Posted in (All Posts), Family, Homelessness, O Canada 🇨🇦, Personal Anecdotes

The Lights are on, but…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of “home.”

image1 2
Reynolds’ House, 1970s

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…”

Posted in (All Posts), O Canada 🇨🇦, Rants

It is not (only) Paris we should pray for; it is the world.

12219618_10153645536501351_8845603242573644400_n
Our thoughts and prayers are with France during these difficult times.

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.

The post on facebook had exactly two comments below it. Continue reading “It is not (only) Paris we should pray for; it is the world.”

Posted in (All Posts), Culture, O Canada 🇨🇦, Rants

Voting Basically Makes You A Superhero

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.

stop-harper-legislature-photo

Source: Voting Basically Makes You A Superhero

Posted in (All Posts), Homelessness, O Canada 🇨🇦

“Homeless” Undercover Police Officer is Shocked by Treatment from Strangers

homeless-on-street-1024x768We 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.

Two days ago, I slowed down as I passed him. I removed my sunglasses and I squatted down so we could speak eye-to-eye. I asked him his name. Charlie then told me his story. Continue reading ““Homeless” Undercover Police Officer is Shocked by Treatment from Strangers”

Posted in (All Posts), Culture, O Canada 🇨🇦, Rants

What is a ‘Real’ Canadian?

o-CANADA-FLAG-facebookI 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?”

credit to AdBusters

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?”

Posted in (All Posts), Culture, O Canada 🇨🇦

Teacher, what is Canadian food?

I love my job. I teach English to foreigners who have come to Canada to learn about our culture as well as the language. My students are very inquisitive, and there are a number of questions that I have been asked on a regular basis for about 12 years.

Canada-question-e1362976276597I am comfortable fielding just about any questions my students ask me about Canada or Canadians, for example:

Is Canada just another USA?

Do you love Americans?

Is marijuana legal here?

Why does it rain so much in Vancouver?

Why does everyone in Canada have a dog?

Why are there so many homeless people here if your country is rich?

Who taught the homeless to read?

Do you love the queen?

Is it true that you have a gay street in Vancouver?

Where are all the “real” (white) Canadians?

What is Canadian food?

Continue reading “Teacher, what is Canadian food?”

Posted in (All Posts), Personal Anecdotes, Rants

Sticks and Stones: My Story of Bullying and Acceptance

Four eyes.   Nerd.   Geek.   Loser.   Freak.   Bitch.   Slut.   Whore.   I have been called all of these and worse. I was bullied a lot in school. Surprisingly, for me the girls were always the worst offenders.

Screen shot 2015-01-28 at 8.39.55 PM
10-year-old four-eyes

Four Eyes

I was a tall, gangly kid with a lazy eye and thick glasses. The bullying got really bad for me when I was around 12. Younger than that, kids are a little less savage, but they still do enjoy name-calling. Furthermore, children are not always nice to the new kid and I went to a new school almost every year.

the_breakfast_club___poster_by_punkylemon-d3fn2ce

Nerd

My worst year, by far, was seventh grade. Continue reading “Sticks and Stones: My Story of Bullying and Acceptance”