Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

I was talking to a dear friend one day, and they asked, "In Canada, do people make a big deal about "Merry Christmas... Happy Holidays... whatever?" I didn't rightly know what to answer. I don't ever remember what I did answer. I had not really noticed, but after that I started to pay attention.

The first time I noticed anything, was when I was driving home from school and was looking up Charleswood, into the bright Southern sun and I saw a bus drive by. Rotating between the Route 20's was "Merry Christmas!!!" My mouth dropped.

Next, I noticed the transition music between classes was Christmas themed- not just winter themed.

Then the assistant principals interrupted our math test in Santa hats to wish us Merry Christmas and give us York Mints.

The only "politically correct" message that stood out, was from the school newspaper, and I have a hunch they were being satirical:
"The staff of the Advocate fish you a hairy kiss moose and a hippo nude beer!!! (Please have a completely non-offensive, politically correct observation of this diverse and celebratory portion of the year, kids. This greeting is void where prohibited by law.)"

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

What I've Been Up To

When I started this blog, I thought, "You know, 10 posts a month would be ideal." It doesn't look like December's going to make it.

I do have some good ones planned though. I would like to write an entry on: "Merry Christmas" in Canada. Our Christmas tree, and the death of. The school newspaper's front page article, written by yours truly, that came out today. Three of the Christmas presents I've made (I won't say more about them till after Christmas, since two of the recievers read this). Our English lesson on poetry. Chances are, they won't all get written.

Even now, as I sit here on my last day of school, sipping my tea and looking forward to the next few weeks of freedom, I don't especially feel like writing. I would like to leave you with a thoughtful poem though. Hopefully I'll write in the next few days, but if not, Merry Christmas!

"And is it true? And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?"
[Sir John Betjeman]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Keirsey Temperament Sorter

Not much homework at all tonight, so I'm going to type out the test! Just answer 1. __ 2. __ and I'll sort it all out. I'm not going to explain how to score them. When reading answer selections, go with your first instinct- you're not supposed to think about it too much.

1. When the phone rings do you
a) hurry to get it first
b) hope someone else will answer

2. Are you more
a) observant than introspective
b) introspective than observant

3. Is it worse to
a) have your head in the clouds
b) be in a rut

4. With people are you usually more
a) firm than gentle
b) gentle than firm

5. Are you more comfortable in making
a) critical judgments
b) value judgments

6. Is clutter in the workplace something you
a) take time to straighten up
b) tolerate pretty well

7. Is it your way to
a) make up your mind quickly
b) pick and choose at some length

8. Waiting in line, do you often
a) chat with others
b) stick to business

9. Are you more
a) sensible than ideational
b) ideational than sensible

10. Are you more interested in
a) what is actual
b) what is possible

11. In making up your mind are you more likely to go by
a) data
b) desires

12. In sizing up others do you tend to be
a) objective and impersonal
b) friendly and personal

13. Do you prefer contracts to be
a) signed, sealed, and delivered
b) settled on a handshake

14. Are you more satisfied having
a) a finished product
b) work in progress

15. At a party, do you
a) interact with many, even strangers
b) interact with a few friends

16. Do you tend to be more
a) factual than speculative
b) speculative than factual

17. Do you like writers who
a) say what they mean
b) use metaphors and symbolism

18. Which appeals to you more:
a) consistency of thought
b) harmonious relationships

19. If you must disappoint someone are you usually
a) frank and straightforward
b) warm and considerate

20. On the job do you want your activities
a) scheduled
b) unscheduled

21. Do you more often prefer
a) final, unalterable statements
b) tentative, preliminary statements

22. Does interacting with strangers
a) energize you
b) tax your reserves

23. Facts
a) speak for themselves
b) illustrate principles

24. Do you find visionaries and theorists
a) somewhat annoying
b) rather fascinating

25. In a heated discussion, do you
a) stick to your guns
b) look for common ground

26. It is better to be
a) just
b) merciful

27. At work, is it more natural for you to
a) point out mistakes
b) try to please others

28. Are you more comfortable
a) after a decision
b) before a decision

29. Do you tend to
a) say right what's on your mind
b) keep your ears open

30. Common sense is
a) usually reliable
b) frequently questionable

31. Children often do not
a) make themselves useful enough
b) exercise their fantasy enough

32. When in charge of others do you tend to be
a) firm and unbending
b) forgiving and lenient

33. Are you more often
a) a cool-headed person
b) a warm-hearted person

34. Are you prone to
a) nailing things down
b) exploring the possibilities

35. In most situations are you more
a) deliberate than spontaneous
b) spontaneous than deliberate

36. Do you think of yourself as
a) an outgoing person
b) a private person

37. Are you more frequently
a) a practical sort of person
b) a fanciful sort of person

38. Do you speak more in
a) particulars then generalities
b) generalities then particulars

39. Which is more of a compliment:
a) "There's a logical person"
b) "There's a sentimental person"

40. Which rules you more
a) your thoughts
b) your feelings

41. When finishing a job, do you like to
a) tie up all the loose ends
b) move on to something else

42. Do you prefer to work
a) to deadlines
b) just whenever

43. Are you the kind of person who
a) is rather talkative
b) doesn't miss much

44. Are you inclined to take what is said
a) more literally
b) more figuratively

45. Do you more often see
a) what's right in front of you
b) what can only be imagined

46. is it worse to be
a) a softy
b) hard-nosed

47. In trying circumstances are you
a) too unsympathetic
b) too sympathetic

48. Do you tend to choose
a) rather carefully
b) somewhat impulsively

49. Are you inclined to be more
a) hurried than leisurely
b) leisurely than hurried

50. At work, do you tend to
a) be sociable with your colleagues
b) keep more to yourself

51. Are you more likely to trust
a) your experiences
b) your conceptions

52. Are you more inclined to feel
a) down to earth
b) somewhat removed

53. Do you think of yourself as a
a) tough-minded person
b) tender-hearted person

54. Do you value in yourself that you are
a) reasonable
b) devoted

55. Do you usually want thins
a) settled and decided
b) just penciled in

56. Would you say you are more
a) serious and determined
b) easy going

57. Do you consider yourself
a) a good conversationalist
b) a good listener

58. Do you prize in yourself
a) a strong hold on reality
b) a vivid imagination

59. Are you drawn more to
a) fundamentals
b) overtones

60. Which seems the greater fault:
a) to be too compassionate
b) to be too dispassionate

61. Are you swayed more by
a) convincing evidence
b) a touching appeal

62. Do you feel better about
a) coming to closure
b) keeping your options open

63. Is it preferable mostly to
a) make sure things are arranged
b) just let things happen naturally

64. Are you inclined to be
a) easy to approach
b) somewhat reserved

65. In stories do you prefer
a) action and adventure
b) fantasy and heroism

66. It is easier for you to
a) put others to good use
b) identify with others

67. Which do you wish more for yourself:
a) strength of will
b) strength of emotion

68. Do you see yourself as basically
a) thick-skinned
b) think-skinned

69. Do you tend to notice
a) disorderliness
b) opportunities for change

70. Are you more
a) routinized than whimsical
b) whimsical than routinized

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Personal Psychology

My psychology class is interesting, but my favorite part is taking the personal inventories. The first one we took was on trait theory, and it was the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. It's based on the theory that everyone has certain traits, some more than others. So we answered this questionnaire, of "Are you more ____ or ____." Then you tally up the 70 answers, and it tells you if you are more:

  • Extroverted or Introverted: Do you prefer to be alone/with one person or with a group?
  • Sensory or Intuitive: How you gather information. Do you trust hunches or data more?
  • Thinking or Feeling: From the information you've gathered, how do you make conclusions? Do you empathize (feeling) or detach yourself (thinking)?
  • Judging or Perceiving: The preference between sensory/intuitive (perceiving) or thinking/feeling (judging) when dealing with society. Do you spend more time gathering information or drawing conclusions?

I was a little surprised by my results, but I guess I hadn't really thought about it much. I was especially interested in the extroverted/introverted, because I love spending time by myself, but I've become so much more confident around others in the last two years, and as a result, do find a lot of joy in groups. However, my score for that section was surprisingly almost unanimous.

I really considered typing up the test on here, and then asking if you guys would like to respond (anonymously, if you'd like, though they're not private questions), and I could score them and give you guys the results. If anyone is interested in me doing that, I'd be more than happy to, but not now, since I'm supposed to be writing a paper. I would like to know if anyone could guess what I am though... E/I-S/N-T/F-J/P. So, for instance, someone may be ENFP.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Great Expectations

It's very scary and intimidating to think in one year, it will be expected that I have filled out all college applications. In one year and six months, I should be packing for university, or at least getting my courses organized and books if at the U of C.

