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'99-'00 Short Prose Collection

I found a bunch of (some handwritten, some not) papers the other day and when I read a few of them I shouted, "Treasure!" I didn't even know that I should have been looking for these, but I'm really glad I found them. I'm tempted to reopen "A View from the Solarium" for this page and others like it, but I'm going to restrain myself.

I wrote most of these reflections for my Grade 12 English teacher Mr. Saunders during my Returning Grad year at CPA. They're right on the dividing line between "mindless hack" and "thoughtful writing." Some of these are funny, and some of these are serious. I think you'll enjoy these in contrast to my earliest as well as my latest writing.


About me...
This Time Next Year...
A Muse on the Cafeteria
People Who Are Important to Me
The Next Millennium...
What should Canadians remember on Remembrance Day?
The Desire for Sleep
An Argument that Educators can be quite Mistaken about a lot of Things
Donnie (read this, it's funny)

About me...
(Assignment #1 for Mr. Saunders) handwritten
(I probably had to write my name and phone number and a few paragraphs about myself.)

            About me... For starters, I am a person who is quite tired of writing introductions to all my teachers, so I am someone who lacks the creative energy to write a small essay about something that I believe should really be in the form of a list with blanks to fill in.
            My friend Cortney Oland says she got to know me as 'humorous, nervous Will.' I suppose that's as good a way to summarize my very existence, everything I am, have ever been, and ever will be... into three words as any.
            I'm nearsighted, and even with my glasses, I find your projector hard on the eyes. I hope to get contact lenses someday. I'm afraid I'll get cataracts because I don't wear sunglasses very often.
            I hope to marry a nice woman... well actually I already know who, and she lives in PEI and quite frankly it is none of your business. =) [Ed - I've LONG since given that up. =)]
            As for a school subject... well I suppose I should be getting to like English 12 now, I am taking it for the third time, after all. I really want to get that 70%... so hopefully this will be the semester I try everything and get burnt out. Of course. FIN

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This Time Next Year...
(Reflection #1 for Mr. Saunders) typed 5/5
(I probably had to write about where I thought I'd be at that time the following year.)

            This time next year I hope to be a lot of things. But different would suffice for me. Just to be different, to have learned and achieved something would be enough for me. Well, actually, it wouldn’t be… I’ve just learned and experienced that the Animated Paper Clip Critter in Microsoft Word 2000 is really kind of cute, but learning that won’t change my life very much.

            I guess the easiest and most sensible way to outline my feelings on this subject would be to compare them to the way I feel now about different things in my life. For starters, there’ the things I tell my mom. Not that she’s much of a listener… she means well, but she has a fairly short attention span. However, she does like to hear some things I tell her, especially if it’s about my teachers. So when she comes back from Sherbrooke on Wednesday, I’ll tell her about my dyslexic English teacher. =) Hopefully it’ll go over as well as the stories about my drunk Drama teacher, then my deaf Drama teacher. Of course it’s all a joke, Mr. Zinck is the best Drama teacher any class could ever have (in my opinion), at least better than “the Witch”. Well, at any rate, it’s just something I told someone. But those experiences make up a good portion of my memories, and I hope to have more good ones by this time next year. (I shall leave “The Infamous Exploding Whale” alone until the next Reflection…)

            I also hope that I’ll be well on my way to becoming a journalist by this time next year. Not that I’d be very good or anything, but I wonder if that’s necessary for a two-inch sound (or is it print?) byte. And if I got my dream job working at the National Enquirer, writing the stories under a pen name (of course) and writing epic contemporary fantasy novels on the side, I wouldn’t much care. Then again, maybe I’d be working for a magazine… maybe a video game magazine, I’d love that. Heck, maybe that should be my dream job. In any case, by this time next year, I will (hopefully) be in my Introductory Year at King’s College at Dalhousie taking Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Honours). But enough of that. [Ed - As you can see, I just became a run-of-the-mill loser SMU student.]

