The Eighth Floor

I’ve been doing apartment life for 4 years almost, in the same midsized building, midtown. There are 6 units on my floor. We’re in the one-bedroom unit directly across from the elevator. The walls that surround us are old and thick and concrete. They separate my life from my neighbours’ quite adequately. We live our…

The English Teacher

"Alexis, can you please stay and talk to me after class?" My 10th grade English teacher, Ms Borden, asked at the end of class one day. No. I did not want to stay behind. I wanted to beeline to the cafeteria to eat a huge panzerotto. I knew what she was going to say, anyway.…

The Blog

In the third month of my pathway program for international students entering a Canadian post-secondary school, we do a unit on Digital Media. The first reading is, “Blogs as Participatory Media.” “So first of all, what is a blog?” I asked my class to introduce the reading one afternoon. Francesca, my 22 year old student…

The Grammar Lesson

I shoved an invisible handout at my boyfriend Paul, who lay asleep in bed beside me. It really annoyed me that he was sleeping through my class! I shook him hard, and urgently, until he woke up. I watched him stir, blink and look up at me. It was time to start class. I climbed…

The Quarry

I grew somewhat anxious as my exboyfriend, Paul, drove down an old gravel road leading to seemingly nowhere. He finally pulled up to a small church that looked like it hadn't seen people in years and parked his big red pick-up truck in the empty parking lot. Something was definitely off. "It's about a 20…

The Speaking Class

"Alexis, can I speak to you for a minute?" Percy, the director of studies at my school, asked me one afternoon on my break, just as I'd popped off the lid to my baby carrot container. "Sure," I replied, as my stomach grumbled reluctantly. I followed him into an empty classroom, and he motioned for…

The Interview

"This is a school?" I wondered wearily as I drove through a giant parking lot. I circled the lot twice to make sure I was in the right spot. It worried me that there were only two parked cars; a black Lexus and a green Honda Civic. I pulled up close to the only door…

The Letter

One late August night, I found myself amidst a self-made tornado of laundry, school handouts and miscellaneous junk. I was in a frantic frenzy to find my checkbook; September’s rent was due in just a few days. I liked calling it, “September’s Rent” because to me, that sounded like I lived in a chic loft…

The Notepad

My paternal grandmother passed away just after my 1st year in university. That was 6 months after my paternal grandfather passed away. 5 months after she moved in with my family. 4 months after her first heart attack. A few weeks after her passing, my mother and I were cleaning out the main floor sitting…

The “Date”

I pulled into Seth Grady's driveway after what felt like the best first date in history. The whole evening had been absolutely perfect. Good conversation, witty banter, delicious food. He'd even paid. I should have been elated, but I wasn't, not completely. Reality kept rearing its ugly head, reminding me that this wasn't a first…