22. A Reminder

Hello again,

Reading other students blogs in the past, I have seen the theme of food waste be the topic for many of them. Having worked at McDonald’s for almost a year now, I have seen three restaurant managers come and go. I find it intriguing when they are all under the same fast food umbrella company, but each has its own take on procedures and rules. Food waste has also varied between them, and with the example they set for the employees, or lack of, I have seen food waste levels fluctuate. There is also a correlation between the age groups and quality of work.

When I was first hired, there were several managers on the floor at one time bearing down on rules and cutting waste. It was as if there was always a set of eyes on everything you did. At this point the team operated most smoothly, and I honoured the organization and the value they held on the gift of food we often take for granted. Food waste was calculated attentively, and employees were guided into being conscientious workers, with both respect for the company and the resources.

I often need to remind myself of all the blessings we share.

When the surge of young adults died down, and they moved on to better jobs, there was a great need for employees. I remember first beginning to work and everyone would comment on how young I was (16…not that young I thought). As more people of similar age entered in, there seemed to be a stark difference in the quality and respect that was held before. It saddened me to see food waste and negligence for rules and procedures. Respect and perspective are two points that often seem to be lacking in this generation, and my workplace has been an first hand example of this. Attending class with all these terrific students, I have hope for us. Despite what work may have proven, there are so many others that go against this reputation and will in fact better the world!

With hope,

 

-Parker

21. Learners

Hello again,

Last week was my first time driving although I have had my learners licence for quite a while now. I couldn’t help but think of the danger I would be putting myself into if I chose to go on the main road, but it would be perfectly legal! My first driving lesson from my mom mad me think back to our Global class, and the ways safety is measured.

For developed countries like Canada, the licensing system could appear to be slightly flawed with the potential for dangerous driving in young teens. You can obtain your license fairly easily, and at at a young age the ability to join in the accident prone flow of traffic. I often find myself thinking back to Thailand, and remember the lack of driving regulations  that existed there, and all the risks that are alive in daily life. No sidewalks, seat belts, and taxi drivers who had machetes at their side, by Canadian standards, this was not a safe place. My parents, obviously very aware of this, kept my sister and I safe, but did not shroud our cultural experiences. I am thankful to them for not being overprotective at this time in my life. I saw the realities of the world at a young age, and have carried those memories up until the present. After spending time overseas and returning home, everyday you can find a point of remembrance. Sometimes I catch a scent or hear a distinct sound, and I am immediately brought back to an old memory from across the world.

Travel stays with you.

 

I seek to build upon those vivid memories in Southeast Asia, and further develop an understanding of this vast world. I know that this trip to Tonga will stay with all of us, both in fond memories, but also in a newfound demeanour.

 

-Parker

 

20. Swing of things

Hello again,

Something I have been concerned with lately has been my lack of physical activity!

Amidst demands from mainly school and work, I have become quite worm out. With ultimate and volleyball throughout last year, I was in terrific condition. Unfortunately I didn’t do volleyball this year, or any other sports for the matter and have fallen behind. Thinking back to the application for Global, one of the questions asked what I did to be physically fit, and at that time I was very involved. As the trip date comes quickly, It is a necessity I get back into it! This past week I have gone to the gym before school, and I have found it to be quite rejuvenating as well as strengthening. I hope to continue this and develop a habit for the weeks before the trip, as it is going to be very taxing on the body. I don’t want to fall behind because of a lack of fitness, I want to play the largest role I can in the completion of the project. This is the new goal, I will keep you updated.

 

-Parker

19. Lately

Hello again,

It has been a while since I last made an entry, I have been rather disctraced as of late. I hope to catch up and discuss what’s been happening.

January, like all months has flown by. A large majority of my time was spent completing my two online classes, French 12 and Geography 12. Now that this month is over, I have two fewer courses to worry about, and that offers a mild sense of peace.  Having to study for a final this early in the year was a slight shock to the system, but also an awakening to what’s to come.