My grandfather has told me, twice now, that he would love for me to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. He says he wants me to pursue a career where I have a high social esteem (I know that's not the term he used but you know, society thinks it's an amazing profession), and high salary. He's even pointed out professions like a teacher don't fit into this. After talking to someone about this, they said, "people who have their own businesses are more financially stable than those in occupations such as doctor and lawyer."

I personally have always had issues with high expectations, in that I like to meet them. But what do you do if your heart a) doesn't want to and/or b) doesn't think it's right? I feel guilty for not even considering the "options" my grandfather has given me, because with a casual glance, I know they're not for me.

It's gotten to the point, where when someone asks "What are you going to do?" I answer "I don't know." It is true, I don't know what I am going to do, but I know very much would I would like to do. I've known for a couple months, but not many people know. I have still strove to come up with something else to satisfy them. The problem is convincing those around me to respect it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nicole Corser

Today at noon, a beloved member of Taylor High School died after a car accident yesterday. Nicole Corser was in my grade. She sat beside me in Spanish last year, and though we were not good friends, she had always seemed to me a very nice person. Please pray for her family during this difficult time.

It's sad that it takes an event like this to make us recognize that life is precious, and short.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The End Result

I told you I was donning the Christmas apron!

And they DO smell amazing!!! We have some extra ones that we don't have enough lace for, so I'm going to tie a string to one and stick it in my car. They smell like Garden Ridge!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Something New

Since we were little, Courtney and I have made ornaments through different things, and received them as gifts. There was a artist pallet from when I took art classes in Kindergarten. There were pony bead and pipe cleaner candy canes. There was a very pregnant bunny wearing a pink maternity shirt that said "Baby's first Christmas 1991." There were Santas and stars, Jesuses and angels. But when we moved, we left all our ornaments in Texas.

We really can't remember what happened exactly. There were some things that wouldn't fit in the truck that had to be left, but we may have accidentally sold them at the garage sale, or left them in the attic without realising it. In any case, my mom was pretty upset when she realised. The little clay nativity that I had made in that same art class was gone. The etching of an angel, and tinsel (probably for the best there- we'd had that tinsel since before I can remember, and it made your hands smell metallic).

Last night I was blog cruising, and I found this. So today after school, I did my Christmas shopping (nearly finished everyone!). While at Market Mall, I got two cookie cutters to use (we left those too) and on the way home, stopped at Safeway. I got Cinnamon, glue, and apple sauce, and while mom is out at Barry's (aka, "the edge of the world". He lives in the opposite side of Calgary), I'm donning our Christmas apron and making ornaments. I thought she would like it, because the sentimental attachment she had to them was that Courtney and I had made most of them, or they reflected a period in our childhood. I made two batches, and they're setting right now. I'll put pictures up when I finish, if they turn out decent. My only doubts lie in our "rolling pin." I guess we left that too, so I'm improvising by finding the longest uniform cylinder I can find- a Thermos.

It also saved us a fair share of money. The ingredients cost just $15, and we have left over cinnamon and apple sauce. Buying Christmas ornaments is so expensive. It looks just as pretty to have cinnamon-smelling ornaments that mean something!

Dating vs Courtship

I wrote a similar and more personal facebook note about this over a year ago, but I stumbled upon this blog post today, and thought it should be shared!
Wasting Time in Relationships

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lost In Space

I got lost today. I was heading back from Justine's house after school, and I am supposed to do this [green number being my "house" and the red number being Justine's]*:

I did this:

Resulting in a 45 minute round trip. Goodness gracious.

*Note: I'm not naive enough to put a map to my house on a blog, nor would I do that to Justine (plus, I'm really not sure where her house is, exactly). I just picked a random house in my neighborhood, and a random one in hers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I just started filling out my online application to Trinity Western (though I have a year- they let me save it, so I'm not turning it in yet obviously) and as you may gather from the name, it is a Christian university. Once I got past the name, address, citizenship (which I hate. They never have duel, so I always feel like I'm not telling the whole truth. And which one do I choose???) the next question is denomination.

Luckily, they have a scroll down list so that you don't have to worry about spelling, but that means you have to choose one. It's like a multiple choice question- you have to pick one of them. I'm going to list them all here, as they're written:

Advent Chr
Africa Inland Church
African Christian Church
African Methodist
African Orthodox Church
Amana Ch
American Evangelical Christian
Anglican Church
Apostolic Church
Armenian Church
Ashland Brethren
Assembly of God
Associated Gospel Church
Baptist General Conference
Baptist Union of Western Canada
Beachy Amish
Bible Fellowship
Black Muslim
Brethren Church
Brethren in Christ
Canadian Baptist Federation
Canadian Reformed Church
Ch of Ch Cong [I'm guessing Church of China Congregation?]
Christian Church
Christian Missionary Alliance
Christian Reformed Church
Church of Christ
Church of Christian Holiness
Church of Christian Scientist
Church of England
Church of God
Church of God in Christ
Church of the Bre[theren?]
Church of Nazarene
Congregational Church
Conservative Baptist
Conservative Mennonite Conf.
Coptic Orthodox
Covenant Church
Disciples of Christ
Episcopal Church
Evangelical Covenant Church
Evangelical Free
Evangelical Mennonite
Evangelical Mennonite Confederation
Evangelical Mennonite Brethren
Evangelical United Brethren
Fellowship Baptist
Free Methodist
Friends (Quaker)
Full Gospel
General Conference Mennonite
Grace Brethren
Greek Orthodox
House Church
Jehovah's Witness
Korean Evangelical Holiness Ch
Krimmer Mennonite
Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Church
Moravian Church in America
Netherlands Reformed Church
No Church Listed
North American Baptist
Old German Baptist
Old German Baptist Brethren
Old Ord Riv Bre [Old Order River Brethren?]
Old Order Amish
Old Order Brethren
Old Order Wisslr.
Overseas Mennonites
Pentecostal Holiness
Plymouth Brethren
Reformed Church of America
Reformed Episcopalian
Reformed Mennonite
Salvation Army
Seventh Day Adventist
Southern Baptist
Southern Methodist
Syrian Orthodox
United Brethren
United Church of Canada
United Church of Christ
United Methodist
United Missionary Church
United Presbyterian
Vineyard Association
Wesleyan Methodist
World Wide Church of God

So after I searched for the "Whoa" selection, and then had deja vu of filling out the back of the SAT form (it's like that, only you're supposed to bubble your selection with a number two pencil), I looked through them. Here are the conclusions I found:

Why Can't We Be Friends?
Yes, that song played in my head. Even if you eliminate things that are obviously not Christian (Muslim, Buddhist, Bahai, Jewish) and the ones that are questionable (not to insult anyone, but Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Unitarian) and you are still left with a boatfull of denominations. I mean, Church of God, and Church of God in Christ??? Granted, I know the university has to cover its tail, but when it comes down to it, a majority of the denominations resulted from a disagreement of some kind (or potentially, geographic location). I agree that if your church is not holding to the Bible, there is something wrong with it and therefore a new denomination may be necessary, and this isn't always cut and dry, since people interpret the Bible in different ways, but there are a lot of denominations, and that's a lot of theological skiffs. I know the formation of United Methodism is full of different things branching off and joining together and it's a mess.

Which one?
Personally, I was raised United Methodist, am now attending a North American Baptist church, and have attended an Evangelical Church of Canada until a couple weeks ago. Each denomination has its issues. But when someone asks which denomination you are, do they really care if you're Methodist or United Methodist? Do they even know the difference? Is there a difference? If there is, do you know the difference? And what if you really don't know. I agree with a majority of Methodist beliefs, but there are a couple that I don't. If someone asked me which denomination I am, is there one that better describes my beliefs?

My point is, labeling denominations is necessary to help choose churches, and get someones beliefs in a nutshell, but once you have that basic overview, does it hinder us from asking tough questions? If someone tells me they're Lutheran, my pathetic amount of knowledge would tell me "Cool, Lutheran, aren't they the ones who don't share communion with other denominations?" and leave it at that. However, if we didn't have nifty denomination titles, I would have to ask, "Well, what's your opinion on this?" and "How do you feel about that?" This would also encourage people to question their own personal beliefs, rather than following a denomination that may not describe them.

Monday, November 12, 2007

UBC 2007

I got on the bus to head to UBC on Wednesday around noon. We did two practice debates and watched movies on our 13 hr trip. As we got closer to Vancouver, it started to remind me of Houston. First, it's sprawling, so we went through an area that looked like Fry/ Mason/ 99 and I-10. Second, it was humid and there was no snow. Calgary doesn't have green grass or leaves currently. Once we got into the city part, it was so different. We got onto East Hastings, and the first thing I thought of was, "This is where Insite is." (See previous post if you don't know what Insite is) I know we drove by it, because we followed it all down to West Hastings, and Insite is at East Hastings and Main Street, but I didn't see it. At one point, we came upon a large building on a corner with a crowd of homeless people in front of it. A lot were sitting on the steps, or talking in clumps. It was just so sad to see these things exist, though we hear about them all the time. When we arrived at the hotel at 12:45, I was in a room with Danielle (my debate partner), Corrine, and Alana. We crashed immediately.

