the site and when that change is going to take place?

It also brings me to you never know what someone has when you encounter them. This bunch hit the “PC enough to frost you flakes” mentality. They thought I should be more understanding because they did tell you in the site as it was taking place.

I showed them I know how to take electronic notes and the course is repetitive on making sure your students have that skill.

Here’s another question for y’all, do you think I’d have even been on the site if I’d known changes were going to take place? And who does a major change in the middle of the day?

Mostly it’s good. Don’t get me wrong, mostly it is good and I’m enjoying the learning path immensely.

Blade Runner 2049
I went and saw the film yesterday. My film maker buddy and I talked about the film a little bit and we both commented on the 2-hour 44-minute running time.

When the film ended I went, “What, over already?”. I liked the film and didn’t notice the running time at all. There was a scene setting that made me think Chernobyl. Somewhat fitting when I checked email and discovered fallout. I’m a big boy, I can handle it.

Learning Path
I’ve been looking at all kinds of teacher’s helpers and apps as part of my own diligence. Found some really neat stuff in my web travails.

I have been to teacher dedicated sites and joined a couple.

Some great resources that are free or of low cost.

GRH Path IMG_20171031_114347

“Good Friend” just checked in with a response to something I said. My “Restraint” is being admired. And oddly a song comes on the FM that “Good Friend” made it clear there would not even be the risk of an ear worm taken. Also, oddly or not, and that means you “Good Friend”, that response of yours had to do with school

The response was just a tad more vociferous than what I related.

TEFL Handbook by the “TEFL Handbook Team”. Strange I do indeed find it that they spell “Tire” with a “Y”. No not at the end. I’ve browsed through this thing and with what they say is coming you got a powerful tool at low cost.

This one is fun, “Preposition” by The Brazillions. It’s multipurpose too.

The “Hangman” game aint bad either.

Listening skills are big on this path. I don’t just listen with my ears. I listen with my eyes as well and have done such for a very long time.

Canadian Politics
I haven’t been following to closely the last few weeks. Everybody in the damn country knows the level of incompetency at the Federal Level and take comfort in the fact there are less than 2 years remaining for Trudeau 2.Doh.

Here in Ontario the blustering of the Wicked Witch Wynne goes on. You’d think a witch of this magnitude would understand a few plums can’t do the job you need the flying monkeys for! Less than a year until the electorate dumps the water over her pointless head.

I needed a small rant today. Sometimes you have to rant and it’s more than okay. Blow the shit out and shower it away.

Back to the studying right after I check and see if a light has gone on.

© Gary Hambley – all rights reserved
Certified Professional Coach
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (pending, but not for long)

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Adapting Me

Adapting Me

I’ve had to make adaptation to myself and what I know to be correct. I’ve had to remind myself more than once that this is also, “Language Arts”.

Another TEFL module complete with a return on assessment of 100%. This adventure’s name is “Adapting Subject Specific Material”. To achieve this, I had to give them what they wanted even though I disagree with their logic. “If it walks like a duck, if it smells like a duck, if it talks like a duck, it’s a duck”. There is of course the remote possibility I’m incorrect. I’m never wrong.

I said to a friend that I must rewire parts of my brain and when I explained my statement he agreed. A week or so after that encounter I changed my mind on having to rewire my mind. Analogy, “The junction boxes are already there in place and I have to build additional pathways that tie in to the existing circuitry”. I did tell my friend about the change of mind and why.

Thinking more simply is difficult. One of those new pathways I must build will allow me to think more simply and tie in with my critical thinking.

In the course of the course, I find myself having to go sideways and read more than is provided, so out I go researching the topic. I’ve read theory and practice and I find myself making judgements and decisions on those theories and practices. This is known as critical thinking. Were I not making decisions and judgements it would be abstract thought and not critical thinking.

In my journeying I stumbled in to the square root of all evil, “Common Core”. Lemme tell you, the square root of two isn’t the only thing irrational! Oddly or not, the PPP* was from Stanford University, “The Common Core For English Language Learners”. See slide 30, I had an elfin bovine with the conceptual ahead of the procedural in math! I said “ELFIN”, read it again.

The theories and concepts of Common Core in Language Arts from what I’ve seen and it isn’t a lot, is good. Art has far more room for the conceptual than Math and Science do. That art has far more room for conceptual approach than Math or Science do is a surprise to anyone how?

On another lateral move I wound up with “The Ontario Curriculum Grades 9 and 10 English”. This would have been a handy thing to have from the outset. In my opinion this document should have been provided as reference material for the glossary alone. Yes I told the educators about it, nicely.

From the Ontario document, “Teachers develop appropriate instructional strategies to help students achieve the curriculum expectations”. I’m finding the word “Expectations” in this Ministry document quite a bit. When I read, it certainly seems the philosophy is “No Child Left Behind” from the Common Core/Common Good theory.

