Autumn, Books and Coffee Shops? My Kind of Day (Eminent #0.5)

**(A bit of a prequel to my first post, also not so much of a prequel to my first post.)

Autumn is by far, my absolute favourite season. Ask anyone who is friends with me, and they will tell you so.

Now having that in mind, imagine me presented with this situation:

A sunny, yet cool autumn day, leaves of varied colours and crispness fallen everywhere and ornamenting trees; a leisurely trip to not only an enormous and beautifully structured library, but a quaint, musty book store stacked high with old and new books, gold leafed and beautifully designed, with every subject imaginable; a warm drink in hand, steam filling my senses; the busy streets of downtown and bustle of the city constant in the air, though balanced by the serenity of nature; the casual and intriguing flow of conversation and laughs with friends;

It was perfect.

Before actually being able to go downtown and have this beautiful day become a reality, I kind of prepared myself to not find any books actually on my eminent person. Being such a contemporary guy, though well known, Humble the Poet isn’t someone you would be able to find any books about (yet). And even though he has indeed written a book himself, it’s only available for purchase online. So rather than going downtown to find books, I figured I could use this trip to spend the day while following the thoughts and mindset of my person: all about forgetting what other people think, living in the moment, being the person you want to be, and surrounding yourself with positivity.

“Whatever you consider your purpose is the purpose that you choose. Give your life purpose, create your purpose, and allow yourself to change your purpose as you evolve as a person.” – Humble the Poet (How to Find the Purpose of Life)

Check out my small photo album of the day on Flickr.

I found from the moment we stepped out of the bus, through each place we went and everywhere we visited, I was really in tune with my self, as well as my surroundings. The fact that near all the environments we were in contributed to my ideal of a perfect day, I couldn’t help but focus on all the little details that made it so. I was able to take time for myself, as well as be able to enjoy the people and the places around me. During our urban solo sit, I had recorded a short video just to capture the essence of the city block I was seated at.

Solo Spot

While in this corner of the city, I was able to just sit and (I know this sounds creepy but I swear to all that’s good it’s not) just simply people-watch, if you will say. There’s something rather peaceful about sitting and just watching; watching the woman run up the stairs as she’s presumably late for work, coffee in her hand; watching the trees on the rooftop garden blow softly every once in a while in the breeze; watching busy cars idle along the paved streets, lights flashing and people roaming. It all just gave me this settled feeling in my stomach, that I was just being.

Onward from here, in the bookstore as well, I found myself mentally collecting exactly what it felt like to be in the small shop, narrow aisles and an abundance of books everywhere. Later on, I decided to journal a bit of what this was like:

“There were books stacked high by the stories, fragile covers nearly detached from their spines. The musty smell wafted through the dusted shelves, the shuffling of occasional pages being turned and quiet murmurs of discussion settling on the tops of books and echoing off walls. Wading through piles after piles of tattooed pages, the sunlight bathing the floor was shying away as shadows of passersby loomed. Obese novels followed by petite samples, ample knowledge quenched the space. Transported from the minds of the past, from the depths of the ground, from the sky up above to the infinite beings roaming the streets, there were words stitched and bound around every corner turned.”

The last thing, and I feel the most prominent thing of the day was by far being able to be around those I was with. One thing I realized my Humble talks a lot about is making your life as good for yourself as you can. Part of this means surrounding yourself with positive people who make you not only feel good about yourself, but allow and help you to grow as a person. I feel like I really was able to take advantage of the day we had to really just be able to feel positive, and get to know my friends better than before.

Looking back, I feel the day led itself on the terms of, “Inspiration come from places where you least expect it.” The fact that I couldn’t exactly go out and look for specific information on my person really allowed my to go the day through the similar mindset of him, and I feel allowed me to be able to connect with him on a deeper level.

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A Trip to the Vancouver Public Library

I’ll admit it. I don’t get out of my house often, much less go all the way to Vancouver, so this trip was a relatively new experience for me.It’s no secret that I love reading and books, though, so I was very excited for this trip.

The first thing we did was an urban solo spot, which I really enjoyed because I love people-watching. It was definitely interesting watching everyone rushing around to do some task they felt was so very important.

A photo of right outside of Vancouver Public Library. There is a glass ceiling above. On the left are the stories of the building, which have glass windows.
Right outside the library.

