Positive Vibes

For the past two weeks I have been leaving positive messages around campus and town to help anyone who sees them to have a good day. For the first week I wrote notes on pieces of paper and put them onto cars around our campuses parking lot. It’s a stressful time of year for university students, everyone is scrambling to finish midterms while also trying to begin studying for upcoming finals! I figured after a long day of school it would be very exciting to come back to your car and see something kind on your window. What I didn’t think of is that when you’re approaching your car and you see a piece of paper on it, a car owners mind immediately jumps to two things :

1: I got a parking ticket

2. Someone hit my car and left a note with their details

Now obviously I didn’t mean to scare people into thinking their day was ruined more, but I did it on some of my friends cars and their said it was too much of a rollercoaster of emotions for them to be super worried and then just read a little note! So I decided to try something new the following week.

Week two of positive messages I wrote kind words on rocks and placed them around campus and around town. This was a fun art project that i was able to include my friends into and was also very visually appealing. I thought this would be a great way to spread positivity throughout the community without leading people to think of the financial burden associated with car mishaps.

The rocks were cute, and when people saw them they definitely liked them… but they were a lot harder for most people to see. In general when someone is walking they’re not looking directly down on the ground, which is something I didn’t think of because I never think of how we walk I just simply walk. So this one worked pretty well, however, I knew I wanted to do better for my final week.

Week three of positivity was a hit. I went back to campus and decided to aim this one directly at students who are running out of money, stressed with exams, and struggling to get to class on time. In my room I have a jar of change, I don’t often spend change when it’s given to me so I end up putting it into a mason jar and never knew what to do with it! I decided that I would put little bit of change into individual plastic bags (I know plastic.. I am sorry for the environment impact) and then I hung these bags on parking meters around campus.

This is something that definitely excited students, made their days, and encouraged them to go through their day with the “pass it on” attitude.

Beach Clean Up

After reading about the #trashchallenge my friends and I were inspired to try it for ourselves here in Victoria! We chose to do it for our photography project because it was fun to document, however, this activity was also on my list of things to do to bring kindness throughout my community!

We walked along Dallas road for a good two hours and were pleasantly surprised when we couldn’t find much garbage! Our first reaction was strictly based on doing an amazing job with the challenge so I found myself saying things like:”why isn’t there any garbage?!” Of course when I heard that out loud I realized it’s a good thing we couldn’t find much. To read more information about it you can take a look at my photography page in a couple days!

Gratitude Tree

Last semester me and my friends decided to do some research on placemaking to create a handout to give to parents. While doing this, we were inspired and decided to do a little bit of placemaking of our own on campus! We chose to create a gratitude tree. For those of you who aren’t sure what that is, it’s basically just a tree where people come up whenever they choose and write something that they are grateful for on a piece of paper, then hang it up on one of the branches. Of course, since we’re in education, we decided to add one little twist: we asked people to either write something they are grateful for OR something that they are curious about! The answers were AWESOME, my current favourite is the question “how do we know what dinosaurs sound like?”

Here is a picture of our tree when we first set it up in the Education Student Association Lounge (Day 1)

Once we had done our presentation we weren’t quite sure what to do with this tree that we had assembled, we figured one of us would take it home or we would disassemble the branches we had bound together with chicken wire and redistribute them in a forest somewhere. Right when we were about to leave we were approached by a professor in the faculty who asked if we could leave the tree up in the art wing because it make the cold hallways feel more homey! Of course we left it up. This semester we have a class in front of the tree and people have STILL been adding to it, some have even written down their gratitudes on pieces of paper from notebooks because the provided bowl ran out! I will attach another picture on Thursday of how full the tree is now.

Surprising the Cohort

Today was a fun one because I was able to combine two of my topics into one! My tech inquiry group came over to bake some cupcakes that we decided would be an awesome valentines day surprise for our cohort. Everyone was so excited when we showed up in the morning, it made our 8:30 class a little bit more fun. Although most people I know decided that valentines day would just be an ordinary Thursday other than maybe a dinner, it’s always nice to have a completely unexpected surprise!

