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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Semester Spotlight #1

I made it, I finished my first semester of university. Yeah, I can't believe it either time really does go by in the blink of an eye. Throughout these past few months, I've experienced a wide variety of firsts. Now, while I lay on my bed and bask in the knowledge that I don't have any deadlines to meet until the winter semester, I can reflect on the fantastic things that happened from September to December. This is my first (of hopefully many) semester spotlights.

#1 This is how we Cluett
Seeing that I have decided to list my highlights in chronological order, it only makes sense to start at the very beginning of September. When I first moved into residence I was actually pretty terrified, not knowing what to expect as it's my first long term stay away from home. The people in Cluett are pretty cool, and it didn't take long for poop (Jerrett thinks it's funny when he tries to sabotage my blog post). Let's try that again. It didn't take long for res to start feeling like home. I refer to res as 'home' and St. Lawrence 'home home.' I have a couple of friends around Cluett and res in general. I also have the best roommate ever, and I'm happy to say that I enjoy living in res.

#2 Wheels on the Bus
Okay yeah, honestly this highlight is pretty lame. Riding on the MetroBus is a new norm that small town peeps like me adapt when moving to the city. If I remember correctly, my first bus ride was with Riley to the Mall. (I've been on the bus once or twice before but they're isolated occurrences and therefore don't count.) I've gotten used to taking buses around the city, and I thought I had the routes down pat, but alas I was proven wrong when my friend and I attempted to go to the Mall. She had never used a MetroBus before and I was sure that I knew where we were going but.... We ended up taking and hour detour through Downtown. In the end, we still managed to make it to the Mall though.

#3 City Slickers
Another awesome thing about living in town is that I get to see my family and friends who live there, whereas when I was home I would only get to see them on the occasional trip to the city. It's a nice change, seeing Kyle and/or Will around campus a lot, and being able to pop out to my extended families' homes for supper and to do laundry. (Shoutout to the Afonosos for letting me do my laundry at their house on a regular basis, you guys are the real MVPs). Of course, I miss people back home very much but the roles have reversed and I love having the ability to crash at the Ways' (for example) if I feel the need to get out of res for the night.

#4 This house Would...
This highlight shouldn't come as a surprise, as I tend to talk about this a lot. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT. I just can't help it, though, and I apologise.  Joining the Debate Society was the smartest decision I made the entire semester. Debating has, and well still is helping me become less shy and more confident. The debaters are a fantastic bunch of people to argue with (lol) and hang out with. From the moment I stepped through the door I felt welcome, and I now consider debating to be a favourite hobby and past time. A couple months in and I already have an unmeasurable amount of love for this society.

#5 'Groundhogging'
Finally, after three months, I'm happy to say that I have mastered the munnel-skywalk system. Okay, maybe not completely mastered but I can get to most places around campus without going outside. (This is especially great when it's freezing and/or raining.) It is extremely convenient being able to go from my bed to my classes without stepping outside and dragging around a big coat. The most important route is from Cluett to the Aquarena Tim Hortons. Hatcher, res tunnels, physical education building, fieldhouse, Aquarena. 'Groundhogging' in the winter is a good idea, 10/10 would recommend.

#6 You meddling Kids
Another one of the biggest highlights occurred by chance, One day I ran into Kyle and he then introduced me to a group of people at the library. I had no idea at this point that I'd end up talking to and hanging with these guys almost every day. The crew consists of Hanaa, Kyle, Ally, Megan, Duncan, Ashley, Jon, Sarah, Keenen (Keen Bean), David, and others who come around sometimes. (I consider them guest stars.) In only a month we have become so close and have and many adventures, and I think there will be lots more next semester and throughout our time at university. Library crew, I love you all!

I could list out more highlights but the ones above are the biggest and the ones that came to mind first. I'm looking forwards to what the winter semester brings, Achievement Unlocked: survive first semester of university.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Library Group

This is a little this thing I wrote early this morning since today marks knowing most of the group a month.

Now this is a story all about how

My life got flipped-turned upside down

And I'd like to take a minute

It's not a loop 

I'll tell you how I became friends with the library group 

In St. Lawrence, Newfoundland grown and raised

Around the harbour was where I spent most of my days

Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool

And all shooting some soccer balls outside of the school 

When my grade 12 year was finally done

And it was time to have some fun 

My Mom said, "You're movin' into Residence at MUN" 

I was mostly alone until one day

In the science building my friend Kyle got in my way

He gave me a smile and then he asked me to come along 

I zipped my bookbag and said "sure, what can go wrong?" 

