There has been rain. Quite a lot of rain. And the temperature has been dropping. But it’s still good to get out and appreciate the beautiful place we live. Here around Burnaby Mountain, there is a lot of green. And trails for walking. Nature to be enjoyed up close. I did that on the weekend, meeting a friend to walk at Barnet Marine Park. When I got home, I was happy to settle down with a blanket and tea and, of course, a book.
This is reading weather.
What are you reading? I’ve got several books on the go right now, one of which is Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk about Race. Like Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, it is not a comfortable book. But both are important.
I chose to have ‘Mountain Read Around the World’, to help us learn about and gain some understanding of others, through stories from people around the world. These two books are teaching me about how life is for others who live where I do; many families have been in North America as long as, or longer than, my family, but their experience of life has been and continues to be so different than mine. This is knowledge and understanding that I need, that we all need.
Well. We have made it through September. School start this year was … different. And our school days are … different. And yet, it takes little time before things feel familiar, before the different doesn’t feel so different. This year has been a voyage without travel as we’ve all lived through unprecedented times. So I’ve decided that here at the Burnaby Mountain Learning Commons, although we can’t get in a vehicle and travel to other places, we will voyage around the world through story. Last year our Mountain Reads was:
This year, we will continue reading stories from Around the World, but one continent at a time. During October, pick up a story from Asia. I have learned that Asia is not only large geographically, it is diverse in regions and countries. So don’t think one book covers you off. Choose something from the South, the West, the North, or the Southeast. It could be fantasy, a true story, or realistic fiction. It might even be philosophy. But let these authors tell you their stories and find your horizons expanding and your understanding growing as you travel with them around Asia.
Juneteenth was a week ago. But it’s never too late to learn more about it and to work towards becoming an antiracist. I just discovered this great website, BlkFreedom, created to commemorate and celebrate the 150th anniversary of this important day. Now that school is over for the summer, you have plenty of time to watch a few of the films from the links a few posts ago, and head to this website to listen to some interviews, and learn.
We’ve almost made it. Friday is the last day for classes, summer starts officially on Saturday, and the sun is actually shining today!!! So what will you do with ten (yes, 10!) weeks of summer vacation? Why not participate in the public library’s teen summer reading club, now that you can pick up (real, paper) books at the library? There are book recommendations to be had, reviews to be written, and prizes to be won. And another art contest – “What does inclusion mean to you?”
Looking for more films to shed light on these days (and nights)? Criterion, which brings together classic, world, and other important films, is also providing free streaming access to films by and about the Black experience, including the collection, Pioneers of African American Cinema. Browse at CriterionChannel.com.
Cineplex has curated a collection of films that tell Black stories. This collection is intended to “elevate Black stories, artists and filmmakers and spark discussion”. At the Cineplex site you can view these films for free. So grab some popcorn and prepare to be challenged, entertained, and educated.
Just a reminder: if you have any books from the school library, please return them when you return your text books / clean out your locker / come to class or for an appointment with a teacher / to do your Capstone presentation. This is the traditional ‘return all library materials’ time of year.
But there is good news. You can now put items on hold from the Burnaby Public Library and then pick them up curbside! Real paper books! Yay!!!
Coraline. So if you like a little bit of horror and fantasy, try this one. So far, readers include Neil Gaiman, LeVar Burton, Rosario Dawson, and Dakota Fanning.
Brought to you by the New York Public Library.
If you’ve been following my blog posts at all, you know I’m something of a Harry Potter fan. But not only Harry Potter. I really love J.K. Rowling’s writing. She also is writing a series about a private detective, Cormoran Strike. We have the books in our library. Very not Harry Potter but great in a different way.
Ms. Rowling has just released, online, a brand new book, The Ickabog. The first installment was released on Tuesday. It’s not Harry Potter. It’s not magic. But it is J.K. Rowling. Find it at its own website.
Along with this online release, an art contest for illustrations to accompany the print version is taking place. Find more information about this on the same website.
Historica Canada is one of my favourite organizations. It is the home of The Canadian Encyclopedia. It runs Encounters with Canada, a program that brings students (even from Burnaby Mountain) to Ottawa. In its own words, “We’re the Canada people; we offer programs that you can use to explore, learn and reflect on our history, and what it means to be Canadian”.
During this time, when students can’t travel to Ottawa, when most are not even in classrooms and life is just … different, Historica Canada is creating a living archive, inviting Canadians to contribute something about their lives in this time. Consider adding your personal experience: