Hit or Miss

In which Canada is calling…

It started out as a joke. I said to friends (like I’m sure a lot of people have) that if Bush wins the election, I was going to move to Canada.

But then about a month ago, I read an article about the increasing number of American students heading north to Canada to attend college. It got me to start thinking about applying for a Residence Life position up there. Due to the growing sense of disatisfaction I have with my current job (due in large part to the remoteness of Kirksville), I’ve been thinking about it more and more lately.

Why Canada? I’ve never lived or traveled outside the United States. I’ve led a pretty sheltered, slow-paced, easy life in the South and the Midwest. So far, one of the biggest changes I’ve had to get used to was just moving from Indiana to Missouri and having to figure out the motor vehicle laws so I could get my driver’s liscence. For some reason, I see Canada as being pretty exotic and different, but at the same time being manageable and safe (compared to say, moving to Europe). But I have to admit, thinking about trying to get used to a different set of laws and policies (which I would be responsible for enforcing as a hall director), seems like an almost overwhelming (though exciting) task.

But I’m usually all talk. I rarely follow-though when I think up crazy new ways to change my life. I am too much a creature of habit.

But I broached the subject today with my boss, asking him if he knew anything about the job market up there. He said he has a couple of contacts (at the University of Alberta, for example), so I figure it wouldn’t hurt to look into it and see what types of positions they have up there.

Problem is, if I want to move to a different job, I have to let my boss know by January. But I’m not really in the mood to do a “real” thorough job search. I just feel like toying with this whole Canada idea for a while longer and maybe see what I can find out about the job market up there. Then I can make the decision if I want to just be lazy and stay here another year or try to embark upon a new adventure.

2 responses so far (Respond)

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Howdy…

I’ve lived in and near Canada for most of my life… want my two cents worth?

Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver or Calgary. I’ve never heard anything good about Toronto.

Ottawa: I volunteered in “le garderie” (day care) at the University of Ottawa for almost a year… great University. I LOVE Ottawa: great public transportation, lots of park land, close to the hiking/camping thang, active cultural scene… and all of that in a town that doesn’t feel much larger than, say, Salt Lake City. Not at all overpowering.

Montreal: Wow! Big Big Big… Manhattan meets New Orleans. There are a couple of anglo schools there, including McGill — Canada’s Stanford. Way cool… you can get anywhere by subway or train, and the people are a riot…

Vancouver: The city on the edge of a continent. It’s everything that Seattle was before grunge. Very temperate weather… nice on various fronts: culture, gastronomy, sports, outdoors.

Calgary: The only place in Alberta to be if you’re not a farmer. Big city size-wise, but sparse on the population side. VERY cold in the winter… but chuck-full of the friendly Canadians you hear about. Who’d of thought that you could be frigid and happy?

Vis10n | 17 Oct 2000
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I’m hardly a local or an expert, but I’ve been on extended visits to Alberta twice and was very impressed with Edmonton. It’s decent-sized but not huge, the people and atmosphere were really friendly, and (this is the part that I thought might be helpful) I stayed on the campus of the University of Alberta both times. Great place with nice facilities, and a few friends have done their undergrad or grad school work there and stayed on long after–so it can’t be too terrible. I think this is worth some serious consideration, Matt–if I had the chance to go teach in Canada (especially beautiful BEAUTIFUL western Canada–the Rockies, rolling plains, the Pacific–like all of the good stuff in America but with better beer) for a year or so I think I would take it with little or no hesitation.

Max | 17 Oct 2000