What have I done, the mistake of a lifetime? Part 1: undergraduate

2001 was the beginning of the 21st century.  What I do remember in grade 11 during 1999-2000 was that the graduates of 2000 were not the new millennium graduates, however they were rewarded as such.  No other grades got special treatments so I didn’t find it fair they did, and a politically incorrect one at that.  2001 was our graduation, and the real beginning to the millennium.  We did the usual things, got our pictures taken for graduation, prepared our career prep profiles, compiled our accomplishments and awards.  It was also the year I learned how interested I was in history.  We learned about World War II from a substitute teacher who also happened to be a war survivor.  We learned about the Vietnam War and modern politics.  We were allowed to form parties representing the Second World War much like the year before where we formed political parties.  The energy in me was fired up, but I still thought Biology was the path for me.  By the time we grad our certificates, did our LPI’s, and said our goodbyes my successful graduation and transcript showed that my top marks were from social sciences and not sciences.

Not trying for a University, Langara accepted me, but before that I had a vacation to Japan and Hong Kong.  It would be the first time I would visit an Asian country since I moved here from one.  Being in Tokyo and Osaka I saw first hand for the first time how a metropolis looked.  It was slightly overwhelming and that image of me standing on a bench looking down the busy road is forever burned into my mind.  Getting my Seiko watch, visiting Mt. Fuji, taking a bath at the Onsen’s was an experience I could never forget.  HK was a little different.  It was hot, really hot, which made it difficult to breathe and feel.  There was people everywhere, the buildings were older, but I got a chance to ride the old ferries, which are no longer around.  It reminded me of Richmond back home, but busier, older and bigger.

Back from vacation, one month later September 11th happened.  The World Trade Centers were hit, and my dad told me a plane hit a building.  I was like that was normal, these things happen, but he told me it was the WTC.  I was like that building was kinda big, but it should be able to withstand a plane.  Then I was told 2 buildings were hit, thats when I had to check it out.  By the time I started watching Tower 1 had collapsed, but I had school, in fact it was my second week of school.  The TVs at Langara were playing the news regarding the WTC attacks on all their screens.  Students stood crowded outside watching, learning about the other attacks.  It was then another spark in my lit up.  What led up to these events?  Was biology really my calling?  By the end of the year I was exhausted.  I had dropped out of 2 courses, one of them Japanese, the other biology, and got a D in psychology and C- in English.  I had never expected 4 courses to be so tough.  This wasn’t high school anymore and I had to plan.  I decided next semester I would try history and thats when it all began.  My grades began to improve and I began taking more courses again.  History stoked my interest in China, therefore I took Chinese as a language and I did really well.  China and Europe became my primary focus now.  7 years down the road, I would graduate with a Bachelors in Arts majoring in History and minoring in Asian studies with a Chinese studies certificate.  I could have done the degree in 6 years which is already 2 years over the “4 year degree” but I wanted to invest more time in my Chinese and improve my GPA.


Using twitter and facebook

Before I used facebook to meet up with old friends.  Then I used facebook to play games.  Now I use it to have my PS3 auto update my gaming status.  Since gaming is what I’ve been indulging in recently, having it posted without doing it myself gives me a sense of fulfillment that I wouldn’t get it I did it.  Twitter is doing pretty much the same for me now!

Golden Ears Bridge/Portmann Predlude to more tolls?

A bridge for a “quick link from Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to Langley, Surrey and beyond,” and an end to noise pollution for the neighbors around the construction site was what greeted many drivers and visitors to the Golden Ears bridge’s grand opening earlier last year.  However, as the 30 day free trial was over and regular traffic took over, some of the results were predicted and some were not.  The neighborhood never expected the new noise pollution from vehicles going over the bridge to make new noises while getting on and off the bridges.  Many drivers did however expected the tolls and they were here to stay for a little while.  It cost anywhere from $2.75-$6.65 (trucks pay about 33%+), depending on the vehicle and their insurance, which would be sent to your insurer.  So is this the beginning to permanent bridge tolls across B.C. or will it all be temporary as the government says?

The new Portmann Bridge, which is currently under construction will provide a newer, safer bridge for many of those who rely on it to get in and out of the tri-city areas and will also be tolled when it is completed in 2013.  It will feature 10 lanes as well as new public transportation systems and their appropriate lanes.  With such a grand project it is expected that 3.3 billion dollars on top of the Olympics will make it hard not just for Translink and the city to pay it off in the near future.  That and the fact that almost all of the bridges in and out of the Tri-cities are beginning to show their age, except for the Arthur Liang bridge, proves we will  have a big budget crisis.  However, people have been demanding new bridges and wider lanes for the past decade.  We get over ten thousand cars added into the tri-cities every year, and with more healthy minded individuals and the expanded ridership of public transportation and we have traffic hell.

Much like Beijing we have to cut the amount of vehicle on our roads before the Olympic hits or else congestion may render some events inoperable.  The difference is Vancouver has a much smaller population than Beijing, almost ten times smaller.  So against the wishes of environmentalist, expansion is inevitable unless Vancouver wishes to stay backwards compared to all other major cities.  However, to pay for all of this their has been considerations to toll not only for the sake of being able to afford current and future infrastructure projects needed to make us richer, but also to protect the environment to offset our problems.  People generally seemed to support the Golden Ears bridge and its toll, and with a positive response from drivers, this may just be the green light for the government to mobilize their perma-tolls.

No Japan or Korea?

From my TESOL recruiter:

As you were not born in an English speaking country, getting a visa to teach in Japan and Korea could prove to be very challenging. It would be important to include on your resume any/all formal pre-university education in Canada/US or other English speaking country as candidates with 12 years of education in an English speaking country will help in this situation.

Seems like a hard road lies ahead of me.  If I can’t get into Japan, I may go to Hong Kong, or I may just stay here the rest of my life.  I guess I should prepare for that reality.  However, I won’t give up so easily, and until it is certain I can never work in Japan I will keep trying.  The easier to get into programs requires references that are readily available, and a lot of other requirements.