We walked and when the library was near

I followed Kyle up the stairs, he was grinning from ear to ear 

If anything I could say that this library was huge 

And I thought, "Woah, this is different from the use-" 

We approached the group a couple minutes later 

And Kyle said to them, "Yo guys this is Claire"

I looked at everyone 

I was finally there 

To join the library group, with room to spare

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Magnificent Little Things

I can't believe I'm almost through my first semester. Time flies when you're studying, debating and well just being a student as a whole.
Ask any student, and they will confirm that no matter what school you go to, it can and does often get stressful.
I've recently finished reading a book called 'The Book of Awesome Things." by Neil Pasricha (who also created and it inspired me to make my own list of things that never fail to make me happy. Here's my "Magnificent Little Things."

#1 Talking to Friends Back Home
This one is pretty straightforward. There's nothing better than calling Mel to tell her about something funny and/or interesting that happened that day, or calling Emily and getting the scoop on what's happening back in St. Lawrence. I could honestly stay on the phone for hours and hours (but I never have time to waste, no matter what you're doing in university you know you should be working lol.) It's a great remedy for homesickness and loneliness, cause no matter what I'm stressed about or if I'm having a bad day, I know I can count on my friends to cheer me up and make me momentarily forget about my stress. Thanks guys, I love all of you lots.

#2 Plopping on the Bed After a Busy Day
One of the best feelings ever is getting back to my room after a day of covering every corner of campus. It's the days where I tell myself "Yeah I'm totally taking the stairs more often." But by the time I arrive back at Cluett and end up taking the elevator because I can't be arsed to climb five flights of stairs. When I'm back to my dorm, I'll drop everything and dramatically let myself fall onto my bed. I'll lay there for some time before I have to get up and work again (sometimes I stay in bed longer than I should) but after that cat rest I feel refreshed and it's awesome!

#3 Mastering a Song on the Guitar
I'm pretty sure every musician every can relate to this little thing. Studies show that it's actually impossible to be anything but content and happy while playing an instrument. Okay, you caught me... it's actually not a study but I believe it to be 100% true. When I finally get the hang of a song I feel a wave of accomplishment wash over me, and I smile and celebrate that mini victory. No matter if you're playing alone or with other people, mastering a song feels great.

#4 When the Elevator Makes it to the First Floor Without Stopping
Anyone who lives in Cluett will be able to relate to this one, or really anyone who spends a significant time in a building with multiple floors and an elevator. I live on the fifth floor, (and am very guilty of not taking the stairs much.) and nine out of ten times the elevator will stop on at least one other floor before getting to the bottom one. This continuous stopping can be a pain in the arse when I'm in a hurry or have somewhere to be or I really have to use the bathroom. (I guess it's karma for not using the stairs) Which is why those no stop rides are so exciting, I'm looking at the numbers, 5....4....3...2............1 and the door opens. Awesome!

#5 Getting the Last Muffin
This scenario applies to any restaurant/fast food place and any order. The cafes around campus have become a frequent pit stop of mine these past two months, and a raspberry yogurt muffin with an awake chocolate  or a plain bagel with white hot chocolate. Getting the last of my favorite muffin (or bagel) is definitely a highlight of my day, it's quite a fantastic feeling.

#6 Finishing a Debate Speech 
Okay so yeah this one is specific to debaters or anyone who publicly speaks. This magnificent little thing has only been added to my list since September, but it's already one of my favourites. When I've been making my points and refuting the opposite side for seven minutes, once that "AND THAT HONOURABLE SPEAKER IS WHY MY SIDE SHOULD WIN" moment comes, and I step down from the podium, I feel satisfied, accomplished and most of all....... AWESOME!!!

#7 Making or Hearing Puns
I don't have to explain this one, it's pretty straight forward. Anyone and everyone who knows me can confirm that I L-O-V-E puns. They're an important staple to my sense of humor, and I enjoy all reactions from laughter to "good one" to groaning to "Claaaaire really?" to other ones which I uhh am not going to mention here. Puns are just the best thing, no ifs, ands, or buts okay?

I can think of so many other magnificent little things, but if I was to list them all out I'd be blogging all night and your eyes would fall out of their sockets before you got to the end of the post (and me or you don't want that you need your eyes and I need my readers). So next time you're feeling down or stressed, try to remember and take time to act on or/and appreciate life's awesome things.