As soon as they came to my house we got to work on our first batch of cupcakes: white confetti cake. Then we started our SECOND batch: double chocolate. Why two batches you ask? Because we wanted to make sure there was enough for everyone and that they all had flavour options.

We mixed some strawberries with the icing to make it pink and to make them a little extra tasty. In all it was a crazy fun filled day with my friends that ended up making the 28 other people we see every day a little bit happier as well! It’s always fun to surprise the people you care about.

An Icy Ontario Winter

This winter had been very cold in Canada, but even more so in the Eastern provinces. While I’m lucky enough to live on the beautiful Vancouver Island in British-Columbia, my friend from London Ontario is not as fortunate. Now even regularly the November- late March months aren’t the most pleasant ones of the year, but this February, temperatures dropped past -30 after windchill and along with the cold came snow and freezing rain. Universities and public school systems across the province were calling snow days, and for that to happen in Canada… well then you know it must be freezing!

This week I decided that I would surprise one of my close friends in Ontario by sending a little care package to help him fight off the cold. In the box, there was a UVIC hoodie (part of an ongoing attempt to convince him to move), matcha late powder, and a funny coffee mug. This weeks act of kindness may have only been for one person, but it definitely brightened up his day! The mug is currently lost in the mail, which is a total bummer, but he received the hoodie and the matcha powder and is very excited about it!

Building a Birdhouse

So I chose to start out the list with one of the smaller idea’s that I thought would be fun for me to do! I have a friend who is a carpenter so I asked him to come over and help be build a birdhouse. I was going to buy a little kit from a local hardware store but when I went to look there wasn’t any! Of course my friend had other plans already and showed up to my house with his toolbox and a 2×4 plank of wood. As soon as I saw the equipment in his hands I knew that I was already a little in over my head.

Now to help you visualize what was happening, we were both in my little basement suite trying to accomplish something which definitely should have been done in a workshop. We pushed back my coffee table to get some work room, put on “The Office” and got to work! We for some reason chose to wing it and just start cutting the sides of the house before we measured anything. Luckily this kind of worked out.

Now that you’re hopefully picturing us sawing a large plank of wood in my basement suite I want to add to this by stating that we did not have a hammer to nail the pieces together. Luckily I have found a cool rock at the beach the other day and brought it home, so now you can also try to picture us sitting on my floor slamming a rock into a piece of wood! To top it all off we had no power tools with us so instead of drilling a hole for the birds to go into, my friend came up with the solution to chisel one out.

In all I had a blast making the bird house and it is definitely a memory that I will keep for many years. I think it looks pretty good given the circumstances, however the hole we made was too small to my friend took it home to drill in a bigger one. Below is a picture of the initial wood cut made in my house. And our birdhouse with a chiseled hole!

Week 1 Open Inquiry

So I decided that the best way to get started on this project was to create a list of examples that I thought would be fun and useful to do! My friend came over and her and I sat down with a cup of tea and got to work on writing our list. Of course it started out as very broad topics, as we weren’t sure what direction to take it in, but as we got going the ideas grew to be more and more specific. I’m going to share what we came up with here and next week I will get started on one of the ideas that I am wanting to put into place. I am so excited to get started, if anyone thinks of other ideas that can be done please let me know!

  • Build a Birdhouse and put it in the park
  • Build a bee house to help save the bees!
  • Thank someone every day
  • Paint positive messages on rocks and leave them at the beach
  • Text someone who you do not normally speak to good morning or good night
  • Organize a beach clean up with some friends
  • Collect pop tabs for children
  • Tape money to the parking metres on campus
  • Donate extra school supplies to local schools
  • Give out valentines day cards to our class
  • Leave letters of encouragement on peoples windshields
  • Volunteer at animal shelters
  • Bake cookies and bring them to a retirement home
  • Give out flowers to random people on the street
  • Mail a letter to an unexacting friend
  • Learn to say hello in ten different languages
  • Make care packages for soldiers overseas
  • Plant non invasive powers in parks for bee’s
  • Send colouring books to the children hospital
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  • Create care packages and hand them to homeless people on the street
  • Give out cookies to students on campus
  • Surprise your parents to thank them for everything they have done
  • Buy the person behind you’s coffee