Wednesday, March 3, 2010

my country, my country… what is wrong with you?

Offense 1:
So the Olympic furor has finally died down… yet Harper continues to ride the post Olympiad wave by announcing that he’s going to double the $11 million dollar budget to a whopping $22 million. This, in a time when arts, education, and health care are all being cut.

Ok, so you don’t care about the arts. Fine. But health and education… those are fundamentals issues for the nation and yet instead of investing there, the Conservative government has decided to give that money over to athletes because corporate sponsors might fail to fill in the funding gap.

No offense to any athletes out there…. but your mad skills do not justify such a decision. Yay for you and the Olympics. Kudos to all that you’ve accomplished. But if I had to choose between health or sports… I think my choice is obvious.

Offense 2:
Quebec and the niqab. (link to Mtl Gazette article) I have a lot to say on this issue but suffice to say that I don’t agree with the ruling that expels a college student from a French Second Language course because she refused to remove her niqab during class.

Sure, teaching a student with a niqab is difficult. But to argue that one needs to see a student’s mouth in order to teach language properly is BS. The student is aware of the limitations, the teacher can visually demonstrate the skill, and the student can practice at home or in private with the teacher or accept the limitations/consequences of not benefitting from this ADDITIONAL level of instruction. The key being that it is an additional level of instruction.

Besides, why can’t a student do an oral presentation in niqab? If anything, as long as her voice was clear, the niqab might actually allow students to listen to what the content is instead of being distracted by more visual stimulation related to facial expression. In fact, one could argue that the niqab might actually allow for a student to benefit because listeners read more into tone and inflection than facial cues.

Trust me, I’m not doing justice to my thoughts on this matter… I am planning a big long post on the issue after I sort through my opinions and the counter-arguments.

But suffice to say, for a country that only feels patriotic during events like the Olympics, I have to admit that the wake of the Vancouver 2010 hoopla has left me cold. I am vehemently opposed to our current political party and the various events that are unfolding around me at the moment.

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