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Metro gnome…

October 8, 2010

In the fall,

the leaves come down and we play in them…

We walk in the leaves and roll in the leaves…

We build playhouses out of the leaves…

Then we pile them up and have a bonfire…

— in A Tree Is Nice, by Janice May Udry

On occasion,

when I’m riding along the seawall,

all the way from Science World,

around XwayXway,

and back home again,

I see a Canuck or two…

A few weeks ago it was Kevin Bieksa,

and last night,

while locking my bike up in front of Urban Fare,

I heard Darcy Hordichuk letting Rick Rypien know,

what he’s going to be up to for the next few days,

game wise…

I almost called out to them,

and said,

Boys, why don’t we all sit down together,

with some milk and cookies,

and have a chat about appropriate play,

and unnecessary fighting…

But then I remembered who I was,

and who they were,

and that we’re all professionals here…

Professionals responsible for our own thoughts,

and actions…

The year I was leaving my school there was a big push,

and a special program,

everyone in the district wanted to get their hands on…

I remember two school counselors attempting to present a quick fix,

at the second to last Professional Development Day of the year…

I knew both of these women…

I had respect for them…

One had worked at my school,

with some of my students,

and the other was the mother of a former classmate of mine,

from when I attended the Incentive School…

I was psyched to hear all about this new game plan,

to help develop school wide language,

around respect,


and community…

In my book,

extra support to implement,

a code of collective conduct,

is always a plus…

But when I heard the prescribed words,

I knew it wouldn’t fly,

because it wasn’t real…

I’ve said it before,

and I’ll say it again,

children can smell a rat’s ass,

from one hundred miles a way,

and in this day and age,

they’re not afraid to use the middle finger,


and unequivocally,

by going into their own worlds,

until you give them something worth showing up for…

A year after I’d left the school,

and the district Swat team had come and gone,

with their hit of a red light,

yellow light,

green light,


a colleague told me,

You said it wouldn’t work,

and it didn’t…

I asked her why she thought the grand effort had been,

ineffective behaviour support…

And she said,

Because no one on staff believed in it,

and as you said,

this isn’t how normal people talk…

Yesterday morning I was giving a few blood samples,

in the windowseat,

of the LifeLab on East Hastings,

at Dunlevy…

The attending lab assistant wanted to tell me all about her fibroids

And as I flexed,

and opened my fist,

to pump up the volume for the insertion,

of a needle into my arm,

I listened…

A man came out from behind a cubicle curtain,

looked me right in the eye,

and said,

Thank you,


After my blood had been let into vials,


and properly placed,

with the blood of all the others,

the lab lady,

flicked her BIC,

held it up in the air,

and gave me direct instructions to

Rock on…

In yesterday’s Globe and Mail,

I read something about the present,

that points to the future,

But with each pitch and each shake,

of the Reds batter’s head,

the wistfulness gave way,

and was replaced by just one thought:

He was going to do it…

— Jeff Blair in GLOBESports…

What's new pussycat???... (table decorating and photo: Little Gem)

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