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June 21st, 2007

Mini-muffin madness

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I am in a bit of a muffin-baking phase. Look at my pretty muffins!

A delicious carrot muffin:


A delicious strawberry muffin:

June 19th, 2007

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I got my job back! It had seemed like I wasn't going to get the Sherwood Branch again, but then they called and offered me Sherwood! Hurray!

June 18th, 2007

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I am in this phase of reading food memoirs. They are so good. You should read them too.

"The night he left I baked apricot pie. It was his favourite, and he stood for a long time watching me roll out the dough. It sailed smoothly across the counter, the little bits of butter in ragged layers, glistening through the flour.

'I don't want to lose you,' he said.

'Me either,' I replied.

'Will you bake me another when I come back?' he asked.

I shook my head. 'By the time you come back,' I said, 'apricots will be out of season.'"

- Ruth Reichl, "Comfort Me with Apples"

June 11th, 2007

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This whole getting-a-job process sure is lengthy. But I finally have an interview! There is orientation and interviews on Saturday (which inspires hope that if they are orientating us all, we are fairly likely to be hired). It is exciting.

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I'm sorry, but I found "Happy Feet" to be a bizarre movie that I couldn't make it to the end of. Robin Williams narrates the story of a developmentally-challenged penguin (his father dropped him as an egg) who will never find true love because of his inability to sing. But the penguin can dance, and in a chance encounter meets up with some Spanish-speaking puffins (who for whatever reason are emulating Latin American culture) and they appreciate his dancing ability, and this gives the penguin a boost of confidence. Add in some god-awful impromptu musical numbers, and you can understand why I couldn't finish watching this movie.

June 5th, 2007

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Finally progress is being made on the library job front. I thought that interviews would have had to have happened already, and that they just hadn't called me. But it turns out that the whole thing has been delayed because of the grant fiasco. It also seems as if Human Resources lost my application, but that has all been taken care of now. So hopefully I get an interview soon, and if I refrain from calling my old kids "my illiterate children" (which will be difficult to do, and it really is an affectionate term) during the interview, there might still be hope! Hurray!

May 24th, 2007

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It appears as if the Conservative government has gone back on their word to cut literacy programming! Woo hoo! This means I might have a job this summer!

Museums get funding OK

Thu, May 24, 2007

All non-profit groups that got federal summer student funding last year will get it this year.

By VERA OVANIN, SUN MEDIA

Just days after being denied federal money to subsidize summer student hiring, many London area museums and libraries have learned they'll get the money after all.

Some organizations, which, on paper, didn't need the money, turned out to be in great need of funding, Monte Solberg, the federal Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, said yesterday in London.

"We certainly don't want to send the message that we are not supporting programs where students are receiving the work experience they need to stay in the workforce," he said.

Solberg was in London visiting Youth Opportunities Unlimited. The non-profit agency helps youth find employment and relies on the federal government for half its funding.

But some say Ottawa's decision to restore the funds was made following a huge public outcry last week from community organizations.

"There was a very strong reaction from groups across Canada when they found out they won't be receiving the money," said Sheila Johnson, executive director of Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

"We're just thrilled about this turn of events because now we can hire students for the summer and go on with our program as planned," said Johnson,

The Summer Jobs funding was initially redirected to areas where young people struggle to find work, leaving many London-area groups out in the cold.

But all non-profit groups that received the funding last year will get it this year, Service Canada said yesterday.

~~~

Okay, that was the good news. The bad news is that I am horribly sick. To the point where my parents thought I had strep throat, but I went to the doctor and she said that I didn't. I am just dying with the worst cold ever. :(

May 23rd, 2007

So, Simon had been wanting me to become less Conservative, and this might have done it. It appears as if the Conservative government has decided that they don't have enough money to pay me minimum wage to teach illiterate children how to read. I guess literacy is pretty overrated, anyway.

Summer student jobs lose subsidies

Wed, May 23, 2007
By VERA OVANIN, SUN MEDIA

Changes to a federal program that subsidizes summer student hiring means some London-area museums and libraries are in the lurch.

At least six groups that had hoped to hire nearly 30 students will be affected by the changes, which reduced the overall funding for job subsidies and redirected it to areas where young people struggle to find summer work.

"It's very disappointing. They are taking away valuable career experience for young people that the museum has been providing for almost 30 years," Tammy Adkin, executive director of the London Regional Children's Museum, said yesterday.

The museum wanted to hire six students full time under the Canada Summer Jobs program, but last week found out it will get no money.

Instead, by making cuts to some programs and possibly by raising admission fees, the museum expects to hire six part-time students on its own.

Some other organizations that had hoped for hiring subsidies -- such as the London Public Library -- are in a jam.

"We have consistently applied for this grant every year and were very successful. That's why we were so shocked when we learned last week that we won't be receiving it this time," said Anne Becker, the library's chief executive.

"We're in a real pickle."

The changes made by the federal Conservative government have been known since March, but only now -- as the student hiring season begins -- is the fallout being felt.

At the time, critics said students would pay the price for funding that fell to $86 million, $4 million less than when the program was created 10 years earlier, and which shifted emphasis to struggling areas.

In the past, to qualify for grants, employers had to prove to the federal government they were providing students with meaningful work experience.

Now, Ottawa is giving priority to those who hire students from rural and remote areas with low youth employment or areas with high crime.

London, population 350,000, with a buoyant economy, isn't a high priority.

The change is undermining communities and taking away valuable student jobs, charged MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP -- London-Fanshawe).

"It's absolutely incredible that the programs that have been so successful for so many years would be cut in such an arbitrary way," she said.

Other affected London agencies include the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Fanshawe Pioneer Village, the South London Community Centre and the Grand Theatre.

Fanshawe, which had hoped to hire five or six students to act as animators and interpreters at the re-created 19th-century farming village, has now decided it won't hire any students for such jobs, said Sheila Johnson, the village's executive director.

The Museum of Ontario Archeology in London was denied a hiring grant last week, but learned yesterday its funds will be restored.

"This is ludicrous -- now you have the money, now you don't. It affects people's ability to plan," Mathyssen said.

May 22nd, 2007

McDonald's is tasty

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Such a cute picture of Simon, I only wish I had centred it better. :(
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