Looking for something more clear that what already exits is harder than I thought

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Deep Freeze - Then Thaw

The days have been going by in a blur. I am meeting my goal of walking often and my mind is full of moons and cold windy dusk and dawn. It seams that the light of the moon hangs over my shoulder just like a well placed mood lamp. Two weeks ago it was minus 40 with wind chill. I think that is the same in Celsius and Ferenheidt. Some people think that it is crazy to live in a place that cold - but really inside it is warm. Wearing Snowpants to work downtown in a financial services office is somewhat invigorating. It was so icy on the sidewalks that I was able to slide in my ugly purple shin high fake "cerels" (a popular must have boot style from the 80's) for a quarter of the block.

By this time of year it becomes very easy to decide what shoes are appropriate for walking outside - and what shoes are not. The cold is over now and I have seen so many different kinds of snow. When it was very cold - everything was white. Absolutely everything. Even the homeless people were not out on the streets - so it all looked very clean. The whole city started to move so slowly - people bonded just like a sporting event playoff run (red mile?). Everyone was impacted by this spell of frozeness. So the snow - it was light and almost not a solid substance. If you looked straight ahead while you walked it would be hard to tell if snow or wind were at your heels - that's how light and un-intrusive the snow was. I don't know where the birds went - but they were not making one peep for about four days. I guess bird hibernation might be a possibility. Never really considered where things go that live outside during a deep freeze - it only happens every once in a while. When it does happen - I'm always shocked by how many things there are to actually stop moving.

Now today it was 10 degrees above zero. That means that in two weeks the temperatures have changed 50 degrees! That is a major pressure change - so the sky has been a theatre of clouds and colors. Especially with the sun rising at 7 and setting around 5 - this means darkness really gets to swirl and dance. The nice thing about living in the prairies is that it is all sky out here. Just like living on the ocean really - you can stand in one spot and turn 360 degrees while watching the horizon spin around you.

So a word about the geese. They are south at my river bend of the bow for the winter. In the day they go and find whatever for food and around sunset they return. So I can stand on the edge of the river valley at sunset (the golden reds and yellows slip behind the mountain sillette) and literally hundreds of geese come to the river for their night rest. These birds are both large in size and sound - each one honking and blaying its way to the flock below like dark vessels of survival.

When I sat on top of the river bend tonight, the whole valley was alive with sound. A hard dirty crust remained as a memory of snow that blasted crunch chruch so loud you couldn't hear yourself think. There were cars moving, dogs barking and people walking. Everything alive with the thaw. But above it all if you listened in between the landing of a new flock of geese - there was a great conversation at the river between all the birds. I suppose it was not only us humans that missed out on some important business during the deep freeze.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Where is my car?

So the day was normal and the speed was fast. I got out of the office earlier than usual and it took me three blocks of walking in a freezing blizzard to realize that my car was not in the usual <> spot. The dark blue 1992 Subaru four door Legacy is very dirty right now - so I even looked at cars that were black and grey - hoping each time that one of them was mine. Nope, nope, and... third spot down past the hydrant... nope. Then I thought what if someone stole it? But that of course would never happen with an old beater like mine. Not with the oil boom in Calgary providing everyone with fancy new SUV's.

Then it dawned on me. My car was not in the park-and-ride parking lot because I did NOT take the c-train this morning. What a dolt move. Auto pilot really kicked in on that commute home. So depressing that I didn't even consider my day the whole way home. Perhaps I was simply concentrating on keeping my feet dry and away from the chilly wind ripping through the bottom of the c-train doors. Looking up and down the frozen white road left me feeling desperate and hopeless. How could this have happened? The options were as follows: cab to my parents house, c-train to another station south, c-train to another station downtown, bus? Each of these options meant that I was going to stand in the cold blowing snow for longer than my personal winter threshold would allow.

I had to get out of the cold as quickly as possible, and the only way to do this time was to hoof it. The only way to get to my car and not freeze to death was to walk to my parents house to fetch the car. After all.. it would only be a twenty minute walk - how bad could it be?

In minus 10 celcius blowing wind environment, there is nothing quite as humiliating as not being in the right spot for your car. So I walked from the c-train station to my parents house. I don't particularily want to remember the part where my black patent office shoes allowed me to gain momentum to perform a skate/hop/slide/hop/skate/slide routine down a path of woden stairs in the park. Thats right - I slid down the steps in an outdoor park while the cold menaced everyone else who might have provided assistance away. I'm not too sure if the visual is strong enough here.

