Canadian in Candia

October 21, 2009

Why the real world made me a better student

Filed under: school — Tags: , — Miriam @ 10:39 am

I’m the first to admit that I was not the best student in high school or college. I’ll admit that I’m still not the best student now. In a way high school and college were phases of life I had to complete to get from one point to the other in my quest to become a grown up. I was involved in sports, I spent time with friends, I did lots of other activities. School was just part of what I did.

I now feel like I did the minimum. I got decent grades, handed in what I had to hand in, but never really went out of my way to understand the material. At least not in subjects that didn’t fascinate me. I was terribly unorganized and generally didn’t get anything done until there was a pressing deadline. I did some really great work cramming out a 20 page paper, or teaching myself things I should have understood weeks before. I didn’t take it seriously.

Then I graduated, joined the real world. I didn’t want to become a rowing coach like many of my teammates did. I wanted to become the engineer I had trained 5 years to be. So I got a job in an office. I dealt with procedures and deadlines. I made money. And I wanted to learn more.

So I went back to grad school. I had a house, I had other responsibilities, so I decided to go back part time and work full time. The difference in my work ethic for school has changed so much.

Homework priorities

I take study time where ever I can find it. I do homework at lunch, I follow the online lectures in the morning before work. I prioritize what homework, lecture or reading needs to be done when. I stay home on weekends. I stress when I get behind.

I’m in school now because I want to be, not because I have to be, and it makes a huge difference. It also makes me realize that I’ve learned a lot by working full time. I’ve learned about prioritizing and scheduling, as well as asking for help when I don’t understand. Work also helps you understand what you want to be when you grow up. Do you want to be the boss, or the research scientist? So many of us do not really understand when we are fresh out of high school what our real goals are in life.

And by the way, I still get my best work done under pressure. It’s just that it comes naturally now.


October 20, 2009

October in Boston.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miriam @ 9:14 am

October in Boston., originally uploaded by candiacrew.

I spent the weekend in Boston visiting friends and watching the Head of the Charles regatta.

Sunday rained. The rain was heavy and cold and my friend Hadley and I were so frozen and wet that we decided that going to the Cambridgeside mall was the only way to starve off hypothermia. While we ate lunch I looked out the window and declared it was Snowing. October 18th and it was snowing. The “snow” was falling rather quickly so Hadley half convinced me that it was just really big rain drops.

As is shown on my car above, it was snow. And while it didn’t accumulate on the road, it accumulated on the car.

My car had snow tires on, so I felt confident as I headed North in the snow storm. My hubby was coming back home from Northern New Hampshire as I was heading up from the State south of our home. Turns out, he didn’t even see any snow.

I’m looking forward to seeing Cooper play in the snow, but October is a little early in my opinion.

October 15, 2009

A Preview

Filed under: Life — Tags: , — Miriam @ 12:41 pm

Adam was a groomsman in his Best man’s wedding this weekend. I forgot my beloved Pentax so I borrowed a Nikon D50 with a great lens from the groom’s father for the event. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to blogging it soon or not. So here’s a quick lunch time preview of some of the shots I took.

Wedding collage

Great wedding by the way. And congratulations to both Chuck and Mindy (who got married during my blogging slump on 9/9/09, I’ll try to blog about that at some point because I WAS their photographer) and Sean and Michele.

October 14, 2009


Filed under: Nature — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 11:34 am

I’m not sure what’s going on this year but parts of my yard are covered in mushrooms.

I could understand if the mushrooms were growing in the forest around my house, but these relatively big mushrooms are growing in the center of my yard in clumps. They’ve been turning black with time. I wonder what kind of mushroom they are, but obviously don’t have any intention of eating them.

October 13, 2009

Fictional Locations?

Filed under: Life — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 11:55 am

I’m listening to an audiobook called Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. It’s about girls with severe eating disorders. But that’s not why I’m writing a quick post today. I’m writing because the book is supposed to be set in New Hampshire. And if the author did not fictionalise the location the young protagonist lives in my neck of the woods. Why? On her drive in Chapter 5 (where the young girl gets stuck in a traffic jam) she says the following.

Somewhere between Martins Corner and Route 28, I begin to cry.

This is an actual stretch of road. A stretch of road I drive any time I head towards Manchester. A stretch of road that connects Manchester, SNHU, a part of Hooksett and leads to Western Candia as part of early route 27. It is not a stretch of road that is generally known for traffic jams.

View Larger Map

Does the author know this? Is our protagonist a resident of Hooksett or Candia heading towards the larger city? Is she a student at SNHU or Derryfield. Perhaps the author does know of this location, or is she attempting to create a fictional location unaware of it’s actual existence. Because the location that actually exists is not known for the described traffic pattern.  Would it be strange to e-mail the author someday and ask her?

And despite the fact that I am not writing a review of the book, I strongly recommend the author’s other works. I’ve read several.  They are generally on the serious side of young adult topics, but they are beautifully written.

Edit: There is also a mention of “Amoskeag High”. My rowing club in Hooksett is Amoskeag Rowing club. The Merrimack River through our area is known as the Amoskeag on occasion. I think the fictional town is called Centerville, but I’m pretty sure the area is my part of New Hampshire.

October 7, 2009

Pretty Horses

Filed under: Horses — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:13 am

My neighbour has a few dozen horses. Many of them are beautiful Percheron draft horses that actually get used to pull sleigh rides, hay rides and to plow fields.

