New Zealand Time – September 14, 9:04pm
Well, it seems I completely abandoned posting on here for the month of August. I’ll blame/attribute it to the fact that my birthday falls in the same month. Mind you, I only made one post in July, so it isn’t like my production was dropping off significantly.
It is a Friday here. I’ve had the whole week off for ‘study’ week. Back to college next week, and then I have a ‘holiday’ week after that. The titles are really merely suggestions, and you pretty much end up doing a combination of studying and er, holiday-ing, in both weeks.
Even though I was off this week, I trucked up to school today in the name of basketball. The team and coaches had a shared lunch (aka, pot luck), and in the afternoon the school had a sports assembly. As entertaining as every assembly, but with the addition of awards and certificates. I brought chocolate chip cookies, and a truckload of mini-sausage-hotdog-things. Cocktail wieners we might call them? Oddly, some here call them cheerios, but I blame that on the slow introduction of the alike-named cereal to this market. I’ve seen one type of the cereal-Cheerios, and it was multi-grain. Thankfully I’ve some international support to convince people that (a) I’m not crazy and (b), they’re missing out on some goooood cereal. Anyways, I am off on a giant tangent. Back to the world of basketball. I think the sausage-dogs (as they will be referred to henceforth) I brought were probably the healthiest item on the luncheon spread. Mind you, I did spot a plate of sandwiches. Lots of cookies, pizza, sausage rolls, sausage-dogs, cake, potato chips, rice crackers (there you go, healthy…. bloody good though, heavily flavoured and such..), duplicates of many, and some other things I think I’m missing. I opted not to bring pop (aka, ‘fizzy drink), and it was a good decision, as they level of sugar present did just fine wiring the kids for the afternoon.
Alas, my basketball reign in New Zealand has ended. We missed the playoffs which is shame. Well technically, we didn’t. A quick look at the weekly results (aka ‘fixtures’, yes I will keep doing this) for the year, combined with some basic math, led me to the conclusion that we actually finished fourth in the division … with the top four teams in each division making the playoffs. However, the last few weeks at basketball were chaotic to say the least. All games in the second last week of the season were cancelled, because a spectator collapsed in the arena while watching one of the early games … and she was not revived. Due to the tragic turn of events, all games that week were cancelled. Understandably. This event, combined with the normal weekly rotation of teams, and some clueless organization, led to the standings not being properly updated for the last couple of weeks. In the final standings posted, we place fifth … so no playoffs. By the time I figured everything out it was too late to bring it up. The kids know we missed the playoffs, but thankfully aren’t aware of the craziness I have written above. In the end, they’re happy, which I can’t argue with. I can’t help but feel however, that I was robbed of my chance at year (aka, grade) 5 & 6 championship glory. Certificates were handed out, and a Player of the Year award was given by me to two gentlemen on the team. Hard workers, good team-mates, tons of effort, you know the drill. I had the fortune of talking in front of the assembly about the wonder that was my team, my own self, my manager/organizer/co-coach Gillian, and everything else. In what is probably a result of me doing what I have for the past several months, I realize I’ve no qualms with taking over a large roomful of people and talking it up. Mind you, humour is harder to come by when talking to a room of primary children. Not because I have to watch what I say, but largely because any joke I make usually has little or nothing to do with slapstick humour, farts, or burps. I'm sure Beth will be elated to know that my ability to commandeer large gatherings has seemingly improved, in light of my appointment to the illustrious and much-sought-after position of MC for her lovely upcoming wedding.
In non-basketball news, I cut my hair. Rather short. My (I suppose ˜former', how sad) students thought I now look œcool as. I didn't ask their opinions about how I looked prior. The œas can best be described as what I've coined the New Zealand simile. For instance, if someone were running extraordinarily fast, using a simile someone might be inclined to say, œThat man is running as fast as a terrified rabbit. In NZ, this has all been shortened down. The above sentence, now merely becomes the phrase. œfast as. This can be combined in various forms as, œThat was fast as, œFast as bro!, œWhoa, fast as, and many other iterations that surely border on the infinite. The most common NZ-simile is œsweet as. Some may note that initially upon my arrival, I thought my students were exclaiming œsweet ass!, and was a bit shocked. Other common NZ-similes I've encountered include:
– fun as
– hot as
– cold as
– sunny as
– windy as
– happy as
– slow as
– , I'm sure you get the picture
I'm not sure if I've discussed the NZ-simile at length before. If I have, well, consider this a refresher. If this is new, well, I hope you have enjoyed.
Being September, believe it or not I am beginning to think about my return to the motherland. No, not Soviet Russia. Canada! My tentative date at the moment is December 12th. Due to the wonders of time zones, I will likely leave here in the late afternoon on the 12th, and arrive in Toronto around 10pm , on the 12th. I may have even discovered a few routes that run Palmerston North -> Auckland -> Vancouver -> Toronto, which will allow my the completely bypass the USA. Nothing against our neighbours, but I figure the less countries I land in on my way home, the better. Hopefully book that shortly, and then start to pawn off lots of my accumulated goods to friends and charity organizations in an effort to lighten the load and not return with things I certainly don't need (, such as a few small electronics with NZ styled plugs).
Though I'm sure nobody at home is following too closely, the Rugby World Cup is on at the moment. Canada lost their first game to Wales. We were expected to lose, but were leading at the half, so it was closer than most figured it would be. The All-Blacks dominated in their first match, and NZ rejoiced. My students kept asking my how I would go for, and I noted I would cheer for both Canada and the All-Blacks. My students then posed the question, œIf Canada was playing NZ, who would you cheer for?. I told them that even though Canada would surely lose, I would still cheer for my own country. Most understood my rationale, but a few did not understand how I could not cheer for the almighty All-Blacks. Especially, since I am currently a NZ resident. Kids.
I see the NHL is preparing to start the new season, HOCKEY
I'm sure there is much more I could discuss, but I should stop here for now. My stomach is starting to inform me it requires food. I haven't eaten since the glorious aforementioned shared lunch, as it kept me and my basketball'ers quite full. Nonetheless, I hope everyone is doing well back home. Take care all.