Writing this blog I am still somewhat bewildered with the ‘warm weather’ Ottawa has been experiencing. Even more astonishing is my new acclimatisation. I made a mental note this morning noticing what a mild day it was. Apparently 7 degrees celsius now constitutes mild in my books.
The snow is thawing across the city and all is fine for now, however we are expecting a cool snap of -24 degrees celsius in the coming days. It is fair to say all Ottawans are preparing for the watery roads to freeze and transform the city into a very large ice skating rink. A hazard I was unaware people had to be concerned with, until now!
This week I also tried the famous ‘Canadian Beaver Tail.’ Thankfully the name is misleading. A large slab of sweet batter is deep fried and smothered in your choice of sweet sauces and toppings. Although consuming approximately three weeks worth of sugar, it was truly sensational.
My predictions of a fast paced introduction to the New Year have come true. The office is buzzing with new ideas, optimism and much excitement. New research projects are in the drawing stages and it truly is a pleasure to be contributing to such interesting and thought provoking work.
On Tuesday fellow Mannkal scholar Georgina and I, attended a monthly round table discussion regarding the current political climate and challenges. I found the most intriguing aspect to be the mutual respect each representative had even though opinions and values were vastly different.
Freedom of speech is one of our most powerful democratic actions. But often voicing an opinion that varied from the ‘norm’ results in that voice being silenced, shut down or ridiculed. I believe this is an important issue that needs to be addressed, particularly for my generation. This dictatorial behaviour will only stifle progression and cause a societal disconnection. Although opinions and values will differ, being able to listen, intellectually debate and approach situations with an open mind are vital skills to ensure liberalism and freedom. You won’t hear that in many University lecture halls!