Sunday, November 25, 2012

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things ...

UPDATE: I hadn't watched the Dreamers video for quite a while and when I watched it again last night, it really spoke to me:
Whatever happened to the dreamers?  
They always look beyond the sky 
Saw a world they could believe in  
But only when they close their eyes 
Where are they now? 
They've all left town  
Bring in the clouds 

Whoever posted the video dedicated it to their brother. I hereby re-dedicate it to Lex.

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My computer having been without sound for close to nine months, it was mighty nice to get it back a few weeks ago. So nice, in fact, that one of the first things I did was start jiving with some of my favourite tunes.

Which got me thinking that, really, it was only fair to share some of those favourites (via video) with you.

So here you go, for your (and my) listening pleasure, I offer a few of my favourite things.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One of my absolute favourite songs to listen to. It always puts a grin on my face,
I offer you Teterboro.

A beautiful video posted by Lex in the way back.

Only makes sense that this should be one of my favourite things, seeing as how many
days of my life it seems to capture lately.

Okay, not musical but ... it's always good for a grin.
And, just for the record, it's TOPGUN, one word, no caps. Fools.

I post this video pretty much every Remembrance Day.  The fact that it's sung, not
just by a Canadian, but by a Nova Scotian (Terry Kelly) certainly doesn't hurt but
it really grabs me because it's a beautiful, moving video and song.

In the category of "Not Music But I Could Easily Listen To It Over And Over Again",
I offer you what I like to title "You Can Call Them An Inspiration or You Can Can
Call Them Your Friend".

In the same category as the above - I find this incredibly moving.

What can I say? I am Canadian, eh?

This? This. Is. Just. Funny.


And last, but not least, a song so nice I named my blog after it.

And there you have it. Just a few of my favourite things.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Dream the Impossible Dream

It's been eighteen years since I've practiced law. That's right. Eighteen years.

Long time, no?

You see, I've always said I wouldn't go back to practice unless I could have just a "disability" practice.

In other words, not unless I could only take cases involving disability-related issues. But considering that most families with a disabled family member can't afford a lawyer and I figure that it will likely take Nova Scotia a good 20 years to get to the point where the government helps subsidize the cost of legal representation for families ... I just wasn't feeling the love.

But for the past year or so, I've been playing around with the idea of doing just that ... going back to the practice of law. No, I hadn't given up on what I really wanted or lowered my standards. Nor was the thought born out of desperation.

But I had finally come to realize (with a little bit of help from some friends) that I could use what I have been doing with the NS Legal Guardianship Kit and the presentations on disability-related topics as a springboard.

What if I went back to practice? Just on a part-time basis?

What if I could offer people the option of either purchasing the Guardianship Kit or hiring me to bring their guardianship application? Not only would my fees be significantly lower than the majority of lawyers' but I had also started to develop a reputation in the disability community. People were already asking if they could hire me to bring guardianship applications and I had to explain that no, I wasn't practicing.

So it was that I've been playing around with this idea for a while now.

Tried to talk myself out of it ... after 18 years of not practicing, just how many hoops would the Barristers' Society make me go through before granting me practicing status again? For a while, that seemed like a good enough reason not to proceed any further.

But eventually I realized that I might just be staring in the face (and yet not seeing) exactly what I have been looking for so hard for quite a while now - having convinced myself that I would never go back to practice because, after all, who could financially survive financially with the type of practice I wanted, I had been thinking that maybe the solution was finding work for a disability organization in a position where I could use my legal background and training. But that opportunity simply was not presenting itself. Although, in all honesty, I had come across what looked like the perfect job a few years ago. There was only one problem ... it was in BC. As in clear across the other side of the country. So, yeah. Not so much.

And yet this has been my passion for so many years now - how long have I been telling people that if I could find a way to marry law and disability (and get paid for it), I would be truly happy? Trust me, a long time. Said to a lot of people.

And so it was that eventually, very slowly, light began to dawn on marblehead (that would be me, in case you were wondering) and I "made the decision" (well, kind of, sort of anyway ... who says I'm not decisive?*) to take the leap and return to practice. 

