Friday, February 12, 2010

ipadio: Chemong's phlog - 4th phonecast

The Night Before, Hours to go...

From the darkness of my bedroom, I can look out and see the bright lights of Vancouver's downtown, and watch the Olympic spot lights over False Creek move around and light up the undersides of the low-lying clouds. If I am thinking "it all begins in less than 24 hours", I can only imagine what thousands of athletes and their coaches must be thinking and feeling tonight.

Athletes, Vancouver 2010 organizers, and volunteers are posting messags after message about having huge knots in their stomachs, of not being able to sleep, of being struck by the incredible buzz and and anticipation of what tomorrow will bring, so many Olympic-size dreams realized, so many visions brought to life.

Here in the quiet of my room, I listen to the wind, and watch as the white lights dance on the underbelly of the clouds above the city, sometimes reminding me of an old-town car lot, then suddenly a vision of brilliant Northern Lights in white, and now, an Olympic oval.... I wonder if someone is leading them in their dance.... The world is watching -- and waiting --

For me, a strange sensation of calm, of what is going to be, will be... Perhaps I am getting old, or just a little wiser, and know now that as much as I can want different things to happen, certain outcomes I want to come to be, there is also much beyond my control. So I am content to watch, and wait, and allow tomorrow to bring whatever it will bring.

Good luck and best wishes to all those who struggle with sleep tonight. May the quiet of knowing you've done all you can, drift over you and lead you to sleep.

The Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2010, begin in hours. Sleep safely, sleep well.

Cathy B

Thursday, February 11, 2010

WHO is going to light the Olympic Cauldron tomorrow?

Nope, we didn't get to find out who is going to light the Olympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremonies dress rehearsal. We got to watch the live musical and dance entertainment, and the most awesomely beautiful techno-magic, but we didn't even get a whisper of an idea who will be lighting the flame. Who do you think it will be?

My vote all along has been for a hologram of Terry Fox lighting it -- technology these days can do just about anything! And he represents everything a true Olympic Champion could ever be. It would be so fitting that he could finally finish the Olympic Torch Journey, and light the final flame for these home-town Winter Olympics.

But last night I changed my mind...

I was picturing what Wayne Gretsky would be thinking as Terry Fox lit the flame in virtual reality. Yes, the gentleman that he is, Wayne would "get" it, and appreciate the all the wonderful intention and meaning behind it.

But even that says it! Who else in our country's history of sport is larger than life, the true epidome of Canadian Hockey, a true representative of Canadian personality and integrity, and in the world of sport, truly, truly, truly deserving of this Olympic Champion honour?

It's Wayne Gretsky for me, all the way. I think a zillion athletes from around the world would see it the same way. What do YOU think?

We'll see, won't we? Because 26 hours from now, we'll know!

Reporting Live from the Olympics!

copy of my posting at work for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board:

A dream of a lifetime!

Yes, I'm finally here! Colin Jagoe, Jeff Brown, and our KPR IT folks have been absolutely amazing in helping my Gr 7 class at Chemong set up the technology so that we can send and receive messages, record podcasts, send pictures and video, and keep up to date on all the action through Twitter -- including reports from "HenryHudson Bear", a teddybear sidekick travelling with me who is recording his Olympic Adventures for little kids in his own Twitter account! A picture of him getting to sit in the cockpit of the plane yesterday is attached.

And -- wonder of wonders -- I'm even going to be able to send LIVE-STREAM video from events like the Opening Ceremonies, the Canada-U.S. hockey game, both women and men's hockey playoff games, the GOLD MEDAL sledge hockey game, Paralympic Alpine Skiing where BLIND people ski downhill at I-can't-believe-anyone-would-do-that speeds, Short Track and Long Track Speed Skating, Men and Women's Curling (both Olympic and Wheelchair), Womens' Snowboard Cross, 4-man Bobsleigh, and even more -- can you believe I'm getting to do all this?!?!? (OK, so noone starts getting the wrong idea, perhaps I should add that I'm on an Unpaid Leave, I'm volunteering as a Driver in the Transportation Fleet, and I'll be teaching until I'm 95 to pay for all of this!)

This evening I'm off to the dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies with my 12-year old niece -- all Olympic Volunteers were given a free ticket, and were allowed to buy 1 ticket to take someone else. We're excited! But we've been sworn to silence: no pictures or messages from there, so you won't hear anything from me -- too many secrets for Friday night, I guess!

If you're interested in seeing any of our reports, or you have young primary-junior kids who'd enjoy following HenryHudsonBear, the links are printed below. And if you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see or hear about, or people out here with whom you have connections, please email and let me know. My class is looking for people out here to interview, to hear all about what they're doing here, and to ask their point of view on their Olympic experiences. (Our literacy SmartGoal is perspective, eh?) (-:

Enjoy! Enjoy!

From Vancouver,
Cathy B


I'm just a neophyte at doing all this, so please be patient with my lack of skills - but the learning curve is turning out to be lots of fun! I've added some simple info below for any other non-techies like myself, who may want to understand how to work some of it. It's R-E-A-L-L-Y simple!! (I'm beachcat in FirstClass and the name stuck) (HenryHudsonBear for the little kids)

For people new to this, like myself:
All the the links are on the front page of my blog, or you can see very short update messages in either of the twitter accounts. You don't need to have a Twitter account of your own to read the messages -- it's basically just a webpage where you can read what they've been doing and saying. You only need a Twitter account if you want to reply to the person either publically or privately, or you want to "follow" someone. If you are "following" someone on Twitter, you get a "tweet" or a notice every time they post something new, like now they are here or there, or they've just posted a new podcast (an audio voice recorded message), or they're reporting Live from one of the events and you want to see it in real time. When you get a "tweet" , you just click on the link in the message and that connects you to the podca st, the picture, live-stream video, or whatever. Most of my podcasts, pictures, and videos, etc. will be linked on my blog as well, if you ever want a simple way to find and check them out.
I hope this info helps!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

#3 The Power of a Dream

In the past year preparing for this Olympic Journey, I've spent lots of time thinking and planning, sometimes asking myself WHAT is all this fuss about??, and What the heck am I doing this for (?!?), and at other times, pondering the "ifs, ands, and buts" of sharing it with others, especially while carrying a responsibility to the very wonder-ful and impressionable intermediate students I teach, "my lovelies..."

And so, as a gift before I fly off to Vancouver for 6 weeks, I have put together a little presentation for my students -- to explain what My Olympic Journey means to me, and to try to plant seeds of hope and inspiration to believe in and achieve in the power of their dreams.

My little presentation goes like this:

PART A - The Seeds of a Dream . . .
(The Story of My Dream. I'll eventually post this so you can read it.)

PART B - What IS the Olympic Dream?

** "Dreams are Whispers"... an inspirational film clip from

** A music video
of LeAnn Rymes song "Light the Fire Within" created by Dark Moon Studios

** Canada's Celine Dion singing "The Power of the Dream", with the song's Canadian composer, David Foster, on piano at the Atlanta Opening Ceremonies in 1996.

** The Children of Atlanta sing "The Power of the Dream" at the Atlanta Closing Ceremonies.

I hope you'll have a moment to watch and enjoy!