The hill was about 45 degrees steep - and I started to venture my way down in a rather cautious yet awkward way. You know... leaning backwards at a ridiculous angle just in case a piece of ice high jacked my shoe so the distance between my butt and the hill was kept at a minimum. My hands (of course bare of mittens) were kept close to my heart like a boxer, and my elbows jutted out shaking ready to catch and protect from any sudden fall. Getting my hands wet at this point was just not an option, I was willing to sacrifice fibia, tibia and funny bone for the sake of keeping my hands and fingers frost bite free.

Anyway I made it three quarters of the way down this hill. The whole way, attempting to avoid rope roots from tripping me and causing a face first bail. As I balanced out my options I began slowing inching away from the natural disasters towards the human path. I knew it was icy underneath because it had been wet this week and probably muddy too. Another well known fact is that wood freezes slippery. Frozen wood is very slippery. Frozen mud is very slippery. Frozen mud on wood is a deadly combination.

But the rope roots kept on clawing at my ankles as if to tell me that my only fate was to land my exposed hand in the cold snow as I caught myself from falling face first down the hill in my long blue wool coat, black patent office shoes, khakis, collar and suit jacket. Not exactly anyones first pick for outdoor apparel - especially mine at this point. Finally when the steep path dissipated into graduated steps, I lunged over in an attempt to gain some stability and peace. Well this momentum was enough to send me flying. From step to step I slipped only keeping on my feet by making sure that at the end of the step – I was prepared for the drop. So it was like foot skiing, slide, hop, slide, hop, slide, hop. Except the only thing is that each step I started moving faster and faster and faster – each step pulling out of my voice box an embarrassing whoa… whoah….. So I jumped back to the wild hill grasses and stumbled my way to flatter ground.

After this near wipeout experience, the walk was so peaceful. I could handle a little wind chill as long as my body was not in jepordy of peircing pain. If I close my eyes I can still here the snow falling onto the frozen wind. It was so cold, that not even a cat dared to disturb the scene. The melted snow on my cheeks invited the wind to bite – and my eye balls were either frozen open or closed. It was just reaching that rare point where winter is beautiful. The naked river was steaming in places as if the cold were allowing it some freedoms unfound in the everyday. The funny thing is that by the time I got home, this time walking along the path started to outweigh the adrenaline rush that it took to get there.

My legs are warm now, and so is my face – so the wind doesn’t feel so harsh in my memory. It was all very white – snow in the air, on the ground, on my eyelashes. The river was covered, with only a few spots of exposed water actually made it down the stream. Silence. Because of the lack of sound, movement and color. I love living in a place that there is beauty in the space in between. In between work and home, warmth and cold. It is that hiccup of winter outdoor walks that helped me remove autopilot from the comute and tune in.
This week was a success. A real triumph. I made my goal of walking Hank three times (and there were some extra walks tooo!). What you put out in the universe sure comes to find you. Oh on Wednesday I went to a morning meeting and didn't take the c-train to work. Actually I drove to the meeting and parked at my parents place - my dad gave me a ride into downtown for the j.o.b.

Monday, November 20, 2006

For the sake of what?

You - over analyze everything - stop thinking about everything so much. That is what so many people tell me to do. Well I can't stop thinking about everything all the time. My stress binoculars some might say are extra strength.

They made us ((the interns)) do an amazing thing when I worked for the government. They MADE us. Well ok - maybe there was room to protest and not participate - but I did participate.

On the 18th floor of Commerce Place in Edmonton there were pieces of papers to write down and review our VISION statement. Like actually say and review what my pupose is - are you kidding? The facilitator looked at me expecting a wave of clarity to move the day to day clutter away from my current eyesight. This process of a mental Chinook would open the doors to mental clarity - and an an ultimate purpose for my existence. Whoa.

There was a nice chart with pictures. One those that said: you are here now.. This is where you are going. I like to think I'm one of the only who laminated the outcome to keep above the whiteboard in their overly cluttered home office.

Identify the gap and then you can get there.

So what? It worked. After all the exercises of writing down the things that really move me and shake my world I managed to squeeze out a couple of words making a sentence that looks like a vision statement. Did I mention that it was a scary exercise? Because if you admit something rocks your world - even to yourself - how can you protect it. It is like saying a wish out loud - if that wish does not come true - the disappointment is a little more raw.