The problem with “Expectations” is just that, they are “Expectations” and not “Demands”! Faulty and misleading language because these expectations they talk about should be, yes should be, DEMANDS. This “Demand” states what you must achieve to move on to the next level.

I’m just not seeing a problem with letting kids and these are kids in school, that we “Expect” the “Demands” to be met and if those demands are not met, there will be consequence. Maybe it’s just me again, but I believe learning the difference between “Expectation” and “Demand” is a pretty important life lesson.

I haven’t gone over the MoE Curriculum with a fine-tooth comb by any stretch of the imagination. I saw the grading scheme and it had 4 categories and they are, 50 to 59%, 60 to 69%, 70 to 79% and 80 to 100%. I didn’t see a designation for 0 to 49% so I’m guessing this is the, “Minimally Exceptional” George Carlin, who is an influence on me, was talking about in his take on language.

If you’re finding this writing clinical and analytical with a touch of snide that would be because it is. I have a structure that works for me and I like it because it is ordered. Even my “Snide” has order and purpose and is 100% ambiguity free.

Here’s a rather bold conclusion I’ve come to for you to chew on, you shouldn’t even be allowed to Teach until you’re 45. We need to revise the expression,” Those that can, do, and those that can’t, teach”. Change it in to this, “Those who can do, teach, those who can’t do are kept the hell out of the classroom”.

Me and “Good Friend” had some chatter going and at the time of writing I haven’t heard back from “Good Friend” on how it was received when I noted what appeared to be a “Comma Splice”. I’m hoping “Good Friend” sees how I’m changing and adapting and knowing “Good Friend”, yes and not so much.

I’ve moved in to the next module of this TEFL Course and I have encountered and satisfied the demands of, “Establishing Behaviour Norms”. Something makes me think most people wouldn’t want me doing that. C’est la vie**.

G.R. Hambley ©
October 14, 2017

 

*PPP – Power Point Presentation
** c’est la vie. french expression that is rather famous in english and other languages. it means “it is the life.” can also be trasnlated into english as: – “that’s life”

Change
simonboylan.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/change_our_greatest_strength-Copy.jpg

HG Wells
q.likesuccess.com/71/3528977-quotes-about-change-and-adapting.jpg

There goes perfection, for now

There goes perfection, for now

I finished the 3rd module of the TEFL course I’m taking. This module was large in quantity; 15 parts when you count the written submission that must be done prior to taking the 15th part, the whole module assessment.

My number on this assessment was 85%. I still passed the test with 15 points to spare. A passing grade is 70%.

stock-photo--percent-pie-chart-red-and-beige

This section entailed the “Fundamentals of English Grammar”. There are a few items I’m just not recognizing in accordance with the technically perfect that is required. Things like what is a fragment, and what is a mistake to name a couple.

Why the problem? Why because I do things in writing that fly against the rules but make sense when you read what I’ve written is why.

I cross lines and blur edges in my “Communicative Expressionism*”. I don’t apologize for my behaviour either. I am not writing you a technical document or trade agreement and am telling you a story.

Within the context of the course and proper English, the keepers of the course are correct. It is incumbent on me to make sure I have this technical aspect wired in to my brain so I recognize the objects far more readily and correctly.

I had opportunity prior to submission to go back and change answers. I gave that option serious thought. I didn’t do it because I was concerned I could make it worse. “Guesstimate” is not in my action plans at the best of times and when it comes to test taking, not at all.

That module exam had to be done before you could even look at the next module.

I had to set that small section aside for the moment and move the ship on. Should I so choose, I can revisit and redo that test. I can go back and make the perfect number but I don’t think that’ll happen.

Revisiting and posting that number isn’t going to change the fact that there was an issue that required remediation. I’ll know it aint a real perfect number. I know it’ll look pretty on the façade if I revisit. If all someone is looking at is my façade in assessing my qualifications to teach, I probably don’t wanna be there.

I like that you’re asked for your philosophies. The administrators want to see what the tools and strategies are that you first person personal are bringing to the teaching. Simply, you’re being asked to identify your/the resources and how you’re going to use those resources.

In a previous submission I gave my teaching philosophy in my piece, “Teaching Philosophy, Mine”.

This one asked for philosophy on teaching grammar to others and myself. Verbatim what I said.

Grammar Philosophy

I’m a believer in the “Completion Backwards Principle”. The principle isn’t just a “Tubes” album and it works. I’ve been using this technique for years and the continued success is why I know it works. Before being able to define the term, I was exposed to the “Completion Backwards” usage by my high school trade teacher.

One of the things I am is a Life Coach, a CPC (Certified Professional Coach). An imperative in the process is defining the whole. Figure out what the whole looks like and then you can go about creating it from the blank sheets of metal or paper. I’m also a tradesman, a Tinsmith. I take the “Smithy” moniker seriously and wear it with pride.

