Burton.. the giver


I had the amazing opportunity of being able to travel to Cape Breton this last week.  I have realized that my mindset and lense which I look through has changed in the last year or two.  Not only was I enjoying the great beauty around me, I was also looking for whose story is being told everywhere I was.

Even though I am still in Canada, Cape Breton Island is quite different from my little Saskatchewan.  I noticed many differences even within the culture of the people that reside there.  On this Island everyone, from everywhere, is accepted and loved.  We drove all over from Sydney, Judique, Wycocomagh, West Mabou, Baddeck, Fort Louisburg, and Ignoish.  If you notice from the names of the communities there is a representation of the settlers and the Idigenious people of the land.  There are signs all over that represent the Mi’kmaq, Gaelic, and French language.  Every place we went to, wether it was a hall, school or even a community center we would see representation of all cultures together.




Our first day, we met Burton MacIntyre, this man is so full of life and enthusiasm for other people.  He was a school teacher for 35 years, and you can tell he still appreciates the young people and is interested in helping them learn and thrive.  I immediately tought of my assignment in Social and decided that I would exchange myself to do something for him to hear some of his knowledge.  As I was talking to him he immediatley jumped up and said, “I will answer all your questions, as long as you take the time to dance with me!” I laughed and agreed.  This man is in his late 70’s and he danced for 3 hours straight not a word of a lie.

We xchanged ideas about teaching and children, what works and what doesn’t, little things about the people we will work with, and so on.  The most important thing he told me, was the importance to love the people we meet and to make sure we love what we are doing is what we need to keep at the forefront of our hearts.  I agree with him.  It was so refreshing, fun, and I have never felt so much joy with another stranger…

The following is a clip of burt (Burton) dancing for the kids…. while they are playing and taking part in a Celidh!  We call them a jam in saskatchewan..lol


citizenship flop or not?

So I believe that I had one of the most packed up weeks of my life.  I had friday off, but in kicked family duties and motherly roles.  I had dentist and doctor appointments that I had to run all over Saskatchewan for ( as I live in a village ).  This weekend was the Treaty Education conferance as well I had two live performances to be at.  One on Saturday night and the other on Sunday afternoon.

I was beating myself up as I wanted to help out my neighbor Hank and be able to visit with him.  It wasn’t until I realized that in doing the two performances/gigs, that I was giving of my own time and resources to help a group of young teens be able to raise money for their trip to Cape Breton.

I find that often in times we get caught up in the chaios of life and we are trying to juggle to many things in order to fufill obligations and commitments.  When it is in those times that we are actually engaging in our goals or purpose without be aware.

I believe that the goal in our social studies course is to become and engaged citizen, make a footprint, realize ways that we can be a better version of ourselves.  This weekend amidst the hurricane of duties and commitments I was being a good citizen to those around me that were in need of my service.  I was able to listen to the words of two elders on saturday that shared their story and their wisdom of life.

One thing that resonated with me from listening to the elders is that we need to focus on the positive.  We can not continually be blaming the past for where we are in life, but grab onto who and where we are today and hold onto the positives that we have now.IMG_2584Look at these beautiful faces! I feel that I have accomplished making a postive footprint this week!

my citizenship

To be honest I have become overwhelmed by the expectations as I sit and read through each syllabus.  When I find that I have been asked to complete an assignment that requires more time of my schedule, I ask where? where do I find more time.

I am travelling for classes, I have three kids, a husband, I teach music lessons (in order to bring home some sort of an income) All of these things take TIME!!

So how can I do any of these things well if I can’t put in the time to them?  This is my process as I am tring to think of a way to become an active individual in some sort of a social awareness that connects to treaty, curriculum, family, well being, and I can do well to recieve a passing mark.

So I sat down and wrote down the things I am not willing to give up to make this action happen.  I am NOT willing to give up more time with my children:


So the girls and I talked and we decided that one thing we have learned from treaty education and learning about the culture and tradition of the First Nations Peoples, is that they hold their elders as important individuals of society that impart wisdom, knowledge and they need to be cared for.

Our white society does not hold the same value towards elders and their important role of our well being.  So what does this mean and what can we do?

We are going to make a commitment to a few of the elders in our community maybe even one, named Hank Nickel.  He has been on my heart as he is quite elderly, and unable to move around.  I thought it would be wonderful to meet with him once a week and exchange my ability to help somewhere and ask if he would sit for tea and share his stories of life.