            Most of all, I hope to have written something, finishing any one of my projects that I set out to do. For starters, there’s “Sages of Time” which badly needs to be finished, and of course my guide to Xenogears, an awesome Role-Playing Game for the Sony PlayStation. I’d love to get a contemporary fantasy novel written, but I doubt I have the time. Or perhaps I just procrastinate. I notice this year, more often than most years, that updates to people’s websites are delayed, people are always missing deadlines, things never get done… maybe it’s because of something in the year. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, I really want to get out of this deep creative funk I’m in… I need to accomplish something! That’s the thing I hope for most, especially because when I get to King’s College, I really won’t have time.

            By this time next year, I won’t be able to hang around here at CPA anymore. There’s still some things I’m privileged to do now, such as getting to go to Grade 10 Karaoke tomorrow (as you read this) night, that normal Returning Grads don’t normally do. I’ve really grown to like this place, and if I really hated it, I would have just hung onto my stupid diploma and taken up panhandling to sustain myself. But then, I wouldn’t get a girlfriend, and I’d be dirt poor. So here I am at CPA. Am I here just to find a girlfriend? Perhaps I am. My math mark is improving, to say the least.

            By this time next year, I’ll need to finally learn the lesson that I need to write down my ideas as they come to me. I loose so many of them, and they all seemed so good at the time… it’s so very very tragic. I had so many great ideas just for this reflection and I lost more than half of them. If I want to put a message into this particular bit of writing, this should be it. I had everything in my mind, the greatest beginning, the greatest ending… all lost. I could almost cry really.

William Matheson
English 12
Mr. “Colonel” Saunders

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A Muse on the Cafeteria
(Reflection #2 for Mr. Saunders) handwritten 4/5

            Why are we here? Because we have to be. Well, not quite... someone like me could roam the halls for eighty minutes straight and no one would say a word, but that's me. [Ed - It was sort of mandatory that people had to stay in the cafeteria for their free periods, but the rule wasn't enforced at the time.]
            We're also in here because it's freezing outside. Oh, it it ever cold out there. It was so cold at the bus stop this morning that we couldn't tell what we were saying to each other because our words kept freezing in mid-air. But these details are beside the point, we are all simply here.
            A small crowd today, a few people have decided to brave the elements and smoke a cigarette outside. Later they come back, and then they leave again.
            There is the girl I have a crush on. I really wish she'd keep better company, a good portion of her friends hate me, and they're quite the jerks in the first place. But then I shouldn't be making comments like that about other people, regardless of what they say to me.
            Then there are my new friends, people I didn't know until just a few weeks ago. They're nice to me and fun to talk to, but now they've all gone outside.
            And here I am, alone. An oft-ridiculed returning grad with few friends and fewer good friends who wishes he could get a job so he'd have money for food. Someone who is liked enough by most people, but still an outcast. Someone who had a great idea for an English reflection but couldn't put it into words and so it must be saved for later.
            I just realized, there are so few people here I actually know. And none of us strangers are really paying much attention to each other, and I have know way of knowing if there is a fellow Paul Simon fan here, somewhere in... The Gallery of Souls.
            I need to work on my 'reflective / cryptic' writing. As 'Calvin' of 'Calvin and Hobbes' put it, "I realize that the purpose of writing is to obscure poor reasoning and inhibit clarity... with a little practice, writing can become a total and impenetratable fog." I think I did a good job here in that regard.

Comments: good reflection

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People Who Are Important to Me
(Reflection #3 for Mr. Saunders) handwritten 3.5/5
(I probably had to write about people who were important to me.)

            I have no idea who is important to me. Casually, I would say that everyone is important to me, because I believe that is the truth. Everyone is at the center of their own universes, and everyone they meet and get to know makes up a small or large part of the tapestry that is everything around them. I sure can't think of a better analogy.

