Knee Deep In Grad School, Laughing At Things I Probably Shouldn’t

Hello, good afternoon, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

I’m writing this post Friday evening from McGill University’s grad student bar, in Thomson House (pictured right). That’s right, we grad students have our own bar here at McGill, no hormone crazy, whiny little undergrad students allowed.

Yes, I’m feeling rather elitist right now, and I dare say… it suits me. All I need is a pipe, a smoking jacket, and a proper chaise lounge from which to spout my uniformed views on life and the arts.

Speaking of, I had my Friday afternoon 3 hour-long Jazz Pedagogy class again this week. Today, the subject of discussion was “How to design a University jazz education curriculum.”

Now readers, if I wasn’t currently enrolled in a jazz program I’d probably make some smart-ass jokes about the “importance” of grooming the next generation of upper-middle class jazz educators so that they can go on to,…um … play gigs?? Wait, no, that’s not it…. Oh right! To,… breed even more jazz educators! and so on and so on until the last flicker of life every aspect of this art form has been mercilessly beaten to death over-intellectualized understood.

BUT, I am getting my masters degree in jazz sooo, I’m going to rise above such honesty childish remarks.

(Or better yet, maybe I’ll actually rise above my passive aggressive stance and actually voice my opinions next time instead of just sarcastically blog-ranting. … nah, that’s crazy talk!)

Moving on, Montreal has welcomed me with open arms,…that is, with open arms, and waving hands, as it shouts “Non!!” many times in rapid succession.

Honestly, I’m quite enjoying this city and the people here. However, possibly the biggest hurtle I’m faced with in overcoming the Quebecois language barrier is the fact that I find it so damned funny!

Hear me out. You see, I’ve been traveling a lot over the last 10 years and I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of understanding foreign cultures/languages and “crossing the divide” so to speak through learning at least some of the language. From Spain and Russia, to Portugal and China, people all around the world are eager to communicate with foreigners (not everyone but most people), and if they’ve studied English at they’re especially desirous to practice with “outsiders.”

enter Quebec!

It takes balls to purposefully not speak English when:

1. the vast majority of your country is English speaking.
2. your neighbour to the South is the English speaking, major world power, USA.
3. your closest French speaking neighbours are across an ocean, and, em,… you don’t even like them anyways!

… big balls. And I gotta admit, I kind of respect that! But it also makes me laugh,… I don’t know, when you’ve traveled a lot, the world gets smaller and smaller, and then you encounter this kind of pride/stubbornness in your own “back yard” so to speak and, yeah, it’s just,… comical.

Yes, I know, that’s probably going to get me in trouble some day soon. And yes, I do intend to improve my French.

Anyways, I think I’ve made enough friends today. I’m going to wrap this up before coming across as a completely self-absorbed, arrogant anglophone.

What’s that? I’m too late?!

Oh well, have a great week everyone!

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