Writing 201 Interview: Nathan (my youngest brother.)

Writing 201 Interview: Nathan (my youngest brother.)

www.sualberta.ca Nathan in the Bike Library
Nathan in the Bike Library

Nathan is a 25-year-old University of Alberta student with a major in Human Geography and a minor in German. He works as a Bike Mechanic for Sustain SU (Student Union) at the University of Alberta. Being part of the Sustain SU is not just a job for Nathan, it is being part of a leadership team that focuses on the environment. Senior volunteers and employees have meetings and events in which they hope to make Sustain SU a better experience for other volunteers.

Nathan’s major in Human Geography is helping him to train for jobs such as an Urban or City Planner. Jobs such as these may include dealing with zoning applications at a desk or planning for areas in the City of Edmonton such as Century Park, for example. A planner stands as an intermediator between different clusters of people in the city such as the civic managers (City Councillors, Mayor), individual citizens, different interest groups (volunteers, community programs etc.), and civic builders\development companies. “A planner will bridge the gap between all these groups because all four of these clusters are required in the city and need someone to organize them” comments Nathan. Planners can also be hired as individual consultants.

The subject matter of Human Geography highly appealed to Nathan because he is

www.ues.tmu.ca.jp A City
A City

interested in “how we design and interact within the city.  A planner can change ideas and designs that influence the city, which City Council votes on.” As a Planner, Nathan believes he will have the ability to change infrastructure decisions in a city and not just have to live with them like many other citizens do.

As for Nathan’s minor in German, he would like to do an internship and study abroad or do summer school to improve is fluency. Nathan has a great interest in travel and would like to see more of Europe. He would like to go to France and Eastern Europe as well as Germany which he loved. Nathan would also like to visit many of the United States. What he enjoys about many places in Europe and the States is that “they have a great deal of biking tours and bike friendly roads/paths in which he can travel on.” Nathan not only loves being a bike mechanic but likes his bike as a mode of transportation for leisure in which he can see many parts of other cities and countries.

www.pinterest.com Swing Dancing
Swing Dancing

Nathan spends most of his time at school, especially in the Bike Library where he has a computer set up that he can also do school work on. He spends a lot of time at home and visiting his girlfriend and enjoys watching movies and doing crossword puzzles. On Wednesday nights, he goes to Swing Dance lessons and he often goes to Swing Dances on the weekend. He also spends a large amount of time helping out with Sustain SU.

Nathan appreciates having a girlfriend in a relationship because he says it is “nice to have someone to be close with more than others and to talk freely with.” He also likes having someone there that you can be with “without words and understand each other” completely. He thinks that people who are single should “just be patient and not go around looking for a significant other.” The best way to find a relationship is just to be friends with someone first because you develop a stronger relationship with someone you know better. He cautions single people to enjoy being single and not just be focused on dating. He thinks people should “make something good” out of their free time not being an attached person.

In the future, Nathan might like to work for the City of Edmonton but he would also like to experience other cities that are more forward thinking. “People in Edmonton and even in Alberta are conservative and are often stuck in their ways and this can make some people more self-centered,” Nathan believes. “It can be frustrating” he cautions. People need to look into the future and consider what the future will be like for their descendants. Seeing different cities will allow Nathan to experience different ways cities and people work and act together.

A Sustainable Environment

Not to mention, the environment is a big issue for Nathan. “There is so much evidence that in one-hundred-years the world will be majorly effected by environmental issues if [we] don’t do something now. People don’t consider what the world will be like . . . “says Nathan. “Just because you want to drive your car to work every day or throw objects out” to get the latest edition of something means people are not considering the effects their actions will have on tomorrow.

As for the next 5 years, Nathan would like to be graduated from university. Since, he enjoys doing such a variety of things and he is planning for a daily job with set hours he is not sure how that is going to work out. But for now, he expresses that he has times that are up and times that are down. Sometimes he is really busy and sometimes he is not so busy at all so he would like to just focus on the here and now and getting through each day.


A Trip to Montreal in la belle province

Consider the time you have spent on vacations. Did you have favourite places you liked to go? Favourite sites you liked to see? Did your vacation create for you memories that will last a longtime? Did it give you experiences that will make you smile? I think these are questions all great vacations evoke. Vacations give us time away to relax, the experience of new sites, cultures, and memories, and most of all they give us Joy. That is why I am happy to share with you about my trip with my younger brother Nathan to Montreal this past week. We did a lot of things and I am pretty sure anyone would enjoy visiting their and trying similar experiences and some experiences we just did not have time to try.