Comment some of your 'awesome little things' below


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Problems with a Protocol

As you may or may not know, the St. John's campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland issued a lockdown at 8am this morning after reported suspicious activity of a person on campus who was potentially armed. The lockdown lasted roughly forty minutes, and then classes went back to normal. The suspect was detained by the RNC, and thankfully nobody was hurt or killed.

I'm not usually one to blog about these kinds of things, but this case is different. 

Let's go back to the start of the situation, you know to fill in some background information before my opinion and the evidence I have to support it. I live in residence. When the alarm came over the speakers in Cluett, I slept through them. Yep, you heard me I slept through a lockdown announcement. I'm not the only one who did either, as some students in my building said that they slept through it or thought it was just people talking down the hallway. It was my normal, everyday phone alarm that woke me up. I answered the texts I got, letting people know I was okay; and then I did what you'd do when you're confused about what the hell is going on, check social media. I then got information from my house group, and news articles. MUN was sending out updates through Twitter. Yes Twitter, the social media platform where you can post a 'tweet' in 140 characters or less.
The Tweets of MUN's account.
After that, I called Mel (aka my best friend). Mainly to let her know what happened before she saw it all over social media. As we chatted, we both agreed on the same thing. That the university should have had a faster and more reliable way of getting the notice out to student and staff first, as "not everyone has Twitter."
I was also talking to a friend of mine who happened to be at the University Centre (UC) at the time. She said, and I quote "We had no guidance, it was just fend for yourself." Another one of my friends were in a class in the education building when the lockdown was announced. She told me that the professor or class didn't even know until one of the students checked Twitter. So the professor closed the doors and turned off the lights (she couldn't lock them because only Campus Enforcement and Patrol ie; CEP are allowed to lock the doors.) and then they waited for the all clear.

CBC has posted an article about what happened this morning, and the people that were interviewed all seem to agree that MUN should have a better way of communicating emergencies. The university's manager of communications started that MUN's students and staff  are expected to check social media regularly and that an email was supposed to go out to staff but the system was down.
He also started that the reasoning for using social media is because there's too many buildings for a PA announcement to be effective. An email was later sent informing everyone on campus what happened, and that support and counselling was available to anyone who feels like they need it.
All that being said, the manager of communications admitted that it's clear MUN needs to change and improve the way that information about such situations are communicated to students and staff.
(see the full article here )

As they say, things don't get changed until something happens. It's 2016, communicating emergencies to students and staff should be very fast and effective, Maybe MUN could text everyone the information, or even use emails, I mean that's what those emails are for rught? contacting the people who attend and work at the university. Thankfully the situation was handled quickly and nobody was injured or killed. A lot can happen in forty minutes, and it's very very very fortunate that this scenario didn't end as bad as it could have.

MUN is generally a safe campus, I'll be honest and say that I feel safe around school and in res. This event 'opened up MUN's eyes' regarding the flaws in the system, and I hope that they follow through on their word to improve communications, and that information will be communicated more efficiently if a situation like this is to happen again.    

Friday, September 16, 2016

Seven in Seven

Wednesday marked 7 days, 168 hours, 10080 minutes, and 604800 seconds of being a university student. Believe it or not, in this short time I've already learned many things.

Here are seven things I learned after being in university for seven days:

#1 Walk Fast/Run/Jog on the Way to Class
This one is important, especially if you have back to back classes on opposite sides of the campus. This semester I have psychology in the Education Building and then french in the Science Building. You can't stop to talk to anyone or reply to a message because it slows you down more than you think it will.That one minute chat will become ten minutes, and the one reply will become many. This tip is the most important while using the Munnels for a couple reasons. First off all, most people are moving quickly. If you even slow down or stop, there's a 99% chance you'll get run down or knocked over; the other 1% leaves other people aggravated that you're slowing down traffic. The other reason is that your commute takes longer in the tunnels, as if you're heading to a certain building you'll have to take detours though other ones. My advice would be to only take the munnels if it's rainy or cold outside.

#2 Buy Your Books ASAP
As soon as your professor lets you know what books you need for their class, make your way to the bookstore after class is done that day. Seriously, that place gets busy pretty darn quickly. To maximize time saving, have a list of the title/course and your slot number so there's no fumbling around looking for that information when you get there. The argument of if you should by new or used textbooks really depends on your budget, and what your profs require. The staff at the store are also very friendly and helpful, so your visit there should be a breeze!

