Hoh boy, I’m not gonna check when the date of my last blog post was, but I’m sure it’s been over a month. A month. Man, I mean I knew I was never the most up to speed blogger, but no new posts in a month is frankly quite pitiful– what did I get up to in a month? There were definitely some fun moments in February, turned 19, good reading break and all that jazz, but when it comes down to it, did I actually accomplish anything? Yes, I got some great grades– all of them being above 85–but does that actually mean anything?

In high school, extra-currics was my big thing. I’d be in so many I’m pretty sure I had weeks where every day I’d stay at the school until past six. At the time, I thought I did them because I needed to just do things with my time, meaningful stuff. That was definitely part of it. But looking back now, I saw a key part of what made me come back every time was the community formed while doing these activities: the cast of the drama production, the newspaper editors, and the cameradery of the prefects. As hard as it is for me to admit it now, I don’t really feel that here.

A part of it is definitely me. Looking back, I haven’t put my all into clubs here the way I did back at home, and I’m making a conscious effort to rectify that now. However, there must be more to it than that. Something here has made it hard to find a meaning under the books and classes– things that really don’t matter in the long run. People are so wound up about these classes they miss all the other things, things that don’t include drinking, or don’t have to, at least. I’ll give two examples of this: firstly, I put on a One Act for Totem Park. I and my actors worked really hard all through October and November to preform, and I think we did a great job. Problem? Barely anyone showed up. Out of all the people that came to watch, I’d say 90% were friends of mine or the other plays. It really hurts to think people care so little that they won’t come to a 2 hour play, on a week-end, in a time before anyone would be drinking anyway. The second one was the creative writing club i tried starting up at the beginning of February. When I started the club, it got huge support from people on Facebook. However, at the first meeting, only six people showed up. “That’s fine,” I thought. “Everyone will just make it for the second.” I tried for a second two weeks later, to which no one even responded. Finally, last week, I tried one last time, and eight people said they would come, which was a decent number. I go there at the time, and no one showed up. Half didn’t even notify me by text, and the ones that did told me about it at the allotted time. I won’t lie, it kinda kills me to see two things I really put my heart into just carelessly cast aside. Couldn’t people at least notify me a couple hours before?

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to turn this into a bitch-fest, or to criticize the student body. I’m just an extremely bewildered first year, trying to figure out his place out west. I get good marks yes, awesome, but if that’s all I have to show for my degree, it’ll be a wasted one. Maybe you guys can help? What can I get involved in that has a great community? What can I get into that will make me wanna come back again because of the people in it, who are just as passionate about this as I am? It seems I’ve been picking the wrong things. On my last post, someone reccomended UBC Rec, which is an awesome idea, but I cannot play sports haha. Something non-athletic 😛

New Beginnings, New Opportunities

What a crazy, intense week it’s been for me! An emotional roller coaster ride, if I ever had one! Over the past couple months, I’d started to really want to be a Res Life Advisor for a floor in one of the first year residences. The more I saw how awesome my RA’s had been for encouraging growth, friendship and fun, the more I wanted to be just like them; I could already see myself in their shoes, thinking about what I would do, how I would act. I had my entire second year of university planned out. All I’d heard from all the RA’s I knew, and all my friends was how I was definitely going to get the job, and be a fantastic RA the coming year. I was pretty sure of that too, but I knew the hardest challenge would be getting past the resume– once they saw me in an interview, I was pretty sure I would get the job.

But, I didn’t get that far. To be honest, I really have no idea what went wrong here (warning, vent time): I was a leader of two retreats, I taught English to refugees in an inner-city school, directed a Totem One Act this fall, editor of my high school newspaper, and spent the entire application giving a very heartfelt (and very truthful) account of why I wanted to RA. It’s really hard to comprehend that I didn’t get past that, and it really shocked me– all everyone ever told me was how I was definitely going to get in. Now I was, for lack of a better term, stranded; the lack of an RA position also meant I would have to devise all new ways for living near  campus, since on campus housing is probably too expensive for me the coming year. I gotta say, it hurt, a lot, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to come back to UBC.

After a day of sleeping on it, I was hired by an amazing RA in my building to do a reading of a poem of mine, after she heard me perform at a previous event, for Night of a 1000 Drawings, an aids awareness night who’s theme was Second Chances. Second Chances, I like that. It seemed to fit that it was only a day after I found out about the rejected application, and I really took heart in the theme.