            Within my little visualization, there is room for people to be more or less important. So as not to play favorites, I am going to pick two people from out of the blue and talk about them:

            First, I'll talk about Mrs. Rossong, because she deserves a mention somewhere in something I write. =) Looking back, I can see that I kind of wasted that time slot for English 12 academically, but I'm glad I was there. Mrs. Rossong was/is very kind to me and has always tried to understand me in a way, which I don't suppose is very easy. I am by no means saying that she is the only teacher that does these things, but her name popped to my mind because I had a bad crush on a girl in her class named Gemma Scott and she kind of noticed. Anway, I'll never forget some of the things said in that class, and I'm glad I had the chance to be in her class, even if it was by failing Mr. Milligan's class. [Ed - I got less than 70%, which is about as good as failing.]

            A good second person to mention would be Katrina Boyce, who is currently in my law class now. She sends me e-mail all the time saying how she respects and agrees with what I say in class, she says she's too shy to speak up herself but I can't see her as being a shy person. Anyway, she supplies a kind word and smile that helps me get through a crappy day. She's really smart and a hard worker, so it is quite likely she'll go places.

            Ending, these are just two individual people who contribute in some small but crucial and important way to my life, and without them, my life would not be as enriched. I believe that alone makes them people who are I portant... I mean, IMPORTANT to me.

- William

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(Reflection #4? for Mr. Saunders) handwritten 2.5/5
(I probably had to write about an imaginary contest.)

            Are you at least eighteen years old?
            Does the prospect of going on a week-long trip to Quebec to celebrate your graduation with all your friends in a setting where there are no parents or teachers and you can get tanked, wasted, and/or laid as much as you want excite you?
            More so if it was all free?

            Then LOOK NO FURTHER!! Enter the Labbatt "Out of the Blue Nuit / Get Tanked In Quebec" Contest, brought to you by the Labbatt Breweries Underage Drinking Program and the Durex Condoms Young Adult Sex Promotion Program and a big guy named 'Vinny.' (Do exactly what he says.) Simply collect six proofs of purchase from the 'Labbatt two-four' crates, plus one hundred twenty-eight proofs of purchase from the 'Durex Condoms Singles Packs,' or call 1-800-255-3700 and answer the simple skill-testing question (2+3) correctly for no-purchase entry.

            Prize includes: Air fare for you and nice of your friends; hotel accomodations; all-inclusive food, liquor, fake ID's; condoms; $17,000 spending money (-$15,000 earmarked for 'Vinny'), guidebook to the best strip joints in the vacation area... all brought to you by our gold sponsor, "Charles P. Allen High School Student's Council" ... our all-time best customers to boot!

Comments: I think your content is inappropriate and shows lack of thought!

[Ed - I think I had a funny idea to start from, but this 'reflection' is too mean-spirited. I wrote against underage drinking because I was never notified of any parties. I wrote against teenage sex because I wasn't having any. I wrote against the Québec Trip because everyone else was going on it with their friends and I wasn't and I didn't even have any friends. However, I do take offense to being told I've shown lack of thought - great lines like "Out of the Blue Nuit" don't come "Out of the Blue."]

After this I think Mr. Saunders said something like, "There's this thing called a word processor, Will," and so the remainder of my reflections were typed (and I got much better marks).

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The Next Millennium...
(Reflection #5? for Mr. Saunders) typed ?/5
(I probably had to write about the next millennium.)

Let's get one thing straight, people. The third millennium will begin on January 1st, 2001 at 12:00am, and not a moment before!

A lot of people know this, of course, in the same way that everyone knows that Pro Wrestling is all faked, and yet no one seems to care. At first, though, people were publicly saying that the new millennium wasn't going to begin until 2001, that the year 2000 was the tenth and final year of the tenth and final decade of the tenth and final century of the second millennium. (Sixth if you're a fundamentalist Christian) And people actually listened. But now the popular media, always catering to the most ignorant of laypersons, has been equating the year 2000 with the new millennium for most of 1999. This is outrageous. Although this whole issue is, admittedly, kind of inconsequential, imagine what important details those braindead people must mangle up if they can't even handle a simple thing like this.