#3 Make an Effort to Eat Breakfast
As cliche as it is, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day; especially if you have early classes. Eden, Alex and I go to the dining hall for breakfast when we have a class at 9. Personally, I find that it helps keep me focused (and I don't have to worry about people hearing my stomach rumble haha). It don't have to be anything big, even just a bowl of cereal or yogurt will do.

#4 Read Material Ahead of Your Lecture or Class
When you first begin university, you're thrown into a world where a course goes from being completed in nine months to being completed in three. I've been told that it's really easy to fall behind, and that statement is 100% true. Professors teach faster than teachers do. For example, when I'm in my math class it feels like the fast forward button on a remote is stuck down, and the show can't be paused. I also find that 50 minute classes are over before you even realize they started (though they are less painful than the longer slots). Also, studying and knowing your material will help you when midterms and finals being close hits you like a transport truck.

#5 Ask for Help if You Need it
This tip kind of goes hand in hand with #4 in a way, there's ooodles of resources for help with school work on campus (I've heard from many that the Math Help Centre is a lifesaver.) But this tip doesn't only apply to academic help. I mean like any kind of help. I can't count on my hands and feet how many times I've gotten lost or took a wrong tunnel or went to the wrong building over the past week. Hell, I still get confused on where I'm going sometimes, though I think I'm getting the hang of navaf]gating this campus. It's easy to spot a first year, because they usually have a lost look on their faces (especially for the first few weeks lol). A lot of people around here are friendly, so don't be shy or embarrassed about asking for directions. Everyone has had their time as a first year, and will probably remember how it felt. People will also notice your confusion and offer their help. (Shoutout to that guy who showed me where my law and society class was the first day, you're the real MVP dude.)

#6 Throw Yourself Into Social Situations
I honestly can not stress this one enough. For the people who know me pretty well it's probably hard to believe that I'm quite a shy person, and yes it's easier to avoid new people than to try and start a conversation with them, but you never know what will arise if you do. Living on res; I think does make meeting new people a bit easier. Connections in your classes are good to have too, because then you'll have someone to study with and compare questions too. Who knows, you may even make a lifelong and/or best friend. My Mom met Vera in university and they've been best friends since. Another way to put yourself out there is to join and get involved with university societies/clubs. This past week I joined the Debate Society, and even though I haven't been part of it long, I already love it so much and the people are pretty great. Yes I'm saying it, you should 'yolo it' and take as many social opportunities as you can. (As long as you're balancing studying with it too.)

#7 Be Yourself
My last tip is really cheesy, and the caption basically self explanatory. There's a huge variety of people in university, and I can promise you that if you felt like an oddball in high school, and felt like you didn't fit anywhere, my friend when you go to post secondary you will find people you'll click with. Within the first few days I found out that Eden (my awesome roomie) and I have a good bit in common. According to MUNSU (MUN Student Union) there's about 200 or more clubs and societies on campus, so you're bound to find at least one that you feel you belong in. People will love you and enjoy your company for who you are, so don't hide traits or interests or hobbies away; rock who you are.

I'm only at the end of my second week of this god-knows-how-long this adventure will be, and I know I still have so much more to learn. So come at me MUN, I'm ready for whatever you have in store for me.

(If you have any tips for university students, post them in the comments below)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

From Blue to Purple

Before any St. Lawrencers raise an eyebrow at the title of this blog post, lemme assure you all that I'll forever be a Laurentian (pumped for soccer nationals woooo!) but when I made an intro post n Cluett's Facebook page, someone commented something along the lines of "ya bleeds blue but now you're gonna bleed purple." Which inspired me to make my first post about this new adventure.

Sunday was move in day. The fact that I was truly starting university and not going back to St. Lawrence with Mom and Mel really only hit me fully that morning. I was pretty good at keeping my fear 'low key' but I was (and still am) really more excited than scared. Mel and I went on up to my room to start unpacking, while Mom went to pick up some last minute things. My room got cozy pretty quickly, there's lots of storage space, a desk, a comfy bed, all my photos and plaques, and the most important thing...... my glorious mini fridge which has a magnet with an elephant and 'elephants never forget... that they are awesome' on it. (Yes, it was four dollars at the bookstore and no I don't think it was a waste of money). Later on in the afternoon, I finally met my roommate. Her name is Eden and she's pretty cool and easy going. Plus we seem to have a good bit in common, I think we'll become good friends. We did some exploring for the rest of the day and when Mom and Mel left; the res kids (and RAs) went to the gymnasium for Minute to Win it. The atmosphere was very exciting and spirited. I left early for Mel's birthday supper at Montana's. When that was done, I was dropped back to Cluett and got ready for my first night 'on my own'. I actually had a pretty good sleep.