I am one of those annoying optimists that believes “everything happens for a reason”. This is definitely one of those times: something happens that’s so random and unexpected to me, so out of the blue, it couldn’t have just been a random chance. Now I’m obsessed with trying to find a meaning for this setback– a path I can take now that, in retrospect, will make me happy I didn’t get that RA position for second year. There’s already a couple opportunities: people are telling me I should start a poetry club (nice thought, already been done), and working on my writing will be a big thing for me in 2012; I can now apply to be a MUG Leader, since I know I will have time to do it with RA-ing not filling up my time, and I can really get involved in Campus-life that’s not tied down to ResLife. ResLIfe, after all, has a tendency to be somewhat insular: you can join other things, but it’s easiest to stay within Res. Now, I’ll be gladly forced to look at a bigger, University-Wide, picture. The Student Leadership Conference really inspired me, to make a difference. Back then, I thought it was to be an RA. And hey, maybe I’ll re-apply for 3rd year, and maybe I’ll actually get in, but maybe I’ll find a path now that actually will make me thank ResLife for turning down the application. It’s crazy, but hey, I’m an optimist.

Second chances, new beginnings, new opportunities. It’s scary, but, like on the first day of UBC in September, quite exhilarating.

Poem- The Essence of Life

Hey guys, just a poem I wrote over the break. It’s a rare one I actually like! lol. Let me know what you think!

The Essence of Life
What a thing it would be, to capture the Essence of life!
The rush of air on the mountain,
The revitalizing touch in the Ocean,
That feeling of free fall–
The air pushing past you,
The entire world opening up in a glimpse,
Becoming so wonderfully large,
And understandably small
At one

It comes in community;
Circling round a flame
Everyone, for once, sees the flame the same way
Everyone, once for, saves fighting for another day
And on the blackness of the beach,
The only sound–
Besides the sea’s incessant whispering–
Is the laughter
Of friends

It swoops into the heart of lovers
Enflaming their souls with a fiery, terrible passion
Giving one a glimpse of the other’s innermost soul:
Opening up past the hard outer shell,
Like an Oyster,
For seconds to see her inner pearl.
The lover could smile at the soft beauty of the stone,
Or could snatch it away, stealing her essence

It comes in the swaying of a forest,
The long and haunting cry of a wolf,
The glimpse of snow-capped mountains Oceanside,
The graceful swoop of an eagle,
Or the desperate cry of a newborn
The essence chooses opportune moments to light the darkest room
In the confines of a bomb siege,
At the end of the gloom
Or the edge of a bridge

But what an act it would be,
If I could harness the Essence of Life!
No title, award, or gift
Would be too great,
For the man who captured happiness in a bottle!

I could hook it up to a machine the size of Manhattan,
Build ropes and pulleys,
Ramps and rings
To show the other scientists
That I am King–
An empire formed
Out of a single machine

Once happiness is assured,
The people will be lured
Come in droves to the middle of nowhere–
A patch of desert, a plain of ice
It no longer matters;
For if happiness is trapped in a bottle,
Who needs the warm touch of a lover,
The laughter of friends,
Or the beauty of nature?

Then the people will come in pilgrimage,
Britain, Brazil and Nepal,
Lazy consumerists them all!
Buying five bottles now,
Ten next month,
Twenty the following spring,
A thousand the coming year,
Until my dominance over them
Has become painfully clear

No one leaves their homes anymore
They drink the golden bottle all day
Ignoring life outside, come what may
Only leaving to jump off that very bridge
The essence had saved them of a decade before.
The bottle of happiness,
Like a delectable candy,
Has rot their teeth,
And they can no longer taste the sweet joys of life.

In the city of the Golden Drink,
Nothing is golden
Everything is grey
In the land of eternal sunshine

And when they’ve all left by the bridge,
The essence is still in the machine;
Once so happy, childish and free,
Now an eternal slave to me.
Looking around at its metal tomb,
It takes one last haggard breath
Before disappearing forever;
the Earth’s most precious resource
Gone like the rest of its siblings–
All for the good of humanity

And so I am left in the world I forged
A shiny, crystal one where machines gorge
Empty of both humans and trees
Where I find nowhere to plant seeds
Nothing to rid me of this strife,
When I captured the essence of life.

Roommate, or Not?

Hey guys, this has been a ridiculously long time since my last blog post, but things were pretty crazy by the end of last semester for me. First off, of course, is exams, which in the end went actually quite well, but it didn’t stop me from turning into the Hermit that just about everyone does during that time. I noticed around then how crazy people seem to get– it’s one thing to not talk to your friends because you’re so busy, but it’s a totally different matter to steal someone’s laptop the moment they leave the room for the bathroom, or to steal someone’s purse when they left it at the back of the exam room, containing a blackberry and set of house keys. Both these horrible things happened to friends of mine, and I can’t help but wonder, why? Are you that desperate that you’re going to ruin one of your colleague’s lives? I’d like to think that exam time just makes people loopy, and that this isn’t a much, much, larger problem that face value.

