Autumn 2013

Your Letters

Education’s New Wave

I am currently working at Blessed Sacrament Outreach in Wainwright, Alta., an alternative school that provides high school course work for students ages 15 to 19.
While reading the “Building a Better Undergrad” article [Spring 2013, page 20], the phrase “make [the] undergrad experience work at [the student’s] pace” caught my eye because that motto is similar to what we do here at BSO.

A lot of students that come to our school are academically intelligent but usually face challenges within their personal lives, including previous drug and/or alcohol abuse, mental health issues, unplanned pregnancy, upgrading needs and learning disabilities. By providing an educational environment that is accommodating and welcoming to these types of learners, we are truly working toward providing schooling that is as unique as the learner.

Web extras

These schools, though not traditional in nature, are a new wave in providing education to those that either cannot attend a traditional high school or choose to engage in a learning environment that is toward their needs. This type of model, in my opinion, encompasses the ideology of educating to many. 

— Kristin Lapierre, ’06 BEd, Wainwright, Alta.

Photo too political: readers

Fascinating photograph from Hebron in your Spring 2013 issue. Jewish settlers living above Arab shops in the old market and a “chain-link fence to protect the Arab Palestinians from objects that might come down from above.” Does this imply that the Jews do not know about garbage bins? Or do they amuse themselves by flinging objects at passing Palestinians? You don’t suppose that the photographer might be a teensy bit biased, do you? Almost certainly she would say no, just opposed to Israeli policy in the West Bank. But sometimes it is not easy to tell the difference. I bet we are not getting the whole story. — Elizabeth Haigh, ’63 MSc, Halifax

I object to the commentary on the picture “Hebron.” This is a common sight in Israel and I have many similar pictures of the market streets in the Old City in Jerusalem. The inference of the caption, however, bothered me. I don’t think an alumni publication should pick sides in its reporting. Let the picture stand on its own.
— Jim Moses , ’71 BSc(ChemEng), Edmonton

We would like to hear your comments about the magazine. Send us your letters by post or email. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.

Snow Proud

I really enjoyed the Winter 2012 New Trail issue — especially “Latitude Attitude” [page 26]. That article nicely captured the feelings we students had in living in the cold winters during our time at U of A. I still remember walking to class when it was so cold my shoes squeaked when I walked. But the view of the lacy tree limbs covered in hoarfrost was beautiful! The winter festival at the residences that included ice/snow statues was a fun way of making the most of the cold.

I must admit that during the winter I usually scan the weather in the newspaper to check out just how cold Edmonton is and take some perverse pride in knowing that I enjoyed four winters there.

Jan McNeill, ’75 BSc(Chem Eng), Houston

Volunteer Joy

I enjoyed reading your article in the Winter issue of New Trail [Up Front, page 2].

What a true joy and reward I receive when I volunteer to teach English to New Canadians! The pure curiosity of myself as their teacher and also them — my students, encourages us all to ask questions and learn and grow together. I love talking about our holidays, our seasons and our traditions here in Canada, and relish hearing about the same in their homelands.

Volunteering gives me what money never could: a feeling of belonging, a place in the world where I can share my experience, my knowledge and my love of being a Canadian, showing respect, concern and the joy of learning to all new Canadians.

Cynthia Joy (Lister) Thompson, ’74 BEd, Edmonton 

Adoption is a Plan

I enjoyed reading the article “Bringing Birth Back to the North” [page 33, Winter 2012]. Having recently adopted my son, I now take notice of and must advocate for more positive adoption language when I have the chance. This article refers to parents “planning on giving their baby up for adoption.” Before adopting, I wouldn’t have given it second glance. Now, I recognize that this phrase suggests the birth parents gave up on their child rather than making the difficult decision not to parent. I would encourage your editorial staff to use alternative language when referring to adoption. Alternative phrases include “planning to place their baby for adoption,” “making an adoption plan,” or “choosing to place their baby for adoption.” 

Kelly Small, ’95 BSc, Calgary

From Twitter

It’s a good day for @new_trail arrived in the mail! Wonderful tribute to Peter Lougheed... and The North.

Larisa Cheladyn @artbylarisa

If one thing could make me open my @UofA_Alumni mag it’s @ben_hen talkin #yegwinter! #rad #onelove #respec’

Nate Box @nathanbox
Steven Dollansky @StevenDollansky
Take a moment to read @babiak’s exceptional column in #ualberta New Trail magazine. #yeg

Todd Babiak @babiak
@StevenDollansky Thank you, sir, it’s fun. I was once turned down for an editorial job at New Trail because I failed their grammar test.

Lisa Cook @NewTrail_Lisa
@babiak @StevenDollansky Today’s to-do list: 8 a.m., get coffee. 8:13, burn grammar test. #ReallyBadDecisions

Keep in touch between New Trail issues.

You’ll find web-exclusive content online and in e-Trail, our monthly electronic e-magazine.

Many years ago I stopped receiving New Trail, probably because we have had 17 homes in two provinces and four states since graduating in 1970. Imagine my surprise and absolute delight when “poof” — yesterday there was the winter issue in my mailbox. It was a great read and reminded me how much I had missed reading the publication. Thanks for catching up with me…. However you did it!

Stan Kaufman, ’68 BA, ’70 MBA, Sun Lakes, Ariz.


Edy Wong, ’77 BCom, ’79 MA, ’84 PhD, was incorrectly identified in Photo No. 6 of our event photo gallery (page 49, Spring 2013).

The wrong Patricia Brine was listed in the Spring 2013 In Memoriam (page 62). Patricia “Paddy” Brine (MacRory), ’59 BEd, ’89 MEd, writes, “I am alive and well and on holiday.” 

We apologize for the errors.