The trouble is - now I have at least an idea what maybe I should be doing on a larger scale - how do I get there?

The outcome is a laminated vision statement in my pea green office. It probably should be bigger. Both my office and the statement. I mean physically. Or maybe I don't mean physically - maybe the vision statement needs to grow in my life totally. Really use this thing as the boundaries.

That is what I'm trying to do these days after all that. Make my vision statement bigger. Does anyone have vision fertilizer? Can I buy it at Home Depot or Starbucks with my over used debit card?

"The continues development of my creative process while staying in touch with wild places, new people and different experiences."

So the second step to growing this thing as the HR gurus would advise is to make a couple goals. First goal: walk my do more often. Make it specific and realistic right? How cheezy - but of course this is really what they told me to do. Ok here it is: this week my goal is to walk Hank for ten minutes three times. Oh yeah to end it all off something from that book "The 5 lessons a millionaire taught me": Today I decide to be wealthy.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Graduate from Municipal Internship Program

News from the Municipal Internship Program
MOVING ON: Graduates of 2004-05
The graduates of the 2004-05 Municipal Internship Program are coming to a municipality
near you! The 11 participants in this year’s program are winding down their 12-month
internships and moving on to positions in municipalities across the province. It was an
intense year, with lots of learning, networking, and professional development. Now this
group is ready to continue their careers in municipal government. Consider whether you
have a position in your organization that may be of interest to a graduating intern.
Contact Alberta Municipal Affairs if you would like to receive resumes from these
interns. We also have resumes from other young professionals interested in entering
the municipal field – let us know what type of position you are recruiting for and we can
provide resumes for individuals that may meet your recruitment interests. The Internship
Web site is listed below; check it out for contact information and news on the program.
GETTING STARTED: 2005-06 Program Underway
The 2005-06 Municipal Internship Program is underway with ten municipalities and
interns participating this year. Interns will be starting their positions in early May in this
year’s host municipalities: the Towns of Brooks, Canmore, Chestermere, and Cochrane,
Clearwater, Red Deer, Strathcona and Sturgeon Counties, and the Cities of Airdrie and
Leduc. We look forward to another busy and interesting year!
Municipalities interested in helping to build the future strength of municipal administration
in Alberta will once again have the opportunity to apply to host an intern for the Municipal
Internship Program. Recruitment for the 2006-07 program begins in June when
municipalities with populations between 700 and 75,000, and those who have previously
hosted under the re-introduced program, will be invited to submit an application to Alberta
Municipal Affairs. Partnership arrangements are also eligible – two or more municipalities
can work together to host an intern for the 12-month program. Grant funding is provided
to assist with the costs of hosting an intern and Municipal Affairs works with host
municipalities throughout the year to help ensure that both interns and hosts benefit from
this unique opportunity.
The application deadline is September 16, 2005. Further details about the program and
the application process will be provided in the invitation letter. Updated information about
the 2006-07 program will also be available shortly on the Internship Web site at:
Watch for your invitation letter in late June.
Participants in the 2004-05 Municipal Internship Program
Visiting the Legislature in March 2005

Volunteer MSS

The Management Students’ Society
Sept 2003-May 2004

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. “
Colin Powell

The Management Students’ Society (MSS) is a student-managed organization that has been in place to serve the Management students at the University of Lethbridge for over 23 years. The MSS Executive is made up of a team of student volunteers who share a common goal of uniting students, the faculty and business community to provide invaluable experiences that extend beyond the text book and classroom. Together, we represent over 2100 Management students at our Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton campuses. Below is a list of the MSS Executive Team who will be working profusely over the 2003-2004 academic year to enhance the experiences of the students we serve:

President: Andrew Hewitt
VP Finance: Tyler Irving
VP Integration & Development: David Demian
VP External Affairs: Luke Elford
VP Internal: Kelly Ngo
VP Marketing: Greg Law
VP Student Affairs: Jeanette Boleantu
Director of Information Technology: Shahid Wazed
Corporate Relations Team: Lisa Caruso
Steve Buytels
Mark Gordon
Hayley Czibere
Social Events Director: Brad Stuparyk
Academic Events Coordinators: Jessica Squire
Jill Maryniuk

Mission Statement
“MSS is dedicated to creating growth, leadership, and networking opportunities
for Management students, in cooperation with the faculty and the community.”

