Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A promise

The past few weeks he's been getting worse. Johnny (not his real name), a little boy in the primary grades, never really participated in music, but at least he'd sit off to the side quietly. I gave up trying to make him join in, because the more I'd encourage him, the more he would retreat. Recently, he's been getting more disruptive and his behaviour has been more and more defiant. Johnny, however, is not a typical kid acting up in music.

Just one look at him and how he behaves makes me wonder what life at home is like. Behaviour like this is not a little boy's natural response, that's for sure.

The last two weeks have been the most difficult. Whenever he is asked to do something, he refuses, and just starts muttering, "Hit me... hit me... hit me..." When the other children are waving purple and blue ribbons to look like waves and singing a bright little song, there is Johnny, trying to get in the way of the sticks the ribbons are attatched to so they will hit him, all the while muttering, "Hit me... hit me..." And when I asked him to move so that he was sitting against the wall and not underfoot? "Good, I can bang my head against it." I have heard him ask, to no-one in particular, "Do you want me to kill myself?"

This is a young, young child. That these words are even crossing his lips makes me want to cry.

I don't even know how to respond. I want to whisk him away to a place where he will be safe, where he will be loved. Where he is not afraid. But mostly I just want to cry for him. Jesus, you never meant for it to be like this. You never meant for a child to know such hurt that at eight years old he talks about killing himself. Kids are meant to be hugged and loved and taught to ride bikes and taken to the park to play and reassured that they are safe and nothing in the whole wide world can hurt them, because mommy and daddy are there. Sometimes I don't even know how to pray for him. What do you say? And why does God allow this?

I had Johnny in my class again today. "Hit me... hit me.... hit me...."

He was the last one out of the room today, and as his classmates followed their teacher back to their class, I crouched down, did my best to look him in the eye (he rarely makes eye contact), and took his little hands in mine. He held on.

"Johnny, I will never hit you. I don't want to hurt you. You are a good boy, and I like you. It makes me sad when you ask me to hit you. I will never hurt you. I promise."

He asked some question about the instruments that were behind me. I answered him, then told him again, "I will never hit you... Okay?" He looked at me and said ok as he ran off to catch up with his class.

I wonder if he saw the tears in my eyes.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Big Decisions

I have till Friday to make a huuuge decision, and I'm stumped.

'Tis the season for the teachers at my school to let the principal know if they are thinking about a change for next year - transfers, increases in time, reductions in time, change of grade levels, etc.

At the end of last year, I was so exhausted and was not feeling like I was doing a good job teaching music, and I swore high and low that this year would be my last. Even going back to school this past fall, I was feeling flat out of inspiration. Next year, I told myself, I will try to get into teh classroom. The only condition was that I didn't want to leave my school. I love love love it and all the people there.

As this school year has progressed, it's become public knowledge that there will be three openings in the English intermediate area for next year, which is almost unheard of at my school (everyone else loves it too, and once there, nobody ever wants to leave!). So the possibility of me moving to the classroom is a good one.

I just don't know if I want to.

This is my third year of teaching music. I started out not knowing anything (I majored in French!) and have gone to workshop after workshop, looked at book after book and learned via trial and lots of error. I'm nowhere near the kind of teacher I want to be, but every year gets easier and easier. I'm developing the program such that it's beginning to be consistent (each year, the grade 4's do this, the grade 5's do that ,etc). It's nice, because I go into each progressive year knowing more and more of the background of what the kids have learned the year before, and we can build on that. It's kind of fun, too, knowing every kid in the school. I feel like they're all "my kids." All 680 of them. Yipe. I don't usually have to deal with parents, and my report cards, while there are a lot of them, don't usually take me that long because they're nowhere near as involved. Another BIG plus is that I have less prep and marking than I would working full time as a classroom teacher. This has allowed me to actually have a life, something I'm enjoying very much.

