Tuesday 21 August 2012

Rose's Rant

Rose listens to us a lot.  She is a good listener.  Some nights you even forget that she is there, but not last night.

We were all talking shop; a couple of Canadian teachers, and even an American one from Pennsylvania.  Even the non teachers had a lot to say.  This went on for a while.  Out of nowhere Rose just snapped and let us all have it.

I'll do my best to relate it...here goes:

The problem with the education system is that it doesn't stand for anything anymore.  You all talk about the values you have to teach, but they are "so random", as the kids say!  Each school seems to create some bizarre acrostic poem where each letter stands for a "Character Value".  Hillcrest: Honesty - Integrity - Loyalty - Leadership - Caring - Responsibility...etc.  It is bullshit! (yes she swore)  So by that logic if a school has a shorter name it would have less values, or a school with a longer name would adhere to so many more values.  Parents should be putting their kids in schools with longer names.  In Ottawa don't send your kids to Bell!

She took a breath:

My God  - why don't schools stand for education?  These days, by the sounds of it, you teachers can't even give a kid a zero, or a failure.  What a bureaucratic mess.  You even have teachers who do give zeroes getting fired for having integrity.  I thought that was one of the beloved Character Values!  This must really confuse the kids.

She started to lose a little steam, but added this:

And the drug pushers, and troubled kids don't even get help.  They just wind up back in class pushing their drugs, or skipping, and being late to class every day.

She concluded:

You can't have a system where every one's values get the same respect.  What if the values conflict?  Not everyone can be right.  What a mess.

She caught herself, and realized that we were all looking at her.  She added: "I'm sorry.  I don't know what I'm talking about."

Rose picked up her kids and ran out to Bruce Fish's truck.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Fighting Back: Wrestling with Cancer

Now I go to a lot of wrestling events with French.  He has gotten back into the indy scene recently, but this show was different.  This show was dedicated to a wrestler named Phrank Morin.  He fell ill a couple of years ago to an agressive form of cancer.

The wrestling community from Ottawa, Montreal and the Northeastern States were sad for a while, but then they decided to do what they do best: fight.  Many wrestlers and even more fans now get together to create a event to fight back: "Fighting Back: Wrestling with Cancer".

In just two short years it has become a massive success; attracting some of the top indy talent in North America: Bobby Lashley, Jay Lethal, Harry Smith, and Tommy Dreamer.  There is an amazing number of local Ontario talent as well: Player Uno, Stu Grayson, Michael Elgin, Tyson Dux, and many more.

Last year they raised over $10 000.  There is still money coming in from last night's show, but the tally is already over $14 000.  This is quickly becoming a major charity initiative in Ottawa.

French was working the show last night.  He was "Event Staff".  I noticed that he kept a close eye on all of the wrestlers when they performed big spots (moves).  French always seemed to be the first guy over to see that they were okay.  Then he'd slip back through the aisle and wait for the next moment he could help out.

Talking to him later I realized that this was his proudest night in wrestling; even if he wasn't on the card.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Beer Cap Pockets

Bruce Fish told me, with a big grin, that he'd caught someone dump sleeping; it was French.  He'd walked over to the dump to see Bruce Fish and Rose, but he'd missed them.  He'd been drinking pretty heavy so he just crashed in their trailer/office.

Bruce Fish had come in early, before his shift started, and found his friend passed out.  He let him sleep it off and worked on his dump art.

When French finally woke up and came out of the trailer he started to empty his pockets.  They were full of beer caps.  This is our old method from high school to keep track of our beer consumption.  Sweaty and I drove up from the cottage to collect his brother and we were marvelling about the pile of caps on the table.  It was a big heap of PBR and Bud caps.  French had been "having a few" with our summer cottage neighbours from Pennsylvania.

There was a lot of laughing and back slapping.  French mostly grinned sheepishly and rubbed his temples.  I didn't count them, but I remarked that it looked like the new record.

Rose had come in unnoticed.  She said: "that is some kinda tragic record."

Thursday 2 August 2012

on the hustle

French likes to say "I ain't no hustler, but I'm on the hustle".  He then lets out a big laugh.  French has been able to score a few teaching jobs here and there, but nothing steady.  He didn't finish his B.Ed until he was in his thirties.  Therefore, French feels that he is lost in a sea of recent grads and go getters.  Somedays he just blames  his tattoos for his lack of a steady teaching job.

I  haven't seen him this past July more than once or twice.  He caught me up on what he's been doing.  He has been filming indy wrestling events, and doing a bit of video editing for some of the wrestlers.  French got a short gig tuning, restringing, and resetting all the guitars for a community centre music program.  After a big wind storm he became the local tree expert, and fence rebuilder.  He even installed a new toilet for one of his neighbours this week.  Busy guy.

Also, Sweaty and him have continued flipping cars that they buy and then fix up.  French is talking about going full time on the hustle.

He seems real happy - maybe I'll join him eh?

Here is one of his videos: