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I am so excited to begin sharing my journey to Nationals with you all! Winning this title just one month ago was an amazing whirlwind experience that I would love to relive again and again. I have grown up very comfortable with being onstage, and I have been in many plays and productions within my community that have all culminated in a confident stage presence. I know that these years of hard work in the theatrical and musical world have helped to lead to my success in the regional MTC competition, and I cannot wait to continue working on, and improving these skills as I work towards the big competition in August! I absolutely love musical performances involving singing and piano, so naturally I am incredibly happy MTC nationals has a talent section! My journey to the crown began in 2016 when I applied on a whim, and I am so happy I did! I mean, who would turn down the chance to be a princess? But, more than ballgowns, makeup, and curls, this competition is about using your passion as your platform and making a difference in the community. This year holds so many exciting things for me as I wrap up my last year of highschool (refer to the graduation head-shot below of a very excited me), but it also holds in store some significant changes. I am so grateful to be a part of the MTC experience which will allow me to grow in so many ways before I head off to University!
The life of a pageant girl is absolutely crazy and exhausting, and what better way to fuel up than to eat a good meal? Yesterday at the Eaton Center Mall I had the privilege of eating at the #richtree food truck where they served up amazing tacos and burritos. I personally had the beef burrito which was made with some delicious fresh onions, lettuce, and cheese all of which is locally grown and organic.
The overall atmosphere of this market-style restaurant was trendy, vintage, and refreshing from the typical grab and go food place. Who ever came up with the idea to use a robin-egg blue Volkswagen hippie bus is an absolute genius and would love to talk to them about their artistic eye. I am so grateful for the opportunity to eat here because I love to try new things! I almost could not decide what to have; I was torn between the chicken tacos and the burritos. I would absolutely come back if ever I was looking for delicious and authentic Mexican food 🙂 If ever you are in the area I highly recommend swinging by for a bite. Who needs to wait for #tacotuesday when there’s always a #richtreefiesta at the Eaton Centre!
A lost girl in a far away land once said, “There’s no place like home…”I must say I have found myself misplaced quite a few times in my life and it is definitely scary. There are strangers all around, unknown streets that seemingly twist and wind, and fear in your heart that you may never find your way home. However, most of our immediate reactions to being lost are irrational.
The same can be said about traveling. Many are afraid of the unknown, especially in places with different religions, languages, and social norms. This causes people to stay safely tucked in their comfort zones, never willing to leave their black and white lives behind in search of adventure. I believe it is my duty as an avid traveller and title holder to teach those around me the value of exploring. My official platform is to advocate the importance of travel and cultural sensitivity.
I almost feel as if this platform chose me, as I was a traveller long before I became a title holder. I am only 18 years old and I already have been to 10 different countries. I know many people who are much older than I who have never even owned a passport, let alone left the country… To me, traveling means the world (pun intended). There is so much out there; there are new smells, exotic flavours, and brilliant sights. I truly just have an insatiable craving to experience it all.
Our Earth is so full of wonder and I have noticed that the most memorable moments abroad are always the ones that are seemingly the most insignificant at the time. To elaborate, last year I was on was en route to Krakov, Poland and our bus driver decided to make a quick pit stop at a small roadside restaurant just off of the highway. I just remember stepping away from the bus, walking down a small path to explore a bit on my own in the nearby forest, and taking a deep breath of clean bright air.
It sounds strange to describe, but I could taste the purity of the air. There was such a unique taste/smell combination and it was so intoxicating I wanted to stand there forever and just take it in. There was sunlight streaming through the leaves above and it was slightly cool. Everything felt so serene…I never wanted to leave that spot. It’s true that I may never have that kind of moment again, but to have felt that sense of oneness with my surroundings for even a moment is something that I know has made an imprint on my soul. It is quite strange how much a single moment can influence who you are or who you can be. It very much reminds of this quote: “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”.
As Miss Teenage Canada I would promote my platform by doing what I have always done, which is travel 🙂 My next goal is to take a road trip across Canada and see just how beautiful our country really is. You don’t always need to hop on a plane to get to a new place. As I move province to province, territory to territory I will take a a picture at every border and try and talk to at least two people per stop about some of the following things:
a) Where have you travelled in the world (if any)?
b) What is your cultural background?
c) How do you feel the city you live in handles social stigmas concerning ethnic/ cultural stereotypes (if any)?
d) if you could be anywhere in the world right now where would you be and why?
All of these questions are fairly simple, but the amazing thing is I can almost guarantee no two answers will be the same.
Overall, I am ready to face the world and explore all it’s nooks and crannies, every desert and forest, concrete jungle and corn field. I am ready not just as Miss Teenage Durham, nor just as a potential Miss Teenage Canada. I am ready as Shayna Buckle.
