Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Posts from — March 2006

Hockey break…

I can’t recall when we’ve had a better crop of rookies in the NHL (Ovechkin, Crosby, Lundqvist etc.). Of course, this has a lot to do with there being no season last year. This guy is amazing and, to my mind, is the guy to beat for rookie of the year. This has to be one of the most amazing goals ever…. Gotta like Crosby too, though. What a year….

March 28, 2006   No Comments

Life after majoring in English

Highly recommended for those of you who are currently studying English at UVM.


A round-table discussion with three UVM alumnae who majored in English and managed to find gainful employment in the world of business and publishing. The alumnae–who work in the fields of publishing, advertising, and marketing–will share their expertise on issues of immediate relevance to English majors about to enter into the labor market. Topics likely to be discussed include: job strategies, marketing the English major to prospective employers, making use of contacts, the decision whether or not to go to graduate school, and other information of immediate relevance to graduating seniors.

When: 3:30 Monday, April 10 in John Dewey Lounge

March 27, 2006   No Comments

My new “third place”, at least when I’m in Washington

So, here I am in Washington, DC for a meeting with people at the Canadian Embassy and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I’ve been in town now for less than two hours and, after checking in to my hotel, have wandered across the street to Open City, a fab café that has free wireless and bills itself as wanting to be your “third place” (i.e. your home and office are the other two).

Although Canada is surely not high on the agenda here in the American capital, my taxi followed a car with a Canada flag almost all the way from the airport to the hotel, the people at a table close by have been talking about Canada for a while now, and suddenly The Tragically Hip are playing on the speakers here at the café.

Talk about making a lonesome Canuck feel at home!

March 22, 2006   No Comments

The two Margaret Atwoods

“There are two Margaret Atwoods – one an ordinary woman who has children and bakes bread, the other a writer exploring the darker reaches of her unconscious.”

Helen Brown profiles Atwood for the Telegraph

March 21, 2006   No Comments

La littérature tranquille

A provocative and interesting piece from David Homel on Québec literature’s reception outside of Québec.

Le grand succès du Canada comme société civile nuit à l’exportation de ses auteurs. Le Canada est un pays très tranquille. La paix sociale, qui suscite l’envie internationale, n’est pas forcément une bonne chose pour les écrivains qui rêvent de marchés étrangers. Il vaut mieux être ressortissant d’un pays difficile, qui fait la “une” des quotidiens. En plus, les écrivains québécois ne bénéficient pas de la vague postcoloniale, qui a vu une popularité grandissante des auteurs de pays dits en voie de développement, anciennes colonies européennes. Pensons, dans la francophonie, aux pays d’Afrique noire, du Maghreb ou des Caraïbes. Le Québec n’a pas eu son Patrick Chamoiseau, son Tahar Ben Jelloun, son Ahmadou Kourouma.

La littérature québécoise n’est pas un produit d’exportation, par David Homel


March 20, 2006   2 Comments

“Viva crabbiness! Pure Morrissey.”

Via Bookish, I found this great Observer piece by the Canadian writer Douglas Coupland on interviews and interviewing Morrissey.

Am really looking forward to this album. I thought his last album, You Are the Quarry, was great.

March 19, 2006   No Comments

Just when you thought you knew everything that was going on at UVM… there’s

This website and battle of the bands that Continuing Education has created is very cool. Who knew they were up to this?!

Anyhow, check out You can listen and vote every week and the then the top bands play a showcase at Higher Ground. This part of their site explains the details.

I was pretty impressed with the bands this week. My vote went to Video Pigeon, whose tune Bunny Ears is very, very cool. Loved it.

If only professors were allowed to enter….

March 16, 2006   1 Comment

More on podcasting at UVM

It seems like every day now there are new articles about podcasting in schools and at colleges and universities. These are really exciting times on the technology front. As I start to prepare for my fall semester’s courses, I can really see podcasting becoming a more integral part of what I do. On July 1, I’ll officially become the new Director of Canadian Studies here at UVM, and I can anticipate us creating podcasts of future Canadian Studies events. The same goes for the English Department. We have great writers coming through here every week it seems. How great would it be to make their public readings available for others to hear? Maybe we could also start to interview each of those writers when they come through and podcast the results. The opportunities here are limitless….

Here are some links to some excellent articles I’ve seen over the last few days:

March 15, 2006   No Comments

And the award for the best country masquerading as another goes to…

This article from The Globe & Mail details the latest movie to be shot in Canada, where a Canadian location pretends to be an American one. This time, though, it’s “Dallas,” a remake of the tv series which ran, apparently, from 1978-91. (I thought it would have been long dead by the 1990s).

The Globe has a great list of some of the more prominent movies shot in Canada where Canadian locations are trying to be passed off as American ones. One of my favourite examples, that doesn’t make the Globe’s list, is Jackie Chan’s “Rumble in the Bronx.” It was shot in Vancouver, and you can occasionally see mountains in the background. I’ve never been to the Bronx, but I’m pretty sure there are no mountains there…

Here’s the Globe’s list:


Canadian locales are favourite stand-ins for iconic U.S. settings:

Many of the fight scenes in The Cinderella Man, a Depression-era boxing tale, were shot in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.

Chicago, starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, was shot in Toronto.

Washington drama Murder at 1600 and White House comedy Dick were shot in Kleinburg, Ont.

Rudy, a made-for-TV drama about New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, was shot in Montreal.

New York Minute, a vehicle for celebrity twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, was shot in Toronto

Brokeback Mountain, a cowboy love story set in Wyoming, was shot in Alberta.

Fever Pitch, in which Jimmy

Fallon struggles to love both Drew Barrymore and the Boston Red Sox, was shot in Toronto.

Capote, detailing New Yorker writer Truman Capote’s quest to tell the story of a massacre in Kansas, was shot in Manitoba.

In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, Toronto substituted for New York.

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, which follows two friends’ quest to satisfy their munchies at the U.S. burger chain, was shot in Toronto, where there are no White Castle outlets.

The Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven was shot around Calgary.

March 14, 2006   1 Comment

For fans of The Simpsons…

Via Darren Barefoot’s always interesting blog, I came across this great live version of the Simpsons opening. Unbelievably cool….

March 6, 2006   No Comments