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2007-02-17 - 12:24 p.m.

...Give more examples about Canada...

This past week was exhausting - I think I hit the all-time peak of activity on Wednesday when I had three meetings overlapping. Talk about multi-tasking.

On Wednesday I also got back reviews for my course. Many were extremely helpful. Others not. Which I suppose is typical. My favorite response was "Give more examples about Canada."

There are sooo many reasons why this cracks me up. 1. every guest lecturer has dealt with some kind of local case study. 2. I was hired to provide a global perspective. 3. It contributes to this strange sense of insularity that I've encountered in Canada. I'm used to little comments about the USA - it happens everywhere. But there is something different here - a need for reassurance of one's own distinct identity, maybe. It comes across on the news, from people, and even the scientific community (which I thought by nature was international...apparently not).

It comes in the form of entering a bookstore and seeing signs that say:

or books such as:

Alternatively, while sitting at a dentist's office, one might just bypass this month's Molar World Magazine for this:

or, when trying to buy a pregnancy book for a friend,"A CANADIAN GUIDE TO PREGNANCY" ?? Do they do it differently here ?? **

It's probably most apparent when listening to the news, and waiting for some coverage of something outside of the country (you may recall a similar complaint from insular's the same, and even more so, here.)

It reaches ridiculous levels when listening to CBC radio announcers. I honestly heard an announcer say, "As much as we would love to claim that this jazz singer is Canadian, alas, she's from the USA. But she DOES have a Canadian connection. Her parents first met in Toronto." ??

I was forewarned. My recruiting faculty member (who is half-Canadian) mentioned that I might encounter a "strange dynamic" that might take some getting used to. I also read about this concept in the book "How to think like a Canadian." But I think that I need to reread that book.

** to give the pregnancy book some credit, it had an appendix listing public resources for women in Canada. Although, the majority of the reviews were more to the effect of, "finally! a book that talks the way WE do!"

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