Christmas parties, elections, and employment
Happy Birthday Lise Bondy
Later tonight, as I was working to finish this week's Economist, it became terrifically windy - perhaps to mark the transition from term time to break time. I quite enjoy windy days, especially when they involve lightning. It's such an awesome and humbling thing to experience. There is a certain raw pleasure that can be derived from shrieking defiance at the momentous forces of nature, as well as the much softer pleasure that can be derived from eventually withdrawing from the contest. Windy days give you the chance to shout out the fact that you are alive and existing in defiance of increasing entropy and diminishing enthalpy. Then, they let you go inside, have some tea, and read for a while.
I spent a relatively short time at the MCR Christmas party, enjoying the string quartet and the chance to speak with some long-lost Wadhamites for a while. Among them, Melati, who I would be surprised to have mentioned in the last few weeks. My contact with those off in Merifield is minimal indeed, as interesting as they may be.
With the election date set for January 23rd, anyone who is Canadian and residing outside Canada should register for absentee voting using this form. I shall fax mine in on Monday. Crossing the boundary into partisanship, I urge those registered in contested ridings to vote Liberal. Yes, there has been sleaze. Yes, we feel alienated in the west. Yes, there is some justified resentment with regards to the Liberals and Quebec. In the end, however, we don't want a government led by Stephen Harper and we certainly don't want one comprised of a curious mix of former Tories and socially conservative former Alliance members. Paul Martin may be - as The Economist has dubbed him - "Mr. Dithers," but he is the best option we have at the moment. I want to live in a progressive society: one that espouses the kind of values Canadians have been nailing to the mast for at least fifty years. As such, I will be voting Liberal, just as I did from Rome in the summer of 2004.
In closing for today, it seems fitting to talk about employment. That is because I am hoping to use the term break to find some fitting remunerative setting in which to spend most of the time between Trinity Term and Michaelmas Term of 2006. My first job was delivering papers for the North Shore News. I delivered about 50 papers, three times a week, for about $50 a month. It took at least three or four hours to amalgamate the papers and flyers into deliverable objects and to walk around the area of the route. Working for about a dollar an hour, often under particularly rainy circumstances of those involving hostile dogs (I fear and dislike the species to this day) is not recommended.
Aside from that, I have worked for Pharmasave as a cashier; Staples as a computer salesman; the King's Court Apartments as a janitor; Miller Thomson as a photocopier, researcher, and information technology assistant; the Wild Bird Trust, as a volunteer labourer; Leadership Initiative for Earth, as a volunteer researcher; Camp Fircom, as a volunteer leader; Science Alive Daycamp, as a volunteer leader; Muffin Break, as a cashier; the Olympic Athletic Club, as a juice bar attendant and writer; Newbridge Networks, as a solderer of electronic components; Swinton and Company, now Miller Thomson, and an information technology assistant; the Vancouver Aquarium, as a volunteer feeder in the tropical section; and for the Canadian Department of National Defence, by means of the UBC International Relations Students' Association. Among those, my favourite jobs were the research jobs and the janitorial position.
This summer, I would like to work for some kind of a corporation that pays people well to think about things and doesn't make them work ninety hours a week. That would help reduce my level of student debt, and ensure that I will have the funds to complete the second year of the M.Phil. Probably, the firms in London would pay more, but I really don't understand what would be involved in getting a job there. Also, the cost of living would be much higher. I should probably take the advice of the woman from the Oxford University Career Services who I met at the New College guest dinner and come meet her about getting some kind of placement. In the mean time, anyone who is able and willing to provide information on where gainful employment might be found will be most attentively and appreciatively listened to.
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