After the solo spot, we split off into two groups. My group went into the library first. Before this, I’d been to Vancouver Public Library a couple of times, but I didn’t really remember anything about it anymore. The thing that struck me first when I approached the building was how grand it was. The building gave off an aura of modern-ness despite its Colosseum feel. This library was easily the biggest library I’d been in thus far with its 7 floors, though I only visited 2 of them.

Then, we had lunch, where I decided that my time was best spent taking 14 pictures of some pigeons that had landed near the stairs where I was having lunch.

A shot of MacLeod's Bookstore. Books are everywhere. They're stacked on the floor, on shelves. Everywhere.
The Inside of MacLeod’s Bookstore

Afterwards, my group headed over to MacLeod’s Bookstore. Though also filled with books, it was completely different from the library. Books were everywhere, stacked almost haphazardly. They were double-stacked on shelves, on the floor, as well as in a separate storage unit and a basement. The chaos was part of the charm, though.

Though the two buildings were completely different, I could never definitively say one was better than the other. Both would take your breath away. One with its modern beauty and the other with its old-fashioned charm.

All the books I got for my Eminent study.

Since I’d already decided on who I’m going to study, this trip was about finding resources about my eminent person, Emmeline Pankhurst, as well as feminism in general. Beforehand, I’d already researched some books that I wanted to get and was able to get a couple of them. I was disappointed, though, that there weren’t any copies of Suffragette: My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst, so I’m currently thinking of getting an InterLibrary loan. Though I wasn’t able to find that book, I was able to find a lot of ofthers. Hopefully, I can at least skim through all these books, but I’m not too hopeful about that since I’ve been really slow at reading lately.. I have already finished Kill the Body, the Head will Fall by Rene Dunfeld. While I don’t think it will help my eminent study, it was a very interesting book. In addition to the book pictured, I also bought Animal Farm by George Orwell, which I’ve already read, but don’t own yet.

Overall, I feel like the library trip was a success. I was able to get quite a few books related to my eminent study while still being able to watch the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver.

Library? Pizza? Book store? Sign me up!

It was a bright, cool and sunny day in Downtown Vancouver, as 2 teachers and 2 bus drivers let 60 TALONS students loose in the streets…

Outside Library

Outside of the Library

I would have to say, my main theme/goals for this trip, was exploring the city and bonding with the previously known as “afternoon” TALONS. Exploring, I know it sounds cheesy. Every time I think of exploring, I think of a guy wearing a safari outfit with binoculars and a compass, observing lions or monkeys. This trip was definitely not that kind of exploring. By exploring I mean exploring places I’ve never been, never seen, doing things I’d never done. Because everything we did on the trip was a first for me; I’d never been to the Vancouver Public Library before, never been to MacLeod’s books, or ate a “margarita” pizza. I even had a different experience sitting outside the Library doing the Solo Spot for 10 minutes compared to when we did it in SFU last year. So part of my goal, was to experience all of these to the fullest extent. The other part was bond with the ex-afternoon TALONS. Even though we’ve been put in the same classes, we haven’t done much otherwise to get to know one another. The retreat was a amazing, no questions there, but I wanted to push myself even more. Sit on a different spot on the bus (not next to the Emergency Exit…), eat pizza and bubble tea with people who I didn’t sit in the same quad as every day, little things like that. So I tried to do just that, and I did. By the end of the day I probably talked to just about everyone, and had so much fun exploring the city.

The day started off with all of us getting to school before 8, so we could leave on time. We splitted into two groups (for buses) and got into Vancouver at about 9. We started off the day by doing a quick solo spot with all of us spread around the Library. It was really cool to just sit on a bench, and be a “fly on the wall” for a bit, and observe. One lady actually complimented my hair when she walked by, and I was pretty shocked (flattered, but shocked). But the crazy thing is, that one compliment set a good/happy vibe for the rest of the day, which shows that a single compliment made an entire day enjoyable.


The side walk ft. lamp post

After the solo spot though, since I was in group #1, we went to the library first. The Vancouver Public Library is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been!!! Last year, I thought that the SFU library was amazing (which it is), but VPL is pretty incredible too. To start, they had 7 floors! 7 entire floors filled with books on information on every topic you could think of, from finger-painting to psychology to dogs. Since my eminent person (Ronda Rousey) wrote an autobiography, I had already purchased the book earlier during the summer, when I just wanted to read it cause its seemed like a cool book to read. That’s when I realized that she would be a great person to do for eminent, and voila, she became my eminent person. I had already done extensive research on her, and had started reading the book, but the library only had one book on her (the one I own), so I used it as an opportunity to catch up on my reading.

top floor

It took a lot of effort to get this picture from the 7th floor….I’m afraid of heights


Vancouver Public Library

After an hour and a bit, we reunited with group #2, and got to eat pizza or sushi for lunch. I went to Brooklyn Pizza had their margarita pizza, and it was actually really good. Then I made the mistake of buying a bubble tea at last minute, so I ended up getting Risa to pick it up for me…..and I got to drink it 2 hours later (only to discover that I didn’t like it ).