The only problem was that required applying for a change of status (and forwarding the appropriate application fee) to the Bar Society, who would review my application and then tell me what hoops I would have to go through.

Now, really, that change of application fee would be hardly significant for most people. It shouldn't have been a big deal. And yet once I (kind of, sort of) made the decision to go back to practice, there just wasn't any money to spare to make the application. And then every time I planned on doing it (as in as soon as I get paid for ... whatever), something would happen and the money would be demanded elsewhere.

Oh what a tangled web we weave ....

Anyway, on a different note, guess what I did today? Come on. Guess.

No, I didn't finally *find* the money for the application fee.

No, I didn't finally start the required paperwork.

Give up? Are you sure?

All right, all right. I will tell you.

Listen carefully now.


Today. I. Mailed. The. Application.

(With. The. Cheque. Of. Course).

To. The. Bar. Society.

(more crickets)

Proud of me? I am. 

Proud. And excited. And more than a little nervous.

And so it is that the adventure continues. Wish me luck!

* In my defence, I did have a few good personal reasons for hesitating about taking the plunge. One being my health. But, hey, why let a little thing like that stop me, right? I figure if I don't try, I'll never know.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

World Record

I think we just set the record for the world's shortest IPP meeting. Ever. Well, at least the shortest one I've ever attended in 15 years of being involved with special education.

The funny thing is how I walked out of the world's shortest IPP meeting feeling quite good about the whole thing. Better than I have in the past 3 years of IPP meetings, in fact. And that after half an hour as opposed to the usual 1.5 - 2 hour meetings.

The reason, you ask? Might shorter, in and of itself, actually be better?

No. No, not at all. In fact, we have another IPP meeting scheduled for next week (minus the subject teachers who were present today but with the addition of the autism specialist) that I am sure will run much closer to what I am use to.

No, here, my dear friends, is the difference. Today's meeting was (finally) chaired by a Resource teacher that gets it.

Previous Resource teachers, although extremely experienced, who should have (and, no doubt, did) know their stuff, were so stuck in their ways of doing things that there was absolutely no room for anything different.

Did I mention there was no room? Because, really. There. Was. No. Room.

I'm sorry, but the term dinosaur does come to mind. While they may have been very good at what they did many years ago, they clearly couldn't (or, I'm thinking, more likely wouldn't) adapt to the times. It was their way. Or the highway.

But our current Resource teacher, while relatively new to "Intensive Resource", has family members with disabilities and he really seems to get it. To get the importance of life skills for a young adult like the Blue Jay. To get the importance of life skills for so many of the students in that class.

I can actually see him building a resource program that will be so much better than what this school previously had. I can actually see it benefiting so many more students. My only real complaint is that the Blue Jay didn't have access to such a program three years ago, when she first entered high school, as she should have.

Well, that and the fact that when our previous dinosaurs teachers ruled the land, nobody (and I mean nobody) seemed to have any issue with the way things were done or the way they insisted things had to be done. They were backed up all the way.

Nope, nobody had any issues with them. Nobody except me, that is.

Interestingly enough, now that they've retired, I am finding people starting to agree with what I've consistently been saying (and thinking) for the past couple of years - that things didn't have to be (and, in fact, shouldn't have been) done their way. That, dare I say it, these particular teachers were the problem.

Apparently, now they are. But then they weren't. Go figure.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I must admit I am quite disappointed in myself.

This is the first time, since I started this blog in 2007, that I missed posting for an entire month. Not that my record over the last couple of years was anything to be particularly proud of but still ...

My. Bad.

However, the one bright spot (and in my favour) is the fact that I did significantly change the look of the blog last month. And I think it looks mighty purty at the moment, if I do say so myself.

~  ~  ~

By the by, you might notice a new pic at the top of the sidebar. It's been six months since that horrible day and Nov. 9th would have been Lex's 52nd birthday.

Please raise a glass in honour of His Honour.

And if you’re wondering whether you can buy me a beer, the answer is yes.
Yes, you can.