Tuesday, November 24, 2009

proliferation of resemblances

I had a curious lesson today... not really planned but turned out great. By not really I mean my course calendar said "Complete 4E, intro 4F" -- sounds exciting, eh? We did two current event (Global video) stories: troubles with a ferry on the crossing from Rupert to Skidegate, and a helicopter tour of 2010 Olympics venues. Then a video clip on the 1858 BC Goldrush and a lesson looking back from 1858 on what we've already learned and a look ahead to BC joining Canada. Hmm... this could have gone many ways, but a couple of connections were made and this turned out to be a good day (my criteria for a good day is that my two SS10 classes go well... Geog12 is always cool especially today a tour of the PG Wastewater Facility... poo and machines!). What did they connect? The Queen Charlottes are isolated... linked to the mainland by a single ferry route and a few other expensive options. Whistler is isolated from Vancouver... linked by a single hwy beset by rockslide and debris torrents. BC in the mid 1800s was isolated from Canada, linked by a long boat ride and an American railway. Each is/was an outpost, an experiment in a particular set of cultural, economic, and environmental adaptations, and in need of an injection of some kind. Each was also nervous... QC because of the Queen of the North ferry sinking (which we got into, hanky-panky on the bridge and all), Whistler because of the rockslides, and BC because they were inundated with Americans during the goldrush and broke afterwards. For a four-walled affair, it was pretty good. There was even the obligatory tangent on the reconstruction of Barkerville in 1958 as it was told to me by C.P. Lyons and stories about the eccentrics that Barkerville attracts. A bit on bias, on people that get paid to say things a certain way, on wave motion in shallow water and differential friction, on fiord bathymetry, and about people who flee mainstream society in search of alternatives (aka Haida Gwaii, Whistler, Barkerville). Great day, great classes. O.K. with my career choice today!

Sunday, November 15, 2009