Tuesday, October 30, 2007

a shift

After yesterday's rainy day poor attitude it was nice to awake this morning to sunny skies and birds chirping. I also read a couple of blog posts that reinforced my shift in attitude. The first about child soldiers in which the author writes that unlike pessimistic views that child soldiers are destined to be "damaged, traumatized pariahs", they are in fact "psychologically resilient, peaceful, and enjoy significant support from their families".

The second examines good news emerging about the global gender gap. The 2006 World Development Indicators are showing increases in female school enrollment with girl students outnumbering boys in many countries. Labour force participation also shows that in the majority of countries the percentage of women in the labour force is increasing including countries such as Iran and Libya.

Interestingly enough Ricardo Hausmann started his post on the gender gap by writing "We are all so affected by bad news on so many fronts – rising global inequality, a looming economic crisis, a warming planet, etc. – that we seldom take the time to savor the good news when they happen."

Wise words to remember on bleak rainy mornings. So like I predicted yesterday....back to cautiously optimistic.

Monday, October 29, 2007

monday mornings

It is raining and thundering here in Brisbane this morning. The skies are grey and foreboding. I am already lacking that jump out of bed and greet the morning with a smile motivation.

Then my google reader presents me with a story like this about child labourers in Gap clothing sweatshops and this about the privatisation of Nicaragua's electricity services aggravating already appallingly poor access to electricity, all in the name of moving into the carbon-neutral future. It makes me just want to crawl into bed and pull the blankets over my head (except that it is way too hot for that!)

Yes, I am feeling a little pessimistic today. Don't worry I'll be back to my cautiously optimistic view of the world tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

stop and smell the daisies

Its not much a secret that I am a tv addict. In the land down under where quality television includes those imported gems like The Singing Bee and home bred treasures like Crime Investigation Australia, a show that channels those real life reenactments popularized by Fox in the 90s, my faithful torrent downloader has quenched my entertainment thirst over the past year and a half.

It was a happy coincidence that a few weeks ago when the new tv season kicked off I was in the midst of my mid-semester break. I took a chance to get a taste of some of this year's new shows that were receiving buzz on the internet. Of all the newbies that I sampled I was absolutely enamored with the most enchanting, whimsical, quirky, achingly romantic and original show to air in recent years, Pushing Daisies. I apologize for the overuse of adjectives but this show is so over the top it cries out for the excessive use of descriptors.

As of this week the show is picked up for a full season which means I feel justified in attempting to convince my readers (all four of you, well probably only three since Erin is already a convert) to watch this show. I would hate to sing its praises and then have the show be canceled mid-November. If you need more convincing even Chris finds the show extraordinarily entertaining and he is not a big tv watch unless it revolves around rugby or soccer.

So give it a watch and let me know what you think....

Monday, October 22, 2007


As I head into my last week of classes and continue barreling towards the possible conclusion of my academic career I have been reflecting on the friendships I have made recently. After over a year in my program it is only in the past couple of months that I have formed meaningful relationships with people in my program.

I have reached a point where conversations over coffee between classes no longer focus solely on whichever test or assignment due date is looming. More interesting and stimulating subjects are pursued. Well really we gossip about fellow students, dish about the boys in our lives or vent about whatever personal obstacle the universe has presented this week. But when our brains are brimming with economic theories and financial equations sometimes unloading the more superficial thoughts with someone over a warm caffeinated beverage is needed in order to free up some brain cells.

I had always figured the move back to Canada would be a painless process. Sure, I have lived in Australia for about half of the past nearly five years but it was never meant to be permanent so I suppose that kept me emotionally aloof on some sub(or not so sub)conscious level.

Yet there seems to be a cycle in my life of forming deeper connections with people mere moments before the inevitable farewell. Its as though there are two forces doing battle. The colder unaffected Alicia who wants to avoid the turmoil of the emotional farewell. And the softer, more sociable side who craves those deeper interactions that make days more interesting. Social has slowly chipped away at aloof's cold exterior for the past 16 months. Those impending good-byes won't be as easy as I had hoped.