One excellent thing about this vacation was that for us, it was cheap. We used airmiles for our flights and went the week right before the actual busy holiday season in Montreal begins. We also stayed in a condo about 4 blocks from St. Catherine’s street, the hub of downtown Montreal. How did we end up staying in our own condo? Through this great travel website called AirBnB. On AirBnB people rent out individual rooms, parts of their home, whole condos, or even apartments for travelling guests. If you are looking to meet nice people and for some advice about an area, AirBnB is a superb way to stay somewhere on vacation. Or if your like we were, looking to save money but also seeking privacy, and somewhere near downtown AirBnB is also great. The condo was clean and well maintained. We each got our own room and bathroom and there was a kitchen so we could put food in it for breakfast. Shopping for groceries for snacks and some meals is another awesome way we saved money on this vacation. We paid approximately $89 per night for a week in the condo also saving us money on hotel.

Some of the things to take in in Montreal is just the fast paced atmosphere. The women dress up quite a bit more than women do in most parts of Edmonton so it was fun to dress up. Dresses you would say ‘Where would I wear that?’ you could wear those here. People were friendly and not like I am told, snobby, in Montreal. They were helpful, energetic, and seemed to love the aura of the city as much as we did.

A few blocks to the right of us were blocks and blocks of delicious restaurants some casual and some fancier. A lot of restaurants had great patio’s and often turned into bars or clubs at nights. Mixed in-between were little boutiques and salons, it was quite a wonderful place. Some restaurants we can recommend are Weinstein Gavino’s, Burger Bar Crescent, Montreal poutein, and Ferrari. I had a wonderful vinaigrette salad with chicken, grapes, oranges, almonds, and goat cheese; poutein and sangria; part of a chicken in thyme sauce with potatoes and cooked vegetables with a glass of wine included; and a great little salad with roasted vegetables, some type of lettuce, and breaded goat cheese on top, also with excellent white sangria.

Old Montreal is by far the best area to see architecturally. We took a lot of pictures in this area, walked through little boutiques and another restaurant district, and took a boat tour at the harbour. The boat tour was one of my favourite things to do; it was a Groupon and for thirty dollars you could get on this little boat and tour Old Montreal on the St. Lawrence. You also got free beer or wine with it and may I say that was the best wine I had on the trip! Groupon’s are a great way to save money on vacations you just have to keep an eye on the available Groupons for the city you want to visit. You can check Living Social, and Team Buy coupon emails as well. We also went to Montreal Poutein on a Groupon deal 2 could eat with a drink and appetizer and poutein for $35.

On the boat tour we saw the old apartments from the Montreal Olympics that one time were thought so ugly but are now million dollar apartments. They are cubes balanced on top of each other at different levels and places but each tenant has complete privacy. We also saw a clock tower made at the same time as London’s Big Ben and by the same clock maker, a huge black boat that was a spa, and various other Montreal highlight’s. There are different options for Montreal boat tours and I was happy with ours.

Of course, there was also a lot of shopping in Montreal. Maybe 8 blocks from where we stayed were stores such as Simon’s, the Apple Store, Armani Exchange, Jack and Jones, American Outfitters, Club Monaco outside, and a whole bunch of underground stores in the couer of Montreal that went on for a long time. We came back to watch Ironman III at the movie theatres here and the couer connected to the Reso miles of underground shopping. Another great thing about Montreal was the transit system which could take you anywhere around the city on different lines. A weeks pass with a chip card was $29 for unlimited on the metro and bus system, including the 747 bus that takes people to and from the airport. We got off at station Peel to go shopping around St. Catherine’s street and both Nathan and I came back with a few new purchases to bring home.

There are also a few museums you can see in Montreal. You can see a railroad museum (that was to hard for us to get to), a history museum at MacGill University, and another History Museum at Old Montreal. We chose to go to the Musee Des Beaux Arts in downtown Montreal where we saw a fascinating art show on Peru from it’s beginnings as one of the cradles of civilization, to the Incas, to modern Peru fighting for it’s independence. It was very interesting and there was exquisite artifacts, paintings, and masks for all different Peruvian eras.

MacGill University is also worth seeing if you like to hike, their is a big hike up Mount Royal if you are so inclined. The only thing I wish I had taken in was more of the nightlife but to tell you the truth by 9 pm I was exhausted from walking all day! So if you like exploring cities and experiencing the French culture, Montreal is an beautiful place to visit, full of life, and a good time.