that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


stumbling over change

I don’t know what to do.


Last Wednesday was my last day of university… ever…or for the time being. The freedom is suffocating. For 6.5 years my life has been, all things considering, planned and predictable. Now what. I have been hiding from the decision process and I’ve been escaping and avoiding the fact that I don’t have a clue what to do and I have no energy to decide. See? Hiding. A very dear friend of mine was encouraging me to set some goals and that in doing so, I may ease this inflated amount of opportunities and options. So I’ve set some and it hasn’t changed anything. I mean, it’s hard to dream when you have 6.5 years of university debt hanging over my head. But he was right, and in the last three days I am finding myself coming around to really, truly focusing on what I’ve always wanted to do outside of becoming a teacher and being a student. Like traveling. I really want to see the world, probably more so now than ever before. And I also really want a career and to teach. But there are no jobs right now…nobody is really hiring teachers in December? Weird, I know (sarc.). But I think that what is suffocating is that it’s my responsibility and my choice and I really am anxious to get on with it, I just don’t know how. It’s funny, for months I’ve been craving the end of university and now, as thrilled as I am, I am not sure I am ready. The real world? Really?

Here’s a good one — I read for 4 hours Thursday morning… straight. I can’t remember the last time I did that. And then, anxiety literally set in and I flew out of my chair feeling like I was being lazy and so I stopped. But the book was soo good and I didn’t want to stop reading. I missed that. But I was hiding again.


There’s honestly no point to this post — I guess I just wanted to share where I am at. I am struggling and I am overwhelmed and I don’t want to keep avoiding or looking at this change with anything but excitement…so maybe if you have any ideas for me (not to do but how to cope), I am waiting, anxiously.





because he bends down to listen…

If publication of this post included the ‘time’ it would say 3:45 am. I can’t sleep, my mind is running a marathon, and I don’t know how to stop it so I’m producing something tangible from those thoughts in effort to slow it down.

I had my meeting with my mentor teacher for my up-and-coming practicum today (more accurately…yesterday). I was confident going in but a bit paralyzed coming out. I will be teaching two English 10 classes to the tune of writing composition and, cue the trumpets, Shakespeare. Again. Coupled with my fear that I would be teaching Shakespeare again is the overwhelming honesty and confidence of my mentor. I know it will be a good fit and I know that I will be challenged by her but I am left sleepless by our overwhelming differences. Expectations are high, expectations for failure were voiced and anticipated, and expectations for a sleepless eight weeks were guaranteed. Maybe tonight is just my training period? In other words, after meeting my last mentor, I got excited to teach. Cathy made me feel safe and assured and confident from the second I met her. I think it was because we are so similar. So this new challenge of different personalities and ideas might be overwhelming right now, made worse by the fact that I only just met her when my practicum begins in ten days. 10. I like humility, I appreciate being humbled by someone who has wisdom and experience and focus. But I also wanted a glimmer for assurance that it would be okay. I’m terrified (in this case, dramatics are not exaggerated… nothing ever keeps me up at night like this!).

Second, I have yet to be placed with someone for my Social Studies teachable. There is someone in the works but nothing has been confirmed and this, too, is something I am nervous for. This whole practicum experience is showing me how deep rooted I am by my faith in my plan for my life. Thus, if everything occurred as per what I think would be best for me… having mentor teachers way in advance (not one week), knowing my content better, having much more time to prepare, a mentor as fantastic as my first one… then I would be a rockstar teacher in no time. Doesn’t work like that. My plan isn’t working. In fact, I would testify against myself if that went to trial. However, I am awake in a bit of purgatory between hoping for the practicum situation that I anticipated and desired, yet didn’t get, and trusting the one that is in place; trusting the one that is not one made by my hand.

Yes, I’m not an idiot. I know I could be eating these words in a few short weeks and you know if I am wrong and my fears prove entirely unnecessary, I am good for admitting so. But for now, it’s 4:00 am, I’m feeling like my world got very, very full all of a sudden, and not just with my pending return to high school, and I am a little bit unsure of what to make of it.  You know that feeling when you’re winded after going for a nice long run and your heart is racing for awhile after your legs have slowed down? The opposite is the best description for right now… my heart and brain have been kicked into overdrive, hoping the rest of me is going to catch up. I know change is imminent, but like I said, the new fullness of my life has caught me completely off guard. I could use a couple more days of a little slower, and safer, pace. Is that too much to demand?

Haha ‘demand’. Like I even have a say in the matter. Think of me?


i will pray as long as i have breath
psalm 116.2

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love…will not dismay

Sometimes hope is frightfully quiet. And sometimes anger is fearfully loud. And you’re hoping desperately for rain because it seems so intentionally fitting given the moment and pain and confusion and frustration. But the scariest part is if we openly hope and dream and be vulnerable out loud, that life will beat it out of us and what then? My friend is paralyzed with the news of his mom’s cancer… and I am paralyzed by what it’s doing to him. And in another story, a most-dear family to me, next to my own, suffering their own heartbreak over the last few days. Not only do these moments make hope little less obvious, it makes it oh-so-much-more important.