My philosophy says that the Teacher is entrusted with building the learners relationship with the word. The principles and theories of “building” are universal and applicable to learning language. You provide the materials or building blocks and set the learners up with tasks so they can achieve small accomplishments.

It’s ridiculous to expect anyone to create “a whole” from the collection of grammar parts without knowing what the whole is and how it is expected to function.

Give the learners a couple or three paragraphs from a book or newspaper and let them engineer the paragraphs backwards. For the purpose of the lesson, the selected text is deemed absolutely correct. Deeming the text absolutely correct allows you to introduce different types of narratives.

Let the learners build mistakes in to the provided content and then let the class tear the altered passages down. In later exercises, you can define the types of grammatical errors you want to see written in to replace the existing correct word or sequence of words.

I’m going to have my students plugging their stories in their native language in to a translation engine and let the learners go English Grammar all over the return!

There will come a time that I let the learners take my narratives apart. I’ll let the learners critique the Context, style and flow. I’ll have the students apply formal rules where I intentionally went with communicative expressionism or slang. I expect that exercise to provide some very interesting reading that we can all have fun with! If an understanding and appreciation of a little self deprecation.

These are three of my pieces that will get used for lesson purposes in my classroom.
Tools, Weapons and Toys
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/quoth-me-10-t-w-t-tnt/
Ranked Ballot System
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/ranking-points-relevantly/
PC Language
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/pc-language-women-are-to-blame/

Music is going to have an important part in my class. I’m going to use all those terrific tools that others made possible for today’s teacher to use. While “School House Rock” isn’t a television staple, there is no reason it can’t be a classroom staple. Music triggers memory and that is a fact the teacher should not only know but put to good use!

Part of my own grammar learning philosophy is to not have structural knowledge interfere with my writing style. I’m not writing academic papers and am telling stories.

I don’t know if you can call wanting to be knowledgeable and possess the latest greatest information on your chosen path qualifies as philosophy. Paying attention to what is taking place in the field of English Language Study. I’ll be doing that.

Of course, I’ll continue to write as well.

G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 27, 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

Bella Terza Rima, Maybe

Bella Terza Rima, Maybe

I’m told the scheme is from romance
Something more in the poetic amore
My first time playing at this dance

Found myself needing to write today
Drifting with the harmony in rhyme
Thinking I’ll love this style’s sway

One’s first try may not reach sublime
Line two of writing follows one and three
Should this fail to soar I shan’t pine

Aye, the style doth differently challenge me
Perhaps tis worthy to read of others pursuit
Much to learn before bidding adieu the plebe

There’d be such the scene were my chest hirsute
Seems a shame to be winding this piece down
The puffing and preening would be an absolute

During writing there was A moment profound
Me thinks the engineers should hear this tragedy
Never, ever, let MS Word read poetry aloud!

G.R. Hambley ©
September 04, 2017

There you have it, a first “Terza Rima”. Still not sure where the stop in the scheme should be. When I got in to the flow and the scheme, it is fun and it is a beaut!

ABA BCB CDC DED……

Fear and the Alligator Mouth

Fear and the Alligator Mouth

Fear, we all have it within. Fear, the fight or flight mechanism. Fear is good. Fear can keep you safe.

Making someone afraid is bad. Conducting yourself without fear, also bad.

Fear, the healthy respect, it’s eroding and there is good and bad in the erosion.

Unfortunately, one of the fears that is eroding is the fear of getting slapped or punched in the mouth.

It’s just simple physics y’all, action/reaction. Who’s to say the verbal slap isn’t equal to the physical slap? Qualification physics.

Read a few stories about cursing in the work place a few weeks back. The information didn’t surprise me in the least with the conduct I’ve seen over the last decade or so in less formal places. This would include the driver of the vehicle in the cursing incident I’m gonna tell you about.

A few links that’ll give you a jumping off point. All open in a new tab or window.

Who swears more at work, men or women?

Watch Your Mouth! More Women Swear at Work Than Men

Why people go @*@&@(*&! in the office

I witnessed a cursing incident. Wasn’t pleasant and I felt for the person who was in the passenger seat and had to listen to the broadcast. A captive audience to the diatribe of the driver.

I looked at the guy in the passenger seat, give him the palms up with shoulder shrug and look to the heavens with head shaking.

This is a Friday afternoon on hot sunny day in the core of Toronto during rush hour. It’s always tourist season in this city so factor that in too.

Mr Captive Audience returns my gestures. The driver is still dropping the “F” bombs in rapid succession.

Me and the guy, we’re still looking at each other while the driver carries on with the F Bomb Blues. I give him the “can you believe this, what’cha gonna do gesture” again and he gives it back to me.