But this is getting off topic. I am here to write about the new millennium. Let me tell you, I sincerely hope that we're going to wake up soon and find ourselves in the Age of Aquarius. But as to the New Year’s Eve celebrations before we hit the last year of this new millennium, I could not possibly care less. If I'm as lucky as I hope to be, I will be cleaning my refrigerator. Or there are two other possibilities: I could be in Souris, PEI and Aunt Shirley and Uncle Shane and I would play Trivial Pursuit or something and then sip some eggnog, or perhaps I might be working at Sobey's. Sadly, though, I don't have the enthusiasm for this momentous moment in time that people like my friend Kimmy Comeau would... =) In her words: "Oh, I'll be there dancing and drinking and drinking and drinking..." Well, I hope she has fun.

It occurs to me as I write this that I have much more to say about the dawning of the year 2000 than I do about the actual third millennium itself. So what do I expect for the third millennium? I'm hoping for more of the same: Our society becoming more and more liberal and more naysayers saying that we're all going to hell in a handbasket; and boy, if you tried that back in the day, then... I hope things continue this way because really when you think about it, things are going pretty darned good, and (usually) trying to get better in the places where they are not. But at the same time, I believe we should hang on to some old-fashioned customs, like small tows and friendly people and crown corporations and government-owned schools and school busses. There is definitely some progress I do *not* want to see, and I think the woman from the ever-out-of-touch school board put it best this morning on the CJCH Hotline when she said:

"Back in the past, children would listen to the radio waiting to hear if their school had been cancelled, and if it was, they'd just roll over and go to sleep. But this is 1999. We can't do things like they did back then because of our new society and 1990's sensibilities."

Frag, if this is progress, send me back to the 1980's. I really think she nailed down her own coffin lid, making a comment like that.

Anyhow, in conclusion, it must be said that I look forward to the next millennium... hoping that it will be somewhat more of the same. At least I won't be going to CPA anymore.

- William Matheson
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What should Canadians remember on Remembrance Day?
(Reflection #6 for Mr. Saunders) typed 5/5
(I probably had to write about what Canadians should remember on Remembrance Day.)

What should Canadians remember on Remembrance Day? I believe that we should all remember that at some level, we're all lucky to be alive in a world such as this. Reading the 'Nazi Planet' stuff of science fiction will quickly drive this point home for anyone.

What's sad, of course, is that many many people fought and died so that we *could* live in a world where war in the Americas and Western Europe is just a memory, and where conscription and rationing are far behind us, and where instead of serving in the military and fighting wars as the teenagers in Israel do, Canadian students are writing essays to their English teachers about the horrors of it.

It's 7:45pm on this Remembrance Day, and as I'm creating this essay I am reminded that this year there has been a switch from one minute of silence to two, which I observed earlier at 11:11am. But why the switch? They said at school that it was because a long time ago it was always two minutes and that they wanted to reinstate the old custom; reasoning that sounded good to me. But my afternoon bus driver, Wendall, tells me that it's just because of the upcoming New Millennium that we're only 14 months away from. Does that sound tacky to you too? There's enough Millennium insanity as is without having to exploit our veterans and victims of war to put more hoopla into the mix. I didn't mind standing silent for two minutes, it's really the very least I could do, but I'd like to think it was for the reason given to me at the school assembly.

Speaking of school, I wonder why we have the day off. This is not to say I don't enjoy having the day off, but I don't think that we should be benefiting from the labours of our ancestors in this fashion. People don't use this day just to rest their plowshares, they go on a vacation! Thousands of workers have arranged to take tomorrow off, and it's a safe bet that a good many CPA students will cut classes tomorrow because it's a school day between holidays. I think a much more meaningful way to observe Remembrance Day would be to stop everything for two minutes at 11:11am in each successive time zone. Everything. (Well, except perhaps the paramedics and fire fighters...) Then we could have our holiday on the next weekend if we needed one that badly. The dead do not care for our bread and circuses, and I have noticed over the years that the weather on November the eleventh is not usually bright and cherry. Just gray.

