Hitting the Pavement

Ever since high school, I’ve been a jogger. An outside jogger that is, although lately that’s included treadmill running, which does the job, but is far less enjoyable. I began my love affair with it in high school when running to High Park and back seemed like no big deal, when it was at least three miles, all in the space of a single gym class. Over the years, there have been times when I run, and times when I don’t. It’s never a good thing when I stay away from running, and … [Read more...]

Beating the flu bug…unconventionally

After leaving work on Friday, I felt so awful with all the signs of a flu bug.  Earlier in the year, when I had a bug, the doctor advised me to take zinc lozenges because they're great bug deflectors.  I hadn't even heard of them before, but have since found that they're seriously effective and quite nice to chew on--like the candy you'd have as a kid.  She also advised me to take two vitamin D tablets daily because I come across so many people in the course of a day.  She said she took four. … [Read more...]

Why the hate for Catherine Earnshaw?

"I hate her.  I just wish she'd hurry up and die," said the sweet-faced girl in my class as she shuddered with disgust. "Why do you hate Catherine Earnshaw so much?" I wanted to know. And she gave me reasons, with others chimming in their shared or contrasting opinions.   What was it about this heroine from Bronte's Wuthering Heights that was causing my ordinarily calm and reasonable students to have such a reaction? It's hard to pinpoint because I realize that I have a love/hate … [Read more...]

What will happen to bookstores?

One of Toronto’s bookstores is closing soon, the Toronto Star reported today.  I mentioned it in my Grade 12 English class this afternoon, which led some of the students to ask me if books would soon be obsolete.  They seemed concerned. People often talk about the future and as more and more bookstores close, it is a question that book-lovers do wonder about. My answer: “Maybe the book form we know today will change, and eventually be sold only at Specialty shops, but books themselves will … [Read more...]

Happy 2012!

There's a lot of expectation at the start of each new year, and while that can be a good thing, it can also be a tad overwhelming and as a result, the excitement can fizzle out really quickly. While there are a few things that both of us would like to see happen in 2012, what we're looking forward to right now is in getting our book out. I'm sure many other things will come up that we'll be excited about, but we're taking it one step at a time. … [Read more...]

Christmas Writing Prompt

I've been teaching a Grade 12 Writer's Craft course this semester, and most of the students are really keen on writing.  One of the things I sometimes do with them is give them writing prompts at the start of class as a warm-up.  It can be hard to start something and writing prompts get you in a creative mood.  One of my students asked for more Christmas-themed prompts because this is that time of year. Christmas-Themed Prompt: You are newly engaged!  Congratulations! Mazel Tov!  You are … [Read more...]

“Cinderella” and Literary Theory

Is there more to the fairy tale "Cinderella" than at first meets the eye?  Could it represent something deeper than a girl's universal quest to find love and her soul mate?  Some of my Grade 12 University students think so. It was presentation day today in my senior English class on what could questionably be a dull topic: literary theory; however, it was anything but boring.  One of the groups who were presenting on Marxist Literary Theory, which is, in a nutshell, about seeing literature … [Read more...]