Meanwhile people are stopping on the street, looking for where this Blue Bird of Unhappiness is chirping from.

Third time is the charm right? Well me and that guy, we go through the, “I don’t know, can you believe this shit” shrugging ritual again and, and, and the driver sees him do it.

Then I felt even worse, that poor, poor, bastard. The guy was gonna have to explain to the woman the “what the hell was that?” that she’d just seen. Right then a gap opens and she’s in to it and moving off, slowly.

As they move off to the east I’m left standing there watching them go and thinking, “Fare thee well you poor, poor, bastard”.

Girls have their RITES and so do guys. Only a guy can understand what is going to happen next. While men and women are the same species, maybe, we are vastly different creatures.

Completely oblivious to what’s going on around her. The guy is going to have to tell her the outburst was heard by a whole lot of people. He’s going to have to tell her he wasn’t real pleased to be a part of the centre of attention.

I could tell he didn’t condone the action and I’m hoping that little tidbit of information gets passed along to little Ms ME. No not “Medical Examiner and yes “Millennium Entitled”. Hey maybe it was a different inflated entitlement. Or just maybe, and as much as women like to protest they can’t be such a thing, (yeah they can) she was just an asshole.

I’m betting she’ll tell him, “I don’t fucking care”. Any takers? Just to be safe, that bet, it’s rhetorical.

It’s a whole lot different when a guy does it and it’s a woman in the passenger seat.

Now when a woman tells a man about his behaviour, he’s expected to be contrite and appreciative of the efforts that fine woman has made to show him the error of his ways. But if a man does the same, he’s insensitive for not being on her side. Doesn’t matter she was carrying on like a braying jackass. The guy is wrong and the woman is right.

Brings to mind using sex as a weapon and why guys will just shut the hell up or stick up. Sex as a weapon, that’s a sordid tale for another time.

Her outburst had to do with being late and not being able to move faster in rush hour traffic. She was held up. Her getting to where she had to go, her only consideration. She was about that close to a self-induced persecution complex.

Male or female, the ones running their alligator mouths are going to be the ones expecting their friends and family to auto back them.

The infamous “Hummingbird Ass”, there are more and more of them vocalizing every day because they do not fear. This is bad.

Backing them, you’ll probably have to do so one way or another because that “Alligator Mouth” overloaded what is most probably a “Hummingbird Ass”. Not going to take the chance on them getting reamed or hurt. Especially if you’re a guy, you got no choice but to stand up. Even if you’d like to take a strip off the asshole her yourself on this one, (with the accompanying head shake and eye roll) you gotta stand up.

Women are real good for calling guys on what they do. How about paying attention to and emulating what men don’t do instead of emulating what you think they do?

As always, I’ve talked to those of both sexes about what I see and what I think. The good people in my community are good enough to tell me what they see and think. A diverse bunch and I appreciate them all!

We talked about the lack of fear in personal deportment. Conduct if you prefer. Lessons imparted that help bad things not happen, too you.

Apparently, in this century, cursing is the new civility. Well maybe for women in the office, walking down the street and potty mouth groups heading for a potty break.

Angry is the new happy. Just like fear, anger can and does elicit the fight/flight response. Pretty much the same effect as an alligator mouth overloading a hummingbird ass. That response would be walk away or slap you fucking silly.

Not all slaps are physical. The verbal ones can hurt more than a physical slap and take much longer to heal, if at all. The verbal slap is quite likely to be more inviting to make response. And then it’s on and it’s ugly and no one needs it.

Within the confined quarters on an automobile, that cursing the world behaviour gets real old real fast.

Now we got a few kinds of abuse going on. Physical maybe, it’s emotional for sure and then there is abuse of the word. I detest the abuse of the word.

I trust you’ve had a look at the links I’ve included.

Women have got to start being accountable for what they do. Especially so when in an environment where they invented the current fucking language, the office. Women can’t be playing the, “Well men do it” card when they are the biggest offenders.

If you’ve read me some, you know as a certainty that I talk with the people in my community. Some of what we talk about is what we’ve seen, encountered, bypassed on the street.

Again, if you’ve read me you know I’m a smoker. I pop out for one and take in what’s going on around me. Sometimes I just pop out because moving around helps the thought process.

When the cursing is cascading down the street in 4 or 5 part disharmony, more often than not it is women.

The community standard, gratuitous cursing is unattractive and uncomfortable. The result is ostracising. Judicious cursing, can be effective and appreciated. Oddly, the community standard operates just that way.

I’m not going to pull a holier-than-thou televangelist routine and pretend I don’t curse because I do. I’m not going to lie to you and say when I curse it’s all for effect cuz it isn’t.

Thing is, and I get it, cursing derives from the word curse. Not many people seem to understand that and it is a shame, all they’re really accomplishing with the behaviour is putting a curse on themselves.

