Monthly Archives: October 2012



We’ve all had those days where absolutely everything goes wrong – nothing works or something happens that screws up even the best-laid plans.

Last year, there was a day where whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. The car broke down, so I had to take the bus to school. The bus was running behind, so I was late for class, and because I was frazzled about being late for class, I’d forgotten my essay on my desk. So, of course, when I handed it in the next day, it’d already been docked 5%. Then there was a pop quiz in another class that I totally wasn’t prepared for, and I left the class knowing I’d bombed it. Then there’s the crappy wet-snow weather as I trudged from the main campus over to East Academic and back…and wiping out on a patch of black ice, right onto my backside. Surely it was amusing for the others who saw it, but I had to sit on a sore butt for the rest of the day. When I get home, the Internet’s down because of the weather, so I can’t do my homework for the next day, and the work I could do without the Internet…it failed because the printer stopped working, so I couldn’t even print off my finished essay.

That’s Murphy’s Law apparently – when anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And it’s on awful days like this one described above that I shake a mental fist at Murphy and his goddamned law.


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It’s difficult to decide on the absolute happiest moment of my life. In the twenty-seven years of my existence, how can I possibly choose the moment that made me the most happy? There was an event that happened two years ago that made me really happy, but I don’t think I can classify it as the absolute happiest moment of my life. But I’ll give it a try anyway.

I was a member of the Hamilton Police Pipe Band, and the band was at the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario. And this was no ordinary games – it’s the North American Championships, the most prestigious pipe band event in North America, and probably second in the world only to the Worlds in Scotland. There are both band competitions as well as solo events. That summer, I chose to do Professional Bass solos, and I only signed up to compete at the Championships, instead of all the other games throughout the season. When I checked the order of play a week before the event (and when entries closed), I saw that I was competing against one of the best players in the world. I knew right away I didn’t stand a chance against this guy, but I couldn’t exactly back out, either. I’d paid to compete and to back out would just be cowardly and stupid. So, being the only girl amongst guys, and guys who had years of playing bass, compared to me who only had about two with no real training, I went out and played. Of course, I always get performance anxiety and I was panicking for days leading up to this event. The actual day was even worse. I knew I was probably going to get spanked (figuratively) by all these better, more experienced players. When I finished playing, I thought it went well, and I was hoping to maybe get third or, if I was really lucky, second.

And then I went to get the results.

When I saw my score sheet, I just about fainted on the spot. I even asked the person at the tent if the results were right, and she said they most definitely were.

I’d won.

I was torn between “WTF” moments, and “How the hell did that happen?!?”

No one could believe it, and even to this day, I can’t either.

That moment was definitely one of the happiest for me, not because I’d beaten one of the the best bass drummers in the world, and a handful of others who were way better than me, but because I’d actually gone with it. I’d stuck it out. I didn’t back down. I went and played the best I’ve probably ever played in the eight years I’ve been in pipe bands.

It was a wonderful moment for me, and I’m not going to forget it in a hurry.

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Someone who was a true teacher for me was my high school music teacher, Mr. Hebert. I had him in my last year of high school – what was then (and still is, apparently) known as 12B. To say he was “just a teacher” is such an understatement of what he was to me – he was an inspiration. I was a very self-conscious person in high school – I didn’t go to any of the social events, or participated in any of the clubs or extra-curriculars.

Until I met “Mr. H.”

He knew how shy I was, and yet he encouraged me and made me see the strengths that I had, both musically and personally. I became a member of the school’s band and choir because of him. I developed musically because of him. I did other extra-curriculars because of him.

He truly brought out the best in me – he brought me out of my shell. If he hadn’t done that, I sure wouldn’t be in university right now, because I wouldn’t have been able to handle the social aspect of being a university student, nor would I be able to cope with the overwhelming expectations set on me in every single class.

Every day, I’m so grateful for everything he taught me, and not just academically, either. He taught me how to be less socially-awkward (and really, how can you teach someone that? It’s a gift, that’s for sure), how to see both my strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve myself, especially personally. For me, he really wasn’t just a teacher – he was more of a life coach.

I wish there was some way I could thank him for everything he did, because he truly was one of the greatest, motivating, inspirational people I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.

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