Odds n Ends — Miscellaneous tidbits you might like to check out

Sometimes when you feel you have a good idea, and after pursuing it for a while, it actually develops into something special. In that idea’s evolution, some parts grow but others are left aside and cannot always be worked in. Or there is a greater but not as clearly defined idea which includes a wider range of elements than the principal thrust of the project. Some of those more marginal elements might very well be relevant to that abstract idea but it is difficult to see their connection to the rest. Typically these elements are cut out, however interesting they may be. I have tried to be true to the clarity and focus of this website but I would also like to take advantage of being its author to include a section for those odds and ends.

When I enter the classroom, I am one of those teachers who is very well prepared, who has a clear idea of where I would like to go with the students and how to get there.  I am armed with materials and planning but once we get started, we shape the class together, improvising as we go along  And that is how I would like to start this particular page.  I would like to play it a bit by ear, placing a variety of things on it that will probably have little to do with the website directly, at least seemingly so.

I would like to place a variety of things here, like offering a space for people I know that make music, painting, pottery, etc and would like to share it with others. Or maybe offering interesting references that the visitors to the site might like to see. Everything else on this site has been worked over many, many and even many more times, including the timing and the presentation. It will be a little refreshing for me to have a part of it not quite like the rest, but welcome, all the same.

Let’s see how it develops, shall we?

Fly by darkfox

I’d like to start this section of Extras off by passing on some music from Darkfox. Check it out. You might like it.

The Harvey Skidoo Tree Series

This is a series of anecdotes, little stories of reflections & incidents that have happened to me along the way to the present day.  There will be a new one every month which will be accompanied by teaching materials if you want to use it in your classroom.  Those materials can be found in the top menu bar under HST Narratives.  Try them out and let me know how it went.

CAE Test Results & Conversion Charts

A quick reference guide for teachers and students to keep track of practice test results for the CAE exam.  Also included are conversion charts to interpret the results.

Not Just Photos

This summer I had the opportunity to meet with Bruce Reid, someone who I met years ago who was working in Health & Safety in the Smelter.  In his spare time he became a very well-known and respected photographer.  Because of his talent and the respect he evoked, he was granted access to areas in the industry which few would receive and came up with photographs which not just document what was there, but often capture an important essence.  The themes he has explored go beyond mining.  They range from nature to people to history to the spectacular Aurora Borealis.  Check out his website.  You won’t be disappointed.

(He has graciously given me permission to use some of his work in a few of the stories appearing in Harvey Skidoo Tree.)

Ukrainian Churches in Canada

Sterling Demchinsky feels a close connection with the Ukrainian churches and the people and institutions surrounding them.  Even for people not normally attracted to these historical references, many would take interest in the styles of architecture and the stories behind them.  He has thoughtfully mapped out many looks at this disappearing heritage and you are invited to see them for yourself.


You’re looking at a busy street in Barcelona.  Entering her website, you can see other scenes from other cities, brochures, posters, postcards and a variety of work wonderfully created by Sophie Wainwright, an illustrator and printmaker currently living not far from that busy street.

Inspirational English

You don’t have to be an English teacher or student to enjoy Inspirational English.  Maybe you just like magazines and having a good read about a variety of things.  Every two months a new issue of this colourful e-zine comes out with a new theme like Cultural Diversity or Stepping Out of your Comfort Zone.  You can find articles, stories, lesson plans and ideas by and for teachers, all with a positive flavour.  Check it out.