Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q&A 1

I've received a few questions via comments and email - so here’s a lazy blog post where I just answer your questions rather than try to think of something to write.

Q1: Am I single?

Creepy that you’re asking, Unknown Internet Person. Does it matter? Yes, I am. I don’t date a lot. Possibly I have ridiculously high standards and will be single for the rest of my life. I feel like this is not an area of my life I need to examine in great detail right now, I've got far too much introspection and upheaval on the go already.

Q2: Are we all excited about the move to Bath?

Dad and Elizabeth, once they decided to do it, embraced the relocation idea with gusto. They are both keen to go now. I am not as big a fan of Bath - it’s kind of a party/socialite town, which isn't my thing. I had imagined spending my unemployed time here in the family home, in our neighbourhood, and it’s taking me time to adjust that mental picture. But homeless children mooching off their parents can’t get all demanding, so I’m making the best of it, doing some research to see what interesting opportunities there might be in Bath to advance my charity project.

Q3: What in the world do I do all day?

Well, first I rented out my condo and packed my life into boxes - that took u p July. Since then I've been catching up on life. I worked crazy long hours at my job, especially at the end as I tried to wrap up all the loose ends before we closed. So, I've done crazy things like: read a book for fun, sleep for more than 6 hours, cook proper meals, see friends.

Now I am also keeping busy packing up this house, prepping it for the Crofts to move in. This is no small task since our family has lived here forever so mementos and records and stuff has piled up for generations. I've just started the process of planning out what needs to be done and by my initial estimate it will take 1 year to finish the task. I've got 1 month.

But I think you mean: how are you being a productive member of society? Did I read that subtext right?

Most of my time goes towards research on putting together a business plan for the charity I want to start. I’m compiling lists of potential funders to approach, grants to apply for. I’m trying not to be daunted by the terrible situation most charities and non-profits seem to be in these days (donations and funding support are way down; need is way up).

My idea is to create a fun place for kids to improve their reading and writing ability - not remedial tutoring that they get stigmatized for being assigned to, but something kids will want to be part of, that other kids will be jealous of. The idea isn't ground-breaking or new, but it doesn't exist here and the stats show a definite need for it. There are a lot of children of immigrants in our city and they lack the advantages one gets from being read aloud to (in English, at least). These programs can increase the reading confidence of the kids which improves their performance in all aspects of school.

Reading to children more than once a day has a substantial positive impact on their future academic skills. In addition, research indicates children with early exposure to books and reading are better at performing mathematical tasks (National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Statistics Canada, 1996-1997). More research here if you want to get nerdy about this with me. More here.

1 comment :

  1. I love your idea for the children's reading program. I participated in a special creative writing program while in grade school and that extra focus and encouragement (and feeling 'selected' for the program) really helped instill a love of writing in me. It's amazing what some extra encouragement and support can do for young kids!