Sunday, 14 April 2013

The "Perfect" Date

Everybody has an idea of their perfect date. Usually these ideas blossom from our favourite movie, TV shows or books.  The long walk on the beach, the good conversation and the perfectly placed kiss at sunset, dressing to the nines and going for a fancy dinner, or just getting cozy by the fire on a warm summer night.  Each of these dates will of course have the perfect music playing in the background at just the right moments and everything will just seem too perfect for it to be reality.  That’s because it is!  Life is completely unscripted and ideas of perfection based on movies will almost always be impossible to recreate.

I am not saying I don’t have my own ideas about that perfect date.  Truth be told I have more than a few ideas floating around but none of them are planned to a tee for 2 reasons
(1) Avoiding disappointment.  I have been on a few dates where things didn’t go as smoothly as they had been planned and someone was left disappointed.   Disappointment then lead to a serious mood killer and well, it didn’t end well. 
(2) Planning is LAME! I like to make things up as I go.  It’s way more fun that way.  It’s also an indication of whether the person you are with is on the same page as you are.  Opposites attract.. but not polar opposites.  Also if they aren’t up to going with the flow every once in a while, they are probably no fun.

My ideas of the perfect date are simple. They have a location and events that make each one just as unique and fun as the last.
The Perfect Date:
~ An evening with ice cream and a walk along a riverbank and through the forest. Finding a spot along the river to look at the stars, laugh and dance.
~ An afternoon on the road with music to sing along to.  A small town to stop for lunch. Exploring the town and the surrounding areas.
~ An evening in with a home cooked meal flowed by movies and popcorn
~ At a theme park going on the biggest roller coasters and every other ride. Eating cotton candy and playing fair games.
~ Hiking to the top of a mountain with a picnic lunch.
~ A night downtown taking in the beauty of the city lights.

The one thing almost everyone wants out of the perfect date is the perfect kiss.  It may come at the beginning of the date, at the end of the date or at any point in between.

Some of my ideas are more planned out than others but none of them are specific.  Once in a  while a it's nice to have a reservation and a plan as something to look forward to.  On any date I want to face challenges with laughter and I don't want to worry about the time.  I want it to be fun and adventurous.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

2 More Days

Blehh! So I have two days of class left in this semester before it’s time to start writing finals.  At this point I have finished learning the course content and the class time I have left will be designated review sessions.  Sometimes these review classes can be helpful, but other times people like to ask simple questions that can be answered by simply opening your text book or looking through you class notes. 
Once classes are finished it’s time to get down to the hard core studying, right?  Yes!  But that only works if you have a forgiving exam schedule that allows you a sufficient amount of time to study for each exam.  This term I am not so fortunate.  I have four of my finals in the first four days of the 2 week exam period and a 7 day break before my last final.  Needless to say, I started studying last week.  I was lucky to be finished  with my midterms and assignments on March 14th,  which gave me more than enough time study while class was still in session.  Although I have used this time to study for my first few exams, I have not been able to get into the “final exam  studying mindset.”  Hopefully by the end of the day on Friday I will be able to get myself in the zone of studying  like a crazy person.
This is not the first time I have had a series of exams like this.  Initially a series like this causes lots of stress, frustration. It also brings up the big question of, “how am I supposed to study for everything in such a short time?”  The most effective way I have found is starting early and switching your subject of focus every day or few days. To ensure I don’t miss studying for any classes, I also like to create a rough schedule of which subjects I am going to study for on certain days.  This allows for enough time to study for each subject and helps to avoid cramming for a subject that may have been pushed aside. We all have exams that require less studying which allows for more time to look at other, more difficult course material.  Once I have gone through all or most of my material, I use the day before my exam to go over everything once, focusing on the areas that are most difficult.
I am no stranger to stress during exam time. When I get into the zone of studying, I am able to focus my attention for hours at a time.  I usually start to stress the day before the exam if I feel like I have to cram.  In the weeks and days before my finals I reduce stress levels by taking breaks to make lunch or dinner and by engaging in some form of exercise.  Exercise for stress relief doesn’t always mean taking an hour out of your study time to go to they gym.  During my final review day I find that leaving my room to go to the library or to walk around the block beneficial in different ways. First it gives your body a break from sitting hunched over a table, allowing it to move.  It also gives your eyes time to relax and your brain time to retain the information that you have been studying.  Giving your mind and body a break form studying is most effective when you focus on what you are doing during the break, rather than worrying about the time you are taking away from study. 
Final exam time is stressful but it’s not the end of the world.  When I feel completely overwhelmed, I take a minute to think about how close I am to being done.  I remind myself that I am in the final push to the end of the year and there is no reason to slow down.  Summer will soon be here and I will be at home enjoying my vacation time.  

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter Sunday Hike

This Easter Sunday, a few friends and I decided to take a hike.  Knox Mountain is perfectly situated on the outskirts of the city and right on the lake.  The mountain has a number of trails that vary in length and difficulty as well as road access that ends at a lookout half way up the mountain.
Adventurously, we decided to start our hike at the bottom of the mountain and take the Apex Trail (one of the easier ones) to the top.  Our trail led us up the mountain through grassy areas and small stands of trees to a lovely little gazebo at the top.  We then ventured around to the other side of the mountain and found a beautiful spot overlooking the water where we sat and enjoyed the view before having to head back down.
When I was younger I used to go out to the mountains with my family.   We would hike up Johnston Canyon and explore other easy mountain trails in the area. I remembered how much  I enjoyed the feeling of being lost in and exploring the forest.  This weekend's outing has made me want to adventure out and explore trails and areas I've never been to.