Of course, I had my own issues during exam time, myself. I have two roommates in first year res, which can be a problem because, like with me and my two brothers, it seems one roommate is always working with one, and against the other. There have been dramatic moments before between us, involving slammed doors and accusations of theft, but things jumped into the higher gear in the last week of the semester, when both, without going into details, did things that no longer makes me feel safe in my room. So, suffice to say, I told Res Life as fast as I could, and got transferred to a single room. Already, writing this blog post in peace and quiet, I love it. I’m an extroverted person, so I was afraid that coming here would make me feel lonely, but I have lots of friends around Totem and Vanier that I can go to at any time, but I have the much coveted alone time to recharge my batteries and get some sleep– for once!

A roommate should be on the same terms as you, not finding the next way to pull a mean prank. I’m sorry that it had to turn out that way, and I’m going to be a lot more cautious in future years when finding apartments and whatnot, but hey, as my Mom said to me a couple days ago, “one day this is all gonna make a great book”.

Strange Happiness

Weeell… I guess I can just go ahead and write a post today! As the clock turns onto the twenty-fifth of November, I’ve nearly been here for three months now, and the adventure shows no signs of slowing down. Learning here is like a tap: once the passage has been opened, it takes a lot for the water to stop, and hey, I have no desire to stop it.

I saw a play today called The Little Creation, for example, that was about a number of different Native Tribes creation stories, and was told through colorful visuals and the mouths of amazing actors. I was really personally connected with the play, and now I want to learn a lot more about Native culture. Tommorow I plan to go to the Museum of Anthropology, which I’ve only seen once before, and really delve into a culture which I (sadly) know next to nothing about. Meanwhile, in arts one, we’re learning about the amazing beliefs of Rousseau in A Discourse on Inequality; about how man is better off in nature, and every step we take away from it (and towards technology) is a step towards unhapiness. While I’m not sure I’m quite ready to go all Hippy and live in a reed-commune (how’s that for West Coast?), it’s certainly an interesting read!

In terms of surviving the November Rain, I’ve gotta ask… what rain? I mean sure, it rains from time to time, and there’s definitely more cloud in the sky than blue these days, there’s none of the incessant, relentless downpour everyone warned me about before and upon arrival. I’m sure things are better this year, which is great, and the mix between slightly colder weather but with more sun is a nice transition from the all sun/all cold weather of Friendly Manitoba. Even when nearly every large tree on campus is now naked of leaves, the beauty still abounds: it floats in the salty air, and it lies on the moss that hives against the bark. When I walk to class, I am home.

My happiness is starting to come full circle here now. September and the parties of first month was great, but it was hollow, and there was always the thought that “UBC is only fun for that first month. You’ll be depressed by November”. Now that fear has been proven false, and I am able to engage my freinds on a level as deep as anything in high school; freindships that took four years to cultivate have now grown within months. And I engage my world, politically and environmentally, more than ever before. I’m learning to be a true citizen of the world, and that could never be possible at U of Manitoba. So first term draws to a close, but the fun and the learning show no signs of end. Will second term be this amazing?

Simple Forest

Hey guys, this has been a long time, but I’ve just been SUPER busy what with that little problem of school, my Ubyssey article, and directing my one act. Hopefully I can have a proper blog post soon, but for now, here’s just a poem I wrote five minutes ago, let me know wacha think 🙂

Running fast through the forests,

Running free

Trees zoom by like water rushing

Trees seeing me

I could run forever,

In this cradle of bloated slivers,

Had I lived a thousand years ago,

Meeting concrete never

I’d run until endless blue shows


Here in the time of happiness

I am free

Here in the time of simplicity,

I can see

The answer to all the clues I was searching

While frozen in the mountains of brick,

And icicles of glass

But here I smell the rich blackness of earth,

And the green fragrance of the whispering trees


So turn the clocks back,

To when the stars were my streetlights,

And trees my homes;

The animals my brothers—not pets—

When drums made of animal hide were the disco,

And sex was never complicated by love

And a person could be willed by instinct alone


This is the character of my misery;

A truth too dark to ever see.