I’m a proponent of being able to use all the words. Simply, male or female, cursing as a regular part of your vocabulary, it isn’t attractive. I haven’t been real comfortable dropping the expletives in to this piece. There has been muttering under my breath which has included epithets.

Of course you are free to carry on as you like. While you’re carrying on, consider this.

With angry as the new happy, and people putting up with much less, one way or another, your alligator mouth could be on the receiving end of a well deserved slap and merit badge.

If you require further illumination, see rule 10.

G.R. Hambley ©
August 23, 2017

Older and Better

Older and Better

All he kept talking about was glory days.

I was thinking about this piece this morn and then Springsteen’s , “Glory Days” came on. Now that’s what I call a set your dial to write clue. “Good Friend” calls that summoning something else. Barely got any coffee in me, damn.

Many of us know one or two or three people that are like that. One of the best film portrayals of the “Glory Days” individual was by Dennis Hopper in “Hoosiers”.

You’re not getting older you’re getting better. A well known campaign with an affirming PSA touch by Clairol.

Once upon a time I was a member of the “Yea right” brigade as it applies to the “You’re not getting older you’re getting better” slogan.

Change of perspective, and it happened a good while back, changed the mindset.

Yes I’m old. We have statistical data for a reason and statistically, I’m in the last quarter of my life.

I’m adverse to dragging my old glory days out. Even writing it in this context where it’s actually useful, it doesn’t fit well with me.

You can find the following online and is an older posting. Which do you think I was…. Bear, Ram or Hawkeye?

CJFL
The Toronto area really needs to look at getting back into the Canadian Junior Football League (ages 19 to 22 years).  Back in the day there were at least three teams in the GTA.  The Lakeshore Bears playing out of Centennial Park in Etobicoke, the Scarborough Rams playing out of Birchmount Stadium, and the Oshawa Hawkeyes playing out of the Shwa.

Back then talented football players who couldn’t attend college or university because of grades, money or whatever reason had a place to keep playing a high level of football in Canada.  Back in the mid 70s the Scarborough Rams having winning records of 10 and 0 seasons along with the Ottawa Sooners, and the Hamilton Hurricanes could give any University ball club a run for their money. Bring Junior ball back to the GTA!!!!

I see in my research for this tale that the Ontario Football Conference in 2017 is again part of the CJFL. Toronto is represented by the GTA Grizzlies.

So yeah, I had some Football glory days. Last one I signed, it was with Junior Argonauts. I’m pretty sure you can figure out the affiliation.

I remember it well. A weekend in mid March colder than a witch’s…., down at old CNE Stadium (I could tell you where to find pieces of CNE Stadium today but that’s a story for another time). Wind was blowing in through that gap between the 3rd base line and the North Grandstand.

Bulova Tower

The Bulova Clock Tower which used to be the Shell Tower was stuck at a balmy -6 C. Fun Wow!

There is an eeriness to an empty stadium. It’s both a bit haunting and really thrilling looking around all the empty seats when you’re down playing on the field. Visualization is an important tool and yes I envisioned 55,000 people cheering for me.

If the witch image isn’t working for you, try going with, “Brass Monkey”. Equality friends, equality, something for everyone.

I do appreciate why football players bitched about that outfield fence seam on the CNE gridiron! You hit that seam the wrong way, hey what’s a new ankle or knee between friends! Back then they had, “Turf Gripper” footwear. All those things did was make it easier for the “Turf Monster” to get you!

CNE Getty Images

I’m old. This is a fact. Using our measuring sticks, ¾ of my life is over, I’m old.

I had a brief conversation some months back with one of the people in my community I’m friendly with. You don’t need the entire context. What I told the individual is this, at this point in my life, if I want a story I write one. If I want a pretty picture, I make one.

Community friend was not made aware of what is in my past. I’d love see the face of community friend when they’re reading this piece.

I’m a far better writer, photographer, artist than I ever was a football player. We’ve already established, I was a good football player.

How wonderful is it to be able to do those things? How much better is this legacy of art? Sure, those questions are debatable, debatable to everyone but me that is and it is all about me.

To sit down and create. To be seen and read in 103 countries around the world. Now that is one glorious ego stroke. I worked and pushed out, I earned it.

My top 5 countries in order of viewership:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Italy

Number 1 and 2 aren’t a surprise. Those two should be where they are. Now number 3, if you know what I am now and what I espouse, it isn’t a great surprise.

When comparing numbers between Canada and the USA, Canada has about 10% of the people that the USA does. When I look at the stats I’d kind of expect to see the same ratio of 10 to 1. It’s about 5 to 1 and that pleases me.

“Far have I travelled and much have I seen”, Mull Of Kintyre. I don’t have your miles on me but hey, thank you Sir Paul!

