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I'm Going To Continue Sharing More Of My Journey

My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure.” - Ashleigh Brilliant

Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.” - Roger Babson

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” - Truman Capote

NOTE***** For all the pictures below, click on them for a larger version. Some of 'em are really worth it. And do a double clicky thing if that box with the blue arrows shows up in the lower right corner! I think that's so cool since DJB pointed it out to me, that I just want to show off! < smile > .

Okay. Gather 'round kids for another episode of the "Continuing Saga of His Rickness". You know something? In a perverse and twisted sort of way, I'm actually finding this very cathartic. It's like a "cleansing" process where I'm letting all the junk from my life go, but in order to do that, I have to expose it "publicly" first. Does that make any sense to anyone?

Today's journey will focus on the "school" end of things, both elementary (Grades 1-8), High School (Grades 9-13) and an aborted attempted at University. Then I'll include a bit of Phase Two of my schooling where I'm on the giving end rather than the receiving end (although you won't be able to tell it from some of the pics below!) Today will be pictures and some light-hearted banter...we'll get back to the tears tomorrow, okay?!! So, is everybody comfortable? (P.S. That's me in the chair about 5 or 6 years ago.....at Sandra's. Yup, the same one who was co-valedictorian with me 45 years ago (see below). We're best buds in a lot of ways).

I'll start with elementary school. We lived a mile and a half (for you Canadians in the audience, I think that's about 2 km!!). Half a mile west on the Fourth Line, which was paved, and a mile north on Brule Side Road, which, besides being "not paved", was up hill most of the way....and blooming cold in the wintertime!

Dad would drop us off in the morning on his way to work, so we'd always end up being an hour early for class, but we had to walk home. Summer, winter, spring and fall. It was a bitch, but this was what was always waiting at the end of it, which kinda made the trip worthwhile. This is our driveway in summertime. You might just be able to see a smidgen of the house around the bend to the left.

Well, all good things must come to an end, and eventually we were ready to graduate from elementary school. I was one of two co-valedictorians, because the principal (our teacher) couldn't decide between the two of us. With hindsight, he should have picked Sandra. Can you figure out which one is me? (Great odds for the girls, huh? 6 girls to 14 guys...not bad!). This picture was taken in 1961, and I'll betcha I still remember virtually all the names (and do I have some stories to tell about some of them heh! heh!), but I can't remember the name of a single student that I taught during my last 5 years of teaching here at NAIT.

The next step of course was high school, and yesterday you saw some of the angst I went through during those five years, so let's skip over them and go directly to my job, teaching at a post-secondary institute out here in good old Edmonchuck.

Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with school, or even the flow of things here, but think of it as a commercial break, K? Let me introduce you to my friend, housemate, and sometimes bedmate....Butch. She (it, actually) still suffers from a personality disorder because I named her Butch. What she doesn't remember is that her long-deceased-but-not-forgotten sister's name was Sundance...so get off my case already willya!!

Now, resuming our regularly-scheduled drivel. In addition to classroom teaching, I would often get involved with extra-curricular stuff like Open House. Here we are cleaning up after the Open House display. I'm the one on the cart with the white shirt. Quite a blast to be pushed, out of control, down a long hallway at top speed, not knowing if someone was about to turn the corner and get their ankles smashed or not.

I also helped out whenever I could with fund-raisers that the classes would run to raise money for Grad. This one came pretty close to crossing that invisible line though. That's my head sticking through a hole in a plastic-covered piece of cardboard (very thoughtful...they didn't want the cardboard getting all gooey). That's the bottom end of a "pie" just at moment of impact. The thing is, they didn't go for a light chiffon or whipped cream or something like that. Oh no! They got Food Services to mix up a HUGE vat of heavy pudding, then they'd load up ....did I say LOAD up a pie plate with the ammunition, and they were standing so close even I couldn't have missed. Not nice. Not nice at all! You may not be able to tell, but at the time of this little escapade, my hair was fairly long, and I had a perm. It was the thing in those days...get off my case!

But there was an upside to putting up with all this too. I usually got invited to their year-enders, which were often keg parties held out on somebody's uncle's farm. This particular one happened to fall on my birthday, and was the famous "Yukaflux Incident" that I wrote about a while back (right down at the end of the blog under "Best Party I've Ever Been To"). Ah yes, memories are made of this! (And BTW, as you can see, I was wearing hoodies long before they became stylish with today's crowd...such a trend-setter I am!!)

In what might seem a strange setup to many, I got my job teaching without really being "qualified" (i.e. certified) for it. At the time I started, NAIT was under the provincial gov'ts mandate, and I happened to work for the gov't putting together courses and training sessions when various dept's would request them. So it was just a transfer move. Having said that, they encouraged, and very much supported, people like me going all the way. So on a fine spring day in 1987, I became entitled to say that I was "Richard Cameron, Bachelor of Education with Distinction" or some such thing, as well as receiving a special certificate recognizing me as an expert in andragogy (sort of like a grown-up pedagogy...i.e. education for adults). Here's what I looked like in 1987. Personally, I think this is the best pic that has ever been taken of me.

I won't say much here about my days in Montreal (after failing at University and prior to coming to Edmonton), mostly because it'll take a number of entries, and will open up some still very tender wounds, so I want to tread a bit softly. But I will. The one thing I will say is that a bunch of us got in the habit of going up to Algonquin Park in Ontario for canoe and camping trips. Here I am one morning when the frost was heavy enough that these little guys couldn't get airborne. My schnoze warmed them up, and they took off not long after the picture was taken.

Well kids, I could keep going down memory lane all day, but I have a doctor's appointment this morning. I figger I better make that, so I'm outta here!

Catch ya on the rebound.


I love trips down memory lane! (Even when they're not my own memories... :)) Great pictures, too! Your old driveway reminds me of the driveway at my grandparents' house near Buffalo. They have a log cabin set back from the road, so they have a really long gravel driveway lined with trees.

I miss those tall leafy green trees -- the kind we had in the northeast. We don't have many trees like that in Texas. It must've been a great view to come home to every day. :)

Those pics of you are awesome!!!
I love the one with the butterflies on your nose!
Mr. Sexay in that 1987 grad picture!! Woo Hoo!!
You definitely suit a beard & moustache....noteveryone can pull that off you know:)
I would like to say that I noticed you were drinking Molsons Canadian beer in the pic with the crazy hat....good stuff:)
Oh & your high school grad pic, you are the guy that is second from the right in the front row.

Lisa: Yeah, the driveway sure was purdy...especially in the fall. Those are mostly maple trees with a sprinkling of birch, so we got the whole range of colours. It was a real bitch to shovel in the winter though!! Some winters the banks would be eight feet high and higher. (We actually had a little two-wheeled snowblower, but it still took forever to do!)

Mackey: Thanks for the vote of confidence, but just because I'm so totally anal, I have to make two teensey changes to what you said. It wasn't my high school grad photo...it was public school (i.e. Grade 8), but you picked me out correctly....what a total geek, eh? Secondly, although you're right that it is a Molson cup, I quite thoroughly hate the taste of ANY beer, so that's not what's in it. (The students had good taste though, huh?). The cup actually contains a heaping helping of left-over yukaflux juice (see the link I put in my post here if you want details on how that happened!).

I agree with you on the grad photo...well, maybe not sexy but I was a pretty good lookin' devil way back then wasn't I? Sadly, any attempt at beard or mustache (or even sideburns now) always comes up a scrawny grey. Oh sigh!

Oops sorry Rick...my bad. It does say your Gr8 grad...duh.
O.K. You do know I am blonde right??

You're awesome brother! And Butch looks absolutely content in that picture!

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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