The next morning was a semi early one, as there was orientation to go to. We went to the field house, and after what felt like ages of slowly moving through a registration line; Eden, Alex, Cameron and I finally got our sections and tour groups. At this point, I popped over to section A to say hi to Kyle, he's a good friend of mine. When we broke off into our tour groups, I met up with a girl in my res (who I met when I was waiting for the elevator to meet Riley for Tims) and another girl from the mainland. After that I hung around res for a bit, then we had a floor meeting. Once that was done me and a couple others went over to the west side for a jam sesh.

Tuesday started with having breakfast with Molly and Jeremy at Tims. Then Molly and I ran errands around campus for the rest of the day. When the clock struck supper time, I went out to the Clarke's for food, Uncle Pat and Aunt Judy's cooking never disappoints. I hung out with them for a while, then back to res I went.

Which brings me to today, my first day of classes (which I may make another post). I haven't been living in Cluett long but feel welcome and I already feel like I belong here.

So thanks for the years SLA Blues, it's been great and I wouldn't change a thing about our time together.

Cluett Hall Rams, I'm pumped and ready for what's looking like a fantastic year, and I'm more than honoured to be wearing purple.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ottawa Wha?

Our somewhat annual family trip to Ontario started off a little different this time. Instead of going straight to Toronto, we started our adventure in the nation's capital. The home of the Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, the most visited museum in Canada (which is The Canadian Museum of Civilization) and the famous Canadian Tulip Festival. Mom and I had 48 hours in the city, while Jerrett and Dad joined us on the second day.

After Mom and I checked into the hotel, the guy at the front desked recommended some Italian restaurants; because our "eyes lit up when he mentioned pasta." After what felt like a long time of walking around and going in the wrong direction, we finally found Johnny Farina. The salad and pasta we shared was pretty good.

The next day started with breakfast at a little French cafe, which can only be described as 'adorable'. They use chocolate milk in their drinks, which I thought was pretty interesting and different. Don't even get me started on the pastries, they were 'out of this world.'
A preview of what the cafe had to offer

Mom and I spent the rest of the day doing some shopping, mainly going to the Rideau Centre (the mall), and doing a lot of walking. When the guys met up with us in the evening, we went to The Cornerstone, the food there was a solid 9/10.

On Friday our day once again started with breakfast at a cafe. Jerrett and I took this opportunity to do some Pokemon hunting. Ottawa is filled with PokeStops. Once noon rolled around, we went on a boat tour through the Ottawa River (which, fyi I highly recommed). The tour guide was pretty cool, and he had a good sense of humor. Medhi told us a bit about the city's history, some of the facts I remembered hearing during my EWC week. The sights included Parliament Hill, an old, majestic looking hotel and a row of houses along the river. These houses are valued starting at 700K, but there's no insurance because it's so close to the water.

The tour ended at the other side of the river. Which, interestingly enough is actually Gatineau, Quebec. We then walked through the Canadian Museum of History. The outside of the structure has no 90 degree corners, as legend says that spirits become angry when they get trapped in corners and the architect wanted spirits to be peaceful. While Mom and Dad went their own way, Jerrett and I decided to go to the kid's area. Not gonna lie, it was fun playing 'avoid the security guard.' We later took the boat back over to Ottawa.

After taking a little break at the hotel, Jerrett and I decided to go for ice cream; but we ended up getting 'lost' in the residential district. Honestly, being from a small town I found it a tad sketchy looking; though the high concentration of Pokemon made up for it.  
Houses + Tall Buildings
A while later, we ran into Mom and Dad again. Then, the wild goose chase started. Mom said there was this good restaurant on Slater Street. So off we went, walking around Ottawa. After what felt like forever and walking in circles, Mom looks at us and says "It's at 53 Spark Street." She got a chorus of sighs in reply. We finally found the restaurant (and the worst nachos in Ottawa) but the main course was great.

