The Wars We Make

There are few pleasures greater than waking up knowing that you have nothing to do. Lying in a cosy bed, slowly blinking the fog of night away as a stray sunbeam peeks through the curtains. Day offs are a marvellous creation.

However some day offs come with a price. Remembrance Day is a day to remember all those who fought for our country and those who laid down their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. It can be a sober day, but a joyful day. We hear the stories of those who fell and of those who lived through it to see the changes they helped bring about.

My great-great uncle Nicholas Peters fought for Canada in World War II. Unfortunately his plane was shot down only a days before the war was to end. He was a poet and I would like to share one of his poems with you. It’s titled, The Wars We Make.

I gaze into the world with sorrowing eyes
And see the wide-abounding fruits of hate.
We fight, we say, for peace, and find
The wars we make
To be a spring of hate and source of future war.

Is there no peace for man?
No hope that this accursed flow
Of blood may cease?
Is this our destiny: to kill and maim
For peace?
Or is the ‘peace’ we strive to gain
A thin, unholy masquerade
Which, when our pride, our greed, our gain is touched too far,
Is shed, and stands uncovered, what we are?

Show me your light, O God
That I may fight for peace with peace
And not with war;
To prove my love with love,
And hate no more!

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Dealing with an Over-Spent Introvert

This world is an extrovert’s world. We are encouraged to socialize, to party, to go for coffee, to attend school, to work. It seems that almost constantly we are being encouraged to be around people, but not all people are designed to live that way.

People often look at extroverts as being outgoing, friendly, and social, while introverts are looked at as shy, antisocial, and awkward. It’s not quite that simple. In reality, extroverts are simply those who are energized by being with people, while introverts find themselves drained spending time with people. An extrovert is tired out by staying home alone, they want to be “doing”! An introvert needs that recharge time alone or else they burn out, and that is not an option that’s always given to people.

Many students work at least one job while attending school full time. They have work, school, friends, family, homework, and regular life-tasks to deal with. For an extrovert this can be tiring but invigorating. For an introvert this can equate complete burn out.

I am an introvert, a relatively social introvert, but an introvert. I am quite happy to chat with people, to hang out with friends, and to speak up in class, but if I have to go straight into doing something else without some time to recharge I frequently find myself plagued by headaches as I grow crankier and more antisocial. As my stream of social energy is rapidly depleted I recoil into myself like a wounded animal, striking out at those who attempt contact.

Extroverts rarely seem to understand this feeling and can often make things worse by trying to “talk it out”. Here are some tips for when dealing with your dried up Introvert:

  1. Talk as little as possible. Your Introvert doesn’t have much energy to listen right now. This may sound silly, but it’s true. Listening can take a lot of energy that simply isn’t there to use.
  2. Gently check when the last time your Introvert ate or drank was. They may be dehydrated or hangry (hungry-angry) as well as over-spent. Grab them some water or a snack and leave them to it.
  3. Leave them alone. Seriously, just do number 2 and leave. Your Introvert is not angry at you, they’re not needing help or counselling, they just need some time. Wait for them to come back to you because they will. They’ll sheepishly slink back over in half an hour or so, after an episode of T.V. or a chapter of their book, or they’ll bounce back into the room after a nap as if nothing ever happened. This is okay, this is normal. This is dealing with an Introvert.
  4. The most important thing about dealing with your Introvert is, don’t try to make them become an extrovert. They can’t, this is how their mind works, and that is alright. If they’re drawing back from a group chat, let them go. They may just need to listen from the sidelines and gather their strength for the next round. Let them take their time outs, let them have their quiet car rides when they need them.

As an Extrovert, you don’t have to necessarily have to fully understand your Introvert’s perspective, but with a little bit of consideration, you can help.

For more help in understanding your Introvert, check out Dr. Carmella’s Guide to Understanding the Introverted! (It has pictures!)

Freedom Means Water

The right to water is a basic human right, it is unarguably a necessity to our lives. Canada contains a full one fifth of the world’s freshwater which is fantastic. It does mean though that there is no reason for people to be deprived of freshwater in our country, and yet there are.

Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation is a community of 553 people spanning across the Manitoba and Ontario borders.

Shoal Lake No. 40 in relation to the city of Winnipeg

Shoal Lake No. 40 (pinned) in relation to the city of Winnipeg

Over a hundred years ago construction on an aqueduct to send clean water to Winnipeg began and resulted in the reserve being cut of from the mainland. There is no permanent road to the community, requiring residents to use a ferry in the summer (here described as a aging barge) or ice roads in the winter. These winter roads are unreliable, every year resulting in people falling through the ice, sometimes dying.

