My Favourite School Assignments

If there’s one regret I have for this blog, it’s that I didn’t start it while I was still in school. That’s not my fault though, I never even thought about starting a blog back then.

But if I did, I would’ve had daily material for this blog. For a university student, every day is one big hysterical story if you tell it properly.

I’m kicking myself. I’d probably be more famous than your local weatherman had I been able to relay those stories to you the day they happened. I can’t now. It’s too late. And besides, every time I blog about school, I feel like the boy who cried wet socks.

I need to space these “school posts” out so people don’t think I’m dwelling on the past. 

So tonight, I’m going to write a post that you may call, “nerdy”. You may call it, “totes adorbs.” You may call it, “fricky fricky fre$h”.

Does it look like I care what you call it? Actually, you can’t see me. John Cena.

Let’s start. Here is my list of favourite school assignments, in no particular order.

There is a common theme throughout these, I’m sure of it.

1.  Grade 4 – Speech about the Air Canada Centre

Of course I start the list off with a speech. We had to do a 3-5 minute speech on whatever we wanted. You know how long that is? That’s like three hours.

The Air Canada Centre was a new arena that had just been built in Toronto, so of course my 9-year-old self thought, “Yeah, let me talk about a building for three hours minutes!”

It was fantastic. I rattled off how many fans could fit in the arena for a hockey game, basketball game, and concerts. I listed the number of escalators, elevators, washrooms, and TVs in the washrooms.

I had cue cards. But little boy blue over here didn’t look down once while listing those numbers.

Have I mentioned that I should be more famous than your local weatherman, yet?

My teacher was in awe. My mom wrote most of it because most speakers don’t write their own speeches, but man, I loved it.

2. Grade 6 – Sports Section of a Newspaper

Quick, three cheers for group projects!

Hip hip hooray replacement.

And that’s how I feel about group projects.

To future employers out there reading this, I work well with others. People love me. I’m easy to work with. I’ll make you laugh. I’ll bring donuts on Fridays.

I remember the teacher put us into groups and put a newspaper on our desks. We were told to flip through them to get an idea of what sections were included in a newspaper.

Pfft, smarty pants over here already knew.

Anyways, we were each supposed to pick a section and write our own news story.

Guess what I picked. I’ll give you one guess.

That’s right, the sports section. If you didn’t guess sports, you can leave right now.

Don’t forget, donuts…

The NHL playoffs were about to begin, so what did I do? I did a playoff preview of each matchup and included a picture with each description. It was more beautiful than when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.

I still remember writing a preview for Ottawa vs. Philadelphia and the exact picture I used.

I have no clue what my group members did. Politics? Sleeping tips?

3. Grade 10 History – Writing Letters/Postcards to the Future

This was an assignment that we needed to do over the Christmas holiday. A lot of people were really confused by it. I recall some frantic MSN exchanges like:

“Yo what do we do?”

“I don’t know.”

“Kk peace.”

“See ya.”

Frantic, I say. Frantic!

From what I remember, there was a list of about 20 people from Canadian history and we had to select 8-10 of them and write a letter to the future as if we were that person. Sort of like a time capsule assignment.

In the letter, we were to tell people what life was like back then and what they did for a living.

At first, I thought the whole assignment was hokey. Who writes letters to the future? Who writes letters, period?

I remember one letter I wrote, it was Foster Hewitt – the legendary play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada.

*Cough* Theme. *Cough*

So I typed up these letters and put the font into italics. Then I had to physically cut and paste (this was 2007, times were tough) the letter onto a a piece of hard paper (no clue what it’s called anymore; no, it wasn’t bristle board), and made it look like a postcard because that’s what the teacher wanted.

Then, I had to somehow tie together the “postcards” and put them in something the teacher could carry. I rummaged through a closet at home and found a nice gift box which smelled terrible when you opened it, slapped a Canadian flag on the front, and put my letters inside.

I was expecting the worst.

I got somewhere between 90-95% on the assignment. Not bad for a guy who knows nothing about history unless its sports related.

The teacher wanted to keep it as an example. I let him. I wished I hadn’t. I wish I kept it as a reminder of how brilliant I can be when I write letters to people.

Oh wait.

4. Grade 12 Religion – Magazine

 

We had to make a religious magazine.

Being the genius that I am, I had a snazzy front page layout and didn’t even use a Microsoft Word Template to do it.

I called my magazine, “The Toronto Truth”. Brilliant, I know.

I wrote an article about gambling and mentioned an NBA referee who had been betting on games. I still have this “magazine” in my closet. Of course, it’s a photocopied version because my teacher wanted to keep mine as an example.

That was a common theme in high school. Teachers kept my work to show their future classes. I don’t think I’ve ever been as smart as I was in high school.

God, what happened to me?

5. 4th Year University – Strategic Alliance Presentation (Last presentation ever)

I was a Sport Management major, so of course this course was sports-related.

We were in groups of five. We had to pick a local business and pretend we were them. Then, we had to make a ten-minute pitch to the front office of the local junior hockey team.

That is legitimate.

The front office staff (owners et. al) of a hockey team were sitting in the first three rows of the lecture hall. They would be using our presentations to gain ideas they could use to potential partner with local businesses.

My group chose a local sports bar that had been a former sponsor of the team.

It’s important to note, this presentation was marked out of ten. And two of the marks were for humour.

HUMOUR. They were marking us on humour!

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like that, so Kelly Clarkson says.

Sorry, I’m still a bit sick and singing random song lyrics.

Guess who was responsible for getting those two humour marks?

Me.

Oh, it was great.

One idea I came up with was – name some of the foods on the menu after some of the players on the team. Then I rattled off a bunch of puns. That got a lot of laughs.

It almost went down the drain before I started talking though.

