July 24, 2016

Finding your TRU self in Kamloops

Recently we spent time in Kamloops; Jeem attended a political conference and Sherry visited some wineries and coffee shops.

The landscape around Kamloops is stunningly attractive and the vistas from TRU were impressive, especially at sunrise. Apparently New Democrats start their business early.

TRU Residence Building

The conference was held on the campus of Thompson Rivers University and it's an impressive site. Residences, conference centre and a number of buildings housing various faculties and programs.

TRU began in 1970 as Cariboo College, wending its way through the changing politics of BC to discover itself a degree granting university in the 2000s.

TRU has over 25,000 students with almost 15,000 attending on-site. According to statistics Jeem found on the internet, the female to male ratio of students is 56/43, which doesn't quite add up, but that's a minor quibble to be sure. Aboriginal students make up over 10 percent of the student body, with another 10 percent defined as international, mainly from China, but also India and Saudi Arabia, among others.

TRU's grassy knoll. 

The campus makes for an interesting walkabout; there are interesting pathways between buildings and places to relax and reflect, and in the summertime heat of Kamloops, the university was quiet.

Except for the antics of 500 New Democrats.

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2016 by Jim Murray.

July 03, 2016

Giving Blood on Canada Day ~ Jeem's annual tradition since 2016

It's Canada Day and we're off to give blood. It's a good thing to do, especially when we're thinking all the reasons we love being Canadian. And not English. Or American where they pay for blood.

Giving blood is easy, as Jeem discovered a few months ago when he gave blood for the very first time. Doors open automatically at the centre on Oak Street and the reception is warm and friendly

A quick prick of the finger to see if one is human is about the most pain you can expect to endure.

There are forms to fill out, yet again. After all, Jeem might have come in contact with the bodily fluids of monkeys or taken up IV drug use since his last donation three months ago. One never knows apparently.

A brief wait and Jeem was called into a private room for screening. This is a bit more serious level of interrogation and one shouldn't answer any of the questions with a "maybe." As in, "In the past twelve months have you spent anytime in prison?" Or, "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" After some minor clarification Jeem was sent to the next waiting room.

Another brief interlude and then the insertion of tubes by a trained professional, and proud member of a union. It was easy and Jeem didn't feel a thing.

His donation of a half litre of B+ was complete in less than twenty minutes. Time for some salty snacks, cookies and a juice. That, plus a good feeling, and a sticker for his tee, was the only payment Jeem received this Canada Day. And that's another reason to be a proud Canadian, though Christy Clark and her band of nitwits is trying to change that too. That would be a bad thing.

It's in us to give, and we should do so freely. Blood-for-profit has no place in this province, nor anywhere else in Canada.

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2016 by Jim Murray.