Monday, January 26, 2009

French word of the day: garderie (gar-der-EE) a daycare center for children; a nursery

Bonjour tout le monde,

Not much to report since the last post, except that we hit the rocks for the first time since our hitherto idyllic time here. To wit: (okay, not much of that going on here) Milo decided he hated his new daycare. Most of last week was an emotionally draining affair of leg-clinging, teary pleading not to be left there, and lots of guilt and doubt on our part. Friday was a little better; he seemed resigned, if not thrilled, to be going there. So maybe we've worn him down. This did raise some questions about the whole Montessori thing though. The managers at the daycare said there are no toys out because Montessori pedagogy advises against having them out while educational activities are going on, so they are locked away most of the time. Milo's Calgary daycare is all about free play, with lots of toys available most of the time. So his new one seems a lot less fun to him, and we can't say we blame him. Well, as those of you who've met him know, he's a very social guy who needs friends. So hopefully he's making friends and that will make him much happier. A few of the kids in his room speak English as their first language, but the teachers and most of the kids are francophone, so that's got to be a little challenging too.

In other news, we were tourists yesterday. Montreal's Olympic velodrome was converted into the "biodome," a big indoor zoo. It's pretty interesting, organized by climate regions, and you follow a path through the whole thing starting with a rain forest, going through the Laurentian landscape/marshes, St. Lawrence seaway, and ending up in Antarctica with 3 species of penguins. Canadian animals and fish are so BORING compared to the technicolor fish, plants, and birds of remote climes! But maybe their abilities to live in harsh cold weather makes them interesting from a biology standpoint. That's what Milo seems to think; his favourite was the giant Atlantic cod.

Other than that, we've just been exploring around our own 'hood. I went to the Musee d'art Contemporain with Iggy, but it was between major exhibits, so we just saw a reduced version of their offerings. There were two video art exhibits, one from Canadian artist Lynne Marsh, the other some Japanese artists.

Iggy didn't get the cultural references of Marsh's work, which dealt with feminist representations of the female body in public sites of power, but he really liked the Japanese works, which were lovely animated images dissolving into different colours and shapes to music. It was like those little Sesame Street vignettes I remember from my youth; maybe that's why I'm drawn to that kind of animation and video art.

I will leave you with one observation: Montrealers seem to really love their pastries. You can buy all manner of really fancy-looking ones in the supermarket, right out of the freezer case. To say nothing of Le Pain d'Ore, a boulangerie in our street that sells real French-style pastries and breads-- to die for, literally.

A la prochaine, mes amis.

1 comment:

  1. It is a shame they converted the velodrome into a giant biodome!

    Just sayin'

    P.S. This is the best blog title ever.
    P.P.S. I found a recording of your interview with an awesome bikemessenger in downtown minneapolis in 2003. Pretty rad.