If I could go back, to an ancient day

The chains binding me would burn away,

And only the wind would make me sway

The woods a nest to call my home

The nature of my heartfelt loan

Nothing that man can ever be shown

A Night With Suzuki

Hey everyone, sorry this should have been posted earlier that Thursday night, I went to David Suzuki’s talk at the Chan Center. He asked the question, The Environmental Crises: Is It too Late? Right off the bat, he answers “no, it’s never too late, even at the final hour, but it is very late indeed.” He started by illustrating the pressing problems in the world today: the exploding world population, Oceanic Deadzones, and deforestation. Very well worded and powerful, it’s the kind of talk one would expect from Canada’s preeminent environmentalist.

However, halfway through the speech, Suzuki took a turn towards the unexpected. He lambasted the Harper government for ignoring the pressing concerns facing the environment. “Harper tells us that because Canada is a northern country, the economy will suffer if we cut back on energy emissions. This is a fallacy, because Sweden managed to cut back over seven percent of their energy emissions, and their economy went up! Your prime minister is lying to you!” Taking the turn for the political was certainly not what I had in mind, but he argued his points very well, and really made me question the conservative government’s knowledge on such an important issue.

And then Suzuki became philosophical. He questioned why we deify the economy: “Economy and Ecology come from the same root– Ecos, study of the house and home. They are interrelated, so why do we place the economy with such great and commanding importance?” He said that the obsession with a growing economy year by year is not possible anymore; and that creating an economy larger than the early 2000s would damage the environment beyond repair. In the same vein, he encouraged the Occupy movement, saying that “there’s something wrong with our current system.  The politicians are sponsored by big businesses, and only have them in mind and this surreal sense of the word economy. A country where forty percent of its citizens don’t vote is not a democracy.” Now, David Suzuki became a revolutionary figure: standing there in front of a sold out audience at the Chan Center, his voice rising in passion while the sounds of applause and cheers reverberated around him, it felt like I got a glimpse of how change happens. This was not the talk I’d expected to see.

Yet in the final portions of his speech, Suzuki turned his most humble. He became David the man. He told of his father, and how on his death bed fifteen years ago, they laughed and cried about all the great memories they’d had together. “Those were the happiest times with my father. Did we ever once talk about that full wardrobe of clothes, or fancy car he once bought? No, that was all immaterial in the end.” In his most intimate, Suzuki became the most moving. “Those were the important times.” Ending his speech, he recieved riotous applause that lasted for well over three minutes, until he had to ask people to sit down.

I was significantly moved by the speech. I’d come in there expecting to here a sermon about how we need to stop environmental destruction, and left feeling empowered. It made me realize why I supported the Occupy Movement initially: something needs to change, and it showed a unifying support system desiring to make a peaceful move towards the better. However, when I actually went to Occupy, it felt unorganized and lacking in purpose. Suzuki seemed to grasp a purpose, and if he’d been just slightly younger, I could see him being exactly the leader Occupy needs.

So, to anyone else who attended the talk, what did you think? What did you come away with in the unexpected yet invigorating talk?

A View from Atop

hey guys, this is just a short descriptive piece I wrote after standing atop Buchanon Tower for the first time. Enjoy, and let me know what needs to be improved! 🙂

It’s strange that a single view can change a life. A glance, or a gaze; a blink that stretches out towards eternity. In this moment, I see everything: the reds, greens, and yellows painted with the finest brushstroke upon every leaf, mixed among the grey of the buildings; a pool of trees, intermixed with rocks, pushing against the tide. I see five pillar-apartments that guard the outer edges, and the celestial mountains on the horizon– the hair on their heads white with age.

I am above it all, an angel encased in stone. From this view, I see all the animals in their equality: the student scurrying to class, no different than the seagull, gliding through the wind towards its warm nest. How small and insignificant it all seems! Or the busses moving like remote control toys to the west, following a strict schedule, and for what? Will five minutes late change anything? I’m above them, and all I have to do is look towards the mountains to see that they are above even me—though I could try to be like them, I’m sure I must look so petty to them. Can they even see me?

One day I’ll come down. Some strange twist will bring my tower crashing down, and I’ll be an angel no more. But mixed among people once again, I’ll never be the same; always a purple among the green. All because I have witnessed the view from the top; its glorious light has blinded me. So I will climb again, groping among the surfaces of the night, until I once again can taste the sweet golden light.

The Tree- A Poem

Hey guys, this is just a poem I wrote after seeing this amazing Douglas Fir Tree at the Botanical Gardens. It’s got more of a structure than the last one, and is very romantic in sentiment.