The next morning we woke up, showered, and headed down for breakfast and did workshops. We prepped practice impromptu debates, and the like. For lunch we headed to UBC's SUB, and then for a tour around the campus with some time at the bookstore. Then, we went to West Point Grey to do some spar rounds. The first was opp for THW decrease the voting age. The second was prop for THB parents should have the last say in their children's medical treatment (implied: rather than doctors). Danielle and I won both, although the draw was kind to us and gave us sides that were easier. At West Point Grey, they had a piano, so between rounds we had a miniconcert, which was a lot of fun. That night when we got back, we prepared for our prepared rounds (see previous post). Danielle and I hadn't worked on it that much, so that was a nice time for us. Then we did improv games and headed to bed.

Friday morning, we did more workshops and went to Granville Island. It's reminds me of Kemah, only more artsy and less gaudy. We played with the seagulls, who tried to take our food, and wandered the shops. There was one store with a lot of neat scrapbooking and journal supplies. Then we headed to UBC, and sat in the museum of anthropology and worked some more. It was so nice and peaceful in there. Then we headed to one of the buildings for the briefing and the two prepared rounds.

Judging works as follows: a horrible debate is a 35- this cannot be given without justification. An average debate is 39, and "God's lawyer" gets 43- this cannot be given without justification as well. For the team score you add the two speaker scores together (so the range is 70-86).

First we competed prop for THW support safe injection sites. We got our ballots back on the way home, so I'll summarize it here: Judge 1: we got 79.5, opp got 76. "The gov managed to bring out the central points for their side. Opp touched on some possible important arguments, but they were not properly expanded on." Judge 2: we got 79, opp got 76. "POI well taken by gov. opp time wasted (1 min)" Judge 3 (loony bin): we got 77, opp got 78. "gov: good organization, the final segment of PM [my job for this one] was nicely done, but should not include rebuttals (MY JOB AS THE PM IS THE REBUTTAL). opp: not good conclusion, opposition team provided... sources (we're not required to). LO, despite a slow start was able to return to his situation after a timing error by judge (was able to summarize points in 3 minutes and expanded in next 5 minutes) [no, I don't recall he did. He finished early, but whatever.]

Next, we competed opp for THW support safe injection sites. The judge's writing is very faint, so I can't make much of it out- they got 77.5 and we got 77. Close debate. The comments included, "PM (gov team) good sign posting, MO [my job for this one] I liked how you started with how other groups are covering needs: don't need Safe injection sites, but then got caught up in gov subsidies which is a good point but not shown convincingly. LO [Danielle]: try to go for general concept over specific examples if possible. Harm for society vs. harm for user."

We were proud of how we'd done for those two. That night, I was laying in bed, unable to sleep, watching the glow of the city from the window, when I heard a loud bang. I swear it was a gunshot. Part of me wanted to go to the window and see what happened, but the logical side knew that I was safest in the bed, on the 5th floor. There was no way at that angle that I could get hurt from the street. I listened for a little, and sure enough, a couple minutes later, there were sirens. They were brief, but close. It was a little unnerving. It made me comfortable that we had moved to Calgary rather than Vancouver. Our downtown is still quite safe.

Saturday morning, we packed and dressed for debate. First, we went to the beach and enjoyed the view. It was so peaceful, and the waves sounded so nice. Then back at UBC, our first debate was prop THW ban child beauty pageants. We talked about the immodesty issue, how these girls were dressing up to be older than they are, and the effect of that later in life. We talked about how it exposed them to pedophiles, and, obviously, eating disorders, and how Miss N Carolina, who doesn't know Iraq is not "the Iraq," is not a good role model. Opposition countered with how they teach advertising skills (ex: Tyra Banks) and confidence, as well as a focus on the talent aspect. We talked about how the talent aspect can be shown in other competitions (aka, talent shows) and the only separation between this and beauty pageants is the beauty aspect, which is what we're trying to get rid of. We won, 79.5 to 76. Comments were: "Good arguments on both sides, opposition confused with points at times. gov effectively used POI."

Next, we were Opp for THW reserve seats in parliament for aboriginals. I don't like ones like this, because I don't know enough about Canadian gov yet, but it's the basic rigged election/morality aspects you focus on. The guys we debated against were good speakers, but the judge said their points were repetitive (rather than 3 distinct points, they overlapped). They focused on the harm done to the natives in the past, and the compensation needed. Then they talked about the current prejudices, and their inability to get appointed now. We took that to our advantage, and pointed out that by proposing this bill, they are definitely implying that they are unable to get appointed now, and the natives are insulted (if they are not implying that, then what is the purpose of proposing the bill?). We also talked about tension between other races, and how we've been unfair to Germans and Japanese during WWII. Then we went on about the point of democracy is nobody has a guaranteed seat, and it's representations of views, not races, that counts. We won, 79 to 77. Comments included "solid clash came too late in the round on gov whereas opp dealt well with gov's case easily."

At this point we thought we were doing well. Our competition was getting harder, which, because the meet was bracketed, meant we were doing decent to good. Then we received the resolution for gov (prop) THW boycott the Olympics in China. I'd done this resolution tons of times, but always on opp. Furthermore, when I was madame speaker for North American championships, I watched David Miko and Justen Russell (who went on to win North American championships) debate this as opposition, and they kicked proposition butt. I really had no idea the best route to take. We headed upstairs to start prepping, and in walked... you guessed it.... David Miko and Justen Russell. I froze. I knew their opposition case for this was foolproof- I'd seen it as an impartial judge. I was actually so anxious, I forgot to take off my converse, which I had been wearing around, and switch to heels, until halfway through my debate.

I really don't remember much about our case. We did the obvious- China has failed to recognize human rights violations in the past, the environment is unsanitary, and the Olympics should be presented as an award for a country that is successful politically, environmentally, etc. They came back with their engagement plan (which I knew was coming), that this time with them in the spotlight is to be taken to our advantage. Engaging them is the best way to do this. Plus, they're getting better environmentally and politically because of the coming Olympics. The thing about debating them is they are good debaters, and seem like nice guys (we talked to them a little afterwards), but they are ruthless in debate. When they stand up for POIs, they have that smirk on their face like, "did you really just say that?" and at one point David actually said, "We don't believe the propositions points are realistic, and we don't think they believe they are either." I just glared. No I don't think the reasons behind boycotting China are viable, but I'm assigned to debate it. That's just harsh. Score: us: 77, them 80.5

They went on to win UBC as well. We got 24th out of 74, with a score of 392. Then I got 52nd out of 148 speakers, and Danielle got 70th. Overall, I think we did a good job.

UBC 2007: Safe Injection Sites

Written on November 2 but not posted to prevent sharing of research until debate:

On Wednesday, I'll be leaving around noon for the UBC (University of British Colombia in Vancouver [west coast of Canada])competition. I have three impromptu debates, and two prepared: one supporting safe-injection sites, and one opposing it. For those of you who don't realize that these exist or what they are (I had no idea!), there are certain centers in cities with a high drug use record where you can legally use otherwise illegal drugs, get sterized needles, and recieve medical help (in case you overdose) from the trained staff (although the staff is allowed to give safer injection education, they are not allowed to assist advising the injection itself). For the purpose of the debate, most government teams will probably define their plan of setting up another site somewhere in Canada, and using Insite, Vancouver's site, as the basis of their argument (although there are also 50 sites outside of Canada in countries such as Germany, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and one opening up in Portugal). I've never done a prepared debate before. Because I'm in grade 11, Danielle (my debate partner) and I have to compete in the open category, not beginner.

So I was going to organize my thoughts on here. I'll first start with the Government's points, and then clash and give those for "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition" (I love Canadian govern't titles!)

So, in support of safe injection sites:

Government position: Safe injection sites are healthier for the clients and society.

  • Safe injection sites promote health, because they provide sterylized needles. A major delemma with drug users is sharing unsterilized needles, and thereby contaminating themselves with HIV and Hep C. After Insite opened in Vancouver, the sharing needles reduced to 6% of clients per month, and HIV rates decreased 30%. Beyond health, they promote life, because trained staff are there with the training in case someone overdoses. No drug user has ever died of an overdose of heroin in a supervised injection site, despite the over 400 that have occurred. Furthermore, they have prevented an estimated 200 overdoses with medical advice.

  • Safe injection sites also promote recovery. In the centers, there is counceling and referrals for clients. One in five regular insite clients go into detox.