But there are downsides, too. My voice suffers - I'm constantly losing it. It's exhausting, because it's such a "get up and move around" kind of class. I often say I feel like a performing monkey sometimes - I'm either leading singing, or teaching a dance, or trying to keep three groups of kids with instruments in time: "Ok, this group, you follow the rythm I'm doing with my feet. You - follow the rhythm I'm dong with my hands. And you guys, you follow what I'm doing with my mouth." I kid you not. I put on a pretty good show, I have to say! Classroom management is hard, too. The kids see it as a fun time where their regular teacher is not there, and so many tend to act up more than they would normally. It's really hard to follow through with discipline because I only see them once a week for 40 minutes. It's hard to say to an eight year old at 9:30 in the morning, "OK, Johnny, that's it, you've got a detention. Come see me at 3." Yeah right. And day to day consequences can't happen, because by the time I see them again a week later, it's no longer effective. I think the biggest downside is that I feel like because of my lack of formal training as a music teacher, I feel that as much as I want to, I can't give them the musical education they deserve. I go to all these workshops and see these amazing ideas, and I can impliment some of them, but I just don't have the skills to put it all together, and it's discouraging sometimes. It's like not being able to meet your own (probably too high) expectations.

Heading to the classroom would be great in a lot of ways. I'd be able to have my own group of kids, and get to know them on a much bette level than I do now. Right now kids are basically in three categories for me : kids who kick up a fuss in music, kids who are kinda quitet and just play along, and kids who are really talented or especially cute or like me particualry. That sounds terrible now that I write it out like that. I just don't get to know many of them on a level deep enough to see their individual strengths and personality. Being in a classroom would allow me to do that. I think my schedule would be a lot calmer, becuase there would actually be downtimes where the kids are working or whatever, and I wouldn't have to be "on" all day. I would be in control of my own schedule a lot more, instead of having other classes' field trips/projects/whatever interupting my program or switching up my schedule (which happens, it's no big deal, it's just that my schedule would be more my own). I would also get to teach things like art and science and French... all things I miss teaching now. I think overall, this is the better choice for me, except for one thing...

Heading to the classroom would be like starting from the beginning again. The first year of teaching is always tons of work. There's lots of prep, lots of marking, and while it gets easier the more years you do it, teaching is a job that can very easily take over a person's life. I enjoy having time to be involved at my church, or to take a class, or to hang out with friends and family. I've been really fortunate these last three years to be able to do that, and I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up. It might seem paradoxical, but I'm also worried that I'm lazy. I don't know if I would actaully DO the work involved to do a good job. The last thing I want to be is a crappy teacher who just does the bare minimum, takes forever to get kid's work marked and handed back, etc. When thinking about setting up a timetable or a schedule for my class, I feel so overwhelmed. What do I do? Were do I start?

I think when it comes right down to it, the biggest thing I'm worried about is the change: giving up my music program and starting over in something else. I'm also afraid of not knowing how to set boundaries so that I can have the balance between being well prepared and doing all the work required, but not letting it take over my life.

I'm honestly at such a loss. I wonder if the events of the last few weeks are telling me that it's time for a change, but then I was looking around my classroom this morning thinking about packing it up and moving on, and I just had no idea what to do. I eventually want to be in the classroom, and the opportunty is there for next year, but I don't know if I'm ready. I have till Friday to decide.

Anyone want to try to read into my (rather lenghty) ramblings and give me some insight? Cause I just don't know, and it's making me crazy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Reason # 137 why I love Rick Mercer

Have you seen the Capital One's "Hands in my pocket" ads on TV recently? They're advertising a low fee credit card and comparing it against other companies' higher rates. There's a catchy tune playing the phrase "hands in my pocket" over and over while people go about thier daily lives with a straight-faced, grey haired man in a suit following them around with, well, his hand in their pocket. My favourites are the guy getting dressed in the morning trying to figure out how to put on his pants with the suit dude attatched and the people playing tennis or jogging. Very fun.

Well, Rick Mercer, a Canadian comedian and genius satirist (is that even a word? ... a purveyor of satire), has created a spoof. Thanks for sending it my way, MD!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Call it a moment of weakness.

It's been a long time since he and I last met. We'd usually meet for breakfast, or sometimes we'd meet after work or for dinner, but we haven't spent any time together for over a year. Even so, I still run into him every few weeks. Usually I rush on by, doing my best not to think about him. Sometimes I pause for a brief second, wondering if I should give it another go. But no. He's one of those who just isn't good for me no matter how much I want him to be. It's just those eyes. They're the brightest, bluest eyes I've ever seen........No. It's not right. I try to convince myself of this and head on to more grown up, responsible choices.

I saw him again tonight. I met his eyes and I was filled with memories of how it used to be. But as sweet as he tasted on my lips, he never was one to be really deep. He wasn't fulfilling, but he was fun, sometimes nearly addicting.

