The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Uncategorized” Category

The First Casualties of Peace

Posted on November 11, 2018

On the morning of November 11, 1918, everyone from all sides of the conflict understood that the “war to end all wars” was itself in the process of ending.  At 7 a.m. that morning, France’s Marshal Foch was heading for Paris with the Armistice document in his breast pocket.   At that same moment, in Mons, Belgium, Canadian soldiers were enjoying being hugged by locals who understood that the war would end likely before the end of the day. The problem was that there was no one person in charge of how it would all come to a close.  Worse, communications in 1918 left a lot to be desired, and although everyone knew the end was nigh, there was no way to get the news…

The Secret Nook – Chapter 15 (Brush to Canvas at Last)

Posted on October 17, 2018

Five minutes later, they found themselves in the same positions.  She had accepted his offer of a refill of her tea, but the entire exercise was testing her patience – which was perhaps what he had intended. “In the best possible way that you can imagine, how do you see yourself in the future?  What is it that makes you the happiest in that later time?” He then gingerly poured tea to let her deliberate. She thought for a moment and was amazed.  Meadow thought neither of romance or wealth, a home, children or joy.  The answer that emerged almost instantly was painting – nothing else.  The question, having never been put to her previously, gave her a moment of great clarity, like a billboard…

The Third Place (Chapter 7) – Disruption

Posted on August 7, 2018

In my final year of college, a new presence introduced itself into our community life that threatened not only the restaurant but the great social experiment that Dad especially had been undertaking. At first it was almost imperceptible, lost in the new wave of digital technologies, a global Internet, and powerful tech companies determined to force the world into a new way of communicating and learning. The Third Place responded to this bold new presence by adapting its business model – just as everyone else was doing.  The problem was that it was viewed with suspicion by a new generation bristling with energy and often anger at the old order.  They were a new generation that had watched jobs disappear, were frequently employed in…

London’s Ivory Tower Breaks Its Bubble

Posted on June 21, 2018

Secure in the lush surroundings of north-central London, Western University, despite its size and strategic importance to the city, can appear an island unto itself — bustling and creative, to be sure, but nevertheless isolated. Londoners have come to take it for granted without realizing how much the university has transformed in just the past decade. In essence, the world has come to Western and its host city in numbers likely unknown in the broader community. Ten years ago (2007-2008), the university had 24,071 students, with only 1,303 from other countries. Today, the international component numbers more than 4,500 full-time students coming from 121 countries. This quiet revolution has brought a global dynamic and diversity to Western’s classrooms in ways that introduce Canadian students to a…

Rudolph – More Than Just a Jingle

Posted on December 23, 2017

A man named Robert L. May, depressed and broken-hearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.  His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.  Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.   Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.  Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.  When he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys.  He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He…

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