City Mouse to Country Mouse August 2015
This is my first blog as the newly hired principal of Veteran School, a small community, located north of Hanna, Alberta on Highway 12, in the central and eastern part of our province. I have been busy preparing for the school year 2015-16 and have discovered one important piece of information—RURAL…
The word rural has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Prior to exploring and visiting communities in the Palliser’s Triangle, and the school communities located in Prairie Land Regional Division, my experience with “rural education” was in the foothills south of Calgary: Okotoks, High River, Black Diamond, Longview. Being a city gal, to me, these above mentioned small towns and the open ranch/ farmland areas defined rural living. However, I now understand RURAL a little differently. Any town within 60 minutes of a major urban center is not “rural”, but simply a bedroom community! Through very recent experiences I have learned that rural really means:
a grass fire where everyone rallies up, coming from literally miles and miles around to help out (there were no fire trucks nor sirens)
driving at least 45 minutes for the closest gas station to only find out it’s a Co-Op Cardlock- not helpful to the city gal.
no AMA service for a flat tire or dead battery; they probably wouldn’t even find me on the map!
being lost driving on back roads and having no street signs to guide you ( using “bins” as a landmark to describe where you are is not trulyhelpful)
school bus commutes for children longer than 40 minutes.
a deemed “ highway” on a map,but the highway is not paved…I found this odd—is this only in Saskatchewan? Hehe
learning how to drive on gravel and mud (real mud—not city mud) ….oh my.. very interesting experiences for me!
My father was born and raised in Swift Current and my mother, Calgary. My maternal great grandparents homesteaded in 1883 from Ireland to Midnapore (now Calgary) and my paternal great grandparents near Vanguard, Saskatchewan in 1916 from Ontario. I was born and raised in Calgary. Although worked or studied for a time in BC, Quebec and Nova Scotia, Alberta is my home. My three adult children completed all their schooling in Alberta. They reside and work in Calgary.
I look forward to becoming “de-city-ized” or “de-city-fied”(I hope these are words, but you know what I mean), and to learning about and contributing to this community! To lead and inspire a community of learners is an honor. I feel so privileged to work in the Veteran School Community and I will never take your trust or your support for granted. We will collaborate and celebrate our journey together and I can’t wait to meet every family!