I'll rationalize it by saying that I'd had a bad day (see below). I was tired. I just wanted something comforting, familiar. I almost walked on by again, but tonight I stopped, I reached out. I'm not proud of it. I guess I'm still a sucker for a man in uniform. He is a Captian, after all. Or should I say, a Cap'n.

His name, you ask?

Cap'n Crunch.

Why do I bother? *UPDATED*


Well, today I officially feel useless.

Before spring break, my grade seven students were all set and ready to perform the project they had been working on since January. It was the last week before spring break, and everybody knew performances were coming. The day before performance day, I found out by accident that one of the teachers had scheduled a last minute field trip to watch a basket ball game and HALF of my students would be gone. It totally screwed up everybody's performances, threw a major wrench in my evaluations and my ability to write report cards, and basically made me feel like the whole term was a big fat waste. The kids had been working for so long on their projects, for what? To not perform them? I was sooo glad that a basketball game was more important than three months worth of student's - and my - effort. Most kids ended up being able to perform, but only after some serious gymnastics with the schedule, and still there were some who just didn't get to do it. Mainly it left me feeling really undervalued.

Cut to spring break. I spent half the week stressing about how to write these report cards for the kids who didn't do their performances, how to work around kids who went on early holidays, etc etc etc. Many hours were spent tallying, writing comment bases, and making sure marks and comments were fair and accurate. I finally finished early this morning, after going to sleep around midnight and getting up at five just to get them done.

A quick explanatory note before I continue: For my intermediate students, I give letter grades every term, but only give comments once. I sent out a note to all teachers about six weeks ago telling them who would be getting comments when and to get back to me if there were problems, because I evaluate things differently if I have to make comments (ie. not just a test score, but what sections they did well on and what sections they had trouble with). It takes way more time to evaluate a class I'm commenting on than one I'm not.

So this morning I handed the results of all that work to a few of the teachers, and I was met with, "Oh, we don't have room on our report cards for comments this term."

It doesn't happen often, but I was speechless. Whaaaa????

What about all that work I just put in, missing a good friend's birthday party in the process? What about the note I sent out asking if you had any problems with getting your comments this term? What about the fact that THIS project that we just finished is the major project for the year and is what needs to be reported on?

The response? "Oh yeah, I got that note a long time ago, but I forgot. Aw, and nobody reads those comments anyway." This was the same teacher who told me before the break to just make up marks for the kids who didn't do their performances.

I wanted to scream. And cry.

I'm so glad I bust my ass every day trying to do the best I can, trying to be fair, trying to do my job properly just to be told that nothing I do really matters anyways. I mean, of course it DOES, which is what makes me so mad, but when I keep comming up against comments and situations like this, I really see how teachers can start to get apathetic.

SIGH. I don't even know if I'm coherent spilling this all out, just all I could think of today is why do I even bother??? Ugh.

After a few of the comments I got on this post, I realized I had to clarify a few things. First of all, this post was written in a moment of frustration. I considered taking it down, or changing it, but decided to keep it as is, whith the explanation that blog entries sometimes are "in the moment" type writing. Things have since worked out - they always do. This post was written in reaction to how I was feeling about my colleague's remarks.

Now, a word about my colleague. This person is an excellent, dedicated, caring teacher. We don't always see eye to eye, but this is a person from whom I can learn a lot. I'm not excusing what this person said, because it was insensitive and frankly made me feel like crap. But nobody is perfect. I still smart a little from the remarks and just the whole situation in general, but life carries on, and I hold no grudge against this teacher.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Good news!

Ding dong, that rat is gone! The exterminators came on Monday while I was at work, yippee!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cursing my high school chemistry teacher

After I got back from my mini vacation this past week (where I did a whole load of nothing - more on that in a future post), I went hog wild with some spring cleaning. One of the items on my list was to clean out my outdoor storage room, a big part of which involved taking my built-up piles of recycling down to the depot. It had been waaay longer than usual since I had done a recycling run, and my bins were filling up. So long, in fact, that the room was getting a little smelly. [Insert embarrassed look here] *

Anyway, Friday morning I woke up at 6am. I'm on holidays for heaven's sake! Why can't I just sleep in??? I had to be up shortly after for my hair appointment, so I figured I'd just get up and get some stuff done. So by 6:30 am I was in my storage room sorting jars and tins and plastic containers into garbage bags. It took way longer than normal because of how quietly I had to do it! I like me neighbours, and they like me. Jars and tin cans clanging around at 6:30 in the morning would not keep that situation stable for long.