  • Although other citizens were originally against the idea, it has actually helped clean up the areas around the center. In drug-ridden areas of cities, syringes can be found along roadways and people are injecting themselves in public, making themselves examples to young children who may be watching. By providing a safe area, these activities are taken off the streets. This prevents an estimated 234 000 public injections per year. Areas around insite have not reported an increase in drug dealing or robbery. They actually reported a 30% reduction in Sydney [Don't ask me to explain that logic. I just get the stats]. The public in the area around the site now have an 80% approval rate. (The opposition can rebut that this is a fallacy; just because the public approves does not make it morally right).

  • It helps the healthcare system. Ambulance calls for overdoses reduced 86% after these clinics opened up. Also, if someone overdoses on the street they spend an average of 10 days in the hospital, whereas if they overdose in the clinic, they only spend 1 day. This frees up hospital beds. Currently in Canda, women giving birth are lifeflighted to Washington, Montana, etc, because there are not enough hospital beds. Over time if these beds free up continuously, the hospitals can reorganize their beds and it is more effective overall.

Now for the opposition :)

Opposition position: Safe injection sites harm the government economically and morally.

  • The healthcare provided to these clients is a free service, but costs the government money. The centers are completely funded by the province. Not only to centers such as Insite take money to build, but to staff and stock with supplies. 61% of the clients rely on social security benefit for their income. 70% are homeless, so they are obviously not using the SS payments on housing. If they live on the street, all that's left are food and drugs. Therefore, the government is already using tax dollars on those who are not contributing to the economy, and now they are spending more money to allow these people to continue habits that they selected for themselves. While it is inherent that addicts will continue their addictions, it is a choice they made. We agree the government should help it's citizens, but how do you help someone who doesn't want to help themselves? The average term of usage for clients is 13 years, although some have been using for up to 51 years [side note by Chelsea: how does someone LIVE that long on drugs???]. They started this behaviour, knowing the risks (average age of starting is 18), before these sites were created. We are not obligated to care for them because they have made the choice to contradict the original help we gave through education.

  • Also, these drugs themselves are dangerous. The long term effects may cost more for our socialized medicine in the long run because of things like cancer.

  • The government is morally conflicted. It creates laws that make these drugs illegal, and then allows for their use in certain situations. There is a reason these drugs are illegal- they are harmful. Reducing the harms does not eliminate them. Allowing centers like these is hypocracy. It is merely giving up. One of the purposes of the government is to look after the health of the citizens. This can be done more efficiently by condoning drug use, rather than cleaning up the mess it makes post-addiction. It is, in essence, assisted suicide, which, by the way, is illegal as well.

  • Furthermore, Canada is rejecting international drug laws, and treaties that it has signed by the UN. In Article Four of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, it is stated that countries will impliment laws that allow drugs only for medical and scientific purposes. By allowing certian social situations where clients can use drugs independently (it's not medical- they're not being medically reccomended drug use) and socially, it is breaking this treaty. If Canada is allowing for otherwise illegal drugs to be bought and sold, it is promoting international drug trafficing. Heroin is the largest drug used in these facilities, and 75% of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan. The Afghan farmers cannot sell their product to the government, so they sell it to the terrorists, who then make a profit by selling it. If you do not reduce the demand for the product, you cannot reduce the supply. This decision impacts not only Canada, but the international world.

  • If the clients are really going for counceling, as the proposition suggests, then they have other opportunites (1-800 numbers, walk in clinics, etc). The fact of the matter is, this still leaves 86% of the clients whose purpose is to use the injection rooms.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Remembrance Day

In Flander's Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
PS My debate went well. I'll be posting all that tomorrow.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


This morning I took my own advice and woke up early to see the sunrise over Calgary. Here are some pictures, all from a south facing view (from Northwest quadrant). You can see the mountains in the distance.

"Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning." (Ec 11:7 NLT)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Summer Reading Spree Continues

A couple updates in the wonderful world of Chelsea:
I'M GOING TO EUROPE!!! In particular, Scotland and England. Uncle Gordon is taking me, and we may be meeting up with Dad in London. I have a stack of books from Uncle Gordon that I'm supposed to read before I go. I started one today, and it seems interesting, but very very slow. History. Enough said.
Also, you are reading from the blog of the earner of the highest mark in Mrs. Reid's Block 2 Math 30 Pure class. Our teachers post our marks next to our ID numbers on the blackboard, and the highest mark is a 93 (me!) with a 92 following. After that, I think the highest is an 89. Tomorrow are midterms, so wish me luck!
Last Friday, I picked up a book called When Calls the Heart, by Janette Oke. I finished it at 12:30 that night. Then I picked up the sequel, When Comes the Spring, and finished it yesterday. Such a good series! The author lives really close to Calgary, so some of the places she mentions, I have been to, like the hill overlooking Prince's Island Park. I love that view, but I've only been there once. Maybe I'll go watch the sunrise on Saturday, from there. I would like to watch the sunset, since it would set west, over the mountains, but unfortunately that street can be a lover's lane of sorts. Probably safer in the mornings.
Now for a question: If you are assigned to debate a topic which you do not agree with, what would you do? I don't mean something you have clashing opinions with, but something that you are morally opposed to. I see two sides to this, but I want to know what you guys think. By the way, this is hypothetical. While it has been my dread since I signed up for debate that one day I will have to debate pro-choice, I haven't been faced with it yet. Just comment on that- I'm curious to see what you say.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thought of the day

"God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road." (Isak Dinesen)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Couple Thoughts

1) Wouldn't Macbeth make a wonderful season of survivor? I mean, eveyone dies, so why not make a game over who's next?

2) How do addictions develop? I don't mean thinks that are by nature addicting (ie, nicotine). I mean things like tetris or sudoku. Actually I just asked Kassi for another example, and she pointed out that anything can be addicting- work, for instance. Making money. What's the line between addiction, habit, and healthy amount. Are addictions and habits simultaneous, or is one an extention of another? Where do cravings fall into this?
Don't feel like you have to answer any of those. They're rhetorical.

3) 69 days until December 25th. Plus two (that's the least conspicuous way I could think of!).

4) Am I too busy? I hate being busy, but sometimes I feel that "busy" is my excuse for laziness. I have debate, early morning bio classes, and 2 AP classes that fill my afternoons with homework. Looking at that, I suppose the proper question is, am I busy enough? I have time to read out-of-school books; I never used to be able to. I learned another song on the piano the other day (Boston, by Augusta. Look it up on iTunes if you don't know it- it's a pretty piano song)

But is that a matter of prioritizing? I have to read Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Siddartha, and Huckleberry Fin for English. Plus the ongoing list of projects for the class. Maybe I should go do something productve... like the mountain of make-up math work I missed because of the Lois Hole trip.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lois Hole Tournament

This has been an amazing weekend.

Thursday at lunch, I left the school and we headed up to Edmonton. I hung out with Brittany, Kyla, and Feden on the bus, because I knew they were my roommates that night, and I had it on good authority that they were really nice. When we got to Edmonton, we stopped at Old Scona Academy and had a practice debate. My partner was Danielle, who is my established debate partner for all of eternity. Our first resolution was "This house will decrease the voting age to 16." and we were the opposition. We kicked rear. Second resolution was "This house will increase fossil fuel royalties," and we were the government. We kicked rear again.

The tricky thing about Canadian Parliamentary debate is two fold: first, there are crazy titles like Prime Minister, Member of the Crown, and Her Royal Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Second, it is about Canadian government. I nearly caught myself once about to say the United States of Canada, and trying to present an alternate way to help the environment (rather than boycotting the Olympics) as "just sign the Kyoto Protocol" (Canada has...).

Thursday night we had seminars and got to bed too late. Friday we had seminars early in the morning, and then spent the afternoon at West Edmonton Mall (like the Mall of America... or an amazingly amazing Galleria). Our group of girls (plus Jamal) hit the clearance rooms of Abercrombie, Hollister, and Forever 21, and got some really good stuff. Ex: I got a really cute Hollister shirt for $10, originally $70. Good sales. It was nice bonding time too, because we really didn't know each other, but we all had the same style and could pick stuff out for each other and give opinions, etc. That night we had a hardcore seminar at University of Alberta, hosted by the university debaters. Another late night.

This morning, we got up early (haha, our room was always the first to breakfast, and so we'd receive some cynical remarks from non-early birds) and packed/dressed up to leave. The purpose of the Lois Hole debate is personal growth, not partner growth, because for each round you are paired with a different person from a different school. I got really competitive about it eventually, but it got to the point where I wasn't too stressed and I still enjoyed it.

Our first resolution was "This house would legalize drug use in sports." We were government (yes, HARD) and our three points were first that it would make sports more entertaining, second that it would decrease the sink pool of money that athletes are by increasing the supply (therefore decreasing the cost of sports), and third is that it would help the military. I thought this was somewhat genius, partially because it was formulated from some very sketchy arguments in my brain. Think of it this way: by allowing steroid use in sports, we are making it a less taboo topic in society, and accepted by students within school athletics. Schools' purposes are to raise "the future," so therefore, the future would be more accepting of steroids. Now, if this were so, the government could use steroids in other areas, namely the military. It costs thousands of dollars (and time) for training and preparing soldiers to fight. Steroids would decrease their intermittent period. Yes, I know this is a pathetic and disgraceful argument, but quite frankly, we were desperate. We still lost, but our judge said we did a good job, and it was close.

