Our Daughters, Ourselves by Stevie Cameron: This piece may not be about to my gender but it is for my gender. Sexism is a bitch, sorry, bad joke but I couldn’t resist the pun; in all seriousness, the Montreal Politechnique massacre was a gruesome event and Cameron’s use of it as an example grabs at the heartstrings of anyone that knows of what happened that day. My mother is a nurse and was going to school at University of Manitoba when that man shot those women. She told me about that day and what it did to all of the nurses and women at her university. This is an extreme example of sexism but by using it in the essay Cameron’s point becomes ultimately serious and breaks the issue down to the brass tax. The essay is gloomy but we should not forget about issues like this, to quote Daniel Johnston “don’t let the sun go down on your grievance”, or to use a cliche the squeaky wheel gets the grease. What I am trying to get at is that by not forgetting the events of the past we are less likely to repeat them, and that is Cameron’s motive for writing so graphically, which opened my eyes about this issue.
Don’t You Think It’s Time To Start Thinking? by Northrop Frye: While I read this piece on the bus I asked the fellow sitting next to me if he knew of Northrop Frye. He turned out to be a geography teacher at UVIC that had gone to University of Toronto, where Northrop Frye was a professor. He told me that all the student dreaded getting Frye as a teacher, because he was so adamant about being articulate. In the essay, Frye uses Prime Minister Trudeau as an example of articulation and how refreshing it to hear him speak in the political realm. Most politians are too aggressive or defensive to respond coherently so when someone brings lucidity it forces those emotional persons to remain focused. Frye is well ahead of his time with this piece, writing it before there was all of the technological advances of the last decade. Also, the point he makes about practicing thinking is more than just controlling whether one says something stupid but using the right words to express one’s thoughts. This idea is a Buddhist principle, part of the eight fold path to living correctly. To use this in academia is refreshing but also ancient in the history of Buddhism and genius to incorporate into Western lifestyle.