So What's My Story?

After 3 years of being a poor social worker (the work I loved, the pay I didn't), I decided it was time to go back to school and get my Master's! After weighing my options (school far away from home, or school in a different country that is only an 8-hour drive from home) I decided to try my luck in British Columbia, Canada.

For a year I lived in
Surrey, BC while attending Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. However, as the final component of my work toward my Masters degree in Criminology I have moved back to the states to complete an internship at an Independent Living Program for youth leaving the foster care system.

Here is the story of my adventures as a graduate student in a "foreign" country as well as my current work back in the states.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Hiding in Plain Sight?

Most of the time I don't really question the U.S. government... sure, I think some of their policies are odd and inefficient, but I rarely see something in action and think, "What the Hell are they doing??"

I had one of those times driving through Washington a couple weekends back.

Driving up I-5 I saw, behind me and in the next lane, a white SUV with the word "Police" on it. Since, obviously, I was speeding, I quickly tried to slow down undetected. By doing this, I slowed down to the same speed as the SUV (which ultimately passed me) and I was able to read the rest of the writing on the side and rear of it.

"Department of Homeland Security-- Federal Protection Services"...

Isn't this, like, a bulls eye?? Shouldn't they be transporting important witnesses in unmarked vehicles with tinted windows?

I was definitely wondering, "what the hell??"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Or, rather, I'm in a "Common-law Union"... which the government acknowledges after one year of living with your partner, and, thus, if Jacob wanted to, could get the same benefits/etc. that I get from the Canadian government (health insurance, etc.) A lot better system (I think) than in the U.S... though I think it might be getting better down there.

So... do I still gifts for this milestone? lol... I'll have to check on that! =)

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Does Middle Eastern polka exist? 'Cause I think that's what my neighbors are playing...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buzzing Bank

I saw this story on the news last night... it's just SOO frustrating to me... instead of spending money to help people, let's treat them like rodents and buy devices to keep them away...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What a Way to Go...

I know that the death of a 14-year-old girl is not a laughing matter... and I am not intending any disrespect, however any of you who have seen the show Dead Like Me and appreciate the morbid humor of "freak accidents" need to see this article that I ran across today.


Walking through the secured hallway of the criminology department you can peek into a number of different offices and see door-way baby gates. No, it is not "bring your child to work day". On the contrary, this is not a random occurrence... this is a regular phenomenon. Behind these baby gates are not babies, at least not by regular standards, but, rather, pooches. Bringing your dogs to work is, apparently, not something to even bat an eye lash at up here. Plus, it's an excuse to take a walk and get some fresh air every hour or so.

Just a moment ago I went to use the rest room. Upon returning to the computer lab, in the hall in front of me stood a standard poodle, head tilted, as if to say, "Hey.... How's it going?"

No Line?

On June 1st the new passport requirement went into effect on the Canadian/US border. This has been YEARS in the making... now, in order to cross the border into/out of the U.S., you MUST have a passport. Before you just needed ID and proof of citizenship (birth certificate).

As I've said, this has been years in the making... the effective date has been pushed back time after time, so, I figured that it wouldn't really be that big of a deal when it actually happened, but, that was just the American in me a guess. Here's the deal... according to one news article more than half of Canadians currently have a passport... while less than 1/3 of Americans do. So? You may ask. Well, here's the problem. Canada, particularly the border cities, rely heavily on American tourism, specifically during the summer travel time. With only 30% of Americans having passports that means fewer people crossing the border and less money coming into the Canadian tourism economy.

None of this really occurred to me yesterday as I was crossing the border back into Canada after a trip home. I approached the border and there were NO CARS waiting... in ANY of the open lines. There was one car other than myself going through the Nexus line... but I drove right up to the window. Being an American, not considering anything, I made some comment to the border agent that I don't think I've ever seen it that empty before! She just sadly smiled at me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Blog

So, I've started a second blog. After a conversation with an old friend of mine about how I'd like to someday write a book about my experiences in my field but worried that I could fill up a whole book, I decided to start small with a collection of vignettes. Perhaps someday they will make their way into publication, but, for now, they are just memories, written down, before I am no longer able to recall all of the ridiculous situations I have found myself in! =)

Read my collections of ramblings at: The Rabbit Hole

Friday, June 5, 2009

And The Fun Begins...

The kitchen is clean, the bathroom is clean, the living room is cleaning... clothes are packed, "school work" is packed, cat stuff is packed... I have my camera, tooth brush, cell phone.... I am ready to go... on what is going to be a VERY chaotic week and a half. It would be FANTASTIC if the border wait went quickly... as I don't really need any more stress right now!

Here's my schedule.... down to Portland today, stay the night with Jacob's bro, head to Eugene tomorrow spend the day with my fam, down to Coquille on Sunday for a graduation celebration for Jacob's cousin,Monday and Tuesday in Eugene, Wednesday back to Portland, Thursday I have an interview for my practicum (FINALLY), Friday to Pendleton for my brother's graduation, Saturday back to Portland, and then three days (yay!!) staying in the same place until I come back up to BC on Tuesday.... *sigh* I'm tired just thinking about it.