Canada, as I’m sure You’re aware, is turning 150 years old this Canada Day. I found it strange, however, that while everybody knows of this sesquicentennial, as they insist on calling it just to make sure we have our spell-checkers on, the actual celebration of it seems pretty low-key. Sure, there are the government sponsored shindigs, the biggest being in Ottawa, of course, but aside from that, there seems to have been very little promotion. Few businesses decorating beyond an extra flag or two, merchandise sparse and most of it just a re-shelving of the general Canada merchandise they have. No huge advertising blitz, not that I’ve seen anyway, and just not a lot of buzz seems to have built up around this anniversary. You can find more excitement here in Calgary around Stampede, and that happens every year.
Maybe That’s part of the reason why almost none of the stories submitted for this week’s Voice Magazine, despite it being the one before Canada day, have content related to the holiday. It gets the same mention in here that I seem to be seeing out in the world, a brief acknowledgement that the day is happening, and That’s that. I don’t think it means Canadians aren’t proud, or don’t care, but maybe with events elsewhere in the world it just doesn’t seem like a good time to be promoting a lot of rah-rah nationalism. Then again, there are still two days to go, so maybe once Canada Day actually arrives, I’ll be proven very wrong.
Regardless, there are some things to celebrate. AU, for instance, has finally hired a permanent Vice-President Academic and Provost, Dr. Matthew Prineas. With the Third Party Review recommending a broad review of AU courses including looking at opportunities to create courses of differing lengths and styles, this position is an extremely important one to bring stability and, as important, a cohesive sense of direction to whatever route AU decides to pursue. With that in mind, I find it comforting that Dr. Prineas’ PhD is in English, and to note that he’s served as the Vice Provost and director of the Online Writing Centre at the University of Maryland University College (an institution with its own significant distance education program). No offense intended toward those business professors and students out there, but my personal experience is that the business tracks rarely value the liberal arts tracks, especially when it can be difficult to demonstrate how liberal arts skills apply to the employment market after graduation. Having a Provost with a PhD in English lets me breathe a little easier thinking that some of those programs that don’t have such obvious employment outcomes will have their champion at the highest levels. Dr. Prineas will be officially starting with the university on September 5, 2017.
Today, however, our feature is our interview with AU student Miranda Braun. From small-town Taber, Alberta, Miranda juggles her AU program with her daughter, and notes how it can be hard to squeeze in family time when studying. We also have Carla Knipe’s latest article where she looks at the proliferation of bylaws designed to make neighbourhoods nicer, and questions if the cost of those is making it less likely the neighbours themselves will get along. Plus, advice on life, creating metaphors for your papers, and a look at the differences in some common food-restrictive diets, artist interviews, finding ways to use “lost” time, and how to keep your summer travel from becoming summer jet-lag!
So I hope you enjoy your Canada day, and while You’re at it, enjoy the read!