Someone’s judging a homeschooler! Call out the troops. Or maybe, don’t.

Sometimes I read something someone else writes, and I recognize in it something that connects with other issues. Today I saw a post titled “Maybe we haven’t been critical enough of our fellow moms….” I saw it posted on facebook, and in most of the comments on facebook people were being very critical of the blogger, saying that people need to mind their own business and not judge. For my part, the post and discussion threw me into all sorts of confusion. The sense I had from the article was not that someone wants to stick her nose into other Continue reading

being wrong, accepting criticism and imperfection

“No, friendship is NOT about ‘supporting your friends even when you know they’re wrong.” That’s not friendship. That’s being an enabler. That’s being an accomplice. Friendship is loving someone enough to tell them to stop being an idiot before they ruin their lives.” I saw a text-in-a-box thing on facebook today with that text. I read it, re-read it, and thought about a time when I acted as an enabler, supporting someone as she got back together with an abuser, and how I wish I had handled it differently. I had been so scared she’d stop talking to me that Continue reading

GMOs and politicians: how do we know what is true or not?

I had a really good facebook conversation yesterday, in a public page about politics. The topic was one GMOs and I was taking a position that would have been inconceivable to me several years ago. I was arguing against mandatory labelling of GMOs. Someone else made a really good comment saying that the labelling shouldn’t just be “GMO free” or “Includes GMOs” but should have the little symbol so people with smart phones can quickly get all the background information about what type of GMOs were included. He said he’s okay with GMO apples with a gene for browning knocked Continue reading

setting boundaries, even if it means losing people I love

(The following is a post I’ve had sitting around in a file on my computer for ages now unposted – the situation it refers to is old concern, not a current one, but I thought in light of the hashtag #yesallwomen I would post it.) If you’ve said no, you won’t do a favor for someone and they continue to ask over and over, sending you more and more aggressive messages, is that just social awkwardness on the other person’s part? If your sitting at a table talking with friends and someone who you’ve already asked not to talk to Continue reading

confidentiality agreements and power imbalances

One of the many things that makes me uncomfortable with the way our laws work is the abundance and acceptance of confidentiality rules. I’m thinking about things like clauses in employment contracts that prohibit the employee from talking with their coworkers about how much they earn. This allows employers to pay different wages for similar work and experience, with employees unable to complain because to do so would indicate they had broken the confidentiality agreement. I’m thinking also about reading stories online about since Target has bought out Zellars and will be converting the stores to Target stores. Target has Continue reading

thoughts about thoughts

I just started reading the book The Curious Feminist by Cynthia Enloe and the first page includes this gem: I have come to think that the capacity to be surprised – and to admit it – is an undervalued feminist attribute. To be surprised is to have one’s current explanatory notions, and thus one’s predictive assumptions, thrown into confusion. In both academic life and activist public life in most cultures, one is socialized to deny surprise. It is as if admitting surprise jeopardized one’s hard-earned credibility. And credibility, something necessarily bestowed by others, is the bedrock of status. … Better to assume the “Oh, Continue reading

is there such a thing as a neutral education system?

I love it when similar or related ideas appear in several parts of my life at once. There’s been a number of things that come together to make me think again about education and the question of whether an education system can be neutral. I write about this as someone whose children are not in school. I pick and choose between different curriculum resources and from the library, choosing what resources I believe match my educational goals for my children, and those goals include, to an extent, a desire to pass on to my children my belief systems. Yet I Continue reading

Interacting with those we disagree with

What do you do with people you don’t agree with? Do you agree to keep quiet about the topics you disagree on? Do you cut them out of your life? Or keep them in your life but with a mental note not to take seriously any of their opinions? Do you argue incessantly? These questions permeate my life. Perhaps it is because I hold strong opinions about things. I care about a great variety of issues which means I have lots I could potentially disagree with people on. I notice subtle implications of things so I disagree with things other Continue reading

my thoughts on Paved With Good Intentions: Canada’s development NGOs from idealism to imperialism

I’m getting ready to return the book Paved With Good Intentions: Canada’s development NGOs from idealism to imperialism by Kikolas Barry-Shaw and Dru Oja Jay back to the friend who lent it to me, but I want to make a few notes about ideas I found interesting. I know a different friend who blogged about the same book, so I want to include a link to his blog here too, though I’ve been careful not to read his assessment of the book till I finished writing mine. The book outlines several ways in which development NGOs actually assist imperialistic motives. It talks about Continue reading

Tears for Nanertak – a children’s book about climate change

I received in the mail an absolutely stunning hard covered picture book to review. It is called Tears for Nanertak and it is written and illustrated by Skip Hofstrand. As I look through it I can imagine myself wandering the halls of an art gallery admiring an arctic exhibit. The stunning water color paintings capture a moment in history. The Arctic is melting. The animals must leave. The book balances the reality that disasters happen on two levels, both the personal and the communal. The whole Arctic grieves and within that a mother attempts to keep her cub afloat. As Continue reading