Computer Says No

I have a very distinct memory of being in my elementary school classroom sometime in the early 1990s during a social studies lesson. We were taking it in turns to read passages from our textbooks about the movements of people around the world. I remember the smell of the binding and the colourful maps adorned with bright arrows showing the routes of migration across the continents and seas. The bold keys words leapt off of the page: migration, emigrate, immigrant. These words had not yet taken on a political flavouring in my young mind and yet this lesson sticks out in my mind like a rock in the middle of the sea of my childhood. I couldn’t know that over twenty years later I would be an immigrant.

Roadmaps to Myself

I have spent a fair few hours over the past two days reflecting on the year that has just passed and the year that has just started. I’ve been thinking about all of the experiences I have had that have led me to where I am in this moment and all of the people who have shared in those experiences. Having the time to pause and reflect has helped me see some things more clearly and I’d like to share a few of these reflections here.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

I don’t think I can remember a busier December. There were of course the Decembers when I was thirteen or fourteen and was dancing in the Nutcracker. It seemed like endless afternoons and evenings of rehearsals and weekends full of performances all balanced with school. Then there were the Decembers when I was a full-time music teacher. Preparing the children for their holiday concerts were always stressful. It seemed that I spent every waking moment thinking about the music, rehearsing with the students, designing programmes, and planning the logistics. When I went back to being a full-time student, suddenly, my Decembers – while busy – were just a bit more leisurely. Sure I had deadlines but there wasn’t that stress of everything riding on my shoulders. This December though has been another thing entirely.