Hello from Canada

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There is a week left. It’s the home stretch. Kids are buckling down, pulling out the exam reviews and crumpled notes at the bottom of their backpack, straining for that last exam grade to pull them just close enough to an A that their beloved English teacher will round it up. But I am sitting on a blue tarp, hiding from the sun and attempting to “out-rest the enemy.” I am sitting in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Races have been rolling down the course all morning, and the rest of the team along with myself have been making friendship bracelets, playing cards, listening to music, and racing. With the exception of the graduated seniors, each and every one of us are missing some of the most vital days of exam review– all for a whole lot of nothing.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The teachers and most of the parents hate the timing of this trip. In their eyes, it’s at the most inconvenient time of the year. But for myself, and many of the kids on either side of me, the timing could not have been better.

By the end of the year, I am losing it; the only thing on my mind is the simple summer bliss that comes with days full of the sun, the pool, and my couch. It is almost impossible for me to sit still in a classroom hovering over wrinkled notes, shoving a semester’s worth of information into my brain, only for it to fall out a week later.

So much happier am I to be sitting on an island next to an Olympic style course, smiling the days away. Sure, there may be some benefits to enduring the pain that comes from sitting in a classroom during the days prior to the exam. But I also am gaining from sitting here on this tarp. I am stress-free and full of joy. And to me, that is so much better.

Rowing is my favorite thing in the world; this team is my favorite thing in the world; the sun, the wind, this tarp are my favorite things in the world.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Hello from Canada