I got this idea about 6 months too late. I should have been chronicling my experiences here from the first day. I was hoping to organize this journal as the events and thoughts came to me, but because I've already been here for 6 months, I'm going to be catching up on things. So please excuse me if I'm bouncing around a bit at first.
As you can read in my Description, I have some strong and unrealistic ideals about being Canadian. Please note that I believe people should attempt to do these things. Obviously, there are many reasons why people can't learn the other language or don't have a chance to learn what it's like to be in an Inuit in Nunavik. But I think that the attempt and the desire to keep contact with the many worlds within Canada should be the spirit of this country.
I also recognize that having only two official languages does not do justice to the many other cultures that are now as fundamental and important to Canada as the French and English. To be a good Canadian citizen, one must have some understanding of the culture, history and even the language of the Chinese, Punjabi, Italian, Jewish, West Indian, Portuguese, Iranian, Greek, Vietnamese (to name just a few) as well as the many First Nations civilizations and the black communities who've been here for generations.
As you have probably gathered, I like a society that is a mix of cultures. I am lucky to have been born a citizen of a country that has done a pretty good job (relatively speaking) of creating a multicultural society. I think the existence of a culture as large, vibrant and independent as Quebec, and the existence of a second language, supported by the marketplace and the government are incredible, wonderful things. I think we should treat them as precious and important, fundamental to Canada as a nation.
That is a very broad overview of my position. I'll get into these arguments and my positions in more detail in the body of this journal. But I hope to spend more time and energy on the quotidian, practical side of coming to Montréal with high school French and trying to become a part of the community here. I hope you enjoy it!