Friday, April 23, 2004

Alberta's provincial government makes a good decision

I hope you were sitting down when you read the title of this entry.

As much as I despise the practices, policies and corruption of our provincial government, I'm quite willing to admit when they do something right (as opposed to 'Right(-wing)').

They are putting in place requirements - and support - for mandatory second-language learning in Alberta schools.

The province will make support available to school jurisdictions for "Cree, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Ukrainian". The jurisdictions will have authority to decide which language(s) they offer to their students, and will also have the option to develop and offer other languages ("such as Hebrew, Arabic, Polish or Portuguese").

Without question, my biggest regret about my own education is that I grew up monolingual. It's the thing I most wish I could change about my schooling.

I've long said that "if I were Prime Minister" I would make tri-lingualism mandatory in our schools: One of the dominant European languages (English, French), a language that actually comes from this place (Cree, Ojibwe, etc.), and any other language (Mandarin, Swahili, Latin, whatever). This move by the Alberta government is an excellent first step in that direction.

Seen at CBC: Province to mandate second-language studies.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Poem: Your Fault

Can this poem forgive me
for being left unwritten
so long?

Will this poem forgive you
for the ages it has spent

Has this poem come to late
to turn the tide
and rouse your mind?

Will this poem stop to consider
all my questions
or even just one?

Does this poem have any answers
or can it find them
or make them?

Will this poem forgive me
for sending it into the world

(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

The Apology Line

Those who know me well are generally pretty aware that I'm a bit of a junkie for 'alternative', obscure and weird magazines. Back in the early 90's I came across an issue of 'Apology' magazine. It was a wonderful collection of confession transcripts. The confessions were recorded on a phone 'Apology Line' and ranged from the banal to the extremely disturbing.

I had never heard or found any further trace of the project (I admit to not doing an indepth search), but would still remember it every once in a while. The magazine is now long gone from my collection (some forgotten soul borrowed it but never returned it - grrrrr) which is particularly disappointing since I never found another copy.

The apology project provides a little background, some samples, and the hope of preservation of the 15 years of work Allan Bridge put into it.

Seen at Metafilter: The Apology Line.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Revolutionary Knitting Caravan

The Revolutionary Knitting Circle is going on a road trip.

We're planning to meet with revolutionary knitters in Alberta and B.C. in late June.

Sign-up now to join the tour, or host us in your town.

(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

This Blog Moving

I'm sort of retiring this personal blog, and shifting my blogging to a new group blog ('moblog') hosted at the Wayground site.

You can also view just my postings to Wayground, if you want to continue to read just my narrow perspective.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Prisoners' creative writing destroyed

Update: It's now being reported that the prisoners' writing was not destroyed.

This gets me angry. Because a prisoner in Connecticut, who's been in a creative-writing course in jail, has won an award for her writing - the prison decided to erase the hard drives that the writing of the 15 women inmates in the course were kept on. This means that "up to five years of work" has been destroyed.

This is a prime example of how the U.S. prison system is not interested in giving their slaves inmates a chance to escape the cycle of poverty. This particular case (like so many others) may serve to dishearten the inmates and discourage them from trying to better themselves. So much for "reform".

Seen at Boing Boing: Prison wipes creative-writing class HDDs after student wins PEN award.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Monday, April 19, 2004

The Electric Company Digital Archive

It's been a long, long, time since I watched The Electric Company or listened to the old album. Now a digital archive has been created. Talk about flashbacks.

Seen at Boing Boing: Electric Company video and audio.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)