family history: Baddeck to Brantford

Growing up in a place like Baddeck, I became an involuntary expert on the Bell family from an early age. Alexander Graham Bell settled in Baddeck with his wife and it’s where he conducted many of his experiments with flight, but before that time, he lived in Brantford, Ontario, where his parents had moved with him from Scotland. The Bell family homestead in Brantford is now a museum, one that my sister was determined to see when she travelled to visit me in London.Read More »

“Should I purge my Twitter feed?” or the consequences of visibility

Something I’ve been thinking about recently is the consequences of visibility, mainly the visibility of my politics and ethics that I’ve been told over the years are “radical” compared to the average person. On a good day, I would define myself as a Marxist feminist; I have pretty strong opinions about female labour around the world. Class identity is a big part of how I define myself and how I understand the world. I’m confident in sharing my views and interpretations though I’m not one to dominate conversations with them.

Lately I’ve been thinking more about how sharing these views could be detrimental to me, especially as I shift from my career as a library technician (something I’ve been doing for almost a decade) to one as a librarian. I’m an active Twitter user and a big fan of the LIS conversations happening there, but I also worry if my online activities will cost me a job in the future. Will a headhunter find my profanity-sprinkled feed and cross me off a list? Will my comments on the inaccessibility of higher ed cost me a promotion?Read More »

from inside the liminal place

 

In “Into the deep,” a prose piece I wrote about bipolar disorder, I wrote about liminal spaces, the in-betweens, and how these places are “a good place, a safe place to be,” and in that context, liminality can be a security blanket, a pane of glass providing distinction and boundary.

I’m now in a liminal place between two big shifts as I leave Halifax, my home of five years, for a new school, new city, new focus. At the time I first sat to write this down, it felt like everything but a security blanket. But now that I’m here in this space, it feels luxurious. I’m writing this from a train that is carrying me from Truro to Ottawa and my choice of slow travel now seems so appropriate for the in-between. Read More »

gone girl: the hunt for my elusive great grandma

confession time: Ancestry.ca is my jammm.

I’ve lost track of the hours I’ve put into recording my family history and expanding my family tree. With my research and reference training, I seriously excel at it. Finding that one difficult-to-source document that proves that Mr. and Mrs. MacMigrants are my 2nd cousin thrice removed… there’s no thrill like it.

And there’s one hole in my family tree that I keep failing to fill in, over and over: my great grandmother.Read More »