With supper finished, the little brother and I went to get BeaverTails (it's a pastry okay) for the second night in a row, then met Mom and Dad back on Parliament Hill.

We ended our trip with watching a light show. A bunch of laser lights projecting onto the Parliament Building, explaining Canada's history in such a captivating and unique fashion. It was one of those moments or things that make you feel extremely patriotic. The display was like something like I've never seen before, and it's really hard to put into words. It was the highlight (ha) of our day, and made the detour to Ottawa totally worthwhile.

We went back to the hotel once the light show was over, as we had a train to Toronto to catch in the morning. Ottawa was a great stop, and it's one of my favourite cities. I would recommend it to anyone going to Ontario, or anyone who wants to learn more about our country's history.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Claire's Noteworthy Music Festival Survival Tips

This past weekend Mel, Allison and I (along with the rest of the famjam) went to Lewisporte for the Mussel Bed Soiree. It was a fantastic weekend overall, but the concert Saturday was the highlight. It featured a couple artists including Tom Cochrane, Walk Off the Earth, and Simple Plan.

Here's the truth about music festivals, and the kinds of people you will see; coming from my experiences.

#1 Food

At festivals, there's usually a portion of the venue saved for lots (and lots and lots and lots and lots) of vendor carts. Carts with slogans like "Fastest meat on the street." (Yes that was an actual slogan, right Mel?) and unless you're so hungry that you're willing to spend three entire dollars on a BBQ hot dog and deal with the crappy aftermath, I suggest steer clear of the food altogether. Also, two dollars for a bottle of simple and plain water? Seriously? It's ridiculous.

#2 Stinky stalls

Most venues don't have washrooms, so your only relief of number one or two would be to go into a porta potty. They're probably the grossest and smelliest one person stalls of death that exist. If you do have to use one, be kind and considerate of other people. Aka, for the love of God, please don't leave a mess on the seat. When we were in line for one, we happened to discuss this very topic. The woman in front of us said "Oh I hate that too." but Mel reported back that she left a mess. Really guys, be respectful and don't be that person.

#3 Drink drank drunk 

What can I say, it's not a festival until you have a crowd of people too drunk to remember the concert; am I right????? There's people of all kinds hanging in the wet section and beer tent of the venue. Unless you want to have a drink or get so intoxicated that you don't really know what's going on, then I suggest staying to the dry section. I think watched wasted people from afar is quite entertaining. If you have minors with you, then you really have no other choice than to be in the dry section.

#4 Mother Nature is unpredictable

The weather reports cannot be fully trusted, especially in Newfoundland. If the concert is outdoors, take a sweater and rain coat. Temperatures tend to drop once the sun goes down, so a sweater will ensure that you stay comfortable. Also, nobody is happy in soaking wet clothes, a rain jacket will keep you from experiencing that. Oh oh oh! I can't forget to mention the most important item of all. Sunscreen/sunblock. It's most important in the afternoon, keep it fresh throughout the show. Sunburns really suck, no more explanation needed.

#5 Lots of pushing

As you try to make your way closer to the stage to get a better view, you're guaranteed to get pushed a lot. You have a couple of options when this scenario arises. You could be aggressive-assertive and push back, You could ask them to stop. You could do what I do and just ignore it (if you're the passive type like me). It probably won't stop the pushing, but the people around you will know how you feel about it.
Bonus tip: if you're short or accompanied by a shorter person, you'll have less trouble squeezing through a crowd, trust me.

#6 Your local Snoop Doggs

If drunks and alcohol weren't already enough, at a musical festival you're pretty much guaranteed to encounter illegal drugs and their users. Bongs and joints get passed around, and there's so much smoke that you feel like you'll get 'second hand high.' Mel and I had a nice spot ythe fence that divides the wet section and the dry section and we could smell it the whole night. A joint got over to our side, and strangers were taking puffs off it. I'm surprised our eyes weren't bloodshot at the end of the night haha. The concert was still worth the smell.

#7 PDA alert

At these events, there's always going to be at least one couple (or set of strangers, dude I don't know their relationship) who spends the whole show making out with each other (among other things but I won't get into that. You catch my drift). Now personally, I don't really care about PDA but there is such thing as too much in a period of time. There was a couple on the other side of the divider, and every time I happened to glance back, they were 'eating the faces off each other' every three minutes. I don't know if they were sober or not but c'mon, you bought the tickets to enjoy the live music.

