Curiosity is terminal

Sunday, 11 December 2011

"It's Crowded, Living Inside This Skin"

Words and music by Kevin Quain whom I heard on the CBC for the first time a few years ago. I had an overwhelming urge to send him some of my hard earned bucks and he kindly sent me some cds. If I ever actually go to Toronto, one of his performances is on the absolute top of my list of things to do.

My skin feels more and less crowded, obviously, with circumstances. Two weeks ago, with two papers, three final exams and a job all hanging over my head, it felt pretty stuffed. With all but the job and a final, I feel like I have some breathing room.

And so. Introductions. This blog has existed in my imagination for nearly ten years. I would talk about blogging something and my child and partner would laugh and nod at each other knowingly. Why do I finally do this? Largely, I think, to get in on the conversation. I like blogs. Lots of people are really interesting. They say and do interesting things, and then other people say interesting things back, and I often want to do the same, but then I think, if I have no blog on which to offer my self forth, am I really joining the conversation? Or am I just throwing my 2 cents in on  my way by, with no context?

What is my context? I am a terminally curious woman. I spent 14 years in the food service industry and I love to cook and feed people. In the last 2 years of that, I began a carpentry apprenticeship and I earned a Red Seal in 2002. I mostly did commercial and heavy construction. Pouring concrete and the dinner rush have the same intensity of adrenaline. I like them both. Don't make me choose. I took up scaffolding in 2002. I live kind of south and east of the middle of nowhere, there are a lot of pulpmills nearby and most of them shut down for maintenance every so often. For several years I just worked the shutdowns when I wasn't doing real construction, and then a long project at a local refinery lead to being on steady. Three years ago,  my boss decided the scaffold training in the province was inadequate, and asked me if I was interested in writing and teaching a scaffold training course. So I learned  about curriculum development and lesson planning and evaluation, and I wrote a small book about scaffold erection. (Go ahead and make a joke here if you like. One of my co-workers taught me that it is way more fun to be four than it is to be forty-four.) Sometimes I teach scaffolding and safety, which is pretty cool and gratifying. I loved those first few classes of my co-workers who were defensive and antagonistic at first, asserting that they had done this for years, they didn't need this course, and by the end they were thanking me and my fellow instructor, telling us they had indeed learned things and that the projects we had used for training were interesting and cool.  I am the person in our company who does the things that no one knows who does them. If it is not part of someone else's properly defined job, it is probably mine. Which is okay, because I like learning things.

So much so that I have gone back to school part-time. I am 45. I have 9 courses toward a psychology degree so far. I hope to have the bachelor's degree by the time I am 50. After that, we'll see. Frankly, I have a dream of a tiny little restaurant- 60 seats tops, with an ever changing menu and a clientele I can sit down for a glass of wine with at the end of the evening. I think that might be a fine use of a psychology degree, an instructor's diploma and a carpenter's Red Seal. Don't you?

The crowded skin in my title comes from his song, "The King in Yellow" for which I cannot find a video. Perhaps you would enjoy this, which may also be apt:



  1. Nice to "discover" your blog. Thanks for commenting over at trm.

    My son is talking about pursuing a career in the food industry. Currently employed at Earl's part time he dreams of going to chef's school in Vancouver after he's finished high school this June. Perhaps he can apprentice with you in your dream restaurant! ;)

  2. Hello Regina Mom. I hope your son does go to chef's school. Does Earl's participate in an apprenticeship program? I am so impressed with young people who know what they want already. I still don't know!