Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Events and Thoughts

Well, I did make the time to write that letter to the CBC PR Director. When I get a response, I’ll post both the letter and the reply.

I got a decent amount of work done this morning, which is a good thing, because I have accomplished practically nothing this afternoon.

Today I attended a CGI recognition lunch (these are held quarterly to honour those members who have reached a milestone with CGI, eg 5, 10, 15… 30, etc years of service. It was an interesting affair: lunch was provided in the form of sandwiches, vegetables & dip, fruit and pastries for dessert, but the principle focus was the presentations. The luncheons are chaired by the top man at CGI, Hicham Adra, and the attendees consist of those who have achieved the milestones and those who are there to talk about them. Each person, in turn (I was second), is called up to stand at the head of the table, and their career manager or director stands up to spend five minutes talking about them, describing their background, their experience and achievements at CGI, and either a few notes about their extracurricular life, or a funny anecdote, or something to lighten it up. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, most of the presenters are fairly accomplished public speakers, and it was nice to have a chance to meet other people at CGI. There are quite a few opportunities to hang with other CGI members; the monthly beer and pizza, the seasonal wine and cheese party, the Annual Gala, Social Club events, however, all of these events have one huge disadvantage. When you have anywhere between several hundred and a thousand people attending an event, the natural tendency is to hang out with the people you already know. Only if you personally are extroverted enough to accost someone you don’t know and make their acquaintance, will you actually meet new people.

For those of you who know me, I am not that much of an extrovert. I tend to find those affairs somewhat painful, especially since I’ve only worked on one project in all my years at CGI, and consequently only know about 20 people well enough to talk to.

Anyway, I think I’ll get the gift certificate part of my 5-year recognition award before Christmas. If I’m really lucky, I might have a new digital camera on Christmas day, ready to capture the cuteness of Catherine on camera.

As for the rest of my afternoon, Wednesdays are my usual day to read to the Grade 1 students at Carson Grove, so despite being an hour late, I still went to do that. I am always fascinated by the process of reading to six year olds, especially those kids who aren’t the best and brightest in the class. I had a young boy today who simply couldn’t sit still; both the concentration and the reading were hard work for him, and the effort expressed itself in constant fidgeting, occasional weird contortions, and frequently wandering eyes. It’s hard to think that the fifteen minutes he’ll get to spend with me three times this year will make a difference, but the teachers I work with assure me it does. I worry even more when I ask myself how a child like this will succeed, when the teacher has seventeen children in the class, many of whom are ESL students, and a few of whom have similar concentration/fidgeting problems. I know our teachers do the best they can with the resources they have, but I’d like it if every child has access to more.

And now that I’ve spent a few minutes writing that letter, and a few minutes writing in the blog, I have only another hour in which to accomplish my actual job. It’s a good thing I can be efficient under pressure.


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