There are 196 countries in the world, so how is it that we were lucky enough to be born in Canada? Was it fate? Chance? God? I do not know, but what I do know is that I am one of the most privileged people in the world simply because I am Canadian. If you don’t feel like Canada is that great because we have cold winters and high taxes, just lend me your time and I will remind you how blessed we truly are.
Right now it is summertime. There is a fresh breeze on this 24 degree celsius day with clear skies and plenty of sunshine.
One thing that gets overlooked too often is the greenery we have. Our trees, our grass, our flowers. It seems like such a minor thing, but cold grass on bare feet is a luxury afforded by few outside of North America. Now there is more to this story than just the colour green (which also happens to be my favourite colour). Canada is also best known for our abundance of natural resources, which includes fishing, hunting/ trapping, agriculture, oil/ mining, and (you guessed it) forestry and logging. In 2013, production in the forest sector contributed $19.8 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP for short (Government of Canada). Not only is our greenery beautiful, but it is also useful. Aside from our greenery, the land itself is so diverse, from the rocky coasts of Nova Scotia to the plains throughout Alberta and B.C… I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but I plan to… sounds like a road trip to me! 🙂
Ontario is home to one of the greatest cultural hubs; the city of Toronto boasts almost every ethnicity, sexual-orientation, language, and religion in the world. I am in love with the fact that you can be who you are in Canada. I am a proud supporter of gay marriage and Canada has supported gay marriage since 2005. The United States only just legalized gay marriage for their entire country. Did you know there are still countries where being gay is punishable by death? Canada is great because we recognize all human beings as equal. In my travels I have also noticed that there are not very many interracial relationships outside of Canada. I remember being in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Hungary and not seeing a single ethnically mixed person between a minority and a majority. For some reason I was starting to feel like an outsider and not just a tourist by the end of the trip. It is not a good feeling being excluded for the colour of your skin, and in Canada the number of people who feel that way is minimal and perhaps even nonexistent. Allow me to paint another picture.The vast majority of the world see Canada and the United States as interchangeable and similar in almost every aspect. What they do not realize however is Canada is a cultural mosaic and the USA is a melting pot. This means that in Canada, your nationality does NOT define who you are. You can be Canadian-Italian if you like or simply Canadian. Just look downtown to find a miniature Chinatown only 15 minutes away from the core of the city. We accept everyone as they are and thus we have this beautiful array of people in our country. In the US if you are American, you are expected to shed the majority of your previous affiliations and stand proud and free as just an American ( a generalization but one that does hold truth). It becomes harder to hold onto your roots when you are constantly being bombarded by the American way and wether you would like to or not you end up assimilating. I actually have experienced this first hand while living in Arizona. What makes our nation so amazing is that Canada embodies acceptance for all in almost every form.
Another great thing about Canada is that we can educate ourselves at the library, online, and in school that is free for twelve years! Thousands of people immigrate to Canada every year for our renowned education systems. Because I Am a Girl is an organization that actually taught me about women who are oppressed because of their gender, and they seek to end the rampant inequality in countries like Syria, Iran, and Iraq. In Canada, we see no such injustice.
That is a statement that can really sum up why Canada is such a great place. We have justice. We have democracy. We care for one another through our tax system. Perhaps you may never need to go to a hospital, but would it not be an injustice if you could help someone in need, but decided not to so you could save a couple bucks? We have high taxes, but our elderly are taken care of, our youth who have the tendency to break their noses every hockey game are taken care of. As children we have memories of bubbles, chalk art, bike rides, and sports. Children in Haiti have memories of factory lines, 12 hour shifts, and hunger. Our government tries to keep the gap between the wealthy and poor small to prevent extreme poverty and suffering through programs like welfare, which is paid for through taxes… Even if we do still have people without homes on the street at least there are programs in place to try and make change to help them. We sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture because we’ve never experienced extreme hardship, but we can help just by changing our perspectives… In Canada we have justice, and because we do it is our responsibility to share it with those who do not. I guess you could say it is in our nature to be polite haha
Red, white, and a maple leaf. Canada has one of the most recognizable flags in the world and one that we all proudly carry. In conclusion, I know I personally carry it with pride because the Canadian flag is an archetype for the peace, diversity, acceptance, and kindness of the people found in our country. Why do you carry your flag?