Our second resolution was "This house supports mandatory voting." We were the opposition, and our first point was freedom of choice/convenience. Our second (my favorite and the judge's favorite) was the founding principles of Canada, and the third was environmental and economic effects (and time. Think 2000 presidential elections in FL. Now imagine if something like that happened, but the whole population of Canada voted. Ya....). I guess here I'll expand on the founding principles of Canada. I actually learned this Friday night at the U of A seminar. They are: Peace, Order, and Good government. (Ya, "good government" is an opinion, but that seems to work for Canada (?) ). So if these are the founding principles, good government implies quality of votes, not quantity, and that's how we dealt with that issue. I took a point of information really well too (where someone stands up in your speech and asks you a 10 sec question). I was talking about the freedom of choice, and how it may not be convenient for someone, because they are in the hospital, or an important CEO who has to be in Japan that weekend for something. Gov. stood up and said, "Can't these things be rescheduled?" and I said, "You can't schedule when you'll be in the hospital."

Our third resolution was, "This house will legalize burning flags." We were government. Again, HARD. How do you develop valid points about why it's ok to do that? So we took the route that the flag does not symbolize the country, but rather something that the country stands for (freedom, unity, etc.) and if someone doesn't agree with either that idea or that the idea is even being exercised in the country, then they have the right to exercise their ability to tell their government this. By doing something as dramatic as burning a flag, they are showing that something is most definitely wrong and needs to be fixed. Furthermore, if we suppress this they may still resort to dramatic expressions, but not as safe. Yes, I totally advocated that 9/11 was preventable if the terrorists had been allowed to vent through burning flags. Bologna, I know. But seriously? Burning FLAGS? I made a good POI though. Our opponents said, "If a citizen is so unhappy with their country, if all else fails, they can leave." And I stood and said, "A convicted felon is not allowed to leave Canada." :)

So it came down to where they selected 4 "novice" debaters, and 4 "open" debaters. For novice, we had Owen for our school, and for open we had Rhiannon, Kees, and Sean. We kicked general butt, even if it was our own butt (sorry Rhiannon) we were kicking. Owen was amazing, ranting about how media trains kids to think independently of their parents, rather than following "mommy and daddy." He made it sound really convincing. (The resolution was that This house would ban advertising directed at children, but because of the way the government defined advertising, it pretty much became a debate about all media).

The open debate was HILARIOUS. First off, Sean and Kees are the biggest partners in crime I have ever met. Open debates can get very "squirely" (not sure where that term came from) to where you can take the resolution, and as long as you explain how you got from one point to another, completely change it. Also, because it's the final, it's taken very lightly and more about having a good time (depending on the nature of the direction of the new resolution as well). The problem then for the opposition, is all their planning is gone from what they thought it would be to begin with, and they have to plan their new case off of, and during, the government's speech. Sean and Kees were opposition. The resolution is "This house believes that if you are not the solvent, you are the precipitant." With Rhiannon's first sentence, they simultaneously ripped their pre-planned cases out of their notepads, and tossed them over their shoulder. She went on for a while explaining her logic without explicitly stating what they were debating, talking about how precipitates stand out, pretty much wasting time for them to be planning. Then, she quickly said how nerds stand out, so the nature of this debate is who is more valuable: nerds or jocks? Very wishy washy logic, but I don't think it was too far fetched ;). Major points were that which is more valuable in the world: those who lead (the nerds) or those who follow, or the brunt work behind the plans (the jocks). Then it turned into, if the jocks were leading instead, would the world be better. A hilarious point was made of flipping coins and how then there would at least be a 50/50 chance we didn't go into Iraq (apparently, Canada REALLY hates Bush). Sean and Kees were pretty much verbally promoting, without prettying it up at all, the shoving people into lockers (as opposed to the backstabbing trickery of nerds) and communism, although I really forget how that came about. Oh, and clairvoyance. And barbarianism. And they won. They did a pretty slick job, concerning the entire room of debate nerds had prejudices. I think it came down to which side was funnier, which was a blast for our last round.

I'll be putting pictures up on Facebook, and maybe I'll stick some good ones up here tomorrow. For now, I want to go to bed and not think about the categories of effects: Political, Society, Military, Moral, Regional, Religious, Economic, and Environmental. *sigh* Sweet dreams.

Oh, I suppose I forgot to mention I got ranked 6 out of 100. : D

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mishaps and Stress

Do you remember in that last post, I said: "It was disappointing, because I really wanted to go to the Hat, and really wanted to get out of sex ed, but though I can't see why I stayed at Abe, I know God had a reason."

The reason has been discovered.

Chelsea must must MUST learn to speak more modestly.

Unfortunately it took three letters, and a huge misunderstanding to realize that. Why am I a magnet for these sorts of mishaps?

I probably will not be on the computer at all for the next week, not because of grounding like the last time (no, this time my mother chuckled while shaking her head. Then she wished me luck). This time I have so much work on top of this misunderstanding, that I am at my peak stress height. I will be gone for debate Thursday morning until Sunday, but I have a bio lab which I received today that I have one day (Wed.) to complete because it's due the Friday I'm gone. I have an English creative writing paper, that in all honesty, I have been doing well in, but creative writing is hard for me. It's due the Monday I get back, so I have Wednesday. I have a math project that I received today, due Tuesday, which I need to do Wednesday as well because Monday will be spent doing everything I missed Thursday and Friday. Oh, another English creative writing project due sometime soon that I should start. And three novels I have to read for English by Nov. 26th, and a presentation I have to start for English due soon. I just want to get EVERYTHING done before Edmonton, so I can enjoy the trip. And I was planning on being rested, but an email plopped on my lap two hours ago that I have spent the last two hours beating myself up over.

And I have to pack for Edmonton. Or else wear the same clothes that I drive up there in, to sleep in, and debate in. That would not be a pretty sight.

I'll stick some pics from debate up here if I live that long.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thursday morning, I was in early morning Biology at 8:30 gag. School doesn't start until 9:15, so they constantly make announcements over the PA system. One was "Could all grade 11 and 12 debaters come down to the debate room immediately. Thank you." I was like, sweet! Walking! So I left Bio and when I walked into the debate room, Mr. Poirier (POY-ee-ay) looked startled and said, "Vechert?" since that's all he knows me by, and speaks French. I think that he thinks I'm in grade 10 since I'm new. Anyways, Sean, looked at me and said, "Do you want to be in school today?" In my mind I was thinking, duh no. Who wants to be in biology at 8:30 AM? But I was confused and tired, so I didn't say anything. Another girl came in behind me, and Sean asked, "Do you want $30?" and for some reason my hand shot up. I'm not crunched for money, but when someone offers you $30 Canadian... (which is higher than American right now, heh heh).

They had been booked to give a seminar in Medicine Hat that day, and one of their girls was sick, so they were offering us 1) an excused absence, 2) $30, and 3) a fun day with the debate kids (think GT kids). I was like, YES!

For the next 15 minutes, I had to rush around the school and check with my teachers. First I went up to the third floor to Mrs. Miller's room. I knew this would be a problem, since we started sex ed on Thursday, and it is the one part of CALM that if you have an unexcused absence, you fail. I figured an avoidable excused absence was unfavorable. She wasn't there. Then the though hit me that I also had a math test (you know how I am with math tests. I don't plan these things) so I went to Mrs. Reid and asked her. The fact that I corrected her key Wednesday probably gave her the idea that I wasn't trying to skip the test because I didn't study. Then back to Mrs. Miller's, but she still wasn't there. Then back down to Bio, where I went through the whole first period wondering if I should go or not. At 10:30, I went back down to Mr. Poirier, and he said the spot was taken. It was disappointing, because I really wanted to go to the Hat, and really wanted to get out of sex ed, but though I can't see why I stayed at Abe, I know God had a reason. I'm thankful He left it up to Mr. Poireir to decide, because I still really was not sure if I should or not. It was almost relieving, hearing I couldn't go.

The rest of the day was fine. I think I may have passed the math test- passing here is a 50, so yes, I'm being sarcastic. And sex ed was a blast, let me tell you. You know, it really stinks, having a nurse as a mom. I mean, I know she means well, and she is an amazing mother, but sometimes she goes overboard with the sex ed. I remember her sitting me down when I was in grade two, and explaining the basics. I took sex ed in school in grade four and five, and then eight. I wasn't even supposed to take it in eight. I had a PE waiver, but she contacted the school and asked that I get out of my study hall for that week, and take it. Plus, medical things are part of dinnertime conversation. I totally agree that we shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies, but there's a limit. Dinner time is my limit. Pretty much whenever the instructor would ask if anyone knew what something was called, the name would pop into my head. I spent a large percentage of my time with my mouth shut and sitting on my hands. Plus, I'm not going to need to know this stuff for a while, some of it ever! Kevin, it was not abstinence only sex ed. It was the full deal, as in any sort of pairing off, tripling off, or even not pairing off you could imagine. Very awkward class to go through. And it lasts for two more days.