Brooklyn PIzza has ‘dem cool sign (my failed attempt at trying to be swag)

But then after lunch we got to…….*wait for it*…………MacLeod’s bookstore!!! The second I walked in their sturdy wooden doors, I fell in love…with a bookstore. I’ve always loved books and reading, and walking into a store that has everything from really old books to not as old books, was heaven. I ended up having to set a budget of $20 for myself, so I wouldn’t overspend, and it worked out pretty well. The total came to $19.95 (under budget :)!!!), and I was able to get 4 books, completely unrelated to eminent. I looked, but they didn’t have any books on her, Judo or MMA, so I went for the next best thing, Agatha Christie mysteries novels. I actually enjoy reading mystery books on my own when I have time, and I especially like having “complete collections” of the series (I only need 5 more books!!!).

MacLEods books

MacLeod’s Books

bookstore 2

Inside of MacLeod’s

bookstore 3

Inside of MacLeod’s

After that, we reunited with group #2 once again, to get back on our buses and headed back to Gleneagle. Overall, it was a pretty fun and incredible day. From getting complimented from a stranger, getting some reading done, eating good pizza, and buying books, I’d have to say that it was pretty good day. Well,  can’t wait to get started with the rest of eminent now!!!


Books, Books and More Books

Sitting on the sidelines. Watching people pass by, heading who knows where, doing who knows what. People with their phones clutched in their hands with their heads down. A solitary crow picking at garbage on the ground. Normally mundane things that you really noticed when that’s the only thing you’re looking for. During my solo sit I really got to notice the small things, from my small bench, in a small city. But even though everything is so small it doesn’t make it any less interesting.

Wednesday, October 14 was the day of our Library/Bookstore field trip. As I already said we started off with a solo sit in the middle of Vancouver. It was really interesting, but got boring as it went on. Directly after that we went to the Vancouver Public Library to research our Eminent people. If you’re still reading you’re probably in my class and know what happened so I’ll move on. Before hand I looked for books on my (former) eminent person, William Hartnell, but I couldn’t find ANYTHING. So I decided to look into ZAP stuff and I got a book on sign language to help me grow my vocabulary. Since I had not much to do I helped Olivia find some books on Princess Diana and hung around the library.

For lunch Rachael and I went across the street for Sushi (It was pretty good) and we ate in the library main entrance. After lunch it was time for the bookstore, my most anticipated part of the trip. We walked for about ten minutes passing by fire trucks; alarms blaring and  passers by wondering why there were so many teenagers in one place until we reached MacLeods. It was a small shop on a corner, only to be noticed if you were looking for it. As we entered I was in awe, books piled as high as my head, bookshelves lining every wall and the amazing smell of old books washing over me.

We didn’t have as much time here as we did at the library so I got to work. But the problem was I didn’t know where to start! I wandered the little shop picking out books, looking at them for a minute and putting them back. I found some really cool books, most were too expensive, but I did end up buying one called “To Build a Fire and Other Stories” by Jack London. And that brought to a close my trip to the bookstore.

I documented my day with my Snapchat story, but I lost the pictures so you’re just going to have to try to remember what it looked like. Don’t try too hard or you might hurt your head. Done? Good, thanks for that.


SFU Library Research Trip

On November 10ᵗʰ, the TALONS classrooms went to SFU to visit a museum, have lunch, and spend some time researching their eminent person at the W. A. C. Bennett Library. As for me, I was looking forwards to finding some more information, and have some bonding time with my peers as we had missed the trip to Sea to Sky. I was thinking to bring my Canon EOS 7D to take some pictures, but decided against it as I didn’t want to lose an expensive camera. Some smart-phone pictures will have to make do! As my first field trip this year, I was really excited on how it would turn out!

On the bus ride there, I didn’t really do much. Just talking with friends, sharing jokes, playing games – the usual. On the drive, I peered out the window and noticed that today wasn’t the best day as it was raining, and the temperature outside was moderately cold.

