Monday, October 22, 2012

Canadian Surprises, Vice Versa Edition

I posted the other a list of some of the ways that Canada surprised me when I moved here, and one of my twitter friends suggested that people ought to consider the reverse:

Nobody has taken the bait, so I, as a self-aware narcissist, am willing to jump into the breech.  So, what might have surprised Canadians about me?
  1. When I moved here, I did not intend to study Canada.  No, the Canada Research Chair was entirely a title applied to a range of people getting new academic slots in Canada.  When I moved, I was still working mostly on irredentism, which Canada never really seemed to matter.  Has Canada ever lost territory that it seeks to reclaim?  None that I am aware of.  My focus on NATO and Afghanistan occurred a good few years into my time here, and Canada emerged as a case partly out of convenience (Ottawa was close, and I was able to get good access) and due to the variation--Canada's behavior varied.
  2. As a scholar of separatism, I entirely ignored the Quebec case in my work.  Why?  Not comparable since it was never violent enough to the other cases (Katanga, Biafra, end of Yugoslavia).  
  3. That I have not published on Quebec since arriving.  Sure, I blog about Quebec's separatist politics all the time, but I have never written anything for an academic outlet.  Why not? Well, one of the primary advantages of blogging is not having to read heaps of literature to make it past peer review.  And, geez, there is a ton of work (some of it quite good, some of it incredibly boring) on Quebec's efforts at independence.  Writing for an academic outlet would mean having to digest those materials.  Also, in my academic work, most of my writings on separatism are quantitative--what are the correlates of greater or lesser separatism.  Quebec certainly fits into some but not all of what I found (concentration, concentration, concentration), but I only have opinionated stuff to say about Quebec, not so much what Quebec says about the causes or dynamics of separatism.
  4. That I spend a heap of time and space here at the Spew on stuff that I have very little background (crowns, scepters, etc).
  5. That I still do not put extra "u"s everywhere, that I am wildly inconsistent about defense vs defence (actually I try to use defence when talking about Canada and defense the rest of the time), that I still use college more than university, and I still use the in front of hospital.
This is just a start.  What else has surprised the Canadians about me?

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