Friday was a lot of fun. We got out of school early, like every Friday, and then I did some housework and went to the bank. Aneca was throwing us back-to-Canada-Texans a party, so I got to her house at 5:30. It started out as Disney princess themed, so we had a formal, princess dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, gravy, and dessert) but watched Pretty Woman. There were 9 people there: Aneca, Sarah, Sarah, Kim, Kaitlyn, Lindsey, Carmen, Natasha, and me.

Saturday we headed up to the airport to pick up my cousin Abby. She's over in Montreal studying photography, and flew over for the weekend. Then we headed down to Barry's house to pick him up, and over to Rolling Hills. As soon as we got there, we ate, and then went for a walk down the side road by Aunt Dawn and Uncle Bob's farm. Then we played pictionary, and came back to Aunt Heather's. Here are some pictures for the day:

Heading out of the farm yard:

View back from the dirt road:

The word was "ride," aka, "stick man on coyote":

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Evoluion vs. Creation: Proof?

WARNING: Long post. Read when you have time to think.

How much of our knowledge is based on fact?

I'd say quite a lot. Pretty much all. And if we know something isn't based on fact, we don't store it as positive knowledge, but rather tentative. A great man (who I'm not going to name because of where this article is going to go) once said: "Every scientific statement in the long run, however complicated it looks, really means something like, 'I pointed the telescope to such and such a part of the sky at 2.20 a.m. on January 15th and saw so-and-so,' or, 'I put some of this stuff in a pot and heated it to such-and-such temperature and it did so-and-so.'... why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes-something of a different kind-this i not a scientific question."

If that went in one ear and out the other, what I believe he is saying is that the purpose of science is to make observations, and figure out the earthly reasons. Not make predictions about why the earthly reasons exist. Here's the point I'm trying to make.

Today in Biology, we were taking notes on "evidence of evolution." Mrs. Fehres's points were the following:

1) Biogeography- the fact that marsupials being restricted to Australia proves they developed completely post-Pangea. Another example would be Darwin's finches. However, I would like to ask how this proves anything? Just because I don't believe man developed from apes doesn't mean I don't believe in variations in species. I breed dogs, for goodness sakes. I know how easy it is to create something that is completely original by tweaking traits. I would agree that this proves micro-evolution (evolution within a species) but not macro-evolution (evolution from species to species, from whale to horse). It is not as though it takes millions of years to change a species either. There have been scientific studies done that prove these changes occur 10 000 to 10 000 000 times faster than evolutionists previously thought. How you can say that because there are different species in different areas proves adaptation that crossed from a monkey to a man, with rational thinking and a unique language, is not proof. It is doing what the quote-speaker said above, and putting too much guesswork into science.

2) Fossil Record- all I have to say on this is the following quotes from evolutionists:

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils." (Stephen Gould, Harvard evolutionary geologist)

"However, the gradual change of fossil species has never been part of the evidence for evolution. In the chapters on the fossil record in the Origin of Species Darwin showed that the record was useless for testing between evolution and special creation because it has great gaps in it. The same argument still applies. ... In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." (Mark Ridley, Oxford University)

3)Morphology- the fact that bat wing skeletons look like human arms, and whales have femurs. This is a very interesting "proof" for evolution. I hope by this point, you are getting the gist of what I am saying: Though I obviously believe in Creation, my goal is not to persuade people to this (at least not in this article. just be patient...) . It is merely to point out that the "evidence" for evolution is not solid. It does not prove evolution or Creation in itself, and yet it's being taught as proving the evolution "theory" (which is rarely treated as a theory).

Anyways, back on topic: Morphology. Just because there are similarities between animal structures does not have to lead to the fact they developed from each other. What about the idea that they developed from the same Creator? Why couldn't God have used something that He found worked in several, if not all species? Just shining a different light on it, and saying that it isn't proof. It's just an observation.

4) Embryological development- the fact that many embryos look the same in very early stages. Again, if it worked why not use it repeatedly in Creation? However, a famous evolutionist, Ernest Haeckel exaggerated these drawings. The first is a drawing by A. Ecker:

Now by Haeckel:

Leading embryologists have agreed that he drew these inaccurately. From a site: "[Prof His] sarcastically pointed out that Haeckel taught in Jena, home of the then finest optical equipment available, and so had no excuse for inaccuracy. He concluded that anyone who engaged in such blatant fraud had forfeited all respect and that Haeckel had eliminated himself from the ranks of scientific research workers of any stature.

5. Artificial selection- the fact that by ourselves using evolutionary methods in breeding and farming, it proves evolution occurred. What? Does that make sense? By proving it's possible, we are not proving it occurred. We are proving the possibility, and not even the possibility of macro-evolution, but micro-evolution. Furthermore, I would like to see someone use selective breeding to turn a snake into a frog- things that are "closely related." I would say this in no way justifies macro-evolution.

6. Biochemistry- similarities in molecular biology in nonidentical species.

Mrs. Fehres gave the example of respiratory enzymes. She said that humans have 48% of the same respiratory enzymes as bacteria. Humans and chickens share 86%. Humans and rabbits share 92%. Humans and chimps share 100%. However, I ask again, what is the point of these enzymes? If different species use them and they work to their purposes, then why not use them in multiple species? This does not prove gradual development. It proves something higher. I mean, bacteria? Actually, the amount of change that would have had to occur and the length of time it would have taken for bacteria to develop into humans would have included so many mutations, that it would have probably resulted in much less than 48% (I don't have anything to back that up, I'm just thinking out loud).

I am not trying to prove Creation [here]. I am merely expressing the concern that evolution is being treated as having a higher amount of proof than Creation. Because the evidence is proving both, I would venture to say that this particular evidence proves nothing. It is observations, which is what it should be. It is not meant to prove evolution or Creation- what is supposed to decide that for you is your personal beliefs. It is difficult for Christians to stand up for what their beliefs are telling them when their blatant proof is being treated as meaningless. If Biblical evidence is not solid evidence, I would call it weak evidence to non-Christians. However, proof for evolution is weak evidence to everyone. What I originally meant to write this about is how unspecific evidence can be modified to suit whichever case you're going for to begin with. If you are gung-ho for evolution, you can find fallacies in my arguments. If you're gung-ho for Creationism, you can find fallacies in evolution. It's scary how that works, but it is very difficult for a person to make a completely unbiased observation of the two. And in a way, I think that's best.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I'm usually not much of a poetry person, but this is probably the greatest poem I've ever read. I've been thinking about it a lot over the last few days, and thought I'd share it with you folks.

Wait, by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said,"Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to Wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

"Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still "Wait".

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Their Story, Not Mine

I just finished watching the Notebook for the umpteenth time. How many of you girls have crooned over the plot? How many have thought, "I hope that will happen to me!"
I have. It's an adorable story. Just as a synopsis for you guys out there, rolling your eyes, it's a story about a summer romance between a couple that is destroyed because of the difference is riches. Later, Allie finds Noah again and breaks off her engagement to be with him. He has always hoped she would come back, he built his house the way she used to dream about, etc etc. This is all revealed through flashbacks, and at the current time, Allie has Alzheimer's and Noah is still with her, telling her their story over and over again until she remembers. They're old and in a nursing home, but he still loves her. At one point he says to his kids, "I have to stay with your mother. This is my home now." All together now: Awwww.
But you know what, as sweet as that story is, the certain touch it has is not unique (well, it may be today, but it shouldn't be). That touch is loyalty. Even though Allie does not remember who Noah is while he's reading, he stays with her. He could easily drift out of her life and she wouldn't miss him. My point is, I don't have to have a Notebook story. In all honesty, I don't want a guy like Noah. He drinks and cusses, and has a violent temper. I don't want to be Allie. She's shallow and flighty, and has an even more violent temper than Noah. What is special is not the plot, it's not the characters. It's the element of loyalty. As long as I have that in my story. I'm not saying loyalty will make my story perfect. The only thing that can do that is a constant reliance on God, and the realization that my future husband will not be perfect, and I am not perfect. Expecting a married life to be a fairy tale creates a huge disappointment. Here's a quote I found in YLCF by Jennifer W.

"Another person comes to mind – a friend who just became engaged and then another with a different story and another...

Our minds become a bit clearer as we sift through the lives of others in our thoughts. We begin to regain peacefulness in our hearts and grasp a proper perspective once again. Yes, those are their stories. Not ours. Would we really want exactly what they have?

