Editorial—New for the New Year

The new year has rung in, and at least in Calgary, it’s brought with it some proper winter. Maybe it’s me getting old, but there’s something just off when I can see people walking around in Bermuda shorts in January.  Even in Calgary.

Unfortunately, it’s also brought some increased tensions between the Middle East and the west, with the year opening with a drone attack against an Iranian general, one said to be planning several attacks against western nations, followed by missile strikes into American bases, and now what seems to be a missile strike into a Ukranian plane that was transporting a large number of Canadians.

Some people are equating the assassination of the Iranian general with that of Archduke Ferdinand, the shot that gave the Austrian government reason to start world war I a month later.  But there were a lot of other reasons that that dispute became a world war.  Reasons that I think don’t generally exist today. Military power was more symmetric then, military alliances more common and more encompassing.  These days, it’s well understood that if the US chooses to bring it’s full power to bear in a straight-up conflict, there’s little that could stop them. Also, alliances tend to be more in line with defensive organizations such as NATO, rather than military partnerships.  So perhaps the threat of all out war isn’t as great as some people fear.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences.  The downing of flight PS752 is one of these. Even if accidental, it can’t be missed that the conditions for such an accident were set by the heightened tensions from the US action, the Iranian retaliation, and the warned US response.  Fortunately, cooler heads seemed to prevail, and the US has not made good on its’ president’s threat to respond to any retaliation disproportionately.  So maybe the new year is bringing some hope.  Or at least the idea that we have to carry on, regardless.

What else it’s brought is a bunch of new students and new interest in writing for The Voice Magazine.  So this week, we bring you one of the first articles from a new submitter, and Natalia Iwanek starts off with her look at what it’s been like trying to get an education while also dealing with a chronic illness and the demands of life.

In retrospect, this issue seems to be one of those that’s developed an inadvertant theme, because as I think through the articles this week, many of them touch on the subject of carrying on despite difficulties, whether those are physical issues, apprehensions, or even the difficulties of dealing with the change in ourselves and our world view brought on by learning.

But our feature article this week is from a student who is also a college instructor, and is looking toward the completion of her current degree as a steppingstone toward further academics and administration roles in New Brunswick.  And, of course, we also have our selection of news, events, advice, and more waiting for you.  Enjoy the read!