Joan Vinall-Cox

Civility In Toronto – Wonderful

Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing several acts of civility in Toronto, of people politely being helpful to strangers. This is the kind of city I love being in.

  • Someone with a senior’s ticket in a subway station without an attendant. A stranger, seeing the ticket in the token-only station, asks if the senior knows there’s a station with an attendant a couple of blocks away, then walks with her up the stairs and points the way.
  • Two people standing,

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Trump Mania

I watched the American 2nd debate, and it sparked all kinds of reactions in me. Watching Trump make his (what I knew intellectually were baseless) accusations with his emotional tone so strong, I felt a sick fear that people would buy what he said, just because of the way he said it. I saw him pacing around and looming over Hilary when she was speaking, and recognized two things:
– The normality of this kind of male behaviour, and
– Why I thought it was normal;

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Grocery Shopping in the Digital Age

Grocery shopping is different than it was even 10 years ago. When I decide to go shopping, I have a different set of steps, some parallel to my old pattern, and some entirely new.

First, find a recipe. I used to browse cookbooks, but now I’m more likely to go to Google with a very rough idea of what I feel like eating. If nothing I find appeals to me, I might think of a recipe I already have. I might go to my Evernote collection of recipes,

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40 Years Teaching College Composition

 

I’ve been fully retired for a year and a half now, and I deleted all my teaching files a couple of months ago, so I can’t pass along any specific course materials. For Labour day, though, I’m going to share the distillation of my 40 years of teaching college composition and other language skills to college and university students, and my studies on how people learn to write from two advanced degrees in mid and late career.

1. Many community college students come in already resistant to taking English,… Read more 40 Years Teaching College Composition

Lars and the Real Girl

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805564/mediaviewer/rm3981480704

Lars and the Real Girl” was intriguing, a kind of treatise and/or metaphor on how someone can be healed when in deep, debilitating pain. Lars, probably Asperger’s, whose mother had died at his birth (I think) cannot stand to be touched socially or physically, but yearns for connection. He buys a blow-up doll, and treats it as a real girl, introducing “her” to his brother and sister-in-law, and eventually almost everyone he knows in his small rural-appearing town.

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Time

In youth we come through our bodies as explorers
Seeking and measuring
Astounded and disappointed
As we grow into ourselves.

In our long midlife, we travel our path
Forgetting and wandering
Sometimes grateful, mostly blindly seeking
The more we yearn for.

Now, our bodies re-astound us
Aching and refusing
Complaining and attacking
Reminding us of time.

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Facebook and Me

I have a Facebook life that I live differently – I think – than my day-to-day, face-to-face life. I check my Facebook account several times a day, looking first at “Notifications” to see who has been talking to me, and/or what those who I have identified, somehow, as important to me have been posting, and whether I should respond. I almost always “Like” those who have commented on my posts, and I notice how many people have liked or reacted to them, sometimes checking the names.

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