During my time in Montreal (and thanks to my student medical/dental insurance), I have had several visits to the dentist. On each occasion, the use of language in the dentist’s office in a bi(/multi)lingual city in a French-speaking province has fascinated me.
As a white French heterosexual Québécoise, I know for a fact that life is pretty easy for me. If I’m in a job or apartment hunting, I have a good chance to find something convenient. If I travel, crossing borders is, at worst, a loss of time and, at best, a way to practise my languages. No one questions my last name, my skin colour, my nationality, my sexual orientation, my intentions, or my dangerousness. I understand that this is no coincidence. I am not a particularly lucky person. In fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about privilege.
“To examine Whiteness is to identify how race shapes the lives of both White people and people of colour [and Indigenous peoples]” (Yee and Dumbril, 2003, p. 100).
In her blog, Emmanueola (What’s your story?) urges all of us think about our story:
“Each of us has a story to share, and educators must ensure that their students become confident and that all stories are heard and respected for what they are, even if they do not fall into conventional categories. What’s your story?“”
This blog post is my story, my story of an online dating experience. I share this story with you to challenge and perhaps think about the notion of “conventional categories” of being “Canadian”.
Rubina Khanam is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. Her doctoral research focuses on language policy and planning in postcolonial contexts. Prior to her graduate studies in Canada, she lived in South Korea for three years while she pursued her Master’s in Applied Linguistics. Her MA research examined discourse markers across speech contexts. She completed her primary, secondary and undergraduate studies in Bangladesh. Continue reading
This week, we have our first guest blogger, April Passi (MA, Second Language Education), co-blogging with BILD member, Dr. Alison Crump.