What I’ve become is much better and far more powerful. I grew stronger and better. As I grew, I touched others significantly. I’ve met some real outstanding individuals and made a couple lifelong friends. To my mind, that’s the glory.

It isn’t all one way. I have been significantly touched myself. This makes me stronger, it makes me better.

“Carry me back to the days I knew then”, thank you, no. I have mulled it over and I have no desire to return.

Yeah, I’m older and I’m better. I’m worse too, the physical thing. I have that aspect of my life under control. It’s a non issue in the older/better sense.

The better not older campaign was aimed at the preoccupation with aging and death. That preoccupation is still with us. If you can give someone something they can rationalize a condition with, they just may.

If quarterbacking from the armchair and reliving whatever your “Glory Days” were and are, you can. Being the intelligent donkey I am, I’d say enjoy your retirement!

I’m telling you, if stronger and better is what you want to have as you move through life, then you gotta be engaged in life. Why? Why because that’s how it works.

When people tell you that your style or something you’ve done reminds them of the greatest of dead poets, you know you’ve achieved your goal of someday being one of them.

Try wrapping your head around this one. I knew it when I first started writing poetry. Monetary returns, never a real concern. I write for me and share. I happen to think some of my stuff is gonna live forever.

I don’t expect to realize the full glory until 150 years after I’m dead.

No, no, no, don’t fret for me!

I will be checking back to see if I’m correct. What!? You don’t think someone as glorious as I wouldn’t be able to check back and see what y’all are up to. Not a question.

G.R. Hambley ©
July 31st, 2017

If I Can Do It

If I Can Do It

If I can do it, you can do it!

The truth is, no, you can’t do what I do. Before you hurt yourself, or someone else, stop it!

I was asked about how I felt about the statement, “If I can do it, you can do it”. The asker’s context had to do with the statement as applied to someone with an addiction.

We aren’t talking trivialities here. This is not about the annoyance of someone who can and someone who can’t put a dish in the dishwasher.

The question was given to me with the following;
Not only was the tone condescending, the phrase itself seems to  imply “no matter how difficult your struggle may be, mine was even more so, yet I overcame it. So you really have no excuse.”

Lets move to the application of that phrase that we have no problem accepting, advertising.  Silly people think running that phrase out is a motivator and will boost sales.

My response included not only my disdain for that “Then you can” statement and the attackers who run it out as well as my disgust with the, “Give it your 110%” crowd. You aint got 110% so stop trying to give what you aint got! It’s making you nuts, stop it!

On any given day your 100% is different. Some days you’ll accomplish more. Some days you’ll accomplish less. Most days, you’ll accomplish about the same. At the end of the day if you can honestly say you gave it your 100%, you’re doing just fine. If you’re being told your 100% isn’t good enough, exploring why isn’t a bad thing to do.

Back to the main feature, “If I can do it, you can do it”.

That statement/action hits a few of my trigger points bang on. The passive/aggressive and the emotionally controlling brought to you by your local know nothing at all.

The term we’re talking about here is “Attack Therapy”. I do not believe in that approach because I believe attacking someone is going to result in failure. Then of course there is the fact the person being attacked isn’t at their best. You just don’t know what your attacking is going to do to an already problem psyche!

If “Attack Therapy” is something you believe you need, punch this in to your search engine, “Landmark Forum Attack Therapy”. I went to one of Landmark’s information sessions; couldn’t believe the audacity of one of Landmark’s individuals getting up in my face and not wanting to back down.

My masthead way up there says, “Certified Professional Coach”. The guy at Landmark Forum who was  up in my face, he wasn’t. No matter how much he wanted to believe or have me think he is a coach, he wasn’t and never will be; at least not a good one. He hasn’t got the sensitivity required and being trained in “Attack Therapy”, he never will because he is about beating you down in to submission and building you up in the Landmark Image.

I wasn’t in the least pleased with this individuals acting out. You could also call the display, “Displaying”. Look that up in your guide to the animal kingdom. We’re animals too folks.

I  made a bold statement myself, “no, you can’t do it”. My statement will cause some to be angry with me and others to think I’m full of it. Fair enough. I get it. I understand the mindset.

I’m asking that you process this a little different. I’m talking about an encounter that angered me. I was angry and didn’t flat out blast the perpetrator. I needed to find out just how full of shit this guy was and plan my counterattack. We can call it “Compose my rebuttal” if you prefer.

Getting someone backed down or brought down without creating a scene, quickly, one of my skills. Throwing your hands in the air, turning your back and walking away does not constitute deescalating the situation and making your point. It is important to make your point so the other person knows just how much you appreciated their action(s)!

“You did it so I can do it” you say? Maybe you can. Maybe you got in your personal makeup what I and some others got in our personal makeup. Having that makeup doesn’t give you the right to embarrass, humiliate or attempt to control someone. Fact is, if you really got the parts, you wouldn’t of laid that trip round the psyche on your victim.

