Entitlement is a word in English

learning-a-languageBeing a native English speaker makes life easy. It is the international language. It is the language of business. Hollywood produces the world’s most famous films almost exclusively in English. Ditto the music industry. It is the “other” language that the rest of the world must learn out of necessity. If you don’t want to deal with another language as a native English speaker, you don’t have to.

Being a native English speaker also makes you lazy.

Growing up in the English speaking part of Canada, you are forced to take French classes. What you are not forced to do is learn French. The curriculum is bad. The teachers are bad. The students don’t care and there’s really no effort made to ensure that they try to care. Even as immature adolescents we could pick-up on an education system simply going through the motions.

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Central American Buses Aren’t Made for Adult Humans

sneak3_en_googlecalI don’t usually do this. I am a creature of habit and thus like doing things when I say I’ll do them. This is for a few reasons but mainly it’s about organization. Without previously setting aside time to do certain tasks I would let my overwhelmingly best quality to take over: procrastination.

Up until I got my first “real job” a few years ago – though most people still tell me I’ve never had a real job – procrastination was my best skill. I practiced it. I honed it. I got better at it every day. But since I’ve crossed that mythical and mysterious line into adulthood I’ve had to put my most practiced skill on the back burner and start honing my new best skill, though definitely not my favorite, of organization.

I like to know when I’m doing something and for others to know that it will be done by a certain time. Google Calendar has really helped me with this and I can attribute much of my organizational skills to that. If you don’t use Google Calendar, you really should. *This is not an advertisement for Google. But if Google is reading (whoever that is) I’m not not listening. *

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Canadian Thanksgiving

DSCF1628Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For as long as I can remember it has been this way and even today I’m not entirely sure why. That is, I know why I like it; I’m just not sure why I rate it above other holidays that I am also fond of.

Christmas is great because everyone gets together who may not see each other on a regular basis. The food is rich and plentiful, the weather crisp and laughs abundant. With houses lit up, homes decorated and a general sense of calm, Christmas is an easy choice for favorite holiday.

Except it’s also very planned. Over organization and its structured nature, in addition to it being a big day on the calendar, are reasons why I think it’s not number one. Easter has become more of a vacation holiday than a celebratory one. New Year’s Eve is usually a letdown. St. Patrick’s Day, aside from not being a “real” holiday – despite what my opinionated Irish friends would tell you – is certainly fun, but cannot be taken seriously as a holiday preference.

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Trimming the Fat

Updating your resume should be a quarterly exercise. It’s a document that has remained relevant in society – and will likely remain that way – in spite of the booming nature of the innumerable social media options that now occupy our every waking second.

If you’re applying for a job you’re going to need a resume. A real sharp LinkedIn profile – while definitely impressive to bring up on the iPad at your high school reunion – just doesn’t cut it. This is not to suggest that social media isn’t important; it can certainly help in losing a potential position. It just won’t win you one.

It all comes back to the resume. Not having one still isn’t an option in terms of job applications.

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David J. Gregerson

Gregerson’s in town. He got in on Tuesday afternoon which meant that we were convening at by far his favorite place in Jacó that same evening: Los Amigos.

I have this feeling that Gregerson has been a long-term friend – mostly because I hear his name on an almost daily basis as I’m sure he does mine – but I’m not sure that he actually is.

We’ve only met in person once up until this visit. Granted, it was great and historic in terms of Toña consumption, but I don’t think that qualifies as an elevation to buddy status. We aren’t even Facebook friends; though he isn’t with anyone except his wife. We are connections on LinkedIn, so maybe that says something.

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A one way ticket to somewhere

I’m used to buying plane tickets. When you live abroad, visits home at least once a year are usually requisite. This is doubly true in my case. I spent an entire twelve months in Costa Rica when I first arrived, almost to the day, before I went back home. After that, I’ve made the trip roughly every six months. Always at Christmas – as per mom’s orders – and then once to enjoy the (normally) gorgeous Ontario summers.

So when I sat down this week to buy yet another plane ticket, nothing felt weird about it – until Expedia kindly asked me to specify a return date. I didn’t have one. Err, I don’t have one.

I haven’t bought a one-way ticket since that first flight that brought me here to Costa Rica. As it dawned on me that I won’t be coming back this time, I unexpectedly felt many similar emotions and thoughts that first occurred to me on my last one-way adventure; feelings that I haven’t really felt in the last three years. That sense of an unknown entity.  Not knowing what exactly the next step is or what it’s going to be like when you arrive at your destination.

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Pre-nostalgic Nostalgia

ImageI’ll be honest: I lied before.

Not about being a writer or a blogger; I am still neither of those things. Also not about not knowing what it is I actually do or what my life is anymore – both of those realities remain very much intact.

Rather, I lied about why I’m doing this. I’ve never done a blog or written anything just for myself; I’ve always been paid to write. When you are paid to write there are angles, directives, mass editing and re-writes. When you write for yourself there doesn’t have to be any of those things; you can just write. Write for an audience. Or not. Write about interesting things. Or not. The beauty of a blog is it can be about anything you want and that provides a freedom not often found in the professional sphere.

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I’m not a lot of things

I’m not a writer. I’m not a blogger. I don’t claim to be either one while simultaneously admitting that I’m not sure I understand what either term means. I know it’s not as simple as a writer being someone who writes. By that logic I am many things; I’m a part time runner, an occasional binger and a full time and glorious eater. But those don’t seem to fall in line, either.

Are you a reader?

In 2013 people seem to be everything without being something. I meet people every day who claim to be writers, marketers, teachers and realtors all at the same time. To me, this person doesn’t actually do anything – or at least do anything well. If you claim to do all of those things it screams that you’re actually terrible at all of them – trying to do many things sparingly, so that people won’t notice that you glaringly do all of them poorly.

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