From our yard we can only see one of his fields and our puppy Cooper finds them fascinating. A few weeks ago a mare and her foal were in the front pasture when we were leaving for a walk. I happened to have my camera with me and a new lens, so I snapped a couple pictures. Cooper sat down as the foal started walking towards us.
Percheron mare and foal

Mom of course wouldn’t let her baby head towards a strange dog without protection. So she started walking towards us too.
Percheron mare and foal

She came right up to the fence to say hello.
Percheron mare and foal

What a beautiful animal.
Percheron mare and foal

After a quick pet from me (Cooper did an excellent sit-stay while waiting) she realised that I wasn’t going to feed her. So she headed back up the hill.
Percheron mare and foal

The foal wanted to investigate us more, but wasn’t going to risk mom’s wrath.
Percheron mare and foal
Percheron mare and foal

He’ll be a nice solid horse someday too. But right now he’s all legs.
Percheron foal

Right now the pasture contains three gorgeous mares who occasionally take to sprinting around for the fun of it.  Not a bad view in my opinion.

October 6, 2009


Filed under: Cars — Tags: , — Miriam @ 9:00 am

Ever know you that you must have a dozen pictures of a specific object in your archives somewhere yet have no idea where to find the originals? I know I have pictures of Adam’s bike as it was in my external harddrive… somewhere. But I couldn’t find any pictures of only her on my already uploaded pictures. And I only found a single cell phone picture with her circa 2007 in it.


Want to hazard a guess as to why I took this picture? These are my husband’s three current vehicles taken right after he got the forester. From left to right I present you with Rosie the 2007 Subaru Forester XT, Charlene the 1990 Mazda Miata, and Veronica the (2003) Suzuki SV.

Figured out what I found humorous? Obviously the fact that when he’s picky about the vehicle he’s buying a specific colour comes to mind.

Either way this post isn’t about my household’s love for blue, it’s about Veronica the motorcycle.

Adam decided he wanted a naked motorcycle, but he didn’t like how Suzuki made his bike naked (naked means that the bike has less fairings and plastic on it I guess). So as one of his projects this year he rebuilt Veronica to look more like a “cafe racer” motorcycle.

Adam's mororcycle

I think she looks meaner now without all the plastic.
Adam's mororcycle

He even got himself some shiny new digital gauges.
Adam's mororcycle

He even gave the bike something known as droopy handlebars. (I’m sure Jess’ hubby would understand why that is significant more than I do)
Adam's mororcycle

By the way, I didn’t take the time to take all these pictures of the motorcycle. Adam did, so he could show off his handy work. I just stole the pictures from my camera’s memory card. I think he is starting to appreciate our SLR though.
Adam's mororcycle

October 4, 2009

Whitehorse Ledges – Begineers Route

Filed under: Climbing — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:50 pm

A few weekends ago my hubby took me rock climbing on this cliff. It’s a relatively big cliff called Whitehorse Ledge.  It’s one of two prominent rocks near Echo Lake State Park (where these pictures were taken). The other being called Cathedral Ledge.

He took me up a route called Beginner’s route in the Slabs. It’s a 5.5 slab route. The slab means there isn’t a lot of directly vertical sections and and most of the route relies on the friction between your shoes and the rock. This requires trusting the rubber of your soles. Also, the 5.5 rating means that it’s pretty easy.

In the thousand or so feet of climbing, that we completed in 8-10 pitches (distances between when the person leading builds an anchor and brings up the person on the other end of the rope), there were only a few sections that I felt were any difficult. And those sections were only frightening mentally.

I didn’t take any pictures while we were on the rock despite a great desire from my photographer’s eye to take several.
This is a poorly done panorama of the slabs section of Whitehorse ledge. We started on the right most side of the cliff.

Totally worth the effort too. I really love long easy routes.

Also, I was up North this weekend. It is amazing how much the foliage has bloomed in just a few weeks.

October 3, 2009


Filed under: Nature — Tags: — Miriam @ 10:03 pm


Our house is surrounded by trees, many of the trees are oak trees. Our trees produce a lot of acorns. The acorns are currently covering the driveway, the deck, and the rest of the yard. Adam has a very specific place he has to park in order to not have the acorns dent his car.

You would think that the many squirrels and chipmunks in our vicinity would gobble them up, but I think the harvest is probably larger than even their gluttony.

I tried to make a pile of acorns to help the squirrels out but our pup seemed to think he should be helping himself to the nuts.

Soon those acorns will be covered in a dense pile of leaves. I hope the rodents stockpile them before it’s too late.

October 2, 2009

Picture perfect

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 12:05 pm

Yesterday I was running out of the house getting heading for work. I had my camera with me because my commitment to posting on this blog again requires that I take pictures. And with the beautiful color in New Hampshire this early October I didn’t want to miss a great shot.

I found a great shot, right on the top of my car. A dew covered leaf had fallen on the car.  I grabbed the opportunity to get a shot, hopped in my car and promptly forgot about it.

When I went to look at the pictures later that evening, I was stunned by that same shot. It turned out better than expected. Better than all the carefully composed pictures I had taken later that day. It may not be perfect, but I loved it so much that I couldn’t think of a single way I could improve it.

So I give you, my favorite picture so far from my 2009 Fall Leaves series.

Remember, grab those good shots when you can. They may turn out better than expected.

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