Cool people you should look up:

Friday, December 30, 2011


It's been a great holiday so far:
  • I went to placement for a few extra days to make up the hours I will lose in January because I'm going back late.
  • I covered a few extra volunteer shifts because I had some free time.
  • I was able to go to Calvin's house for dinner, and I ate a whole lot of chocolate :)
  • We tried to take advantage of some of the after-Christmas sales, and we got a movie called Baraka. Ha, I didn't actually know it was so old!
  • We went rock climbing, which was an awesome time! I've never been before, and I know I'll do it again :)
  • We left to the airport at quarter to five, expecting slippery roads and a late arrival at the airport (we wanted to be there at 6.) But the roads were clear, there was no traffic, and we found the right exit easily, so we were there at 5! We went for a Macdonald's breakfast and chatted for an hour before I checked in. At the desk, the lady was very, very excited to change my seat, even though I had changed it online, because I was sat next to an infant. I don't really mind where I sit... but it was funny at the time :D
  • I arrived at Edmonton after some interesting conversations on the planes.
  • Edmonton has been good so far
    • had some chocolate-bread-cake that my sister made.
    • I sent out a message on couchsurfing to meet some new people, and a couple replied already
    • We went to the mall to find my sister a skirt and we succeeded :)
    • We watched some TV and went to bed early
    • Today was spent having a lovely breakfast, spending a few hours in Value Village (purchasing 5 awesome new books for $20) and then we spent some more time reading in Chapters, and buying another 2 books as presents. 
    • I also bought a map, and I hope to highlight where I've been. I plan to go on many walks when my sister's busy, and go running if it a) gets warmer so the ice melts or b) snows and covers the ice!
    • I brought one of my lenses for my sister's camera, so I expect I'll post a few pictures soon.
Have a lovely New Year's Eve, and an excellent ringing-in of the shiny, new year :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Get studyin'

Has anybody seen this?
It's probably a fake news site, but it would be awesome if he had said this!

"Zuckerberg Warns Facebook Users to Stop Ranting About Finals"


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Sitting here, I caught myself munching on chocolate chips while watching TV before I head off to my night volunteer shift.
Chocolate chips!!!
And I remember eating a giant cookie just a few nights ago... my nutrition hasn't been the best lately, and I blame it on stress & exams.
But if I put the blame on those, then why am I still eat crap - my exams are over!

So I'm going to
  • stop snacking
  • drink more water
  • eat balanced meals
... just as soon as I finish the packet of chocolate chips :)

I'm going to my first ever social run tomorrow, and I'm excited! I've been intimidated by the thought of running with other faster, more experienced runners.
I've read others being comforted through comments on the event page - there's a variety of runners and everyone is welcome - and I keep reminding myself that I loved running with Dora in Hungary.
So I'm giving it a try and hoping for the best! It doesn't hurt that the timing is perfect, and they're finally meeting up on my side of the town! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Overwhelming Kindness

I was just thinking about kindness today.
And I was going to try and find out how to explain that I get emotional when I hear about people doing nice things for each other, when I realised that 'overwhelming kindness' might be an accurate phrase.

Last year, I went to an AIESEC conference in Ottawa. My favourite, favourite thing at that conference (apart from the energy and cool people I met) was one of the last events on the last day, where they set aside about an hour to talk about how we were changing the world.
I can't remember how it started, but what I remember was a room full of people volunteering one good/kind/thoughtful thing they had done for someone else. There were stories about people talking to strangers that looked upset, giving people rides when it was raining, paying for someone's bus fare when they didn't have enough change... it went on and on. Person after person stood up and said one thing they had done for someone else. And at first I was scared to say anything because I felt there wasn't anything big enough that I could share with people that did these amazing things.
But after each person said something, I realised that even a tiny, small thing can make someone's day brighter.

And by the end of this - the facilitators had to limit people "okay, just two more...." - I was so overwhelmed by the good and self-less things these people in the same room had done for other people, that tears were streaming down my face and I couldn't wait to leave and do more good things for people.

Sometimes I feel that way - I feel overwhelmed when I see someone do something nice for someone else. I was watching 127 hours the other day (fantastic movie, by the way!!) and there's one scene where all these concerned people give water to this guy and call him help... they didn't have to do that, but it helped save his life. When I hear about bystander stories where people stand up for victims of bullying and walk off in protest; Random Acts of Kindness day; when a heard the story about my friend getting a bad call and having to leave work, and the person waiting for service in line understood and helped her close shop - these things are so touching that they really get to me.
Perhaps I'm more affected by the good things that I hear about, vs the bad, because they aren't as well heard of. The news is always full of bad things happening, that we deal with it (or at least I do) by protect ourselves and putting distance between what's happening there and here.
But when I hear about good, kind things happening, it really gets to me. There IS good in the world. I knew it all along :)

In India, I was constantly having a debate with the other interns whether there are more good people in the world than bad. I'm convinced there is more good than bad, but they think the opposite. While our opinions could be based on our own experiences and where we grew up, I think it says a lot about ourselves.

I'm proud to say I still have hope that people can be kind and thoughtful towards each other. It makes me feel that I'm not alone, and it makes me hopeful that if I'm ever in trouble, people will help me in a heartbeat. Maybe it's just my way of dealing with the world - it's better to be hopeful than scared - but it may either burn me out in my field (social work) or help me greatly.
Perhaps this is based on naivety and will wear out soon.
Who knows?! But every time I listen to a TED talk about change and doing good things, it makes me tear up a little.

What a long rant! What kindness have you done for someone lately?