Tag Archives: Canada

Backwards and forwards

16 Apr

That first line is always the hardest. It’s like that chore you just don’t want to do – your mind looks at it, and then invariably skitters away to something easier to tackle, or simply as an alternative thing to do (like checking Facebook for the umpteenth time!). But, dear reader, you will be pleased to note that I have made it – made it back into the blogosphere!

So what’s been happening? Let’s indulge in a quick catch-up – studied super-hard all term,worked to develop a marketing plan for a social enterprise to combine education, financial literacy and football, wrapped up exams, watched Oxford dominate in the Boat Race, and did some quality traveling. I totally get that I’ve condensed 3 months into a short paragraph, but more on those things in later posts. After all, that’s the looking backwards part.

Looking forward is actually way more fun. With a just under 2 weeks before the new term starts, it’s interesting to think about what happens next, now that we’ve passed the half-way point in the program. The big thing on many people’s minds is finding that perfect post-MBA job opportunity. Some are already enjoying the pleasure of having offers in hand, while others are going through interviews and preparations in order to land that perfect spot.  Still others are gearing up to launch their own ventures, supported by investors hoping to get in on the next big thing. In one way or another, people are getting ready for the next phase.

In the spirit of looking ahead, it’s also impossible to ignore the metaphor provided by nature – spring has sprung! Cherry blossoms, tulips, casting off winter layers and warming temperatures are just some of the signs.

Oh wait, one more sign of spring – federal elections in Canada! The third in just over 5 years, maybe this time it will actually be about something? One sure way to make elections matter is to vote in them. Lots of people have been doing all kinds of things to encourage people to vote, so here’s my two pence – VOTE!

On that note, I’ll take my leave. Here’s looking forward to you!

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Please count me in

24 Jul

Dear Mr. Harper,

My name is May, and I am 10 years old. I was born in 2011. At the time, my mother and father were going to English school for grown-ups, so they decided to give me an English name after the month I was born in.  They were very proud of me, and happy I could be born in their new home country of Canada.

I am writing you because my mother said you were Prime Minister when I was born, and she said that this is a very important job, and that you could do important things, even if you are not Prime Minister any more. I would like you to please tell your friends who are in charge to bring back the big counting thing my teacher says is called a census. We are doing a project at school about Canada, and my teacher said this would help us know more about Canada and all the people that live in it, so we could make sure they have all the things they need.

I really like school, but it is very crowded.  My class also has lots of kids from all over the world, who have moved to Canada with their families.  My friend Asha only came to Canada last year. She says her Dad is very worried he will not be able to find a good job, because there is not enough information about how to find work in our city.  My teacher sometimes helps Asha’s mom to write letters, since there is no more grown-up English school where we live. Asha’s mom said it’s because there isn’t enough information about what new people coming to Canada need, or what languages they speak.

My mom says this too. She is a nurse at a hospital in our city. She works very long hours because there are not enough nurses, because the hospital thought there would be less people getting sick.  It turns out there were more people moving to our city all the time, and now the hospitals are not big enough. Sometimes when people are very sick, they have to wait for a long time to get better.

My Dad drives a big bus in our city. He says that the bus company is hiring lots of people, because they need more buses now that people want to drive less and be green.  People are still the same colour, but I think he means something about the environment.  Dad says that there are not enough buses in some places, and it’s because the bus company only had some old information about where people were going to want to live.

In my project, I am going to write that we used to know more about the people in Canada, where they came from and what they needed.  This stuff is pretty important, especially since my mom and dad wouldn’t have to work so hard, if the hospital and the bus company had more information. If your friends in charge can’t fix it so we have the census again, when I grow up I’ll be Prime Minister so I can fix it.

Yours respectfully,

May

Grade 4, Smith Elementary School

In the interests of full disclosure, I’m an excited aunty-to-be who hopes that my niece or nephew will be counted. Reinstate the long form census of Canada in 2011.

Things that go beep in the night

15 Jul

It was the loud and insistent ringing that woke me. The intercom phone in my apartment, which kind of sounds like a fire alarm.  Was it a summer vacation prank, an urgent summons, a dream? It was weirder than that – it was the police!

“Good Evening Ms. Rudder. This is the police. Your car alarm keeps going off, can you come down and turn it off? The police car will be waiting, ma’m.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s not every day that the police show up at my house, especially in the middle of the night.  Still rubbing sleep from my eyes, I dressed, grabbed my keys and headed downstairs.  Sure enough, there was one of New Westminster’s finest, along with a tow truck, flashing lights and one of those fabulous “policeman’s flashlights” we all secretly crave.  Sure enough, there was my car horn, stuck somehow and producing a pretty feeble, fast-fading tone.

“Could you open up the car, ma’m? There’s a smell of burning wires, we just want to make sure there isn’t a short or a fire.  Maybe you should make sure it starts and the battery isn’t dead.  If you pop the hood we’ll take a look for you.”  Such service!

The tow truck driver, a sprightly young guy with a “back East” Nova Scotia accent checked it over, concluded my battery was fine, and that it must have been my steering wheel lock that had somehow pushed against the horn and caused it to stick in the “on” position.  After recommending I take it in for service, and verifying my name and address, my two new heroes disappeared into the night, taking their flashing lights and sense of adventure with them.

Now, let’s reflect for a moment on the amazing things about this story.  That I live in a neighbourhood where noise after about 11 p.m. gets the attention of the neighbours.  That said neighbours care enough about what’s going on out in the street to call the police, and that the police respond with politeness and assistance. That I live in a place where social trust is high enough that if the police ring your doorbell in the middle of the night (well OK, it was 11:30 p.m. but I’d been asleep for at least an hour by then!), you feel comfortable enough to answer the door, rather than diving to hide the valuables and grab your passport as you head out the back way!

I love this country! July 1st is fine and all, but this officially marks my personal “Canada Day” this year.  Here’s a lesson to us all: make sure you put your steering lock on properly, and don’t forget to appreciate the small but important things in life.

Happy Canada Day, everybody!