When we really think about it, the answer is no. We cannot be another person nor can we desire what another person has. God knows us better than we know ourselves; He knows what’s best. What may not seem “fair” or “right” to us today is actually a blessing in disguise. "

Thursday, September 20, 2007

September Beauty

So, we had our first snow the other day. You wouldn't be able to tell though, since it was a "Texas snow," as I like to call it, meaning it never accumulated- just fell. However, as I write this, it is hailing. This picture was taken about two minutes ago.

However, this morning was beautiful. I would know- I had a 45 minute Bio class before school started. Granted, I was still waking up after all you Katy people were sitting in your desks...

Here are two pictures: the first I took on my walk to school this morning, and the second I took after I got home when I was walking into my house. I like the second one a lot. I looked up and thought, "Wow, that's beautiful." Then I remembered I had my camera and figured I'd share the joy with you guys.

"...where they found a road leading into the heart of acres of glimmering beech and maple woods, which were all in a wondrous glow of flame and gold, lying in a great purple stillness and peace.

'It's as i the year were kneeling to pray in a vast cathedral full of mellow stained light, isn't it?' said Anne dreamily. 'It doesn't seem right to hurry through it, does it? I seems irreverent, like running in a church.' " (Anne of Avonlea, pg. 376)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Drug Education?

I had the most interesting guest speaker yesterday. I was, quite frankly, shocked. In CALM (Career and Life Management [10 wk course required to graduate]), they have different public educators come to speak to us from charitable organizations and agencies. Yesterday was someone from AADAC- Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. I was figuring the DARE routine- and for the most part it was. We went through the steps of addiction: No use, Experimental use, Social use, Misuse, Abuse, and Dependancy.
Think about where you are from- where do you think the majority of teenagers fall? In Texas, I would say those who were "druggies" fell under abuse, and those who weren't were no use, or rare experimental. In Calgary, most are experimental or social. There are extremes both ways of course, but most lie in the middle ground. It's not just the druggies that do drugs here, it's a large part of the student population.
The counselor supported this, saying most of the community estimated misuse, but stats show it's really experimental or social. What blew me away is she said this was good news, because it meant most of our generation was using drugs "responsibly."
I was like, "WHAT?" Since when is ANY use of drugs responsible??? Honestly, I am amazed that someone who works for a government agency would have that mentality towards something that is illegal for most (alcohol) or all (drugs) of the student population. Throughout the presentation, it was implied that if you are familiar with the drug so as to not overdose, and keep a healthy balance between drugs/alcohol and your previous interests (family, school, friends, music, sports, etc) it's acting responsibly.
What she fails to take into account is that when you are high or drunk, your senses are dulled. You could drive drunk once, and end your life or the life of another. You could get hooked: 90% of first time meth users get addicted, and only 3% of those 90% recover. After that, you will eventually come into financial issues, drug trafficking/other illegal activity, or hurt those who love you. People overdose. People get raped. People loose their futures. Today a speaker who dealt with sexually exploited youth made a point that the highest-risk areas for abusers to locate victims were areas where drugs and alcohol are usually found- parties, raves, clubs, even pool halls were mentioned. She said that they looked for youth with a low self-esteem. The AADAC lady said that people who "abuse" substances lower their self-esteem. How can a government-run agency teach people who the other agency ends up helping?
Not to mention, illegal is illegal. Who cares if you're drinking responsibly if you're 17? The government doesn't. There are laws for a reason, and though you may not see the benefit of them yourself or blatantly disagree with them, as citizens we must respect them. Imagine if people each followed their own laws. If a psychopath murdered someone, all he would have to do is say he doesn't believe murder is wrong, and he would get off.
My point is, the level of addiction for high school students will not reduce to no use until they are taught it is wrong. Although the speaker never went as far as to commend casual use over no use, little attention was paid to the fact that it was possible to resist the temptation and practice self-control. When parents allow their children to drink under their supervision and educators allow "responsible" use, they are creating a future who holds no respect for the law, others around them, and furthermore, no respect for their own bodies.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Changing My Domicile

When we first moved into our house, I had to decide my bedroom. I had two options: first, the middle room on the main floor. Second, the humongoid room in the basement. Yes, it's that big. It was so big, that I decided I did not have enough things to fill it. It would look empty. (Pic below is Aunt Marie helping me decide. I was suffering a cold, so I was carrying around a tissue box).

All that has changed.

The other reason I chose the main floor room was that mom wanted to rent out the basement to two college students. If I took it, then that wouldn't work. Kassi moved in during the first week of September, and she is such a wonderful girl! We spent a lot of the first week watching movies together (Princess and the Goblin, oh ya baby! haha) and talking about what God is doing in our lives and our plans.

However, Mom really wanted to rent out another place. We were at my dad's cousin's house when she mentioned that a girl had sent out an email looking for a place. She was from Red Deer, AB, and wanted to do the advanced swim team in Calgary (Red Deer does not have one). She is 17 and will be finishing up her high schooling by correspondence. She will need a room to herself because she will be practically living there, between doing all her school work, and getting as much sleep as she can squeeze in with swim practice. Therefore, I came up with a solution.

Kassi and I will be splitting the basement. Jessica will get my "old" (two month) room. So I'm moving all of my clothes, books, and random trinkets that I have somehow gathered since we've moved (I thought I downsized a couple months ago!) downstairs as we speak. Jessica is moving in Sunday.

I haven't had a roommate since I was in grade five!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Schools In! Part III: Friends

My first friend is Kim. I met her a week or so before school started, and she went to Clements High School in Sugarland. She's in swimming, and is a perfect mixture of Catherine and Bianca's kindness and brains. She's in three out of four of my classes.

The first day of school, we had one hour of homeroom, and one of our tasks was assigning lockers and locker buddies. My buddy is Anna, a French Immersion student (first language English, but all her classes are French. A pointless system if you ask me. Imagine learning calculus in Spanish!). I really don't see much of her, but she seems really nice from what I've seen of her.

My next friend I acquired is Justine. Our teacher was looking at transcripts (you have to bring your transcript to class on the first day so the teacher has an idea of what your grades normally are), and she was like "Oh, where did you move from?" and I responded, "Texas." Then the girl in front of me whips her head around and said "I'm from Texas too- Houston." So I said, "Well, I'm from Katy!" and she said, "Really? I'm from Sugarland!" She's lived in Calgary for a year already, so she has some very nice friends that Kim and I have met (namely Anaka and Stephanie). They invited us to eat lunch with them. She's in swimming too, but she has a bad knee so she doesn't get to do much of it.

Then in Bio, there's a girl named Katheryn who lived in Cinco for grade 7. I really haven't spent much time with her, but she sits with Kim and I in our lab table.

I'm probably closest to Kim, but Justine is really nice too. We both may end up being sucked into their group! The trick I've learned is just say you're from Katy, and you'll find a couple people who know where it is.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Schools In! Part II: Classes

My classes are really good. They are challenging, but not overwhelming because there are only four of them. I think so far my favorite is English, with Biology as a close runner-up (surprised? So am I!) But I'll explain them in block order.
First block I have CALM (Career and Life Management). It's basically time management, goal setting, career research, future planning, budgeting, life education. It's sort of interesting to think that you can have a class on life, but it seems like it's the kind of class where you can get out of it what you put in. Right now, with time management, we have to write down everything we do for a week, and how long. That way, we can best examine where we spend the most of our time and adjust it as necessary. I think it will be useful.
Second block I have Math 30. It's half of Algebra II and half of Pre-Cal, so I'm little ahead, but it is quickly paced. What I'm relearning is a good review, and when we start learning new stuff, I'll be used to the pace, so it won't come as a shock. However, I am NOT looking forward to taking my first diploma exam, especially since it is in January, after we get back from Christmas break.
Third block is Biology 20/30 AP. That is my only class that is a whole year long (as opposed to only a semester). My teacher, Mrs. Fehres, has an unusual accent. At first I thought it was French, but she mentioned she does not speak a lick of French, so that can't be it. It has sort of a Scottish roll to it, but at the same time I'm expecting her to break out with "Ja," so my sub-coincidence might think it's Scandinavian. We have an overnight field trip to Kananaskis in October (you will get pictures!) and early morning classes on Thursday from 8:30-9:15, before school starts, so it looks like it will be taking up the most of my extra-curricular time.
Fourth block is English 20 AP, and Mr. McMillan is amazing. Our first day of class, we had a class discussion about Plato's expression, "All art is an imitation of life," and we talked about what life is, and why some people consider art what others don't. Today it was over defining complex, and how to write an essay over complex issues. He said the trouble with complex issues is they don't fit a A leads to B leads to C format, but rather A leads to B and D, but not C, although C leads to D, and then there's Z which doesn't relate to anything but A, etc. It made me appreciate The Four Loves all the more. I mean, love is complex. Let me tell you... but back on topic... He explained how the first step was to define the topic for yourself, and stick to your definition throughout the paper (eg. what is success, what is friendship, etc). Then he said take your random thoughts and put them in some sort of sequential order. True, you may need to exclude Z, or skip C, but that's the problem with complex issues: art doesn't do them justice. My homework for tonight is write an outline for an essay on the topic, the Nature of Success and its connection to External and Internal influences. It really is a though provoking class, and there are some people in there who have really abstract but logical ideas.
Something I've noticed about the school is that it is a lot more like university; you aren't babied. They don't take most homework for grades, so it's up to you do to it. You can eat lunch wherever you want (today I ate in Kim's car because it was cold outside, and ended up hailing as soon as we got inside). Teachers ask you when you think an appropriate time for something to be due is, which although is unlike university, it makes you examine your time management. I have a series of four projects due for English, and at the bottom of the description of each, Mr. McMillan writes: If this assignment is unappealing, come and see me about what kind of {creative writing, group presentation, individual presentation, essay} you would like to do. It's just nice having a say, you know?
To be continued... (Part III: New Friends)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Schools In!