This aqueduct continues to provide the city of Winnipeg with reliably clean drinking water, however the residents of Shoal Lake are left with dirty, undrinkable water. The community has been on a boil-water advisory for over seventeen years.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 a walk was held in Winnipeg to raise awareness for this issue and to support the proposed “Freedom Road”. Freedom Road is a proposed permanent all-weather road to be built from the Shoal Lake community allowing residents not only to be able to travel back and forth from home safely, but also for garbage to be removed to the mainland and making the hoped for water treatment plant a more affordable project. Freedom Road is a $30 million project and the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba have both pledged to support the project in a three way split but the federal government has not yet agreed to support the project.

This project, this road, is a life and death situation for many people. Water is unarguably a human right and there are people in our country who do not have access to that right. This should not be a question, this should not be put on the back-burner, this should be dealt with. It’s time to bridge the murky water we have left Shoal Lake No. 40 in. It’s time for a Freedom Road.

The End of the World as We Know it

Today, something *cough* it’s, it’s like really hard to talk about – I’m sorry, I’m just getting a little emotional right now, but don’t worry, this too will pass…

Today, something terrible happened. I’ll start at the beginning:

The day is December 25, Christmas, of 2014. I have received an organized person’s dream gift, a box of jelly bellies sorted into flavours. You can NEVER choose the wrong flavour! You always get the one you wanted! Nothing can ever go wrong again, right?

WRONG!

Fast-forward to February 3, 2015 (yes, that’s today). I reach for the box of jelly bellies which still actually contains jelly bellies (yes, it is appropriate to gasp here). I open it, I take off the clear cover, and I look to my computer screen as I place the box down on my desk.

There is a crash and the sound of marbles rolling along the floor.

Only, it’s not marbles.

It’s… sorry, the pain is still fresh… it’s, it’s –
it’s my jelly bellies

The world as we know it has ended. #ripjellybellies

A post shared by Becca (@rlpdean) on

My mum calls down the stairs, “What was that?”. I simply respond with a heart-broken groan.
“Jelly beans?” She asks with a laugh. The cruel being doesn’t even know the difference between jelly bellies and jelly beans…
(Yes I suppose, all jelly bellies are jelly beans, however not all jelly beans are jelly bellies… not even close…)

I snapped a picture and sent it to my friends, expressing my intense grief.

They responded that they couldn’t breathe they were laughing so hard – the heartless wretches…

I did the only thing one can do in that kind of a situation… I turned on my desk lamp, got on my knees, grabbed the lid (which shows which flavour goes in which pocket) and began to decipher flavours…

photo

The world has been righted to a certain extent. I think I shall soon recover from the shock and panic of this evening. I may continue finding jelly bellies for days to come, however I will endevor to keep my jelly bellies fully placed on every flat surface they encounter lest they fall again. Every time I eat one, I shall remember – I fought for this jelly belly, I FOUGHT TO KNOW ITS FLAVOUR!

-B

Collision of Worlds

Today my roommate and I were invited to join our host family’s family birthday dinner for their two year old grandson, so we did! (seeing as, you know, we live in the basement ;D). It was really fun! He’s adorable, and usually stays over once a week so he knows the two of us fairly well and then one of the couple’s sons is the principal of my old school and his wife is involved in the administration of the internship program we’re in so it was just a collision of worlds which was pretty amusing. The couples son (the principal) has decided that Desi and I are now somehow non-biological siblings because we live in his old home with his parents… Yes! Honourary older siblings!

So yeah, today I got to go to a two year old’s birthday and eat chocolate fondue and everything was beautiful.
-B

“Your Hands” by JJ Heller – Cover

I recorded this yesterday, but only got around to uploading it today. Cover of JJ Heller’s song, “Your Hands”

Lyrics:
I have unanswered prayers
Trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still
Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Talk to you guys tomorrow!
-B

The Hunt

Today we had the afternoon off for personal study time and while we did get a significant amount of studying done we also found time to hunt down the nearest 7-11.

Now this is Winnipeg. We have a 7-11 practically every two blocks, our province has been the slurpee capital of the world for fourteen years running and 7-11s sell an average of 188,833 slurpees each month. And, yes, that does include the months that are -40C…

Anyway we had to find the nearest Sev, these things are important. They sell slurpees, extremely overpriced snacks, slurpees, bus tickets, and slurpees. I mean, where else do you really need to shop? We found one about five-ten minutes walk away though so we’re good
*breathes sigh of relief while drinking slurpee*

So, armed with a bag of chips (now half empty), a slurpee (that was drunk), a number of chocolate bars (the number has already halved…), and a monthly bus pass, I am ready for day 3 of school tomorrow.

-B

(Days left of being a teenager: 21)