Thursday, August 30, 2007

Carnegie Learning Center Won't Open in Sept Due to Strike

Lucy Alderson, Co-ordinator and teacher at the Carnegie Learning Center, sent out a mass e-mail last Thursday, August 30th: "Hi, Everyone! Well, things are not looking good for re-opening the Learning Centre at the beginning of September.”

The Learning Center is run jointly by Capilano College and the Carnegie Center. Alderson actually works for Capilano College and is not a CUPE member, but most staff at Carnegie are members of CUPE Local 15. The Learning Center specializes in adult literacy, including computer literacy. Alderson’s e-mail reveals her support for CUPE as well as her need for a little time on the Mavis Bacon typing tutor to get the hang of the space bar:

“We have been talking about the situation withCUPE members, Ethel [Carnegie Director], the CCCA [Carnegie Community Center Association], our own union at Capilano College and ourDean. Right now, we have a short-term, 2 week plan to respect the strikeand strongly urge a resolution to the dispute. Hopefully, we are headingin that direction but it is very hard to tell. If the strike continues, wehave many issues to consider and we will bring everyone together to helpformulate a plan.I know that some of you have been helping out in other areas of theCarnegie and some of you have been away, or anxious to get back tovolunteering. We will try and keep you as up to date as possible. I amconcerned about our current students and all the people who regularly usethe facilities of the Learning Centre and the Comunity [Luuuuuucy! Spell check!] Centre. We are alsoconcerned about Carnegie staff who have been on the picket line for almost2 months.I am wondering if anyone has any ideas about bringing pressure to secure aresolution. Do we want to have an email discussion or get together atCarnegie next week?Tomorrow there is a rally at City Hall organized by CUPE. I am going to goafter I have completed some work at the College. It is from 12noon until2:30pm. Also, there is a march from Science World starting at 10am. Let me know any thoughts, ideas or concerns, Lucy"


dag said...

I'm gonna gofter two. Soonaz I get my spellcheque and a spacecadet bar. Yummy! I lik it.

Anonymous said...

Is Capilano College planning on any other program cancellations or is this just another way to stick it to those nasty people that are blogging against them?

dag said...

Capilano College seems to be 'flag-planting' by involving itself in the affairs of the DTES. What on earth does Cap. College have to do with the nature of the residents of the Lower Eastside? Nothing. It's not for the students of Cap. college that there is a presence downtown in Vancouver, Cap. College coming from a fairly affluent suburb disconnected physically from Vancouver itself. It's not for the tax-payers of North Vancouver that the college has an outpost in the Lower Eastside. It has nothing to do with North Vancouverites as provincial tax-payers to support the Lower Eastside of Vancouver. So what is this about? Why is the tax-payer in North Vancouver paying for an outpost in the Lower Eastside of Vancouver?

Seems that many want a piece of the "Poverty Pie." It's a mad rush to 'the dark continent' of the Lower Eastside to plant the flag of ones own group in the midst of a shrinking place to claim a stake in Poverty as ones moral place from which to do ones "good deeds." Povertarians, surveying the Lower Eastside, see a small area wherein they can make an office, find a group of 'victims', and from there set up a mission to convert the natives to the Good and the True. Not yet Residential Schools, but perhaps that's to come. Streaming in from the suburbs like European colonists and missionaries, the Povertarians stake out a space and compete against each other for those they can bring in as "students" and "community members." Get so many 'poor people' and call yourself successful. The funding proves it. So many feet across the threshold each day shows the success of each and every 'programme' whether there is anything of value or not to anyone involved. Like the rush to colonize Africa, a zone here or there is all that matters, converts just awaitin' to be shown the light unto the masses. And if they don't really get it, it makes no never mind, the natives not really being the point of the exercise anyway. It's the number of the poor who make it across the threshold of the office or the storefront. Anyone will do, even if they must be imported from another suburb to fill in the lines on the sign-up sheets. Numbers, numbers, numbers. Shall we gather at the river? Get a piece of the poverty pie and call it a success.

How to get the natives to agree to being colonized? Give out, for the start, a sandwich and a cup of coffee. But it's not merely that, one must provide something 'up-lifting'. One must provide a programme. There's got to be some jelly between the slices. Oooh, COMPUTERS! Oooh, a MUFFIN! Oooh, a KNITTING SESSION! The nonsense goes on and on in competition with other nonsense. Make-believe participation in ones own degradation is one of the better scams here. Lt's pretend you can actually have a title and a membership in the joke of you own colonization. Pretend the "board" you are a member of is really a board of some real kind. Pretend you have a say in the way others run your food-stamp allotments. Call yourself a board member and say aloud to others playing the game that you are Titled and you say there should be food stamps. Voila, there are food stamps. But it's not you, it's not real, and you get scammed by the missionaries who make it all possible because of the largesse of the backers from far away who actually pay for it all. [Largess \lar-ZHES; lar-JES; LAR-jes\, noun : 1. Generous giving (as of gifts or money), often accompanied by condescension.] Other people pay to send missionaries into the dark places of the city to convert the natives to something like a pale version of the suburbs.It's colonization. You get to play at being the missionary's helper in the colonization of you mates. How do you like it, Uncle Tom? Let's see you do a nifty native dance in celebration of our largesse.

What's the good of having lots of good will and the need to do good deeds if there are no people to do these things at? And what if there are only so many to do these things at? There is in the poverty industry a competition for people. One must find a place and the people required to be a missionary at. It's not much good being a missionary if one has no people to convert and turn into ones own followers. And the poverty pie is fairly limited, after all. There are only so many "Poor" to go around, not nearly enough for all those who wish to be in on the poverty game. Create some new ones. Redefine what a "poor person" is. Expand the area of the colonizable. rope in more and more people to control and convert. There's room in the business not just for Capilano college but for UBC as well. There's room for everyone who cares to join in the orgy of colonizing if one is at least vaguely creative. Can't find legitimate "victims?" Well, don't be shattered, create a new category of those to be saved. Cast the net widely enough to find some group who will follow for a muffin.

Find a place and plant the flag. Then, being a missionary from abroad, from the lands of the civilized, look for those who are not up to snuff and tell them how you will save them from the evils of the world if only they obey and mouth the words of the latest sermon. If the poor are obnoxious, then turf them, like Simpson is turfed for being obnoxious. There are lots of others to take his place. And if not, then even Simpson will do in a pinch.

No one likes Simpson, one might guess, but if he's the last poor guy around the missionaries will nevertheless fight for him to 'save.' Yes, even one lowly sinner would be enough to set the povertarians at each others' throats. They obviously do not like Simpson. The point is that they don't like any of the "poor." They like the numbers. Mostly, though, the povertarians like themselves. They are special in their own minds, doing good deeds for the poor, missionaries from afar who spend the money of others to do to the poor for the sake of the souls of the poor, so they would have you believe, but really, because it makes the povertarians feel like they do good deeds. If not you they'll find someone else, perhaps animals or maybe even trees or just about anything. Who or what really matters not at all, so long as the povertarian missionary has something to feel good about. So Cap. College plants a flag in the Lower Eastside and proclaims the struggle is begun. Aren't they special? And if there is somehow no longer a place for them, off they'll go to Cuba to save the poor there. Or to Mars to commune with space aliens. Or where ever and to whomever. There are always good deeds to do, and there are many who need to do it. First we take Vancouver, then we take Berlin.