Spring break is approaching ever so quickly, and with only a few more weeks to go, packing, planning, and anticipation are all flooding in. Our past meeting covered the topics of health and the cultural shift in sanitation. It was a reality check to the expectations we may have in mind. Travel is always an exciting thing, but it does come with adjustments. This was definitely the case living in Thailand, and In many foreign countries water cleanliness is an issue. I couldn’t brush my teeth with tap water, and would have to pass on vegetables that appeared in dishes.

We also went in depth into the concept of safety and what makes a country safe to travel to. There are government rankings, tourist reports, but ultimately any location is unsafe to an extent. Unpredictable evens will always happen, and you can’t solely rely on rankings or reputation. Of course there are precautions to take, but the point that was made is that if we get too caught up in safety concerns, we will never be able to truly understand the world outside of the one which is familiar. Something that is very important.

 

-Parker

 

18. Season of Remembrance

Hello again,

Hoping that everyone had a terrific Christmas filled with happy memories and great company this year!

This season is always anticipation filled for my family, and this year was no different. However, there were many things that did not align with tradition, and over the past few years of moving that has been quite common. I find that amidst this year everything is moving so quickly that I have little time to find and appreciate the small things or ponder a memory. Christmas has always marked my fondest memories, from Kerrisdale horse-drawn carriage rides, to Stanley Park lights, my childhood has been about tradition. Despite the festivity and routine which has made my family glad, a change does not go unwelcome. I have begun to notice around me and within myself that when we become comfortable with a certain situation or state of being, we drastically oppose the option to leave it behind. This became apparent for me once I moved to Thailand, where the 30 degree weather means the brining out of winter coats. Of course this was the most unconventional Christmas I had ever had, and traditions were disrupted. I see now that with this loss of routine,  It brought me closer to what should be valued the most, and that is the family bond. Beginning with dismay for the change, a new and special time was had.

With uncertainty of where I will be next winter and who I will be with, this time of year has brought me to “savour the season”, but more importantly take in each moment with my family. They have been pivotal on shaping who I am, and I am so very thankful.

Looking forward to the new year, and our ever approaching trip!

 

-Parker

17. Host Country – Home

Hello again,

The last class meeting that was held I unfortunately could not attend because of work scheduling, but I have heard that it was humorous and purposeful. The latest assignment goes over the concept of culture shock, and instructed us to write on the experience from the last meeting. For me, I will be reporting on my experience living in Thailand, and the various stages of culture shock that I went through and how it ultimately changed who I am and the way I look at life!

Stages of Culture Shock:

Responding to this assignment brought back memories of my younger self in the bustling and crowded city of Bangkok. Looking at this graph I could find an instance at each stage, and it is quite accurate to the way I was feeling in the new culture of Thailand. Getting off the long plane ride, you are immediately engulfed in that humid mass of the southeast Asian air and its hits you that you are a long ways from home. Its exciting, everything is new and there is so much to take in. As you spend a little more time in the country you begin to become aware of its flaws and differences from where you came from and eventually you do become homesick. This happened to me, however, as the graph suggests, you partake in an upturn and begin to adapt to the new way of life and can finally appreciate everything that’s different, embracing change. Throughout my time in Thailand, I began to consider it home, and attending international school was one of the most unique moments of my life. My peers were from around the world and I developed motivation from the hardworking attitudes they had for academics. Almost everything about Thailand I loved, but eventually I did reflect on life in Canada and welcomed a return.

Despite my praise for the country, there are many things that are unjust and my time there has made me appreciate life in Canada so much more and I try to look upon the world with compassionate eyes. For walking out of the luxury malls, just steps away are severely disabled people who have no way of getting help. Thailand is a place for foreigners to play, and for locals to endure suffering, just getting by. Experiencing poverty first hand saddened me, and returning to Vancouver seeing sidewalks, hospitals, and all these blessings, it was a shock in itself. Living in Thailand has spurred something that makes me unsettled, and that is discontent for the state of the world. The most life altering time for me was in Thailand, and applying for Global Perspectives I had the goal in mind of being someone who could actually help people like those I saw overseas.

Stage 9 on the graph says you integrate what you have learnt and experienced  and apply it to your life. I think this is very true, and without Thailand I would shy away from new experiences with a lessened awareness for the unjust many endure.

