Thursday, March 9, 2006

I met someone yesterday and spoke to him like a normal person. His name is Steven and it happened while getting a tea at Timothy's coffee shop around lunch time. He was sitting in one of the couched areas reading a paper when I asked if i could sit in the seat dagonal him. He agreed and wondered aloud at the book I had just put on the table between us, which is about globalization. I turns out that he had been a teacher for 20 years until he left the profession in 2001, possibly because of the inherent problems with institutionalized learning institutions such as daycare, elementary and high schools in which attendance is considered legally mandatory. He started telling me about how large corperations like the WHO and the US government turn out research related to what they are selling and try to pass those studies off as unbiased. This kind of thing is not a surprise to me as I've studied vaccines and how they relate to my family. So I had a conversation about something with someone who agrees with me! This is not a normal occurance and it felt pretty good. We also spoke about the future of the global workforce and how it is becoming less and less employment oriented and more about finding what you do well and simply presenting that to a market that wants to buy into it. We exchanged numbers when we stood up to leave and he told me he would give me a call on the weekend. I'm glad to have met him, he's full of a sort of sly wit that I never pick up on straight away but appreciate later. He called my plan for starting up a home daycare a charity! Probably out of what he percieved to be noble intention on my part, nobility my ass.

Something else we spoke about and that I read about yesterday was the plan to make downtown Toronto a huge WiFi howspot. Interesting concept, certainly, but there are concerns over the safety of having electromagnetic radiation blasting out bodies with disruptive noise. The companies involved are, of course, touting that the WiFi signals are just as safe as TV and radio waves, which is true though I suspect the WiFi field will be a lot stronger than those on which TV and radio signals travel on. Health issues aside, I think a large network like the one proposed could potentially be a good thing. This is a technology that will allow for more free flow of information for those willing to embrace it. I wonder just how secure the network will eventually be...

Canada's immigration laws incorperate a "points" system that seems to make it harder for foriegn religious workers, such as middle eastern and Indian clergy, to stay in the country even if they've been here for 6 or 7 years and have established themselves as pillars of their local communities. To me it sounds like a policy that feeds into our xenophobic culture (in Glorious, Socialist Canada? No way!)

Thursday, March 2, 2006

I worked the Eaton Center site in the kindergarten for the first time today. They serve their kids snack and lunch there as opposed to having the children serve themselves and I had forgotten to ask why. Having the children (especially kindergartners) serve themselves at food times is empowering and teaches about the correlation between the gluttony/restraint dynamic and the waste produced at the end of the meal (the kids can scrape their own plates into a communal organics bucket to emphasize this) and I don't understand why someone would knowingly take that away from the children other than, "oh, it's easier." Sigh.

One of the teachers there actually taught one of my classes at Mothercraft.

I also worked an afternoon shift at Hester How. One girl was playing in the reading section (doing what, I don't know; happily or not, i don't know) when her grandma showed up to take her "for a little while." I was incredulous and was vindicated when Dawn began crying hysterically about losing "her spot" (all areas are limited in number of children who are allowed to play in them.) It seems to me that if someone is picking up a child from daycare, the idea that they might come back is one that can create problems. "Spots" are viciously guarded things, mainly because they are lost so easily. The girl must have thought that, since even standing up can give an ambitious child the opportunity to slide in and claim it for their own, this temporary absence from the classroom would spell doom for her spot.

I saw the most beautiful dolls today. Two Eurasian toddlers who were about twenty five years old and were made in Toronto. They had wonderful, black, curly human hair and well made traditional chinese dresses... And they were selling at $1250.00 each! I was telling the shop owner how nice his store was and especially those dolls when he asked me, "are you coming back for them?" I nearly laughed in his face. Me, with my torn shoes and uncut hair, "coming back" for twenty five hundred dollars worth of doll! I demurely declined.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

esterday was the first time I felt completely comfortable in the infant room. It happened when I was reading the group a few stories towareds the end of the day. One of the stories was a book about how animals move their body parts and so the head touching, arms waving, hips wiggling game began. It occurred to me at that point that, while oral comminication is important for infants' speech development, they get so much more out of kinesthetic comminication. In other words, play is a better medium for speaking to infants than speech is! This is something I couldn't grasp in my kindergarten classes and frankly ignored in the toddler rooms I've been in. I can see now that this kind of play based communication can certainly be applied to anyone with less language skills or people who are less willing to use language.

Lunch shifts at the (three story) coop are crazy. I'm basically responsible for getting the food up to the classes (from the basement!) and spending some time in the "big kid's" room (kindergarten) serving and sitting with one of the groups. Then I have to clean up the trays and bowls and things, take it down to the chef and clean up the "mid kid's" room (which is always a disaster after lunch.) The shift is only an hour and a half long but is so busy that I usually do more on that shift than I do during the rest of my day.

I also have my interview with the man with autism today. His name is Matt and I know next to nothing about him or autism. Wish me luck!