I remembered quite a few things on this day... I got my résumé topped off with some supremely excellent character references, and I also scraped all the ice and snow off the deck and I remembered to write this essay. Stopping for two minutes really was the very very least I could have done, and I'm happy I did. But I was watching images from the war on the TV, and I think my imagination would have been a much better substitute. I wasn't alive for any real wars besides the Gulf War, but I imagine I could 'remember' enough vicarious experience to fill a lifetime. I'm never sure why we even needed to fight a war because a Serf shot an Arch Duke someplace, but by the virtue that so many gave their lives over it, it must be worth remembering. Unlike religion, I wouldn't ever question it.

- William Matheson
Comments: Excellent ideas - a [bit?] rambling

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(Reflection #7 for Mr. Saunders) typed 5/5

Have you ever just been really really tired for several days in a row? Well, I have, and being rudely awakened by my cruel English teacher didn't get me any more alert. I'm talking about...

The Desire for Sleep

Tonight I came home from school and I SLEPT. Last night I did the same thing... I'm keeping odd hours as of late, defined as taking afternoon naps. Do other people do this? Okay, okay... I *know* my grandmother does, but what about people my age?

It's not like I don't get enough sleep at night; I always go to bed around midnight and get up again at six. But lately I've been having trouble getting up, and when I'm at school, confronted by an English class where everyone else but me is having nice conversations with their friends about anything but English, and we're working on a play I've already studied... I want to sleep! Is that so much to ask?!

Apparently, my grade 10 semester 1 math teacher (Foster Lyne) thought so. I'd like nod off for five minutes and he'd yell and shout at me and get me to stand up by the door. What an idiot. I tried drawing and writing stories, but he made me sit up near the front of the class where he could see what I was 'working' on. In the end I just got used to copying down everything he wrote on the projector but not actually understanding any of it. I did understand it, back at the beginning of the semester, but suffice it to say that his class totally drained out my motivation to do anything (what little there was) and it's taken three years to get it back. Oh, and getting expelled in the second term next semester didn't help matters either, but that is another story for another time. Anyway, the bitch of his class was that for all that torture I only got a 16. (On the upside, he was really not such a bad guy and he fed us bread a couple of times.) Not that I deserved any more than that for my actual work, but seeing that my mom made me go to extra help and that she spent like three dozen nights lording over me in the Dining Room trying to do math when I bloody frigging well didn't want to, I should get something for that.

Arggh... don't get me started on my mother. She means well, but she's got all the self-righteousness and neuroses on the planet and if someone sees something differently, get ready for a fight. It's not the fact that she has the neuroses that bothers me, it's that she defends each and every one with arrogance. And she is bigoted against everyone different from her, in lifestyle if not in skin color. But this again is another story.

Okay, so back to sleep. Zzzzzzz... oh wait, back to the topic! Anyway, when I go to sleep, I tend to wake up even more fatigued than I was when I fell asleep. Since this has been happening in a vicious cycle all this week, I expect by tomorrow I'll just lapse into a coma. Won't that be fun, Mr. Saunders, when you try to wake me up and I don't move and have a very low pulse? Haha... well at least I think it would be somewhat amusing. Just don't bury me alive or anything because that's a really crappy way to die.

There was another class I got a lot of sleeping done in, and that was Mr. Law's Geography 10 class (taken the same semester as Mr. Lyne's class). Burn me, I don't think I did much of anything *but* sleep, and I got like around a 74! Ask him about it sometime and listen to his spiel if you want to waste a couple of minutes.

Anyhow, my general point is this: I've had enough crappy things to deal with already and I don't think I can handle a reincarnation of Mr. Lyne during the winter months when I get TIRED. But I can see how my being constantly asleep is somewhat disrespectful, and so I'll try to stay awake most of the time.