When I was about half way through the sort (and had moved enough stuff out of the way to actually SEE the back of the storage room), I made a discovery.

It wasn't the recycling that was starting to smell.

Way back in the shadowy corner of my storage room was a rectangular piece of wood. Underneath the wood was a furry lifeless lump with a looooong skinny tail. A RAT!!! It had been caught in a trap I didn't even know was there and had been there for I-don't-know-how-long. Long enough to start to stink.


Utterly grossed out, I raced out into the fresh air, gulping it in in a desperate attempt to remove rotting rat stink from my nostrils. It was right about then that I began cursing my high school chemistry teacher for teaching us that odours are actually little particles of the real thing that we breathe in.

But, the show must go on, right? I tried to go back in and finish the job. Mind over matter, right? Well it was gag reflex over mind for me. I wretched every time I tried to walk back in the door. It wasn't bad when I thought it was mildly stinky recycling I was smelling, but as soon as I knew I had rotting rat chunks flying up my nose, I just couldn't handle it.

I ended up taking a scarf and wrapping it around my nose and mouth about four times then holding my breath while I sssllloooowwwllllyyyy lowered items into the bags. It's a good thing I was doing this so early, cause if anyone saw me, they would have thought I was a lunatic.

I wrote a note for my landlords right away, which they didn't see till Saturday morning (I wasn't about to call them that early in the morning, and I was out all day after that). They gave me the number of the exterminator, who I promptly called. He told me it would be Wednesday before they could come out, only after swearing at me, asking why I didn't call sooner cause they just had a guy out in my area earlier that day. What the??? No way was I going to wait four days to have this rotting carcass removed. Blech! I told them as much and so supposedly they'll come Monday to come get it. **

But now? It's Sunday night and I just got home and the rotting rat stink is starting to creep into my suite. Just barely, and I only caught a slight whiff when I walked in the door, but still! I think I"m gonna cry. Those guys had BETTER be here tomorrow!


* Yes, we have home pickup here, but the official bins are kept in my landlord's part of the house and only come out the evening before or day of pickup. I'm never organized enough to know what day it is or to get my stuff out there. The depot is close by, so I don't mind doing it that way.
** I could just grab a bag and take it way, yes, but it's GROSS, and my landlords have paid the company for a one year contract, so they may as well do it.

Friday, March 17, 2006


It's about time!

First of all... I have to make a public apology.

You know how sometimes when you're used to something, you don't realize how bad it really is? Kinda like a bad smell. After a while, you don't really notice it. But if you're just passing by, you screw up your face, wave your hand past your nose a few times, plug it, and try not to gag.

Well, that bad smell was my hair. Um, not that my hair smelled bad. It just looked bad. And I mean, B-A-D. Time for an admission here: it has been two full years since I got my hair cut. *shame, shame!* If you're brave, click here for a "before picture", and try not to gag! (Ew, I can't believe I posted that! Deer in headlights, anyone? Fear not: I never actually WORE my hair like that - it's been coralled in a ponytail for the last six months. YAWN.)

Ladies, you'll understand, at least a little bit: my hairdresser, Jenny - a gal who I've known since I was born and who is a fabulous hairdresser - moved away. I know, I know, the guys go, "So WHAT? Go to someone new!" But it's just not that simple! It's so hard to replace a hairdresser! For one, you have to start all over with the "get-to-know-you" chit chat. With Jenny, as soon as I walked in, she'd be asking me for an update about something we had talked about last visit. It's SO about the yak-factor when you're getting your hair done. Plus, she knows my hair (which sometimes has a personality of it's own!). I can say, "Yeah, I liked it last time, do that again" and she knows what I'm talking about. Plus, she's just cool! It was like some of her coolness rubbed off onto me! Ha!

But alas, she now lives in a land far, far away, and, when paired with the gigantic task of finding a new sylist, finding the time for an appointment - I was there for over two hours today - and finding the pennies for a silly haircut - I sure envy the $8 barber shop cuts some of you guys can get. I tried the "Supercuts" $10 haircut once. Never again. - it just kept getting put on the back burner. Mom finally had enough and gave me a gift certificate to her stylist for my birthday to cover a part of the cost. Now I had a stylist, spring break, and some money - no more excuses!

