Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Bit About My Life: Simplicity

A suggestion came forward in Dr. Patterson’s 719 course that we should post introductions/reintroductions. We’ve spent the week introducing ourselves to guest speakers, and most of the introductions are in the form of “Peter, Vancouver, Ed.Tech” I’m finding these reintroductions useful as they help me keep the more detailed stories of people’s lives straight in my head. Blackboard is good for scholarly things, but I think a blog is a better tool for personal expression.

I firmly believe in judiciously choosing a handful of things and trying to do them well. Here is what I do:

Work. I work in a high school as the Chief Information Officer. I tutor autistic and ESL children on weekends. Outside of those two things, I manage my family’s properties. All of these things I love doing because I have strong personal connections with the people. My jobs I take personally.

When the school year ends, I either do course work, travel, or renovate my home. One year it was the second floor, another year it was the main floor, this spring it was landscaping the yard. My thinking is that if I’m going to be staying/studying somewhere for a long time, the place might as well be nice.

Friends. I love travel (about 30 countries visited) and I often meet fascinating people when travelling. The type of travelling I do isn’t the all-inclusive kind, so I tend to find wonderful and often like-minded people in remote areas of the world. Friends are a major part of my life, though I don’t really get to see them much. This is rarely a problem though because my friends are usually driven like I am, and so they understand what being busy is all about.

Sports. I enjoy sports. I play basketball and hockey with many of the same people I went to elementary and high school with. I love the authenticity of being with my friends in such an environment. It’s hard to be anything but authentic when you’re covered in sweat chasing after a puck or ball.

Nice things. I like nice, classic things. I like mechanical watches, woodwork, and fine furniture. I was a poor child growing up. We used to buy things at the Salvation Army. When something in my house was new, it was a rare event; when something in my house was nice, it was even rarer. Now that I’m older, I still remember those days. I like nice watches and furniture because they’re simple, yet well made things that one can keep for a lifetime.

Motorcycle. I was always the kid with the worst car. Even now, my 1999 Ford Escort is the automotive equivalent of an anticlimax –especially if you consider the previous paragraph. The problem is that the Ford Escort never breaks, sips gas, and can move lumber as well as people --I have guilt around selling something perfectly good for next to nothing. My motorcycle is the shiny impractical complement to it. I love it. I think it looks classic and timeless (a weird thing to say about a sports bike I realize). Lastly, it was my reward to myself for my second Master’s. I custom ordered it from Germany in March and picked it up in June on the same day I turned over my thesis to the printers. It’s kind of my icon of delayed gratification.


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