Hello Hello! Two hellos are twice the happiness 🙂 I apologize for the lack of blogs in the past three weeks, however I would grab some popcorn and pull up a chair as I blog spam you with the tornado of events that have happened recently. This particular blog is going to be about my prom and prom weekend, which happened on June 5th,6th, and 7th… *Climbs into time machine*
Friday June 5th, 2015
Hello once again! Glad you made the trip back safely 😉 The morning is overcast and dewy and it smells like rain. As a child I used to be a morning person, but somewhere between my 13 year old teen angst phase and now I have transformed into someone who loves to sleep. Prom morning was different though, and when I woke up at 8am I felt a twinge of impending excitement and only a little bit groggy. Breakfast was simple; I had cereal, fruit, and OJ. I chose to get ready with my mom, and we headed out for pedicures and manicures at 930ish. I wanted to make sure my dress was the main focus, so I chose a soft pink for my toes and a simple french manicure. After nails, hair, and makeup were done (pictures will be at the end!), my mom and I headed over to the park across the street to take some pictures. We were so lucky because just as we finished and started heading home it started raining. I was pretty upset with the rain because the day before had been so beautiful and it turned out that the day after prom was warm and sunny. Anyway instead of renting a limo my friends and I all decided to carpool in my truck 🙂 So with my clutch, keys, and umbrella in hand I headed out to pick them up. To get hyped up and ready to dance we put together an awesome Pre-Prom Playlist!
After I picked up my girls there was only one thing left to do, which was to head to prom 🙂 Overall the night was amazing, although I do regret the lack of pre-prom pictures outside because of rain. My date was so sweet, the food was good, and the music amazing. I loved how our DJ played fun and upbeat songs from every genre, and not just today’s top 25. My favourite being a soca song 🙂 There was a photo booth and large dance floor.Our theme was a Venetian Carnival and the venue was perfectly suited for the decorations. I felt so proud that the evening turned out so well, as I was on the prom committee and had such a huge hand in the planning. I felt very satisfied with the night, especially knowing how much hype there is on prom by the media. I couldn’t describe to you in words how wonderful it was, but there is a little saying you might know that could help. Here are a few of the pictures I did take, so hopefully they will be able to provide the words I am lacking. (The saying is a picture is worth a thousand words aha)
Weekend of June 5th, 2015
As a graduation present, my mom surprised me with tickets to watch the Women’s World Cup live in Ottawa!!! So saturday June 6th at 9am, we hit the road 🙂 There’s nothing like a road trip with your family when you have good conversation, good music, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience waiting for you at the end. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in the heart of the city. Since we were a day early, my mom and I went to the Canadian Museum of Nature 🙂
It was really cool 🙂 I never knew how many different species of birds there are, nor do I understand why people are so obsessed with diamonds after seeing so many beautiful minerals and precious stones. I love going to museums, I believe they are great places for the public to interact with a world they otherwise would have no idea about. For example, dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years.Yet regular people like you and I are gifted with the opportunity to stand in front of their immense fossils. Impossible you ask? Only in movies with computer technology and green screens? No, what seems unimaginable is made real by scientists who have reconstructed entire skeletons and put them on display. It is so important not to take available information for granted, and to learn as much as possible if we can. I am even more aware of how blessed I am as a girl because there are women in the world who are still denied access to basic education.
Anyway, back to soccer. There were two games on Sunday. Norway played Thailand first at 1pm and Germany played the Ivory Coast second at 4pm. If you know me well, which I think you all are getting to, you will know I love Disney movies. In particular, I LOVED Frozen ♥ What is the point of that you may ask? Well I was rooting for Norway in the first game. To tie it all together, the clothing, architecture, and even the geography were all based on Norway and traditional Norwegian culture 🙂 I was so pumped when Norway ended up winning 4-0. I have never been so excited in my entire life. We were even in the very front row, practically on the field! I’ve never been to a professional soccer game, let alone a FIFA match! I was overjoyed to be there; i think i thanked my mom over twenty times♥
The games were pretty long, but we had enough time between the matches to go shopping in the gift shop 🙂 I bought an awesome adidas trainer jacket and ball cap. After visiting the store we headed back to our seats just in time for kickoff. The game was so intense. The players of Ivory Coast became extremely aggressive after Germany scored their fifth goal, and five girls walked away with yellow cards. One girl most likely would have been expelled from the tournament with a red card if her coach hadn’t pull her off the field. I was on the sideline and was scared.Despite all of the dirty playing and fouls Germany still won the game 10-0! That is an unheard of score in soccer and could probably parallel something like 300 points in an NMA game, or match an NHL game with 13 goals.
After the game we left the stadium and my mom and I enjoyed some of the best bacon mac and cheese either of us have ever had. With a long drive in the morning we didn’t bother to stay up late, but I despite the exhaustion I must say we both went to sleep with a smile.
Thanks for watch this episode of Back to the Past – the next blog will be about my high school graduation, so stay tuned!
P.S. don’t forget to donate to my gofundme page 🙂
Good morning! 🙂 I have so much to tell you about! These last two weeks have been incredibly busy, thus only now are you hearing about my adventures. three weeks ago I went on a trip back to Arizona to see my friends who were graduating high school. Just in case you didn’t remember, I lived in Arizona for three years for the 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. While there I founded some of the rare friendships that last a lifetime, so I felt compelled to be there to support them during such a momentous milestone. Aside from the actual graduation ceremony, I spent as much time as possible just catching up with friends and enjoying the valley sun. The weather there was a stunning 40 degrees Celsius with blue skies everyday! I forgot how beautiful the city of Chandler is with its palm trees and extensive landscaped golf courses. However, this actually may be the state’s tragic flaw.