I hope you keep my tips in mind next time you go to a music festival. I enjoy them a lot, and I'd recommend them to any music lover.
Bonus tip: Don't be afraid to get into get into the music, sing and dance as much as your heart desires.

Friday, July 29, 2016

An Open Letter to My New Roommate

So I've only just recently found out your name. Since come September we're going to be sharing a dorm for seven months, I might as well tell you a little bit about myself. 

First, let's start with the basics. My name is Claire. I'm from St. Lawrence. I have brown hair and green eyes. I think I'm a pretty friendly person, and I hope we get along and become friends. You'll most likely learn a lot about me, but here are a couple things you should expect:
My best friend Mel and I,
 you're probably going to meet her at some point

#1 I'm talkative

Yes, I'll be shy at first and nervously laugh during that first initial meeting, but once I warm up to you it'll be hard to get me to shut up. I'll want to learn about your interests, your hobbies, what you do for fun, things about your family and friends, and what brought you here in the first place. Don't get me wrong, if there's stuff you don't want to share I'll respect that. I really enjoy talking, as complete silence can be eerie sometimes.

#2 I love to play my guitar

By the time we live together, I'll have been playing the guitar for about a year. I practice a lot, so I hope you don't mind the sound of an acoustic fender. I know a handful of songs, a couple being good sing along songs. I hope it'll entertain you, and it will be a bonus if you play an instrument or sing as well.

#3 Home is where the heart is

I'll be making our room as homely as possible (considering my home town is about four hours away). So expect to see a bunch of trinkets and photo frames in my bedroom. If you wanna have a lazy day and just chill out in your pjs all afternoon or evening, go ahead. I'd like our room to be very comfortable and cozy.

#4 I like snacking

 I'm not much of a big plate person during meals, because I like to snack throughout the day. Every couple hours you'll find an apple or a granola bar or something in my hand. Oh and I'll also have a mini fridge, which you're welcome to share with me if you want.

#5 I'm a night owl

(I know we're on the quiet floor, I won't be loud I promise) and I'll probably be up late studying. If you hear anything go bump in the night, it's just me tripping up over something on route to go pee. Also, if you hear quiet sobs, I'm frustrated with math.

#6 Doooo weeeeeeee dooooooooo

If the caption didn't already tell you, I'm a huge geek/nerd/bookworm. I like talking about shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock, and I'm sorry if you get tired of hearing about it. I love to read too, and if a character dies I will probably tear up and look like a mess. I enjoy playing video games, though I'm not overly competitive or good at them. (Unless it's Just Dance or MarioKart, then I will not hesitate to kick your ass). I hope we share a little bit of interest in at least one of those things, and if not; no worries fam.

The facts above give you a little look into the kind of person I am, and I hope I didn't scare you away or give you second thoughts about living in res. I'm looking forward to meeting you, and maybe you're looking forward to meeting me too.

Friday, July 22, 2016

An Open Letter to the SLA Class of 2016

As cliche and cheesy as this line is, we made it. Most of us have spent the majority, if not all of our school days at SLA. I've been thinking about this post for a while, and now I've figured out how to go about it.

At this point, you're probably thinking "Oh great Claire, another one of those open letter things." Which I can see where that thought is coming from, as ooodles and ooodles of 'Open Letter to Grad Class' posts have been shared on Facebook throughout the year. This one is different, it's suited and tailored especially for you guys, like a prom dress or a tux. This one is unique, just like each and every one of you (oh God that was really cheesy I'm sorry).

We made it. We got through every bad day and stressful test. We came together to be supportive in times of need when unexpected things happened. We put our heads together and got things done on time (shout out to the Grad Decorating Committee). We celebrated game and tournament wins and last but not least our spectacular graduation.

I have so many memories from these past 12 years that I'll hold onto forever. These years seemed to fly by, feels like only yesterday we were going into junior high. I have stories that I'll share with people I meet in the future, and stories I'll tell my kids and grandkids when they ask "What was it like when you were growing up?" That's the purpose of stories, they're meant to be shared. I hope you all have stories and memories to tell as well.

St. Lawrence (or Joe Harbour) is where we grew up, and maybe we are still growing up. We're not quite there yet. Be proud of where you originate from, and always make time to pop back for a visit. I've been told that if you don't, you'll regret it later on.

It was a good ride guys, and I feel like we bonded even more in our senior year. I wish you all the best in whatever path you take. I'm sure there'll be many reunions to come.

