The White People Letter: Or why I wasn’t lost in translation in Shanghai

Canadians generally pride themselves on knowing the hellos, goodbyes and thank yous of the countries to which they travel. Perhaps it is the whole mosaic concept but we generally aim for achievement in multilingual greetings so we are not mislabelled as unappreciative or unkind. It’s as Canadian a habit as punctuating a statement or question…

Canadian Invasion: Or the time it got private in Parliament

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – GK Chesterton In fairness, Chesterton probably didn’t trek too far from home. Typically he would lose track of his way, or tire shortly along with the…

Vision: Or my top five spectacles… not made by me this time.

The term “vision” is used and overused in many different ways. We will often hear of an artist’s vision for his or her work, or by way of a compliment, an individual may be referred to as a “visionary”. It feels as though the term is thrown about with as little consideration as using one’s…

Polishing Up On Herstory: Or Glow-in-the-Dark Digits in the Dam

In thinking of International Women’s Day that just passed, I am brought back to a time when, on my twenty-fifth birthday, I stood in the presence of the powerful words of a brave young woman. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam doesn’t seem like an ideal way to ring in one’s birthday, but it did…

Disturbing the peace: Or my faltering hush in Hong Kong

I haven’t yet mastered the art of meditation. Quite frankly, I haven’t even been able to do it for more than a minute. My mind races; one neuron to the next, and I spend more time making a to-do list or practicing a reply than I do listening to my breathing or saying a mantra….

Due North: Or the time I inadvertently sailed atop a killer whale

When I first became a teacher, jobs were scarce and thousands of young, capable teachers with good back stories, fresh from watching Freedom Writers for the twentieth time, eagerly sought out their chance to change young lives. At the time of my graduation, even though the average of admission was astronomically high, it felt, based…

Runway Runaway Zebras: Or my rough roadways of Kenya (part 1 of 3)

I have just booked my transportation for my next adventure to South Africa (I would appreciate any suggestions, by the way, in the comments!) and it brought me back with great gratitude to another time spent on safari in Kenya on the Maasai Mara. I have mentioned many misadventures along this trip previously, as well…