No real topic today...

OK, I'm getting tired of thinking of a title every time I want to write something here. Too much pressure to try to be witty or creative or find something that describes the many different topics I might want to include in one post. So sorry for the lack of creativity today and any other day.

I'm writing this while on hold with the National Visa Center in the US....oops, I take that back. They're actually quite efficient once you get through, I'm off the phone already! ;-) For all my friends and family back home, no, we still don't know if we're staying here or moving back there. We have completed the first step in the process for Stephen to get a US visa so that we can be ready when we do decide. The second step involves a significant sum of money, so we're holding off a little longer on that--I just had to call and notify them that we're not acting immediately, but want to keep the case open. I still do want to move back someday, but I think the real deciding factor will be where I am career-wise when Stephen finishes residency. If I'm still doing work that isn't that satisfying, and still struggling to find a new career path here, we will be more likely to move back down there. I don't know for sure, but I do feel like more doors would be open to me in the US. There seems to be a real resistance here to people changing careers or doing something for which they weren't formally educated, whereas I feel many US employers are more interested in your skills than your exact field of education. I recognize that I may need to go back to school (current frontrunners are a Master's in Library/Information Science, or maybe Law School) for some jobs, but I'm not yet sure enough to spend the money on another degree. I'm still paying off my first Master's degree, after all!

So that's that. Another topic I felt like ranting about this morning was something I heard on CBC driving in to work. They were talking about this story of a Muslim girl who was not allowed to participate in a soccer tournament because of her hijab. I was really irritated by 2 things--first, I felt like CBC was asking people to call in and comment on the wrong question. They kept asking "do you think the ref was right or wrong to enforce this rule?" Well, from my experience as a sports fan & a basketball coach, I can tell you that the ref is SUPPOSED to enforce the rule. The rule itself might be wrong (in my opinion, this one probably is), but that's not generally up to the ref on the field to decide unless the wording of the rule is vague or allows for discretion. This one sounded pretty clear, so the ref in question was probably just doing his job. My second point of irritation was the amazing close-mindedness of many of the people calling in. Most Canadians that I meet pride themselves on being "better" than Americans in a lot of ways, and I do agree that there are aspects of Canadian society that are better. One is supposed to be that Canada is a tolerant, multi-cultural society that welcomes immigrants. However, in my actual day-to-day dealings with Canadians I see just as much discrimination and intolerance as in the US. Both countries have their share of wonderful, welcoming, open-minded people--and their share of close-minded, anti-immigrant xenophobes, as well as every opinion in between. This morning on CBC featured an awful lot of the latter--"why do people come here if they don't want to follow our rules? we shouldn't have to change our society to accomodate THEM! I'm so sick of this multi-culturalism...Christians are being discriminated against everywhere..." etc. I could ramble on about this all day, but how does a young girl being allowed to wear a headscarf while playing soccer discriminate against anyone else? How does it change Canada so fundamentally that we should oppose it? How is being bare-headed a Canadian value that we have to fight to defend? I could be wrong, but I don't think this would have been nearly as big an issue in the US as it was here.

OK, enough political stuff for today. :-) My school knitters are continuing to progress, although fewer of them are bringing their knitting in to our lunch group to work on it. But I have almost enough squares to sew up our baby blanket--hopefully I'll get a few more in before March break (7 more school days! But who's counting?) so I can sew it up over the break and post a picture. Last week our grade 7/8 students participated in the 30 Hour Famine, and a lot of them used some of that time to work on their knitting. We spent Thursday night together at the school (we were supposed to go away to Stratford for the night, but got snowed in at school!). It was exhausting and frustrating and all of those things, but kinda fun to be with the kids outside of class, too! I also brought my ball winder in and let some of them try that out. Here are some pictures:


I had about 5 or 6 of them knitting at one point, but didn't get a picture. Oh well!

Now, time for me to tackle the back panel of that Ivy....I really want to finish it tonight!

Comments

Paula..a proud Canadian! said…
I don't think it is entirely a matter of not wanting 'others' to come into Canada, but it is a matter of making US change because they are here. I will say it over and over...a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree and nobody should make me call it something else. And it is Christmas holidays, not winter holidays; and Merry Christmas is not said to offend anyone! I know this has nothing to do with the CBC story...but I just trying to explain the whole 'Canadian racisim issue' I guess. We are so busy worrying about offending others that we are suppressing our own rights and beliefs - it makes everyone else happy but us...that does not seem right. Canadians are suddenly realizing that this trend is happening - unfortunately we do not always go about it the right way!
Lindsey said…
Paula...I know you and I have talked about this before. :-) I agree that people should be able to celebrate Christmas openly and proudly, just like everyone else can celebrate their holidays. I know this has been a big kerfuffle(?) all over North America the last few years, and I think it's all quite silly--I don't understand the overly-PC urge to "hide" Christmas. I think what irritated me the most yesterday was that these callers were mostly being idiotic, and no one told them off. I felt like the host or her guest should have pointed out that a lot of their comments really were quite racist or just plain untrue. I could keep going on this point for a long time....I think there are a lot of differences between Canadian and American ideas on freedom of religion, too (don't get me started on the establishment clause & free exercise clauses of the first amendment to the US Constitution!). But enough!