Things I Learned In 2007

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  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: I know, Nietzsche said it first, but I feel I can get credit just for spelling his name right. This year wasn’t easy: we had ups and downs, experienced unexpected problems and small annoyances. I sometimes wondered how we were going to make it. But eventually we survived. Everyday life’s little struggles sometimes adds up to a lot of pressure, and balancing work, study etc, isn’t always easy. Yet, life is interesting and I learned a lot through these experiences.
  • Taking chances worth it: I first came in Canada in 2002, and I’ve been living there full-time since 2004. And I don’t regret it. There were some tough time, but things turned out fine. And you know what, I’m glad I learned the hard way: getting a job, learning English, getting used to the culture was a chance. I now look back and I’m proud of me. I’m going to be 25 years old in 2008, and I see so many opportunities, so many choices, so many chances ahead of me.
  • The immigration process doesn’t end once the paperwork is done: I’m a “legal alien” yet no one said I was welcome, or even needed. No one will give me the “Canadian label”, it’s something I have to earn by myself. There’s no test to be Canadian, no points given for all the winters I survived, for all the snow I shoveled, for the English I learned and for the love I have for this country. It’s all in my head. And it’s my daily life.
  • The more you write, the easier it gets:When I started this blog, every post was a struggle. I cared more about my grammar than about my subject and I cared a lot of what people would think of a French woman blogging in English. But eventually, sometime this year, it got much easier. I think my English got better, and I’m much more comfortable talking about anything now.
  • Art is life and life is art: For a couple of year after high school, I stopped drawing, taking pictures of writing. I was too busy, too lazy, too tired… you know the excuses. I rediscovered pleasure in drawing thanks to blogging. Tweaking my template and making all the little graphics for this blog was relaxing. I’m happy when I look at something I created, something that just looks good. It’s so satisfying. Music, visual arts, photography… we all need beautiful things to inspire us in this world.
  • People are surprising… in a good way: I found help and rewards when I least expected it. Jack Book helped me a lot with my template coding, while Kiviniar made donations using the little button in the sidebar. RennyBA sent me a troll all the way from Norway, I won some $$$ with Lori and I’ve just won a book at Curious Villager! I have readers and I enjoy reading them. And I have friends in Ottawa who are always here for a good chat, and who made me laugh/ helped me/ fed me. Lucky me!
  • Politicians or executives are lousy French students: I worked with a few this year and trust me, lots of blah blah. Plus, they didn’t even try to corrupt me: all I had was a couple of coffee and an occasional Starbucks brownie. I was expecting a suitcase full of banknotes… especially considering that one of my former spring student is being charged with traffic of influence as I speak!
  • French grammar is fucked up: I stopped blaming my students after re-discovering a couple of grammar rules myself. Now, I know that as soon as I’ll be finished explaining a new rule, an exception would be found. Bummer. Trust me, you don’t realize how weird your language is till you start explaining it to a bunch of beginners!
  • The more you get up early, the easier it gets: saying I’m not a morning person isn’t even close to describing the situation. As a explained in this post, my last year of high school was a struggle partially because we started classes at 8am. But hey, even though I still don’t like it, there is hope for people like us: I now get up at 7:30 most day, but I treat myself to a good book in the bus, a nice cup of hot chocolate when I arrive downtown and I’m fine!
  • It’s better to freeze your ass shoveling snow in a blizzard than to wait for a couple of days: Trust me on that one. See, we all think that shoveling snow while it’s snowing is stupid. Can’t blame you, been there. But, the secret is… if you wait to long, the snow plow is going to clear to roads and dump all the snow at the end of your driveway. And then, good luck to shovel and lift the big chunk of ice and snow! So the key is to shovel little by little. Or wait for Spring. That could work too.

So… RennyBA, Beaverboosh, Lori, Chen, Aiglee, Ghosty, Ammar, Diesel, Art, Tracy, Dan, Kirant, Princesse, Max, Graham, Pelf, Angela May, Kyh, Wapentake, Jorge, Froogiewoogie, JoAnn, Deadpool, Jessica, Spyder, Johnada… (I must forget some, but my hands are tired!)

