I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of “home.”
I had a really chaotic childhood. I spent my years moving from place to place, relative to relative, making and then losing friends one after the other. I didn’t know where I would be from one year to the next. I don’t actually know how many different homes I have had in my life. It would be impossible to count, but I’ve just made a mental list of 30 places where I can remember living since I was four. There are probably at least ten more that I can’t remember before that. The concept of “home” to me has always been a tenuous one. Continue reading “The Lights are on, but…”→
I recently heard of an interesting exercise to teach privilege to a group of high school students. They were each given a balled-up piece of paper and told to throw it from their seats into the waste-paper basket at the front of the room (regardless of seating position.) The teacher said, “The game is simple — you all represent the country’s population. And everyone in the country has a chance to become wealthy and move into the upper class.” Everyone took their shots, and — predictably — most of the students in the front were successful, but only a handful from the back row made the shot. He concluded, “The closer you were to the bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like. Did you notice how the only ones who complained about fairness were in the back of the room? By contrast, the people in the front of the room were less likely to be aware of the privilege they were born into.”
I know that I am privileged AF. I am a university-educated, white Canadian with a good job, a good salary and a beautiful home in Vancouver. I can eat basically whatever I want, I have a family and a job that I love. I live in total peace and safety and I travel to exotic places fairly regularly. But sometimes, it’s good to keep an eye on the checks and balances in life. You don’t want to see one girl having all of the fun, now do you? Worry not. I, too, have suffered. Continue reading “My First World Problems”→
In the wake of the massacre in Paris, an obviously well-meaning person posted this picture on facebook along with the caption, “Our thoughts and prayers are with France during these difficult times.” The sentiment is one that is shared by most people. The attacks were senseless and despicable, perpetrated against innocent civilians in places where they were going about their everyday lives. What an unforgivable, unspeakable act… Our hearts collectively go out to those affected.
This comes from my friend and fellow blogger Levi. (Read his post here.)
He sums up what most of us are thinking. It’s time to get out there and make a change. It’s time to be accountable for our country and its politics. It’s time to shake off the apathy and the “what good will my vote do?” attitude. We young people are the future of this beautiful nation and we have to live here long after many of these tools are dead and buried.
Let’s finally give a shit. Get on out there and vote.
We have a quite a serious problem with homelessness in Vancouver, Canada. It’s something that I think about every day. Most afternoons as I cross an important intersection downtown on my way home from work, I pass by a homeless man who sits on the pavement with his hand out. If I say, “I’m sorry” because I don’t have any coins on me (I don’t like to carry cash.) The man says, “Thank you, dear.” Recently, I decided to make more of an effort to have some cash in my pocket so I could help him. He asked me if I had any potato chips a couple of weeks back. I took a mental note.
When I was a college co-ed, I decided to take my white bread Canadian self down to South America with my then-boyfriend Adam. The idea was that I’d broaden my horizons and see some of the world during the semester break. First stop: Caracas, Venezuela.
Venezuela is a relatively safe country in which to travel, though robbery is becoming a problem. Common crime is increasing in the large cities. Caracas is by far the most dangerous place in the country, and you should take care while strolling about the streets, particularly at night. Keep your passport and money next to the skin, and your camera, if you are carrying one, hidden in a pack or bag. Venturing into poor shanty-towns is asking for trouble. Avoid police…
I have a pretty awesome job. I get paid to chat with really interesting people from around the world. In other words, I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to international students. They are always full of questions about my country and they aren’t shy about asking. One of the popular questions they tend to ask is, “Teacher, where are all of the REAL Canadians?”
Vancouver is, indeed, a very multicultural city with plenty of non-Caucasian inhabitants. Frequently misled by advertising media, this is in direct opposition to the expectations of many of my foreign students. “Where are all of the white people?” they demand to know. Continue reading “What is a ‘Real’ Canadian?”→