Tuesday, 29 September 2009

On a new path

This is cool, isn’t it? 29-09-2009.

A bit off from the 8s, but for a cool-looking cause, I imagine.

I took a new PATH yesterday. Left work about an hour later than usual and figured, since I was already behind my daily schedule, I’d go on the adventure. I’d oft heard about the PATH from Yonge and Dundas to Union Station. Heck. Even tried it several times from Union, but kept getting out still too far south of my workplace. In any case, I’d kept it up until this past summer, when I discovered that the above-ground route was about 10-15 minutes shorter. And that’s not because I stopped in at the shops along the PATH! (They really thought that one through, eh?)

Gotta tell you, though. It was really a maze! But, I kept reminded myself of one of my mantras: "Thank God for my mother who taught me how to read." About 40 minutes later, I saw the sign: Union Station. I couldn't help but smile out loud, thinking: "I did it!" That made me think of another journey...

I started on a new path yesterday. I’ve made the first (baby) steps to completing a Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto. The designation would be Ph.D in Education. The area of emphasis – all being well – would be Workplace Learning and Social Change. And when I say, “baby steps”, that’s exactly what I mean.

I’ve prayed – well, prayed without ceasing, it would seem – about it. The decision has come after much thinking. I’ve finally decided that it is time for me to re-enter the world of academia and scholarly thought; create knowledge and add to the conversation in a meaningful way. So, I called up the registrar of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) for a few tid-bits of info (but mainly, to talk to a ‘live’ person). I drafted my request for reference letter to send to Professors Andersen and Kowal at SUNY Brockport. And, I am now set to copy my ‘superior papers’ to attach to my request – to kinda jog their memory, you know? As I told my lil sis yesterday, I don’t think they’d find it hard to remember me. (She chuckled.) AND, it’s not because I stood out for bad reasons. No, I was an ‘A’ student and one of the few Teaching Assistants that the Communication Department engages each years. AND, I was re-appointed for my second year – even more unusual!

So, there you have it. I’m on my new path. Even the baby steps count. Just ask Keona!



Friday, 18 September 2009

Once it's out there...

Made a comment about the story of the children in the UK who voted 13:1 to have the lamb they had raised and hand-fed, slaughtered. The blog was carried in the Ottawa Citizen of 9-14-2009 (my comment at 4:12p.m., 9-16-2009). I hardly ever comment on blogs - I suspect this might have been about my second ever blog comment. I don't even remember the first, but, I wanna cut myself some slack - "just in cases." Usually, I just read blogs, and maybe a few of their responses, and move on. 'Cause, you know, once you get involved and put things out there - for any and everyone to see, well, it's out there. And, if there are comments about your comments, yours is the decision to deal with them - or not - and how to, if you decide to.

Anyway, in this case, however, I found both story - and comments - rather enlightening.

A copy of my own comment follows:

Not sure why my first submission didn't go through, but, here's the 2nd attempt:

My sentiments became rather mixed as I read on and on. They moved from:

LOL! - in response to the brouhaha of the activists juxtaposed with the quiet and firm decision made by the children to

OMG! These children are scary - from hand-fed "Good boy, Marcus eat up. Nice lambie," to "OK, Marcus, we're gonna have you killed now" to

OK, would the activists have to come out again after the purchase of pigs? to

Hmmm. A quiet realization that in this age of a rather irreverent treatment of many things once held almost sacred, (generally speaking now), it helps to be prepared for stuff that might otherwise conflict with our sensibility.

On some levels, this does affect our sensibility – as bigdaveinchina so aptly articulates. I too would not want to “lose too much.”

My dad was a pig farmer a long time ago. We also, later on in life, raised chickens. As a little girl into my teens, I’d witness, then get involved in, the raising and killing of chickens. For some reason, however, when we got to raising goats, we simply would not have them killed for meals. My parents got a kick out of the fact that they had to sell the goats then use the money to buy goat meat (mutton) from a butcher to prepare our meals. To this day, almost 20 years later, when we raise the occasional goat(s), he still has to do the same thing.

I'm now living in Canada and as I’m writing this now, I shake my head in wonder. What made it different for us to accept the cute, soft baby chicks growing into ready-to-eat chickens over the met-from-birth kids growing into frolicking goats? Was it because they were more …and here’s a term we didn’t use then…interactive? I dunno. Visitors to our home would suggest that our rabbits gave “good meats” as well, but, we would hear none of it. We had got accustomed to petting and playing with them all the time. I just knew we – as children – decided to kill and eat the chickens and we – as children – decided not to kill and eat the goats.

If this is being done for educational purposes, then, surely, as a few others have posted, complete the process (from the womb to the tomb). I rather doubt that any of those children who voted to have the sheep slaughtered would have made a similar decision, had s/he raised the animal as a pet at home.

Well, I hope not.


Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Deconstructing the deletion: In defense of the decison to discontinue the inadvertent "stalking"

So, I’ve been doing the Facebook thing for about 2-3 years – it’s all a blur. I think it was in about April or May this year that I posted a message on my wall, stteo: I’ll be taking a break from fb, until I appoint my FAM (facebook Account Manager). I’ve popped in a couple times - doing nothing to write home about, really.

At some point, I began receiving messages in my Hotmail account from friends wanting me to send a friend request. Of course, I didn’t remember that I’d adjusted my settings to remove the FR link. But, that’s beside the point. It took me a while to respond to one of them – that of a very dear friend – ‘cause, well, our friendship exists outside of fb! Come Labour Day, with a bit more time on my hands, by the time I was to respond to her, I saw another request from someone else. It’s been years upon years that that person and I have had dialogue, but, I decided to send the FR anyway. In both instances, I let them know that I don’t use fb often and, in the event they don’t see me on it after a while, no worries. They have my contact info.

As a matter of fact, being now in ‘da mood’, I decided to take stock. Whom did I have on the Friends list that, well, hmmm …you know? I mean, since accepting the friend request 2 or more years ago, we hadn’t even exchanged a hello. So, after posting to my wall, stteo: I’ll be deleting a few contacts from my list ‘cause we don’t talk, really, and when I do pop in to fb, I feel like I’m stalking you… I went ahead and did just that.

My sis called to let me know that one of those who’d remained responded to my message. Something about the possibility of those affected not liking it. Oh well. As my other sis said, at least I gave a heads-up. Others simply go right ahead and delete – no compunction, no angst – just delete.

And it’s not that I think fb is evil or anything. I just don’t see the sense in looking at and absorbing what’s happening in the lives of others. It’s like watching a long-running (so-called) reality TV show. While they’re living their commercial-ridden lives, you’re spending yours watching them living their lives.

The point of the class reunion now would be what, exactly? Oh! Fewer pics that would make for a less bulky wallet and, of course, you get to see your friends ‘live’.

While having a truly enjoyable time at my lil sis’ place over the long weekend, she showed me a particularly funny youtube vid about the possible effect of fb on relationships. Apparently, there are those who regard fb to be more than a social networking site and whatever happens on fb, doesn’t stay on fb, but impacts (heavily) on the real-world relationships.

As we say in our family sometimes, “This isn’t funny ‘ha ha’; it’s funny ‘peculiar’.”

Who knows? A few of those I’d let remain might decide to remove me as a friend.

Oh well.