Your roots are the kingdom,

Out of which everything grows:

All the gnarled houses, walls, and barracks

Pushing outward like a relentless tidal wave


Your bark rises in river rapids,

Where ivy makes a home in the water

And covers you in a green coat

Keeping you warm, making you beautiful


Past the ivy, the branches take over;

Sharp needles hidden by pine

Hiding the bark beneath in mystery,

Enchanting the peasants below


But grow above the green, and past the bark,

Rise up, yellow summit, into the sky!

Give off the pine and the earth,

And share your story with the sun


You look over this strange Western Land

With one eye you gaze upon the university:

A semblance of grey buildings; moulding naturally into the green like rocks

And the other looks towards the horizon:

The ceaseless Ocean; its blue touching grey


And I know you’ve seen much more

Five centuries worth of growth, change, and destruction

When this land—a baby tottering on its feet—stood only in greens and blues

And only the sounds of the swaying, whispering pines, comforted you;

A grandiose lullaby for your growing bark


And then we came and chopped your brothers down,

Carried ourselves in monsters of wood and cloth

And your westward eye could only watch,

As their stripped carcasses were shoved seabound


And then we learned your way,

But not before colossal structures rose;

A blink in your life—

And chameleon-like turned to the color of the sea

They stand as new totem poles

Against the backdrop of the misty mountains


So we played homage to our genocide—

A holocaust of your brethren—

And made a shrine for you,

And placed you, deity, in the center


So here you stand now:

And so when I’m dead and gone,

You shall remain

What more lives, and strange happenings will you see?

How strange and petty our human squabbles seem to be!

Will those squabbles destroy the Earth and, ultimately, you?

Or will you still stand tall as our world births anew?

And her, of the Forgotten- A Poem

Hey guys, this is a poem I wrote last week after I noticed a women on the streets in Davie dying of cancer. I was so horrified by her story that I decided to write a poem about it. Now that the dust has settled on it, I can say it may just be my best poem. Let me know what you think! Please tell me where I could improve; i would love to learn from this.


Don’t forget about me

Not when you’re laughing, not when you’re dancing

Even when you’re crying, or when you’re thrashing

When the world seems too hard and heavy for you to bear

Remember I bore it;

I bore the doorways, abuse and rape

I bore the cuts, scrapes and burns.

My body survived and shrivelled, while my brain melted away


Don’t forget about me

Not when the cancer eats out everything that I am:

Every blood vessel, every skin cell, every whispy strand of hair falling from my head

All except my soul;

Remember that most of all,

Shining like a light against that darkness,

Where only orange paints the pavement

And ice fills their hearts


Don’t turn into one of them:

Those that wear designer jeans, and shake change in front of me

Only to say “I don’t have any to spare to you”

Or, “you’re only going to use it for drugs”

While they’re all off dancing in their glitter-night clubs

And I feel their music pounding and slithering through the pavement

Travelling up into my veins, diluting my brain

I know they shoot up in the bathroom anyway

Morph into those clowns, and I hope I forget you


To those passing by, I am not one of the living

I am a set piece, a part of the natural environment:

My tattered old jacket is a frumpy bush, and my change bin a bottomless pit

When I talk, they ignore it the way they hear a dog barking;

Something is there, something vaguely irritating, but no,

They’re much too important to care what it might be

So my mind falls somewhere far away from it all

Watching the world walk by,

In devastation


As you fall upon orange sheets and a wreath of pillows,

Easing your brain, and loosening your mind,

And while you think “this bed isn’t as comfy as it could be”,

Remember that I sleep against poles, and newspapers are my blankets


When you see a girl convicted for a crime the whole world thought she committed

Remember that girl is me

Remember I am innocent, and you’ll see


When you complain about your family;

The fights with the brother— the overbearing mother— the cold father

Remember the tongues of fire injected into me by my mother

And the staff of life used to torture me by my father

Or how they kicked me out,

After I hadn’t screamed enough for them

Or the loaded shotgun—and father standing colossal and tyrannical

When I attempted to come back again


Remember all the pain,

The tears,

The drunkenness,

The fears

Of raising a child,

Who grew up to hate you


And when I die,

Remember that poverty won’t die with me

Remember that the moment I disappear, and my clothes fall around me,

Some skinny little girl, with bleach-blonde hair— crack-addled and broken,

Will take my place

When you pass her by, look into her eyes

Eyes no older than yours;

Containing none of the light blue, innocent hope and joy of yours

And be reminded of the fact that you two live in different worlds:

You—a land of learning, freedom, and God

And her, of the forgotten