Monday, December 14, 2009

Bittersweet Release

I finished the last exam on my undergrad on Tuesday. It’s bittersweet seeing King’s in the rearview mirror. I have no “I now know who I am” statement that neatly sums up the nervousness, joy, frustration, delight and longing of my university days. And perhaps there cannot be such a proclamation to succinctly capture a half dozen years of personal and academic growth.

I haven’t accepted that I no longer have the student label attached to my head. It’s overwhelming the ones that could take its place. I am currently a sister, daughter, cousin, niece, friend, seasonal bush bunny and traveller but most of those speak more to the who, not what, I am.

My family is not short of outstanding examples from which to draw from as I am still earnestly searching for the kind of woman I want to be. I feel moderately pressured to perform and follow their large, demanding and fascinatingly wandering footsteps. They’re not over-achievers in the traditional sense, but highly successful in their own realms.

I want to be devoted to the earth and her bounty like my mother, dedicated to a personal passion like Steph, well-read, helpful and encouraging like Donna, head-hunted like Robyn, caring for strangers and new-comers to Canada like Shauna and creative like Anita.

Read carefully and you'll see no mention of the other side of my family. Mostly married, they’re making babies like factories. I do not desire that. I value my girlish figure too much to follow their selfish desires to further destroy the earth.

In the short term, I want to develop my seasonal bush bunny skills that will ultimately support my selfish desires to leave Canada in the winter. After 30, I’ll allow myself to play the Grad School? game with myself.

Things I'll Miss

Edmonton has been home for the last seven years. On an off, between summer jobs, international travels and post-secondary education. I doubt I will ever live here again full-time. In no particular order are things and more importantly people I will dearly miss.

Concerts with my girlfriends Chelsy, Jillian, Jen, Krystal

Getting fresh with Orion at Blues and Newcastle.

Aquasizing with Melinda

Winning the furnace war with Sarah

Jennie's paintings

Harassing Hank

Holy Trinity

Visits to Jillian and Kurtis' dominated by babies and beer

Wednesday Wings with friends old and new

O'Connors Sunday sesh

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fort McMurray’s ban on plastic bag bylaw

Fort McMurray, Alberta, the Tar Sands Capital of the World, passed a bylaw on Tuesday that bans single-use shopping bags in an attempt to clean up both its image and the environment.

Ironically the rest of the province should look to this north-eastern Alberta community, not exactly known for its progressive green behaviours, as an example of environmental action and community initiative by a young person.

An ambitious high school student in the community collected a measly 2,500 signatures from the city’s 64,441 residents on a petition in support of a ban on shopping bags such as plastic and paper or biodegradable shopping bags last year. The petition was tabled by council in the spring.

Mayor Melissa Blake said there was surprisingly little opposition to the bylaw. “My initial reaction was surprise about how much public support there really was throughout the entire process," she said.

Of course she’s surprised. Won’t this ban cut into oil profits for the region?

While they’re not shutting down the tar sands or slowing the pace of development, their effort needs to be recognized and lauded.

With files from Cigdem Iltan, Edmonton Journal

Monday, December 7, 2009

60 Degrees of Separation

Canadian transit gone wrong.

Caribbean transit gone wrong.

I woke up to -29 C this morning in Edmonton. It is +31 on Bimini Island, Bahamas, my destination in January. That's 60 degrees difference!

Ask me how excited I am to go, and the answer is mixed.

Mixed because it means my undergrad will be complete. Mixed because I will be leaving the comfort and stability of friends and acquaintances I have come to know and love. Mixed because I can not decide which bathing suit is my favourite.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

No Journal? Thank the snowstorm

You live in a northern Canada city when a December blizzard prevents the Journal from being delivered. Journal columnist Paula Simmons commented in a column a few weeks ago that Albertans are tough, irrational, even. Not when it comes to newspaper delivery though. The Journal rationally, wisely decided not to risk their driver's sanity and lives and permitted them a snow day.