Grateful and unsettled,

 

-Parker

 

16. Season

Hello again,

As December marches in sooner than expected, 2018 and our trip to Tonga comes ever closer. Excitement is mounting, and I find myself daily caught in thought of the unique spring break we will all share in.

This will actually be the very first spring break I have spent away from my family, and this saddens me. For people that have been pivotal in shaping who I am today will eventually not be in my life everyday. I often try to think back to younger days with fond memories, attempting to savor each moment in life right now. Unfortunately amidst obligations and schedules, this is a challenge. However, this embarkment is symbolic, both for the development of character, and for moving into the next season of life. For the preparations proceeding, and the two weeks themselves will each in their own way be impactful and change the way we look at life. I am greatly looking forward to the spring, and appreciate the times already had.

It seems as though each month is filled with deadlines and opportunities that only momentarily exist, and decisiveness is the skill most in demand at this time. Navigating the waters of life outside of high school is foreign, and rather unpredictable. Speaking to peers about their accomplishments, It can be intimidating and I find myself raising personal expectations. So many exclaim their aspirations, and at times it is a challenge not to fall to influence.

Taking each week as it comes, but aware of the future.

 

-Parker

15. A Fruitful Life

Hello again,

This week my Grandparents from Toronto had to return home.

The six year gap between our previous visit will hopefully not repeat, as distance between family is one of the hardest things. With the time we did have, we shared in quality conversation as well as an exchange of life experiences. My Grandpa and Grandma, for many years, have embarked on very similar excursions to the one we will be doing in March. Even as my Grandpa’s eightieth birthday has just passed, he plans to travel to Africa to help with solar panel installation. Speaking with them, I felt great admiration for their devotion to providing opportunity and enhancing quality of life. Although my life has not existed for long, I ponder the time when we are all older. looking back, will we feel fulfilled knowing that we have impacted other peoples lives, or will be regretful knowing that we did not do all that we could?  My Grandparent’s lives, I have great respect for. Their choices, and the sacrifices they have made, I aspire to be so selfless and hard working. With their presence it motivated and humbled me to be more than expectation.

I consider that a fruitful life.

 

-Parker

14. Thank you, November

Hello again,

And with November coming to a close, a full and fruitful month falls to memory. The night of the auction dinner was a strenuous but rewarding time, and we have collectively reached the goal of enough funds for the entire construction. This brings peace of mind, but also the hopeful ambition to push further, in an effort to bring the absolute best to the inhabitants of the island. It was truly special to see the past Global Perspectives students, and their maintained bonds with each other. It was an image of what our class can hopefully be. Conscientious and globular minded individuals who keep in contact with each other once the excursion and class is over. Of course serving and interacting with guests was stressful and taxing on the body, but it brought a taste for what’s to come once we step off the plane. Early mornings filled with physical labour and high temperatures will take its toll, and it is up to us to push through and complete the mission we have prepared for. Each week brings it’s own set of demands and deadlines. The process is ever repeating, and the disappearing 12th year is difficult to savour. Moments like this dinner are unique and unforgettable memories in high school, and its an honour to be able to participate and share with others what we are doing.

Thankful for this month, and for all it has brought,

 

-Parker

13. With Each Step

Hi again,

Just yesterday was the final meeting before the auction dinner. The ticket money came in, auction items were accounted for and added to the booklet, and the centre pieces for the tables were constructed. It was a productive meeting, and I am looking forward to the night!

I spent most of my time working on the centre pieces, the continuous folding and cutting was very reminiscent of a time I had two summers ago. An event through church know as the Okanagan Gleaners, the youth of the church venture out in an effort to create dehydrated vegetables, that are used as a soup mix, sent to developing countries around the world. The cutting and sorting of vegetables in the hot interior sun can be tiring work, but it is also very rewarding as we were informed that people were indeed using the mix to feed themselves and their children. I found this connection whilst creating the centre pieces, and pondered these small steps that all play a role in the eventual success of our trip, and the outreach to people in need.

This week my dad’s parents have flown over from Ontario, and it has really been a high point spending time with them. They will be attending the auction dinner, and I hope that the mission of Global Perspectives is well represented.

Looking forward to Wednesday,

 

-Parker