Second of all: There's nothing like getting recognized multiple times for the same thing. Steven earned his Chief Scout Award back in February and was recognized at a ward ceremony. Yesterday was the city ceremony for all recipients in the past year. (I made Steven do a self-portrait with me.) Coming up our ward is having a Youth in Excellence - the YW president decided to extend YW's in Excellence to the YM's as well - and guess what Steven is going to display? His scout shirt and sash of course. But he's not going to wear them because as he said, yesterday was the last day he's ever wearing his scout shirt again. (At least in this size - ha!)
Third: I had a great birthday this year and it didn't get blogged about because no pictures and pictures drive my blogging. But to summarize: Ken and I went up to Banff for one night just us. We left the kids behind by themselves and they survived. We more than survived in a world class resort 2 hours from home - why we don't go more often is beyond me!
Fourth: Nothing will ever top our Remembrance Day 2008, but I still like what we did this year. I bought tickets to a play, In Flanders Fields, at Lunchbox Theatre downtown. It was the story of John McCrae, the author of the famous poem and his lifelong love of writing poetry, the reason he became a doctor, and his desire to be of the greatest service possible during WWI. It was touching. Jaclyn appreciated how well written it was. Steven appreciated the quality of the acting - there were only 3 actors playing multiple parts. The actor for John had to play his character as a child, a young man, and a more mature man. The other actors played multiple parts of parents, siblings, friends, and fellow soldiers. It was well done, impressive really, because as a one act play it didn't allow for elaborate costume changes. The change in the acting itself indicated the change in character as much as anything else. (A bonus: I found the perfect parking spot downtown. Score!)
Fifth: Jaclyn was telling me earlier about a study done by BYU that the single best predictor of success in college is to form or join a study group. I can see that this is true in Jaclyn's high school experience. She and some of the other students at her level have created a culture of collaboration rather than competition and the result has been exceptional grades for everyone. It also reminds me of a TEDtalk I watched recently:
(This guy has a book on this subject - I've placed it on hold at the library and I can't wait to read it.)
Sixth: I spoke up at parent council this week about my opinion on using gaming money. It went well; people were respectful and appreciative. The interesting thing is the more I talk about it (and write about it now, I'm sure) the stronger I feel. I think it's wrong to profit off the addictions of others. The reality is that households with a family income below $20,000/year are twice as likely to be impacted by a gambling addiction as households with a family income over $80,000/year. And which schools are most likely to benefit from grants through Alberta Lotteries or pull together enough volunteers to man a casino as a fundraiser? Why, the schools situated in wealthier neighbourhoods. A school in a poor area has trouble forming a parent council at all and doesn't tend to benefit from gaming money. So it's First World exploiting Third World, only on a local level. And don't even get me started on the way gambling destroys families. Anyhow, I managed to be well spoken and it was something that needed to be said.
Seventh: infection control procedure is changing for health care workers in Alberta. There's new law. My office has been at the cutting edge in this area, so the impact should be relatively small for us, but this is going to mean big changes for other dentists. Costly changes. So expect rates to go up people. Personally, the first thing I did when I comprehended what the new