Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Pardon the bilingual pun

For a while now, I have been contemplating the creation of a new blog devoted to more thoughtful postings which do not have to do with the activities of my cat, the petty details of my personal life and my daily teaching. It's fun to write about these things, but they are not the sort of ramblings suited for a wide audience.

And so herewith, my new forum for the thoughts of a twentysomething Canadian history/Canadian studies post-doc. My aim is to update this blog at least once a week with commentary on contemporary events and societal trends.

To give you a sense of what to expect here, the title of my blog will give you your first indicator. I do a lot of research on issues of language policy, and am amused by language jokes, particularly the type that seem to emerge in Canada from our less-than-perfect teaching of French-as-a-second-language. Ergo, the grapefruit joke. I think that as a blog title, it's got a nice northern flair to it as well. I am a student of English-French relations in Canada, so you can expect that these issues will figure in my posts.

Politically and culturally, I consider myself to be a child of Trudeau in many senses. Not only was I born during his administration, but most of my values were shaped by the policies he created - the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, bilingualism and multiculturalism among them. My research as a historian focusses heavilly on the years of his political career, particularly the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Politically, I am a left-leaning Liberal, who finds himself without a political party he is firmly attached to at the moment. I have supported both the NDP and the Liberals in the past, depending on their policies and leadership. The ascension of Paul Martin to the PM's chair has left me perched with the NDP for the time being, despite my vehement disagreement with some of their policies.

I am also a married gay man. My husband and I have been together for 5 1/2 years, had our (first) wedding ceremony in May 2003 (a month before the Ontario courts came down with their landmark judgment), and got legally married on St-Jean-Baptiste Day 2004. I am keenly interested in gay and lesbian issues, and these will also pop up from time to time, as they enter the news. Other ponderings may pop up from time to time, depending on the issues of the day.

So welcome to my new blog. Comments are always appreciated, and I hope to provide you with some food for thought in the coming months.

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At 5:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you talking about "Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow"

Visited NB the other day. NB is going to take all Anglophone Grade V kids, no exception, and put them in French immersion for 5 years. It is not a case of vise versa where the Francophone 5th graders are concerned. The Loyalist ancestors of the Anglophone 5th graders must be spinning in their graves at this spectacular demonstration of prejudice to an ethnic group in Trudeaupia.

At 6:44 am, Blogger Matt said...


Do you have any links to news stories to support that?

My understanding of what New Brunswick is doing is that they will allow school boards the option of eliminating the regular French-as-a-second-language programs for Grades 1-4, if they put students in an enriched French program for the Grade 5 year to compensate, which is hardly the same thing as what you suggest.


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