Wow. I don't feel like I've been to school. It was all sort of a daze... so many new faces. I guess I'll start with this morning.
I woke up around 7, and showered/got dressed, etc. I had to be at the school at 8 to show the counselor my transcript, but otherwise didn't have to be at school until 12:00. They made a copy of it, and she rearranged my English 30 class, and then I went home. Mom had to go out to look at some furniture, so I was by myself. Kirstin said that we'd walk to school together, and I didn't want to be late, so I paced, watched the clock, read, wrote in my journal, paced more... you get the picture. I was just anxious. About 10:45 she called and said that her boyfriend was going to drive her, and wanted to know if I wanted a ride. I was like, "Uh, sure?"

About 11:40 they pulled up, and I was like, hummmmm do I trust this questionable-looking guy and these three girls with my life? But I had to get to school, and it was too late at that point to start walking. Luckily I made it safely, but it was a new experience. Think of Mean Girls, where I'm Cady on the first day of school, but make me more confused because I can't hear what they're saying (because of the rap of course). And stick it in a jacked up truck.
Class was sort of a blurr as well. They passed out updated schedules, transcripts, paperwork, behavior manuals, and calendars. We only stayed in homeroom, and we were only there for an hour and a half, but tomorrow we actually go to classes, so I'll get a better idea of it. My locker partner, Anna, seems nice enough. Tomorrow I have class starting at 9:00. Something I did retain is that debate meeting is ... oh shoot I forgot. Well, next week sometime.

After school, between seeing a zillion new faces and Kirstin's boyfriend's scary drive, I just needed to do something familiar with someone I knew (more than, "Hi! I'm Chelsea!"). So I thought about what I would do in Katy, and decided to call up Kim and go see Nanny Diaries. I mean, I was home at 1:30, and we had no homework. It was cute, but sad. Good lessons, but the major one that stands out is money won't guarantee happiness- so true.

I got a new housemate!!! Cassie Lloyd is a student in kinesiology at U of Calgary, and she's renting out our basement. She's originally from Vancouver. She reminds me SO much of Cassie Howard, for any of you that know her (same looks, same speech, same manners, etc). She moves in tonight, so that will be fun. Anyways, I have to go eat now. I made pumpkin pancakes and bacon for dinner. I'll be making a batch of granola after dinner, for breakfast tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 02, 2007


I finished Dating Mr. Darcy last night. Very interesting. I especially liked the examination of the relationship between Lizzy and her dad.
Today I quilted till all get-up. I've used over 375 m of thread on this quilt. I have about an hours work left on it, until the top is together and all that would be left for the top is the boarders!!!
I started the Agony and the Ecstasy, and it's more ecstasy than agony right now, which is good.
I finished decorating my journal, and I just have to write a couple more pages till it's done. Therefore, it looks like all my goals for the summer will be done. Oh, but I still need to do the pictures...drat.
Tomorrow is church and babysitting. Then I'll fiinish the quilt Monday, and school is Tuesday!!!
Ooooh, and some exciting news I just have to share! I found sweaters on sale yesterday, and I got two really cute ones. You know what this means? It means I'm not going to die of frostbite, despite the fact I own maybe 2 long-sleeve shirts, because I can layer up!!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chelsea's Library

In the last three days, I have read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Good book. It seems that is how I describe all books, so to rank it, I'd say, I liked the Magician's Nephew (book 1 of the series) better.

Mind you, Lewis himself said, "The human mind is generally far more eager to praise and dispraise than to describe and define. It wants to make every distinction a distinction of value; hence those fatal critics who can never point our the differing quality of two poets without putting them in an order of preference as if they were candidates for a prize." Smart man.

Anyways, I am currently reading, as of an hour ago, Dating Mr. Darcy, which is a psychological relationship analysis of Lizzy and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Written for teenage girls, so don't expect to get a college textbook if you check it out from the library. Plus it's only 140 pages, double spaced. I wanted to read it before the story line of P&P/ Sense and Sensibility/ Emma got too far out of my head, as the book refers to all three. However, I don't think I'll ever forget P&P, between reading the book and seeing the movie a gabajillion times. I love my P&P book. :)

My cousin got here yesterday with her fiancee, and he's been mocking me with all the books I've read this summer: P&P, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, The Four Loves, The Magician's Nephew, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Chosen by God, and Authentic Beauty. And Job, but I don't count that, because it's not really a book-book. It's a "book" of the Bible. Chris asked Courtney how many books she's read. "I'm a third done Harry Potter 7!"

I should be finished with Dating Mr. Darcy tonight, and then I'm going to work on the Agony and the Ecstasy, which looks like agony from its thickness and print size, but hopefully will be more like Ecstasy from the content. Maybe. I'm hoping.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

To-Do List

I had four things I wanted to do before school starts:

1. Finish Michael O'Halloran
2. Finish my queen quilt's top
3. Finish my journal and get a new one. Decorate the old one.
4. Transfer the pictures off my flickr site to my computer

Michael O'Halloran is finished. Wonderful book. Cute and old fashioned, but inpirational. It's about five sets of people. First is Micky and Lily Peaches. Micky was an orphaned newspaper boy in the city of Multiopolis, and one day on his route he found an orphan girl, Lily Peaches. She was unable to walk because her now-dead grandmother hadn't taken care of her when she was younger. Micky took Peaches, and cared for her himself, with constant fear the orphans home would come and get her. The second is the Minturn family. The mom likes to go out and be social, and is rich so she hired help to take care of her children, so she doesn't have to. Mr. Minturn isn't respected at all, so eventually, he gets sick of it and leaves her, after he found out that the daughter was murdered by the nanny, and his wife knew about it. The third set is Leslie and Bruce. Bruce is a lawyer, and is engaged to Leslie. He helps Micky out one day, and then sets his mind to do the little brother program with him (unofficially adopt him). Micky tells him to, but takes a job with Bruce instead. The third set is Peter's family. I forgot their last name, but it's a family Micky meets out in the country when he's caddying for Bruce. Their son, Junior, is determined to live in the city, so in return for caring for Lily for a bit, Micky takes him. Lastly is Mr. Chaufner, who is the publisher of the newspaper Micky used to sell. He has secured Micky writing poetry for the paper, once he gets a proper education. The plot rolls out comically, with a good twist and good lessons learned. So Michael O'Halloran is finished

It is possibly impossible to finish my queen quilt's top, reason being unless I add an unplanned, large border, it won't be a queen. I finished all the patches early this afternoon, and have been stringing rows together. I finished 7 out of 19 today, and might get 12 done tomorrow, we'll see.

I have 10 pages left of my journal, and I'm gathering pictures from this year to decorate the cover. I have an idea of the ones I want to use, and I just need a good quality of them. I bought a new journal yesterday at Chapters, when I went there to meet Kim. She's a girl in 3/4 of my classes, who just moved up here from Sugarland. She's really smart, and very sweet. We're going to try to get assigned each other for split lockers (you pick who you want, but we're not in the same homeroom, so we're not sure), and going to eat lunch together starting Wednesday. Anyways, I now have a journal to write in when I finish my other one.

Yahoo photos decided they were going to shut down their photo system and transfer your photos to the system of your choosing, and I chose flickr. Only after I switched did it let me know I was only allowed 50 photos regularily, and I had 700. My free trial (unlimited pictures) ends sometime in September, but I don't remember when. I've been procrastinating, but I need to go through my albums and save my pictures, one by one, before they delete them. Or make me pay a rediculous amount.

Tonight Marcy and Chris are coming to visit. Courtney and I are in charge of picking them up from the airport, so wish me luck driving! I hate Calgarian left-turn-yield lights, because I'm used to Houston, and just go when I see green. Then I get scared out of my wits because there is a car rushing at me.