It is 33 degrees celsius outside right now. What?! I hate the heat, so I'm staying inside. To remind myself that it's summer, what with the curtains closed and the air conditioning on, I ate strawberries and clementines. I read the labels: strawberries from California and clementines from South Africa. I've often wondered how the fruit gets to the grocery store so quickly and safely. I also think about all the gas used to transport them. Can't be good for the environment! So for a moment in my kitchen I decided to try to eat more local ingredients.
Then it made me realize that most things I wear and use were not made in my country. I think all or at least most of the toys I played with were made in China. Naturally, this made me consider the conditions under which these things were made. In factories. Most likely by people making very small wages. It's so sad. It's not like it's just one item or company that does this. So how can we avoid it all? I don't intend to try. It hardly seems possible.
I just feel so lucky to live in Canada because I have rights, healthcare an education -- I consider myself wealthy in every way that counts.
But Canada has its issues too. When I go to restaurants or fast food joints, I think about the minimum wage the employees have to make do with. The rationale for such poor wages for waiters and waitresses is that they get tips. That's terrible. What excuse do these businesses have for not paying their staff properly? And why are customers expected to supplement the staffs' income? It's all so wrong. All I can think of are the huge wages the executives and owners must be making off the backs of their employees. It's disgusting. It's been said many times, but many corporations are evil.
I've written this here before, but from January to April of this year, I did a semester of a post-graduate program in Corporate Communications. This is essentially public relations, which is the practice of building relationships between businesses and the public. Well, I don't intend to work for a corporation, mainly because I disapprove of the way they are run, but also because I do not want to defend their actions to the public. I also don't want to have to brag about the company's supposed green initiatives which, for some reason, big wigs at corporations seem to think will deflect attention from their wrongdoings or even make up for them.
I started the Corporate Communications program because I wanted to learn how to write for not-for-profit organizations, preferably those who handle social health issues. My main interests are in awareness and advocacy. To my regulars here, it's probably obvious why I'm attracted to these things. I know from personal experience that these things are very important and make a huge difference. Working at a place like this will allow me to write persuasively (which I find very fun!) AND make a difference! I will likely write press releases, letters to accompany information packages, annual reports, brochures, magazines, newsletters, website information. Ah! It's so exciting.
I was relieved to find that all of my professors in the program were ethically minded. We were encouraged and taught how to do important work. I'm excited to go back in January when the second semester will be offered again. I deferred it to rest as I am often sick and the program and internship requires a lot of energy! It is also stressful at times -- yes, even for laid back me. Haha, although in this block maybe I don't come off as being laid back. I assure you I am!
I was definitely not up to doing the first semester. I missed a lot of classes and had to get several extensions for assignments near the end. When I applied to the program, I just figured I'd be better by January. Then January came and I was so sick of being at home for seven months, so I went through with it. I was also anxious to get a job and move out -- getting my certificate was my last step before doing that. I'm definitely annoyed that I've had to postpone everything, but I must admit that I really enjoy sleeping in and not having to talk to anyone or do anything when I don't feel well.
I feel great right now, aside from being tired. I think that's why I'm thinking about my future. I have great potential!
But even when I'm sick, I can function very well -- sometimes I feel like I can do anything. I was short of breath and coughing for much of Saturday, but still I dressed up, put on a lot of make-up, then went to my cousin's wedding ceremony and reception, enjoyed the open bar, the great food and the dance floor! These are all things I hadn't done in ages, or at least not much since I got sick. I had a wonderful time with my family and the new people I met. I felt beautiful and confident.
Sometimes I feel bad about being out of school and not working, since I can often function while I'm sick. It's not like I'm bedridden. I feel like a wimp for letting this control my life. The truth is, I need to rest even if I can usually function. This was the best decision for me. So for now I guess I'll just have to dream about the future and start playing video games. Haha. That's not so bad is it? Plus, I also have my fruit and my Pounce.