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Brad's Favourites

Books: The English Patient and Anil's Ghost by Michael OndaatjeOpen Secrets by Alice Munro. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, Unless by Carol Shields

Poems: "Maybe All This" by Wislawa Szymborska (Her poem, "Some Like Poetry"); "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams; "Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town" by e. e. cummings; "To a Sad Daughter" by Michael Ondaatje.

Writers: Michael Ondaatje; Alice Munro; William Saroyan; Anne Michaels, Carol Shields, Irene Nemerovsky; Cormac McCarthy

Poets: Lorna Crozier; Al Purdy; Shakespeare; Michael Ondaatje; Alden Nowlan, Wislawa Szymborska

TV Shows: Da Vinci's InquestBuffy the Vampire Slayer; Mad Men; The Wire; The Sopranos

Films: The English PatientThe DeadThe Bicycle ThiefRichard IIIBurnt by the SunNil by MouthSaltmen of Tibet.

Foods: Thai, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Anything!

Hobbies: gardening, photography, web design, writing poetry

Activities: walking, Pilates, weight training

Places: Granville Island; Museum of Anthropology (out front by the longhouse!); Gulf Islands; the top of a mountain; Paris in the springtime!

Favourite Internet Links

Internet Movie Database
Check the reviews from around the world. I do, especially before heading out to spend12 bucks.

The New York Times
Now free for anyone. Register only the first time. Great for movie reviews.

The New Yorker Magazine
Check the cartoon, ever changing, in the bottom right corner!

Salon Magazine
A readable online magazine with lots of interesting columnists.

The Weatheroffice: Vancouver Forecast
I love to know the latest weather. 

Brief History

     At heart I'm a Vancouverite, but I have prairie blood in me. Because of this, I love the mountains and the great plains equally well. I came to live on the coast in 1963, shortly before John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Before that, I lived in a small town in Manitoba, home also of Loreena McKennitt, who sang in the choir with my sister! 

     At first, I hated it here. It rained so much in the winter of '63 that about all I can remember are rivers of water flooding the streets in the short hours of grey daylight. I looked at the weather statistics for that year and found that it was a record year for rain! In Manitoba, I was used to playing in crisp cold sunlight, tobogganing down the snowy sides of the gravel pit near my house, or gazing in wonder at the icicles hanging from the eves troughs in winter. From a small town, I ended up in Burnaby, and it sure did take some getting used to! Vancouver rain clouds any time of the year.

     But then again, I did have a wonderful time as a boy. Burnaby had some large areas of untouched forests and, lucky for me, these places were near my new home. I loved to play there. You could find me climbing up the nearest maple tree, chasing frogs in the ponds near my home, or building a new tree fort in some out-of-the-way corner of the forest. If you ride the Skytrain, you can see my boyhood forest on the south side of the train as you leave the Edmonds station. Imagine me there: a tousle-haired boy of 9Chasing butterflies makes you feel free.chasing a tiger swallowtail butterfly with a net made out of a woman's lime green sheer scarf, a coat hanger, and an old broom stick! 

     I did get bigger and pretty soon I developed that teen-age embarrassment which prevented me enjoying the outdoors for many of those years. What a shame! Sitting in front of the TV too much, even watching Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell, was a common pattern. Later in my high school years, I developed some of my first passion for writing while working on "The Mike" school paper. I even drew editorial cartoons of Richard Nixon!  

See a newspaper article on Brad's bicycle ride to Halifax in 1975!

I currently teach English 11 and English 12 and Writing 12 in the classroom.


Brad's Weekly Features:

Alternatives to the Mainstream Press

The Atlas of Canada

Certificate Tests: A Teacher's Commentary

Christmas Eve in Vancouver

A Christmas Tree Tradition

A Cougar on Denman?

Earth Day

Easter 2005

Editing a 20-Error Paragraph

Effective Educational Web Design (Part One: It's Your Content that Counts)  

Effective Educational Web Design (Part Two: Building in Interactivity the Free and Easy Way)

Eight Student Writers

Four Tools for Better Writing

Getting Ready for the Certificate Tests

Given the Circumstances: Potluck—A Short Essay

Hockey: Canada's National Game

How to Answer Questions Well (1)

How to Answer Questions Well (2)

I am Thankful

Learning at the ALC

Learn CPR: Save a Life!

Learning the Edits: History of a Grade 10 Exercise

A Man Who Planted Trees

Nagasaki Journey (On the 55th Anniversary)

Nine Nights in Paris

Plagiary! Who Me?

PALC Top Web Pages of 2003

Preparing for a Family Christmas

Reflections on a Year Gone By

Reflections at the End of the Year

September 11: A Personal View

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

A Teacher's Summer Day (Personal Essay)

Teaching the Personal Narrative Essay

Teaching the "Write" Way

Teaching the "Write" Way (Update)

The New Term: Exciting Changes

Using our Hierarchical Menus

Watch Out! Practice Safe Computing

Welcome Back Everyone!

West Nile Virus: A Real Danger

Working at the ALC