Our first stop was The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology. The museum contained many pieces of art from native BC, along with many tools and specimens preserved in cabinets. Since the museum could only fit half of us, we had to split up into the morning and afternoon groups and rotate.

Cave paintings
Cave paintings

One of the rather interesting exhibits was “SFUWarts” – a copy of the school supplies that they used at Hogwarts. Siriusly, who doesn’t want to use those?

SFU warts!

After we switched with the afternoon group, we were introduced to a “unique” activity. Find a quiet spot inside the building and sit around, and observe the environment around us. I found a space in a study desk, and I sat there beside two other university students. They were busy doing their homework, or on their phones so I didn’t disturb them.

My favorite part however, was when we headed over to the Himalayan Peak restaurant, where we had an indian cuisine buffet. As we arrived, there was only one buffet stand, so we had to take turns. How? Through trivia of course! Most of the questions were not of my interest – tv shows, and social studies. At least our group didn’t come last!

Indian food!

With our full bellies, we met up with Jamie’s older sisters who were students at SFU, and they were kind enough to take us on a tour. As I’d already came to SFU countless times already,  I knew the campus relatively well. With a final wave, we headed to our last destination of the day – the W. A. C Bennett Library, where we had some time to research our eminent person.

Tour of SFU campus

I was amazed at how there were seven floors filled with books – much more than your average public library! At my local library, I couldn’t find much information on my eminent person, but at the SFU library, I found a few pages filled with links of articles, books, and magazines that contained my eminent person. Searching was quite tedious, but at last I found some books on the 4ᵗʰ floor. I didn’t end up taking any, as I don’t travel to Burnaby often, but I did manage to take snapshots of around 30 or so pages.

A page of the book – The World According to Google

Overall, the trip to SFU was a success and I learned a lot about native BC along with some info about the SFU campus and my eminent person.  It was a great experience to bond with TALONS classmates and acquire some information. The 30 or so snapshots that I took helped me a lot to this point, especially the biographies and the story of Google. The trip was everything expected – even a bit more.

Until next time!

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Library Research Trip

For eminent, we went to Simon Fraser University to try to research for our eminent person, bond with our peers, experience on a university campus, and inspiration.  Personally, I came to bond with friends and gain experience. I didn’t really come to research because I didn’t think I’d have enough concentration to research. That was a good assumption because when I got to the library, my mind was in a difference place. I was just thinking about my day, and I couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing. I did get a lot of bonding time and it was a lot of fun! I got to hangout with new people and I really got to know more about TALONS. Most of my bonding was at lunch because we got to sit down with a group of people and I really got to meet new people. I also gained some experience in photography because I was given the TALONS camera by someone and I started to take pictures. It was actually really fun! I had never taken pictures with a camera like that before and it was really intriguing. The theme of my trip was learn. I didn’t really learn facts about Wangari Maathai, but I learned and experienced how she lived. She brought people together and branched out through others.During the trip, I It actually made me want to go out and buy a camera like that. I decided to document through mostly pictures from the TALONS camera. I took most of them but not all of them. Pics courtesy of the TALONS flickr!

On the way to SFU The pi symbol is just to good Christine researching her eminent person. The library exterior. Inside the Himalayan Peak There were free smarties near the library so I got some. One of the highlights. (jk) Walking back after lunch. Heading back inside the building. Selfie with some new and old friends. One of the many bulletin boards. Heading back home :( Lyle, Kelvin, and I taking a Selfie Inside the library front entrance. Inside the restaurant with  these guys. Too cool for school. Brother nature and his twin. BTW thanks to Mr. Salsbury for subbing us. Some art in the museum Some people just chose to reflect in the library. This is where we waited for a bit before going into the museum. "T" for TALONS Risa and I are too cool for you. An old canoe in the museum. The museum. Mug shot selfie with Risa. Inside the library. Inside the restaurant. Thanks Azaly, Mr. Jackson, Ms. Mulder, and Mr. Salsbury for this trip! TALONS is just too cool for you. SFU in the rain. The usual. Selfie with Risa and Natalie. An eating competition went down between Jamie and Connor. Apparently Connor won. These are some students documenting their trip A statue inside of the Himalayan Peak. THE FOOD!!!! IT WAS SOOO GOOD!!! The Himalayan Peak. This is where we ate lunch. The Reflection Pond. Apparently you are supposed to reflect on your thoughts here. A picture of someone taking a picture of someone taking a picture.