What did you guys learn in 2007?


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Whatever I learned was printed in 250 pages… R u sure u want me to tell u all about it? Maybe u should wait until it’s published 🙂

    All the best for 2008! I hope all of 2007’s knowledge proves useful 🙂

  2. What a great, readable and very interesting meme – thanks for sharing your thoughts and what you’ve learned this year – impressive.
    While I red it, my wife’s word came to my mind: ‘It works if you work it, so work it, your worth it’.

    What I have learned: A lot! In Blogsphere that its a great way to share; ideas, knowledge, the daily life and other thing that makes the world smaller and build down cultural, religious and other barriers. Like I often say: ‘Blogging Connecting People’ so ‘Make Blogs not Wars!’

    Another thing is how nice it has been to have met you and of course I’m happy to know that your taking good care of you Norwegian Troll 🙂

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Norwegian newbies try Jansons Frestelser

  3. When I first read your blog, I thought that English was your first language. 😉

    aline’s last blog post..My Christmas 2007

  4. What a great post! And your English is immaculate. It’s a good thing you tell people you’re French, no one would guess it reading this thing. 😛

    As for what I learned in 2007 … ok, fine, I’m tagged.

    Ghosty’s last blog post..2007: The Year in Review

  5. Lori: so, so… what did you learn??

    Angele: I teach French in a private school. My students are government employees – in Canada, most of them have to be bilingual by law. I found the job quite easily after I got some Canadian experience and finished my university degree, the two pre-requisite to get the job! Schools are plentiful…

    Beaverboosh: I’m not always wise, this is just a momentary lapse of reason 😉 I’m sure we have a lot in common when it comes to immigration experiences. Just English is easier to learn 😉

    Itelli: 250 pages? I can read that no problem! Remember, I majored in French literature, where a chapter is 250 pages long! 😆

    RennyBA: your wife is a very wise woman 😉 I also think that blogs make the world a smaller place, and I learned a lot by talking to all kind of people, including you. As I say a lot, I really didn’t know anything about Norway before! Now I know a little bit… and I also know that you work very late sometimes 😉

    Aline: thanks too! I still make mistake in English, but much less than when I speak Chinese! 😆

    Ghosty: thank you! I read your “year in review” and seems like you did pretty good in 2007 too! 😉

  6. I’ve learned that blogging is great (I actually started in December 2006 but I killed my other blog) but very addictive, especially reading other’s blogs.

    I’ve learned that I could actually get in touch with a French blogger! This blogger using French language and being in Canada helps. Hahaha
    For those who could think I’m awfuly anti French, I’m French also but for some reason I am more at ease in the English speaking blogworld. Something very close to Zhu feeling more comfy living in the anglo saxon Toronto rather than the French Quebec.

    I’ve learned that a good communication is essential in order to avoid as much misunderstanding as possible.

    I’ve learned it is possible to not let work stress you out even in the most stressful moments.

    I’m still learning how to grow up 🙂

    FroggyWoogie’s last blog post..Spooky Christmas cards

  7. WAH!! I’m barely keeping up with you, Zhu! OK, I’ll do this, then I’ll the the handbag tag I owe you, LOL.

    BTW, I envy your wealth of experience! I’m older than you, but I haven’t lived in another country all my life 🙁

    pelf’s last blog post..Blast vs. Thunder

  8. My blog has changed so much since I first started writing it. It think it’s a more comfortable feeling now, at least when I sit down to write it I don’t find myself limited to what I “should” or “shouldn’t” write about, or how it’s written…I tend to just go with it. This, though, is a beautiful entry (your blog entry, not my comment 🙂 ).

    Dinah’s last blog post..Wind Down

  9. wow you sure learned a lot of things!
    one of the most important things i learned was probably how to play halo3, which i do think is better than WOW. but i haven’t played WOW yet.

    hope you had a great holiday!

    Jay Cam’s last blog post..You Fail!