To the SLA Class of 2017, enjoy your last year as much as you can, it'll be over in the blink of an eye.

"And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Up with the Burkes

If you watch reality TV or not, I can infer that everyone (and their Mother) have heard of the show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. This past weekend, Mel, Emily and I had the pleasure of experiencing something similar live and 'irl'.

On Friday, Kenton, Emily and I went to Marystown to pick up Mel. Nothing out of the ordinary happened; it was a casual and pleasurable drive. It wasn't until Saturday, that Keeping Up with the Burkes began.

Anyone who lives in St. Lawrence will confirm that there isn't much to do around here. So, we commenced with the weekend routine of driving around the harbour. Over and over and over. After getting bored of that, Kenton drove up to Plot (the Parish hall parking lot) we hung out there for a bit, then went back to my house. Seeing that is wasn't too late, we went out on a Pokemon hunt for the rest of the night.

Saturday, Mel and I slept in a little. Okay, a bit more than a little; till noonish (oops). Not much later, the twins and Emily came to pick us up. We 'scooted' around town for another while, then decided to go to Lawn for fries and ice cream (Mel had sweet potato fries because she's so sweet). Take a guess what happened when we went back to the car? Kurtis pulled out of the lot, only to get......... A flat tire. Kurt sighed and we all piled out of the vehicle, letting the brothers change the tire. Kenton knew what he was doing and got the car jack, while Kurtis called his parents and grandparents, informing them of what happened. After what felt like forever (and Emily's unhelpful Youtube search), the twins put the dummy tire on the car. Once their Pop double checked the tire's nuts, we made our way back over the highway, not going past 60km/h. Even though we were delayed, we managed to make it back and not miss too much of the soccer game.

The next day, everything was normal again (though we couldn't carry out the original plan we had cause that darn dummy tire). Mel, Emily and I did the stereotypical St. Lawrence thing of going to a soccer game, and spent the rest of the day playing Pokemon GO.

Having something different happen in my hometown was very refreshing, and makes for a good story. It was a weekend I know I'll never forget.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pushing Pull Doors

There's always going to be those days where we feel the need of some comic relief. Well, luckily (or unluckily I'm not quite sure) I don't have to look farther than myself. As I have a very long list of embarrassing moments. Anyone who's around me often has probably witnessed me embarrassing myself first hand.

You know the moments where you accidentally say the wrong thing? Yeah, me too.
I'm working at the local hospital gift shop this summer, and one day during my first week a golden aged lady came in to look around. She came over to the counter and eye balled the one dollar candy bags. She said "I wish I could have some, I loved candy."
So I replied "A treat won't hurt, go ahead." Then flashed the woman a smile.
She looked back at me and said "Sweetheart I can't, I'm type 2 diabetic." She then bought her drink and left.
At that moment I wanted to duck behind counter and never come back up. Now that I look back at it, I can recover quickly and laugh at myself.

I know I'm not the only one who who has I-wanna-hide-away moments. Take my best friend Mel for example. She's had her fair amount of embarrassing moments, and she said I can share this one. Mel was at the dentist office not to long ago, and she had to fill out a form of some sort. The waiting room was very quiet and of course, having butterfingers, she dropped the clipboard. Everyone in the waiting room looked at her. If that wasn't enough, she said "Whale, whale, whale." (in reference to the whale iPhone emoji, and a pun on 'well well well'). At that time I can infer that she wanted to run out of the office, burt shortly after the dentist was ready.

One thing you learn when these 'unfortunate events' happen is to laugh at yourself, and not sweat it. Chances are, you're probably going to be the only one who will remember it (or you may forget it, unless your friends or family never let you live it down cause hey, that's what they're for.) So I'll just keep pushing that pull door.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Little Intro

Hi again it's me!

Okay well I shouldn't really say hi again cause I've never posted on this before, but whatever.
For those of you who don't know, I'm Claire. I stand at a height of around five feet three inches, I live "around da bay" in Newfoundland and Labrador , Canada (the little island part yeah).
I'm a former Sea Cadet, and an Allied Youth Alumni member. I just graduated high school; yeah it still hasn't sunk into my brain yet either. I play guitar too, and that's fun. I like to think I'm getting better at it.
I started this little blog to record and share my thoughts and adventures, and I hope you'll enjoy and take interest in reading them.
That's all for now!

See ya,