Eminent Library Trip

Last Thursday, the TALONS gang (as I call us) took a lovely trip to SFU. Going into the trip, I was very excited to have a lovely day strolling through SFU campus, eating good Indian food, and a quiet afternoon in the library. At least that’s what I thought.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting to get out of this trip, but narrowing it down I would say memories and bonding. I still remember everything that happened at the downtown library trip last year and I was excited to equally have a good time at this trip. However, what  I liked about this trip the most would be the fact it’s the first trip the whole TALONS gang were together for, since  we all missed our retreats. I was hoping going into this trip, I would be able to find any interesting books about Sadako, or just learn more about the SFU campus as I might consider it for post secondary.

To start the day off,  I forget my umbrella. I will forever regret it. I even remember my mom telling me before I left the car “Crystal it’s going to rain today why didn’t you bring an umbrella” in which I said “oh, it’s not going to rain, ill be inside all day anyways.”  Only to walk outside the bus to pouring rain. Long story short, my pants were basically completely wet, and I hid under umbrellas with five people each time. Lesson learned, I will never forget an umbrella again.

Birds inside the museum
Birds inside the museum
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum

When we arrived at SFU, there wasn’t much of a big surprise as through middle school, we visited the campus several times. Besides that, I had never really noticed all the work put into the architecture of the campus. The wood pillars, concrete walls,  and overall details put into the designs. For example, I found it hilarious that they specifically designed a roof that doesn’t cover you from the rain, therefore people won’t block the pathways.

Discussing our urban solos

Starting off the busy day,  we first visited the Museum  of Archeology and Ethnology. The museum was very interesting, and I loved the birds and aboriginal designs. I would say my favourite item in the museum would be the film about the whales projected on the small screen, in which I watched for half the time I was in the museum. After the museum, morning group had our urban solo. The solo almost had me falling asleep, partly because it was early, and partly because I was lying on a bench. I watched people run up and down the stairs, carrying coffee and evesdopping on converstations.

The group of us would then take a small walk before heading to a very early lunch buffet. The buffet would probably the most exciting component for me. No one could be more excited about Indian food than me. Just as I think I’m allowed to get food, Mr, Jackson hits me with the bad news. We have to answer a trivia question to go up to the buffet. After several rounds of trivia later, Eric finally answers right for our group. As I look at the food, it’s like I’ve never been more happy in my life.

Blissful Curry

Everyone is piling on spoonful of rice onto their plates and the overall atmosphere was great. You could see how excited everyone was about the food, and there wasn’t a single person unsatisfied. Throughout the meal, people would come over with the TALONS camera, taking pictures and just talking with the overall group.

Leaving the buffet, we received a tour around the campus by Jamie’s sisters. Again another good half another in the rain really had me crying inside, but the campus was still very pretty. Especially with the leaves turning a bight red, falling off the trees. Zoe explained to us how everything around the campus showed symbolism. Even the avocado mirror near the reflective pond. I found it interesting that so much thought was put into even what the pond stood for, or how certain items in the garden had no meaning, and that you have to decide what they mean. Zoe finished the tour a bit early, and our group was allowed to enter the library first.

Upon entering the library, I just wanted to explore. I was very surprised the library was actually 7 stories high! After walking through each floor and getting very lost, I decided to try and find a book. Unfortunately, they did not have any books on Sadako, but it was okay as I didn’t want to drive back to the campus to return a book anyways. A group of us (Eric, Azaly and I) found a quiet spot in an isle on the six floor and spent our time there. I spent a good hour looking at computer sciences books and trying to read complicated equations if that counts as learning.

Floor 6 in the library our hiding spot
Floor 6 in the library our hiding spot
Reading computer science books
Reading computer science books

Most of the time was spent talking and I was surprised that almost no one from TALONS was on the six floor. We literally didn’t see anyone. We returned back to the lobby at 2 in which we then had a very great photo-shoot with the whole TALONS gang. When I mean a great photo-shoot, I mean a bunch of photos of everyone trying to look ridiculous without being noticed. We finally finished and returned to the bus and back to Gleneagle!

Overall, even though I didn’t learn anything new about my eminent person, the library trip is always going to be one of my favourite trips. It’s always the first trip everyone is together, and where you talk to people you’ve never talked to before. I learned about how life on a university campus can be like, how university students LOVE their coffee, and overall interesting facts about SFU. It was a great bonding experience and I’ll probably remember this trip for a long time. Thanks for reading hopefully my thoughts on the day amused you.

The library from outside
The library from outside
The reflective pond
The reflective pond