- William Matheson

Comments: ("... but what about people my age?") Yes, stress causes most young men your age to sleep. (1p) ... ("... I want to sleep! Is that so much to ask?!") Yes, your behaviour is important! (2p) ... Your going to have a reincarnation of Mr. Lyne - named Mr. Saunders if you are sleeping in my class! (that's exactly how he wrote it)

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An Argument that Educators can be quite Mistaken about a lot of Things
(Reflection #8? for Mr. Saunders) typed ?/5

<Sigh...> Well, it's Christmas time again, and aside from the usual holiday shopping and decorating, life in general for most people is in a process of 'gearing down' as people make plans to spend the long holiday with their loved ones and families; through the present air of happiness and good cheer that permeates the Holiday Season. Unless you're a high school student.

Two days ago I had a MAT432 and a Law 12 test, plus a book chat for English 12. Today I had a major Law project due, which I began at 6:30 this morning, and tomorrow morning this English 'reflection' is due. On Monday I have another major English 12 project due, then a test on Tuesday.

It seems that every teacher in CPA is under the mistaken belief that Semester i Term ii is somehow significantly shorter than Semester i Term i. I have now launched myself onto a self-appointed crusade to try and correct this impression.

Let's take a look at 'Figure i', which shows us how the school year is broken down into eight basic parts:

Semester i - Term i 43 days (assuming it ends on November 5th)
Semester i - Term ii 42.5 days (assuming it starts on November 8th)
Semester i - English 12 / Chemistry 12 Provincial 1 day
Semester i - Exam 2 days
Semester i - 88.5 days

Semester ii - Term i 43 days (assuming it ends on April 7th)
Semester ii - Term ii 45.5 days (assuming it starts on April 10th)
Semester ii - English 12 / Chemistry 12 Provincial 1 day
Semester ii - Exam 2 days
Semester ii - 91.5 days

Heyy! It looks like someone was thinking, right? (Although, realistically, 3 days should be severed off each term ii result because I counted the afternoon post-exam class periods and another day in each semester after the exam to receive grades and such. But even so, it sure doesn't seem like a big deal...) Not at all like the situation where the powers that be are privatizing anything and everything to the point where corporations are calling the shots on are education... but that is another story.

So, as one can see from my handy chart, there appears to be no appreciable difference in length between term i and term ii (even in Semester i) and this makes sense because both evaluations are worth 35% towards the final semester mark. So why is it that teachers enjoy piling on the work all in a run over the last two weeks before Christmas break?

My answer: High school teachers are set in their (often erroneous) ways. Let me run a few other examples by you first. For instance, last year the grading scheme called for a Major Test at the end of Term i in each semester. This was worth 15% towards the final mark and there were two held in each day, whereas the Examination at the end was worth 25% and there was one held in each day, and both terms were worth 30% each. And this all made sense in theory because the Major Test was to cover topics discussed in Term i, versus the Examination, which was to cover both terms. In practice, however, most teachers did not structure their exams that way; instead, many would give exams of equal length and difficulty, and the Examination tended to only cover Term ii; yet that Examination was still worth 25%. I think this is one of the biggest reasons why we switched to the new system; not so much that students couldn't cope with the stress and the issues of 'shutting down the school' (which I have always believed completely unnecessary due to the fact that I never study or prepare for tests), but that teachers misunderstood the way the system was supposed to work.

I also believe that with this new system, we have seen another problem: With the absence of the Major Tests, teachers and students alike have been confused as to when exactly Term ii is supposed to begin. Even I do not completely trust the figures I have drawn up for this essay. To make a point, it could be argued that teachers are so exhausted from finishing the marking of term i that they cool the jets down for a couple of weeks before lapsing into last minute panic evaluation-wise before the Holidays. But some teachers go to the opposite extreme! Ms. Campbell, for instance, got a wee bit irate with us over the first week or two of Term ii and started asking for pass-in assignments and checking our homework every day, which continued until we resumed behaving ourselves more or less. Really, we were acting like morons, so she was quite right.

But most of the time I don't think heightened evaluation over Term ii is fair. Term ii is worth the exact same 35% that Term i is worth, and for that reason alone, I believe both terms should be at a near-equilibrium assignment-wise. For instance, I wonder about Mr. Savage's novel idea of giving his own "Mid-Term test" for Film and Video. I don't see a problem with the test so much that I see a problem with where the grades are going to go. Seeing that he issued it to his class at the start of Term ii, it had to be based on Term i. But the gross influx of marks will have no place else to go but Term ii.