Well “La Dee Da” is what a few have given to me in response to me talking about things I don’t do.

The defence mechanism of belief that says I am being condescending and seeing the person I’m speaking with as inferior to me. The belief that I’ve just told them, “If I can do it, you can do it”.

That belief position doesn’t stay with the individual for long because I won’t have it! They are enlightened directly. I don’t use, “You’ve offended me snowflake tactics” to enlighten those people either. Doing so would be an emotionally controlling tactic and that’s just wrong.

For those encounters to have happened at all means these people have been subjected to the “If I can do it, you can do it”, emotional control people have tried to exert on them.

There are far better ways than attacking to stimulate, motivate and support people.

A few days ago I got talking with an individual and the problem is addiction and the person came right out and said it in their telling me of their upset.

I just let the person go. When there was a falter after the initial rush, I said one word to the person, “Headspace”. The person shrugged and exhaled and very softly said, “yeah”.

I just waited and then I did something else that I can do and you can’t. I told the individual that they, “Absolutely Should” do something. I’m also very big on not telling people what they should do. The “If I can do it, you can do it” statement is also telling someone what they should do.

When I let loose the, “You absolutely should”, it was as affirmation and support. The individual was lamenting about not speaking up and letting their feelings be known.

I saw the person a couple days later. In a better frame of mind and with a thank you for me.

I tried a couple times informally working with people who have addiction and eventually I had to cut all ties. It had to be done and it wasn’t pleasant.

I don’t deal with addiction. I do not have the skill set to work with people with addiction. Just because someone else can do it doesn’t mean I can.

I aint got the parts and I know it. Those parts include wanting to and I don’t.

If you could see my contacts at a certain site, you would see a number of people with the word “Psycho” in their job title. These are the people you wanna talk to. Along with the physicality and emotionality of addiction there is the brain chemistry to be considered. These are the people that got a skill set you may need.

Those people can do it with addiction, I can’t and never will. This is called knowing and understanding your limitations.

G.R. Hambley ©
July 08, 2017
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Pride, My Ass

Pride, My Ass

It was “PRIDE” weekend in Toronto the weekend just passed, June 23, 24 and 25. Well it’s “PRIDE” month actually. We don’t want to offend some enough to frost you flake by not being all inclusive now do we!

The tone was different this year. The feel in the revelry and celebration that was there in the past, not this time.

There was a tension in the air brought on by PRIDE allying themselves with BLM and excluding Toronto Police. Toronto EMS and Fire backed their police brethren.

I haven’t read anything about the Toronto Parade as I write this. I don’t need to. I don’t need to read some racist or flaky excuse for blowing up a bridge instead of building one. I don’t need some arrogant flake or racist bigot telling me they are absolutely right and everyone else is absolutely wrong.

I don’t need to read anything for what I’ve got to say here.

The thing about not reading and not listening to anything either, as yet, I’m interested in what may have taken place or not at the “Al Quds” March. Checking my spelling, I see Calgary was peaceful so there’s a nice piece of news.

I already stated the feel within “Toronto The Good” was different this year and it was. I’m not the only one who felt it. Haven’t done much talking to others about that feeling and again, I don’t need to.

There were noticeably fewer people here for this year’s parade. I live in the core, lots of hotels and touristy things to do. There were fewer people. One of the lead Service Elves agrees that there were fewer people this year.

Toronto Pride Horse As I was walking up one of Toronto’s major streets in the core early yesterday evening I heard the clipity clop of horses and sure enough it’s Toronto Police coming up behind me.

All 3 officers were women. All 3 were flying the PRIDE Flag on their saddles.

As the Officers were passing a couple of people, something was said to them. I don’t know what it was that was said as the person that spoke to the Officers had their back to me.

As the Officers and their Chargers headed slowly down an out of the way side street in to the western sun, it occurred to me just how much the asses of the 3 horses reminded me of John Tory, Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau.

Yes, yes I heard just fine what one of the Officers replied when spoken to, “It’s okay, we’ve got our own parade”.

G.R. Hambley ©
June 26, 2017

Foreign Liaisons

Foreign Liaisons

There are times when a chance encounter will forever stay memorable. Of course this is one of those times or I wouldn’t be telling me about it so I can tell you about it.

A woman and her two daughters took the table beside me late one Sunday afternoon. Mom unknowingly knocked my plug lose from the outlet when she sat down on the long bench we share in this cafe.

“Hee Sun” is the woman’s name and she is a creative. Hee Sun and her daughters are South Korean. I learned this in conversation with mom.

Thus begins a tale of enchanting encounter and wonder.

Apology was made for knocking out the plug. Assurances given that there was no need for sorry and no harm was done.

