#reverbbroads12: musical awakenings

Today’s prompt comes courtesy of Sarah: What is your strongest memory tied to music?

I’m sure I am not alone when I say that music has played a big role in my life.  As someone who dislikes silence (I blame my extroversion), I often have music on in the background.  I even make my own music – well, it’s not really music, more like strange little sounds while I am tasking away – which has earned me the nickname The Roaming Gnome.  But I digress…

I love how a song can take you right back to a specific moment in time, and all of the memories associated with that moment come flooding back.  It’s impossible to pinpoint just one song and one memory, so I’ll share a few.

The song “Are You Jimmy Ray” was popular when I was in grade 10 and it came in really handy when studying for my History exam.  A group of us created our own lyrics to the tune of this song:  “Are you Germany? Are you Italy? Austria-Hungary? Who wants to know? Who wants to know about the Triple Alliance?”  Needless to say, it worked (I went on to study History in university), and to this day, whenever “Are You Jimmy Ray” comes on, I can’t help but sing the lyrics we created.

Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life” also takes me right back to high school.  It was a warm October day, and two of my girlfriends and I headed to Canada’s Wonderland for one last hurrah before it closed for the season.  The anthem of the summer of ’97, “Semi-Charmed Life” was still popular well into the fall.  Some of the memories that come back include: roller coasters, half-priced candy, funnel cakes, and Nick (the German exchange student) and Kyle (his much younger “host” brother) we met on White Water Canyon.  I can tell you that when an 11-year-old tries to act “smooth” around you, your friends never let you live it down.  Jackie and Steph, I hope you’re reading.  And I hope you still remember that day.

Then there’s Modjo’s “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” that takes me back to the early fall of 2000 in England (you only need to read my previous post to know why this one stands out); Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” (or really any song from the Bodyguard soundtrack – I loved that movie) reminds me of making up dances in the living room when I was 10 years old (I still have personal dance parties and I’m not ashamed to admit it); The opening song to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation because it simply isn’t Christmas until you watch that movie; and Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and U2’s “All I Want Is You” because those were the first and last songs played at our wedding.

And just for good measure, one of my all time favourite songs is “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals.

I could keep going.  I love how music is universal.  I love how music is so powerful. I love how music connect us.

What are your musical memories? 

If you’re interested in reading other #ReverbBroads blogs, or joining in on the fun, click here or here.   You can also follow along on Twitter, just search #ReverbBroads.


#reverbbroads12: home is where the heart is

It’s that time of year again.  Time to spend some quality time with my blog, and share stories and little known facts about me with the reverb broad community (and beyond, hopefully).  If you’re interested in joining in, check out the Facebook community to get connected.

Today’s prompt is from yours truly: Where is your favourite place in the world? What makes it so special?

Simple put, my favourite place in the world is England.  It is home, where my family is, and where I am from.  Although I have lived in Canada for over 27 years, England will always be home.  My hometown, Stamford, is an old market town, about 100 miles north of London.  Some of my favourite things about Stamford include:
– Burghley House, which is a popular filming location (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Pride & Prejudice, The Da Vinci Code, etc.).  It is a beautiful stately home, and the grounds are stunning;
– The Friday Market, where you can find everything from fresh fruit and veg to the latest high street fashions;

Friday Market
– The Stamford Museum, although sadly, it is now closed.  I loved learning about the history of the town and seeing some of the artifacts from days gone by;
– The Bakery on the High Street.  If you have ever been to the UK and had a fresh-cream doughnut, you’ll know why;
– The Meadow.   It’s right next to the river, and my grandparents flat overlooked it – a very peaceful spot.  As a summertime hot spot, the meadow is the place to go to picnic and soak up the (sometimes rare) summer sun.

stamford meadow

Next to Stamford, my favourite place is London.  I love the history, architecture, shopping, and overall hustle and bustle of this city.  Covent Garden is such a happening place, and I find something new each time I go there.  It’s one of my favourite parts of the city.  After all, where else can you see an underwear clad street performer juggle chainsaws?

UK 2009 096

If you ever find yourself in England, I hope you will consider adding Stamford to your list of places to visit.  And Covent Garden is a must-see while in London.

What is your favourite place in the world? 

If you’re interested in reading other #ReverbBroads blogs, or joining in on the fun, click here or here.   You can also follow along on Twitter, just search #ReverbBroads.

#reverbbroads11: blogging it out

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Kristen Abell) is: Why blog? Why do you or why do you like to blog (recognizing that these are not always the same thing)?

I love to write.  I always have.  I love writing so much that when I learned to write my name, I wrote it all over the living room walls, in red crayon.  I did have an accomplice (one of my older brother’s) and he’s the one that got in trouble (he did drag the chair from the dining room into the living room for me to stand on and I swear he told me to write something other than my name…catch my drift?), but I digress.

Lately my writing has been either all business or all academic.  Writing a report, job description, a new policy, a literature review or a research paper is just not the same as sitting down to write for yourself.  After I found #sachat on Twitter, and started to read some of the blogs that other student affairs professionals kept, I knew I had to jump on the band wagon.  And so, katemcgartland.wordpress.com was created.  It’s still in its infancy, and I’m still working out exactly what I want to get across on the blog, but for now, it’s a place for me to use words as a way to express my thoughts and ideas.  I want to maintain a certain professionalism here, so my posts tend to have a student affairs focus.  My hope is that my posts are thought provoking and encourage discussion.  I also hope that this forum will allow me to continue to develop my love of writing.  Thanks for reading!

And thanks, little red crayon!

jumping onto the blog wagon

I have been thinking about jumping onto the blog wagon for some time now.  After finding my way to the #sachat community on twitter and linking to hundreds of student affairs related blog posts, I wanted to contribute in some way to this community of knowledge and sharing.

Having recently written for the WISA blog (http://wisakc.wordpress.com), my love for writing came flooding back.  I’ve always been a writer, and am now finding a lot of benefit in writing for professional and personal development.  I’m currently working towards a Master of Education degree, which often means the writing I am doing is based on someone else’s expectation.  I see this blog as my opportunity to share my thoughts, tips, resources, and so on, and to do so on my terms.  I imagine most of my posts will be professionally associated, although I’m sure some will be personally motivated.

My hope is to add to the (already amazing) knowledge community of Student Affairs professionals, share my experiences and connect with others in higher education.

Looking forward to learning through writing,