When one of my group members threw it to me to speak, I blanked out for two seconds. I’m not someone who over-rehearsed their speaking parts for presentations. I was a bullet points guy. Give me a few words on a powerpoint slide and I’ll talk off of that.

I’LL DO IT LIVE!

But when it was my turn to start talking, I froze and forgot the line I wanted to start with. Fortunately, it came back to me within two seconds and no one caught the fact that I was moments away from disappearing into thin air.

Oh yeah, the following hockey season, the sports bar we presented was all of a sudden listed as a sponsor on the hockey team’s website.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Anything from Grade 11 Media Studies (JFK verbal-visual essay).
  • In-class essays. I was a wizard under pressure. Put a pen in my hand and stand back.
  • “Attend a professional wrestling show and do a write-up on each match.” Amazing.
  • “Pick a partner, find a professional wrestling match on YouTube, show it in class and explain it.” Double amazing.
  • 3rd Year Writing Course – Pick any topic and rant about it.
  • The seminar presentation where I asked the class if they had heard the song Signs by Five Man Electrical Band. One guy said “yes” and I asked him if he liked it. Oh man, what an academic achievement! Killed about 15 seconds on that “discussion question.”

I’m sure I’m leaving some out, but that’s all I can think of right now.

Notice the theme? It was sports, writing, and more sports.

If I had to pick a favourite though, I’d have to say that Grade 10 History assignment when I wrote a bunch of letters. That was so much fun.

I often think of the future as a giant mystery that we already have the answers to, but don’t know which questions they’re answering.

I mean, after reading this blog post, is it any surprise that I ended up with a blog that was supposed to be about sports?

Is it any wonder that I now write letters on my blog and still use italics because that’s what I’ve always thought letters should look like?

Is it any wonder that I’m able to add humour to things that are supposed to be boring, like presentations in a strategic alliance class?

I don’t know. None of this stuff stood out at the time. It was just stuff I enjoyed. Even as I was writing this, I was coming across coincidences that I didn’t even realize were there.

And now I have a blog that makes everything look like it came full circle.

I can only hope that this blog may be an answer to a question in my future, that I just haven’t been able to place yet.

Thanks for reading.

For local weather forecasts, you can follow me on Twitter @CappyTalks.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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38 Responses to My Favourite School Assignments

  1. # 2) “hip hip replacement” I died😂😂😂
    #5) “Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like that, so Kelly Clarkson says”
    Oh Paul. That one had me laughing even more. I like that song too!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James says:

    Humour was always a brilliant way to get through presentations in uni. I remember me and a friend had to do a talk on art history in French (my degree was in French but I know nothing about art history). We got through it by essentially saying everything the lecturer had told us in previous sessions – literally. We offered nothing new, but we did it as a ‘comedy’ double act and the lecturer loved it and gave us top marks even though we’d done no work at all other than re-read her own lecture notes back at her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Angela says:

    Well that was fricky fricky fre$h!!!!
    I hated having to do speeches and group assignments both combined was just awful! I ended up doing a 2-3 talk on a local animal shelter and we all know how passionate I am about animals….eye roll!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it! You’ve given me something to aspire to: more fame than Kevin Lemanowicz…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you’ll be able to write for the sports column of the Toronto Star or Globe and Mail some day (if you’re interested in that that is)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ToluC says:

    I’m still in uni and i blank out for way more than 2 seconds when i’m giving class presentations. I need tips on keeping lecturers interested to be honest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It all starts with confidence in what your saying, and that comes with preparations. Once you start talking, you have to sound as if you’re telling the class a story they’ve never heard before. Otherwise, it’ll just come out as if its word from a textbook and no one finds that interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. arlene says:

    good morning Paul. My question is, how do you re-blog a previous post like this without losing all those likes and comments?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Barb Knowles says:

    You should write a letter to your future self.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I signed up for speech 101 in college. five times. I dropped the class each time. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the reasons I became nothing in life!!! LMAO!!!! Also- I hate to ask this but, are you a sports fan?! Man. Me too. My favorite is that one sport where you have to hit the ball with a bat and then run around like a chicken without a head until someone yells GOALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! And it’s called a 2-pointer right? Or is that the one where the big guys wear bulky pads and helmets? Silly me! I get so excited! This was a fun post to read. I wonder if WORDPRESS will sit you on a podium with a Captains hat on and save you for future presentation too? I mean after all, you ARE that awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hahaha a fellow sports fan! Who knew!? I like the sport where they run on wood chips and try to get the banana in a birds nest. I think it’s called cricket (the game is played at night). Hey I became nothing in life too! Though I was a guest speaker in a university class one time, while I was still a university student. All down hill since then lol. And you do know Captain refers to sports and not a ship right? I don’t even care to go on a raft let alone a ship lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • LIKE CAPTAIN OF THE TEAM!!!!! Hahahaha And here I’ve been all along lining up pirate jokes and ship references!!!!!!! I think I almost googled “things captains of ships say” because I wanted to hit you with some nautical puns so I’m GLAD you put me in my places. That’s pretty airheaded on a whole new level even for me!! WHOA!!! Thank god this is not happening in person because I turn beet-red pretty quickly! 😂😂😂😂😂😣😣😣😣😣

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        😂😂😂😂 “nautical puns”.
        Red like a duotang, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • EXACTLY like those devil folders! Ha!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ariel Lynn says:

    & still, today, teachers (AKA, WordPress) are still using your work as examples! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. nickc324 says:

    I agree with whoever said you should write a letter to your future self and post that letter here. This is another great post and a perfect John Cena reference. You should get extra marks just for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ayotunde says:

    Yh blogging in High school is really filled with a whole lot of experiences that if well articulated into words would make a whole lot of sense

    Liked by 1 person

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