Sunday, January 29, 2012

Unbelievable

I stumbled upon this today:


A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man.

Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.

"What's the problem, ma?" the hostess asked her

"Can't you see?" the lady said - "I was given a seat next to a black man. I can't sit here next to him. You have to change my seat."

"Please, calm down, ma" said the hostess
"Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I'm still going to check if we have any."

The hostess left and returned some minutes later.

"Madam, as I told you, there aren't any empty seats in this class,
but I spoke to the captain for you, and he confirmed that there isn't an empty seat in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class."

And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued.

"Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class to change to the first class; however, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger sit next to an unpleasant person."

And turning to the black man, the hostess said:

"Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class..."

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

San Jose Hockey to Vancouver MUN

Two weekends ago, I was down in San Jose, California playing the game that Canada claims their own.

Last weekend I was sitting in the Hyatt Regency hotel debating world issues such as Private Military Companies and the Arab Springs.

Two vastly different worlds.

This might seem like an odd mix of activities that I have engaged in throughout the past month. I found myself pondering this, when just the other day in my English Lit class, while reading Hamlet; we discussed what advice we'd give to our children if they were heading off into the world...

Amongst the most common answers were:
- follow your passions
- treat people how you want to be treated
- be yourself!

These are all wonderful and definitely words I try to live by; however, the first one on my list was:
- Enter each day with an open mind. Be open to trying new things and expanding your horizons.

So although being on the ice with my team is more my cup of tea, I was eager to experience something farther from my typical realm.

And a wonderful weekend it was at Vancouver Model United Nations. I was the delegate representing Honduras in DISEC (Disarmament and International Security Committee). The whole weekend was spent in committee sessions where we discussed and debated two topics; A Response to the Arab Springs, and Private Military Companies. There were over 700 delegates at this conference, ranging from grades 7-12. As the weekend went on, I could see that Model United Nations to some people, is like hockey to me. Instead of going to practices, they research their country's foreign policy; and then the conferences are like their tournaments.



It was an incredible experience, but I don't think I'd go again. I went, I saw, I can say that I've experienced something new. It was quickly established who the more intense delegates were; the ones who've been to MUN's several times before, the ones who actually did their research, and the ones who love debating and public speaking. I was none of those. It was quickly established that I was one of the probably 30% of the committee who would be silently observing the discussions. I got up and spoke once, but it was more out of feeling obliged to speak at least once, than actually having something insightful to say. That was the problem with choosing a country like Honduras... what in the world do they have to do with 'A Response to the Arab Springs'? Looking back, I really should have chosen a different committee. Some of the other topics of debate were HIV/AIDS, child soldiers and women's rights; any of those topic would have been better than mine!

The most interesting part for me, was that the format was a direct representation of the true United Nations. A VERY formal setting; you may never speak in the first person, you must always begin your speech with "The delegation of Honduras believes (would like to address, recognizes, agrees with)...". And then there are tons of rules about yielding your time to the Dias, never applauding (even at an applaud-worthy speech!), never referencing working papers.... the list goes on. It seems so inefficient to me; all that time wasted introducing motions, voting on motions, walking all the way from the back of the room to the podium only to say, "The delegation of the Netherlands yields it's time to the Dias". I would have preferred to sit at a round table discussion group where we are free to use whatever informal language we please, and where people can speak when an idea comes to them.



I'm glad I can say I have been a part of an incredible weekend like that; however, I think that might have been my first and last MUN ever.

The only part of the weekend I would never pass down is staying in a nice hotel with my friends in the downtown core of a beautiful city. Also, I'd never turn down an opportunity to see the keynote speaker, Justin Trudeau, speak again.

Even in between the midnight crisis- from midnight to 3am, where we had to create a resolution to a civil war outbreak in Somalia- and the committee session the next morning at 9 o'clock, I managed to hit the ice. A 6:45 practice, running on 2 hours of sleep... but there's nothing I'd rather do.

This team, just the weekend before played 5 spectacular games down south. Five games and only 1 goal against! Not to mention that all three of the North Shore Avalanche teams at the tournament- the Peewees, the Bantams and the Midgets- all brought home the gold. And in each of the three finals, there were zero goals against. When we say that Canadians know how to play the game... it's no lie.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rejuvenated and Ready

It's 9:54pm on January 2nd, 2012.

Tomorrow we go back to school after 2 weeks off for Winter break. I'm feeling rested, refreshed, relaxed, rejuvenated and ready (How's that for alliteration?) to finish these last 6 months of my high school career. In 155 short days I will be walking that stage, dressed in cap and gown.

I've just completed my first University application; to Dalhousie, for their ESS program (Environment, Sustainability and Society), with a double major in ESS and Management. And my lord, was that a process. Not that the actual application was vigorous or time-consuming, but deciding what I want to study for four entire years (at least), and work in that field for possibly the rest of my life; now that's a scary decision.

How am I supposed to know? I'm young. I'm naive. I have no experience in the work force.

All these big, life altering decisions are difficult and stressful. But also exciting; full of endless opportunity. It's time to move on from this safe life where I have everything laid out for me, and go out and explore the world. Make discoveries. Learn. Grow. Live.

I have not a clue where else I will be applying. And after spending many long days and many long hours worrying that I have to make the perfect decision, I've realized that as hard as I try, I will never really know what I want to do. No one will ever really know until they're there.


In honour of purchasing my Coldplay ticket the other day... ladies and gentlemen, "Violet Hill".

Ended off the holidays tonight was an Anton's dinner with the fam, just like old times. And earlier today a 'stick and puck' with the bros. I've had enough fun; I'm ready to go.

And in 11 days, we're off to San Jose to play some hockey!