The beautiful grass and flowers need extensive and constant irrigation; the water is being pumped in from the Colorado River. The tragedy of this is that the available water supplies are declining exponentially, and this is evidenced by simply looking at the water rationing in California who also draw on the Colorado River. These are only two of the seven states that rely on this river, so the future is just as uncertain in Arizona as it is in California (Acuna, Burke). Being aware of these current events may not seem important to us in Canada, as we have the Great Lakes for our fresh water which is a seemingly unlimited supply. However, we need to pay attention and understand that we must take care of the resources we have and to avoid abusing them, so we can ensure a secure and sustainable future.
Aside from the potential water rationing in Arizona I had an amazing time and it was worth every penny 🙂 Here are some pictures from my trip ..!
P.S. Read more about the water crisis here.
Hayy there! Yes, hay is for horses but it is also great as a greeting *puns* . Anyway, as I briefly mentioned before, I have been working on an independent business venture within my school. This venture consisted of selling t-shirts that would be exclusively available to the grade twelve students to commemorate our graduating year. My inspiration for this idea came from the sale of class rings.
These rings can be quite pricey and a t-shirt is a more affordable and fashionable alternative. Well after weeks of advertising over the announcements, reviewing the final designs and colours, going into bounty-hunter mode to collect people’s money, being harassed with a constant flow of “are the shirts ready yet?”, waiting somewhat patiently for the order to be completed after a two week delay, and just running around in general trying to make sure everything stayed organized it is all finally coming to a close. I was able to pick up the finished product yesterday and I love them <3 During lunch my friend Zoe and I set up a table in the front foyer of our school to distribute to the paying and not very patient grade twelve students 🙂
Unfortunately, there were many people who were missing at school today because prom is tomorrow and if you haven’t been taking care of your eyebrows on a regular basis it very well could take an entire day to tame those caterpillars Lol. The distribution process will continue on Tuesday, and hopefully I will be able to get a group picture with all the students who bought a shirt 🙂 I’m so proud, maybe I have a future in sales… There are endless possibilities for the future 🙂 Anyway, until tomorrow when I will have to fill you in about PROM!! 😀
Runner’s Take Your Marks, Get Set…Go! Lake Ontario Secondary School Athletics: The Track and Field Edition. On May 20th, Catholic Schools from around the region gathered to compete over two epic days of running, jumping, throwing, and leaping. Unfortunately, due to the strike the field felt fairly empty, and there were even some races with only one person in it (That’s what happened in the Midget girls 90 meter hurdles… She went home with a gold medal, since she technically was first).
In regards to the strike, I feel so grateful to go to a catholic school, especially since I am a grade twelve student.Having been out of the classroom for over a month, public school students not only miss out on a necessary education, but also on activities like soccer, track & field, a graduation ceremony, and in some cases prom.I also know students whose conditional acceptances were revoked because their midterm marks did not meet their requirements. Not to mention these students all need to attend summer school to make up for the massive amount of time missed in school. I know it is illegal for nurses to go on strike because their absence would be immediately detrimental to the public. Though this is not the case with students, these long term strikes have a lasting impact on the future of graduating students.
Anyway, aside from the noticeable absence of more than 200 athletes, I had tons of fun and even went home with a ribbon and a medal 🙂 I ran three events this year; I ran 100m hurdles, the 100m dash, and the 4x100m relay. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be officially running the hurdles, it has been 2 years since I’ve run an official race.
Considering my lack of coaching I was really proud of myself, I placed second overall and went home with the silver 😀 The weather that day was sunny and warm in the morning, but as the day slipped by clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped. Our team did what we could to share sweaters, sweatpants, and makeshift blankets. Cheering helped get our blood pumping as well if we didn’t have any more events left. Near the end of the day were the relay races. Since we had a senior team, we were the second last race of the day behind the boys race. I am the second fastest senior on my team, so I ran the first leg of the race. Being first in a race always makes me nervous, and this was EXTREMELY evident when I false-started before the gun. If I false-started a second time it would be an immediate disqualification for my entire team… Thankfully this was not the case, and as the gunman fired his second shot I raced around the curve against five other schools. I was able to put my team in first place with a 2 second lead, but the competition was fierce and we ended up finishing in fourth. I was okay with this though, as we all got green ribbons and green is my favourite colour haha The day was a successful one and my teammates also did very well. Though I qualified for regionals I unfortunately was unable to attend because I was going to be in Arizona! Now that itself will be a whole new blog… Until next time! 🙂
P.S. 59 days until Nationals! 🙂 Don’t forget to help me get there!