MSS strongly emphasizes the importance of an equal balance of academic and extracurricular activities. Our Fall and Spring calendar is full of inter-school events and conferences that create growth, leadership and networking opportunities, which will provide the skills students need to excel in today’s business world. In order to make this exciting calendar of events and conferences a reality we NEED your support. This Corporate Partner Program has been developed to provide you, our Corporate Partner, with opportunities that will add great value to your company.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Intern has chance to learn the ropes in busy Canmore
By Dave Husdal

Wednesday May 19, 2004

Jeanette Boleantu is learning the municipal government ropes as a Town of Canmore administrative intern.

Canmore Leader — She’ll have more time to prove herself than an apprentice candidate.That’s because Jeanette Boleantu is an intern, not an apprentice.

Over the next 12 months Boleantu will be learning the ropes of local government with the Town of Canmore, with the idea of potentially moving into a chief administrative officer role in a smaller Alberta municipality down the line.

Boleantu, a University of Lethbridge School of Management graduate who just finished her degree this spring, is one of 11 municipal government interns who were recently selected to take on intern positions across Alberta.

The intern program is sponsored by Alberta Municipal Affairs, but towns such as Canmore that are part of the program were given the opportunity to interview intern candidates and select the right people for their jobs.

Boleantu, a human resources major who was born and raised in Calgary, is happy to be working for her first choice of 11 municipalities in the program.

Despite being a born and raised city person, she says a past work stint in Milk River, with a population of less than 1,000, whetted her appetite for smaller communities.“When I moved to Milk River, which has 800 people, I got to appreciate the quality of life,” says the energetic former tourist information supervisor and WestJet employee.

Her past work with WestJet may help her feel more comfortable in growth-oriented Canmore, she acknowledges.“I worked at WestJet before and I really enjoyed a company that was experiencing growth,” she explains, adding she wasn’t keen on the idea of working for a municipality that might be in decline.

Boleantu adds that Canmore’s growth is appealing, as is the town’s corporate culture, with employee mentoring and beliefs and values she says are in line with her own.

As an intern, Boleantu will work directly with many of the town’s senior staff, including CAO Bert Dyck and Canmore’s three directors. She’ll also be attending some council meetings as her schedule permits.

A former student radio station on-air volunteer and a past Lethbridge Public Library employee, she’ll also work with frontline staff to learn municipal administration from the ground up.

An admitted generalist whose leisure time is spent on everything from biking to reading to playing the flute, Boleantu even has her eye on experiencing one of the jobs unique to municipal government.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to drive the Zamboni out on the ice for the first Eagles game,” she laughs.

Idealism and Destiny

Idealism and Destiny
June 2004

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - These words first came to me on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand from a young western monk who just returned from Nepal.

"The only person you have control over in your life is yourself. Don't try and influence other people. If you live for a long time - this is a big responsibility. If you live only for a short time then you have set an example for others"

At twenty years of age this presentation of self control and personal agency was new and exciting.

"In order to be the change you want to see in the world, you needed to take control of your life, your decisions and your actions."

My second year back at university I started to think about how I could make an impact with my degree. What example could I set? How could I be the change I wanted to see in the world? So I scoured the career fairs and interviewed every single representative to understand where the opportunities lay to make my footprint in community futures.

Last year I stumbled upon a booth full of dreamers. These young enthusiasts promoted the Municipal Intern program with great candor. They were convinced that my personal commitment to community and social progression were the main qualifications for the Municipal Intern program. So the application process began.

My expectations of the program were surpassed with my first communications with the Human Resources department in Canmore.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead

It is not a surprise to discover the municipal administration is an area which I have found passion. Not to mention an outlet for my creativity, skills, knowledge and desire to "make a difference". Local government touches the people in the community directly every day. Administration has control over enacting and enabling the strategic direction of the municipality. The greatest thing about the internship program is flexibility to once again set sail towards the peaks of noble dreams.

ACTIVITIES SO FAR: Partners in Injury Reduction Safety audit training, Development meetings (architect & developers), Environmental Scan communication with Senior Administration, Visioning session for the community Appropriate Dispute Resolution process, Hot Dog & Tour Guide at Civic Centre opening, Study Tours of Edmonton commercial area, Volunteer at the Children's Festival and much much more….