The lady stands and reseats herself after I’ve returned the plug to the outlet. Where the outlets are in this cafe, decorum demands you either put the plug in for someone or get out of the way. Not doing so could lead to an incident which in this case would have been an international incident and who needs those?!

It’s difficult to not see what is up on someone’s computer when you’re settling yourself in to place. Hey if it were something that private you wouldn’t be working on that something in a cafe.

I had some art and poetry I was working on up on my computer and Mom saw it when she sat back down. Hee Sun asked she me about what she saw.

Doesn’t happen often and I’ve done it myself, commented on something I’ve seen that’s art. Made a couple nice friendships that way but I don’t advise trying it unless you’re a creative. A little understanding and perspective folks. Understanding that there are personable people and that being personable is a good thing is a nice start.

I could have shut off any conversation right quick just be putting my ear buds in. Not like I haven’t done it before and won’t do it again. Sometimes when I got the buds in they’re just in so I don’t have to listen to anything and by anything I also mean anyone.

We start to talk and Hee Sun tells me she has written a children’s book and the illustrations are done by the daughter who is at home in South Korea.

GRH - Hee Book 02.Slice of sliceJPGThe two daughters (I do not know their names) were graduating McGill and Mom had come from South Korea for the girls commencement. They had a few days here in Toronto; then a couple days in Montreal for the exercise and back to Toronto for a few more days.

Choosing Toronto over Montreal to tour, good choice. Toronto is the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Landing here in “Community Mine”, lucky for me and lucky for Mom.

We can have the Toronto vs Montreal debate another time.

So me and she talked. We shared our thoughts about poetry and art. We talked a bit about her two graduating girls. We talked about how we’re all the same.

Sun Hee and me talked for about an hour as the girls amused themselves with their phones. The girls will be staying here and looking for jobs. We talked about that too.

Oh alas, oh woe is me. They’re grown up and they’re staying here and they’ll be so far away from their dear mother. If you’re thinking the lament of this South Korean Mother is the same as a Canadian mother or an American Mother or Jewish Mother, you’d be correct. You’d be correct because we’re all the same.

It wasn’t that extreme but Hee Sun was feeling the separation anxiety.

She read a couple of my poems and a narrative of mine. We went through them together as Hee Sun read aloud. She apologized for English once as she went to one of her daughters for help with better understanding the English through Korean.

Hee Sun showed me the cover of her book on her phone. She said she had one copy at the hotel and would send it to me. You see the book she sent me in the first image.

I mentioned her 3rd daughter did the illustrations for the book and they are terrific. Strangely or maybe not, the mom in the book looks similar to Hee Sun. Maybe it’s just because they have the same hair-do. Nah, it’s deeper than that.

GRH - Hee Book 01.SliceJPGI introduced the lady to John Donne and like so many, she knew Donne without knowing it’s John Donne. I told Hee Sun that I have a good friend who after reading Mr. Donne’s Ye Olde English, decided that any future spelling errors would be attributed to Ye Olde English. The lady smiled at that.

Hee Sun spent a semester at Harvard and did a trail visiting the places of poets renowned in England. She likes the Romance poets and now has another romance poet she likes, me.

I had this conversation a couple weeks ago (June 04, 2017) and I’ve run the encounter past some of those in this “Community Mine” that I’m friends with. The thing about those people in my community and I point it out to them as we talk, they’re the same as me and Sun Hee and another friend of mine who is a mom and lives in South Africa.

We are all the same. We all want the same things.
A decent place to live.
Enough to eat.
Some work.
Some leisure.

That’s it folks. All she wrote. Simple stuff. We all want the same because we are all the same.

“Good Friend” saw this piece pretty close to the completion point. It was asked by Good Friend, “What about love?”. I don’t know if we all want love and I’ll take that up elsewhere.

I didn’t set out on this enchanting encounter of mine to tug at heart strings. What we two were talking about, how could it not? It could only not tug the heart at least a little if we aren’t the same.

Hee Sun provided me with her address and she will be receiving a letter from me. There is so much wonderful in a real letter, a hand written letter. Tactile and tangible and on occasion, scented.

Our conversation was worldly and I loved every minute of it. I’m going to tell her so by hand.

I went and had a look at where Hee Sun lives in Korea, Gimpo and it is pronounced, “Kimpo”. If you’re aged enough and were a fan of MASH, you’ve heard that name before.

The first return in the search brought me a bit from a wiki, Gimpo, directly across the Han river is North Korea.

I can’t even fathom living that. Sure I understand the political just fine but I can’t even grasp living with that situation in my backyard.

I will ask Hee Sun in the letter I write her to try and tell me how she feels about living with that threat as she does and I hope she’ll reply. I will be relating and asking other things as well.

Hee Sun told me she plays the guitar and sings. I’m thinking if I ask nicely, perhaps she’ll tell me a musical story.

G.R. Hambley ©
June 19, 2017

 

 

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