That's flat out wrong. In the end it will only serve to smooth everything off since both terms are worth 35% and that cannot be changed. But I am by no means saying that Mr. Savage is a bad guy or anything (sure he gets on our nerves sometimes, but...), in fact a newspaper article posted on his door called my attention to another controversial issue: Teenage sleep-cycles. It seems that most teenagers are biologically set to wake up after first classes have begun (if any teenagers out there doesn't believe me, try sleeping through the alarm sometime and find out when you wake up!), "yet educators still believe that the early-morning hours are prime-time to teach the heavy-duty subjects.". I think it would be best for me to avoid hitting upon this issue now though, as it would take up a whole other essay.

So what could be done about this issue? Well, I think that we should have stuck with the Major Tests, for one thing. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" seems like a rule we need to take up in this province's educational system over all kinds of issues, from the prohibition of web-based e-mail on the school computers up to the larger issues such as those @#$^%&* inconvenient yet incredibly easy provincial exams. Why does Stock transportation get to call all the shots? Why can't the board just let the English teachers administer the provincial test during their own examination periods? Don't ask why, board dry.

- William Matheson

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(A "monolouge based on a character in a magazine ad" assignment for Mrs. Dompierre) oral 10/10

Hi, I'm Donnie, and I'd like to talk about why we chose Microsoft Windows 2000 for our workstations rather than a more stable and intuitive operating system such as DOS 3.3.

Like last week, I'm typing up a report in Word 2000 --- oh ya, did I tell you we just bought Office 2000 Small Business Edition? A real steal at $640!! hehe Those idots down the street picked it up from 'Vinnie' for $6, and with the money they saved they were able to upgrade their web servers to run Free BSD and they haven't been down in two months... *idiots,* I tell you! ... Oh yeah, anyway I'm typing up a report in Word 2000 and it kept crashing on me, like Word 2000 always does ... it too three hours! But *now* with Windows 2000 on our workstations, combined with the raw power of Microsoft Networking, it takes *six* hours! This is because Windows 2000 carries on the proud tradition started by Windows 95, it refuses to work with software written for previous Windows versions or (hyuck) DOS! It's amazing!

Okay okay... I know you guys are getting bored, so here's a computer joke! There's these two webheads, right? The first has an AMD K7 850 mHz running Mac O/S 10, 128 megs of RAM, Voodoo 3, 26 gig hard drive, T1... and the second webhead has... a P166! Ha-ha! So the first webhead asks him to download these pixels, and then the second webhead goes in... he crashes. Later they're on the phone and when asked why he crashed, the second guy goes 'pixels?! I thought you said Jpegs!" Ha ha ha ha he he he... I guess you had to be there.

Yeah, okay back to Windows 2000. Much as Microsoft has taken extra pains to make it incompatible with every server operating system on the planet, it still works with Windows NT4. Even it's new feature, IntelliMirror, works on it. IntelliMirror makes local copies of the small stuff I'm looking at on the server so that I can get all the information I need when I'm not connected to the server. Which is nice, 'cause it probably crashed anyway! Ha-ha!

Oh man, I'm so glad we're using Windows 2000 now n'stead of a weenie OS like Red Hat Linux or Mac O/S 10 or something! And Windows 2000 features protection for people working with post-Y2K files! Now when I use multiple viewers and editiors on your files, they won't disappear! No more blood-curling screams from my co-workers at 2am when they see their filename for the report they spent the last thirty-five hours straight still there but with blank pages!!

But overall, I'm more than happy to say that Windows 2000 has decreased our productivity and crashes more often than any previous versions of Windows! And you'd think I'd get to dislike having to wait thirty-five minutes to boot up my computer (back in Windows 95, it took a paltry fifteen seconds...) and having to re-do the simplest of tasks over and over again... not at all. I get paid by the hour anyway.

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