A Message to the Anti-Masker

To the anti-mask woman I encountered recently in Shoppers Drug Mart, You don’t know me. We haven’t had a conversation, even though I was tempted to start one. I simply witnessed you entering a busy Shoppers. I was right behind you as you came through the automatic doors, breezing past the hand sanitizer without slowing down. Then I saw you […]

14 Nice Things I’ll Remember About Shutdown

School is upon us. Students, parents, and teachers are, I believe, universally unsettled about back-to-school. Whatever the normal preparations, uncertainties, anxieties, and excitements would be, they’re different and more intense this year. I’ll be honest: after three days of training last week, discussing with my colleagues ways to deal with all the million tiny details that have not yet been […]

Here’s why Ontario teachers’ unions are still “fighting” Doug Ford

If you’re hearing Doug Ford saying he loves teachers in one breath and bashing teachers’ unions in the next, here is something you should know. He is an actor, telling his audience a made-up story. He’s working hard to get the Ontario public to believe in – and condemn – the faction he’s chosen to be the “bad guy” in […]

Oil-Free Vegan Basil Pesto

One of my favourite things ever is basil pesto. For some reason, however, I don’t often think to make it. Probably because I feel like I should only make it when it’s “buy fresh basil by the bushel” season. I’ve eaten it even more rarely since Sean and I started following (most of the time) a whole-foods plant-based diet. There’s […]

Back-to-School Thoughts from a Teacher/Parent

A week ago, as you know, it became official in Ontario: we’re going back to school this September. In the days since then, there has been an outcry from parents, staff, unions etc. who feel that the Covid-19 measures announced by the government do not go far enough to keep students and staff safe. I have had many conversations about […]

Gratitude to my Stillborn Son

Dear Sebastian, It’s that fragile time of year. It’s hot and humid here in southern Ontario – exceptionally so – which always makes me think of you. And cabbage leaves. (To be honest, fridge-cold cabbage leaves in the bra sounds like a pretty good idea right now. But it would definitely make me cry. The wasting of your milk was […]

National Indigenous Peoples’ Day – Let’s Learn Something

Today is National Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Canada. As people all over the world engage in discussions of racism with renewed intensity, it seems like a good opportunity to learn something about the Indigenous peoples in our respective areas of the land we call Canada. It is easy to find news, most of it very bad, about present-day interactions between […]

7 Things This White Person Has Learned About Racism

On November 9th, 2016, the day after the US election, when even my elementary students were freaking out about Trump, I pictured chaos in the United States. Society – which may never have truly earned the term “civil” – crumbling. Now, I feel like that moment has arrived. Pandemic, hospitals overflowing. Unemployment and poverty off the charts. Inequality rearing up, […]

Dear Friends, it’s May and I miss you.

It’s May Day! (Or Beltane, to the Gaelic and Wiccan traditions.) It’s a day when folks in northern temperate time zones officially cast off the shackles of winter and get the heck outside. It’s that point when we’re supposed to receive the payoff for those April showers and surround ourselves with flowers. It’s time to celebrate birdsong and warmth and […]

Pandemic + Nova Scotia Shooter = nobody’s okay.

It’s Day 41 of pandemic distancing. I began an innocent little check-in post about two weeks ago. I wanted to ask how you are, and to write about what life is like during these “trying times” for posterity. It was difficult, though, because how one is doing keeps changing. The post has morphed several times in those weeks, and today […]