It’s hard to wait two weeks between these interviews, and I’ve been especially impatient to share Amanda Wood’s story with you all. Amanda shares her experiences growing up multi-racial and multi-cultural in the Okanagan, and how she navigated her identity over the years as she attempted to find her place personally and in her community. Amanda is a textile artist living, and working, in Vancouver, B.C. with her husband and two children. She is passionate about sharing art-making with others, and as a teaching artist with kids and adults, she works on making a creative space for all kinds of learners. Her work has been shown across Canada, and has also appeared in Uppercase Magazine and in the book Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles. Say hello to Amanda, and don’t be shy to chat in the comments!
This month’s article by Lori Boland from the YWCA Metro Vancouver is extra timely in the midst of our current conversations around the systemic issue of harassment of women and girls in film, media – really, on all levels of our existence. The theme for this month is Sexualization, and Lori Boland shares with us how a documentary film on hypersexualization changed her life.
I am delighted to officially begin the Personal History series with Larissa Gessner. Larissa was one of the first women to contact me when I put out the call for submissions, and it was clear from the start that she was basically a dream interviewee – warm, funny, prompt, and detailed! Her enthusiasm is infectious in the best way possible.
Larissa arrived in Texas from São Paulo, Brazil when she was five years old – just a few years later, her family moved again to Canada, where she lives today. Larissa shares her experiences as an immigrant to North America with humour and thoughtful observations on the differences between Brazilian and Canadian culture as she grew up. Say hello to Larissa, and don’t be shy about sharing your own thoughts in the comments (and/or send me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in sharing your own story with us).
“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity…When we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi (The Danger of a Single Story)
There is always room for more stories. In particular, I feel that we need to make even more room for diverse stories. I am extremely proud to announce the start of my new series for Peaks & Harbours, Personal Histories. On the third Tuesday of each month, women from around the globe will be generously sharing their personal stories with you. I am overjoyed at the response from everyone, and those that continue to contact me. The ability to share stories on this platform that are multi-cultural, multi-racial, and diverse in experience is incredibly meaningful for me, and I hope for you too.
This summer my husband and I decided to stay mostly local. We wanted to spend time connecting with each other, our sons, friends, family and our community. I often find parallels between what I read for my Master’s Degree and my personal & professional life. Margaret Latta’s article about “creating room to dwell” and ““embracing the process” (Latta, 2010) in the context of teachers finding time during and after lessons to be present and mindful of the learning that is occurring really resonated with me and became the basis of my thesis a few years ago. I have found connections to this concept of “creating room to dwell” in the inquiries I have undertook with my students over the years, in the Self Regulation work I have focused on in my classroom, in my personal goals of being present for my students and my family, and in many of the adventures I had with my family over the summer. This article has continued to inspire me to create room to dwell in the days and moments I am fortunate to share with my sons. Continue Reading
Summer is rolling along – so fast that I’m literally chasing it while I struggle with back-to-school shopping bags and my feather-light wallet in hand. Good news is, the P&H ladies have been delivering content so fresh lately, I can almost pretend that the computer’s glow as I edit is actually a relaxing, beach sunset – Pinot Grigio in hand of course.
Bree and I are extra thrilled that we have a new contributor to introduce you to: Stina Morisette. She and Bree have been friends since diaper-times, so I’m going to hand it over to Bree for the proper, sappy introductions.
I first met Stina back in the summer of ’81 when I emerged from my mother’s womb. She was 6 months old. Our friendship over the past 36 years has seen us navigating elementary school, high school, pimples, boys, men, babies, pre-teens, wrinkles, breasts, break-ups, wine and new loves, and has remained the sort of friendship where it doesn’t matter if a day or a year has passed, we can pick-up exactly where we left off. She truly is a gift.
In addition to being an amazing human, Stina is also an educator. She had two goals growing up: one, to have twin daughters, and the other, to be a teacher. I think she is more than happy with her two lovely boys, but the teacher-thing stuck. She is currently on maternity-leave from her job as a French-Immersion International Baccalaureate teacher, and we are delighted she accepted our request for her to share her teach-talk, Danish culture, and general life-musings with us.
On May 24th, I gave birth to my second son. He arrived early, like my first son, and since his arrival I have been adjusting to life as a mom of two kids. My sons are 6 years apart, and while this is a bit bigger of a gap than we had initially hoped for (welcome to the world of things not actually entirely being in my control…), it has thus far been (mostly) exhausting overwhelming full of self doubt fabulous. Barring the fact that I have no idea how women with two children close in age manage to do anything at all, I’ve been thrown right back into the world of babies. What was I thinking, dear lord, my husband and I could go on dates again! OVERNIGHT DATES!! My point is here is that after 5+ years with no diapers, no stroller, etc., I am back in the thick of it.