  10. Thanks for dropping by my blog, Zhu.
    Due to personal reasons, I haven’t been able to update yet.
    I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year 2008.

    Jemima’s last blog post..His loss

  11. Froggiewoogie: killed your old blog? OMG! I though France abolished death penalty! Did Sarkosy allowed it again?
    I think we are both weird French! Staring with the language thing… 😆
    You should teach me how not be stressed at work… sometimes, it’s too much…

    Spyder: don’t even get me started on French numbers!

    Art: anytime! Just let me know… but you’re in my feed anyway 😉

    Pelf: ooops, did I overtagged you? Sorry! Your country looks like a nice place, you’d be from cold Canada, you’d have traveled a lot to escape the cold!

    Dinah: nah, the comment was beautiful too! How are your studies? I’m glad you enjoy blogging even more… we need talented bloggers here!

    Jay Cam: I’m afraid to play video games cause I know I’ll be addicted… been there before!

    Spyder: saw, read, commented! 😉

    Jemina: no problem, I understand! Hope you get a chance to blog again soon!

    Lisa: awesome! I’ll read right away and add you to the tag list 😉

  12. Hi Zhu, Hmmmm what did I learn this year?
    -To planning my time a bit better,
    -This way I can photograph more,
    -I go more ofte to the Gymn (sportsschool)
    – I do less helpwork (only for others) but more for myself,
    -I learned to listen better to critisisms
    – I made this blog on blogspot public (before it was only for family)That was the BEST thing to do!!!
    – I learned a lot from other bloggers,
    – I met you by blogging!!

    I wish You a Happy and Creative 2008, Look at my Happy fireworks and wishes. See my blog:)(c) JoAnn

    Throuh JoAnn’s DUTCH digital eyes’s last blog post..JoAnn is wishing YOU!!! a….

  13. I hv the obsession to correct the grammar of my entry whenever I spot smth wrong with it. A perfectionist I am, though I’m still struggling with my grammatical skills (i’m still weak at it, i know).

    one thing i learned this yr is independence. first time staying away from home for so many months is a new challenge for me. i wonder what’s in store for me in 2008? 😉

    kyh’s last blog post..Christmas down the Via Dolorosa

  14. Hello Zhu!

    LOL Yes, you spelled Nietzsche’s name correctly, therefore you deserve a credit :). Yes, life’s vicissitudes can be overwhelming, but as humans we always manage to survive (and that is what I love about us: we are strong!)!!! I am glad you made it: je suis fiére :)!

    Oh my…25? You’re younger than me? You are mature; cause through your writing I was under the impression that you were thirty (I am embarrassed now). You are an amazing person, did you know that :D? Life is full of opportunities and I hope you grab all the positive ones, I really do :D!!!

    As far as I am concerned: you are already a Belle Canadian; with a big and warm French heart :D!

    You are a great blogger, and I love everything you write about *bowing*! The sentiment is there, the honesty can be felt in every single sentence you weave…I salute you, Zhu *raising my bottle of water*!

    You are lucky indeed, girl. Good people are hard to find.

    LOL LOL LOL you have scroogy french students LOL LOL *nodding*.

    Portuguese grammar is similar to the French, so I guess our grammar is also messed up LOL….

    I like getting up in the morning: to do my Tai Chi, my yoga and neopilates! And it does me wonders :).

    I am so glad that the weather is warm here *nodding*! I will be back to let you know who 2008 looks like the minute I cross beyond 24:00 lol 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    Max Coutinho’s last blog post..2008 a time to…

  15. Whoops, I’m way late on my blog reading due to the holidays. What did I learn in 2007? Am I supposed to post this to my own blog? If so, I apologize.

    1) A lot about other countries.
    2) Finding apartments that your wife will like in Toronto when she’s not there is hard.
    3) Finding a job in Canada is a lot harder for a U.S. citizen than it is for a Canadian to find a job in the U.S.
    4) You shouldn’t stick your hand in dark holes out of curiosity.
    5) Milk comes in bags.
    6) People are nice and mean in almost every country, including the U.S.

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