Anyway. Some things on my heart I guess.

IN other news, check out this vid. Then check out this band. Then thank Chrissy for showing me so I could show you.

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have coffee with me

Fall has set in and I’ve been waiting for it. In Victoria, fall is unlike the autumns I am used to so it is such a treat to be in Penticton where scarves and mittens are as evident as the cold puffs of air I breathe. October never feels quite right until my windshield is frostbitten, the afternoon disappears with my mind in a good book, and the season changes right before my eyes.

Need someone to think about? How ’bout me? As always, my time home or time in Alberta serves to be anointed where I spend more time with my heart and noisy mind than while I am in the throws of my everyday life. I’m facing a couple of impossible decisions right now and as the everchanging leaves of fall, my mind is everchanging over these matters in my heart.

And in finishing my first week in secondary school as a person of authority, I am all over again overwhelmed by the responsibility I am getting myself into. How do I teach students while being real yet not making oh-so-obvious my inadequacies as someone to learn from. Can I? High school is interesting… being back there reminds me of my own time as a student and the five thousand ways that I was immature and brave and curious and obnoxious and selfish and scared. I hope I am removed enough from my own experience by now — the positivity of my own high school years threatens my compassion towards these students’ experiences. The simple reality is that I may struggle understanding them because my existence has been pretty easy. It’s a huge responsibility. I am excited but I wish I could look at myself in the mirror and say that I would trust me with the task. But I am honestly not sure.

A couple things to think about —

When we know that what we are doing is something we’ve been continuously prepared for, how do we fight the fear that we might not be good enough for it?

If a battle for me is a breeze for you, will you tell me how you approach the world and its acceptance of you with grace and trust that it does love you regardless of who you are and where you’re at? How do you own that?

How do you make your impossible decisions?

How long does it take and how far do you go before you openly admit you are struggling? Do you ever? Can you read between my lines?

Finally, when can our hearts meet over coffee? I am aching for the company of a friend.

I could really use some help.


Like the changing season, I feel like I should be changing too…

’cause in the dark, I can’t find my feet
Built my world on promises, colourless and cold

I’m short of breath, I’m sure
Gone, let it wash away the best I had
Gone, and when I disappear
Don’t expect me back, don’t expect me back


personal profile

Excuse me while I digress – I’ve had a long and difficult day. Some would attribute it to the fact that I messed up the cinnamon buns I was making (apparently I killed the yeast – who knew?) while others might think it’s because of my constant efforts to become Makenna or Elias’ favourite second cousin (or whatever I am) only to be batted and pushed away, literally, in the face. I am struggling.

But the truth is about this dang personal profile letter I have to write to my pending mentor teacher at the school I am going to be student teaching at. I have such a hard time selling myself and since it is supposed to be about confident and brave and smart and intelligent and admirable Kate, it’s very difficult to write when I screwed up a recipe, had hurt feelings by the people in my life that are less than two feet tall, and misused not one but three words over the course of the weekend which are probably making the other members in those three said conversations question themselves on whether or not I should even be teaching English.


Ergo, you all need to contribute to my statement. Consider this your opportunity to compliment me profusely in the comment section of this post. Kind of like those blog contests you see on the Pioneer Woman or something where the best answer to the contest question receives a prize. Only in this case there is no prize per say, just your own confidence in knowing you played some role in advancing that masterpiece that will eventually be labelled “Kate’s Career”… so if you’d be so obliged:

Why do you think I would make a good teacher? Why do you think the teaching profession is the one for me?

And OBVIOUSLY if you disagree with my career choice and me in it, feel free to comment on that as well… heck, it’ll make everything a lot more interesting. Nothing is going to make me feel any worse today. (Trav, if you feel the need to contribute to this, please remember that sarcasm is dead in written form so please be careful with my oh-so-fragile self esteem).

5-4-3-2-1… comment!


in storms

Please keep my very dear, funny, sweet, kind and old soul of an Uncle Dave in your thoughts and prayers as liver cancer seems to cast a shadow over his body right now. We don’t know what this means (when do we ever), but keep him, his family, and our family close to your hearts over the next few days. God is bigger than all of this and all of us, so here’s to both the peace and trust we’re determined to find.


Be blessed.


i’m just not that into it

I’ve had a rough go of it lately. But my rough go is not really rough, considering. Necause technically I am not the one having a rough time.