So, off I went today, apprehensively trying out a new hairdresser... She was alright. But she didn't TALK! Who ever heard of a non-talkative hairdresser?!?! Weird. Anyway, it was only after I got home with my new hiarcut - which by the way, turned a few heads as I was walking through the market nearby, go me! - looking at the "before" pictures that I realized how HIDEOUS my hair had gotten!!! Funny how just a simple thing like a hiarcut makes a gal feel SO different! This is my solemn vow to you: I will NEVER go that long without a haircut again!

So here ya go, the new me, yippee!

Dumb blogger!

No no, I haven't banned you! You are always welcome here (and so are your comments, wink wink nudge nudge!). Dumblogger was down again for a looong time and was spreadnig evil nasty lies that you were forbidden to see my blog! Verboten?!?! Never!

Welcome, or welcome back, as the case may be! You are always appreciated here. Unless you're a Meanie McNastypants. Then go away. But the rest of you (and *ahem* your comments *ahem*)... you may stay! :D

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I got smacked!

A while back I submitted my blog to "I talk 2 much" for a review. They give out smacks as a rating system, but if they don't like your blog, you might get negative smacks, boots, or even rotten fish. I got three smacks (out of five), which was better than I was expecting! That's the secret, folks, aim low and you'll be satisfied! ;)

Their main critiques:

- My title is too long. Yep, I know it's long, but it says what I want to say about how I feel about my life. That one's staying. If you want to shorten it for a blog roll or something, it can be shortened to "Crazy Beautiful Life" or something like that.
- I had some random stuff in my sidebar, like the name of an old renter above the "Rent My Blog" box. That's gone, and I'll be cleaning up my sidebar some more later in the week when I get back from my mini-holiday.
- They told me I need to shorten my blogroll. I've been meaning to do that, and I'll try to figure out how to put it in a drop down box once I get back from vacation.
- They called my template boring, which it is, and relaxing, which is what I was going for. Yay! It was my first foray into HTML, so I was pretty happy to have figured out how to change colours, borders, formatting, etc. I know, I know, not rocket science, but I'm just learning! :P
- They mentioned my Amazing Race review - which I've done once and not again cause I can't stay awake long enough to see the end of it (I'm dozing by quarter to eleven, no matter how hard I try) and really, I have nothing to say about the show. I like it, I watch it when I can, but I'm no reviewer. *shakes head for even trying*

But all in all, not a bad review. *Grin*

Friday, March 10, 2006


This is the best morning!

I woke up this morning with a grin on my face, because I just have four hours of work ahead of me and then it's spring break. My grin turned to glee when I looked outside and saw this:

This is Vancovuer. In March. What the heck?

I don't care that everybody else hates the snow. I love it!!! It makes me happy. In fact, when I saw it I clapped my hands and did a little squeal. EEEEEE! And (of course) grabbed my camera to take a picture.

Hip hip hooray! Today is going to be a lovely day! :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Friday can't come soon enough

I almost threw up my hands and quit today. I am feeling so overwhelmed, and then the way this week is shaping up, it's just about pushing me over the edge.

Report cards are upon us again, so that means lots of last minute testing and long nights of marking, tallying, and totalling. This is the last week before Spring Break, and so the pressure's on. All this week, the kids are polishing and performing their routines, taking quizzes, and handing in projects. It's do or die time, with no room for error because there's no time left for extensions or excuses.

So, in I walk to my class on Monday, ready for a full day of testing all my classes. I didn't even get through the first period before the principal called me: "Hillary, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to take you out of your classes today to cover Mrs K's grade two class. The district is out of subs again."


The school board has a ridiculous shortage of teachers-on-call (substitutes). At least twice a week at my school alone somebody calls in for a sub and there ends up being nobody assigned. They end up using a special ed, resource, or English as a second language teacher to cover the class, which means that the kids who need the most support don't get it for that day. Or, they pull a specialty teacher (me) out of their classes for the day, which means the kids miss out on their music class and the classroom teacher misses their prep time for that week. It's not a good scene.

So I got yanked out of my classes Monday, which means, guess what? No tests. No tests equal no marks. Kinda hard to write report cards with no (or very few) marks. Luckily the classroom teachers were able to give the written part of the tests during the time they were supposed to have music, but the playing part of the tests had to go down the tube.

Fast forward to today. I had one more class first period that had to do their test. They were supposed to take the written part of it last week with the substitute when I was away, but - SURPRISE! - they ran out of subs that day, too, so my music classes got cancelled. I was going to cram the two parts into today's class, but just as the kids were settling in, the announcement came over the PA: "Would all grade 4, 5, and 6 classes now please make their way down to the gym for the electrical safety assembly." Wheee. Guess what grade my class was??? Somehow I had missed today's assembly in the staff calendar. Whoopie. No marks for them, either.

