Editorial—The Schools of Bart Simpson

Despite how transmissible COVID-19 is, I couldn’t say for sure if I knew anybody who’d actually had the disease.  I have my suspicions about certain members of my family, but nothing definitive.  Until now, at least.  With some 40,000 students attending AU, it makes sense that at least some of us have had COVID-19, and in this issue, our own Jessica Young talks about her experience with it, having had it brought home from school by her youngster.

What exactly do you do when you’re stuck in a 14-day quarantine with your kids?  She gives us her advice having already gone through it.  And while hopefully vaccines will soon make this a non-issue, until that happens, our feature article, “Surviving Mandatory Isolation with Children” may give you just the help you need to get through a quarantine without entertaining murderous thoughts near the end of it.

Also this week, as we slide into summer and much of southern Alberta is suffering an heat-wave, Karen Lam gives us the June reading list if you’re looking for a few books to enjoy while you hide in the shade wishing for the ice-cream truck to come by.

And finally, we feature the Fly on the Wall this week, with a look at how our core beliefs can affect our academic journey, and vice versa.  I picked this one to feature specifically because this week I’ve found myself delving into philosophical proofs about the existence of a God, and the idea of a core knowledge or belief system falls strongly into that.  While I agree with the overall concept the article is getting at, there’s a line or two in there that I specifically disagree with.  But I’ll let you decide.

Of course the largest news this week is the discovery of the bodies of some 215 children at a residential school, and the prospect that many more may be found in future.  Notable in all the news about this is that the Truth and Reconciliation Committee had asked for federal funding back in 2009 to determine if there were such graves at residential schools and was denied.  That decision looks particularly bad with our new hindsight.  And it’s still hard for most people to understand that this is not necessarily something that happened generations ago.  The last residential school was only closed in 1996.  That’s seven years after The Simpsons first aired if you want something that makes the time period real.  Bart Simpson was telling people to eat his shorts even as residential schools were still operating.  This is not a problem that’s merely a footnote in our history.  These events are still recent.

Which is why Premiere Kenney’s casual dismissal about renaming schools and removing statues of John A MacDonald seem particularly out of touch and tone deaf.  Nobody’s arguing that Langevin and MacDonald should be removed from our history, but knowing what we know now, it’s time to stop celebrating them.  Take down their statues and name plaques, and move them to a museum, where the full context around them and our Canadian history can be learned from, hopefully to avoid being repeated .

Until then, however, you still have this week’s issue of the Voice Magazine, including advice, scholarships, events, and more.  Enjoy the read!