Monday, December 7, 2009

Strange Days to be in Canada

As the calendar progresses through the year, there are several days where it feels stranger than usual to be outside the US:
  • President's 3-day weekend in February.  No classes missed up here.
  • Memorial Day: another three day weekend lost.
  • June 26th/July 1st/July 4th: Fete Nationale in Quebec, Canada Day and Independence Day--two weeks where I am constantly reminded that I am a stranger in a strange land.
  • Columbus Day/CA Thanksgiving.  Not a big holiday here, but I always screw up my syllabus scheduling classes on a day when school is out of session
  • US Thanksgiving.  Always tricky to figure out how to ditch school while everyone else is working in Canada.
  • Dec 7th.  Pearl Harbor Day.  Not a huge American holiday or anything, but it is a date with weight in the US and none up here.
 On the other hand, there are several days where it does not matter too much whether I am north or south of the border:
  • Labor Day is only different by being Labour Day up here.
  • Veteran's Day in the US is Remembrance Day up here, and a bit more important up here (since the American gratitude towards its veterans is spent in part on Memorial Day).
Anyhow, so today is the 68th anniversary of the attack upon Pearl Harbor.  While it was a tragic day in many ways, it facilitated American entry into WWII, which was a net good thing.  I was a  Peace Education workshop a couple of years ago, and a person was arguing that nothing good came from World War II.  It was not my turn to speak, but I would suggest that the defeats of Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Imperial Japan were all net positives.

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