This would connect to the curriculum when exploring interactions and interdependance of nations, or even dynamic relationships.  Juxapose different communities, cultures, races, and their values and traditions.  What makes a society and where that society places their value within the people.

Sunday will be our day to set up times to go to tea and do something for an elder of our community.

Contribution to others learning!

Well, I feel that I was able to help only a little when it came to contributing to others learning.  The reason being that I was either working when people were posting questions or by the time I had seen the post or question it had already been answered by others. Overall I did the best that I could to help anyone out if I had the proper knowledge.

4 ways I was able to help out:


through twitter I would post educational information or resources that I found pertained to the class, but also that were some good tools for the classroom.



I feel that I love to share and chat so I always loved to be able to share my opinion in class as well as share with what our group had discussed.  It was really hard for me to be quiet when Katia would ask for someone to speak that doesn’t normally!

Google +

Google was great! I have had to use it for another class.  This was the place that was hard to help out on because others were so quick to respond! But I managed to get a few helpful tips out there!



I found that I was more encourageing with blogs, but I did feel that I had a moment of devils advocate on some certain topics pertaining to social activism. 😈

All in all this was a great experience and so much better to learn with an amazing group of people that helped me out in return!

Activism ONLINE….

This is something that I steer clear from… If there is one thing that I find irritating on facebook or online it is people posting there stance on a certain issue, whether it be political, religious, or even racial and then to see the banter that it creates for everyone to see.

After reading Katia’s post my point of view was altered a bit.  I still have a tension within my own life of what is worth posting and not.  If I can’t decide or if it feels to uncomfortable for me I tend to not post or react.

I have made a rule for myself to not get involved in any sort of banter online to deal with big issues, because I feel that my words are lost over the hundreds of other people that comment and in turn what has that accomplished?

I feel that if people are making educated posts, comments, and standing up for the right reasons that the activism can be positive and influential.  More times than not I feel like it becomes a boxing ring and a lot of people become inhuman and animal like in there attacks against each other.

This may be wrong of me, but I like to stay out of the lime light.

The perks to learning..

So during this online learning process, I have decided that I have both likes and dislikes.  I find that if I want a quick, cheap, and easy run down of how to learn something, the internet provides that opportunity.  If I want to truely master something, I feel that with my learning ability I would rather have face to face interaction to be able to have someone watch me and guide me on the spot.

Sometimes the internet is not a fast enough speed, or the connection is not great, so we end up waiting or missing things.

I also learned how it might be for someone in my class that has a different strength in learning.  Maybe some of them like the face to face interaction, but maybe some students prefer an online approach and the ability to self teach.

For my final learning project portion, I decided to play with a group of seasoned fiddle players (and one guitar player), to be able to enjoy what I have accomplished in a short amount of time.

I hope you enjoy the final product!


Helpful friends!


So this past week I had to chuckle while I was checking all my emails and Facebook and such.  I received a message from a friend in my kitchen party music friend circle.  It made me chuckle because it actually dawned on me that others were listening to my progress.  YIKES!! I guess it just became more of a reality to me!

So she was very encouraging and sent me some advice to help make my playing more relaxed to get a better feel.

Below is a message I received from my friend!  Thank you so much as this will help me to have a better bowing arm… I am very greatful for this way of learning because others can chip in to help in the process.



I decided not to record it, because it does sound really aweful! Spare your ears!


A new tune.. (Barlow Knife, I think I am too ambitious)

Okay so I decided to get adventurous again and try a new song that incorporated a new technique called droning.  This is a tricky technique that I have clearly not mastered yet.  I had fun learning from someone new.  Since I love to play by ear, I was able to just watch the video and pause and play as needed.  I learned from Laurel Parks.  She is a wonderful fiddle player.

I had to add some comic relief to this video because it is a bit hard to listen too.  Enjoy.

fine tuning …


So after being frustrated I decided to brush up on technique more than learning tunes.  So I found a few sites for bow hold, and hand placement.  These were more read through directions.  I wanted to see if I had an easier time understanding, or learning from reading directions instead of video learning.  Turns out that I hate it.

The instructions were very helpful, but I find that I like being told the directions instead of trying to figure out on my own with very little help.  I am starting to feel better than last week with my progress.  Turns out a little practice does help