At recess, I asked two of the grade seven teachers to please remind their kids to bring all their props/instruments for their performances tomorrow. The kids have been working for about six weeks on a Stomp routine, and this week is performance week. My request was met with the announcement that a whole swack of kids would be away the morning of their performances to go watch the BC Boys Basketball Championships. Super. Just when are they going to perform? And how am I supposed to mark them? If they miss the performance, the last 6 weeks has just been a big waste of time. After some crazy fanangling, we were able to swap some kids around and shuffle others to a different day, and I THINK it's going to work, but wow, is it ever frustrating to have every single attemptat evaluationg my kids thwarted in some way thios week. (Not to mention that I'm sure feeling low on everybody's list of priorities!)

Add to that some extrememely wingy kids (they're just as ready for Spring Break as I am) and a kindergarten girl who had a temper tantrum and ran away not once but twice in one fourty minute period, and you see why this post is waaay longer than I intended it to be.

Two and a half more days... two and a half more days... two and a half more days...

Thursday, March 02, 2006


And rave. And stomp my feet.


Thus ends my rant. And my horribly long run-on sentence.

PS... Go check out my new renter! I haven't had one in a while. Look right... see that lovely button with sunflowers on it? That's My So Called Ramblings. She's a fun read, go check her out!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Amazing Race Wednesdays

"Dan, we're just gonna have to get dirty." -- "Are you kidding?"

And they're off! The Amazing Race has begun for another season. I got hooked last season two seasons ago (wow, I totally missed the "family edition"), so thought I'd start a discussion board this season for you wonderful folks to chatter about the show!

Some first impressions:

- BJ and Tyler: oh my. After originally thinking they were nuts, I grew to like their kookiness! Not so sure about the orange ruffles, though! :) What was that that one of them said in the helicopter? "Holey Shamolies" or something? Tee hee, that's totally something I would say!
- Eric and Jeremy: Even with girls on the brain ("Were they a mother and daughter, or two hot girls with big b00bs?" "Yeah, we've got to meet them first change we get"), they managed to come in first. Meh.
- Lisa and Joni: the "glamazons." Ha ha, I love it! I'm glad they didn't lose, even if they didn't know there is a difference between Spanish and Portuguese. What the?
- Ray and Yolanda: I was worried for them when she said that they had been dating for years entirely long distance. Yikes... the first time spending ny long period of time together is the Amazing Race?!?! They seemed to get on pretty well. (And I had to laugh at Ray glaring the Brazilians who were catcalling every time Yolanda bent down to work on that bike.)
- Fran and Barry - Oh, I felt sooo bad for them running past that cluebox on the bridge a gazillion times. ARG! I was nearly shouting at the TV, "It's RIGHT THERE!!! LOOK!!!!" I'm glad they made it through, too.
- Dani and Danielle: You have to know that the first line out of a duo dressed entirely in hot pink would be, "I need some makeup and a brush!" For heaven's sake, chickies, the race is like 15 minutes old, and already you're craving your makeup? I'd love to see those two on Survivor. BUT, points to them for dissing the 'frat boys.' *snicker*
- John and Scott: I'm sorry - you get out of your cab in the middle of Sao Paulo, not knowing where to go, not speaking the language, and just start shouting stuff in English to the locals? (Shouting doesn't help them understand you any better, people) AND you spend all your time fighting instead of going somewhere? Yep, that's a recipe for disaster. Buh bye.
- Lake and Michelle: Gee, who's this season's villain? W.O.W. Lake is a serious jerk. And what's with his obsession about "the black people?" Hopefully at least he learned to read the clues before continuing. Neener neener!
- Wanda and Desiree: they seemed to do pretty well. I thought they were in for it, but they work together pretty well.
- That other couple... oh yeah... who were they again? Joseph and Monica - but I only knew that cause I looked them up on the website. Was it just me, or did these two seem invisible this episode? Maybe there were just so many other colourful characters, I dunno.
- THE NERDS! Dave and Lori: I think they're my favourite (gee, could it be cause I'm a nerdball at heart, too?) They just seem so fun, don't care what others thing, and - gasp! - actually get along! I'm rooting for them!

What was your favourite moment? Who do you predict will win? Who do you want to snark about? Discuss!