I hate cancer more than anything in my entire life and I don’t think I will ever hate anything more than cancer. My grandpa died of cancer when I was 10. One of my best friends, his mom had cancer for years and years. A friend of mine’s sister had her leg amputated due to cancer when she was really young. A friend of a friend lost his mom to cancer. My boss’ mother in law and my boss’ dog died from cancer last month. My mom’s friend had breast cancer. The list could go on and on and on. And, sorry for the harsh-ness, even when people and God overcome cancer, they live in fear for its return! I absolutely, positively hate cancer.

Recently, I returned to my summer job I had last year. One of the men that worked there last summer had retired in January. 5 months ago. I started work about 6 weeks ago. This retired man, with a heart of gold and the very first to make me feel at home, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. 2 weeks ago. He ran a marathon. 10 days before his diagnosis. The doctors say there is a massive tumor growing in his stomach. They say the reason they noticed is because it hurts for him to eat. They say it hurts for him to eat because the tumor has covered up almost all of his esophagus so nothing can pass through. They also say it is aggressive, and within 4 days, it had spread into his lymph nodes. They say it’s a matter of months for him. I just don’t understand.

We had a fundraiser/benefit lunch for him on the weekend. The outpouring of communities was insurmountable. We raised 10+ thousand dollars. We shared a lot of laughs. We shed a lot of tears. I think what I hate the most about cancer is the term itself is so absolutely terminal. People walk around saying “He was such a kind man.” No, he wasn’t, he IS a kind man. I just want to understand. I didn’t get it when it was my grandpa… 12 years later I don’t get it with my retired coworker. I just don’t get it. And I hate it. Have you ever had an opinion that is based on no fact? That is my opinion on cancer. I have facts relating to pain and fear and regrets and life when it comes to cancer, but I have never hated anything in my life as much as a disease I know no scientific facts about.

I will gladly plead ignorance. I don’t want to know. I am just scared. Why is it seemingly so easy for some to trust God with the big things and yet this is where I struggle (obviously). What I need help with is the clarification of why? Why him? Why grandpa; or Scott’s mom? Why is it when people plan their whole lives for retirement, hoping for time with their children and freedom, that a few months later they are facing the end?

A friend of mine told me she believes they have a cure for cancer, they just probably cannot release it because of environmental and ethical concerns with it. I sometimes believe this too…but then it makes me angry all over again. Really really mad.

Maybe I will go read a book about it. Maybe it will help me understand, if even a little bit. But nothing will ever make me hate cancer any less… unless there is a reason for it I just don’t know about, which I am open to enlightenment.

So yea, I am just not that into it.


moment of weakness

When I came to Calgary the first time, I was soooo excited about moving out, living in residence, and then starting school. But when we first rolled into “Cow-town” as people affectionately seem to call it, I cried. I cried and cried before I saw the school, I cried more when I saw it to a point that Dad and I checked into a hotel before actually moving in. All of a sudden, I didn’t know what to do, why I was doing this, where I was supposed to go… I was fully, completely, illusionarily (if that’s a word) unprepared. You know what my dad said?

“Well Kate, this just proves you can’t be a hero all the time. It’s ok.” and he was right. (I mean, he always is!)

So I have learnt to rather than just keep my head up and never admit to fear or instability, I might as well face it head on. Or share it. And that’s what I am doing… in the next 10 days, I have 4 major term papers due and I don’t have enough time to breathe, let alone prepare for them (and hand in something decent) and I can’t NOT work this month because I need to make rent. That and I have three finals and one more philosophy quiz (which seems to be worse than the finals). So to say I am stressed out might be an understatement, I even CRIED!

In other words, I covet your prayers (as always!!) in the next three weeks, because I am tryin’ to be a hero and I just can’t be this time, Dad!



well, it’s done

Last night, at 11:34pm I finished off my university applications. I have now applied, sent in the various transcripts, and paid the fees to three other schools for September 2007. I am now starting this long, waiting process for acceptance… if that’s even possible at this point. My grades are kind of in limbo as a result from my health last semester but I am trying to keep my head above water. So I might be in Calgary again because I just don’t have what it takes!

Anyways, I applied to Brock University (again) in St. Catharine’s, Ontario. I got in last June and maybe if this proves to be something I still would attempt to do, I want that option open.

Second, the University of Victoria. I could finish my english degree, get into education, be near family, and only a short drive from my dad (who is in Duncan). I love Victoria and would like to be in the education system there rather than in the territories or something so ???

And lastly, and more fearfully, I applied to the University of Lethbridge. This school will be the best for my career purposes. To get a combined degree (Humanities-Education) from Lethbridge enables to me to teach any grade, in any province. I am still vyying for Secondary Ed. but if I find my talents may better be suited to Junior High or Elementary, I have that room to explore. Problem is: the competition to get in is BRUTALLY HARD.

I covet your prayers and finger crossing for the next few months. School is getting really stressful, with work combined, and I know I need a high gpa to even let my dreams wander… well, farther than they already have.

Here’s to God’s will and the potential of leaving Calgary…