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Getting a serious case of envy

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I’m trying to get the image out of my head of child the elder cycling through The Bronx as darkness fell Monday, trying to find the way to his Couch Surfers destination in Manhattan.

Mom and I of course hear about these adventures after they’re over, and he’s safe somewhere for another night. As I write this, he’s in one of the world-class museums or art galleries around Central Park, having last night seen Ovechkin and the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Yes, this is so education-related, it’s not just rambling, since he’s still a student and that makes this education-related. His law school applications were part of the documentation necessary to cross the border and prove that he intended to come back to Canada.


Meanwhile, his daily journal now includes more than 700 photos, and you can follow his trip on his blog.

Child the elder stayed in Boston with close friends of his environmental sciences prof and mentor at Trent University, Steve, whom we made a point of visiting when we were at Trent last week, so there you go, more education references in an education blog.

We had a great time at Trent watching child the younger play volleyball. The women Excalibur haven’t lost a set so far this season, though tough times looming in Sudbury this weekend.

Pause while I try to get Stompin’ Tom and Sudbury Saturday Night out of my head.

No trip to Peterborough is complete without the traditional Saturday night post-volleyball ribs and catfish and sweet potato fries at Hot Belly Mama’s cajun restaurant on the main drag, not to mention the Wilde Old Ale and other beverages they brew in the basement, which I won’t mention because someone might think I was encouraging the consumption of alcohol.

It’s really neat for us to go to the campus. This is five years and counting to go to Upper Canada when there are at least two home matches, strange to watch the men without child the elder on the court, but exciting men’s volleyball nonetheless, and the strongest I’ve ever seen the women’s team. Jim, I watched your lad on the court, and we also met the family of another member of the men’s team who’d made the trek from Dryden to watch their son play.

I also popped over to Hamilton to visit one of my oldest friends — OK, friend of longest-standing, but also my oldest — and by coincidence, the Moose were in town that night.

After dinner at Chester’s World of Beers — no, I do not encourage anyone to go there, or to consume certain products, and there’s no more Spitfire Premium Ale left in Chester’s cellar, after I had the last bottle of the exceptionally good special dark ale commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain — we went over to Copps Coliseum. Gary Lawless wrote all about the game in your daily FP, but sportswriters don’t necessarily see what we see in the crowd.

First, the announced crowd of 2,800 must be someone’s idea of a joke, a bunch of those fans must have come dressed as empty seats. Hamilton obviously doesn’t equate supporting the Bulldogs with a demonstration of support for ever getting an NHL team.

As if, but I digress.

There are cheaper prices for seniors and students, but the arena isn’t sectioned off — we had our choice at the box office in mid-afternoon of sitting anywhere in the rink for the same price, and picked the 13th row right at centre, high enough to see over the glass, close enough to see the players’ faces and appreciate the speed. Despite the low turnout, many of the people who came sported Bulldogs’ jerseys. I have no idea why anyone took reserved seats up in the last row of the corner of the lower bowl, given they could have sat anywhere, and I was amazed to see that there were actually scalpers working outside.

OK, next blog goes back to ranting and barely-coherent rambling thoughts about the Manitoba education system, OK?

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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